Sneak Peek Interview: Elizabeth Woodson’s New Bible Study

I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down to open up his or her book. Today, I’m excited to interview Bible teacher and author Elizabeth Woodson about her new Bible study, From Beginning to Forever: A Study of the Grand Narrative of Scripture. This book guides you through the story of the Bible, showing how all 66 books combine to form one unified narrative. From Beginning to Forever releases on October 3, and you can pre-order a copy here!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a Bible teacher and author based in Dallas, Texas. I grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until my college years that I began to understand the gospel fully. At this time in my life, I was hungry to grow spiritually, but I didn’t know how. This led me on a quest to learn more about my faith and the Bible, which eventually brought me to seminary. My journey of discovery formed a deep conviction within me that everyone should have access to the tools and resources they need to grow deeper in their faith. 

The Lord grew this conviction through my time on staff at two different churches in Dallas. I served as the Single Life Coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and the Institute Classes and Curriculum Director at The Village Church. Both roles helped me learn what it means to guide and resource people in their discipleship journey.  

I loved what I learned so much that in 2021 I stepped away from vocational ministry to form an organization that helps believers grow spiritually as disciples of Jesus. So, most of my time is spent writing articles or books, speaking at conferences, training leaders, and consulting with different churches to help them create pathways for discipleship and theological education.

When did you first start writing?  What do you enjoy about it?

I started writing a few years ago during my first job in ministry. At that time, I was writing shorter articles that I would publish on my blog or through my church. I enjoy writing because it allows me to communicate deeply about a specific idea. The writing process forces you to be clear, which isn’t always easy.  But, as I wrestle with my thoughts, eliminating what is unnecessary and expanding on what is good, I am able to create something that can substantively connect with the reader.

Writing also allows me to create beauty with my words. For me, each writing project is like a blank art canvas. I usually know a little bit about what I want the “canvas” to look like. But, the writing process, full of brainstorming, research, and outlines, sort of takes on a life of its own. As I work through my ideas and discover new information, the art piece begins to form. I honestly love this part, seeing words, sentences, and paragraphs work together to communicate truth with beauty. 

Is writing ever difficult for you?  How so? 

Oh yes! One reason it is difficult is because I’m a perfectionist. I spend too much time on the front end editing my words instead of just pushing through to create a first draft I can then go back and edit. 

It’s also hard because I’m a slow writer. It takes me a while to get into the “zone” where the words start to flow quickly.  When I started writing, I would feel like the difficulty of writing meant that I wasn’t a good writer. But then I learned I wasn’t alone in my “slow writer” struggle.  After talking with and studying the writing process of some of the great authors of our time, I realized most of them don’t write great content quickly. Their success was connected to finding a process that worked for them and sticking to it. So, I’ve tried to do the same. 

What led you to write From Beginning To Forever? 

In my life, I’ve had a few moments that have significantly marked my spiritual growth journey.  One of them was the first time I learned about the metanarrative of Scripture. Even though I grew up in church, it wasn’t until my time in seminary that I learned how all of Scripture tells one unified story about God’s work of redemption and restoration. I still remember the “ah-ha” moments when the light bulbs went off in my mind. I gained new clarity about the Bible and a much-needed conviction on how the gospel connected with my everyday life. 

The truth is, the whole of Scripture is preoccupied with trying to return to life with God as it was in the garden of Eden and the fulfillment of His garden plan for the world.

Eventually, I was able to teach a class at The Village Church on the topic for several years. With each new group of students, I saw how many were overwhelmed by Scripture, unsure of how to tackle the books that were hard to understand. Others knew how to dig deep into a particular book of the Bible, but they couldn’t grasp how that one book related to the rest or pointed to Christ. Yet, but the end of the semester, they would gain a clarity and confidence about the Bible that transformed their faith. 

I wanted to write this book to share that same truth and experience with other believers. I want to help them understand and love their Bible as they see how it gives us a beautiful vision of who God is and what he calls us to be and do in his world. 

What’s the central message you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope readers will see how all 66 books combine to form one unified narrative about God’s redemption, seeing the eternal significance of what God is doing in the world and how he invites us to be a part of it.

I also hope that by the end of this study, readers will understand how the entire story of Scripture helps us know who God is, who we are, and what we are called to do in His world. The goal is not just for them to know facts but to study information that will transform their motivation for living and their love for God.

How has writing this study affected your own life?

Writing the book was definitely a labor of love! It forced me to synthesize a lot of information in a way that was clear and accessible. But, the process significantly refined my ability to see Scripture comprehensively, weaving together the topics of biblical truth, theology, and spiritual formation. 

Personally, it has provided me with a consistent source of hope and encouragement. No matter where I am in Scripture, I always find myself focusing on what God is doing at that point in redemptive history. The bigness of God’s work in the world overwhelms me in all the best ways. It also leaves me in awe of who He is and how, through Christ, He graciously allows us to be in relationship with Him! 

For a sneak peek, here are some quotes: 

“The truth is, the whole of Scripture is preoccupied with trying to return to life with God as it was in the garden of Eden and the fulfillment of His garden plan for the world. If we don’t see the story through this lens, we are going to pursue some lesser narrative. For example, we might reduce the Bible to a set of encouraging quotes or Christian living advice. While the Bible provides both encouragement and advice on how to live well as a Christian, it does so much more! Specifically, the creation account shows us what life on earth should look like. In other words, it shows us shalom—how we should live in community with God, each other, and all of creation.”

I hope readers will see how all 66 books combine to form one unified narrative about God’s redemption, seeing the eternal significance of what God is doing in the world and how he invites us to be a part of it.

“The kingdom living that Jesus talked about was much different than the values of the world in which Jesus lived. In Jesus’s upside-down kingdom, to be first to was to be last, to be greatest was to be the least, and to be exalted was to be humble. The most vulnerable, marginalized, and overlooked members of society were not cast aside but welcomed into the kingdom.  Jesus got in a lot of trouble during his time on earth because He hung out with sinners and outcasts. He rejected the elitism and legalism of the Jewish religious leaders. True kingdom living was characterized by a love for a God that was evidenced by a self-sacrificial love for one’s neighbor (Matt 5:43-45).”

If you had an afternoon to do whatever you’d like, where would we find you?

You would find me in a museum, at a play, or at a concert! I love art, music, and history. So, an afternoon where I can listen to great music or spend time wandering through a museum would bring me so much joy! 

Elizabeth Woodson is a Bible teacher and author who is passionate about equipping believers to understand the rich theological truths of Scripture. She loves helping people internalize their faith and connect it practically to everyday life. With over a decade of ministry experience, Elizabeth is passionate about creating pathways for theological education in the local church. Most recently, Elizabeth served on staff at The Village Church as the Institute Classes and Curriculum Director. She also worked as the Single Life Coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship under the leadership of Senior Pastor Dr. Tony Evans. Elizabeth is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters in Christian Education. She is a contributing author for World on Fire, and the author of the book Embrace Your Life: How To Find Joy When The Life You Have Is Not The Life You Hoped For and From Beginning To Forever: A Study of the Grand Narrative of Scripture.