Contextual Bible studies open up new opportunities in Edinburgh

Share this article


For the past seven years, Augustine United Church in Edinburgh has enjoyed a monthly contextual Bible study (CBS). The Revd Fiona Bennett, minister of the church, explains how this has made an enormous difference in the life of the community.

As a city centre church, our participants are quite diverse and come with a range of perspectives. We meet for one evening, every month for 90 minutes. After agreeing to respect the different opinions that may be expressed, we read the passage aloud and then go through the five to seven prepared questions following the CBS format.

The structure of CBS has been clear and effective for us, but it is the tone of the diverse group that has made it so enriching and enjoyable.

The sessions have been a great source for kinship. We’ve been able to share stories and experiences, be open about questions and doubts, and help each other build confidence in understanding and learning what the Bible has to say and how it can help us in our daily lives.

CBS has led to the formation of a number of other groups and courses where we have explored more about the nature of the Bible, spirituality and theology. All of which have allowed for diverse opinions and doubt, as well as wonder and hope.

The final question in a CBS session asks: ‘What might this passage offer our lives/church/world today?’ We always leave with some insight we did not expect.

To find out more and think about how your congregation could engage further with the Holy Habit of Biblical Teaching, visit:

Share this article