In terms of academic study, what did you learn about the Bible that was new to you?
What turned out to be new to me was how and why the books of the Bible were grouped together. The understanding that I had before this class was that there are specific divisions within the Bible. I already knew that there is Old Testament, the New Testament, as well as the Pentateuch, the Gospels, and the Letters. Yet I honestly did not previously think to analyze the significance that exists in the way the Bible is divided and ordered. For example, I really found it enlightening to see that the different books of the New Testament included not only letters (epistles) from the Apostle Paul, but also the Pastoral Epistles from other biblical figures. After taking this course, I can now really appreciate having been introduced to the specifics in the order of the Bible.
I also learned how important it is to study the Bible from the “three worlds” approach. After reading through the book, it seems to be very important that every aspect of the Bible be reviewed and studied from the literary, historical, and contemporary points of view. If I were to read a literary work by William Shakespeare, for instance Romeo and Juliet, how could I process the meaning of the text used without gaining an understanding the particular words and phrases utilized in the story? Furthermore, if I was truly interested in reading the story and coming close to understanding the author’s intentions, then I must consider the customs and culture of that period of time in order to fully appreciate what the story offers. Finally, in processing the story from a literary and historical point of view I should be able or interested in relating the situations in the story to what I personally know or have observed. In terms of the academic study of the Bible, what did you learn about the Bible which surprised you pleasantly?
I was pleasantly surprised at the section that discussed The Letters...