Monday, January 17, 2011

Bible Basics, Day 1: Introduction

Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths. Ps. 119:105

     To study the Bible within the context of our Catholic Faith is to embark upon a great and rewarding spiritual adventure.  The Word of God is so limitless and rich that there is no end to our study of the Sacred Scriptures.  The more we know, the more we desire to learn. There is, however,  a beginning!  I hope this series of posts will be a beginning for you.  We shall truly begin at the beginning...assuming no knowledge on your part of the Bible.  Therefore, some of these posts will be too basic for some of you, but I hope you will still benefit from some review of fundamental principles.  Studying the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and your knowledge will be built up a little at a time as you follow along here and also as you read and learn elsewhere.  This study is directed at homeschooling moms with little time and also could be used for middle or high school aged students as a basic introduction.  Each post covers only ONE basic idea and should only take about 10 minutes, but you can extend it a lot by reading the linked material.

The General Plan

     It's always good to have a I'll give you the "big picture".  Just don't hold me to it, because, frankly, I tend to drift from the "plan" into the reality of the moment.  Here, however, is the intention, at least!

     *First, a series of posts on Basic Bible knowledge :
          -what the Church says about Revelation
          -how are Scripture and Tradition related
          -main divisions of the Bible
          -Catholic vs. Protestant Bibles
          -understanding Bible references
          -how the Bible was written and transmitted: when, where, why, and how
          -how the books of the Bible were chosen
          -types of Bibles: translations and paraphrases
          -what the Church teaches about the four meanings of Scripture
          -tools for studying the Bible

     *Second, a series of posts on an overview of Scripture:
          -basic information on each book or section of the Bible
          -a brief look at the important stories of salvation history
          -information about geography, dating, and customs

     *Third, where we go now depends on what YOU want to learn next!

Formatting Pointers

    In order to help you follow along, I will put quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church in dark blue and quotes from the Bible (we will use the Revised Standard Version) in dark red.  Longer quoted sections from these sources will have an icon to highlight them.  Quotes from the Popes and Fathers, Doctors, and saints will be highlighted with small picture icons.  Interesting little facts and asides will have this little guy next to them:

I'll Talk to You

     I will try to post a new lesson every Tuesday and Friday.   Each post will focus on one important topic that you need to know to understand the Bible in the context of the teaching of the Catholic Church.  The first series will be "Bible Basics".  Each post will be titled with "Bible Basics" and then a short description of the topic so that you can find it easily later on for reference or review.
     Most posts will contain links to writings of the Church or saints for your further study.  This is just enrichment, so feel free to enjoy reading these additional texts if your schedule and interest permit.  If not, no one will give you a test on the material!  I promise!
     I will give you a few questions or Bible references to consider each post.  These will prepare you for the next lesson.  It will enrich the study for you if you can do these little assignments, but if not, please at least continue to read along with the posts.
     Again, each lesson will be very short, hopefully no more that 10 minutes to read and will focus on just ONE main idea.  The main idea will be restated at the end of each lesson.  It might seem pretty easy to just cover two ideas a week, but in this way you will slowly and steadily increase your knowledge of the Bible and the Faith without a great strain on your time.  You can always learn more and make each lesson longer by using the links in each post.

You'll Talk to Me (Right??)

     You can help me out so much by letting me know your thoughts, questions, or confusions.  You can leave remarks as "comments" or you can email me using the link at the top left-hand side of the blog.
Believe me when I say that this is a true encouragement for me to continue, as well as a help for me in designing the course for everyone.

Basic Texts

     *A Bible, whichever one you have at home right now.  Later, we'll discuss different translations,etc.
     *The Catechism of the Catholic Church,  either online or a copy you already have. 

Stuff for the Kids

     From time to time, I hope to link to resources for children so that you can share your new knowledge with them.  

 Your Assignment:
   (for the questions, you may want to have a small journal to jot down your answers)
1.  Find your Bible and Catechism.  Be sure you know where they are so you can use them for the next lesson.
2.  What do you think is meant by the phrase the Word of God?
3.  Why does God want to communicate with us?

Next time:  Bible Basics:  The  Revelation of God


  1. Thanks for the plan....sound great. I do understand drifting from a plan...I tend to do that too.

    The formatting pointers sound great...thanks.

    I look forward this study of the Bible.

    By the way, I am here from Kind Conversation.

  2. I am looking forward to this series, thanks for pulling it together!

  3. Thanks, Caroline. I'm really looking forward to this.

  4. This sounds wonderful. I'll be checking back!

  5. Welcome, all! I'm looking forward to this, too!

  6. Looking forward to this!