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Displaying items by tag: Bible Exposition
Friday, 14 September 2012 13:36

Books of the Bible for Small Groups

A Small Group Leader’s Look at Books of the Bible Themes and Purposes and how they can be studied in the context of Small Groups

This is a list of all the books of the Bible and their potential use within Small Groups. Each book is given a brief theme and then an overview. Please keep in mind, all the Word of God is profitable and any study of scripture is bound to have lasting value—this list is just a tool for Small Group leaders to be able to quickly consider all the books of the Bible when prayerfully considering what should constitute their next group study.


Themes: Beginnings
Overview: Genesis explores grand themes such as God’s design, God’s plan, God’s sovereignty, God’s faithfulness, man’s sin, man’s folly. This is a great study for a wide range of Small Groups. Groups consisting of newer Christians will benefit from exploring foundational Bible stories. Groups with more seasoned members will benefit from a closer, theological examination of the themes that begin in Genesis and weave throughout the rest of Scripture.

Themes: Redemption and Deliverance of Israel
Overview: Exodus explores God’s faithfulness and provision to a barely obedient person (Moses) along with a barely obedient nation (Israel). Much of the first 20 chapters will be classic, familiar accounts of God working through Moses. Chapters 21ff focus much more on the laying down of God’s Law for His people. Small Groups studying Exodus would find it most profitable to study chapters 1-20 separately from 21-40. Chapters 21-30 might be better suited to a guided examination of God’s holiness and character reflected in His law.

Themes: Holiness
Overview: Leviticus was the worship manual for the Jewish priests. Often readers get bogged down and bewildered by its bloody details. But if they can get past the unfamiliar nature of sacrificial worship, they will find some great instruction on God’s holiness, atonement, redemption, civil and moral ethics, etc. Just as with Exodus, Small Groups studying Leviticus might benefit most from a guided study of how the law reflects God’s holy character.

Themes: Wanderings in the Wilderness
Overview: Certain chapters of the book of Numbers, such as Chapter 13, make for extraordinary rich spiritual material. But as a whole, Numbers is a challenging book for Small Groups. Much of it contained detailed census records interspersed with troubling historical accounts. It does highlight man’s fickle walk with God and thus Small Groups will likely benefit most from examining a few of the historical accounts separately from the law/census sections.

Themes: Second Law/Renewed Covenant
Overview: Deuteronomy covers the social, moral and priestly law for the Jews just before they entered the Promised Land. It has some excellent nuggets that speak to every dimension of life. Like pearls of a necklace, it is best to examine the many jewels of Deuteronomy individually.

Themes: Conquer and Divide
Overview: Joshua recounts the Jewish conquest of the Promised Land. For the most part, it contains narrative history. The cracks of Israel’s obedience already begin to show and it underscores the need for total obedience to the Lord in all our dealings.

Themes: Seven Cycles of Defeat
Overview: Judges is a sad reminder of the cycle of sin in our lives. It shows that without the clear Word of God, and without a commitment to obey it, individuals and society rationalize horrendous decisions.

Themes: Kinsman Redeemer 
Overview: Ruth is a quick, touching story of God’s provision for Ruth, her mom, and a lonely guy. It has wonderful themes of God’s love, relational love, obedience, truth, faithfulness, loyalty, etc. This is a charming story for Small Groups consisting of couples looking to remind themselves of commitment to God’s ways, to one another, and to family.

1 Samuel
Themes: Transition from Judges to Kings, Theocracy to Monarchy
Overview: 1 Samuel is filled with life-on-life principles that cover the gamut of living for the Lord. It chronicles Samuel’s st