How to interpret the Bible

Use ‘exegesis’ to interpret the Bible. Exegesis is where we draw out of the text what it is actually saying, using the original historical context, regardless of what we believe. Sometimes familiar stories are quite different than what we remember if read this way. After examining a Biblical passage using exegesis we may need to examine our other beliefs. Exegesis began with scholars studying the Bible and is now used in a variety of settings including art, film and literature. Exegesis is highly objective.

Many people use the exact opposite technique called ‘eisegesis’. Eisegesis is reading into a text the meaning we want it to have,  ignoring the original historical context and using a text to confirm our biases and predispositions. We can use eisegesis to prove anything we want to in a Biblical text. Eisegesis is highly subjective.

An example of the difference between these two techniques is contained in the phrase “Do we let our politics shape our understanding of the Bible (Eisegesis)?”  or “do we let our understanding of the Bible shape our politics (Exegesis)?”

Exegesis and eisegesis are mutually exclusive. They are not two ends on a continuum but two distinct ways of thinking, even if we are not aware of it. It may be best to learn exegesis during a specific course of study at a university or from someone who knows the differences between the two.

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Holy Week services

Holy Week with the Great Three Days of Easter are the most important time of the year for Christians. Please find below all the services and events for this time.

Start of Holy Week

Sunday 14 April, 7.30am and 9am ~ Palm Sunday
Eucharist with Procession of Palms

Sunday 14 April, 1pm ~ Walk for Justice4Refugees
In the CBD, see

The Triduum

Thursday 18 April, 7pm ~ Maundy Thursday
Eucharist with Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

Friday 19  April, 9am ~ Good Friday
Readings, hymns, solemn prayers, and the veneration of the cross

Sunday 21 April, 7.30am and 9am ~ Easter Day 
Sung Eucharist with classic hymns

St Bartholomew’s House Inc

St Bart’s helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve positive life outcomes. Their vision is to eliminate homelessness. They work in the areas of accommodation services, aged care services, community housing and mental health support services. We will have someone from St Bart’s come and give us a talk about all they do very soon.

How many Gods do Christians worship?

Christians worship one God.

This one God has three distinct beings of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; or you prefer the newer language of Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

Icon by Rublov 1411-1425

It is a bit like one person having different roles. Everyone has a name. My name is David, that is who I am; but to my wife I am her husband,  to my children I am Dad, to my brother’s children I am an Uncle, and so on. There is only one me, but I can be seen in different ways.

In a similar way, there is only one God, which we think of having three distinct persons. These distinct persons are all in a community together and make up the one God. In Christian theology these three persons are called the “holy trinity”.

Continue reading “How many Gods do Christians worship?”

Brian writes another Sunday Journal

Brian and Kay Haig of the early congregation have written and edited the next Sunday Journal 129. It is hoped that this will be used in the various small groups that run during Lent leading up to Easter.

The studies are usually once per week for a few weeks commencing about 6th March and running up to Easter Sunday on the 21st of April .

Some groups may continue longer than Easter Sunday

If you want to be part of these studies contact Rev’d Josie for a study group near you.

Brian writes…
“This publication has been written and designed by a brief given to me from the Rev Josie Stytler the parish priest at St John’s the  Evangelist Church. Josie asked for a series of Lenten studies that enabled discussion group members to clarify what they believe and then be encouraged to be confident when talking to others about Jesus.”

Know God Personally,
Love and Respect One Another Deeply,
Disciple and Serve those around us.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is on 6th of March this year. The Lenten period is a wonderful time in the church year to be a little more reflective on our relationship with God.

Have a think about what resource you might like to use in your quiet time. One option is the book written by Brian. We have copies in the entry.

Please also join one of our many a bible study groups. Reverend Josie has all the details.

Colours of the Church Year

St. John’s, like other liturgical churches, follows the Christian church year.  The church year invites Christians to reflect on different periods and events in the life of Christ. Each season or event in the church year reminds us of a pivotal time in the life and ministry of Jesus. Following the church year allows Christians to deepen our faith as we take the time to focus and reflect on what Jesus means for us and our world, and what he went through on earth.

Some of the colours only appear on one specific day of the year so are hard to spot on this calendar. The exact dates of each colour vary each year except for Christmas and Epiphany.

Blue is used during the season of Advent and is the color of royalty to welcome the coming of a King.

Rose (or pink) symbolizes joy and happiness and is often used for the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for “Rejoice”. Gaudete Sunday comes after the mid-point of Advent and is a time to rejoice that the birth of our Savior (Christmas) is coming near.

White symbolizes light, purity, holiness, triumph, joy and virtue and is used for all high Holy Days and festival days, including the seasons of Christmas and Easter. White may also be used throughout the year for baptisms, marriages, and funerals (as a symbol of the resurrection).

Green symbolizes growth, eternal life, hope, the renewal of vegetation and generally of living things and the promise of new life. It is used for the season of Epiphany and Ordinary Time.

Purple can symbolize pain, suffering, and therefore mourning and penitence. It is used for the season of Lent. It is also the color of royalty, and can be used during Advent.

Red symbolizes both fire and the blood of the martyrs and is used for Pentecost and for saints days commemorating martyrs.

Black represents death and mourning, and the color black is a lack of color. It can be used on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Finding Bethlehem in the mists of Bedlam by James W Moore

How do we express the birth of Jesus Christ to our world?

How do we do justice to his birth?

How do we capture its impact?

How do we communicate what it means?

John expresses it well in his gospel; “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (verse 5) that’s what Christmas is about; and that’s why it’s the season of lights. Everywhere we look – in our city, our nation, and across the globe – Christmas lights are coming on – lights on Christmas trees and manger scenes, lights on houses and buildings, lights on doorways and in Windows, candle lights, spotlights, and neon lights. All these lights symbolise the same thing, the light of God coming into a dark world, the light of God coming in the birth of the baby to bring true, open, love, and peace to a needy dusky world.

A strong message always comes to us when we look towards the manger in Bethlehem. From the manger in Bethlehem and from the empty tomb of Jerusalem comes very powerful words: “Mind the light!” That is, keep the light of Christ of glow in the world. Keep bright and clear and visible what Jesus stood for and with keep bright and clear and visible what he believed in and died for keep the light of Christmas burn

We find God’s light in Jesus Christ, our job at Christmas is to be reflectors of the light of Christ and bring some measure of his lights and life to dark corners of the world.

Getting through Christmas during times of loss

Getting through Christmas during times of loss –Ron Edmondson

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. As the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. But for some, Christmas can be a miserable time.

Some have lost a loved one, suffered to the end of a significant relationship, or even had a severe personal loss of income or health. For them, Christmas is just another reminder of what they no longer have…

Here are some ways that may help:

List your losses – death, divorce, injury, finances, children moving out this year – whatever they are – write them down, Journal. Admit the pain.

Share them – share them with God, maybe with a close friend or seek out a counsellor. Find support in a prayer group. We were designed for community, especially at times like this.

Resist falling into despair – that’s where you live in a false reality that all hope it is gone. It is not.

Take care of your physical body – each well, exercise, and get adequate rest. More important during a time of loss.

Do something for someone else – there are many opportunities during Christmas to help people. Helping other people reminds us that we are not alone, and other people may be struggling too. plus, something about giving encourages positive emotions.

Encourage yourself to participate in social activities – you may not feel like it, but social support is helpful in recovering from loss.

Avoid the comparison game – don’t compare your losses to other people’s losses.

Honour your losses with new traditions – begin some new rituals that will help you reflect on the good things you experience with the person you’ve lost, and also to the developed some new memories.

Learn to worship in tears – God is good – even when it doesn’t seem like life is good – you’re better equipped to face the storms of life.

Christ is the peace of Christmas, and he can fill your brokenness. You can trust him. This Christmas that the Christ of Christmas fill the void and to lawsuit you have in your hearts and life.

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