Thursday, 6 October 2011

Reading the Bible in context

Spring Harvest 2011

The context of the Bible

Three meanings of context

What do I know about the setting from which this text has arisen?
Where does this text fit in the wider story of God's mission?
What aspect of 'with-God' experience does this text address?

Scripture is not just what you run to in the really high moments and the really low moments.

Faith as a mosaic

The Bible is full of different genres and should be read in different ways.

The Bible itself is not a genre!

Law and instructions
Poetry and songs
Letters (Epistles)

We need to understand what genre we are reading. Eg. Are the opening chapters of Genesis history or science or are they theology?

We also need to be honest as it is sometimes difficult to know which genre a passage fits into eg. History. At what point does the Bible move from theology into history eg. Noah?

Should we just give up and say we will never find the answers or should we think, pray, talk and try to understand? We should 'chew it over' and really think about it.

We should not aim to study scripture to be transformed by it.

How can we be culturally present and Biblically relevant?

What are the key issues you are dealing with?
What does the Bible say about it?

What is my context and where does Scripture fit into my life?

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