Bible Study 2017 – 2018
This will be the beginning of our 16th year of Bible Study at St. Joseph’s of Clarksburg. Romans will be quite a contrast from our other studies. Guided by God, Paul begins to lay out the first foundational principles of Christianity and the Church. While intellectually challenging, Paul’s treatment of faith and righteousness is both revealing and spiritually inspiring. This ancient writing may have become one of the most influential letters ever written. It was life changing for the fourth century Augustine and in contrast to Martin Luther, as well. Many religious scholars call Romans the most profound book of the Bible, the fullest and most comprehensive statement of true Christianity. Romans teaches that by the grace of God we come to trust and love God and discover the secret of an upright and satisfying life.
Paul was highly educated and trained under the renowned Jewish Rabbi Gamaliel. He was a scholar and intellectual with a thorough knowledge of Jewish law and traditions. He became a Pharisee and was fierce in his persecution of Christians who he believed to be heretics. It was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians that Jesus came to him and changed Paul into one of his greatest Apostles, the Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul describes how every man has knowledge of God’s existence and they are without excuse. It is man’s rejection of God that has brought God’s wrath against him. It is from Jesus Christ’s work and his death on the cross that we can be saved from our sins and God’s wrath. Paul describes the way are lives can be turned around; that our lives can be changed from one of futility to one of fruitfulness! The classes stand on their own and you can begin at any time.
All classes are held after mass on Sunday beginning around 10:45am. The classes go at their own pace and are generally over between 12:15 and 12:30pm.
If you have any questions or you would like more information, contact Brad Pappalardo.
WHY BIBLE STUDY?
Most of us have never read the Bible. Maybe we have heard excerpts while we did our Catechism. We hear three readings every Sunday; however, they are organized together to reflect a certain theme or teaching. How many of you have read one of the “Books” in the Bible (there are 73 Books) from beginning to end? How many of you have read the Bible itself from beginning to end? The answer to both questions is that there are very few who have. You are not alone! Most Catholics are not Biblically literate. Why is that important? You are seeing today and in the past, God and the Catholic Church under constant attack. You should be able to defend your faith (called “apologetics”). You should know why you are a Catholic or a Christian for that matter.
The tenets (“Canon”) of the Catholic Church are based on the Bible. The problem for us is that we have received most of what the Bible says in bits and pieces. There is this sense of gaps in our knowledge of the Bible, because there are. We do not read the passages in their “context” so we have this feeling of either not having scripture under our command (a grasp of the Bible as a whole) or not really being sure if we fully comprehend any of it; which makes it pretty tough to defend your church or your faith, let alone understand it.
More importantly, do you have a relationship with God? The people in our church, as Father Dan has often said, are good people. I am proud to say, you do an incredible amount of charitable work just as God intended. However, God wants to have a relationship with you personally. Most of you have a strong prayer life and that is fundamental. But does God talk to you? For most of us, our prayers seem somewhat one sided. Of course, they’re not. When we read the Bible, God is talking directly to you and often it can be profound, an epiphany! God wrote the Bible for us to read it, to teach us life’s many lessons and to reveal Himself to us. Our Bible study group reads the Bible, and related readings, in context. We have questions that cause us to think about the readings and then we come back together and discuss what we have read. It is amazing what we learn about ourselves and about what God is trying to teach us; well, it’s a good start anyway.