Bible Reading and Bible Study Ideas

My Favorite Bible Reading Plans

My Favorite Bible Studies (Inductive Style)

These are from  Great Stuff!!

What is inductive study?  Well, here is my best stab at the process:


This method has been used by a wide variety of our groups over the years.  If your group strongly desires to go for more depth in their Bible study, this is a good method to use.  It works well if people do some work outside the group and then come ready to discuss their research.

O.I.A stands for…

  • Observe: what it says.
  • Interpret: what it means.
  • Apply:  how it works in life.

 Step 1:  Observe: What do I see in the passage?

 1)     Ask and answer the; who, what, when, where, why questions.

2)      Mark up the passage:

  • Underline all verbs
  • Circle key words or phrases
  • Box connecting words such as: like, as, but, so that, in order that (ask yourself, how and why these are being used?).

3)     Write out 2-5 observations per verse.

  • Write out everything that you observe.  Look for things that are emphasized, repeated, related, alike or unlike, and true to life.  Look at the passage and re-look at it.  Jot down everything.

Step 2:  Interpret: What does the passage mean?

1)     Record questions you have that will help you get at the meaning of the passage.

  • Who is… the author talking about?  Accomplishing the action?
  • What is… meaning of this word?  Significance of the phrase?  Implication of this statement?  Meaning of this figure of speech?  The author’s flow of thought and tone?
  • Why did the author… choose this word?  Include this phrase or statement?  Not include or talk about something?  Connect these ideas?

2)      Principles of Interpretation

  1. The goal is to discern the author’s intended meaning to the original audience
    •   Study who the author is and the characteristics of the original audience.
    •  This is not where you ask what it means to you, but what it meant in its original context.
    • Study the verses/passages around your text to get a feel for what is going on.
  2. Study the grammar of the passage and don’t look for hidden meanings.
    • Pay attention to nouns, verbs, adjectives to help you get at the plain meaning.
    •  Think through the figures of speech and how they contribute to the meaning.
    •  Study the words used.
  3. Let Scripture Interpret Scripture
    •  Compare your conclusions with the teachings of Scripture as a whole.
    •   Allow the clear passages to illuminate the difficult passages.
    •   Look up cross references and find other places where words and topics are used.

3)      Compare multiple translations such as ESV, NIV, NAS, NKJV.  This can help give you a feel for the meaning.

4)      Look up background information in a Bible Dictionary of Encyclopedia.

5)      Compare your findings with truths you find in commentaries.

6)      Summarize the passage in a big idea statement, chart, drawing, etc.


Step 3:  Apply:  How will it work in my life?

1)      List universal principles and life lessons from the passage.  These are statements of truth from your study of the meaning of the text that can be applied to any situation at any time.

2)      Write out a specific application, I will…

  1. Make sure it is specific.  Use the acronym SMART
    1. Is it Specific enough?
    2.  Is it Measurable?  Can I track this?
    3.  Is it Attainable?  A realistic goal?
    4.  Is it Rewarding?  Is it relevant to what I need in my life to obey?
    5. Is it Time-bound?  How will I know when I have completed my application?

3)      Who will keep me encouraged and accountable to do what I plan to apply?

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