I remember back when I was in high school (about 35 years ago, if you must know), I bought a book entitled “Authentic Christianity” from the local Christian bookstore, hoping it would give me a bit of a spiritual “boost.” I’d never heard of the author, Ray Stedman before, but I found the book, which centered on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian believers, both interesting and engaging. It was only later when I went back to get another book by Stedman that I realized what I had read was actually, in essence, a “narrative commentary” on 2 Corinthians.
While I don’t recommend this type of commentary as your only or even primary source of gaining insight into a specific book of the Bible or passage of Scripture, they do make for great reading and devotional study. Nothing beats a good verse-by-verse commentary or Study Bible for gaining insight into the specific meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek words, or in gaining a better contextual understanding of the culture and mindset of “Bible times.” However, narrative commentaries like Stedman’s and Warren Wiersbe’s “Be” series, that are packed full of scripture references and read almost like they belong more in the “Christian Living” section of the bookstore than the “Bible Commentaries,” provide a flow of verse and interpretation that is very readable and understandable.
That said, here are some of the insightful resources you will find on the RayStedman.org web site:
- Narrative/devotional commentaries on ten Old Testament books and fifteen New Testament books.
- Topical commentaries, (what they call “Thematic Studies“), on the Life of Christ, the Holy Spirit, Prayer, Evangelism and more.
- The complete text of Stedman’s book “Adventuring Through the Bible,” which provides a thorough introduction and overview to each book of the Bible.
- A Bible-focused daily devotional, with each month emphasizing a different book or section of Scripture.
- Most of these resources are also available in a series of audio files, (listen online or download), so you can enjoy the teaching in each book while doing other things.
- Many of the text versions have also been translated into Spanish.
If you aren’t familiar with the works of Ray Stedman, I encourage you to start with his “Authentic Christianity” book, as I did years ago and will be re-experiencing online again very soon. I know you won’t be disappointed.
Ray Stedman Online Library link: www.raystedman.org