The Inductive Method

Each day you work through the inductive study, use the following questions as a guide to help you analyze the passage of Scripture. Once you have done this a few times, it will begin to become a habit you can use throughout your life to study the Bible.

Observation: What does the passage say?

Ask Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Look for key words.
Look for repeated words or phrases.
Look for imperatives, which are commands, warnings or admonitions.
Look for comparisons and contrasts.
Look for lists and progressions.
Look for cause and effect (If…then).
Look for connectives (and, but, therefore, for this reason, in order that…etc.).
Look for questions being asked.
Look for promises and conditions of fulfillment.

Interpretation: What does the passage mean?

To interpret means to explain or tell the meaning of something.
The purpose is to determine what the author meant by the words he used.
What is the meaning of a word, phrase or statement?
What is the significance of this key word, connective, comparison or cause-effect?
What is the implication of the use of this phrase, question or illustration?
What is the relationship of words or verses to other words or verses?
Process of Interpretation:
Check the context of the passage.
Define words or phrases used.
Study the grammar and structure of sentences.
Compare several translations of the text.
Study the background of the text.
Compare text with other passages of Scripture/cross-referencing.
Consult a commentary as a last resort.
Try to write out the central truth of the passage.

Application: What does the passage mean to me?

Is there a sin to confess?
Do I need to change an attitude?
Is there an example I need to follow?
Are there any errors I need to avoid?
Is there anything to praise God for?
Are there any promises to claim?
Are there any commands to obey?
Is there a prayer that I can pray?
Is there a truth to believe in?

Other Resources to Use:

“I prayed for faith and thought it would strike me like lightning. But faith did not come. One day I read, ‘Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now began to study my Bible and faith has been growing ever since.” ~ D.L. Moody

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” ~ Romans 10:17.