Info

Bethesda Shalom

Bethesda Shalom , "House of Mercy and Peace". A small independent Bible believing Church located in Wolverhampton, England; endeavouring to hold fast to truth and stand fast in love by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
2021
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2014
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2013
December
November
October


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Category: Knowing the Bible for Yourself

If you are using a mobile device to view this page, please rotate the device to see the full title descriptions.

Jan 15, 2021

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 8)

It seems an absurd question to ask, how one should read historical narrative since we do it intuitively all the time.  In picking up a biography to read or a story in the newspaper, we are naturally handling material that would rightly be defined as historical narrative and yet we do it effortlessly without thinking.  We pay close attention to the facts and the details - the dates and names, the places and characters.  We all know the difference between facts and fiction and handle both accordingly.  No one for a minute would take a novel like Alice and Wonderland and read it as they would a WW2 journal.  One is fact and one is fiction.  Whilst we can be inspired and entertained by fiction - learning very many valuable lessons - it is still at the end of the day fiction – it’s made-up, it’s not a faithful representation of historical fact but instead concerns itself with imaginary people and imaginary events.  I’m sad to say, there are some, most notably those in liberal circles, who approach the Bible in this way.  God creating the earth in six days!  A global flood!  Noah and the Ark!  Jonah and a great fish!  Virgin birth!  Resurrection from the dead!  Miracles and healings!  Far from being taken as fact, at best these are embellishments to enhance the narrative and at worst fanciful stories (myths and legends) made up by the imaginations of men.

In this teaching, we look at the historicity of the Bible.  Rather than giving a definitive how-to, we seek to give some cautionary pointers in approaching the historical narratives contained in the Bible and to clearly set out what these narratives are and are not.    It is my hope that in doing this, it will help guard against the misuse of these passages and set a firm foundation upon which we may learn from the history recorded in the Bible so as to serve the Lord better in our day. 

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/5_Interpreting_Historical_Narrative.pdf

Dec 5, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 7)

God has always emphasised that which is important through repetition, He did in with the Law by giving Israel in effect, four complimentary books of the Law (Exodus – Deuteronomy), and He does it again in the New, giving to His people four complimentary books of the Gospels.  As one reads through the Gospels, one will notice that whilst they are very similar and alike, they are not exactly the same.  Some things that appear in one book, for example, will not appear in another.  How are we to harmonise the apparent discrepancies and contradictions that appear between them?  Can something be said in two different ways and yet at the same time, both ways be correct?  What also of the parables?  Are we free to interpret them as we wish?  Is it okay to use allegory when seeking to interpret them? 

In this second and final teaching part exploring the Gospels, we provide some answers to the above questions as we continue our studies looking at how to harmonise the Gospels and interpret the parables of Jesus.

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/4b_Interpreting_the_Gospels_Pt2.pdf

Oct 10, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 5)

Having examined some of the key principles for interpreting the New Testament Epistles in the last teaching session, we seek in this teaching to put these principles into practice.

Join us as we take an exegetical walk through the first four chapters of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, covering the first major theme – Divisions in the Church.  By studying the Epistle in this way, it allows us to give a practical example of the effectiveness of studying the Epistles thematically and will hopefully allow us to see how the verses and chapters connect with each other as part of this wider theme.

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/3b_Interpreting_the_Epistles_Pt2.pdf

Sep 5, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 4)

When we speak of an epistle, we mean by this a letter.  The English word for epistle comes from the Greek word “epistolē” which means a written message.  There are 21 such Epistles found within the Bible which comprise a third of the whole New Testament.  The New Testament Epistles are vital to the Believer in Christ because they contain the doctrines which he/she is to live by! 

In this teaching, we examine some of the key principles for interpreting the New Testament Epistles.

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/3._Interpreting_the_Epistles.pdf

Aug 1, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 3)

In deciding to translate the Bible from one language to another, two questions must lie at the heart of the translation process.  #1, Accuracy and #2, Readability.  On one hand, one wants a translation that is as accurate and as close to the original languages as possible while at the same time being readable.  You may be thinking, why are we discussing Bible translations in a study looking at how to better interpret the Bible?  Isn’t the Bible just the Bible?  It is, but as will be demonstrated, one can make use of a range of different translations of the Bible in order to make better sense of the Bible. 

In this third teaching part, we explore the various translations available to the student of God’s word and the pros and cons of each. 

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/2b_Basic_Tools_for_Bible_Interpretation_Pt2.pdf

Mar 14, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 2)

It will never do to be hearers of the word only and not doers of it; James makes this very clear (Jms 1:22).  Yet at the same time, to be a doer of the word without first hearing what is being asked is to walk in ignorance.  How many, armed with good intentions and loaded with zeal have gone out of the starting blocks with pace, only to be later disqualified because they were in breach of the rules.  You cannot compete in a race without obeying the rules and you cannot obey the rules unless you first know what those rules are.  Thus, it is incumbent upon us as students of the Word of God, to rightly divide (Grk. to cut straight) the word of truth that we might not be ashamed (2 Tim. 2:15).    

If the Bible was a single book, composed by a single contemporary author, that would be one thing.  If we had any questions or doubts about the meaning of what is written, we could simply ask the author.  What happens when you have a book written by upwards of forty different authors, across a number of continents with the earliest of these writing some 3500 years ago?  In this second teaching part, we explore the role of dictionaries and commentaries in serving to better aid our study of the Bible, especially when bridging the gulf of history and culture.

Download teaching notes (pdf)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/2a_Basic_Tools_for_Bible_Interpretation_Pt1.pdf

Feb 22, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 1)

As one opens the Bible, one quickly comes to discover that what they hold in their hand is not a single book, but a volume of ancient literature (some 66 books).  In fact, there are some 780, 000+ words all found sitting within a careful and purposeful grammatical structure with the oldest sections being more than 3 ½ thousand years in age and the most recent, 2000 years!  There are many different ways in which God could have communicated his will to mankind; he could have appeared at a given location every fifty years to speak to man in person or sent an angel to speak on his behalf.  Instead, God in His sovereign wisdom has chosen to communicate His message to mankind through the medium of written language. 

In this first teaching part, we ask the question; “Why do we need to interpret the Bible?” As soon as one begins to read any literature, the need for interpretation comes immediately into play!!  This not only applies to the Bible, but all pieces of literature, because the underlying question that inevitably will arise is; “What does that mean?”  You cannot escape this question, and as soon as one asks this question, one by default has moved into the realm of interpretation.  The aim of all true Bible study is to uncover the plain meaning of the text so as to arrive at the proper understanding of truth.  Having understood what God’s Word was to those first receiving it, we are then in a position to correctly apply the Word of God to our lives.    

Download teaching notes (pdf)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/1_Why_Do_We_Need_to_Interpret_the_Bible.pdf

1