I'm starting an Adult Bible Study Group - Please Help!

Since no one in my parish is taking the lead - myself and a friend are choosing to start an Adult Bible Study in our parish this fall, running through the school year, open to any parishoner. Yes, we are crazy… :eek:

We really don’t have a lot of ideas about where to start, and I am surprised at the lack of materials to choose from. We would really like to have the main theme be apologetics. We would like to stay under and hour and a half weekly - have homework and a discussion. Maybe like a book club? I don’t know.

I am searching for ideas. I know I don’t want to just turn on a video… I want it to be involved, interactive, and educational. I really want it to be about apologetics, teaching our parishoners to defend their faith.

If you know of any apropriate materials that can help me design a really good group bible study - please let me know.
Thank you and may God richly bless you.
~ Ridesawhitehorse ~

I agree with you. There really is a lack of good studies. I, however, would stay away from merely doing a study on apologetics. I personally think that the goal of bible studies should be to know and understand the scriptures, something that many catholics dearly need. Yes, many catholics need apologetics, but firstly they need a love and understanding of the scriptures themselves.

  1. start with the new testament.

  2. pick a single book.

  3. consider purchasing material through

css.catholicexchange.com/

  1. If not, check out your local catholic book store. There are some good things there, I’m sure.

-Jayson

Rides:

One of the most popular and the one we use at my parish is the Little Rock Scripture Study.

Each one of the studies goes from 5 - 16 weeks and can be either on a particular book in the Bible or a topical (i.e. The Passion Narratives) in nature.

There is a lesson for each week with about 3 questions to answer each day between meetings. The lessions will be based on a certain section of the book of the Bible being studied.

A normal meeting is about 90 minutes with the first hour going over the questions for the weeks lessons. At the end, there is about a 20 minute video (in some cases audio) going over the topics for the weeks lessons.

There are other out there (I think there is one put out by the Paulists), but we have not used them.

I hope this helps.

PF

I would second the recommendation to www.catholicexchange.com

Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers does not speak well of the Little Rock Bible Study. If you do a search on Catholic Answers there may be a tract which will explain why or maybe you could ring their Apologetics line.

I’d have to recommend an apologetics series called “Beginning Apologetics”. The books are aimed at defending the Faith against Protestants. They walk through all the major issues, and at about $6.00 a piece, are very affordable. The web site is catholicapologetics.com/booklets.htm
I hope this helps!

I highly recommend Scott Hahn’s “Our Father’s Plan” and JeffCavin’s “Bible Adventure” timeline presentation as starting points for OT Salvation History.

Our Father’s Plan can be heard through the EWTN Audio library to get an idea of what it covers. The actual video program has a study guide (probable offered seperately) that was put together by a parish Bible Study group somewhere. They’ve already broken the thing up into sessions and have questions (and answers?) already planned to help your study.

A combination of the videos with discussion time–it does help to have someone knowledgeable present–pray, Pray, PRAY for help. I started our program and it didn’t take long for me to discover that I needed someone else to lead us. With much prayer time, Adoration time, and talking to everyone I knew at the parish I found the best leader, who has been the instrument of the Holy Spirit in my faith development ever since. God is so AWESOME!

My prayers and best wishes are with you and your group. I know that you will be greatly blessed in your efforts.

In Christ’s peace and joy,

Robin L. in TX

[quote=Robin L. in TX]I highly recommend Scott Hahn’s “Our Father’s Plan” and JeffCavin’s “Bible Adventure” timeline presentation as starting points for OT Salvation History.

Our Father’s Plan can be heard through the EWTN Audio library to get an idea of what it covers. The actual video program has a study guide (probable offered seperately) that was put together by a parish Bible Study group somewhere. They’ve already broken the thing up into sessions and have questions (and answers?) already planned to help your study.

Robin L. in TX
[/quote]

Yes, yes. In the Twin Cities we have excellent, orthodox BIG Scripture study groups that go on for years. Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins are the two big names in materials. I’m with Jimmy Akin; forget the Little Rock Series :nope:

Also: There’s much to be said for starting with Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline, because, once you have an overall picture, it’s much easier to plug in the individual books in future years. The Timeline takes a year, but believe me, it’s worth it!! Great fun!

And: Really best to begin with a prayer to the Holy Spirit - always. :thumbsup:

In Christ,

Anna

[quote=Juxtaposer]I’d have to recommend an apologetics series called “Beginning Apologetics”. The books are aimed at defending the Faith against Protestants. They walk through all the major issues, and at about $6.00 a piece, are very affordable. The web site is catholicapologetics.com/booklets.htm
I hope this helps!
[/quote]

I have this series and it’s very good and useful, but it is, as the name implies, an apologetics series. I think these people want a real Scripture study program. Elsewhere, I’ve made some suggestions for that.

Again, for apologetics I, too, really like these workbooks. :slight_smile:

Anna

I don’t see anything wrong with starting with apologetics, as long as you continue with Bible studies after that. Most Catholics have such a poor grasp on the basics of thier faith that apologetics is a good way to give them confidence that the Catholic Church indeed has answers to perplexing questions and challenges.

As for Bible studies, I also recommend checking out www.catholicexchange.com. Also, the Ignatius Study Bible would be an excellent way to go through specific books of the Bible. Right now, each of the Gospels as well as Acts and Romans are available. There is excellent commentary with references to the CCC and the writings of the saints, sidebar articles and excellent study and paractical questions in the back of the book. Good luck!

Congratulations on starting a Bible Study Group! :clapping:

I ran a bible study group for women at our parish. We did it in 8 week chunks. Mostly we used the bible studies for women by Ignatius Press (Courageous Love, Courageous Virtue, Courageous Women), but we also did an 8 week apologetics series. We concentrated on the biblical basis for Catholicism. During the 1 1/2 hour session, I’d do a presentation and everyone would look up the bible verses as we went along. Each week had a different theme, but we started out with Sola Scriptura, then went along with topics such as the Real Presence, Mary and the Saints, a “why do Catholics do that” week, and our last session was on The Last Things: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. One of our meetings was “A Tour of The Church,” which our pastor was kind enough to lead for us. He showed us the inside of the sacristy, explained what the different colored vestments meant, some historical background on how Catholic churches were designed as well as our own particular church, why it was important to have 24/7 Eucharistic adoration, etc.

If you’d like more info on how we conducted the study, please feel free to send me a private message. I’d be honored to be of some help!

God bless your new endeavor for Him! And, :blessyou:

Just a thought: However it is packaged, I suggest a study that covers about one chapter of scripture a week. Yes, that seems slow, but it gives you a chance to take a good look at each chapter.

So, I and II Corinthians would take a fall and winter session to cover.

One feature of this approach is that within the 90-120 minutes session, you have time to actually read the scripture in the group session. This helps to make a level playing field for those who may not have otherwise had a chance to prepare.

And, also, considerable richness often comes in looking up those cross-references in your study bible, or looking for similar themes elsewhere in scripture.

The scripture studies available now often contain so much “commentary” that folks spend more time discussing that than actually discussing the scripture.

A pitfall can be if everyone simply reads the footnotes in their bible.

Remember, chapter headings, chapters, verse numbers and footnotes, and commentaries are not inspired writings.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.