Looking for a Bible study that is relevant, appeals to different learning styles, is easy to teach, and is applicable to church, co-ops, or family devotions? Well, here you go! Modern Parables is an original film-based Bible study series on Jesus' parables. It uses short films - very well done modern adaptations - combined with teaching by pastors and in-depth study materials to create an entirely new learning experience.
Parables are stories from everyday life that illustrate and teach. Jesus had specific purposes for teaching in parables, and His parables are instruction manuals explaining what God is like and how He acts as well as how people in His Kingdom ought to live. These modern parables are the old stories of Jesus placed in "modern" settings (meaning anytime in the 20th century), filmed in various styles, accompanied by an application commentary and study guide. Each parable has two lessons - understanding the parable and living the parable.
The videos themselves are professionally done with believable situations that parallel the story lines of the parables. Set in familiar time periods, each story utilizes a particular style of cinematography (Hidden Treasure, Frank Capra; Samaritan, Ingmar Bergman; Shrewd Manager, Woody Allen; Sower, documentaries; Prodigal Sons, Orson Wells; and Widow and Judge, the style of To Kill a Mockingbird.) In fact, with each video there is a bonus lesson on film style and content.
Of course, the heart of the series is the lessons. Watching the film is first followed by questions, scriptural context, and instruction about the parable, its meaning, and how it would have been received by Jesus' original audience. The second lesson has its own video - the story again, this time interspersed with instructional commentary from a well-known pastor. There is both study material and a leader's guide for each parable.
Content for this series is packaged two different ways - individual parables and a complete set. Each DVD includes the parable video in two lessons plus a booklet that includes the study material and the leader's guide. This booklet also includes a couple of pages on how to adapt the instructional material for use in a family setting. Designed for group study, the complete set is a boxed set that includes three DVDs (two parables, four lessons on each), an audio CD providing twelve teacher prep lessons, a spiral-bound leader's guide and a paperback study book. This set is what you need if you plan to use this series with a group (such as a co-op or church group). The Leader's Guide provides detailed lesson plans that include preparation, watching the video, specific points of instruction, discussion questions, and assignments for the next week. The Study Book includes background information, a parallel chart detailing point by point the similarities between the Bible parable and the video parable, and transcripts of the teaching portion of each second parable lesson (living the parable). Each participant/family is encouraged to have their own study book, which is available separately. [The guide and study book content is identical to that included with each individual DVD in booklet form.] ~ Janice