Bible 101

Bible 101: Resources

The Bible (Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament) is the foundational document of our faith, filled with stories and poetry, letters and commands that define who we are as God's people. But reading the Bible can be daunting if done alone. That's why we recommend you take part in Bible study groups at church or take on your own Bible reading discipline. Below are some resources online and in our church library that can help you navigate questions and have a stronger grounding in what happens in the Bible and how to interpret for your life today.

By Book of the Bible
The Yale Divinity Bible Studies—The Congregational Church of New Canaan (CT) partnered with Yale Divinity School professors to develop videos and handouts for people who want to engage the Bible with faith and intellect (includes studies on Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians and Isaiah).

By Weekly Lectionary Readings
The Lectionary, or Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is a three-year rotating calendar of readings that fit with the season or holiday of the church year. There are four readings per week, usually a general Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), a Psalm, a Gospel and an Epistle (New Testament letter).
Vanderbilt Revised Common Lectionary Site
A week-by-week, read the four lectionary readings site. It also has some links for art and prayers connected to each week's readings.

The Text This Week
Jenee Woodard started this site many years ago to give preachers a trove of connections to the lectionary readings, as well as Bible study insights. It's great for the new Bible student, too!

UCC Weekly Seeds
You can go to this site or sign up to receive a weekly email to reflect on a reading for the upcoming Sunday.

Connecticut Conference UCC Spirit Calendar
Up in Hartford, our CT Conference office produces a reflection each week on a lectionary reading and includes a list of people and situations you can pray for.

d365 Daily Devotionals
Based on 5 steps: Pause, Listen, Think, Pray & Go, each day is based on one short reading (usually connected to an upcoming lectionary reading) and a reflection. Recommended by Kelsey!

The Upper Room
Published in Tennessee, this bi-monthly booklet offers short reflections and a two-line prayer to read with a Scripture. Our church purchases copies of the Upper Room for people to take for free from the narthex or by the front office.

The Church Library has a whole section with Bibles and Bible resources in it, near the back right as you walk in. Here are some highlighted resources currently on the shelves:
We have various translations, some with annotations (extra notes), some just with the Bible verses. The U.C.C. and Yale Divinity School have an affinity for the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV): the Revised Standard Version was edited in the early 20th century by then-Yale Divinity School Dean, Luther Weigle. But we appreciate many translations! We even have a copy of The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters!

The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggemann
This book traces the theme of bread through the Bible to illustrate how the biblical writers understood themselves as taking part in a God-inspired dialogue with previous writings and events.

Bible Commentaries (various)
Commentaries are books that take each verse or group of verses and give background about what's going on. They help people read the Bible with loads of faithful and historical perspective. Commentaries we have include some of the Interpretation series, Anchor Bible commentaries, Abingdon commentaries, and Barclay commentaries. The pastors have access to the New Interpreters Bible commentaries as well as the Feasting on the Word preaching commentaries.


If you can't sort out where events are taking place in the Bible, take a look in a Bible atlas!

Bible Study Guides
If you want to have a self-directed Bible study or gather people to start a Bible group, we have many resources to make that possible, including over a dozen Interpreter Bible Commentary Bible Study books, several Kerygma Bible study leaders' guides, and other similar books.

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
If you're interested in a specific topic or book, Kelsey or one of the pastors will be happy to see if they can find something to help.
Also, the church has a membership at the Yale Divinity School Ministry Resource Center (in the Divinity School Library). Rev. Adam or Ashley drops by there and can pick up a resource if you're looking for something or you can even drop by "the Div School" in New Haven (409 Prospect St.). While Yale classes are in session, the Div library is open Sun, 2-10:50 PM; M-Th, 8:30 AM-10:50 PM; F, 8:30 AM-4:50 PM; Sat, 8:30 AM-4:50 PM.

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