Bird’s eye view of Paul (11)

Chapter 4 of A Bird’s Eye View of Paul: the man, his mission and his message is called ‘Someone Else’s Mail’ and offers a series of pithy summaries of what each of Paul’s letters are about.

I’m not going to replay them here save to say they are well written, very helpful and important to know.

I agree when he also says that it ain’t much use knowing all the latest Pauline scholarship if you don’t actually know what Paul himself says in each of his letters.

And I agree that many senior undergrad students can be graduating with a degree in theology without really being able to say what each of the letters of the NT is about [let alone the OT!].

Couple of questions come to mind here about general Bible knowledge:

If it should be a basic non-negotiable of the study of theology that by the end, students actually have a decent grasp of what the major books of the OT and NT are about and, just as importantly, also have a good sense of how the ‘big story’ of Scripture fits together in a coherent narrative, then this asks questions of course design and assessment [which is part of my job where I work!] .

And if this is a challenge for theological colleges, its just as much so for the local church. I say this because it is students who are passionate and thirsty to know more of God and his Word who tend to come to us to study. If general bible knowledge is poor (and all the evidence is that it is increasingly so despite fantastic Bible study aids like these), why do Christians not know or read their bibles? And what can local churches do to foster bible knowledge?


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