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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bible Study: Inductive Study, Analysis and Application

This is something I wrote for the Sabbath School Class I attend, it is a simply outline of the steps I use in Bible interpretation.

Inductive Study, Analysis and Application

By Ron Corson

In the practice of study whether of the Bible or any other written document there are three general steps. They are Inductive Study, Analysis and finally Application. Inductive Study can be defined as reading the text as if reading it for the first time without using preconceived ideas about the text. This is easier said then done for most Christians. We have heard numerous references to most Bible stories and many other texts in the Bible. What others have said about a particular text may or may not be correct however, so the point of Inductive study is to determine first of all what is the text trying to express. We are not trying to use the text to make a case for something though later we may; we are not trying to read something into the text though later we may see something consistent in the text with something else in the Bible. To some up Inductive study is: a term of logic by which a text of scripture is interpreted without pre-judgment using only the text and context and drawing logical conclusions.

Analysis is comparing and contrasting other information in the Bible. By comparing what Scripture says overall and making logical conclusions based upon the overall information. Study Bible Notes are frequently written from the perspective of analysis often comparing something in the text mentioned with a text elsewhere in the Bible or adding cultural information. Analysis using someone else’s analysis again may or may not be correct. So analysis has to compare what the Inductive Studies logical conclusion was with your own analysis or someone else’s analysis and drawing the logical conclusions. Analysis is best usually done with the aid of many sources of information because in analysis since a great deal of information has to be processed it is easy to overlook something. Something one commentator may overlook another may see and still another may offer something which disproves another’s conclusion. It is the realm of analysis that there are the greatest differences within Christianity, there are over 10,000 Protestant denominations recent numbers suggest over 33,000 however the definition of denomination may be misleading.

Application is taking the logical conclusions from the Inductive study and analysis and finding an application to one’s personal life. This can be a very subjective situation where the analysis may have general application it may have a particular application for the individual or it may not. This is the practical side of Christianity where the information learned from the Bible is applied to each individual’s life and relationship with God.

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