25 May 2012

Inductive Bible Study, Part 5: The Choice

Dear Lissy,
When I began taking piano as a first grader, I was taught using classical methods.  I never played a hymn until I began accompanying the children's choir in our church in seventh grade.  Transitioning from classical to hymns was difficult, but I had already mastered the basics:  chords, scales, key signatures, and the like. I was excited to finally be able to use my music for something more than a "dumb piano recital".

You are at a turning point in your inductive study.  

Modern inductive study methods end the observation portion of the study with a chapter analysis.  A typical epistle takes a couple of months to complete well.  This is the "hymnplaying" of Bible study.  Chapter analysis, while hard work, is both manageable and enjoyable.  Each time you complete a study you become more skilled, and it has immediate practical application.

Traditionally, paragraphs were carefully summarized as outline points before moving into an in depth verse-by-verse analysis.  Because this method takes a year or more to complete well, it can be daunting.  Traditional inductive study is a lot like classical training on an instrument.  It requires enormous amounts of time and effort, but delivers an incredible amount of both knowledge and skill.  There is no better way to discipline your mind, and you will learn Christ as never before.

I've done both, and enjoy both.  The choice you have to make next is important:
Do you want to spend  a year or more to do a verse-by-verse analysis, or would you prefer a broader, easier chapter analysis study?

There is not a right answer, but there is a right choice for you right now.

  • Do you have a consistent, daily time that you can pursue Bible study every day?  If not, or if that time is shorter (like summers when I home educate), choose the modern chapter analysis method.  
  • If you have the time, motivation, and perseverance for the traditional chapter summary/verse analysis method, however, you will reap rewards for the rest of your life.
  • If you're working with a small topical passage, like the Proverbs 31 woman or the I Corinthians "love" passage, definitely choose verse analysis.
I hope that you're still excited about our study.  I'll present the methods for each of these studies in upcoming days and weeks so that you have a "how to" on both.  

Keep Digging!


Inductive Bible Study, Part 1: Preparation
Inductive Bible Study, Part 2: Read
Inductive Bible Study, Part 3: Seeking the Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 4: Book Summary Key
Inductive Bible Study, Part 5: The Choice
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6a: Chapter Analysis
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6b:  Identifying Key Words
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6C: Finding the 3C's
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6D: It's About Time
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6E: Keep Digging
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6F: Word Studies
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6G: Considering Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6H: Application Brings Transformation 
Inductive Bible Study, Part 7: Wrap It Up!

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