Since January, there is something I look forward to each Thursday. I joined Community Bible Study. The Greenville morning group started 2015 with the second part of a series entitled “Return to Jerusalem.” These women finished up the Old Testament book of Esther, moved through Ezra and now are on Nehemiah. CBS is an interdenominational Bible Study with more than 25 courses covering most of the Old and New Testaments. Over 700 classes are offered throughout the United States and more are available in over 70 countries.
Each week we complete five days of homework. We have a book which guides us through our Scripture readings plus applicable questions. CBS suggests that we not consult any commentaries or outside sources for those five days. Bible passages are cross-referenced so that Scripture interprets Scripture. We gather on the sixth day in small core groups to discuss the homework and then in a large setting for the Teaching Director to present those passages. On the seventh day we read several pages of provided commentary regarding the week’s lessons.
In our core groups we are not to mention our denominations or politics. Women come from as far as Rocky Mount and Washington to attend. On my first visit I noticed the mixture of age and race. The most amazing part of the core group has been the almost instant sense of community. Gathered around a common goal of learning and living the love and teachings of Jesus Christ through Bible Study we have a deep unity. Despite the differences of age, race and denomination it is remarkable how thorough Bible Study produces similar interpretations for much of its content. Reading sections of verses or entire chapters helps keep the words in context. We see recurring themes and repeated teaching. Of course there will always be different ways of looking at “gray areas” in the Bible but I have been reminded of the unity most Christians share in the basics of the faith and beyond. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The other day I learned of a new women’s Bible Study beginning in Farmville. They will meet at 10:00 AM on Tuesdays upstairs at Marabella to discuss “Seeking Him: Experiencing Joy of Personal Revival.” For questions please contact Gretchen Allen, Brenda Lovic or Frankie Moye.