Shelf Life Book Review: The Bible Study Handbook

Elliot Ritzema

The Bible Study Handbook
IVP Connect, 2012

Lindsay Olesberg, Scripture manager for InterVarsity’s Urbana Student Missions Convention, shares wisdom and practical methods she has gleaned from years of inductive Bible study. For Olesberg, inductive study begins with the particulars of a passage and then moves to general conclusions (deductive study moves in the opposite direction: from the general to the particular). Inductive study can be done individually or in groups and consists of three phases: observation, interpretation and application.

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The book is divided into three parts: “Foundations,” in which Olesberg shares the presuppositions behind inductive Bible study; “Building Blocks,” in which she shares the six components of inductive Bible study (honoring the author, respecting the story, attentiveness, curiosity, understanding and response); and “Tool Box,” in which she offers practical suggestions on a variety of topics, like how to study various genres or how to identify the structure of a book or passage.

Written with the hope of training “God’s people to study the Bible for themselves rather than relying on ‘professional Christians’ to explain it,” (pg. 28) this book will appeal both to Bible study beginners who are looking for a proven method of digging into the Bible, and to veterans who want to bring new vitality to their study of familiar passages.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 5 No. 3