Dan Kimball guides you step-by-step through making sense of the most misunderstood, difficult, and disturbing Bible passages. Whether you’re a Christian, a doubter, or someone exploring the Bible for the first time, this study is your guide to understanding and contextualizing passages in the Bible that seem to be backwards on topics related to women, science, violence, slavery, and world religions.
Literal, out-of-context readings of some of the verses in the Bible strike us as sheer nonsense, and have spawned many a bizarre meme. But when we read, interpret, and understand the Bible accurately—not just individual verses, but how they fit into the Bible as a whole—our questions and concerns are answered, and we come to better know the author of the Bible.
The “stranger things” of the Old Testament would have made perfect sense to the ancient Israelites, who would have known that God wanted them to remain distinct from the practices of other people groups in the region. When critics say the Bible is irrelevant for us today, what they are actually communicating is a misunderstanding and extreme misuse of the Bible.
Sadly, some churches misuse certain texts to perpetuate misogyny and patriarchy. But when you study the Scriptures and seek to understand them in their cultural context, it’s clear that the Bible is actually an advocate for women rather than a weapon against them. God created us uniquely as men and women, as equals, to serve God with whatever gifts he’s given us.
Much of the arguing and mocking about science and the Bible usually is about the early chapters of Genesis. Despite how it is often understood, Genesis was not written to explain the scientific process of how God created everything. It was written to simply communicate to the ancient Israelites that everything they could see in the air and on land was made by God.
Christianity often gets a bad rap for being “intolerant” by believing that Jesus is the only true path to God. But when we look at the various “paths” or religious perspectives, we see that not all paths end up in the same place. Reading the “intolerant” verses in the context of a bigger storyline changes them from words of intolerance to words of love.
It’s easy to level accusations against the God of the Bible when we read a violent passage without the full context of the Bible’s storyline. Many of the violent acts in the Bible are the result of evil human choices and decisions, despite God's loving warnings. This session will dispel some of the misunderstandings and criticisms surrounding this violence.