Guidelines September - December 2018 (PDF Download)

Bible study for today's ministry and mission

Commissioned by David Spriggs

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Guidelines is a unique Bible reading resource that offers four months of in-depth study written by leading scholars. Contributors are drawn from around the world, as well as the UK, and represent a stimulating and thought-provoking breadth of Christian tradition.

Instead of the usual dated daily readings, Guidelines provides weekly units, broken into at least six sections, plus an introduction giving context for the passage and a final section of points for thought and prayer.

On any day you can read as many or as few sections as you wish, to fit in with work or home routine. As well as a copy of Guidelines, you will need a Bible. Each contributor also suggests books for further study.

The Editor writes...

At the heart of this issue we are celebrating the life-giving festival of Pentecost. Jeremy Duff, on the Spirit in Acts, explores with us how the unfolding story of the life of the early church is in reality the story of the Holy Spirit guiding, empowering and blessing the obedience of those first Christians. It is a remarkable account and holds many clues and prompts for us as Christians today as we seek to live faithfully in a complex and ever-changing culture.
But at the heart of our witness for Christ is the character which the Holy Spirit produces within. Ian Macnair brings his biblical scholarship and pastoral experience to the well-known list of characteristics we call the fruit of the Spirit. He makes two fundamental points: first that this 'menu' is not a pick-and-mix one - we are called to allow God to grow them all in us; and secondly that while God's Spirit produces them, we still need to pursue them!
Steve Motyer provides us with the narrative picture of Jesus to enrich our understanding of who we are called to be as he continues his journey in Mark's Gospel. We can glimpse a great deal about the heart of Jesus as we see him conquering the storm, demonic forces and biting criticism - all situations which require the fruit of the Spirit to handle as Jesus did.
Bishop Graham Dow shows us how the Bible can help us understand and respond to the demonic forces around us and how we can contribute to God's mission in this context as he explores 'deliverance'.
Ian Paul's exposition of 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, amongst other things, shows how the fruit of the Spirit was no abstract moral list but was exemplified in the life of Paul and needed in the ongoing life of the churches.
Brian Howell's insights on the book of Genesis remind us that the development of the early church and its mission has an antecedent in the way God starts to form his people, the nation of Israel as his 'mission partner' to bring to fruition his purposes to redeem his broken creation. Hence we are constantly reminded of the larger cultural context and the global vision of God.
Two other Old Testament contributions are Leviticus in the capable hands of Henry Wansbrough, and the prophets Zephaniah and Habakkuk, which are intriguing if less well-known. Zephaniah seems to be a catalogue of the judgement of God on Israel and the nations, yet it also contains the amazing promise that he will remedy their rebellion, take away the judgement against them and renew them in his love. Habakkuk brings his own challenges to us: 'He shows us a way to grow in our faith by boldly putting the tough questions of life back to the God who raised them.'
May God equip us for every good work as we respond to his word.

In this issue:

The Spirit in Acts
Jeremy Duff
7-20 May


Genesis 1-11
Brian Howell
21 May-3 June

Deliverance in the Bible
Graham Dow
4-10 June

Mark 4:1-6:29
Steve Motyer
11 June-1 July

2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon
Ian Paul
2-15 July

Leviticus
Henry Wansbrough OSB
16-29 July

Zephaniah and Habakkuk
Brian Howell
30 July-12 August

The fruit of the Spirit
Ian Macnair
13 August-2 September

About the contributors in this issue:

Jeremy Duff is Principal of St Padarn's Institute, a new centre for ministry training in Wales. His book The Elements of New Testament Greek (2005) is Cambridge University Press's bestselling religion title. He has also written Peter's Preaching for BRF (2015).


Brian Howell is visiting lecturer in Old Testament at London School of Theology. Previously he served as the Dean of Studies for Bible Society. He has published on interpreting divine metaphors, and currently researches the Imago Dei when not playing saxophone.


Graham Dow retired in 2009 after being Bishop of Carlisle for eight years, Bishop of Willesden (London) and Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Coventry for eleven years. He loves expounding the Bible, supporting Holy Spirit renewal, praying for healing, the liberation of lay ministry and God's purpose in daily work.


Steve Motyer loves the quest for understanding - and the Bible is central to this quest. His life as a carer helps with this, as does 30 years of teaching New Testament and Counselling at London School of Theology.


Ian Paul is Associate Minister at St Nic's Nottingham, and Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, as well as Managing Editor at Grove Books in Cambridge. He blogs at www.psephizo.com.


Henry Wansbrough OSB is a monk at Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire. He is a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, and lectures frequently across the globe. He has recently completed a new translation of the Bible, the Revised New Jerusalem Bible.


Ian Macnair worked in church pastoral ministry, Bible College lecturing and administration before his retirement. His writings include Teach Yourself New Testament Greek (Nelson, 1995).

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Book details

  • ISBN: DOWNLOAD6044
  • Published: 10 July 2018
  • Status:
  • Format: PDF Download
  • Pages: 160
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