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How to Study the Bible for Yourself: Part 3 Inductive Bible Study

This week are going to look in to the Bible study method that is called the Inductive Study Method. Last week we took some time to dig into more of a personal contention with the scriptures with the Heart Seal Method. This week’s method is a little more of an academic approach when it comes to looking at the Scriptures. For me this is a great tool when I am putting together a sermon or going to be teaching on a passage but this is not a method I use when it comes to opening up my Bible with my big cup of tea in the mornings! For some people, this is the only way they like to dig into the Bible because it is more of a logical and analytical look at the Bible. I would encourage you to practice a long with me and see if this is something for you or not!


This is similar to the Manuscript Method that we worked through a couple weeks ago. This method also has times where you make observations, interpretations and application to your life. For the Inductive Bible Study Method, there are a couple other steps that I really like and I think will really help you lear about the Bible more! For this study, it will be helpful to have some other resources other than you Bible and your journal. If this is the kind of method that works for you, I would highly suggest getting a Study Bible. I have The Scofield study Bible and I like it but I don’t love it. I’m looking into getting a new study Bible. I know that the Jeremiah Study Bible is really good and I know there is the ESV Study Bible that is really good as well. (If you have any questions about choosing a good Study Bible, just email us at reverentrhythms@gmail.com). I would also recommend looking into bible commentaries. Theses are really good to use because it helps you understand passages that you might not quite get the meaning of on your own. My personal favorite commentary is David Guzik that you can find on blueletterbible.org. There are also some good commentaries on biblegateway.com and olivetree.com.

Inductive Bible Study Method:

Pray before you start! Ask God to give you the wisdom and understanding for the passage and then also pray that you would be able to apply it to your daily life!


#1. Background:

It is very good to know the background when you are reading scripture! Context is KEY! Depending on what portion of scripture you are reading, you might not need to do this every time. If you are going though one of Paul’s letters, you would want to know the background to start but you wont really need to review it every time you are reading in the passage, unless you would like to refresh. When you are going through more of the Historical books in the Bible, or when you are looking at things in the Old Testament, you are probable going to want to look at the background every time.

The background is looking at things like who wrote the passage, and to whom it was written. It is good to know when it was written and what was going on in that time period. To find things like this, there is usually a page or two of background info at the start of every book in your Bible. You can also look at commentaries or google search things like “historical context of the book of Hebrews” or “who wrote Psalms in the Bible”.

#2. Personal Paraphrase:

Read though your passage and then write down in your journal, as best that you can, what you think it means in your own words. This helps you get your mind into the passage and it also helps you figure out the things that you understand to the things you don’t quite understand. If you need help, using translations like The Message, The Passion, or even the Amplified Versions of the Bible are really helpful. These are good tools to use as well as another translation.

#3. Questions and Answers:

Write down some questions that you have and then try to answer them. Use commentaries and other resources like your Study Bible. If you have questions that you can not answer, please email us! We would be happy to go though your questions with you!

#4. Cross References:

Cross references are other verses that connect to the passage you are reading. These are verses that shed light on what you are reading or other verses that back up what the author is saying. Your Bible might have some cross references in it but you can also find them on Blue Letter, Bible Gateway and Olive Tree Bible. Write some of these down in your journal.

#5.Insight:

Write down any insight or thoughts that you have on the passage! Try to write down your own thoughts before consulting your Study Bible or commentaries!

#6: Personal Application:

This is the most important part! How are you going to tangibly walk out what you have learned in the passage to your every day life. We have talked about personal application in past post but it is really the reason why you are going through all of these other steps!

  • Questions to answer when you are looking at application:

  • Where do you see Jesus in this passage? How can you look more like Jesus to the world based on this passage?

  • What stood out to you? What are you going to do about it?

Now lets practice! We have been going through full chapters in the book of Jonah, but for the Inductive Method, I’m just going to use one verse to demonstrate how this works! Let’s use the theme verse for Reverent Rhythms!


Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”

#1 Background:

This verse comes from the book of Hebrews which it a fun one because we do not know who wrote the book of Hebrews. This was a letter written to the Hebrew Christians that were scattered because of the persecution from Rome. Normally, when we see letters in the New Testament, the author introduces himself within the first couple of verses. We see that in all the letters from Paul, Peter, and John. But in this letter, the author doesn’t identify themselves. The book was written sometime before 70 AD. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and there is no mention of this in the book so it is a good assumption that it was written before that!

#2. Personal Paraphrase:

We are able to worship God in the correct way that He deserves and be thankful because He has given us a ownership of a heavenly kingdom that nothing can come against.

#3. Questions and Answers:

Q. What does “reverence and awe” mean? A. This means to give honor to something, in this case, giving honor to God.

#4. Cross References:

Daniel 2:44 “And in the day of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever”

1 Peter 4-5 “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in heaven for you”.

#5. Insight:

Because we have the promise of the unshakable kingdom, I get to praise and worship God with all I have! There is so much joy and freedom in that!

#6. Personal Application:

Q. What stood out to me? A. The freedom and joy that comes form this verse!

Q. What are you going to do about it? A. This week I am going to actively seek out times to worship God, not because of my situation, but because I have this promise to hold onto.

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