Bible Study

Every Monday at 4 pm

 

The Bible has so much to offer to us as individuals as well as to the world in general. We hope that through a deeper study of the Word (the Bible), we can each grow closer to The Lord Jesus Christ, and learn more about His call for us to live in His image, and love one another as He has loved us.

The New Church at Boynton Beach Bible Study is a discussion based class led by our pastor. Each week we work through one chapter of the Lord’s Word looking toward application to life, relationships, and spiritual growth. We welcome everyone to join in this study! (Currently we are alternating weeks between the Book of Ezekiel, and the Gospel of Matthew)

In the New Church we believe that the Bible has layers of spiritual meaning.

For centuries people have revered the Bible. At times though its meaning has remained uncertain or misconstrued. In the New Church we value and respect the Bible’s literal meaning, and also honor the Bible’s Deeper Meaning, as revealed in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

 Parables

 “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.” (Matthew 13:34)

The Bible is God speaking to us.  It is full of stories that tell us about God and show us how to live according to His teachings.  God wants us to live a good life and be kind to others because He wants us to be happy.  Within His Bible (the Word) are all the guidelines for following a path that leads towards happiness: a User’s Guide to Life. The New Church teaches that it has deeper meanings which can help us understand God and each other better.

A parable is a story that has a deeper meaning, a story with a parallel message.  Jesus often used parables to teach people about how to live.  In Matthew 13:34 it states: “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.”  The whole Bible is written in parables because every single story contains layers that teach us God’s truth.

The Lord wants us to understand His Word.  The stories are about more than historical events, they are about each one of us, and the entire human race.  Through these stories we learn about ourselves, about spiritual life, heaven, and about God.

Inner Meanings

Many of the stories in the Bible are explained in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.  The Lord revealed the inner meaning of these stories and sometimes even individual words.  For example:  The Old Testament story of the Children of Israel leaving Egypt and coming to a “promised land”, is about us leaving the slavery of harmful thoughts and behaviours, and finding heaven.  Every part of that story, on a deeper level, teaches us about ourselves and God’s leading.  Notice the use of both oil and wine in the story of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke, when he takes care of the traveler’s wounds:

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where the hurt man was.  And when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine…”  (Luke  10:33-34)

The New Church teaches that by “oil” is meant love and by “wine” is meant truth. Through this story we can learn something about healing.  God heals us by means of both His love and His truth.

Another example of the Bible’s deeper meaning is the way in which the words “bread” and “water” are used. “Bread” in the Bible is used to mean goodness and “water” is used to mean truth. This gives us a picture of how our hearts and minds are fed spiritual food in the same way that our bodies are fed natural food. Our bodies cannot live without both food and water, and our spirits cannot live without both goodness and truth. The manna, or bread, which was provided to the Children of Israel in the wilderness stands for the goodness that God gives us daily. (Exodus 16:31) The water that flowed from the rock that Moses struck with his rod stands for true ideas from God. (Numbers 20:8)

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), and to the Samaritan woman at the well He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst.” (John 4:14)

“If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31-32) 

Everything in the Bible is significant.

Every element of a Biblical story has meaning and relevance to our lives. For instance, in the Bible a “woman” generally stands for love or affection and a “man” generally stands for wisdom or understanding.

Think about this in relation to the Christmas story – the angel comes first to Mary to tell her that Jesus will be born, and then to Joseph.  This shows us something about how God comes to each one of us – first He is born in our heartfelt desire, or love of learning what is true, and then we come to understand Him.

The entire Bible is like this. As the inner meanings of words and stories open up for us, we have the opportunity to understand more personally how God loves us and leads us in our lives.

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