Bible Studies That Don’t Ask You to Talk about Your Feelings

This Lent I began editing and co-authoring a weekly free, downloadable PDF Bible study with Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller on the Penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) for Around the Word.

Patient standing and telling her problems to therapy group

Patient standing and telling her problems to therapy group

We’ve had a number of people tell us how useful they’ve found these studies for their congregations and personal bible study. For my part, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching these studies at my two congregations as they have resulted in some very substantive, edifying conversations. There are a number of points of departure in these studies for further teaching (e.g., for the pastor or learned layman who’s leading a study), yet the studies readily lend themselves to dialogue or individual use and don’t necessarily require a leader (the questions themselves are “leading”). Here’s a sample from this week’s study on Psalm 130:

v. 1: “Out of the depths I cry to you”

The Hebrew word for “depths” (מַעֲמַקִּים) occurs four other times in the Old Testament, each time in a context where there is imminent danger from water (Psalm 69:2, 14; Isaiah 51:10; Ezekiel 27:34).

What danger threatens to destroy the psalmist here in this psalm? Consider especially verse 3.

Compare also 1 Corinthians 10:1–14. What example has Israel set for us in the Old Testament?

I’ve often struggled to find a good balance between lecture and discussion in my bible classes, and these studies have been quite helpful in that regard. The questions in the study aren’t of the “how did this passage make you feel” variety, but drive us into a deeper study of God’s Word, always with a Christological and practical emphasis. One lady (whom I’ve never met) had this to say about these studies:

I lead an English Bible reading class for women once a month at my (Japanese) church. I used this as my guide. Thank you so much! It was a very good study yesterday. One woman (who had been attending churches primarily for contact with English speakers for over 20 years) who was baptized a few years ago finally understood that the Old Testament is not just a collection of random stories, but they point to Christ. Made my day! Thanks again.

Soli Deo gloria!

The final installment of our penitential Psalms study (Psalm 143) will be released on Holy Monday. On Easter Monday we will begin publishing a study of 1 Corinthians 15 on the Resurrection from fellow BJS author and Steadfast Throwdown co-host Pastor Randy Asburry. After that, look for studies on Ecclesiastes, Revelation, and Isaiah.

Again, all of the studies are free and may be found here. Thanks to Issues, Etc. for the sponsorship!


Bible Studies That Don’t Ask You to Talk about Your Feelings — 5 Comments

  1. I’ve used these studies for my Sunday morning classes during Lent. Excellent! One of my favorite parts of the studies is that they are so much more than “let’s take a look at this verse or this psalm” – they actually use Scripture to interpret Scripture! (What a novel idea.) My adults look forward to these. They are finally learning their way around the Bible. Thanks! They are appreciated.

  2. Awesome, because His Word is awesome, for Christ sake and God’s glory. Christ-centered, Cross-focused resources. Thank you for your time and effort. from Denmark, Europe

  3. These studies are outstanding and have been very educational, informative, and edifying to the people of this congregation. There is great interest in the Psalms and the penitential Psalms series this Lent has proved extremely useful in teaching law and gospel, sin and grace, and, above all, about Christ, our lamb who was sacrificed for our sins. Keep up the good work in producing these useful studies from the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

  4. I would just like to thank you for making these studies available. The depth of content is wonderful, a great application of scripture interpeting scripture. I use them for personal study, since my church has not deviated from it’s ad nauseam study of Max Lucado’s “the Story”. Again, thank you.

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