Inductive Bible Study

Inductive Bible Study Method

Inductive Bible Study is a method for learning how to exegete the Bible for all its worth by our best efforts. We do this through learning the tools and skills to help us observe the text, dig out the meaning, and then apply it to our lives. Remember, these “”Inductive Bible Study”” methods are not for professional Christians only; they are the tools for all disciples of the Lord to use!

“”Inductive”” means using logical induction and reasoning from the supported facts to ascertain a general principle that we can apply to our life. It extends deductive logic for greater understanding and application. The primary purpose of this method is to teach you how to study His Word in a logical, clear, and concise way. So we do not read into the text what we want it to say, rather we what take from God’’s Word what God is actually telling us. In this way, we can be better discipled to live worthy lives for His glory with Fruit, faith and character.

The Three, Basic, Essential, Inductive Bible Study Questions:

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. How does this apply to me?

How Does One Start?

Start with the proper approach—-that of prayer and reverence. If we do not have the right attitude and mindset, we will not get much out of God’’s Word, because our will gets in the way of His!

Prayer! “”Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law”” (Psalm 119:18). This is the essential, first step to always, always starting anything—-especially the studying of the Bible and communication with God!

Attitude! Have a good attitude based on seeking Christ rather than seeking self. Our minds must be clear and childlike before Him, because, when you read His Word, you are standing before the face of God—-the Holy God! So, adjust to a good attitude and reverence for God and His Word.

Select the verse, book, and passage you wish to study.

Usually 3-10 verses, dealing with the same topic.

Why do you want to study this passage?

I. Observation: What does this passage say?

1. Overview!

Look at the whole book (a single book in the Bible) and “”see the big


2. What is the “big idea” of the passage-your theme?

This can most readily be identified from the commands and the repeated words and ideas. Often there will be one command in the passage with several motivations. In one phrase, sum up the main thought of the passage.

3. Ask the natural question that arises from the “big idea.” This will usually be “how,” “why,” or “what.”

• Who is writing or speaking and to whom?

• What is the passage about?

• When does this take place?

• Where does this take place?

• Why does the author write what he does?

• What problems were the recipients facing? How does this passage ?

• How does this passage fit in with the context? (What goes before and after?)

Additional Questions to Ask:

• What are the commands?

• What are the promises?

• What are the cause/effect relationships?

• What are the repeated words and ideas?

• What do I learn about God?

• What do I learn about Jesus?

• What do I learn about the Holy Spirit?

• What do I learn about myself (or mankind)?

• Write out any additional observations including contrasts, lists, comparisons, etc.

II. Interpretation: What Does This Passage Mean?

Answer the question you have raised from the passage. Put your answers in the form of an outline. These answers form principles of life and ministry. A principle is defined as a timeless lesson in the way God works, how you should live or in thinking God’s way. To develop each principle (each point in your outline), you will want to explain it (interpretation), illustrate it (from the Bible or personal examples of how this principle is worked out), and apply it.

Steps to interpreting the passage. Use as many of the following questions as you need, progressing downward.

1. What are the meanings of the words?

2. What does the immediate context suggest?

3. What does the broader context suggest?

4. What do cross-references suggest?

5. What is the cultural meaning? (That is, What did it mean to those to whom it was originally addressed?)

6. What do commentaries suggest?

III. Application: How does this apply to me?

This is where you purpose to do what God has taught you in your time with Him. (Ref: James 1:21-25, Matthew 7:24-27) It is through applying the Word that God changes out lives. Application does not happen by osmosis but by intent. God enlightens us from the Word, we apply what we’ve learned with our wills, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to carry out these choices. It is usually best to concentrate on applying one principle at a time. The goal of all application is to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for.”

• Teaching. What did I learn?

• Reproof. Where do I fall short? Why do I fall short?

• Correction. What will I do about it?

• Training in righteousness. How can I make this principle a consistent part of my life?

1. What is God telling me?

2. How am I encouraged and strengthened?

3. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

4. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

5. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?

6. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

7. What can I model and teach?

8. What does God want me to share with someone?