Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
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What Is Inductive Bible Study?
Precept Ministries establishes people in God’s Word using Inductive Bible Study. “Inductive” means we use the Bible as the primary source of study to learn about God and what the Bible teaches. Precept Bible studies and training workshops are designed to equip you with inductive study tools so you can discover truth for yourself. (Free Download: Guide to Inductive Bible Study)
Individual Bible study is the first step. In this step you personally investigate the Scriptures using the Inductive Bible study method.
The next step of group discussion based observations and insights from personal study is strongly encouraged. It is in the discussion, for many students, that the lesson begins to “gel”. The discussion confirms, clarifies, and corrects as each student seeks to discover truth for themselves. Discussion of the Bible’s truths helps to seal them in our minds and sharing application encourages individuals to live out what they are learning. In this approach, spending time to know what the Bible says, understanding what it means, and living it out in our daily life, results in a life that honors God.
The Inductive Study Method is an investigative approach to the Bible using three basic components:
Discover what it says.
1. Begin with Prayer Prayer is often the missing element in Bible study. You are about to learn the most effective method
of Bible study there is. Yet apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, that’s all it will be—a method.
2. Ask the “5 W’s and an
H” As you study any passage of Scripture, train yourself to constantly ask: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? These questions
are the building blocks of precise observation, which is essential for accurate interpretation.
3. Mark key words and phrasesA key
word is one that is essential to the text. Key words and phrases are repeated in order to convey the author’s point or purpose for
writing. For example, notice that some form of the word suffering is used three times in 1 Peter 5. Key words can be marked using
symbols, colors, or a combination of the two.
4. Make lists Making lists can be one of the most enlightening things you do
as you study. Lists reveal truths and highlight important concepts. 1 Peter 5:2-3, for example, contains a simple list regarding the
role of the elder, shown by numbering the items in the text. It is also helpful to make a list of what you learn about each key word
or person you mark.
5. Watch for contrasts and comparisons Contrasts and comparisons paint word pictures to make it easier
to remember what you’ve learned. For example, Peter compares the devil to a roaring lion in verse 8. Peter also contrasts God’s attitude
toward the proud and the humble.
6. Note expressions of time The relationship of events in time often shed light on the true
meaning of the text. Marking “time” will help you see the sequence or timing of events and lead accurate interpretation of Scriptures.
Locations Often it is helpful to mark geographical locations which tell you where an event takes place.
8. Mark terms of
conclusion Words such as therefore,thus and for this reason indicate that a conclusion or summary is being made. You may want
to underline them in the text.