In depth Bible Study Notes

As requested by participants. We are just beginning our journey of understanding the context of scripture deepening our ability to understand it when we read it. Join us at 10am every Sunday in the Social Hall!

In depth about the Bible

Theme: God interweaves himself in the story of humanity. The Bible chronicles the story of two particular people’s experience with that interweaving, revealing truth to us about how God continues to interweave with our lives.

Each week, the central question to ask is this: how do these books reveal God’s interweaving with the people? Use that to get into the perspective of the book, the cultural/political/societal/religious contexts, etc. Focus will be on how the people in the story and the hearers of the story in the exilic/post-exilic world would have received the story and understood it.

* Christmas story revealing that interweaving (Luke, then Matthew, then John’s Logos)
* Chronicles
* Story: great summation of God’s interweaving into the lives of the united and divided kingdom
* Reveals the history that led to exile and the desires for a perfect society in the post-exilic world that conforms to God’s standards
* This serves as an introduction to the overall story of the OT and the time that gave rise to scripture
* Further weeks will examine themes of the story the Chronicler reveals:
* Societal design and identity as the people of God
* Societal realities initially
* Societal realities under kings and temple, demonstrating how power corrupts
* Call to reform under prophets
* Loss of society
* Rebuilding through theological exploration in exile
* Rebuilding in the post-exilic world
* So the idea is to give a big picture through Chronicles, examine those themes to see how God is constantly interweaving (through giving standards, through leading the people to their land, through their leadership, through prophetic calls, through hope injected amidst despair, through setting society back up)
* Torah: Design of society
* Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy
* Story: Discussion of the standards God set to which the Chronicler calls the people
* Torah: Identity as the people of God
* Exodus, Numbers, Job
* Story: Discussion of how God interweaves through the salvation experience of the Exodus, the wilderness journey, and the experience of God’s sovereignty in Job
* Realizing society and God’s promises
* Joshua, Judges, Ruth
* Story: Setting up the initial society to which God had called the people
* Seizing society and making it in human image/attempt at uninterweaving or manipulating the interweaving nature of God
* Samuel/Kings and Proverbs
* Story: Focus on rule by Kings and the establishment of the temple as the cultic center which allowed for political co-opting of religion
* Failure of society, without societal recognition, which gives rise to the prophets
* Amos, Hosea, Micah, 1st Isaiah, Zephaniah, Joel
* Story: God raises up prophets to call the people back by creating awareness of failure to adhere to standards
* Initial loss of society, recognition of trouble, and attempts at correction
* Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Malachi
* Story: Israel falls, Judah recognizes trouble and attempts reform, but fails and exile occurs
* Hope in exile
* 2nd Isaiah, Zechariah, Daniel, Esther, Jonah, Lamentations
* Story: God’s surprising turn to the people, injecting hope, keeping the covenant; also, the people’s wrestling with how to conceive of God
* Rebuilding society afresh and anew
* Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai
* Story: with new theology and new understandings attached, and without political autonomy, struggling to figure out how to reset their society to honor God, prevent future trouble, and gain political autonomy
* Review of OT story through worship and wisdom
* Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs
* Story: looking at how they, especially the Psalms, reveal the heart of the people, their orientation, and their story (looking at Psalms written before, during, and after the exile)
* Intertestament history review
* New Testament introduction as built off the Old Testament
* Hebrews
* Story: Jesus is the greatest example of all the things God taught and demonstrated through OT saints
* New Testament as built off the Old Testament
* Matthew
* Story: Jesus as the new Moses
* New Testament as built off the Old Testament
* Mark
* Story: Jesus as an enigma/wise person/Qoheleth
* New Testament as built off the Old Testament
* Luke
* Story: Jesus as a prophet
* New Testament as built off the Old Testament
* Acts
* Story: Church as new people of God
* New Testament as built off the Old Testament & for the Gentiles
* Pauline epistles
* Story: Paul shows the desire to demonstrate Jesus as related to the Old Testament story while also speaking to Gentiles in a way they could understand
* New Testament as a merger of OT and Greek world
* John, Johnine epistles
* Story: Presenting Christ as coming from the Gentile and OT worlds
* New Testament other perspectives
* James, Petrine epistles, Jude
* Story: Other ways people were viewing Christ; a good chance to talk about the multiplicity of perspectives offered in the NT as a way of review
* New Testament as God’s ultimate story for humanity and creation
* Revelation
* Story: Revelation reveals God’s heart, God’s desires, and God’s design; use as ultimate summation of entire project

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