The Book of Genesis stands alone in its scope and legacy. It is a book about God and his role in the world. It is therefore also a book about human beings, from the very first man and woman to the raising up of one chosen people. Genesis is full of memorable images and stories and consists of various literary genres. In this class we will consider the following broad topics:
- The literary composition of Genesis and various methods required for its study.
- The development of literary and theological themes within Genesis from the perspective of familiar characters and stories.
- The place of the Book of Genesis within Christian tradition, including examples of interpretation by the Fathers of the early Church.
- Preaching and teaching Genesis in the Church today. Syllabus for Genesis
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
These four books of the Bible, combined with Genesis, make up the Torah or the 5 Books of Moses. This course proceeds from the assumption that one must understand the content of the Torah in order to comprehend the ministry of Jesus Christ. Syllabus for Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
The Major Prophets: Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah
The Hebrew Bible groups the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and that of the Twelve Minor prophets under the title of “Later Prophets,” as opposed to the collection it puts after the Joshua-Kings group which it entitles “Earlier Prophets.” It is the first three prophetic books that we will be studying as we explore the depths of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. As “Major” prophets we will read and discuss the power of the prophetic words and oracles of these giants of Jewish theology, as they relate to messianism, chastisement of Israel, and her eventual redemption as a people of God. Syllabus for The Major Prophets
The Wisdom Literature: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon
Rather than intelligence, being smart, well educated, or even clever, the Bible commends to us the concept and pursuit of “wisdom.” So what is wisdom, how does one pursue it, and to what end is it attained? Is wisdom a purely intellectual endeavor, or might it be connected not solely to what we know, but also to what we do and who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ?
To the ancient traditions of both the Hebrew East and Hellenized West, wisdom was understood as the thoughtful and practical application of Godly Truth. And both of these traditions categorized the Old Testament books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon as “Wisdom Literature”— books by content, theme, and purpose that are especially suited to wrestle with these concepts of what wisdom is and how we may become truly wise.
The Writings: Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah
Often, when we hear the Book of the Prophet Daniel mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is Daniel and the lion’s den or the scene from the fiery furnace. Likewise with Ezra we recall the rebuilding of the temple, and with Nehemiah we consider the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem. But do these books have significance for the Church today?
The writings of Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah are set in the difficult days of the exile and the immediate years following. These books give the reader insight as to what it means to live and worship faithfully as an oppressed minority, and then as a people restored solely by God’s redemptive power and grace. This class will explore these books, and we will see how the New Testament’s authors were shaped by these writings, including that of the Book of Revelation.
Matthew, Mark And Luke
This course will uncover the basic themes of the Synoptic Gospels with special emphasis on contemporary biblical scholarship. An effort will be made to gain a familiarity with each gospel's portrait of Jesus, the intent of the Gospel writer, and an in-depth understanding of the nature of these Gospels.
Acts of the Apostles: Building a Minstry for Jesus
When Jesus told the Apostles in the book of Acts, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the Earth,” He meant it. This class will look at the Apostles as leaders and during class students will identify their own leadership gifts, begin to build a detailed team ministry specific to their community, and will be prepared as leaders to go out into the world to make disciples for Jesus. Syllabus for Acts
Paul writes to a people he does not know in his letter to the Romans. Paul writes to a people not with answers to practicle questions of Christian living but with grand visions of how the message of right relationship wtih God will be spread throughout the whole earth. The words of Paul's letter to the Romans has fuled theological debates, inspirired volumes of exegesis and comforted souls. Come and delight in and wrestle with these words so that together we might find God's Word to transform the lives of those we do not yet know and spark a new way of evangelizing those who need to find a home with God.
Paul: His Life and Letters
The purpose of this course will be to thoroughly examine the life and letters of the apostle Paul. While Romans and 1&2 Corinthians will be covered in separate classes, there will be overview of them with a primary emphasis on the other letters of Paul. The process will be to: read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the sacred scriptures in such a way which allows us to see God’s hand at work and alive in the Word. We will study Saul’s pharisaic upbringing and the miraculous nature of his transformation. We will follow his missionary journeys as a way of gaining insight into his theology and experience. This course offers a study of the major themes of St. Paul’s writings as a framework for understanding his ministry and thought. Syllabus for Paul
1st & 2nd Corinthians (Please Note! This class is now closed.)
The culture of Corinth was very similar to our contemporary culture. Our challenge is to explore the scripture and discover what applies to us today.
This course will include discussion, lecture and individual student assignments as we examine Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and search for the meaning of his message.
John, the Apostle and Writer
This course looks at the Letters of John and his Gospel in depth beginning with an overview and looking briefly at the three letters. The remainder of the day will focus on John's Gospel especially the Prologue, Lenten A readings of the Samaritan Woman, man born blind, Lazarus, the Last Supper conversations, Passion Narrative and Resurrection passages. Each student will prepare for this class by reading the three letters and all of John's Gospel during the week prior to the class. In regard to the Gospel I recommend reading four or five chapters each day.
An Overview of the Book of Revelation
This course will provide the student with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the book as a whole, without becoming lost in endless speculation concerning the details. We will be introduced to the major schools of thought and interpretations of this exciting, controversial and often-neglected book. Syllabus for Revelation