Guests for the taping of this series of “Good Word” (formerly “Probe”) broadcasts are two members of the School of Theology at Walla Walla University: Zdravko Stefanovic, Professor of the Old Testament, and Carl Cosaert, Professor of the New Testament. Paul Dybdahl, also a member of the School of Theology at WWU, is moderator and author of this study guide.
Introduction and Aim
Before using this discussion guide, the reader should be aware of several assumptions made by the author. First, I assume this study guide will be used in close connection with the Adult Sabbath School Study Guide prepared by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This quarter, the adult Sabbath School lessons were written by the husband and wife team of Gordon and Rosenita Christo. Sabbath School teachers should take note of what they have written and use their material to provide background information and to flesh out what is missing in this â€œGood Wordâ€ guide. There will be some noticeable overlap, as well as some distinct differences.
Second, I assume that those using this guide will carefully read the applicable biblical material. Questions posed in this study guide may not make sense unless one has already grappled with the biblical passage. Hopefully, readers will also have access to one or two Bible commentaries dealing with the OT material.
Finally, it should be noted that the Sabbath School lesson studies, as well as this â€œGood Wordâ€ study guide, are not intended to be used as marriage manuals. Instead, the focus will be on life lessons that can be learned from Bible stories involving married couples. As a result, the intent is that what is learned will be relevant for all peopleâ€“married and single.
In writing a study guide such as this, I will attempt to emulate the Jesus of Mark 8. In this crucial passage in Mark, Jesus does very little explaining. Instead, he asks questions. In fact, in Mark 8:17-29 (NIV), Jesus asks nine consecutive questions.
So, readers will quickly see that this study guide is primarily a collection of questions. Some may seem simplistic, some tangential, and some even dangerous. As best you can, however, look carefully at the biblical material and reflect on the questions provided. Then, ask your own questions. Be wary of pat answers that come too easily and seem too obvious. At the same time, avoid thinking that nothing is certain. Ultimately, I hope that honest, prayerful questions will lead us to insight and to truth. May God guide us in this quest.