I hope this will be a "forest and the trees" introduction for getting into God's Word and understanding it. I will spend three weeks in a brief overview of Basic Bible interpretive principles, including the historical and doctrinal contexts of the Bible; then eight weeks looking at various genre of the literature of the Bible: Epistles, Narratives, Gospels, Jesus' teaching and His Parables and the book of James, Biblical Poetry: Psalms and the Wisdom Books, Law and the Prophets. I will make recommendations for further reading and study, and I may also try to give some guidelines for using Bible Study Software - though our subject is more than can be covered in 11 weeks.
- Barry McWilliams - Life Together
Part 1: Basic Principles for Interpretation
- September 14th An Introduction
The "Problems" of Interpreting the Bible : a discussion
Some Principles For a Confident Understanding of the Bible
- Summary of Some Basic Principles
- Revelation and Inspiration and the Bible
- The Lord and the Scriptures -- The Question of Inerrancy
- Diagram: Ways the Bible is Received
Further Reading Suggestions:
- September 21st The Clarity of Scripture: Reading the Bible "Literally" in its contexts.
ASSIGNMENT after Week 2: Select and read a Chapter or more of a book of the Bible that is unfamiliar or new to you. After reading though it several times (perhaps in different versions) then break it down into paragraph units, summarizing each in a brief sentence. Then take some notes of verses or phrases within it that strike you, that you don't understand, or would like further explanation. Finally, make a guess as to what you feel the point of the passage is.
Suggestions for Scholarly Reading:
- September 28th The Bible's Historical / Cultural Contexts and The Analogy of Faith
The Periods of Bible History
The Analogy of Faith: Bible Doctrine
Some helpful summaries of Biblical Theology, Christian Teaching and Doctrine:
ASSIGNMENT after Week 3: Do some word studies in a concordance, if you have one, and cross reference studies on the passage and verses you worked on last week. Hopefully you have a good study Bible. Remember to use the circles of contexts as you do them.
Part 2 : The Diversity of the Literature in the Bible
Books on the Literary Genre of Scripture
- · October 9th How to Read a Letter: The Epistles and The Book of Acts
More on New Testament Background
- · October 12th How to Listen to a Story : The Narrative Books
More on Narrative Forms and Old Testament Background
- October 19th Witnessing Jesus and His Teaching : The Four Gospels
Some Helpful Resources on the Gospels
- October 26th Parables: Catching the Point of Jesus' teaching
Some Suggestions on Jesus Teaching and Parables
- November 2nd No Life Together - Tour of Black Box
- November 9nd Hebrew Poetry : Part 1 - The Psalms
More on Hebrew Poetry and the Psalms
- November 16th Part 2 - Wisdom Books
Commentary on The Wisdom books
- November 23th No Life Together - Joint Worship Service
- November 30rd No Life Together - Holiday weekend
- December 7th No Life Together - First Sunday in Black Box theatre
- December 14th No Life Together - Lynnwood Services cancelled due to snow and ice.
- December 21th No Life Together - Lynnwood Services cancelled due to snow and ice.
- December 28th No Life Together - Holidays
- January 4th No Life Together - Holidays
- January 11th Principles for Living : Law in Scripture (Note: I switched from Overhead to Powerpoint Presentations with the move to the new "state of the art" classrooms in Mukilteo Hall)
More reading on the Law and Old Testament Ethics
- January 18th Forth-telling the Character of God : The Writing Prophets and Biblical Symbolism: Viewing God's Pictures
More reading on the Prophets
- Biblical Symbolism: Viewing God's Pictures: Types and Symbols
More Reference on Biblical Symbolism
- January 25th - Pre-empted No Class!! - would have been Tying the Good Book Class Together: How to Build Basic Bible Study Library and Use Bible Software Resources for Bible Study - Computer Aids - Feedback Questionaire
Bible Study Software Programs
- Bible Explorer 4 is a great bargain with a good library of 15 Bible Translations and 125 hand-picked reference works, currently on sale. A free download program with lots of free books is also available.
WORDSearch 8 is a more sophisticated Bible Study program by WORDSearch and is available with a variety of libraries. Add on books can be purchased.
- LOGOS Bible Software is a good but more expensive program, also with a large library.
- BibleWorks Software is an expensive program especially useful for scholarly exegesis and study in the original languages.