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CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO SACRED SCRIPTURE Bible as an inspirational collection of writings, the written record of God’s Revelation What does it mean.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO SACRED SCRIPTURE Bible as an inspirational collection of writings, the written record of God’s Revelation What does it mean."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO SACRED SCRIPTURE Bible as an inspirational collection of writings, the written record of God’s Revelation What does it mean to be inspirational? Arouses confidence Challenges us to be the BEST we can be What does the Church teach us about the Bible? God is the author of the Bible The Holy Spirit inspired the writers The Bible (Sacred Scriptures) teach the truth

2 Bible is NOT a religious text Bible as a living book Readers have to open their minds to its “Good News” Human authors as instruments committed to writing those truths Drew on their own background, education, skill, talent, vocabulary Guided by the Holy Spirit End product: inerrant (free from error) Word of God How To Read the Bible: Be aware of how the history of their time and culture influenced the writers To identify the writers’ intention: identify the literary form or genre (a particular style

3 HOW TO LOCATE AND READ BIBLE REFERENCES Typical Bible Reference: Jn 1:1-18 1)“Jn” is an abbreviated title for the Gospel of John 2)The first number is the chapter number; the verse number follows the colon (:) 3)The hyphen (-) indicates several chapters or verses Gn 1-2 (Genesis, chapters 1 and 2) 4)A semicolon (;) separates two distinct references; a comma (,) separates two verses in the same chapter Is 9:1,3,8 (Isaiah, chapter 9, verses 1,3, and 8) 5)The “f” means the following verse; “ff” means several verses Prv 6:6f (Proverbs, chapter 6, verses 6 and 7) Prv 6:6ff (Proverbs, chapter 6, verses 6 and several verses after that)

4 LITERARY FORMS Literary forms are also called literary genres They are particular styles of writing Bible with many different genres (73 books of the Bible) Biblical scholars explain the meaning of the difficult writings Exegesis: process used by scholars to discover he meaning of the biblical text (literal sense)

5 DIFFERENT LITERARY GENRES Allegory: a comparison where many elements of the story have deeper meanings Biography: a story of a person’s life Creed: a statement of beliefs Fable: a story with a moral (uses animals) Prophecy: an inspired statement made by a prophet Genealogy: a family tree of ancestors Miracle Story: a story of a powerful sign performed by Jesus Parable: a story told by Jesus to make a religious point with a surprise ending

6 UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE There are 4 senses of Scripture: Literal Sense: the meaning of the words Allegorical Sense: what you should believe Moral Sense: how to live your life Anagogical Sense: looks at earthly events and sees them as a way to lead us to Heaven

7 BIBLICAL TRANSLATIONS Old Testament: Most of the Old Testament written in Hebrew Small sections written in Aramaic Seven books written in Greek New Testament: Entire NT written in Greek (“Koine”) Latin Version: St. Jerome completed the Vulgate (Church’s official translation of the Bible from the original languages); known as a Church Father

8 Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovered in caves near the Dead Sea (1947); belonged to a religious Jewish sect; contained manuscripts that were written before the birth of Christ

9 Protestant Translations of the Bible: King James Version (1611) Catholic Translations of the Bible: Douay-Rheims Bible ( ); a translation of the Latin Vulgate; used until the 2oth century Translation of the Bible from original languages (Pope Pius XII) in 1943 New American Bible: used for readings at liturgies in the U.S. New Jerusalem Bible: borrowed material from the French Bible

10 MODERN APPROACHES FOR STUDYING SACRED SCRIPTURE Fundamentalists: take a literalist approach Believing in the exact meaning of the words Catholic Church: read Scripture prayerfully and interpret it critically Historical Criticism: looks at the history behind the text; uses archeology Source Criticism: helps discover where the biblical authors got their material Form Criticism: identifies the type or genre; studying small units of a text to see how it took shape before it was written Redaction Criticism: looks at how the biblical author arranged his work to give a particular theological insight


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