Saturday, January 5, 2013

On Bible Study

Abraham Joshua Heschel:

There are dead thoughts and there are living thoughts. A dead thought has been compared to a stone which one may plant in the soil. Nothing will come out. A living thought is like a seed. In the process of thinking, an answer without a question is devoid of life. It may enter the mind; it will not penetrate the soul. It may become part of one's knowledge; it will not come forth as a creative force.

Because we are getting ready to dive into Matthew (yay!), I've been thinking about Bible study.  One of the difficulties that people have with Bible study is that the whole thing seems overwhelming sometimes.  It's intimidating to go to Scripture and be afraid that we won't be able to find the answers.  I submit that finding the answers is perhaps less important than finding the questions.  The quote above is referring to finding the questions that we should be asking about life.  I think that many of those are some of the same questions we should ask when we are looking at Scriptures.

I admit that when I go to the Bible, I want answers.  I want deeper understanding of Truth! and Enlightenment! and Insight!  But sometimes there are only questions.  That's okay. I think that without the questions, the truth, enlightenment, and insight are all beyond us.

There is something else that I often forget when I get revved up to study the Bible.  I want to learn stuff.  I want to know how it all fits and what it says and why it says it.  I need to focus less on that and more on the fact that this is not simply about knowledge.  If it was, then we should probably leave Bible study to the Biblical scholars.  It's their job, so they actually have the time to dig in deep and work around all the little nuances.  What's most important is where Bible study is about that personal relationship.  The history and the facts and the rules are important, but they only make sense in the light of the relationship with the One that is the principle author.  That's why Bible study is important to all that want to follow Christ, and not only to the scholars.

Okay, now I have a choice.  Dishes, or the BadCatholic drinking game. Eh, no alcohol in the house, so I guess it's dishes first and then bed.  What an exciting life I lead.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to join your bible study on Matthew if I still could. I had been thinking on it and I would like to commit. I probably can't offer much insight, but I'd love to learn from everyone's insights.