Monday, July 31, 2017

Irving L. Jensen Collection - A Review

Irving L. Jensen Collection

Jensen Collection Cover.jpg

Irving L. Jensen

A Review

Faithlife and the family of Irving L. Jensen have provided a great collection of 24 Bible Study tools aimed at students with a wide range of previous exposure to the Scripture.

For those just beginning their study of scripture, whether a new believer or a long time member of the Family of God but with little experience in personal study, there a number of individual book studies. Some these (e.g. the study on the Prison Epistles) provide introductory material before jumping into a series of questions which will help the reader dig, understand, and apply, the Scriptures to their own life. Along with books on individual books, there are also titles that cover larger portions of scripture. For example, The Layman’s Bible Study Notebook provides a set of workbooks covering the whole New Testament.  Simply Understanding the Bible includes an introduction to every book of the Bible (alas, it does not provide study questions to guide the student into deeper study). Except for this book, there appears to be less than complete coverage of the Old Testament, A number of key OT book are covered, but there are some key OT books which seem to be missed (e.g. Isaiah). As noted earlier, the New Testament is covered quite well - both with titles covering multiple Bible books and those focusing on a single book (e.g. each of the gospels has an individual book).

There are also tools for those who are ready to dig in for themselves. At the gentler end of the spectrum is Jensen’s Enjoy Your Bible: Making the Most of Your Time With God’s Word.  The ten chapters (130 pages) begin to introduce the reader to the tools needed to begin a habit of personal inductive Bible Study. For those wanting a bit more in-depth discussion of the inductive Bible Study Method, Jensen’s  Independent Bible Study provides 6 chapters plus appendices with more details on developing a personal Bible Study habit.

Besides the book studies, there are also three character studies within the collection (David, Ruth, and Mary).  

I and other users of the LOGOS Bible Study Library waited a long time to gain access to this material - at times even wondering if it would make it into publication. When the Jensen family became involved in the process, things moved along more quickly. This collection of books is provided for use with LOGOS Bible Software - available at various price ranges, including a Basic version available with a few key books for free.

These books are certainly suitable for individual study.  Though instructions are included within the collection for using the material with a small group or Sunday School class, it is not clear to me how this can be easily accomplished given that the individual books are mostly out of print (updated editions from another publisher are available for several of the titles). Some clarification from LOGOS or the copyright holder may be needed.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

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