Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week
Written by Amy-Jill Levine

“The Passion narrative asks much of us, and it also, through Jesus’ example, gives us the knowledge that we can do what we are asked, and the assurance that we will succeed” (9).

In Lent 2021, Presbyterians across the country are invited to join a denomination-wide book study on Amy-Jill Levine’s Entering the Passion of Jesus.

Guided by Levine’s deep knowledge of the New Testament and strong storytelling skills, Presbyterians will journey through Lent reflecting on the Passion of Jesus as it is told in the gospels.

Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week

Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger and the potential for great loss or great reward.

Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.

In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.

Do not let the title fool you; this book is not just for beginners!

The book supplies a rich and challenging learning experience for people from various stages in the Christian journey. As Levine draws us deep into the history of last days before Jesus’ crucifixion, you will find yourself pondering allusions to Jewish texts and Roman history that you had not noticed before, making connections to other stories in the gospels, and exploring themes that are as relevant today as they were in Jesus’ time.

Study Guide

The Presbyterian Church in Canada has a short weekly study guide to go with the book study that includes questions, prayer suggestions and a recommended spiritual practice. As well, Abingdon Press—publisher of Entering the Passion of Jesus—provides a leader’s guide to go with this study.

Introduction
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Entering the Passion of Jesus

How to Take Part

Start gathering interest in your congregation to journey together through the book. There are three ways people can take part in Presbyterians Read:

  1. Solo—Get a copy of Entering the Passion of Jesus and read a chapter per each week during Lent;
  2. Small Group—Start or join a small group of people to work through the study guides by meeting (online or in-person) to discuss what they’ve read once a week;
  3. Online in our Facebook Group—Join the discussion with other Presbyterians in our Facebook study group. All are welcome to join. The group is private and only the members in the group can see who’s in the group and what they post. Join the group here .
About Amy-Jill Levine

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. An internationally renowned scholar and teacher, she is the author of many books including The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus and The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Bible and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us. She is also the co-editor of The Jewish Annotated New Testament. Professor Levine has done over 500 programs for churches, clergy groups, and seminaries.

Presbyterians Read Lent 2021 Introductory Webinar

In this webinar, Emily Hill—Education Program Coordinator for The Presbyterian Church in Canada—introduces the book for the Presbyterians Read Lent 2021 book study: Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.

She also discusses how leaders can use the resources supplied to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book.

Amy-Jill Levine Q&A

On Wednesday, March 17, from 1–2 p.m. (Eastern), author Amy-Jill Levine conducted an hour-long Q&A for Lent book study participants. A link to the Q&A was sent to all who registered for Presbyterians Read Lent 2021.

Ordering the Book

Discounted copies are available 

Entering the Passion of Jesus is also available as an eBook and audiobook through Amazon and in print through multiple online and local book retailers.

We are open to suggestions about other materials that may be helpful to you or your congregation as we engage in this book study. If you have any ideas or questions about Presbyterians Read, please email Emily Hill or call 1-800-619-7301, ext. 271.

Previous Materials

Introduction – Presbyterians Read
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent
Complete Advent 2020 Book Study Guide

Facilitator: Emily Hill, Education Program Coordinator
Host: Canadian Ministries

Description:

Advent began Sunday, December 1, 2020. Many people were seeking ways to make this Christ-centered time. The short but impactful devotions in that year’s Presbyterians Read book, Celebrating Abundance by Walter Brueggemann, helped to create a healthy rhythm of spiritual reflection throughout the season. In this webinar, Emily Hill, Christian Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, introduced the book and discussed how small group leaders can use the study guide she created to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book. Whether you have already organized a small group or are thinking about starting one, please join us!

Watch the webinar

View webinar
Week 1 - Presbyterians Read
Week 2 - Presbyterians Read
Week 3 - Presbyterians Read
Week 4 - Presbyterians Read
Week 5 - Presbyterians Read
Holy Week – Presbyterians Read
Easter Week – Presbyterians Read
Ash Wednesday Week - Presbyterians Read

Facilitator: Emily Hill, Education Program Coordinator
Host: Canadian Ministries

Description:

In Lent 2020, Presbyterians across the country were invited to join a denomination-wide book study on N.T. Wright’s Lent for Everyone, Matthew, Year A. Using thoughtfully prepared weekly study guides, Presbyterians journeyed through Lent reflecting on what it means to be kingdom-people who participate in the new life that Jesus has brought.

In this webinar, Emily Hill, Christian Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, introduced the book and discussed how small group leaders can use the study guide she created to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book. Whether you have already organized a small group or are thinking about starting one, please join us!

Watch the webinar

View webinar
Presbyterians Read – Advent 2019 All Resources
Spiritual Practices
Introduction - Presbyterians Read
Ash Wednesday Week - Presbyterians Read
Week 1 - Presbyterians Read
Week 2 - Presbyterians Read
Week 3 - Presbyterians Read
Week 4 - Presbyterians Read
Week 5 - Presbyterians Read
Holy Week – Presbyterians Read
Easter Week – Presbyterians Read