A Truly Great Bible Study of Hebrews 11

I’m always happy to see a new release in the Moody Bible Studies for Women series – and when I saw the latest one was written by Trillia Newbell on the “Hall of Faith” chapter of Scripture, I couldn’t wait to get started! “A Great Cloud of Witnesses: A Study of Those Who Lived By Faith” is a 6-week Bible Study of Hebrews 11 that promises to help us rejuvenate our faith by diving into the stories of the faithful ones who have gone before us.

This study is organized a bit different than the layout I’m used to, but I’m finding that I really enjoy it. Each of the 6 weeks (which can be expanded to 8 weeks by following a slightly different outline) features both a study portion, and a daily devotional portion. The Bible study is at the beginning of the week, where it explains what portion of Scripture to read and cross-references to check, and then features multiple questions to help you dive into the text and think, ask, and understand what you just read. I have been doing 3-5 questions from here each day, along with one daily devotional (five of which follow each weekly study portion). I’m sorry if this sounds a bit confusing, it’s really quite intuitive once you get into it, and I am enjoying this format. . . I find that it gives you some freedom with how long you can spend each day – depending on how much time I have, I can decide how many core study questions to go through.

As far as content, although I’m not quite finished the study I’ve been finding it to be excellent on all levels: inspiring, challenging, and thought-provoking. It naturally leads you back and forth between the text of Hebrews 11 and the original stories of these Heroes of Faith in the Old Testament, encouraging thoughtful pondering of their lives and choices and, of course, their faith. “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” also includes some great resources such as a quick refresher on HOW to study the Bible, a list of resources for further study, and two appendixes (one for leaders doing a study group, and the other a practical guide for reading Old Testament stories).

As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best Bible studies in the series so far – but I know I always say that with each new release! One thing that is inherently different about this book, however, is how thin it is. . . This may seem inconsequential, but I believe it is very important. It is thin because we must bring our own hard work, our own brain-power and soul-searching and prayers for understanding to the table as we study, because Ms. Newbell does not spoon-feed it to us! She gives us all the tools we need and provides a jumping-off point for our studies, but she does not give us the answers – and that, I believe, is a sign of a truly great Bible study.

I received this book courtesy of Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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