Attending regular Bible Study classes each week at the Chaplaincy House in Luz has become a Thursday highlight. Discussing, in depth, a few verses chosen by Father John, set as homework the previous week, the written answers to a series of questions reveal a wide diversity of opinion and understanding.
The Old and New Testaments were passed to future generations orally through poetry and song and, when printed, possibly various versions of the same historical facts were put together in book form. So, it is not surprising that there are different interpretations.
Today, the variety of biblical texts makes for uncomfortable listening, especially if one favours a particular translation. The poetry of the King James’s Bible has been lost through updating it into 20th century language and, as has happened over the millennia, there will have been changes of meaning as well.
For someone fitting a short text reading into a busy life today, it is no doubt possible to speed read and skim the surface. Time is needed to seek out the truth beneath the apparent contradictions found in the Bible, which can be confusing and, for a newcomer to Christianity, a real turn-off.
Bible study under the guidance of a wise and patient tutor will peel back the deposits of opinion and prejudice laid down over the centuries, to uncover the truth beneath – just as careful cleaning reveals the original beauty of an ancient work of art.