Session 6: The Bible

Follow up resources for participants

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

 

6A:

  • What are your favourite books or films?
  • What’s your favourite TV series?
  • What music do you like to listen to?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

6B:

  • Where do you look for guidance or inspiration when you need it?
  • Have you ever read the bible?
  • Have you read or learnt about any sacred books from other religious traditions?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

6C:

  • Do you know any bible stories or stories from other religious traditions?
  • Have any of these stories helped or inspired you? Which is your favourite and why?
  • If the bible could give you the answer to any question, which question would you ask?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

OTHER READINGS TO REFLECT ON:

KEY PASSAGES FROM THE FILM

6A – “What is the bible?”

The bible is really a whole library, rather than an individual book.

It tells the story of God’s plan for humankind, as it unfolds from the creation of the world to the end of time.

It speaks about God’s love for all people; his special love for the Jewish people; the coming of the Saviour, Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection; the gift of the Holy Spirit; and the beginnings of the Christian Church. It finishes with an extraordinary vision of heaven.

Christians believe that the bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The bible is absolutely central to the Christian life and to the Church. Christians believe that God speaks to us through the words and events of the bible. These are not just dead words sitting on a page.

6B – “Can we trust the bible?”

Why should you trust the bible? What if it’s just Christian propaganda? So let me give you four reasons why I think we can trust the bible, and especially why we can trust the accounts of Jesus’s life that are presented in the four Gospels.

First: timing. The four Gospels were written just decades after the death of Jesus, not centuries. They are incredibly close to the events.

The second reason I trust the Gospels is this: consistency. There is a fundamental consistency about the core events that took place, and about the life and teaching of Jesus.

The third reason I trust the Gospels is because I trust the people who wrote them and the communities that passed them on and the Church that treasured them.

The final reason I trust the Gospels is their credibility. If you read the Gospels they just feel genuine, credible. There is an authenticity.

So I do think there are good reasons to trust the bible and to trust the core historical truth of the Gospels. But in the end it is only the experience of reading them and actually hearing that truth that will convince you.

6C – “How the bible can change your life”

We just have to spend some time with the bible, and to follow his teaching and example. It might be reading the bible alone, or joining a prayer group or a study group, or hearing the bible readings at church on Sunday.

If you are not sure how to start, here’s a simple suggestion. Find a bible, and just enjoy reading through one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) which tell the story of Jesus. Go at whatever pace suits you. There is no pressure.

You are not just reading the words on the page, you are listening to what God is saying to you in your heart.