4 pages
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Bible Analysis Essay

May 19, 2016
Part A
(I) With the tile of the course being “The Bible & Its Interpretations”, I completely
expected for the course to focus almost exclusively on the distinctions between the different
translations and interpretations of the Bible. I felt this way primarily because I read the title of
the course much too literally. Ironically, this was also the way I was reading the Bible prior to
this course.
(II) My understanding of the Bible has undergone a complete reform as a result of this
course. My family and I are active members and servants of our church. As a result, I have been
raised to look towards the Bible as a source of guidance. After taking this course, it seemed to me
that my lack of knowledge of the history and context of scripture was preventing me from
reading the Bible in the way it was intended to be read. I was never explicitly taught to read the
Bible and take it’s meaning literally, but this seemed to be the general consensus among my
peers and it was rarely discouraged. This course, Br. Mark, and the College Study Bible have
provided me with the resources to do more than just read the Bible, instead it has taught me to
appreciate the symbolic nature and historical significance of scripture.
(III) The three most important things I’ve learned through this semester were discovering
the different authors of The Pentateuch, the significance of the judges as a precursor to the
Davidic dynasty, and the historical significance of the book of Mark. Each of these aspects of the
Bible were once completely foreign to me, but all are invaluable pieces of information that shape
the way I interpret most of the Bible. I definitely see the value in my newfound understanding of
the Bible. Where I previously found myself reading of the stories of the creation of man,
knowing that these were praises to the Lord allow me to reaffirm my faith and dispel any doubts
I once held.
Part B: Baptismal Symbolizm
References to baptism in the Bible typically symbolize the shedding of past sins and the
beginning of a new walk with Jesus. Although this is still true in the book of Mark, baptism is
also seen here as a symbolic acceptance of martyrdom, in the name of Christianity. This reflects
the widespread persecution of Christians that was occurring during the time Saint Mark was
writing his gospel. The baptismal symbols in the gospel of Mark each bear a symbolic
Final Exam Essay, 2

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