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Posts tagged ‘New Testament’

Preaching the Bible

One of the key ways in which the Bible is actually is during church services, particularly with a sermon or homily. ‘Preaching’ can refer to both reciting scripture and to the exegesis on it. In denominations where preaching is seen as more important than the Eucharist preaching may take on a sacramental character. This means that it will typically be longer, more central to the service, and involve more personal discretion of the minister. Elsewhere, the big churches of Catholicism, Methodism, and Anglicanism share a liturgical devise called the Lectionary. This is a calendar of readings from the Bible which cycles every three years, each year based around a Synoptic Gospel– with John used on special occasions.


π Canon

I didn’t make this myself, although I wish I did.

From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

After our Bible For Bluffers session on the Biblical Canon I was wondering to myself what happens if you skim through the Bible, focusing on verses corresponding to pi (that is, 3.14)? What would the Bible be like if we were limited to these passages? (more…)

Comparative Theology and the Annunciation

Representation of Mary receiving the Holy Spirit, in the presence of the angel Gabriel.

Comparative theology is just what it sounds like: a dialectic between two or more religions based on their doctrinal solutions to the great problems of human existence rather than on their external forms of organisation and worship etc. The easiest way to do some comparative theology is two find two religious texts that are writing about the same thing and assess the similarities and differences.

We did something very similar near the start of these sessions when we contrasted a Babylonian creation myth with the Old Testament ones. Here, near the end of these sessions, we are going to look at the Annunciation, the announcement to Mary the mother of Jesus that she is to have an important son.  We are going to read a couple of  pieces from the Muslim scripture (the Qur’an) alongside an account from the New Testament.


The ‘Gospel’ of ‘Thomas’

An 8th century Austrian copy of the cannonical Gospels. This text, known as the Lindau Gospels was produced using fine metals and jewels, and depicts the four Gospels- but is there room for a fifth?

‘Thomas’ is a short text of about 5,000 words comprising 114 statements attributed to Jesus. It is a book of aphoristic wisdom like the book of Proverbs. (more…)


The Divine Council: God is adored by the heavenly host of angels.  (By Gustave Dore)

In the language of the Bible the word ‘apocalypse’ does not mean the end or destruction of the world, but a revelation from God, especially disclosures characterised by strange visions and symbolism. This is why Apocalypse, the final book of the New Testament (and thereby the Bible) is also called the book of Revelation. In this session we explore this strange text.


Paul’s Letter to the Philippians

This week we did something rather different, closer to a conventional Bible study but with the twist that we read a whole book of the Bible at once to get a more holistic feel. (more…)

The Resurrection in John and Paul

This is a summary, you can read the full discussion here.

In line with our equivalent textual comparison from the Synoptic Gospels, this session focuses on the depictions of Jesus’ return from the grave found in John and Paul. As before we are asking what the author wants to say about the Resurrection and what that might mean to us today. We begin with the appearence of Jesus to his disciples in a house from the Gospel of John. (more…)

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