The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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July 2018

The New Bible Book Club

Jeremy Fletcher and Sheena Ginnings

“Jesus was born a Jew and he died a Jew. It never occurred to him to establish a new religion…. .He never set one foot in a church. He went to synagogue”- so pointed out the famous Jewish writer Amos Oz in a Guardian article in 2016.  This may seem trite and obvious, but sometimes we ignore this important part of the life of the human Jesus.
Many of us probably relate more to the New Testament and yet if we are to fully understand Jesus, the scriptures he referred to, the times he lived in, and how and why people responded to him the way they did, we cannot ignore the Old Testament.
Oz went on to talk about being enchanted by Jesus - “his poetry, his humour, his compassion, his warmth, his simplicity” – a Jewish writer reminding us of the experience of Jesus and what he meant to his followers, then and now.
Where is all this going? The two of us had a conversation recently about the benefit to our faith of reading both the Old and the New Testaments.
We think the best way to start to understand a book is to read it and then to talk about it.  We propose to start the Bible Book Club (“the BBC”).  No great theological knowledge or understanding is required.  Just read the book.   Each month there will be a book or part of a book from the Old Testament and chapters from the New Testament to read.
The BBC will start in September and meet once a month in the morning and the evening.  Meetings will be in the Parish Rooms. Dates and times for the BBC and the books to read will be on a poster at the back of church.
We hope lots of people will be stimulated to join the BBC and discover the deeper foundations of our faith.  Why not join us?

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