Inductive Bible Study Treasure Hunt (IBSTH)
The Scripture is like an ocean which contains a lot of treasures. What kind of treasures can we find in the Bible? The greatest treasure is God himself (Gen 15:1). Through Bible study we can meet God and know him and have a relationship with him. Also, we can know ourselves, discover our meaning and purpose of life, and find stores of wisdom that guide us to a fruitful life. It is exciting to discover treasures. This workshop helps us to find these treasures. IBSWN is a website that helps you study the Bible through the Inductive Bible Study method.
What is The Inductive Bible Study?
The inductive Bible study method helps you study the Bible to disc over truth on your own without commentary.
There are two basic types of reasoning: dedu ctive and inductive.
Deductive reasoning starts with general principles and uses them to derive individual facts.
Inductive reasoning begins by accumulating facts and, from there, develops general statements and conclusions.
Both types of reasoning are useful. For example, in Accounting there is a general deductive principle that governs all that is done in that eld.
However, the natural sciences like biology and chemistry are inductive.
The problem of the deductive approach regarding Bible study is the danger of imputing a subjective meaning on the text which is not intended by the author.
Many people approach the Bible subjectively, interpreting Scriptures in their own way.
But the Bible is an objective body of literature; it contains objective meaning and t ruth waiting to be discovered.
For example, there are four gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke were writt en inductively.
They saw Jesus as a human being. But after observing Jesus’ life and ministry very carefully, they conclude that Jesus is God. On the other hand, John’s gospel was written deductively.
From the beginning, he declared that Jesus is God. Then he proved why Jesus is God in many ways, such as through the seven “I Am” statements of Je sus, and the seven miraculous signs.
Even though John was written deductively, we should approach it indu ctively to discover the revealed truth.
If one draws upon the Bible to reinforce their own ideas—even if the ideas are true—it is a misuse of God’s word.
We must guard against this. An inuential teacher on preaching, Haddon Robinson, urges his students to answer one question:
"Do you, as a preacher, endeavor to bend your thought to the Scriptures, or do you use the Scriptures to support your thought?"
To bend our thought to the Scriptures is to honor God’s word more than our own idea.
The Bible warns us not to add anything to Scripture, or to take away anything from it (Rev 22:18-19).
The inductive method is a safeguard against subjective interpretation.
Inductive study is the best way to approach and handle the Bible with respect, as the word of God.
Inductive Bible study consists of three component parts: observation, interpretation, and application.
Step by Step
Observation asks, “What does the passage say?” Observation is simply the gathering of all the facts of who, what, where, when, and how. Careful examination of the facts is the foundation upon which we build accurate interpretation and proper application of God’s word. Careful examination of anything requires time and practice. The more time spent looking at the text itself, the more fruitful our study will be. On the other hand, hasty and poor observation leads to misunderstanding and causes serious problems. As we carefully observe Scripture, the meaning will become apparent. However, if we rush into interpretation without laying the vital foundation of accurate observation, our understanding will be colored by our presuppositions—what we think, what we feel, or what other people have said, rather than what God’s Word says. We can say that good observation is the beginning of good interpretation.
Interpretation asks, “What does the passage mean?” Interpretation ows out of observation. Interpretation is not necessarily a separate step from observation, for often, as we carefully observe the text, at that very moment we begin to see what it means. However, interpretation can also involve separate steps that go beyond merely observing the immediate text.
Interpretation is both a science and an art. It is a science because it is done through a logical, orderly analysis based on the laws of interpretation. Interpretation is also an art because it is an acquired skill demanding both imagination and an ability to apply the “laws” to selected passages or books. When we consider interpretation as both a science and an art, we can interpret the Bible accurately.
Biblical interpretation entails a “spiral” of dynamic interaction. This spiral ows between the interpreter and the text. As the interpreter encounters the text, the text a ects the interpreter, thus enhancing his ability to interpret. This happens repeatedly as the interpreter continues to encounter the text and is enlightened until he or she comes to a correct understanding.
This spiral also ows from text to context, from its original meaning to its contextualization or signi cance for believers today. In other words, once students move from observation to interpretation, they will see the need to correct some of the observations they have made and will make additional observations. When students move from interpretation to application, they will recognize additional aspects of interpretation and correct some parts of their interpretation. This spiral ows between the interpreter and the text, and between the text and the context.
Application asks, “How does the meaning of this passage apply to our lives?” Application is the goal of Bible study. Application is not just a third step in the inductive process; it takes place anytime we are confronted with truth and decide to respond in obedience. Applying the word of God leads us to salvation and to grow in Jesus’ image, and equips us to do good work. On the other hand, Bible study without application leads people to become like Pharisees, whom Jesus referred to as hypocrites. The Scriptures were given “for rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness, so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Ti 3:16-17).
Now we will consider observation, interpretation and application in more detail. We need to discipline ourselves by practicing these principles to grow and develop our spiritual insight as Bible students. This cannot be learned through one workshop or presentation. It requires continuous e ort and a lifelong commitment. Without commitment, nothing happens.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2Ti 2:15 ESV)
The Scripture is like an ocean which contains a lot of treasures. What kind of treasures can we nd in the Bible? The greatest treasure is God himself (Gen 15:1). Through Bible study we can meet God and know him and have a relationship with him. Also, we can know ourselves, discover our meaning and purpose of life, and nd stores of wisdom that guide us to a fruitful life. It is exciting to discover treasures. This workshop helps us to nd these treasures.
The key word in 2 Timothy 2:15 is handle, which comes from the Greek word óρθοτομέω (orthotomeo). It is actually a combination of two Greek words: orthos (where we get the words orthodox or orthopedic), which means “straight,” and temno which means “to cut.” It was used in the rst century to refer to cutting a path through a forest area. This verse is essentially saying that we should cut a straight path to the truth. In other words, we should give accurate instruction—to teach correctly or to expound rightly. In this, we should do our best to present ourselves to God as his approved worker, who does not need to be ashamed. This applies to our personal Bible study, one-to-one or group Bible study, and to public preaching—such as the Sunday message or conference messages.
This website will allow you to personally explore and study the Bible in the Inductive Bible Study method.
Our goal is for you to have fun and be be interested in reading and studying the Bible and to continue to explore the word of truth anywhere and anytime.