Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Scrolls, Codices & Bible Knowledge

The Hebrew Bible books were written on papyrus, leather/parchment or copper rolls. Even apostle Paul asked Timothy not to forget to bring the scrolls and parchments to him in prison. Apparently prison was a good place to study and refresh oneself in Scripture before the heat of ministry outside. Today we have tens of thousands tools, books, Internet, apps aplenty but increasing biblical illiteracy. I am astonished but greatly saddeed. No wonder as Ecclesiastes put it, those who have knowledge will grief or mourn more seeing how the ignorant goes on their way without knowledge and truth.

I am excited with what I am doing with young teenagers. You need to start them young.  Once late teens or early twenties, their minds are pretty set and difficult to learn or unlearn anything that hinders true knowledge and wisdom.

I am excited about the New Year. We have Bible Knowledge as a subject in School but as far as I know it has never been taught in Ranau. We have literally hundreds of Christian students in some 10 secondary schools in Ranau district. I need help. I need an assistant pastor. Bible Knowledge is examined in English as an SPM subject (O level). Now we have a translation in Malay so I might have to teach it twice, once in English and once in Malay for those who are weak in English. The Form 4 syllabus is the Gospel of Luke and Form 5 is the Acts of the Apostles. Imagine students mastering Luke-Acts in 2 years while at the same time improving their English and score in SPM exams. Triple delight!

Do you know that in terms of word-content, Luke-Acts is greater than Paul's 13 letters put together? All NT theologians must contend with the writings of Luke, Paul and John, the chief authors in the whole NT corpus.

Once I get 20 people to sign up, it is all go by late January 2016. But on one condition that the class shall not be less than 15 people or else it will be cancelled forthwith. I will try to get 10 boys so that girls don't form the overwhelming majority. But if boys are not interested, then there is no stopping the girls and soon the church will be ruled by women one day!

I spent 2 days writing 18 slides on the origins of the Bible. That's just one lecture. I have 10 more slides to go for the 2nd lecture and I will give ample time in the 2nd session for Q&A. The Conference starts tomorrow and my sessions are on Saturday.

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