Thursday, March 3, 2016

"The Love of Bible Study"

During the 00s, I worked on a book manuscript of my own (rather than a commissioned work or one resulting from a successful proposal), that was an experiment which, ultimately, found no interested publisher. The title was The Love of Bible Study, and the text can be found here. I wrote as an introduction:

"For many years I’ve written church curriculum aimed at helping people understand the Bible, apply it to personal life, and interpret the text concerning modern topics. For an even longer time, I’ve read the Bible in order to grow in my faith, to clarify God’s will and purposes. For me, reading the Bible is a great joy!

"A few years ago I purchased a new NRSV Bible to replace (but more usually to supplement) the worn old Bible I’ve used since I purchased it for a college course in 1977.  Approaching my 50th birthday, I decided to take notes as I compared the two Bibles. Beginning with that time of midlife spiritual renewal, my notes became a blog called “Changing Bibles,” and then I “farmed out” the posts at that site to this one, and also to a companion site to this one (called Bible Connections), and to yet another site that focuses upon Psalm 121. So these four sites of informal notes and reveries are interconnected as the results of a common midlife resolution to study the Bible anew. My resolution clearly got out of hand, but in a good way.

"At first I hoped that the contents of the present blog would become a published book. But the material did not fit comfortably into a genre: academic study, curriculum, or memoir. So I stopped sending queries to publishers and “cut to the chase” by making my studies available to readers in this online form.

"Thereby, I hope I can help you—you who found this site—discover favorite scriptural passages of your own, and give you a fresh appreciation of the Bible, lengthy and intimidating though it can be for many of us.    

"As we study the Bible, we seek not only to understand things about the Lord but also to seek the Lord himself.  It can be easy for us to forget that the living Christ is right now helping us as we read and study. Thus my blog title has a double sense: we grow in enjoyment of Bible study so that we look forward to it, but we also grow in love of God and one another. We connect Bible passages to Christ, and as we do so we see how the living Christ and the Holy Spirit is present to us today, helping us learn and grow and draw closer to the triune Lord who has already accomplished more than we could think or ask (Eph. 3:20-21).

"Please feel free to comment and raise topics and questions, so that we can have a conversation about faith and life. Also, please feel free simply to browse. I managed to refer to every biblical book (even tiny Obadiah and 3 John), and I quoted or cited a few passages in the Apocrypha, the Talmud, and the Dhammapada. If anything here is helpful enough for you to use, you may certainly do so but if you quote something, please indicate the source."

The site has had only a very modest viewership, a few thousand during the last few years, but hopefully some have found it helpful. It certainly was to me, as I delved into the scriptures with that out-of-hand interest of which I wrote above.

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