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Luther Seminary's Bible Q & A

Bible Reading Tip #29: A Road Map for Readers

"Lake Wood, Uckfield - Sandstone Steps, Tunnel and Moss" by Dominic Alves via Flickr. Licensed under CC-BY 2.0.Dr. James Boyce offered the following notes in his Lay School of Theology class in Spring 2012, "How the Bible Came to Us: Its Writing, Use, and Authority." 

A Road Map for Readers

Read the Bible as a Living Word

  • Read with the expectation that understanding is new each day
  • Read watching for the surprises or the “speed bumps”
  • Read with expectation of complexity and diversity
  • Read in light of judgment and promise (law and gospel)
  • Read in light of the good news of God’s

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Revelation: Understanding "666"

Craig Koester provides a fascinating explanation of the number 666 as used in Revelation 13. Watch this brief video to find out what this biblical numerical riddle might mean, and what John's message for his readers might have been.

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Once Upon a Time: Kids and Story - Nancy Lee and Paul Gauche

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, Nancy Lee Gauche and Terri Elton. Article written by Nancy Lee and Paul Gauche.

“Once upon a time…”

C'era una volta... (Once upon a time) - 2 by Leonardo SagnottiThese four words have been igniting imaginations since the beginning of time. As long as there has been a story to tell, the fire of imagination has been fanning into flame all of the components of a good story: drama, plot and surprise, twists, turns and suspense, action, conflict and, often -- redemption, grace and hope. Generations

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Mark: God on the Loose - Karoline Lewis

Karoline Lewis, associate professor of preaching and Alvin N. Rogness Chair of Homiletics at Luther Seminary, explains in this 3-minute video the value in reading Bible passages from a variety of translations.

She uncovers the way that different translators portray Jesus' baptism and death in the Gospel of Mark, and makes the point that the words we choose shape the way we see God's activity.

"God was located in the Holy of Holies, behind that temple curtain. But if God is not behind the curtain

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How Do Parents Share Faith with Kids? - Tim Coltvet

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"Family Band" by Benjamin Wald via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)As a pastor serving in the field of children, youth and family ministry who has sought to partner with parents in the faith formation of their child(ren), I am often saddened to hear parents who feel overwhelmed, inept, and quite frankly guilty about their role in passing on the God story to the next generation.

As a dad who has a 14- and an 11-year-old under my roof, I can assure you that none of us want to go down the parent-guilt road. To complicate matters, if we check our social media feeds

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Luke 10: Who Is My Neighbor?

Matt Skinner, associate professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary,  discusses the Samaritan parable in Luke 10.

Watch this brief video to learn how Jesus uses this parable to respond to the question, "Who is my neighbor?"

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Kids and the Bible: Drawing Children into the Christian Story - Terri Martinson Elton

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, and Terri Martinson Elton. Article written by Terri Martinson Elton.

"Attention Grabbed" by Jeff Smallwood; under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike LicenseAs a kid my grandparents repeatedly told (and retold) the story of our heritage, of our Scandinavian ancestors and their roots. Over the years grandma and grandpa made the stories come alive with various traditions and practices. Now years after my grandparents have died, I can truly appreciate their commitment to connect me and my story to our family’s larger story.

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Bible Reading Tip: Responding to Evil & Suffering - Terence Fretheim

Weyden Deposition (detail)"Faced with the realities of suffering and evil, Christians can say something, but they cannot say everything or even as much as they might like to say."

That's how Terence Fretheim, Luther Seminary professor emeritus of Old Testament, leads off his article on God, evil, and suffering. 

Fretheim provides biblical perspectives in response to the theological approach offered by Paul Sponheim, Luther Seminary professor emeritus of Systematic Theology. (Read Sponheim's essay.) 

Fretheim cites

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Job: Friendship and Suffering - Dan Simundson

The late Dan Simundson, professor emeritus of Old Testament at Luther Seminary, talks about the role that Job's friends play in accompanying (or exacerbating) his suffering.

"Their intentions were good," said Dr. Simundson. "Their remorse and their compassion were genuine ... But as for many well-intentioned comforters, when they began to speak they were not always helpful. The words that they said were even sometimes rather hurtful. People can say harmful things even though they mean to be good

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Why Do We Suffer? - Kathryn Schifferdecker

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Article written by Kathryn Schifferdecker.

"Lamentation," Giotto di Bondone.Why do people suffer? It’s a question as old as the Bible (or older) and as current as today’s newspaper. Someone we love dies. A child is abused or neglected. A tornado wipes out a whole town. And we ask, "Why? Why do people suffer?"

The atheist has no real problem here. Why do people suffer? Because that’s the way life is. Chance, circumstance, luck, whatever

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