Things I’ve learned at Bible study
Last night at our church’s men’s Bible study we came across this verse: Greet one another with a kiss of love.” I Peter 5:14. After a short silence, followed by a little awkward joking we put our minds to it and were able to come up with an interpretation of the verse that didn’t require us to actually kiss each other. This experience affirmed one of the things I have learned at Bible study, namely:
We are all capable of explaining why we don’t have to take literally any verse that makes us uncomfortable.
Here are a few more things I’ve learned at Bible studies:
Most evangelicals place a higher degree of importance on the New Testament letters, particularly those of Paul, rather than story or poetry passages. This includes the life of Jesus.
We tend to interpret the latter through verses and books we see as theological teachings rather than those we see as stories or poetry.
Every once in a while we are all confronted with Biblical interpretations made by people who disagree with us that make sense. This is very troubling.
It is at those times a nagging little voice in our heads wonders if we are wrong. Fortunately it is usually easy to ignore that voice.
When someone says that “no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation” what they usually mean is that any interpretation that disagrees with them is wrong.
I wish I could say I am immune to that but I am not.
I have an annoying habit of meeting intelligent, godly men and women who clearly love the Lord but differ with me on some theological points.
For example, I’ve met some incredible Christians who are young earth creationists, old earth creationists, and even a few theistic evolutionists who love the Bible, are serious about reading it, and live godly lives. The same is true of issues like predestination, sign gifts, baptism, eschatology, etc.
One of the great joys of Bible study is when, after a spirited, even heated, debate that comes to no agreed conclusion you realize that you still love and respect each other.