Understanding the Bible
Wednesday evenings, 7-9 PM, Sept. 18 –Oct. 16, 2013
Led by Dr. Kenneth Christiansen
The discussions of this group will be based on the book Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals, by John Buehrens. John Buehrens is a former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1993-2001). The book is readily available from the UUA Bookstore or Amazon.com. Anyone is welcome to attend. Please sign up with the church administrator or on a sign-up sheet in the back of the sanctuary so we will know how many copies of handouts to prepare. The five sessions this fall will cover the topics and pages in the book listed below. In addition, the introductory chapters, pp. 3-38, on Reasons, Traditions, Versions and Interpretations, will provide a helpful orientation to the approach of the book and our discussions. In four sessions last spring we covered additional themes in the Hebrew Bible.
Standing assignment for EVERY SESSION (IN ADDITION TO SUGGESTED READINGS): Notice references to the Bible in what you read, hear, or see (TV, movies, newspapers, novels) during the week before each session. Share your observations with the group.
September 18: FROM THE HEBREW BIBLE: EXALTATIONS AND FRUSTRATIONS—PSALMS, THE WISDOM LITERATURE, AND JOB.
Suggested Homework for Session One: Read the chapters on “Exaltations” and “Frustrations” in Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals, by John H. Buehrens, pp 84-107. Optional: Choose one psalm that you find particularly meaningful. Be ready to share that psalm with the group (part or all of it) and tell why you selected it.
September 25: FROM THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE: PROCLAMATIONS AND PASSIONS (PART ONE)—THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS.
Suggested Homework for Session Two: Read “Proclamations” and “Passions” in Understanding the Bible, pp 141-159.
October 2: PASSIONS (PART TWO) AND RESURRECTIONS—THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS.
Suggested Homework for Session Three: Review pp. 156–59 about “Passions” and read “Resurrections” pp. 160-168 in Understanding the Bible.
October 9: INCARNATIONS AND SALVATIONS—THE GOSPEL OF JOHN AND THE LETTERS OF PAUL.
Suggested Homework for Session Four: Read pp. 169-186, “Incarnations” and “Salvations,” in Understanding the Bible. If you have time, read the entire letter to the Galatians (it is short).
October 16: REVELATIONS—THE JOURNEY CONTINUES . . .
Suggested Homework for Session Five: Read pp. 187-196, “Revelations,” in Understanding the Bible.