Bible study comes down to at least two things. Firstly, we read the bible to know what the text says, and secondly, we reflect on what text means by what it says. While this might seem overly simple, reading the Bible well nevertheless takes both effort and spiritual discernment. [Read more…] about All Bible study comes down to at least two things
When Augustine wrote his manual on biblical interpretation, he observed that reality is made up of signs and things. Here’s an illustration to explain what he meant. A wedding ring signifies a promise of marital union. So a wedding ring is a sign. Yet it also a ring, which means that a wedding ring both signifies and is a thing. While such a distinction might seem pedantic or obtuse, it provides easy categories to explain why I am suggesting that we sometimes misunderstand the Bible’s meaning.
To understand the importance of signs and things, we first need turn to the Bible to see how it talks about heaven and earth and the Bible. [Read more…] about How to Read the Bible to Know What It Means by What It Says
Before condemning or affirming someone, we should listen to the source (I am looking at myself here!). In light of that, I listened to the sermon in which Andy Stanley speaks of unhitching the Old Testament from our faith. here are a few thoughts.
One of the trickiest challenges for Christians is how to read the Old Testament. In particular, the stories of the Old Testament challenge believers. Sometimes we read Old Testament stories as inspirational tales. But these narratives often present rather unsavoury elements such as David’s affair with Bathsheba. So the desire to “be like David” comes to a full stop. At other times, we read the Old Testament as fascinating records of history but with little practical value to today. After all, do we really need to build a parapet on the roof as Deuteronomy commands?
So let’s take a moment to look at how the earliest Christian writer (that we know of) read the Old Testament and applied it to his life. And that writer is the apostle Paul. [Read more…] about How to Read Old Testament Narratives
The Old Testament chronicles God’s dealing with the patriarchs and with his chosen nation Israel. So much so that entire law codes for Israel appear in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Here’s an example of instruction in the book of Deuteronomy: “When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof” (Deut 22:8).
Based on this text, here’s a question. Where’s your parapet? Or does the Old Testament’s historical context mean that it does not apply directly to you?
Far from it! On the contrary, the whole Old Testament wholly and completely applies to you and me. [Read more…] about The Entire Old Testament Is for Christians Today
Most of us read the Bible like this: a few times a week, we pick up the Bible and find a verse or three and read it. Then we put the Bible down, and we are done. At other times, we only read the Bible on Sunday morning when it appears on the projector screen behind the pastor.
But if our Bible reading looks like reading short snippets of passages or only reading during a Sunday sermon, then we are missing out on a key way that we can grow in our faith and come to know God. So here are three steps to help you read and understand the Bible. [Read more…] about Three Steps to Help You Read And Understand the Bible