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Standard Lesson Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do the Urban Ministries (UMI) lessons no longer study the same Scriptures as the Standard Lesson Commentary and Standard Lesson Quarterly?

A: For the curriculum year September 2022 to August 2023, Urban Ministries (UMI) Precepts for Living lessons no longer follow the current International Sunday School Lesson (ISSL) scope and sequence. UMI has opted to use legacy versions of the Uniform Lesson Series—they are reusing lessons that have been previously published.

David C Cook / Standard Publishing will continue to follow the ISSL scope and sequence for the Standard Lesson Commentary (SLC) and Standard Lesson Quarterly (SLQ). We are aware this is causing confusion for customers who supplement their Precepts for Living curriculum with Standard Lesson materials. If you have further questions about the decision made by Urban Ministries, please call their customer service number at 800.860.8642.

Q: Why do the Union Gospel Press (UGP) lessons no longer study the same Scriptures as the Standard Lesson Commentary and Standard Lesson Quarterly?

A: Union Gospel Press no longer follows the International Sunday School Lesson (ISSL) scope and sequence. They have opted to develop their own scope and sequence.

David C Cook / Standard Publishing will continue to follow the ISSL scope and sequence for the Standard Lesson Commentary (SLC) and Standard Lesson Quarterly (SLQ). We are aware this is causing confusion for customers who supplement their Union Gospel Press curriculum with Standard Lesson materials. If you have further questions about the decision made by Union Gospel Press, please call their customer service number at 800.638.9988.

Q: How do I get the digital portion of the Deluxe Edition of the Standard Lesson eCommentary?

A: Each 2021-2022 Standard Lesson Commentary Deluxe edition includes a unique printed code to unlock the Logos Basic Library. Detailed instructions are included on the inside front cover. After installing the software program on your computer, you will be able to add the Standard Lesson Commentary. Read or Print the instructions

Q: Where can I find a comprehensive index of all the SLC lessons by date or Scripture?

A: The documents linked below represent an index of lessons from 2004 to 2022. There are 3 indexes sorted by books of the Bible in alphabetical order, canonical order, and by date of lesson publication.

The Excel workbook has all 3 indices in tabs with filtering enabled at the top of each column to narrow your search. If you do not have Microsoft Office Excel, then choose from the PDF files.

Excel Format (download): Full Index

PDF Format: Alphabetical by Book of the Bible  |  Index by Book Canonical order  |  Index by Date of Publication

Q: Why should I buy the Standard Lesson Commentary®—or any curriculum for that matter—when so many lesson resources are available for free on the Internet?

A: How much is your time worth? For about 33 cents per lesson, the Standard Lesson Commentary can save you hours of lesson-preparation time that the “do it yourself” route of Internet research can require.

Q: My class wants to study through the Bible. Why doesn’t the Standard Lesson Commentary®/Standard Lesson Quarterly® go through whole books and take them in order?

A: While we believe every Christian ought to read and study every verse of the Bible, doing so together in Sunday school may not be practical. The Bible contains over 31,000 verses. If you could cover 20-25 verses each week, it would take between 24 and 30 years to go through the whole Bible. And if you took each book in order from Genesis to Revelation, you’d spend ¾ of your time in the Old Testament. Imagine a new attender in your class coming for years without ever studying the life of Christ! The Standard Lesson Commentary/Standard Lesson Quarterly presents an overview of the Bible in just 6 years. Alternating between the Old and New Testaments, you will actually study the New Testament more often than the Old. And nearly every year will include a study from one or more of the Gospels. The Standard Lesson Commentary/Standard Lesson Quarterly will whet the appetites of all your students to dig deep in the Bible at home!

Q. I don’t want to lecture in my class. What does the Standard Lesson Commentary/Standard Lesson Quarterly® have for me?

A. The Standard Lesson Commentary/Standard Lesson Quarterly supports a number of teaching styles. While it is easy to lecture from the verse-by-verse Scripture exposition, the commentary also includes five discussion questions in every lesson under the heading “What Do You Think?” These thought-provoking questions are followed by some “Talking Points” to help stimulate discussion. You won’t find pat answers to these questions, however. These questions are designed to get students thinking, particularly about how to apply the lesson truths to their lives. Such application will differ according to the age, location, and life situation of every student. Each lesson also includes a page of “Involvement Learning” for classes that like to use adult learning activities. These activities include pen-and-paper activities, discussion, role-playing, and a variety of others. Whatever learning styles represented among your students, you’ll find something to engage every learner with the Standard Lesson Commentary/Standard Lesson Quarterly.

Q. Why should I read Devotions® instead of one of the popular read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plans?

A. If you are using the Standard Lesson Quarterly curriculum (or any Uniform Series curriculum), Devotions is tailor-made to help you get the most out of each Sunday’s lesson. The daily reading in Devotions each Sunday matches the printed text of the Sunday school lesson. The other readings, from Monday through Saturday, are designed to support the Sunday reading with a parallel passage, background information, or other biblical material that will help you understand the lesson text. The addition of the song suggestion, meditation, and prayer thought each day will help prepare your heart as well as your head as you approach each Sunday’s lesson.

Q. I sometimes teach a Bible study in the middle of the week. Is there any way I can use my Standard Lesson Commentary as a resource for lessons other than the dated Sunday lessons?

A. Many people hold on to their Standard Lesson Commentary after the year is through for just that reason. Each commentary has an index of Scripture texts for ease in locating lessons on particular Bible passages. And throughout the six years of the lesson “cycle,” we build a cumulative index so that you can find the edition of Standard Lesson Commentary that has a lesson on the text you need for your mid-week study. In addition, the Essential Book of Teacher Tips also includes a Scripture index so you can find additional tips on teaching from a variety of Scripture passages.

Q. What are “Standard Lesson Resources®”?

A. Standard Lesson Resources comprise a line of print and digital products that help you get the most out of your teaching time, whether you use the Standard Lesson Commentary or the teacher and student quarterlies known collectively as Standard Lesson Quarterly. These include the Adult Resources packet (full-color posters plus a Presentation Tools CD), one copy of Power for Living take-home paper, a copy of the quarterly Devotions® book to enhance the daily Bible readings, Reproducible Student Activity Pages, PowerPoint® presentations, and more. Check out the full line of Standard Lesson Resources here.

Q: Where can I find the activity pages mentioned on the “Involvement Learning” page of my teacher book?

A. You can get those pages in a number of ways. They conveniently come on the CD in the Adult Resources packet or from the Standard Lesson Commentary Deluxe Edition. The very same full-color pages are included on both those resources. Finally, for free activity page downloads, click here.

Q. I noticed The Essential Book of Teacher Tips is undated. How do I use it with my weekly Standard Lesson Quarterly® lessons?

A: Dozens of tips included in the 52 articles are indexed by both topic and Scripture. Each week you can check the index against your lesson text and theme. We post new tips throughout the year so that you’ll have a couple of tips for every lesson on the Standard Lesson Commentary and Standard Lesson Quarterly.

Q: Can I read the Standard Lesson Commentary® on my Kindle or iPad?

A: Yes! Both the KJV and NIV® translations are available on Amazon for Kindle and on iTunes for the iPad. These typically become available in August prior to the new annual book lesson’s start.

Q: Has The NIV® Standard Lesson Commentary® adopted the newest NIV® revision (2011)? If so, why?

A: The publishers of the New International Version® have the legal right to license its use and/or limit its use, so we have to go by what they allow. They have determined that publishers who use the NIV® translation in their materials must use the 2011 edition. So we are obligated to use that edition. Beginning with the fall quarter of 2012, we began using the 2011 edition of the NIV®. Nothing about the way we comment on the text has changed. We have not changed our editorial policies to “match” the NIV® or any other source. Where we believe the gender-neutral language actually misrepresents the text, we will say so. Thus, while we’ll be using the newest NIV®, you can continue to trust Standard Publishing to be true to the Bible and to give you the kind of faithful exposition that you have come to expect.

Q: Why are there NIV® quotations on my KJV Adult Resources visuals?

A: We produce only one edition of Adult Resources, and users of both KJV and NIV® curriculum make use of it. So most of the time we make the caption something that works equally well for both versions. Perhaps we’ll find a phrase that reads the same in both versions and use that for the caption. Or we may use a paraphrase or summary of the text. But sometimes we feel we really need to quote the Scripture. When that happens, we more often use the KJV since more KJV users buy this product. But we still use the NIV® occasionally since users of both versions are using these visuals.