It is no secret that I love studying the Bible using the Inductive Bible Study Method. I first learned this method about 12 years ago and it has been the only method for me ever since. Sure, I have attended women’s study groups where we used books written by authors with answers supplied but they never really fed me as much as my own in-depth study does.
For example, when you read a Bible Study book authored by someone, that person has done all the research. They studied and learned all the wonderful truths in the Word to pass on to you. It is beautifully written but for some reason only some of what you read stays with you. Wouldn’t you like to be the person who does the research? It isn’t hard, it just takes time as anything good does.
The Inductive Study Method has the tools you need to dig deep in the Word. You will learn the three main keys to truly seeing all there is in the book or chapter you are studying.
And you can download your own Inductive Bible Study Booklet when you sign up for the Insiders Pod!
Let’s check out what makes up the Inductive Approach.
All Bible Study should begin with prayer for without it, your spiritual eyes of understanding will miss the great truths the Lord wants you to see in His pages. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding and teach you what He wants you to learn.
When we study the Word for ourselves, we should be taking our time to observe what we read. Asking ourselves the 5 W and H (Who-What-Where-When-Why and How) questions will tune you into noticing the details that we so often miss when we are rushed.
Noticing who the author is, who he is writing to, what has prompted the author to write or what will happen if the people continue in the direction they are going, will help us to understand the era, the culture and the spiritual condition of the people.
Slowing down our reading pace to answer these questions and observing the text with marking keywords will help us to remember what we are reading. I make notes in my Bible, sometimes in the margins which unfortunately are quite narrow, but often on sticky notes that I keep in that passage. It helps with the details of what I’m learning and I can refer to it when needed.
Some other components of Observation are marking keywords, noting the expressions of time, terms of conclusion, geographical locations, contrasts and comparisons and making lists.
Once these components are done, then I can determine the chapter themes and write them above the start of each chapter. A lot of Bibles already have chapter themes or section themes but I ignore them in favour of determining my own conclusion. After all, I am studying inductively which means digging in for myself.
The next component of Inductive Study is to correctly interpret the Word based on all that has been observed. It is important to keep Scripture verses in context, that is, read it in light of the verses preceding it and after it to correctly apply the verse.
Here is a verse that I see often on Instagram posts and the accompanying description is usually about a woman who is strong.
Psalm 46:5 – “she is not moved” or even “she is”. The accompanying graphic is usually a woman walking away from the viewer.
The full verse is God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Since we are looking for context, we can see the passage as 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. KJV.
This verse is not speaking of a woman but rather, it is speaking of the city of God that will not be moved.
See the difference this makes, knowing the context of the verse? Therefore, interpretation needs to be based on your observations AND kept in context.
All study becomes a mass of knowledge that will soon be forgotten if we do not apply it. God wants us to learn to handle His Word in a way that pleases Him. Paul mentioned this in 2 Timothy 2:15. We all need to ensure that we are teaching the Word, preaching the Word and applying the Word accurately. Are we understanding it correctly?
Another thing to remember about application is often the passage was written for a specific culture and time period and you may not be able to apply it to today.
James said in chapter 1, 22, that we should be doers of the word and not hearers only. To be a doer of what you have studied means to apply what you have learned.
Did the text talk about repentance and confession? Then check your heart, judge yourself so that He does not have to judge you.
Did the text talk about humbling yourself so the land will be healed? Then speak to the Holy Spirit and bare your heart to Him as you approach Him with a contrite heart.
Did the text talk about hospitality? Then, if you are able to in your situation, invite some church visitors over for a meal after the service, or, maybe dessert and games on a Friday night.
These three components lead to one thing: transformation.
Paul taught in Romans 12:2 that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the Word of God. Let all that you did to study the Word inductively, transform you to be more Christ-like. This is the ultimate goal of any Bible Study, to be more like Christ.
I have just begun studying the Book of Joel in my personal study. The first thing I did was to read it over twice in two versions noting the 5 W’s. Now I begin marking the keywords, that is always fun!
So, has this intrigued you to try this study method? If you are looking for more material, my Free Libraries->Study Material Library contains what you need to get started. Sign up to gain access with the password and then download the material you need. You will find
- Learn the 5 W’s for Bible Study
- Sample Keyword List by Kari King Dent
- Master Keyword List for personal use
- Worksheets for First John, Second John and Third John
- Inductive Bible Study Booklet **Brand New**
Sign up to receive an email right away with the password.
Will you let me know if you would like to learn this method? I would like to help you as much as I can! Leave a comment, below, I’m waiting to hear from you.