Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I have been fascinated by the Bible ever since my grandfather bought me my first one when I was 16 years old. I was a church attender at that time - the Episcopal Church - the only one in my rather broken family, and even that was something of a miracle seeing as my parents were both hard-cored Marxists and atheists. But because of unusual circumstances, I didn't live with either of them; I lived with a lapsed Catholic grandfather and an aunt and uncle who didn't pay much attention to religion at all. Still, I remember having a conversation with a good friend in high school. We talked about what we would take with us to read if we were stuck on an island and could only have one book with us, and I remember telling her I would take the Bible because it had been so important to so many people for thousands of years. As I read it, I found some parts meaningful and some not so interesting; but over the years the very struggle to understand it has been so important to me even in the years when I too lost my faith and went through years of separation from any church.
It was Friends that brought me back to God and to Christ, and it was specifically their interiorization of the biblical narrative that opened the way. My own path gets pretty complicated -- the faith in Christ Friends reignited in me led me eventually to the Roman Catholic Church, but I still attend Friends Meeting and treasure the walk with the living Christ that Friends focus on. I am going to be starting a Bible Study at our local Meeting this month and having just started watching all that is going on here at QuakerQuaker, I wondered if there might be a wider audience for some kind of regular Bible study. If people are interested it might be fun, and I would love to do it with input from other interested Friends.
There are a couple other places to consider for this study:
1) There is a quakerscripture study blog that was active for quite a few years awhile ago, could really use some new input.
2) There is also some really good material at the bad quaker Bible study, with more of a personal emphasis, if thee too is a bad Quaker.
I've been reading (& rereading, with a local group of friends) a book called Secret Origins of the Bible-- which is really just a cogent summary of what everybody knows (but might just as soon ignore) about the Bible: the historical/political/mythological setting in which it was assembled, which groups produced the scraps it was assembled from, and why... the incongruities that result when a reader's mind essentially imagines a coherent story into material that never was one story, rather several stories run through a blender and then imperfectly sorted.
And despite my disagreements with NT Wright, I find some of his books very helpful in terms of making spiritual sense of the historical background.
And so I've been too busy digesting to write much about it lately, but would like to... wherever you decide to do it.
"A good approach that might be a little different" might be exactly what the old Skripturestudy blog needs.
The 'Bad Quaker' blog is explicitly intended to have personal emphasis, which may or may not suit you.
I wasn't too sure I was a "bad Quaker" at first, but now I am.
Wherever, here or there, I'm interested!
I would love to see a wider study/discussion of the Bible among Friends. More specifically, the "liberal branch". In my experience, "programmed" Friends already do a fine job of this.
I'm part of Bible study group that meets monthly. We're approaching our fifth anniversary. There have bumps along the road, but we're still bumping along.