Many of you have reached out to me regarding resources to help you journey more faithfully through our Year of Mark worship series. I am delighted to recommend a few good study Bibles as well as some engaging resources on the Gospel itself.
John Wesley Study Bible
The Wesley Study Bible highlights the depth of John Wesley’s perspectives on scripture and features accessibly written notes and articles contributed by pastors, theologians, and Biblical scholars. It contains easy-to-understand explanations of core terms, and encompasses the following themes: eternal life, forgiveness, grace, heaven, holiness, justice, and mission. This Bible provides relevant lessons for today’s Christians, as well as providing a context and history of the theology of the Wesleyan faith.
You may purchase the Wesley Study Bible in either the New Revised Standard Version translation or the Common English Bible translation. If you’re already familiar with the NRSV, I highly recommend the adding the CEB to your collection!
Life Application Study Bible
I have found this to be of the most popular study bibles when I’ve taught Disciple Bible Study! The notes not only explains difficult passages and gives information on Biblical life and times, they also give examples of applying Biblical stories to your own personal life, speaking to a multitude of situations and circumstances. This Bible includes nearly 10,000 Life Application notes and features designed to help readers apply God’s truth to everyday life. The Life Application Study Bible may be purchased in the NIV, NLT, or KJV translations.
The Access Bible
The Access Bible is indeed accessible to those new to Bible Study, but also offers enough depth for those who are already familiar with the texts and want to delve deeper into the culture and context of Biblical authors and the origins of its books. A unique feature of the Access Bible is the running commentary which is interspersed with the Bible text. Difficult concepts are clearly explained in terms which everyday readers can easily understand. History, social contexts, religious practices, and the beliefs of ancient people are all are explained in this study Bible. In addition, this Bible was designed to contain all the background information needed by believers from a wide spectrum of Christian Denominations. This study Bible includes annotations, sidebars, maps, essays, and a glossary, as well as section introductions and additional essays. It is available in the NRSV translation.
The Jewish Annotated New Testament
Edited by world renowned scholar Amy-Jill Levine, this book offers a window into the first-century world of Judaism and the lives of Jesus’s first followers – the people to whom Mark himself was writing! It goes through each line of the Gospels with explanations of Jewish concepts such as food laws and rabbinic argumentation, and provides the chance to encounter the New Testament with guidance from Jewish experts. This book is one of my favorite resources on the Gospels, and one you will likely hear me cite often over the next year!
(side note: I’ve heard AJ Levine preach & teach many times in person and she is captivating!)
Say, To This Mountain
A tremendous book on Mark with powerful insights for modern day readers of the Gospel. Say to this Mountain makes Scholar Ched Myers’s challenging commentary on the Gospel of Mark accessible to all readers. This book explores the connections between Mark’s “handbook of discipleship” and the demands of our contemporary world.
(Bethel UMC: buy NOW and get a head start on reading! I will lead a church-wide book study on this later!)
Mark For Everyone
Author N.T. Wright goes through the Gospel, carefully interpreting each pericope (story) in relatable terms. Each short passage is followed by a discussion with background information, useful explanations and suggestions as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book.
My friends, do you have a favorite Study Bible not listed here?
Questions or comments as we journey together through the Gospel of Mark?
Never hesitate to reach out to me!
Pastor Julie Belman