Bible

Letty Young hold her Bible with the help of registered nurse Lisa Barnes. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune / August 26, 2012)

Rich in language, history and symbolism, the Bible isn't an easy read for many people. But an upcoming seminar may help make understanding its significance a little easier.

Orland Park Christian Reformed Church, 7500 Sycamore Drive, is hosting "Your kingdom come: the ministry of Jesus in its first century setting," on Feb. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Feb. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be led by Rev. Ray Vander Laan and includes sections on the language, culture, history and geography of the Bible, as well as its "Jewish context."

The event provides a question-and-answer period, snack break Feb. 14 and continental breakfast and boxed lunch Feb. 15. The cost is $50.

"Seeing God's Word in its Jewish context helps equip Christians to impact their own culture with the power of God's word," Vander Laan, a Biblical scholar who lives in Holland, Mich., said in a printed statement about the seminar. "The ancient perspective can serve to make God's word intensely relevant and our calling to be his disciples more urgent."

The seminar will explore the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus and His Bible, Being a Disciple, and First Century Israel and the effect of land and culture of Biblical times.

"Our church wanted to invite Rev. Vander Laan to lead the seminar because he is such a gifted teacher and educator," said Jan Kamp, church education director. "He weaves archeological evidence with Biblical teachings and brings scripture to life."

The church held a similar seminar led by Vander Laan in 2006 and "felt compelled to offer the educational opportunity again," Kamp said. The church has used Vander Laan's Faith Lesson DVDs in its adult education classes and some members have gone on his educational trips to Israel and Turkey.

More information about the event, including registration, is at http://www.orlandchurch.com or 708-532-4900.

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