IBS ~ A Journaling Technique, I

IBS ~ A Journaling Technique, I
Inductive Bible Study sounds really impressive but in reality you are already doing something that should come naturally. IBS (Inductive Bible Study) is just asking questions. Every day each of us is already doing some kind of inductive and we simply are not consciously aware of it.

Using the IBS method of journaling will enrich your time in God's Word. I have written 3 articles that will post for the next three weeks. Be sure to read them all. This method of journaling is extremely powerful when you apply the rules and use the IBS Journaling Template. You can download this template at the bottom of this article.


There are four fundamental principles of IBS. These general principles will guide us to a stronger understanding of how we learn. The four fundamental principles are:

1) Observation ~ Pose what we see, think, feel, smell, hear, taste as a question or statement that deserves more depth
2) Tool Box ~ Where we research the seeing, thinking, feeling, smelling, hearing and tasting
3) Interpretation ~ The analysis of what our research showed us
4) Application ~ What changes or steps will we take due to learning this greater understanding?

Let me show you a simple example:

1) – Observation ~ I see a fire and it is coming from a house, it is incredibly hot, it makes me choke, I can taste the ashes and they take like a campfire's smoke
2) – Tool Box ~ I use my eyes and safety rules from Safety 101 Chart
3) – Interpretation ~This fire tells me I need to call a fireman since it actually is coming from a house
4) – Application ~ I make the call

These four fundamental principles would be your journal template prompts. Use them each time you are wanting to study a specific verse of Scripture.


Reading Good's Word can be easily treated in an inductive manner. We use Inductive Study when we want to clearly understand and implement Scripture into our lives. If this is our goal then inductive is the optimal way to study. To understand why you must first understand what inductive really means. First, inductive is the opposite of deductive. Detectives use the deductive method to solve crimes, for they look at facts to deduce the end result of who is guilty. They look to external clues. Whereas scientist tend to use the inductive method when searching for answers, for they look to known answers to prove their theories. They look to internal clues. According to the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition we see the following definitions:

A) deductive ~. The deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; specifically: inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises.

B) inductive ~ Inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances.

These definitions show that deductive begins from a fixed point of view and everything will point to this particular point of view, like a topical sermon that uses numerous verses to promote the ultimate conclusion the pastor wants you to see. Whereas the inductive begins with specific raw data (such as a Scripture text) and draws conclusions only from the raw data and information surrounding the data.

You will also notice from the two definitions that deductive does not provoke me to think creatively as it follows facts. Whereas the inductive allows for inquisitive, critical thinking.

Deductive is learning from an accepted point of view, while inductive is allowing the learning to become personal. I tend to use the inductive method when studying and the deductive method when speaking. Both methods are good, in their particular place. What I find is the need devote more time to inductive learning in lieu of listening to others.


Let me recap. A "deductive" Bible study begins from a fixed point of view or conclusion. The teacher wants to lead you to his fixed conclusion (IE.: God is Faithful), then provides a set of scripture verses as examples to promote his overall fixed conclusion that God is Faithful. Most sermons and Bible studies are conducted this way. Another way to look at it is to purchase a Bible study about the 'Fruit of the Spirit.' Everything about that study will point you to some fixed conclusion the author wants to highlight about the Fruit of the Spirit. They may ask questions, but those questions are from the author's point of view. During the study you can easily use the Inductive method to learn but most only answers the questions from an emotional position and not a student. There is nothing wrong with this type of study, except that they tend to make us lazy.

An "inductive" Bible study, begins with a verse of Scripture, and encourages participants to interpret and draw conclusions directly from the verse of Scripture chosen. An Inductive Study wants you to list questions that elicit thought and learning. The Scripture becomes yours when you start to seriously question and search for answers training you to study the Bible better. IBS helps you understand the who, what, when, where, why and how related to the verse of Scripture chosen. You will soon begin to comprehend how the Scripture fits into the whole passage.

Click Below For The 'Indictive Journal Template'

IBS Journal Template

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