Leader Guide Sample: 30-Lesson Bible Overview

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14 14 12 Connections Why Do I Need to Know All This? There's a lot here, but it is super important to know. The world is filled with people who say all sorts of bad or wrong things about God's Word. The reality is that if we cannot trust God's Word, then the Christian faith is in trouble. But we can always trust God's Word because it is true and always points us to Jesus— what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us. Look over everything from this lesson one more time. Then, in your own words, write down a couple of sentences explaining why knowing how we got the Bible is so very important. What about the English Bible? So, how do we get from scrolls and early books written in Greek and Hebrew (and a little Arama- ic) all the way to Bibles in English today? We translate! Translating from one language to another can be tricky, and over the centuries different people have translated the Bible into different versions of English to reflect changes in the language and peoples' reading habits. One thing to keep in mind when looking at English translations is the two different ways we translate. Think of this as a sliding scale. On one end is literal translation, which means literally trying to translate what each individual word says without thinking about readability. On the other end is paraphrase translation, when you are less worried about translating what each word says than about paraphrasing or summarizing what the text means in easy-to-read language. Note: In our church body, the LCMS, we often use the English Standard Version (ESV) in our life together. The ESV is somewhere between literal and paraphrase, slightly more on the literal side. Put an X on the line below where that would be and write ESV. What do you think are some of the bene- fits of using a more literal translation? Why is that? What do you think are some of the ben- efits of using a paraphrased translation? Why is that? Literal Paraphrase Checks for Understanding Before your learners leave, consider ways you can give them feedback for next week. • Exit Ticket: Have each learner summarize on a scratch piece of paper, in his or her own words, how we got the Bible and why we believe the Bible is true. Have them leave this summary with you so you can review it for next time and see what they learned. • Learning Log: Have each learner write down a key point he or she learned in this lesson about the nature of the Bible or how the Bible is God's Word. When it comes to English translations, there's a lot that we just can't cover in this lesson. The focus is that translators must make choices about what they write. We must be open to acknowledge this. Consider looking up a list of English Bible translations online with your learners. Have them guess which ones are more literal and which are more paraphrased (paraphrases often have a lower reading level and literal translations a higher reading level). Emphasize that as the text has been transmitted and copied over the centuries, God has always been at work preserving His Word and His people. We need to know all this so we are able to give an answer when the world questions us about the Bible. In the end, though, we trust that God's Word does what it says and that the Holy Spirit is constantly at work through the living and active Word to point us to Christ and offer us forgiveness, life, and salvation.

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