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J. Barrett5 Stars Out Of 5April 21, 2010J. BarrettZondervan's "Deeper Connections" is an excellent resource for the church or any small group. Matt Williams, the general editor of the series, has gathered together another solid group of scholars who are experts in their fields, but who can also communicate to the church. This is the second set of three DVDs and Participant Guides. The previous set included The Prayers of Jesus; The Miracles of Jesus; and The Parables of Jesus. The biggest change from the previous set is that the speakers now look directly into the video camera. This makes the DVDs more personal and is a small but helpful improvement. The bottom line: this Bible study does an excellent job teaching the Bible, helping small groups apply it and facilitating discussion.The DVD and guide are designed to follow a three-part pattern: a close look at the original meaning of the biblical text, attention to the historical and cultural background, and an encouraging and challenging application of the text's meaning for today. Thus, each study is broken up into three short segments that take small groups deeper into various texts of the Gospels. Between each of these teaching segments, there is time for group discussion. Margaret Feinberg, the host, introduces each section from a different location in Israel. This may seem insignificant to some, but it truly helps set the scene and context as each location is relevant to the text that will be discussed on the DVD.Each teacher on the DVD does a great job balancing the challenge of helping you to understand the texts and applying them to your life. The DVD allows room for discussion, and the participant guides are clear and practical (they also includesmaps, pictures, outlines, key Scripture verses, discussion,questions, plenty of room for note taking, and a personal five-day Biblestudy for each session). We've used two of the DVDs so far for my small group, and we all agreed that these are the best Bible studies we have ever done.
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