Guide A Conservatives Primer On The Bible

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Samenvatting People love God and seek to do His will. But, for a myriad of reasons, they do not understand always just what His will is. If they did know, their approach to the worship of God might be a little less casual than as it is now. This book is a rational attempt to document what is referred to in the Bible as worshipping "in truth". The approach is first to convince the reader that the Bible is the true word of God; that it is infallible; and that it is the only source of God's message to man that we are ever to get.

With that accomplished, the scriptures are used to describe God's attributes, often by showing how God dealt with the various characters and peoples in events recounted in the Bible. Still using only scriptures to develop the narrative, it goes into God's selection of a particular people to prepare future Christians for the fulfillment of His plan for mankind.

The need for salvation is revealed, and Jesus is presented to deliver salvation, to the eternal exaltation of Jesus. The conversion process whereby one goes from lost sinner to saved saint is described. The importance of worshipping God and Christ through the vehicle of the church they established is proclaimed.

The various attributes of the church described in the Bible are explored in depth.

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Finally, the reader is led to the conclusion of which church he believes best satisfies the pattern set forth in the scriptures. Scriptures is the key word. Nothing is stated except in scripture form, and opinions are avoided to the maximum extent possible. The Bible speaks quite plainly on every issue that is important to man's salvation. This book attempts to let the scriptures speak for themselves. The biblical assertion is that our approach to God is indirect; we know God only through people.

Thus, we need to consider our relationships with others before we can be certain about our relationship with God. These are the moral imperatives that challenge anyone who reads the Bible. The Bible sets out countless directives and examples of behavior that can help us in our personal relationships. Its stories and writings offer us a moral framework. The most familiar example of how the Bible guides us in our behavior is what we call the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

As long as people lived together, they recognized these values. The revelation that the commandments bring is that our relationship with God is, in some sense, an outgrowth of healthy, just, loving human relationships; and if we have our relationship with God in order, everything else will fall into place. The Bible asserts that the quality of our interpersonal relationships determines the quality of our relationship with God.

In the New Testament one finds this same understanding: That is the core revelation to ancient Israel—the revelation that God brought Israel out of Egypt into the land of milk and honey. How do we shape our lives in this land? Have we behaved the way we should? Overall, they tell how Israel had potential but blew it. Yet the prophets are not without hope.

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They tell the people that if they obey Torah, then they can reverse their slide into self-destruction. There are two forms used for such revelation: We can learn from their spiritual struggles. There are no immediate principles of conduct laid out in the Bible and no set directives for every situation in which you find yourself. What we get from scripture are values. One primary value, found on the first page of the Bible, is the integrity of the human person.

A primer on the Old Testament |

Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. The notion of sin stems from this belief in the integrity of each human being. We learn that we have to look at the effect that our actions have on others and on the community as a whole. That is made clear in biblical narratives that often seem morally unsophisticated at first glance. For example, in the story of Achan in the book of Joshua, after they take Jericho, the Israelites are told to take all the booty from the city and burn it as an offering to God. But Achan decides to salt away a few valuable items. When the community moves on, they suffer defeat after defeat.

The point of the story from our perspective is not to kill sinners but that actions have consequences beyond the individual. It envelops everyone in its tentacles.

A primer on the Old Testament

The effect sin has on the community is a piece of Old Testament wisdom that we need to recapture. There is no such thing as private sin or a victimless crime. One of the challenges the Old Testament can offer U. The Bible challenges us to look at actions and situations from the view of the marginalized, the oppressed, the people who are not in the center of the act to see how they are experiencing our actions.

Remember, as spiritual descendants of Israel, we are to identify with people who are in bondage, people who are searching for the Promised Land, people with whom God has entered into covenant. The concept of covenant is another metaphor for explaining the relationship between the divine and human. How are we related to God? Today we tend to speak more in personal terms.

The covenant was a treaty that a powerful lord made with a lesser power or dependent vassal. In the legal codes of antiquity, people in a covenant held certain characteristics, which can be broadly translated as loyalty, compassion, and fidelity.

People in a covenant had certain obligations. If they failed in these obligations, they were sanctioned; if they succeeded, they were blessed. By the time of Christ, there were several schools of thought about the theological significance of the covenant. God had made a covenant with Israel to bring them to the Promised Land, but then Israel was sent off into exile in Babylon. The people of Israel had to decide what the exile meant.

The priests decided that the covenant that God made with Israel was an everlasting covenant, never to be broken whether or not they lived in the Promised Land. Thus, the exile was just a temporary problem; and the relationship between God and Israel was still firm. The old covenant is dead. We must make a new covenant with God. What does the church do with these beliefs? At Mass, the celebrant recalls the words of Jesus: To assume that people had one notion of their faith and of the terms and concepts of their faith is absurd. The biblical period covers many centuries and represents the theological reflections of many different types of people.

The more we come to understand the world that produced the Bible, the more individual narratives come to life and the more we understand the effect the biblical stories had on the people who first heard and read them. The process of interpretation then becomes more realistic. We can see more clearly the challenge the Bible offers.

My favorite character is Ecclesiastes because to me his cynicism represents a realistic attitude toward the human condition. He sees the value of tradition, yet he gets angry with God. But you made it impossible to ever find out. He advises people to go to the temple, offer sacrifices, continue trying to do the best they can, and accept from God whatever God gives.

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A Conservative's Primer on the Bible

You are here Home. Catholic interview Print Share. The editors interview Father Leslie Hoppe, O. What can Catholics today learn from the Old Testament? Why do we read the same Bible stories over and over? Give us an example of the way an Old Testament story still speaks to us today.

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What claims does the church make about the significance of scripture? What are some of the big discussions or controversies among biblical scholars about the Old Testament? Did you ever reach a point in your scholarship where you had a crisis in faith because of something you discovered? Suffering seems to be a major theme in the Old Testament.

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