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After we draw our attention to God and His character and actions, we want to spend time reading the truth that God has revealed to us. We spend time doing an inductive Bible study. Our desire is to understand what God is saying through the human author who penned those words as it was received and understood by the original audience and then apply that truth to our lives today. To do this we look at the historical context that surrounds the writing, the grammatical structure in the section, and how this section relates to Scripture as a whole.

The study is set up that the facilitator asks the group questions. The first round of questions are poised to draw out observations from the passage—what is found directly in the section. Secondly, the facilitator will move into questions that help the interact with the interpretation and biblical principles or truths those observations are drawing us towards. This section is typically where most people have questions about what a passage is saying and it is a great opportunity for people to weigh in ask those questions for the group to discuss. Finally we interact with questions that urge us to apply that truth to our lives.


These lessons are based off of the structure of an inductive Bible study. The inductive Bible study uses inductive reasoning to find the solution or truth. Most of us are familiar with deductive reasoning. This reasoning is used when there is a crime, like a theft for example. The detective will arrive at the crime scene, knowing what has been taken or broken, and will deduce from the clues at the scene what happened previously. Inductive reasoning goes about this a bit differently. This time, instead of knowing what happened, we arrive at the scene merely observing what is being said and what is being done and what is there. From those observations we conclude the message and the truth. 

We choose the inductive method because too many times we come to a scene in scripture with an assumption or inclination of the result—or should we say what we want to be the result. We want to read ourselves or our situation into the passage and so we “deduce” what God is doing or saying to our lives, often to get what we wanted all along. It is our hope and our aim to not read ourselves or our situation into the passage of Scripture but to understand what God is saying through the author to the audience and then apply that truth to our lives in how it relates to us today. 

Often, when I understand what God is communicating via the author I find what my assumption was to be shallow and the “easy way out”. When I see how God was confronting the culture or circumstance the story really comes to life. And it becomes easier and scarier to apply those principles to my life because I am better equipped to apply it to my life where I may be practicing the same things the original audience was.

Definition of an Inductive Bible Study


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