Getting into the bible

The Bible is a book that on one hand we might be quite familiar with but on the other hand it is probably a real mystery to us. If we have been around the church any amount of time we probably feel that we should be reading and engaging in our Bible more but for many of us we don't even know what this might look like. 

Join us as we take a journey to begin unpacking this book looking at 'what is the Bible?', 'why bother with it?', and 'how do we deal with the skeletons in God's closet?'

Listen to some of our sermons on the Bible
Practice getting into the Bible
  • Helpful ways to unpack the Bible

 

We like to think that because God wants to speak to us we should simply be able to pick it up and away we go…but the reality is that is not always the way it works, often we have to dig a bit deeper. 

 

 As you read through different passage of the Bible here are some helpful questions and things to be aware of that might shape your thinking. 

 

  • What kind of literature are you reading– 

    • if Jesus is teaching a parable is he using hyperbole or exaggeration to make a point that someone wouldn’t be using if they were writing a historical narrative where they are simple telling events. 

    • Does a poem use words and images to captures our minds in a new way that the genealogies in the Bible don’t and aren’t meant to – they are all equally valid and God breathed just with a different way of drawing you to Christ. 

 

  • Consider the context of the passage 

    • The passage we will look at tonight is a narrative on the life of Joshua and the Israelites – it is not meant to be seen as a how to guide for the rest of humanity – 

      • So when Joshua is commanded to go and walk around the walls and sound the trumpets – this is not God’s instruction for humanity for ever on how to get God involved in a battle

 

  • Read the text for plain and obvious meaning

    • We are so often looking for the deep and hidden meanings we may miss what is in front of our nose…

      • Matt 6 ‘for if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. 

        • This isn’t about – hey look at the Greek for other people – it really means people who we like, who have grovelled for forgiveness with us or who have given us money for forgiveness…no it means forgive, it is tough, but forgive

 

  • What was the writer originally trying to say

    • What was the point of this being written down, when writing was hard and expensive – what compelled them to write this thing down

    • Why was the Holy Spirit prompting this person to write this?

 

  • Things that appear inconsistent or hard to grasp

    • What about the text is consistent with what you know about God and what appears inconsistent?

      • Write them down and ask questions of them, why do you think this is like it is?

      • What other things in the Bible speak about similar issues and how do they compare?

 

  • What are the implications of this text?

    • What is the meaning of the text

    • What are the themes in the text

    • How does this point me closer to Jesus

    • What changes in my life because of this?

 

  • What do you think God is saying to you?

    • Is this consistent with what God says, and what you know to be true about Him?

Practice 1 - a way into the Bible

Read through this famous Psalm:

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

 

Questions:

 

  • What does a shepherd look like? What does he do? Why might that be something to celebrate?

 

  • What type of literature is this and subsequently what might be a good way to read this passage?

 

  • This is from the Old Testament are there any passages in the New Testament that talk about similar images? How might they relate?

 

  • Does anything about this passage not make sense? For instance do you always feel led by God? If not why not? 

 

 

 

 

Do this with your own passage and try to come up with good questions of the text. Ask others about it and also do some research on it. Try as well to look through the rest of the Bible where it talks about similar themes and ideas.

renewal 
church 
Nairobi
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