Opening the Word: Catholics and the Bible

Dr. Vern Steiner
Instructor
Dr. Vern Steiner
Opening the Word: Catholics and the Bible

As the first of two interterm courses built into our Creation to New Creation program, this five-week study is designed to familiarize students with the Bible generally, preparing them to read, study, pray, love, and live the Sacred Scriptures. Clergy and Christian faithful (Consecrated Religious, teachers and catechists, Bible study leaders, dads and moms, missionaries, the curious and inquisitive)—are all welcome. This course is required for those pursuing the Emmaus certificate.

Opening the Word: Catholics and the Bible will consist in five sessions, each focusing on a question aimed at Bible familiarity:

  • Session 1: Can Catholics Be Bible Christians, or Why Should They Be?
  • Session 2: What is the Bible, and How Did We Get It? Part 1
  • Session 3: What is the Bible, and How Did We Get It? Part 2
  • Session 4: Can We Trust the Bible, (and if so) Why Are We Not Bible-Only Christians?
  • Session 5: What Does the Bible Say, and Why Does It Matter?

Included are discussions on some of the myths many Catholics and non-Catholics believe about each other and the Bible, why God chose written words as a medium of divine communication, how stories became books and books became collections and collections became Testaments, why Catholic Bibles are bigger than Protestant Bibles, how and why Bible versions vary and which ones are to be preferred, a consideration of those parts of the Bible that are hard to square with modern-day conceptions and objections about reality and morality, and an overview of the whole Bible that is conveniently memorable.

This course should ideally be viewed as prerequisite to a second interterm course one year later 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—how to read and understand the Bible, in other words.

Required Texts:

  • Sacred Scripture, the Bible (preferably ESVCE [English Standard Version, Catholic Edition] or RSVCE 2nd edition [Revised Standard Version; Catholic Edition])
  • Instructor’s notes (provided and included in the registration cost)

*This course will be available to take in person or online at your own pace. In-person class sizes are limited, so please register early. Online classes will be available the day following each in-person class. In-person enrollments include free access to the online course.
**Parking at Calvert Office Park is on the south side of the building, lower level. Enter through the far east door, labeled ‘Calvert Venue’ (suite 33).

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