To the members and friends of Our Savior’s,
Last Sunday, Pastor Art and I began a class on “How Lutherans Interpret the Bible.” It’s a DVD based series taught by Dr. Mark Allan Powell, a professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. In our first session Dr. Powell shared what we have in common with others when it comes to interpreting the Bible, but he also spoke about some of the unique features we Lutherans bring to Bible interpretation.
Dr. Powell mentioned that he really appreciates how Lutherans view the Scriptures, but in doing so he also identified one sad reality in that we Lutherans don’t view the Scriptures often enough. The way I see it is that we Lutherans see the Bible as a sacred book, but it’s so sacred that we rarely pick it up. And that’s a shame.
At you’re reading this article I want to encourage you right now to pick up your Bible and hold it in your hand. In doing so I want you to realize that you’re holding the most remarkable book in the history of humankind. It has greatly impacted every area of life – from speech to the arts, from education to the realm of music, from social movements to morality and ethics there is simply no area where the Bible has not left its mark.
Continue holding the Bible as I point out some of its most amazing features. It was written over a period of some 1500 years. It was written on three continents – Africa, Asia, and Europe. More than 40 different authors wrote material that has been included in the Scriptures. The authors are doctors, kings, fisherman, farmers, shepherds, politicians, religious leaders, and military personnel. The Bible was written in three languages – Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It was written in times of war as well as peace. It was written in the midst of persecution, struggle, famine, joy, and prosperity. It covers the whole realm of human experience. It’s a book of history, politics, poetry, theology, practical advice, and divine directives. It is truly amazing.
Now as you’re holding the Bible, let me ask you if you’ve said, “Some day I'm going to sit down and read the Bible. I’d like to know what it says and how to interpret it.” If you’ve ever said that, then let me ask, what’s stopping you? Why not begin now? And why not use the resource of this DVD series?
A personal goal of mine for 2018 was to grow personally – spiritually, physically, mentally. If you have a goal of growing spiritually then part of your journey must include Scripture reading. Reading Scripture without understanding it is like finding a gold nugget under a rock but failing to pick it up. So let me encourage you to attend this class. It’s Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., in the Conference Room. Our next session is scheduled for Sunday, April 22.
See you in worship,