The GOD of the WORD Bible studies present an opportunity for you to work your way through the entire Bible, not only getting an idea about how the whole story fits together but also learning how each part of it applies to your own present-day life. If you complete one lesson per week, as they are intended, you or your Bible study group will get through the Bible in two to four years (depending on how many weeks of the year you devote). Of course, communication that is directly from God deserves life-long study! The goal of GOD of the WORD is to present the whole “story” of the Bible, laying a foundation and whetting your appetite for a lifetime of digging further into the Bible beyond these studies. They were written to be helpful to people who have never opened a Bible in their lives, but just as much for those who have advanced theological training, and everyone in between. The only thing you will need to do the studies beyond what is provided at the website is a Bible and, ideally, a group of people to discuss the lessons with each week.
The GOD of the WORD Bible studies cover all the Scriptures in eight studies, each of which has an introduction followed by 10-14 weekly lessons (11-15 weeks of material). Although we highly recommend completed them in order, each of the eight studies can be taken without completing the previous studies.
Under the “Bible Studies” section of this website, you will see each of the eight studies listed in the order they cover the material in the Bible. Each of those “tabs” allows you access to the weekly lessons. The questions are best completed on your own, with prayer that the Holy Spirit will instruct you as you read and think. Although some individuals have done the studies entirely on their own, they are designed for group use so that each completed lesson is discussed at a weekly meeting. The churches and groups currently using the study also hear a “Closing Summary” of each lesson at their meeting, given by someone who is teaching or leading the study. Videos of Debbi’s teaching (“Closing Summaries”) are available, at present, for some of the studies. Where they are available, you can find them alongside each lesson under the Bible Study tabs. The website continues to be a work in progress. Most of the studies also have an outline available for taking notes while watching the video of the Closing Summary. The outlines also show how the passages covered by each lesson can be organized, for your own understanding or for presentation of a “Closing Summary” you or someone in your group may want to give to round out your weekly meeting. Access to the materials available under “Leader’s Information” is gained by registering with the website administrator for approval. These materials will greatly help those who are leading others in this study. The Leader’s Information section includes Debbi’s personal “Closing Summary” notes, answer sheets for each set of questions, and training materials for Bible study leaders.
The GOD of the WORD studies are currently in a revision process. God willing, this will be completed at the end of 2016, a video will accompany each lesson, and all the printable materials will be fully revised and edited.
SYNOPSIS OF EACH STUDY:
Beginnings: This thirteen-week study covers only the first eleven chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis. The primeval history contained in these chapters was written to tell human beings who God is, who we are, and why we exist. Four main events dominate this part of the Bible: Creation, the “Fall” (how sin entered the world), the Flood, and the Tower of Babel.
Patriarchs: The remaining 39 chapters of the Biblical book of Genesis are covered in Patriarchs, a twelve-week study. These chapters revolve exclusively around one family, Abraham’s family, and the lives of the four dominant men in it (Israel’s “Patriarchs”). God chose to use this one family to communicate with the rest of the world.
Exodus: In fourteen weekly lessons, this study examines the remaining “books of Moses” – Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In these books, the Israelites, who had grown from a large family into a nation, come to know their God and His high standard.
Promised Land 1: Eleven lessons cover the Israelites’ conquest of the Promised Land, the settlement period in which Judges ruled, and their transition to monarchy. The Promised Land 1 study explores Israel’s failure to enjoy fullness of life in the land of Canaan and helps us learn from their mistakes.
Promised Land 2: More than any of the other GOD of the WORD studies, Promised Land 2 presents an overview of a large portion of the Bible, 1 Samuel 13 through Malachi. During these years, Israel went from the height of prosperity in her Promised Land to exile in a foreign land, because of unwillingness to honor the God who had prospered her. The prophets of Israel are introduced in this study. As God’s spokesmen, they issued warning after warning. The fifteen-week study concludes (as the Old Testament ends) with the history of a small remnant of Jews who returned to Jerusalem by God’s grace and awaited God’s promised Messiah.
Gospels: Twelve lessons cover the Gospels, the first four books of the Bible’s New Testament. These lessons marvel over the Jewish-descended Deliverer (Messiah), that God promised the world, as He arrives on the scene, accomplishes His mission, and then returns to Heaven. This high point of Biblical and world history presents the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Acts 1: Following Jesus’ return to Heaven, His followers (the church of Christ) receive empowerment to follow Christ’s command to bring His message to their own city, their greater region, and then to the world beyond. Peter’s leadership, and Paul’s conversion and missionary journeys, are covered over fourteen weeks of study, as are the book of James and Paul’s six “Journey Epistles”.
Acts 2: This final twelve-week GOD of the WORD study covers the last section of history in the book of Acts (in which Paul faces civic trials and imprisonment), together with the remaining fifteen New Testament epistles (letters). In this last part of the New Testament, much is written about Jesus’ promised return to earth, the hope of all who choose to put their faith in Him.
About the Author
Debbi Hammond and her husband Jim have been married since 1981. They have four children and a number of grandchildren. Debbi and Jim moved to New York from Arizona in 2005 when Jim assumed the role of President and CEO of Gospel Volunteers and Executive Director of CAMP-of-the-WOODS. CAMP-of-the-WOODS is a 110 year-old Christian resort-style campground and conference center in the Adirondacks. While the ministry operates year-round, during the ten weeks of summer the Hammonds host between 500-1200 guests each week. They are members of Grace Fellowship Church in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Debbi is a graduate of Nyack College, in New York, and the daughter of seminary Professor Emeritus Dr. David Denyer. Ten years of involvement with Bible Study Fellowship, International (BSF) culminated in her role as a “Teaching Leader”, lecturing weekly on the Bible and training women in Christian leadership principles.