BSF’s Next Study: Letters of Paul?

I’ve heard from many of you on the repetitive personal questions of the study of Romans.  I have noticed this as well.

I suggested a while back that Bible Study Fellowship shorten the study of Romans into a semester long course and then add on other smaller books for the rest of the year such as Galatians and Colossians.

I’ve dubbed this study idea of mine:  The Letters of Paul.

This is an informal poll.  Do you like this idea?  Now that we’re almost half-way through the study of Romans, what are your thoughts on the study, the questions, lecture, notes, etc?  I always love to gauge your opinion on the study at about this time.  Do you like it?  Is it challenging?  Are the questions just right?  Too hard?  Too easy?  Have you learned a lot?  Is BSF worth your time and energy?

Please try to be reflective of the study itself, not BSF as a whole.  Also, just being with God, we’ve all grown closer to Him.  Try to focus here on this study compared to other studies you may have done on the Bible.

Please leave a comment below or email me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

I look forward to your ideas, comments, & suggestions.

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37 thoughts on “BSF’s Next Study: Letters of Paul?

  1. First of all, studying the Bible is always worth my time and energy. Having said that, I would have to say that BSF’s study of Romans this year has disappointed me. I do not like the repetition of questions and many personal reflections. And no, it is not particularly challenging. I’ve thought about quitting more than once. I go back because of our small group and often do not even stay for the lecture. I’m definetly praying about it.

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    1. Mary Ann, I agree with you that the questions lack insite into the true nugget of truth. It got to the point of listening to the lecture and comments from the presenter that he does not believe that _______ so it is skipped. My best study time is late at night after my wife has gone to bed. Just me and the Lord. Like you, I love the small groups but we are so rushed to get back to the lecture which (in my group) are boring. Actually, I quit attending and just study at home. That has proven wrong because the meetings of BSF keeps me up to date with the group. Without that obligation, I tend to let my study time slip. All I know is that God will speak to our spirit when we ask. Thanks again Mary Ann.

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  2. I agree… it seems BSF is stretching this book to fill the class schedule and also believe that including other NT letters could better help understand Paul’s life and testimony as it exemplifies his transformation and struggles found in Romans.

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  3. The study of Romans has enriched my understanding of Salvation! I’m so thankful for BSF and am enjoying the study. Thank YOU for helping me understand the questions! Your answers steer me in the right direction when I don’t have a clear understanding on my own.

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  4. I am a newcomer to bsf by virtual group this year. I have learned a lot and the fellowship is probably the best part. The questions are less than exiting and I would like to explore other views regarding some of the readings we do not all think alike and I think it is important to exchange ideas not all come to the same answer. Thanks for all you do.

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  5. I don’t feel taught. I feel quizzed endlessly. For years I couldn’t wait to get to BSF to share my growth and learn from others how God used BSF to lead me onward. Nothing got in my way. Now? Nothing calls me there. The void is so great I even forget to go. As I pray about it I also wait. For now, I am an unmotivated drop out. If this were a college class I would be asking exactly when does the teaching begin? Even when there is discussion it is rushed so we can get through the many thin and repetitive questions.

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  6. For me, the study of Romans is excruciating. It just isn’t clicking for me. I love studying the Bible and I still learn something new each week as hard as it is for me to “get it”. I think your idea is a good one. And I truly appreciate your blog. It’s been more help to me than you’ll ever know.

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  7. Much of the letters of Paul comprise the NT. The ultimate convert, the Lord changed him nearly beyond recognition. A comparison might be Hitler, the most vicious killer of Jews in history. The best BSF has done in this study is to make Paul trite. I know that is harsh. Paul took on ROME, for goodness sake. It is, to me, as if the puzzled God said “you didn’t ‘get’ Jesus??? Okay, try and ‘get’ Paul! Paul effectively said ” look at THIS life! NOW do you see?”

    The tragedy here for me is BSF opting for pablum. Where is your passion? Paul is perpetually on fire. Why aren’t you, BSF? IT CANNOT BE THAT I HAVE OUTGROWN YOU. but it seems Paul, the most passionate convert God ever gave us, is left at the gate. You clearly can do better.

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  8. After reading all of the responses so far, I am relieved to know that I am not alone in the way that I feel!! I was beginning to wonder if it was just me but this BSF study is just dragggginnnng on! I too am tired of the endless repetitive questions and deeply personal questions that keep getting asked week after week! I was so excited about starting this study last summer and to say that I have been greatly disappointed with this particular study has been planned out by the BSF staff is an understatement. I agree with what you have mentioned about studying Paul’s other letters and I also believe that it would be very beneficial to the study of Romans.

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  9. No depth to the questions. You hardly need to use the Bible to do the lesson. Love the notes, getting nothing from the lesson

    Sent from my iPhone

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  10. I usually don’t comment to things online. I enjoy your blog, but often don’t agree with your response to questions & I am distressed that you constantly criticize BSF. This has been your pattern for several years. These lessons go worldwide & are reaching some people who have never heard the word before. Their lives are being changed as their come to know Jesus as their Savior. Each of us needs to exam why we are going to BSF. Are we bringing unsaved friends & neighbors or is it just something we think we should do. Maybe that’s why it’s not meeting your needs. Ask the Lord where He wants you to be.

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    1. Maxine, I think you have it all wrong. I don’t see Atoz constantly criticizing BSF. She gives her opinion on certain questions. I think that is what this blog is about, being able to give your opinion.

      I would be lost without her guidance. I feel more ready to discuss the lesson after reading her notes. She helps me get started in understanding what it is all about.

      She helps hundreds of people. The bible is the main source but her help is very much appreciated.

      I love your loyalty to BSF, I too have followed it for years, it is the best Bible study that I have ever come across. Atoz adds to it and I am so happy to have her.

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    2. Maxine,

      Don’t you think that these people coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, would also benefit with the other books and studies she is referring to? You don’t have to be in a group to witness to our unsaved friends/neighbors. I found this out when i first joined BSF in the 1990’s. The words and our actions also bring an excitement to those who we are reaching without even knowing. As a long time member, I think the studies need a closer look from Admin. In the beginning, i just sat there not really understanding how others in my group could have such elegant answers and i didn’t even understand the verses. Then it was revised and i along with countless others don’t like the personal answers. I don’t mine a few but really! Also, we don’t have to agree on our answers because God reveals himself and answers as He sees fit. i love hearing how others interpret what God puts on our hearts! I want to be exactly where God wants me to be.
      “The only way to the Father is through Me.”

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  11. I have been in BSF for 23 years and my wife for 30. I tried Community Bible Study and Saddleback Church Bible study and found them to be weak questions and no notes or commentaries. Years ago I attended the church’s of Chuck Smith and Chuck Swindle; great speakers but their in house Bible study was weak. Although I find some baby questions in BSF I have never found a better Bible study. Any suggestions? You do a nice job on your notes and I enjoy comparing mine to see if I missed anything; I enjoy your writing , BSF notes, questions and I travel the world. I am very lucky to have traveled almost every place where Jesus Christ, Paul, Moses and the old Testament speak of; Praise God because today it is too dangerous to travel to some countries. Confidential Col John Kaylor USAF United Airlines Lockheed Aircraft, consultant

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  12. I have been in BSF for 8 years and a GL for 1 year of that. I dropped out of Romans. My heart just wasn’t in it. It was a little less challenging than other studies and I was really excited about studying Romans. It could just be me, but I felt I was not in it whole heartedly. I do agree that a combination study would have been a good approach.

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  13. Romans Chapter 8 has always been one of the most important chapters in all the bible. But I agree with Atoz it should have been shortened. Barbarann actually made me laugh. That was the best lesson yet 🙂

    I read this recently and it gave me a good idea of why I love Romans:

    To Paul life was not a weary, defeated waiting; it was a throbbing, vivid expectation. The Christian is involved in the human situation. Within he must battle with his own evil human nature; without he must live in a world of death and decay. Nonetheless, the Christian does not live only in the world; he also lives in Christ. He does not see only the world; he looks beyond it to God. He does not see only the consequences of man’s sin; he sees the power of God’s mercy and love. Therefore, the keynote of the Christian life is always hope and never despair. The Christian waits, not for death, but for life.

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    1. Lissette, your fine last paragraph fully explains the Christian life and needs no other word. Where did you read that? I am so glad God gave us Paul! Gotta love a guy who never hangs back!

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      1. My hero for commentaries is William Barclay. His theology is all wrong but his commentaries are the best.

        Paul is also one of my favorites in the Bible. I thank God for him. I love a sinner who has been converted and by his actions gives his life to prove his belief.

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  14. I totally agree with you that the study of Romans is too personal. I would love to have a Letter of Paul Study for the second semester. Thanks for caring, Kay.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

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  15. I chose not to do Romans this year after being disappointed with the rewrite of John (was that last year?). I had done Romans in 2008(?) and it was very deep-sad to see that it has changed so much. I appreciate your additional notes this year since I am not in the class. I do miss the fellowship of my group-while the study was shallower, the time to get to know other ladies was greater than in the past–

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  16. I have left BSF because though the notes were good and informative, the questions, by and large, were not. Discussion was always rushed to get through the questions. Part of this is because some ladies go on and on in the discussion about personal thoughts (usually a problem with husband, kids, friends, etc.). Questions repetitive and too many personal opinion questions. It seems there’s been an increase in the number of these personal questions. What has changed? Me or BSF? my first few years were wonderful and not so much anymore. I miss the fellowship though.

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    1. I tried to give you the link to the virtual class but it won’t go through. Stroll above and it will be right here under BSF Virtual Class

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  17. It seems to me that BSF is not asking the right questions… or using the right bible. You know they had to have used a concordance to work up the study but I cannot to answer the questions? It is very controlling and narrow minded. Yes, I’ve heard their explanations for this but it seems odd. Also, they do the same studies on a rotational basis. It seems to lack depth. So much of ‘modern’ Christianity attempts to appeal to a generalized crowd. How about going deeper for those who wish to do so?

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  18. Help, please. I am not in receipt of Romans Lesson 13 Day 3-5.   Blog is difficult.  Reason:  unable to print subject lessons.   Why? I should be able to print lessons without troubling you.  I feel badly contacting you for help. I reside in South Florida.  Due to Hurricane Irma in early September 2017 we are two weeks behind in Lessons. Please tell me how to print from blog ONLY the PRECISE PAGES. With sincere appreciation. Merry Christmas. Victoria Palm Beach County, Florida       

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  19. Our group loved John last year, thinking and thinking about Jesus. This year is tough for discussions considering all the concepts and very few people stories to put yourself into. Our leader doesn’t always finish the lessons because when everyone has finally found a question that is exciting to think about we feel super connected. I know God wants people to be excited about his word and relationship is why people like BSF. No one is upset about not finishing the lesson when our group leader apologizes for coming up short. The notes are great. The questions are sometimes questionable. Can’t wait to study Gods chosen people next year.

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  20. I’m not enjoying the study of Romans. The questions seem bland. I want to go deeper into God’s word but so far have not found the questions to be such that requires deeper understanding of Romans. I have thought of quitting but I do like my small group and I enjoy the friends with whom I go to lunch after BSF. I do have to confess that I’m not a fan of Paul’s writing style. He is very verbose and writes in the negative style. I find it to be rather confusing at times. That being said, I do love Paul himself. He went through so many hardships for the love of Christ.

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    1. He is very repetitive, I’ll give ya that. Hang in there. Come and read my notes and hopefully they will propel you deeper. God bless and thanks for sharing your honest feelings!

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      1. I will definitely read your notes and will hang in there as long as I can. Thank you for writing your blog. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

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  21. Actually I think the questions are hard to understand. Still Romans seems so much better this time than last time. Maybe the three weeks we spent on Romans 8 has finally helped it to sink deeper into my head and heart more than before with the Holy Spirits help and prayers for me.

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  22. Like many posters, I am not enjoying this study. It seems forced and the questions are not at all challenging. I was a GL for 2 years and notice that things have gotten more regimented. I, too, have considered dropping out of this study. I agree that it should be shortened and combined with something else.

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