Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. - Joshua 1:8
Reading the bible is one of the most important disciplines we must develop in our discipleship journey. It's the Holy Word of God that reveals to all creation the Creator, and in these divinely inspired words on a page we see the Word, Jesus, become flesh. We read about his teachings, his sacrifice, and his commands. It would stand to reason that as Christ followers of "the way" we should take the reading and application of the bible very seriously.
This small group discussion series is designed to help us learn how to read, study, and interpret the bible in a more clear and defining way. By knowing the original meaning of the words found in the bible, and the culture of how the hearer would have heard these words, we can get a more clear picture of how we are to apply the word of God to our lives today. Through the studying of hermeneutics (see definition below), we are able to better paint a picture of what the author was intending to communicate to those listening to Jesus, and the 40 authors who penned the words that we call the Holy Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Hermeneutics: the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)
her•me•neu•tics \-tiks\ noun plural but singular or plural in construction
As you read, take great notes. Ask deep and clarifying questions, both internally and in your Life Group. Be willing to be challenged by the authors while also thinking for yourself as a spirit-filled disciple. Remember, Jesus wasn't scared of questions, but we must be prepared for his answers, whether we agree with them or not.
I want to be clear about the subject matter of this book "Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes". Like so many of the books we chose to read and ponder, is not perfect. Its my hope that the topics and cultural illustrations presented in these chapters start great and deep spiritual conversations while sharpening our tools of how to read the bible with larger and more diverse lenses. There are moments where you will be challenged in your thinking, and for that I celebrate this book. There are also moments where I hope you disagree, just as I do. It's in these disagreements I suggest that you ask Holy Spirit to guide you into truth so that you can learn how to think as a disciple. If we are going to be thinkers that rightly divide the word of truth, we must expose ourselves to other disciplines of thought, especially when we are in a place of learning. We often can become more clear and resolute in our theology when our theology is in question. Adversely, if we are not in a constant state of abiding with Holy Spirit in submission to Jesus, we can become deceived. Praise God for community (Chi Alpha and the Body of Christ), the presence of Holy Spirit, and the Holy Word of God. Blessings! - Robbie A.
2 Timothy 3:10-17 NLT
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
What does Paul mean when telling Timothy that "all scripture is inspired by God"?
When we read something in the scriptures that challenges us personally, what are the appropriate steps to die to self in that area? What if we disagree with the scriptures?
How important is community in helping us learn how to live a Christ centered and spirit-filled life? What responsibility do we have as a Life Group family to keep each other accountable to the Kingdom of God?
How often, and in what manner, should we study the bible?