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Inductive Method of Bible Study

  Inductive  Method     of  Bible  Study       An  introduction  to  an  orderly  process     of  studying  the  text  of  Scripture     to  discern  what  it  is  saying  to  us  today                               Don  Fanning  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Unless otherwise  indicated,  the  Scripture  quotations  in  this  publication  are  from  the  New   English  Translation  (NET).     Inductive  Method  of  Bible  Study  ©2011  by  Don  Fanning,  Branches  Publications,  1985  Colby   Dr.,  Forest,  VA  24551.    All  rights  reserved.    No  part  of  this  book  may  be  reproduced  in  any   manner  whatsoever  without  the  written  permission  from  the  publisher,  who  can  be   contacted  for  such  permission  at       Printed    in  the  United  States  at  SnowFall  Press.     ISBN  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Contents   Introduction            

How people  tend  to  use  the  Bible   Three  ways  to  study  God’s  Word:  Inductive,  Opinion,  Deduction   Overview  of  Bible   Bible  study  tools   Three  Step  Procedure  for  Bible  Study  


7 8   9   11   13  

Observation     Overview  of  Bible  and  literary  styles  

17 19    


23 25   28   29   35   39  

NT Timeline  and  best  translations   Background  Introductions   Analysis  of  the  text  and  natural  break  points,  major  segments   Structural  outline   Key  words  and  phrases   Figures  of  speech  

Interpretation     Five  W/H  Questions      


Hermeneutical Bridge   Basic  Principles  of  Hermeneutics  

49 58   62  




80 83  

Four steps  to  applications   Application  principles  to  live  by  

Appendix A:  A  Concise  Summary  of  the  Content  of  the  Books  of  the  Bible  


Appendix B:  Free  Bible  Study  Aids  on  Internet  


Appendix C:  Key  Understanding  of  the  Greek  Verb  Meanings  


Appendix D:  Different  Study  Methods:  Book,  Chapter,  Topical,  Biographic   96   Appendix  E:  Chronology  of  the  Bible  


Appendix F:  Study  of  a  Theme  or  Topic  


Appendix G: 20 Reading Errors


Appendix H: Word studies in Phil 3:10-17


Appendix I: Grasping the figures of speech and imagery


Appendix J:  John  Wesley’s  Small  Group  Accountability  questions  


Appendix K:  Leading  an  inductive  Bible  study  as  a  Group    





Inductive Method of Bible Study 5 For  years  I  have  taught  and  preached  the  Word  of  God  and  sometimes  I   confess,  I  am  not  sure  who  was  the  most  benefited  by  all  that  I  said.    In  fact,  to  be   honest,  my  greatest  joy  or  fun  was  the  preparation  for  the  teaching  and  preaching.   Hours  went  by  effortlessly  and  before  I  realized  it.    I  got  so  much  from  these  study   times  that  other  entertainment,  sports,  or  business  activities  appeared  as   interferences  or  distractions  to  what  had  become  my  chief  delight:  the  adventure  of   studying  God’s  Word.   As  with  the  popular  TV  program  CSI,  the  investigator  cannot  come  to  a   conclusion  until  all  the  evidence  is  collected.    The  investigator  must  go  “where  the   evidence  leads.”    This  is  inductive  investigation  that  is  applied  to  Bible  study.   Admittedly  this  can  become  addictive  to  the  point  of  neglect  of  other  primary   responsibilities  like  family  relations  and  ministry  to  others,  so  a  balance  is  required.   Be  warned:  you  are  about  to  enter  into  the  delight  of  discovery  Bible  Study.    “How   sweet  are  Your  words  to  my  taste,  sweeter  than  honey  to  my  mouth!”  (Psa  119:103).     Elizabeth  Elliot  wrote  in  the  introduction  to  her  book  Keep  a  Quiet  Heart,  “It   is  reasonable  to  believe  that  the  One  who  made  the  worlds,  including  this  one  and  us   who  live  in  it,  is  willing  to  teach  us  how  to  live.    He  ‘became  flesh’  in  order  to  show   us,  day  by  day  as  He  walked  the  lanes  of  Galilee  and  the  streets  of  Jerusalem,  how  to   live  in  company  with  God.”  This  is  the  goal  of  why  we  study  His  Word.  We  want  to   know  how  He  really  thinks  and  what  He  wants  and  desires,  so  we  can  “live  in   company”  with  Him.       Men  have  always  wanted  to  follow  their  intuition  or  imagination  of  how  God   must  be  or  should  be,  according  to  their  standards.    However,  God  has  chosen  to   reveal  Himself  fully  in  the  pages  of  inspired  and  infallible  texts  so  that  there  can  be   no  mistakes,  misunderstandings  or  misconceptions  of  Who  He  is  and  what  He  is  all   about.    As  two  lovers  separated  by  space  being  forced  to  get  to  know  each  other  by   correspondence,  carefully  and  progressively  revealing  their  inner  most  feelings,   desires  and  dreams  in  the  hope  that  the  other  one  will  understand  and  accept   him/her  as  he/she  really  is.    In  the  same  manner,  God  demonstrates  and  declares   how  He  is  and  what  He  desires  for  anyone  who  will  listen  and  with  all  their  hearts   desire  to  know  Him  through  the  words  and  letters  of  His  written  Word.     No  other  study  could  be  more  important  or  valuable  to  a  believer.    Imagine   being  able  to  glean  the  wisdom  of  the  wisest  Man  who  ever  lived,  the  insights  of   reality  from  an  eternal  perspective,  the  discernment  of  personalities,  and  the   intelligence  of  the  Creator.    We  enter  into  an  internship  with  All-­‐knowing,  never   mistaken  though  often  misunderstood,  and  Guarantor  that  everything  He  says  or   commands  is  true  and  best  for  our  lives.    He  shouts  His  wisdom  in  the  pages  of  Holy   Scripture,  but  His  children  must  chose  to  listen,  move  close  to  Him  and  pay  close   attention  or  His  words  will  go  unperceived  as  shouts  in  a  wild  crowd.     It  is  the  goal  of  this  study  to  help  every  believer  to  learn  how  to  dissect  the   voice  of  God  through  the  pages  of  His  Book  that  we  might  honor  Him  with  our  lives.     Don  Fanning  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Inductive Method  of  Bible  Study   Focus:  How  should  we  study  God’s  Word?     Have  you  ever  attempted  to  play  a  sport  you  have  never  practiced  before  like  cricket   or  squash?  You  may  not  have  known  where  to  begin.    Some  simple  instructions   greatly  would  have  increased  your  ability  to  enjoy  the  sport.     In  a  similar  way,  most  Christians  are  interested  in  studying  the  Bible,  but  do  not   know  how  to  begin.  When  they  learn  how  to  be  more  effective  in  studying  Scripture,   they  became  better  at  understanding  God's  Word  and  can  see  its  truth  implemented   in  their  lives.     Revelation  and  Inspiration   As  we  begin  to  study  the  Bible  for  ourselves,  it  is  very  important  to  think  through   the  implication  of  its  authorship.  Is  it  really  God's  Word  and  thus  true  and  eternally   relevant?  Or  is  it  simple  the  thoughts  and  inspiration  of  men?    Ultimately  our  views   of  the  authority  of  the  Bible  and  of  the  incarnation  of  Christ  are  related.  For  instance,   in  John  10:34-­‐36,  Christ  taught  that  the  Old  Testament  was  totally  accurate.  In   Matthew  4:4-­‐7,10,  He  quoted  it  as  being  authoritative.     Furthermore,  He  taught  His  followers  that  He  was  speaking  God's  own  words  (John   3:34)  and  that  His  words  would  not  pass  away,  but  would  be  eternally  authoritative   (Matthew  24:35).     He  even  said  that  the  Holy  Spirit  would  bring  to  mind  to  the  apostles  what  He  had   said  so  that  they  would  be  able  to  reproduce  it  in  their  preaching  and  write  it  down   accurately,  not  depending  only  upon  their  memory  and  human  understanding  (John   16:12-­‐15).    Peter  confirmed  this  stating,  “no  prophecy  of  Scripture  is  of  any  private   interpretation”  (2  Peter  1:20),  which  means  that  no  individual  or  prophet  on  his   own  thought  of  and  wrote  God’s  Word,  nor  did  it  come  “by  the  will  of  man”  (1:21),   rather  they  were  “moved  by  the  Holy  Spirit”  (1:21b)  to  pen  the  infallible  and   inerrant  Words  of  God.  Thus  we  have  in  our  hands  everything  Christ  wanted  to   teach  His  church.   Your  view  of  inspiration  should  be  related  to  your  personal  Bible  study  and   meditation.  Even  though  you  believe  in  the  Bible  as  a  unique,  written  message  from   God,  you  would  defeat  the  purpose  of  God  if  you  failed  to  apply  biblical  truths  to   your  life.   THE  MAIN  GOAL  OF  INDUCTIVE  BIBLE  STUDY:     DON’T  JUST  STUDY  OR  INTERPRET  IT,     BUT  APPLY  IT  TO  YOUR  LIFE!!!   Proper  Attitude  for  Bible  Study  

Inductive Method of Bible Study 7 When you  personally  received  Christ  as  your  Savior  and  Lord,  you  began  a  great   adventure.  This  adventure  is  mapped  out  in  the  pages  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.  As  you   read  and  study  the  Bible  in  the  power  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  you  will  receive  meaning,   strength,  direction,  and  power  for  your  life,  if  you  want  it.  You  will  learn  and  claim   the  many  great  promises  God  has  reserved  for  His  own  children  along  with  His   special  instructions  for  how  to  live  like  Him.   Approach  the  Bible  in  prayer,  awe,  and  expectancy;  with  a  submissive,  willing  mind;   and  with  a  thirst  for  truth,  wisdom,  trustworthy  guidance,  and  bonding  with  the   Lord  Jesus  Christ.  When  you  come  with  a  humble  and  contrite  heart,  you  can  trust   God  the  Holy  Spirit  to  reveal  the  understanding  of  His  will  to  you,  and  you  will   experience  the  cleansing  power  of  His  eternal  Word.   Above  all,  as  you  study  God's  Word,  be  eager  to  obey  all  that  He  commands,*  and   rejoice  in  the  knowledge  that  you  are  an  ambassador  for  Christ,  seeking  men  in  His   name  to  be  reconciled  to  God.   *[See  for  a  daily  explanation  of  365  of  the   imperatives,  i.e.,  the  commands,  in  the  NT  or  purchase  “Truths  to  Live  By”  online   at]   Ease  of  error  entering  the  churches   Many  doctrinal  errors  have  grown  out  of  a  lack  of  biblical  perspective,  or  a  wrong   view  of  scriptural  truth.  The  Savior  says,  "You  are  in  error  because  you  do  not  know   the  Scriptures,  nor  the  power  of  God"  (Matt  22:29).   Study  the  Word  as  a  miner  digs  for  gold,  or  as  a  diver  plunges  into  the  depths  of  the   sea  for  pearls  (Prov  2:1-­‐7).    Most  great  truths  do  not  lie  upon  the  surface.  They  must   be  brought  into  the  light  by  patient  toil  and  investigation.  

How some  people  tend  to  use  the  Bible:   1. Consultation   approach:   “I   have   a   problem,   and   I   want   to   know   what   the   Bible  says  about  it.”    Curiosity  usually  finds  options,  but  seldom  commitment.   2. Vitamin   pill   approach:   “A   few   verses   a   day   supplies   the   spiritual   strength   for   the   Christian   life.”     The   Bible   is   not   a   fetish   or   a   “good   luck”   charm   for   life’s  problems.   3. Consecutive   approach:   “A   chapter   a   day   keeps   Satan   away.”   A   few   verses   for  a  sense  of  being  spiritual  before  others  is  a  legalistic,  self-­‐serving  practice   and  inevitably  sets  someone  up  for  disillusionment.   4. Repetitive  approach:  “Every  Christian  should  read  through  the  Bible  every   year   to   be   spiritual.”   This   is   a   good   idea   for   general   Bible   knowledge   and   awareness,  but  this  is  not  Bible  study;  it  is  Bible  reading.   5. Devotional   commentary   approach:   “Learn   what   the   Scriptures   say   by   reading   what   the   experts   have   said   about   it.”     This   can   be   helpful,   but   we  


Inductive Method of Bible Study need to  see  it  for  ourselves,  in  order  to  decide  what  we  are  going  to  put  into   practice  each  day.   6. Methodical   approach:   “Inductively   we   should   discover   what   each   part   of   God’s  Word  means  and  what  a  passage  teaches  us  what  to  believe  and  how  to   live.     Thus   we   need   to   follow   definite   and   distinct  steps,   as   we   will   discuss   in   this  manual  for  Inductive  Bible  Study.    

Purpose of  this  study   This  course  is  dedicated  to  teach  you  how  to  study  the  Bible  in  a  simple,  clear,  and   concise  way!  These  are  the  steps  that  great  Bible  teachers  take  to  know  the  Bible.   Kay  Arthur  writes,  "Inductive  Bible  study  draws  you  into  personal  interaction  with   the  Scripture  and  thus  with  the  God  of  the  Scriptures  so  that  your  beliefs  are  based   on  a  prayerful  understanding  and  legitimate  interpretation  of  Scripture  -­‐  truth  that   transforms  you  when  you  live  by  it."   • • • • • • • •

Do you  find  yourself  overwhelmed  with  Bible  study  and  devotions?     Do  you  ever  wonder  why  you  should  study  the  Bible?     Do  you  feel  that  the  Bible  is  too  difficult  to  understand?     Do  you  wonder  if  God  has  something  to  say  to  you?     Do  you  wonder  why  Christians  disagree?     Do  you  wonder  how  you  can  learn  more  in  less  time?     Do  you  wonder  how  you  can  improve  your  relationship  with  God?     Maybe  you  are  not  wondering  and  are  doing  just  fine  with  Bible  study.    

Perhaps even  your  devotions  are  on  fire;  but  would  you  like  to  improve  and  grow  in   God’s  wisdom?  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Three Ways  to  Study  God’s  Word     There  are  three  common  ways  to  study  the  Bible  and  all  have  their  advantages  and   shortfalls:       First  is  the  “Deductive  Approach:”     This  is  the  common  way  of  reading  the  Bible.  This  is  the  logical  or  philosophical   approach,  trying  to  find  some  spiritual  meaning  out  of  every  text  in  the  Bible.  The   reader  acts  as  a  detective,  which  seems  good  at  first,  as  we  all  need  to  deduct  from   what  the  Bible  says.  This  form  usually  starts  with  a  premise  such  as  a  topic  or   theological  idea  that  is  presumed  to  be  true  or  needed,  and  then  pulls  verses  out  of   the  Bible  to  support  it.       In  criminal  cases  deductive  often  logic  begins  by  the  police  assuming  the  accused  is   already  guilty,  then  they  attempt  to  prove  it.    This  is  a  dangerous  way  of  thinking  in   the  courts  as  well  as  in  Bible  study,  because  you  can  prove  almost  anything  by   deductions.    The  right  approach  is  the  CSI  approach:  investigate  the  evidence  before   forming  an  opinion.     A  title  of  a  recent  theological  paper  was,  “According  to  the  Reform  Faith,  Is  There   Hope  for  Man  Beyond  the  Reach  of  the  Gospel?”    This  title  is  a  deductive  logic   question.    It  presumes  the  “Reform  Faith”  is  absolutely  true;  therefore,  the  logical   deductions  of  how  men  are  saved  according  to  the  reform  faith  is  suppose  to  give   the  answer  for  those  who  never  hear  of  the  gospel.    What  if  their  presupposition  is   not  true?     This  deductive  method  tends  to  skip  the  key  process  that  helps  you  organize  what   the  biblical  text  says  in  a  logical  manner.  This  presumes  that  what  someone  else  said   was  true,  then  deduces  from  it.  The  danger  is  that  when  ideas  are  pulled  out  of  their   biblical  context,  they  result  in  theology,  interpretations,  and  applications  that  may   not  exist  or  be  true,  often  quoting  other  teachers  more  than  biblical  evidence,  but   they  always  seem  logical.  Does  biblical  evidence  get  in  the  way  of  theological  logic?     The  philosopher  assumes  that  if  it  is  logical,  it  is  true.    This  is  one  of  the  major   reasons  for  different  theologies  among  Christians.       Second  is  the  “Opinion  Approach:”     This  form  of  biblical  study  uses  the  personality  of  the  reader  as  the  template  for   gathering  the  information  from  the  text.  Whatever  is  read  and  studied  is  compared   to  the  reader’s  experience  and  education.  The  reader  has  the  tendency  to  go  to  the   text  with  firm  preconceived  ideas.  The  pitfall  is  even  if  you  are  a  seminary  grad  and   experienced  pastor  you  will  miss  many  truths  in  the  texts  and  get  things  wrong.  You   only  see  what  you  want  to  see.    This  person’s  typical  statement  is,  “Well,  I  believe  it   this  way…”  without  being  able  to  prove  it  clearly  in  the  Bible,  or  caring  whether  his   views  can  even  be  proven,  for  it  makes  no  difference  to  him.  He  trusts  is  feelings.     In  criminal  justice  this  is  like  jumping  to  conclusions  based  on  impressions,   circumstantial  or  hear-­‐say  evidence  or  popular  opinions.    Just  because  many  people  


Inductive Method of Bible Study believe something  does  not  make  it  true.    Time  must  be  spent  to  examine  the   evidence  before  coming  to  a  conclusion.       Third  is  the  “Inductive  Method:”     The  Inductive  approach  looks  at  the  whole  text  in  its  context  and  pulls  out  facts,   interprets  them,  and  only  then  applies  them.  One  should  establish  a  truth  or  premise   by  the  process  of  induction,  then  use  deductive  reasoning  to  draw  from  proven  truth   the  implications  for  life.    Deductions  should  be  the  final  step  as  we  apply  what  we   have  proven  to  be  true.    Any  deductive  application  must  fit  the  facts  of  the  text.     There  are  no  pitfalls  with  this  method  as  long  as  the  “exegete”  is  honest  to  the  text.     In  a  court  of  law,  inductive  logic  makes  no  assumptions,  but  follows  the  evidence   before  making  a  conclusion.    This  is  the  method  of  proper  Bible  study  methods.     A  scientist  seeks  to  establish  the  facts  concerning  a  matter  before  drawing   conclusions.    He  begins  by  observing  the  relevant  phenomena  and  recording  the   results  of  his  study.    Then  he  carefully  puts  the  pieces  together  to  develop  a  theory   or  hypothesis  (a  possible  solution)  as  to  what  the  separate  items  investigated  mean.     Then  he  tests  his  hypothesis  by  other  studies,  comparing  the  evidence,  etc.,  which   reinforces  his  conclusions  or  demands  further  research.  Finally,  he  tests  his   conclusions  by  putting  it  into  practice  in  life  situations.     Summary:    Inductive  verses  Deductive   A  “deductive  approach”  to  the  Scriptures  accepts  some  hypothesis  or  belief,  and   then  searches  for  the  verses  that  seem  to  support  it  and  life-­situations  that   appear  to  illustrate  it.    From  a  previously  accepted  premise,  conclusions  are   drawn  as  to  what  actions  must  necessarily  follow.       But  the  premise  may  be  wrong!    Practically  anything  can  be-­‐-­‐and  has  been-­‐-­‐”proved”   by  quoting  verses  of  Scripture  out  of  context.       •

The statement:    “There  is  no  God,”  is  found  in  Psalm  10:4b,  14:1  and  53:1.     That  is  three  witnesses!    But  of  course  the  context  makes  it  clear  that  it  is  the   “wicked”  and  the  “fools”  who  make  such  an  assertion.  

“All is  vanity!”  or  meaningless  (Eccl.  1:2)  is  certainly  a  statement  that  needs   to  be  carefully  qualified  in  the  whole  context  of  the  book  of  Ecclesiastes.  

In other  words,  selected  verses  or  statements  may  mean  something  completely   different  when  understood  in  their  full  context—the  chapter  or  the  book  in  which   they  occur,  or  the  Bible  as  a  whole—quite  different  from  what  they  might  appear  to   mean  in  isolation  by  well  intended  people  studying  the  scripture.   Moreover,  although  every  statement  in  the  Bible  is  a  true  record,  not  every   statement  is  true.    Some  obvious  examples  are  the  words  spoken  by  Satan,  the  false   prophets,  the  friends  of  Job,  and  the  opponents  of  Jesus.    They  are  recorded   accurately,  but  may  not  be  true.   Only  what  the  Bible  affirms  is  true!    We  must  observe  carefully  not  only  what  is  said,   but  also  by  whom,  to  whom  and  under  what  circumstances.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


  Inductive  analysis  must  necessarily  precede  deductive  implications.     By  the  process  of  examining  particulars  or  parts  of  a  statement  or  paragraph,   induction  seeks  to  establish  a  general  principle  from  the  evidence.         It  is  a  procedure  that  begins  by  analyzing    the  individual  words  or  the  parts,  and   then  reasons  to  the  universal  or  the  whole.    Induction  is  the  logic  of  discovery.         It  draws  a  general  conclusion  or  a  hypothesis  only  after  carefully  observing  as  many   facts  as  are  available.    In  our  study  of  Scripture,  we  must  make  every  effort  to   examine  all  the  evidence,  not  to  be  content  with  only  some  of  it.  

To be  sure,  both  the  inductive  and  deductive  approaches  are  complementary  one  to   another  in  our  search  for  truth  and  biblical  living.    The  inductive  approach,  however,   must  be  given  first  priority.  We  can  only  deduce  conclusions  from  what  we  are   convinced  to  be  true  by  our  own  inductive  research.   A  thorough  inductive  study  of  the  books  of  the  Bible  should  always  precede  the   deductive  studies  of  themes  or  topics  of  theology.       Why?    Too  many  of  us  get  our  exercise  by  “jumping  to  conclusions!”    We  think  and   act  without  adequate  information  or  experience.       We  readily  accept  what  is  untrue,  and  settle  down  into  the  ruts  of  our  traditions.       We  do  not  wish  to  be  disturbed  or  dislodged.    But  there  can  be  no  spiritual  nor   intellectual  growth  until  we  willingly  and  vigorously  cross-­‐examine  our   prejudgments  and  presuppositions,  rather  than  to  blindly  defend  them.     Our  goal  in  studying  the  Bible  properly  is  to  fulfill  Paul’s  challenge:  “Do  your  best  to   present  yourself  to  God  as  one  approved,  a  workman  who  does  not  need  to  be  ashamed   and  who  correctly  handles  the  word  of  truth”  (2  Tim  2:15).         To  make  this  happen  the  Bible  student  must  be  familiar  with  and  know  how  to  use   the  tools  of  Bible  study,  which  includes  resource  books  and  commentaries,  web-­‐ based  resource  data  and  Bible  software.    


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Bible Study  tools    

See Appendix  B  for  free  Online  Bible  Study  tools.  

Modern  Translation   New  King  James  Version   New  American  Standard  Version   New  International  Version   New   English   Translation   (NET   Bible)   Study  Bible   The  Open  Bible   The  Ryrie  Study  Bible   The   Thompson   Chain-­‐Reference   Bible   Bible  Survey   Talk  Thru  the  Bible   Jensen’s   Survey   of   the   Old   Testament   Explore  the  Book   Bible  Introductions   Introduction   to   the   Old   Testament   A   Survey   of   Old   Testament   Introduction   New  Testament  Introduction   An   Introduction   to   the   New   Testament   Concordance   The   New   Strong’s   Exhaustive   Concordance  of  the  Bible   Young’s   Analytical   Concordance   of  the  Bible   Topical  Bible   Nave’s  Topical  Bible   Bible  Handbook   The  Bible  Almanac   The   New   Unger’s   Bible   Handbook   Eerdman’s  Handbook  to  the  Bible   Bible  Dictionary   The  Illustrated  Bible  Dictionary   The  New  Bible  Dictionary   Unger’s  Bible  Dictionary  

Bible Encyclopedia   The   Zondervan   Pictorial   Encyclopedia  of  the  Bible   Wycliffe  Bible  Encyclopedia   The   International   Standard   Bible   Encyclopedia   Bible  Commentary   The  Wycliffe  Bible  Commentary   The   Bible   Knowledge   Commentary   The   New   Bible   Commentary   Bible  Atlas   The  Moody  Atlas  of  Bible  Lands   The  Macmillan  Bible  Atlas   Baker’s  Bible  Atlas   Linguistic  Tools   Theological  Wordbook  of  the  Old   Testament   Englishman’s   Hebrew   and   Chaldee   Concordance   of   the   Old   Testament   An  Expository  Dictionary  of  New   Testament  Words   Dictionary   of   New   Testament   Theology  

Bible Software:    These  are  the  basic   packages.    Each  offers  an  increasing   number  of  commentaries,  journals   and  other  resource  books.   BibleWorks  ($359)  

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Inductive Method of Bible Study


Overview of  the  Steps  to  Bible  Study:  

Preparation  for  Bible  Study:     1. Receptivity  for  what  will  be  discovered:    “He  who  has  ears  to  hear,  let  him   hear”  (Mark  4:9  and  Revelation  2-­‐3).    This  is  evident  by  those  who  “tremble   at  the  Words  of  God”  (Ezra  9:4;  also  in  Isa  66:2,  5;  Dan  10:11).    How   important  is  it  to  you  to  learn  God’s  will?   2. Reading  with  care:  Paul  wrote  the  Ephesians  to  read  carefully  what  he  had   written  so  that  “through  reading  they  might  understand  his  insight  into  the   mystery  of  Christ”  (3:4).    Poor  reading  skills  will  hinder  our  comprehension  of   what  God  is  saying;  therefore,  this  tool  must  be  developed.    Are  you  willing  to   learn  the  skills  necessary  to  study  His  Word?   3. Reflection  on  meaning:  The  key  to  transformation  is  meditation,  which  is   the  prolonged  reflection  on  the  meaning  of  the  words  and  passages  of  the   text  and  how  they  apply  to  one’s  personal  life.  Paul  told  Timothy  to  “Think   about  what  I  am  saying  and  the  Lord  will  give  you  understanding  of  all  this”  (2   Tim  2:7).    Do  you  believe  that  the  greatest  way  to  live  is  conforming  to  all   that  God  says  in  His  Word?  Without  this  belief,  there  is  not  enough   motivation  to  sustain  the  effort  to  discover  the  riches  of  His  Word.       If  we  are  going  to  mature  spiritually  we  must  learn  directly  from  God’s  Word,  then   meditate  on  decisions  about  how  to  allow  one’s  mind  to  think,  what  to  value  in  life   and  how  to  behave  in  order  to  conform  to  God’s  manual  for  how  to  live.    Thus  it  is   important  to  have  a  method  that  works  and  gives  us  a  clear  and  accurate   perspective  on  what  God  expects.    The  following  is  the  Inductive  Method  for   discovering  God’s  meaning  in  His  Word.    

Graphic of  the  process  in  general:  

    Broad  panorama       Place  in  Testament    Concept  of     Sense  of  a  Book    paragraphs   General  observation            

  Meaning               of  words        

Comparison   with  other     Books  by  author   then  other  Books  

This  process  will  lead  us  through  these  steps:   1. Examine  the  data   2. Question  and  Interpret  the  data   3. Test  and  Apply  the  data    

Application within     meanings   discovered  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Three-­Step Procedure  for  Bible  Study     1.  Observation:  What  is  this  passage  saying?    

Observation describes  the  act  of  taking  notice,  fixing  the  mind  upon,  beholding  with   attention  and  as  used  in  science  includes  the  idea  of  making  and  recording  one's   findings,  a  skill  certainly  applicable  to  fruitful  inductive  study  of  the  Scriptures.  This   book  will  give  charts  for  recording  your  findings.         Observation  is  not  just  seeing  but  perceiving  what  one  sees,  so  that  one  becomes   mentally  aware  of  what  one  observes.  A  trained  observer  sees  what  the  casual   observer  misses.    Our  goal  is  to  become  a  detailed  observer  of  the  riches  within  a   biblical  text.         This  will  require  sharpening  our  English  grammar,  learning  dissecting  techniques   for  complex  sentences,  using  new  language  tools  and  computer  skill  (if  possible),   then  following  proven  rules  we  attempt  to  discern  the  meaning  of  what  we  are   seeing  in  the  text.  The  better  we  become  at  observing  the  text  many  questions  will   result,  which  lead  us  to  the  next  step  in  our  Bible  Study.      

2. Interpretation  and  Correlation:  What  does  this  passage  mean?  

Interpretation  is  the  process  of  gleaning  the  meaning  that  the  original  author  meant   to  communicate.    What  did  the  Spirit  mean  to  communicate  through  the  original   authors?    This  is  the  goal  of  the  biblical  investigator.         It  is  said  that  when  Toscanini  played  the  Ninth  Symphony  of  Beethoven,  he  said,  “It   was  not  me,  gentlemen,  it  was  Beethoven.”         By  questioning  the  meanings  of  what  we  have  observed,  then  researching  the   answers  to  our  own  questions  is  the  key  to  meaningful  Bible  Study.  The  more   questions  we  think  of,  the  better  and  more  meaningful  our  eventual  teaching  will  be   to  the  hearer.    You  are  answering  the  questions  the  hearer  would  have  wanted  to   ask.    The  questions  are  generally  grouped  around  the  following  type  of  questions  for   investigation:     o Definitions  of  words   o Meanings  of  verbs  and  phrases   o Relations  with  other  passages   o Literal  or  symbolical  meanings   o Progression  in  revelation  and  understanding   o Implications  for  doctrines  and  life     Interpretation  begins  with  a  purpose  or  hypothesis  of  what  the  passage  means.    This   purpose  is  then  checked  with  other  nearby  passages  before  and  after  the  immediate  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


context. If  there  is  One  Author,  then  no  verse  will  contradict  another.     Presupposition:  If  an  apparent  contradiction  appears,  there  is  a  problem   somewhere  in  the  interpretation  or  we  are  missing  the  key  that  harmonizes  the   passages.       Then  the  investigation  extends  to  other  books  in  the  Bible  to  see  how  other  passages   deal  with  the  same  concept  or  issue.    If  the  Holy  Spirit  is  the  Author  of  all  inspired   Books,  then  there  can  be  no  contradictions.    This  is  called  correlation.         Only  at  this  point  should  other  outside  sources  be  consulted  like  commentaries,   dictionaries  and  theological  books,  primarily  to  confirm  your  established  facts.       When  the  clear  conclusion  is  reached  as  to  the  meaning  of  a  passage,  now  decisions   can  be  made  with  confidence:  what  am  I  going  to  do  about  what  I  know  God  is   saying?  Is  it  always  God’s  will  to  obey  what  He  says?  That  takes  us  to  the  next  step.      

3. Application:  How  do  I  apply  this  passage  to  my  life?  

Studying  a  subject  that  does  not  make  a  difference  in  one’s  life  gets  to  be  old  fast,  but   to  learn  concepts  and  principles  that  enrich  and  satisfy  one’s  life  progressively  gains   motivation  and  fulfillment.       In  Bible  study,  application  is  inserting  the  truths  you  have  discovered  through   observation  and  interpretation  to  use  in  your  personal  life,  which  will  progressively   be  transformed  into  God’s  design  and  a  deeper  enjoyment  of  walking  with  God  His   way.    The  Bible  is  written  to  transform  our  minds  or  ways  of  thinking  as  we  discover   its  meaning  and  wisdom  (Rom  12:2,  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”).       Howard  G.  Hendricks,  well-­‐known  conference  speaker  and  Christian  education   expert,  spoke  of  three  stages  of  attitudes  toward  Bible  study:     1. The    “castor  oil”  stage—when  we  study  the  Bible  because  we  know  it  is   good  for  us,  but  it  is  not  too  enjoyable.   2. The  “cereal”  stage—when  our  Bible  study  is  dry  and  uninteresting,  but   we  know  it  is  nourishing.   3. The  “peaches  and  cream”  stage—when  we  are  feasting  on  the  Word  of  God.     The application of God’s Word, when properly understood, results in a life that is enviable in any culture.   Inductive  Bible  Study  is  …   Not  just  for  information   But  for  transformation  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

In  the  Application  stage  of  Bible  Study  we’ll  learn  (1)  to  evaluate  a  text  to   determine  if  the  purpose  of  the  text  was  just  for  the  time  of  the  Early  Church  or  was   there  a  principle,  example  or  command  that  was  for  all  believers  everywhere;  (2)  to   decide  on  our  specific  application  for  our  circumstances,  that  is,  our  personal  action   points  we  believe  are  the  best  ways  to  put  God’s  Word  into  practice;  (3)  to  commit   openly  and  with  others  to  commit  to  practice  everything  we  are  learning.      

Keys  to  successful  Bible  study    

1. The student  must  be  born  again:  “The  man  without  the  Spirit  does  not   accept  the  things  that  come  from  the  Spirit  of  God,  for  they  are  foolishness  to   him,  and  he  cannot  understand  them,  because  the  are  spiritually  discerned”  (1   Cor  2:14)     2. The  student  must  have  a  love  for  God’s  Word:  “I  have  treasured  the  words   of  His  mouth  more  than  my  daily  bread”  (Job  23:12).    Jeremiah  said,  “When   your  words  came,  I  ate  them;  they  were  my  joy  and  my  heart’s  delight,  for  I   bear  your  name,  O  Lord  God  Almighty”  (Jer  15:16).     3. The  student  must  be  willing  to  do  hard  work.    "My  son,  if  you  accept  my   words  and  store  up  my  commands  within  you,  turning  your  ear  to  wisdom  and   applying  your  heart  to  understanding,  and  if  you  call  out  for  insight  and  cry   aloud  for  understanding,  and  if  you  look  for  it  as  for  silver  and  search  for  it  as   for  hidden  treasure,  then  you  will  understand  the  fear  of  the  LORD  and  find  the   knowledge  of  God"  (Proverbs  2:1-­‐5).  With  the  Psalmist  whose  “delight  is  in   the  law  of  the  Lord,  and  in  his  law  he  meditates  day  and  night”  (Psalm  1:2)     4. The  student  must  be  wholly  surrendered  to  God.    Jesus  said,  “If  anyone   chooses  to  do  God’s  will,  he  will  find  out  whether  my  teaching  comes  from  God   or  whether  I  speak  on  my  own”  (John  7:17)  

5. The student  must  be  obedient  to  whatever  teachings  he  discovers  in   God’s  Word  as  soon  as  he  sees  them:  “Do  not  merely  listen  to  the  Word,  and   so  deceive  yourselves.  Do  what  it  says”  (James  1:22)  

6. The  student  must  acquire  a  childlike  mind.  Jesus  said,  “I  praise  you,   Father,  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,  because  you  have  hidden  these  things  from   the  wise  and  learned,  and  revealed  them  to  little  children”  (Matt  11:25).    A   child  recognizes  his  ignorance  and  is  ready  to  ask  questions  and  be  taught,   trusting  in  his  teacher.    

7. The student  will  study  the  Bible  as  it  is,  God’s  Word.  As  the  Thessalonians   “accepted  it  not  as  the  word  of  men,  but  as  it  actually  is,  the  Word  of  God”  (1   Thes  2:13).    These  are  not  opinions  or  optional  ways  of  thinking.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study



8. The student  will  practice  prayerfulness.      The  Psalmist  said,  “Open  my  eyes   that  I  may  see  wonderful  things  in  your  law”  (Psalm  119:18)  


Inductive Method of Bible Study


Focus: What  Do  I  See      We  are  engaged  in  observation  when  we  ask  the  question:    What  does  this  passage   specifically  say?    We  shall  learn  how  to  employ  appropriate  methods  to  enable  us  to   answer  this  question.  Biblical  scholars  call  this  “exegesis.”    Exegesis  is  derived  from  two   Greek  words  which  literally  mean  “to  lead  out;”  hence,  the  term  is  used  to  describe  the   process  of  “reading  out”  what  the  text  says.    This  stands  in  sharp  contrast  to  “Eisegesis,”   which  describes  “reading  into”  the  text  one’s  own  ideas.  

Luther’s view  of  studying  God’s  Word   Martin  Luther  whose  focus  on  God’s  Word  brought  about  the  Reformation,  said  he   studied  his  Bible  in  the  same  way  he  gathered  apples.  He  encourages  us  to:   “Search  the  Bible  as  a  whole,  shaking  the  whole  tree.  Read  it  rapidly,  as  you  would   any  other  book.  Then  shake  every  limb  -­‐-­‐  study  book  after  book.    Then  shake  every   branch,  giving  attention  to  the  chapters  when  they  do  not  break  the  tense.  Then   shake  each  twig  by  a  careful  study  of  the  paragraphs  and  sentences.  And  you  will  be   rewarded  if  you  will  look  under  each  leaf  by  searching  the  meaning  of  the  words.”  

Beginnings   The  first  step  in  Bible  Study  is  to  get  the  big  picture;  to  see  the  forest  before  the   individual  trees!  We  must  observe  the  passage  in  its  entirety  in  order  to  better   understand  the  individual  parts!     A  crime  has  been  committed.  As  Chief  Criminal  Investigator,  your  mind  races   with  a  multitude  of  questions.  But  as  you  approach  the  crime  scene,  you  stop,   look  around,  and  do  what  you  know  must  always  be  done  first  in  order  to  solve   the  crime.    You  get  the  big  picture!  You  observe  everything  carefully  to  make   sure  nothing  is  missed  in  your  upcoming  investigation,  and  that  all  items  are   accounted  for  and  observed  where  they  lie  in  relation  to  each  other,  as  they  were   at  the  time  of  the  crime  in  order  that  your  future  investigation  and  conclusions   can  be  supported  by  the  evidence!  Studying  the  Bible  is  very  similar  to   investigating  a  crime  scene.      

Observation first,  and,  later,  Interpretation.     1. How  to  read  a  Book  in  the  Bible  –  Grasping  the  context  of  the  passage:  Lets   start  with  Philippians   Read  the  Bible  book  by  book,  not  by  chapters  and  verses.    The  chapter  and   verse  divisions  were  not  inspired  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  but  were  added  to  the   manuscripts  hundreds  of  years  later.  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Our  present  chapter  divisions,  inserted  about  A.D.  1228,  are  probably  the   work  of  an  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  Stephen  Langton.    He  first  made  these   divisions  in  the  Latin  Vulgate;  subsequently  they  were  transferred  to  the   printed  Greek  New  Testament,  and  so  found  their  way  into  our  English   versions.  

F.O.T.O. "Focus On The Obvious" Read through  the  book  (or  chapters)  you  are  studying,  observing  for   the  obvious  facts,  details,  events  or  ideas,  those  things,  which  are  usually  repeated.   This  is  how  to  grasp  the  flow  of  the  Book  or  the  argument  of  the  author.  This  helps   develop  a  sense  of  the  unity  of  the  Book.    The  more  you  learn  to  notice,  the  more  you   will  see  in  every  text  you  henceforth  study.     Make  a  note  of  the  author’s  thought  in  each  paragraph.    Each  one  is  a  single  thought.     See  if  you  can  define  his  main  idea.    If  seeking  to  master  a  book  you  will  want  to  read   it  through  20-­‐30  times,  always  before  beginning  the  study.     As  already  stated,  the  three  things  that  are  usually  most  obvious  and  easiest  to  see   are  people,  places  and  events.  Please do not be distracted  by  minute  details,  by  verses   you  do  not  understand  or  by  your  favorite  passage.  Remember  that  you  are   attempting  to  establish  the  context  and  you  do  so  by  observing  and  marking  the   most  obvious  facts.       Let  the  acronym  F.O.T.O.  be  your  watchword  as  you  begin  to  study  any  passage,   chapter  or  book.  Resist  the  temptation  to  look  at  the  study  notes  of  you  Bible,   especially  if  the  passage  is  unclear.  You  do  not  want  to  spoil  the  priceless  joy  of  self-­‐ discovery.    (see     2. Categorize  the  Book  –  Make  a  note  of  the  style  and  purpose  of  the  author.  Is  he   writing  a  history  (like  Exodus  or  Acts)?  Is  the  author  writing  poetry  for  praise   and  worship  (like  Psalms)  or  prophecy  as  warnings  or  an  apocalyptic  Book   describing  the  end  times?    Is  the  Book  a  biography  (like  the  Gospels)?  Each  will   have  a  distinct  method  of  how  to  interpret  their  material.       As  you  are  reading,  watch  for  who  is  the  author?  Then  look  for  to  whom  he  is   writing?  Are  there  indications  of  when  the  book  was  written?  Likewise,  why  was   the  book  written?     3. Outlining  –  What  major  divisions  do  you  see  in  the  chapters  of  the  Book?    Is   there  a  change  in  topics  or  tone?  Create  an  outline  for  your  assigned  verses  from   Phil  3:10-­‐17.    


Inductive Method of Bible Study Every literary  work  must  be  organized  and  structured  to  be  effective  in   communicating  a  message.    Our  duty  is  to  discover  this  structure  from  the   text.    Your  outline  will  help  you  recall  the  material  in  the  Book.       Look  for  major  divisions,  then  sub-­‐divisions,  then  segments  of  the  sub-­‐ division,  and  finally  paragraphs  that  make  up  these  segments.    When  you   have  seen  the  big  picture  of  the  Book  in  this  manner  you  have  a  grasp  of  the   context  of  the  Book.    

Our problem  is  that  we  read  passively,  just  to  finish  a  chapter  or  Book,  just  to  feel   good  that  we  did  our  Bible  reading  for  the  day.    We  treat  it  too  often  as  an   assignment  in  school,  instead  of  a  treasure  map  or  life-­‐saving  procedure  to  learn.     We  need  to  read  actively,  reacting  to  each  statement,  talking  back  to  the  Bible  with   questions.  Be  engaged.    Take  everything  personal.    Follow  a  procedure  consistently.  


First Step:  Where  does  our  passage  fit  in  the  entire  Bible?     Overview  of  the  Bible  

We  will  begin  our  investigation  by  understanding  the  panorama  or  scope  of  the   biblical  text,  then  see  how  the  parts  (individual  books)  all  fit  together.     Old  Testament  books  at  a  Glance     Pentateuch   History   Poetry   Prophecy   Genesis   Joshua   Job   Isaiah   Exodus   Judges   Psalm   Jeremiah   Leviticus   Ruth   Proverbs   Lamentations   Numbers   1  Samuel   Ecclesiastes   Ezekiel   Deuteronomy   2  Samuel   Song  of  Solomon   Daniel     1  Kings     Hosea     2  Kings     Joel     1  Chronicles     Amos     2  Chronicles     Obadiah     Ezra     Jonah     Nehemiah     Micah     Esther     Nahum         Habakkuk         Zephaniah         Haggai         Zechariah         Malachi    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Divisions of  Bible  Books   are  primarily  grouped  by  literary  style  or  genre    

Recognizing the  literary  style  or  genre:  What  do  these  styles  mean  for  the   interpreter?  Each  literary  style  uses  language  in  a  special  way.  Readers  must   understand  every  passage  according  to  its  distinct  literary  style.  

• Narrative or  history  (or  story)  give  facts  of  events  or  dialogue  statements   of  protagonists  whether  correct  or  false  they  are  accurate.    In  the  OT  there   are  17  historical  books,  which  make  up  about  40  percent  of  the  Bible,   whereas  the  Prophets  cover  22  percent,  the  Gospels  about  10  percent  and   the  Epistles  about  8  percent.  There  are  fifteen  major  heroic  narratives,   three  major  tragic  narratives,  and  many  event  narratives  scattered   throughout  the  OT.    Look  for  general  principles  and  be  careful  of   exaggerated  meanings  of  the  parts  of  the  stories,  esp.  the  parables  (to   signify  “hidden”  meanings).         • Wisdom  literature  (Job,  Proverbs,  Ecclesiastes  and  Song  of  Solomon)   written  to  give  instruction  on  how  to  think  about  people,  decisions,  values,   God  and  relationships.  Be  careful  not  to  make  a  general  wisdom  statement   into  an  absolute  promise,  i.e.  “If  you  do  this  you  will  live  a  long  life.”   Proverbs  are  not  chronological  or  sequential,  but  seemingly  random  and   self-­‐contained  nuggets  of  wisdom  to  apply  to  one’s  life.     • Poetic  texts  (Psalms)  are  prayers  and  praise,  with  occasional  prophetic   instructions.    Other  books  that  are  written  at  least  partially  in  this  genre   include  Proverbs,  Song  of  Solomon,  Lamentations,  Habakkuk,  Zephaniah,   Obadiah  and  Micah.    Other  books  that  contain  a  large  portion  of  their   content  in  a  poetic  format  are  Job,  Ecclesiastes,  Isaiah,  Jeremiah,  Hosea,   Joel  Amos  and  Nahum.    It  is  a  genre  that  is  scattered  throughout  the  Bible,   both  OT  and  NT.  It  is  found  in  the  Pentateuch,  parts  of  Ezekiel,  Zechariah,   Matthew,  Luke,  Romans,  and  Hebrews.         Hebrew  poetry  is  unique  in  that  it  is  the  balance  of  thought,  instead  of  the   balance  of  sound  as  in  other  languages.    Thus  the  Hebrew  poetry  will  use  a   variety  of  forms  of  parallelism  to  communicate  these  ideas  (synonymous,   antithetic,  constructive,  climactic  and  figurative  parallelisms).  Each  one   designed  to  redefine  a  thought  of  the  author.     • Prophetic  texts  (Prophets)  consist  of  one-­‐fourth  of  the  Books  of  the  Bible   (22  percent)  and  cover  about  500  years  of  Israel’s  history  until  BC  722,   which  was  mostly  written  to  the  apostate  nation  Israel,  as  well  as   surrounding  nations.    They  are  the  most  diverse  books  in  the  Bible  and  use   a  wide  variety  of  styles  and  topics.  Some  of  their  difficulty  is  they  can  be  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

long (esp.,  Isaiah,  Jeremiah  and  Ezekiel)  and  often  without  a  clear  story   line  for  the  reader  to  know  what  is  happening.  

New Testament  Books  at  a  Glance   History   Mathew   Mark   Luke   John   Acts                  

Paul’s Letters   Romans   1  Corinthians   2  Corinthians   Galatians   Ephesians   Philippians   Colossians   1  Thessalonians   2  Thessalonians   1  Timothy   2  Timothy   Titus   Philemon  

General Letters   Hebrews   James   1  Peter   2  Peter   1  John   2  John   3  John   Jude            

Division  of  the  NT  Books  by  genre    

Prophecy Revelation                          

• Gospels are  Narrative  history  though  not  technically  history,  because  the   overriding  purpose  is  to  present  the  “good  news”  to  the  needs  of  different   people  (i.e.,  to  Jews  or  to  secular  Greeks)  which  relate  the  same  stories   with  a  different  purpose.    The  Synoptic  Gospels  are  often  unrelated  stories,   which  keep  a  general  movement,  whereas  John’s  Gospel  covers  fewer   details  of  the  life  of  Jesus  revolved  around  seven  miracles  written  to  prove   His  deity.     Jesus  teachings  fall  into  the  following  types  of  context:  Wisdom  or  pithy   sayings  (Mat  5:3-­‐10;  7:7,  12),  Antithesis  or  attacking  a  position  by  taking   either  an  opposite  point  of  view  or  a  view  point  from  a  different   perspective  (Mat  5:21,  27,  31,  33,  38,  43),  argumentation,  a  formal   reasoning  (Mat  6:25-­‐34)  concerning  worry  or  a  fortiori  argument  (arguing   from  the  lesser  to  the  greater),  i.e.,  if  God  cares  for  birds  and  flowers,  He   will  care  for  His  children.  Then  there  is  the  debate  or  dialogue  with  Jews   about  his  teachings  (Jn  6:35-­‐71;  7:14-­‐44).     • Parables  are  simple  stories  that  relate  profound  truths.    They  are  a  figure   of  comparison.  Look  for  the  main  theme  of  the  story.    The  author  is   relating  aspects  of  the  characters,  the  events  and  cultural  circumstances  to   illustrate  a  truth  or  attitude,  but  not  particularly  a  doctrine.    The  danger  in   teaching  on  the  parables  is  to  make  them  say  more  than  the  original   author  meant  to  say  (called  eisegesis).    The  parable  is  not  meant  to  be  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


analyzed as  a  didactic  passage,  rather  is  studied  as  a  single  theme   illustrated  lesson.     1. Determine  why  the  parable  was  told.   2. Does  the  teller  or  author  give  the  meaning  of  the  parable?   3. Is  there  a  surprise  element  in  the  parable?   4. Can  the  central  meaning  of  the  parable  stand  on  its  own  when   secondary  elements  are  removed.     5. Focus  on  the  essential  parts  of  the  story  that  contribute  to  the  meaning,   without  exaggerating  the  nonessential  parts.   6. Compare  parable  passages,  if  any  exist.     7. Do  not  use  parables  to  formulate  doctrine,  but  to  clarify  other  doctrines   of  more  literal  passages.  .     • Epistles  or  Teaching  Letters  –  Didactic  literature  designed  to  be   analyzed  for  our  correction  and  teaching  to  establish  doctrine  and   practical  commands  for  living.  Of  the  27  books  in  the  NT,  21  are  Epistles.     There  are  no  books  in  the  OT  that  are  epistolary  form.  This  is  the  earliest   form  of  Christian  literature  as  several  were  written  before  the  first  Gospel   (James,  1  and  2  Thessalonians,  1  and  2  Corinthians,  Romans  and  probably   Galatians)  which  probably  was  Mark.  These  epistles  give  the  earliest   interpretation  and  application  of  the  teachings  of  Jesus.     Greidanus  described  these  epistles  as  “long-­‐distance  sermons”  (p.  314),   thus  are  understood  to  be  identical  to  what  the  author’s  would  have  said   in  person.     Paul  penned  13  of  the  21  epistles  in  the  NT,  which  cover  the  entire   spectrum  of  theological  issues.  Eight  of  the  Epistles  are  General  because   they  are  not  addressed  to  specific  churches  or  individuals.  John  wrote   three,  Peter,  two;  and  James  and  Jude,  one  each.    Hebrews  is  anonymous,   yet  it  is  the  most  Christological  of  all  the  epistles,  especially  the  first  ten   chapters.         The  Epistles  are  the  richest  material  for  understanding  the  deepest   theological  truths  and  dealing  with  practical  behavior,  values  and   attitudes.       • Apocalyptic  (Book  of  Revelation)  is  the  genre  of  predictive  prophecy  in   the  NT.    This  style  is  used  in  the  second  half  of  Daniel,  passages  in  Joel,   Amos  and  Zechariah.  In  the  NT  Matt  24,  Mark  13,  1  Thess  4:13-­‐18  and  the   Book  of  Revelation  are  considered  apocalyptic.    The  NT  passages  are   written  to  reveal  the  Second  Coming  of  Christ  and  events  following  the  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

rapture.  They  should  be  taken  as  literally  as  possible,  and  then  symbols   explained  in  other  books  (i.e.  Daniel,  Ezekiel).      

NT Timeline     Books  are  written  in  a  time  that  may  be  referred  to  or  implied  in  the  text.    Appendix   E   gives   a   complete   chronology   of   all   Bible   Books.     The   following   is   the   sample   of   the   introductory  information  for  the  Philippian  text  of  our  study.  

AD  30  

40                                 50                                                    60                                      70                                                        80  

The church begins (Acts 1) 35 Paul’s conversion

49 Jerusalem Council 70 Jerusalem and Paul’s 2nd Missionary destroyed journey (Acts 15) 64 Rome 75 John leads 58 Paul’s burns church in Ephesus 1st arrest 75 Construction 46 Paul’s first (Acts 21) 67-68 Paul of Coliseum missionary 54 Paul’s Peter executed journey third missionary (Acts 13) journey (Acts 18) 68 Essenes hide 61-63 mss in caves at Paul’s Roman Qumran Imprisonment (Acts 28) Writes the Prison Epistles, incl. Philippians


100 85-95 John writes his 5 Books 98 est. John dies

Target text  for  this  book  a  Study  of  Philippians  3:10-­17  

The   text   we   will   be   studying   in   this   course   will   come   from   the   epistle   of   Philippians,   thus   we   can   understand   that   it   will   be   a   didactic   or   teaching   text   meant   to   be   analyzed  and  carefully  understood.    

Best translations  for  Bible  Study  and  structural  outlining  

It  is  recommended  that  the  choice  of  Bible  translations  be  one  of  the  more  literal   translations  than  the  paraphrased  versions.    This  is  because  we  are  attempting   to  emulate  the  original  as  much  as  possible  to  glean  the  original  meaning  from   the  structure.  They  may  be  good  for  reading,  but  the  following  versions  would  be   better  for  studying:     NAS      =  New  American  Standard   Amp      =  Amplified  Version   ASV      =  Authorized  Standard  Version  1901   ESV      =  English  Standard  Version   RSV      =  Revised  Standard  Version   KJV      =  King  James  Version   NKJV  =  New  King  James  Version      

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Paraphrase versions  tend  to  be  a  thought-­‐for-­‐though  translations  (i.e.  a  dynamic   equivalent  of  the  original  but  sometimes  very  differently  arranged).  These   versions  focus  on  communicating  the  meaning  of  a  passage  over  the  closeness  to   the  structure  of  the  original  language.    This  also  means  there  will  be  an   additional  subjective  element  from  the  opinion  of  the  translator  as  to  what  this   meaning  actually  is.    These  translations  include:     NRSV  =  New  Revised  Std  Version   NAB      =  New  American  Bible   NJB        =  New  Jerusalem  Bible   NIV          =  New  International  Version   NCV        =  New  Century  Version   ICB          =  International  Children's  Bible     Or  the  even  more  paraphrased  versions  hardly  comparable  to  the  originals  in   their  concept-­‐for-­‐concept  philosophy  of  translation.    These  include:     NLT    =  New  Living  Translation   Phillips  =  J  B  Phillips  Paraphrase   GNT    =  Good  News  Translation   CEV    =  Contemporary  English  Version   TLB    =  The  Living  Bible   Msg      =  The  Message      Additional  note  on  translations  concerning  words  in  italics:     “Although  every  translation  has  some  degree  of  interpretation,  the  NAS  is  the  least   interpretative  of  the  modern  translations.  The  NAS  also  has  the  advantage  over  the   NIV  in  that  it  identifies  words  in  italics  that  are  not  present  in  the  original  language   but  which  have  been  added  by  the  translators  to  make  the  passage  more  readable.   Several  other  versions  also  use  italicized  words  (ASV,  Darby,  KJV,  NKJV,  YLT)  to   signify  words  and  phrases  added  by  the  translators  to  clarify  or  smooth  out  the   reading.  This  feature  helps  one  know  when  they  are  standing  on  solid  ground   (words  not  in  italics)  or  "thin  ice"  (italicized  phrases).  Note  that  popular  versions   like  the  ESV,  NIV,  and  NET  Bible  do  not  use  italics  (although  sometimes  they  include   notes  to  help  explain  the  specific  rendering.)”   Retrieved  from    


Inductive Method of Bible Study

A Step-­by-­step  Process  for  Observation    

First steps:     Introductory  and  Historical  Background  of     the  Book  of  Philippians:  

This is  to  understand  the  circumstances  that  formed  the  background  for  specific   comments  or  any  other  historical  data  that  might  be  referred  to  in  the  text.    For   example,  the  emphasis  on  the  believer  being  comforted  by  the  joy  that  we  have  in   Christ,  especially  in  the  midst  of  suffering  and  persecution  that  both  Paul  and  the   readers  were  experiencing.    The  background  gives  added  meaning  to  the  text.      


Paul, Apostle  to  the  gentiles    


Approximately AD  61,  from  Rome      


Paul and  his  team  had  been  at  Philippi  on  their  2nd  missionary  journey  10-­‐12  years   earlier  (Acts  16:11-­‐40).  This  was  the  first  church  on  the  European  continent   established  by  Paul.  It  is  possible  converts  from  Jerusalem  and  disciples  from  Paul’s   earlier  ministries  may  have  already  established  the  Roman  church.  Hearing  of  Paul’s   imprisonment  in  Rome,  the  Philippians  sent  a  gift  with  Epaphroditus  (a  member,   elder  or  leader  of  the  church),  which  he  delivered  (4:18).  He  wrote  this  letter  as  a   thank-­‐you  and  to  encourage  their  generosity  to  all  ministries.     The  letter  was  written  toward  the  end  of  Paul’s  imprisonment,  after  writing   Colossians,  Ephesians,  and  Philemon  because  Paul  wrote  in  Philippians  that  Luke   was  no  longer  with  him  (2:20),  yet  Luke  had  been  there  when  Paul  wrote  Colossians   (Col  4:14)  and  Philemon  (Phil  24).    


All the  believers  at  Philippi  and  readers  in  all  the  churches  everywhere.    

Purpose of  writing:  

To thank  the  Philippians  for  the  gift  they  had  sent  Paul  and  to  encourage  the   believers  in  their  difficult  circumstances  to  experience  the  joy  that  can  only  come   from  an  intimate  relationship  with  Christ.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Basic outline:    

1. 2. 3. 4.

Joy in  suffering  (1:1-­‐26)   Joy  in  serving  (1:27-­‐2:30)   Joy  in  believing  (3:1-­‐4:1)   Joy  in  giving  (4:2-­‐23)  

Example of  a  chart  of  the  entire  book      

To have  a  perspective  of  the  entire  Book  under  study,  a  chart  of  all  the  major  themes   of  the  Book  and  segments  of  the  themes,  help  keep  the  context  of  a  particular   paragraph  or  sentence  in  mind.    Making  a  Chart  of  the  entire  book,  paragraph  by   paragraph  might  look  something  like  this:    

Used with  permission  


Skim or  read  through  the  whole  book  in  which  the  text  you  are  focusing  on  is   found—note  major  segments  in  the  text.  This  will  be  obvious  in  the  Structural   Outline  to  follow.   Then  summarize  the  themes,  or  chapters  of  the  Book  in  one  statement  each–  Keep   tweaking  these  statements  as  you  continue  to  study  the  Book.  Eventually  you  will  be   able  to  go  through  the  entire  Book  (and  then  the  NT,  and  eventually  the  OT)  stating   the  purpose  of  each  chapter  or  major  division  of  every  Book  in  the  Bible.    Keep  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

practicing until  you  can  reach  this  goal.    Remember:  we’ve  got  our  whole  life  to   master  His  Word.    Do  not  waste  time.    Start  a  program  to  master  His  Word.    

Geography:   A  good  Bible  software  program  allows  one  to  click  on  a  geographical  reference  (like   Philippi)  which  hyperlinks  to  a  map  of  the  site  or  area.    Philippi  was  located  on  the   Egnatian  Way,  the  main  transportation  route  in  Macedonia,  which  joined  the  Appian   Way  uniting  the  eastern  empire  with  Italy.        

Can you  locate  Philippi  on  the  map?         Can  you  locate  Thessalonica?    From  the  distance  key  (lower  right-­‐hand  corner  of  the   map)  can  you  determine  the  approximate  distance  between  Philippi  and   Thessalonica?      These  are  two  geographical  locations  mentioned  in  chapter  4.    How   does  this  geographical  information  add  significance  to  the  thank-­‐you  Paul  is   writing?  


Inductive Method of Bible Study


Begin the  analysis  of  our  text  (paragraph  or  verse):   Once  we  have  identified  the  background,  historical  context  and  overall  sense   of  the  entire  book,  now  we  are  ready  to  proceed  to  the  next  step.    


Focus on  a  particular  segment  of  text  you  want  to  study.  This  segment  may   be  several  paragraphs  covering  one  theme.  (For  our  study  the  text  will  be   Philippians  3:10-­‐17).    


Break the  entire  segment  down  into  individual  statements  or  thoughts.    Look   for  the  natural  break  points  or  major  segments  of  thought  in  the  text.     [Write  the  verse  breaks  in  a  structural  outline]  The  keys  to  breaking  down   the  verses  or  sentences  are  the  connecting  words,  verbal  words  (i.e.   gerunds)  or  phrases  that  introduce  a  descriptive  clause.     Code  breakers  (conjunctions  provide  clues  to  understand  the  meaning:   Meaning  or   Relationship  :  

Introductory conjunction  or  connecting  word    

Cause/reason:  “because,  for  this  reason,  since,  that…”          

Gal 2:11,  “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.”  

Comparison: “as,  also,  just  as,  like,  likewise,  more,  more  than,  so  as,  so   also  too”        

1 Cor  7:3,  “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”  

Conditional: “if”          

Gal 6:9,  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  

Continuation:  “and,  either,  neither,  nor,  or”          

1 John  2:23,  “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”  

Contrast: “although,  but”  (4,108x),  “but  rather”  (29x),  “except,  even   though,  however”  (128x),  “much  more,  nevertheless”  (71x),   “only,  otherwise,  whereas,  yet”  (474x),  “instead  of”  (37x),  “in   spite  of“(15x)   Ephesians  5:18,  “And  do  not  be  drunk  with  wine,  in  which  is   dissipation;  but  be  filled  with  the  Spirit”   Emphasis:    “indeed,  only”    

Phil 3;8,  “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”  

Explanation “for,  now”  


Inductive Method of Bible Study 1 Jn 5:14, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Location/position   “at,  in,  on,  over,  where,  wherever”    

1 Cor  3:3,  “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”  

Purpose/result “for  this  purpose,  in  order  that,  so  that,  that,  then   therefore,  thus”    

Acts 26:16, “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you

for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.” Time  

“after” (773x),  “afterwards”  (74x),  “as  soon  as”  (55x),  “at  that   time”  (93x),  “later”  (29x),  “before,  now”  (2,191x),  “then”   (3,607x),  “until”  (575x),  “when”  (2,751x),  “while”  

How many  of  these  words  can  you  find  in  Philippians  2?    In  Philippians  3?  

  How  to  write  the  Structural  Outline   for  Phil  3:10-­17    

One  of  the  best  ways  to  see  a  Scripture  passage  in  its  entirety  is  to  arrange   itwith  the  main  thought  and  supporting  or  defining  clauses  in  a  Structural   Outline.    Before  analyzing  individual  parts  of  a  segment  or  sentence,  it  is  easier   to  see  how  all  the  parts  and  individual  concepts  fit  together  in  a  structured   outline  format.     There  are  three  basic  principles  that  guide  us  for  outlining  a  text  for  teaching  its   content:     (1)  Communicate  the  message  of  the  Spirit;  do  not  just  outline  it.   (2)  Find  the  outline  of  the  passage;  do  not  try  to  recreate  it.   (3)  Let  the  passage  dictate  to  you;  do  not  dictate  to  it.     This  procedure  allows  the  student  to  see  all  the  individual  parts  as  the  Spirit   revealed  them  to  the  author,  and  how  they  relate  to  one  another.  Our  goal  is  to   get  in  the  flow  of  the  Spirit  by  discerning  the  meaning  of  His  revelation.  This  is   where  the  power  of  the  Spirit  anoints  a  messenger:  when  a  teacher/preacher  is   saying  precisely  what  the  Spirit  gave  to  the  churches.  This  message  does  not   change.    Follow  the  principles  below  when  developing  a  Structural  Diagram:  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


1. Read  the  Scripture  passage  as  many  times  as  necessary  to  understand  what  it   is  saying.   2. Separate  the  passage  into  Significant  or  “independent”  clauses  (stand   alone),  which  may  range  from  a  single  word  to  an  entire  phrase  lining  them   to  the  far  left  side.  Everything  will  describe  this  clause  or  main  sentence.   3. Arrange  the  “dependent”  clauses  (incomplete  sentence)  by  indenting   dependent  or  subordinate  clauses  under  the  primary  word  or  phrase  that  it   explains  or  amplifies  in  order  to  create  a  visual  picture  showing  how  each   thought  relates  to  other  concepts.     4. It  is  important  to  note  that  there  is  no  perfect  Structural  Diagram.  You  do  not   need  to  be  an  expert  in  grammar  to  develop  an  outline  of  a  Scripture  passage.   It  is  simply  a  matter  of  identifying.   5. Connecting  words  (conjunctions),  verbal  phrases  (gerunds  and  participles),   relative  pronouns,  or  prepositions  can  mark  the  beginning  of  a  new  line.   6. Prepositional  phrases  (preposition  +  object)  will  modify  nouns  as  adjectives   or  verbs  as  adverbs.      Significant  Clauses  are  usually  aligned  to  the  far  left  with  dependent  clauses  or   phrases  placed  under  the  words  they  best  describe.    By  arranging  the  phrases  in   a  way  that  visually  demonstrates  how  they  relate  to  one  another.  The  resulting   outline  allows  you  to  see  the  relationship  of  the  various  words  and  phrases  that   make  up  the  Scripture  passage,  and  forms  an  organized  structure  on  which  to  do   further  investigations.    

Steps  to  writing  a  Structural  Outline  of  a  Passage  (Phil  3:10-­17)  

The  structure  involves  the  relationship  of  all  the  parts  of  a  sentence.     The  objective  that  we  are  seeking  to  identify  is:     a.      What  God  has  said  (the  content)  through  the  author.   b. How  God  has  said  it  (the  form)  and  what  this  meant  to  the  readers  and   then  to  us.   • Relationship  of  words,  phrases,  clauses,  connectors,  and  sentences   • Structure  or  arrangement  of  the  elements  of  each  sentence.    

Elements of  the  Structural  Outline  

We  communicate  through  our  use  of  grammar:     1. Verbs    (be  able  to  identify  all  verbs  in  any  sentence)  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

2. Subject of  the  sentence  and/or  the  Direct  Object  of  the  verb  (this  is  the   one  doing  the  action–subject-­‐and  the  one  receiving  the  action–  object)   3. Modifiers  or  descriptive  words  (adjectives,  if  defining  a  noun,    or  adverbs,   if  defining  a  verb  or  verbal  word)   4. Learn  to  identify  independent  clauses  (stand-­‐alone  sentences)  and   dependent  clauses  (cannot  stand  alone,  often  introduced  with  a  relative   pronoun  like  when,  that,  then,  etc.).   5. Phrases,  verbal  (begin  with  a  participial,  gerund  or  infinitive)  or   prepositional  phrase.   6. Connectors  or  conjunctions,  which  join  or  compare  different  elements  of   the  sentence  for  special  meaning.       Principles  to  follow  in  developing  the  Structural  Outline:     1. Recognize  that  the  paragraph  is  the  basic  unit  of  the  structure  and  meaning.     a. Not  the  verse  or  the  chapter   b. A  paragraph  is  a  group  of  sentences  or  related  ideas  that  deal  with  an   idea  o  theme.   c. There  can  be  many  subordinate  or  dependent  thoughts  or  clauses,  but   they  are  all  united.    You  must  discover  the  meaning  of  their  union.   d. Sentence  markers  and  paragraph  markers  are  not  inspired.  They  were   added  later  by  a  mortal  man  and  thus  can  be  evaluated  in  our  study.       2. The  main  statement  (subject/verb)  of  a  paragraph  should  be  placed  at  the   left  hand  margin  of  the  page.     3. Each  line  should  contain  a  primary  declaration  and  its  descriptions  or   modifiers  unless:   a. There  is  only  one  modifier  of  each  type.   b. Unless  a  modifier  is  too  long  for  the  line  and  must  be  subordinated.     4. The  subordinate  or  dependent  clauses  and  phrases  are  indexed  under  the   word  in  the  main  sentence  that  it  describes  or  modifies.     5. Two  or  more  modifiers  (words,  phrases  or  clauses)  or  direct  objects  should   be  written  in  a  column  beneath  the  word  that  it  describes,  if  this  helps   visualize  the  meaning  of  the  text.     6. Lists  of  names,  qualities  or  actions  should  be  placed  in  a  vertical  column  for   clarity.       7. The  key  independent  clauses  begin  at  the  left  margin  and  everything  else   describes  or  modifies  parts  of  the  main  thought.      

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Practice  writing  a  Structural  Outline  

Step  one:  Copy  the  text  from  the  Bible  as  it  appears  in  digital  form  without   breaks:  (this  is  pretty  heard  to  see  which  part  is  describing  which  part).     10

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

  Step  2:  Separate  each  sentence  with  one  subject  and  one  verb  on  a   line  and/or  by  separation  markers  on  separate  lines:  (this  shows  the   different  elements  of  the  paragraph,  but  not  how  they  are  related)     10

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.



Inductive Method of Bible Study

Step 3:  Place  each  phrase  either  as  beginning  a  new  thought  or   under  the  word/phrase  that  it  describes  or  modifies.     10

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join~~ with others in following my example, brothers, and take note~~ of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

Step 4: Notice how the text appears to fall into three or four main divisions: These become the three main points of a lesson or message. This is how the Holy Spirit inspired the main thought of His message to the churches. Can you melt these down to a single main idea? How many subordinate ideas can you find to place under the main idea? 3:10-12 (write the main theme): 3:13-14 (write the main theme): You might want to make v. 15 different from vv. 13-14* (write the main theme): 3:16-17 (write the main theme):

Can  you  summarize  this  study  in  one  sentence?  Try  answering  these  two  questions:     What  is  the  main  subject?     What  does  Paul  say  about  this  subject?     *  Remember  there  is  no  absolute  right  way  or  wrong  way  to  do  this  outline.  It  is   your  sense  of  the  passage  that  you  want  to  communicate.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


(continuing  numeration  from  page  27)  


Try to  summarize  or  outline  the  main  thought  in  each  segment  of  text,  or  a   key  idea  in  each  segment.  [Put  your  summary  above  each  segment  on  your   structural  outline].    

Ask yourself  how  each  segment  of  thought  relates  to  other  segments.    What   is  the  author’s  flow  of  thought?    How  has  the  author  arranged  the  segments  of   text  together  to  communicate  his  message?       Worksheet:  Titling  each  major  section  of  the  passage  and  subpoints:   I. ____________________________________ 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.   12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. A. B. C. II. __________________________________________ 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. A. B. C. III. __________________________________________ 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. A. B. IV. __________________________________________ 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join~~ with others in following my example, brothers, and take note~~ of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.



Inductive Method of Bible Study




As you  read  through  each  segment,  what  are  key  ideas,  words,  or  phrases   the  author  is  emphasizing  or  using  to  communicate  his  message?    

Is the  author  using  a  particular  literary  device  or  structure?       Does  this  help  me  understand  the  organization  or  key  points  in  the  text?      

How to  observe  Key  Words  and  Key  Phrases    

Key words  and  phrases  let  you  discover  the  author’s  logic  and  flow  of  main   ideas.  This  reveals  the  author’s  intended  message  or  purpose.    Do  not   become  frustrated  at  this  point.  Every  word  has  meaning  within  a  context.     Sometimes  the  same  word  in  another  context  may  mean  something  else.       How  do  you  know  what  the  word  “train”  means?  A  railroad?  A  wedding   train?  An  royal  entourage?  To  train  for  a  sport?  You  cannot  know  what  a   word  means  until  it  is  used  in  a  sentence.    The  context  determines  the   meaning.    What  does  the  author  mean  by  the  word  he  uses?     How  many  meanings  of  “know”  in  our  passage  (Phil  3:10)  can  you  think  of?     Select  the  words  in  the  previous  practice  that  you  think  merit  further   definition  or  explanation  to  make  the  passage  clear.       Another  example  of  the  importance  of  contextual  meaning:     The  word  “desire”  in  1  Tim  3:1  is  the  first  requirement  for  a  “bishop”  or   “pastor,”  but  this  word  means  to  “covet,  be  ambitious,  indulge  in  or  love”   which  in  another  context  means  to  “lust,  or  concupiscence.”  It  is  a  powerful   emotional  motivation.  The  context  determines  whether  it  is  good  or  bad   motivation.   a) Key  words  are  often  identified  because  they  are  repeated.   b) Key  words  are  essential  to  the  understanding  of  the  text  and  cannot  be   removed  without  dissolving  the  text  of  its  meaning.  They  must  be  defined   to  understand  what  the  author  was  saying.   c) Key  words  may  include  pronouns,  synonyms,  or  phrases.     d) Key  words  may  be  key  only  in  a  paragraph,  chapter  or  a  book.     e) Key  words  often  form  the  basis  for  making  a  list  of  key  words  to  explain.  


Inductive Method of Bible Study


From the  structured  outline  below  circle  the  key  words,  especially  the  key  words  to   look  up  the  meanings.  Then  put  boxes  around  the  important  verbs  to  look  up  in  the   next  step  of  the  study.     10

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join~~ with others in following my example, brothers, and take note~~ of those who live according to the pattern we gave you  

Make  a  list  of  the  words  that  you  are  going  to  look  up  for  their  meaning:     1)  “know”     2)  “power”   3)   4)   5)   6)   7)   8)   9)  


Inductive Method of Bible Study 10) 11)   12)   13)   14)   15)   16)   17)   18)   19)   20)     Do  not  forget  to  look  up  “perfected.”       See  Appendix  H  for  help  in  locating  definitions.     For  a  few  of  the  key  words  in  a  passage  you  might  want  to  do  a  more  thorough   Word  Study.    The  following  page  is  a  chart  for  recording  your  findings.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study The Word Study Form 1. English Word: 2. English Definition: 4. Original Word and Short Definition(s):

5. Occurrences in the Bible:

6. Root Meaning and Origin:

7. Biblical Usage:

8. Application/Evaluation:

3. Comparison of Translations:



Inductive Method of Bible Study


What else  to  look  for  in  the  text:  

Connectives are  Words  that  connect  ideas  and  phrases  (but,  and,  or,   because,  therefore,  with,  in  order  that,  if).  These  indicate  reasons,   conditions,  comparisons,  contrasts  and  conclusions.  

Terms of  “Conclusion,  Reasons  for/Results  of”   •

List words  or  phrases  that  are  a  reason  for  something  or  a  result  of   something.    Look  for  key  words:  because  (1330x),  therefore  (903x),  in   order  that  for  this  reason  (68x),  for  (7,629x),  so  (2,199x)  and  so  that   (975x).     o Rom 3:20, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”   “Every  time  you  see  a  “therefore”  always  ask  the  question,  “What  is  it  there   for?”    It  always  refers  to  something  stated  in  the  previous  verses.    

Terms of  explanation:     •

“for, because.”    These  are  often  “connective”  words  that  join  two  thoughts   to  make  something  clear  or  understandable.  It  is  a  marker  to  show  the   cause  or  reason  for  something,  especially  the  reason  for  a  previous   statement.     Example:  “For  Ezra  had  set  his  heart  to  study  the  law  of  the  Lord  and  to   practice  it,  and  to  teach  His  statutes  and  ordinances  in  Israel”  (Ezra    7:10).        


What  seems  to  be  the  main  point  of  the  text  you  are  studying?    Does  the   grammatical  or  literary  structure  of  the  text  draw  attention  to  it?  This  refers   to  the  lexical-­‐syntactical  analysis.     a) Verbs:  note  tense  of  the  original  language  (present,  aorist,  imperfect,   perfect,  subjunctive,  etc.)  and  number  (plural  or  singular).    Most   imperative  in  the  NT  are  plural  commands,  meaning  they  are  to  be   practiced  by  the  whole  congregation  together,  not  primarily  to  be   individually  understood.   b) Grammatical  Construction  (esp.  verbs)   c) Nouns  and  Pronouns:  note  names,  places,  relationships  and   antecedents   d) Adverbs  and  Adjectives:  note  how  and  what  they  describe:   1 Cor 11:26-27, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body

Inductive Method of Bible Study


and blood of the Lord.” Words ending in –ly are adverbs. They describe the verbal action, not the character of the subject of the sentence. Does this have implications for the Lord’s Supper practice? (see 1 Cor 11:29).


What are the literary techniques or figures of speech that the author uses? These are used to catch the attention or to emphasize his thoughts as vividly as possible. When we say that we interpret the Bible as literally as possible, it does not mean that we ignore what is obviously not to be taken literally. An expression in English, “He is up a tree” or “it’s raining cats and dogs,” are not to be understood by the literal meanings of the words. Error in biblical understanding occurs when these figures of speech are taken literally, instead of what they mean. For a fuller explanation and understanding of Figures of Speech see the Appendix G in the back of this book. These are ten most common techniques to recognize.

Figures of  Speech  

Below are  a  list  of  the  various  kinds  of  Figures  of  Speech  found  in  the  NT.    Not   all  of  them  are  found  in  any  one  passage,  but  they  do  appear  periodically  in   the  NT.       a) Comparisons:  the  association  of  things  similar.       Similes  (Latin:  similis,  “like  or  similar”).  It  is  the  comparison  of  two  or   more  things  using  comparative  adverbs  “as,”  “like,”  or  “so.”  indicated  by   the  word  “like”  or  “as.”       “Though  your  sins  be  as  scarlet,  they  shall  be  as  white  as  snow;  though   they  be  red  like  crimson,  they  shall  be  as  wool”  (Isa  1:18).      The   comparison  carries  the  imagery  of  blood  and  death,  while  white  refers  to   purity.  It  is  a  visual  image.     Metaphors  provide  a  more  direct  and  stronger  association  (ie.  “I  am  the   bread  of  Life”).       b) Contrasts:  the  association  of  opposite  things  to  emphasize  or  compare   differences.  Note  the  presence  of  the  word  “but”  which  usually  signifies  a   contrast.     See  Psalm  1  for  a  contrast  between  the  godly  and  ungodly  person.    

c) Repetition or  Progression  of  Words,  Ideas  or  phrases  by  restating  it   over  and  over.       In  Psalm  139  the  author  repeats  the  phrase,  “His  mercy  endures  forever”   in  every  verse.    


Inductive Method of Bible Study d) Advice, warnings  or  commands.    These  usually  follow  the  teaching   passages  in  the  NT,  and  become  the  practical  and  implicit  action  points   the  obedient  believer  is  expected  to  follow.       Acts 20:31, “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”   e)  Reasons:  an  explanation  or  justification  of  a  decision,  command,  action,   etc.    If  the  author  feels  his  ideas,  concepts  or  terms  are  not  clear  he  will   take  space  in  his  writing  to  explain  it  or  to  show  the  OT  reasons  for  what   he  is  saying.         f)  Questions:  The  author  may  preclude  a  problem  by  asking  a  question  in   the  text  that  the  reader  may  be  thinking  or  he  may  be  answering  a   question  already  written  to  him  as  in  1  Corinthians  Paul  answers  a  series   of  questions  from  a  letter  written  to  him.  Sometimes  questions  are  used   to  introduce  a  new  theme  and  sometimes  to  conclude  a  topic.     Rom  6:1,  “What  shall  we  say  then?  Shall  we  continue  in  sin,  that  grace   may  abound?”  Then  he  proceeds  to  answer  the  question.     g) Climax  or  Emphatic  Statements  A  statements  that  reveal  emotions   and  significance  that  summarizes  his  argument  (inductive  discourse)  or   introduces  a  discussion  applying  a  clear  statement  (deductive   discourse).       h) Cause  and  Effect  Relationships  A  “If  ...  then.”  As  the  author  seeks  to   explain  the  existence  of  the  reader’s  present  circumstances  he  may  use   backward  logic.    Every  effect  has  a  cause.      

Gal 6:7,  “Do  not  be  deceived:  God  cannot  be  mocked.  A  man  reaps  what   he  sows.”     Gal 2:21, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” i) Generalization: The author uses a series of observations or concepts that lead up to a conclusion or principle based on these truths. This is an inductive discussion. In Romans 8 Paul builds the teaching of the Holy Spirit working in us concluding, “What then shall we say to this? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (8:31). j) Particularization: This is the opposite technique: the author makes an inclusive statement, then presents details or illustrations to support it as in

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Mat 6:1. Then the next four paragraphs describe what he means.   Write  below  any  Figure  of  Speech  that  you  found  in  our  text  (Phil  3:10-­17):       1)   2)   3)   4)  


Are there  other  portions  of  scripture  in  the  context  I  should  reference  that   might  be  related  in  thought  or  shed  light  on  something  in  the  present  text?         How  do  the  preceding  verses  shed  light  on  the  meaning  of  our  text?       What  was  Paul  comparing  to  knowing  Christ  from  the  preceding  verses?     What  is  the  theme  of  the  previous  context?  (3:7-­‐9)  Is  this  a  similar  theme?   Write  below,  in  your  own  words,  how  these  verses  give  the  context  or   parameters  of  possible  meaning  in  our  passage  (3:10-­‐17).    



Think about  the  historical  context  in  which  this  might  have  been  written.     Who  wrote  it,  where,  when,  to  whom,  why,  etc.    Does  this  help  me  understanding   better  what  the  author  is  saying?  More  about  these  questions  in  the  next  section   on  interpretation.     Write  the  probable  reason  for  the  great  affection  between  Paul  and  the   Philippian  church  from  their  history?          


Repetition of  Thought  or  Word  –  Look  for  words,  phrases,  or  ideas  that  are   significantly  repeated  throughout  the  passage.    This  type  of  observation  should   not  simply  count  the  number  of  times  a  word  is  used,  but  rather  help  in   identifying  the  key  things  being  addressed.    One  of  the  most  common  in  the  NT  is   the  phrase,  “in  Christ.”    

Note:  You  may  find  repeated  words  in  English  or  in  the  original  language.    In   Appendix  F  the  Greek  words  are  defined.    You  will  notice  a  repetition  of  the   Greek  words  that  are  slightly  different  in  the  translations.      


Inductive Method of Bible Study


Types of  Statements  –     Look  for  different  statements  such  as:  commands,  promises,  rhetorical   questions,  warnings,  and  exhortation  (encouragement).    These  set  the   tone  of  the  passage  and  give  us  great  insight  into  how  to  apply  the  passage.     2  Tim  4:5  “You,  however,  be  self-­‐controlled~~  in  all  things,  endure   hardship  *~,  do  an  evangelist's  work*~,  fulfill*~  your  ministry.”  Taken   from  my  book,  Truths  to  Live  By,  a  daily  devotional  on  the  imperatives  of  the   NT.  The  code  markings  indicate  the  type  of  imperative  in  the  original.  (~~   means  a  present  continuous  command;  *~  means  an  urgent  aorist   imperative)  (See     List  as  many  of  these  types  of  statements  in  our  passage  as  you  can  find:   1)   2)   3)   4)   5)  


Descriptions –  Look  for  words,  sentences,  or  phrases  in  the  passage  that   describe  God,  people,  places,  or  things.    Very  often  a  passage  of  scripture  will   describe  God’s  character,  or  the  character  of  a  Christian.     What  do  I  learn  about  God  that  so  attracted  Paul?     What  was  the  power  that  Paul  sought?     What  kind  of  fellowship  did  Paul  want  to  have  with  Christ?     How  perfect  did  Paul  think  he  was?     In  the  context,  what  was  Paul  forgetting?  Why?     What  is  the  definition  of  a  “mature”  or  “perfect”  person  in  this  passage?     How  would  you  define  this  “example?”    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Who do  you  know  today  that  walks  this  way?        


Comparison and/or  Contrast  –  Look  for  the  places  in  the  passage   that  show  similarities  or  differences  in  certain  things,  people,  or  ideas.    Key   words  to  look  for  are:  but,  however,  and  where  as.     “The  wicked  are  not  so,  but  they  are  like  (introduces  the  simile  or  comparison   to)  chaff  which  the  wind  drives  away”  (Psalm  1:4).    What  is  the  imagery  of   “chaff?”   Terms  of  comparison  are  the  most  common  type  of  figurative  language  in  the   Bible,  often  comparing  similarity  between  things  that  are  independently   dissimilar.  The  idea  is  to  take  something  that  is  familiar  and  use  it  to  give  the   reader  insight  into  something,  which  is  unfamiliar  or  less  familiar.         Example:  Psalm  1  –  the  man  who  delights  himself  in  the  Word  of  God  and   meditates  on  it  day  and  night  “will  be  like  (term  of  comparison  =  simile)  a   tree  planted  by  streams  of  water,  which  yields  its  fruit  in  its  season,  and  its   leaf  does  not  wither;  and  in  whatever  he  does,  he  prospers”  (Ps  1:3)   Practice  explaining  the  similes:  Practice  with  Jeremiah  17:7,8   Jer  17:7-­‐8  “Blessed  is  the  man  who  trusts  in  the  Lord  and  whose  trust  is   the  Lord.   “For  he  will  be  like  a  tree  planted  by  the  water,  that  extends  its  roots  by  a   stream     And  will  not  fear  when  the  heat  comes;  but  its  leaves  will  be  green,   And  it  will  not  be  anxious  in  a  year  of  drought,  nor  cease  to  yield  fruit.  

Where  there  any  comparisons  in  the  context?    (See  v.  8)              



Inductive Method of Bible Study

Practice passage:  Phil  4:15-­19   See  how  quickly  you  can  write  the  structural  outline  then  identify  the  key  words  for  your   investigation.    

Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Write the structural outline on the following pages: then mark the key words of the passage for investigation and any other key word or concept that you will examine.

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Extra space  for  practicing  a  Structural  Outline  of  Gal  3:21-­27:   Note:  in  the  Structural  outlines,  questions  usually  go  all  the  way  to  the  left-­‐hand   column  because  they  either  introduce  or  conclude  a  concept  or  paragraph.       Gal 3:21-27, “Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith, which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”    


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Extra space  for  Structural  Outline:    Practice  doing  1  Thessalonians  1:3-­12     For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. 4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness— God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.

                                                          With  this  data,  like  pieces  of  a  puzzle,  we  are  ready  to  begin  making  sense  out  of  all   the  evidence  gathered  as  we  begin  to  put  the  pieces  together.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study



Focus: What  Does  it  Mean?       Only  after  we  have  determined  what  a  passage  says,  do  we  have  the  tools  to   interpret  what  it  means.    What  do  all  these  facts  mean?         In  a  classroom  when  a  professor  asks,  “Are  there  any  questions?”  and  there  is  no   response.  He  can  surmise  either  that  his  presentation  was  so  clear  everyone   understood  it  perfectly,  or  it  was  so  muddled  the  students  are  so  confused  they  do   not  know  what  questions  to  ask.       Pride  may  impede  asking  questions  for  fear  of  appearing  ignorant.    Jesus  said  we   should  come  to  Him  as  little  children  (Matt  18:3),  who  incessantly  ask  questions.     The  typical  line  on  police  shows  is,  “I’m  with  the  FBI.    I’d  like  to  ask  you  a  few   questions.”    The  biblical  investigator  seeks  to  see  the  relationship  between  the  clues   of  observation  and  reconstruct  the  events  and  meanings  as  the  author  intended   them  to  be  understood.       We  are  engaged  in  interpretation  when  we  start  asking  the  questions:    What  did  this   passage  originally  mean?    We  shall  learn  certain  principles  that  will  enable  us  to   correctly  interpret,  avoiding  misinterpretations.    Biblical  scholars  call  this   “hermeneutics.”    (For  a  more  complete  study  of  hermeneutics  go  to­‐content/uploads/2009/10/Hermeneutics.pdf   for  a  free  download).  

In Greek  mythology,  Hermes  was  the  messenger  of  the  gods.    In  the  New   Testament,  the  Greek  word  hermeneia  is  translated  “interpretation  or  translation”   (See  I  Cor.    12:10),  which  in  turn  has  come  into  English  from  the  Latin  interpres   meaning  “go-­‐between.”     “There  is  only  One  Interpretation,  but  Many  Applications!”     “The  primary  purpose  of  interpretation  is  to  discover  what  the  author  meant  by   what  he  said,  to  discover  his  purpose  and  message.  You  should  try  to  put  yourself  in   his  place  and  recapture  his  thoughts,  attitudes  and  emotions.  You  should  try  to   recreate  in  your  mind  the  experiences  of  the  author  to  discover  why  he  wrote  what   he  did  in  a  certain  historical  situation  for  a  specific  purpose.  Also  you  should  try  to   understand  the  people  for  whom  he  was  writing.”  

(From the  Joy  of  Discovery  by  Oletta  Wald;  page  41)  

Dr. Howard  Hendricks  of  Dallas  Theological  Seminary  said:   "Meaning”  (of  the  Scriptural  passage)  is  not  our  subjective  thoughts  read  into  the   text  but  God's  objective  truth  read  out  of  the  text.  As  someone  has  well  said,  the   task  of  Bible  study  is  to  “think  God’s  thoughts  after  Him."  The  miracle  is  that  He  used   human  authors  to  do  so.  Working  through  their  personalities,  their  circumstances,   and  their  concerns,  the  Holy  Spirit  superintended  the  crafting  of  a  document.  And  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

each of  the  human  authors—God's  coauthors,  we  might  call  them—had  a  specific   message  in  mind  as  he  recorded  his  portion  of  the  text.  That’s  why  I  like  to  refer  to   the  step  of  Interpretation  as  the  recreation  process.  We’re  attempting  to  stand  in  the   author’s  shoes  and  re-­‐create  his  experience—to  think  as  he  thought,  to  feel  as  he   felt,  and  to  decide  as  he  decided.  We’re  asking,  What  did  this  mean  to  him?  before   we  ever  ask,  What  does  it  mean  to  us?"    

Suggested  Types  of  questions  to  investigate     • • • • •

Definitions: What  is  the  definition  of  this  word  or  verb?     Meanings:  Which  of  the  definitions  fit  here?  What  does  the  verb  tense  mean?       Implications:  How  does  this  meaning  fit  with  other  similar  verses?       Relations:  What  is  the  relation  between  words,  phrases,  sentences,  etc.?     Progressions:  Is  it  inductive  or  deductive?  Does  it  conclude  or  build  a  case?  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


First:          Ask  the  5W/H  Questions:   Who?  Where?  Why?  When?  What?  How?  

“I keep  six  honest  serving-­‐men,   [They  taught  me  all  I  knew]   Their  names  are  How  and  What  and  Why,   When  and  Where  and  Who.”    (Attributed  to  Rudyard  Kipling)  

Interrogate  the  Scripture     When  you  are  studying  a  passage  of  the  Bible,  and  come  across  an  issue,  phrase,   topic,  idea,  or  word  that  you  do  not  understand,  always  ask  the  question,  “What   does  it  mean?”  But  first  we  have  to  learn  what  the  author  wanted  to  say,  then  later   what  it  means  for  us  today.    

Questions 1-4 (Who, where, when , how) are concerned about details, though not every verse will have need of these questions, nor their answers. These are called the Four Subordinate Questions (Traina, pp. 109-110).

Who? o

Who is  speaking/writing?  To  whom  and/or  about  whom  is  he   speaking?    


Who are  the  main  characters?  Who  is  mentioned  in  the  book?  (What   do  we  know  about  them?    Why  are  them  mentioned?    


Who are  the  readers?    

o From the text, what do you see are the author’s / reader’s concerns, questions, emotions, characteristics, convictions, strengths and weaknesses. - What cultural issues need consideration? - When did the events occur? - Determine whether the issues addressed apply to the local situation in the author’s day or universally to all believers. - Are they temporal or timeless? o Without discerning  the  context,  many  quote,  “The  truth  shall  make   you  free,”  quoting  John  8:31-­‐32.  This  verse  refers  to  the  disciples  who   are  to  abide  in  Christ’s  Word,  then  they  would  know  God’s  truth,   which  alone  can  set  a  person  free.   Question:  Who  was  Rufus  in  Rom  16:13?       Answer:  The  son  of  “Simon  a  Cyreian”  (Mk  15:21),  who  followed  his   father  up  Calvary’s  hill  as  he  carried  the  cross  of  Jesus!  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Where? o Where  did  (or  will)  these  events  happen?  (Why?  When?)  Where  was   this  said/written?    Where  was  the  author  when  he  wrote  this  Book?       o Why  is  this  place  important?    Is  there  something  about  the  place  that   adds  impact  to  the  meaning  of  the  passage?   o In  Phil  4:16  Paul  refers  to  a  time  ten  years  before  when  he  received   two  gifts  from  the  church  at  Philippi  within  a  5-­‐6  week  period.    The   two  cities  were  60  miles  apart,  which  represented  a  3-­‐day  walk  each   way.  This  geographic  concept  adds  value  to  their  offering  to  Paul.     Example:  there  were  two  water  sources  that  flowed  through   aqueducts  into  Laodicea:  one  from  a  hot  spring  and  another  from  a   cool  mountain  stream,  but  by  the  time  it  arrived  in  Laodicea  it  was   lukewarm,  useless  for  either  purpose.    

When? o These  questions  seek  to  find  anything  significant  about  the  time  the   Book  was  written  or  a  relationship  between  the  passage  being  studied   and  the  previous  passages.       o When  is  this  written?  How  does  it  correlate  with  other  historical   events  at  that  time?     o The  time  of  day  or  day  of  the  week  or  year  might  be  given.       o When  did  this  verbal  action  occur?  The  phrase,  “after  these  things”   show  sequential  time.  

How -­  means?   o How  did  something  happen?    Is  there  something  providential  or   consequential?   o How  is  the  truth  illustrated  or  clarified?   o Nicodemus  asked,  “Who  can  these  things  be?”  and  he  got  his  answer.     If  you  do  not  ask,  you  will  never  know.       The  final  two  questions  must  be  used  constantly.    These  are  the  Basic  Questions  for   probing  the  meaning  of  a  passage.  .      

What?  This  is  the  Definitive  question   o What  is  the  author  doing  or  what  is  his  condition?   o What  are  the  main  events  of  the  book?  What  provoked  the  writing  of   this  book?   o What  are  the  circumstances?  What  is  the  historical/cultural  setting,   especially  as  referred  to  in  the  text?    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


o What is  the  main  subject  of  the  paragraph,  the  chapter,  the  whole   book?     o Ask  meaning  questions:  What  is  the  meaning  of  the  word,  analogy,   verb  sense/definition  or  phrase?    What  did  it  mean  to  the  author  and   readers?   o What is the significance of the observed: • Repeated words, phrases, ideas, themes • Key words, key verbs (esp. imperatives) and themes • Who, when, where, how, why • Connectives (markers of major divisions) • Questions and answers • Emphatic statements • Summary statements How  many  “What-­‐questions”  can  you  derive  from  our  passage  in  Phil  3:10-­‐ 17?     1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Why –  reason,  purpose  or  result?  This  is  the  Rational  Question   o This  is  the  most  significant  of  all  the  questions.     o Why  was  this  book/letter  written?  Why  was  a  certain  word  used   (instead  of  another  word  with  a  slightly  different  meaning)?       o Why  did  the  author  say  it  this  way?  What  is  the  reason  behind  the   statement  or  action?     o Bombard the text with WHY questions o Why  was  this  written?  (What  purpose?)   o Why  did  he  say  it  this  way?   o Why  is  he  here?     ["Is  this  clause  or  phrase  telling  me:  who,  when,  where,  what,  how   (means,  manner),  or  why  (purpose,  reason,  result)  about  the  VIP?"]    

God feeds the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nests.


Inductive Method of Bible Study

2  Tim  2:7,  “Consider  what  I  say,  for  the  Lord  will  give  you  understanding  in   everything.”            Command  +  Promise     How  many  questions  does  this  verse  provoke  in  your  mind?   1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

If you don’t talk to your Bible, your Bible isn’t likely to talk to you! Do you read Scripture like Dr. Watson o Sherlock Holms? Holmes: Watson: Holmes: Watson: Holmes: Watson: Holmes:

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.” “Frequently.” “How often?” “Well, some hundreds of times.” “Then how many are there?” “How many? I don’t know.” “Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed” (“A Scandal in Bohemia” in The Complete Sherlock Holmes. New York: Doubleday, 1927)

  The  first  two  steps  of  Inductive  Bible  Study  might  easily  be  recycled  at  this  point.    As   you  ask  questions  about  the  text,  you  might  revisit  the  observation  stage  for  some   answers,  which  might  in  turn  provoke  more  questions.       A  final  question  must  be  answered  with  discernment:    “So  what?”   What  does  all  my  observations  imply  about  the  relationships  of  the  people  involved?     What  are  the  effects  of  the  action  on  those  present?    What  is  the  relevance  to  our   present  world  situation?    Go  back  to  the  Phil  3:10-­‐17  passage  and  how  many  of   these  questions  do  you  see.      

Inductive Method of Bible Study

Step  one:     Step  two:    


The Process  of  Interpretation   Pray  and  commit  to  meditating  on  your  findings   Discern  which  questions  are  the  most  important  to  answer.  Do  not   ask  questions  that  can  be  answered  with  “yes”  or  “no.”  

Step three:     Define  the  key  words  both  by  dictionary  and  context.  Chose  the   definition  that  best  fits  the  context.     Step  four:    

Compare word  usage  in  concordances,  translations,    

Step five:    

Investigate the  usage  of  words  in  other  biblical  texts.  

Step six:    

Consult with  historical,  cultural  books,  geography,  Bible  dictionaries,    

Step seven:     Evaluate  the  apparent  difficulties  within  the  text  to  explain,  variety  of   interpretations,  pros  and  cons  of  each  one,  while  meditating  on  the   implications  of  applying  the  interpretation  to  the  author’s  daily  life.   Step  eight:      

Conclude, “It  seems  that  the  author  is  saying…”      


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Practice: Develop questions from our text that will need answering: 10

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.


Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17


Join~~ with others in following my example, brothers, and take note~~ of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

Inductive Method of Bible Study Who questions:           Where  questions:             When  questions:                 How  questions:             What  questions:                         Why  questions:    



Inductive Method of Bible Study

Second:  Find  Answers   Sometimes  we  try  to  interpret  too  much  at  one  time  and  get   discouraged.    When  you  find  something  in  the  passage  that  you  don’t   understand,  start  with  a  small  part  of  the  passage  that  isn’t  clear  such  as  a   word  or  phrase,  then  work  your  way  up  until  you  have  a  better  grasp  of   the  unclear  portion  of  scripture.    Try  using  the  following  process.       1. Word  –  Look  at  a  specific  word  that  you  do  not  understand:  define  the  word   (try  using  a  dictionary,  Bible  dictionary,  or  concordance)     2. Phrase/Sentence  –  If  the  word  alone  doesn’t  answer  your  question,  move  to   the  phrase  or  sentence  to  get  a  better  understanding  of  the  unclear  portion  of   the  passage.     3. Paragraph  –  If  you  still  cannot  find  the  answer  to  your  question,  after  having   looked  at  the  phrase/sentence,  then  consider  the  paragraph  and  its  meaning.     4. Chapter  –  After  having  looked  for  your  answer  in  the  paragraph,  then   consider  the  meaning  and  usage  of  the  whole  chapter.  What  is  the  theme?   5. Book  –  Your  next  step  is  to  look  at  the  overall  theme  or  context  of  the  whole   book  to  find  your  answer.    Who  is  the  author?  Who  is  he  writing  to?  Why?     6. Bible  –  Next  consider  your  question  within  the  whole  Bible.    Look  for  other   passages  of  scripture  that  might  address  the  same  idea,  word,  or  phrase  (Use   cross-­‐references  or  a  concordance)       A  Reason  for  Apathy  in  Bible  Study     This  leads  us  to  the  most  common  problem:  being  afraid  to  ask  questions  to  which   one  does  not  have  an  immediate  answer,  or  may  not  even  be  able  to  answer.    This  is   precisely  the  motivation  for  research  and  investigation.    Pride  is  a  killer  to  serious   Bible  study.      Never  be  afraid  of  what  you  may  discover  in  His  Word.    Only  be  afraid   you  will  not  want  to  listen  to  what  you  see.         Suggestion:    Always  write  down  your  questions  even  if  you  cannot  find  the  answers   to  them.    The  depth  of  your  teaching  or  preaching  is  measured  by  how  many   questions  you  can  answer.         You  might  do  a  question  chart  like  this:     Verse   Observation   Question          


Inductive Method of Bible Study


The Hermeneutical  Bridge     Avoid  arriving  at  an  interpretation  of  Scripture  based  on  your  personal  opinion,   popular  consensus,  gut  feelings,  the  persuasiveness  of  an  argument,  and  even  what   you  have  been  taught  by  other  respected  teachers  (including  a  specific  "brand"  of   systematic  theology).  Sometimes  the  most  difficult  aspect  of  interpretation  is  to   "unlearn"  prior  faulty,  flawed  interpretations!   Remember  that  interpretation  is  the  bridge  between  observation  and  application.   Accurate  interpretation  is  not  only  possible  but  it  is  crucial  lest  we  inappropriately   apply  the  Bible.  

Three  steps  to  interpreting  the  data  collected:       Step  one:  We  must  find  the  answers  to  the  questions  raised.       Step  two:  We  must  summarize  our  material  effectively.   Step  Three:  We  must  recreate  the  passage  to  make  it  vivid  and  relevant  for  our   contemporary  world.   **These  should  force  us  to  use  the  basic  research  tools  for  Bible  Study.   To  begin  put  yourself  on  the  side  of  the  bridge  with  the  original  author  and   readers.     1. In  90  AD  the  author  wanted  the  audience  to  DO  something  for  an  intended   reason,  purpose  and  result.     2. He  used  words  (lexical  studies).    Always  look  up  key  words  and  verbs  in  an   English  Dictionary,  a  original  language  lexicon  and  a  concordance.  We  must   understand  the  language  of  our  translation  (i.e.  English).       3. Whose  meaning  he  held  in  common  with  his  audience  (cultural  context   through  a  Bible  Dictionary)     4. Arranged  in  sentences  (grammar  and  syntax)  that  made  sense  to  them.   5. See  the  paragraphs-­‐basic  unit  of  thought,  (style),  which  are  consistent.  


Inductive Method of Bible Study 6. Examine the  immediate  context  to  help  his  audience  (historical  and   geographical  context,  i.e.,  a  Book  Introduction  –  usually  the  first  part  of  a   commentary  on  a  specific  Book).   In  the  story  of  the  Good  Samaritan,  “A  certain  man  was  going  down  from   Jerusalem  to  Jericho…”    The  road  from  Jerusalem  to  Jericho  descends  from   2,500  ft  above  sea  level  at  Jerusalem  to  about  800  ft  below  sea  level  at   Jericho.    This  is  a  3,300  feet  differential  descent,  thus  about  a  6-­‐hour  journey.   7. Know  what  they  should  do  (knowledge  and  purpose).  Watch  for  the   imperatives.     8. Why  they  should  do  it  (feeling,  argument  and  theology).  It  made  sense  to   them.     Recommendation:    It  is  best  to  only  go  to  the  commentaries  after  you  have   exhausted  your  personal  studies  to  see  if  you  have  missed  anything  and  to  see  if   your  conclusions  agree  with  the  commentaries.      

Step two:  Now  move  over  the  bridge  everything  that  applies  to  today’s  world   A. Our  task  is  first  to  enter  into  the  world  of  the  audience  and  the  mind  of  the   author  to  determine  what  he  meant  by  what  he  said  and  why  he  said  it,  in   other  words,  what  he  wanted  the  original  readers  to  do.     First:  Go  back  to  the  structural  outline  created  earlier  in  our  Observations  of   the  text.    Name  each  paragraph  or  theme  with  a  creative  and  memorable  title.   Write  either  a  brief  sentence  (declarative  title)  or  a  topical  statement  (brief   phrase).     Second:  Outline  the  passage  and  paragraphs,  using  a  summary  chart  as   below:   I.

___title_______ A. __________________   B. _________________  


_______________ etc.    

Third: Recreate  the  passage  by  making  it  excitingly  contemporary.    First  this   will  require  empathy.    We  must  relive  the  experience  of  the  1st  century   author/reader  by  becoming  part  of  the  story.    This  means  to  “feel  within”   vicariously.    This  step  may  take  godly  imagination.  Can  you  imagine  being  in   the  humble  dwelling  where  Paul  was  chained  to  a  Roman  soldier,  taking  care   of  his  needs  as  he  taught  what  God  was  revealing  to  him?      

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Then we  have  to  realize  that  man  has  not  changed,  but  his  culture,  behavior,   likes  and  dislikes  may  vary,  but  man  is  essentially  still  the  same  in  every   culture  at  all  times.  He  loves,  he  is  selfish,  he  loves  his  children,  yet  is  petty,   angry,  fearful,  frustrated,  and  yet  able  to  respond  to  the  revelation  of  God.     B. Next,  we'll  move  to  what  principle  or  purpose  was  behind  his  instruction.  {A   principle  is  a  timeless  or  universal  truth,  valid  across  time  and  culture.}     C. In  the  process  we'll  answer  the  question  "Why  did  the  Holy  Spirit  record  this,   here,  in  this  manner?"   D. Then  we'll  ask  "What  does  the  Holy  Spirit  want  to  say  to  our  audience  and   how?"   E. Finally,  we'll  reverse  the  process  to  put  that  principle  into  the  words  and   lives  of  our  audience  today.       The  significance  of  these  distinctions  is  fourfold:   1. We  have  no  right  to  interpret  any  passage  until  we  have  observed   carefully  what  it  says.     2. There  can  be  no  debate  among  sincere  students  of  the  Bible  as  to  what  a   passage  is  observed  to  say.     3. A  passage  can  never  mean  today  what  it  never  meant  when  it  was   inspired,  i.e.,  as  the  biblical  writers  intended  the  text  to  be  understood.     4. There  can  be  only  one  correct  interpretation  of  any  passage  of  Scripture,   while  there  can  be  any  number  of  different,  quite  valid,  applications  of   the  spiritual  truths  or  principles  contained  in  the  passage.     To  be  sure,  we  may  not  always  agree  as  to  what  that  one  correct   interpretation-­‐-­‐what  the  passage  meant  -­‐-­‐  is,  but  we  must  strive  diligently  to   attain  that  goal.    When  we  disagree,  let  us  do  so  agreeably.       Let  us  always  apply  the  principle  attributed  to  Augustine:    “In  essentials  unity,  in   nonessentials  liberty,  in  all  things  charity  [agape-­‐love].”    The  rub,  of  course,   comes  when  we  cannot  agree  on  what  is  essential  and  nonessential!    It  is  then   that  we  need   (Eph.  4:1)  .  .  .  to  lead  a  life  worthy  of  the  calling  to  which  [we]  have  been  called,   (2)  with  all  humility  and  gentleness,  with  patience,  bearing  with  one  another  in   love  (agape),  (3)  making  every  effort  to  maintain  the  unity  of  the  Spirit  in  the   bond  of  peace.        


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Dr Roy  Zuck  observes  that...   “In  recent  years  we  have  seen  a  great  surge  of  interest  in  informal  Bible  study.   Many  small  groups  meet  weekly  in  homes  or  in  churches  to  discuss  the  Bible— what  it  means  and  how  it  applies.  Do  people  in  those  groups  always  come  away   with  the  same  understanding  of  the  passage  studied?  Not  necessarily.  Some  may   say,  "To  me  this  verse  means  this,"  and  another  person  in  the  group  may   respond,  "To  me  the  verse  doesn't  mean  that;  it  means  this."  Studying  the  Bible   in  this  way,  without  proper  hermeneutical  guidelines,  can  lead  to  confusion  and   interpretations  that  are  even  in  direct  conflict.  Did  God  intend  for  the  Bible  to  be   treated  in  this  way?  If  it  can  be  made  to  mean  anything  we  want,  how  can  it  be  a   reliable  guide?...  "You  can  make  the  Bible  say  anything  you  want,"  some  argue.   And  yet  how  many  of  the  same  people  say,  "You  can  make  Shakespeare  say   anything  you  want"?  Of  course  it  is  true  that  people  can  make  the  Bible  say   anything  they  wish  so  long  as  they  disregard  normal  approaches  for   understanding  written  documents.   When  many  people  approach  the  Bible,  they  jump  from  observation  to   application,  skipping  the  essential  step  of  interpretation.  This  is  wrong  because   interpretation  logically  follows  after  observation.  In  observing  what  the  Bible   says,  you  probe;  in  interpretation,  you  mull.  Observation  is  discovery;   interpreting  is  digesting.  Observation  means  depicting  what  is  there,  and   interpretation  is  deciding  what  it  means.  The  one  is  to  explore,  the  other  is  to   explain.”  (Roy  B.  Zuck,  Basic  Bible  Interpretation)    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Basic Principles  of  Hermeneutics  (Interpretation)   There  are  two  primary  methods  of  interpretation:  Allegorical  Method  and  the   Literal  Method  of  Interpretation.         The  Allegorical  Method  was  developed  by  the  Hellenized  Jews  in  the  pre-­‐ Christian  era  and  then  followed  by  the  Christians  influenced  by  Platonic   philosophies,  especially  around  Egypt.    This  school  teaches  that  beneath  each  verse   in  the  Bible  (i.e.  beneath  the  obvious)  is  the  “real”  meaning  of  the  passage.    Hidden   in  each  sentence  or  statement  is  a  symbolic  spiritual  meaning.         Augustine  from  the  fifth  century  used  the  allegorical  method  to  write  the  blueprint   of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  as  the  City  of  God,  i.e.,  the  kingdom  of  God  on  earth.         This  method  of  interpretation  was  initially  rejected  by  all  of  the  Reformers.    Luther   called  it  a  scourge.    Calvin  called  it  Satanic.  Those  holding  to  the  principles  of  the   Reformation  generally  regard  this  method  of  interpretation  as  undermining  the   power  and  impact  of  the  literal  Word.      Later  some  of  the  Reformers  would  return  to   this  method  when  it  was  convenient  to  prove  their  theology  and  understand  the   Book  of  Revelation.       The  Literal  Method  accepts  the  literal  rendering  of  each  sentence  unless  by   virtue  of  the  nature  of  the  sentence  or  phrase  or  a  clause  within  the  sentence   renders  it  impossible,  i.e.,  the  figures  of  speech  or  fables  of  allegories  do  not  admit  to   being  of  a  literal  interpretation.       If  the  literal  sense  of  a  passage  fits  the  purpose  of  the  original  author’s  message,   then  no  other  sense  is  sought.    When  the  NT  authors  refer  to  the  OT  Scripture,  they   interpret  those  passages  literally.    The  writings  of  the  earliest  Church  Fathers   (Ignatius  of  Antioch,  Ireneaus,  and  Justin  Martyr)  indicate  that  they  took  Scripture   literally,  unless  the  context  clearly  mitigated  against  it.          


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Principles of  Biblical  Interpretation  

There  are  certain  principles  that  will  help  us  to  accurately  interpret  the  Bible.    These   principles  are  derived  from  the  Scripture  itself.    We  do  not  go  beyond  the   boundaries  or  limits  of  the  Bible  to  discover  these  laws  and  maxims  that  are  used  to   determine  the  meaning  of  Scripture.    The  Bible  interprets  itself.       Principle  1:  The  literal  interpretation  Principle   We  take  the  Bible  at  what  it  says  clearly  and  plainly.    We  take  everyday   things  as  literal  as  they  obviously  appear.    The  golden  rule  of   interpretation  is  “When  the  plain  sense  of  the  Scripture  makes  common   sense,  seek  no  other  sense.”  Take  every  word  at  is  primary,  usual,   meaning,  unless  the  facts  of  the  immediate  context,  studied  in  the  light   of  related  passages  and  fundamental  truths,  clearly  indicate  otherwise.     Principle  2:  The  Contextual  Principle     D.  A.  Carson  wrote,  “A  text  without  a  context  is  a  pretext  for  a  proof   text.”    This  refers  to  the  abuse  of  a  single  verse  or  phrase  taken  out  of   context  to  “prove”  a  particular  view.    The  context  refers  to  the   accompanying  sentences  or  paragraphs.  The  Word  of  God  is  a  perfect   unit.    The  word  “text”  is  derived  from  the  Latin  word,  which  means  to   “weave.”  The  Scripture  cannot  be  broken;  they  all  tie  together   perfectly.  Thus,  we  must  examine  the  verses  preceding  the  verse  in   question  and  the  verses  following  it,  to  get  a  sense  of  its  context.    We   must  consider  the  verse  within  the  context  of  the  whole  Book  and  then   the  whole  Testament.    The  Bible  must  be  interpreted  within  the   framework  of  the  Bible  itself.       Most  heresies  are  the  perversion  of  some  fundamental  doctrine  of  the   Bible.  False  teachers  take  verses  out  of  context,  twist  the  Scriptures,   and  manufacture  doctrines  that  are  contrary  to  the  Word  of  God.    

Principle 3: The Scripture Interprets Scripture Principle All essential doctrines are amply and clearly explained - either in the immediate context, or somewhere else in the Bible. The plain passage must be used to guide our interpretation of a less clear passage - not the other way around! Principle 4: The Progressive Revelation Principle The Word of God is to be understood from the Old Testament to the New Testament as a flower unfolding its petals. God initiated revelation, but He did not reveal His truths all at one time. It was a gradual and progressive process. At any one point in time we must take into account what was the current state of revelation at the time of writing a specific text to properly understand a particular

Inductive Method of Bible Study


passage. For example, an interpretation of a passage in Genesis, which assumed a fully delineated view of the "new Covenant" would not be sound. As the saying goes, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” Principle #5: The Accommodation Principle The Bible is to be interpreted in view of the fact that it is an accommodation of Divine truths to human minds: God the infinite communicating with man the finite. The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The Bible was also created in time, and in history so that man could understand it. The truths of God made contact with the human mind at a common point, the Bible, to make God (and, indeed, all of reality) knowable. We must be careful, then, not to push accommodating language about God and His nature to literal extremes. God does not have feathers and wings (e.g., Psalms 17:8); nor is He our literal Father in the same sense our earthly father is. Man understands metaphorical language to illustrate a truth. Principle #6: The One Interpretation Principle Every verse in the Bible has only one interpretation, although that verse may have various applications. The one correct interpretation is that which mirrors the intent of the inspired author. Principle #7: The Harmony of Scripture Principle Since the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” the all the authors of the Bible no part of the Bible will contradict another part of the Bible. The Christian presupposes the inerrancy and harmony of Scripture as a necessary result of a perfect Creator God revealing Himself perfectly to Mankind. Proper application of hermeneutical principles will resolve apparent conflicts. Principle #8: The Genre Principle Genre is a literary term having to do with the category or "genus" of the literature under consideration. Proper interpretation must take the general literary style or category of any given passage into consideration. Are we dealing with poetry or prose? Are we dealing with history or prophecy? It is important that when we interpret the Word of God, we understand as much as possible the author's intent. For example, if the author is writing history - the genre of the Pentateuch of Moses - it would not be proper to


Inductive Method of Bible Study

interpret a single reference (such as the speech of Balaam's ass) as a poetic personification, unless a variety of contextual markers compelled us to do so. Figures of  speech  are  to  be  interpreted  in  the  literal  significance  that   the  figure  conveys.  

Principle #9: The Grammatical Principle The Bible was originally written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. While we have several highly accurate translations of the Bible in English, all translation involves a certain amount of interpretation on the part of the translator. Thus, the study of word meanings, grammar, and syntax of the original languages is important for a proper understanding of any Scripture passage. This doesn't mean that every student of the Bible must learn Hebrew or Greek. There are a number of tools available lexicons, Bible dictionaries, and detailed exegetical commentaries - that can provide a deeper understanding of crucial passages. Principle #10: The Historical Background Principle The Bible was composed in a specific culture at a particular point in time. While they are universal in application, the truths in the Bible can most fully be realized only when taking the surrounding culture and history into account. For example, when Jesus is called "the first fruits" (1 Corinthians 15:20), we may have some understanding of this title from the Old Testament, but a study of Jewish religious practice in the first century can provide a deeper understanding of why Paul chose this title in this passage, as opposed to another title with the same general meaning of "first." •  What  did  the  specific  passage  mean  to  the  people  to  whom  it  was   spoken  or  written?     •    What  were  the  times  like?     •    What  was  the  attitude  toward  Christianity?   •    When  is  this  taking  place?     •    What  else  was  taking  place  in  the  world  at  this  time?     •    What  were  some  of  the  social  and  political  influences  on  the  writer   and  on  those  to  whom  he  was  writing?   We  are  prone  to  interpret  everything  we  read  in  terms  of  our  modern   Western  culture,  since  the  "here  and  now"  is  where  we  live.  An  illustration  is  Da  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Vinci’s painting  of  the  Last  Supper  is  an  example  of  cultural  association.    Tables   were  not  used  for  hundreds  of  years  after  Christ.  They  were  lying  on  the  floor  on   their  sides.        

The Grammatico-Historical Method The exegetical commentaries on this website generally follow the "Grammatical-Historical" method of interpretation. As its name implies, this method of interpretation focuses attention not only on literary forms but upon grammatical constructions and historical contexts out of which the Scriptures were written. It is solidly in the "literal schools" of interpretation, and is the hermeneutical methodology embraced by virtually all evangelical Protestant exegetes and scholars. It embraces each of the ten principles enumerated above.   Example:  John  15:7  says,  “…ask  whatever  you  wish,  and  it  will  be  done  for  you.”     Does  that  mean  that  we  can  ask  anything  from  God  and  He  will  deliver?    No!    The   Bible  has  much  more  to  teach  about  prayer  than  one  verse.       Kay  Arthur  emphasizes  that  when...    you  seek  to  know  what  something  means,  ask   yourself,       "Is  my  interpretation  of  a  particular  section  of  Scripture  consistent  with  the   theme,  purpose,  and  structure  of  the  book  in  which  it  is  found?".   "Is  my  interpretation  consistent  with  other  Scriptures  about  the  same   subject  or  is  there  a  glaring  difference?"   "Am  I  considering  the  historical  and  cultural  context  of  what  is  being   said?"   Kay  Arthur:  How  to  Study  Your  Bible       Bob  Smith  reminds  us  that...       We  must  always  view  a  passage  or  verse  (1)  in  its  immediate  setting;  (2)  in  the   larger  context  of  the  chapter  or  book  in  which  it  stands;  and  (3)  in  the  light  of   the  total  context  of  biblical  revelation.  Remember  that  though  we  see  it  in  its   parts  and  divisions,  God  wrote  ONE  Book,  not  sixty-­‐six.    (Basics  of  Bible   Interpretation)      


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Perhaps you  are  still  asking  why  should  one  insist  on  a  literal  or  "normal"   interpretation  of  all  of  Scripture?  Couch  explains  that  there  are  at  least  three   reasons  offered  by  who  are  committed  to  a  normal  reading  of  Scripture:     First,  the  obvious  purpose  of  language  is  to  enable  effective  communication   between  intelligent  beings.  Words  have  meaning  and  in  their  normal  usage  are   intended  to  be  understood.  .  .  .  God  is  the  originator  of  language.  When  He  spoke   audibly  to  man,  He  expected  man  to  understand  Him  and  respond  accordingly.   Likewise,  when  God  speaks  to  man  through  the  inspired  writings  of  His  apostles   and  prophets,  He  expects  man  to  understand  and  respond  accordingly.  .  .  .     A  second  reason  for  a  normal  reading  of  Scripture  concerns  the  historical   fulfillment  of  prophecy.  All  the  prophecies  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament  that   have  been  fulfilled  to  date  have  been  fulfilled  literally.  .  .  .  Thus,  .  .  .  all   prophecies  which  are  yet  to  be  fulfilled  will  be  fulfilled  literally.       A  third  reason  concerns  logic.  If  an  interpreter  does  not  use  the  normal,   customary,  literal  method  of  interpreting  Scripture,  interpretation  is  given  over   to  the  unconstrained  imagination  and  presuppositions  of  the  interpreter.     Couch,  M:  Classical  Evangelical  Hermeneutics.  Page  36-­‐37)     Another  key  advantage  of  literal  interpretation  is  that  it  is  minimal   interpretation  and  thus  superimposes  the  barest  "interpretive  layer"  or   "interpretative  bias"  on  the  inspired  communication  from  God.       As  the  highly  respected  literalist  commentator  Henry  Morris  has  said...       “The  best  interpretation  of  a  historical  record  is  no  interpretation  but   simply  letting  the  divine  Author  of  the  record  say  what  He  says  and   assuming  He  says  what  He  means.”     (Quoted  from  a    literal,  non-­‐confusing  commentaries  on  the  Revelation   entitled  "The  Revelation  Record")       Martin  Luther  (1483-­‐1546)  arrived  at  an  interesting  conclusion  declaring...       I  have  observed  that  all  the  heresies  and  errors  have  arisen  not  from  Scripture’s   own  plain  statements,  but  when  that  plainness  of  statement  is  ignored,  and  men   follow  the  Scholastic  arguments  of  their  own  brains.     One  of  the  main  reasons  why  so  many  commentaries  resort  to  an  allegorical   interpretation  of  prophecies  like  the  Revelation  and  Daniel  (esp.  chapter  11)  is  that   they  find  the  literal  meaning  of  the  prophecies  difficult  to  accept  and  attempt  to   explain  them  in  some  less  offensive  manner!    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Tony Garland  in  his  excellent,  highly  recommended  commentary  on  the  Revelation   (free  online  at:  A  Testimony  of  Jesus  Christ)  writes  that  there  are  two  main   approaches  to  interpretation  as  they  relate  to  prophecy,    (Quoting  Ramm)     Among  evangelicals  there  are  generally  two  major  camps  regarding   how  prophetic  passages  should  be  read.  Amillennialists  will  generally   allegorize  large  portions  of  the  prophetic  Word,  especially  passages   that  speak  of  the  Second  Advent  of  Christ  and  the  establishment  of  the   one  thousand  year  literal  Davidic  kingdom.  In   contrast,  premillennialists,  following  the  teaching  of  the  early  church,   treat  the  Second  Coming  with  the  same  literal  hermeneutic  as  they   would  the  First  Coming  of  Jesus.  They  hold  that  the  Bible,  from  Genesis   to  Revelation,  should  be  understood  literally  from  a  normal  reading   unless  typology  (See  discussion  of  Typology  or  poetry  is  used.   And  even  then,  premillennialists  believe  that  "literalness"  is  implied   behind  the  figure  of  speech  or  illustration  used.     (Bernard  Ramm,  Protestant  Biblical  Interpretation,  page  119)  

James  W.  Sire  counters  this  line  of  reasoning...   The  illumination  comes  to  the  minds  of  God’s  people—not  just  to  the   spiritual  elite.  There  is  no  guru  class  in  biblical  Christianity,  no  illuminati,  no   people  through  whom  all  proper  interpretation  must  come.  And  so,  while  the   Holy  Spirit  gives  special  gifts  of  wisdom,  knowledge  and  spiritual  discernment,   He  does  not  assign  these  gifted  Christians  to  be  the  only  authoritative   interpreters  of  His  Word.  It  is  up  to  each  of  His  people  to  learn,  to  judge  and  to   discern  by  reference  to  the  Bible  which  stands  as  the  authority  even  to  those  to   whom  God  has  given  special  abilities.  To  summarize,  the  assumption  I  am   making  throughout  the  entire  book  is  that  the  Bible  is  God’s  true  revelation  to   all  humanity,  that  it  is  our  ultimate  authority  on  all  matters  about  which  it   speaks,  that  it  is  not  a  total  mystery  but  can  be  adequately  understood  by   ordinary  people  in  every  culture.  (Scripture  Twisting,  pp.  17-­‐18)  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Points to consider for Interpretation 1) Does the author give his own interpretation? Does he interpret his use of symbols? Does he state why he wrote the book? 2) When the author quotes Scripture, look up the quoted passages and observe their context. Why does he use this passage? Does it prove a point, illustrate a truth, support the author's argument or contribute to the emotion of the passage? 3) Have I taken into consideration the type of literature and how it should be interpreted? 4) Is this literal or figurative (Figures of Speech) language? Interpret accordingly. 5) Have I committed one of the 20 reading errors? (See "A Brief Definition of 20 Reading Errors") 6) Read the book or passage in a different translation. 7) Interpret the Scripture in a simple fashion. Do not treat the Scripture in a mystical fashion. Interpret the Word of God in a natural, normal sense as you would any other book. This means that you do make allowances for different types of literature, figures of speech and elements of composition. 8) It is very important to do thorough observation first. You must gather facts before making conclusions. Use material gained in observation to back up your interpretation. If you're having difficulty with interpretation, go back and do more observations. 9) Consult Bible Dictionaries, atlases and historical background resource material for unanswered questions or more information. 10) Consult a commentary. Do this last. Use the commentary as a tool, not a crutch. Dialogue with the commentary. What did you learn from the commentary? Do you agree of disagree with the author's conclusion?

Some Common Exegetical Fallacies D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, Baker book, Grand Rapids:1984

Unfortunately, each of the principles of interpretation we have considered may be abused in various ways. Fortunately, the remedy for the resulting misinterpretation is generally as simple as recognizing which principle has been abused and the proper reapplication of that principle to the passage in question. Here are some common exegetical fallacies resulting from the misuse of hermeneutic principles.

Inductive Method of Bible Study


1) Taking Figurative Language Literally When Jesus says that He is the "door," few would take Him literally. Some, however, take figurative language, such as Jesus "sitting at the right hand of the Father," to mean that the Father has a literal right hand (and thus, a physical body). The phrase "at the right hand" was a figurative expression in Semitic cultures in Biblical times, signifying a position of authority. It did not mean that the one exalted literally sat next to the one doing the exalting. The Literal Interpretation Principle does not mean that we woodenly take every word in the Bible literally, but rather that we approach it as we would any other book, taking figurative phrases, hyperbole, poetic personifications, and other figures of speech into account in our interpretation. 2) Over-Contextualizing. Some view Jehovah's declaration that He does not "know" of any other gods in Isaiah 44:8 as limited to the immediate context. Since Jehovah is here engaging in a polemic against idol-worship, some would suggest that Jehovah is really saying that He knows of no idols who are real gods - but leaves open the possibility of other subordinate gods who are not idols. While we must safeguard against taking words or phrases out of context, there is no warrant for taking an absolute statement and confining it to immediate context. Jehovah says He knows of no other gods. He says this in the context of chastising those who worship idols, but this context does not limit His statement, any more than the Great Commission is limited to the disciples who heard Jesus speak it. 3) Allowing the Implicit to explain the Explicit Jesus is called "firstborn" on several occasions in the New Testament. In Colossians 1:15, He is called the "firstborn of all creation." Many nonTrinitarians see in these verses evidence that the Son of God was a created being - the first creation of Jehovah. Trinitarians point to verses like John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16, which state that the Son pre-existed all things. Non-Trinitarians argue that we should interpret these verses in light of Jesus as "the firstborn." Thus, "all things" must mean "all other things." Trinitarians argue that the "firstborn" passages must be viewed in light of John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16, and thus must be a figurative title. The term translated "firstborn" has a figurative as well as a literal connotation. Even if taken literally, non-Trinitarians typically do not


Inductive Method of Bible Study

believe that the Son of God was literally born, and thus they believe that it implies the creation of the Son in some fashion. John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16, on the other hand, explicitly state that the Son existed before all things, and indeed that all things came into existence through Him. Allowing the implicit to explain the explicit - the possible to explain the certain - is not a sound interpretive principle. Scripture indeed interprets Scripture, so long as clarity explains ambiguity, and not the other way around. 4) Modern Day Revelation Some groups claim that God continues to reveal Himself in various ways to an elite cadre of spiritually mature and/or gifted individuals. Some, like Latter Day Saints, believe that this modern day revelation has produced new scriptures. When contradictions between these "revelations" and the Bible are pressed, these groups often respond that God's revelation is progressive, and thus may accommodate new or revised doctrines for the modern era. But progressive revelation may never be used to overthrow the principle of the harmony of Scripture. God may have chosen to reveal Himself gradually to humanity, but He does not contradict Himself. 5) Harmonization by Denial The Bible declares that Jesus was a man (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:5; etc.). It also calls Him God (John 1:1; 20:28; etc.). God says in Hosea 11:9 that He is not man. Non-Trinitarians that hold to the principle of the harmony of Scripture, believe these verses present an apparent contradiction, and they resolve this contradiction by denying the fully Deity of Christ. They either favor grammatical arguments that remove the attribution of "God" to Jesus, or they argue that He must be a lesser divinity and not true God. It is certainly exegetically valid to deny what Scripture does not explicitly or implicitly affirm. However, to deny what Scripture affirms both explicitly and implicitly is not a sound hermeneutical methodology. If we truly believe in the sufficiency of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), we should allow Scripture to shape our theology (or, in this case, our Christology) in such a way that Scripture is harmonized by complete affirmation of its teaching. Thus, when Scripture tells us the Christ is both Man and God, we should allow these truths to shape our view of Christ's nature, rather than deny one or the other.

Inductive Method of Bible Study


6) Problems Relating to Literary Genre To properly take genre into consideration, we must first understand the genre in its historical context. In most cases, this is not difficult. However, some genres - such as "proverbs" - offers some considerable challenge. A proverb is not a promise - those who approach the book of Proverbs in this fashion are likely to be disappointed when the expected promise is not fulfilled. Further, as D.A. Carson notes, Proverbs 23:3-4 seem to offer contradictory advice: "Do not answer a fool according to his folly ... Answer a fool according to his folly." (Exegetical Fallacies, pp. 137138). Careful exegesis is necessary to resolve this and other apparent contradictions, and such exegesis depends in no small part on the proper understanding of genre. 7) Misunderstanding Proper Application of Grammar A wide range of fallacies can result from a misunderstanding or misuse of grammatical tools. For example, a simplistic approach to "word studies" can produce a number of problematic interpretations. A common misuse of lexicons or Bible dictionaries is to assume that the "literal" or "original" meaning of a word pertains in a given context. Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, defend the rendering of the Greek word kolasis in Matthew 25:46 found in their New World Translation (NWT) with what may be termed an "etymological fallacy." The NWT translates kolasis as "cutting off." While kolasis originally had this meaning in classical Greek times, by the 1st Century, kolasis had taken on the meaning "punishment," which is why the majority of English translations render kolasis this way. Witnesses confuse the original meaning of kolasis with the common meaning in the contemporary setting. Some Witnesses may cite older lexicons in favor of the NWT translation, but no modern lexicon provides "cutting off" as a valid translation of any 1st Century text, and a careful examination of the older lexicons reveals that they were dependent on classical Greek texts, not texts contemporary with the New Testament. While word studies are important to proper interpretation, we must be careful to use them as a part of an overall methodology that takes all aspects of the text - including then-current word usage - into account. 8) Historical Fabrication The reconstruction of Biblical history presents a whole host of opportunities for interpretive fallacies. The interpretations of the New Testament offered


Inductive Method of Bible Study

by scholars such as those in the Jesus Seminar depend largely on theoretical reconstructions of various "communities" in the early years of the Christian Church. While the reconstructions may originate from deductions based on certain passages of Scripture, they soon become intertwined with the interpretation of other passages to such a degree that it is difficult to separate the theoretical reconstruction from the interpretation. This fallacious approach to Scripture is true whether the reconstruction in question is the result of liberal Historical Criticism run amok, or the superficial attempts by Non-Trinitarians to portray "Biblical Monotheism" as anything but monothesim. The problem is that we have almost no access to the history of 1st Century beliefs outside the New Testament. Some speculation based on extra-canonical texts is certainly possible, but it is a fallacy to think that speculative reconstruction has any force in informing our interpretation of Scripture. Brief Statements of Rules for Interpretation to follow: (Adapted from Walter Henrichsen, A Layman’s Guide to Interpreting the Bible, NavPress, Colorado Springs, 1978.) For more exhaustive discussion of these principles please secure this book.

General Principles of Interpretation 1. Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative (Mat 7:29; Jn 7:17) 2. The Bible interprets itself; Scripture best explains Scripture (Isa 7:14 with Mat 1:23; Gal 5:4 with Jn 10:27-29). 3. Saving faith and the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to understand and properly interpret the Scripture (Mat 13:9, 15; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Cor 2:14; 2:12; Jn 16:13). 4. Interpret personal experience in the light of Scripture and not Scripture in the light of personal experience. (Deut 18:22) 5. Biblical examples are authoritative only when supported by a command. (Jn 13:3435) 6. The primary purpose of the Bible is to change our lives, not increase our knowledge. (1 Cor 10:6; 2 Pet 1:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17). 7. Each Christian has the right and responsibility to investigate and interpret the Word of God for himself. Jn 5:39; 8:31; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 2:15; Acts 17:11) 8. Church history is important but not decisive in the interpretation of Scripture. 9. The promises of God throughout the Bible are available to the Holy Spirit for the believers of every generation.

Inductive Method of Bible Study

Grammatical Principles of Interpretation 10. Scripture has only one meaning and should be taken literally 11. Interpret words in harmony with their meaning in the times of the author. 12. Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and context. 13. Interpret a passage in harmony with its context. 14. When an inanimate object is used to describe a living being, the statement may be considered figurative. (Jn 6:35; 8:12; 10:7; Psa 92:12; 51:7; Mat 26:26-28; 1 Cor 11:23-26). 15. When an expression is out of character with the thing described, the statement may be considered figurative. (Phil 3:2-3; Lk 13:32; 1 Pet 5:8). a. A word cannot have more than one meaning at a time. b. When possible a passage should be interpreted literally. 16. The principal parts and figures of a parable represent certain realities. Consider only these principal parts and figures when drawing conclusions. 17. Interpret the words of the prophets in their usual, literal and historical sense, unless they context or manner in which they are fulfilled clearly indicates they have a symbolic meaning. Their fulfillment may be in installments, each fulfillment being a pledge of that which is to follow.

Historical Principles of Interpretation 18. Since Scripture originated in a historical context, it can be understood only in the light of biblical history. 19. Through God’s revelation in the Scriptures is progressive, both Old and New Testaments are essential parts of this revelation and form a unity.  Compare John 3:14 with Numbers 21  1 Cor 10:1-4  Gal 4:22-24 20. Historical facts or events become symbols of scriptural truths only if the Scriptures so designate them. Theological Principles of Interpretation 21. You must understand the Bible grammatically before you can understand it theologically.  Rom 5:15-21  Heb 10:26 22. A doctrine cannot be considered biblical unless it sums up and includes all that the Scriptures say about it.  Study the words in parallel with a concordance  Study all the same ideas in parallel



Inductive Method of Bible Study

 Study all the parallel doctrines 23. When two doctrines taught in the Bible appear to be contradictory, accept both as scriptural in the confident belief that they resolve themselves into a higher unity. 24. A teaching merely implied in Scripture may be considered biblical when a comparison of related passages clearly support it.

Inductive Method of Bible Study

Practical Interpretation problems: Problem 1: A famous Christian leader and author taught the way to discover God’s will for one’s life was to pray asking God either for perfect peace about a proposed situation (i.e., buying a car, marrying a certain girl, going to a certain church, entering the ministry, etc.) or asking for a spirit of doubt and uncertainty from the Spirit. The only verse he used to authorize his argument was Colossians 3:15, (“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts”). Would you agree with his use of this verse to make this point? Why, or why not?

Problem 2: A Christian man lost his job during an economic recession in the US. He and his wife interpreted Romans 8:28 (“All things work together for good”) to mean that he lost his job in order that God might give him a betterpaying one. Consequently he turned down several lower- or equal-paying job opportunities and remained on unemployment for over two years before returning to work. Do you agree with his way of interpreting this verse? Why, or why not?

Problem 3: You have just finished telling someone that you do not agree with the “oracular” use of Scripture (i.e., consulting the Bible by opening it and applying the first words one reads as God’s instructions to him), because it generally interprets words without regard to their context. This person argues that God has often used just this method to bring him comfort and guidance. How would you reply?

Problems adapted from Henry A. Virkler, Hermeneutics, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids:1981.



Inductive Method of Bible Study


Focus: How  can  I  apply  it  to  my  life?       Sherlock  Holms,  “On  the  contrary,  Watson.    You  can  see  everything.    You  fail,   however,  to  reason  from  what  you  see.    You  are  too  timid  in  drawing  your   inferences.”    -­‐  The  Adventure  of  the  Blue  Carbuncle.         Application  is  the  most  neglected  yet  essential  part  of  the  Bible  Study  process.    It  is   easier  to  satisfy  one’s  curiosity  about  the  Bible  than  to  search  for  how  to  change  our   lives  to  conform  to  God’s  Word.    Application  is  based  on  correct  Interpretation,   which  is  built  on  thorough  Observation.    Dr.  Howard  Hendricks  has  said,   “Interpretation  without  application  is  an  abortion.”    Every  time  you  observe  and   interpret  but  fail  to  apply,  you  perform  an  abortion  on  the  Scriptures  in  terms  of   their  purpose.           The  goal  of  Inductive  Bible  Study  is  …   Not  to  make  us  smarter  sinners   But  to  make  us  more  like  our  Savior.     William  Lincoln  described  certain  qualifications  to  making  meaningful  applications:     1. The  interpreter  must  have  a  reverence  for  God’s  Word.  It  will  always  reveal   motives  so  that  “there  is  not  creature  hidden  from  His  sight”  (Heb  4:12-­‐13).     The  interpreter  must  first  put  himself  under  the  light  of  God’s  Word.     2.  The  interpreter  must  learn  humility,  that  is,  the  sincere  commitment  to  help   others  without  thought  of  himself.    He  describes  with  honesty  and   transparency  his  own  difficulty  in  applying  the  text.       3. The  interpreter  must  be  motivated  by  Christian  love,  which  seeks  the  benefit   of  others  above  his  own  needs,  thus  gaining  the  confidence  of  his  audience   and  their  trust.    Only  then  will  they  believe  what  he  says  God’s  Word  means   for  us  today.     The  most  neglected  part  of  the  Great  Commission  is  “teach  them  to  obey  all   things  that  I  have  commanded  you”  (Matt  28:20).  Most  teaching  and  preaching  is   done  to  inform  people  of  certain  truths,  but  seldom  is  there  a  specific  emphasis  on   the  commands  that  we  are  to  teach  believers  to  obey.    The  first  step  in  this  process  is   to  clarify  and  explain  what  the  commands  are,  which  is  why  I  wrote  Truths  To  Live   By,  which  explains  all  the  commands  in  the  NT  we  are  expected  to  know  and  obey.   (see  for  a  copy).  Then  secondly,  each  church  must   set  up  accountability  groups  beginning  in  the  family  units,  then  small  groups  outside   the  family  unit,  preferably  similar  age    groupings  (ideally  of  12  people  or  less).     These  groups  can  ask  the  accountability  questions  suggested  in  Appendix  J.    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Hardness of  heart  begins  when  we  know  what  we  are  to  do  or  how  we  are  to  live,   but  in  our  heart  we  postpone  our  commitment  or  we  resist  making  any  changes  in   our  lifestyle.    Jesus  warned  that  mere  Bible  knowledge  is  not  an  end  in  itself  and  can   be  deceptively  dangerous  as  He  declared  to  the  Jewish  leaders:     “You  search  the  Scriptures,  because  you  think  that  in  them  you  have  eternal  life;  and   it  is  these  that  bear  witness  of  Me  and  you  are  unwilling  to  come  to  Me,  that  you  may   have  life”  (John  5:39).       The  goal  of  Bible  study  is  to  know  the  mind  of  Christ,  how  He  thinks,  what  He  wants,   and  decide  to  acquire  the  same  way  of  thinking  and  values.       “Let  this  mind  be  in  you  which  was  also  in  Christ  Jesus”  Phil  2:5  NKJV   “Your  attitude  should  be  the  same  as  that  of  Christ  Jesus”  Phil  2:5  NIV84     Someone  said,  “I  cannot  believe  in  a  man’s  teaching,  even  when  it  is  the  truth,  who   has  not  obviously  to  me,  humbly  demonstrated  the  application  he  seeks  to  persuade   me  to  follow.”   As  Dr  Roy  Zuck  points  out...   “Heart  appropriation,  not  merely  head  apprehension,  is  the  true  goal  of   Bible  study.  Only  in  this  way  can  believers  grow  spiritually.  Spiritual  maturity,   in  which  we  become  more  like  Christ,  comes  not  just  from  knowing  more  about   the  Bible.  It  comes  from  knowing  more  about  the  Bible  and  applying  it  to  our   spiritual  needs.”  (Basic  Bible  Interpretation)   Objective  of  Application     The  objective  of  Application  is  seen  in  2  Timothy  3:16  NIV,  “All  Scripture  is  God-­‐ breathed  and  is  useful  for  teaching,  rebuking,  correcting  and  training  in   righteousness.”    These  are  the  tools  for  helping  each  other  make  applications.     Teaching shows us what is right according to what God’s Word says. Like a compass, the Bible always points you in the right direction. (cf. Deut 28:13, 14, Joshua 1:7, 8, 9). We are obligated to find out what God’s Word says on any particular subject or moral issue, accept it as true, believe it, adjust our former misconceptions to it and live by it. Once you understand what God’s Word teaches, you are obligated to accept its truths or instructions then trust His grace and power to live it out in life. We need each other to help us be faithful to do it. Changing our beliefs, values and convictions about what is important and worthwhile is a lifetime process of transformation into His image.

Reproof shows us where we are wrong. When we look into the mirror of God's Word, we see ourselves more clearly. (James 1:23, 24, 25)


Inductive Method of Bible Study A seldom-taught principle of the Christian life is how to successfully reprove another without destroying them, and more importantly, the high value of how to humbly accept and learn from reproof. A “fool” never learns this secret (Prov 15:5; 16:2).

Correction shows us how to get right. Once obedient behavior is understood and accepted, then specific steps or action points must be taken to assure obedience. This can be confessing and forsaking what is wrong, but often it requires partnering with a fellow believer to become accountable for specific steps to assure obedience. If we want to be obedient bad enough we will be willing to let someone help us live in the light of His Word. We are not made to do it alone. This is the value of the body of Christ, the church.

Training in righteousness develops discipline to live right. Jesus ordered His disciples to “teach to obey all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20), yet few ever have a systematic plan for teaching the commands of the NT, which Jesus and His Holy Spirit gave us to train people to practice.

The  “training”  that  transforms  includes:   • Teachings   • Commands     • Promises   • Exhortations  and  admonitions   • Warnings   • Examples  of  biblical  characters  and  stories   • Accounts  of  how  God  has  dealt  with  man  in  the  past     Christian author Jerry Bridges writes that... “As we search the Scriptures, we must allow them to search us, to sit in judgment upon our character and conduct.”

Oswald Chambers in his typical "no nonsense" style reminds us that... "One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it" We have to be careful not to deceive ourselves. We do not really know the Bible unless we obey the Bible. God had a scathing rebuke for His people Israel through His prophet Ezekiel "They (the people of Israel) come to you (the prophet Ezekiel) as people come and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth and their heart goes after their gain." (Ezekiel 33:31) Samuel addressing King Saul after his serious "miscalculation" (sin) said,

Inductive Method of Bible Study


"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." (1Sam 15:22) Whenever (every time) we read the Scriptures, the question we should always honestly seek to ask is... How does the meaning of this text apply to me? NOT What does this verse mean to me?   Upon  reading  God’s  Word,  the  first  question  we  must  ask  is,  “How  then  shall  I  live   today?”  If  I  have  no  answer,  then  my  Bible  study  has  been  in  vain.       The  objective  of  Bible  Study  is  the  reprogramming  of  our  mind,  beliefs,  values  and   convictions  as  Paul  wrote,  “Do  not  conform  any  longer  to  the  pattern  of  this  world,   but  be  transformed  by  the  renewing  of  your  mind.  Then  you  will  be  able  to  test   and  approve  what  God’s  will  is  –  his  good,  pleasing  and  perfect  will.”  (Rom  12:2).          


Inductive Method of Bible Study Only after  I  have  been  through  the  above  three  steps  of  Observation,   Interpretation  and  personal  Application  do  I  have  something  personal  and   meaningful  to  share  and  proclaim  to  others.  Knowing  I  have  to  share  it  with   others  is  a  personal  incentive  to  first  apply  it  thoroughly  to  my  personal  life   first.    Seeking  to  teach  His  Word  is  not  an  ego  trip,  but  my  stimulus  or  self-­‐ imposed  discipline  to  keep  learning  His  Word  and  applying  it  to  my  life  before  I   dare  to  teach  it  to  others.    

Four Steps  to  application     (i.e.  through  meditation  we  make  action  points)  


1. Understand and  evaluate–  The  first  step  of  application  is  to  understand   what  the  WORD  of  God  says  on  a  particular  subject  through  accurate   observation  and  correct  interpretation  of  the  passage.     Once  the  author’s  intent  is  understood,  we  must  evaluate  the  results  to   determine  if  they  are  applicable  to  us  today.    Are  these  principles  time-­‐ specific  or  timeless?    Are  these  normative  or  temporary?   Are  these  ideas  general  truths  or  principles  that  are  trans-­‐cultural  and  for  all   time?    Are  these  general  principles  or  commands  for  us  today?  Does  it  really   mean  what  is  says?       2. Agree/Accept  Application–  Once  I  understand  what  the  WORD  of  God   teaches,  I  must  decide  to  accept  it  and  agree  with  it.  Now  the  question  is:   What  do  I  have  to  do?    This  may  include  acknowledging  areas  in  my  thinking   and  behavior  that  aren’t  aligned  with  God’s  Word.     More  importantly,  I  have  to  evaluate  whether  I  want  to  live  by  these  rules,   commands,  and  principles  or  not.  These  are  crucial  decisions  in  our   Christian  life.    This  decision  determines  whether  we  grow  spiritually  or   quench  the  Spirit  in  our  lives.       Does  this  text  require  immediate  action,  a  specific  response  in  a  given   circumstance  or  a  permanent  habit  that  I  must  form?    This  will  depend  on  the   nature  of  the  verb.   Now  you  must  decide  what  you  should  do,  you  must  decide  what  you  will  do.     3. Action  Plan–  Once  I  understand  and  agree  with  God’s  Word,  I  am  ready  to   make  applications  to  my  life.    Understanding  and  agreeing  with  the  WORD   isn’t  enough,  I  must  take  action!     o Decide  on  specific  action  (goal  of  meditation)   

My relation  with  God   o Communion  to  enjoy  with  Him   o Commands  to  obey  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


o Promises to  trust  and  claim   o Prayers  to  express   

My personal  life   o My  past  and  family  relations   o My  current  experience  and  relationships   o My  attitudes  both  positive  and  negative   o My  destructive  emotions:  fear,  hate,  anger,  resentment,   bitterness,  anxiety,  frustration,  envy,  etc.   o My  values,  priorities,  ambitions  and  personal  convictions   o My  expectations  for  the  future  

My relations  with  others   o My  family   o My  work   o My  church   o My  neighborhood  

My relation  with  the  enemy   o My  resistance  to  his  entrance   o My  recognition  of  his  strategies  to  destroy  me   o My  sins  to  avoid,  repent  of  and/or  reconcile   o My  armor  with  which  to  protect  myself  

My world   o My  witnessing   o My  life  mission  

o Application must  be  practical:   

Practical –  precisely  what  you  are  going  to  do  daily.  For  example:  “I   am  in  spiritual  battle,  so  I  will  establish  a  daily  prayer  time  for  friends   and  family.”  

Measureable –  more  precisely  when  you  will  do  it  daily:  I  will  arise   between  6:00  and  6:30  AM  to  praise  and  pray  to  God  for  my  family;  I   will  make  a  list  of  people  and  things  to  pray  for  before  going  to  pray.”  

Attainable –  even  though  I  need  to  pray  more,  I’d  better  set  the  goal   of  praying  15  minutes,  instead  of  2  hours  a  day.  Attempting  to  do  too   much  or  the  impossible  will  usually  lead  to  discouragement  and   defeat.  This  is  the  test  of  your  heart  and  will:  do  you  really  want  to   obey  all  that  you  know  of  God’s  Word?  


Inductive Method of Bible Study 4. Share your  decision  with  someone  who  will  ask  you  later  about  your   compliance  without  a  critical  spirit  (encourager)   1. Make  a  verbal  commitment  with  someone  else   2. Pray  for  one  another  to  learn  obedience  (struggle  together)   3. Be  accountable  regularly  with  this  person  for  practicing  His  Word.  


Types of  responses:  Acrostic  S-­‐P-­‐A-­‐C-­‐E    P-­‐E-­‐T-­‐S    

 Sin to  confess,  avoid  and  forsake?  Do  I  need  to  make  any  restitutions?    Promise  to  claim?  Is  it  a  universal  promise?    Have  I  met  the  conditions?    Attitude  to  change  or  guard  against?    Am  I  willing  to  work  on  a  negative   attitude  and  begin  building  toward  a  positive  one?  Is  there  an  Action  to  take?    Command  to  obey  and  keep  on  obeying?  Am  I  willing  to  do  it  no  matter  how  I   feel  or  what  others  may  think  or  say?    Example  to  follow?    Is  it  a  positive  example  for  me  to  copy  or  a  negative  one   to  avoid?    Prayer  to  pray?    Is  there  anything  I  need  to  pray  back  to  God?        Error  to  avoid?  Is  there  any  problem  that  I  should  be  alert  to,  or  beware  of?   Will  I  dare  to  ask  others  to  help  me  see  my  errors?  How  serious  am  I?    Truth  to  believe?    What  new  things  can  I  learn  about  God  the  Father,  Jesus   Christ,  the  Holy  Spirit,  or  other  biblical  teachings?    Something  to  praise  God  for?    Is  there  something  here  I  can  be  thankful  for?  

Pray the  verse  or  passage  back  to  God  (Rick  Warren,  Dynamic  Bible  Study  Methods,  (The  Encouraging   Word:  2000).  p.  35.  

Tips  for  making  applications:   1.  Applications  should  be  measurable  and  achievable.   For  instance,  an  application  of  “I  will  try  to  be  a  better  person”  is  difficult  to   measure,  and  who  defines  what  a  “better”  person  is?    An  application  to  “lead  my   whole  town  to  Christ”  is  a  great  mission,  but  it  may  be  a  little  overwhelming.    A   good  application  for  witnessing  would  be,  “I  will  share  my  faith  with  someone   this  week  or  I  will  memorize  John  3:16.”    These  are  good  applications  because  it  is   measurable  and  people  in  your  group  can  hold  you  accountable.    2.  Share  your  convictions  and  concerns  with  partners  who  will  help  you  by   holding  you  accountable  for  your  new  commitment  to  practice  a  command,   principle  or  example.  Your  sharing  partner  should  be  willing  to  share  equally   with  you  his/her  commitments  to  what  he/she  is  discovering  in  the  Word  as  you   study  it  together.  The  key  is  to  struggle  together  honestly.   3.  Pray  for  one  another  for  divine  help,  strength,  power,  direction,  and  wisdom.  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


4. Never  be  critical  of  each  other,  but  encouraging,  regardless  of  the  failed  attempts   to  live  by  God’s  Word.    It  will  be  worth  it.    Victory  over  disobedience  is  freedom.       Work  through  each  item  discovered  to  see  if  they  point  out  any  applications  to  apply   to  your  life.    

Application Principles  to  Live  By  

Another  way  to  apply  Scripture  to  our  lives  is  to  discover  Principles  in  Scripture   that  can  be  applied  to  our  lives.  Every  Principle  must  meet  the  following    standards:     1.  Application  Principles  are  Universal  Truths  Transcending  Culture  and  Time.     2.  Application  Principles  Must  Be  Clearly  and  Completely  Supported  by  Our   Observations  and  Interpretations.  Keep  searching.  Recommendations  is  to  try  a   devotional  that  specializes  in  obedience  to  commands  like  “Truths  to  Live  By,”   Don  Fanning  at   3.  Look  for  evidence  of  the  character  of  God:  how  He  responds  (why?),  what   pleases  Him  (How?),  what  He  rewards  or  reduces  rewards  (why?)  or  what  He   hates  or  punishes  (what?).       4.  Look  for  repeated  themes  in  order  to  deduce  patterns  of  conduct,  attitudes,   priorities,  values  and  relationships.    Form  principles  for  each  of  these  categories.       What  to  avoid  in  Application     1. Do  not  confuse  the  Interpretation  with  the  Application.   2. Do  not  quit  when  you  do  not  feel  the  need  to  apply  the  Bible  to  your  life.   3. Do  not  think  that  emotional  responses  are  applications.  God  is  not  as   interested  in  how  you  feel  (i.e.  sorrow  for  mistakes)  as  what  you  will  now  do   about  a  command.   4. Do  not  expect  instantaneous  results.  Transformation  takes  time.     5. Do  not  be  frustrated  with  apparent  little  value  in  little  changes.       Finally,  as  we  noted  in  an  earlier  lesson,  the  goal  of  Bible  study  is  not  just  a  correct   understanding  of  the  message,  but  a  life-­‐transforming  experience  with  the  Word  of   God  that  impacts  the  way  we  live  and  act        


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Andrew Murray  writing  about  the  discrepancy  between  knowing  and  doing,   remarked:       “What  a  terrible  delusion  to  be  content  with,  to  delight  in  hearing  the  word,  and  yet   not  do  it.  And  how  prevalent  the  sight  of  multitudes  of  Christians  listening  to  the   Word  of  God  most  regularly  and  earnestly,  and  yet  not  doing  it!  If  a  servant  were  to   hear  but  not  do,  how  quickly  the  judgment  would  be  given.  And  yet,  so  complete  is   the  delusion,  that  Christians  never  realize  they  are  not  living  good  Christian  lives.   Why  are  we  deluded  in  this  way?  For  one  thing  people  mistake  the  pleasure  they   have  in  hearing  the  Word  of  God  for  Christianity  and  worship.  The  mind  delights  in   having  the  truth  presented  clearly;  the  imagination  is  gratified  by  its  illustration;  the   feelings  are  stirred  by  its  application.  To  an  active  mind  knowledge  gives  pleasure.  A   person  may  study  some  branch  of  science—say  electricity—for  the  enjoyment  the   knowledge  gives  him,  without  the  least  intention  of  applying  it  practically.  So  people   go  to  church,  and  enjoy  the  preaching,  and  yet  do  not  do  what  God  asks.”     Practical  Application  problems:     1. Basing  his  view  on  1  Corintians  6:1-­‐8,  a  pastor  stated  that  it  is  wrong  for  a   Christian  to  sue  another  believer.    Is  this  hermeneutically  valid?    Why  or  why   not?         2. Based  on  Ephesians  6:1-­‐3,  a  noted  Christian  teacher  teaches  that  children  should   never  go  against  their  parent’s  wishes,  but  should  allow  God  to  direct  them   through  their  parents.    Is  this  a  valid  understanding  of  the  text  as  Paul  originally   gave  it?    If  it  is,  is  it  as  valid  to  apply  it  in  the  same  way  today  in  our  American   culture?      If  you  answered  affirmatively  to  both  of  the  above  questions,  does  this   obligation  ever  end?           3. A  number  of  conservative  denominations  believe  that  Christians  should  totally   abstain  from  the  use  of  alcoholic  beverages.    Other  denominations  believe  that   the  Bible  teaches  moderation.    Study  the  relevant  verses  on  the  use  of  alcoholic   beverages  with  a  concordance.    Are  there  scriptural  principles  besides  the   passages  specifically  dealing  with  alcohol  that  might  apply  to  this  question?         4. A  minister  preaching  on  Phil  4:19  (“And  my  God  shall  supply  all  your  need   according  to  His  riches  in  glory  by  Christ  Jesus.”).    He  taught  that  any  need  a   believer  has  is  promised  God’s  provision  from  this  passage.    Is  this  a   hermeneutically  valid  understanding  of  the  meaning  of  this  verse  or  is  he   violating  a  general  principle?    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix A:    A  Concise  Summary  of  the  Content  of  the  Books  of  the  Bible     Old Testament Pentateuch (5 Books of Moses) Genesis. Describes the creation; gives the history of the old world, and of the steps taken by God toward the formation of theocracy. Exodus. The history of Israel's departure from Egypt; the giving of the law; the tabernacle. Leviticus. The ceremonial law. Numbers. The census of the people; the story of the wanderings in the wilderness. Deuteronomy. The law rehearsed; the death of Moses. Historical Section Joshua. The story of the conquest and partition of Canaan. Judges. The history of the nation from Joshua to Samson. Ruth. The story of the ancestors of the royal family of Judah 1 Samuel. The story of the nation during the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul. 2 Samuel. Story of the reign of David. 1 and 2 Kings. The books of Kings form only one book in the Hebrew MSS. They contain the history of the nation from David's death and Solomon's accession to the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and the desolation of Jerusalem, with a supplemental notice of the liberation of Jehoiachin from his prison at Babylon, twenty-six years later; they comprehend the whole time of the Israelite monarchy, exclusive of the reigns of Saul and David. 1 and 2 Chronicles Called as such because the were the record made by the appointed historiographers of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel; they are the official histories of those kingdoms. Ezra. The story of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, and of the rebuilding of the temple. Nehemiah. A further account of the rebuilding of the temple and city, and of the obstacles encountered and overcome. Esther. The story of a Jewess who becomes queen of Persia and saves the Jewish people from destruction. Poetry Job. The story of the trials and patience of a holy man of Edom. Psalms. A collection of sacred poems intended for use in the worship of Jehovah. Chiefly the productions of David. Proverbs. The wise sayings of Solomon. Ecclesiastes. A poem respecting the vanity of earthly things. Solomon's Song. An allegory relating to the church. Major Prophets Isaiah. Prophecies respecting Christ and his kingdom. Jeremiah. Prophecies announcing the captivity of Judah, its sufferings, and the final overthrow of its enemies. Lamentations. The utterance of Jeremiah's sorrow upon the capture of Jerusalem and

88 Ezekiel. Daniel. Minor Prophets Hosea. Joel. Amos. Obadiah. Jonah. Micah. Nahum. Habakkuk. Zephaniah. Haggai. Zechariah. Malachi.

Inductive Method of Bible Study the destruction of the temple. Messages of warning and comfort to the Jews in their captivity. A narrative of some of the occurrences of the captivity, and a series of prophecies concerning Christ. Prophecies relating to Christ and the latter days. Prediction of woes upon Judah, and of the favor with which God will receive the penitent people. Prediction that Israel and other neighboring nations will be punished by conquerors from the north, and of the fulfillment of the Messiah's kingdom. Prediction of the desolation of Edom. Prophecies relating to Nineveh. Predictions relating to the invasions of Shalmaneser and Sennacherib, the Babylonian captivity, the establishment of a theocratic kingdom in Jerusalem, and the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. Prediction of the downfall of Assyria. A prediction of the doom of the Chaldeans. A prediction of the overthrow of Judah for its idolatry and wickedness. Prophecies concerning the rebuilding of the temple. Prophecies relating to the rebuilding of the temple and the Messiah. Prophecies relating to the calling of the Gentiles and the coming of Christ.

New Testament Gospel of Matthew. A brief history of the life of Christ. Gospel of Mark. A brief history of the life of Christ, supplying some incidents omitted by St. Matthew. Gospel of Luke. The history of the life of Christ, with especial reference to his most important acts and discourses. Gospel of John. The life of Christ, giving important discourses not related by the other evangelists. Acts of the Apostles. The history of the labors of the apostles and of the foundation of the Christian Church. Pauline Epistles Romans. A treatise by Paul on the doctrine of justification by Christ. 1 Corinthians. A letter from Paul to the Corinthians, correcting errors into which they had fallen. 2 Corinthians. Paul confirms his disciples in their faith, and vindicates his own character. Galatians. Paul maintains that we are justified by faith, and not by rites. Ephesians. A treatise by Paul on the power of divine grace. Philippians. Paul sets forth the beauty of Christian kindness. Colossians. Paul warns his disciples against errors, and exhorts to certain duties. 1 Thessalonians. Paul exhorts his disciples to continue in the faith and in holy

Inductive Method of Bible Study


conversation. Paul corrects an error concerning the speedy coming of Christ the second time. 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul instructs Timothy in the duty of a pastor, and encourages him in the work of the ministry. Titus. Paul encourages Titus in the performance of his ministerial duties. Philemon. An appeal to a converted master to receive a converted escaped slave with kindness. General Epistles (not written to a specific church or individual) Hebrews. Paul maintains that Christ is the substance of the ceremonial law. James. A treatise on the efficacy of faith united with good works. 1 and 2 Peter. Exhortations to a Christian life, with various warnings and predictions. 1 John. Respecting the person of our Lord, and an exhortation to Christian love and conduct. 2 John. John warns a converted lady against false teachers. 3 John. A letter to Gaius, praising him for his hospitality. Jude. Warnings against deceivers. Prophecy of end times Revelation. The future of the Church foretold. 2 Thessalonians.

Adopted from: Nevin, Alfred, Ed., et al. "A Summary of the Contents of Each of the Books of the Old and New Testaments," The Parallel Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Aug 2002. 17 Dec 2003. <>.



Inductive Method of Bible Study

Appendix B:    Free  Bible  Study  Aids  on  Internet    

InstaVerse for  your  computer:    

Bible Software     On-­Line  Bible  +downloadable  library  (available  in  multiple  languages)    ($34.95)

http://www.e-­‐  Offers  a  number  of  aids  including  an   interlinear  Bible  with  Strong’s  numbers  linked  to  definitions  of  words   and  verb  form  meanings.    Plus  Parallel  Bible,  Commentaries,   Concordances,  Dictionaries,  Encyclopedias,  Lexicons,  etc.    

Bible Study  Tools     Strong’s  Concordance:     Interlinear  Bible     Nave’s  Topical  Bible     Treasury  of  Scripture  Knowledge     Baker’s  Evangelical  Dictionary  of  Biblical  Theology     NT  Greek  Lexicon     OT  Hebrew  Lexicon    

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Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix C:  Key  Understanding  of  the  Greek  Verb  Meanings      

The conjugation  of  the  Greek  verb  has  a  world  of  meanings  that  are  implicit  in   the  form  of  the  verb.    The  type  of  action  of  the  verb  is  essential  to  the  understanding   of  many  passages  of  Scripture.    In  this  study  we  will  utilize  8  different  tenses  of  the   original  text  that  you  will  read  about  in  the  lexicons  and  forms  of  the  Greek  verb.     Usually  the  implications  of  this  form  are  not  given,  because  they  are  expected  to  be   understood  by  the  Bible  researcher.    It  would  be  ideal  if  these  forms  were  indicated   in  the  English  text.       The  tenses  that  are  generally  parallel  between  English  and  Greek  will  not  be   given  additional  explanations,  except  as  the  implicit  meaning  is  not  always   understood  in  English:  the  progressive  sense  of  the  present  tense  (“I  believe”  means   “I  am  continually  believing”  in  the  Greek  present  tense).   The  key  Greek  Verb  Forms  that  need  to  be  understood  in  our  study  or   translation  of  the  text  to  an  English  audience  are  the  following:   1. Present  forms     2. Aorist  tense   3. Present  Imperative   4. Aorist  Imperative   5. Negative  Imperative   a. Present  Negative  Imperative   b. Aorist  Negative  Imperative   6. Perfect  tense   7. Imperfect  tense     Since  these  form  are  vital  to  understanding  a  number  of  key  passages  in  the   New  Testament  each  one  will  be  explained  and  illustrated.    It  will  be  very  important   to  work  through  these  meanings  or  nuances,  because  they  will  appear  many  times  in   the  course  of  your  study.       I.    The  Present  Tense     The  Present  Tense  in  Greek  communicates  a  continuous  or  habitual  action.     Examples  of  the  use  of  the  Present  Tense  in  the  Scriptures  include  the  following:     1. Action  That  Is  Continuous  or  Without  Interruption  –  John  15:4  "Abide  in  Me,   and  I  in  you.  As  the  branch  cannot  bear  fruit  of  itself  unless  it  abides   [continuously]    in  the  vine,  so  neither  can  you  unless  you  abide  [continuously]  in   Me.”     2.     Action  that  Occurs  time  and  Again  or  Repeatedly  –  Matt  10:1,  “Jesus   summoned  His  twelve  disciples  and  gave  them  authority  over  unclean  spirits,  to   cast  them  out  [repeatedly],  and  to  heal  [repeatedly]every  kind  of  disease  and   every  kind  of  sickness.   3.     Action  that  is  Customary  or  Habitual  -­‐-­‐  Matthew  7:12  "In  everything,   therefore,  [habitually]  treat  people  the  same  way  you  want  them  to  [habitually]   treat  you,  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Whenever you  encounter  a  Present  Tense  verb  the  Bible  researcher  can  include   one  of  the  following  implicit  words  or  phrases  that  best  fit  in  the  context:   continually,  repeatedly,  time  and  again,  without  interruption,  constantly,  habitually,   customarily.         II.  Aorist  Tense       When  your  research  indicates  an  original  Greek  verb  in  the  Aorist  Tense,  the   meaning  this  verbal  action  is  generally  considered  puntiliar.    This  means  that  the   action  is  seen  as  something  complete,  whole  or  a  once  and  for  all.    Such  action   (depending  on  the  context)  can  indicate  one  of  the  following:   1.  Action  seen  as  Effective  or  Successful  Action:    1  Timothy  1:3,  “…  so  that  you   may  instruct  [effectively]  certain  men  not  to  teach  strange  doctrines.”    Or  in  2  Tim   2:4,  “…so  that  he  may  please  [successfully]  the  one  who  enlisted  him  as  a  soldier.”   2.  Action  seen  as  Once-­‐and-­‐For-­‐All  Action:  Matt  5:28,  “…everyone  who  looks   [once]  at  a  woman  with  lust  for  her  has  already  committed  adultery  with  her  in  his   heart.”       3.  Action  seen  as  Complete  and  Whole  Action:  Luke  17:4  "And  if  he  sins  [as  a   single  act]  against  you  seven  times  a  day,  and  returns  to  you  seven  times,  saying,  'I   repent,'  forgive  him."    The  concept  includes  all  the  possible  occasions  of  this  act  as  a   single  idea.   4.  Action  seen  as  an  Anticipated  Action  or  Reality:  John  15:7  "If  you  abide   [actually  or  truly]  in  Me,  and  My  words  abide  [actually  or  truly]    in  you,  ask  whatever   you  wish,  and  it  will  be  done  for  you.     The  Aorist  Tense  shows  a  variety  of  nuances  that  can  be  communicated  with  a   few  possible  auxiliary  words.    When  you  discover  an  aorist  verb  look  for  which  of   the  following  words  would  best  fit  the  context:  effectively,  successfully,  completely,   once-­‐and-­‐for-­‐all,  wholly,  truly,  really,  or  as  a  single  event.           Imperatives   Greek  possesses  a  marvelous  capacity  to  communicate  how  an  order  or  a   commandment  should  be  understood.    Since  blessings  and  prosperity  depend  on  the   obedience  to  God’s  commands,  it  is  obvious  the  one  should  understand  the  true   sense  of  the  command.  The  two  main  form  of  the  positive  commandments  are  the   Present  Imperative  and  the  Aorist  Imperative.         III.  Present  Imperative     The  command  or  orders  that  the  author  wants  to  apply  repeatedly  or  continuously   are  written  in  the  present  tense  in  the  imperative  mood.    Thusly,  the  present   imperative  means,  “Keep  following  this  command  as  often  as  the  situation  or  need  is   present.”    The  words  in  2  Cor  13:5  take  on  a  new  meaning,  “Examine  yourselves,  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


whether ye  be  in  the  faith;  prove  your  own  selves.”    The  Present  Imperative  in  this   verse  shows  emphatically  the  danger  of  spiritual  pride  and  the  need  of  self-­‐ examination  as  a  constant  consideration  throughout  all  the  life  of  a  believer.    The   four  imperatives  in  1  Cor  16:13,  “Be  on  the  alert,  stand  firm  in  the  faith,  act  like  men,   be  strong”,  each  command  signifies  a  long-­‐term  commitment,  as  the  verb  tense   implies.         IV.  Aorist  Imperative     The  aorist  imperative  does  not  denote  a  long-­‐term  commitment,  but  rather  a   specific  and  definite  decision  to  be  made  at  the  moment  of  confrontation.  As  the   word  of  the  Lord  in  John  15:4,    “Remain  in  me,”  is  not  deal  with  a  lifestyle  in  the   future,  but  rather  a  calling  to  a  definite  sharing  of  essence  with  the  Lord  Himself.       The  calling  is  an  election  or  decision  to  be  made.    The  same  is  evident  in  the   exhortation  of  Paul  in  2  Cor  5:20,  “…"Be  reconciled  to  God!"    It  is  something  that   must  be  done  or  immediately  decided  upon,  once-­‐and-­‐for-­‐all.       Summary  and  Contrast  between  Present  Imperatives  and  Aorist  Imperative:   The  Aorist  Imperative  obligates  an  immediate  and  permanent  election  and  the   Present  Imperative  suggests  a  commitment  to  a  process.       The  Imperative  Aorist  normally  refers  to  a  particular  and  specific  situation;   meanwhile  the  Present  Aorist  normally  refers  to  something  more  general  and   repetitive.     The  Imperative  Aorist  call  for  an  decisive  election  to  fulfill  effectively  an  action   that  frequently  is  urgent  and  immediate;  the  Present  Aorist  calls  one  to  something   from  now  on.       The  Aorist  Imperative  demands  a  decision;  the  Present  Aorist  is  a  broader   consideration  of  general  principles  and  lifestyle.       Thus  the  order,  “Turn  off  the  TV”  would  be  in  the  aorist,  meanwhile,  the  order   of  the  teacher,  “Read  the  books”  or  “Study”  would  be  in  the  Present       V.  Negative  Imperatives     As  the  Positive  Imperatives  (“Do  something”)  have  two  forms,  also  there  are   two  forms  to  express  the  Negative  Imperatives  (“Do  not  do  this!”)    The  distinction  is   difficult  to  translate.    The  student  will  understand  the  unique  nuance  of  these   imperatives  by  grasping  the  implications  of  the  following  definitions.     A. Present  Negative  Imperative.   a. In  the  majority  of  the  Present  Negative  Imperatives  have  the  sense   of  “Stop  doing  something.”    For  example,  in  John  20:17,  Jesus  told  


Inductive Method of Bible Study


c. d. e. f.


Mary Magdalene,  was  not,  “Do  not  ever  touch  me,”  rather  He  said,   “Stop  touching  me”,  with  the  implication  that  she  was  already   touching  Him.       Greek  scholar  A.T.  Robinson  said  that  in  general  the  Present   Negative  Imperative  is  used  to  stop  an  action  that  already  is   occurring,  meanwhile  the  Aorist  Negative  Imperative  has  the  idea  of   prohibiting  an  action  that  has  not  yet  begun.       The  meaning  of  the  apostle  in  Acts  20:10,  “Do  not  be  troubled,  for   his  life  is  in  him."    The  nuance  of  this  verse  is  to  “Stop  being   troubled…”   When  Jesus  told  Thomas,  “…do  not  be  unbelieving,  but  believing.”   (John  20:27),  the  meaning  was  to  “stop  being  an  unbeliever.”  The   NIV  picks  up  on  this  nuance  with,  "Stop  doubting.”   Another  nuance  of  the  Present  Negative  Imperative  is  “Continue  to   refuse  to  do  something  every  time  the  situation  occurs”  as  in   Romans  12:14,  “…do  not  curse”   Summary:  when  you  discover  that  the  imperative  is  a  Present   Negative  Imperative,  in  the  English  translation,  you  can  add  these   nuances,  “Stop  doing  this!”,    “No  not  permit  this  to  continue   anymore!”,  and  “Continue  to  refuse  to  do  this!”  

B. Aorist Negative  Imperative  (also  Subjunctive)   a. The  Aorist  Negative  Imperative  has  a  different  focus  than  does  the   Present  Negative  Imperative.    While  the  Present  Negative   Imperative  emphasizes  the  prohibition  of  the  continuation  of  an   action,  the  Aorist  Negative  Imperative  suggests  that  the  action  has   not  yet  begun.   b. This  is  evident  in  2  Timothy  1:8,  “Do  not  be  ashamed  [never  in   whatever  circumstance  ]  to  testify  about  our  Lord.”    The  nuance  does   not  mean  that  he  was  ashamed,  but  only  that  he  should  absolutely   never  be  ashamed.       c. This  type  of  prohibition  is  evident  in  the  words  of  Hebrews  12:25,   “do  not  refuse  him  [in  whatever  time  ]  who  speaks.”   d. Summary,  when  you  discover  that  the  aorist  negative  imperative  is   used,  the  translator  can  add  one  of  the  following  phrases  to  the   translation  for  proper  understanding  of  the  nuance  of  the  verb:   “Never  begin  to  do  this!”;    “By  no  means  do  this!”;  “Never  begin  to  do   this!”      While  the  Present  Negative  Imperative  will  see  the  situation   as  something  that  is  going  to  repeat  itself  time  and  again  (or  is   already  occurring),  the  Aorist  Negative  Imperative  is  something   more  urgent  or  a  prohibition  more  authoritative  demanding  it  never   happen.  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


VI. The  Perfect  Tense     In  the  NT  Greek,  the  Perfect  Tense  communicates  a  complete  action  with   effects  or  consequences  that  persist  or  leave  results  or  conditions  that  continue.  It  is   an  action  in  the  past  that  has  results  in  the  present.   Frequently  the  saying  is  “and  actually  still  is”  seems  to  capture  the  nuance  of   the  Perfect  Tense  when  it  is  used  in  translation.    The  following  examples  illustrate   the  idea:     Hebrews  1:4  “having  become  as  much  better  than  the  angels,  as  He  has   inherited  [and  actually  has]  a  more  excellent  name  than  they.”   Heb  2:9,  “…Jesus,  because  of  the  suffering  of  death  crowned  [and  actually  still   is]  with  glory  and  honor”   Heb  12:2,  “Jesus  .  .  .  who  for  the  joy  set  before  Him  endured  the  cross  .  .  .  and   has  sat  down  [and  actually  is]  at  the  right  hand  of  the  throne  of  God.”     Perhaps  the  sense  most  frequently  communicated  by  the  Perfect  Tense  is  the   continual  effect  of  an  action  (not  the  action  in  itself),  that  should  be  determined  by   the  context.    For  example,  in  the  cry  of  Jesus  from  the  cross,  “It  is  finished”  (John   19:30),  the  Perfect  Tense  shows  that  the  result  and  effect  of  His  death  did  not   terminate  on  the  cross,  but  that  it  still  has  its  effect  today.    Another  example  of  a   completed  action,  but  whose  effect  profoundly  continues  is  in  Galatians  2:20,  “"I   have  been  crucified  [and  actually  still  am]  with  Christ.”     The  uses  of  the  Perfect  Tense  in  the  NT  are  very  important.    Actually  the   meaning  of  each  reference  should  be  determined  by  its  context.       VII.  The  Imperfect  Tense     The  Imperfect  Tense  is  used  principally  in  the  NT  to  communicate  a  repeated   action  in  the  past  that  never  finishes.    An  example  is  Mark  5:18,  when  the  “man  who   had  been  demon-­‐possessed  was  imploring  Him  that  he  might  accompany  Him.”     The  Imperfect  Tense  here  shows  that  the  man  did  not  ask  Jesus  once,  but  rather   begged  Him  time  and  time  again.    Normally  the  Imperfect  Tense  is  expressed  by  the   Past  Progressive  Tense  in  English,  but  not  always.         In  Mark  6:41,  “And  He  took  the  five  loaves  and  the  two  fish,  and  looking  up   toward  heaven,  He  blessed  the  food  and  broke  the  loaves  and  He  kept  giving  them  to   the  disciples  to  set  before  them;  and  He  divided  up  [time  and  again,  repeatedly]  the   two  fish  among  them  all.”     The  Imperfect  is  used  to  communicate  a  habitual  or  custom  in  the  past.    It  is   used  to  describe  the  custom  of  Jesus  to  teach  in  the  Temple  in  Mathew  26:55,  “…"Am   I  leading  a  rebellion,  that  you  have  come  out  with  swords  and  clubs  to  capture  me?   Every  day  I  sat  in  the  temple  courts  teaching  [as  a  custom],  and  you  did  not  arrest   me.”  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

The  Imperfect  can  also  symbolize  an  action  in  a  dynamic  process.    Luke  4:39   illustrates  this  nuance:    And  standing  over  her,  He  rebuked  the  fever,  and  it  left  her;   and  she  immediately  got  up  and  waited  on  them.  40  While  the  sun  was  setting,  all   those  who  had  any  who  were  sick  with  various  diseases  brought  them  to  Him;  and   laying  His  hands  on  each  one  of  them,  He  was  [continually]  healing  them.  41  Demons   also  were  [continually]  coming  out  of  many,  shouting,  "You  are  the  Son  of  God!"  But   rebuking  them,  He  would  not  allow  them  to  speak,  because  they  knew  Him  to  be  the   Christ.”     Also  the  action  of  multiple  of  a  group,  instead  of  a  single  individual  can  be  expressed   in  the  Imperfect:    Luke  4:36  And  amazement  came  upon  them  all,  and  they  began   [continually]  talking  with  one  another  saying,  "What  is  this  message?  For  with   authority  and  power  He  commands  the  unclean  spirits  and  they  come  out."    And  also   in  Luke  4:42  “When  day  came,  Jesus  left  and  went  to  a  secluded  place;  and  the   crowds  were  [continually]  searching  for  Him,  and  came  to  Him  and  [continually]   tried  to  keep  Him  from  going  away  from  them.”     The  translator  can  add  some  of  the  following  auxiliary  words  to  the  translation   to  grasp  the  real  sense  of  the  verb:  “repeatedly,  time  and  again,  customarily,   habitually.”  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix  D:      Different  Study  Methods     Book  study   The  Bible  contains  many  books.  Yet  the  divine  plan  of  God  to  redeem  men  in  Christ   Jesus  runs  through  the  whole  of  it.  Be  careful  to  consider  each  book  as  a  part  of  the   whole.  Read  it  through.  Following  these  suggestions  will  help  make  your  study  more   meaningful:     • • • • • • • • •

Read the  book  through  several  times   Mark  and  underline  as  God  speaks  to  you  through  His  Word.     Outline  it  with  paragraph  summaries  with  a  unique  and  distinctive  title  for   each  chapter.  No  other  chapter  should  have  this  title.   List  the  names  of  the  principal  characters;  tell  who  they  are  and  their   significance.     Select  from  each  chapter  key  verses  to  memorize  and  copy  them  on  a  card  to   carry  with  you.     List  teachings  to  obey  and  promises  to  claim.     Consider  the  characteristics  revealed  of  God  the  Father,  God  the  Son,  and  God   the  Holy  Spirit.     Write  out  a  personal  and  specific  application  from  the  major  themes  and   exhortations  of  each  chapter  of  the  book.   Share  the  results  of  your  study  with  others.    

Which book  would  you  particularly  like  to  study  using  this  method?  (It  is  best  to  start  with  one  of  the   shorter  ones.)  


Inductive Method of Bible Study The Book Survey Bible Study Method Form

1. Book:

Number of Chapters:

2. Notes on the Book:

Reference Works Used:

3. Book Background:

4. Horizontal Chart (use blank sheet of paper and attach): 5. Preliminary Outline:

6: Application/Evaluation:


Number of Times Read:

Inductive Method of Bible Study Chapter study   To  get  a  grasp  of  the  chapter,  answer  the  following  questions:     •

What is  the  principal  subject  of  the  chapter?    

What is  the  leading  lesson?    

What is  the  key  verse?  (Memorize  it.)    

Who are  the  principal  characters?    

What does  it  teach  about  God  the  Father?    

What does  it  teach  about  Jesus  Christ?    

What does  it  teach  about  the  Holy  Spirit?    

Is there  any  example  for  me  to  follow?    

Is there  any  error  for  me  to  avoid?    

Is there  any  duty  for  me  to  perform?    

Is there  any  promise  for  me  to  claim?    

Is there  any  prayer  for  me  to  echo?  



Inductive Method of Bible Study Chapter Analysis Bible Study Method Form


Chapter Title:

1. Chapter Summary:

2. Observation

3. Interpretation

4. Correlation

5. Application

6. Conclusions:

7. Personal Application/Evaluation:

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Topical study.     Take  an  important  subject  -­‐  such  as  grace,  truth,  prayer,  faith,  assurance,   justification,  regeneration,  or  peace  -­‐  and,  using  a  topical  Bible  and  a  concordance,   study  the  scope  of  the  topic  throughout  the  Bible.     You  will  find  it  necessary  to  divide  each  topic  into  sub-­‐topics  as  you  accumulate   material;  for  example,  forms  of  prayer,  prayer  promises,  examples  of  prayer  in   Scripture,  Christ's  teaching  on  prayer,  Christ's  ministry  as  we  pray,  the  ministry   of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  prayer.     Step 1 - Compile a list of words related to the topic you will study •

Step 2 - Collect all references relating to each word Step 3 - Consider each reference individually Step 4 - Compare and group the references Step 5 - Condense the results of your study into a brief outline Step 6 - Conclude your study What  topic  do  you  plan  to  study  first?   How  much  time  have  you  put  aside  for  it?    


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Biographical study.      

There are  2,930  people  mentioned  in  the  Bible.  The  lives  of  many  of  these  make   extremely  interesting  biographical  studies.  Why  is  it  important  to  study  the   characters  of  the  Bible  (1  Corinthians  10:11,  Romans  15:4)?       Using  a  concordance,  topical  Bible,  or  the  proper  name  index  in  your  Bible,  look  up   every  reference  to  the  person  in  question.  Answer  the  following  questions:     Step 1 - Choose an individual from the Bible for your study. See the list below for a selection of persons from the Bible. Step 2 - List all references concerning that person. A concordance will help if the person is referred to in the Bible by their proper name, but you may also wish to look for ambiguous references to the person (ie: Pharaoh’s wife, or: the son of Zebedee). Step 3 - Note your first impression of the person after your first reading of the passages Step 4 - Make a chronological outline of the person's life after your second reading Step 5 - Obtain some insights into the person after your third reading Step 6 - Identify some character qualities after your fourth reading Step 7 - Show how some other Bible truths are illustrated in this person's life Step 8 - Summarize the main lesson(s) you have learned Step 9 - Write out a personal application Step 10 - Make your study transferable Step 11 - Note someone with whom you will share the results of this study and commit yourself to doing this. Questions to answer for a Biographical study: a.  What  was  the  social  and  political  atmosphere  in  which  he  lived?   b.  How  did  that  affect  his  life?   c.  What  do  we  know  of  his  family?   d.  What  kind  of  training  did  he  have  in  his  youth?   e.  What  did  he  accomplish  during  his  life?   f.  Was  there  a  great  crisis  'in  his  life?  If  so,  how  did  he  face  it?   g.  What  were  his  outstanding  character  traits?   h.  Who  were  his  friends?  What  kind  of  people  were  they?   i.  What  influence  did  they  have  on  him?  What  influence  did  he  have  on  them?   j.  Does  his  life  show  any  development  of  character?   k.  What  was  his  experience  with  God?  Notice  his  prayer  life,  his  faith,  his  service  to   God,  his  knowledge  of  God's  Word,  his  courage  in  witnessing  and  his   attitude  toward  the  worship  of  God.   l.  Were  any  particular  faults  evident  in  his  life?   m.  Was  there  any  outstanding  sin  in  his  life?  Under  what  circumstances  did  he   commit  this  sin?  What  was  its  nature  and  its  effect  on  his  life?   n.  What  were  his  children  like?  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


o. Was  he  a  type  or  antitype  of  Christ?   p.  Was  there  some  lesson  in  this  person's  life  that  was  outstanding  to  you?  

Major Men  of  the  Bible       1.              Abraham  

9.            Isaac  

17.    Nehemiah  

2.            Daniel  

10.    Jacob  

18.    Paul  

3.            David  

11.    Jeremiah  

19.    Peter  

4.            Elijah  

12.    Jesus  

20.    Pharaoh  

5.            Elisha  

13.    John  –  apostle  

21.    Samson  

6.            Ezekiel  

14.    Joseph  –  OT  

22.    Samuel  

7.            Ezra  

15.    Joshua  

23.    Saul  –  OT  

8.            Isaiah  

16.    Moses  

24.    Solomon  

Minor but  Important  Men  of  the  Bible       1.              Aaron  

15.    Aquila  

29.    Herod  

43.    Kings  –  any  

57.    Pontius  Pilate  

2.            Abel  

16.    Asa  

30.    Hezekiah  

44.    Laban  

58.    Prophets  –  any  

3.            Abimelech  

17.    Balaam  

31.    Hosea  

45.    Lot  

59.    Rehoboam  

4.            Abner  

18.    Barnabas  

32.    Jabez  

46.    Luke  

60.    Shamgar  

5.            Absalom  

19.    Barzillai  

33.    James  

47.    Mark  

61.    Silas  

6.            Achan  

20.    Caiaphas  

34.    Jehoshaphat  

48.    Matthew  

62.    Stephen  

7.            Adam  

21.    Caleb  

35.    Jeroboam  

49.    Melchizedek  

63.    Timothy  

8.            Ahab  

22.    Eli  

36.    Joab  

50.    Mephibosheth  

64.    Titus  

9.            Ahithophel  

23.    Esau  

37.    Job  

51.    Mordecai  

65.    Tychicus  

10.    Amos  

24.    Gehazi  

38.    John  the  Baptist  

52.    Naaman  

66.    Uzziah  

11.    Ananias  

25.    Gideon  

39.    Jonah  

53.    Nathan  

67.    Zechariah  

12.    Andrew  

26.    Habakkuk  

40.    Jonathan  

54.    Noah  

68.    Zedekiah  

13.    Apollos  

27.    Haggai  

41.    Judas  Iscariot  

55.    Philemon  

69.    Zephaniah  

14.    Apostles  –  any  

28.    Haman  

42.    Judges  –  any  

56.    Philip  

70.    Zerubbabel  


Prominent Women  of  the  Bible       1.              Abigail  

11.    Eunice  

21.    Mary  Magdalene  

31.    Rebecca  

2.            Abishag  

12.    Eve  

22.    Mary  of  Bethany  

32.    Ruth  

3.            Anna  

13.    Hagar  

23.    Michal  

33.    Sapphira  

4.            Bathsheba  

14.    Hannah  

24.    Miriam  

34.    Sarah  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

5.            Deborah  

15.    Jezebel  

25.    Naaman’s  maid  

35.    The  Shunammite  

6.            Delilah  

16.    Jochebed  

26.    Naomi  

36.    Vashti  

7.            Dinah  

17.    Leah  

27.    Priscilla  

37.    Zipporah  

8.            Dorcas  

18.    Lydia  

28.    Queen  of  Sheba  

9.            Elizabeth  

19.    Martha  

29.    Rachel  

10.    Esther  

20.    Mary  –  Jesus’  mother   30.      Rahab  

  Reputation       1.            Who  wrote  what  we  know  about  this  person?   2.            What  did  people  say  about  him/her?   3.            What  did  his  enemies  say  about  him/her?   4.            What  did  his/her  family  (wife/husband,  children,  brothers,  sisters,  parents)  say   about  him/her?   5.            What  did  God  say  about  him/her?   6.            Why  do  you  think  God  allowed  this  person  to  be  mentioned  in  the  Bible?       Tests  of  Character       1.            What  were  his/her  aims  and  motives?   2.            What  was  he/she  like  in  his  home?   3.            How  did  he/she  respond  to  failure?  Did  he/she  get  discouraged  easily?   4.            How  did  he/she  respond  to  adversity?  Did  he/she  handle  criticism  well?   5.            How  did  he/she  respond  to  success?  Did  he/she  get  proud  when  praised?   6.            How  did  he/she  respond  to  the  trivial  and  mundane  things  in  life?  Was  he/she   faithful  in  the  little  things?   7.            How  quickly  did  he/she  praise  God  for  the  good/bad  things  that  happened  to   him/her?   8.            How  quickly  did  he/she  obey  God  when  told  to  do  something?       Background       1.            What  can  you  discover  about  his/her  family  and  ancestry?   2.            What  does  his/her  name  mean?  Why  was  he/she  given  that  name?  Was  it  ever   changed?   3.            What  was  his/her  home  life  like?  How  was  he/she  raised?  Where  was  he/she   raised?   4.            What  were  the  characteristics  of  his/her  parents?  Did  they  influence  him/her?   5.            Was  there  anything  special  about  his/her  birth?   6.            Where  did  he/she  live?  What  was  his/her  everyday  life  like?   7.            Was  he/she  exposed  to  other  cultures?  Did  they  affect  him/her  in  any  way?   8.            What  was  the  condition  of  his/her  country  -­‐-­‐  politically  and  spiritually  -­‐-­‐  during   his/her  lifetime?   9.            What  kind  of  training  did  he/she  have?  Did  he/she  have  any  schooling?  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


10.      What  was  his/her  occupation?   11.        How  long  did  he/she  live?  Where  did  he/she  die?  How  did  he/she  die?       Significant  Events       1.            Was  there  any  great  crisis  in  his/her  life?  How  did  he/she  handle  it?   2.            What  are  the  great  accomplishments  for  which  he/she  is  remembered?   3.            Did  he/she  experience  a  divine  ‘call?’  How  did  he/she  respond  to  it?   4.            What  crucial  decisions  did  he/she  have  to  make?  How  did  they  affect  him/her?   Others?   5.            Did  any  recurring  problem  keep  coming  up  in  his/her  life?   6.            Where  did  he/she  succeed?  Where  did  he/she  fail?  Why?   7.            How  did  the  environment  and  circumstances  affect  him/her?   8.            What  part  did  he/she  play  in  the  history  of  God’s  plan?   9.            Did  he/she  believe  in  the  sovereignty  of  God  (God’s  control  over  all  events)?       Relationships       1.            How  did  he/she  get  along  with  other  people?  Was  he/she  a  loner?  Was  he/she   a  team  person?   2.            How  did  he/she  treat  other  people?  Did  he/she  use  them  of  serve  them?   3.            What  was  his/her  wife/husband  like?  How  did  she/he  influence  him/her/her?   4.            What  were  his/her  children  like?  How  did  they  influence  him/her?   5.            Who  were  his/her  close  companions?  What  were  they  like?  How  did  they   influence  him/her?   6.            Who  were  his/her  enemies?  What  were  they  like?  How  did  they  influence   him/her?   7.            What  influence  did  he/she  have  on  others?  On  his  nation?  On  other  nations?   8.            Did  he/she  take  care  of  his  family?  How  did  his/her  children  turn  out?   9.            Did  his/her  friends  and  family  help  or  hinder  him/her  in  serving  the  Lord?   10.        Did  he/she  train  anyone  to  take  his  place?  Did  he/she  leave  a  "Timothy"   (disciple)  behind?       Personality       1.            What  type  of  person  was  he/she?  What  made  him/her  the  way  he/she  was?   2.            Was  his/her  temperament  choleric,  melancholic,  sanguine,  or  phlegmatic?   3.            What  were  the  outstanding  strengths  in  his/her  character?  What  traits  did   he/she  have?   4.            Did  his/her  life  show  any  development  of  character  as  time  passed?  Was  there   growth  and  progression  there?   5.            What  were  his/her  particular  faults  and  weaknesses?   6.            What  were  his/her  particular  sins?  What  steps  led  to  those  sins?   7.            In  what  area  was  his/her  greatest  battle:  lust  of  the  flesh,  lust  of  the  eyes,  or   pride  of  life,  ...etc.?   8.            What  were  the  results  of  his/her  sins  and  weaknesses?   9.            Did  he/she  ever  get  the  victory  over  his  particular  sins  and  weaknesses?  


Inductive Method of Bible Study

10.      What  qualities  made  him/her  a  success  or  failure?   Retrieved  from  

Inductive Method of Bible Study

The Biographical Bible Study Method Form 1. Name of Bible Personality: 2. Scripture References:

4. Chronology (second reading):

3. First Impressions (first reading):

5. General Insights (third reading):

6. Character Qualities (fourth reading):

7. Illustrated Bible Truths:

8. Summary of Lessons Learned:

9. Personal Application/Evaluation:

10. Transferability Concepts:

11. Person to Share this Study with (and why):



Inductive Method of Bible Study

A List of Positive Character Qualities to Find   A  Servant  



Obedience Observer  

Sense of  Humor  








Good Stewardship  




























Characterized by  the  






















Man of  Faith  
























A List of Negative Character Qualities to Find   A  Busybody  


Friend of  the  



A Cop-­‐out  





A Doubter  





A Drunkard  





A Liar  



Loves Men's  Praise  


A Sluggard  





A Worrier  



Lusts for  Power  







Angry Without  




















Inductive Method of Bible Study



Doctrinally Off  














Ashamed of  Christ  











Fears Men  

Independent Spirit  

Rejoices in  Evil  























Forgets God  





Practice  Exercise:  Analyze  the  Apostle  Paul  in  1  Thessalonians  1-­‐2.         How  many  characteristics  of  his  ministry  can  you  find  in  this  passage?                 Which  ones  had  the  most  influence  over  the  lives  of  the  Thessalonians?                   Should  we  let  these  examples  have  imperatival  force  over  our  lives,  that  is,  why  did   God  lead  Paul  to  write  about  his  personal  ministry?      

Was he  bragging  or  intentionally  setting  an  example  for  others  to  follow?    


Inductive Method of Bible Study

The Character  Quality  Bible  Study  Method  Form  

1. Character Quality:

2. Opposite Quality:

3. Simple Word Study:

4. Cross Reference Insights:

5. Simple Biographical Study:

6. Memory Verse(s):

7. Situational Application: (where God wants you to work on this quality in your life)

8. My Project:

9. Progress Report:

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix E:    Brief  Chronology  of  the  Bible       Book     Author     Date     Summary    Old  Testament  

Genesis   Moses     Exodus     Moses     Leviticus     Moses     Numbers     Moses     Deuteronomy     Moses     Joshua     Joshua     Judges     Uncertain     Ruth     Uncertain     1  Samuel     Samuel     2  Samuel     Samuel     1  Kings     Jeremiah     2  Kings     Jeremiah     1  Chronicles     Ezra     2  Chronicles     Ezra     Ezra     Ezra     Nehemiah     Nehemiah     Esther     Uncertain     Job     Uncertain     Psalms     Various     Proverbs     Solomon       &  Others     Ecclesiastes     Solomon     Song  of  Solomon    Solomon     Isaiah     Isaiah     Jeremiah     Jeremiah     Lamentations     Jeremiah     Ezekiel     Ezekiel     Daniel     Daniel     Hosea     Hosea     Joel     Joel     Amos     Amos     Obadiah     Obadiah     Jonah     Jonah     Micah     Micah     Nahum     Nahum     Habakkuk     Habakkuk     Zephaniah     Zephaniah     Haggai     Haggai     Zechariah     Zechariah     Malachi     Malachi    

1450-­‐1410 BC     1450-­‐1410  BC     1450-­‐1410  BC     1450-­‐1410  BC     1410  BC     1400-­‐1370  BC     1050-­‐1000  BC     1000  BC     930  BC     930  BC     550  BC     550  BC     450-­‐425  BC     450-­‐425  BC     456-­‐444  BC     445-­‐425  BC     465  BC     Uncertain     Various    

The Beginning  of  the  World,  Man’s  Fall,  Israel’s  origin.   God  Rescues  His  People  from  Slavery  in  Egypt  thru  Moses.   God’s  Laws  for  Israel.   Israel’s  40  years  of  Wandering  in  the  Sinai.   Moses’  Last  Words  to  Israel.   The  Israelites’  Conquest  of  Canaan  Led  by  Joshua.   Heroes  of  Israel:  Post  Conquest  &  Pre-­‐  Kingdom.   Story  of  Ruth,  a  Moabite  and  Member  of  David’s  Line.   The  First  Two  Kings  of  Israel:  Saul  and  David.   Reign  of  King  David.   Reign  of  King  Solomon  and  the  Divided  Kingdom.   Elijah,  Elisha,  Assyrian  and  Babylonian  Conquest,  and  Exile.   Reign  of  Kings  Saul  and  David.   Reign  of  King  Solomon,  Divided  Kingdom  and  Exile  to  Babylon.   Israelites  Return  to  Jerusalem  to  Rebuild  Temple.   Israelites  Return  to  Rebuilds  walls  of  Jerusalem  .   Esther,  a  Jewess,  Becomes  Queen  of  Persia.   Job,  a  Righteous  Man,  Undergoes  Extreme  Tribulation.   A  Collection  of  150  Psalms  and  Prayers.  

950-­‐700 BC     935  BC     965  BC     740-­‐680  BC     627-­‐585  BC     586-­‐585  BC     592-­‐570  BC     537  BC     710  BC     835  BC     755  BC     840/586  BC     760  BC     700  BC     663-­‐612  BC     607  BC     625  BC     520  BC     520-­‐518  BC     450-­‐400  BC    

A Collection  of  Wise  Sayings  of  King  Solomon  and  Others.   King  Solomon  Answers  the  Question  of  Meaning  in  Life.   Songs  that  Express  the  Love  Between  a  Man  and  His  Bride.   Prophecies  of  God’s  Judgment  and  Redemption  of  Israel.   Prophecies  of  God’s  Judgment  of  Israel.   Expressions  of  Anguish  Over  Jerusalem’s  Destruction.   Prophecies  of  Ezekiel  During  Exile  in  Babylon.   Story  of  King  Nebuchadnezzar  &  Prophecies  of  Daniel.   Hosea’s  Broken  Marriage  a  Picture  of  Israel’s  Betrayal  of  God.   Prophecy  of  God’s  Coming  Judgment.   Amos  Speaks  Out  Against  Social  Injustice.   Obadiah’s  Prophecy  Against  the  Edomites.   Jonah’s  Reluctance  to  Prophesy  Lands  Him  in  a  Fish.   Micah  Prophesies  for  Social  Justice  and  True  Worship.   Fall  of  Assyria  and  God’s  Sovereignty.   “Why  Do  Evil  People  Prosper?”   Zephaniah  Prophesies  Doom  for  Jerusalem.   Haggai  Encourages  Israel  to  Rebuild  the  Temple.   Zechariah’s  Prophecies  Concerning  the  Coming  Messiah.   Malachi  Confronts  Israel  with  Her  Sins  Against  God.  

60’s AD     50’s  AD     60  AD     85-­‐90  AD     61  AD     58  AD     56  AD     57  AD     49/55  AD     61  AD     61  AD     61  AD     51  AD     51  AD    

The Life  of  Christ  Written  for  a  Jewish  Audience.   The  Earliest  Account  of  the  Life  of  Christ.   Account  of  Christ’s  Life  Written  for  a  Non-­‐Jewish  Audience.   Unique  Account  of  Christ’s  Life  Emphasizing  His  Deity.   Account  of  the  Origin  and  Growth  of  the  Christian  church.   Paul’s  Explanation  of  the  Gospel.   Paul’s  Response  to  Problems  of  Division  &  Immorality.   Paul’s  Follow-­‐up  letter  to  the  Corinthian  Church.   Paul’s  Response  to  Legalism  in  the  Church.   Paul’s  Teaching  on  the  Church  and  Unity  Among  Christians.   Paul’s  Letter  of  Encouragement  to  the  Philippian  church.   Paul  Writes  About  the  Supremacy  of  Christ.   Paul’s  Letter  of  Encouragement  and  Christ’s  Return.   Paul  Explains  More  About  Christ’s  Return.  

  New  Testament  

Matthew     Matthew     Mark     Mark     Luke     Luke     John     John     Acts     Luke     Romans     Paul     1  Corinthians     Paul     2  Corinthians     Paul     Galatians     Paul     Ephesians     Paul     Philippians     Paul     Colossians     Paul     1  Thessalonians     Paul     2  Thessalonians     Paul    

114 1 Timothy     2  Timothy     Titus     Philemon     Hebrews     James     1  Peter     2  Peter     1  John     2  John     3  John     Jude     Revelation      

Inductive Method of Bible Study Paul   Paul     Paul     Paul     Uncertain     James     Peter     Peter     John     John     John     Jude     John    

63 AD     66  AD     65  AD     61  AD     64-­‐68  AD     45-­‐50  AD     63  AD     66  AD   90  AD     90  AD     90  AD     70-­‐80  AD     90’s  AD    

Paul Encourages  Timothy  as  a  Church  Leader.   Paul  Encourages  Timothy  in  his  Final  Letter..   Paul’s  Letter  of  Encouragement  to  Titus,  a  Church  Leader.   Paul  Asks  Philemon  to  Forgive  Onesimus,  his  runaway  slave.   Jesus  Completes  What  the  Old  Testament  Began.   The  Proverbs  of  the  New  Testament.   Enduring  Persecution  and  Suffering.    False  Teachers  and  the  Return  of  Christ.   Walking  in  the  Light,  Loving  One  Another  and  Assurance.   John  Encourages  Love  One  for  Another.   John’s  Warning  to  Gauis  to  Beware  of  a  Dictatorial  Leader.   Jude,  Jesus’  Brother,  Warns  Against  False,  Divisive  Teachers.   The  End  of  the  World  and  the  Return  of  the  King!  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix F

Study of a Theme or Topic To study a biblical text one encounters many themes that provoke curiosity for what the whole Bible teaches concerning this theme. It can be a concept, a word, a phrase or a principle. There are many themes in the Bible that are worthwhile to investigate before continuing in the Book study. A study of a theme does not come from a single appearance in one paragraph, rather it appears in multiple passages. For example: study what the Bible says about laziness. The process: 1. Consider every theme in the Bible to be important, worthy of a profound study. 2. Choose a general theme in the Book. o Although there are many themes you have to focus en one. o Proverbs has more than 100 themes, and more than 80 references to “fool” or “simpleton,” which represent four different words in Hebrew. One could subdivide such a study along the following lines:  Characteristics of a fool.  Pleasures of a fool.  Lips of a fool  Attitudes of a fool toward parent, his work, discipline and correction, etc.  The problems a fool causes to others  What a fool cannot avoid, as long as he follows foolishness. 3. Make a list of ever occurrence of the theme in the order that it appears in a Book by noting the Bible reference.  This could be done in English  This could be done from the Greek if access to a computer software is available. 4. Classify the material that you have compiled. a. Group all the similar verses. b. Group them by emphasis: numerical, chronological, contrasting, etc. Example: “conscience” in the NT appears 40x and is classified in 2 categories 1. The unsatisfied conscience: weak (1 Cor 8:7), can become cauterized (1 Tim 4:2), contaminated (Titus 1:15; or bad (Heb 10:22). 2. Satisfied conscience: It is clean (Heb 9:14; good (Acts 23:1; Heb 13:8); pure (1 Tim 3:9); without offence (Acts 24:6). 5. If it is possible, take time to learn the significance of each occurrence of the topic or theme.  Use a simple Dictionary  You’ll see the word “conscience” in #4 is modified by 2 words. o Agathos, the most frequent, “good,” in the sense of being conformed to a standard or nor that is correct (Acts 23:1; 1 Tim 1:5, 19; 1 Pet 3:16) o Kalos, “good” in the sense of being beautiful or useful (Heb 13:5). 6. Note the relations between the uses of the theme in their context. a. When you take a verse out of its context – verses, sentences, prayers, or paragraphs –the correct sense of the theme can be poorly understood. For example: Phil 4:19. 7. Consider the application to your personal life of everything that you are discovering about the topic. (Psa 119:25; 139:23-24)


Inductive Method of Bible Study The Topical Bible Study Method Form

Topic: 1. List of Words:

2. Bible References:

3. Cross Ref's:

5. Condensed Outline:

6. Conclusion (summary and application):

4. Observations (for each verse in 3):

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix G: 20 Reading Errors 1. Inaccurate quotation: A biblical text is referred to, but is either not quoted the way the text appears in any standard translation or is wrongly attributed. 2. Twisted translation: The biblical text is retranslated without the accordance of sound Greek scholarship. 3. The biblical hook: A text of Scripture is quoted primarily as a device to grasp audience attention, then is followed by a non-Biblical message (Most folks would probably even dismiss it as too dubious had it not been preceded by Scripture.). 4. Ignoring the immediate context: A text of Scripture is quoted, but removed from the surrounding verses which form the immediate framework for its meaning. 5. Collapsing contexts: Two or more verses which have little or nothing to do with each other are put together as if one were a commentary on the other. 6. Over specification: A more detailed or specific conclusion than is legitimate is drawn from a biblical text. 7. Word play: A word or phrase from a Biblical translation is examined and interpreted as if the revelation had been given in that language. 8. The figurative fallacy: Either mistaking literal language for figurative or mistaking figurative language for literal. 9. Speculative readings of predictive prophecy: A predictive prophecy is too readily explained by the occurrence of specific events. 10. Saying but not citing: Saying “the Bible says such and such,” but then not citing a specific text. This is often indicates that there may be no such text at all. 11. Selective citing: To substantiate a given argument, only a limited number of texts is quoted: the total teaching of Scripture on that subject would lead to a conclusion different from that of the writer / speaker. 12. Inadequate evidence: A hasty generalization is drawn from too little evidence. 13. Confused definition: A Biblical term is misunderstood in such a way that an essential Biblical doctrine is distorted or rejected. 14. Ignoring alternative explanations: A specific interpretation is given to a Biblical text or set of texts which could well be or have been interpreted in quite a different fashion, but these alternatives are not considered. 15. The “obviously” fallacy: Words such as “obviously, undoubtedly, certainly, all reasonable people hold that….” and so forth are substituted for logical reasoning. 16. Virtue by association: A person associates his / her teaching, either wholly or mostly, with the teaching of figures accepted as authoritative by traditional Christians and not by merit of sound Scriptural teaching itself. 17. Esoteric Interpretation: The interpreter assumes that the Bible has hidden esoteric (private, secret, only meant to be understood by “the select few”) meanings that are open only to those who are initiated into its secrets. The interpreter declares the significance of biblical passages without giving much (if any) explanation for his / her interpretation. 18. Supplementing biblical authority: New revelations from post-biblical prophets either replace or are added to the Bible as authority.


Inductive Method of Bible Study

19. Rejecting biblical authority: Either the Bible as a whole or texts from the Bible are examined and rejected because other “authorities” (e.g., reason or other revelation) do not agree with them. 20. Worldview confusion: cultural misinterpretation and /or misapplication of biblical passages. Taken from James Sire, Scripture Twisting , p. 155 ff. , IVP    

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix H: Word studies of key words in Phil 3:10-17 Definitions came from Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000). “know” ginoskō Verb: aorist active infinitive. To know, in a beginning sense, that is, to come to know, to gain or receive a knowledge of, where again the perf. implies a completed action and is often to be taken in the pres. sense, to know. In the sense of to understand or comprehend, with the acc. expressed or implied. To know in a completed sense, that is, to have the knowledge of. “power” δύναμις dúnamis; gen. dunámeōs, fem. noun from dúnamai (1410), to be able. Power, especially achieving power. All the words derived from the stem dúna- have the meaning of being able, capable. It may even mean to will. Contrast ischús (2479) which stresses the factuality of the ability, not necessarily the accomplishment. “fellowship” koinōnías, fem. noun from koinōnéō (2841), to share in. Fellowship with, participation. (I) Participation, communion, fellowship “suffering” páthēma. The sufferings of a Christian are so called because they are endured for the sake of Christ and in conformity to His suffering (cf. 2 Cor. 4:10; Phil. 3:10; “sharing” or “conformed” summorphóō. Verb: A present passive participle, thus “being made conformed”). To make of like form with another, conform to. Pass. with the dat., figuratively (Phil. 3:10). “attain” katantáō, Verb: aorist active subjunctive. To meet. To arrive at a place (Acts 16:1; 18:19, 24; 20:15), to come to, attain (Acts 26:7; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 3:11). Of things to come or be brought to someone (1 Cor. 14:36). To come together” “perfect” teleióō. Verb: perfect passive indicative. To complete, make perfect by reaching the intended goal. Here the apostle Paul is referring to his own course of life that it was not always what God expected of him (Rom. 7:15–21). By the use of this word, Paul shows that he was not all that God wanted him to be at each instant of his life, but at the end of his life he would reach that goal (Rom. 8:23). “press on” diokō, To follow or press hard after, to pursue with earnestness and diligence in order to obtain, to go after with the desire of obtaining “take hold”


Inductive Method of Bible Study

katalambánō, Verb: aorist active subjunctive. In allusion to the public games, to obtain the prize with the idea of eager and strenuous exertion, to grasp, seize upon. Figuratively, to seize with the mind, to comprehend. “consider” logízomai. Verb: present middle/passive indicative, thus a continuous or habitual action. To put together with one’s mind, to count, to occupy oneself with reckonings or calculations. “forgetting” epilanthánō. Participle: present middle/passive. To lie hidden. To forget, not to remember for yourself. “behind” opísō; adv. Refers to former pursuits and accomplishments as in this context. “straining” epekteínō. To reach towards. In the NT, only as a mid. part. epekteinómenos followed by a dat. (Phil. 3:13), reaching yourself. “press” diokō. to pursue, prosecute, persecute, but also to pursue in a good sense. As previous. “goal” skopós. to look about. Goal, the mark at the end of a race. Also from sképtomai (n.f.): episképtomai, to look upon. “prize” brabeíon. to assign the prize in a public game. A prize such as a wreath or garland bestowed on victors in the contests of the Greeks (1 Cor. 9:24). Metaphorically, refers to the rewards of virtue in the future life (Phil. 3:14). “called” klesis. A call, invitation to a banquet. In the NT, metaphorically, a call, invitation to the kingdom of God and its privileges, i.e., the divine call by which Christians are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. God’s call is heard by all so that none may one day have the excuse that they did not hear the call and that is why they did not repent. Those who believe on Him and accept His call are truly saved (John 3:15, 16; Phil. 3:14). “mature” téleios. goal, purpose. Finished, that which has reached its end, term, limit; hence, complete, full, wanting in nothing. Specifically of persons meaning full age, adulthood, full–grown, of persons, meaning full–grown in mind and understanding (1 Cor. 14:20); in knowledge of the truth (1 Cor. 2:6; Phil. 3:15 “make clear”

Inductive Method of Bible Study


apokalúptō. Verb: future. Remove a veil or covering exposing to open view what was before hidden, disclosure. To make manifest or reveal a thing previously secret or unknown. “live up to” stoichéō. To stand or go in order, advance in rows or ranks. In the NT used figuratively, meaning to walk orderly, with the dat. of rule, to live according to any rule or duty, to follow, to live in conformity with some presumed standard or set of customs, i.e. the commands of the NT. “rule” (NKJ) kanon. A reed or cane. Anything straight used in examining other things, as the tongue or needle of a balance, a plumb line in building. In the NT, a rule of conduct or behavior. “join” summimētes. (lit., “together with” plus “imitator”). An imitator of or follower with others, a joint follower (Phil. 3:17), to fashion alike, to conform to. “take note” skopéō. Verb: present middle participle, thus be continually doing this for yourself. To spy out, look towards an object, to contemplate, give attention to. “pattern” túpos. To strike, smite with repeated strokes. A type, i.e., something caused by strokes or blows, a mark, print, impression. Figuratively of a person as bearing the form and figure of another, as having a certain resemblance in relations and circumstances.      


Inductive Method of Bible Study Appendix I  

Grasping the  figures  of  speech  and  imagery   Clinton  Lockhart  gives  a  simple  rule  for  determining  if  a  word/passage  is  literal   or  figurative  language  in  the  Bible  (Principles  of  Interpretation,  1984):    “If   the  literal  meaning  of  any  word  or  expression  makes  good  sense  in  its   connections,  it  is  literal;  but  if  the  literal  meaning  does  not  make  good  sense,  it   is  figurative....  Since  the  literal  is  the  most  usual  signification  of  a  word,  and   therefore  occurs  much  more  frequently  than  the  figurative,  any  term  should  be   regarded  as  literal  until  there  is  good  reason  for  a  different  understanding.”     Rules  to  keep  in  mind  when  evaluating  figurative  language:   a) Read  the  passage  for  its  literal  sense  unless  there  is  some  good  reason  not   to.    Avoid  the  temptation  to  “spiritualize”  or  “allegorize”  (looking  for  hidden,   secret  or  illustrative  meanings)  the  text,  trying  to  make  it  say  everything  but   what  it  plainly  says.     b) Some  passages  use  language  that  clearly  identifies  the  use  of  a  figure  of   speech  (esp.  with  the  use  of  “like”  and  “as”  in  a  simile  form).    For  example,   Moses  writes  that  manna  was  “fine  as  the  frost  on  the  ground”  (Ex  16:14).     c) In  some  passages  a  literal  interpretation  makes  absolutely  no  sense,  thus   forcing  the  reader  to  interpret  it  as  a  figure  of  speech.    If  the  statement   would  obviously  be  irrational,  unreasonable,  or  absurd  if  taken  literally,  the   presumption  is  that  it  is  a  figure  of  speech.     Figurative  language  continued:   d) When  trying  to  discern  the  “figurative”,  one  of  the  best  guides  is  the  context.   When  taken  in  isolation,  an  expression  might  be  either  figurative  or  literal,   but  in  the  context  the  author  indicates  that  he  does  not  intend  the  meaning   to  be  taken  literally.     Example:  “In  the  shadow  of  Thy  wings  I  sing  for  joy”  (Ps  63:7).  In  the  context   it  is  the  comparison  of  a  mother  eagle  and  her  helpless  eaglets.   (1) Simile: (Latin: similis, “like or similar.” It is the comparison of two or more things using comparative adverbs “as,” “like,” or “so.” Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.” Isa 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” (2)  Metaphor:  is  a  comparison  between  two  things  without  using  the  words   “as”  or  “like,”  but  is  an  implied  comparison  that  suggests  a  resemblance.     The  objective  is  to  give  the  reader  a  “word  picture.”  In  the  OT  they  are  very   numerous.    An  example  in  the  NT  is  “You  are  the  salt  of  the  earth…”  (Mt   5:13).    The  “I  am  …”  phrases  are  a  series  of  metaphors  (see  John  15:1,  5  –   Bread  (Jn  6:35,  41,  48,  51),  Light  (Jn  8:12),  Door  (Jn  10:9),  Good  Shepherd   (Jn  10:14),  Resurrection  and  Life  (Jn  11:25),  Way  (Jn  14:6),  Vine  (Jn  15:1,5).      

Inductive Method of Bible Study


(3)  Hyperbole  (exaggeration)  is  a  deliberate  exaggeration  for  the  sake  of   emphasis  or  effect.       Examples  of  hyperboles:     Mat  23:24,  “You  blind  guides,  who  strain  out  a  gnat  and  swallow  a  camel!”   Psalm  119:20,  “My  soul  is  crushed  with  longing  after  Thine  ordinances  at  all   times.”   1  Cor  13:1-­3,  “If  I  speak  in  the  tongues  of  men  and  of  angels,  but  have  not   love,  I  am  only  a  resounding  gong  or  a  clanging  cymbal.     If  I  have  the  gift  of  prophecy  and  can  fathom  all  mysteries  and  all  knowledge,   and  if  I  have  a  faith  that  can  move  mountains,  but  have  not  love,  I  am  nothing.   If  I  give  all  I  possess  to  the  poor  and  surrender  my  body  to  the  flames,  but   have  not  love,  I  gain  nothing.”     –

Personification:  a  figure  of  speech  when  inanimate  things  are  given   characteristics  of  life  or  personality.    

Moses  wrote,  “Sin  is  crouching  at  your  door,  it  desires  to  have  you,  but  you   must  master  it.”  (Gen  4:7b)     –  Anthropomorphism:  (Gk.:  anthropos,  “man”  and  morphe,  “form”)  when   writers  refer  to  God  as  having  human  form,  but  God  is  a  Spirit  without   human  form:       “the  hand  of  the  Lord  was  upon  him.”  (Ezek  1:3)   or  how  God  “whose  eyes  keep  watch  on  the  nations”  (Ps  66:7).     –  Analogy:  (Gk.,  ana,  “according  to”  and  logos,  “proportion”)  when  the   writer  shows  how  the  characteristics  in  one  situation  are  paralleled  in   another  setting  of  different  circumstances.       Psalm  23  begins  with  a  metaphor,  “The  Lord  is  my  Shepherd,”  then  in  23:2-­‐4   he  compares  the  relation  between  the  shepherd  and  his  sheep  with  the  Lord   and  His  people.     Then  in  23:5-­‐6  he  changes  the  analogy  to  a  host  and  his  guest.     –  Irony:  (Gk.,  eironeia,  “simulated  ignorance”)  expression  of  meaning   through  the  use  of  language  signifying  the  opposite  often  in  humor  or   sarcasm.  The  writer  states  something  that  means  the  exact  opposite  that   he  is  actually  means.      


Inductive Method of Bible Study “We are  fools  for  Christ’s  sake,  but  you  are  wise  in  Christ.  We  are  weak,  but   you  are  strong.  You  are  held  in  honor,  but  we  in  disrepute”  (1  Cor  4:8-­‐13,  esp.   v.  10).   “Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.” (Mark 15:19).   –  Paradox:  (Gk.,  para,  “beyond”  and  doxon,  “opinion”)  when  the  writer  uses   a  strong  expression,  which  seems  to  involve  an  absurdity  or  self-­‐ contradiction.  It  is  used  to  get  readers  to  think  at  a  deeper  and  more  critical   level.       “Whoever  would  save  his  life  will  loose  it;  and  whosoever  looses  his  life  for   my  sake  and  the  gospel  will  save  it.”  (Mk  8:35).     “The  last  shall  be  first  and  the  first  shall  be  last”  (Lk  13:30)   “Whoever  would  be  greatest  of  all  must  be  servant  of  all”  (Mk  10:43;  Lk   22:26)   “You call me teacher and master, and rightly so. And if I, your master and teacher, wash your feet, you ought also to do the same” (Jn 13:13, 14).       –  Other  figures  of  speech:  metonymy  (change  of  one  noun  for  another  –   “lips”  or  “mouth”  refer  to  “speech”),  oxymoron  (deliberately  joining   contradictory  terms  to  sharpen  the  writer’s  point  –  invisible  things  are   clearly  seen  in  Rom  1:20)  and  synecdoche  (transfer,  the  exchange  of  one   idea  for  another  –  the  genus  is  written  for  the  species,  especially  the  use  of   “all”  –  “Who  will  have  all  men  to  be  saved…”  (1  Tim  2:4),  refers  to  “all  kinds   of  men”)  

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Appendix J:            

John Wesley’s  Small  Group  Accountability  Questions    

John Wesley’s  method  of  discipleship  200+  years  ago  was  built  upon  a  high  degree   of  accountability  to  one  another  within  each  group  to  obey  what  they  discovered  in   their  Bible  Study.  The  society  meeting  was  a  large  group  used  for  teaching  the   doctrinal  beliefs  but  the  class  meetings  and  band  meetings  were  smaller  groups  that   were  focused  on  the  heart  and  accountability.  Before  joining  these  smaller  groups,   each  member  stated  their  willingness  for  the  following  questions  to  be  asked  of   them  at  any  time.  Even  though  the  England  at  the  time  was  experiencing  huge  moral   and  societal  upheavals,  the  questions  still  are  quite  startling.   1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite? 2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate? 3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence? 4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work , or habits? 5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying? 6. Did the Bible live in me today? 7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday? 8. Am I enjoying prayer? 9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith? 10. Do I pray about the money I spend? 11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time? 12. Do I disobey God in anything? 13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy? 14. Am I defeated in any part of my life? 15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful? 16. How do I spend my spare time? 17. Am I proud? 18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican? 19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it? 20. Do I grumble and complain constantly? 21. Is Christ real to me? Wesley  published  a  list  of  questions  like  this  in  the  Arminian  Magazine.  


Inductive Method of Bible Study


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The following  questions  were  asked  of  every  member  at  every  meeting.     What  known  sins  have  you  committed  since  our  last  meeting?   What  temptations  have  you  met  with?   How  were  you  delivered?   What  have  you  thought,  said,  or  done,  of  which  you  doubt  whether  it  be  sin  or  not?   Have  you  nothing  you  desire  to  keep  secret?     Taken  from  Steven  W.  Manskar’s  book  Accountable  Discipleship:  Living  in  God’s   Household,  Nashville,  Discipleship  Resources,  2000,  pp.  90-­‐97.      

"No man,  for  any  considerable  period,  can  wear  one  face  to  himself,  and  another  to   the  multitude,  without  finally  getting  bewildered  as  to  which  may  be  the  true"  –       Nathaniel  Hawthorne  in  The  Scarlet  Letter      

Inductive Method of Bible Study Appendix  K:  Leading  an  inductive  Bible  study  as  a  Group       Using this method of study not only will bring your personal daily Bible reading to life, but your group will be learning to read their Bibles on their own. Below are some tips to follow when using the IBSM as a group. 1. Choose a book from the Bible to study 2. Try reading one chapter each week (longer chapters can be divided). 3. Start by asking the group to find as much historical information about the book as they can and bring it to the first session. 4. Give everyone in the group blank study worksheets prior to starting chapter 1. 5. As a group, walk through each chapter paragraph by paragraph Before the meeting a. Complete the worksheets before arriving. Any questions you have about the text will probably come up during the meeting from others. b. Divide the chapter into segments (verses or paragraphs that tie together). c. Bring extra blank worksheets, extra Bibles, and extra pens to group. During the meeting d. Start by summarizing what you have already covered (go over author, audience, big themes). e. Ask one person to read through the entire chapter while the group follows (make sure you have extra Bibles if needed). f. Next, reread the chapter encouraging different people to read one “segment” at a time (verses or paragraphs that tie together). This time through you will stop and discuss what you have read. g. Stop and ask the group primarily observation questions (the “5 W’s and H”). You can use the headings on the worksheets as questions; “Who are the key people? What are the key events? Were there any problems? What were the people instructed to do?” h. Give group members time to fill-in the worksheets as you go. i. Look up cross-references / parallel passages as needed.



Inductive Method of Bible Study

j. Point out key words and themes along the way. k. Continue to summarize the big themes as you walk through the chapter. l. Start and stop on time! This method takes a little longer. You will need to work hard at staying on course. Leave 15 minutes for the three application questions and at least 15 minutes for group prayer. m. Pass out more worksheets for the following week

Inductive Method of Bible Study


Bibliography and recommended reading Arthur, Kay. (1994). How to Study Your Bible. Eugene, Oregon. Harvest House Publishers. Bauer, David R. and Traina, Robert A. (2011). Inductive Bible Study: A comprehensive Guide. Grand Rapids, MI. Baker Publishing Group. Carson, D.A. (1984). Exegetical Fallacies, Baker book, Grand Rapids. Chambers, Oswald (2000). My Utmost for His Highest. Grand Rapids, MI. Discovery House Publishers. Couch, Mal. (2000). An Introduction to Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids, MI. Kregel Publications. Evans, John (1982). How to Study the Bible: A Discussion and Workbook. Colorado Springs, CO. Thomas Nelson. Fee, Gordon D. (1993). How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan. Garland, Anthony C. (2004). A Testimony of Jesus Christ: A commentary on the Book of Revelation, Vol 1. Camano Island, WA. Spirit and Gerhart, Mary and Williams, James G., eds. (1988). Genre, Narrativity, and Theology. Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, GA. Hendricks, Howard. (2007). Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible. Chicago. IL. Moody Publishers. Jensen, Irving L. (1992). Independent Bible Study. LaHaye, Tim. (2006). How to Study the Bible for Yourself. Colorado Spring, CO. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Lockhart, Clinton (1984). Principles of Interpretation: As Recognized Generally by Biblical Scholars, Treated as a Science, Derived Inductively from an Exegesis of Many Passages of Scripture Revised. A. D. Bookstore. MacArthur, Jr. John. (1982, 2009). How to Study the Bible. Moody Publishers, Chicago. Manskar, Steven  W.  (2000).    Accountable  Discipleship:  Living  in  God’s  Household,   Nashville,  Discipleship  Resources. Morris, Henry M. (1983). The Revelation Record. Grand Rapids, MI. Tyndale House Publishers. Murray, Andrew (2008). Humility: The Journey Toward holiness. Radford, VA. Wider Publications. Nevin, Alfred, Ed., et al. "A Summary of the Contents of Each of the Books of the Old and New Testaments," The Parallel Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Aug 2002. Retrieved 17 Dec 2003 from Nielson, Kathleen Buswell. (2011). Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word. Good News Publishers. Phillipsburg, NJ. Precept Ministries International (2000). The New Inductive Study Bible. Eugene, Oregon. Harvest House Publishers. Ramm, Bernard (1970). Protestant Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: MI. Baker Book House.. Rhebergen,  Peter  (2010).  The  Bible  Study  Methods.  Retrieved  10/4/11  from   Rogers, Joseph R. (2010). How to Study the Bible (A Study Series): Applying the Proper Methods for Studying and Understanding the Scriptures. Sold through


Inductive Method of Bible Study

Sidney Greidanus. (1988). The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Sire, James W. (1980). “Scripture Twisting.” Downers Grove, IL. InterVarsity Press. Smith, Bob (1978). Basics of Bible Interpretation. Waco, TX. Word Publishing. The Navigators. (2002). Discipleship Journal’s Best Bible Study Methods. Colorado Springs, CO. NavPress. Traina, Robert A. (1980). Methodical Bible Study. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan. Virkler, Henry A. (1981). Hermeneutics. Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids. Baker Book House. Wald, Oletta (2002). The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study. Minneapolis, MN. Augsburg Fortress. Warren, Rick (2006). Personal Bible Study Methods: Twelve Way…. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan. Wink, Walter (1980). Transforming Bible Study. Nashville, TN. Abingdon Press. Zodhiates, Spiros (2000). The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers. Zuck, Roy B. (1991). Basic Bible Interpretation. David C. Cook Publishers.

Guide to Inductive Bible Study  

This introduction to inductive Bible Study is a key to correct interpretation and application of God's Word to our lives. This book is desi...

Guide to Inductive Bible Study  

This introduction to inductive Bible Study is a key to correct interpretation and application of God's Word to our lives. This book is desi...