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Posts tagged ‘Workshop’

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.

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Salvation As Divinization

Michael J. Bonnell © 1999

Let’s leap straight into some Bible verses: “[Jesus said] I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20a-21) “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20a) “[God] has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world”. (2 Peter 1:4) (more…)

Salvation As Liberation

In this session we focus on the first of the theories from the previous discussion which characterises our redemption through Christ in terms of liberation. At its core: Christ in his crucifixion identifies with us and shares our suffering; in his Resurrection Christ is victorious over all the powers that oppress us. The connotations this liberation has as a victory won by your leader in battle makes it rather different from moksha– an equivalent of salvation found in Indic religion which is usually translated as ‘liberation’, but means one’s individual release from the cycle of rebirth. (more…)

Bible Translations

It’s takes a pretty large slip of the mind to forget that the Bible wasn’t written in our native language, yet the majority of Christians who aren’t scholars of the original text often forget to give enough weight to this fact. As the above graphic aims to demonstrate we should be aware that there are different types of translation. (more…)

Life Eternal

As mentioned previously, ‘Life Eternal’ (or equivalently Eternal Life) appears to take the place of the central motif of Jesus’ discourses in the Gospel of John, as opposed to ‘the Kingdom of God’ in the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus is also often spoken of as giving us new life in Paul’s Epistles.

To begin with, in terms of images and ideas:

  • What do you think of when you think of ‘heaven’?

  • What do you think of when you think of ‘eternal life’? (more…)

Genre in the Bible

In our previous session we looked at a medieval hermeneutic or way of reading the Bible, and I also mentioned one modern method, the historico-critical approach. Another modern method is ‘form criticism’ which focuses upon the diversity of forms or genres of writing. Since different genres tend to follow their own fixed forms they also have their own laws of style, and thus it is important for biblical criticism to make use of  literary techniques to appreciate this.

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Reading the Bible

The field of methods of interpreting and studying texts, particlurly religious ones, is called hermeneutics. The following method took the lead from how Paul’s epistles read Hebrew scripture in the light of Christ, but developed into a more systematic approach. One could partly explain it as ‘theological analysis deriving from lectio divina.’ This traditional fourfold hermeneutic is called the ‘Quadriga’ (more…)

The Ascension

In this session we explore the narrative of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. While reading the passage we asked: what ideas and thoughts about the belief in Jesus can you find in the imagery of this story? And what might the doctrine of the ascension be about?https://readingchaplaincy.wordpress.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

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Canons Within the Canon

In the last session we explored the Biblical canon in the context of the non-canonical ‘gospel’ of Thomas. Here we look at the issue that different groups of Christians always tend to focus upon and prioritise their own particular parts of the Bible creating a kind of ‘canon within the canon’.We imagined that we were forgetful Christians who had crash landed on a desert island. Four different bands of survivors settled on different parts of the island and each could only remember a few small parts of Scripture. Despite this they are committed to carry on living their Christianity guided by these few passages. (more…)

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…)

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