Created by James Arthur West, the grandfather of Ben Witherington III, Twice on Sundays is a remarkable series of biblical lessons, two for each Sunday of the year. Originally given in a Baptist Sunday school in Wilmington, North Carolina, these reflections and questions for thought comprise a survey of various facets of biblical theology and ethics. Whether used for devotions, personal study, quiet time, or preparation for teaching, fresh insights and clear exposition in devotion to the Scriptures characterize this probing and soul-nourishing book.
James Arthur West saved lives on a regular basis as a fire chief. Now in this collection of his lessons, we have a unique window into the soul of one who also shaped lives as a Sunday school teacher. His love for God is evident, and his teachings offer in a vivid way his love for the sacred word.
Ben Witherington III has gathered a meaningful collection of his “Pop’s” best teachings. Lovingly curated by a gifted scholar, a year’s worth of lessons await the reader in this volume. There are 110 in all, because in those days churches always met “twice on Sundays.” Witherington has spiffed up here and there but mostly brings forward his grandfather’s own words. Enjoy these seasoned gems of wisdom and faith.
For generations, dedicated Sunday school teachers have delivered lessons that influenced real lives. We have a rare gift here because the family of one such teacher, James Arthur West, preserved decades of his hand-written lessons. Now you can enjoy the very best of them, collected here by scholar and grandson Ben Witherington III.
Senior pastor, Franklin Baptist Church
God bless the Sunday school teachers like Ben’s grandfather! One of my father’s greatest joys was the Sunday school class he taught. He taught the “Ambassadors,” and if memory serves me right, he taught that class every Sunday for nearly four decades. He loved teaching. He also loved preparing his classes. I once crossed the living room about 4:30 a.m. (I was a paper boy) and caught my father on his knees praying. He was praying for his class. He loved to teach books of the Bible, and his favorite commentaries were those written by the Plymouth Brethren. Every page in Twice on Sundays reminds me of my father teaching. There’s something about faithful Sunday school teachers that makes the church go round.
Professor of New Testament
In this unique devotional guide, Ben Witherington recovers insightful Sunday school lessons his grandfather wrote, then reflects on and dialogues with them. I found myself drawn into timeless biblical truths through their conversations with biblical texts, each other, what it meant to take the Bible as a daily guide and inspiration two generations ago, and what it means today. Sometimes, spiritual maturity spans generations, and this volume puts the challenges, concerns, and cultural issues of our time in a fresh perspective.
—R. Alan Culpepper
Emeritus Dean and Professor of New Testament
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
As the son and grandson of Baptist pastors, and, like the author, a child of the Sixties, I found Twice on Sundays a comfortable and familiar place. Its challenges are still our challenges, and Witherington’s reflections a reminder that the life of faith is truly a life well lived.
—(The Rev. Dr.) William Brosend
Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Preaching
School of Theology
The University of the South
The spiritual wisdom of laypersons is often overlooked in the life of the church. In this book, Ben Witherington shares the spiritual insights from Sunday school lessons taught by his grandfather, James Arthur West, a deacon and Sunday school teacher in a Baptist church in Wilmington, North Carolina. West’s lessons are insightful and wise, grouped in fifty-two pairs of lessons, to which Witherington adds his own questions and thoughts for reflection. This book provides a rich devotional guide through biblical truth with spiritual wisdom for an individual or group.
—Dr. Steve Lemke
Provost Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of
Philosophy and Ethics New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary