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Rob’s Reflections

Most of you know by now we are having a Bible study on Saturdays, at noon, entitled “Introduction to the New Testament.” Since many won’t know what that means, I thought I would outline some of the things we’re doing in class. I am thankful for the people who are attending, and hopeful others will consider joining us.

 

Introduction to the New Testament is an area of study that recognizes we are dealing with ancient texts, written in a language other than English, at a time almost unrecognizable to modern Christians. Even if Jesus mainly spoke in Aramaic, the original books in our New Testament were written in Koine Greek, a subset of a broader language called Hellenistic Greek. Koine Greek is the underlying language of modern Greek spoken today but has changed dramatically over the intervening 2,000 years.

 

 So, in studying the New Testament we must traverse the following: Jesus speaks in Aramaic; an oral tradition transmits his speaking which begins very early after the resurrection;

the gospels and letters that represent his speaking are written in Greek; the church decides which books should be included in the church’s book (about CE 325); then 2,000 years elapse until you and I engage the New Testament because we are serious about our desire to know and understand the full meaning of Jesus’ “speaking.”

 

My professor of New Testament in seminary, Dr. M. Eugene Boring, puts it this way: “The New Testament is more (not less) than a history book in that it interprets these events as revelatory acts of God for the salvation of the world.  In their interpretations of history, New Testament authors use the ideas of their world (Jewish and Gentile, religious and secular). Each writing of the New Testament is embedded in its own history, the story of the early church. The New Testament as a whole has a history of collection, transmission, translation, and interpretation. The New Testament not only communicates a story; it has its own story.”

 

The reason for our little study on Saturdays is to learn about both of those stories, in the belief that, by doing so, we enhance our understanding of the church’s book–our book. For me this is an act of worship no different from participating in communion or singing the Gloria Patri.

 

I hope you will consider joining us. It isn’t too late! See you in church this Sunday.

– Dr. Rob

Scriptures

Liturgical color: Violet or Blue

 

March 1

    Genesis 2:15‑17; 3:1‑7

    Psalm 32

    Romans 5:12‑19

    Matthew 4:1‑11

 

March 8

    Genesis 12:1‑4a

    Psalm 121

    Romans 4:1‑5, 13‑17

    John 3:1‑17 or Matthew 17:1‑9

 

March 15

    Exodus 17:1‑7

    Psalm 95

    Romans 5:1‑11

    John 4:5‑42

 

March 22

    1 Samuel 16:1‑13

    Psalm 23

    Ephesians 5:8‑14

    John 9:1‑41

 

March 29

    Ezekiel 37:1‑14

    Psalm 130

    Romans 8:6‑11

    John 11:1‑45

 
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