Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Chinese Proverb (sometimes attributed to Lao Tzu).
And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
As Summer wanes, our attention draws to the adult Sunday school curriculum for the Autumn session. With God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, at the Elders’ request your correspondent will endeavor to lead and moderate a thirteen-week study and discussion of Biblical hermeneutics – the science of interpretation of Scripture. Our textbook for the class is How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (3rd Edit.) (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2003), co-authored by Dr. Gordon D. Fee, a professor of New Testament studies at Regent College in British Columbia, and Dr. Douglas Stuart, a professor of Old Testament studies at Massachusetts’ own Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Our goal in this course of study will be to learn how to learn from Scripture, so we will be undertaking a prolonged discussion about a book written about how to read another book – the holy Bible. We will explore the concepts of exegesis, the systematic study of the meaning of the Scriptural texts, as well as narratology, the study of the structure of the Biblical narrative, in order to attempt in our hermeneutical task to uncover what the Bible actually means to us as twenty-first century Reformed evangelical Christians.
The program will track the thirteen chapters in the textbook, and we will be utilizing some of the discussion guide from another book, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; 2009), by Eugene Peterson (also from Regent College), to motivate our conversations about Biblical hermeneutics. The Fee / Stuart textbook is not required reading, but I believe that it will provide each and all with a firm footing to ground the discussions. There will be a sign-up form to order the text, which costs $11.00, and runs approximately 300 pages. Each class will cover about 25 pages, or so. I intend to continue to build a covenant believing community from the Sunday School class – a group of disciples of Christ committed to learning the wisdom, beauty, and meaning of Scripture – so, as has been our practices in classes past, we will commence promptly (that means at 9:30 a.m.), adjourn timely, attend regularly, prepare thoroughly, participate vigorously, interact courteously, and learn prayerfully.
By Doug Rose