In November, a group of men in the Milwaukee area began reading the Men’s Bible, an ancient scripture dating back thousands of years.
They were taught that God told Adam and Eve that they should become “the sons of God” in the Garden of Eden, and that God gave them “the power of the sun and the moon and the stars of heaven and the powers of the air and of the sea.”
But in the Bible study, the men were given an entirely different explanation.
The men were taught to look at the stars and to see “that which is in the firmament, and not that which is above the firmaments.”
“I thought to myself, ‘Well, they’re giving us an entirely new explanation, one that is different than the one we’ve been using all our lives,'” said Ryan Matson, a student at Milwaukee’s Lakeland High School.
He is now an associate professor of biblical studies at Lakeland Community College.
Matson says his father, a retired pastor, started the Bible Study group when he was a young boy.
“I remember him saying that he would always say, ‘It is a blessing to be born in the Lord, but it is a curse to worship the Lord,'” he said.
“It wasn’t until after I was in college that I started to think about that.”
Matson’s father said he wanted to learn the Bible for his own church, but he was skeptical about it.
“I was just sort of in awe of the Bible and the idea that you could study it for free,” he said, explaining that he felt that he could not understand what was going on.
“So I started reading it and it became a really interesting experience for me.”
Muddying the waters, the group eventually met with a man named John, a teacher of biblical interpretation and the founder of the Wisconsin Bible Study Association.
They formed the group and soon found that they were “the most active group of Bible study” in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Bibles Association.
John said the group grew from a handful of people to a group that he said was “literally the largest Bible study group in Wisconsin.”
“It has grown quite a bit over the last few years, from around a dozen or so people to more than a hundred people, and it’s just been really good,” he told NBC News.
The Bible Study was so successful that it was able to hold its own against some of the most prominent evangelical churches in the state, including the Southern Baptist Convention and the New Apostolic Reformation.
“There are a number of Bible studies in Wisconsin that are really successful, but we’ve always had to work on our craft,” said Paul Miller, a spokesperson for the New Adventist Movement.
Mills said that some of those churches do not provide the resources the Bible studies do, but the group is making efforts to make up for that with its outreach to the public.
The group is also working to make sure that students understand the importance of the teachings in the Scriptures.
“It’s important for students to understand that the Bible teaches us to love God and to respect each other,” said John.
“The Bible teaches about a time when God made a covenant with Adam and the whole world.”
Mills says that the study group hopes to continue to grow and expand its reach.
“We hope that we will continue to expand our reach and our reach to our students, our faculty and our church leaders,” he added.