Bible Study 2018 – 2019
People of the Promised Land, Part I
This will be the beginning of our 17th year of Adult Religious Education Bible Study at St. Joseph’s of Clarksburg.
From Joshua to Solomon, God’s united people entered and flourished in the Promised Land. Beginning with Israel’s entrance into Canaan, People of the Promised Land, Part I, covers the beginning of the united kingdom of Israel. We will study the books of Joshua, Ruth, 2 Samuel, I Kings 1-11 and overviews of Psalms and Proverbs.
In the days after Moses, Joshua would lead the Israelites into the land the Lord promised them. While the Israelites would eventually turn from God, Ruth foreshadows God’s great offer of mercy to the Gentiles. The last Judge, Samuel, would appoint Saul as Israel’s first king. David would arise as Israel’s anointed champion. He would become the ancestor to the divine King to come, the Lord Jesus Christ. With God’s gift of wisdom to David’s son, Solomon, who would rule a prosperous and peaceful nation. Unfortunately, Solomon’s wayward turns (too many wives) in his life would set the stage for Israel’s division to come. Enjoy your study of what really happened with David and Bathsheba, with David and Goliath, with David verses Saul; Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (those Sheba girls…), Solomon’s 600 wives and concubines, the building of the great Temple. The Ark of the Covenant. And, the beautiful story of the Moabite Ruth, the great, great, great, great … grandmother of Jesus. The story of God’s chosen people, the Israelites.
Our Introductory class will be announced soon. All classes are held after the 9:30 Mass on Sunday and begin 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 or Dennis McSweeney.
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.