When I became a Christian, I read daily (or almost daily) Bible reading notes, each exploring a particular Bible passage. They were helpful, at least in terms of assisting me to be disciplined about reading the Bible. They were less helpful in that they frequently jumped around the Bible and often implied that there was only one interpretation of a particular passage (to be fair, some did this more than others). They tended to assume that the reader had a rather straightforward view of biblical authority and they almost never drew any explicit social or political meaning out of the passage in question.
Of course, some were (and are) much better than others. In the last few years, it’s been a genuine delight for me not only to encounter some really good Bible-reading notes but also to have been asked occasionally to contribute to them.
I feel really privileged to have contributed to Fresh from the Word, a set of Bible-reading notes for 2014. Many of the notes have a focus on social engagement and they are intended to be useful to new Christians and to those still exploring and working out their relationship with Christianity. Each reflection is a page (or slightly less than a page) long, to help you to reflect on a relatively short passage.
I’m only one of dozens of contributors. They include Greenpeace organiser Malcolm Carroll, Christian musician Aileen Few, Baptist journalist Mark Woods, poet Nicola Slee and Quaker scholar Eleanor Nesbitt. The editor is United Reformed Church minister and writer Nathan Eddy. My contribution is a week’s worth of notes for November, around the theme of conversations with Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel.
You can order the book here, priced £8.75. Please let me know what you think!