Article byContributor at GraceLife London
In September 2018, GraceLife London launched Hermeneia, a Bible training centre in London. This training centre is designed to equip God’s people to bring glory to Christ through a greater understanding of God’s word and service to the church. We believe that the modules are designed in such a way to put the Bible in the hands of God’s people in such a way that they will know it as they have never known it before and with the book, it’s Author.
The first year of study is a module on Bible Survey. This class gives a 10-month overview of the Bible where each chapter of the Bible is read and titled and each book of the Bible summarised by the students. The lectures include a summary of introductory materials for each book, discussion on the outline of each book, and an opportunity for students to ask questions about the content of what they have read for each session. The goal of the Bible Survey module is for the students to see the Bible as one overarching story of God’s work in redemption instead of 66 disconnected books. At Hermeneia, we believe that the Bible, while having many human authors, has one divine author who has given His people one complete story of His work with and in creation.
By God’s grace, in June 2019, thirteen students were able to celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness in their completion of the Bible Survey module. We’ve asked a few of them to share their experience of reading and studying through the whole Bible in ten months.
“Reading book after book...I came to the realisation that the God of the Bible is indeed merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Testimony by Ama Adjei-Twum
Hermeneia has been invaluable to me because it has enabled me to read the Bible all the way through and what I’ve learnt continues to shape my life every day especially in the details of my Scripture meditation. Before Hermeneia, my understanding of the Bible was like a jigsaw puzzle with missing sections. I knew bits and pieces and a lot of Bible stories, but never saw the completed picture or understood how everything fit together. Class after class, we studied the Bible in the Hebrew order, focusing on areas such as the historical narrative, the literary structure, the essential themes and the outline of each book. I’ve gained a proper understanding of the content and flow of the Bible. Hermeneia has corrected the way in which I understood the Bible by learning how to understand the content of each book in its context.
"Reading book after book, I saw the tragic consequences of sin, the unfaithfulness of Israel and God’s continual faithfulness, as he is absolutely undeterred in His love for His people. We see God’s tender call of repentance to His people and I came to the realisation that the God of the Bible is indeed merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."
I’ve learned three life-changing things doing Hermeneia:
1. Leviticus is a very interesting book, focusing on the means by which redeemed Israel would maintain their personal relationship with a Holy God rather than a book of just rituals.
2. Chronicles shares similarities with Samuel and Kings but it is a completely different book.
3. Genealogies are significant to the purpose and importance of the books within the Canon of Scriptures.
Testimony by Laetitia Le Meillour Morris
So I can't believe my eyes haven't burst after 10 months of intense reading! I've finally read the whole Bible after 10 years of being a Christian (shameful that it took so long really), but most importantly I'm now able to see it as one awe-inspiring story.
From Genesis to Revelation, we see God's intention to reconcile humans to himself, to enjoy a relationship we ruined starting from Adam. Many say the Old Testament God is one of wrath and judgement, whereas in the New Testament He seems so much more compassionate and forgiving. Clearly, they've never read the Bible in its entirety! The Old Testament is overflowing with instances of God being so slow to anger towards Israel, that you'd read and think, "Lord what on earth are you waiting for?? Smite them!" But in His infinite goodness (still shown to us today) we see a Father who loves His creation and desires sincere repentance but also sets an example for us. If a perfect God having every reason to exterminate us all, can exercise patience and forgiveness surely we can too? But we must also heed to the warnings like Psalm 1:5.
I have a new appreciation for the book containing the Words that saved my soul. What a privilege to be able to study and share its content freely!
"Furthermore having faithful and biblically sound teachers is rare, so I'm very grateful for both Adam and Keith for teaching us the Scriptures and answering our one million questions. I feel better equipped as a woman, wife and mama, as I raise my little crazy guy in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I'm thankful for our admin Dana and all the brothers and sisters on this course who made it unforgettable!"
Testimony by Osato Agbontaen
Since the Lord graciously saved me 8 years ago, I realised the importance of reading God’s Word for my Christian growth. As a result, I personally decided to go through the Bible each year using various Bible reading plans. Although this was extremely useful, I found myself unable to comprehend certain books of the Bible and quickly skipping through them. I specifically struggled with several of the Old Testament books and prophetic books such as Revelation. Consequently, I always longed to go through the whole bible systematically in a manner which would help me understand the major message of each book in the Bible.
"When I heard of the Hermeneia Bible survey course, I was excited about this but to be honest also a bit hesitant and afraid to commit to this course. My major concerns were that I wouldn’t have the time and ability to complete the course. After praying and trusting the Lord, I decided to take this course together with my wife. Although it was hard at times and we had to work extremely hard to complete our readings and assignments, we can both testify it has been one of the best investments we have made."
We were blessed to study each book first-hand ourselves together with several church members. Through the initial teachings of Dr Essex then Pastor Adam, we were able to explore the major themes, messages and events of each book of the Bible and see God’s amazing redemption plan unfold from Genesis to Revelation. Also, we had the opportunity to get our questions accurately answered from our readings and had many fun classes. As a result of taking this course, my wife and I now feel better equipped to understand the Bible and comprehend biblical sermons better.
I highly recommend the Hermeneia Bible survey course!