Study Manual content illuminates some aspect of the Jesus in the Gospels each week and connects Scripture to daily life and Jesus' call to discipleship.
The overarching aim is to deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. The study helps group members understand that Jesus is rooted in Judaism and the Scriptures of Judaism and that Christianity and the New Testament are rooted in the Scriptures of Judaism—our Old Testament.
The Study Manual guides daily study and preparation for the weekly group meeting. The main elements in the format are designated by scriptural phrases:
- “They have no wine” (John 2:3) is a brief statement about the human condition and alerts the reader to some aspect of daily life that Scripture can shed light on.
- “Beginning with Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24:27) is a way of referring to Scripture as a whole and signals the fact that we can understand Jesus in the Gospels better by understanding the Old Testament better.
- “Do you want to become his disciples, too?” (John 9:27, New International Version) is designed to stimulate thoughtful reflection so readers can come to their own conclusions about what their own discipleship calls for.
Accompanying each day’s Scripture reading assignments are suggestions of things to look for that take the reader deeper into Scripture. As readers become aware of detail in Scripture, they might ask themselves repeatedly, What am I to make of this? The study manual provides space for writing notes on insights, observations, and questions related to the Scripture, and for putting into words personal perceptions of Jesus from the week’s Scripture.