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Lesson 4

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“How We Read the Bible”
Fall 2011
Session 4 – Oct. 12, 2011

Opening prayer
Quote of the week:
Some think that many different translations of the Scriptures make divisions in the faith and in the people of God.  This is not true.  The best possible thing for the people of God is for every church to have various translations of the bible. … Therefore it need not be evil that people who have a knowledge of language should express the text of the Bible in their native tongue.  They should work hard at it, translating out of one language into another.  Instead of taking offense at such labor, we should thank God for their willingness and for the inspiration of his Spirit!

Miles Coverdale, “A Prologue to the Bible” (Bishop of Exeter, England, 1488-1569)

Position 3
All of the Bible is both the inspired Word of God and at the same time a thoroughly human document.

Material from the guidelines

A primary interest in the development of these guidelines is to demonstrate their continuity with the Presbyterian and Reformed heritage of biblical interpretation.  The foundations of the church’s view and interpretation of Scripture were laid in the earliest period of the church’s history.  The books of the Old Testament were already recognized as authoritative writings in the time of Jesus.  The first generations of Christian received and read the OT in the light of their faith in Jesus as the Christ, and developed their faith in him in the light of the witness of the OT.  Gospels and epistles written in the Christian community were recognized and acknowledged as the writings that gave the true expression to the breadth and character of the catholic faith.  A complex of relations between Scripture and the church’s growing doctrinal and liturgical tradition was developed.

The Reformed churches received, shaped, and extended this heritage of the early church.  It has been transmitted to us through their work.  Their version of this heritage is articulated in the confessions of the Reformed churches.  The continuity of these confessions with the tradition of the church before the fifteenth century and their distinctiveness as a fresh expression of it makes them the classic statements of our tradition, the resources for learning and clarifying the central character of our approach to Scripture.  …There is remarkable consistency in the way the documents of the Reformed tradition treat scripture.  (PDF page 11)

Our focus Scriptures
Old Testament:
Genesis 1 & 2;
Exodus 20:1-17;
Leviticus 12 & 18;
Joshua 6:21, 8:26; 11:20;
Isaiah 40;
Ezekiel 1 & 37.

New Testament:
Matthew 5:17-48;
Luke 1:26-38;
John 6:1-14, 16-21;
Romans 1:26-32;
I Thessalonians 4:13-18;
Revelation 7 & 21:1-4.

Who might want to write a “testimony” of this class for the newsletter?

What might we follow this class with?

Closing Prayer

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