Understanding Scripture

Illustrated information books exploring the life and history of Bible times.
Authors: Tim Dowley, Robert Backhouse, Mary Evans, Stephen Motyer, Robert Bewley
Published by: Lion Hudson Plc

Lion Hudson has republished their set of 12 illustrated Bible information books. The series includes: People of the Bible, Life in Bible Times, Bible Facts and Figures, The Life of Jesus, The World of the Bible, Bible Atlas, The Jerusalem Temple, The Tabernacle, Old Testament Introduction, New Testament Introduction.

These books are really popular with translation teams. They would also be good in Bible schools and for those working with children and youth.

Special Offer: For those working with Bible agencies, get the complete set of 12 books for only £12 (British pounds), if you can arrange to collect them from the Wycliffe Bible Translators UK headquarters. Send your order to cyberspaceplaceatmailrapide [dot] com with information on how you will pay and how you will get the books.  [more...]

Finding our place in the biblical story
Authors: Craig Bartholomew, Michael Goheen
Published by: Baker Academic, 2004 and SPCK, 2006

Many of us have read the Bible as if it was merely a mosaic of little bits - theological bits, moral bits, historical-critical bits, sermon bits, devotional bits, narrative bits. But to read the Bible in such a fragmented way is to ignore its divine author's intention to shape our lives through its story.

Published in association with the Bible Society in the UK, this book takes readers through the big story of Scripture in six acts:

  Act 1: God establishes his kingdom - Creation
  Act 2: Rebellion in the kingdom - Fall
  Act 3: The King chooses Israel - Redemption initiated
  Act 4: The Coming of the King - Redemption accomplished
  Act 5: Spreading the news of the King - The mission of the Church
  Act 6: The Return of the King - Redemption completed

Each chapter concludes with 'Questions to help us find our place in the story'. There are addtional discussion questions on the Bible Society website and additional resources on the authors' website.  [more...]

Authors: Krijn van der Jagt, Ray Pritz
Published by: United Bible Societies

The Bible Lands as Classroom series (eight 45 minute DVDs) is an excellent teaching tool for Bible translators, pastors, and people in general who would like to know more about biblical geography, history, and culture. The series was filmed in Israel and the Middle East, including many ancient sites. The DVDs include:

  • Part One: Geography, Climate, Agriculture
  • Part Two: From Abraham to Joshua
  • Part Three: From Joshua to Hezekiah
  • Part Four: From Hezekiah to Herod
  • Part Five: New Testament: The Gospels
  • Part Six: Spread of the Early Church in the Roman Empire
  • Part Seven: The Religions of the Ancient Near East
  • Part Eight: Bible Text and Canon
  • Presenter’s Manual: Background readings and exercises
  [more...]
Author: Brian Arensen
Published by: Evangelical Missions Quarterly, July 1995

We need to help our students switch their focus from their teachers to the Bible. We want them to be able to say with full confidence, “This is what the Bible teaches.”

How can we do that? It must begin with a major change of emphasis at our schools. We must teach our students how to think and not merely what to think. We must develop students’ confidence and skills to read, interpret, and apply the Bible for themselves.

In this article, Brian Arensen argues for the importance of teaching inductive Bible study methods in African theological colleges. He reports that after teaching and reinforcing inductive Bible study concepts, they have seen a significant difference in the way the students handle the Scriptures:  [more...]

Historical and hermeneutical study of ordinary "readers" transactions with the Bible.
Author: Mote Paulo Magomba
Published by: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg - MTh thesis (2004)

Abstract:
This study falls within the area of the Bible in African Christianity, particularly ordinary readers' appropriation of and interpretation of the Bible. It seeks to explore, firstly, the processes of the encounter between the Bible and the indigenous people of Tanzania, specifically the Gogo in central region. Secondly, this thesis seeks to identify some interpretative resources and emerging interpretative practices that have continued into the present of ordinary readers of the Bible.

This exploration is done by tracing the mission activities of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in Tanzania, which began in 1844. The work of the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) is also examined, particularly the role it has played in making the Book "open" to the indigenous, through translation.

Although there is continuity between past and present readings, this thesis demonstrates that ordinary readings are not static, they are dynamic; and over the years neo-indigenous interpretative moves have emerged which are a combination of both missionary and indigenous interpretative resources and methods. This reality is evident in the contemporary phenomenon of women and youths' songs in central Tanzania. These songs are creative interpretations of the Bible from an ordinary readers' perspective.  [more...]

Africa Bible Commentary Series
Published by: Hippo Books

"The Africa Bible Commentary Series builds on the vision of the acclaimed Africa Bible Commentary — to reach African pastors, students and lay leaders, with top notch biblical and theological scholarship, by Africans, for Africa, and the world."

The first in the series has been published, a commentary on "1 & 2 Timothy and Titus" by Samuel Ngewa (professor of New Testament Studies at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, NEGST).

"These commentaries are divided into preaching units that contain detailed exposition of each passage as well as contemporary applications. The unit is not intended to be preached as a sermon, but as a resource for sermon preparation. Each unit is followed by two or three questions that could be used for a small group or personal study. Academic issues relating to the Greek text and disputes about interpretation are dealt with in extensive end notes."

  [more...]