Organized religion is not connecting with most Americans.
Ninety-two percent of Americans say they believe in some higher power, including one-fifth of those who call themselves atheist, yet only thirty-nine percent of Americans regularly attend religious services. In Massachusetts, a greater percentage of people attend services than report believing in God. Something is amiss.
There appears to be a gulf of distrust between the Christian faithful who align themselves with churches and those who are skeptical of such an alignment. Those skeptics often call themselves “spiritual but not religious” or even identify themselves as Christian, but no longer trust the Church to help them in an authentic exploration of faith.
Since its inception, the main mission of the Church has been to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus to make disciples, and yet because of that gulf of distrust, those who seek to fulfill that mission find it difficult if not impossible to reach those on the other side.
MassBible provides a bridge between the faithful and the skeptical by promoting biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Through small groups, lectures, video, and the web, we provide a safe place to explore the Bible in the context of the many voices of Christian interpretation.
Whether you are asking questions of the 35 seminary professors in our Ask-a-Prof program, reading the Bible cover to cover in one of our small groups, or watching a video of both established professors and students on the cutting edge of research on our website, you will be able to explore the text of the Bible in the context of many different interpretations.
-- For those who simply want to become more familiar with the Bible without pressure to adopt a set of beliefs, you have that freedom with us.
-- For those who might want to give the Church another chance, we can point you to one of our partner churches that might be a good fit.
-- For local churches looking for new ways to make disciples, we can provide training for local leaders in hosting a group that is safe for those who are distrustful, bridging the gulf that currently hampers the core mission of the Church.
-- We can make book recommendations for your own book groups or Sunday School classes or church libraries and point you to online resources that can increase biblical literacy and understanding in your congregation. We can fill your pulpit for a Sunday or provide a workshop on the Bible for your members or for your community.
The Bible is interwoven in art, literature, music, culture, and politics. To ignore it, or to fail to recognize its many voices and interpretation, is to fail to understand much of the world in which we live. The gulf is wide, but we can be a bridge for you, no matter which side of the gulf you are on. It’s deep, it’s exciting, it’s safe. Join us
Mssion: The Massachusetts Bible Society is a Christian organization that exists to promote biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue that is grounded in scholarship, socially relevant, and respectful of the many voices within the Bible and all those who turn to the Bible in faith.
MassBible's View of Scripture:
The Bible was written by many authors, all inspired by God. It is neither a simple collection of books written by human authors, nor is it the literal words of God dictated to human scribes. It is a source of religious truth, presented in a diversity of styles, genres, and languages and is not meant to serve as fact in science, history, or social structure.
The Bible has authority for communities of faith who take time to study and prayerfully interpret its message, but it is also important for anyone who wants more fully to understand culture, religious thought, and the world in which we live.
Biblical texts have been interpreted in diverse ways from generation to generation and are always filtered through the lens of the reader’s faith and life experiences. This breadth and plurality, however, are what keep the Bible alive through the ages and enhance its ongoing, transformative power.