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Bible In 90 Days Week 13 Audio Recap

Revelations seemed to stand out:

  • Many reacted most to Revelations — most fantastical. Of everything we’ve read in the New Testament, it was different. Vivid imagery.
  • Did you like Revelations? Some said they did but there was a desire to go back to reread. Not sure if it should be read literally or figuratively but there is a lot in it.
  • Revelations didn’t seem to be chronological – it seem to jump between possible future events and past events such as the story of the angels being thrown down out of heaven.
  • Some thought the book of Revelations was frightening but also hopeful — if lean on God, your name may be in that book of life.
  • It was noted that having read the Old Testament helped to prepare for Revelations. It was less shocking than when reading it without having read the Old Testament.
  • The significance of numerology appears with the reference to 666. Many scholars believe it represents Nero – the head of the Roman empire at that time.
  • “Revelations” by Elaine Pagels is a recommended book to read.

Highlights from other books:

  • 1 Peter 2:13 is a shocking passage regarding submitting yourself to human authority.
  • James 3 – tongue littlest thing but can produce a lot of trouble. One person commented that she has had to work on her tongue and what she says and this passage helps to be a reminder of how powerful the tongue can be.
  • The imminence of the coming of Christ in letters stood out as a theme. It was interesting that people had that expectation.
  • James 4 — you shouldn’t say you’re going to do this or that or make plans because you don’t know what will happen from one day to the next.
  • The letters are really graphic in giving instructions on how you should live your life. The question came up that we see these letters but were there any written responses to any of them. The letters are responses to what was happening in certain churches from a spiritual teacher or leader.
  • Interesting dynamic in the — on the one hand, many letters talk about without faith it is impossible to please God but in James it says faith without works is dead. It feed into the debate of faith alone versus works.
  • James 5 regarding rich people. Discussion of whether being rich is inherently bad. Wealth is something to pay attention to – whether the person is ignoring doing good like social justice. Thinking about the wealth of the church particularly in the middle ages contrasted with how poor people were it seemed it was not bad…people seem to pick and choose what to follow in the Bible. Don’t think its talking about rich people in general. Think it’s about people who make money through means that harm others etc…and it seems those with a lot of wealth can easily be pulled away from God.
  • 1 Peter 2 — slaves…submit yourselves to your masters – it was difficult to read beyond this.
  • 1 Peter 2:9 – royal priesthood…stood out as a wonderful scripture. MCC used this as a foundational scripture and explains why nonclergy do things like serve communion in the church.
  • 2 Peter 3:13 — New heaven and new earth. It is in the theme of the day of the Lord is coming which usually means bad things but here it stresses a new heaven and earth and gives hope.
  • There was a discussion about the fact that the books and writings in the Bible are not exhaustive of all the writings. For example, other books like the Book of Thomas were not included in the Bible. Even in the Book of Jude, there is a reference to the Book of Enoch which is not in the Bible. The Book of Enoch one recommended is a good read as well as a book called “God’s Secretaries” which describes how the King James version of the Bible of put together.

Closing Out the Experience of Reading the Entire Bible:

How has this experience changed you?

  • One person noted, having done the Bible in 90 three times that this was the most dynamic group so far. As a Catholic, she didn’t regularly study Bible so this was her first emersion into it. The New Testament reminds her why she remains Christian…it made her feel more grounded reading what Christianity is all is about. Greatly expanded understanding and feeling of connection with religion.
  • Another person read the Bible everyday growing up so this experience was just another step in what she already knew. She has a deep appreciation for the Bible. A lot of it she may not understand on this side of journey but it’s ok.
  • Discussion of whether what we read in the Old Testament has any impact on what we are seeing today in the Middle East. Sometimes religion is used as a pretext to do things that are really because of other reasons.
  • Another noted that the experience was good and they enjoyed this session. They noted that it makes them feel good that they read whole book.
  • Another noted that each time they read Bible, they see something different that she can attach herself to. Didn’t seem as hard as it was in past. What put into it, you get out of it. These Bible studies give her knowledge about God who she loves and serves.
  • Someone else noted that she learned so much in last 3 months and it was her first time reading it. It opened her mind to things she never thought of in the group sessions…and there are things she will go back and look at again. It is the first step in her journey and now she has others she knows she can ask questions of.
  • Another person noted that while he reads a lot, he has never read the Bible cover to cover. The process allowed him to find a safe place to take the journey together with other people and talk and discuss frankly.
  • One person noted the version we used was a “lovely” version and many expressed that the experience causes them to want to go back and focus on specific books.
  • The encouragement through the group made it better and helpful.
  • One person noted the wonderment of the scriptures– we see them through our own lenses. Bible is a sacred text. God is still talking and writing texts on our hearts and minds. Listen to how God is speaking to us through the light of Christ and the Spirit. This journey would not have been the same if each person who participated had not been here.