There are thousands of books published each year telling us what the Bible says. Some are good, some are terrible, and some are even spiritually dangerous. The only antidote is to truly know what the Bible says for ourselves. Rather than be spoon-fed the answers, we need to wrestle with the text ourselves. Any time a book comes along that encourages us to delve into scripture and thoughtfully study the Bible for ourselves, it’s worth applauding.
That’s exactly what “Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the Lenses of History, Literature, and Theology” by Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Andreas J. Köstenberger seeks to do. It encourages us to seriously study scripture using a multi-step inductive process. The inductive process, simply put, is an evidenced-based approach that uses scripture to interpret scripture. The book details how this can be done through careful observation, interpretation and application of the Bible through the perspective of history, literature, and theology.
Throughout the chapters, specific examples from scripture are integrated to explain the concepts, which keeps the book relatable. For example, in chapter 3 on comparing Bible translations, they address the discrepancy between various translations regarding Goliath’s true height. Was he 9 1/2 feet tall or closer to 7 feet? Why the different readings? Of course, this is not a major issue in Bible interpretation, but still is an interesting dilemma that gives the reader greater awareness of textual criticism and it’s role in our English translations. Each chapter provides a number of scriptural examples to reinforce the key points, which is quite helpful and keeps the reader engaged.
If you are seriously interested in developing a deeper analytical approach to observing, interpreting and applying scripture, this book provides a thorough overview without getting lost in the details. Commentaries and other resources will always be needed to provide expert opinion on any given portion of scripture, but this book is designed to help give you greater confidence and independence in studying scripture for yourself.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.