Too often, differences in interpreting the Bible drive people apart, and mar the spirit of community that should mark followers of Christ. This book helps us to understand why different people read the Bible differently, and offers effective, practical study methods in showing how we may weave our different interpretations into a wider, richer community of faith and practice. (by J. Gerald Janzen)
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Jay Southwick teaches adults in a variety of Bible-study settings, is a writer of curriculum and Bible study materials. She holds a bachelor's degree from Butler University, the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Graduate Theological Foundation. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is a movie buff and an avid reader of fiction.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
For over twenty-five years I have had the privilege of teaching adults of various ages in a variety of settings. In the midst of these rich experiences I came to the realization that there are specific problems in our approaches to studying and interpreting the Bible. Briefly stated these difficulties center around the issue of "How can we have--and what do we do with--so many interpretations of the same biblical text or story?"
Much grief comes from the frustration and anger that so often results when individuals disagree about the meaning and intention of a passage of Scripture. Relationships are strained. Fracturing occurs within families and churches. Most amazing is that, except for saying, "We are right and they are wrong," no help is given for understanding how it is that individuals can understand the same passage or story differently. Rather, these hurtful and dead-end "right versus wrong" statements result in separation, suspicion, and brokenness.
I firmly believe God grieves over these troubling and negative energy producing situations! It is our spirits, minds, words, and actions that God desires to work through to bring justice and peace to this world. Could it be that, because of our put-downs, quarreling, and divisions regarding the interpretation of the Scriptures, not enough of God is being seen and felt in the world?
It was this question that caused me to find ways to enable people to understand why we can interpret the Bible differently--and how we deal with these differences. Our world is crying out for compassion and stability, as well as for creativity that addresses the plethora of problems that confront us today. Our Scriptures can provide us with much insight and direction in addressing these needs. Much creativity will emerge if we work to understand and learn from the variety of influences and reasons behind our differing scripture interpretations. New understandings can lead to new doors opening and new paths taken as we work together to allow God to be seen in and through us in today's time of living.
Hopefully, this book will cause you to think in new ways. May you find delight as you behold the creativity that comes from our Scriptures as we study, share, and learn together.
Jay S. Southwick
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Book Description Honeycomb Resources, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0970460406