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What is Biblical Literacy?

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:20 am
by Michael_AU
Biblical literacy isn't a new concept but it is undergoing a revival of sorts so this thread is for discussion of what Biblical Literacy is.

So, what is Biblical literacy? To me being Biblically Literate is about reading the Bible and using it in our daily lives. In other words:
  • Studying it
  • Reading it as God intended not as man intends (in other words taking the time to read and live it in context not taking 1 verse and saying this verse tells use "we should" when all the other verse around it say this is what " we shouldn't").
  • Living by its wisdom
  • Changing our lives to reflect our study of it
  • Sharing it

Re: What is Biblical Literacy?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:23 pm
by Michael_AU
Another thing, that I had forgotten about but has come up recently in Australia, is that people who are Biblically Literate don't force "modern" values on the Bible but rather take what is written in the Bible and accept it for what it is and the time it was written in. Biblical values do not change, human values do and Biblically Literate people can tell the difference.

As an example of this there is much discussion in Australia about Same Sex Marriage or SSM (I am very aware this is a contentious topic but it fits this example very well). Some "theologians" have come out in support of SSM and have said the Bible is not supposed to be interpreted literally. I wonder what they make of the verses in Genesis 2 which say (and I will highlight the central verse:
"18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.
20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

This verse is repeated through the Bible, including the New Testament. Should we ignore it because it was written many thousands of years ago? Biblically Literate people would not ignore it, rather they would take it in and understand that it has deep cultural significance to Judaism and Christianity.

Another important thing to remember is written in John 15: 18-25.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 “He who hates Me hates My Father also.
24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.
25 “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’

People who are Biblically Literate will understand there are things in the Bible that will make the world angry towards them, why? because the world and Christians are not the same. Christians, how ever well meaning, who follow secular ideologies, how ever well meaning, that disagree with the Bible need to think about their Biblical Literacy. Do they understand the Bible? Do they believe the Bible? or do they follow the world and take bits and pieces from the Bible that make them feel good and ignore everything else because it makes them uncomfortable in the secular world?