What is the Bible? (Answers by Rob Bell, others, and you!)

This Fall, the Seeker’s Class at FCCLA is asking the question posed in the title of Rob Bell’s latest book What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. We will read and discuss chapters from Bell’s book, and then explore ideas and practices from other clergy, scholars, and laypeople.

October 15: What is the Bible?

Intro discussion questions (pdf)

October 22: Looking beyond our first impressions

What is the Bible? chapter 10: “Turning the Gem” pp. 79-82 (recommended also chp. 9 pp. 71-78)

Interpreting the Bible in a Non-Biblical World” by The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.

Handout and discussion questions (pdf)

October 29: (no meeting – Sunday Forum on the Protestant Reformation)

November 5: The Good Samaritan

What is the Bible? chapter 19: “He Can’t Even Say His Name” pp. 139-144

Go and do Likewise” by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine

Handout and discussion questions (pdf)

November 12: What does the Bible say to us…today?

What is the Bible? chapter 28 “Why Americans Often Miss Major Themes of the Bible” pp. 211-216

Theology as Survival” by Rev. Broderick Greer

Handout and discussion questions (pdf)

November 19: Where do we go from here?

What is the Bible? chapter 41 “What’s the Best Question to Ask When You’re Reading the Bible?” pp. 289-292

United by the Word: Finding common ground in lectio divina” by Stephen J. Binz (overview and history article)

Video: “Lectio Divina: How to Pray through the Bible” by Christina Miller

Handout and discussion questions (pdf)


Other readings to pair with What is the Bible? chapters:

Reading the Bible like Jesus

What is the Bible? chapter 21 “So How Did Jesus Read the Bible?” pp. 151-162

And it was Good by Madeleine L’Engle [excerpt from chp 2 “Calling God Abba, Daddy” (pdf)]


The importance of Genealogy

What is the Bible? chapter 29 “Why are there all those genealogies?” pp. 221- 227

Before the Blogosphere: authority in sacred genealogy” by Kaitlin B. Curtice


Why do we need the Law?

What is the Bible? chapter 30 “Why is Leviticus in the Bible?” pp. 230-232

I’m a rabbi who was arrested protesting Trump’s Travel Ban. It was a holy act.” by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg


The Crucifixion

What is the Bible? chapter 32 “Did Jesus have to Die?” pp. 241-246

To Crucify Christ Anew: Lynching Ell, Michael, and Jesus” by Rev, Broderick Greer