What does the Bible have to say with regards to daily life and contemporary culture?
Next year’s particular focus on the Bible in the diocese of Chichester intends to help clergy, congregations, chaplains, church schools and students to engage with Christian scripture.
Dating from approximately 1500BC to 100AD, the books of the Bible range from poetry to history, prophecy, song, law, letters, apocalyptic literature and ancient biography from eyewitness accounts.
Resources for parishes and schools are being planned to help people of all ages learn what these texts can teach them today.
Visiting scholars will look at the bible in politics, science, the media and scholarship in a series of lectures across Sussex.
A special Lent Course is also being produced to challenge churchgoers to get to know their Bibles better and to understand the origin and purpose of key biblical texts.
Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said: “The Christian faith flows out of the holy Scriptures as the definitive guide to God’s love.
“But the Bible is not a dusty rule book; it comes in a rich wrapping of centuries of Christian experience and interpretation. “We need to know it better and allow the experience of our own generation to be viewed through its rich message of hope, peace and joy for all people.”
The Bishop of Lewes, Richard Jackson, is chair of the strategy working party behind the project.
He said: “Our goal is to encourage individual Christians to engage with the Bible as part of their discipleship and to look closely at how these texts feature in their spiritual life.”
Plans for the year will be unveiled at a meeting of the Chichester Diocesan Synod next month.
The ‘Year of the Bible’ will run from Advent Sunday (27 November 2016) and last for one year.
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