We get some amazing comments and questions about the Explore the Bible resources that range from the location of an image used in one of the resources, to specifics about a Greek or Hebrew word, and everything in between. Some comments include stories about personal struggles and others wonder what struggles we are facing as we edit, design, and plan. Questions about specific interpretations of a Bible passage tend to take the most time when responding. For one, we want to make sure that what we say reflects biblical scholarship. Which brings us to the idea behind the Exploring Scripture podcast.
As the adult Explore the Bible team reviewed some of the recent questions received, we began to discuss how we might help people rightly understand the Bible and the variety of literary genres found in Scripture. Some of the questions we received were the result of someone dealing with an epistle the same way a person would deal with a parable.
We get it. The Bible can be hard to understand. A group of people who heard Jesus teaching stated it well: “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60) Some even stopped following Him as a result of what Jesus said that day. The teachings that caused them to respond this way were about Jesus being the bread of life and Him calling on them to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Like we said, not an easy teaching of Jesus. Jesus asked the disciples if they too were going to abandon Him and the Bible records their response: Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. (John 6:68-69) They were admitting a few things here:
- The teachings were a challenge
- No one else had the answers they needed in life
- Belief in Jesus as the only way to the Father was their starting point (John 14).
We are in good company when we come to the Bible knowing that what we find may be a challenge to us, but also knowing that in its pages we find true life. We all need to take the time required to figure out what the Bible says, especially the more challenging passages.
So why listen to the Exploring Scripture podcast if we are a teacher?
As teachers, we need to prepare well and that means being ever-improving Bible students. Preparing and preparing well are two different things. Students can prepare for an exam, but the ones who excel are those who prepare well. The ones who prepared well are targeted in what they study, focusing on the main points and resisting the rabbit trails that take them nowhere. We too should be focused when we prepare to teach a Bible study class, examining the main points on purpose.
As teachers, we teachers set the standard for the people in our class. If we are not growing in our Bible study skills, we really cannot expect the people in our group to do so. We set the standard. If we carry that burden, then we may need some help along the way. Some of what is discussed in the Explore Scripture podcast may be a review but who does not need a refresher from time to time? Even in a review, we find ideas that will help us improve our practices.
As teachers, we also get asked to help others improve as Bible students. People in our groups are more likely to ask us for help than anyone else because they know and trust us personally. Some of the ideas shared in the Exploring Scripture podcast will be tips we will want to pass on to others. We can help others by utilizing the questions and concepts shared.
The Exploring Scripture podcast began in early July of 2021. Our plan is to add additional episodes every two to three weeks. You can find the podcast on many of the podcast apps you are already using (like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn) or here. We hope you find each episode helpful and we ask for your prayers as we go on this journey together.