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"The Bible Unpacked" ... how good is this!


By Guest blogger - Posted on 29 December 2010

"THE BIBLE UNPACKED" is a wonderful set of resources that Paul Mallison has developed over the past 16 years, for use in ministry or developing one’s own knowledge of scripture.

It is comprised of a number of booklets and books, which can be used independently of each other. These can be downloaded for free and used electronically or printed.

Paul shares with us his fantastic labour of love ...

 

The material presents the Bible’s teachings in a systematic form and aims to make the Bible’s teachings readily accessible for all readers. It contains resources useful for people at various levels of theological understanding – from non-Christians with no Bible knowledge through to ministers. The material is largely composed of Bible verses under ordered headings, with occasional comments.

There are seven editions of The Bible Unpacked, ranging from the In-Depth Edition (1400 A4 pages with some 37,600 verses) to the Two-Minute Edition (the size of a credit card, for carrying in a wallet or purse).

There are also four study series, based on four of the editions.

Amongst these are resources for various uses, including: evangelical outreach, individual or group Bible study, discipling, scripture and Sunday School classes, devotional reading and preparing sermons or shorter talks. Ministers, Bible students and keen lay readers may find of particular interest the electronic version of the In-Depth Edition – a PDF file with some 55,000 hyperlinks, which can be downloaded HERE (1,395pages).

I began work on the material partly because I wanted a resource to give to interested students of mine that explained key Bible teachings simply and mainly with Bible verses. Around the same time I put together some material composed primarily of Bible verses involving a number of topics, which on completion I realized had the common theme of how to relate to people.

I then thought it would be useful to do something similar on the theme of how to relate to God. I also reasoned that this theme would be well complemented by further work regarding what God is like. Eventually I decided to attempt to put together material on all of the Bible’s teachings.

My material may be freely reproduced for use for non-profit Christian ministry purposes. To that end, electronic copies may be downloaded from HERE at no cost. Users are encouraged to print the material themselves. Alternatively, I can supply copies at cost price.

Although these tools are made available at no cost to the user, I ask in return that users increase their support (prayer and/or financial) for persecuted Christians around the world. This can be done through organizations such as those listed HERE.

Note that while I am a teacher who has taught in a variety of settings and prepared numerous teaching materials, I have not had formal theological training. However, the material is not “set in concrete”, and I am quite open to considering suggested changes.

I would be happy to meet with interested users in or near Sydney to show and explain the material in more detail. I can be contacted HERE.

Paul lives in Sydney, Australia. He is a son of best-selling Australian author and international educator Rev. Dr John Mallison. Paul has a BA Dip Ed from Macquarie University, Sydney. The majority of his working life has been spent teaching students from a cross section of ages and backgrounds.

For endorsements of the material from Dr Paul Barnett and other theological scholars and youth workers, go HERE.

NEW UPDATES:

The four largest of the 7 editions – the Foundations, Intermediate, Comprehensive and In-Depth editions – are now formatted primarily for use as eBooks. Each of these editions now has:
  • Listings of chapter sections (with hyperlinks to and from the headings in the text).
  • Scripture indexes as well as subject indexes (all hyperlinked).
  • A “quick reference” page at the end, ­with hyperlinks to all the chapters and other key sections.
  • Various other new hyperlinks, to aid navigation. This is particularly so with the In-Depth Edition, which now has nearly 100,000 hyperlinks.
  • Changes to the layout – including the fonts – making it easier to read.

 

It is not often that I am immediately captivated to check out another’s book or study material as Paul Mallison’s “The Bible Unpacked” series has done for me.

The christianfaith.com.au site had as its added list of ‘newbies’ for its 31st 'WHAT'S NEW AT CHRISTIANFAITH' e-newsletter, a display of a systematic colour-coded set of booklets, the visual workings of an unpacked Bible and I thought “Wow, some one has done it for me”! That made me even more curious to discover what was cooking, so therefore I wanted to do some justice in being objective and give a review - with a bit of license.

With his lateral thinking method of slowly unpacking the Bible for us I’ll first repeat what Mallison explains …

“Overview of The Bible Unpacked" "There are seven editions of The Bible Unpacked”… "Each edition is an abbreviated version of the next longest edition. As such they have similar structures. Four of the editions have studies based on them, with the same text and questions added. "

The author is so deliberate in unpacking the Word of God that you cannot fault the method. Imagine a suitcase so neatly and tightly packed for a journey. Some might have to imagine a little harder!

Therefore, the analogy of the Bible being unpacked, like a very, very well packed suitcase is lateral thinking to the max. Where one person just learns in words alone, here Paul Mallison presents a visual array of booklets, a systematic fleshing out of the essence of God and His living Word. We cannot but marvel at the clarity and the consistency and the dedication to ‘truth’.

With each new booklet Paul broadens each discovery of a word in the Bible, a text or a statement of doctrine, or concept and so on further then in the previous booklet and allows Scripture to prove Itself as being inerrant. Like going back to the suitcase seeing how that shirt was ironed and packed neatly so to speak.

This is obviously so that the reader can grasp firstly the basics and the core of what the Bible is saying and then be led by the hand to gain a deeper meaning and more so, a deeper understanding of the gift of salvation - God’s love and purpose for us and what that really, really means, as well as how the reader can then use it in the walk of life. We meet people every single day in our walk of life.

In short this is the best comprehensive Bible study I have ever seen. It is simple, helpful and structured in such a way that it can be relied upon to systematically unpack the Bible for all - and to be useful, whether one person sits in front of the computer screen and studies it alone slowly and over time in depth, or a growth group Bible study, or a pastor wanting to use it for material for his sermon, or a speaker for an address or just for helping someone placed on our pathway of life.

Paul Mallison in ’The Bible Unpacked’ series has graciously made it free for all and praise God that it is ‘out there to be used’ and treasured. And even though I do not know him, this study material is a fruit of many prayers which he humbly acknowledges. To God be the glory.

Ali

[Many thanks to Ali for this review: Ed.]

 

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