Church Resources - Robert E. Cooley Center for Early Christianity

Church Resources

The following is a suggested list of books, pamphlets, Bible studies, CDs, and DVDs (stand alone and group study) that pastors might want to use to enhance their congregation’s understanding of issues related to the historical Jesus, the early Church, and the world of the Bible.

Books for a Church Library:

Alsup, Wendy.  Is the Bible Good for Women?  Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture.  New York: Multnomah, 2017.


Anderson, Tawa J.  Why Believe: Christian Apologetics for a Skeptical Age.  Nashville: B&H Academic, 2021.



Baker, David L.  The Decalogue: Living as the People of God.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2017.



Bartholomew, Craig G., and Paige P. Vanosky.  The 30-Minute Bible: God’s Story for Everyone.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021.



Bassett-Brody, Lisette.  Etched in Stone:Archaeological Discoveries That Prove the Bible.  Washington: WND Books, 2018.



Bauckham, Richard.  Who is God? Key Moments of Biblical Revelation.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2020.



Beck, John A.  The Baker Illustrated Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013.



Bennett, William J.  Tried by Fire: The Story of Christianity’s First Thousand Years.  Nashville: Nelson Books, 2016.



Bird, Michael F. and James G. Crossley. How Did Christianity Begin: A Believer and a Non-believer Examine the Evidence. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008.


Bock, Darrell L., and Mitch Glaser, eds.  Messiah in the Passover.  Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2017.



Bray, Gerald.  Creeds, Councils and Christ: Did the Early Christians Misrepresent Jesus?  3rd ed.  Great Britain: Mentor, 2009.



Clark, Mark.  The Problem of Jesus: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to the Scandal of Jesus.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2021.



Connolly, Peter. The Holy Land. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

This is an excellent work that documents and reconstructs, through the use of the latest archaeological evidence, everyday life and events between the rise of Herod the Great in 37 B.C. and the destruction of Masada in AD 73.


Cooper, Derek.  Sinners and Saints: The Real Story of Early Christianity.  Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2018.



Croteau, David A.  Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions.  Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2015.



Crowe, Brent.  Moments ’til Midnight: The Final Thoughts of a Wandering Pilgrim.  Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2018.



Daniel Darling.  The Characters of Christmas: 10 Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus.  Chicago: Moody, 2019.



________.  The Characters of Easter: The Villains, Heroes, Cowards, and Crooks Who Witnessed History’s Biggest Miracle.  Chicago: Moody, 2021.



DeYoung, Kevin.  The 10 Commandments: What They Mean, Why They Matter, and Why We Should Obey Them.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2018.



Dickerson, John S.  Jesus Skeptic: A Journalist Explores the Credibility and Impact of Christianity.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2019.



Dickson, John.  A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus: An Introduction to the Man from Nazareth for Believers and Skeptics.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018.



________.  Jesus: A Short Life. Oxford: Lion, 2008.



Dockery, David S., and Trevin K. Wax.  Christian Worldview Handbook.  Nashville: Holman Reference, 2019.



Evans, Tony.  The Power of Jesus’ Name.  Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2019.



Foster, Charles. The Jesus Inquest: The Case for and Against the Resurrection of the Christ.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010.



Gallaty, Robby.  The Forgotten Jesus: How Western Christians Should Follow An Eastern Rabbi.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.



Gane, Roy E.  The Old Testament Law for Christians: Original Context and Enduring Application.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017.



Good, Meghan Larissa.  The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today.  Harrisonburg:  Herald Press, 2018.



Graham, Billy.  What Happened at the Cross: The Price of Victory.  Nashville, W Publishing, 2021.



Guthrie, Nancy.  Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2018.



Hall, Christopher A.  Living Wisely With the Church Fathers.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2017.



Hays, J. Daniel.  The Temple and the Tabernacle: A Study Of God’s Dwelling Places from Genesis to Revelation.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016.



Holcomb, Justin S.  Know the Creeds and Councils.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.



House, H. Wayne. The Jesus Who Never Lived: Exposing False Christs and Finding the Real Jesus.  Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.




Howard, Jeremy Royal.  Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Jesus.  Nashville: Holman Reference, 2009.



Imes, Carmen Joy.  Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2019.



Jones, Timothy Paul. Conspiracies and the Cross: How to Intelligently Counter the Ten Most Popular Theories That Attack the Gospel of Jesus. Lake Mary: Frontline, 2008.



________.  Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus.  Downers Grove: IVP, 2007.



Kelle, Brad E.  Telling the Old Testament Story: God’s Mission and God’s People.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2017.



Kennedy, Titus.  Excavating the Evidence for Jesus: The Archaeology and History of Christ and the Gospels.  Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2022.



________.  Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries that Bring the Bible to Life.  Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2020.



Koukl, Gregory.  The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important That Happens in Between.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.



Lanier, Greg.  Old Made New: A Guide to the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2022.



Lokkesmoe, Ryan.  Paul and His Team: What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence.  Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2017.



Lutzer, Erwin.  Christ Among Other gods: A Defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance.  Chicago: Moody, 2016.



________.  Slandering Jesus: Six Lies People Tell About the Man Who Said He was God.  Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2007.



MacArthur, John.  The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul’s Teaching.  Nashville: Nelson Books, 2017.



________, ed.  The Inerrant Word: Biblical, Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2016.



McDowell, Josh, and Sean McDowell.  Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Life-Changing Truth For A Skeptical World.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017.



McGrath, Alister.  Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth.  New York: HarperOne, 2009.

This is an interesting resource on defending orthodox Christology.


McNall, Joshua M.  How Jesus Saves: Atonement for Ordinary People.  Franklin: Seedbed Publishing, 2023.



Millar, J. Gary.  Calling on the Name of the Lord: A Biblical Theology of Prayer.  New Studies in Biblical Theology.  Downers Grove, InterVarsity, 2016.




Miller, Stephen M. The Jesus of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to His Life – World – Teachings.  Ohio: Barbour Publishing, 2009.



Mohler, R. Albert, Jr.  The Apostle’s Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity In An Age of Counterfeits.  Nashville: Nelson Books, 2019.



________.  Tell Me the Stories of Jesus: The Explosive Power of Jesus’ Parables.  Nashville: Nelson Books, 2022.



Monson, James M. Regions on the Run: Introductory Map Studies in the Land of the Bible.  Rockford: Biblical Backgrounds, 2014.

This is a wonderful resource for getting acquainted with the land of the Bible. Maps are even available to be used in charting/marking. These resources, as well as a free downloadable study guide, can be found at


Mounce, William D.  Why I Trust the Bible: Answers to Real Questions and Doubts People Have About the Bible.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan Reflective, 2021.


Olson, Carl E.  Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? Questions and Answers About the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.  Fort Collins: Ignatius Press, 2016.



Pate, C. Marvin and Sheryl L. Pate. Crucified in the Media: Finding the Real Jesus Amidst Today’s Headlines. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005.



Paterson, Dan, and Rian Roux.  Questioning Christianity: Is there More to the Story?  Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2021.



Pattengale, Jerry.  Inexplicable: How Christianity Spread to the Ends of the Earth.  Tustin: Trilogy Christian Publishers, 2019.

*** Also check out the TBN documentary series based on this book.


Patterson, Webster T.  Sacred Sites: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land.  New York: Paulist Press, 2004.



Perrin, Nicholas.  The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology (Biblical Theology for Life).  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019.



Piper, John.  A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2016.



________.  Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2017.



________.  Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2019.



Poythress, Vern S.  Theophany: A Biblical Theology of God’s Appearing.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2018.



Price, Randall.  Searching for the Original Bible.  Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.



Richter, Sandra L.  Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2020.



Ritmeyer, Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer. The Ritual of the Temple in the Time of Christ. Jerusalem: Carta, 2002.



Sanders, E.P.  Paul: A Brief Insight.  New York: Sterling, 2009.



Schiffman, Lawrence H., and Jerry Pattengale.  World’s Greatest Book: The Story of How the Bible Came to Be.  Museum of the Bible Books, 2017.



Sittser, Gerald L.  Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian “Third Way” Changed the World.  Michigan: Brazos Press, 2019.



Smith, George Adam. The Historical Geography of the Holy Land.  London: Collins, 1966.

Though somewhat dated, this work provides a stirring, picturesque look at Palestine.


Spangler, Ann and Lois Tverberg.  Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

This is a wonderful book for group study. Additional information and study helps are available at:



Stark, Rodney.  Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History.  West Conshohocken, 2016.



Strahan, Joshua.  The Basics of Christian Belief: Bible, Theology, and Life’s Big Questions.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2020.



Strobel, Lee. The Case for the Real Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.




Swindoll, Charles R.  Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs.  Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2016.



Tait, Jennifer Woodruff.  Christian History in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to A Vast Topic.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021.



Thiselton, Anthony C.  A Shorter Guide to the Holy Spirit: Bible, Doctrine, Experience.  Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2016.



Tverberg, Lois.  Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2017.



Varner, William.  Passionate About the Passion Week: A Fresh Look at Jesus’ Last Days.  Dallas: Fontes Press, 2020.



Von Kamecke, Fred.  Busted: Exposing Popular Myths About Christianity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.



Walker, Peter. In the Steps of Jesus: An Illustrated Guide to the Places of the Holy Land. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.



Wallace, J. Warner.  Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World that Rejects the Bible.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan Reflective, 2021.



White, James Emery.  Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2019.



Wise, Robert L.  Bible Lands: An Illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places.  Ohio: Barbour Books, 2016.



Wright, Christopher J.H.  The Old Testament in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2019.



Zacharias, Ravi, and Vince Vitale.  Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ.  New York: Faith Words, 2017.



Study Bibles:

CSB Ancient Faith Study Bible.  Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2019.




CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible.  Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020.



ESV Archaeology Study Bible.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2018.




NET Bible: Full Notes Edition.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2019.




NIV, Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Bible History and Culture.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.




Dobson, Kent.  NIV First-Century Study Bible.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.



Rubin, Barry, ed.  The Complete Jewish Study Bible: Insights for Jews & Christians – Illuminating the Jewishness of God’s Word.  Peabody: Hendrickson Bibles, 2016.



Walton, John H., and Craig S. Keener.  NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.



For those interested in reading the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Vermes, Geza.  The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English.  7th ed.  New York: Penguin Classics, 2012.



For those interested in the biblical Scroll texts:

Abegg, Martin G., Peter W. Flint, and Eugene Ulrich.  The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time Into English.  San Francisco: HarperOne, 2002.


For those interested in a brief introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls:


Evans, Craig A.  Holman QuickSource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Nashville: Holman Reference, 2010.



Palphot Resources:

Palphot Ltd. Has published a number of interesting books designed to take the reader into the Holy Land.  Several titles are as follows:

Daily Life at the Time of Jesus


The Holy Land: The Land of Jesus.


Israel, Land of the Bible.


Jerusalem: Past and Present.


The Zealots of Masada.


They also offer works on archaeology, such as:

Ancient Scrolls: An Introduction to Archaeology.


Origins of the Alphabets: Introduction to Archaeology.


For more information, click here.



There are series of pamphlets produced by Rose Publishing which serve as excellent resources to introduce laity to issues surrounding the Bible and Bible study.  These small pamphlets, which include charts, maps, timelines,  and simple summaries, present information that not only confirm the Bible’s accuracy, but that also help to understand the Bible better by explaining the Bible’s background and culture.  There are also pamphlets that cover Church history, Apologetics, Bible translations, etc.  For more information, click here.

Rose Publishing also offers a pamphlet entitled:

Jesus: Fact and Fiction, Truth About Jesus Christ.


This pamphlet deals with issues such as the Gnostic Gospels, Jesus’ Virgin Birth, the “lost years” of Jesus, the resurrection, the “lost tomb” of Jesus, etc. With each topic, fiction is separated from the facts and biblical evidence is offered in support of each conclusion. Like Rose’s other pamphlets, it also offers a brief but excellent “Recommended Reading” list.


Bible Studies:

Akin, Daniel L. Discovering the Biblical Jesus. Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2003.

An excellent resource for small group study which focuses on the central doctrine of Christianity – the person and work of Jesus Christ.



Chandler, Matt.  The Apostles’ Creed: Together We Believe.  Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2017.

For more than 1,600 years the Apostles’ Creed has unified the Church around core Christian doctrines as revealed in Scripture, as well as laying out the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith and the life-changing truth of the gospel.

This 12 session study of both the Bible and the Apostles’ Creed seeks to lead to greater clarity, symmetry, and balance as disciples, as well as a more profound sense of belonging in the kingdom of God.  It will also aid in a gaining a succint understanding of Christianity, its origins, and its theology.


Hamilton, Adam.  24 Hours That Changed the World.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009.

This is a study that helps the reader/group experience the final day in the life of Jesus.  Along with the book, the DVD takes the viewer on a journey through the Holy Land to visit the sites where the final events of Jesus’ last day took place.  It can be used with the book for study or as a stand alone video study.  Also available is a 40 day book of reflections, which is ideal for use not just at Lent but at any time of the year for those who wish to reflect and mediate and thus dig deeper into Jesus’ final day.


Keck, Leander E.  Jesus in the Gospels.  Nashville: Abingdon, 2003.

This study is part of Disciple: Second Generation Studies, a discipleship series that is produced by Abingdon Press and distributed by Cokesbury. It features a leader’s guide, study manual for participants and an optional though extremely valuable Gospel Comparisons guide.

The study contains a two-part video segment for each lesson, as well as a segment to end the weekly group session. The first segment is a seven-to-10 minute presentation by a noted Bible scholar or theologian on a topic or aspect of the subject treated in the lesson. The second part brings forward, through art, music, words and movement, the Jesus in the week’s Scripture. The study is available in a helpful planning kit which contains all of the available resources.


JESUS IN THE GOSPELS invites believers to look at Jesus in each of the four Gospels and ask the question, “Who is the Jesus that you see?” This study will deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. Two questions frame this study: “Who is the Jesus you bring with you to this study?” and “Who is the Jesus you take with you from this study?”

JESUS IN THE GOSPELS takes participants on a journey from one question to the other. While distinct in format and approach, this Bible study builds on the foundation and carries forward the philosophy and ideals that shaped DISCIPLE—high-commitment, long-term, disciplined study that fosters community and builds toward transformation.

JESUS IN THE GOSPELS is different from DISCIPLE Bible study in its approach to Scripture; it looks more closely at the Gospel texts, in the kind of daily preparation and study required of the participants, in lesson layout and design, and in the nature of the study and discussion that takes place in the weekly group meeting.

JESUS IN THE GOSPELS focuses on the portraits of Jesus found in the four Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The word “in” used in the title signals that this study takes an approach different from the familiar “life and teaching of Jesus” approach of reading stories and accounts of what Jesus said and did in order to draw conclusions about their meaning and about who Jesus was. This study looks at the way each Gospel writer presents events and teachings and at the picture of Jesus that emerges in each of the Gospels. In addition, the study helps group members understand that Jesus is rooted in Judaism and the Scriptures of Judaism and that Christianity and the New Testament are rooted in the Scriptures of Judaism—our Old Testament.




Kelley, Michael. The Tough Sayings of Jesus I and II.

These two study guides are published by LifeWay and are excellent for small group study or a small group youth Bible study.


Swindoll, Charles R. Jesus: The Greatest Life of All. Great Lives From God’s Word. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008.

This book on the life of Jesus is great for small group studies. It comes with a Bible companion which can serve as a study guide for the group.



Bolen, Todd.  Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. 19 Vols.

This is a beautiful collection of slides which capture images from the Holy Land through Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. The slides are presented in several formats, including PowerPoint presentations, which give excellent geographical, historical, textual, archaeological, and biblical overviews of the different areas and regions.

Another good series of archaeological slides in CD format can be ordered from They include New Testament Archaeology in Pictures and Galilee Archaeology in Pictures.


DVDs (History and Documentaries):

The Global Church — The First Eight Centuries Video Lectures: From Pentecost through the Rise of Islam.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2021.

From the Publisher:

The Christian church of the early centuries spread throughout much of Asia, Africa, and Europe, spoke many languages, was situated within diverse cultural settings, and had varied worship practices; yet it maintained a vital unity on core teachings. In The Global Church–The First Eight Centuries Video Lectures, Donald Fairbairn helps learners understand both the unity and diversity of the church in this pivotal era by:

    • re-centering the story of the church in its early centuries, paying greater attention to Africa, Turkey, and Syria, where most of the church’s intellectual energy was nurtured;
    • highlighting Christian communities outside the Roman Empire, as far afield as Persia and India, alongside those within it;
    • identifying key events by their global, not merely Western, significance and taking into account early Christian interactions with other religions, particularly Islam.

The Global Church–The First Eight Centuries Video Lectures is an ideal introduction to the patristic era that broadens the narrative often recounted and places it more firmly in its various cultural contexts. Students of early Christianity, formal and informal alike, will appreciate the fresh approach and depth of insight it provides.


Above Israel. Gaithersburg: Preserving Bible Times, 2004.

This is an invaluable series of videos that provide fly-over views of the different areas in Palestine. Though the images are of modern Palestine, they still provide an excellent glimpse into the history of the land. This series can be purchased through

Other Preserving Bible Times DVDs of interest include: The Bible and the Land: Israel in Context; The Passion of Jesus: In Context (an excellent resource for Bible Study and classroom use); Jesus the Messiah: Overview of the Gospels; and Animals of the Bible (a good children’s resource).


From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians.  240 min.  PBS Home Video, 1998.

Though dated, this four part video series presents the viewer with a good summary of mainstream, and sometimes controversial, scholarly opinion on Jesus and the early Christian movement.


Behold the Man: A Journey Into History Seeking the Real Jesus.  43 min. EO International.

This video features Michael Green, Steven Notley and Jacob van Bruggen who examine the historical, literary and archaeological evidence for the case of Jesus and his claims.


Drive Thru History

Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts is a fun, fast-paced, and content rich history show that speeds through ancient civilizations and the Holy Land, allowing the viewer to experience the people, places, and events that shaped our world and the Christian faith.  The following series are great resources for youth and other small group studies:

The Gospels

Acts to Revelation

“Holy Land”

Ancient: Christianity and the Birth of Western Civilization


Early Christians.  270 minutes.  2010

The Roman Empire persecuted the Christians but was eventually converted. The Barbarians sacked Rome, yet they too were converted. How did the Christian faith manage to survive against such odds? This new film series, produced in Europe, explores the amazing story of the early Christians and the spread of Christianity. The series consists of ninee 30 minute programs on 2 DVDs.  Program titles include:

-The Scandal of the Cross
-The Empire’s Conversion
-Persecution and Defense
-The Threat of Heresy
-Constantine and the End of Persecutions
-Saint Augustine, A Light in the Darkness
-Monks,Virgins and Hermits
-Baptizing the Barbarians
-Byzantium, The New Rome


Hardin, Brian.  Promised Land: The Essential Pilgrim’s Edition – Experience the Land of the Bible in Vivid Clarity.  300 min.  Daily Audio Bible, 2016.

“Whether you’ve been to the Land of the Bible or always wanted to go, you’ve never experienced it like this before. Four years in the making, Promised Land is a cinematic achievement and a sweeping masterpiece. See the places you’ve imagined and read about in Scripture filmed in vivid high definition from angles never seen before.

Promised Land immerses you in the stories of the Bible where they happened as author and leader of the Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin, takes you from the wilderness to the Galilee and out onto the coastal plain before entering the most holy city in the world . . . Jerusalem. The history and geography of the Bible will come alive as the Scriptures unfold before your eyes. Drink in the land of the Bible as the places only visited in your imagination become crystal clear. To get any closer, you’d need to be there!”


His Tomb Is Empty. 120 min. The Inspiration Network.

This excellent DVD features more than 50 hours of interviews with 20 top Christian scholars from around the world, such as Dr. Darrell Bock, Dr. Simon Gibson, Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Jodi Magness, Dr. Stephen Pfann, Dr. Ben Witherington III and N.T. Wright. Its primary goal is to offer a historically sound rebuttal to James Cameron and Simon Jacobovici’s sensational claim to have discovered the lost tomb of Jesus. This video is highly recommended.


The Jesus Accounts.  30 min.  Vision Video, 2011.

TheJesus Accountsis a thirty minute documentary designed to show how the gospel accounts of Jesus are based on solid evidence, significant ancient manuscripts, eyewitness accounts, and much more. This is a wonderful resource that provides understanding, as well as framework to respond to those who doubt or seek to undermine the evidence for the historical Jesus. The program draws on the expertise of numerous New Testament scholars and helpfully explains the background to the spread of the first manuscripts. Filmed on location in Istanbul and the UK, this is a great program both for believers and those seeking to understand the Bible’s teaching about Jesus.


Lost Gospels or False Gospels? 75 min. Ignatius Press, 2007.

Christians and non-Christians alike have long held the four gospels of the New Testament to be the only historically reliable accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  However, media stories and best-selling books have, in recent years, surfaced to claim that there are certain alternative writings about Jesus that are just as important as the four Gospels. Some of these writings include documents or fragments of documents attributed to prominent early Christians, such as Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Judas, James, Philip and Andrew. It is argued that many of these writings contain “secret” teachings of Jesus, some of which contradict the New Testament and some of which “fill in the gaps” of the “biased” Gospel accounts.

What should informed believers and nonbelievers make of these alternative writings? Were they written by disciples of Jesus as they claim? How do they compare with the New Testament gospels? Are these works truly “lost gospels?” To answer these kinds of questions, this film brings together top scholars, such as Dr. Craig Blomberg, Dr. Craig Evans, Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Ben Witherington III and others. These scholars discuss, among other issues, the relationship between these works and the New Testament and startling facts about the groups who composed these alternative works.


Shanks, Herschel. Where Jesus Walked: The Life and Times of Jesus as Revealed by Archaeology. 91 min. Biblical Archaeo­logical Society, 2005.

This video can be purchased at www.biblicalarchaeol­



Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ Revised: A DVD Study: Investigating the Evidence for Jesus / Revised.  83 min. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

Skeptics dismiss the Jesus of the Gospels by claiming there is no evidence. Lee Strobel disagrees. In The Case for Christ, a 6-session DVD study, he searches out the truth to determine if there is enough evidence to claim that Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of God.


Wright, N.T, and Michael F. Bird.  The New Testament You Never Knew: Exploring the Context, Purpose and Meaning of the Story of God.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019.

The New Testament You Never Knew offers a guided tour of the entire New Testament.  Included are eight video segments: story of the New Testament; the world of Jesus; the life and death of Jesus; the Resurrection of Jesus; the Apostle Paul; the early Christians; the mission of the church; how the New Testament came to be.  A study-guide is available.


DVD Studies:

Jesus: The New Way, hosted by Dr. N.T. Wright.

This is a complete video curriculum that consists of six half-hour programs and covers such topics as the world into which Jesus was born, the surprising message of Jesus and the unexpected direction of the Kingdom of God, the Jewish longing for a King and Messiah, the reason for Jesus’ death, who Jesus was and the resurrection. This is a series that gives a scholarly and reliable ac­count of the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth.



The Odyssey of St. Paul, hosted by Dr. Paul L. Maier.

This series, also curriculum oriented, chronicles the life, ministry, writings, and travels of the apostle Paul and thus his influence on the founding of early Christianity. A more popularized ver­sion of Paul’s life and ministry is Paul the Emissary.



The Trial and Testimony of the Early Church: From Christ to Constantine, produced by Gateway Films – Vision Video.

This is a complete video curriculum which consists of six half-hour programs that take the viewer to actual Early Church locations in order to discover not only what the early believers were like but how the movement was able to grow and spread throughout the Roman Empire despite the persecution it faced.



DayLight™ Bible Studies

DayLight Bible Studies are designed for anyone who is seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith.  These studies are essentially self-directed studies but they also work well for small group studies.  They include a guide for group exploration. DayLight Bible Studies are based on programs produced by Day of Discovery, a Bible-teaching TV series of RBC Ministries, the people who bring you Our Daily Bread.  The following studies are currently available:

A Fragile Stone – Peter: Jesus’ Friend.


Romans: the Letter that Changed the World


Other studies can be found here.


Deeper Connections is an excellent DVD based series that focuses on the life and teachings of Jesus.  Thus far, the series includes the following titles:

The Life of Jesus




The Forgiveness of Jesus




The Miracles of Jesus




The Parables of Jesus




The Prayers of Jesus




The Last Days of Jesus.  Each DVD is accompanied by a Leader’s Guide.  Participant Guides are available separately.



From Zondervan:

The Deeper Connections series is unique. Unlike any other Bible study available, this visually stunning DVD series is written and taught by biblical experts—six professors with specialized areas of knowledge.  These engaging and accessible studies are for everyone who wants to deepen their understanding of God’s Word and apply it more faithfully and effectively. In fact, a full one-third of each study is centered on modern application of Jesus’ life and teachings.  Each session is introduced on location in Israel and is filmed in locations as diverse as the Rocky Mountains, the Arizona desert, downtown Chicago, and Little Rock, Arkansas.  Each volume consists of six fascinating sessions or three hours of teaching per DVD.  Furthermore, each session is taught by Bible professors who know how to communicate the world of the biblical text to today’s world.  Through alternating sections of teaching and group discussion or individual reflection, this Bible Study series will allow you to make DEEPER CONNECTIONS with three main areas:

1. Historical Background: Jewish, Old Testament, historical, social, and cultural backgrounds, along with New Testament parallels, will be examined in order to bring out the full and deeper meaning of the biblical text.
2.  Biblical Text: Bible professors who teach this subject matter in Bible colleges and seminaries will teach the biblical text.
3.  Real-life Application: Challenging and accurate applications that come directly out of the biblical text will help you to live the truth of the Bible in today’s difficult world.

A list of the teachers include: Dr. Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary; Dr. Gary Burge, Wheaton College; Dr. Scott Duvall, Ouachita Baptist Seminary; Dr. David Garland, Truett Theological Seminary; Prof. Susan Hecht, Denver Seminary; Dr. Mark Strauss, Bethel Seminary; Dr. Matt Williams, Biola University; Dr. Michael Wilkins, Talbot School of Theology; Dr. Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary


Faith Lessons: “That the World May Know”

Faith Lessons are fascinating Bible studies with tour guide and historian Ray Vander Laan. Filmed in Israel and Turkey where Bible events actually took place, teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan weaves together historical, cultural, and geographical contexts to reveal keen insights into how people in biblical times understood God and Jesus’ teaching.  In doing so, he challenges long-held Western assumptions about even the most well-known Scripture passages.  You will simply never read the Bible the same again. Discovery Guides are available to lead a study group further into interpretation and application.  Currently, there are currently 16 DVD studies available:

Promised Land – Volume 1



Prophets & Kings Of Israel – Volume 2



Life & Ministry Of The Messiah – Volume 3



Death & Resurrection Of The Messiah – Volume 4



Early Church – Volume 5



In The Dust Of The Rabbi – Volume 6



Walk As Jesus Walked – Volume 7



God Heard Their Cry – Volume 8



Fire on the Mountain – Volume 9



With All Your Heart – Volume 10



The Path to the Cross – Volume 11



Walking With God In The Desert – Volume 12



Israel’s Mission – Volume 13



The Mission of Jesus – Volume 14



Clash of the Kingdoms – Volume 15



Cultures in Conflict – Volume 16




Carson, D.A.  The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010.

Biblical illiteracy is a problem not just among non-believers but, in our culture, many professing Christians do not possess a basic understanding of the Bible, nor its fundamental doctrines and teachings.  The dilemma this presents is, without this solid biblical foundation, believers can and do find themselves struggling to understand their role in God’s perfect plan. In this basic introduction to the story of the Bible, the noted evangelical scholar D.A. Carson takes seasoned believers, new Christians, and seekers through Scripture to help them define what they believe and why!

From the Gospel Coalition (

On February 20-21 and 27-28, 2009, D.A. Carson presented a 14-part seminar entitled “The God Who Is There” at Bethlehem Baptist Church’s North Campus in Minneapolis. This series will serve the church well because it simultaneously evangelizes non-Christians and edifies Christians by explaining the Bible’s storyline in a non-reductionist way.

The series is geared toward “seekers” and articulates Christianity in a way that causes hearers either to reject or embrace the gospel. Its one thing to know the Bible’s storyline, but it’s another to know one’s role in God’s ongoing story of redemption. “The God Who Is There” engages people at the worldview-level.

This series features 4 DVDs (11 hours and 56 minutes).  A study guide and trade paperback book can be purchased separately.


The Gospel of Judas and Other Gnostic Secrets Revealed. Vision Video, 2006.

Why all the fascination about the Gospel of Judas? Who were the Gnostics and why did the early church reject their views? What was the secret enlightenment that the Gnostics claimed? How is it the Gnostics seem to just keep coming back?

The recent discovery of a mystical text buried for centuries beneath the sands of Egypt and a major television documentary about that find cast new light on the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. The text is known as “The Gospel of Judas.” It claims:

• Judas Iscariot was not the traitor recorded in the canonical Gospels, but was a spiritual hero, Christ’s favorite disciple.

• Cain was fulfilling the will of God by killing his brother Abel.

• An evil and malicious God has created the world and all physical things.

• Jesus used his divine powers to hurt or destroy those who angered him.

• Christ and Jesus were two separate beings.

• Spiritual truths are concealed as secrets given only to the enlightened.

This five-part video series provides an enlightening Bible-based journey to uncover the truth behind the supposed “secrets” of Gnosticism. Through interviews with leading historians and scholars and the testimonies of the Gospel writers and the early Church Fathers, we examine how Gnostic beliefs originated, their influence on the Church, and their popularity and resurgence today. This DVD also includes questions for small groups and is an excellent source for Bible study and historical research.


Giglio, Louie.  Who Is Jesus?  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2018.

From the Publisher’s description:

Who is Jesus?  The question has been asked and debated for generations. Some call him Lord.  Some say he was a good man, a prophet, or a teacher.  Still others call him a lunatic or liar.  History, culture, and Scripture agree that all of life centers on your answer to this one question Who is Jesus?

In this five-week Bible study, Pastor Louie Giglio invites us to meet God in both our intellects and our hearts by uncovering what history and Scripture have to say about Jesus.  Throughout the study, we’ll witness how Jesus appeared and shaped the landscape of history, just as he shapes the landscape of our lives for eternity.

For those just beginning to ask questions about him, and those who have known him for a long time, Who is Jesus? is a journey toward discovering the truth about history’s most influential figure and humanity’s opportunity to know him personally.

Sessions include:

  • Good or God? (26;00)
  • Friend or foe? (25:30)
  • King or pawn? (25:00)
  • A Way or the Way? (26:30)
  • The Lion or the Lamb? (26:00)


Hurtado, Larry.  Devotion to Jesus: Why Christianity Makes Sense.  Washington, DC: Wesley Ministry Network, 2008.  DVD kit.

The Da Vinci Code is only one in a long line of books containing revisionist accounts of how and when early Christians came to believe in the divinity of Christ. However, the true story of Christians and their “devotion to Jesus” is much more amazing as this eight lesson DVD series demonstrates. Dr. Larry Hurtado is Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, and Head of the School of Divinity at Edinburgh University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Christian origins.


Strobel, Lee and Garry Poole. Discuss­ing the Da Vinci Code: Examining the Issues Raised by the Book & Movie. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

This is a four-session study that deals with the issues and allegations raised in Dan Brown’s highly successful novel. It answers the question: Are Brown’s allegations true or merely inaccurate accounts of centuries-old myths and her­esies? This series is shot on location and contains interviews with noted scholars, such as Dr. Paul Maier, Dr. Scot McK­night, Dr. Kathy McReynolds and Dr. Mark Strauss.



Wright, N.T.  Resurrection: Did it Happen? What Could it Mean?  50 min.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

The most startling claim of Christianity is that Christ miraculously rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.  How could this happen and what difference does it make to us today? Shot on location in Israel, Greece, and England, Wright walks you through the political, historical, and theological issues of Jesus’ time—to offer insight on the most profound mystery in human questioning.



The Gospel of John. 180 min.  Visual Bible International.

This is an excellent, word-for-word presentation of the Gospel of John. It is based on the Good News Bible Translation of the American Bible Society.



Jesus of Nazareth. 382 min. Santa Moni­ca: Artisan Home Entertainment, 2000.

This is one of the finest films released on the life of Jesus, acclaimed by both critics and religious leaders worldwide. There are study guides available for this film as well, available through