- Mondays at 10:30 am, led by Wayne Becker.
Bible Study Group on Monday Morning
One of St. Matthew’s Bible studies meets at 10:30 AM on Monday’s in the Lounge. This study focuses on group reading and discussion of Scripture, branching off in different directions. We typically read a particular book of Scripture over a good number of sessions, sometimes months. Right now, we are completing the Gospel of John. We often go through the previous Sunday’s appointed readings (found on the back of bulletins,) discussing their connections. Many of the participants use the same version of the Bible (supplied) that allows easy following and is equipped with a good set of cross-references, textual commentary in its footnotes and indexes, convenient tools for proposing meanings to the text and extending our inquiry.
Our usual process is to read a portion of text and talk about its connections with other Scripture and its implications for our understanding, Church doctrine and action, open to everyone’s contributions, proposals, opinions and questions. (We usually get off into questions of: “what-if …,” “what-about …,” and “what-does-this-mean-for-my situation.”) This is an opportunity to visit the components of our faith with other people, part of the Body of Christ. It is an opportunity to develop insight and interpretive ability, in a group, seeking greater understanding together. We say: “The Holy Spirit is the Teacher,” and we pray for that.
Come and join us; talk as much as you want, or just listen; all are welcome!
Which version of the Bible?
There are many different versions of scripture, and each has pros and cons. Also, some versions are more fitting for a particular scenario. For example, The King James version sounds poetic to modern ears and might be used well at weddings or in some literary efforts. Whereas, The Message translates in a playful way and can help get insight for difficult verses. However, in general, most ELCA congregations suggest using The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), which stays true to the historical translation, but also uses freedom to translate for modern meaning. The NRSV is an “authorized revision of the Revised Standard Version, published in 1952, which was a revision of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which, in turn, embodied earlier revisions of the King James Version, published in 1611.” (from the preface of the NRSV by its editor, Dr. Bruce Metzger). The NRSV stands out among the many translations available today as the Bible translation that is the most widely “authorized” by the churches. It received the endorsement of thirty-three Protestant churches, it received the imprimatur of the American and Canadian Conferences of (Roman) Catholic bishops, and it received the blessing of a leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.