If you decide not to do both, might I recommend Epic: A Journey through Church History? I’m going through it privately and find it to be a well presented quick course. Couple it with History of the Catholic Church by James Hitchcock and it really gives one a good “family history” of our Faith.
I attended the Bible Timeline series in my parish and found it excellent. We have not had A Quick Journey.
The good thing about Ascension Press is their comprehensive treatment of Bible topics. They are constantly coming out with new studies. At my parish, after the Timeline was complete, we studied the Book of James, Acts of the Apostles, Revelation, and Psalms. I was privileged and honored to facilitate the study on Psalms: The School of Prayer. Jeff Cavins is a compelling speaker and teacher of Scripture. He knows his material well and presents it all in accord with Catholic teaching. You will learn so much about the historical and cultural background of Biblical times.
Another excellent method of study, is simply to use the weekly (daily and/or Sunday) Mass Readings, you can start anytime, and if people can’t make a class, they can always keep up with at least the readings…and because of the wonder of the rhythm of the Liturgical Calendar, from 1st Week of Advent through Christ the King, will give them a good walk through the scriptures, and the revelation of Salvation History.
The Great Adventure Bible series from Ascension Press contrasts with this approach by intensive, well-prepared studies, structured so that the essentials are easily learned while the class goes deeper into the meanings and teachings behind familiar Bible passages. The Bible is about much more than readings, and very few laymen or even priests are well-qualified to communicate the depth of Catholic teachings contained therein, but Jeff Cavins and the Ascension Press team are well-qualified to do this.
Yeah, we don’t have a catechetical team, unfortunately. Our parish just has a priest, a parish coordinator who is in charge of organizing pretty much everything, and a secretary. If we had someone to lead a more in-depth well-rounded study, that would be awesome but I’m just a busy parishoner with two jobs who wants to get something started. Leading a program with pre-recorded talks is what is probably going to work best in my situation.
I think programs like this are good as a starting point for self-led study. That’s what I’m considering it, anyways. I know I could benefit from an overview of how all of the books in bible link together, historically. It’s all a big jumble of out-of-order stories in my head. I just don’t know if it’ll be too repetitive to run the 24-week Bible Timeline study in the fall or not.
As for it being sophomoric, I’m not sure there is all that many folks who are going to be signing up that would be ready for much beyond the basics anyways. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here a lot of people don’t read the bible at all. A basic introduction could be very welcome in many cases.
Your characterization of the Great Adventure series is way off base.
I have led many of the Jeff Cavins/Great Adventure studies in my home and they are anything but narrow, blind, rote recitation. The Great Adventure studies all use the Catechism, Encyclicals and writings of the Doctors and Fathers.
I wonder how you can make these comments if you have taken one of the studies. The very first words out of Jeff Cavins’ mouth in the first video of the Bible Timeline series is, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church says…”
Again, I did not imply to mean they are bad; but basic; and I prefer a study that is not so basic , or canned. If I were to criticize it would not be specific to the series, but rather mass published bible studies in general. To me, they seem to be an industry rather than a ministry, and merely handing out workbooks is not the same as a locally developed study and catechesis. Again, this is only my opinion, and I respect yours without raising the “how could you”, and, “you are off base” comments.