SERVANTS OF THE LORD: A BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Servants of the Lord is a comprehensive Bible study guide for Christians aged 18 and above.

Conceived as a response to the widely-recognised need for improved spiritual education across the wider Christian community, it provides knowledge and skills applicable to personal Bible study and formal church roles.

Servants of the Lord is divided into five self-contained parts, which can be read independently or in sequence:

  • Introduction: a discussion of the need to study Scripture, and contemporary challenges to faith
  • The Story of Scripture: a guide to the history of the Bible, and its translation into English
  • Studying Scripture: a guide to study tools and methods

 

  • Critical thinking: a guide to logical arguments, and the relationship between reason and faith
  • Writing & Public Speaking: a guide to formal writing, public speaking, and discussion group leadership

Servants of the Lord will be published via Kindle by the end of April 2017, DV.

GNOSTICISM

Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis, meaning 'knowledge') was a mystical belief system that is still greatly misunderstood. Many errors regarding its origins and teachings are perpetuated to this day.

Gnosticism emerged from within the Christian community during the 2nd Century AD and is therefore a Christian heresy, not a pagan intruder.

There is no evidence of any pre-Christian Gnostic literature or oral tradition (Gnostic writings all date from the Christian era) and no belief system resembling Gnosticism in the 1st century AD.

Gnostics claimed to be heirs of secret traditions passed down from Jesus through a clandestine tradition.

One of their earliest leaders was a heretic called Valentinus. His followers said he had been taught by a fellow Gnostic called Theudas, whom they believed had been instructed by the apostle Paul.

Gnostic doctrine can be summarised as follows:

* There are two gods: an evil god and a good god
* The evil god is an imperfect deity called the Demiurge; it was he who created the material world
* The good god is called the Pleroma or Bythos; he is superior to the Demiurge in power and character, and too pure to interact with creation
* There are lesser divine beings (called Aeons) who emanate from the Pleroma; their role is unclear
* The material world is 'fallen', 'broken', 'evil', and irredeemable
* A tiny portion of the divine still resides in each of us and must be reawoken before it can return to its source; it is through this process that individuals achieve salvation

Some Gnostics taught that Jesus was an incarnation of the supreme God, come to offer salvation.

Others taught that Jesus was a false messiah.

Still others believed Jesus was merely human but achieved deity through gnōsis.