The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Study on biblical interpretation begins

Nearly 90 ELCA scholars involved in biblical education—from vacation Bible schools to doctoral seminary programs—gathered in Chicago in January for “Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible.” The consultation used keynote addresses, personal reflections, Bible studies, and work-group and panel discussions to give shape to a proposed initiative of the ELCA.

“We tried to invite people from across the churchwide organization and the synods who, one way or another, are engaged already in getting people into the Bible,” said Stanley N. Olson, executive director of ELCA Vocation and Education. “We deliberately looked for a variety of ages, so we have some younger scholars [contributing].

“We have an energized, creative, idea machine for how the church might both work at this double goal of deeper and broader use of the Scripture and greater appreciation and use of the historic Lutheran approaches and insights to Scripture reading.”

Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, told the gathering he hoped that, as the church enters its third decade, its 4.85 million members would use the initiative to “be fluent in the first language of faith—Scripture.” He said he left the consultation with high expectations for the ELCA to find its calling in reading and hearing the Bible.

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