Why?: If you're going to do inductive Bible study, how
do you begin?
What?: Remember that the goal in studying is to
understand what God said to the original recipients through the
human author's writing and then to help your learners apply that
truth to their lives. So, how DO you begin? Well, if you want to
know the meaning, you'll have to begin with the writing. Observe
what the author wrote. What words did he use to convey his meaning?
How did he form those words into phrases and sentences and
paragraphs? How did he assemble those paragraphs into the whole
book? Why did he put some ideas before other ideas in his writing?
Is he reporting history? Is he telling a story? Is he trying to
cause an emotional reaction? Is he trying to pass on instructions
from the Lord? Is he comparing things? Does he mention people,
places, physical objects, or ideas? All these are questions you
need to ask when you observe the passage. As you try to answer your
questions, what questions remain unanswered by the passage, itself?
What words, phrases, or explanations seem unclear? Write these down
while you are observing. Read the same passage from other
translations of Scripture. You might even want to listen to someone
read the passage aloud. As you study, are there additional
questions that come up? Do the translations differ in words or
wording? Jot down these additional questions. Are there words or
phrases that are repeated? Since every word is there for a purpose,
why is the author using the same words or phrases over and over?
Are there connecting words like "but, therefore, so that"? If so,
what are they connecting? Is the author comparing or contrasting
anything? If so, is it clear what and Why? Is it obvious
that there is some progression of time or physical travel in the
text? Why is the author reporting that? Does the author outright
claim some truth and tell his readers how to apply that truth to
their lives? We have worksheets available at TeachersOfTheBible.org
that help you think through the observation phase of your study.
The title of this observation worksheet it … wait for it …
"observation"! Some things don't have to be difficult.
So What?: If you want to know what the author meant,
you have to read what the author wrote. That means that you need to
be able to understand how people write to communicate. God
communicates to us in a language we can understand. So, observing
the text is simple. But, it's not easy. It will take work to
understand the depths of God's truths contained in His written
So What Now?: Will you commit to doing that work so
that you will faithfully teach the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth that God has inspired to be written down for
His glory and for our benefit?
About the Podcast
In these short episodes, Dr. Danny shares biblically-based insights on teaching the Bible. Published weekly, you can get a boost before teaching each week.