Adult Bible Study

Book of GenesisThe Wednesday Evening Bible Study will begin September 11th at 7pm. This will be an in-depth study of Genesis, its myths, its legends, its fables, and its folk tales.  These are the stories at the foundation of our faith.  With the classic, Bill Moyer project Genesis: A Living conversation as our companion, we will explore a variety of translations and interpretive traditions. All are welcome!

Opening Prayer
Proper 28, BCP p. 238
Solicit personal prayers

Overview
Describe the book: A conversation about Genesis among distinguished people from many walks of life including Bible scholars, writers, artists, and others. Many had a professional interest in the Bible, but others did not. From them he drew many surprising opinions and observations. For instance, a screen writer was asked who she would cast as the femme fatale  in the scene where Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce Joseph. She replies, “Joseph.” You’ll find our why when we get to that episode.

The conversations were aired on PBS and the program was widely acclaimed. It appeared in book form in 1996. Our library has a copy. We will used Moyers’ format, but the answers and conversations will be ours.

Background

We’ll read the assigned scripture, then open the conversation with Moyer’s first question. We’ll go from there.

To understand the Bible, or any literature, you must know five things:

  • Who wrote it,
  • Why was it written?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • What was their level of knowledge?
  • What was their culture?

The author of Genesis is unknown. Scholars think the original language was Hebrew, but Hebrew in written form was not available until about 1000 B.C.E.. Some of the stories have parallels from the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia whose culture dates from 3500 B.C.E. Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees. The stories of the Hebrew patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, do not have parallels in other ancient literature. We don’t know who or when they were written.

So, we cannot answer the five questions about Genesis. What we will try to do is find guidance in the stories for our lives.

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