When we began to plan for the relaunch of Explore the Bible, we took a hard look at all our resources including the Adult Personal Study Guide. One question with which we wrestled was about the placement of the Bible text. We looked at it being in the margins next to the commentary, flowing with the commentary, at the beginning, and not including it at all. We knew there would be trade-offs no matter what approach was taken.
We sought the counsel of selected church leaders from across the country for insight. After looking at the options, it became obvious that printing the Bible text first in each session was the best option. Here’s why:
- To Emphasize the Bible text—one goal was to elevated the biblical text. While the comments of scholars help us better interpret and understand, God’s Word should be front and center. Placing it first clearly gives the biblical text priority.
- To Be Read First—there are some who read only the first page of a session. They may be too busy or on the fringe. If that is the case, then it should be the biblical text that they read over anything else.
- To Reinforce Inductive Bible Study—Inductive Bible study follows the pattern of read, observe, interpret, and apply. The sections in the Personal Study Guide are now organized following this pattern. The Bible text appears first (read) followed by questions about the text (observe). The questions in the Explore the Text section are designed to help people understand the meaning of the passage (interpret) so they can put it into practice using the In My Context questions (apply).