Frequently Asked Questions about Courses


Table of Contents

  1. What should I expect if I attend a course?
  2. How do I book a course?
  3. Is my venue suitable?
  4. What do you provide?
  5. Do I have to know Hebrew, Greek  or Latin?
  6. Can I invite a friend who does not know the Bible at all?
  7. Can children attend?
  8. Do I need to provide refreshments?
  9. We are a Muslim group. Are the courses applicable to us?
  10. Is SYNEIDON a specifically Christian organisation?
  11. Will my faith in the Bible be undermined?

What should I expect if I attend a course?

The format of each course differs. However, the courses are informal and usually comprise of short presentation sessions (for example, looking at papyrus copies of the Gospels) and group work. Each course is designed, not so much as a straight learning exercise, but as an opportunity to individually and/or in groups engage and respond to the information given. In this respect, the course presenter is just as much part of the learning exercise as those attending.

It is important to stress that the tone of the courses are non-threatening and non-confrontational and are conducted in a sensitive manner. Everyone may participate as much or as little as they wish.

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How do I book a course?

Simply contact us via this website or at the office.

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Is my venue suitable?

Courses can be held in almost any type of venue. The only main requirement is access to an electrical power point. As the courses are informal, the ability to move chairs and tables around is also an advantage. However, most limitations can be overcome.

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What do you provide?

All materials for the course are provided by SYNEIDON. Generally this will include presentation materials and equipment (PowerPoint and projector), artefacts (where appropriate), handouts and workbooks (where appropriate).

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own copy of the Bible (favourite or familiar translation).

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Do I have to know Hebrew, Greek or Latin ?

No. Although in some of the courses we do look at copies of texts in these languages, each course is specifically designed for those without any specialist language skills.

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Can I invite a friend who does not know the Bible at all?

Certainly. I have been amazed by the number of people who do not attend church or profess any religious affiliations and yet have attended my New Testament Greek classes.

The courses are designed so that everyone learns together. Someone who is freshly encountering the Bible for the first time has just as valuable insights as someone who has read it all their lives. It is also assumed that each course will include people who have a wide range of experience and knowledge of the Bible and will, therefore, cater to all levels.

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Can children attend?

The general courses are designed for adult groups. We can however tailor-make a course for your requirements to include (or pitched exclusively at) children. For example of one such course, see The World of the New Testament (b). However, all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Unfortunately we cannot cater for children only events.

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Do I need to provide refreshments?

Yes. It is easier if you provide the refreshments for the course. For day long courses it can be suggested that attendees bring their own packed lunch or contribute food/drink for a communal meal. 

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We are a Muslim group. Are the courses applicable to us?

Certainly. The courses provide an excellent opportunity for other faiths to explore and discuss Biblical research in relation to studies and function of their sacred scriptures. This can be helpful in, not only understanding Christianity, but also providing a deeper understanding of their own sacred texts.

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Is SYNEIDON a specifically Christian organisation?

SYNEIDON acknowledges and respects the place of the Bible within the Christian faith and seeks to act as a resource in order to enrich the Church's experience and understanding of its sacred scriptures. However, SYNEIDON is an academically based organisation and is not affiliated to any religious denomination or movement. It is committed to creating a dialogue between academic and church communities concerning the understanding and interpretation of the Bible.

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Will my faith in the Bible be undermined?

Where academic research appears to be at variance with a Christian understanding of the Bible, these issues will be sensitively and sympathetically explored. At the heart of SYNEIDON's philosophy of teaching is a deeply felt respect for the place of the Bible within the Christian faith. Its intention is to enrich and deepen the Church's understanding of its sacred texts and to promote its considered and informed use.   

The instruction to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 sums up the ethos underlying SYNEIDON's courses: "Be eager to present yourself approved to God [as] an unashamed workman, cutting straight the word of truth."

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Richard Goode.
Copyright © 1999  [SYNEIDON Research Project]. All rights reserved.
Revised: März 15, 2008 .