Monday, March 09, 2009

Lenten Lecture Series: Spiritual Disciplines Part 2 “Searching the Scriptures”


Slide 1:

"I want to know one thing,"
—the way to heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of one book." John Wesley


Slide 2: How did Scripture come to be?

Slide 3&4:

2 Peter 1:16-21.

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.             

Slide 5:

2 Peter 3:16

He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Slide 6:

According to Peter, these sources are Scripture:

  1. Testimony about Jesus
  2. Prophecy of the Old Testament (includes all of the OT)
  3. Paul's writings


Slide 7:

Eusebius on Scripture

  1. Usefulness to the church
  2. Apostolic origins
  3. Theological consistency with books that is clearly apostolic.


Slide 8: What does the Bible itself say about Scripture?

Slide 9:

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God's people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Slide 10:

  • Inspired by God (theopneustos God breathed meaning and truth into them.)
  • The goal of Scripture is to make sure Christians are equipped for every good work
  • The authority does not rest in the bible itself, but by God who has authority and used the bible as means of communicating As NT Wright says, "God exercises his authority through Scripture.

Slide 11:

  1. The Bible is the infallible word of God
  2. The Bible was a 1st century book and should be read as a good history book
  3. The Bible was a 1st century book written by human beings, but conveys timeless truths which connect us with God.


Slide 12&13:

Modern scholarship has absolutely nothing to say about whether the Bible is the Word of God or not. There is simply no way anyone can look at the biblical story or law or even an individual word and say, "This is authentically divine," or This is merely human…. Just as human words can be used by God, so, I would suppose, can human stories and human laws and human ideas. And even where one part of the Bible contradicts another part, does that prove that one of them is merely human? When you think about it, the answer has to be no.

For a lot of people, including some biblical scholars, the Bible is just another ancient Near Eastern text or collection of texts. But for a great many Jews and Christians, it continues to play the role it always has played: It is the book, the great revelation of God's way with human beings, his guide for leading a life in keeping with his will, and the path to salvation. (An interview with James Kugel in US News and World Report James Kugel is a retired professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University.)

Slide 13: How do we "Search the Scriptures?"

Slide 14: Examine Ourselves

  1. What is happening in our world?
  2. What is happening in our lives?
  3. What is our motivation for studying?
  4. Will we be able to listen to the text?


Slide 15: Choosing a Translation

  1. Word for Word- NASB
  2. Thought for Thought TNIV, NIV, NRSV, NLT,
  3. Paraphrase- The Message, The Living Bible


Slide 16: Methods of Studying Scripture through questions

  1. What is the genre of the texts?
  2. Where are the boundary markers of the text and within the text?
  3. What is the structure or strategy of the passage?
  4. What is the main theme of the passage?
  5. What is the context of the passage (What happened before and after)
  6. What key words or themes occur in the passage?
  7. What is the socio-historical setting of the text?
  8. What Old Testament passages appear to be behind the text?
  9. What other passages come to mind from this text?
  10. What have others said about this text?

Joel Green, Seized by Truth

Slide 17: Application of the texts

  1. What were the truths being taught in the text?
  2. How do those truths apply to the situation of the 21st Century?
  3. How do those truths apply to my own situation?


Slide 18: Sources for more reading:

Joel B. Green, Seized by Truth (Abingdon Press)

Ben Witherington, The Living Word of God (Baylor Press)

NT Wright, The Last Word (Harper San Francisco)

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