The first week of the Bible School (DBS) is over! And I have learned many new things in such a relatively short time!
We attend the school with 11 students from YWAM Townsville and collaborate with YWAM Queenstown. Classes are held in New Zealand, so we zoom in from the classroom in Townsville. In 12 weeks we read the whole Bible (in chronological order), we receive lessons about this for 3 hours a day and we will continue to work on this in small groups.
We were supposed to read Genesis before the school started, but because the school started quite last minute, we started with a small backlog. To get up to speed as quickly as possible, we therefore read Monday throughout Genesis (50 chapters), Tuesday all Exodus (40 chapters), followed by Job, Leviticus and Hebrews (the rest of the week). Reading Bible books all at once and in chronological order makes it incredibly cool to see how it all flows together. In combination with the lessons and a whole book of assignments, it was an intensive week, but also very cool!
The Bible is written for us, but not to us. Therefore, before reading a Bible book, it is helpful to find out who the original readers are, who the author is, the historical context, when and why it was written, themes, and the type of literature.
“The New is contained in the Old. The Old is explained by the New ”- St. Augustine. A nice quote that reflects how the Old and the New Testament are connected. Jesus is hidden in the Old Testament and revealed in the New. There are numerous references to God's redemptive plan. For example, after Adam and Eve have sinned in paradise, they realize they are naked. They use leaves to cover themselves, but after God visits them, he slaughters an animal to make clothing for them from animal skins. Innocent blood flows to cover sin of man, just like Jesus in the New Testament.
We were also taught about 'Inductive Biblestudy', a way to discover more of what was written through various steps. The first step in this is prayer, asking God to prepare your heart for what you are about to read and let Him direct the process. Then 'observation', asking yourself who is involved in the story, what happened, when and where. Part of this is to find out the historical context in order to gain insight into the impact of the events. Then interpret it: what is meant by the text? Why is this important? And what are the Biblical principles that flow from the story. The last step is to make the discoveries applicable to your own life.
In addition, we use 'color coding', where we give different aspects, different colors. (For example, verses that are about 'Nature & Character' of God, we make green, for example, Biblical principles blue, God's redemptive plan red, etc.)
Because we can not leave the campus for at least another month (due to COVID-19), I have now been able to provide 17 people with a new haircut (including myself; cutting your own hair is not recommended). Fortunately, since this week it is allowed to order groceries.
Saturday I had a cozy dinner with my Dutch friend Brenda, we ate pancakes and then decorated Easter eggs (see photo for our great masterpiece). In the evening I had dinner with Donna at Frank & Kathy, an older couple on campus. Tonight (Sunday evening) we have a nice Easter meal to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!
I wish you all a very good Easter! I hope the COVID conditions will not diminish the Easter cheer 🙂