Today I am adding a category to this blog: Biblical Background.
The purpose will be to make it easier to find posts which deal with biblical research and biblical studies. By this I mean those things that help us to better understand what the Bible is saying – resources that help allow the light that is in the Bible to shine forth with less obstruction. The “obstruction” is simply the disadvantage of living two to three millennia separted from the times in which the Bible documents were written.
There are two aspects to the ancient literature of the Bible: that which is timeless, and that which is timebound. Biblical studies help us better understand the timebound issues so that what is timeless can shine through.
There are two potential problems with biblical studies. First, we may end up studying about the Bible more than study the Bible itself. Second, we might forget that studying the Bible is not primarily an academic exercise but rather it should be a spiritual exercise. That is, we want to look to the Bible in order to find the ideas that come from God so that we might daily live according to those ideas. As long as we avoid these pitfalls, then biblical research should bless us and not distract us.
Biblical studies and biblical research are generally synonymous terms. However, the former implies the catalog of known information while the latter implies the continuing search for new information.
We want to let the Bible speak for itself. Biblical Background materials are those resources that help us in that regard. They will not include, for example, books of theology which attempt to speak for the Bible. These can be of value, but they are not our interest here. Rather, what we seek here is information that gives context to the lives and works of the Bible writers so that we can better understand what they were saying.
I hope you will enjoy the resources that will be identified here. They will be included because they enriched my life, and think I they can enrich your life, too.