Why study the New Testament?

A challenge from

Sarah Harris

New Testament Lecturer

As Christians we often pick up the Bible and read it. The Bible is good to read regularly and it is extraordinary that we can hear the Spirit speak to us from its pages. But have you ever considered the writers of the text, or the lives of the people they wrote to? Have you thought about the way an author colours in a character to help us understand something about God, God’s mission or God’s world? Have you considered the culture of the first century and the cultural scripts embedded in the biblical text?

Theological study is a great discipleship discipline and is not for the faint-hearted. It is anything but a dry, dusty task; it is a Spirit filled activity where we are stretched and challenged. It drives us to love people more, it helps to knock off our rough edges, it challenges us to view God’s world and his people through his eyes, and it drives us to our knees.

At Carey we offer many NT courses including an Introduction to Reading and Interpreting the New Testament. I really enjoy teaching this course because students begin to peel back layers and depth in the biblical text and they find something profound about the richness of God and the gospel. Someone likened the Bible to a huge swimming pool where in the shallow end there was a place for pre-schoolers to play, and at the end of the pool the water is so deep that the depths have not yet been fully explored by scholars. As we continue to grow as disciples of Christ, we need to dive down into different parts of the pool so that we continue to seek the triune God with increasing maturity. If we stay in the shallow water we miss so much of the breadth, depth, length and height of God’s love. What part of the pool are you swimming in? Have you put out into the deep end?

As this year draws to an end and you contemplate your coming year, why not make room for some theological study. If you would like to find our more about our NT courses, call me on 09-526-0344, or email me: