Monday, May 10, 2021

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth with Douglas Stuart and Mark Strauss

Book cover
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
with Douglas Stuart and Mark Strauss


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
Understanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. It's for everyone. the Bible is meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help disciples of all kinds grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your twenty-first century life.

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, taught by scholars and professors Mark Strauss and Douglas Stuart, covers everything from translation concerns to different genres of biblical writing. In clear, simple language, sessions will help you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible and their implications for both ancient audiences and humanity today, so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God's Word.

By completing this series, you will gain greater familiarity with and appreciation for the Bible as a whole, insight into the ten basic genres in the Bible and how to correctly interpret each, and a deeper understanding of how to apply God’s Word to your own life today.


My Review:
Each episode was 21-29 minutes long.

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is a video series that explains how to understand and interpret the different genre of the Bible (narrative, poetry, wisdom, prophetic, etc.). I've read a similar book in the past and found it helpful, and this series covered much of the same information. It was a good review. It's for laymen level, so the speakers were easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1 - The Need to Interpret
Session 2 - A Good Translation
Session 3 - Epistles: Think Context
Session 4 - Epistles: Hermeneutics
Session 5 - Old Testament Narratives
Session 6 - Acts: Historical Precedent
Session 7 - Gospels: Many Dimensions
Session 8- Parables: You Get the Point?
Session 9 - Law: Covenant Stipulations
Session 10- Prophets: Enforcers
Session 11 - The Psalms: Prayers
Session 12 - Wisdom: Then and Now
Session 13- Revelation: Judgment & Hope


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


The Christ Files with John Dickson

Book cover
The Christ Files
by John Dickson


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
In The Christ Files, historian Dr. John Dickson sets out to discover what we can know for certain about the life of Jesus. In a captivating journey across the globe, this series examines ancient documents and consults the world’s most respected historians and scholars. Filmed in seven countries, the documentary reveals the earliest and most important manuscript evidence for Jesus of Nazareth, including the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, the apostle Paul and the controversial Gnostic Gospels. The Christ Files provides viewers with a front row seat to the facts behind Western civilization’s most influential story.


My Review:
Each episode was 21-22 minutes long.

The Christ Files is a video series that examines the question of how certain we can be about the accuracy of the accounts about Christ in the Bible. The host went to different places around the world to talk with experts about this topic. The series examined ancient documents that mention Jesus and what we can learn from them about Jesus. We learned about writings from various cultures, and the host explained how cultural aspects further build assurance in the biblical account. For example, several sources showed that it would be hard to convince a Roman (among others) that someone who died on a cross was worth worshiping, yet Romans became Christians. The speaker was easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1: Gnostics and Romans: How the ancient world viewed Jesus of Nazareth
Session 2: Jews and Christians: Jesus according to his own people
Session 3: Lost Sources and Oral Traditions
Session 4: Archaeologists and Artifacts: Piecing together the world of Jesus


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Monday, May 3, 2021

EPIC: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History by Tim Challies

Book cover
EPIC: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History
by Tim Challies


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
The Epic documentary series takes you on a journey with Tim Challies to twenty-four countries, visiting dozens of museums, cemeteries, libraries, houses, monuments, and more. From pulpits to paintings, the labor of monks to the martyrdom of missionaries. Through thirty-three carefully selected objects, author and pastor Tim Challies introduces learners to the history of Christianity in a unique and creative way. It's a story that tells us what God is accomplishing in this world, whether through princes or peasants, triumph or trial.

Watch the Trailer.


My Review:
EPIC is a travelogue video series looking for historical objects around the world that tell the story of Christianity. Each episode is 25 minutes long. The host went to museums, historical sites, churches, etc. Sometimes he was allowed to film inside, showing the object that he talked about, while other times he simply described what he had seen while standing outside of the museum. He explained how the object told an important part of Christian history. There were also scenes showing him traveling, eating, taking photographs, etc. Sometimes the video was jerky, which I find difficult to watch. I enjoyed seeing the video of some of the sites in Germany and India that I've never seen pictures or video of before.

Episode 1 - Israel & Italy
Episode 2 - England
Episode 3 - Ireland & Scotland
Episode 4 - France & Switzerland
Episode 5 - Germany & Ecuador
Episode 6 - Australia & New Zealand
Episode 7 - Zambia & Zimbabwe
Episode 8 - India
Episode 9 - China, Philippines & South Korea
Episode 10 - USA



If you've watched this video series, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the series in the comments.


Monday, April 26, 2021

The New Testament in Antiquity with Gary M. Burge and Gene L. Green

Book cover
The New Testament in Antiquity
with Gary M. Burge and Gene L. Green


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
The New Testament in Antiquity skillfully develops how Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures formed the essential environment in which the New Testament authors wrote their books and letters. Throughout the video lectures, presenters Gary Burge and Gene Green provide windows into the first-century world and discuss issues of interpretation derived from cultural observations. You will learn how understanding the land, history, and culture of this world brings remarkable new insights into how we read the New Testament itself.


My Review:
The total series takes nearly 9 hours to watch.

The New Testament in Antiquity is a video series about the cultural background to the New Testament. The speakers provided information about the cities (Corinth, etc.) and cultures (Jewish, Roman, etc.) being addressed in the various letters, providing insights to Biblical text. They also provided commentary on who wrote the book, to whom it was sent, and summarized the main points of the letter or book. There were brief snippets of video taken on location at the modern ruins of some of the mentioned cities. The speakers were easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1 - Studying the New Testament
Session 2 - The Historical Setting of the New Testament
Session 3 - The World of Jesus in His Jewish Homeland
Session 4 - The Mediterranean World of the Apostle Paul
Session 5 - Sources for the Story of Jesus
Session 6 - The Story of Jesus
Session 7 - The Teachings of Jesus
Session 8 - The Gospel According to Matthew
Session 9 - The Gospel According to Mark
Session 10 - The Gospel According to Luke
Session 11 - The Gospel According to John
Session 12 - The Acts of the Apostles
Session 13 - Paul of Tarsus: Life and Teachings
Session 14 - The Letter to the Galatians
Session 15 - 1 and 2 Thessalonians
Session 16 - 1 Corinthians
Session 17 - 2 Corinthians
Session 18 - The Letter to the Romans
Session 19 - Colossians and Ephesians
Session 20 - Philippians and Philemon
Session 21 - The Pastoral Letters: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus
Session 22 - The Letter to the Hebrews
Session 23 - The Letter of James
Session 24 - 1 and 2 Peter and Jude
Session 25 - The Letters of John
Session 26 - The Revelation of John
Session 27 - Preservation and Communication of the NT


If you've seen this video series, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion in the comments.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Encountering the Holy Land by Carl Rasmussen

Book cover
Encountering the Holy Land
by Carl Rasmussen


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
Encountering the Holy Land: A Video Introduction to the History and Geography of the Bible is a unique, on-location visual overview of the lands of the Bible designed for students, Bible study groups, adult learners, travelers to the lands of the Bible, pastors, teachers, and all lovers of the Bible. Viewers will develop a deeper appreciation for the Bible by understanding the land and culture in which it was written.

The first lesson introduces the "playing board" of biblical history, followed by lessons arranged historically that begin with the Patriarchs and trace the historical progression of the Old and New Testaments. The video study provides an engaging, accurate, and faithful companion to God's Word--illuminating the text with footage filmed in the Holy Land and Egypt. This set of lessons provides an in-depth visual overview that will help viewers experience the geography and history of Scripture with unprecedented immediacy and clarity.

Throughout Encountering the Holy Land, scholar Carl Rasmussen leads viewers through the Holy Lands to illuminate the geographical and historical context of biblical events. Destined to become a favorite guide to biblical geography for students of the Bible, this accessible set of video lessons will invite you into the world of the Bible as never before.


My Review:
The total series takes about 4 hours to watch.

Encountering the Holy Land is a video Bible study series on how understanding the geology of the Holy Land can bring insights into the actions taken by people in the Bible. The speaker was filmed on location at various locations being described in the series and there were also videos of the geography of other places that he referred to when explaining the history given in the Bible. For example, he described why a battle took place in a certain spot or why the trade routes went through certain areas and not others. Though I have been to Israel, I enjoyed seeing the videos of the various areas and gaining insights to the Bible narrative. He took an "earlier date" view of aligning Egyptian and biblical history (making the first Hyksos king the one that didn't know Joseph), though he did explain other views. (Personally, I think the Hyksos came right after the Exodus.) The speaker was easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1 - Introduction to the Middle East
Session 2 - Patriarchs and the Egyptian Sojourn
Session 3 - Exodus and Conquest
Session 4 - Settlement in the Land of Canaan
Session 5 - Transition to Monarchy: Samuel and Saul
Session 6 - The United Monarchy: David and Solomon
Session 7 - The Divided Kingdom and Judah Alone
Session 8 - Exile and Return
Session 9 - Greeks, Hasmoneans, and Roman Rule
Session 10 - The Life of Christ
Session 11 - Church Expansion and Paul's Journeys
Session 12 - The Seven Churches of Revelation
Session 13 - Jerusalem and Historical Geography


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Ephesians by Mark D. Roberts

Book cover
Ephesians
by Mark D. Roberts


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
This series on the book of Ephesians features author and professor Mark Roberts teaching through the book in eighteen engaging and challenging lessons. Based on Roberts' Ephesians commentary in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, lessons tackle the historical distance between the New Testament and contemporary culture. Roberts offers a clear and compelling introduction to the entire book of Ephesians, guiding viewers in creatively and faithfully living out the book's message in today's context. Using a story-centric approach, these lessons are ideal for formal and informal students alike, and for anyone who wants to better understand Ephesians today.


My Review:
The total series takes about 7 hours 20 minutes to watch.

Ephesians is a video Bible study series on Ephesians. The series is based on his Ephesians commentary in The Story of God Bible Commentary series. He talked about the cultural background to the verses and also explained the meaning where the translation from Greek to English doesn't capture the full meaning. He ended each session by describing modern day examples of how to apply what we learned in the verses. He was easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1 - Introduction
Session 2 - Ephesians 1:1-2
Session 3 - Ephesians 1:3-14
Session 4 - Ephesians 1:15-23
Session 5 - Ephesians 2:1-10
Session 6 - Ephesians 2:11-22
Session 7 - Ephesians 3:1-13
Session 8 - Ephesians 3:14-21
Session 9 - Ephesians 4:1-6
Session 10 - Ephesians 4:7-16
Session 11 - Ephesians 4:17-5:2
Session 12 - Ephesians 5:3-14
Session 13 - Ephesians 5:15-20
Session 14 - Ephesians 5:21-33
Session 15 - Ephesians 6:1-4
Session 16 - Ephesians 6:5-9
Session 17 - Ephesians 6:10-20
Session 18 - Ephesians 6:21-24



If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Monday, April 5, 2021

Survival Guide for the Soul by Ken Shigematsu

Book cover
Survival Guide for the Soul
by Ken Shigematsu


MasterLectures Video
Publisher: Zondervan Academic
Source: Free month offer from MasterLectures.

Video Series Description:
We live in a society that pressures us to achieve professionally, socially, and through the constant acquisition of material possessions. Drawing on a wide range of sources including Scripture, church history, psychology, and neuroscience, as well as a rich variety of stories from his own life, author and pastor Ken Shigematsu demonstrates how the gospel redeems our desires and reorders our lives.

The Survival Guide for the Soul Video Study, along with its accompanying book, Survival Guide for the Soul, offers fresh perspective on how certain spiritual practices help orient our lives so that our souls can flourish in the midst of a demanding, competitive society. Lessons conclude with a liberating and counter-cultural definition of true greatness.

This video study will appeal to anyone who longs to experience a deeper relationship with Christ in the midst of the daily pressures to succeed, as well as to those on the borderlands of faith seeking to transcend the human tendency to define ourselves by our production and success.

Watch the Trailer.


My Review:
The total series takes just about 3 hours to watch.

Survival Guide for the Soul is a video series about redefining true greatness by using God's definition instead of the world's. The speaker also explained some spiritual practices that help us stay on track. He talked about taking on the yoke of God's love for us, our tendency to strive to 'be enough,' and things we can do to grow closer to God, like meditation on Scripture, doing the Sabbath, practicing gratitude, giving money to help others, serving others, being a good friend, and through the job that we choose. He was easy to listen to and understand. Overall, I'd recommend this series.

Session 1 - Introduction
Session 2 - The Divided Self
Session 3 - The Whole Self
Session 4 - Spiritual Practices
Session 5 - Meditation
Session 6 - Sabbath
Session 7 - Gratitude
Session 8 - Simple Abundance
Session 9 - Servanthood
Session 10 - Friendship
Session 11 - Vocation
Session 12 - Redefining Greatness


"And our sense of being 'enough' isn't something we achieve, it's something we receive. It's not something we create, it's something that's confered upon us by another." God.
from Session 2, Survival Guide for the Soul by Ken Shigematsu


If you've wached this video series, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.