Friday, October 3, 2008

Bringing the Bible to Life - Study Guide Series

The Bringing the Bible to Life series is an exciting new line of study guide curriculum that launched this fall with six different guides: Genesis, Esther, John, Romans, Ephesians and Hebrews.

These guides were based on the award-winning NIV Application Commentary series. This means that each guide brings with it the insights of top evangelical scholars like Douglas Moo, John Walton and Karen Jobes to name a few.

But enough with the basic facts, I should tell you why I recommend this series: because for someone who has grown up in church (like myself) this study guide curriculum goes refreshingly deeper than other series. I don't say that to put down other books, or to exonerate myself, but just to recognize that when you grow up in the church it's easy to know all of the "right answers" to common Bible study questions and it's easy to get bored with Bible study. Because this series focuses on scholarship (but still maintains accesibility) it is challenging me to think more deeply about verses I've heard many times, and exposing me to knowledge about the text that you only typically find in commentaries.

I recommend this series to those who want something "deeper" in their small groups and Sunday school classes, and I especially recommend it to those who have been through numerous study guides and programs before - these might reignite your passion to study the Bible again. My Bible study group just started Romans. As we work through it, I'll add other thoughts about the series to this post, so check back!

Andrew Rogers is a Promotions Manager for Zondervan. Check back each Friday for his New From Zondervan reviews.

1 comment:

Andrew Rogers said...

After completing the first week of "Romans" I've already found an interesting piece of writing that most study guides wouldn't bother to include.

Regarding Romans 1:18-32: "The Bible does not brand as sinful a homosexual orientation as such, only the indulgence of that orientation in lustful attitudes or actual sex." - (Moo, p.19)

While this space is not the place to debate agreeing with Moo or not, I wanted to point out the depth he is seeking to interpret scripture and then how it is included in the study guide.

This parsing of scripture is not common among study guides and I believe an asset to this series. (Whether one agrees with every nuance of the interpretation or not.)

He also goes on to say: "In any case, we are clearly called on to offer the same love and hope through the gospel to homosexuals that we offer to any caught up in any forms of sin." (p.20)