By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology
During the next few weeks, you will be introduced to the “Jacob Journal,” an imaginative investigation into the inner workings of the spiritual journey of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.
The Jacob narratives in the book of Genesis begin in chapter 25, with the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, and end in chapter 35, with the arrival back in Canaan, where the family settles and the patriarch Isaac is laid to rest.
The story in Genesis shows is the life of a nomad family, who lived in tents, raised livestock and migrated across the countryside season by season. It is a patriarchal family with social roles and boundaries which are unfamiliar to us. But the biblical writer depicts the story in such a way that you will be able to see your own family.
The format is journal, and Jacob is the “author.” In the journal, he reflects back from his advanced years and ruminates on the various phases of his spiritual journey. In this kind of biblical commentary, it is possible for us to explore aspects of growth and challenge in the life of a believer.
It is best that you, the reader of the journal, first read the biblical passages with which the journal entry deals. These passages are noted at the top of each journal entry. You will see in the journal that Jacob refers to “the record,” which is the biblical text from Genesis.
It should be evident that the Jacob Journal is not a translation, or even a paraphrase. It is a commentary on the life of Jacob, based on the record in Genesis. Read it as such, and let the investigation into the details of Jacob’s life challenge you, stimulate your thinking to search your own soul and provoke questions not only about the biblical text, but also about the “journal” of your own life.
Look for the Part 1 of the Jacob Journal next week. Learn more about the author, Dr. Mike Baird, by reading Mike Baird: A Life Well-Invested.
About the Author
The 21st century author of this journal is Mike Baird, PhD, retired professor of Christian studies. The ideas and insights found here come from a life lived, not from a fantasy world. It is his prayer that you will see yourself mirrored in some of Jacob’s struggles and decisions, and that you will discover the timeless spiritual resources which Scripture and the Holy Spirit speaking through it have made available to us.
Dr. Baird originates from Glendale, AZ. He received his BA at Grand Canyon College (now GCU). His MDiv and PhD were completed at Southwestern Baptist Theology Seminary, Fort Worth, TX (Go Cowboys!). He and his wife have three children and five grandchildren.
He has enjoyed teaching college students for the last 35 years. He is a member of First Southern Baptist Church, where he teaches a Bible study class on Sunday mornings and sings in the choir.
What he has enjoyed greatly over the years is participating in the Ethington Theatre Series as a guest actor. He has been in 27 productions, his favorites being the Shakespeare productions.
He encourages students to use their time at GCU to clarify and sharpen their sense of calling. You are here to equip for the work of the Kingdom. Don’t squander the opportunity.