How Rachel regained her passion for the Bible
Learning to live more fully in the word
'I wanted to regain a passion for reading the Bible'
Do you ever feel you could get more out of your personal Bible reading or group Bible study, if you only had a better grasp of where the original texts came from and why and how they were written? Have you dreamed of going to Bible college but never had the time or money?
Project Editor Rachel Tranter interacts with the Bible a lot in her work on BRF's books and Bible reading notes, but her personal Bible reading, she admits, was in the doldrums. So when she heard about the week-long Bible Engagement course developed by Cliff College in collaboration with BRF, she jumped at the chance to go.
Going deeper with the Bible
The course covered a lot of ground, starting off with 'some meaty theological stuff about what the Bible is, what it’s for and how it came to be,' explains Rachel, admitting that getting this important building block in place was a challenge for everyone.
'The rest of the week was more of a mix,' she says. 'We heard Peter Phillips talk about the Bible in a digital age and the Bible in discipleship, which drew on his book Engaging the Word (BRF, 2017). Two Cliff College faculty members, Ed Mackenzie and Kirsi Cobb, led very practical sessions on genre, and they taught practical techniques for reading the Old and New Testaments with confidence. I think everyone came out feeling more confident in engaging with different forms of texts.'
Rachel found Kirsi Cobb to be 'spectacularly passionate about her subject, and she taught with contagious enthusiasm and energy. It was really inspiring to hear a young, female Old Testament scholar.'
'God wants to speak to me'
'If you persevere with Bible study there are immense rewards,' says Rachel, who says the Bible Engagement course gave her a renewed enthusiasm for reading the Bible, new techniques and methods for reading the Bible in a way that actually engages with it devotionally, and an increased understanding of the big picture of the Bible and how it works as a narrative. 'Reading individual passages make much more sense in the context of this understanding.'
Above all, Rachel now feels 'a renewed confidence that God wants to speak to me through the words of the Bible'. And it’s whetted her appetite for further study – she immediately signed up for a ten-week course on the Old Testament run by her local diocese.