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Bible Basics

Course Level: Basic

Course Summary

This course presupposes that an individual has not had a general overview of the bible. This is a great place to begin. The 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. If you have ever wondered how the Bible is arranged, what types of writings can be found in it, how to navigate through the Bible, and how to interpret the Bible as a Catholic, you are about to begin an interesting discovery. Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

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
  • Identify how the Bible is arranged
  • Understand the Old Testament as the story of Godís relationship with his People Israel before the birth of Jesus
  • Identify the four parts of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, History, Wisdom, Prophets
  • Understand the New Testament as the story of Godís relationship with his People in and through Jesus Christ and the Church
  • Identify the four parts of the New Testament: Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Letters, Revelation
  • 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
  • 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 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: Paprocki, Joe, DMin The Bible Blueprint: A Catholicís Guide to Understanding and Embracing Godís Word Loyola Press. 2009 ISBN: 0829428984; ISBN-13: 978-0829428988
  • Course Materials available at the VLCFF Amazon Store.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Introduction to the Bible: What it is and How itís Arranged
    • Explain what the Bible is and how it came about
    • Understand the concept of Revelation
    • Identify the major sections of the Old Testament and New Testament
    • Explain the relationship between Scripture and Tradition
    • Identify challenges that Catholics face when it comes to reading and understanding the Bible
    • Share personal experiences of familiarity with the Bible
  • Week 2: Overview of the Old Testament and New Testament
    • Gain an understanding of biblical citation and how to use the Table of Contents
    • Understand the Old Testament as the story of Godís relationship with his People Israel before the birth of Jesus
    • Identify and describe the four parts of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, History, Wisdom, Prophets
    • Understand the New Testament as the story of Godís relationship with his People in and through Jesus Christ and the Church
    • Identify the four parts of the New Testament: Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Letters, Revelation
    • Gain an understanding of authorship of biblical books
    • Gain a basic understanding of the chronology of salvation history and the geography of the Holy Land
  • Week 3: How Catholics Interpret Scripture
    • Explain the difference between truth and fact in the Bible
    • Gain an understanding of the role of figurative language in the Bible
    • Describe an authentic Catholic approach to interpreting Scripture
    • Cite and explain specific examples of figurative language in the Bible
    • Identify and explain the symbolic meaning of numbers and locations in the Bible
    • Describe the dangers of biblical fundamentalism
    • Identify Church documents related to Scripture
  • Week 4: Scripture Study Tools and Resources
    • Explain how footnotes and cross-references assist us in reading Scripture
    • Explain the purpose of biblical dictionaries and concordances and describe how they are used
    • Describe the necessity for biblical commentaries and identify available resources
    • Identify the differences between various editions of the Bible (particularly Catholic vs. Protestant)
    • Describe how to choose a quality Bible
    • Gain an understanding of the role of apocryphal writings and how the Bible was formulated into its present arrangement
    • Describe basic forms of criticism available for Scripture study (form, historical, redaction, textual, source)
  • Week 5: The Bible in Daily Life and in the Life of the Church
    • Identify approaches to beginning reading and studying Scripture
    • Describe how to pray with Scripture
    • Describe the process of Lectio Divina
    • Explain the role of Scripture in the Liturgy
    • Describe a catechetical approach to introducing the Bible to beginners