Ryan Cook is an assistant professor of Bible at Moody Theological Seminary where he teaches courses in the Old Testament and Hebrew grammar and syntax.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I am originally from Michigan and now live in northwestern Indiana. My wife Ashley and I have been married for 16 years and we have three children, ages 6 to 12. When I have time, I enjoy playing the piano and guitar.
What is your favorite course to teach at Moody? Probably the Book of Psalms. It is a joy to introduce students to the rich theology of this book. The Psalms provide us with a way to relate to God in every season and experience of life. Joy, sorrow, and thanksgiving are all taken up in prayer to God.
How long have you been a Bible reader? Bible reading has been an important part of my life since I was a child. For many years, I have had a regular Bible reading plan where I read through the Bible in a year and the book of Psalms once a month.
What did you find especially meaningful about this month’s study in Today in the Word? What really stood out to me in studying Colossians was the importance of prayer. Paul begins the letter by telling the church he is praying for them (1:3–4), and he ends it by encouraging the church to be in prayer (4:2). Giving a greeting from Epaphras, Paul informs the church that he is “always struggling on your behalf in his prayers” (4:12).
When I picture Paul’s work in church planting, I envision him preaching, debating, and confronting false teachers. One of the main ways he worked to plant and nurture churches was through prayer. The most important thing for him was not having the right missionary strategy or the most persuasive speech, but keeping connected to the real source of empowerment for ministry.
What resources in Bible study would you recommend? I think it is important to have an easy-to-use Bible study guide, like Today in the Word, that provides solid background and context information. Moody Publishers provides useful resources for a deeper Bible study, such as The New Unger’s Bible Handbook and The Moody Bible Commentary.
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