Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teaching Hebrews in two weeks....

not in two weeks as from now but IN two weeks. The whole book. All thirteen chapters studied, taught, lectured, done. It sounds insurmountable and ridiculous. And it's no small feat, but that's what I've been asked to do for my church's ladies' Bible study. I did the same thing with Romans in the fall. Taught the whole book in two weeks.

At first I was skeptical about how much any of it can be absorbed in that quick of a time. I'm used to teaching Romans over a nine month period, and I've not ever taught Hebrews in less than five weeks. Arguably there is a lot, A LOT, that you can't camp on when you are moving that quickly through the book, but I have found that there is a lot to gain as well from this type of teaching perspective.

First, you have to read the book in one big lump. The letter of Hebrews arrived that way. I doubt the church it was addressed to read it in chapters. It was probably read aloud to them in one sitting and not in the thirteen chapters as we now. Originally, they would have heard the truths in one big meeting time. And then they had to process what they had heard. They had opportunity to go back to it, most likely. But the first hearing would have been

Second, when you have that much to hear at one time, you get the big picture, the big theme of the book. There are some troublesome passages in Hebrews that in scholarly, and not so scholarly debates, get all twisted around. But when you read the book from start to finish you see those troublesome passages in context to the author's whole point. And then they are not so troublesome.

Third, studying the book in such a large chunk gave me a deeper appreciation for the pastoral heart of the author. He was writing with a zeal to defend the moving forward in faith with Jesus Christ that was essential for the audience he was addressing. His argument increases in intensity and reading from start to finish showed that progression.

Regularly I want the luxury of reading and studying a book in-depth, of seeing each phrase and point be underlined in its power and truth. But even when that option of study is not available, there is still such sweetness in the Word of God to convict, instruct, reprove, and correct the listening student.

1 comment:

  1. You'll do fine!

    It's always a pleasure to run into people who teach the Bible to others.

    God bless you!