Bible Study Past Discussions

2008      2009     2010     2011     2012      2013

For 2009-2010, we embarked on a kind of “grand tour” of the Bible, seeking to understand three of the greatest books in the Scriptures. The first is Genesis, the beginning of life and of God’s relationship with people. These are ancient stories but compelling despite their age. In the winter, we turned to Romans, the most complete statement of Christianity in the Bible. Finally, we considered the last book in the Bible, Revelation, which talks of the end of time and space and a “new heaven and a new earth.”

By journeying through these books, one will acquire three pillars, as it were, of understanding about the sweep and message of the Bible. Thanks to the efforts of a few people in the congregation, we are now able to put on the Internet recordings of these sessions. The first few are not of the quality we would have wanted, but with the help of others, the quality of the recordings improved quickly. There is, of course, an energy and special dynamic that happens in the live setting of these Bible Studies. Nevertheless, I hope you will capture the spirit of these sessions by making use of these recordings.

For 2011 we covered Luke and John.
For 2012 we covered the Hereafter, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, 2nd letter of Peter; The Book of Jude, Book of Titus, and the book: Generous Justice by Keller.
For 2013 we covered The Book of James, People with no Religious Affiliation, Psalms, Paul’s letter to the Galatians and Macabees.

 

God bless you in this study of the Word of God.

(NOTE: These older audio files were migrated to OneDrive, where you can listen to them or download them to your computer or device.)


2008

8/10/2008
August 10, 2008


2009

10/04/2009 (54 minutes long)
In this session, we talked about the background of Genesis, how it came about and particularly the nature of these early stories found in Genesis 1-11. Even to the casual reader, it is clear that there are two accounts of creation, each similar to the other in some respects (God is the creator and humans the creatures) but this is a less ancient account.
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10/18/2009 (42 minutes long)
Genesis 6-11. In this session we took a fresh look at Noah’s flood and the tower of Babel.
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10/25/2009 (1 hour 10 minutes long)
Genesis 12-19. Abraham and Sarah, a bad decision about a handmaid and lots of Lot. And of course, the Abrahamic Covenant.
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11/01/2009 (1 hour 8 minutes long)
Genesis 20-27 Sarah dies, Isaac and the sneaky Rebecca and Jacob gets the nod from God, with a little help from mom.
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11/22/2009 (1 hour 10 minutes long)
Genesis 28-34 Wily old Jacob, the deceiver is deceived, and Laban seems often to have the upper hand before disappearing from the text. But in the midst of this comedy are two theophanies that change Jacob forever and tell us something about how God works people’s lives.
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11/29/2009 (1 hour 16 minutes long)
Genesis 35–50 This is the long tale, a parable really, of Joseph, who experiences more ups and down than an elevator operator. Still our focus will not be on his adventures, as gripping as they may be, but rather on trying to make sense of what these ancient stories have to do with 21st century Christians and our own ups and downs.


2010

2/2/2010 (1 hour 6 minutes long)
Romans 1-2. Paul opens his book with greetings (for he has never visited the Roman church) and then launches into describing the hopeless situation of humanity in Chapters 1 and 2, a situation that one can never work out of.
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2/7/2010 (1 hour 11 minutes long)
Romans 3-4
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2/14/2010 (1 hour 6 minutes long)
Romans 5-6. Romans 5 talks about the effects of justification and Christ as the second Adam. Chapter 6 is about our dying to sin.
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3/7/2010 (1 hour 5 minutes long)
Romans 7-8. This is the heart of Paul’s letter, an amazing theological description of humanity’s dilemma and God’s solution.
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3/14/2010 (58 minutes long)
Romans 9-10-11.
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3/28/2010 (59 minutes long)
Romans 12 and 13. Practical consequences of the theological convictions of the preceding chapters, but oh, those first few – troublesome – verses of Chapter 13.
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4/11/2010 (1 hour 2 minutes long)
Romans 14 – 16.
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4/18/2010 (1 hour 15 minutes long)
Revelation 1 – 3. After brief greetings, the author begins with the vision of the heavenly Christ. This is followed by letters to the seven churches of Asia, each with their own successes and failings. The entire book is for their benefit.
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4/25/2010 (41 minutes long)
Revelation 4 – 5. Chapter 4 is a heavenly scene in praise to the Creator, the Father, God. Chapter 5 is a further heavenly scene, but the object of the praise is now the Son, the Redeemer and the Lamb. The notion of the rolled up scroll is introduced.
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5/9/2010 (23 minutes long)
Revelation 6 – 8. Chapter 6 begins with the opening of the seals, the first four of which are the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Chapter 7 is two visions, one of the church before the beginning of the great ordeal, and the other the triumphant church having come through it. Chapter 8 begins the blowing of the trumpets.
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5/23/2010 (1 hour long)
Revelation 9 – 11. Chapter 9 begins with the fifth trumpet and leads to the “little scroll” and the seven thunders.in Chapter 10. Chapter 11 concerns the two witnesses (Elijah and Moses? Elijah and Enoch? Or none of the above?).
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5/30/2010 (54 minutes long)
Revelation 12 – 14. Chapter 12 has the strangest Christmas story you’ll ever read and also a dragon. The beast arrives in Chapter 13 and the mysterious number 666 is explained. Chapter 14 has the Lamb on Mt. Zion and at least one instance of the second coming of Christ (or is it?) and reaping for wrath of the wicked.
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6/6/2010 (24 minutes long)
Revelation 15 – 18. Chapter 15 has the pouring out of bowls as does 16. Seventeen reveals the full horror of the great whore (Babylon), the punishment of the beast and the fall of Babylon.
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6/13/2010 (1 hour 6 minutes long)
Revelation 19 – 22. Here is the glorious end to the book and the Bible in which evil is vanquished, the church is vindicated and the new heaven and the new earth are revealed.
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10/3/2010 (1 hour 2 minutes long)
Exodus Introduction and Chapters 1-5. In this session we covered the birth of Moses, his encounter with the burning bush a.k.a. God, the call of Moses (and Moses’ argument with God about this call) and the further oppression of the Israelites in slavery.
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10/10/2010 (58 minutes long)
Exodus 6 – 13. This week was mostly about plagues with emphasis on the final plague and the institution of Passover (as the angel of death passed over the homes of his people).
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10/17/2010 (59.5 minutes long)
Exodus 14 – 18. At last we come to the actual Exodus, the crossing of the Red Sea, the song of Moses and manna from heaven.
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10/26/2010 (1 hour 8 minutes long)
Exodus 19 – 20. As the newly freed slaves search for identity as a nation, the come to Mt. Sinai where God is going to instruct them. We also get to some of the ten commandments.
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10/31/2010 (54 minutes long)
Exodus: More on the ten commandments and some thoughts on chapters 21, 22 and 23.
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11/7/2010 (1 hour 7 minutes long)
Exodus 23 and 24 as the people of Israel agree to the covenant.
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11/14/2010 (1 hour 11 minutes long)
Exodus 30-40 with concentration on 31, 32 and 34. Concluding thoughts on Exodus.


2011

1/16/2011 (1 hour 3 minutes long)
January 16 — Luke 1 Chapters 1-3 Introduction to the Gospel and the Christmas story.
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2/6/2011 (1 hour 6 minutes long)
February 6 — Luke 2 Chapters 4-6 The temptation of Jesus and the beginning of his ministry; disciples are called; Luke’s Sermon on the Mount.
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2/13/2011 (1 hour 4 minutes long)
February 13 — Luke 3 Chapters 7-9 Centurion’s servant; Questions from John the Baptist; sends messengers and Jesus’ feet anointed; Jesus’ women followers; the mission of the 12.
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2/20/2011 (1 hour 8 minutes long)
February 20 — Luke 9 – 10
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2/27/2011 (48 minutes long)
February 27 — Luke 10 – 12
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3/6/2011 (1 hour 2 minutes long)
March 6 — Luke 12:08 thru 13:05
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3/13/2011 (53 minutes long)
March 13 — Luke 14 (cont.) – 15
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5/1/2011 (1 hr 2 minutes long)
May 1 — Luke 16:01 – 31
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5/8/2011 (47 minutes long)
May 8 — Luke 17
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5/15/2011 (1 hr 7 minutes long)
May 15 — Luke 18
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5/22/2011 (1 hr 3 minutes long)
May 22 — Luke 19 and Luke 20:1 – 19
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6/5/2011 (20 minutes long)
June 5 — Luke 21 – 22:38
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6/12/2011 (1 hr 3 minutes long)
June 12 — Luke 22:39 – 24 (end)
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9/25/2011
September 25 — Letters of John 1
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10/2/2011
October 2 — Letters of John 2 & 3
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10/16/2011
October 16 — Gospel of John, chapters 1-4.
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October 23 — John 5-7 (no recording)
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10/30/2011
October 30 — John 8-12
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11/06/2011
November 6 — John 13-16
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11/13/2011
November 13 — John 17-18
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11/20/2011
November 20 — John 19-21


2012

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1/8/2012
January 8 — The Hereafter
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1/15/2012
January 15 — The Hereafter, part 2
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1/22/2012
January 22 — The Hereafter, part 3
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2/5/2012
February 5 — The Hereafter, part 4
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2/12/2012
February 12 — The Hereafter, part 5
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2/19/2012
February 19 — The Hereafter, part 6
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4/22/2012
April 22 — I Corinthians Intro and Chapter 1
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4/29/2012
April 29 — I Corinthians Chapter 2, 3, 4 and 5
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May 6 — Movie, In Time. Begin reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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5/20/2012
May 20 — I Corinthians Chapters 6-10 and Bonhoeffer chapter 1
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5/27/2012
May 27 — I Corinthians Chapters 11-12
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6/3/2012
June 3 — I Corinthians Chapters 13, 14 – Bonhoeffer
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6/10/2012
June 10 — I Corinthians Chapters 15, 16 – Bonhoeffer
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7/29/2012
July 29 — 2nd letter of Peter; The Book of Jude
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8/12/2012
August 12 — 2nd letter of Peter; The Book of Jude (final one on this topic.)
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9/30/2012
September 30 — II Corinthians
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10/7/2012
October 7 — II Corinthians, Chapters 11 – 13
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10/21/2012
October 21 — II Corinthians, part 3
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10/28/2012
October 28 — Book of Titus
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11/4/2012
November 4 — Book of Titus, part 2
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11/11/2012
November 11 — Book: Generous Justice by Keller, Chapters 1 and 2
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11/18/2012
November 18 — Book: Generous Justice by Keller, Chapters 3 and 4
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11/25/2012
November 25 — Book: Generous Justice by Keller, Chapters 5 and 6
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For the initial winter period of our 2012 Bible Study gathering, starting on January 8, I (“we”–I did ask…) have decided to try something a little different. Now, don’t get the idea that we are wandering off into some ungrounded experience of speculation not founded in the Bible. It remains our (intelligently interpreted) source and guide. But the afterlife, like many things spiritual–life, death and the great hereafter–require imagination because we are talking about matters that are neither scientific nor entirely experiential. Of course, there is a lot of nonsense about life eternal and, thus, people thumping on about how sure they are they know exactly how God works in this life and the life to come. But if we’ve learned anything in our time together, it is that God will not be boxed and delivered.

So, guided by what the scriptures have to say on the matter of eternal life, I thought it might be thought-provoking to consider two books and a movie to raise some questions, poke some ideas out of you and engage in a slightly different format. My proposal is that you read two short books during December: one is Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo–the story of a little boy who nearly dies, but, in the meantime, goes to heaven, or so he says; the other, The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis, is an imaginative story about English people on a bus headed for somewhere else. These are two treatments of the same question that has occupied people since they began gazing at the stars and wondering if this small blip of existence is all there is or if there is something more. And then over the course of a few weeks in January we will watch together, Hereafter, the Clint Eastwood movie that has another take on the same musings.

Then we’ll all come to our senses and read Hosea.

I was going to order the books for you (I’ll take care of getting the movie and setting it up), but then I thought that there may be many preferences (hardback, paperback, audio book, e-book, Folio Society edition, First Edition, etc., etc.). So, I’ll leave it to you to order your own–both are available on Amazon and through other book sellers–read them (they’re short) and show up on January 8 for an initial discussion of the books and a look at what Scripture has to say on the matter of eternal life.

I think this could be an interesting time and possibly a really helpful time as we all of us move each day a little closer to the end of life on earth. What comes after that? In the moment after the last moment, will there be something or nothing? It’s worth thinking about and, if possible, finding a faith-full answer that can give us all confidence, comfort and hope. As Paul said, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

I think we can perhaps do better than that.

There is no single order number at Amazon. As mentioned above, there is hardback, paperback, audio, Kindle edition, whatever works best for people. If you simply go to Amazon (www.amazon.com) and type into the search, The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis, you will get all the editions. The same goes for Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. There is a deluxe edition, a regular edition, hardback, audio, etc. Both are there, both are inexpensive. If someone can’t manage this, please get in touch with me (dengland@optonline.net) and I will order paperback copies for as many as want them. See you on Sunday at 11:20 am in the Lounge. Dan


2013

01/13/2013
January 13 — The Book of James – Lesson 1
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01/20/2013
January 20 — The Book of James – Lesson 2
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02/17/2013
February 17 — The Book of James – Lesson 3
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04/14/2013
April 14 — The NONES – People whose Religious Affiliation = NONE
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04/21/2013
April 21 — The NONES – Part 2
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05/05/2013
May 5 — Psalms 1-5
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05/19/2013
May 19 — Psalms 3, 10, 13 and 19
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05/26/2013
May 26 — Psalms 14, 18, 22 and 23
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10/13/2013
October 13 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians
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10/20/2013
October 20 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians – part 2
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10/27/2013
October 27 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians – part 3
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11/03/2013
November 3 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians – part 4
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11/10/2013
November 10 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians – part 5
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11/24/2013
November 24 — Paul’s letter to the Galatians – part 6
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12/15/2013
December 15 — Macabees – part 1
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12/22/2013
December 22 — Macabees – part 2