Although I’ve been familiar with this particular study, I did not ever use it until very recently, when I began a Bible study at church, using Kay Arthur’s “Covenant” study. For a woman who loves to read Scripture, and loves color coding everything – THIS study has got my heart fluttering! The Inductive Bible Study is meant to really dig into the Word of God and requires some time and commitment.
But don’t let that scare you. Inductive Bible Study is not just for Bible scholars and pastors. It is just a method that looks deeply into the Word of God so that you may fulfill 2 Timothy 2:15:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. (HCSB)
That being said, Inductive Bible study is not the ONLY Bible study to help you understand God’s truth in His Word. However, because it requires a deeper look into the context, meaning, and structure of the Word, it CAN help you in “teaching the word of truth” and sharing it with others.
- A Study Bible (Personally, I use the Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation.)
- Colored Pencils
- A notebook / 4×6 notecards
- Concordance, Dictionary, and other reference materials
Note: this is by NO MEANS a detailed view of the inductive study method. It is intended to shed a little light on the subject of this particular method, and to provide information to help you discern if it is the kind of Bible study you would like or should do.
The typical inductive bible study method uses color coding for words in Scripture. Some people do not like to mark up their Bible, and that does not mean that you cannot study the Bible using this method. In fact, you can keep your personal Bible pristine, and print a version for your study use that can be marked up in any way you’d like. The following are suggestions after review of Kay Arthur’s inductive study, Covenant, and also from personalizations I’ve made for my own use.
THE INDUCTIVE STUDY CAN BE AS PERSONALIZED AS YOU WANT IT TO BE.
Yellow = God. All references to God are highlighted in yellow. In some cases, God the Father is signified by a triangular symbol over the name in Scripture. God the Son could be noted with a red cross. God the Spirit could be noted as a cloud shape or wavy lines. I happen to like the use of yellow for the names and references of God.
Red = Blood. The blood of Christ, or blood sacrifice could be colored red. Also terms referencing salvation, redemption, etc. You could also underline or circle references to Christ’s blood or salvation in yellow to differentiate between animal sacrifice and Christ’s sacrifice.
Do you see how this works?
- Brown = earth / nature
- Green = geographical locations, time references; also could reference spiritual growth
- Blue = particular characters by name and coordinating pronouns
- Orange = an alternate color for people, humans, other characters to differentiate in a passage of Scripture
These are suggestions – and different notations such as underlining, circling, wavy lines, even little graphical representations (such as a book, a cloud, a flame, etc.) can be used to highlight the passage.
But this is only the beginning. Come back next week to find out how to go beyond simply color-coding your Bible, and learning to pull out the meat of the message from the passage you intend to study.
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