The Adult Bible Study class meets in the Trustee Conference Room @ 10:00 a.m. each Sunday. It is led primarily by Biblical Scholar, Rev. Dan Lewis with Dr. Christiane and Rev. Todd Meyer also assisting.
The current discussion topic is:
The Birth and Infancy Narratives
The birth of Jesus is described in two of the four gospels, Matthew and Luke. In the long-standing tradition of the Christian church, these beloved stories are celebrated annually during the seasons of Advent and Epiphany, and here at Mariners’ Church we celebrate them as well. Significant parts of the story are included in Morning and Evening Prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. Each Sunday, when we recite the creed, we repeat the ancient refrain that Jesus “for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin Mary, and was made man.”
Over the centuries, various interpretive issues have arisen concerning these narratives. Some of them, such as the nature of the Bethlehem star and the actual year and date of Jesus’ birth, are of secondary importance. Other differences are crucial to the theology of the church, such as the virginal conception of Jesus, which appears in the oldest confessions of faith and remains a central article of Christian orthodoxy.
In this study, the historical integrity of the narratives will be assumed throughout, plus we will also look at special literary forms, structural devices, and theological overtones arising from the way in which the authors collected and put together their traditions. Beginning with the annunciations and continuing through to Jesus’ appearance at the temple when he was twelve, the study will work back and forth between Luke’s account and Matthew’s so as to put the various pieces in chronological order. We will also include relevant historical materials that come from the ancient world. In the end, the goal is examine carefully what Luke describes as those things that have been surely believed among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.