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Home » Articles, The Workshop

Getting More Out Of Bible Study

Submitted by on Friday, 19 September 2008No Comment

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Below are articles from the Bible Workshop that illustrate how the average professional readers of the Scriptures can work around their disability to read the Bible in the original languages. The articles were written specifically for catechists, religion teachers and basic ecclesial cell group leaders. But these can also help those who would like to get more out of their daily study of the Word of God in Scriptures

Studying the Scriptures with the CCC Biblical Index

There are three references here that are pointed out by the Magisterium for the proper understanding of a biblical text:

  • the whole context of the bible passage, that is, from Genesis to Revelation;
  • the living Tradition of the Church, that is, the way the Church has understood these texts in her bimillenial existence;
  • and finally, according to the “harmony that exists between the elements of the faith”, the analogia fidei.

The biblical index of the Catechism of the Church helps the student of the bible in showing how particular passages are understood within the light of the Church’s tradition as it is linked to one or the other element of the faith. The index, in fact, contains references to the Bible arranged according to book, chapter and verse. Alongside each of these biblical references, one finds the places in the Catechism where the passage is used.

Matthew 16:21-28 — A Sentence Flow

The sentence flow makes up 30% of the analysis of the text. What follows next would be word studies, the understanding of how it is used in the liturgy and the application of the text’s meaning to one’s life. It is from this latter that one bases one’s resolution(s) for the week. The present article is a demo of how a text like Matthew 16:21-28 is made into a sentence flow.
Make A Better Sentence Flow

The sentence flow is a tool for analysis, nothing more, nothing less. But like all tools, the more it is perfected, the better it serves its purpose. It is a tool that becomes better the more you use it. At first, the sentence flow may feel like it is preventing you from reading a biblical passage and understanding it differently from the way you did before. The fact however is that it would force you to see a biblical passage in a new way, that is, more attentively, carefully and objectively. By creating sentence flows, the process of studying a biblical passage is raised to a different level: it becomes more detailed and attentive to parts that make up a text. The creation of a sentence flow is just the inital part of the study of a biblical passage, but even at this level, one already experiences the conviction of the Church that to understand the spiritual sense of the Scriptures, that is, the message of the Holy Spirit who inspired the text, one must pass through the literal sense of the text, even if it is through a translation.
From Sentence Flow To Cell Group

What we have described above are the steps for combining the lessons learned in our workshops. We give importance to the text (Steps 1-4) in its objectivity because we know that the meaning of the Scriptures does not come from feelings no matter how sublime these may be. We also give importance to the Church and how she understands the Scriptures (Step 5) because these were, after all, made for her. By exerting our effort not only to understand the Bible as text but also as the Church’s “family album”, we begin to recognize what Paul meant when he wrote to Timothy:

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Matthew 16:21-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
21From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.
22And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee.
23Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.
24Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
26For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
28Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 16:21-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
21From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.
22And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee.
23Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.
24Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
26For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
28Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

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