Inductive Bible Study
Inductive Bible Study


We intend that this site will offer the most complete and reliable description of inductive Bible study. By “inductive Bible Study” we mean an attitude and a process of studying the Bible that is intentional in allowing the biblical text to speak to us on its own terms, without (as much as possible) our imposing our own presuppositions and agenda upon the Bible. The inductive Bible study movement began at the end of the 19th century with the work of William Rainey Harper and Wilbert Webster White and was associated especially with The Biblical Seminary in New York.

The movement has spread throughout the world and has been taught at such educational institutions as Princeton Theological Seminary, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Columbia Theological Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University, and in dozens of institutions outside of North America. It is also represented in lay form by the works of Irving Jensen, Oletta Wald and Kay Arthur, among others.

The site presently includes an introduction to the creators of the site, Robert A. Traina and David R. Bauer, who together have over 60 years experience in teaching inductive Bible study at the seminary level; a description of inductive Bible Study; and a brief account of the history of Inductive Bible Study. We intend to add soon pages offering instructions regarding how to do inductive Bible study and examples of inductive Bible study (i.e. actual Bible Studies) and links to audio and video expository sermons and Bible teaching.

It is my (David Bauer) sad duty to report the death of Dr. Robert Traina on November 9, 2010.  I will continue the site alone; but I intend to continue to post a number of written materials from Dr. Traina’s long teaching career as well as to make available by link both audio and video recordings of his teaching.  These materials will be made available as they are processed.

Please check back often. We plan to have regular additions.

Get the book by David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina, Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics (Baker Academic, 2014). Following up Robert Traina’s classic Methodical Bible Study, this book introduces the practice of inductive Bible study to a new generation of students, pastors, and church leaders. The authors, two seasoned educators with over sixty combined years of experience in the classroom, offer guidance on adopting an inductive posture and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do inductive Bible study. They engage in conversation with current hermeneutical issues, setting forth well-grounded principles and processes for biblical interpretation and appropriation. The process they present incorporates various methods of biblical study to help readers hear the message of the Bible on its own terms.