Inductive Bible Study Methods
All the tools you need to do your own Inductive Bible Study or lead one!
Inductive Bible study is learning how to exegete (draw out), as inextracting the information what a text is actually saying in an objective and in a systematic way. We can do this with the Bible for all its worth with our best efforts. We do this through giving people tools and skills to help observe the text, dig out the meaning, and then apply it to their lives. Thus, Inductive Bible Study enhances the exegesis (explanation and interpretation) process by enabling one to read the Bible for more impact, value, and significance. In practice, we first examine the ideas and words of the text; this then leads to the meanings and interpretations, and then to the conclusions and applications.
The Reason for an Inductive Bible Study
What are the reasons and benefits of studying the Bible in this technique? What is the Inductive Bible Study concept all about? Is it biblical and edifying or is it just pooling ignorance with one another?
Into Thy Word has been engaged in teaching and researching Inductive Bible Study precepts since 1978. We are here to serve you with what we have discovered!
"Inductive" simply means to use logic induction and reasoning by examining the particulars, facts, and essence of a text, such as context and word meanings first before making any conclusions.
How to do an Inductive Bible Study
This is the nuts and bolts on how to start off
This is the "Overview:" The Best Method of Getting into God's Word! Inductive Bible Study is a method for learning how to exegete the Bible for all it's 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.
This is the quintessential essay to show you all about studying the Bible inductively!
This is the classic article to show you how to better understand and study the Bible inductively! This is used overseas to train tens of thousands of pastors on how to teach the Bible, prepare basic sermons and for them to know, grow and lead others to God's rich pastures in the Word.
The Into Thy Word Bible Study Method is the "cheat sheet" for using the Inductive Bible Study method. Here are all of the main inductive steps laid out for you to use to get the most out of your Bible studies! Keep a copy of this tucked in your Bible. Feel free to make copies of this for your personal use; more are available in our book, Into Thy Word!
Here is the Bible Chart for using the Inductive Bible Study method. Here you can write down and record all of your observations, what your have learned, your questions, and even make a commitment on what you will do with the information from God's most precious Word! Feel free to make copies of this for your personal use; more are available in our book, Into Thy Word!
(More printable formats at the bottom of this page, which you can distribute)
This is the ten (10) Question Inductive Approach. We use 10 essential questions that you use to examine and interview the Bible to pull out all the rich nuggets of information for knowing and living and application.
The primary purpose of this method is to teach you how to study His Word in a logical, clear, and concise way.
You can do it!
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Inductive Bible Study is not just for a pastor or Bible Study leader; it is for anyone who wants to know and grow in our Lord.
Inductive Bible Study Steps
Eight (8) Step, Inductive Bible Study Method
For a deeper, fuller and richer Bible Experience, designed for Christians who what to gain more insights from God's Word and then for church leaders to teach them. This Bible Study Curriculum can easily be turned into in-depth Bible Studies and Expository Sermons. This is what we use to start off training pastors, and then we move to the Exegetical method.
Check out Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Timothy 2:15 and see how God wants us to study His Word!
STEP I: KNOWING THE KNOWABLE
The First Step of Inductive Bible Study is preparing yourself to study the Bible! Before you can successfully engage God's most precious Word, you must know that the Scriptures are our primary means of knowing God, learning His precepts, and growing in His grace. We must be willing to not just read the Bible, but to obey God's decrees! It is not about you, it is about God! Make it your choice and work out your salvation hard with a surrendered will to His!
STEP II: HOW-The Method
The Second Step of Inductive Bible Study is Learning "The Fundamentals of Getting More out of God's Word!" If you just took a Bible book, any one, such as Romans, and read it every day for a month, you would know it beyond measure! And, this can be done in less time than it takes to watch a half hour TV show! You will have far more knowledge of His Word and be more active and involved with our Lord than perhaps 90% of Christians who usually just "pew sit" and do nothing with their faith. So, who will get your time and reverence?
STEP III: OBSERVE IT
The Third Step of Inductive Bible Study is asking, "What does this passage say?" Observation is taking a careful look of what is going on. We must know what is going on before we can act on a plan or action. Bible students must know the Word themselves before they can teach it. Start with the simple questions and as you progress you will start to see more and ask more. Not every question will apply to every passage, perhaps only a couple out of dozens. Remember, these are just tools; He is the means and reason why we study.
STEP IV: INTERPRET IT
The Fourth Step of Inductive Bible Study is to ask, "What Does This Passage Mean?" Inductive Bible Study helps us study with a plan: consecutive reading, book study, topical study, and verse-by-verse. When observing, we first ask what it says; then and only then can we examine what it means. This is the crucial step we have to undertake before we apply it to our lives. There are no easy ways out, or shortcuts to understanding any great works of literature, especially God's Word!
STEP V: QUESTIONS
The Fifth Step of Inductive Bible Study is Asking Questions. "Have I found all that this passage has to say and mean?" Now the key principle that the great exegetes and pastors do to get more out of the Bible is, do not stop at the first observations or interpretation. They go back and mine out additional precepts; that is why they get more so they can teach more. They seek out what they missed by interviewing the text and they look for what can additionally be learned. You can do this too! This step is designed for you to do just that-get more out of the Bible.
STEP VI: KNOW IT!
The Sixth Step of Inductive Bible Study is to ask the Big Question, "How is this Passage going to fit into my life?" This is the step that helps us internalize what we are learning. This is the process of further interpretation, which is determining the meaning of the text-not just what it says, but what we do with it, to determine how it's going to affect and fit into our lives. It is not enough to just know it. It must be rooted in our very hearts, minds, and soul!
STEP VII: APPLICATION!
The Seventh Step of Inductive Bible Study is to ask the other Big Question, "How does this apply to me?" We are called to be people who get in His Word, who see, know, and apply it so we will be growing and useful for Christ. We will be exhibiting good character and godliness as we move into actually applying Christianity, to being Doers of His Mighty Word! Remember, the Word of God's purpose is to transform us into His image and character!
STEP VIII: CHARTING YOUR PATH
The Eight Step of Inductive Bible Study is, "WRITE IT DOWN!" A book chart will help you greatly! This is the step where you keep track of what you learn. By writing it down in an organized fashion, God's Word will become more clear and crisp. We are able to record what God says to us; this way, we will be able to take more ownership and then greater transformation. Then, we can look back and see God at work in our lives and this will be a great encouragement in times of struggle as well as in times of joy. Plus, now you have notes to which you can refer back and even use in teaching!
More Inductive Bible Study Helps
Praying in Scripture
Often called the Lectio Divina, this simply means that as we read His Word, we can also pray it. It is about integrating our prayer and Scripture life for greater spiritual stimulation that leads to greater understanding of our Lord and then greater application of His precepts. As we read God's Word, we can and should be praying to our Lord, too. This combines... (There is a more in-depth article, The Lectio Divina? on our "Bible Study Methods" channel.)
The Cheat Sheet THE CHART
Feel free to make copies of this for your personal use; more are available in our book, Into Thy Word!
Inductive Bible Study Articles in
Downloadable PDF Files
MS Word files of our essential resources,
Inductive Bible Study Worship - Power Point Presentation!
It has way more than you may need, feel free to edit it down... Or you can cut and paste from our handouts to add more..
The 8 steps from slide 39-50, this for a longer weekend session and use alongside the Book, Into Thy Word... You can eliminate this if time is short.. Use along with the Book Into Thy Word
Slides 52- 56 are designed for a day seminar, 2 hours as an overview, or a full day with the practice of a Bible book like 1 John or James chapter 1 or you pick... use alongside the Inductive Bible Study Basics use with Cheat Sheet and Chart... For weekend seminar we use this as the Fri night prep... and the 8 steps for Sat... or do your own thing as God leads...
Make it as interactive as possible, and use the handouts and charts...you can also give copies of the Inductive Bible Study Basics handout too or any of our materials also our Bible Reading Plans are a good parting gift..
The Essential Inductive Questions
- What does this passage say?
- What does this passage mean?
- What is God telling me?
- How am I encouraged and strengthened?
- Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
- How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
- What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?
- How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
- What can I model and teach?
- What does God want me to share with someone?
Order the book, 'Into Thy Word' with a 15-week curriculum!
This book is about helping you understand the Bible and enabling you to teach others how to study the Bible in a simple, clear, and concise way. We have included in our Book a 15-week curriculum specifically designed for High School Youth.
For more In-depth Bible Study Methods see our Channels on...
Exegetical Bible Study,
Bible Study Methods,
How To Lead Bible Studies
How To Study The Bible
...for the resources on how to dig out more of the precepts of the Bible.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10