Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Inductive Bible Study

inductive |inˈdəktiv| adjective-Reasoning in which general principles are derived from particular facts or instances; a means of studying Scripture which proceeds from the observation of numerous, separate and individual facts rather than beginning with general principles or propositions.

I was first introduced to inductive Bible study as a student in Bible college, in a "Methods of Bible Study" class. At that time I was just learning the disciplines of study and so I never really mastered the inductive method. I just dabbled at it.

Fast forward a dozen years. I was reintroduced to the inductive method of Bible study when I attended a week-long workshop with my husband. The hours of daily, hands on practice enabled me to develop confidence, and mining the scriptures inductively became a passion and a joy.

The wonderful thing about IBS is that it only requires a good translation of the Bible, a pencil, and paper. It is simple to learn and implement, but very effective in bringing out the gems of truth in the Word of God. Junior High and High School students are well able to learn and benefit from this method, making it ideal for homeschool.

In a nutshell this is is what you learn in a workshop:

  • How to break down difficult passages of scripture into "bite size" pieces.
  • How accurate observation of a text clarifies Scriptures and makes the Word come alive!
  • How to develop study tools for effective interpretation and application.
  • How to make simple outlines of entire books of the Bible for easier learning and teaching.
  • How to chart a text once it is outlined to further break text apart and see it's depth.
  • How to teach the Bible in a way that others can follow.

From time to time, we offer an Inductive Bible Workshop at our church for the benefit of of congregation. The materials we like best to use were developed by Intensive Care Ministries, a missions organization that has served to train thousands of pastors and leaders in third world countries. Imagine what this tool means to a man of God who has no access to the commentaries and study materials so readily available to us in the U.S. It means that pastor or leader will have an inexhaustible supply of healthy food for the "sheep", the people of God.

Check out the inexpensive resources~ they would be great to use in a homeschool, learning co-op, or small group study. The program can be ordered on DVD or done as a correspondence course.

As I looked around the room during our workshop last week-end, I saw 50 people of all ages thoroughly engaged and focused on learning. I wondered within myself, "How will this one investment of time change their way of thinking? What changes will be brought to their lives and their homes as a result of actively pursuing the truth contained in scripture?"

I can say "AMEN" to the words of John the Apostle:
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."
III John 4

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