Class: How Did We Get the Bible?

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Update: Tonight is the final week of our “How Did We Get the Bible” class. Dr. Trafton will discuss how Scripture has been translated and passed down to us over the centuries. Previous attendance isn’t necessary. Email pete@rabbitroom.com if you’d like to come and I’ll send you the address.

For the past few weeks, Jennifer and I have attended a class on the history of the Bible. It’s been a fascinating exploration into the historicity of what we believe, and how the Christian faith has come down to us across the centuries. But this wasn’t a class taught by a well-meaning deacon who’d read a few books and remembered a few things from Bible college.

This class was taught by a professor who recently retired from nearly 40 years of teaching New Testament at Western Kentucky University, by someone who has himself worked with the Dead Sea Scrolls (and can read them to you). This was a class taught by a man who has invested a lifetime of research and scholarship into Scripture and speaks on it knowledgeably and passionately—and with a contagious curiosity that’s fun and engaging.

Of our teacher, Michael Card (whose classes many of you have enjoyed) says:

What you want is a scholar with a pastor’s heart. You want someone who has done their homework and has thereby done some of your homework for you. You want someone who understands that teaching is really just one way to wash feet. All of this describes Dr. Joe Trafton. He has encouraged me with his scholarship and his life for 30 years.

Oh, and I should mention that he’s my father-in-law.

Jennifer had always told me what a great teacher her dad was, and I’m so glad we had the chance to attend this class so I could experience his mind myself and marvel at his way with students and his passion for Scripture.

Upon completion of the course, I immediately asked him if he’d be willing to come out to North Wind Manor and teach for the Rabbit Room community, and I’m thrilled that he’s agreed.

If you’ve ever wondered if the Bible is trustworthy. If you’ve ever wondered where exactly it came from, how it came together, how it arrived in English, or whether it’s authentic, I encourage you to come out and join us. Some of the answers may surprise you, and I guarantee you’ll be captivated and edified Dr. Trafton’s teaching.

We’re going to start on Monday, March 13th @ 7:00pm. There’s no cost, but we do encourage folks to bring a snack to share. We’ll run for five consecutive weeks as Dr. Trafton leads us from the collection of the Torah to the gospels and all the way up through the translations we read today. This is a great opportunity to look closely at one of the foundations of our faith and we hope you’ll join us.

Week 1: The Contents of the Bible
Week 2: The Canonization of the Old Testament
Week 3: The Canonization of the New Testament
Week 4: The Transmission of the Hebrew and Greek Texts
Week 5: The Translation of the Bible

If you’d like to come, please RSVP to pete@rabbitroom.com. Space is limited to about 25 seats.

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he’s the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


12 Comments

  1. Meg Heinrich

    @megheinrich

    Is there any possibility this series could be recorded and made available to those of us who are far away? It sounds spectacular, but it’s a long drive from Chicago. 🙂

  2. Meg Heinrich

    @megheinrich

    Is there any possibility that this could be recorded and made available to those of us far away? It sounds spectacular, but it’s a long drive from Chicago. 🙂

  3. Joshua Alexander

    @theferalapologist

    Pete,
    With the Bible under attack so frequently, this is such an important topic! You hit on important role of apologetics… it’s not just to try to convert unbelievers; frequently it is edifying to believers and gives them confidence that they “know the exact truth about the things [they] have been taught.”

    Charles Wesley wrote in one of his hymns that we need to “unite the two so long divided – knowledge and vital piety.” To put things in Wesley’s terms, I have thought of The Rabbit Room as being a wonderful example of vital piety – a piety that saturates all of life, including the arts and humanities, that makes “every moment holy.” (How’s that project coming, by the way?) I don’t wish to draw a sharp distinction between the arts/humanities  knowledge, but I am certainly delighted that the sort of historical scholarship Dr. Trafton offers is celebrated here as well!

  4. Joshua Alexander

    @theferalapologist

    Pete,
    With the Bible under attack so frequently, this is such an important topic! You hit on important role of apologetics… it’s not just to try to convert unbelievers; frequently it is edifying to believers and gives them confidence that they “know the exact truth about the things [they] have been taught.”

    Charles Wesley wrote in one of his hymns that we need to “unite the two so long divided – knowledge and vital piety.” To put things in Wesley’s terms, I have thought of The Rabbit Room as being a wonderful example of vital piety – a piety that saturates all of life, including the arts and humanities, that makes “every moment holy.” (How’s that project coming, by the way?) I don’t wish to draw a sharp distinction between the arts/humanities  knowledge, but I am certainly delighted that the sort of historical scholarship Dr. Trafton offers is celebrated here as well!

  5. Joshua Alexander

    @theferalapologist

    Alas, my previous comment (an eloquent encomium) appears to have been lost due to the update you guys are doing to the UI. Suffice it to say, “Good on you, Pete!”

  6. Adam

    *throws in towel*

    *finally decides to just move to Nashville*

     

    P.S. This sounds amazing, especially in light of what appears to be Christian’s shifting perspective on scripture in our culture.  Sure hope that with each “Dr. Trafton” who retires, there are at least as many that sprout up in his/her place.

  7. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    Just to be clear, this is not an apologetics class. This is a scholarly and historical look at the origins of the texts we collectively call “The Bible.”

  8. Laure Hittle

    @mrs-hittle

    i wish i could come to this, but i have already learned something. Holy cow, look at the script in that Isaiah scroll. i had no idea it would be so different from what i’m used to reading. Now i want to investigate the Qumran scribes. /nerd

  9. Julie Dillard

    Any chance to be able to view via skype or have it recorded so it can be seen by those outside the area?

     

  10. Pamela Demas

    I think this needs to be recorded. Many of us are too far to come but would love to hear him. We are long time friends in Durham and I was Jennifer’so first babysitter. ☺

  11. Nathan

    I took Dr Trafton for a few classes in college. I didnt realize he’d retired. He was my then-not-yet wife’s favorite teacher. I’m sure your class was excellent.

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