In Inductive Bible Study authors Richard Alan Fuhr Jr. and Andreas Köstenberger have provided a resource that draws together the hermeneutical triad found in Köstenberger’s earlier work Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology and the solid interpretive method of inductive bible study.
The first chapter of this book lays the foundation exploring why the Bible is not as easy of a book to understand as we might assume it to be. The authors explore the various gaps that exist between the reader and the Bible that pose a challenge to those seeking to understanding the Bible. The gaps explored follow along the triad of historical, literary, and theological. The second chapter explores the seven principles of inductive bible study. The second unit of the book falls along the lines of bridging the literary gaps that exists between the modern reader and the ancient text of Scripture. The authors point to the importance of comparing translations, asking the right questions of the text, finding key terms in the text, paying heed to the literary features contained in Scripture, and discourse analysis. The second section involves digging deeper exploring a texts context in regards to historical background, literary genre and its place in the book and canon itself, and the theological context taking into account where the passage is in regards to themes, progressive revelation, and covenant. The authors point the reader to the value and danger of word studies. The last section of this work leads the reader to the word of application and theology.
While this book might have been written as a text book to be used in a classroom setting I think it is applicable to wider use than that. The truth of the matter most bible teachers in the local church be they pastor or Sunday school teacher don’t have the interpretive tools and method to rightly handle and teach the Bible. The authors rightly point out that there are serious gaps between us as the present readers of the Bible and the text, and too often in preaching and teaching those gaps are ignored leading often to misapplication of texts and unbalanced theology. The authors provide a solid foundation in this work for anyone to rightly understand and apply the Bible to life if they are willing to do the work required. What I would love to see happen with this text is for Lifeway and B&H Academic to collaborate on turning this into a curriculum/video teaching series that could be used to train Bible study leaders in the local church.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.