Inductive Bible Study
Ordered this book
book at amazon Bible Study that Works by David L. Thompson
Publisher: Francis Asbury Press; Revised edition (January 1, 1994) Language: English ISBN-10: 0916035611 ISBN-13: 978-0916035617
Inductive Bible Study method for serious students of the Bible online interactive lessons.
book at amazon Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics by David R. Bauer, Robert A. Traina
Publisher: Baker Academic; Reprint edition (August 5, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 0801097436 ISBN-13: 978-0801097430
Review - Worthy Sequel to Methodical Bible Study - By A. S. Keir
During my senior year at Asbury Seminary (1983), I had a conversation with Dr. Robert Traina, whose book “Methodical Bible Study” was the precursor to this volume. In that conversation, Dr. Traina expressed an interest in writing a sequel to his book - one that would address the most glaring weakness of that work; His sequel would explain the step-by-step procedure for doing inductive Bible study - the procedure he so effectively taught in his seminary classes. This book fulfills Dr. Traina’s intentions in exemplary fashion. Undoubtedly, this book will be the standard textbook for college and seminary classes for decades to come.
It is difficult to know how much Dr. Traina and Dr. Bauer collaborated on this volume given that Dr. Traina died in November, 2010. His contribution to this volume might very well be the lecture materials he presented in his classes. If that is the case, Dr. Bauer has done an commendable job of elaborating on those notes, filling in inevitable gaps that occur when explaining such a complicated process to beginning students. Those of us who studied under Dr. Traina (I majored in English Bible under his tutelage), will realize when reading this book that this is Dr. Bauer’s book. He is to be commended for an excellent volume.
Dr. Bauer divided his volume into 5 parts. An introductory unit explaining the philosophy of inductive study contains the most glaring weakness of the book. I would like to have seen a chapter on why we study the Bible. In my own teaching, my students cannot articulate why they study the Bible apart from broad generalities. Why we study the Bible dictates the method we use to study it.
The next four parts explain in detail the four major steps of Bible study: Observation and Asking, Answering or Interpretation, Evaluating and Appropriation (what we have often called “Application”, and the most neglected step of all, Correlation. A lengthy appendix addresses significant issues related to the inductive method. The extensive bibliography at the end is thorough.
Two other weaknesses come to mind: First, the book references a website on the inductive method, but the website needs more development to be useful. Second, in my conversation with Dr. Traina, he told me that he intended to provide a model of inductive study in his second volume. While this book does contain very helpful examples, it would be considerably more helpful if it provided a model of inductive study. The website would be a good place to provide such a model. My own website ([…]) will provide such a model soon. This book is not for laypeople (See David L. Thompson’s book, Bible Study that Works for an excellent resource for laypeople). It will be widely used in academia. And, despite its thorough explanation of inductive methodology, it does not take the place of interaction between a qualified instructor and his or her students. That being said, I highly recommend this volume.
Many people spend time studying the Bible, but few are able to study the Bible systematically and inductively. In Bible Study That Works David Thompson outlines and demonstrates a method of Bible study which is consistent in its approach and not controlled by theological presuppositions. This method, often referred to as the “Inductive Bible Study” method, was developed and taught by Wilbert Webster White at The Biblical Seminary in New York. From there the method was transplanted to several other seminaries such as Princeton and Union (Virginia), and taught around the world by organizations such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Bible Study That Works is the most readable and complete introduction to this method available today.