I have long been aware of FFOZ’s Torah Club – an intensive year-long study program through the weekly Torah portions. Although I have heard many great things about the series, I never experienced it firsthand. And then recently I received the newest Torah Club, Volume 6 – Chronicles of the Apostles. Let me just say … this is pretty sweet!
What is unique about Volume 6 is that although it follows and corresponds to the weekly Torah portions, this particular volume is a Jewish approach to the Book of Acts and the early history of Yeshua’s followers. Each week’s lesson includes intensive written commentary, brief questions for study groups, maps, and charts. This is definitely not for weaklings, but for those who want to grow spiritually and go deeper in their knowledge of the Bible and its Jewish and historical context. But it is also not so far advanced that newcomers get lost. FFOZ did a great job of finding a healthy balance.
I am currently teaching a class on the Book of Acts and have begun using some of the material from Torah Club 6 to help supplement the class. I have found it not only incredibly helpful but deeply informative. As one already familiar with the Jewish context of the New Testament and the early history of the Yeshua beleivers, I am still learning a lot from this series.
There have been some concerns about FFOZ’s use of New Testament apocryphal texts in Volume 6 … however, there is truly nothing to worry about. The point of the series is to introduce the early history, and one of the primary ways to do this is through contemporaneous sources which may not be considered canonical as Scripture but are still incredibly helpful historically and contextually. And FFOZ is always careful in their approach and use of these texts. Because there is so much misinformation in Biblical studies, it is very important to have a knowledgeable understanding of the context to the Bible and the proper way to study it. That is one of the reasons Torah Club is so important. It not only gives you lots of information, but teaches you how to use that information to wrestle with the text yourself.
My friends over at FFOZ regularly produce high quality study materials, and they have again really done a great job with this new Torah Club series (and major props to Daniel Lancaster). I have now become a big fan of Torah Club and will be recommending it to others.
Whether you are relatively new to intensive study of Scripture or a seasoned veteran, Torah Club is an excellent resource for in-depth study – whether for a small group or for individual learning. I highly recommend Torah Club, and especially the newest volume, Chronicles of the Apostles (#6).