Epic of Eden: Deborah – Unlikely Heroes and the Book of Judges


Study ships August 27, 2024.


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Perfect for:

  • Small groups (each week includes a group discussion guide; DVD sold separately)
  • Groups looking to be challenged to understand the Bible in fresh ways
  • Wednesday night studies and/or Sunday school classes requiring approximately 90-minutes of meeting time
  • Anyone wanting to experience the Psalms with fresh connections to contemporary worship and devotional practices

About the Study

This in-depth Bible study featuring sought-after speaker and teacher Sandra Richter, unpacks why the book of Judges remains critical to our devotional lives today.

The Book of Judges narrates one of the most chaotic and morally dark eras of Israel’s story. Many speak of it as Israel’s “Wild West,” where the heroes and the villains stand only inches apart. Into this morally-ambiguous time comes one of the most unlikely leaders of the biblical text—the prophet Deborah. She is a wife and mother in an entirely patriarchal world, yet due to her integrity and courage, she transforms chaos into order and leads Israel in one of the most pivotal victories of the settlement period.

Illustrating the era of the Judges by means of the archaeological record, historical geography, and the hard facts of warfare in the ancient world, this study draws students immediately into the grand tale of Deborah and Barak, Jabin and Sisera, and of course the most unlikely of leaders, Jael. This study compels the modern reader to ask and answer three critical questions:

What territory can you see from where you’re standing that you know belongs to the Kingdom, but is not yet won?
Is it worth fighting for?
Are you willing to step out on faith and trust God for the victory?
A bonus lecture will address the biblical theology of women in ministry and Deborah’s role in that often-argued debate.

This study guide has everything you need for a full Bible study experience, including:

  • The study guide itself—with discussion and reflection questions, video notes, and a leader’s guide.
  • An individual access code to stream all video sessions online. (You don’t need to buy a DVD, although one is available!)

How does this series work? The study involves two components. The first is a set of eight filmed, approximately half hour, sessions with Dr. Sandra Richter (available as a DVD), and the second is a study guide for each of your group members. The idea is that each member will be working at home at their own pace, doing as much or as little as schedules permit. Once per week your group will gather to view the filmed study, talk about the individual work from the week, and focus on some group discussion questions. Let the adventure begin!

Lesson 1 Preview


About the Author

Internationally known for her work on Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History, Dr. Richter brings the Old Testament to life by exploring the real people and real places from which it comes.

Sandra Richter is the Robert H. Gundry Chair of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. She served as a Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College for the past four years teaching Hebrew language, exegesis, cultural contexts, and Environmentalism and the Evangelical. She received her MA from Gordon-Conwell and her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department. 

A veteran of many years of leading student groups in archaeological excavation and historical geography classes in Israel, she has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wesley Biblical Seminary, and Wheaton College. Richter is a sought-after speaker in both academic and lay settings.


  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Page count: 228
  • DVD accompaniment: Highly encouraged — 8, 25-35 minute sessions

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