Thursday, June 29, 2006

Catholic Bible Study Online: Dr. Scott Hahn

If you are from a previous generation, you might recall not being able to have a bible in your home. One man at work recently told me how it was not permitted for him to have a bible, and then one day, it changed. He still remembers the first bible brought into his home. Now, I don't know if this was an isolated Catholic experience or pretty par for the course in the 50's and prior.

Today, there is no doubt the Catholic Church promotes the reading of Scripture. References can be seen in much literature, including the Catechism of the Catholic Church and it's new Compendium. Scripture is one of the three pillars of our faith, along with Tradition, and the Magisterium. However, what Holy Mother Church wants is that we do not read Scripture in isolation.

There are several reasons for this, chief among them being that if we put 10 people in a room with a scripture passage, it could potentially lead to 10 understandings, depending on education and other factors. How can ten people, who will all claim their version is the one inspired by the Holy Spirit, all be correct? The Holy Spirit cannot contradict Himself, so perhaps one or two would be right, and they may all be wrong! A New Testament passage not read in light of the Old Testament, can really throw someone. The New sheds light on the Old, and the Old fulfills the New. Not having read Scripture in light of the original Greek or Aramaic could have a bearing on understanding, or not knowing about the culture, which is why I enjoy hearing Fr. Mitch Pacwa speak on biblical issues. For this reason, we can lean on interpretations that have been given to us over the 2000 year history of the Church. It is, after all, the Church of St. Augustine and the other doctors!

I've been inspired to read scripture and study it more closely after hearing Dr. Scott Hahn talk on the radio about the subject. He is a former Calvinist who was studying for his PhD when he converted after discovering the Apocolypse, or Book of Revelations, was connected deeply to holy Mass. He had spent 10 years studying the Book of Revelations, and like many was focused on the end game, or the mark of the beast, and other things which have captivated people. Then he went to Mass on the campus of Marquette University and was blown away by all the connections he suddenly saw between the Catholic Mass and the Book of Revelations. He has talked extensively on it and has written a book - one I highly recommend getting. It's called, The Lamb's Supper (see link below).

What's even more amazing, is that I was watching EWTN last night when Dr. Scott Hahn was on talking about this very book and subject. He gave out his website and I visited it before the program was over. I was very excited to see all that was available there.

When you get there, look at the Courses of Study in the Online Instruction section which are free! It includes The Lamb's Supper: The Bible and the Mass. They ask one thing at the site: Register, even though the classes are free. This is a simple request and it should be honored. Start with the first class they have Convenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview. Be sure to get the books that they recommend.

We are so fortunate to have people like Dr. Scott Hahn in the Catholic Church because he uses his lifelong love of scripture to help everyone to see this is the Church instituted by Christ. Whether you simply want to deepen your knowledge of Scripture, or to learn it in order to help a loved one discover, or rediscover, the Catholic faith, this website can really help you in that quest. Your success in bringing others to the Catholic Church really hinges on your understanding of Scripture.

You will need a book for each course, and these are truly short reads, but to the point.

I will be bringing you other Catholic bible references - blogs and websites of fine people helping us to better understand Scripture. I intend to build a sidebar section just for this purpose. These Catholics have made me enthusiastic to learn Scripture. After sitting in the pew for 40 years, I have finally come to the conclusion that, like many Catholics, I don't have a clue and it's time to get one!

Now that I'm done plugging it, here is the website.

Just look at the list of Staff and Associates