The Point of the Lesson   2 comments

Shot of a bible with a very small depth of fie...

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I have recently had a few conversations about the role of the Bible.  So many people have different thoughts about what the Bible means, how to read the Bible, what role the Bible should have in our faith and in our lives.  Some people view it as a rule book.  Others want the Bible to be a history book.  Still others want the Bible to be a really neat collection of stories.  So I decided today to share my understanding of the Bible and its role in our lives.

I think that the primary purpose of the Bible is to communicate this:  God wants to be in relationship with us and God wants us to be in relationship with one another.  Therefore, I believe that the Bible is intended to helps us understand what it means to be in relationship with God and with one another.  The guiding principle behind all aspects of those relationships is love.

If that is what the Bible is intended to do for us, then I believe that it is best to look at the Bible as being a combination of stories, poetry, some historical facts, and many illustrations.  They are all used to communicate the primary point mentioned above.  This would be like when an educator is trying to help a student understand a point.  They will design a lesson(s) and use various methods to communicate the point to the student in the anticipation that through these methods the student will be able to grasp and apply the point in their lives.

Therefore, I find it helpful to read a passage of the Bible and ask, “What is the point that this passage is trying to make?”  Then quickly follow that with, “How does that point give more understanding to the primary point of the Bible?”

I’d be interested in how others view this approach and any other approaches others may take in their understanding of the Bible.


2 responses to “The Point of the Lesson

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  1. I just started a Biblical Interpretation class last night, and the instructor gave what I believe to be a great definition of its purpose Dr. Douglas Stuart stated: “God chose to give us the Truth in story form, sometimes in symbolic poetry, sometimes in letter form, sometimes in the form of musical prayers like the Psalms, sometimes in the forms of parables that Jesus teaches so many of in the Gospels, sometimes in the form of apoctaliptic vision reports as we have in the Book of Revelation and so many other books of the Bible,” and he goes on to conclude that the Bible “was written in various forms and compilations of poems, letters, and songs so we, the reader, could see different relationships played out in the text.” Because as real people we can relate to the concept of a “relationship” better than a list of do’s and don’ts to Christian living. Just thought I would share that, since that was the very thing we discussed last night in class.

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