ETF Evening Group
Our evening Exploring the Faith group is for those with enquiring minds and an interest in finding out more about what’s in the Bible. At the moment there are usually 4-6 of us plus David who is very patient with us, answering or throwing open for discussion all sorts of questions.
We meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the comfort of Val Stacey’s living room so are warmly greeted by both Val and Ellie, her miniature Schnauzer, who then waits patiently in her basket until it’s time for coffee and biscuits.
This year we have been studying our Bibles in a bit more depth. At the moment we’re looking at the Gospel according to John. This account of Jesus’ life differs from the other three in that John recorded first-hand accounts of Jesus’ teachings and works; it was also the first gospel to offer a theological reflection of the purpose of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, emphasising the place of the Messiah in Jewish thought. David reminded us that many great secular works of history taken as true were often written down many more years after the events e.g. the earliest written accounts of the death of Socrates that we have today date some 750 years after the event.
The other way that John differs is that he sets out to prove that Jesus is the Messiah by writing about His performing of signs and miracles that the Jews were looking for. There are seven of these mentioned in detail in this Gospel but John hints at many more.
Before our foray into John, we looked at the book of Isaiah. A huge work including events that span about 150 years so. Although it was probably started by a person named Isaiah, it was undoubtedly completed by his followers (or School). David is able to fill in the background to many of these writings, informing us of the social and political situation prevailing at the time which helps with our understanding.
We are certainly not going to become great biblical scholars by attending these meetings – we forget quite a lot that we’ve been told – but with David’s patient encouragement we can explore this amazing faith that we share and gain more understanding and enjoyment from our Bible.
If you would like to join us, you would be most welcome (Ellie can try to get you to share your biscuit with her!) It would be interesting for us to expand our discussions with new ideas and questions.