What is inductive Bible study?


What Is Inductive Bible Study?

Feb 20, 2023

What is inductive Bible study?

Inductive Bible study is a method of studying the Bible that allows you to discover for yourself what Scripture says, what it means, and how to apply its truths to your life.

At Precept, we believe that the process of discovering truth for yourself is essential to knowing God deeply and living differently. With the right Bible study tools, instead of being told what the Bible says or what to believe, you’ll know what Scripture says—no matter what book of the Bible you’re in! And you will know that you know!

Inductive Bible study involves three components, which often overlap in practice: observation, interpretation, and application. In the coming weeks, we’ll walk you through each of these components so you can start utilizing this tried-and-true approach to studying God’s Word—and be transformed!

What is the main goal of inductive Bible study?

The main goal of the inductive Bible study method is to draw you into personal interaction with the Bible and thus with the God of the Bible! By knowing God through knowing His Word—and living by the truths the Holy Spirit reveals to you through Scripture—your life will radically change.

Inductive Bible study uses the Bible as its primary source of information about the Bible, so taking time to dig deeper into the passage of Scripture you’re reading—by looking at cross references, doing word studies, and letting Scripture interpret Scripture—will take your personal study of the Bible to the next level. Not only will you know what the passage meant to its original audience, but you’ll know how to apply it to your own circumstances.

If you want to know God deeply—and live differently—inductive Bible study is for you.

Benefits of inductive Bible study

Kay Arthur has said, “If you will study inductively, the benefits will be beyond anything you have ever hoped could happen in your own personal understanding of the Word of God.”1 And she’s right!

The inductive Bible study method makes Bible study personal. Someone can tell you about the beauty of the Grand Canyon, but until you visit it for yourself you won’t know its beauty firsthand. Through studying the Bible inductively, you’ll discover truth in the pages of Scripture for yourself—truth that has the power to transform you as it leads you into deeper relationship with God!

Studying inductively will help you

  • “be equipped to study God’s Word on your own
  • be independent of relying only on another’s interpretation
  • increase your knowledge of God and His ways
  • be greatly strengthened in your personal faith
  • recognize the authority of the inerrant Word of God in your daily walk
  • become increasingly aware of all that it means to be in Christ.”2

When you have the Bible study tools you need to read the Bible and understand it—and you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth—your life will never be the same.

Inductive Bible study for groups

At Precept, we believe you should discover truth for yourself—but not by yourself. Studying inductively in a group is a helpful way to learn from other believers and enrich your own personal understanding of God’s Word.

Rather than teach what they learned in their personal study, Precept Bible Study Leaders help their groups reason through Scripture together. They ask questions that guide their groups through God’s Word, allowing each person to discover truth on his or her own before discussing findings. When you are able to search God’s Word for yourself and share your discoveries with others, iron sharpens iron, and everyone benefits (Proverbs 27:17).

Getting started

There are a few ways to get started studying the Bible inductively.

Try the Method.

Ready to jump into inductive Bible study? Here’s a downloadable guide to help you get started: Precept Bible Study Method Overview.

Choose a Study.

Need help choosing a Bible study that will help you study inductively? With more than 250 unique titles covering every book of the Bible—from book studies to topical studies—Precept has a study that meets you where you are!

This downloadable resource will help you find the level that works for you or your group: How to Choose a Study.

Join a Group.

Precept Bible study groups meet virtually and in person all over the world. Find a group, and start learning how to discover truth for yourself, but not by yourself, today!

  1. Kay Arthur, David Arthur, and Pete De Lacy, How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-changing Approach to God’s Word (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2010).
  2. Ibid.

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