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[This is a simplified study strictly adhering to the class notes of Dr. Howard Hendricks, Dallas Theological Seminary. A debt of gratitude is due to my beloved "Prof.".]

Overview of the Process

Method is methodicalness. That is, It involves taking certain steps in a certain order to guarantee a certain result. Personal Bible studies should have only one aim namely, Life-change. In order to achieve that we follow a method. The simplest method entails four important steps. There can be many sub-steps to these. Under observation, one can include summarization.

  1. Observation
  2. Interpretation
  3. Application
  4. Correlation

Observation: In this step, you ask and answer the question, What do I see? The moment you come to the Scriptures, you ask, What are the facts? You assume the role of a biblical detective, looking for clues. No detail is trivial. This step is by far the most important and one must spend bulk of the time here. The more time spend observing, the easier, consistent and sound your interpretation will be!

Interpretation: Here you ask the question, What does it mean? Your quest is for meaning. Unfortunately, too much Bible Study begins with interpretation and furthermore, it usually ends there. Before you understand, you have to learn to see.

Application: Here you ask and answer the question How does it work? Not, Does it work? People sometimes say that they are going to make the Bible "relevant". The fact is that the Bible is relevant. If not, nothing we do will help. The Bible is relevant because it is revealed.

Correlation: Here is where you actualize the timeless truths learned in Bible study to make a life change. If Bible Study does not bring you to this, you have not reached the intended goal. Approach Bible Study with a view to becoming receptive and reproductive by means of firsthand acquaintance with the Word. That is t say that in order to make an impact in the society we live, we must first allow Godís word to make an impact in our own life. Prolonged exposure increases acquaintance, which then allows one to be receptive and reproductive pertaining to Christian Life.

Questions to answer after study and reflection

(Please post the answers on yahoo inductive bible study groups. This is how we will hold each other accountable and along the way, it helps us benefit from the study as well.)

  1. What is the ultimate goal of personal Bible Study?
  2. How do we achieve that?
  3. What are the four steps involved in the methodical approach to Bible Study?
  4. In the four step model, where do you spend the most time? Why?
  5. Explain the "What" and "How" of Inductive Bible study steps.

    6.   Which is the "life changing" step in the process?