To be good and faithful stewards of the gospel we need to share biblical truth. In order to share biblical truth, we must know biblical truth. This knowledge must be grounded in the Scriptures. Yet, we live in a time where the Bible is not viewed as God’s Word. Those who reject the Bible as God’s Word ignore it, claiming the Bible as merely man’s invention and no one can know what was originally written. In this culture that sees the Bible as irrelevant, Christians need to be sure they do not slip into ignorance and fail to address these issues. More than anything, this culture needs Christians who are informed when it comes to the truth and reliability of Scripture. For Christians to be well-informed they need to receive wise instruction. How We Got the Bible, 6-session DVD-based small group study led by Timothy Paul Jones, provides just that.
Instructive and Informative
The DVD curriculum features a DVD with six 25–35-minute sessions, a printed and digital copy of the Leader Guide, and a printed copy of the Participant Guide among other resources. Each session contains a session outline to follow along with the study and to take additional notes. Key terms are listed in the sessions to help those who may be unfamiliar with some of the terms and people mentioned in the DVD study. The Leader Guide includes extra features to help guide the facilitator as he or she leads the group, even posing and answering questions participants may ask in each section.
The titles of the six sessions show the intentionality and progression this study put forth for the Christian. The first session opens with the question, “What’s So Special About the Bible?” and the following sessions proceed with a historical progression by observing how we got the Old Testament (session 2), how we got the New Testament (session 3), how the books of the New Testament were chosen (session 4), how the New Testament was copied (session 5), and how we got the Bible in English (session 6). This study does not merely follow a historical progression, though. This study is also historically informed. As Timothy Paul Jones grounds everything in Scripture, he also instructs the Christian with names like Tertullian and Papias how history informs the truth and reliability of Scripture.
The strength of this study is that it not only informs the Christian but also interacts with skeptics. In the DVD sessions, Timothy Paul Jones engages with objections or critiques from unbelieving scholars like Bart Ehrman and Reza Aslan. In his interaction with these unbelievers, he considers their claims and ultimately shows the weakness in these skeptics’ arguments.
The interactive component of the study is not limited to what happens in the DVD session. Study participants are encouraged to discuss questions as a group and invited to review and prepare for the following study by answering a daily question over a 5-day period as they approach the next group meeting.
Clarity and Distinction
With so many strengths to this study, I only offer one critique. The leader and participant guide highlight for the Christian student key terms. However, some of these key terms are either events or figures in church history. A clearer approach may be to distinguish between key terms, key events, and key figures. Still, this issue does not negatively impact what the student will take away from the study.
For the Student of Scripture
Living in a culture that does not recognize the Bible as God’s Word, we need resources like How We Got Our Bible. As believers, now is not the time to live isolated Christian lives either. We need to be connected to the body of Christ and while this study can be for individual use, it has been designed for groups to go through together. If you are a Christian who wants to be an informed student of Scripture and be able to interact with skeptics concerning the Bible, then the How We Got the Bible DVD-based study led by Timothy Paul Jones is the resource for you!
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I received the Leader and Participants Guide of this study from Rose Publishing in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of this study.