Praise for The New Testament Made Harder

05.01.2015 | The Maxwell Institute

We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on the series, especially The New Testament Made Harder:

“The one thing scripture commentaries have in common is that the word ‘easy,’ often appears somewhere in its title. After all, isn’t the reason we buy commentaries, to make our scripture study easier? Of course! Now, would you ever buy a commentary that claimed to make your scripture study harder? I hope you would. Because if not, you would miss out on one of the best ‘commentaries’ that has been published in a long time.”

—Shaun Maher, Meridian Magazine (includes Q&A with Faulconer).


“Faulconer’s style of questioning is an unquestionably effective use of the Socratic method in which students, led by the questions of a master teacher, learn truth through their own efforts of gathering information and drawing conclusions. The use of this teaching style within a gospel context is an ingenious method of guiding at-home scripture study, helping learners draw very personalized conclusions and grow more meaningful testimony. It’s so effective, and this method makes The New Testament Made Harder a standout in the scores of books published about gospel study in the home.”

—Jennifer Ball, Deseret News.


“If teachers and students of the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School lessons want to spend good time addressing the actual texts of the New Testament and their implications for Christian living, these will fill the time and then some…A teacher hardly needs to do much else—know those stories, ask that question, and field the flying ideas!…It’s not too expensive, and if you’re a student in (or a teacher of) an LDS Gospel Doctrine class, or if you’ve been avoiding those same classes because you’ve felt that the treatment of the material in the manual just doesn’t suit you, I recommend checking out this book. It’ll greatly enlarge your experience. You’ll be glad you did.”

—Julie J. Nichols, Association for Mormon Letters.


“Rather than having a single book out that I could just read through and get ‘the answers’ from, I had three different things out: Falconers [The New Testament Made Harder], the scriptures, and a notepad (confession: I just used a split screen on my tablet for both the scriptures and the notepad), and I was not just reading straight through. Falconer had me stopping after reading certain segments to think about questions, questions which had me flipping to different passages to enhance and enrich my understanding of the symbolism. To be sure, this is a lot more work. But Falconer had me actively engaged in my scripture study. His questions provided guidance in making my study more productive, and thus in a certain sense made things easier. It was easier to be active and involved in the study of the scriptures. Falconer won’t let you bypass your wrestle with God, but he will coach you through it.”

—Neal Rappleye, Studio et Quoque Fide.


“It’s not a standard commentary series, nor like any other kind of commentary. Rather, each chapter…contains thought-questions about the text. Occasionally it brings in a little outside information, often to provide set-up for a particular question. These are not questions like the manual asks, in the sense that I suspect many of these questions don’t have a specific answer. NTMH basically represents some of Faulconer’s best questions, useful for personal study, as well as Sunday School, Seminary, or Institute teaching.”

—Ben Spackman,


“I’m trying to read a little scripture again most every day. I like thinking and I like studying, but I’m reading more for devotion than anything else. Going through Faulconer’s lessons now and then gives me a bit of all three–thought, study, and devotion. I actually smile as I study this book–something I haven’t done with scripture study since I read the Psalms and discovered all the wonderful music in them.”

—Jonathan Cannon, Rational Faiths


[Last updated September 10, 2015]