North American Division Pathfinder event gathered 155 clubs from across the region.
All North American Pathfinder Clubs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that reached the North American Division finals of the annual Pathfinder Bible Experience received a set of the new Andrews Bible Commentary, Andrews University president Andrea Luxton recently shared.
Luxton said Andrews is pleased to encourage strong habits of Bible study among the church’s young people. “Serious Bible study is the heart of the Advent movement,” she said. “As these Pathfinders grow in their understanding of God’s word, we want them to have the best resources available to them, and the Andrews Bible Commentary is a great way to start.” She said that the Commentary sets will be shipped out immediately to each club directly from Andrews.
Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE) promotes and encourages Pathfinders to engage in in-depth Bible study and memorization so their understanding of Scripture will increase and their relationship to Christ will grow, according to Gene Clapp, national director of PBE and pastor of the Jefferson Academy Seventh-day Adventist Church. Each year, PBE focuses on a different book of the Bible. Questions are developed by various Pathfinder leaders from the Bible text and the book introductions in the new Andrews Bible Commentary and the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary. This year, Pathfinders studied the Gospel of John.
Clapp said that teams of five or six Pathfinders from clubs in local churches in a conference first participate in an area examination and then have the chance to move to the conference, union conference, and division-wide events. At each level, the teams scoring 90 percent or higher of the highest score at their testing site take first place and are invited to go on to the next level.
This year 155 teams from 129 Pathfinder clubs, totaling some 930 Pathfinders from across North America and the British Union of the Adventist Church, moved all the way through the various PBE levels to reach the finals in Tampa, Florida, United States. The final event was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds Exposition Center. The Pathfinders from those clubs were accompanied by hundreds of adult leaders, PBE coaches, and chaperones.
Luxton said that every club that made it to the finals in Tampa would receive a Commentary set, even if no team from that club achieved a first place at the final. “It is an amazing achievement just to reach the division finals, and any club who gets there deserves our hearty congratulations and a set of the Commentary,” she said. “As our church in North America considers the urgent need for hundreds of young pastors in the years ahead, we hope we will see some of these Pathfinders, who have studied hard now with the help of the Andrews Bible Commentary, here at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in a few years to prepare for ministry.”
Clapp said, “This is such an unheard of and outstanding gift to each club! The leadership of North American Division Pathfinders feel it is very important for each of the Pathfinders to not only know the Bible but also to understand the setting for each of the study books, helping in making the study book real! Thank you, Andrews University!”
The Andrews Bible Commentary, edited by Ángel Rodríguez, former director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was completed in 2022 after a 12-year production effort involving some 60 Adventist scholars from around the world. Aimed at a popular audience, the concise two-volume work has been described as “the accessible commentary by the scholars of the church for the people of the church.”
Rahel Wells, associate professor of Old Testament at Andrews, made the official announcement of the Commentary gift at the closing ceremonies of the PBE event on behalf of Andrews University. Wells, who is also an active leader and PBE coach with the Eau Claire, Michigan, Pathfinder Club, and one of the contributing scholars to the Commentary, told the excited participants, “The Andrews Bible Commentary is the Adventist Bible study standard for the next generation. That means you! And Andrews University is pleased to have this part in your celebration. Congratulations!”
The Andrews Bible Commentary is published by Andrews University Press, the primary academic publishing house to serve the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide.
The original version of this story was posted by Andrews University.