As a homeschooling mom and ministry leader, I am always on the lookout for devotionals, commentaries, and curriculum that help students understand the Bible and make it applicable to their lives. So I was excited when I received the opportunity to review The Jesus of the Gospels, from Kregel Academic. It is a great Bible commentary for teens and is a great addition to any high school Bible curriculum.
Bible Commentary for Teens
We’ve done devotions together as a family, as part of our morning meetings, for years. As our children get older, we encourage growing independence with Bible reading and study. It’s important, to me, that we have resources readily available to aide them in their study.
Selecting a Bible curriculum, whether for my high school students in ministry, or for my own kids, is a challenging endeavor. Finding studies that are trustworthy, well written, and easy to understand isn’t always easy.
We’re considering using a Bible curriculum for a high school Bible class for our son. Admittedly, he is only twelve. That said, he’s always had a penchant for reading above grade level and is has several high school credits on his transcript. While we do have have several Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and Bible concordances that I use in study. Having a Bible commentary for teens, that is less collegiate and easier to understand, will go a long way toward encouraging independence of study.
Getting to Know the Jesus of the Gospels
When I received the opportunity to review The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction, by Andreas J. Kostenberger, I was really excited. It is a new book from Kregel Academic. Kregel Academic is a division of Kregel Publications. Their academic books cover a wide range of theological disciplines, with a primary focus on biblical studies, biblical languages, theology, and ministry/pastoral books. The new Kregel Academic Blog is home to scholarly articles that also serve to aide Bible study.
The publisher describes The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction as “A reader-friendly guide to the life and teachings of the Jesus of the Gospels.” I couldn’t agree more!
From the author, “I originally wrote this book for my college-age son and daughter. I wanted them to have a guide in hand as they were reading through the Gospels. In the book, I try to come alongside readers of the Gospels. I walk through each Gospel and track with its storyline, with a special focus on getting to know Jesus better. What could be more important than to come to know Jesus and to grow in our relationship with him? It is my hope and prayer that this simple book will be used by God in a small way to bring him and his Son glory and honor as we grow in our knowledge of him and spread the good news across the globe.”
While the author originally wrote the book for his college age children, it is definitely suitable for high school level courses and a great Bible study help for teens.
I love what the author wrote in Chapter 1, where he says, “I’ve suggested some proper points of application along the way, since, as I mentioned, the life of Jesus is not merely a proper object of study but first and foremost a call to action, a call to follow Jesus and to become more like him, both in our own character and in the way we relate to others.” You can read more from Chapter 1 in the provided excerpt.
Jesus’s Work in Galilee
I found that I really appreciate the author’s method of weaving Scripture with explanation. For example, in Chapter 3, The Good News according to Mark, the author covers Jesus’s work in Galilee.
He breaks it up into Jesus’s Initial Work in Galilee, Jesus’s Later work in Galilee, and Jesus’s Work Beyond Galilee. He illustrates the five controversial encounters Jesus had in Galilee with the Jewish leaders. The author does an excellent job of walking the reader through the encounters and explaining them in a way that the reader can understand not only the controversy itself, but the background behind it. Learn more about this section on Jesus’s Work in Galilee on the Kregel Academic blog, as well.
The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction is readable, which makes the Jesus detailed therein relatable and relevant. If there’s one thing I want my kids to know is that Jesus IS relatable AND relevant today.
This book is a commentary. It does point to related Bible passages. It does detail the meanings of different words. This book gives context of both the author and the culture of the passage. It connects each passage to the big picture of Scripture and history. That said, it doesn’t FEEL like the commentaries I’ve read in the past. It doesn’t read like a textbook. Instead, it draws the reader in and engages them with Scripture. It is a great companion to any study of the Gospels.
Kregel Academic Giveaway
Kregel Academic is currently running a giveaway, which ends June 22, 2020. Be sure to enter, because you could win $75 worth of books from Kregel Academic. Trust me, they have plenty that you’ll want to add to your stacks.
While I haven’t yet decided if we’ll do a formal Bible class for my son this next year, I am really glad to have added this bible study resource to my shelf… errr, our homeschool library. 😉
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