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Inductive Bible Study Week 1: Intro to Galatians

February 5, 2010

Okay, I am getting all excited to invite you over to my living room to discuss our observations of Galatians over milk and cookies!

Oh, but wait!

What observations?

Oh, that’s right.

We don’t have any yet.

Well, if you thought I was going to do all the work here, you have another think coming! 🙂

There are a few tools we still need to gather before we start this study:


Pen or Pencil

Note paper

Colored pencils, highlighters, and/or crayons

Concordance (optional)

Greek Lexicon (optional)

There are also a few ground rules we need to follow.  If you plan to participate in this study you will need to refrain from using *any* outside sources that offer interpretations of the text such as commentaries, religious websites or magazines, or Bible studies on the book of Galatians. If you use a study Bible this means refraining from peeking at the notes as much as possible. You can use a concordance for cross referencing and a lexicon for word studies in the original language. If you don’t want to mark your Bible all up with highlighted words and phrases you might consider making a photocopy of the section.

We will all be on equal playing field here.  I’m sure we have varying degrees of familiarity with Galatians from studying it in the past, but we will try to suspend our prior ideas in order to study the book with as unbiased an attitude as possible.  I am also an equal player here because, even though I have done inductive studies in the past, I have never done one on the book of Galatians. I am so excited for what I am going to learn!

Study Assignment for this week:  Galatians 1

Our goal for this week is to dig into the text for ourselves and come up with what we think are the key themes and ideas in chapter 1 of Galatians. If you can make the time, it will help your study if you are able to read the whole book through at least once in one sitting. It’s a short book – just six chapters – and shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes, depending on how fast you read.  The purpose of the read is to get the big picture of the book, rather than to meditate on specific commands or promises that stand out to you personally.  This will help you focus on your goal and allow you to read it more quickly.  Your study of chapter 1 will be much easier if you are able to read the whole book first.

We will come back here in about a week prepared to discuss our observations of chapter 1.

No one is going to have a bad observation!  All observations are welcome and encouraged and every observation, no matter how minor, is important when you are in the early stages of an inductive study.

Remember some of the key questions you want to be asking at this stage in the study:

1.  Who is writing this? (original author)

2.  Who are the intended recipients? (original audience)

3.  Why did the author write this? (purpose of the book as a whole and the individual sections)

4.  What is the author seeking to communicate to the original audience? (look for repeated words/ideas or the author’s logical sequence of thought)

5.  How does this section relate to the larger context of the book and/or the rest of the Bible?

Be sure to take some time to pray before you start your study.  Ask God to reveal Himself to you through His inspired Word and then expect Him to do just that!

There will be a new post for the discussion of the observations of chapter 1 (along with the milk and cookies).   There may or may not be additional posts in between this Bible study series.  That is not entirely up to me as this is a group blog after all. 🙂  And sometimes I get random urges to post random thoughts.


Photo by Claudia1967

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 7:05 am

    This is my actual blog article that I posted back on January 22, 2009:

    Not only that, but the quotes are properly referenced for Online Blogging citation.

  2. February 5, 2010 7:16 am

    Hi Timothy,

    I will go ahead and leave the link to your article here (for anyone to read who is not planning to participate in the inductive Bible study), but I am going to remove the post you provided since you quoted numerous commentaries and the inductive Bible study instructions in this post are to refrain from reviewing any commentaries.

    We welcome your participation in this and other posts on the blog!

  3. February 5, 2010 7:11 pm

    This series reminded me of a paper I wrote several years ago about Paul and his Letter to the Romans. I modified it for a post at FPR, and I thought I’d put the link here so that anyone could easily discover what I have studied and said about Paul previously.



  4. February 5, 2010 7:31 pm

    Will your schedule allow you to participate in this study, TYD? It would be great to hear your thoughts on Galatians!

  5. The Red Dart permalink
    February 5, 2010 7:35 pm

    Honestly: probably not very much, but I will see what I can do.



  6. February 5, 2010 8:52 pm

    What I’m wondering is whether or not The Red Dart and The Yellow Dart will agree with one another on this inductive Bible study. I’d hate to see an all out disagreement between the two.

  7. The Red Dart permalink
    February 5, 2010 8:57 pm

    We are really just brothers from another color. TRD for interfaith discussion, TYD for Biblical Studies. (Actually it just depends what computer I am on, since they save my information.)


  8. February 5, 2010 9:01 pm


    What you need is another color for social conversation. Like The Green Dart, for example.

  9. February 5, 2010 9:03 pm

    Does the DSM-IV have a category for Blogger Identity Disorder?

  10. The Red Dart permalink
    February 5, 2010 9:16 pm

    Red is my favorite color. I also love green. Yellow is actually my least favorite color, however. But it’s what Strong Bad chose!


  11. February 6, 2010 1:20 am


    This should be fun. Looking forward to the discussion.


  12. February 6, 2010 6:12 pm

    TRD is a walking bible commentary. Does that disqualify him from commenting.

    I’m kind of irked by the no-commentary rule. I just grabbed Ehrdman’s commentary at the local library for a bit of sporadic reading.

  13. February 6, 2010 8:29 pm

    You still have the other 65 books for your sporadic commentary reading. I trust you will not peek at the Galatians section. 🙂

  14. February 6, 2010 8:32 pm

    Guess I’ll have to settle for the first bit of Genesis, since that’s what we’re studying in Gospel Doctrine class right now.

  15. February 6, 2010 8:47 pm

    Was that part of my post unclear? Did it sound like I was saying no one could read any commentary on anything? I was just referring to Galatians. The no-commentary rule is a sine qua non of the inductive method. Should I update the post to make that more clear?

  16. February 6, 2010 8:51 pm

    Are you asking me?

    I thought your post was clear enough. I was just giving you a bit of friendly ribbing.

  17. February 6, 2010 8:57 pm

    Who else would I be asking? 🙂

  18. February 8, 2010 7:49 am

    I just do not understand the no commentary rule? Not that it is not clear, it is just, I don’t get the apprehension in using commentary’s as a source of understanding?

  19. February 9, 2010 1:26 am

    The absence of commentaries is one of the rules for the inductive study method. The goal is to force a deep, personal study of the text, avoiding outside sources that could in any way influence our interpretation of the text, in order to see for ourselves what the scriptures are really saying. Later on in the study, the use of commentaries is encouraged to check and make sure we are not coming up with strange and heretical doctrines. 🙂

  20. February 10, 2010 5:17 pm

    Count me in.

    I just read the book of Galatians, today.

  21. February 11, 2010 4:08 am

    Count me in Jessie!

    Galatians is one of my favorite books! 🙂


  1. Inductive Bible Study: Discussion of Galatians 1 « I Love Mormons
  2. Inductive Bible Study: Discussion of Galatians 2 « I Love Mormons

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