How much education does the average Christian need in order to be qualified to study the Bible?
Within conventional, establishment Christianity — the kind overwhelmingly and depressingly practiced in countries like the one in which I was born and live, the United States — we are not immune to a fascination with education, and even the smallest, rural churches point with pride to their Pastor with the PhD, convinced that, because of his advanced seminary education and ability to name drop Greek and Hebrew words, he knows so much more than the rest of them.
(In reality, he knows how to use Strong’s Concordance and a lexicon, resources available to any of the rest of us.)
While we are not required, yet, to undergo licensing to study the Bible for ourselves, the subtle pressure is there among us, as church congregants are firmly encouraged to join small groups, under the shepherding aegis of an approved leader who walks them, step by agonizing step, through workbooks, worksheets, and pop-culture books by pop-culture preachers expostulating about Jesus, the Bible, and the abundant, purpose-full, intentional and missional life we are supposed to be living.
Please follow the link to the rest of the story, Are You Qualified to Study the Bible? at my blog Commonsense Christianity. As regular readers know, I am able to post only a teaser, so if you don’t follow the link, at least answer the question: Are You Qualified to Study the Bible? Don’t say no.
And by the way, if you do follow the link, you’ll read about how many people simply cannot answer the grammar question, When do I say Him and Me, versus He and I? If this question bothers you, along with others — the difference between They’re, Their, and There, say, or How Do You Capitalize a Title? Then follow the link to my book Grammar Despair, which offers very quick, very simple answers to questions like these that bother a lot of people.
This article is linked to Share Your Stuff Tuesdays, Titus Tuesdays, Joyful Mothering, Kathe with an E, Ladybug Blessings, Wholehearted Home, My Daily Walk in His Grace, A Little R and R, We Are That Family, A Wise Woman, True Aim, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, Adorned from Above, My Disorganized Life, Moonlight and Mason Jars, Life with the Crust Cut off, Wind Down Wednesday, Let’s Talk Mom, Things I Can’t Say, Juana Mikels, Graced Simplicity, Thriving Thursday, From House to Home, Jenny Mullinix, Shine Blog Hop, Over 50 Feeling 40, All Things with a Purpose, Faith Filled Friday, Simple Moments Stick, Christian Mom Blogger, Family Fun Friday, Essential Things, Hungry Hippo, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Dash of Diva, Jenny Evolution, A Look at the Book
I never really thought about being qualified for it or not. I just figured it was there for us all to read!
Soccer Mom — that’s the attitude! Pass it on!
This teaser is a good one!!! I am stopping by from PRHO link up, and I LOVED your title. Too many people fear that they are unable to comprehend the bible. It keeps many from taking in God’s Word and growing their faith.
Christine — it’s a subtle message we have through the ages, and it is with us today — growing stronger as churches push leadership credentials and academic letterhead.
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I never would have thought about being qualified or not. Interesting. Great links too. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope you will join me again this week for another great round of #sharewithme Old post are welcome too. Oldies are still goodies in my book! Come share away!
Jenny, I am glad that the thought of being qualified to study the Bible never occurred to you — it means that you have been able to read and study and seek without pressure from others, subtly (or not so subtly) letting you know that you need them, and others like them, to fully understand God. Prior to the Bible being written in a language outside of Latin, Christian society accepted that they had to receive the Word through the mouths, and interpretations, of others. It is so sad that today, when we have the Word in our actual language, that the same message comes through, just in a different manner.