'For Everyone' - Bible Study Guide Series

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment

The popular and easy to read 'For Everyone' series makes up a comprehensive book by book study guide to the whole Bible. Each step by step guide explores the background to the original writing and its meaning for the life of present day Christians.

Edited by two of the Church's most readable authors: Tom Wright and John Goldingay, the series is widely used and valued by ordinary readers, Bible scholars and church leaders. Recently completed with Tom Wright's overview of the book of Revelation, the series now covers every book of the Bible as well as important Christian themes, teachings, beliefs and festivals.


"...the most exciting thing to have happened in Christian education in Britain for many years." - Expository Times


Opening the Bible for everyone to understand

For Everyone Bible study guides make each book of the Old and New Testaments quite literally open to everyone. Tom Wright, series editor for the New Testament and John Goldingay, editor for the Old Testament books, give ordinary readers, students, pastors and teachers a clear understanding of the origins, meaning and life application of the whole Bible, step by gentle step.

As each guide leads through its title book, a short passage of Bible text in simple modern English is  followed by easily readable and thought-provoking discussion. Background information on the book's historical context and identity and purpose of the writer weaves together many helpful explanations and thoughts on the relevance of the Bible to our lives today.

Written to be read, the series is proving valuable to a wide range of Bible readers as a resource for private devotion, teaching and pastoral ministry. The easy to follow step by step approach makes this major acheivement of both theology and literature into an accessible masterpiece of practical guidance with down to earth daily application for Christians in a challenging modern world.


Consistent and easy-to-follow layout and text

Each book in the series follows the same format with a clear, easy to read type face on good quality pages - which makes the books reassuringly easy to handle. Series editors Tom Wright (New Testament) and John Goldingay (Old Testament) begin each book with an introduction to its main themes and context. This sets the scene for what follows and gives the reader a good, concise overview of the needs, strengths and failings of the original audience.

Opening pages include the supporting maps and information the reader needs to fully grasp the context of the original writing. Maps of the Bible lands show the key historical sites and the changes in the political landscape over the years of the Bible's writing. The development of Jerusalem and the Temple's succeeding phases of construction and destruction help to relate the turmoil of Bible times to the uncertainties of our own age underlining the Bible's continuing relevance.

Inclusion of the entire biblical text in easy to read English makes each book a practical resource for individual and group use. With no need to swap from one book to another, readers can follow the all-in-one Bible and guide wherever they happen to be. Key words and themes are set in bold type. At the back of each book there's a comprehensive Bible dictionary to give a simple explanation of what each word means and why they're so important.


Historical context with modern relevance

"On the very first occasion whensomeone stood up in public to tell the peopl about Jesus, he made it very clear: this message is for everyone." This is opening statement of the series' final book, Revelation for Everyone, and the editorial concept for every other book. With due care given to the historical evidence and the original meaning of words, the series carefully balances context with modern day relevance.

Balance is the key to making the guides readable and real in the everyday sense. Readers can quickly acquire the confidence that their backround knowledge is strong enough for them to make an interpretation of what the words actually mean today. The giudes allow readers to keep the background 'technical' knowledge firmly in the background, without letting it complicate the foreground of applying the Bible's meaning to real life.

As a reader of these guides and their enlightening notes, you'll be reassured to find that life in Biblical times was every bit as complicated as it is now. You'll find that even then people struggled to make the words of prophets and teachers bring about God's kingdom in their lives and times. With the For Everyone guides You don't have to be a theological scholar or even a long-time church goer to understand what the writers of each book of the Bible were trying to say for today.


The 'For Everyone' concept: why it works

Tom Wright's and John Goldingay's editorship works because they set out to meet the needs of Bible readers, not the ambitions of commentary writers. As a result each book in the series starts by considering what readers want from the Bible, not what they might already know it about. If you're a newcomer to the Bible or a lifelong student, you'll find yourelf presented with a fulfilling approach to Bible sudy.

Ordinary readers looking for help with private devotions, students looking for scholarly depth and pastors looking for support in their ministry, all want basically the same from a Bible commentary: a firm grounding in the where, why and when of the Bible's writing and a practical guide to what and the how of its meaning today and its relevance to daily life.

The 'For Everyone' concept of opening up the Bbile is comprehensive in its total relavance to modern life. As well as providing a readable commentary for each individual Bible book, the series includes Bible based guides to key Church festivals - such as Lent (three separate Lent courses based on the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke) and more general Bible overviews - such as 'The New Testament For Everyone'.

For the Big Bible Project's 'Big Read 12' Tom Wright's Mark based commentary and Lent course 'Lent for Everyone: Mark' is this year's choice for a nationwide initiative to get people reading and talking about the Bible in the run up to Easter. In 2011, a similar project used his 'Lent for Everyone: Matthew'. Each title benefits from the inclusion of the entire gospel in the former Bishop's own easy to read English translation.


Series editors John Goldingay and Tom Wright

Formerly Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St John's Theological College, Nottingham, John Goldingay continued his contributiuon to our understanding of the Bible's origins as Professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology at Fuller, Theological Seminary, Califormia. John is the author of many Old Testament Theology books and commentaries, serving on the editorial board for the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies and as associate pastor at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Pasadena.

New Testament scholar and author Tom Wright is an influential best selling writer of theological depth, engaging in tone, and compelling biblical insight. Read by distinguished biblical scholars and theologians his writing is equally accessible to the ordinary reader. Retiring as Bishop of Durham in 2010, Tom Wright took up a new and challenging appointment as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews , Fife, Scotland.

Quick Guide to 'For Everyone' Bible study guides

What are they?

  • Step by step, book by book guides to Bible, key themes and festivals.
  • Easy to read and understand for the ordinary reader, scholar and teacher.
  • Edited by two of the Church's leading and most readable Bible teachers.

What makes them special?

  • Consistent format making each book in the series familiar in structure and content.
  • All in one slim volume and easy to read with full biblical text and explanatory notes.
  • Complete with supporting maps, conextual information and key word Bible dictionary.

What will they do for me?

  • Lead you deeper into the scriptures in the company of two readable Bible teachers.
  • Give you a better understanding of how each book of the Bible relates to the others.
  • Help you relate the Bible to its times and apply its meaning to your everyday life today.
7th February

February 7th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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