STEP IV: INTERPRET IT
The Forth Step of
Inductive Bible Study is Asking
the Big Question,
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
When observing we first ask what it says, then and only then can we examine what it means. This is the crucial step we have to undertake before we apply it to our lives. There are no easy ways out, or shortcuts to understanding any great works of literature, especially God’s Word!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Inductive Bible Study helps us study with a plan: consecutive reading, book study, topical study, and verse-by-verse. (Luke 24:27, Acts 17:11)
There are two main areas of “context”: “what are the “historical” and what are the “literary”settings?” That is the content of what is going on in the text. What is going on preceding and after our text? The type(s) of literature, and the various cultural factors.
Ask, as Interview the Passage:
ANALYZE by gathering facts and all the information available to you.
Do not solely rely on commentaries and study Bibles, nothing beats study for yourself, because you will get addicted to them. Use the commentaries just to see what you may have missed; look up the meanings of key words, metaphors and what you do not understand!
The BIG THING TO DO: Make an emotional identification into the text. Place yourself as a participant, being active in it as if it is your story, as if you are there.
THINGS TO VIEW AND ASK AND TO APPLY:
Now make sure you accept what it says: This is God’s Word!
“Knock, and the door will be open for you” - Matt 7:7
We learn by doing. So, do it!
Condensed from the book, "Into Thy Word"