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Understanding the Books of the Bible

by Christopher R. Smith

  • Formats: epub, pdf, and mobi
  • Published: December 28, 2012
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-5995-5
  • Item Code: 5995

In his Gospel, Mark doesn't tell us much about himself. Scholars have managed to glean information about him from the text—like the fact that he was a good friend of Simon Peter's—but Mark himself is not very forthcoming about where he's writing from or even the audience he's writing his Gospel for. The reason, perhaps, is because the story he's telling is not about himself. His story is all about Jesus.

This new guide in the Understanding the Books of the Bible series will help you grasp Jesus' passion and power as well as the urgency and beauty of the kingdom he brought to earth. But Mark's fast-paced narrative doesn't just tell a story; it also asks a question. Will you fully give your life to Jesus? Will you join his kingdom for the long-haul? Or will you choose fear, wealth or power over him, and miss out on the abundant life—the peace, the joy, the purpose--he gives?

The answer is as important today as it was for Mark's original audience. Let this fresh approach to Mark's masterfully written Gospel help you see a fuller picture of Jesus, and let Jesus lead you more fully into life in his kingdom.

The Understanding the Books of the Bible series moves groups away from a typical Bible study format into a new approach to experiencing the Bible together. Instead of following artificial chapter and verse divisions, these study guides lead groups through whole books following their natural outlines and flow. They pose engaging questions for discussion with personal implications all along the way, leading to a community Bible experience.


How These Study Guides Are Different
Outline of Mark
Map of Places Mentioned in Mark

1. Experiencing the Book of Mark as a Whole
2. Mark Introduces Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God
3. Jesus Proclaims God's Coming Kingdom By Teaching, Healing, and Delivering
4. The Religious Leaders Challenge Jesus' Teachings and Activities
5. Jesus Appoints Twelve Disciples and His Family Joins the Opposition
6. Jesus Tells Parables About His Message, His Identity, and the Kingdom of God
7. Jesus Calms a Storm and Drives Out a Legion of Demons
8. Jesus Does Two More Great Miracles, But He's Rejected in His Home Town
9. Jesus Sends His Disciples Out and Mark Reports the Fate of John the Baptist
10. Jesus Feeds Five Thousand People and Walks on the Water
11. Jesus Declares All Foods Clean and Ministers Among the Gentiles
12. The Identity of Jesus Comes Into Focus Through a Repeated Series of Events
13. Jesus Predicts His Sufferings and Appears in Glory on a Mountaintop
14. Jesus Delivers a Boy from a Demon and Teaches His Disciples Privately
15. Jesus Teaches His Disciples More About the Ways of the Kingdom of God
16. Jesus Teaches About Greatness and Heals Blind Bartimaeus
17. Jesus Enters Jerusalem, Makes a Fig Tree Wither, and Cleanses the Temple
18. The Jewish Leaders Question Jesus' Authority and Identity
19. Jesus Debates His Opponents and Teaches the Crowds in the Temple
20. Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple
21. Jesus Shares a Meal in Bethany and Observes Passover in Jerusalem
22. Jesus Prays in Gesthemane and is Arrested and Questioned by the Sanhedrin
23. Jesus Gives His Life as the Savior of the World
24. Jesus is Buried and Rises from the Dead

Christopher R. Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an author and biblical scholar who lives in East Lansing, Michigan. He served local churches for nearly twenty years in Massachusetts, Ontario and Michigan and is now a volunteer campus staff member with Graduate InterVarsity at Michigan State University. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. He was one of the translators for The Voice Bible. Smith has a B.A. in literature from Harvard, a master's degree in theological studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in historical theology and Bible from Boston College. He has taught visiting, adjunct and extension courses at Williams College, Regent College and the Ontario Bible College (now Tyndale University College). His articles have appeared in professional journals such as Novum Testamentum, New Testament Studies and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, in periodicals such as Bible Study Magazine, and on websites such as The High Calling of Our Daily Work.

BY Christopher R. Smith

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