How do we read the Bible?
Our two main questions, when it comes to how we read the Bible, are:
- What does Jesus teach and model for us?
- How do we live that way in our world?
Covenant is a part of Be In Christ Church of Canada, a historic family of Anabaptists that is over 200 years old. Anabaptists, as a movement, begin with a primary concern that Jesus, the focal point of Scripture was being pushed to the margins of what was important to the church at the time. Understanding Jesus, listening to Jesus, and following his example is our starting place in the Bible. All the rest of the Bible gets understood and interpreted from this starting place.
This doesn't mean we don't read, study, and follow the parts of the Bible that don't talk about Jesus! Jesus valued all of the scripture so we do too. But we believe that he is the essential key to understanding it and living out it's teaching well.
While we (Anabaptists generally and the BIC specifically) have been influenced by theological developments through our two centuries plus of existence, we maintain a Jesus centred approach to the Bible that is somewhat distinct from how Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Evangelicals tend to handle the Bible. (Our different approach does not mean we don't love our extended Christian family!)
Below are some links which may be helpful for you to learn more about how we emphasize the importance of the Bible while reading it through a Jesus centred lens.
An Overview of Anabaptist Hermeneutics - This is a helpful summary of a book entitled Biblical Interpretation in the Anabaptist Tradition by Stuart Murray. It summarizes six principles which have historically guided Anabaptists in interpreting the Bible: The Bible as Self-interpreting; Christocentrism; The Two Testaments; Spirit and Word; Congregational Hermeneutics; Hermeneutics of Obedience.
Inerrancy, Authority, Tradition, and The Bible | The Meeting House Roundtable - A conversation about Be in Christ Church of Canada's statements and approach to the Bible featuring current Executive Director of Be In Christ Church of Canada, Doug Sider; Former Bishop of BIC Canada, Darrell Winger; and teaching pastor of The Meeting House, Bruxy Cavey.
Anabaptist Basics: Some Introductory Resources for Those Who Are New to Anabaptism - Presentations, notes, and Q & A from a BIC Canada Theological Study Day in 2014. Stuart Murray, the author of The Naked Anabaptist, is presenting.