Willimon Road Trip?

The two general editors for the Wesley Study Bible (reviewed below) are Dr. Joel B. Green, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Bishop William H. Willimon, who is listed on the packaging of the Wesley Study Bible as “Resident Bishop of the Birmingham Area of the United Methodist Church” but who is, I’m pretty sure, known in Methodist circles as the Bishop of North Alabama. He is also a rather prolific writer and speaks often at churches in his conference.

One topic he will be speaking on is “Reading the Bible Like Wesleyans”.

This will be a discussion, led by Bishop Willimon, on the unique Methodist way with scripture. How does United Methodist “practical Christianity” inform our reading of scripture? Bishop Willimon will discuss the particular Wesleyan contribution to the study, interpretation, and embodiment of Holy Scripture.

This should be thorough (2.5 hours alotted) and informative conversation. I know some Methobloggers are discussing making the trip to Birmingham on the 7th of March, but I’m closer to Huntsville, and I’m thinking of getting a group from church together to make the trip on the 14th.

You can read more about the sessions and Bishop Willimon’s thoughts about the project at the North Alabama Conference website.

Wesleyans! Study Bible!

I wish I had not known about the Wesley Study Bible until it was already published and on the shelves. I’m not patient when waiting on preordered items and Cokesbury is probably grateful that I won’t be calling them any more now that I have received my copy. Overall, I am very pleased with this version of the Bible and have no doubt it will be my new Bible for primary use. The Wesley Study Bible uses the NRSV and is published by Abingdon Press. If you are a member of any Methodist/Wesleyan heritage church or have an interest in Wesleyan thought, this is a great resource.

Shane Raynor, over at The Wesley Report did a brief review and I have similar thoughts in terms of the readability and feel of the book. There is also afacebook group which is discussing the merits and shortcomings of this new presentation of the NRSV.

Of course the notes are the important consideration for any study Bible, and this Bible sets itself apart in that regard, including significant details in the life and theology of John Wesley and other early Methodists. The sources for the notes are John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible and the Bicentennial edition of The Works of John Wesley.

An example: on page 1199, with the story of the sheep and the goats, we have an inset on Wesley’s friend William Morgan and his invitation to visit prisoners. Visiting Prisoners is one of the “Wesleyan Core Terms” which also include Physician of Souls, Lay Leadership, Tradition, Liberty, Mind of Christ, and I’d guess about 100 other topics. Thankfully, all these terms, as well as the “Life Application Topics” and the maps are indexed, but as one of the facebook users (Ron N.) points out, the index might be more helpful with page numbers. Instead, if you’re looking up a life application topic or Wesley Core Term, the index only provides you with the book that it can be found in. Granted, they also list it by the order that it appears, which helps, but it’s a fairly significant inconvenience, particularly for a group study setting. You can take a look at this indexing system yourself by downloading the free sample.

I am also surprised that there is no concordance, something I think is an important part of any Bible calling itself a study Bible. This is, however, a Bible specifically designed as a resource for better understanding of the Wesleyan perspective on Scripture, and it fulfills that task. I’m looking forward to using it, as well as giving it to some of my Wesleyan brothers and sisters.

Cokesbury Sale!

Yesterday, I finally put together a list of all the books at Cokesbury that I’ve been waiting to get and just grimaced and pressed “submit order” and figured I’d eat ramen for most of the winter to help pay for the items I’d purchased.

Then, I go through my email and see this notice from Cokesbury. Did I cancel my order? Yes, I did. Hopefully tomorrow my items will still be available and I’ll have saved a chunk of money.

Now you can order too. If nothing else, get together with some friends and preorder your Wesley Study Bibles.

For three days, Cokesbury may actually be able to beat Amazon’s prices. Take advantage now.