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Last Fall I started teaching an Adult Sunday School class at my church. It is pretty cool because I finally get to use my Master's degree for someone besides myself and people on the internet ;)

 

Anyhow, most of my "students" are older (over 70) and awesome. Sometimes I'm not sure who the teacher is and who the students are but I think that is what makes it great. Anyhow, they recommended/discussed a book called "the Sins of Scripture" by Spong.

 

I've ordered it.

 

It came up because we've been reading the bible from beginning to (eventually) end. We are in Judges, currently. One of the topics that keeps coming up is the genocides that supposedly God commands. We've also been talking about the idea that when things are going good we are doing what God wants us to do and when things are going bad we are sinning. We've found justification for slavery of conquered nations and a lot of other interesting stuff. Sometimes we are horrified.

 

In contrast we find God who makes sure the widow and fatherless and alien (bottom of the barrel, socially) have enough food to eat and shelter.

 

When I get the book and start reading it I'll post a thread in the book section.

 

Anyhow, thought I'd share!

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Last Fall I started teaching an Adult Sunday School class at my church. It is pretty cool because I finally get to use my Master's degree for someone besides myself and people on the internet ;)

 

Anyhow, most of my "students" are older (over 70) and awesome. Sometimes I'm not sure who the teacher is and who the students are but I think that is what makes it great. Anyhow, they recommended/discussed a book called "the Sins of Scripture" by Spong.

 

I've ordered it.

 

It came up because we've been reading the bible from beginning to (eventually) end. We are in Judges, currently. One of the topics that keeps coming up is the genocides that supposedly God commands. We've also been talking about the idea that when things are going good we are doing what God wants us to do and when things are going bad we are sinning. We've found justification for slavery of conquered nations and a lot of other interesting stuff. Sometimes we are horrified.

 

In contrast we find God who makes sure the widow and fatherless and alien (bottom of the barrel, socially) have enough food to eat and shelter.

 

When I get the book and start reading it I'll post a thread in the book section.

 

Anyhow, thought I'd share!

 

That sounds like a great idea! What do you have your Masters in? (Sorry, I'm sure you've said it already somewhere... :unsure: )

 

I've seen that book around, I'll have to look into it some more...let us know if you think it's any good!

 

That sounds wonderful, going through the Bible and discussing it. I'd love a group to do that with...

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That sounds like a great idea! What do you have your Masters in? (Sorry, I'm sure you've said it already somewhere... :unsure: )

 

I've seen that book around, I'll have to look into it some more...let us know if you think it's any good!

 

That sounds wonderful, going through the Bible and discussing it. I'd love a group to do that with...

 

 

I have a Master's in Theological Studies and one in Education. The one in education is only a year old. THe other is 12 years old!

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I have a Master's in Theological Studies and one in Education. The one in education is only a year old. THe other is 12 years old!

 

Wow, two Master's? That's great. Well, I bet it feels great to be able to use the 12-year-old one! Were you thinking of entering the ministry when you got it?

 

(Sorry to be so off-topic... :D )

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Wow, two Master's? That's great. Well, I bet it feels great to be able to use the 12-year-old one! Were you thinking of entering the ministry when you got it?

 

(Sorry to be so off-topic... :D )

 

 

 

I did it for personal reasons. I was tired of "the bible says this" "no the bible says this" so I figured going to seminary was the easiest way to figure out for myself what the bible said. I initially planned to teach undergrads but I have a difficult time with learning languages well enough to take qualifying exams. Eventually I decided to teach children (some days I wonder about that decision, but that is kind of how life is!)

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I did it for personal reasons. I was tired of "the bible says this" "no the bible says this" so I figured going to seminary was the easiest way to figure out for myself what the bible said. I initially planned to teach undergrads but I have a difficult time with learning languages well enough to take qualifying exams. Eventually I decided to teach children (some days I wonder about that decision, but that is kind of how life is!)

 

Wow. That's something I can respect a lot...and I think it shows a major dedication to your faith!

 

Back on-topic, how exactly are you all reading the Bible? As in, what perspective are you taking? What are you trying to get from it?

 

:)

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We actually started in Genesis and are now in Judges. We take turns reading. I started the class by explaining how the bible was written and giving some different perspectives -- literal, religious-history, literature, etc. I mostly just share what I learned, different perspectives I've picked up from various places. It is never "this is how to understand it" more of a "here is one way to look at it."

 

I volunteered to teach the class because a lot of progressives don't seem to know the basic stories. This seemed like a good way to get in there and find out exactly what the bible says!

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We actually started in Genesis and are now in Judges. We take turns reading. I started the class by explaining how the bible was written and giving some different perspectives -- literal, religious-history, literature, etc. I mostly just share what I learned, different perspectives I've picked up from various places. It is never "this is how to understand it" more of a "here is one way to look at it."

 

I volunteered to teach the class because a lot of progressives don't seem to know the basic stories. This seemed like a good way to get in there and find out exactly what the bible says!

 

That sounds like a good way to do it - nice and balanced. Are you running it as discussion-based?

 

That really seems like a great way to go over the Bible. I really need to read it in-depth...planning on doing that this summer. I think it would be so much more enlightening - and enjoyable - with a group, but I doubt I could find a group nearby that would look at it with the same perspective as me. Oh well! :lol:

 

You go to a UCC Church, right? Are groups like this common, or was this just an idea you had? :)

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That sounds like a good way to do it - nice and balanced. Are you running it as discussion-based?

 

That really seems like a great way to go over the Bible. I really need to read it in-depth...planning on doing that this summer. I think it would be so much more enlightening - and enjoyable - with a group, but I doubt I could find a group nearby that would look at it with the same perspective as me. Oh well! :lol:

 

You go to a UCC Church, right? Are groups like this common, or was this just an idea you had? :)

 

 

We do have discussions. One of my "students" is a retired minister who graduated from Union Theological Seminary. I find that reading it out loud (we all take turns) is very effective. I prep for it (usually on Saturday) and miss stuff that I find on Sunday during class. Yes, I go to a UCC. This was my idea. so I don't know how common it is.

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Great Idea-since I don't have a small group to do this with, do you think there is any type of commentary that would provide some way of going through the Bible and add some of the insight that a small group with a qualified leader has.

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We do have discussions. One of my "students" is a retired minister who graduated from Union Theological Seminary. I find that reading it out loud (we all take turns) is very effective. I prep for it (usually on Saturday) and miss stuff that I find on Sunday during class. Yes, I go to a UCC. This was my idea. so I don't know how common it is.

 

Wow...with you leading it, with your theological background, along with a retired minister, I'm sure the discussions are amazing!

 

That's what's put me off from the Bible Study my boyfriend attends - it's not a discussion, just someone leading it, from what he's told me. Plus, I get the feeling that they tend to take a more "traditional"/conservative view in general. My boyfriend is Methodist (though it's not a specifically Methodist Bible Study), and definitely not conservative, but he is much more "traditional" in his Christianity than I am.

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Great Idea-since I don't have a small group to do this with, do you think there is any type of commentary that would provide some way of going through the Bible and add some of the insight that a small group with a qualified leader has.

 

 

Your best bet is to find the book list from University seminaries like Union Theological and Claremont Theological that are attached to progressive denominations/churches. Many of them put up required reading lists on their websites. I also find some stuff on the web! For example, Rahab in Joshua is described as a prostitute but the word for prostitute there means someone who gives comfort to the enemy! I also found a poem at the end of Deuteronomy that talked about demons and I knew that demons didn't exist in the minds of people at that time. I did some searching found that word translated (incorrectly) as demons means "seed" which is a loan word from Assyria (I believe). The word is describing lower gods. I'll have to look at my notes later and get the link. It explains it better than I can.

 

http://crivoice.org/biblestudy/bbheb13.html There is some good stuff here.

Edited by October's Autumn
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Wow...with you leading it, with your theological background, along with a retired minister, I'm sure the discussions are amazing!

 

That's what's put me off from the Bible Study my boyfriend attends - it's not a discussion, just someone leading it, from what he's told me. Plus, I get the feeling that they tend to take a more "traditional"/conservative view in general. My boyfriend is Methodist (though it's not a specifically Methodist Bible Study), and definitely not conservative, but he is much more "traditional" in his Christianity than I am.

 

 

Yeah, I'd stay away from those. I find it is hard to unlearn stuff once you learn it (at least that is true for me). I also found before I had a good background I was more vulnerable to the whims of whoever leading it. If they take the stance that they are the absolute authority it can be frustrating.

 

I just went to a friend's wedding where the minister totally (and with complete confidence) screwed up the story of Ruth. The poem there he said was from Ruth to Boaz. Nope, Ruth to Naomi! He made several errors and was very sexist. ACK! I'm going to email him if I can. I can't remember the name of the church but I'm seeing my friend this week.

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Yeah, I'd stay away from those. I find it is hard to unlearn stuff once you learn it (at least that is true for me). I also found before I had a good background I was more vulnerable to the whims of whoever leading it. If they take the stance that they are the absolute authority it can be frustrating.

 

I just went to a friend's wedding where the minister totally (and with complete confidence) screwed up the story of Ruth. The poem there he said was from Ruth to Boaz. Nope, Ruth to Naomi! He made several errors and was very sexist. ACK! I'm going to email him if I can. I can't remember the name of the church but I'm seeing my friend this week.

 

Hi October:

 

That's funny about the wedding. There was a song that used to be sung at weddings called "Entreat me not to leave thee". I think it was a setting by H. Malotte who who did the famous setting of the Lord's Prayer. Even though the poem is a woman speaking to another woman( i.e. Ruth to Naomi) heterosexuals used to use that song at their weddings. Unfortunately much of the music used at weddings nowadays is questionable. You'd be amazed at some of the stuff I 've had to play at weddings recently.

 

Another question, which version of the Bible are you using, i.e. New King James, New Revised Standard etc. ?

 

MOW

Edited by MOW
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Hi October:

 

That's funny about the wedding. There was a song that used to be sung at weddings called "Entreat me not to leave thee". I think it was a setting by H. Malotte who who did the famous setting of the Lord's Prayer. Even though the poem is a woman speaking to another woman( i.e. Ruth to Naomi) heterosexuals used to use that song at their weddings. Unfortunately much of the music used at weddings nowadays is questionable. You'd be amazed at some of the stuff I 've had to play at weddings recently.

 

Another question, which version of the Bible are you using, i.e. New King James, New Revised Standard etc. ?

 

MOW

 

RSV and NRSV. Occasionally someone will pop in with a NAS or another version.

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Yeah, I'd stay away from those. I find it is hard to unlearn stuff once you learn it (at least that is true for me). I also found before I had a good background I was more vulnerable to the whims of whoever leading it. If they take the stance that they are the absolute authority it can be frustrating.

 

Yes, that's one of my fears as well...I'm not a very assertive person, so I'm afraid I'd believe whatever they said, even if it was totally inaccurate.

 

I just went to a friend's wedding where the minister totally (and with complete confidence) screwed up the story of Ruth. The poem there he said was from Ruth to Boaz. Nope, Ruth to Naomi! He made several errors and was very sexist. ACK! I'm going to email him if I can. I can't remember the name of the church but I'm seeing my friend this week.

 

How obnoxious!

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I just went to a friend's wedding where the minister totally (and with complete confidence) screwed up the story of Ruth. The poem there he said was from Ruth to Boaz. Nope, Ruth to Naomi! He made several errors and was very sexist. ACK! I'm going to email him if I can. I can't remember the name of the church but I'm seeing my friend this week.

 

Kudos for catching the errors btw! :)

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Your best bet is to find the book list from University seminaries like Union Theological and Claremont Theological that are attached to progressive denominations/churches. Many of them put up required reading lists on their websites. I also find some stuff on the web! For example, Rahab in Joshua is described as a prostitute but the word for prostitute there means someone who gives comfort to the enemy! I also found a poem at the end of Deuteronomy that talked about demons and I knew that demons didn't exist in the minds of people at that time. I did some searching found that word translated (incorrectly) as demons means "seed" which is a loan word from Assyria (I believe). The word is describing lower gods. I'll have to look at my notes later and get the link. It explains it better than I can.

 

http://crivoice.org/biblestudy/bbheb13.html There is some good stuff here.

Thanks a lot for the help on this. bob

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