This course deals with who wrote the Bible and how the Bible was written (introducing the very important Bible words 'inspiration' and 'revelation')... is the Bible a human book or a God book? ... are our modern versions reliable copies of the original writings; can we base our lives on them? ... why is there is an Old Testament and a New Testament and how are they structured? We also give a simple, easy-to-memorise flow to the Old Testament and New Testament histories. This is a very introductory course and is not complex or demanding (except for maybe grappling with inspiration and revelation!) but it is an important foundation for approaching the Scriptures and for attending the rest of BibleLife courses. There is some lecturing, some Q&A and hopefully even a debate!
1. What do we mean by 'revelation' and 'inspiration'?
2. The canon of Scripture and the copying and translation of Scripture
3. The structure and organisation of the Old and New Testaments
We have four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) who all tell the one story of the birth, life, ministry, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. This course looks at the four Gospels to look at this one story. This makes it an essential foundational course for the rest of BibleLife since all the books of the Bible speak of or point to Jesus! The manual includes some reference material about how God got the world ready to receive Jesus and also how we put the four eyewitness accounts together to form the story of Jesus. Then we work through the life of Jesus in the rest of the course. This is a thrilling journey as combine events, teaching and geography (lots of maps!) to journey with Jesus through the Gospels. This is something the disciple of Christ can continually return to on their own.
1. How God got the world ready for Jesus (a quick exercise using Daniel).
2. The birth and preparation years; the first & second years of ministry.
3. The third year of Jesus ministry, Passion week & resurrection
We now go to the beginning of God's journey to bring about redemption to those He loves. This course covers Genesis to Deuteronomy which are collectively known as the 'Torah' or the 'Law of Moses'. The books were written in the period just after Israel was redeemed from slavery in Egypt until just before they entered the Promised Land. The books tell Israel of their origins and the reasons why God chose them. They are also books that God will use to form Israel from a people who had limited understanding of Him and similarly little grasp of how to live righteously before Him. In working through the books and their message to Israel we will see echoes of our own journey of redemption from slavery to sin and ignorance of God to promise, while we learn to trust and follow the Lord Jesus along the way.
1. The state of Israel at their redemption and the role of the Law of Moses
2. The story and flow of the five books of the Law of Moses
3. A fun and valuable exercise: finding Christ in the Law of Moses
This course covers Israel entry into and occupation of the Promised Land which takes place over three distinct periods: the Conquest (Joshua), the Commonwealth (Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1-8) and the Crown (1+2 Samuel, 1+2 Kings, 1+2 Chronicles). Throughout we will see the extent to which Israel occupied the land depended on the extent to which they worshiped God and how united they remained. We will see this was a very up-and-down journey until David becomes king. Under David, Israel achieves heights of worship, occupation and unity never seen before. After David, Solomon achieves further greatness before ruining both worship and unity in the nation. Then Irael goes into steady decline, all the while longing for the promised Son of David who would do for Israel what David did.
1. Examining the conquest of the Promised Land
2. Examining the period of the judges and the commonwealth of Israel
3. Examining the rise of Israel under David and its decline under subsequent kings
The decline of Israel eventually results in God expelling them from the land. This first happens to the north of the country, and then to the south. We try to make sense of both why and how this happened giving a simplified, easy-to-follow history of the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem from 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. Importantly, we will see that God warned for hundreds of years that exile awaited them unless they followed Him wholeheartedly. Although it was the result of God's judgment on Israel, this judgment was meant to result in their restoration and not their destruction. This course focuses on three books: Esther (from which we learn some things about life for Israel during exile), Ezra and Nehemiah (from which we learn about why and how Israel returned from exile).
1. The why and the how of the exile of Israel
2. What the experience of exile was for those taken to Babylon
3. The story of the return from exile and restoration of the nation