I had some debate over the title for this post. It also could have been "Why Layman Should Study Theology" or perhaps "Why We Shouldn't Leave it to the Experts" or even "Theology: Why YOU Should Care!". All of those are accurate but, in the spirit of this website, I decided to keep it simple and clear.
So, why should we, as layman/ non-experts/ average person (pick your favorite term) go beyond just reading the text in the Bible? Why should we go further: into the history of the canon, or exploring the meaning of all those footnotes, or trying to answer Bible questions in a new, modern way that still retains what the Bible means?
I've been reflecting over this topic for the last week or so. The reason I've been reflecting is because it was flat-out stated in one source: "this topic [history of canon] is best left to the experts." Huh? Shouldn't I, as a Christian, passionate about the faith, also be "allowed" to study the very formation of the books we deem Scripture, the inspired Word of God? The answer is 'yes.' I've found a few good reasons and listed them below. But I would also like to hear why YOU continue to study the Bible...and yes, beyond it.
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Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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Thank you & God bless you.
~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong