Book Review: Inductive Bible Study

Fuhr and Köstenberger offer a hermeneutically sensitive, step-by-step approach to inductive Bible study that will bring insight and practical benefit to many who endeavor to know God through the depths and riches of his Word, the Bible. Inductive Bible Study is an ideal textbook for courses in biblical interpretation, and for anyone who desires to better understand and teach Scripture.

“Inductive Bible Study,” by Richard Alan Fuhr and Andreas J. Kostenberger, is the book I wish I’de had for “Hermeneutics I” when I was in school!

I did have great Hermeneutics classes and teachers when I first went to preaching school in ’96, and for further classes in Biblical Hermeneutics over the years since. I’ve also used a variety of textbooks as I’ve had the opportunity to teach Hermeneutics classes. Most recently, I taught from Fee and Stuart’s “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.” Until reading “Inductive Bible Study,” Fee and Stuart’s book was my favorite Hermeneutics text. That’s changed now!

I would put “Inductive Bible Study” on about the same “intermediate” level as “How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth.” However, I prefer the systematic “inductive” approach to Bible study taught in “Inductive Bible Study.” Stuart and Fee take a genre-based approach and many of the same principles taught in “Inductive Bible Study” are overly restricted to specific genres in “How To.”

I also found Fuhr and Kostenberger easier to read than Stuart and Fee, and much, much easier than Osborne (“The Hermeneutical Spiral”). Of course, each of these books has their strong points and I would recommend all three. But, in my opinion, Fuhr and Kostenberger have the more accessible approach with a broader appeal. That is, I think that “Inductive Bible Study” would be better received by more people than would be the others. The main reason being that the language used is less technical, making it much easier to read than the others. Fuhr and Kostenberger’s writing style get’s the same quality of information across as Fee and Stuart but in a more enjoyable read, in my opinion.

“Inductive Bible Study” has many tables of great quick reference information that will keep a person coming back to it over and over again as they grow in their Bible study method. The information is presented in a concise, easy to read, manner with summaries and great tables for quick reference later.

For anyone wanting to study Biblical Hermeneutics, I would recommend reading all three of the books mentioned in this review (among others). But I would recommend reading them in this order:

  1. “Inductive Bible Study”
  2. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
  3. “The Hermeneutical Spiral”

There are some other Hermeneutics books that I really like. But, these are my “top three,” right now, and in that order.

DISCLAIMER: None of these three books are written by members of the church of Christ, to the best of my knowledge. So, ironically, you will find things in these books that do not harmonize with Scripture. However, the information and method they teach about how to study the Bible – not so much what they say about the contents of the Bible – is what make these valuable resources for your library. There are two statements made by my early teachers that I use frequently when recommending books like these. One, “if you only read things that you already agree with you will never grow.” And, “you read books like eating fish – take the meat and spit out the bones.”


I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.

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