As the first Bible Study, I've decided to go with the Book of Ruth. A heart warming tale of friendship, faith and dedication, this is one of my favorite books of the Bible. As you may know, I am a huge fan of the Old Testament, so I thought it would be only appropriate that we start back in the "OT."
The Book of Ruth is small, only four chapters. It's the story of two women, a daughter and a mother in law. I assure you it's a quick read!
You can find the Book of Ruth here, at Crosswalk.com. I generally use the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) as my translation of choice. If you're looking for a good study Bible, I highly recommend it. However, I know that many people have preferences so I encourage you to use whatever version you love most. (I feel a post coming on about the various translations of the Bible, because it's great topic.)
For this month, take a look over the Book of Ruth. Give it a good read, noting what passages and portions speak to you.
To help consider the story of Ruth more deeply, here a few suggested topics to consider:
- Most of us know the passage "Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God." (Ruth 1:16) Have you heard this passage before? What does it mean to you? Does the context of the larger story give the passage new meaning to you?
- There are many historical social and gender roles at work in this story. How do you interpret what is going on? What is most striking about Ruth's decisions and actions? How is this very different from modern social and gender roles?
- Ruth's faithfulness is noticed and she is held in high esteem in many ways in this story. How are her decisions noted, and what is remarkable about the end of this story?
- How is God and the role of one's faith portrayed in this story?
The next step is for anyone who'd like to join the Welcoming Spirit Bible Study to post about the Book of Ruth in the next month. Once you've posted your reflections on Ruth, you can post your link below, or send me an email at welcomingspirit at gmail.com - and I can add a link to your story from this blog.
I can't wait to see how this turns out! I'll also be making a post or two about Ruth in the next month. Email me if you have any questions :) welcomingspirit at gmail.com