Free Webinar: Boost Discipleship Through Group Bible Reading

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.

Join us on May 24th for a free webinar with our friends from Discipleship·org. We’ll be discussing how shifting from the traditional Bible Study model into an unmediated “book club” group reading experience can kickstart discipleship as communities immerse themselves in the Bible together.

Click here to register

From the Discipleship.org website:

“Today​,​ Bible reading has largely become a solo sport. When groups interact with the Bible, it’s usually mediated by a Bible study guide or commentary. Glenn Paauw and Paul Caminiti from the Institute for Bible Reading and creators of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience join Discipleship·org’s Bobby Harrington to discuss the value of “reading big” in community. Pastors report this simplified approach as being one of the most transformational disciple-making tools their church has ever used.”

 

April 2018 Ministry Update

Since our inception two years ago, we have been working hard to pioneer a movement that fundamentally changes how people read and experience the Bible. We’re happy to report that momentum is building as more people adopt this new way of reading the Scriptures and immerse themselves in God’s life-transforming story.

Below is a report we’ve put together to update you on our progress as well as the opportunities in front of us. You can scroll through it right on this page, or click the Pop-Out button in the top-right corner to view in full screen.

PS: If it’s having trouble displaying the 2nd page, refresh your browser and that should fix it :)

 

Inspired by IFBR’s Work, A New Reading Bible Emerges in Spain

Last year our Content Director Glenn Paauw received a message through Facebook from Jose María De Rus Martínez, a headmaster at a public school in Linares, Spain. Jose told Glenn that he had read Glenn’s book Saving the Bible From Ourselves, and it had inspired him to create and publish an original Reading Bible in Spanish.

When Glenn passed along the news, we were excited and we all had questions. How did Jose find out about Glenn’s book? What does his new Reading Bible look like? How did people react to this new format?

I had the chance to talk with Jose this week via the magic of Skype and hear more about the new Reading Bible he’s created.

Tell me a little bit about your background

I’m the 3rd generation of born-again Christians in my family. I grew up in a Christian context, so my mom and dad taught me to love the Bible — there was always a necessity of reading the Bible and sharing it with other people. I became an elder in a Bible church here in my town, and I’m also a Bible teacher in my home church for many years. I also teach homiletics at a Bible institute online in Spain. So the Bible is a crucial book in my life and my study, and I consider that people need to read the Bible not just as a reference book but also as a narrative book. I’m also the headmaster of a public school here in town, married to Deborah for 19 years and I’m the father of 3 kids – so I stay busy!

How did you hear about Saving the Bible From Ourselves?

I was working together with the IberoAmerican Bible Society publishing a Bible that is based in the Masoretic text, in the Samaritan Penteteuch, Qumran manuscripts, and Septuagint. And for the New Testament it’s based on the 28th edition of the Novum Testamentum. And now this Bible is being sold here in Spain and around the world.

So while working on that, InterVarsity Press sent me a copy of Saving the Bible From Ourselves by Glenn Paauw, and I think the Lord guided me to read this book in that precise moment because together with the IberoAmerican Bible Society we felt the necessity of making a new, fresh, readable, narrative way of reading the New Covenant. So we decided to start working on this publication, which we finished last September. So the Lord used Glenn’s book to guide me in this work.

(Jose held up the New Testament on our Skype call and showed me the beautiful hardcover volume with single-column layout – no chapters or verses)

This is the result of reading Glenn Paauw’s book. It’s called Nuevo Pacto – De Regreso A La Fuente, which means “New Covenant – Back to the Source.” You can see we presented this new way of reading the Bible without numbers, without notes, without subtitles, nothing except a small reference at the top where people can know where they’re reading.

But also, this volume is arranged not in the standard order, but following the most reliable testimony of the primitive church (click here to see the book order in this edition.) We finished this publication in September and within a week it was sold out, so we were very happy about that. It’s a fresh way of reading the Bible, and I would dare to say it’s the first book published in this way because all of the publications for the Spanish-speaking people are arranged in two columns, the standard way.

So I thought that the work of the Institute for Bible Reading and Glenn Paauw’s book was an inspiration for us to do this work.

Is this New Testament still being sold in Spain? Has it expanded to any new areas?

The first edition was printed and sold here in Spain, and now it’s on Amazon. The same book is being used in Central America and South America for a movement called Reading Together where people connect via a platform called Fusi and read the Bible together.

Have you found yourself reading this new edition very much?

This has changed my way of reading the Bible because you can read it as a novel or as literature, and you don’t really know when to stop reading! We read some letters in my church using this book and people found that they understood the meaning of the whole letter, the whole book, because of the continuous reading – Galatians or Philippians, for example. So you can catch the whole meaning and whole concept – why Paul wrote that letter in that way.

People who bought this book told us they found that this edition let them read the Bible in a fresh new way, a continuous way, without the human additives. It was fresh way to read the New Testament, so now we’re working on making the whole Bible into this format, hopefully by next year.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just to congratulate you and the Institute for Bible Reading. We want to start a similar association here in Spain for the purpose of guiding people to read the Bible in this “real” way. People are struggling to read the Bible here, so we want to make the reading easier for them. So we don’t necessarily want to start our own Institute for Bible Reading, but a similar way of guiding them to read their Bible.

Jose blogs about the Bible and other Christian books at blogdebiblias.wordpress.com

Supporting IFBR Just Got Easier

Hello friends! Our entire team would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation for your support of our work to help people become immersed in the life-transforming story of the Bible. Over the course of 2017, our first year of full-scale operation, we saw a very encouraging increase in awareness of our work as well as donor support. We are truly thankful for all of you who have caught the vision for the Bible Reading Movement and are working alongside us to grow it!

Now that we have received our IRS 501(c)(3) designation as an official nonprofit, gathering donations has become much easier. We are now able to process donations directly from our website, including repeat giving options.

So if you would like to support the Institute for Bible Reading in 2018, head over to our Donate page to get started. Thank you!

Glenn Packiam Joins our Board of Advisors

We’re thrilled to welcome Glenn Packiam as the sixth member of our Board of Advisors. Glenn is an associate senior pastor at New Life Church and the lead pastor of New Life Downtown in Colorado Springs, CO. He’s the second pastor to join our board, and we look forward to his valuable perspective on engaging congregations with the Bible.

Glenn was one of the founding leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band and has been featured on several Desperation Band and NewLifeWorship recordings. As a signed writer with Integrity Music, he has written and co-written several well-loved worship songs like “Your Name” and “My Savior Lives.” He has also authored Discover the Mystery of Faith, LUCKY: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People, Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith, and Butterfly in Brazil: How Your Life Can Make a World of Difference.

“In an age where narratives are truncated and meaning is shaped only by what we see, Christians hold one of the greatest and most powerful treasures: a Grand Story of Everything. Yet we have chopped our Scripture up and crowded out its contents, leaving its beauty obscured and its message largely ignored,” Glenn says.

“The Institute For Bible Reading is developing fresh and stunning ways of returning us to this treasure. When we used their resources in our congregation, it resulted in the highest engagement we’ve ever had not only in Bible-reading but also in small group participation. The Church is and has always been a community formed around a message, and I believe the Institute’s work helps us to recover this aspect of our identity and vocation”

Glenn is finishing a doctorate in theology at Durham University and blogs at mysteryoffaithblog.com. You can find him on Twitter at @gpackiam. Welcome to the team, Glenn!