The modulators of farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor, regulate various biological processes including bile acid metabolism, and are associated with the control of fatty liver and osteoporosis. Thus, the control of FXR activity and development of FXR modulators are critical not only for research, but also for clinical application. In this study, we synthesized novel FXR agonists 1– 4 possessing isoxazole and N-substituted benzimidazole moieties, and compared their effects on osteoblast differentiation with the known FXR agonists, chenodeoxycholic acid and a synthetic compound, GW4064. Two ( 3 and 4) of the four novel FXR agonists 1– 4 showed high specificities for FXR. Computer-assisted modeling suggested that the binding of the FXR agonist 3 with ligand binding domain of FXR was similar to GW4064. FXR was expressed in mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like ST2 cells (ST-2 MSCs). The FXR agonists activated the BMP-2-induced differentiation of ST-2 MSCs into osteoblasts and enhanced the expression of RUNX2. Moreover, the potency of the FXR agonist 3 was comparable to GW4064 in promoting osteoblast differentiation of ST-2 MSCs. These results indicate that FXR activation enhanced the BMP-2-induced differentiation of MSCs into osteoblasts through activating RUNX2 expression. FXR could be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.