Bible Project

A new way of looking at the Bible. We discuss the themes and ideas running through the entire Bible using a mix of short videos and discussion questions.

Each week, we will gather online to discuss one of the videos, for about 30-45 minutes. Some have an optional study guide you can download and read on your own. This page has a brief description of each video and a link to it if you want to view it ahead of time, catch up, or just browse.

Bible Reflections

What Good News Looks Like

How is God at work in the world today?

Message of the Prophets

Who are the Hebrew prophets, and why are they so intense?

Redeeming Disappointment

What should we do when people disappoint us?

Faithful Through Failure

How does God respond to our failure?

How God Treats His Enemies

Ruth came from a nation that violently opposed God’s people.

When We Walk Out on God

What happens when we turn our backs on God?

Making Sense of Divine Violence

Isn’t God loving?

Understanding Ancient Law

What’s the point of reading Old Testament laws today?

God’s Wisdom on Display

Why did God give his people so many rules?

Trusting God in the Wilderness

When times get hard, will we trust in God’s character?

Gift of Rest

What is the biblical significance of rest, and why is it important for Christians?

Meaning of Sacrifice

Why did God’s people practice animal sacrifice?

Rescued for a Purpose

Why does God rescue his people? What’s the point?

When We Cry Out

In this week’s Bible Study, we consider Exodus 3.

Wrestling God

In this Bible study, we take a closer look at Genesis 32.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study discussion 5-11

Why God Gave Choice

Why does God give humanity a choice to obey him

Click here for a link to the Bible Study discussion 5-4

When You Feel Powerless

What should we do when life is unfair and everything feels out of control?

Click here for a link to the Bible Study discussion 4-27

What God Does About Suffering

Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? And is he doing anything about it? In this study, we look at God’s mission to counteract evil and suffering through his partnership with humanity.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study discussion 4-20

The Letters of Paul

Approximately one-third of the New Testament consists of letters, or epistles, written by the apostle Paul and addressed to the Christian churches of his day. Because these letters are older than any of the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, they constitute the most reliable source that we have today for information concerning the early history of the Christian movement. With few exceptions, these letters were written in response to conditions that existed in the particular churches with which Paul was associated. Not until some time passed after Paul’s death were these letters circulated among the churches and read along with the Old Testament Scriptures as a part of regular worship services. Still later, they came to be regarded as inspired writings comparable to the sacred Scriptures of Judaism.

Click on the name of the Letter for a link to the Bible Project video.

Download the Study Guide, courtesy of CliffsNotes. Click here.

Galatians

The occasion for this letter was a controversy that developed among the churches in Galatia, and especially the one in Antioch, concerning the matter of requiring Gentile Christians to obey the Mosaic Law. One law very much in question concerned circumcision, a religious rite that meant for Jews much the same thing as baptism came to mean for Christians of a later period. The Christians whose background had been in Judaism could see no reason why this rite should not be required of all Christians, as it was for Jews. As they understood it, the laws given by God through Moses were binding for all time and could never be set aside by human beings or by any set of circumstances that might arise.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 1/12/21

1st Thessalonians

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 1/19/21

2nd Thessalonians

Two letters that Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica are preserved in the New Testament. The first letter — 1 Thessalonians — was written to a community of believers who had been Christians for only a short period of time, probably no more than a few months. We learn from the Book of Acts that during Paul’s stay in the city of Thessalonica, he preached in a Jewish synagogue on three successive Sabbath days. He evidently stayed in the city for some time thereafter and continued his work among the Gentiles. Although his ministry was successful to the extent that he won converts to Christianity from both Jews and Gentiles, he did encounter opposition, especially from Jews who resented very much that he was able to win Jewish followers. Because of this opposition, Paul wisely left the city for fear that the newly formed Christian community would be persecuted as he had been. He regretted that he must leave the Christians before they were well established in the faith, but he hoped that he might visit them again in the near future. When sickness prevented him from returning, he sent his colleague Timothy to strengthen the group and then report back to Paul on the progress that had been made. When Timothy returned to Paul with the good news that the members of the church were standing firm in their new faith, Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Thessalonians.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study from 1/26/21

1st Corinthians

Click here for a link to the Bible Study from 2/2/21

2nd Corinthians

Paul wrote at least four different letters to the church at Corinth, three of which are included in the New Testament. In what is now called 1 Corinthians, there is a reference to a former letter in which instruction was given concerning the type of conduct that should not be tolerated in a Christian church. 2 Corinthians is made up of two different letters. Chapters 1–9 are written in a conciliatory tone that indicates that they were composed after Chapters 10–13 were received and accepted by the members of the church. Chapters 10–13 belong to what is often referred to as the “painful letter,” in which Paul replies to the many false charges made concerning him and his work. The largest part of Paul’s correspondence was with the church at Corinth, for the problems that he encountered in this place were more numerous than he had found in other cities, and if his message could be successful in Corinth, there was good reason to believe that it could have results that would be equally as good in any other place.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study from 2/9/21

Romans 1-4

Click here for a link to the Bible Study from 2/16/21

Romans 5-16

Paul promised the church members at Corinth that he would visit them again as soon as he had the opportunity, and it was not long after sending his last letter to them that the opportunity came and he was able to spend several months with them. During this time, probably the latter part of the year 57 A.D., he wrote a letter to the church at Rome, the most ambitious of all his letters and the only one in which he presents a systematic account of his understanding of the gospel. Because he had not visited the church at Rome and was unfamiliar with their local problems, the letter is not written in the form that he used in his earlier correspondence with the other churches. Instead, it is a carefully prepared statement of what he regarded as the essential elements of the Christian religion. Paul wanted the gospel proclaimed throughout the then-known world, and it seemed most appropriate that he should not only visit the church at Rome but gain its full support for the missionary program that he envisioned. We do not know how the church at Rome was started, but it existed during Paul’s life, and there were good reasons for believing that it would soon become one of the leading Christian churches of the world. Paul wanted the Roman church to have a firsthand knowledge of the gospel that he preached, but unable personally to visit its members in the immediate future, he set forth his convictions in a letter addressed to the Romans.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study for 2-23

Philippians

The Epistle to the Philippians is an informal correspondence that Paul sent in response to a gift he received from the church at Philippi. Knowing that Paul was in prison and probably in need of material benefits, the Philippian church sent one of its members, Epaphroditus, with a gift of money and the intention of staying with Paul to assist him in any way that Epaphroditus could. However, Epaphroditus became ill and was forced to return home, and Paul sent this letter to the church of Philippi with him.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study for 3-2

Philemon

The Epistle to Philemon, a very short letter dealing with only one topic, certainly was written by Paul. Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave, had in some way contacted Paul and come under the influence of the Christian gospel. For Paul, the situation was in some respects threatening: For a slave to desert his master was considered a very serious offense legally punishable by death, and anyone who apprehended a runaway slave was to return the slave immediately to the slave’s master. How long Paul knew about Onesimus we are not told, but evidently it was long enough for Onesimus to receive instruction concerning the meaning of the gospel. Once Onesimus accepted the Christian gospel, Paul insisted that the slave return to his master.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 3-9

Colossians

The Epistle to the Colossians is addressed to a church that Paul did not visit. Epaphras, a visitor from Colossae, came to see Paul and brought news and greetings from the Christians in that city. Following a series of conversations with this visitor, Paul wrote his letter to the Colossian church. One of the main purposes of the letter is to warn the church members about a certain dangerous philosophy that was making inroads in that community. 

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 3-16

1st Timothy

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 3-23

2nd Timothy

1 Timothy was written to give instructions in worship and in church administration, and to warn against false teachings in the churches. Certain forms of worship should be observed, and certain types of conduct should be strictly avoided. Because both bishops and deacons were necessarily appointed in the churches, it was highly important that these offices be respected and that careful attention be given to the selection of men to fill them. Written by an experienced missionary, 2 Timothy urges Timothy to recognize that endurance is one of the main qualities essential for a successful preacher of the gospel.

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 3-30

Titus

The Epistle to Titus contains three chapters. Similar in content to 1 Timothy, it specifies the qualifications for the office of bishop and gives instruction for the appointment of church elders. 

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 4-6

Ephesians

Two main themes are expounded in the letter: the unity of all things in Christ and the Christian church as the visible symbol here on earth of that unity. The author of the letter asserts that Jesus’ life reveals the divine purpose that has existed since the creation of the world. 

Click here for a link to the Bible Study 4-13

LUKE-ACTS SERIES

The books of Luke and Acts are actually two accompanying works by the same author. Together, they form one cohesive narrative about the life and ministry of Jesus and the birth of the early Church. It is one unified work that tells of Jesus’ life and ministry and the birth of the early Church.

The books of Luke and Acts catalog the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the savior to whom all of the Old Testament prophecies pointed. Luke-Acts takes great care to point out how Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

Luke-Acts is just one of four different books that recount the life and ministry of Jesus. No other part of the Bible uses four different books to tell the same story. While it is true that the Gospel accounts all repeat the same basic story, each telling of the story is different. They are different not in the facts presented but in the perspective from which they are told. Luke-Acts gives us one of the most unified stories of Jesus’ life, and it doesn’t end with Jesus’ life; it continues the story into the movement of people who followed him.

The Gospel according to luke

Luke-Acts: Luke 1-2

The first in a five-part series on the Gospel of Luke. We explore the amazing events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The humble conditions of his family and their low status in Israelite society foreshadow the upside-down nature of Jesus’ kingdom.

Luke-Acts: Luke 3-9

The second in a five-part series on the Gospel of Luke. We watch Jesus launch his ministry of good news for the poor and how he brought together people from very diverse backgrounds to live together in peace.

Click for recording of Bible Study 11-17-20

Luke-Acts: Luke 9-19

Part three explores the central part of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus continues his controversial announcement of good news for the poor during his long road-trip to Jerusalem, which increases conflict with Israel’s religious leaders. This tension provides the setting for the famous parable of the Prodigal Son.

Click for recording of Bible Study 11-24-20

Luke-Acts: Luke 19-23

The final week of Jesus’ life culminated in a controversial week in Jerusalem during Passover. In this video we’ll explore the Gospel of Luke chs. 19-23, and how it came about that the innocent Jesus ended up being executed as a revolutionary rebel against Rome. We’ll also see how Jesus was not at all surprised, because he believed that his death would open up a new future for Israel, and for all humanity.

Click for recording of Bible Study 12-1-20

Luke-Acts: Luke 24

This video concludes Luke’s epic portrait of Jesus of Nazareth. The disciples discover the empty tomb and eventually have their entire view of the world turned upside-down as they meet the risen Jesus. Luke shows how Jesus’ kingdom of God mission to it

Click for recording of Bible Study 12-8-20

the acts of the apostles

Luke-Acts: Acts 1-7

The book of Acts shows how God fulfilled His ancient promises to restore His blessing to all the nations through the offspring of Abraham: Jesus of Nazareth. In this video, we’ll explore how Jesus and the Spirit renew the people of Israel and prepare them to announce good news to the nations.

Click for recording of Bible Study 12-15-20

Luke-Acts: Acts 8-12

Our new video on Acts Ch. 8-12 explores how God’s Spirit transformed Jesus’ followers from a small collective of messianic Jews in Jerusalem, into a multi-ethnic movement that quickly spread throughout the nations.

Click for recording of Bible Study 12-22-20

Luke-Acts: Acts 13-20

What was it like for the apostle Paul to travel around the Roman Empire announcing the good news about the risen Jesus? What drove him to plant new Jesus communities in city after city, and how did people respond to his message? In our third video on the book of Acts, we’ll explore all of this and more!

Click for recording of Bible Study 12-29-20

Luke-Acts: Acts 21-28

In the final video in our Acts series, we trace Paul’s final journey to Jerusalem and then into a Roman prison. But paradoxically, Paul’s suffering leads him into the heart of the Roman empire where he gets to announce God’s Kingdom over the nations.

The book of Acts shows how God fulfilled His ancient promises to restore His blessing to all the nations through the offspring of Abraham: Jesus of Nazareth. In this video, we’ll explore how Jesus and the Spirit renew the people of Israel and prepare them to announce good news to the nations.

Click for recording of Bible Study 1-5-21

HOW TO READ THE BIBLE

Introduction

We walk through each literary style found in the Bible, and how each uniquely contributes to the overall whole. Each literary style lives by its own rules and structure. Our goal is to understand the the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible.

What is the Bible?

This is episode 1 of an ongoing series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you’ll be introduced to a condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions.

Study Guide

Biblical Story

Episode 2 summarizes the overall story of the Bible as a series of crossroad decisions. All humanity, followed by the Israelites, redefine good and evil and end up in Babylon. They are followed by Jesus, who takes a different path that opens up the way to a new creation.

Study Guide

Literary Styles

Episode 3 shows how reading the Bible wisely requires that we learn about the ancient literary styles used by the biblical authors. These writers expressed their ideas and claims through a variety of different type of literature, and this video will explore why it’s important to tell them apart so we can hear their message on their terms.

Study Guide

Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature

Episode 4 explores the unique literary style of the Bible that is meant to draw its readers into a lifelong journey of reading and meditation. The Bible is designed as a multi-layered work, offering new levels of insight as you re-read it and allow each part to help you understanding every other part. The Bible is the original meditation literature.

Study Guide


How to Read the Bible: narrative

Plot

An important part of reading biblical narratives is learning how to understand the nature of “the plot,” how stories are arranged into a pattern of conflict and resolution. In this video we’ll see how ignoring the sequence of the plot can lead to distorted interpretation of biblical stories. We’ll also explore how grasping the multi-layered nature of the narrative can help you see the unified story that leads to Jesus.

Study Guide

Character

Most of us think of characters in Bible as either sinners or saints, good or bad. At least that’s how Bible stories are presented to children. In this video, we’ll explore the ways biblical authors present characters as more complex and morally compromised than we usually imagine.

Study Guide

Setting

Every story has to take place somewhere, and very often locations have a special meaning or significance evoked by events that already took place there. In this video, we explore how biblical authors use settings in the narrative to meet the reader’s expectations or to mess with them. Paying attention to locations and timelines in biblical stories unlocks deeper layers of meaning.

Study Guide

Design Patterns

Design patterns are one of the key ways the biblical authors have unified the storyline of the Bible. Individual stories across the Old and New Testaments have been coordinated through repeated words and parallel themes. These patterns highlight core themes of the biblical story and show how it all leads to Jesus!

The Gospel

The New Testament contains four ancient biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, and altogether they are called “the Gospel.” Each one tells the story as an announcement of good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the true ruler of the nations. In this video we explore why these accounts were written and how you can read them with greater insight.

Study Guide

The Parables of Jesus

Jesus of Nazareth was a master storyteller, and many of his most well-known teachings were told as parables. But these stories were designed to do much more than simply “teach.” Jesus said the parables were designed to both reveal and conceal his message about the arrival of God’s Kingdom. In this video, we explore the main themes in Jesus’ parables and ask why he used them as the primary vehicle for his message.

Study Guide

How to Read the Bible: poetry

Did you know that a third of the Bible is ancient Israelite poetry? Poetry is a rich and artistic form of human communication, but often the most difficult to read.

Poetry

In this video we’ll explore the unique characteristics of biblical poetry, so you can discover its beauty and power for yourself.

Metaphor in Biblical Poetry

Understanding how metaphors are used in the Bible is an essential tool for reading biblical poetry. Anytime someone describes one thing to describe another thing, they are using metaphorical thinking whether they realize it or not. Metaphors are everywhere in the Bible and in our everyday speech. In this video, we’ll explore this crucial aspect of biblical language.

The Book of Psalms

The book of Psalms is the largest collection of poetry in the Bible. In this video we’ll explore the design shape and main themes of this marvelous book, which was crafted to be read from beginning to end. The Psalms are an invitation to a literary temple where you can meet with God and hear the entire biblical storyline retold in poetic form.

The Prophets

The books of the Old Testament prophets are packed with dense poetry and wild imagery. If you’ve tried to read them, odds are you were both intrigued and confused. In this video, we’ll learn how these books contribute to the storyline of the Bible and why it’s worth learning how to read them more attentively.

The Books of Solomon

The wisest king of Israel, King Solomon, is associated with three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Each book offers a unique perspective on how humans can rule with wisdom and the fear of the Lord. In this video, we briefly explore how the message of each book fits into the overall story of the Bible.

How to Read the Bible: Prose

The Law

Have you ever wondered why there are so many ancient biblical laws in the first books of the Bible? What are modern readers supposed to do with them, and why are some of them so odd? In this video, we explore why the laws were given to ancient Israel and how they fit into the overall storyline of the Bible.

Historical Context

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus’ followers in the ancient Roman world. A wise reading of these letters involves learning about their historical context. Who were the letters written to, where did the recipients live, and what prompted sending the letter? In this video we explore the different layers of historical context with these letters, so that we can better understand the wisdom they still have to offer.

Study Guide

Literary Context

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus’ followers in the ancient Roman world. These letters are rich with theology and guidance for what it means to be a community of Jesus followers, but they can also be dense and hard to understand. In this video we’ll explore the literary style of ancient letter writing and show you how to trace the core ideas from a letter’s beginning all the way to its end.

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