Miracles of Jesus: Six In-depth Studies Connecting the Bible to Life Deeper Connections
Healer of diseases. Master of nature. Conqueror of demons and death. Jesus not only preached the kingdom of God in word, but he demonstrated it in power through his miraculous deeds. This unique, in-depth look at the miracles of Jesus will open your eyes to their impact on the lives he touched, what they reveal about God's heart, and their significance for us today. The Teachers: Dr. Gary Burge, Wheaton College Dr. David Garland, Truett Theological Seminary Dr. Mark Strauss, Bethel Seminary Dr. Michael Wilkins, Talbot School of Theology Dr. Matt Williams, Biola University Dr. Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary
From the Back Cover
Healer of diseases. Master of nature. Conqueror of demons and death. Jesus not only preached the kingdom of God in word, but he demonstrated it in power through his miraculous deeds. This unique, in-depth look at the miracles of Jesus will open your eyes to their impact on the lives he touched, what they reveal about God's heart, and their significance for us today.
Dr. Gary Burge, Wheaton College
Dr. David Garland, Truett Theological Seminary
Dr. Mark Strauss, Bethel Seminary
Dr. Michael Wilkins, Talbot School of Theology
Dr. Matt Williams, Biola University
Dr. Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary
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The series consists of three separate dvds - The Prayers of Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, and The Parables of Jesus - with six Bible studies on each dvd.
The series contains a dvd and participant's guide (both purchased separately). The dvd and guide are designed to follow a three-part pattern: a close look at the original meaning of the biblical text, attention to the historical and cultural background, and an encouraging and challenging application of the text's meaning for today. Thus, each study is broken up into three short segments that take small groups deeper into various texts of the Gospels. Between each of these teaching segments, there is time for group discussion. The dvd is well done, while not being overly flashy or distracting. Jarrett Stevens, the host, introduces each section from a different location in Israel. This may seem insignificant to some, but it truly helps set the scene and context as each location is relevant to the text that will be discussed on the dvd.
So far my small group has gone through the first three studies and it has produced a lot of valuable and fruitful conversations. The dvd teachers have all shown a great balance of challenging us to understand the texts and applying them to our lives. The dvd allows room for discussion, and the participants guide is clear and practical as it helps initiate conversations with relevant and challenging questions. My initial expectation was that I wouldn't learn much from these Bible studies. I was wrong. I have not only learned more about what Scripture means, but I have grown from the challenges and applications presented from each teacher on the dvd. The participant's guide also has a section for five days of personal reflection that centers on the text that was just studied.
Overall, Deeper Connections is a great Bible study series that challenges both our hearts and our minds and seeks to deepen our relationship with Jesus. It has definitely risen above my expectations. Whereas I have often felt like other Bible studies (not all) try to transform lives through good concepts with a Bible quote here or there, this series is solely founded and firmly based on Scripture. As it stands, my small group plans on purchasing the other two dvd studies.
However, it turned out to be a terrific study. The individual lessons are deep and probing, and each segment takes one deeper into the Biblical story for a more three dimensional look at the Gospel Narrative. We only did 4 of the 6 lessons, and the small group was really disappointed that we didn't finish the last two.
My only critique for the material is: 1. the camera angles were awkward. I have done a lot of camera work with some high end equipment and interview production, and I can say that the offset camera (catching the speaker at an angle) was very distracting. After previewing the material, I almost didn't use it because of this. 2. the middle eastern music in the opener is too authentic. It is almost a dissonant sound and my small group constantly joked about belly dancing :) 3. the scholars need to stop reading the tele-prompter. These people know this material better than anyone on earth, and they should be able to follow a few simple notes and speak in a less stilted way. There are times when they sounded as if they were reading off of cue cards and that was distracting at times.
Otherwise, the material was outstanding, and the video production was very well done for the most part. I almost wish each video had the scholar speaking from the onsight/Israel location (but I get what they were trying to do... which was to bring that world into this one). We have several small groups that will be using the material this fall in our next Life Group Season.