Welcome! I’m glad you’re here.
This is VerseNotes, a blog to help you delight in every verse of the Word of God.
Not just read it because you feel like you have to. Or because your parents did (or said you should). Or because it’s what “good Christians” do. Especially not because you feel guilty for not reading.
VerseNotes is here to “open your eyes” to “behold wondrous things” in every verse. (Psalm 119:18)
Who Am I?
I’m Jerry, the writer of these words pointing to God’s Word. I’m a lifelong Christian, although I underwent a sort of personal revival about thirteen years ago that really set me down the path of serious Bible reading. I’ve lived in San Antonio, Texas for seven years, even though (a) I still think of myself as having “recently moved,” and (b) the subject of whether you can make barbecue from cows is still contentious.
For the last six years, I’ve been leading a Bible study full of folks from across the spectrum of Christian experience: from people who were still unsure about this whole Christianity thing to those who had taught their own Bible studies—and even a few who now hold degrees from seminaries. (Hi, Clay!)
Along the way, I’ve looked at the Bible from a lot of angles trying to find the ones that were most useful, most engaging, most fun, most life-giving. I’ve definitely found a few that fell flat—eight months in the book of Hebrews will test the most diligent student’s patience. And I’ve also found stories that resonate, books that enlighten, even crafts—yes, we’re an adult Bible study; why do you ask?—that lead to greater knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and ultimately delight in Scripture.
But people don’t stay in one Bible study forever. Especially ours, focused on post-college Christians—we move on as we earn graduate degrees, change careers, get married, move across the country (both directions)…. And while I deeply love teaching the group that gathers every Tuesday night, at last count there were way more people in the world than there are in our Bible study.
So here we arrive at VerseNotes, a step into the world to share my delight in the Word with the world beyond Tuesday nights.
Who Is This For?
When I consider this question, a question pops into my head:
Is this one for the people? Is this one for the Lord?
Excuse me while I blast some DC Talk.
I’m back. And I feel like I ought to write, “This blog is for the glory of God.” And, eventually, it is.
But my purpose is to help you to delight in God’s Word. Because I know that the more you read and love the Word, the more you’ll get to know God, and the more you’ll glorify him in your life.
If You’re Just Starting Out
If you’re new to the Bible, or new to reading it for yourself and for your soul, your biggest question is probably, Where do I start? (Hint: not in Genesis.)
I’ll answer that question by providing starting points into Scripture, as well as into specific genres, themes, and individual books.
I’ll also share tips for reading, study guides, reading plans, and whatever else it takes to help you start reading the Bible, delighting in every verse, and seeing God in them.
If You’ve Been Reading A While
If you’re more familiar with the Bible, you have a different set of questions, perhaps most prominently, Where do I go from here? You know most of the books, some of the characters, lots of the stories. You’ve started, or even completed, formal devotionals. You have a solid grasp on the Word, and you’re wondering, What’s next?
I’ll offer strategies, mechanisms, and habits for approaching the Bible from a different angle, seeing it with new eyes, structuring your understanding, improving your ability to see connections, and generally diving deeper into the verses you already know.
I’ll also be sharing my reflections on my daily reading (although probably not published daily), which I hope brings a bit more color to those passages.
If You Currently Hold A Degree In Theology, Divinity, Or The Bible, Or You Have A Career In Professional Ministry, Or You Have Just Been Reading And Studying For A Lifetime But Still Thirst For More
If you’ve long since progressed from milk to meat and are already halfway through going on to perfection (and can cite both of those references chapter-and-verse1), I will pray that my humble offerings can help you on your journey, and I’ll hope for your help to make this blog more useful to others. (If that sounds like fun to you, please get in touch.)
Seriously, though, I’m just an engineer whose love for the Word and desire for more has inspired a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of teaching. I probably won’t use the word soteriology2 except here.
But for you, I can offer two things:
First, there is more wisdom in Scripture than one lifetime can possibly discover, and whatever God gives me to write, I will write.
Second, I’ll point to people who are experts. As I come across them, I’ll compile lists of resources—books, websites, podcasts, refrigerator magnets—to help anybody on their journey upward and inward.
How Do I Keep Up?
Excellent question! The easiest way to learn when I write something new is to sign up for the e-mail list. I promise not to spam you; you’ll only get an e-mail when I have something valuable for you, like a new article.
And you can always get in touch directly. Let me know what you think. What kind of resource would help you the most? What kind of questions do you have?