biblical intrigues

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Job is coming, Look Busy!

Oddly enough, there wasn't overwhelming interest in the Deuteronomy/Numbers class I just finished teaching last week.

More oddly, we had more than a dozen people every night of the Deuteronomy/ Numbers class I just finished teaching last week.

Compared to our other Bible classes, this was a small one. Compared to the number of UU's who gather around to discuss those two books of the Torah, I think we broke some national records.
Many thanks to Walter Brueggemann who devoted untold hours to writing a commentary on Deuteronomy that was helpful, scholarly, religiously liberal, and affordable.

It is with much excitement that I announce the dates for our next class. We will start a 3 part class on Job on Tuesday, April 17 at 6:30. We may have to have a 4th class.

This class is based on the outstanding continuing education course I took at Union-PSCE on Job by renowned biblical scholar Dr. Samuel Balentine. I am so excited about that class that I may have to do some power point, some handouts, and some interpretive dance. Just kidding. About the handouts.

So mark your calendars now. Job is coming!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

We ARE Back

The Bible Class at First UU is back in action. We have had 2 weeks of Genesis out of a 5 week course on that book. Will post shortly on what we covered each week.

This class continues to be incredibly popular. We've had 20-25 people the past two weeks with limited advertising. Join us next week. Once we reach critical mass we may have to move into a bigger room, but we're happy to do it.

A few reminders: the Bible of choice for the class is the Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV translation. We will have copies of this for sale again, hopefully this week. For background, I also recommend Understanding the Bible by John Buehrens. We will also have those for sale on Sunday, publisher willing.

We try to begin the class promptly at 9:30AM on Sundays so that we can end on time at 10:30. We have 3 more weeks on Genesis. The plan is to have another class (probably Exodus) in November or so. We'll hit Job in the Spring and maybe go for Mark in the late Spring.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Latest Update - September 10?

It looks like we could be starting the Bible class as early as September 11. If that is the case, I will begin with a 4 week class on the nitty gritty of Genesis. If you would like to be notified via emailif we will definitely be starting then, you can contact me through the church website at

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Classes Starting Soon

It is almost time to resume our Bible class. The 9:30 Adult Enrichment class on Sunday mornings returns September 10. I have not yet heard when this class is up (they are scheduling several different series.)

Stay tuned for more information. And stay cool. (Richmond, VA - 100 degrees)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Class 1 - Intro. and Genesis

"Understanding the Bible" was originally a six week course that introduced students to the basic structures, stories, and modern criticism of the Bible. The class is very loosely based on the book with the same title by John Buehrens. Students were invited to read that book as well as the Bible, but not required to prepare anything before class. The class is open to anyone who shows up and welcomes "stupid" questions. The translation used for the class is the NRSV and the recommended version is the Harper Collins Study Bible. At the end of the class, we decided to begin a more extended and in depth study beginning with Genesis in May.

Week 1 introduced the Buehrens book, the structure of the class, and Genesis. The key points covered in Genesis were: the two creation stories, theme of temptation, first murder, apocalypse, and the family of g-d.

Theories on Genesis, role of narrative, and influence on literature will be some of the ideas addressed in the more in depth class.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pauline Epistles

Today's class will look at the Pauline epistles. These are letters to churches or individuals which have been attributed to Paul. Conservative scholars maintain that Paul wrote them all. Liberal scholars assert that there are elements in some of the epistles which date them after Paul's death. Those epistles are considered pseudonymous (a word I would use much more often if it didn't trip on my teeth.) For the sake of this class, we are taking the liberal approach on authorship.

The Pauline and contested epistles are: Romans, 1 and 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 1 and 2Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon. (Note that 2Thessalonians is contested but 1Thessalonians is not. And, don't take my word for it on these. I never could keep it straight at seminary. There are multiple websites that do this debate greater justice.)

There are also the general epistles of the Christian scriptures. We will not be covering these in today's class. And for more information on Hebrews see or The Pauline epistles and the general epistles are named according to the addressee.

In class we will look over several epistles to see their structure and unique elements. On my list are Romans, Corinthians, Philemon, and Timothy. We'll see how much we get through.

This class concludes the original "Understanding the Bible" 6 part series. We will begin a more in depth Bible study in mid-May in the 9:30 time slot. We will begin with Genesis in 3 parts. The Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV translation is the recommended text. All translations are welcome, however, and we will do multi-translation text analysis again.

Thank you for a lively and well-attended class. I look forward to future study with you. Yes, even you, Mr. Kilpatrick.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Coming Soon

Ongoing technical difficulties have delayed the premier of Biblical Intrigues. Thank you for your patience. We should be up and fully functional in time for the April 2 class on the Gospels.