From Robert Wynalda comes a new - but not so new - way of studying the Bible. I recently received part of The 17:18 Series, specifically the journal on Acts. I had no idea what would be coming in the mail when I requested this book. When I opened it up, my eyes just lit up. I've never seen anything like this before. It looked like a blank journal at first glance. Then I read the first couple of pages. The author bases this series on Deuteronomy 17:18, where kings are commanded not just to obtain a copy of the law, but to handwrite his own copy. Wynalda sees that research shows students who physically write out their notes have a better retention rate than those who hear or read the information. This idea was formed, about a person who doesn't just read the word of God, but who processes it slowly by handwriting it, as well as asking questions and making their own comments about the text.
Check out these pages from my book as an example of how to use this.
On the right hand side of the journal is the area for you to hand write each verse.
On the left side are very lightly written questions or suggestions to aid in study of the text.
Okay, so that is at first glance. Then I watched this video - about why to use a journible. Turns out it's not just a marketing ploy for you to buy a book full of almost empty pages. The author does a great job of explaining the thought process behind this. Turns out the team who creates these actually goes through and handwrites all of this on their own... with different Bible translations, even. They take into account how many spaces are needed for each verse. The author even describes why you should use this book instead of just a regular journal (which, I'll be honest, was my first question!!). He describes how thin the pages of regular notebooks or journals are, as well as the fact that their spines are often just glued together. After a lot of wear and tear (lots of bending while writing!) they can begin to unglue. I can definitely testify to that, as I have used journals for years for my devotions! I've used a lot of crazy glue in my day to "re-bind" my journals! The point of this book is to withstand a LOT of use. Another thing the author points out is that sometimes the notebooks you find at the store won't even hold an entire book of the Bible... but you won't figure that out until you've copied 75% of the book of Proverbs!
The other great concept they had when they were creating this journal is the idea of a legacy. They encourage you to get a pastor, close friend, parent, grandparent, etc. to fill in notes on the commentary side of the journal. In this way you get to know verses that are meaningful to those people who are so close to you. These books can be handed down and touch people throughout the coming generations. I know people who have Bibles that belonged to their grandparents, and the notes that were made in these Bibles are so significant to them.
The other thing I like about the commentary side is that it's not filled with a ton of study questions. They are trying to bring it back to just YOU and THE BIBLE. You and the text. As Wynalda states in the video, any "aids" that are on the page already are typed very lightly. It was created so you could easily write over them if you don't even want to use those questions or thoughts. And it's more of a guide as to what questions you could be asking yourself as you read the text.
I have to tell you, this is so exciting to me. I am just so pumped to be using this, because every few months I find myself wrapped up in some Bible study. Don't get me wrong, Bible studies are great, but when you are reading more of Beth Moore or Max Lucado than the word of God, you need to get back to the basics. This is something I have to remind myself often because I have such a love of reading. But it's amazing how much you know when you begin to read without any help or commentaries. Maybe it's not so much what you know as what God is sharing with you when your mind is open to that.
I highly, highly recommend this series. I'm doing the one in Acts right now because that's the one I received, but if you look on Amazon you can find everything from Proverbs to Jude. I'm copying the KJV because I actually do love the King James Version, which I think most people just don't like for some reason... I think it's beautiful and to me it's not any more difficult than any other version. But of course you can copy any version you want to. Or even mix and match!
Check out that video if you're curious about the series. Then check out the book and some of it's reviews (I'll give you a hint - they're all VERY positive!)
I've read of people even using it to translate the Bible into another language they're learning - Spanish, original Greek, etc.
I received this title from Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for a fair review. This review is my own opinion. I was not required to write a positive review.