Here is a cut….
“So, what are a few Bible Study resources that might provide a meaningful experience for congregants in 2011?
Let’s start with a solid basic Bible series. The Christian Reformed Church’s Faith Alive Series includes inexpensive studies about many books of the Bible. On their website you can check out sample chapters of their Discover books. Each study includes notes about the text for the day, questions about content and ends with a reflection question or two. This series is probably best suited for people who do not have extensive knowledge of Scripture, though the questions are thoughtful enough that they could engage long time students of Scripture. The leader would not have to be highly trained in Scripture, though it would be helpful if she or he had good group facilitation skills.
Westminster John Knox Press publishes a solid series written by N.T. Wright, the For Everyone Series. The Mark for Everyone volume follows the pattern established in the other books in the series. The Bible text is presented. Dr. Wright then provides an accessible commentary on the passage typically concluding with a thoughtful question or two. A class leader would need to read carefully the commentary in order to structure a helpful conversation. An advantage of this series is that congregants would be reading a top-notch Scripture scholar. A drawback is that the book series isn’t necessarily designed as curriculum, so the leader would need to be able to improvise and add to the experience.
One of the Bible Study resources I’m most interested in is called the Book of Faith Series from Augsburg Fortress. This is a comprehensive approach to Bible study for congregations. There are many options including the studies on specific Bible texts.
Perhaps more impressive is a comprehensive survey of the entire Bible called The Greatest Story. Yes, this material was created for Lutheran congregations. But the scholarship is of a very high quality and would be easily adapted to most any congregation.
An added bonus: The Lutherans have a very handy Bible quiz online so people can evaluate their biblical literacy. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting undertaking for a congregational board after the finance report has been approved! ”
Here is the link….