Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 7, 1964
NUMBER 1, PAGE 4,12a

Brother Cope's New Study Book


We have just received a shipment of the amazing new study book for adult classes prepared by brother James R. Cope of Florida College. We say "amazing" for there is no other word quite adequate to describe it. This initial book, in what is planned as a series covering the entire New Testament, is devoted to a study in depth of the First Epistle of Peter. It is certainly different from any study book ever coming to the attention of this writer — and in nearly forty years of preaching and travel among the churches, including a rather intense interest in all kinds of gospel literature, our acquaintance in the field has not been casual or limited. We share fully the sentiment expressed by another gospel preacher in a personal letter to brother Cope:

"For years I have heard brethren lament the fact that work-books presently in use among our brethren deal only with the surface of the English text of the Bible. As a result, I and many others, no doubt, have resorted to long and painstaking mimeographing of our own work-books and study outlines in the hope that thoughtful, careful, 'head-cracking' study might somehow be stimulated among those we love.

"Your work-book is the first alternative to this course which I have found that can be relied upon to provide a solid framework of Bible truth which will inevitably result in growth on the part of those who are younger in the faith, and stimulate the mature child of God to look again, closely."

Perhaps Brother Cope's own explanation of the plan of his Wonderful Word Worker (the name of the series) will give you some idea of the scope of this undertaking. Here is an excerpt from the preface:

Some features of The Wonderful Word Worker not seen by the author in other Bible study books are: (1) the printed text of the American Standard Version on the very page with questions about the text; (2) that portion of Living Letters, the 'paraphrased epistles,' covered in First Peter; (3) Notes and Comments by various scholars on some of the more difficult passages and points; (4) B. W. Johnson's popular comments on the entire First Epistle of Peter taken from his People's New Testament with Notes, copyright of which has expired: (5) "Another Scripture Saith," a series of cross-reference quizzes, designed to help the student see certain passages in the book he is studying in the light of other passages or vice versa and thus to familiarize him with other portions of the Bible; (6) 'Seek, Cite, and Say It' designed to rivet attention on the meaning of words in the book studied and to imprint its significance upon the student's mind in the very context of its occurrence; (7) a sentence outline of the book to be studied, and (8) both textual and thought questions in the body of this same outline repeated. Each of the "fill in" work sections is arranged apart from the main hotly of questions. This enables the student to use each 'exercise' as a review of a particular portion of the book or to use all of the 'exercises' of the same nature as a completely independent guide in studying the entire book. One who truly desires to obtain a good knowledge of the book here presented will do so by expending a reasonable amount of effort."

The study book omits the usual division into specific "lessons" and is so arranged as to permit a teacher and class to select their own speed. The rate of progress will depend entirely on the time and effort they want to put into the work. Perhaps most classes will complete the study within the usual thirteen-week quarter, but certainly there is abundant material here to give ample work for a full six-month course. This is a study in depth; just how far that "depth" will extend will be determined by the attitude and desire of teacher and students.

This is the kind of work-book the Gospel Guardian delights to handle, and to recommend. It is different! The teacher who habitually runs through his work-book and fills in the answers while the class is gathering on Sunday morning will not like this book. The student who is concerned only with the "on the surface," obvious, and elementary Biblical teachings will find the requirements of this book far too demanding of his time and thought and study. But for those teachers and students who are challenged by the desire to "dig deeper," for those, indeed, who are hungering and thirsting for a richer and fuller knowledge of God's truth, brother Cope's Wonderful Word Worker series will be "as cold waters to a thirsty soul" or as "good news from a far country." This is the sort of workbook which will either he used — or quickly abandoned! There will be no half-way, half-hearted acceptance here; the book will create keen enthusiasm and stimulate interest of the very finest kind, or it will be discarded.

We look forward with interest and anticipation to work-books in the series. Brother Cope indicates that work is already in process on the next. If succeeding volumes measure up to the promise of this first one, all of us are in for a truly worthwhile (and needed) stimulus for all adult Bible study groups. Congregations or individuals ordering the book are urged to spend their entire first class session in learning how to use this material. There are eight sections of the book, from first to last; and any one lesson period will find students using all eight sections! It is that kind of book — different!

Further information, with price list, will be found in the advertisement on the back page of this issue of the Gospel Guardian.