The first of two Introduction to the Bible courses, this five-week study is designed to familiarize students with the Bible generally, preparing them to read, study, pray, live, and proclaim the Sacred Scriptures. Clergy and Christian faithful (Consecrated Religious, teachers, Bible study leaders, dads and moms, missionaries, the curious and inquisitive)—all are welcome.
For recording purposes and to serve the format of a publishing project for individual and group study, this lecture-style class will consist in five units of two fifty-minute sessions each, with ample time between and after sessions for nonrecorded discussion and further engagement. Each two-session unit will focus on a question aimed at Bible familiarity:
- Unit 1: Can Catholics Really Be Bible Christians?
- Unit 2: What Is the Bible?
- Unit 3: What Is the Place of the Bible in Christian Faith?
- Unit 4: How Did We Get the Bible?
- Unit 5: What Does the Bible Say, Can We Trust It, and Why Does It Matter?
Included are discussions on why God chose written words as a medium of divine communication, why Catholic Bibles are bigger than Protestant Bibles, how and why Bible versions vary and which ones are to be preferred, an overview of the whole Bible that is conveniently memorable, and a consideration of those parts of the Bible that are hard to square with modern-day conceptions and objections about reality and morality.
This course should be viewed, ideally, as prerequisite to Part II, which will focus on questions of biblical interpretation. That course will move further along a path from theory to practice, from guiding principles to their application in the actual task of making sense of the meaning and message of biblical texts—in other words, how to read and understand the Bible.
Classroom Location & Directions