Talking about the Bible without Condemnation (January 2014)

This three-week class in January of 2013 addresses several difficult passages in the Bible. We will meet on January 13, 20, and 27 at 9:30 a.m.

The two main issues that will occupy our attention are Paul’s attitude toward women and biblical pronouncements on physical relationships between people of the same sex. In both cases we will struggle with a two edged question about the Bible’s function in the church. What happens if we take these passages as normative, and what happens if we reject them?

171px-Family-bible
An American family Bible dating to 1859.

Throughout the history of Christianity, the Bible has been used to do both good and evil. Countess great works of art, from paintings to sculpture and architecture, have taken their inspiration from scripture. Movements for justice in social reform have found their grounding in the Hebrew prophets and the words of Jesus, yet this same Bible has often served to condemn others, to silence voices of dissent, and to subjugate the oppressed. This class will look at some of the passages used in this way and explore more creative and affirming options for reading scripture.

  1. Sunday, January 13, 2013
  2. Sunday, January 20, 2013: Part One; Part Two
  3. Sunday, January 27, 2013

During the week, feel free to check the blog for further discussion.

4 Replies to “Talking about the Bible without Condemnation (January 2014)”

  1. Sunday’s class (1/19/2013) will address two topics. First, we will look at evidence that Paul knew and respected women who held clear ministry roles that the later church would forbid them from holding. Then we will look at the most negative statement in the New Testament regarding women’s roles in the church. That statement appears in one of Paul’s letters. How can he have expressed support for women in ministry in several places and at the same time denied them his support in one chapter of 1st Corinthians? What should we do with that very negative passage?

    In dealing with 1st Corinthians 14 we will also look at the role that anti-feminist sentiments have played in Biblical Studies and in translation of the biblical texts.

  2. This Sunday’s class (Jan. 27) will address the nature of scripture, including how we got the scriptures we now have, and how they should be used.

    I have uploaded the presentation that I will be using to guide the discussion. You can view it by clicking on the link above for this Sunday’s date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.