Guthrie, Nancy. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2011. 288 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Nancy Guthrie, renown for her devotionals has ventured into writing Bible studies. The first in a series entitled Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament looks at Jesus in the book of Genesis. I have reviewed a number of works by Nancy Guthrie all of which can be found here. Nancy still teaches at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN as well as speaking at conferences all over the country.
Being a 10-week Bible study, it makes sense that this work is divided into 10 chapters. The first week, however, looks at Luke 24, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus following Christ’s resurrection. In that chapter, she shows how Genesis points us to Christ. Each succeeding chapter moves through Genesis though not in it’s entirety. Nonetheless, by the time the study is done, the student will have studied pretty much all of Genesis. She looks at the creation account the second week and the fall the third. Week four studies Noah and the flood while week five zeroes in on the tower of Babel. The last five weeks focus on the Patriarchs and their children. You will look at Abraham, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and finally the sons of Jacob.
Each chapter includes a personal Bible study section, the teaching chapter and, more importantly given the topic of this particular study, how Genesis points to what is yet to come — Christ. Finally, each week has a discussion guide that helps facilitate a deeper study. Within the discussion guide, Nancy begins with an ice breaker to get the discussion started and then brings everyone in to delve into the word of God.
Nancy’s approach to writing a Bible study is very similar to her approach to writing a devotional. She seeks to encourage and exhort and challenge with the tender-hearted care of a mother concerned for the well-being of her children. Her teaching chapter is extremely informative and offers much in the way of deep understanding as to what the Scriptures teach. On practically every page she points the reader to Christ.
The personal Bible study time is extremely important as it saturates the reader in the Word and prepares his or her heart for the teaching chapter and then the “gold mining” section that is known as the discussion guide. All four sections play an important role in digging deeper into the Word of God. Furthermore, Nancy seems to leave no stone unturned in her study. Yes, there is much more than meets the eye when studying the Bible, but that is always the case. Regardless, the reader will definitely feel as though they have had a work out in studying the Bible and will most certainly leave the study with the reality of learning something new.
One other aspect I like of this study is that it can be both a group effort and an individual study. I think it best, however, that it be viewed as a both/and instead of an either/or. To that end, this study would be most effective.
Some men may not like the idea of using a Bible study written by a woman and I understand that, but this should not necessarily be the case. Nancy is not holding any authority over a man through this book. To that end, I can recommend this study to anyone looking to study Genesis from a Christ-centered perspective. You will surely be grateful you did when you are finished.