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Coffee With Paul Classroom is about Conversational Bible Study

By “conversational” we don’t mean the ever popular “endless gabbing about nothing.”  Instead, we mean engaging the ancient scriptures in their own contexts and on their own terms. This means we promote the careful, considered, thoughtful, and engaging reading of ancient texts in ways that appropriately address our own situations.

The most important question 21st century Bible readers face is this: How do we relate ancient texts to current life?  The first step in that is to engage the texts.  The second step is to relate the texts to ourselves, and to do it appropriately.  Yes, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of doing both.

Bible_StudyWe have options:

1. We can take the biblical documents at face value and interpret them contextually, interacting and conversing with them (hence “conversational”).

2. Or, by imposing external theologies, we can easily bend and shape them to make them say what we need them to say.

The latter is by far the most popular.  It is also a sad commentary on the widespread lack of respect among Christians for the texts we say we love.

The Coffee With Paul Classroom teaches and demonstrates the ABC’s of dealing contextually with ancient Christian texts. Until we know how to deal with one text, we cannot deal with more than one.  We are not in the least interested in approaches that mash texts together so that they fit into preconceived theological theories.

Comparisons between various texts, and drawing theological lessons from texts, are important when done properly and at the right time, as long as the contextual integrity of each is respected.  But you don’t start forging steal without heating the furnace and preparing the materials.  (Ok, it’s a general reference, but you get the point that good things sometimes take time.)

How do we relate 2000 year old texts to where we live now? That is the big question. And the answer is directly related to the contextual evaluation of the nature of the documents. By probing or “conversing” with texts—–i.e., pre-reading, recaping, observing, brainstorming, and engaging—–we encourage a patient and careful reading of texts that is both respectful to ancient texts and helpful to current needs.

Now in Session:  January to April

For all women and men!  You can join the class at any time.
Also, a unique opportunity for preachers and other church leaders!

Studies in Hebrew Narrative (Ruth)

Dr. James Savage will lead this LIVE class. He is uniquely qualified for this study and is incredibly personable in his approach and interaction with Bible study partners.This class will be based in the English text, even though he will make reference to Hebrew literature.The class is for all adults, both women and men.  It will meet on Saturdays at 2:00PM Eastern Time for about an hour.  It will also be recorded for those who can’t make the classes or who simply want to review them.This will be Dr. Savage’s second class with the CWP Classroom, the first having been a short introduction to the study of the Hebrew language in the fall of 2013.  (That is recorded and is available.)


The GNT3 (Greek NT Translation Team)

Patrick Spicer (our CWP Greek Instructor) will lead the Greek NT Translation Team into the OT Greek book of Ruth!  To be part of this team, (1) you must have had at least some Greek , OR (2) you must be willing to start studying Greek with us.  This is a Greek translation team and exists to support your Greek learning and ability. The team will meet on Saturdays at 12:45PM Eastern Time for about an hour.  (It will meet immediately before Dr. Savages class.)  It will also be recorded for those who can’t make the classes or who simply want to review them.


What Our Bible Study Partners Are Saying!

Here is what a few of our Bible Study partners have spontaneously said to each other about our study groups.
We did not solicit these statements as testimonials!___


Twila2This Inner Circle is a safe place to think outside the box and offer up ideas on scripture that other “God-taught” people will consider and challenge with scripture. When I try to read scripture with ‘fresh’ eyes, not reading into it what I’ve always been taught or have always thought, I sometimes get fresh ideas – some more contextual than others. Thinking through that idea on my own can get me off track. That is why the conversational part of this responsible, contextual bible study is so vital. We need each other as we pursue a holy life. Thank you one and all for being that safe place!



LeeI’ve been catching up today. My problem is that your material draws me in and I find I could easily spend 4 hours chewing on what you offer for each day. Level 1 and 2 are just teasers for 3 and I hate it when I can’t immerse myself in the third level. I can do it quicker but go away feeling like I only ate half of what was on my plate. I don’t say this to critique your material but to compliment it. I find it incredibly valuable. What you put before us is of such high caliber, and is so compelling, and speaks so directly to my life that I have a hard time putting it down and getting on with my day. . . . I don’t know what you can do to make things better, but I do know this—-DON’T DUMB IT DOWN!



RickKelly_reading2Like Lacey, I was surprised at the length of the scroll. I dressed up in my biblical outfit (have used it many times for VBS) and read it to my secretary and friend and her two daughters, they were amused at first, found it interesting by the end. Thanks for the suggestion to do this, I would never have even considered reading the whole letter at one time. It was powerful, getting the overall message that Paul wanted to give.



Jim Welch1Gary, I will say again thank you for the spiritual growth that you and the Spirit have helped me achieve. You have changed the way I think about scripture and the way I share scripture with others. In my work as a hospice chaplain I have used your insights on a number of occasions to help those who are hurting to know the peace that comes from seeing anew our Lord in verses they have heard all their lives. And this simply by getting them to see the context and the purpose of that writer for that writing. It is truly a freeing experience. Yet, it is so challenging as I work to overcome decades of how to approach the Word.

--Jim W.

To Meet Our Bible Study Group, and to See What They Think of CWP, Click Here!



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