Deep engagement with Scripture and the empowerment of all people to read and understand its texts is core to the Reformed Christian tradition.

There are all sorts of lenses through which people read scripture (hermeneutics) as they seek to unpack and understand its meaning (exegesis). The United Reformed Church celebrates this diversity as a great gift of God, allowing us to discern the will of the Holy Spirit for all God’s people in the different times and places in which they have been placed. To do this effectively, we must engage in differing ways of exploring God’s Word together and challenge each other, in love, to ensure that we are being true to what God is saying to us through the Bible.

The items shared through this page will help you to explore the Bible in innovative and fresh ways, perhaps encouraging you to try something different in order to better understand the meaning of a text in its own context or give you an opportunity to consider interpretations or messages contained in Scripture which you may not have thought of previously.

Some suggestions to get you started will be posted here soon.

By Peter Chave

beloved‘Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the fields and lodge in the villages’ The Song of Songs 7:11

I led a day retreat for the leaders of a Local Ecumenical Project which included Baptist, Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic clergy. Leaving the city behind, in favour of the gentle embrace of the Cornish countryside, we took with us that much-neglected book The Song of Songs and checked it out with plenty of time spent in the grounds of the retreat house. ‘…The winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come…’ (2:1–12). But The Song of Songs is just a human love song, isn’t it? Scholars have proved it, haven’t they? Anyone who has not got a tin ear must always have recognised that. And isn’t it wonderful that embodied, romantic, human love is celebrated in Holy Scripture?

Read more: Come, my beloved...

By Mark Argent

LectioLectio Divina or ‘holy reading’ is a meditative way of reading a passage of scripture. The idea is to read a text slowly, entering deeply into the response to individual words and phrases. One of the strengths of this approach is that it can be used with any passage of scripture, so that it does not depend on the text telling a story. It’s an approach particularly associated with the psalms, but by no means limited to them.

Read more: Lectio Divina