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Willard Swartley prepares resources on Gospel of John

Mary E. Klassen

November 8, 2013

Resources combine for a fuller experience with the biblical text

The book of John unfolds in multiple layers for both children and adults through the recent work of Willard Swartley, professor emeritus of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

The latest installment of Swartley’s work with John is the recently released book, Living Gift: John’s Jesus in Meditation and Poetry, Art and Song. This 189-page volume compiles artistic pieces—poetry, hymn texts, and photos of visual art—that are companions to the biblical text.

This release coincides with the start of a new quarter in the Gather ’Round curriculum for children, published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. The winter and spring quarters of Gather ’Round draw on the gospel of John, and Swartley provided the Bible insights for both: “Meet Jesus, the Messiah: Stories from John” and “Living in the Light: Stories from John.” In addition, Swartley’s commentary on John in the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series was released earlier this year.

The latest volume can be used with the commentary or curriculum, giving a richer experience with the biblical text. For pastors and worship planners, the artistic material can be an asset if they plan worship services that correlate with the Sunday school material during the upcoming months. Swartley has created a chart that links the book’s content with the Gather ’Round lessons, facilitating this interweaving of resources.

Swartley adds, “The book can be used on its own as a guide for meditation, and parents may find it valuable to extend the Gather ’Round experiences at home.”
Living Gift contains extensive indices of themes, topics and sources for the items included.

More information and copies of Living Gift are available from Swartley, [email protected].