Hope Herald: In Review and Preview
In December 1967, the first Hope Herald was published. But it was not the Bible study guide we know today. It began as the very first newsletter for the new Heralds of Hope organization, with a pinch of devotional material. As time went on, that devotional content grew. What started as a letter-size piece of paper grew to legal-size, and soon, a booklet. The audience also grew, from a stateside newsletter to an international publication, with the advent of the Hope for Today broadcast overseas.
Initially, the devotional material mostly consisted of serialized articles—basically food for thought. But in 1977, an insert was created with study questions on the Book of Revelation—which was one of Dr. J. Otis Yoder’s specialties. Soon, the study guides explored other Scripture passages. In 1978, the publication was split, with the Bible study material continuing in the Hope Herald and news updates going into the new Hope Horizons publication.
Even after J. Otis’ passing in 2003, the Hope Herald continued to use study materials from his collection. For 2020, the Hope Herald took a hiatus. We wanted to begin creating new content again for the Hope Herald, but we did not have the staff available to do so. In the interim, we’ve made past issues of the Hope Herald available online for those who have access.
For 2022, we will be releasing the new Hope Herald as soon as possible. The study materials in the new edition will follow the Hope for Today broadcast schedule. For 2022, this will be J. Otis’ series from John, entitled “The Word.” But how will this work?
Starting with the sermon manuscripts, we read each one carefully and try to generate valid, valuable questions for the listeners. Often the answers can be found by listening to the broadcast, or by an honest evaluation of oneself, having heard the truth explained. But there is one thing we are careful of: in trying to be relevant to current radio broadcasts, we could very quickly [out]date ourselves. So, while each set of questions represents a concise outline of the sermon of the week, the questions are designed to be answered by anyone with a Bible.
These questions are geared for personal growth, relating the life lessons of the Biblical characters to the timeless questions we all must answer. Admittedly, it is a lot easier to read a valuable insight and agree with it than it is to generate a good question—one with real-world applications, one that truly challenges our everyday habits and natural responses. Renewing of our minds takes effort, even when the truth is right in front of us, and especially when we aren’t in the habit of asking good questions.
My challenge for you is to learn how to ask good questions. Perhaps you should take a Scripture passage or a challenging book and write some questions of your own. Once the 2022 edition of the Hope Herald is available, you can see our prayerful attempt at this with J. Otis’ manuscripts.
You will be able to use this Hope Herald study guide in three ways: listen to the sermon via radio or online, read the Scripture passage, or read the entire series on John in “The Word” softcover, soon to be published.
Thank you for your interest in the Hope Herald, and we hope it will be a thought-provoking, life-changing resource for years to come.