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God and the world. The concluding volume of the series is entitled The Christian Hope and presents in constructive form the abiding faith of the Christian fellowship in the final triumph of the kingdom of God.

It is confidently expected that in their revised form these studies will serve a two-fold purpose. As elective courses for adult Bible classes interested in this vital and most fascinating of all studies, their usefulness has been much enhanced. At the same time they are intended to meet the increasing demand for modern textbooks written in scholarly spirit but popular style for preparatory and high schools and for advanced groups in week-day religious instruction in local parishes. That they are admirably suited for either purpose will be evident from an examination of any one of the volumes in the series.



THE character of this volume is explained in part by the title of the series to which it belongs, "The Kingdom of God Series." Under that general title there are a number of studies covering Old and New Testament times and Christian history since Jesus' day. The title itself expresses the conviction that the meaning of history is to be found in the thought of a new world which God is shaping, a kingdom of truth and righteousness which is being established upon earth.

Such a dynamic conception involves a correspondingly dynamic treatment. Too often Bible study is a gathering together of all possible material, exegetical, critical, archæological, theological, so long as it has some reference to the Bible. The interest of this series is vital. Its primary concern is religious, that is, with the way in which these records bear on human faith and life, and with the light which they throw upon this story of the making of a new humanity. Here lies the supreme meaning of the Bible. And this is history in the true sense, not the in


discriminate record of past occurrence, but the study of that which lives on in our institutions and ideas to-day.

This interest governs us in our study of the teachings of Jesus. Our task is first of all historical in the narrower sense, namely, to understand the message of Jesus in the setting of his time and in that succession in which he

Critical results need to be utilized, even where critical processes are not set forth. The ever-present danger must be avoided of making Jesus speak as a "modern,” whether liberal or conservative, theologian or social reformer. Nor are we to extort answers to questions which Jesus never considered. But when we have agreed upon the need of this strict historical method, then there are other interests still to be weighed. We study the teachings of Jesus because he has given the supreme answer to man's deepest questions. Our question is, What were the great truths that formed his faith? What was that message which with increasing power has commanded the conscience and convictions of men even to our day?

A Life of Jesus, by the same author, has been issued as a companion volume. It should be at hand for reference or for collateral reading. The message of Jesus and his life must be studied together if either is to be rightly understood.


At the close of each chapter the student will find Directions for Study. Look at these before beginning the reading of the chapter. A few general suggestions are here given.

First, get a clear idea of the purpose of the book. Back of it lies a twofold conviction: that Jesus had a message for men, clear and definite, and answering the great questions of life; and that this message of Jesus has been one of the great forces in human history that has wrought for the coming of the kingdom of God. This suggests the double interest of this book: What did Jesus teach, and what has his teaching meant for human faith and life?

In order to understand the teachings of Jesus, they must first of all be closely related to his life and times. Read and refer to the Life of Jesus issued as a companion to this volume.

While the individual subjects are separately studied, remember that the achings of Jesus are not a string of opinions or a collection of doctrines. His words have a living source and a common center: his life with God and his conception of God.

As you begin the study of a chapter, read carefully the introductory paragraph which usually makes the connection with what precedes and gives the new theme. Then read the chapter through at a sitting and grasp its outline as a whole, joining it to what has gone before.

Now go over it again more carefully. Read the Bible references in the Directions for Study and in the text. These form the real subject for study. Form your own conclusions on the basis of the Gospels themselves.

Answer carefully the questions raised in the Directions for Study, writing the answers out if possible.

Write, and write constantly. Keep a special notebook for this study. Write in it the answers to all questions. A most helpful plan is to write an outline of each chapter, or to sum up its argument in your own words. Write out the ideas suggested to you by the Gospels or by the discussion. Nothing is more helpful to the student than constant writing, especially if studying alone. It compels more thorough work, it clarifies the thought and tests our knowledge, and it fixes in mind what we have learned.

Ask yourself constantly what this all means for yourself and for the life of the world about you. To do so will not only bring profit to yourself, but meaning and zest to all your study.



THE KINGDOM AND THE BIBLE ONE of the great Christian ideas which is taking hold of the thought of our day is that of the kingdom of God. Set by Jesus in the forefront of his teaching, neglected in later years or limited in its meaning, we have come more and more to see its significance. It has given to us a Christian view of history. Humanity's story is no unmeaning tangle of events, nor is the world a mere machine that blindly grinds us all at last to dust. All this would give us happenings, not history. We have history only when events have a meaning, when there is movement toward a goal. For Christian thought God is the moving force, and the final goal is that rule of truth and right and peace which will bring man's highest life and which we call the kingdom (or kingship) of God.

If this, then, be our thought, that God is in his world working out such ends, then it will affect definitely our conception of the Bible and our mode of study. The Bible is not a book apart from the world, not so many words dropped down out of the sky. It is the evidence of this work of God in the world; it is the fruit of that higher life of men which has been wrought by his Spirit. Back of the Bible lies this great movement which we call the development of the Kingdom. Out of this movement the Bible has come, and of that movement it is the witness.

Dynamic Study of the Bible.-All this suggests a certain mode of Bible study. It is not enough to ask what a certain Bible verse means. It is not enough to ask when and by whom a book was written, what facts it contains, or what

a doctrines it teaches. We need a dynamic study of the Bible. These events that are recorded, what do they mean for this movement of the kingdom of God? These teach

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