The inductive Bible study method is a method that intrigues me. I have never used this approach. I have a few friends that use this approach, but I have never attempted to use it. I once received an inductive study Bible, but with no explanation on how to use it, I just left it on the shelf. It wasn’t until after I finally sold it that I learned about this approach to Bible study.
The inductive Bible study was developed by Kay Arthur and her associates at Precept Ministries, and much of the information that I am going to share comes from their website. They have a handy PDF file that you can download that takes you step by step through doing an inductive Bible study.
Inductive Bible study involves 3 skills: observation, interpretation, and application.
Observation is the skill you use to discover what the Bible says. Using the “5 W’s and an H” (who, what, where, when, and how) questions to note what is happening in each passage. You mark, list and note comparisons, contrasts, key words and phrases, expressions of time, locations, etc in order to identify chapter themes and interpret the passage.
Interpretation is the skill used to discover what a passage means. Context, literal interpretation, and clarity need to be used to interpret Scripture. You cannot base your interpretations on obscure passages and twisting the passages to suit your design.
As with all the other methods, application refers to discovering how the Scripture can be applied to work in your life.
Some of the tools that might be helpful in doing an inductive Bible study are:
1) An inductive Bible
2) How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur, David Arthur, Pete de Lacy
3) Highlighters in assorted colors
4) Pens in assorted colors
5) A journal or notebook
Precept Ministries also provides online training on how to do an inductive Bible study and how to become a Precept Bible study leader.