Inductive Bible Study Lessons


When I took my first inductive Bible study required course at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2015, I thought I would never get through the class. It seemed overwhelming. But I followed my professor’s encouragement to keep pressing on. About halfway through that first course, something clicked. The whole Bible came alive for me in ways I had never experienced.

From that moment on, I couldn’t get enough. I went on to take my second required course, and then took two more inductive Bible study courses as electives, earning a Robert A. Traina Inductive Bible Study scholarship in the process. The focus of those courses ranged from Matthew and Mark to the Psalms and the Pentateuch. I can easily see working on inductive Bible study for the rest of my life.

Because I have loved this experience, I want to share it with you. I will be blogging about inductive Bible study on these pages. My goal is to keep things simple. Inductive Bible study is an in-depth process that takes time and is worth savoring. But it doesn’t need to be complicated.

That’s what I hope to share with you on these pages. I can point you to some stepping stones as you move through this process. But your ultimate guide on this adventure will be the Holy Spirit who will bring the biblical text to life for you.


Inductive Bible study is not meant to be a left-brained process. It is meant to be led by the Holy Spirit, who opens your heart to really see deeply into the biblical text. However, if you’re not careful (and especially if you have an analytical mind), it can turn into a left-brained process. To help you stay centered in your spirit — and open to the Holy Spirit — as you do inductive Bible study, I recommend that you begin with (and return often to) Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina.

If you have a heart to search the scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and if you are willing to surrender to Him through that process, you will come to love inductive Bible study. Don’t be overwhelmed (as I was) when starting out. Learn one piece at a time, and savor that experience. Don’t be in a rush. Just enjoy this exploration with God.

I hope these inductive Bible study lessons will inspire you to dig deeply into God’s Word. Amazing treasures await you! May God bless your time in His presence and in His Word.


Inductive Bible Study: An Overview


Learning and practicing individual steps of the inductive Bible study process. Grab your Bible, a notepad and pencil, and settle in. You’ll get a chance to learn and then practice what you’ve learned.

The Big Picture: Identifying Main Units in Inductive Bible Study

One Step Closer: Identifying Sub-Units in Inductive Bible Study


Zeroing in on how to recognize different types of structural relationships in inductive Bible study.

Ever Notice All the Opposites in the Bible? (Learning to Recognize “Contrasts” in Inductive Bible Study)

God Loves those Turning Points (The “Pivot” Structure in Inductive Bible Study)

Bookends in Bible Stories (Looking at “Inclusio” through Inductive Bible Study)

A Story within a Story (Learning about “Intercalation” in Inductive Bible Study)


A closer look at practicing observation and inference in specific Bible passages.

Why Did the Fishermen Leave Their Nets? Part 1 (Learning Simple Observation in Inductive Bible Study)

Why Did the Fishermen Leave Their Nets? Part 2 (Asking the Right Questions in Inductive Bible Study)

Jesus Is Moved with Compassion (Observation and Inference in Inductive Bible Study)


Putting the steps together with an inductive Bible study of Psalm 46.

Bible Meditation on Psalm 46: Preparing for Inductive Bible Study

God Is the Solution (“Problem-Solution” in Inductive Bible Study)

Zooming in on God’s Peace (A Review of “Contrast” in Inductive Bible Study)


Focused studies that come from the inductive Bible study process.

10 Things Moses Has Taught Me about Intercession


The following studies open as free-to-download PDFs, for personal reference only. These PDFs demonstrate the whole process of inductive Bible study, while the individual lessons above on this page break the process down into bite-size pieces for growing deeper in God’s Word.

Inductive Bible Study of Matthew 27-28 – Janet Eriksson

Inductive Bible Study of Psalm 22 – Janet Eriksson

Inductive Bible Study of Deuteronomy 29-34 – Janet Eriksson


If you would like to go deeper in your learning and practice of inductive Bible study, these are the two guide books I most recommend:

(The following links will open a new window in Amazon. Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Bible Study that Works (David L. Thompson) — This book offers a simplified overview of inductive Bible study with just the basics. This book is great to read first, to get a quick overview of what inductive Bible study really is. It would also make a great group study book.

Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics (David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina) — This book is the full meal deal. It takes a while to get through this book, but if you really want to learn inductive Bible study, it is worth the effort. After you’ve read through the book initially to understand the full process, it becomes a great reference resource that you will turn to often as you do inductive Bible study on your own.

Do you have questions about any of these lessons? Feel free to contact me.