Biola Professor Brings New Testament Scholarship into Bible Studies

DVD Bible Studies Introduce The Life of Jesus at Deeper Level

Aug. 18, 2009 By Jenna Bartlo

When a student approached professor Matt Williams and asked which of numerous “John” Bible studies was the best, Williams realized none of them captured the true meaning of the Gospel of John. He decided that day to write a Bible study on the life of Jesus.

“I realized that day that we as Bible professors had done a disservice to the church by not writing Bible studies that were for laypeople,” said Williams, Biola University's Talbot School of Theology professor of New Testament.

Williams decided to write a study that would represent the best of New Testament professors’ knowledge and present it to those in the church through small groups and Sunday school classes. The second series of these DVD Bible studies, Deeper Connections, that Williams’ produced on the life of Jesus released August 14, 2009 by Zondervan publishing.

The second series containing three DVDs and participant’s guides on The Life of Jesus, The Last Days of Jesus and The Forgiveness of Jesus follows the first series on The Parables of Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus and The Prayers of Jesus. Each have approximately three hours of teaching per DVD, however, all incorporate application and discussion outside of watching the DVD. Each lesson contains approximately 30 minutes of teaching and the companion participant’s guide offers small group discussion questions, therefore creating a multi-faceted study allowing participants to go deeper.

“The beauty of these DVDs is that they reach all populations...because of the DVD format, they are very user friendly,” said Williams. “Since Deeper Connections contains both teaching and small group discussion, people seem not only to enjoy them immensely, but are really learning from them.”

Deeper Connections focuses on three areas: historical background, Biblical text, and real life application. In addition, the five day personal applications study after each lesson allows for one to further apply the lesson to one’s life with knowledge of the true meaning of the text.

One of the interesting components of these DVDS is that each lesson is filmed on location, beginning with Israel, to show the visual background of each study. There are few Bible studies written by New Testament professors, which results in a lack of depth in many studies.

“Many Christians are bored with the Bible - often because pastors and teachers are not bringing them the full meaning of the biblical text and applying it in challenging ways. These DVDs do that - but not in a boring schoolroom setting,” said Williams.

Williams enjoyed producing and writing the DVDs and is excited that New Testament professors are finally bringing the best in New Testament scholarship directly to the people of the church. The second series includes professors Darrell Bock from Dallas Theological Seminary, Gary Burge from Wheaton College, Scott Duvall from Ouachita Baptist University, Susan Hecht from Denver Seminary and Mark Strauss from Bethel Seminary including Matt Williams from Biola University.

Watch a video introducing the series.

Learn more about Deeper Connections or purchase the series.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Jenna can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at


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