This GCSE RE 'A World of Bible Readers' quiz takes us into quite a specialised field of Biblical understanding and application, by way of Hermeneutics and Exegesis ~ two terms which, while subtly distinct, refer to the ways how scholars who analyse Biblical texts tease out the layers of meaning, so that believers can better appreciate and apply the point of the Scriptures to their own daily lives.
There are (as you will probably have seen, in some of our other quizzes or elsewhere) many branches of the overall worldwide Church, not least since the schism between the Western and Orthodox ~ almost half the Christian era ago, in 1054 ~ and the Reformation, which brought the Protestant churches into being, in the 16th century, which in turn covers pretty well exactly the latter quarter of Christian history.
Along with other more detailed refinements of Christian belief and practice, these divisions have both sprung from, and encouraged, active and divergent approaches to what the Scriptures are ~ and what should be regarded as their message.
For instance, does a given branch of the church accept and reprint the Apocrypha (otherwise known as the Deuterocanonical books)? What do they adopt into their Creed, and what do they reject, for whatever reasons? What teachings do they abide by which may have grown up alongside the Bible, rather than from directly within it?
We are, of course, assuming that all those making the key decisions are sincere believers within their own traditions, even if (ultimately) they are all fallible human beings. Anyone from outside the Mormon tradition might, for instance, happen to find it hard to accept how that church’s version of the Scriptures came to take the form that it did. But it can be instructive in itself to discover something of how differing versions and circumstances can bring fellow-Christians to hold so deeply to varying understandings of, and from, what ought ~ presumably ~ to be their ‘core text’.
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