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How to Study Your Bible: The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method

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More than 400,000 adults and teens have discovered the truth of God’s Word for themselves through Kay’s inductive study tools. Now this dynamic guide has been updated to reflect the most recent edition of the NASB and sports a fresh new cover. How to Study Your Bible helps people cultivate the skills of observation, interpretation, and application—and encourages them to become active participants in God’s Word! In 15 easy–to–understand chapters, bestselling author Kay Arthur presents a systematic approach that includes key words, context studies, comparisons and contrasts, topical studies, word meanings, and more. Interacting with God’s Word helps readers absorb more of its messages and gives God greater access to engrave His truth on their hearts and minds.

180 pages, Paperback

First published November 30, 1976

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About the author

Kay Arthur

405 books221 followers
Kay Arthur (born November 11, 1933 in Jackson, Michigan) is an international Bible teacher, four-time ECPA Christian Book Award winning author, and co-CEO of Precept Ministries International. Kay has systematized studying the Bible, developing a set of steps to follow so as to "mine" the details of the given book under study. Being systematized, it is accessible to lay persons, rather than scholars only.

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5 stars
800 (52%)
4 stars
435 (28%)
3 stars
224 (14%)
2 stars
54 (3%)
1 star
17 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews
Profile Image for Clark Goble.
Author 1 book14 followers
April 22, 2013
This guide by Kay Arthur is filled to the brim with good advice on how to conduct an inductive Bible study. Arthur defines an inductive study as "using the Bible itself as the primary source of information about the Bible." I've discovered that the steps outlined in this text are easy to incorporate into my daily studies. Prayer, overview, context, who, what, when, where, why, how ... these are all essential steps required before jumping to application and Arthur provides detailed instructions to navigate the process successfully.

I love Arthur's instuctions on how to complete "At a Glance" charts and find her system a wonderful way to create quick reference pages for individual books of the Bible. I have enjoyed incorporated the process into my studies. I also enjoy her tips on how to create "Observation Sheets" which is essentially a notation system for marking Scripture.

This system is intended for someone who has a genuine desire to engage the Bible and has proven to be quite time consuming in my studies. Depending on the length of the book in question I've found it takes several weeks to complete a detailed inductive study following Arthur's instructions - but I must say it is worth it. My goal is to eventually work through the entire Bible.

I highly recommend this book for all who want to get more out of their study time.
Profile Image for Philip.
206 reviews29 followers
March 11, 2011
At first glance, Kay Arthur's little work seems to be of little import, but, after reading it through, I was impressed by her keen ability to search the Scriptures. If more believers went through the Bible with a pen in hand and completed the exercises that she argues for, they would be confident in their knowledge of Scripture and in the Faith. Nothing in this work is novel, but the writer does a wonderful job driving believers to the Word of Truth. I would recommend this book for any Christian who struggles in Bible study - and who doesn't?
Profile Image for Joey.
219 reviews82 followers
October 19, 2019
GUYS this book has completely changed the way I study my Bible. It has been amazing and I would highly recommend it for everyone of all ages!!
Profile Image for Ana Avila.
Author 1 book1,030 followers
August 3, 2015
Primer libro de los retos del #BookTubeAThon. Me pareció una excelente guía para aprender sobre el estudio bíblico, al grano y sin paja. Muy práctica y con apéndices que resumen todo el método para revisarlos cuando estés practicando.

Le puse 4.5/5 estrellas porque de repente ponía demasiada "publicidad" de los otros productos y servicios de la autora, y eso me distrajo un poco.
Profile Image for Debbie.
56 reviews
June 29, 2009
since i love the precepts method of bible study, i naturally love and need this book. i recommend it to anyone serious about finding what god says to us through his divine word!
Profile Image for Linda Martin.
Author 1 book70 followers
November 5, 2022
Honestly, this was way too detailed for me. I read it all the way through but it was tedious to the max most of the time.

Partly this could be because there was a lot of repetition for me. I've already been using the Inductive Study Bible for a few years now, so this Bible study method wasn't new to me. Also I thought many things were explained in extreme minute detail as if talking to a child who knows nothing. The chapter on outlining was a repetition of things I learned in elementary school decades ago.

Perhaps this would be good for a new Christian who wants to know details and specifics about Bible study methodology, and how to examine the Bible as literature. It might be appropriate for classroom use also.

I often wonder how Kay Arthur can deal with such strict and extreme details. I think it would be hard for me to be her. My mind doesn't work that way. I like to read the Bible freely without thinking all the time about how to analyze the literary elements.

Word studies are great, and topical studies. I've done both already so the explanations in this book were repetition for me. There were elements suggested that I may incorporate into my future Bible studies. The final chapter on structuring is useful for better comprehension of long sentences.

Sorry I couldn't give this book a better star rating.

I do love the Inductive Study Bible and follow the instructions in that, and it is really the same type of Bible study. Here's the link: The New Inductive Study Bible: Discovering the Truth For Yourself -New American Standard Version. It has instructions for study of each book with "At A Glance" charts and "Observations" pages at the end of each book. That's really worth having for anyone wanting to do the Inductive Bible Study method.

I also have bought/read some of Kay Arthur's other books, and most recommend the Lord series. I read Lord, Is It Warfare? Teach Me to Stand: A Devotional Study on Spiritual Victory with a women's Bible study group and we all got a lot out of it.
Profile Image for Tori Samar.
537 reviews74 followers
December 31, 2020
This book is the one to read if you want to learn how to do the inductive Bible study method. I was already familiar with the key elements of inductive Bible study since my pastor has promoted the method for years, but it was still helpful to get the fleshed-out look this book offers. Although I gave the book only 4 stars, I would give the inductive Bible study method itself 5 stars. It has truly been a gamechanger for me in studying God's word on my own and has opened up the Scriptures in amazing ways.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
610 reviews5 followers
June 7, 2021
I have been on a years long quest to find a Bible study method that would help the Word stick in my colander brain, so I read this to familiarize myself with the inductive method. It sounds pretty complicated, but if I can figure it out and get it down, I can see how it would give me a deeper understanding. This book goes into great detail with many helpful examples of each step of the process. The section of verse, tense and mood was also very helpful. I have never really grasped those concepts and it gave me a better understanding and will help me in teaching my kids in our homeschool.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
702 reviews18 followers
August 5, 2021
This was a good introduction to inductive Bible Study - but I do agree with other reviewers, some of the worksheets are so involved that I think you might miss the forest for the trees. There was a lot of repetition/redundancy for such a short book.
I also found it a bit contradictory that toward the beginning of the book the author says that all you need to study and interpret the Bible is the Bible itself - but a few chapters later, you need a Bible dictionary, a concordance, etc.
I'm glad I read this, and will take some of what I learned in the first few chapters to heart, but I don't know that I'll ever outline as thoroughly as she suggests (essentially copying down verbatim text, divided by numerals and letters) or buy any of her supplemental materials to fill out.
Profile Image for Noel.
319 reviews
May 23, 2023
VERY thorough. Almost overwhelming
Profile Image for Melissa Scruggs.
298 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2022
This book gives a super detailed step by step breakdown of how to study the Bible. If you are brand new to studying the Bible this book will be very helpful, but only if you are a Type A person who enjoys following direction and organization. Thankfully, I am such a person, so I appreciated the organization. However, since I am not a new Christian and have been studying the Bible for a while, a good chunk of the information was repetitive and time consuming.
Profile Image for J.N..
1,339 reviews
July 31, 2012
I tried to read this for my Bible study, but I just couldn't get into it. Read as much as possible and then gave to someone else. I hope they like it better than I did. For now, I'll just focus on reading The Bible and probably stick with Shepard's Notes.
Profile Image for Margaret Metz.
415 reviews9 followers
October 17, 2011
I liked a lot of what she taught. I still have a hard time marking up my Bible though. I use many of the tools she taught during study and then bought one of the Inductive study Bibles and thought that was getting some of the best of both worlds. :o)
Profile Image for Hope.
1,295 reviews90 followers
October 27, 2014
Learning the inductive Bible study method revolutionized my spiritual life. I had been a Christian for many years, but when I learned to study rather than just read the Bible, it was life-changing. This book gives the basic ideas behind IBS.
1,056 reviews
August 4, 2009
How to study the Bible inductively. Not much new here. The charts and notes were so complicated that I think I would forget what I read by the time I made all the notes.
Profile Image for Karie Lee.
41 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2013
I love inductive Bible studies and love the Precept Upon Precept classes, but this book is not my style of learning.
Profile Image for MD.
643 reviews5 followers
June 13, 2015
Yikes. Seems easier just to find a bible study on the given book you wish to study
Profile Image for Evelyn.
578 reviews20 followers
November 13, 2017
This is a much more in depth process than I was looking for. While I will take away some great information and tips, I cannot see myself following this process in its entirety.
17 reviews1 follower
March 9, 2022
Honestly picked this up to point out this old and, I thought, 'off' teacher. Ended up buying it to help in my efforts to read the Bible w someone who never has- I wanted to get out of my own head and be able to see things the way they might, think through questions they might have. What a great tool!! It definitely helped point out things I do as a rule when I'm studying my Bible that I would've just taken for granted and thought everyone did. Definitely reminded me of important points and gave me simple, structured ways to share them. And Kay Arthur is not an 'off' teacher; she's a solid and bold one, who actually talked about the issue of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility in a book on how to understand your Bible yourself without going straight to everyone else's opinions on hard texts. Go Kay!! Definitely recommend to new and seasoned Bible readers!
5 reviews
April 11, 2018
Let the Holy Spirit help you interpret the Scriptures for yourself.

Studying God's Word this way will open the scriptures in a whole new light!

Studying God's Word this way will open the scriptures in a whole new light
Profile Image for Ashley.
205 reviews18 followers
August 17, 2019
Wow. This method of studying scripture is so detailed and well laid out. It does get repetitive at times in the book, but I think that serves to help you understand the method fully. This is a little book that packs a big punch!
2 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2019
Barbara Swinney (Ozarkladie) rated it

Excellent book of Contextual Bible Study. I have used several ideas from this study book in teaching this Study method. Ideas are very clearly presented and easy to put into practice in a private Bible Study and even a group Bible Study.
Profile Image for Matt Bradshaw.
4 reviews2 followers
September 18, 2022
Comprehensive Guide to Inductive Bible Study

This book is well organized and understandable. Help you understand how to do an Inductive Bible Study. Some people find this type of study overwhelming. Kay Arthur has kept it simple so all can understand this process and do it.
July 21, 2020

So in depth and brings you so much good information about how to study the bible. Great tips and ideas
30 reviews1 follower
June 22, 2021
Makes the Inductive study clearer and easier to understand.
Profile Image for Joy Harding.
Author 2 books13 followers
January 30, 2022
Of all of the bible study methods I've tried, inductive study is the one that changed my life and my relationship to the scriptures. This book is a wonderful overview of that life-changing approach.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews

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