The Book of Numbers
Bluffton professor devotes research to the Book of Numbers
When people name the book of the Bible they are most familiar with, the Book of Numbers is not likely in the top spot. But Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes is delving into the Old Testament “gem,” to write a book for the Herald Press’ Believers Church Bible Commentary series.
“You don’t often hear sermons focused on the Book of Numbers at church, but there are a lot of great stories,” explained Wyse-Rhodes. “Numbers includes interesting narratives about the Israelites' adventures as they journey through the wilderness and face multiple obstacles along the way.”
During the spring 2020 semester, she took two course releases provided by the Karl Schultz Faculty Scholarship Grant and devoted the time to writing. The commentary is aimed at pastors and lay people who want a better understanding of the book. Wyse-Rhodes will include notes on each verse, a section focused on the text in biblical context and ideas for preaching on the stories today.
“I also hope to write about how the text has been interpreted through time,” said Wyse-Rhodes. “For example, how was the book of Numbers used by early Anabaptists? How are stories from Numbers depicted in works of art?"
Wyse-Rhodes’ research into The Book of Numbers was also the main topic of her recent Exegetical Studies class.
“I was able to work through the material in the book with students and I’m so grateful for the ideas that came from those conversations.”