In case you are confused about the title of this book, “Journible: The 17:18 Series: Acts”, let me explain briefly what it is.
The 17:18 series from Reformation Heritage Books seeks to follow the tradition God gave to the kings of Israel in Deuteronomy 17:18:
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests.”
The book is really more of a journal (hence the title ;)). Its desire is that readers journal out the biblical text and engage with it at a deep level. On the right side of the journal there is space to write out a determined number of verses (leaving just the right amount of space per verse, not too much nor too little), with questions to guide study on the left page.
Here are a few sample questions:
- Acts 1:3: How did Christ convince [the disciples] of his resurrection?
- Acts 1:8 How did Christ describe [the disciples] mission in Luke 24:46-49?
- Acts 13:52: “How can persecuted Christians have joy?”
- Acts 15:9 “What does faith do to the heart? (1 Peter 1:22)
- Acts 15:16-17 “What does James’ quote of Amos prove?”
While I love the heart behind the practice of reading the Bible through in a year, I have never been able to follow a plan for an entire year. I find those plans helpful because of their structure, but difficult because I felt rushed and did not feel like I was able to mediate on the text and draw all that I thought God wanted to teach me out of it.
When I first heard of a Journible, I was skeptical. I mean, who couldn’t just copy the biblical text by hand in a spiral bound notebook or Moleskine? The value in a Journible is that it allows you to experience the text in a deep way by stimulating your mind and heart through thought provoking questions and writing out each word of inspired Scripture. The quality and look of book itself is also a plus: it looks nicer on a shelf than a regular notebook.
The book of Acts is a personal favorite of mine because of uniqueness in the New Testament canon. It is the only book that describes the beginning and growth of the church through the Holy Spirit’s power and should greatly encourage any believer. It was for this reason that I wanted to mediate on such a unique portion of redemptive history.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Journible: Acts experience because it forced me to slow down and truly meditate on details of the text that are easily lost in a more rushed reading of Scripture. As I mentioned previously, the questions excellently guide your thoughts into deep understanding, personal application and a better overall comprehension of the unity and diversity of Scripture. Rob Wynalda is skilled at drawing out insights from the text while leading readers to contemplate its deep truths.
- Allows deep meditation on the text (which is where the deep transformation from God’s word comes, see Psalm 1)
- It is a learning and discipleship method approved by God (God clearly values writing out Scripture if it was included in Deuteronomy 17:18)
- Readers/journalers will remember more of the text because they are in it in such a deep way
- Gives readers deep insights into important aspects of the text that can easily be missed
- It would be easy to quit. Writing out all 28 chapters of Acts would truly take a long time. This is not necessarily a comment on the book itself, but rather human nature and how we like to start things and then quit. Personally, I see this Journible not as something that I will complete in a few weeks, but something that I will try and do over the long haul, maybe taking up to six months to finish. But I do plan to finish, precisely because I see the deep value this will add to my spiritual life and understanding of Scripture.
I would highly recommend this book and format for personal use, group studies, and a wide variety of ages (probably ages 12 and up). This format could be a powerful tool for those wishing to study Scripture but also develop skills and aptitude in a foreign language. If you are trying to learn biblical Greek, it would be a valuable way to write out the Greek text and become immersed. Because I am seeking to improve my Spanish, I chose to do my Journible in that language.
Preachers and church leaders could find the exercise of journaling the book of Acts an especially valuable exercise. Seeing God’s power at work as Peter and Paul proclaim the gospel, win many converts, endure persecution, and handle conflict should be a tremendous encouragement as we face similar situations in our lives. Deepening their knowledge of the book of Acts with a Journible will help provide them application and illustrations for future preaching/teaching opportunities.
Other editions available: Proverbs, Galatians Through 1&2 Thessalonians, Romans, John, Psalms (2 volumes), James through Jude, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy through Hebrews.
Smaller versions include: James and Psalm 119.
Unlocking the Bible: Bible Study Tips for the Book of Acts