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Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics Hardcover – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"For half a century, Robert Traina's method of inductive Bible study has taught students the most important critical-thinking skill of all: how to read! His method trains people to attend closely to what is in a text and what is not in a text, to follow a text's argument, and to map its narrative flow. Now David Bauer adds to the collaborative mix his own formidable strengths as an experienced teacher of inductive Bible study and as an internationally recognized biblical scholar. Together they present a finely honed guide to the process of observation, interpretation, and appropriation, enhanced with examples of how to execute each step and with helpful discussions about both the place of their approach in the landscape of contemporary hermeneutical debates and the connections between critical approaches and their inductive method. This volume lays an essential foundation for critical analysis and careful exegesis."--David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary

"I have personally used Bauer and Traina's method of inductive Bible study for more than twenty-five years and can testify to its effectiveness for understanding Scripture in ways that are both academically responsible and pastorally relevant. The approach allows Scripture to reveal itself, to speak on its own terms in ways that overcome the limitations and presuppositions of its readers. This volume presents that time-honored approach for a new generation--and it is a remarkable achievement! Students will appreciate a text that is so immediately accessible and, eventually, will come to treasure this volume as a handbook to be consulted repeatedly throughout their professional careers."--Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

"Many of us learned years ago to begin Bible study for ourselves with 'observation, interpretation, and application,' doing as much as possible on our own before turning to other resources. We may not have known one of the classic sources that outlined this method in comprehensive detail by Robert Traina. Now masterfully updated, with state-of-the-art scholarship and bibliographic references, this tome has been made useful for a new generation by David Bauer and Robert Traina. Part hermeneutics, part exegesis, part philosophy and logic, with numerous illustrations from Scripture itself, Inductive Bible Study does not supplant the standard works in each of these areas but helpfully supplements many of them."--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

About the Author

David R. Bauer (PhD, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia) is Ralph Waldo Beeson Professor of Inductive Biblical Studies and dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of several books, including An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry. Robert A. Traina (1921-2010) was professor of English Bible at The Biblical Seminary in New York and at Asbury Theological Seminary for over forty years. He received his PhD from Drew University and authored the influential classic Methodical Bible Study.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801027675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801027673
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Georgia Coolio on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have taken the Seminary class from Dr. Bauer and this book is a faithful reproduction of his wonderful class. If you are looking for a simple book, this is not for you. Dr. Bauer proposes a thorough approach to the Scriptures. It is for people who are committed to the hard work that is involved in understanding and interpreting the Bible. The book is based on the structural relationships that exist in all forms of communication. Although the nomenclature is variable the concepts are concrete. This book will make you wish you had paid more attention in your high school and college English classes. I am growing in my ability to use IBS, but I have found the work to be endlessly gratifying spiritually and intellectually. Dr Bauer is a bright individual and uses his gifts to glorify the Kingdom of Heaven. I am thankful for the scholar and person he is. I hope you will buy this book and take the time necessary to read about and learn this method. I purchased this book as a reference book and I refer to it often.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Keir on July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
During my senior year at Asbury Seminary (1983), I had a conversation with Dr. Robert Traina, whose book "Methodical Bible Study" was the precursor to this volume. In that conversation, Dr. Traina expressed an interest in writing a sequel to his book - one that would address the most glaring weakness of that work; His sequel would explain the step-by-step procedure for doing inductive Bible study - the procedure he so effectively taught in his seminary classes. This book fulfills Dr. Traina's intentions in exemplary fashion. Undoubtedly, this book will be the standard textbook for college and seminary classes for decades to come.

It is difficult to know how much Dr. Traina and Dr. Bauer collaborated on this volume given that Dr. Traina died in November, 2010. His contribution to this volume might very well be the lecture materials he presented in his classes. If that is the case, Dr. Bauer has done an commendable job of elaborating on those notes, filling in inevitable gaps that occur when explaining such a complicated process to beginning students. Those of us who studied under Dr. Traina (I majored in English Bible under his tutelage), will realize when reading this book that this is Dr. Bauer's book. He is to be commended for an excellent volume.

Dr. Bauer divided his volume into 5 parts. An introductory unit explaining the philosophy of inductive study contains the most glaring weakness of the book. I would like to have seen a chapter on why we study the Bible. In my own teaching, my students cannot articulate why they study the Bible apart from broad generalities. Why we study the Bible dictates the method we use to study it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Crowe on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A classmate of mine has rightly described Inductive Bible Study as a worthy sequel to Methodical Bible Study. Compared to its prequel, Inductive Bible Study is not as hard to read as its prequel. Also, it lays out the whole methodical Bible study process in a very orderly, step by step, easy to understand process that does a great job of moving from studying the Book as a Whole to Detailed Observation and beyond. I would also recommend buying Methodical Bible Study for many of its rich comments from Dr. Traina and the examples of making charts and outlines in Appendix A and C. Together, these two books will provide you a rich and solid foundation in studying the Bible inductively. I would suggest, though, reading Inductive Bible Study first.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a young Christian I knew that I needed to have my "devotions". I had a problem though. My problem wasn't desire; I wanted to read my Bible. My problem wasn't time; High School students have a lot of free time. My problem was ability; I didn't know how to study my Bible. Most people approach the Bible with a lot of insecurity or superspirituality. We know that we should be reading it. And we know that it will do us a tremendous amount of good to read it. But, we're overwhelmed by what we don't know or don't understand. So, is the average Christian doomed to a life of biblical illiteracy? Not at all.

Robert Traina has been advocating for a simple and systematic approach to studying the bible for years. He taught Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky from 1966 - 1988. His first book, Methodological Bible Study was published in 1952. It underwent a number of revisions and republications with the most recent being in 2002. Now, David Bauer collaborated with Dr. Traina until his death to produce Inductive Bible Study as a sequel to Traina's Methodological Bible Study. As a student on Traina, Bauer continues in his legacy and influence with this latest volume.

Inductive Bible Study is built upon the simple premise from Traina's earlier works. The process begins with Observation, moves to interpretation and culminates in application. The simplicity of the method is underscored by the fact that we all move through these steps intuitively. Whether it's with a book, a billboard, or the newspaper, we follow this process - even if unaware. They also expand this process to explore various other kinds of study and the method to study books as a whole.
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