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Introduction to Scripture Studies

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J. Wallace

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Scripture Studies

how it came to be
Sacred Tradition
an amazing God
We serve an amazing God who loves us and desires our friendship.
how it came to be
We have to share things about ourselves with others.
getting to know you
Each person in this room has to stand up and share something about his or herself that most of us don't know.
We call God's revealing actions Sacred Tradition. Tradition is contained in the preaching, example, and practices of the Apostles that they received from God.
We call God's revealing words Sacred Scripture. Scripture consists of those writings which were inspired by God and written down by human authors.
Eventually, the stories were written down. The Church officially set the canon, or measuring rod, for the books contained in Scripture at the Council of Trent.
how inspiration works
Scripture is inspired. This means that God guided the human authors of Sacred Scripture to communicate everything He wanted to say without impairing their freedom. The blueprint analogy.
Most Scriptures have the book and chapter numbers printed at the upper left and right corners of the page for quick reference. They will also usually have notes at the bottom of the page, and topical indexes in the back.
That was an exercise in revelation. You opened up and made something about yourselves known.
how to read it
how to read it
get to be friends with people?
Scripture Continued
Scripture began as a collection of stories about God and His saving actions. These stories were passed on orally for many centuries.
senses of Scripture
Sacred Scripture
Types of Books
Our main focus in this course will be on Sacred Scripture.
how do we
God's Revelation
God has done a similar thing. Through actions and words, He has revealed Himself and His plan for us.
The word "scripture" comes from the Latin word "scriptura" which means "writings." We also call Scripture the Bible, from the Greek word "biblia" which means "books."
God would never deceive us. Since He guided the scriptural authors, it follows that Scripture does not teach anything false.
Since Scripture is a collection of books, it comes with a table of contents at the beginning. You can find the book you're looking for in the table of contents. Each book is then divided into chapters, and each chapter is divided into verses.
scripture = Bible
In this introduction, we will consider the following:
1. How Scripture came to be.
2. How inspiration works.
3. The types of books contained in Scripture.
4. How to read Scripture.
5. The senses of Scripture.
I'm not gonna
lie to you!
Scripture contains seventy-three books of ancient literature. Scholars divide Scripture into the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament
The books of the Old Testament are categorized in four ways:
1. The Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Joshua, Judges and Ruth are also included in this group.
2. Historical Books: 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
3. Wisdom Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs, Wisdom, and Sirach.
4. Prophetic Books: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
The New Testament
The books of the New Testament are categorized in the following three ways:
1. The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Acts of the Apostles is also included in this group.
2. The Letters: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.
3. The Catholic Letters: James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.
When trying to understand Scripture, we begin with its primary sense: the literal sense. The literal sense of Scripture is its straightforward, natural meaning. Just remember that the literal sense can be expressed in different ways, using different literary devices.
Grasping the literal sense of Scripture is the most important thing we can do when trying to understand the meaning of a passage. To get at the literal sense, we need to look at the writers' cultures, the types of literary forms they used at the time, and the ways of storytelling that were popular when they wrote.
the literal sense
The spiritual sense of Scripture is built on its literal sense. The spiritual sense is the additional, deeper meaning put into the text of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
the spiritual sense
There are three spiritual senses to Scripture:
1. The allegorical sense. With this sense, something in the Old Testament represents something that will happen in the New Testament.
2. The moral sense. With this sense, the heroes of the Bible become examples to us. We can learn the right thing to do by looking at their examples.
3. The anagogical sense. With this sense, God is directing our attention upward toward heaven or eternal glory.
spiritual senses continued
one last thing
Remember: the more you get to know it, the more you get to know God.
Scripture isn't like any other book on the shelf. The proper attitude you should have toward Scripture is one of reverence and respect.
Divine Reading
Let's take a moment to look at the supplement on lectio divina.
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