The Smith Class
Teacher: Clifton Karnes (e-mail me at clif [at] karnesdesign [dot] com)
When: 10:00 a.m., September through May
Where: Room 120 on the lower level
Are you looking for a place where you can engage both your mind and your heart? Where studying the Scriptures is an open search, not a closed book? Then come join us in the Smith Class. The Smith Class is an adult Bible study class that uses the Lectionary, which is simply a list of Bible readings for each Sunday in the year following the church calendar. We discuss each Sunday's Bible readings with a focus on both the text's historical background and what the Scripture passages can mean to us in our lives today. In the Smith Class, we don't have all the answers, but we always learn from each other.
The Smith Class (which is named in honor of long-time teacher Winnie Smith) meets Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 10:50 in the Smith Classroom, which is in the church's lower level across from room 121. The class traditionally meets from September through May. Visitors are always welcome. Below are some online Lectionary and Bible study resources.
- United Church of Christ Lectionary Texts
Lectionary readings hosted by the United Church of Christ (use the drop-down list at the top of the page to access the readings). Each day's reading also includes commentary and other useful material. The site lists readings for each church season (roughly). To view Lectionary texts for the entire year (or beyond), see the Vanderbilt Lectionary Site below.
- Revised Common Lectionary from the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
The Vanderbilt Lectionary Site hosts all the readings for the Lectionary's entire three-year cycle. In the site's own words, "The online Revised Common Lectionary is a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, a division of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library of Vanderbilt University. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible."
- The Consultation on Common Texts
The Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) is the body that produces the Lectionary readings for each Sunday. In the CCT's own words, it is "an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada, who produce liturgical texts for use in common by North American Christian Churches. A noted work of the CCT is the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). The CCT meets biannually in New York on the campus of the General Theological Seminary."
- The Text This Week
Jenee Woodard's The Text This Week is a huge compilation of Lectionary resources. (Click on the link directly below the date to access the Lectionary resources for that date.) In her own words, "this site features a wide variety of resources for study and liturgy based on the 3-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle. I am intentionally including a diverse variety of resources for scripture study, reflection and liturgy, and purposefully not restricting the resources to any particular theological/ideological position, including my own."
- Seasons of the Spirit
Seasons of the Spirit is the Web site for the curriculum we use in the Smith Class. There are many study resources here, but one of the most useful is "Spirit Sightings," which relates contemporary news stories to each week's Lectionary reading.
- BibleStudyTools.com - Bible Versions
Full-featured study site with many Bible translations (NRSV, KJV, NIV, TNIV and many, many more), reference tools, and more. Many of the study tools listed under "Bible Study Tools" below are from this site
Another site with Bibles and reference tools, but what makes BibleGateway special is the selection of audio Bibles.
- Ken Collins' Survey of English Bible Translations
Ken Collins is a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor, and his Web site has lots of interesting and extremely useful Bible study aids. One really outstanding section on his site is his guide to English Bible translations, which contains a very inclusive list of translations with pros and cons of each. This is a great introduction to the history of the Bible in English and a terrific place to start if you're looking for a new Bible translation.
- Bible Basics - Pronunciation
This site features both a pronunciation guide and audio files for Bible names and places. With the audio files, you can actually hear the pronunciation of names from Artaxerxes to Zerubbabel.
Bible Study Tools