How to do an Inductive Bible Study – by Pastor Tim Molter
Thank you for taking the time to do something that is so important… learning how to correctly read and apply the Bible. Why use the Inductive method? Because deductive reasoning is like a bad medical doctor who gives you a solution without detecting the cause of the health issue. Inductive reasoning is like a good doctor who investigates the health issue in order to give you the correct solution. When you are done with learning this Bible study method, you will read the Word and be amazed by its contents. The Bible will come alive for you and you will experience a never ending supply of encouragement and a better understanding of the Scriptures.
O Observation Search the Scriptures, they testify of Jesus – John 5:39
I Interpretation Everything written in the Bible is all about Jesus – John 5:46
C Correlation Expounded all the Scriptures, they are about Jesus – Luke 24:27
A Application All things in the Bible were written about Jesus – Luke 24:44
Method to Study the Bible
Observation – What is being said?
Read the scripture being studied several times carefully, and each time reread looking for something specific. (This may be where you spend most of your time preparing for a Bible study but you will gain a deeper understanding of the Word)
1 – Who or whom is involved?
2 – What are they doing?
3 – Where are they? Where are they going? (Take a look at a historical map for help)
4 – When did this happen, what happened before this, what will happen after this?
5 – Why is this happening, what happened to lead up to this event? Had this been foretold?
Interpretation – What is the meaning? (There are lots of opinions, but there’s generally one true interpretation)
Let the Bible be Interpreted by the Bible. Carefully consider the context of the verses, paragraph, chapter and book.
(Just like good vision is 20/20, we can discover the actual meaning of the scripture by reading 20 verses prior and after)
1 – What was the author trying to say to his original readers, and how would they have understood this section?
2 – What are the differences between the biblical audience and us? Both Physical and Spiritual.
3 – Why is this here, what is the doctrine or theological significance of the text? Contrast the Gospel and Religion.
4 – Why were the words put together as they have been? Is there a pattern or relationship in the use of grammar?
5 – Explore the meaning of the words because they change over time. What does the Hebrew or Greek words mean?
Correlation – Is there another passage that is similar? (Does a correlating passage give us an Illustration?)
Allow the Bible interpret every part of the Bible. (Refer to parallel Bible Scriptures that come to memory, use a Concordance, or the cross-reference system in your Bible. The correlation makes a good example or illustration.)
1 – What are some other Scriptures that are within the same topic of the major theme or point of this scripture?
2 – Is there anything that references the cross of Jesus, or that points us to Jesus as a cross reference?
3 – If this had been foretold, are there any other Scriptures that also point to this same event?
4 – If this scripture is in the Old Testament are there any New Testament Scriptures that correct my understanding?
5 – If there is another mention of a main word in this scripture, what does the first mention of the word deal with?
Application – How can I apply this to my life? What will I do about what’s said? What happens if I do or don’t apply this?
Make the scripture very personal and see how what you have learned can be applied to your life. (Keep in mind that God’s Word is alive and active, it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires, so you can always apply it to your life)
1 – What does this scripture say about Jesus or about God’s love and grace?
2 – Is there a sin here for me to avoid? Is there a failure from which I can learn?
3 – Is there a command for me to obey? Is there a good example for me to follow?
4 – Is there a promise I can call my own (Does God promise with ‘I will’ or ‘I shall’?)
5 – Is there a blessing I can enjoy? Is there something here I want to thank God for?
Remember to spend time in prayer as you are in God’s Word. My prayer for you is that the Author of the Bible, will take you on a guided tour of His Word as you study the Bible. May Jesus our Lord and Savior help you understand and apply these truths as you draw closer to Him.
– Pastor Tim Molter, Calvary Chapel Fergus Falls
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