Today is the day I have been looking forward to for months. It is the day the “In God’s Holy Word” study begins. I want to remind my readers the purpose of this study: the driving issue behind this is the rising biblical illiteracy within churches. It is not just that we are not reading the Bible, we are also do not know the biblical stories or theology found therein.
God’s Holy Word is filled with various genres of literature: history, laws, poems, songs, proverbs, epistles, and prophecies. It was written down over a period of thousands of years, by dozens of men living throughout the Middle East. All in all, the whole Bible is “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16) and Holy Spirit inspired.
Why is biblical illiteracy even a thing? It sounds preposterous, to be honest. Church goers say they believe in God, they believe in the Bible. But how much of the Bible do they actually know? How many stories have they actually heard or read? One last question: how many Christians know how to properly interpret the biblical texts and how to apply them?
This two-part question will be our focus for the following nine weeks. The answer for both (interpret and apply) is context. When we read the Bible we need to always keep it in context: historically, culturally, literarily, theologically, and personally. In two weeks we will take a general look at this areas of context, after which we will be using them as our springboard for In God’s Holy Word study.
During these two moths we will be going through the study Read the Bible for Life, written by Dr. George H. Guthrie, published by LifeWay. (The leader’s kit includes: three DVD’s, CD-ROM, workbook, and a trade book. You can purchase it through ChristianBook.com or LifeWay.com. Or you can buy just the workbook here and here. The clips are also available for individual download from LifeWay.com here.)
What we will primarily be using are the workbook and DVD’s. Oh, and the Bible: any translation will work—we will be quoting from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCBS).
Guthrie’s study touches on the importance of reading the Bible, keeping the texts in context, and he also talks about each section of the Bible.
I will not be posting anything directly from the workbook or any other materials, apart from God’s Holy Word. The general concepts and insights gained from the study will be found in the posts. Pull out your Bibles, workbooks, a pen and follow us as we plunge further “In God’s Holy Word”.