BYOB: Bring Your Own Bible

Discover deeper meaning in the BibleThe 'Three Worlds' of Interpreting the Bible

The World Behind the Text   - A significant part of studying scripture is understanding the world behind the text you are reading. Who wrote this passage? Who was it written for? What was the reason for it being written in the first place? What cultural realities at the time are relevant for understanding its context?

The World of the Text   - When studying a passage of Scripture, it is also vital to consider how this passage connects with the passages around it (context). Additionally, the author’s use of specific language and imagery is worth exploring. How does the author utilize these same words or concepts in other passages? How do these words and concepts show up elsewhere in the Bible? What was the original meaning of key words?

The World in Front of the Text   - The world in front of the text is our world – what we bring to the text and how it speaks to our lives. When we read Scripture, we cannot help but view it through the lens of our own cultural perspectives, biases, and experiences. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It’s just important that we acknowledge it. How does our unique vantage point inform what this passage means to us today? How is God speaking through this ancient text into our modern lives? And how is the Spirit inviting us to live differently because of it?

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Ask yourself these questions when reading scripture5 Questions for Bible Study

  1. What does God want me to understand?
  2. What does God want me to believe?
  3. What does God want me to desire?
  4. What does God want me to stop doing?
  5. What does God want me to do?

A Library of ScrollsBiblical Genres

  • The Torah – narratives, laws, and origin stories to help distinguish the Israelites from surrounding nations. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
  • OT Historical Books – accounts of faithfulness to the Torah and cautionary tales of Israel’s leaders going astray to help each generation make sense of what past generations have learned. (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther)
  • Prophets – fiery and passionate calls for justice, Torah observance, and the end of idolatry in Israel to help the people of Israel to get back on track with God’s redemptive mission. (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
  • Wisdom Literature – songs and poetry designed to help the people make sense of life and God’s presence in a very broken world. (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)
  • Gospels – eyewitness testimonies representing the teaching of Jesus’ apostles to help the early Church understand the earth-shattering reality of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
  • Acts – the story of the Spirit’s power spreading the message of the gospel across the Roman empire to give early Christians confidence of their place in the world. (Acts)
  • Epistles – pastoral letters designed to keep the early Church free of false teaching and aligned with the message of Jesus. (Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1&2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude)

Helpful Sermons


Past BYOB ClassUnderstanding Ephesus

Pastor Barry Rod' took a trip to the ancient ruins of Ephesus. This class deep dives into the importance of Ephesus to the early Church, to the Apostle Paul's ministry, and to understanding many vital theological themes in letters such as Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Corinthians, John and Revelation, which Paul and John likely wrote while living in this influential city. Barry shares photos, maps, and archeological diagrams which will help your study of the New Testament come alive.

Video & Resources

Helpful Videos

Many thanks to the incredible, Kingdom-minded generosity of The Bible Project.

Intro Into The Bible (feat. The Bible Project & Other Tools)

What is the Bible?

A condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions.

Story of the Bible

All humanity, followed by the Israelites, redefine good and evil and end up in Babylon. They are followed by Jesus, who takes a different path that opens up the way to a new creation.

Literary Styles in the Bible

These writers expressed their ideas and claims through a variety of different type of literature, and this video will explore why it's important to tell them apart so we can hear their message on their terms.

Bible as Meditation Literature

 The Bible is designed as a multi-layered work, offering new levels of insight as you re-read it and allow each part to help you understand every other part. The Bible is the original meditation literature.

The Gospels

Plot in Biblical Narrative

Explore how grasping the multi-layered nature of the narrative can help you see the unified story that leads to Jesus.

The Gospels of the Kingdom 

Like the messenger that Isaiah told about and the messenger that Christ Himself was, we too are now charged with going out and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.

Old Testament History

Character in Biblical Narrative

In this video, we’ll explore the ways biblical authors present characters as more complex and morally compromised than we usually imagine.

The Covenants

God entered into a series of formal relationships with various human partners in order to ultimately rescue the world through Jesus.



What is justice and who gets to define it? Explore the biblical theme of Justice and discover how it's deeply rooted in the storyline of the Bible that leads to Jesus.


The exile was the watershed moment of the Israelites history on which the entire Bible gains its significance.

The Epistles

Setting in Biblical Narrative

In this video, we explore how biblical authors use settings in the narrative to meet the reader's expectations or to mess with them. Paying attention to locations and timelines in biblical stories unlocks deeper layers of meaning.

Khata: Sin 

The word “sin” is one of the most common bad words in the Bible, but what does it really mean? In this video, we’ll explore the concept of “moral failure” that underlies this important biblical word. Get ready to discover a profound and realistic portrait of the human condition.


Design Patterns in Biblical Narrative

Design patterns are one of the key ways the biblical authors have unified the storyline of the Bible. These patterns highlight core themes of the biblical story and show how it all leads to Jesus!

The Messiah

Jesus fulfilled the ancient biblical promise of a wounded victor who would rescue humanity. He was the one who overcame evil itself by allowing it to destroy him.

The Psalms

Public Reading of Scripture

Reading the Bible out loud is an ancient practice that offers us an example for a different way of engaging the Scriptures.


The holy God is unique and set-apart as the Creator of all reality. And this God wants to invite all people into his purifying holiness so they can experience true life.


The Image of God

In sending Christ to the earth to live as a man, God shows us what it truly looks like to live a life in the image of God. Through Christ's example, we see that this life is one of servitude and goodness to others no matter what they do to us. 

Khata: Sin 

The word “sin” is one of the most common bad words in the Bible, but what does it really mean? In this video, we’ll explore the concept of “moral failure” that underlies this important biblical word. Get ready to discover a profound and realistic portrait of the human condition.

The Law

The Law

The laws in the Old Testament are part of the Bible’s larger story that leads to Jesus. In him we are freed from our own selfishness to love God and our neighbor.

Sacrifice & Atonement

God’s “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection.


Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord explores how God is on a mission to confront human evil, and the more mysterious spiritual evil that underlies it.


The book of Revelation, a story about Babylon, Jesus, and judgment, which is too much to cover in one blog, so we are going to focus on the very end-of-the-end of the most epic story ever told.