Studying the Bible can be intimidating, especially for new Christians.
Or maybe you’ve been a believer for a long time but never had someone disciple you in the area of personal Bible study.
God has given me a love for teaching and a passion for His Word. The inductive study method is the method I use in studying Scripture. I have 3 basic tools in addition to my Bible: 1) a good concordance/dictionary for words that are new or difficult to me 2) a Bible commentary/study Bible to help with the interpretation stage of study. 3) a notebook or journal to organize and keep my notes, thoughts, questions, prayers, etc.
If you’re new to studying the Bible, you can dive in to any passage of scripture and read with better understanding using this basic outline.
This method of study has three basic components: observation, interpretation, application.
This is when you read over the text and ask the question, What do I see?
- Are there any key words that stand out to you?
- Are there any words you don’t know or understand?
- Are there any stark or interesting details?
This is the section when you look at the text and take note of everything that you see.
Here after having read the text, you ask yourself the question, What does it mean?
- What was the original author’s intent?
- To whom was it written (who’s the audience?)
- Why was it written? (Purpose)
- When was it written? (Occasion and historical/ cultural context)
** The caveat here is that you are NOT asking what the text means to you. That would be to distort the author’s intent and meaning. You ask, What does this mean to God?**
In this section, you ask the question, How does it work? Or How do I apply what I’ve read and understood to my daily life? You’ve read and studied the passage. Now what?
- Does this passage lead me toward confession or repentance?
- Would God have me change something in my life based on this passage?
- How does this passage affect how I relate to God? To other people?
Pick one verse or word from your reading (observation) to pray and meditate on (application). Spend time in prayer, talking to God about His Word, seeking His wisdom and understanding through Christ.
Use this worksheet for your daily Bible study to build the habit of inductive study. Learn to ask questions, take notes, and apply what you have read.