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A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

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Inductive Bible Study Key Phrases

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 9, 2013


This is the third in a series articles explaining simple Bible study techniques. This is one simple form of an Inductive Bible Study. Inductive studies simply look at words that are the same, similar, and related. The easiest way to do this type of study is to highlight the words as show below. Once words are highlighted, details are much easier to gather and study.

 

I first began using this method a few years ago. Once I began using this study method, I began seeing details in the Bible I saw before, but was not able to properly explain. It seems I was not getting the full story until I learned how to look at the relationship between stories in a chapter. Once I began highlighting key words, the relationships jumped up from the pages of the Bible. As I was writing books on the gospels I began to see patterns linking parables with a single theme revealing a deeper meaning. I was telling a friend about this when he told me about a book, “Life and Times of Jesus the MessiahAuthor: Edersheim, Alfred (1825-1889). You can search the book on the Internet and download the free pdf file.

 

As I researched Edersheim, I found out some of the most popular authors in the field of Bible study read and studied Edersheim’s book, using his methods of study to write Bible studies people still reference today. The key word here is reference.

 

I’ve read a number of those studies, approximately 150 years old. I was amazed at the depth and details contained in some of those Bible studies written generations ago. When I look at what is commonly taught today, I am shocked to see 90 percent of the information has been left out. Not only has the information been removed, this method of Bible study has been almost forgotten.

 

I only know one person teaching this method of study, Lee Gugliotto. He actually teaches this and other methods of Bible study on the Internet. http://webstudythebible.org/

 

You can watch live Bible studies, ask questions, and see actual, live applications explained step by step.

 

Following is one example of this simple method of Bible study that shows how this simple method a child can understand will show how God designed His Word to be studied and understood. All it takes is a little time and a few simple techniques. With the power of the Holy Spirit, everyone is able to open up the deeper meaning of lessons found throughout the Bible.

 

Matthew chapter 18 repeats the term little children a number of times. Tracing through the verses containing the words little and child shows God’s concern and what will happen when His little ones are neglected. Notice how the word, one (ones), is related to children.

 

Matthew 18:2-6 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. (3) Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. (4) So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (5) “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. (6) But if you cause oneof these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Matthew 18:10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

Matthew 18:12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?

Matthew 18:14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold–along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned–to pay the debt.

Matthew 18:29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded.

 

Once we the key words are highlighted, it is easy to take out the thoughts behind the key words and placed in a list. Once the list is accumulated, you can see the main theme in the context of the chapter and how the stories are connected by one common theme.

 

Jesus called a little child to him

put the child among them

turn from your sins and become like little children

becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me

these little ones who trusts in me

don’t look down on any of these little ones

one of them wanders away

go out to search for the one that is lost

it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish

his master ordered that he be sold–along with his wife, his children

begged for a little more time

 

Once the phrases containing the key words are collected and reviewed, the key thought linking the stories in the chapter is easier to see and understand. Once we see the closing statements beg for more time, it is easy to understand why. What is the greatest debt we all face? The price of our sins. We cannot pay the debts ourselves, only Jesus can, but look at how the texts are arranged to understand how the author led into this point.

 

The Author introduces little children and the important qualities they possess.

Next the Author pleads with the reader to become like a little child.

Following is a warning not to look down on little children.

The following story tells what will happen when one is lost. The shepherd searched for the lost one.

The end of the series adds an important detail about debt and needing more time.

 

The chapter closes with a story about two people in debt. Neither was able to pay their debt, a clear reference to our inability to pay the debt we owe for breaking God’s law. The story points out the second man in debt needed a little more time. When we look at the spiritual application, we don’t need time to pay our debts, but more time to tell others Jesus has paid their debt. You’ll notice the man’s friends went to the king to plead his case. The man could not pay his debt, and the king understood. Did the man have a chance of getting his debt forgiven if his friends had not been involved? Hence, Matthew chapter 18 reveals a vital part of God’s plan of salvation.

 

Once key words are identified, phrases containing key thoughts can be collected and listed. Reviewing key thoughts reveal the context taught throughout the chapter. This will show how one story in a chapter is related to the next. Once you see the common theme, details on the spiritual application will be much easier to see and understand.

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