The Bible declares that it is the voice of God recorded for the benefit of His creation. If you have a desire to study the Bible, it is because God wants to speak to you. God’s primary means of speaking to mankind is through the Bible. No matter what other people say about God, or experiences you or others have, it all must be tested by the Word of God, the Bible. Inductive Bible study is the best way to become established in God’s word.
What is the Difference Between Reading the Bible and Studying the Bible?
The main difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible is seen in the result. Many people read the Bible either as duty or a ritual or in the same way as they might read a novel; they read it for information and to pass the time. Those who study the Bible usually want to know God, know what God is like and what He expects from them.
Like any course of study, Bible study takes time and should result in a changed life. You don’t go to school for any length of time without it changing your life. In an even greater way, effective Bible study should result in changes to our moral character, our world-view, our relationships, and our eternity. Deuteronomy 32:47, 1 Thessalonians 2:1
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
The next step of group discussion based observations and insights from
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
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.
7. Geographic 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.
Discover what it means.
1. Remember that context rules. The word “context” means that which goes with the text. If you lay the solid foundation of observation, you will be prepared to consider each verse in the light of the surrounding verses, the book in which it is found, and the entire Word of God. As you study, ask yourself: Is my interpretation of this passage of Scripture consistent with the theme, purpose, and structure of the book in which it is found? Is it consistent with other Scripture about the same subject? Am I considering the historic and cultural context? Never take a Scripture out of its context to make it say what you want it to say. Discover what the author is saying; don’t add to his meaning.
2. Always seek the full counsel of the Word of God. When you know God’s Word thoroughly, you will not accept
3. Remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture. The best interpretation of Scripture is Scripture. Remember, all Scripture is inspired by God. It is
4. Don’t base your convictions on an obscure passage of Scripture. An obscure passage is one in which the meaning is not easily understood. Because they are difficult to understand they should not be used as a basis for establishing doctrine.
5. Interpret Scripture literally The Bible is not a book of mysticism. God spoke to us that we might know
6. Look for the single meaning of the passage. Always try to understand what the author had in mind when you interpret a portion of the Bible. Don’t twist verses to support
Discover what it means practically
The first step in
Learn more about How to Study the Bible.
“Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” – Charles Stanley