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Theology Matters: How to read the Bible

The Bible is a complex book! For one thing, it's more of a library than a single book. It contains 66 books, of various styles, written by many different authors over thousands of years. No wonder we often struggle to know how to understand it! These seminars explore how we can begin to think about reading the Bible.

Session 1: Beginning the Interpretive Journey

Liam Thatcher 3rd November 2017

Why is the Bible such a difficult book to read? And how should we approach some of the challenges that it poses? This first session looks at the journey we go on when interpreting Scripture, and the tools that can help us navigate from the original context to applying it in our world.

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Session 2: Crossing the Bridge

Liam Thatcher

It’s one thing to know what Scripture meant to the original hearers, but how can we work out what it might mean to us? In this session we will consider how we can bridge the gaps of time, geography, language and culture, to discover the relevance of God’s word in our world.

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Session 3: Reading the Old Testament

Liam Thatcher

For many people, the Old Testament is particularly confusing, since the gap between the original events and our context is so vast. In this session we look at an extra step in the interpretive journey, and explore some principles for to interpret Old Testament Narratives. (Please note, due to a technical failure, part of this recording is missing, but hopefully the handouts will fill in some of the gaps).

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Session 4: From Principle to Application

Liam Thatcher

We’ve considered how to understand the meaning of a text to its original hearers, and how to determine the principles that help connect it to our world, but until we work out how to apply the text in our world, the journey is incomplete. This final session looks at how to move from principle to application.

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For many, the book of Revelation is one of the most puzzling sections of the Bible. Confusing symbols, mysterious imagery, and sometimes unpleasant descriptions make it daunting to read and difficult to understand. In this series of seminars we look at some of the key themes and tricky passages, learning how to interpret and learn from this important book.

The book of Hebrews is a brilliant letter, which shows how Jesus is the fulfilment of everything the Old Testament pointed to. It’s full of rich themes and amazing insights, but it is also notoriously complex! In these four seminars Liam gives an introduction to the book of Hebrews, helping us to understand many of the major themes and challenging sections.

The gospels are a rich collection of texts, documenting the life, work, death and resurrection of Jesus. But reading, understanding and applying them can pose a number of challenges. This series of seminars, run throughout 2015, looks in depth at the gospels and aims to give us tools to unpack and apply them.

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