The Bible is more than just a history book
By the Rev Dr Paul Chamberlain, vicar of St Faith’s, Lee-on-Solent
When I was in secondary school, I had a very memorable history teacher.
Mrs Brass was one of those people who knew an awful lot of things. There wasn’t a subject she didn’t know something about – she must have been brilliant at pub quizzes.
One of the things I remember Mrs Brass showing her knowledge of, again and again, was
the Bible. She knew it inside out and back to front.
But the thing about Mrs Brass was, she didn’t believe a word of it. Mrs Brass had no time for those of us who actually thought the Bible might have some relevance today.
To her it was a history book, a book of stories from the past, and a book which underlies so much of our literature and culture.
I think Mrs Brass was half right. The Bible has shaped and influenced so much of our country. Our laws, the language we use, and the ways we think about life, have been shaped by people reading the Bible.
The historian Tom Holland says: ‘Today, even as belief in God fades across the West, we continue to bear the stamp of the two-millennia-old revolution that Christianity represents. ‘It is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering.
‘It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value.’
But it won’t surprise you to know that I think that the Bible is more than just a book which
has shaped our culture and history.
As a Christian, I believe God speaks to us through the Bible; it’s God’s letter to you and me.
That’s why in early February we at St Faith’s in Lee-on-the-Solent are starting The Bible
Course, an eight-session course looking at the big story and themes of the Bible.
You’d be welcome to join us Tuesday afternoons or Thursday evenings at St Faith’s.
For more information, see our web site.
And if you have a Bible at home (and many people do), why not pick it up and read it sometime? Start with Mark’s Gospel, which is a great read about the life of Jesus.
The Bible Course
1.30-3pm Tuesdays from February 5
7.30-pm Thursdays from February 7
Go to stfaithslee.org.uk/biblecourse.