A journey through the Bible has begun during the Sunday morning 8:30 A.M. Bible Study at LCM.  Last Sunday, Jeff Elrod led a discussion on the two stories of Creation in the early chapters of Genesis. The question he posed was this: What truth do we discover in each of these stories. He also surveyed art and music inspired by these stories. This next Sunday we read about Cain and Abel and explore the question asked dismissively of God by Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

All are welcome to join in this one-hour tour through the Bible each Sunday morning from 8:30 to 9:30. Coffee is served.

Lutherans (ELCA) look to the Bible not for historical or scientific facts but for theological truths. We have a “framework” of five motifs for interpreting scripture as described by Jeremy Myers, Associate Professor of Religion at Augsburg University in Minneapolis.

Law and Gospel. The entire Bible reveals God’s law, a law we are not able to obey, but which drives us to the Gospel, the good news of God’s grace and salvation. In reading the Bible we discover first our brokenness, then comes healing and hope.

What shows forth Christ. Some accuse Lutherans of not believing in the Bible. That statement is true and not true. The Bible, Luther writes, is the “cradle” in which we find Christ. We believe in Jesus who we discover in reading the Bible. Lutherans subscribe to the concept of Sola Scriptura, it is the Bible or Scripture and Scripture alone that is the rule of our faith and practice.

Scripture interprets scripture. We read one passage in scripture in light of the entire Bible. Confusing passages are clarified by clear passages. We don’t rely on one small passage to create doctrine, but read the one small passage in relation to the entire Bible.

The plain meaning of the text. Important in reading the Bible is an effort to understand what the author of a specific text meant to say to the original audience, how were people expected to understand a particular verse in the first place? Often it’s best to simply understand a text at face value and not get lost seeking hidden meanings.

Public Interpretation. Many of us read the Bible sitting quietly alone, but its message is far more, its message is not merely intended for me alone but for me and my relationship to others. The Bible is to be interpreted in community, in partnership with others and the world. The Bible plays a critical role in clarifying our values determining how we act, what we say, and what we do with family and in the public square.