shared from and with BibleTexts.com users
#63 - Is the weekly Bible Lesson Study Aid denominational? Is BibleTexts.com?
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Is your weekly bible lessons tied in to a particular denomination? Are you affiliated with a known church, or are you simply a bible scholar who wishes to share his/her understanding with others?
Thanks for your note. You asked two questions:
(1) "Are your weekly Bible lessons tied in to a particular denomination?"
The weekly Bible Lesson Study Aid webpage (http://www.bibletexts.com/bl.htm) is not itself a Bible Lesson. It is simply a study aid for the weekly Bible Lesson that is contained in the Christian Science Quarterly (published by The Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston, MA). The three "Essential Bible Lesson study materials" (the Quarterly, the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures [S&H]) and how to obtain them are described in detail at http://www.bibletexts.com/bl-components.htm.
(2) "Are you affiliated with a known church, or are you simply a Bible scholar who wishes to share his/her understanding with others?"
I was baptized as an infant in the Methodist Church and have been a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and branches thereof, for many years. As the Bibletexts.com homepage states:
Though the BibleTexts.com website is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by any church or any other organization, the website administrator for many years has been a very active and supportive church member and is united in very genuine and meaningful fellowship with Christians of all denominations. The BibleTexts.com website is dedicated to fellow-Christians everywhere and to all people who want to have a thoroughly honest understanding of the Bible, of earliest Christianity, and of the unconditional love (agape) that is at the heart of Christian practice.
By browsing the partial listing of my library at http://www.bibletexts.com/bibliogr.htm, you will see that my biblical resources include good, honest scholars from many different denominational traditions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Church of England, Presbyterian, Jewish, and many other religious communities.
The BibleTexts Online Bible Commentary at http://www.bibletexts.com/bt.htm is primarily a textual commentary of the entire Bible. As stated in its opening webpage, it "is based upon and has been carefully edited to be in complete agreement with the United Bible Societies' definitive Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Hebrew Old Testament) and Greek New Testament (Third and/or Fourth Revised Edition), and includes clarifications and corrections to the King James Version wording."
The many original webpage articles on the Bibletexts.com website rely heavily upon the exegetical, theological, archeological, and historical work of a broad range of internationally respected scholars.
The Bibletexts.com website reflects a special sensitivity to the Gospel demands and blessings of freedom, equality, justice, and unconditional love. These are included in the Gospel (Good News) of Christ, "the way, the truth, and the life." (See John 14:6.) Some of these demands and blessings are explored in the following webpages:
I am grateful to have been directly confronted by the above-mentioned Gospel demands and blessings, especially when serving as Big Brother, prison chaplain, refugee camp minister, Christian Science nurse, globe-hopping IT consultant and instructor (to people from over 40 countries on five continents), Sunday School teacher, community volunteer, husband, dad, and son. Each of those responsibilities have emphasized to me the vital relevance of actually living that Gospel. (See Matthew 7:21; John 8:31,32)
Yet ultimately the only real agenda of the Bibletexts.com website is honestly "exploring the original texts and early Christianity." As is noted at the conclusion of the webpage article at http://www.bibletexts.com/kjv-tr.htm, a note that is repeated several times throughout the website:
If you have historical information or insights that shed further light on any of the above descriptions, either in agreement with or contrary to what has been stated above, please email me at email@example.com. The BibleTexts administrator's desire is to arrive at honest conclusions that are consistent with all available facts. He deeply respects all who honestly arrive at genuine conclusions, even if those conclusions differ from his own conclusions. It is not the intent of the BibleTexts administrator to prop up any opinions, which are often the result of one's selectively using only those facts that support such opinions -- and conveniently disregarding facts that undermine such opinions. The BibleTexts administrator does not want to have any personal opinions. He only wants to develop faith-inspiring, honest conclusions that lead to being "filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." (Col 1:9, NRSV) So please feel free to share with this website administrator any facts that may help lead to even better or further refined conclusions.
[Note: One BibleTexts.com user wrote, "After looking at your web site this morning, I assume that you are a Christian Scientist. If this is the case I think it important to share with you the fact that I am not a big fan of Ms. Eddy's theology." To read the response, browse: http://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa076.htm.]
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer