TIP of the day: from the blogs: Confessional Bible Study and Logos

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jan 13 2016 3:52 PM

I'll get to Logos in a minute but first a little background.

from What Is “Confessional” Interpretation of the Bible? by Michael Marlowe

"CONFESSIONAL INTERPRETATION is my term for the method of interpretation that takes as its starting point a confession of faith. A confession of faith may be simple or elaborate, personal or communal. Ideally, it should consist of a coherent summary of the main points of biblical theology and Christian duties — things which are to be believed and things which are to be done by Christians under the authority of God's word. Summaries like this can be very useful in the interpretation of the Bible because they help us to bear in mind the overall framework of biblical theology while interpreting any given part of the Bible.

. . .

A word should be said here about Christians who want to reject all use of creeds and confessions, on the notion that they have "no creed but the Bible." Against this attitude, I think that A.A. Hodge gives a very convincing reply:

Men must interpret to the best of their ability each particular part of Scripture separately, and then combine all that the Scriptures teach upon every subject into a consistent whole, and then adjust their teachings upon different subjects in mutual consistency as parts of a harmonious system. Every student of the Bible must do this, and all make it obvious that they do it by the terms they use in their prayers and religious discourse, whether they admit or deny the propriety of human creeds and confessions. If they refuse the assistance afforded by the statements of doctrine slowly elaborated and defined by the Church, they must make out their own creed by their own unaided wisdom. The real question is not, as often pretended, between the word of God and the creed of man, but between the tried and proved faith of the collective body of God's people, and the private judgment and the unassisted wisdom of the repudiator of creeds."

From Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study by Diane L. Jacobson and Stanley N. Olson

1. Logos recently gained a new section in the Passage Guide - Confessional Documents. Like Systematic Theologies, it is classified in two dimensions - denomination/theological stream and theological category. Note that the resourced included are not just the confessional documents but also commentaries, sermons and aids based on the confessional documents.

2. The Heidelberg catechism is unusual in that it is designed for reading and preaching over a 52 week period. This makes it an obvious choice for a Reading plan template including the Bible Lesson and the Catechism.

3. You can link the Catechism to its commentaries that have an index of "The Heidelberg Catechism".

4. From the right click menu you can find other resources keyed to the Catechism to open or you can use the more comprehensive Parallel Resources icon.

5. One can do searches within a particular Q-A unit:

6. You can run the Latin, Old German, Modern German and English in parallel through a multi-resource panel.

7. What to do with all this power at your fingertips? You may use it to implement the ideas presented as background, use it to compare how different traditions interpret a given passage, or use it as a basis for informed apologetics.

See SUGGESTION: Next logical step: Using Confessional Documents

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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