This slate of courses is offered in the Fall semester of the First year of the Diploma program.
The primary goal of Biblical studies in the Academy is familiarity with the Biblical text. The Holy Scriptures are a massive amount of writings, and future focus in studies and teaching are only possible when they can be seen with the ‘eye of the Church’ and are familiar enough to navigate it with ease. An apologetic/evangelistic bent is key to this, as the Fathers of the Church studied the Bible to better preach, teach, and live the Gospel, and that is what we will be studying it for as well.
Old Testament I – Introduction to the Old Testament
Comprising 85% of the Bible, the Old Testament is a treasure trove of revelation, history, wisdom, hymnography, liturgy, theology, and prophecy all pointing towards the Incarnation, Sacrificial Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy about the Old Testament,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (1 Tim. 3:16).
It is impossible to understand the New Testament with little or no knowledge of the Old Testament. Therefore our course in the Old Testament will cover many significant themes, following the interaction of God with His creation, and his people. We will dig into the divisions and themes of the Law, the Histories, the Wisdom books, and the minor and major prophets as revelations of Jesus Christ.
You’ll gain an incredible appreciation for the New Testament (and the Old) as we uncover the layers of this venerable text.
New Testament I – The Gospels, Acts, and Revelation
Introduction to the New Testament, part I. The four Gospels, including a detailed chronological study of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as related by the four evangelists. The life of Christ as presented in by the Evangelists, and compared and contrasted with each other, including Synoptic similarities and differences with the Gospel according to St. John.
Introduction to Acts of the Apostles, and its relationship to the Gospel according to St. Luke, and the early history of the Apostolic Church. The significance of the revelatory event resulting in the conversion of St. Paul. The Council of Jerusalem, and the expansion of the Church throughout the known world. Acts provides an important model for continuing evangelistic work, and demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit in the Ecclesiastical community, in spite of persecution.
Includes a survey of the book of Revelation, and the liturgical identifiers we see in it. Strongly related to the Old Testament book of Daniel (also the last book in that testament), the book of Revelation presents an apocalyptic vision of heavenly events while the Church on earth is in poverty, oppression, and persecution.
New Testament II – The Apostles and their Epistles
A thorough survey of the Apostles and their Epistles, including biographies of NT writers, a history of the communities Paul wrote to, how each church started. The Apostle Paul is responsible for 14 of the 21 books of the New Testament, a significant corpus of work. A thorough introduction to the NT writers, themes, and messages with special attention given to the holy Apostle Paul, as a written witness of the Gospel, person, and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The work of the writers of the Catholic or Universal epistles will follow a similar vein, highlighting the issues addressed by the letter, and making use of Old Testament quotations, allegory, and imagery.
The student should have a significant understanding of the New Testament epistles by the end of this course, and know his/her way around the themes and significant quotations for future use in teaching.