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Introduction to Scripture

Course Level: Basic

Course Summary

This course presupposes that an individual has not had a general overview of the bible and is interested in a more academic approach. If you are brand new to studying the bible you may be better to start with the Bible Basics course. The Introduction to Scripture course cannot cover everything one needs to know for navigating into the world of the scriptures but one is given a few basic concepts to begin the journey. This course will focus how the Bible came about, what were some of the cultural factors which influenced the events around the writing of the Old and New Testaments, and what Church documents today tell us about the Bible. You are about to begin an interesting journey.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Explain what the Bible is and how it came about
  • Begin to develop a basic biblical vocabulary
  • Understand how Roman Catholics read and interpret the Bible
  • Understand the main mistakes to avoid while reading and interpreting the Bible
  • Identify the key Church documents related to the study of the Scriptures
  • Explain the similarities and differences in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Bibles
  • Identify the meaning of "inspiration" and "revelation" in the Scriptures
  • Understand literary form as it is applied to their reading of the Scriptures
  • Identify the key Church documents related to the study of the Scriptures
  • Explain the meaning of "synoptic Gospels" and the unique contribution of each of the synoptic authors
  • Explain the uniqueness of Johnís Gospel
  • Understand the importance for a Biblical Foundation for the life of the Church
  • Understand the meaning of the oral and written traditions of the Scriptures
  • Understand the meaning and history of covenant love through the history of the Israelites
  • Identify the meaning of the Kingdom as expressed in the Lordís Prayer
  • Understand what a parable is and its role in proclaiming the Good News
  • Understand the significance of the homily and characteristics of good homilies for the spiritual life of the community
  • Identify the relationship between Scripture and Church teachings
  • Understand the role that Scripture can play in moral discernment
  • Explain how Scripture can be used to nurture oneís prayer life

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. How do Catholics Read the Bible? Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers. 2005 ISBN: 0742548716; ISBN-13: 978-0742548718
  • Optional Book: Video CD
    • This course uses on-line video clips. If you use a dial-up connection for your Internet access please request a CD of the video clips by sending an e-mail to Margaret McCrate: mmccrate1@udayton.edu
  • Course Materials available at the VLCFF Amazon Store.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Introduction to the Bible: Inspiration and Revelation
    • Explain what the Bible is and how it came about.
    • Identify the books of the Old Testament and those found in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Bibles.
    • Identify the meaning of "inspiration" and "revelation" in the Scriptures.
    • Understand how Catholics ought to properly read and not read the Bible
    • Understand the meaning of the oral and written traditions of the Scriptures.
  • Week 2: The Meaning of Covenant and Importance of Literary Form
    • Understand the meaning and history of covenant love through the history of the Israelites.
    • Understand literary form as it is applied to their reading of the Scriptures.
    • Gain an understanding why an exclusively literal reading of Scripture has never been seen as valid by the Roman Catholic Church
    • Gain an understanding of how Catholics ought to interpret the Old Testament
  • Week 3: The Synoptic Gospels
    • Explain the meaning of "synoptic Gospels."
    • Understand the unique contribution of each of the synoptic authors.
    • Identify the meaning of the Kingdom as expressed in the Lordís Prayer.
    • Understand what a parable is and its role in proclaiming the Good News.
    • Explain the paradoxes of the Kingdom.
  • Week 4: The Gospel of John and the Study of Jesus
    • Be introduced to how Scripture helps gives rise to the study of Christology.
    • Explain the uniqueness of Johnís Gospel.
  • Week 5: The Scriptures and Catholic Church Documents
    • Identify the key Church documents related to the study of the Bible.
    • Identify the relationship of between Scripture and Church teachings.
    • Develop a basic, though comprehensive understanding of how Catholics ought to interpret the Scriptures
    • Understand why the Catholic Church thinks its approach to interpreting Scripture does full justice to the Bible