For Individuals

Reading Exodus as an Individual

We have created four ways to study the Book of Exodus, as an individual, in meetings of parish and diocese, in adult forums, and at Diocesan-wide events such as conferences and convocations.  Reading Exodus as an individual will give you the most comprehensive understanding of the scripture, and help you get more out of group discussions should you choose to also participate in the other three methods of study.  To give you a chance to get as comprehensive as you would like, we offer three commentaries for you to delve into as you study the scripture, and one book of theology.  We also offer a schedule of readings, so that you can stay on track and read at the same pace as others.  We want to acknowledge the abilities and expertise of the community, so we invite you to let us know if there are other supplementary texts that might help us all grow in understanding and knowledge of the Book of Exodus.

On this page you will find:
Descriptions of the three commentaries we’ve chosen.
A description of the book of theology we’ve chosen.
A form with which you might suggest other books that we should consider.
Descriptions of the two suggested reading schedules, and the invitation to follow either.


Commentaries

Click here to buy the books.  Parishes can get a free copy of any of the books from the diocese.  Contact The Rev. Karl Stevens (kpbstevens[at]gmail.com) to order a book for your parish library.

John Goldingay, Exodus & Leviticus for Everyone
This is a very accessible commentary on both Exodus and Leviticus (the Exodus portion account for just over 100 pages). It is a compact, inexpensive, and non-technical volume and the author utilizes anecdotes from contemporary life to connect with the narrative of the story. Goldingay’s reflections on Exodus, generally in short digestable chunks (four or five pages reflecting on one or two chapters of the Biblical text at a time), are born from his experience as both a pastor and teacher. The whole series is aimed at people new to reading scripture, hence “For Everyone.” The Old Testament books (including this one) were written by John Goldingay (an Episcopal priest and seminary professor in California) while the New Testament volumes were written by Bishop Tom Wright from the Church of England.

Terence E. Fretheim, Exodus
This is part of the series “Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.”  The author (the Elva B. Lovell Professor Emeritus of the Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul MN) provides an insightful and very readable commentary and reflection on the second book of the Torah.  He explores the ways that Exodus incorporates and elucidates a theology of creation, various images for God, and the meaning of Exodus as a paradigm for liberation.  In doing so, he offers a wealth of insights that have the power to stimulate thought, prayer, and discussion.  Fretheim exhibits a wonderful gift for incorporating the best in biblical scholarship into a volume that is clear and easy to understand for everyone.

Carol Meyers, Exodus
The author (the Mary Grace Wilson Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Duke University) provides the complete New Revised Standard Version of Exodus, accompanied by her own jargon-free commentary.  She prefaces the volume with a 20-page “Introduction” that offers an excellent summary of recent scholarship on Exodus.  She also provides a wealth of supplementary materials that provide valuable backgrounds for the text, the narratives, and the cultural context in which the stories are set.  Meyers’ extensive work over many years as an archaeologist, a biblical scholar, and a highly respected expert on the role of women in ancient Israel enable her to incorporate into this book a variety of insights that can help to stimulate both thought and discussion on the significance of Exodus for the world today.


Theology

Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight, AN OTHER KINGDOM: Departing the Consumer Culture

Unlike the other resources on Exodus that the Diocese of Southern Ohio will reference over the next year, An Other Kingdom is not a commentary of scripture or an historical primer but monograph that offers a lens for analysis, interpretation, and ethical response in life. In just over 100 pages, these three authors blend their estimable, unique gifts in ways that produce a single argument for human transformation and social policy in our present day. Early on in the text we receive the core theme that holds true for all three writers: “Abundance, mystery, fallibility, and grief create conditions to reclaim the common good.”

The Common Good is at the heart of the Exodus. Inside the narrative the authors call “Neighborly Beliefs” we find examinations of holiness, mystery, humility, and neighbor-care. And, though no single writer is given sole credit for any of the six chapters (plus a brief Postscript), we can sense their energy and hear the voices of the social critique, leadership development, and prophetic witness each one brings to the table.

The biblical Book of Exodus begins in a memorable way: “These are the names…” The names joined in this interdisciplinary tour de force come from business leadership consulting for communitarian change (Peter Block), “Asset Based Community Development” organizing and sociology (John McKnight), and biblical theology and theological education (Walter Brueggemann).  In recent years the three authors have become close friends who find themselves – perhaps like Moses himself – reflecting wisely on the purpose and meaning of their lives after distinguished careers in related, yet separate fields. For imaginative integration and urgent calls for social change this book is rare.

The Exodus tells of A PEOPLE who resist and flee a powerful, impassionate Pharaoh, finding their true identity in neighborly concern and covenantal memory. We in Southern Ohio can walk with THIS PEOPLE anew as we read the Scripture and reflect on its ethical/social imperatives.


Suggest Secondary Texts for the Good of the Community


A parishioner at Saint Stephen’s in Columbus also suggests these books for the study of Exodus:

Reimagining Exodus: A Story of Freedom by Rabbi David Zaslow

New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Exodus by Mark S. Smith

Exodus and Emancipation: Biblical and African-American Slavery by Kenneth Chelst

Two Reading Schedules

The schedules you see here are only suggestions. The first provides a schedule for a year long reading of Exodus along with one of three commentaries (you choose which one you’d like to use!). The second schedule walks your group through the book of Exodus in the fall and then a book which might be described as a practical / theological reflection on Exodus in the spring. We really do want to emphasize that your group should do what you feel is within your ability! All of these options are meant to be accessible for folks who aren’t used to studying scripture, but still useful and engaging for people who are. Certainly one could read more or less, depending on your group’s strength. One of the joys of Bible Study is not simply growing as an individual, but being part of a group who come to rely on each other’s contributions, reflections, and of course prayers. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “So my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other.” When you study together, be generous and patient with each other; listen as much as talk. And always pray!

Schedule One (this is the schedule that the Full Reading Calendar follows, and that we’ll be following with blog posts and other resources on the website once the project begins on August 27th)

Aug 27 Preface Material in your Study Bible & Goldingay 1-5 / Fretheim 1-22 / Meyers 1-30
Sept 3 Exodus 1 & 2
Sept 10 Goldingay 6-14  / Fretheim 23-50 / Meyers 32-45
Sept 17 Exodus 3 & 4
Sept 24 Goldingay 14-27 / Fretheim 51-81 / Meyers 46-60
Oct 1 Exodus 5:1 – 8:7
Oct 8 Goldingay 27-40 / Fretheim 81-117 / Meyers 61-80
Oct 15 Exodus 8:8-11:10
Oct 22 Goldingay 40-53 / Fretheim 118-132 / Meyers 81-100
Oct 29 Exodus 12:1-14:31 
Nov 5 Goldingay 53-64 / Fretheim 133-160 / Meyers 101-123
Nov 12 Exodus 15:1 – 17:7
Nov 19 Goldingay 64-71 / Fretheim 161-190 / Meyers 124-140
Nov 26 Thanksgiving Rest / Catchup
Dec 3 Exodus 17:8-20:21
Dec 10 Goldingay 71-82 / Fretheim 191-238 / Meyers 141-160
Dec 17 Exodus 20:22-23:19
Dec 24 Christmas Rest / Catchup
Dec 31 Christmas Rest / Catchup
Jan 7 Goldingay 82-89 / Fretheim 239-251 / Meyers 161-180
Jan 14 Exodus 23:20-27:21
Jan 21 Goldingay 89-102 / Fretheim 252-271 / Meyers 181-200
Jan 28 Exodus 28:1-31:18
Feb 4 Goldingay 102-112 / Fretheim 272-278 / Meyers 201-220
Feb 11 Exodus 32, 33, & 34
Feb 18 Goldingay 112-126 / Fretheim 279-310 / Meyers 221-240
Feb 25 Exodus 35, 36, & 37
March 4 Goldingay 126-129/ Fretheim 313-316 / Meyers 241-60
March 11 Exodus 38, 39, & 40 (end)
March 18 REFRESH for Easter: Goldingay 53-67 / Fretheim 133-136, 161-170 / Meyers 261-end
March 25 Holy Week Rest; Reflect on Exodus as paradigm for events of Easter, re-read Ex 12-15
April 1 Easter Week Rest; Reflect on Exodus as paradigm for events of Easter, re-read Ex 12-15
April 8 Concluding Colloquium is Sat April 7

 

Schedule Two

Aug 27 Preface Material in your Study Bible; Another Kingdom, p85-102
Sept 3 Exodus 1 & 2
Sept 10 Exodus 3 & 4
Sept 17 Exodus 5:1-8:7
Sept 24 Exodus 8:8-11:10
Oct 1 Exodus 12:1-14:31
Oct 8 Exodus 15:1-17:7
Oct 15 Exodus 17:8-20:21
Oct 22 Exodus 20:22-23:19
Oct 29 Exodus 23:20-27:21
Nov 5 Exodus 28:1-31:18
Nov 12 Exodus 32 & 33
Nov 19 Exodus 34 & 35
Nov 26 Thanksgiving Rest / Catchup
Dec 3 Exodus 36 & 37
Dec 10 Exodus 38, 39, & 40
Dec 17 Study BCP, p286-287, collect at bottom of p289, and Thanksgiving over Water on p306
Dec 24 Christmas Rest / Catchup
Dec 31 Christmas Rest / Catchup
Jan 7 Another Kingdom, Introduction
Jan 14 Another Kingdom, Chapter 1
Jan 21 Another Kingdom, Chapter 2
Jan 28 Another Kingdom, p21-28
Feb 4 Another Kingdom, p29-36
Feb 11 Another Kingdom, Chapter 4
Feb 18 Another Kingdom, Chapter 5
Feb 25 Another Kingdom, 61-70
March 4 Another Kingdom, 71-80
March 11 Another Kingdom, 81-84
March 18 Preparing for Easter: Another Kingdom, 68-69 and study one or more of the Rite II Eucharistic Prayers (Prayer D is especially suitable)
March 25 Holy Week Rest; Reflect on Exodus as paradigm for events of Easter, re-read Ex 12-15
April 1 Easter Week Rest; Reflect on Exodus as paradigm for events of Easter, re-read Ex 12-15
April 8 Concluding Colloquium is Sat April 7