Deuteronomy, newest Believers Church Bible Commentary, released

News release
September 23, 2015

Deuteronomy, newest Believers Church Bible Commentary, released
A call for faith in God and right living

HARRISONBURG, Va. and KITCHENER, Ontario—How should we walk in God’s way as a faithful people? What tools do the biblical stories of God’s people give us?

Deuteronomy is a book of stories, a book of law, and a look at the core of faith: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” Deuteronomy 6:4 puts it. Sometimes called the “gospel according to Moses,” Deuteronomy examines divine grace and the practices of justice and right living.

Herald Press has released Deuteronomy, the 29th volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, authored by Gerald E. Gerbrandt of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Deuteronomy is sometimes perceived as ancient history, but a key word is today,” says Gerbrandt. “There is a power in Deuteronomy to become the word for today in diverse contexts.” He notes the words that call out to present-day believers in Deuteronomy 5:3: “Not [only] with our ancestors did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.”

The Deuteronomy commentary, like all of the volumes in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, is designed to provide guidance for a variety of readers. Written for lay readers, pastors, teachers, and Bible study groups, this commentary considers the themes that tie together the Old Testament, New Testament, and life in the modern world.

Using an Anabaptist reading of Scripture, Gerbrandt examines the Shema of Deuteronomy 6—the call to worship one God that Jesus quotes in the Gospels. Gerbrandt looks at how Deuteronomy promotes healthy community relationships. “This is not only intellectual assent or for Sunday morning worship only,” he writes. “It requires that justice become the center of how we treat each other,” including the resident “aliens and strangers” among us. Gerbrandt thereby connects Deuteronomy to Jesus’ teachings on loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Gerbrandt invites readers to engage difficult passages of Deuteronomy that have been used to justify violence and dispossession. He looks at how hopeful themes of covenant, land, and leadership express the heart of Israel’s faith.

Like all volumes in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, Deuteronomy includes useful tools like “The Text in the Biblical Context” and “The Text in the Life of the Church.” These tools encourage readers to understand the book in its original setting, and to find the ways this fifth book of Moses continues to speak to the church.

The Believers Church Bible Commentary is a cooperative project of the Brethren in Christ Church, Brethren Church, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Church USA.


Gerald Gerbrandt

Gerald E. Gerbrandt is president emeritus and professor emeritus of Bible at Canadian Mennonite University. He served as CMU president from 2003 to 2012 and as president of Canadian Mennonite Bible College from 1997 to 2003.

Deuteronomy is available in paperback for $34.99 USD from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or, as well as at bookstores.


Ardell Stauffer
High resolution photo available.

For more information on this press release:
Melodie Davis
News manager

Taste-Tested and Approved! Winter Squash Bars from Simply in Season

ImportJan2014 1110

By Jerilyn Schrock

Fall is here!
You can feel it in the crisp, cool morning air
and see it in the golden tint of the leaves.

We’re starting to think of hot cider and fresh baked goods;
warm sweaters and bonfires.

The pumpkins are ripening and harvest season is winding down.

This season, I seem to have an overabundance of pumpkins and squash, so I turned to Simply in Season Tength Anniversary Edition cookbook, which did not disappoint!SIScover2015

A marketing co-worker, Josh Byler, brought in some Winter Squash Bars (p. 267) a few weeks ago and we all highly approved, so here’s the next recipe I plan to make. You can use any of a variety of winter squashes, more info here.


Winter Squash Bars

Moist and not too sweet. These bars freeze well.

2 cups / 500 ml winter squash or pumpkin, cooked, puréed
1 1/2 cup / 375 ml sugar
3/4 cup / 175 ml oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup / 250 ml flour
1 cup / 250 ml whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Yields 24 bars


There are so many great pumpkin and squash recipes in this book!
Let us know which one is your favorite.

Remember, Simply in Season also makes a great Christmas gift. The recipes are year-round, and every time someone cooks out of the book may they think fondly of the giver and perhaps bless them with a prayer.

Click here to sign up for our MM Update newsletter to receive occasional emails with information like this on new books as well as sales and specials!

Happy baking!

Jerilyn Schrock
Sales and Marketing Manager
Herald Press Division

Photos by staff


The First Time I Gave

Guest Post By Penelope Burk

Elementary school and I just didn’t get along. I attended a strict parochial school, with dour teachers who were not content to simply educate me; they were determined to adjust my attitude as well. I was a free spirit who stared out the window a lot, longing for summer vacation and the release that it granted both my physical self and my unbridled imagination.

One day, we were all called into the gymnasium for a special message from the principal. He spoke with much authority about a small community somewhere in Africa which needed our school’s help. He described the terrible conditions in which children “over there” lived and how he wanted us to raise money over the next two months to help them have a better life.

I was excited, that is until he said that we would be raising money to build a school. “What? How horrible,” I thought, and vowed then and there that I would not be a party to destroying the freedom and happiness of any other child. As we filed out of the gym, we were each handed a small box which the principal instructed us to keep on our desks and contribute to as often as possible. The boxes would be collected two months hence.

While my classmates eagerly went about doing chores and other activities to raise money, dutifully depositing their nickels and dimes in their boxes every day, I pretended to be taking part without contributing one red cent.

MoneyImage courtesy of fantasista at

One day the principal announced over the loud speaker that it was time to collect up the money we had raised. As my classmates brought their boxes up to the front, each one jangled with change as it landed on the teacher’s desk with a thud. When it was my turn, I carefully cradled my box in both my hands, implying that it was so full that I feared the bottom would collapse. My teacher gave me a very big smile as I tried to hide it amongst [sic] the other boxes. She smiled again and patted my hand because not only had I apparently raised more money than anyone else, I was making my contribution with a true sense of humility. I held my breath, hoping that the boxes would not be opened in the classroom. Luck was on my side; my subterfuge was never exposed.

A couple of months later, the United Way announced its annual campaign. A vibrant young woman from our local animal shelter (which was a United Way agency), came to our school to talk about how she and her team rescued and rehabilitated abandoned and abused cats and dogs. I was spellbound.

I ran straight home after school and emptied my piggy bank. I tore the cushions off every sofa and chair, plunging my little arms as far as they could descend into the upholstery, bringing a veritable treasure trove of coins to the surface. I did chores; I looked for coins on the street; I sold plums and peaches door-to-door. (I got in trouble for that later for taking them from the fridge without asking.) I was undeterred, determined that no little animal that needed help would be denied what this wonderful shelter had to offer.

Two weeks and a very heavy bag of coins later, I brought the money to school to give to the United Way. In the bag was a note that said, “This money is for the lady at the animal shelter who helps little animals be happy and free.”

That was the first time I gave and I will never forget it.


This is one of twelve thousand stories from donors about what inspired them to start giving. I found it in The 2014 Burk Donor Survey, Penelope Burk, Where philanthropy is headed in 2014, (Hamilton, ON: Cygnus Applied Research, 2014), p 3. Used with permission.

Money Image above courtesy of fantasista at

Penolope Burk, author, trainer, presenter and President of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

Penelope Burk, author, trainer, presenter and President of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.


If you would like to read more of Penelope Burk’s reflections click here to reach her blog.

Do you have a story to tell about a first or significant giving experience? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below.

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Steve Carpenter Director of Development and Church Relations

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations