Christian Gamers Guild Chaplain's Teaching List

Those who are called to teach should teach.

Recognizing this necessity, and perceiving that I had been given the honor to serve as Chaplain of the Christian Gamers Guild, I approached its Board of Directors some time back with a proposal.  The group had what might be called a "spare list", a Yahoo!Group which they had acquired years ago when it was part of E-groups, which they had hoped to use for a committee to review role playing games.  That committee's efforts had floundered for a long time, but the space had been preserved, largely because as the rules had changed over the years this had been grandfathered into the old rules--a lot of space for posts.

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I had already set up the Chaplain's Corner, complete with four years of articles in the monthly Faith and Gaming series (since republished beginning with its Preliminaries post, and also available in print), but felt it was time to do something different.

What I proposed was that I use the space as a medium for a daily Bible class, a high-level intense study of the sort that I had taught to undergraduates years before, a careful exegetical study that would examine the Greek text in detail but hopefully make it accessible to laymen who knew no Greek.  I would begin with Paul's Epistle to the Romans, for a host of reasons including that I had already taught it and was in the midst of recreating my notes from that course.  It would be posted one verse per day, five days per week, so that it would be delivered overnight to subscriber participants each weekday morning; there would be a post on a lighter subject on Friday nights for the weekend.

That study in Romans began on February 6, 2006, and has long been completed.  Along the way our Friday posts have covered the draft of my book About the Fruit, three dozen stories and illustrations useful for sermons or teachings, lyrics from my own Christian songs, notes on Christian books, difficult texts submitted by list members, a brief history of denominations, and an examination of the origins of the Bible.  Having completed these, the Friday posts for about two years were entitled "Musings", thoughts on whatever subjects arise in my life, including thoughts about judging, forgiveness, why we dress for church, and other subjects.

As of January 24, 2014, the subject changed to a posting of a draft of my book Why I Believe, giving people a chance to comment on the book before it went to press.  Upon completion of the book, we resumed the Musings series.

On Sunday night, October 14th, 2007, the study turned its attention to I Corinthians, moving through this epistle with the same snail's pace and meticulous attention as were given to the four hundred thirty verses of Romans.  Pastors from several denominations are present, and sometimes contribute, but the focus is always on the text.  As of Sunday night, June 21, 2009, the study continued with II Corinthians.  Sunday night, June 20, 2010, the study turned to Galatians, completed Thursday night, January 13th, 2011.  It then continued with Ephesians, Sunday night, January 23rd, 2011, through Tuesday night, August 30, 2011.  Sunday night, September 4, 2011 marked the preliminaries post for the study to continue with Philippians, now completed.  On Sunday night, February 4, 2012, the study of Colossians began, and is now complete.  That moved us, on Sunday night, June 24th, 2012 to I Thessalonians, and to II Thessalonians on Sunday night, November 11, 2012.  I Timothy began on January 20th, 2013, with II Timothy following on July 14th, 2013.  On Sunday, November 10th, 2013, we started Titus, and finished the Pauline epistles beginning Sunday, January 19th, 2014, with Philemon.

Stepping away from the Pauline corpus, we began Hebrews on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, and turned to James on Sunday, July 19th, 2015.  Finishing that before the end of the year, we began I Peter on Sunday, December 27th, 2015, followed by II Peter beginning May 29th, 2016.  The Johannine epistles began with I John on Sunday, September 4th, 2016, with II John following Sunday, February 5th, 2017, then III John on Sunday, February 26th, 2017, two short books each in a short three-week run, but that the second was extended a bit due to complications.  We began the last of the epistles, Jude, on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

After that, we agreed to tackle the book called Revelation by some and Apocalypse by others (a silly dispute, since "Revelation" is Latin for "unveiling" and "Apocalypse" is Greek for "uncovering"), beginning Sunday, May 7th, 2017.

Having reached the end of the Bible, we went back not to the beginning but to the Gospels.  A lot of consideration was given to the sequence in which to approach them, but ultimately I wanted the study of Luke to flow into the study of Acts, and as they are the two longest books in the New Testament I put them at the end.  I also recognized that the study was going to have to compare the parallel passages in the four accounts, and since John had the fewest of these that would be the easiest place to start.  Thus a study in The Gospel According to John begins on Sunday, January 13, 2019.  That has now ended, and we moved to the shortest of the Gospels, The Gospel According to Mark on Sunday, August 28th, 2022.

You are invited to join.  The discussion is delivered through a mailing list; to subscribe, send an e-mail to this subscription address (, then confirm your subscription when asked--or find us through the Groups.IO portal.  You will begin receiving messages with the next one sent.  The welcome letter will give instructions for finding the first messages in each series, if you wish to catch up.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Mark Joseph Young has degrees in Biblical Studies from Luther College of the Bible and Liberal Arts in Teaneck, New Jersey, and Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, as well as a doctorate from Widener University School of Law, where he graduated with honors.  He is also certified for Mensa membership, and has taught Biblical Studies at the Institute of the Great Commission in Pitman, New Jersey, as well as through other outlets including WNNN-FM The Station with a Purpose and Lift-FM.  He has served as Chaplain of the Christian Gamers Guild since 1998.