"One thing I have asked of the Lord, that shall I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple." Psalm 27:4 (NASB)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Inductive Bible Study
About 30 years ago, when we were living in Roswell, GA, a friend invited me to hear a Bible teacher speak at a church over in Marietta. That’s when I was introduced to Kay Arthur who was teaching on the book of Genesis. What a great birth into the world of inductive study!
That fall I began a study of the book of Revelation that lasted for 9 months—participating in a small discussion group (after spending an hour a day in my own study) followed by Kay’s teaching. And WOW! She was telling me stuff that God Himself had already shown me! That was a pivotal year for me. Who would have thought that a study of Revelation would touch on almost every book in the Bible and allow one to see Jesus from Genesis 1?
The next fall a group of us organized and led a Precept study on Romans in our home church. Talk about building a solid foundation. When we moved to Tampa, I helped lead studies there as well.
What is inductive Bible study?
It’s a method that allows you to dig out truth for yourself without relying on someone else’s study and interpretation. There are 3 steps.
1. Observation. This involves slowing down and taking the time to see what the Word is saying—without the use of commentary or study notes. You look for the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) and an H (how), key and repeated words, comparisons/contrasts, expressions of time and place, etc. You get to be a child and use colored pencils and draw symbols and make the text really jump out at you.
2. Interpretation. This is where you begin to understand what the Word means—by allowing scripture to interpret scripture in context. Only after you’ve done all you can do on your own, do you begin to look at commentaries.
3. Application. The purpose of studying the Word is not for head knowledge. It should be heart and life changing as we begin to walk in the light of what we’ve learned.
What has inductive Bible study meant to me?
1. I learned that God could teach me as well as He could teach great theologians. Not that I can’t learn from them, too.
2. I grew solid convictions, not wavering opinions. I learned to be a Berean, searching the scriptures to be sure what I am taught by others is truth.
3. Truths I learned held me firm when I found myself in the refiner’s fire.
4. It’s made me thirsty for more.
5. Most of all, I’m coming to know, really know, God. This will be an ongoing process until I see Him face to face.
Take some time to check out Precept Ministries International. You’ll find classes and conferences on site and across the country. Check out the store and find studies for all ages (kids to adults) and levels (pups to mature dogs) and time constraints.
If you want to participate in a class but can't find an established one in your area, check out Beloved Truth Ministries for online options.
“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” (II Timothy 2:15, Amplified)
What are you studying today? What are your study plans?