Christ Church is proud to offer the Disciple Bible Study series as an option for Christian Education. Please read below for details about each course in the series (taken from www.cokesbury.com). We are not currently offering any Disciple studies; however, please check back for future planned study schedules.
Disciple I: Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study
Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study is the foundation of the DISCIPLE Bible Study program. DISCIPLE assumes that the bible is the key to renewal in the church. It recognizes the human-divine nature of the Bible: The actual texts of Scripture were written by human beings like ourselves in their cultural settings, under the divine inspiration of God.
DISCIPLE affirms that the canon was formed as it is in order for God to speak to us. Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study gives equal time to both the Old and New Testament, emphasizing the wholeness of the Bible as the revelation of God. DISCIPLE aims at transformation, not just information, and calls on persons to submit themselves to examination by Scripture, to put themselves under the power of God’s Word, and to be changed by God’s Word. DISCIPLE invites persons to bring their experiences and struggles to the Scripture. All persons know something is amiss with their existence and yearn for the Word from God.
Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study uses biblical language and images and draws upon the work of scholars to aid understanding of the Bible.
This study requires reading large portions of Scripture each week and is based on careful study and preparation. During the course of thirty-four weeks, groups will move through the biblical stories of Creation to the New Jerusalem. The titles of the sessions along with theme words; theme verses; and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principal Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story.
Disciple II: Into the Word Into the World
Into the Word Into the World encourages persons to open themselves to hearing what God has to say to them through the Bible and to be guided into service in the world by Scripture and their study of it.
This thirty-two-week study selects specific portions of Scripture and delves deeper into them. Depth study of Scripture will be the work both of individual members and of the group in its weekly meeting. Equal attention is given to both the Old and New Testament with concentration on four books: Genesis, Exodus, Luke, and Acts (eight lessons on each book). Appropriate connections are made to other parts of Scripture both through reading and study assignments and through commentary in the study manual. Participants will read familiar passages, see them in fresh ways, and anticipate that God will speak through them.
Into the Word Into the World is prepared for those who have completed DISCIPLE: Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study. This study proclaims the transforming power of Scripture while teaching Bible study skills that take participants deeper into the Scripture. The importance of keeping Bible study related to witness is reinforced while participants are encouraged to practice spiritual disciplines arising out of Scripture. The purpose is to change habits and transform lives. The study also emphasizes the rhythm of coming to God and going for God, of being in the Word and in the world individually and corporately. This study understands the growing Christian as under discipline in community and in ministry to the world. Into the Word Into the World approaches all experiences of life as opportunities for faithful witness and service.
Disciple III: Remember Who You Are
Remember Who You Are is prepared for those who have completed Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study. Resident in the title is the driving idea in this study--the connection between memory and identity as the people of God. The word You in the title is meant to be heard both in its singular form (the individual) and in its plural form (the community). We are a community of memory. Participants in this thirty-two-week study will read the major and minor Old Testament prophets, with the exception of Daniel, and will read the thirteen letters traditionally attributed to Paul. To establish the historical context in which the prophets spoke for God, daily reading assignments also draw on the books of Deuteronomy through Chronicles. Study of the prophets will follow their historical sequence rather than their biblical sequence. The dating of Paul’s letters influences the sequence of their study.
Several themes weave their way through the study: the call to remember, the call to repentance, the need for renewed vision (eyes to see, ears to hear), and the place of community. Remember Who You Are concentrates on the Old Testament prophets and the letters of Paul. The prophets and Paul are continually calling hearers and readers back to their God and to a sense of who they are as a people “set apart.” The prophets and the community cannot be separated. The prophets spoke for God, out of the community, and to the community. Paul’s experience of the risen Lord, his relationship to the community he addressed, his Jewish traditions, and the Greco-Roman culture of his day merged in his writing of the letters. Paul used the language of his culture to carry the message that arose out of his roots in the Hebrew Scriptures and Judaism.
Disciple IV: Under the Tree of Life
Under the Tree of Life is a thirty-two-week study prepared for graduates of Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study. The word Under in the title is meant to convey invitation, welcome, sheltering, security, and rest--home at last.
The Hebrew version of what Christians call the Old Testament has three divisions: Torah (the first five books of the Bible), the Prophets, and the Writings. The Writings include all the books that are not part of the Torah or the Prophets.
Under the Tree of Life concentrates on the writings in the Old Testament – Ruth, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, and Daniel. New Testament Scriptures include the Gospel of John; 1, 2, and 3 John; James; Jude; and Revelation. Emphasis on the Psalms as Israel’s hymnbook and prayer book leads naturally to an emphasis on worship in the study. Present though the entire study is the sense of living toward completion, toward the climax of the message and the promise, extravagantly pictured in the Revelation.
Disciple V: Jesus In the Gospels
Jesus In the Gospels invites believers to look at Jesus in each of the four Gospels and ask the question, "Who is the Jesus that you see?" This study will deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. Two questions frame this study: "Who is the Jesus you bring with you to this study?" and "Who is the Jesus you take with you from this study?" Jesus In the Gospels takes participants on a journey from one question to the other.
While distinct in format and approach, this Bible study builds on the foundation and carries forward the philosophy and ideals that shaped DISCIPLE—high-commitment, long-term, disciplined study that fosters community and builds toward transformation.
Jesus In the Gospels is different from DISCIPLE Bible study in its approach to Scripture; it looks more closely at the Gospel texts, in the kind of daily preparation and study required of the participants, in lesson layout and design, and in the nature of the study and discussion that takes place in the weekly group meeting.
Jesus In the Gospels focuses on the portraits of Jesus found in the four Gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The word in used in the title signals that this study takes an approach different from the familiar "life and teaching of Jesus" approach of reading stories and accounts of what Jesus said and did in order to draw conclusions about their meaning and about who Jesus was. This study looks at the way each Gospel writer presents events and teachings and at the picture of Jesus that emerges in each of the Gospels.
Lessons 1-22 concentrate on Matthew, Mark, and Luke with some related passages from John. Lessons 23-30 concentrate on the Gospel of John with supporting passages from other parts of the New and Old Testament. In the course of the thirty weeks, participants will read the four Gospels and considerable amounts of Scripture from other parts of the Bible.