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My Bible Students are Becoming Authors

January 18, 2015

I have a classroom of authors.

Authors and theologians, actually.  The in-class study time is intense – and yet hushed.

To the strains of Bach’s Brandenberg Concertos, my sophomore and junior Bible students are quietly discussing, asking, pondering, and editing.   Publication time is near, and we want the finished product to be ready.

You see, we’re creating a Bible commentary online, absolutely free for anyone who wants help in their Scriptural studies.  This is not only a class project, it’s a ministry.

1d“I like this,” said Jared.  “I like the idea of being able to help youth groups and teens around the world.  I don’t think of this as an assignment.”  And really, it’s not.  Oh, of course I give my students a letter grade, but the impact of the outreach goes far beyond the Grace Christian Academy’s walls here in Tennessee.  We want to have an easy-reference Bible commentary that can be used all over the globe, from a Christian retreat in Maine to a Bible study in Arizona to a conference in Montana.  Or Alberta.  Or London.

Kelly approaches my desk.  “I’m not sure if I should concentrate on Herod’s Edomite heritage or discuss the magi’s origins.”  We talk for a bit and she decides to work on Herod’s background.  “Oh,” she calls back to me, “researchers say he probably suffered from Fournier’s Gangrene.”

“That’s right,” I replied.  “It probably brought on his paranoia.”

She reads it and winces. “That’s disgusting.  But I’ll write about it, too.”

It’s called the Brickyard Bible, because we are slowly but surely building a study that will stand secure and reliable for serious Christians who want to get more meat in their studies.  The project is slow, but it’s strong.  Brick by brick.

Bert has hit upon a mother lode of Messianic prophecies.  “I mean, I know we talked about them in class, but this stuff is great.  Over three hundred of them.  Where do I start?”  His usual quiet manner betrays a hint of a smile.  He’s excited.  “How many entries can I submit?”

“No limit,” I said, “but no simple copy-and-paste, either.  Study the source.  Look up the Hebrew or Koine Greek where necessary.  Give some insight if possible.  And no messy grammar – let’s make this look good.”

So here I am, spending the weekend with hundreds of entries.  I’m editing and tweaking and really having a grand time doing this.  This is kinetic education.  It also fills a need around the Christian youth group world.  In my youth pastor days, I clearly recall the dearth of good, deep Scripture study material aimed at youth groups.  Very little dealt with contemporary issues in a mature manner.  Most of the devotionals appeared to be hurried and anemic, slammed together in an attempt to meet a deadline. (Later, when I worked for some Christian publishing businesses, I found out that this was often true.) Other commentaries simply ignored the teenage world, often loading their pages with medieval rhetoric that didn’t relate to the issues of today’s young Christian.

We’re trying to meet a need.  It’s going to take a lot of work, and hopefully it will never end.  We realize that the task is monumental, so I’ve set more attainable goals; we’re building across the first five books of the New Testament for this year’s project, chapter by chapter.

Rick approaches my desk.  “I finished a report on Matthew chapter  four, and I’d sort of like to jump over to Romans chapter one.  Is that okay?”

“Any particular subject in that chapter?” I ask.

He nods.  “I’d like to tackle that early part about seeing the invisible God.”  I nod back, and he’s off to his desk, typing and reading furiously.  I cannot tell you how much this excites me.  These students are showing me an impressive amount of talent and energy, all with a missionary zeal.

Marissa re-types her entry numerous times before sending it to me; she wants it to be as exacting as possible.  Nate writes a personal illustration around his study of Jesus’ temptations.  He’s faced trials, and he wants other teens to learn from his experiences.

This is the manifestation of what I call the 2-2-2 Principle.  As I read in 2 Timothy 2:2, I am committing the Bible truths to faithful students who are in turn becoming teachers of the Scripture themselves.  It’s every Bible teacher’s dream.

There’s no profit.  Nobody makes a dime.  That’s not why we’re doing this.

Now, Super Bowl weekend is our official launch, but I’ll let you have a preview screening, so to speak.

Here’s an early peek at it, if you’d like to take a look:   Mind you now, you’re looking at the beginning stages; there’s a long way to go until the February launch weekend.

Please pray for us, and the two-fold impact of what we are doing.  My students are learning and teaching at the same time.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  – 3 John 1:4




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  1. Brad, what an awesome project! I will be passing this on to a friend of mine who is utterly frustrated with Pastor’s who won’t consider allowing him to teach the youth basic Bible doctrine and here you are soon to launch an online doctrinal study written by and for teens. My friend holds no doctorate but he spends hours each day studying his Bible and is convinced, as am I, that young adults need this foundation or else reap the consequences of yet another generation floating in the quagmire of relavatistic philosopuke! (Try that one out on the kids!) I’d be interested in the resistance stories you’ve had initiating the project…never mind…negative focus is counter productive. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you Neil, and of course I would love it if you would become a contributing author as well!

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