Resources with discussion questions

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John Eggen | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 30 2014 12:07 PM

Does anyone have a good suggestion for resources within the Logos catalog that would provide some study questions for passages?  For example I'm thinking of something like the Serendipity Bible that has some questions related to sections of scripture for individual or small group study.  Does anyone have a good suggestion for a Logos based resource that might provide some questions like this to help facilitate generating class discussion or small group study guides?

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 30 2014 3:21 PM

I can't access my Logos at the moment, but as I recall John MacArthur has some study guides with questions in them.  As does the Daily Study bible Series. 

There is another series I'm trying to recall the name by Bob Utley I believe which has study questions.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 30 2014 4:32 PM

I think that it has been suggested in the past but I'd love to see the Serendipity Bible in Logos.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 30 2014 6:15 PM

I picked these up when they were on sale... I liked the one I read through.

https://vyrso.com/products/search?q=stonecroft 

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John Eggen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 30 2014 6:31 PM

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far.  I've looked at all of them and am increasingly convinced that I really just need the Serendipity Bible to be in Logos!  I have tons of commentaries and resources for ideas but really like the way the Serendipity Bible has some starter discussion questions alongside most sections of scripture that can be used as questions for small group discussion.  That's really what I'm after - basically a Study Bible that provides study/reflection questions rather than notes on the text.  From what I've seen so far and the other study Bibles I've looked at I just don't see many options for something similar in Logos.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 30 2014 6:46 PM

Just from my library:

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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John Eggen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 6 2014 10:11 AM

Just wanted to follow up on this thread and share that one of the sale items right now actually does this rather well for NT texts. I just purchased The Bible Speaks Today and this resource has both commentary on texts as well as a separate section at the end with study guides for all of the texts in the NT. There are some themes discussed but it appears that all of the study guides are listed by sections of scripture which makes it great for discussion questions based on the text you are reading. It's also on sale as the August top product right now.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 6 2014 12:40 PM

Similar to the BST is Old Testament for Everyone Series (currently complete to Mid Psalms) and the New Testament for Everyone Series. These are done by single authors N. T. Wright did the NT and J. Goldingay is doing the OT. Here are two samples.

DEUTERONOMY 7:1–6

On Killing Enemies

1 “When Yahweh your God brings you into the country that you are entering to take possession of, and puts down many nations before you (Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations bigger and stronger than you), 2 and Yahweh your God gives them up before you and you strike them down, you will devote them totally. You will not seal a covenant with them. You will not show grace to them. 3 You will not intermarry with them. You will not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, because they will turn your sons from following me and they will serve other gods. Then the anger of Yahweh your God will flare up against you and he will quickly destroy you. 5 Rather, do this to them. Demolish their altars. Break up their pillars. Cut down their columns. Burn their statues with fire. 6 Because you are a people holy to Yahweh your God. It was you that Yahweh your God chose to become a special people for him from all the peoples on the face of the ground.”


In the modern age, the way the Old Testament talks about the Israelites’ destroying people troubles many Jews and Christians in the United States. It did not do so before the modern period, and it is not felt as so much of a problem in other countries. Whereas U.S. Christians often link their unease with Jesus’ telling people to love their enemies, it seems unlikely that the origin of their troubled feelings lies simply there (Augustine comments that Jesus tells us to love our enemies; he does not tell us to love God’s enemies). In the context of modernity people came to be troubled about the prevalence of warring between nations, with weaponry of developing sophistication, and came to generate the conviction that nations should be able to get together to eliminate war. Jesus’ teaching and the rest of the Bible suggest that this is an implausible conviction (“there will be wars and rumors of wars”), and recent history confirms that. People in the United States may also be influenced by the fact that the United States is the great war-making nation; it has war deeply and recurrently part of its history.
Israelites listening to Deuteronomy 7 may also have been shocked or bewildered by these words of Moses, for different though overlapping reasons. There is nothing new about God’s promising to strike down the Canaanites, and the background to the promise has been made clear. In part it is an ancient equivalent to eminent domain or compulsory purchase. God wants this country in order to give it to the Israelites, because God intends to bless the world by means of them. In the short term, therefore, these other peoples will have to lose out, but God is not simply being arbitrary. God has been giving them rope for centuries, and eventually they have hanged themselves. They have behaved in abominable ways (child sacrifice is one practice the Torah mentions), so they are to be banished from their country as Cain was once banished from his land.
In Deuteronomy 7 the difference is that God envisages the Israelites striking these peoples down; so far in the Torah, striking people down has been God’s business. The exception that proves the rule is God’s commissioning the Israelites to strike down the Midianites, not in order to occupy their land but because of wrong the Midianites had done. Israel was thus to act as God’s agent. It was acting in the manner of the authorities Paul speaks of, acting as “God’s minister, bringing punishment as an agent of wrath on the person who does wrong” (Romans 13:4).
This notion troubles many modern Jews and Christians for two reasons. One is that we prefer the idea of God’s being loving and merciful to the idea of God’s being tough with people. Yet Jesus doesn’t regard having love as a defining characteristic as incompatible with sending trillions of people to hell.
The other is a fear that nations today may make it the excuse for making war, claiming they are only doing what the Torah told the Israelites to do. I am not aware of cases of nations that were peace loving and disinclined to make war but then decided to make a war because Deuteronomy said so. If Deuteronomy comes into consideration, it is when people use the book to provide an excuse for what they were going to do anyway. The way to undermine that claim is to point out that God’s telling the Israelites to wage war in one or two circumstances doesn’t imply that the command is transferable.
Jews and Christians sometimes argue that the Old Testament’s attitude to war reflects its cultural context, which is of course true. It is also the case that our attitude to war reflects our cultural context. The Old and New Testament do not imply that the Torah was limited by the insights of its cultural context in what it told the Israelites, but neither does either Testament suggest that the Torah’s commission applies in other contexts than the one in which Moses utters it.
The Torah goes on to speak of the Israelites “devoting” these peoples. Translations often use words such as “annihilated” or “destroyed,” and that may be the implication, but it does not convey Moses’ distinctive point. Devoting them means giving them over to God. This need not mean killing them. You could devote land, or an animal such as a donkey, and in effect Hannah will devote Samuel; the donkey or the human being then belongs to God and is committed to God’s service. The Israelites did in effect devote many Canaanites to God’s service in this way; they became people who chopped wood and drew water for the altar, its offerings, and the rites of the sanctuary. The Israelites have already devoted various peoples to God by killing them, though God never told them to do so. They were following a practice known from other peoples. Here God does tell them to do this.
In what sense does God mean it? After commanding Israel to devote the Canaanites, Moses goes on to a series of other commands. They are not to seal covenants with the Canaanites, show grace to them, or intermarry with them (because then they will end up serving their gods, as happened in connection with the Midianites), and they are to destroy their aids to worship and their places of worship. The talk of not showing grace again puts Israel in the position of people like the authorities in Romans 13. People such as judges and police often have to resist the temptation to show grace to wrongdoers. There are moments when it is necessary to be tough. This is such a moment.
What is odd about these other commands is that devoting the Canaanites will mean that questions such as intermarriage don’t arise. So why mention them?
Jesus tells men who are inclined to fancy other women to gouge an eye out (Matthew 5:29). We assume he was absolutely serious but did not intend to be taken literally. It would make sense if Deuteronomy is absolutely serious about annihilating the Canaanites but does not intend to be taken literally. It would fit with this chapter’s place in the exposition of basic attitudes that occupies Deuteronomy 4–11. These chapters are not laying down rules but seeking to form attitudes. It is vital that Israel totally repudiate Canaanite religion. As far as the Israelites are concerned, the Canaanites must no longer exist. They need to eliminate them from their lives. Or if Deuteronomy is laying down literal rules, it is in the imperatives that follow about intermarriage and the destruction of the Canaanites’ aids to worship.
These imperatives also hint at another aspect of the significance of Deuteronomy for its readers. It forms the conclusion of the Torah and the introduction to the story from Joshua to Kings. One feature of that story is how Israel failed to do the kind of thing Deuteronomy said and ended up thrown out of the country like the Canaanites (only not permanently). It also indicated priorities the people need now to have. They need to take seriously these commands about intermarriage and destroying forms of worship. In a way Deuteronomy’s message is “If only we had done these things, we would not be in so much trouble today.” The people who read Deuteronomy also sometimes fought wars, as nations normally do. War is built into the notion of nationhood. But these people never assumed that they were supposed literally to eliminate peoples. It looks as if they knew how to read Deuteronomy, whereas modern people do not.


John Goldingay, Numbers and Deuteronomy for Everyone, Old Testament for Everyone (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press; Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2010), 117–121.

MARK 1:21–34
Exorcism and Healings

21 They went to Capernaum. At once, on the sabbath, Jesus went into the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astonished at his teaching. He wasn’t like the legal teachers; he said things on his own authority.
23 All at once, in their synagogue, there was a man with an unclean spirit.
24 ‘What is it with us and you, Jesus of Nazareth?’ he yelled. ‘Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you’re God’s Holy One!’
25 ‘Be quiet!’ ordered Jesus. ‘And come out of him!’
26 The unclean spirit convulsed the man, gave a great shout, and came out of him. Everyone was astonished.
27 ‘What’s this?’ they started to say to each other. ‘New teaching—with real authority! He even tells the unclean spirits what to do, and they do it!’
28 Word about Jesus spread at once, all over the surrounding district of Galilee.
29 They came out of the synagogue, and went at once (with James and John) into Simon’s and Andrew’s house. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her right away. 31 He went in, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she waited on them.
32 When the sun went down and evening came, they brought to Jesus everyone who was ill, all who were demon-possessed.
33 The whole town was gathered around the door. 34 Jesus healed many people suffering from all kinds of diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Not long ago there was a great disaster at sea. A tourist boat, loaded with cars and holidaymakers, had failed to shut its doors properly; the water began to pour in; the boat began to sink, and panic set in. People were screaming as the happy, relaxed atmosphere of the ship turned in minutes into something worse than a horror movie.
All at once one man—not a member of the crew—took charge. In a clear voice he gave orders, telling people what to do. Relief mixed with the panic as people realized someone at least was in charge, and many managed to reach lifeboats they would otherwise have missed in the dark and the rush. The man himself made his way down to the people trapped in the hold. There he formed a human bridge: holding on with one hand to a ladder and with the other to part of the ship that was nearly submerged, he enabled still more to cross to safety. When the nightmare was over, the man himself was found to have drowned. He had literally given his life in using the authority he had assumed—the authority by which many had been saved.
Take that picture to a different sea coast, that of Galilee. A hundred yards inland, in the little town of Capernaum (the Bible sometimes calls these places ‘cities’, but we would think of them more as villages), was the synagogue. Here is a man, not one of the recognized teachers, who begins on his own authority to tell people what God’s will is, how the kingdom is coming. The usual teachers—priests and scribes, the literate ones, with in some places Pharisees as well, the self-appointed scrupulous guardians of Jewish ancestral traditions—didn’t teach like that. They always said ‘as Moses said’, or ‘as Rabbi so-and-so said’. Jesus spoke with a quiet but compelling authority all of his own.
And with the same authority he spoke words of healing. Sometimes people for whom life had become a total nightmare—whose personalities seemed taken over by alien powers—confronted Jesus; indeed, they seem to have had a kind of inside track on recognizing him, knowing who he was and what he’d come to do. He’d come to stop the nightmare, to rescue people, both nations and individuals, from the destructive forces that enslaved them. So whether it was shrieking demons, a woman with a fever, or simply whatever diseases people happened to suffer from, Jesus dealt with them, all with the same gentle but deeply effective authority.
This is how Mark begins to tell us both about how Jesus became so popular so quickly and of how the course of his public career pointed inexorably to its dramatic conclusion. There is no doubt that Jesus quickly attracted huge crowds, and that his authoritative healings were the main reason. That in itself would have been threatening to the authorities; but, as we shall discover soon, there was more. Jesus had joined in a struggle against the forces of evil and destruction, forces that, like the dark, cruel sea pouring in on top of frightened and helpless travellers, seemed sometimes to be carrying all before them. Jesus came to be the human bridge across which people could climb to safety. And if, in the process, he himself paid with his own life the price of this saving authority, a human bridge with outstretched arms carrying people from death to life, that was simply part of the integrity of his action. The demons had their final shriek at him as he hung on the cross, challenging and mocking for the last time the validity of his authority. On the cross he completed the healing work he began that day in the synagogue.
When the church learns again how to speak and act with the same authority, we will find both the saving power of God unleashed once more and a similar heightened opposition from the forces of darkness. Similar, but not the same. The demons knew Jesus, and knew he had come to defeat them once and for all. They can still shriek, but since Calvary they no longer have authority. To believe this is the key to Christian testimony and saving action in the world that, despite its frequent panic and despair, has already been claimed by the loving authority of God in Jesus.


Tom Wright, Mark for Everyone (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004), 10–13.

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I choose these at random but I find both series very useful but no study guides.

-Dan

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