For many years I’ve written church curriculum aimed at helping people understand the Bible, apply it to personal life, and interpret the text concerning modern topics. For an even longer time, I’ve read the Bible in order to grow in my faith, to clarify God’s will and purposes. For me, reading the Bible is a great joy!
A few years ago I purchased a new NRSV Bible to replace (but more usually to supplement) the worn old Bible I’ve used since I purchased it for a college course in 1977. Approaching my 50th birthday, I decided to take notes as I compared the two Bibles. Beginning with that time of midlife spiritual renewal, my notes became a blog called “Changing Bibles,” and then I “farmed out” the posts at that site to this one, and also to a companion site to this one (called Bible Connections), and to yet another site that focuses upon Psalm 121. So these four sites of informal notes and reveries are interconnected as the results of a common midlife resolution to study the Bible anew. My resolution clearly got out of hand, but in a good way.
At first I hoped that the contents of the present blog would become a published book. But the material did not fit comfortably into a genre: academic study, curriculum, or memoir. So I stopped sending queries to publishers and “cut to the chase” by making my studies available to readers in this online form.
Thereby, I hope I can help you—you who found this site—discover favorite scriptural passages of your own, and give you a fresh appreciation of the Bible, lengthy and intimidating though it can be for many of us.
As we study the Bible, we seek not only to understand things about the Lord but also to seek the Lord himself. It can be easy for us to forget that the living Christ is right now helping us as we read and study. Thus my blog title has a double sense: we grow in enjoyment of Bible study so that we look forward to it, but we also grow in love of God and one another. We connect Bible passages to Christ, and as we do so we see how the living Christ and the Holy Spirit is present to us today, helping us learn and grow and draw closer to the triune Lord who has already accomplished more than we could think or ask (Eph. 3:20-21).
Please feel free to comment and raise topics and questions, so that we can have a conversation about faith and life. Also, please feel free simply to browse. I managed to refer to every biblical book (even tiny Obadiah and 3 John), and I quoted or cited a few passages in the Apocrypha, the Talmud, the Qur’an, and the Dhammapada. If anything here is helpful enough for you to use, you may certainly do so but if you quote something, please indicate the source.
See the chapter headings at the bottom of this page, representing my various journeys and reveries.
About me: I’m the author of sixteen books and over 200 articles, curricular pieces, reviews, essays, and poems, plus contributions to ten other books. I’m currently working on a manuscript of poems on religious and small town themes; please pray for the success of this project!
Some of my study books, like What Do Other Faiths Believe (2003), What About Religion and Science? (2007), You Gave Me a Wide Place (2006) and Exploring the Mystery of God (2001), are available at Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com. A curriculum for which I was principal writer, Faithful Citizen, is available at Logos Productions. For about fourteen years I served on the writing-research team of the weekly curriculum FaithLink, about which I continue to spread the word as a excellent way to apply the Bible to contemporary issues.
All original material on this site is copyright 2009-2014 by Paul E. Stroble. The header photograph, taken by my wife Beth in 2011, is a stone from an ancient synagogue at Capernaum, perhaps depicting the Ark of the Covenant.
All Bible quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version unless otherwise indicated. The New Revised Standard Version Bible is copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
A shout out to my family. As always, I’m so thankful for my immediate family, Beth and Emily, not to mention our two cats Taz and Saki. In some of these essays, especially chapters 2 and 3, I discuss how my initial interest in the Bible was gained among home places, thanks to my parents, Mildred (1919-2012) and Paul (1912-1999) Stroble, and my maternal grandmother, Grace Crawford (1890-1972). So although these essays are obviously not about my family, in my own mind they connect—-a “conceptual continuity,” as Frank Zappa would say—-with previous works about home places: my adolescent Crawford family tree project (1974), and my books High on the Okaw’s Western Bank (1992), Journeys Home (1995), and You Gave Me a Wide Place (2006).
I also want to give a shout out to two amazing friends for whom I’m very grateful: Tom Dukes, and Stacey Stachowicz.