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How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible is an on-going series aimed at helping you read the Bible more wisely, and with greater understanding!

How to Read the Bible: Apocalyptic Literature

BibleProject

It’s the apocalypse! But what exactly does that mean? The Bible is filled with dreams and visions about human history coming to a climax, and they’re usually packed with intense imagery and strange symbols. In this video, we’ll explore the meaning of the word “apocalypse” in the Bible, and we’ll learn some basic steps for reading this literature with more wisdom and insight.

New Testament Letters: Literary Context

BibleProject

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus' followers in the ancient Roman world. These letters are rich with theology and guidance for what it means to be a community of Jesus followers, but they can also be dense and hard to understand. In this video we’ll explore the literary style of ancient letter writing and show you how to trace the core ideas from a letter’s beginning all the way to its end.

New Testament Letters: Historical Context

BibleProject

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus' followers in the ancient Roman world. A wise reading of these letters involves learning about their historical context. Who were the letters written to, where did the recipients live, and what prompted sending the letter? In this video, we explore the different layers of historical context with these letters, so that we can better understand the wisdom they still have to offer.

How to Read the Bible: The Parables of Jesus

The Bible Project

Jesus of Nazareth was a master storyteller, and many of his most well-known teachings were told as parables. But these stories were designed to do much more than simply "teach." Jesus said the parables were designed to both reveal and conceal his message about the arrival of God's Kingdom. In this video, we explore the main themes in Jesus' parables and ask why he used them as the primary vehicle for his message.

How to Read the Gospel

The Bible Project

The New Testament contains four ancient biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, and altogether they are called “the Gospel.” Each one tells the story as an announcement of good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the true ruler of the nations. In this video we explore why these accounts were written and how you can read them with greater insight.

The Books of Solomon

The Bible Project

The wisest king of Israel, King Solomon, is associated with three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Each book offers a unique perspective on how humans can rule with wisdom and the fear of the Lord. In this video, we briefly explore how the message of each book fits into the overall story of the Bible.

Reading Biblical Law

The Bible Project

Have you ever wondered why there are so many ancient biblical laws in the first books of the Bible? What are modern readers supposed to do with them, and why are some of them so odd? In this video, we explore why the laws were given to ancient Israel and how they fit into the overall storyline of the Bible.

The Book of Psalms

The Bible Project

The book of Psalms is the largest collection of poetry in the Bible. In this video, we’ll explore the design shape and main themes of this marvelous book, which was crafted to be read from beginning to end. The Psalms are an invitation to a literary temple where you can meet with God and hear the entire biblical storyline retold in poetic form.

What is the Bible?

The Bible Project

This is episode 1 of an ongoing series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you'll be introduced to a condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions.

The Story of the Bible

The Bible Project

Episode 2 summarizes the overall story of the Bible as a series of crossroad decisions. All humanity, followed by the Israelites, redefine good and evil and end up in Babylon. They are followed by Jesus, who takes a different path that opens up the way to a new creation.

Literary Styles in the Bible

The Bible Project

Episode 3 shows how reading the Bible wisely requires that we learn about the ancient literary styles used by the biblical authors. These writers expressed their ideas and claims through a variety of different type of literature, and this video will explore why it's important to tell them apart so we can hear their message on their terms.

The Bible as Jewish Meditation Literature

The Bible Project

Episode 4 explores the unique literary style of the Bible that is meant to draw its readers into a lifelong journey of reading and meditation. The Bible is designed as a multi-layered work, offering new levels of insight as you re-read it and allow each part to help you understand every other part. The Bible is the original meditation literature.

Plot in Biblical Narrative

The Bible Project

An important part of reading biblical narratives is learning how to understand the nature of "the plot," how stories are arranged into a pattern of conflict and resolution. In this video we'll see how ignoring the sequence of the plot can lead to a distorted interpretation of biblical stories. We'll also explore how grasping the multi-layered nature of the narrative can help you see the unified story that leads to Jesus.

Character in Biblical Narrative

The Bible Project

Most of us think of characters in Bible as either sinners or saints, good or bad. At least that’s how Bible stories are presented to children. In this video, we’ll explore the ways biblical authors present characters as more complex and morally compromised than we usually imagine.

Setting in Biblical Narrative

The Bible Project

Every story has to take place somewhere, and very often locations have a special meaning or significance evoked by events that already took place there. In this video, we explore how biblical authors use settings in narrative to meet the reader's expectations or mess with them. Paying attention to locations and time in biblical stories unlocks deeper layers of meaning.

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