Tips to Inductive Bible Study
1. Read the text three times (at least). Annotate after first reading.
2. Organize your key words and phrases into lists or groups, for example: contrasts, progression, repetition, commands, notable phrases, themes, words of cause/effect, transition words (e.g. and, but, for, therefore, yet, however, though, etc.).
1. OBSERVATION: the answers should be directly from the text.
• ASK THE 5 W’s and H: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
- Follow the flow of the passage when coming up with questions.
- Use your lists/annotations to derive your questions.
2. DISCUSSION: these help you explore the text further.
• Ask WHY & HOW questions
- Explore relationships between observations
- Explore the relevance or meaning of certain phrases that you are not sure of (You may want to use the ESV Study Bible or cross-reference other Bible verses that may offer further explanation)
- Explore the significance of repetitions, patterns, commands, etc.
3. APPLICATION: these help you make connections between the text and your life.
- Utilize the discussion questions to come up with applications
- As a way to generate broader applications, think about how this message would apply to different groups of people (eg. lonely elderly, frustrated teenager, insecure woman, someone facing financial worries, feeling stuck spiritually, unthinking, or someone with past traumas, hurts…)
- Explore how the passage exposes or corrects any error in your belief or behavior.
- What are some ways you can obey God’s instructions to you as his child?