How to read the Bible

Renew's How to read the Bible course run in mid-2019 is an opportunity to learn how to dig deeper into scripture so that you can apply it more effectively and powerfully both to your own life, and in others'.

We look at how to understand the various styles of literature in the Bible, how we got the Bible (what it is and is not), and how to apply it to yourself and share it with others.

Lesson 1 - Introduction & Overview

How To Read The Bible - Lesson 1What is the Bible, and how did we get it? What is it's story, and how is it told? How can we read and understand this complex, and yet compelling book?

Incorporating powerful videos from The Bible Project, this introduction will help you see the Bible in a new light.

Watch on youtube, or check out the slides here.

Lesson 2 - Historical narrative

HTRTB - Historical NarrativeNarrative is 43% of the Bible, and most of that is historical narrative. How do we read that? Does the ancient form of history that we find in the Bible make sense to our modern minds? What techniques or tricks do the authors use? How reliable is it?

One again taking advantage of The Bible Project's videos, you'll get so much more out of the Bible after this lesson.

Watch on youtube, or check out the slides here.

Lesson 3 - Reading Poetry

How to read the Bible - Lesson 3 - Reading PoetryPoetry is 33% of the Bible, and it is perhaps the most mysterious and difficult parts of the Bible that are written this way. How can we understand the images and metaphors that were current millennia ago?

With the help of The Bible Project's videos, you'll learn how Hebrew poetry works, how to interpret it, how to not misinterpret it, and how to enjoy it.

Watch on youtube, or check out the slides here.

Lesson 4 - The Prophets

How to read the Bible 4 - Reading Prophetic LiteratureThe prophets, running from Isaiah to Malachai, are a key, but difficult part of the Bible. Their exuberant poetry and salty prose needs lots of context and cultural understanding. But when we interpret them properly, they have so much that is relevant to our world today.

Using The Bible Project's videos, including a couple of their book summaries, we delve into the mysterious world of the Hebrew prophets.

Watch on youtube, or check out the slides here.

Lesson 5 - The Letters

HTRTB Lesson 5 - Slide1The letters of the New Testament, often called the epistles, run from Romans to Jude. They are incredibly important to the church and the individual Christian's life, and yet they were written to specific cities, individuals or groups living around the Mediterranean two thousand years ago. How are we meant to apply them to today's issues?

Reapplying the principles we've learnt so far, we work through Colossians 3:22-4:1 as a case study.

Watch on youtube, or check out the slides here and the worksheet here.

Lesson 6 - Preparing Sermons

Preaching Title SlideProperly interpreting the Bible is an important skill for us to correctly apply God's Word to our lives. But it is also a key component of sharing the gospel with others. If we can't accurately understand God's Word, we won't be able to properly share it. But sharing God's Word with others requires more than just understanding it. This lesson walks through an approach to preparing a sermon, one of the most powerful ways of sharing God's Word with others.

Sure, not all of us get to preach sermons much, but these skills are useful in one-on-one contexts, too, and at Renew, we genuinely want to share the pulpit.

Watch on youtube, and check out the slides here, and sermon preparation templates 1, 2, and 3.

Lesson 7 - Puzzling Passages

Since this was a workshop session, no video is available.

Lesson 8 - Transmission & Translation

The Bible comes to us down through thousands of years. How much has it been changed through those years? How reliable is the text that we have today? What methods were used to transmit the text of the Bible to us? What methods are used to recover the original text, and how well do they work?

These are important questions because the Bible is a foundational book for us. If we are to have confidence in God's word, it is enormously helpful to understand how it got to us, and how reliable it is or is not. This lesson answers those questions.

Watch on youtube.

Lesson 9 - Story of the Church

HTRTB 9 - Slide12Down through the ages, the church has wrestled with the Bible's message, trying to understand it, to determine what it really means. Much of this work has been done in response to people who have stretched the meaning too far and gone beyond what the Bible could possibly mean. Eventually, a range of meaning was determined, and the key points of Biblical truth were mapped out. But then the question of how we governed the church and practiced our faith became a matter of dispute.

And so, today, we find ourselves with many churches, denominations, and yet, still, only one. This lesson traces this story.

Watch on youtube, and check out the slides here.

Lesson 10 - Offensive Passages

This this was a workshop session, no video is available.