The Bible Literacy Project
Five Years - Fellowship Hall
Dr. Arthur Eggert
As we approach the 500th year anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, we need to turn our attention back to the precious gift that Luther gave us, namely, the Bible in the language which the people speak. While Luther translated the Bible from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek into German, his work served as the inspiration and basis for the translation of the original text into many languages, including English. Today there are many English translations of the Bible from which people can learn God's beautiful story of salvation. Alas, even in the churches that claim to be the most Bible-oriented, too few people are studying the Bible in a useful fashion, if at all. Today Bible literacy among even church-going people is very low compared to that of people 50 or 100 years ago. What people remember from Sunday school, sermons and Bible classes is often only some catchy part of a story, rather than its meaning in the context of God’s overall revelation.
This fall Peace will begin what we expect will be a 5-year program working through the Bible and the history of the Christian church until the time of the Reformation. All the historical books of the Bible will be covered, as well as excerpts from the prophets and the wisdom literature. In general, several chapters will be covered in each session. Rather than looking at the Biblical accounts as moral lessons, in the way they are often condensed for teaching children, the context of the stories both in terms of the people who lived them and of God's plan of salvation will be emphasized. The goal will be to understand the whole mosaic of the history of God's people so that the doctrines of the Bible will sparkle like diamonds in an elegant setting.
The classes will be an hour long and begin at 7:00 pm on Thursday evenings. Approximately 12 sessions will be held during the fall (September through November) and 18 sessions during the winter and spring (January through early May). The sessions will be grouped into blocks of 4 or 5 lessons so that people who cannot attend all the sessions can choose from those accounts which they find most interesting. Attendees will be asked to read the several chapters to be covered in each session before class. Portions of the material will be reread and discussed as part of the session. PowerPoint will be used to present the key concepts of the material, as well as relevant maps and pictures. Handouts will be distributed on which to take notes. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions about the Biblical accounts.