Inductive Bible Study

Inductive Bible Study

Inductive Bible Study is a personal study of the Scripture using the Bible as the primary source. After you have thoroughly examined the Scripture, you may consult other books, tapes, etc., to check out your observations and conclusions.

The purpose of inductive Bible study is to direct you to the content of Scripture so that you base your belief upon a prayerful understanding and legitimate interpretation of Scripture and, as a result, practice that body of belief which you have embraced.

If you will study inductively, the benefit will be beyond anything you ever hoped could happen in your own personal understanding of the Word of God. As a result of incorporating the principles of inductive Bible study, you will

    • Be equipped to study God's Word on your own

    • Be independent of relying only on another's interpretation

    • Increase in your knowledge of God and His ways

    • Be greatly strengthened in your personal faith

    • Recognize the authority of the inerrant Word of God in your daily walk

    • become increasingly aware of all that it means to be in Christ



1. Coming to Scripture with an open mind.

2. Wanting to discover.

3. Conclusion is the end product – not the beginning point!

4. Studying Scripture in context.

5. Tends to be more beneficial in correcting error.

6. It’s easy for everyone, with or without experience.

7. The Bible tells me what Truth is.

8. Deal with the text objectively.

9. The interpretation is only one.

10. The Bible is the standard.


1. Coming to Scripture with your mind already made up about what you think is true.

2. Wanting to prove what you have already decided to be true.

3. Begins with conclusions made – go to the text to find support.

4. Studying Scripture in a fragmented way.

5. Can be used to support error (doctrinal theological, etc.)

6. You can use it only when you have complete knowledge of the Bible.

7. I tell the Bible what I think Truth is.

8. Deal with the text subjectively.

9. Tending to come up with many interpretations.

10. Personal opinion becomes the standard.

The Three Basic Steps

1. OBSERVATION: What does the text SAY??

2. INTERPRETATION: What did the text MEAN to the original hearers or readers?

3. APPLICATION: What does the text MEAN to me, and how do I APPLY it in my own life?

These steps should always be done in this order!

Observation should be done first, followed by interpretation; both of these should lead us into an application of the Bible. Only then are we ready to share or proclaim these truths.

Begin with Prayer

Payer is often the missing element in the 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. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth, who takes the things of God and reveals them to us. Always ask God to teach you as you open the Scripture.

Contrast Chart



  • Accumulative

  • Achieves authority

  • Asks questions

  • Assembles facts

  • Builds on facts to find causes

  • Constructive

  • Creative

  • Defers assertions

  • Diagnoses reasons

  • Discovers causes

  • Expanding

  • Explores, exposes

  • Flexible, elastic

  • Intuitive

  • Invites participation

  • Involves listeners in question

  • Open

  • Prophetic

  • Practical

  • Progressive

  • Reasonable

  • Relates

  • Relational accent

  • Seeks causes, concepts, conclusions

  • Seek reasons, evidences, principles

  • Assertive

  • Assumes authority

  • Asserts answers

  • Asserts concepts as facts

  • Binds facts into categories

  • Constrictive

  • Cognitive

  • Declares answers

  • Defends reason

  • Declares conclusion

  • Contracting

  • Explains, exhorts

  • Firm, set

  • Intellectual

  • Imposes principles

  • Imparts answers

  • Closed

  • Priestly

  • Prescriptive

  • Protective

  • Reasoning

  • Restricts

  • Rational accent

  • States effects, conclusions

  • States results, proof

Inductive Attitudes

  1. Accepting not approving

  2. Accommodating not acquiescing or accosting

  3. Asking not demanding

  4. Beckoning not badgering or be meaning

  5. Compassionate not compromising

  6. Cooperating not coercing

  7. Courageous not conflicting

  8. Dialoguing not dictating

  9. Directing not driving

  10. Encouraging not insulting

  11. Engaging not opposing

  12. Humble not hard

  13. Inquiring not insisting

  14. Investigating not imposing

  15. Involving not evading

  16. Probing not "preaching at"

  17. Respecting not renouncing