A Resource to Avoid Awkward Moments
Have you ever had one of those moments while discussing Scripture when a group member looked to you and asked, “What does that mean?” Ever felt that pang of panic when you didn’t immediately know the answer? Maybe it was as you discussed Matthew 11:28–30 and someone asked what a yoke was or how it could be easy. Maybe it was as you used the terms justice, mercy, and grace in conversation, and someone asked how they were different.
Thanks to Keri Wyatt Kent you may run into fewer of these awkward moments. Kent, author of nine books including Oxygen, Simple Compassion, and Listen, provides two great resources: Deeper into the Word: Old Testament and Deeper into the Word: New Testament. These books each provide 100 reflections on common words in the Bible, providing insight into the original language and the historical context.
So, for instance, if that question about the yoke comes up, you could flip to the entry on yoke, which fleshes out four things the terminology would have sparked in the original hearers’ minds. Or, to learn the difference between justice, mercy, and grace, you could flip to any one of those words to see that “justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, [and] grace is getting what you don’t deserve.” And with 100 word entries in each book, you’ll have plenty to learn and look up.
The books are extremely user-friendly. Each entry is about two pages and fleshes out the word in common language and modern-day examples. As you read, you’ll learn about the Greek or Hebrew roots and read Scripture passages where the word appears. Use these books during your small-group Bible study to look up words you come across, or use each entry as a devotional to begin your meeting. You could even use the reflections to put together a brief word study that complements your study. With so many ways to use these resources, check them out today and see how they may help your small group go deeper into the Word.
For a sample from these books, check out Why “One Another” Is Important to Understand, which excerpts her entry on “one another” from the New Testament book. Learn more about Keri by visiting her website.