- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Christian Focus (September 20, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845503619
- ISBN-13: 978-1845503611
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Read Mark Learn: John: A Small Group Bible Study Paperback – September 20, 2013
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"This series of books is superb for personal study, and for helping those who teach the Bible to others. I've been getting a lot to give away to others now. The level is accessible, the reasoning clear, the application careful. Faithful and concise, never missing the big picture. Excellent."
(Mark Dever ~ Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church and President, 9Marks.org, Washington, DC)
"Read / Mark / Learn has taught thousands of us over the years to know our Bibles and our God better." (Hugh Palmer ~ Rector, All Souls Langham Place, London)
"These study notes take us to the heart of the meaning of the Gospel." (John Chapman)
"The art of simplification is not an easy one, but here it is at its best, and put to excellent use." (D. A. Carson ~ Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois)
Although this book never makes any claim to be a formal commentary on the book of John, it does give us the necessary tools to study some of the great themes contained within the Gospel. The Book is essentially 27 studies with each study following a similar method of looking at the biblical passage through the lens of context, structure, Old Testament background, text notes etc. This Book will be helpful and challenging for anyone wishing to do a personal study of the Gospel while any pastor or church leader looking for material for group studies or preaching will find it invaluable. (Rev. Sandy Weddell Easterhouse Baptist Church in Baptist Union of Scotland, Connect)
"This series of books is superb for personal study, and for helping those who teach the Bible to others. I've been getting a lot to give away to others now. The level is accessible, the reasoning clear, the application careful. Faithful and concise, never missing the big picture. Excellent." ~ Mark Dever (Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church and President, 9Marks.org, Washington, DC) "Read / Mark / Learn has taught thousands of us over the years to know our Bibles and our God better." ~ Hugh Palmer (Rector, All Souls Langham Place, London) "These study notes take us to the heart of the meaning of the Gospel." ~ John Chapman "The art of simplification is not an easy one, but here it is at its best, and put to excellent use." ~ D. A. Carson (Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois)
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While primarily designed for small group and one to one discipleship courses, over time, this book is an ideal work for individual study. The reader, group member and leader should be equipped to see and to know Jesus as the Christ and to have life in his name. So while good information and good context is given, the role of this book is to show the reader that their life can be changed.
There are many, many guides and studies to prepare leaders to teach group this gospel. This book is really at the top of the list, because of how it has worthwhile commentary, while allowing the text to speak for itself.
Two volumes on the stack almost got passed on to a more available master, but were snatched from the fire at the 11th hour. These were the two Read Mark Learn volumes—one on John, the other on Romans—published by Christian Focus in partnership with St. Helen's Bishopsgate.
I almost passed over these treasures like an angel of death on the fourteenth day of the first month. My initial perusal revealed them to be a series of Bible studies, and, well, I need more Bible studies like Solomon needs more wives:
"I find something more bitter than death: the woman [substitute "Bible study guide" for "woman" and you'll catch my usual disillusionment] whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things— which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found." (Eccl 7:26-28, ESV)
I read one short study from the volume on John's Gospel just for kicks. And boy, am I glad I did.
I read another and another. After 5 of them, I couldn't stop raving over them to my wife (you should have seen the spittle in my beard!). After only 2 or 3 more, I was ready to purchase a volume on every other book of the Bible. But I searched online and could find only John and Romans. I spoke with a representative from Westminster bookstore, and he could find only John and Romans. I went on the Christian Focus website, and still I could find only John and Romans.
The bad news is that they have volumes on only John and Romans. The good news, however, is that I finally found a page on St. Helen's's website (http://www.st-helens.org.uk/resources/bible-study-resources), which has a long list of studies on many other (though not all) books of the Bible—all available for free. More bad news, though: John and Romans cost money. Sorry.
What is so good about these Bible studies?
They are short: only 10 pages or fewer per unit of text.
They consider context. The book's historical context, the unit's literary context, and the entire Bible's gospel context.
They concisely trace out (and focus on) the author's flow of thought.
They identify a main point for each section.
They connect every passage to Christ.
They get specific in application.
I'm not sure I can think of anything else I would ask for in a Bible study.
The only problem I can see with these studies is the threat of addiction. Just be careful not to read them until after you study the text for yourself. But if ever I was tempted to ignore my own standards for such things, now would be the time.