Many of the same things that people have grown to expect are included in the new Adult Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide. How to Become a Christian and a map or illustration are on the inside front and back covers. Word Wise (a mini Bible dictionary) and Daily Bible Readings can still be found near the front of the resource. The Daily Bible Readings are now a plan for reading all the verses of the book or books we are studying that quarter. An outline of the Bible book or books being studied has been added to the introduction to help you better understand how each study fits into the whole.
Let’s focus on what you find in each section and the purpose of that section. These are listed in the order they are typically found in a session.
- Title and Summary Statement: On the first page of each session. The summary statement identifies the main point of the passage being examined.
- Bible Text: begins on the first page. The Bible text we will focus on is identified and printed (core passage). It is printed first to remind us that God’s Word is priority.
- Observation questions: immediately following the printed Bible text. These questions give group members things to look for as they read the passage. The things highlighted will be central to the study.
- Memory verse: same for all ages. Space is provided for group members to record the passage in the translation they prefer to use when memorizing.
- First Thoughts: paragraph with a question. This section explains why this study is important for us today. The question in this section helps frame the direction of the study. It may be pointed to by the group leader to help focus the group as they arrive for the group time.
- Understand the Context: The core passage is in the middle of a larger section of Scripture. The larger section is identified in this section with comments explaining how the core passage relates to the whole. If one puts these paragraphs together throughout the study, they will have an overview of the complete Bible book or books being studied.
- Explore the Text: the commentary on the core passage. This section is subdivided following an outline of the core passage. Questions are included that help the group members interpret the meaning of the passage.
- Key Doctrine: one per session. A key doctrine is identified and placed in the appropriate section of the study. This feature helps the group members gain an understanding of foundational doctrines as hey study through a Bible book.
- Bible Study Skill: one per session and included in the Explore the Text section. This feature leads group members to use the Bible and Bible study tools to better understand a part of the core passage. This activity may be used during the group time as well. The goal is to help people learn and improve their Bible study skills. The skill is different each week.
- In My Context: last page of each session. This section includes a summary of the session and questions that foster application in a practical way. These questions are designed to move toward an action. At least one of these questions is for the group to answer as a whole.
- Prayer Journal: included every session on the last page. Space for group members to record prayer needs shared during the group time.
One note about the questions included in each session. The questions follow a distinct pattern in every session. Observe questions are printed first (immediately after the Bible text). Interpretation questions can then be found in the “Explore the Text” section. The questions printed in “In My Context” are application focused. The pattern is the inductive Bible study pattern of read the text, observe these facts, interpret the meaning, and apply the truth (take action). As such, every session follows the inductive Bible study model.
Dave Russell says
I really like the new format for the PSG. I especially like the entire scripture passage up front, places the focus where it should be, on The Word. The commentary and the questions are relevant and make leading the life group on Sunday much more focused. I initially found myself referring more to the PSG than the leaders guide in preparing for the first lesson until I was able to see the correlation. I started off with the Bible Book Series and then Explore the Bible more years ago than I’d like to admit and I think this update is the one of the best.
Kris Dolberry says
Dave, it’s great to hear from you. We’re so glad to hear of your excitement about the new PSG. Let us know how your study goes and how we can pray for your life group.