Inductive Bible study uses observation, reason and questions to draw conclusions regarding a particular Bible text. Think Sherlock Holmes, who used these same methods to uncover the truth of a matter. Inductive Bible study generally seeks to explore and understand a passage and its application by probing the text with various questions. Some of these questions may yield tremendous insight, while others yield very little. However, by subjecting each text to a variety questions, we can usually, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, uncover rich insight and application.
Five basic Inductive Bible Study questions:
- What is the primary point of this passage?
- How does this passage challenge me?
- How does this passage comfort or encourage me?
- What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
- What does this passage ask or require of me?
Optional questions for deeper exploration:
- What is the context of this passage?
- How does this passage fit within the larger context of scripture?
- What does this passage teach us about God?
- What does this passage teach about people… and our relationship with God?
- What are the personal and spiritual implications of this passage?
- How do I need to change to comply with the principles in this passage?
- How do I sum up the primary thrust of this passage in my own words in one sentence?
The five basic questions along with selected optional questions should be a great starting place for a discussion on any of the scriptures provided as Key Scriptures or Discussion Guides. These will help you explore each text to draw out spiritual truth and how it applied to you.
Some people are concerned about their ability to explore scripture on their own. This is where some measure of faith comes in. The inductive Bible study, as used in ”Thrive 316,” places great trust in two important spiritual resources: God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We believe these are sufficient for those humble and open before God to receive spiritual instruction.
John 14:25-26 – “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The final question before getting started is who determines which Bible passages are to be studied. You can do this any way you wish. Remember, there are assessments to help you with direction. Here are a few suggestions:
- One person takes the lead and decides for the tandem or group which passages will be studies for each gathering. It would be helpful if participants have taken the assessments which will aid the leader in his or her selections.
- Responsibility for choosing which scripture to explore can alternate being participants. This way everyone is able to influence the direction and content of the discussion.
- The Bible passage for each meeting is determined by participants together during the prior meeting.
- The Bible passage for each meeting is determined by participants together when they get together.
There really is no correct or incorrect way to choose the direction of your discussions. Some basic suggestions to remember are:
- Prayerfully choose scriptures to discuss.
- Use the assessments in appendixes 1-3 for direction.
- Use resources in appendixes 4-5 to plan ahead and chart progress.