Which is the most successful: Bible studies of the Old Testament or Bible studies of the New Testament?
What do you mean by “successful”? What is the goal which you are trying to reach?
Which of the Bible studies has the most participants?
Sometimes an event like this is discontinued if there is a low number of participants.
I hear Beth Moore mentioned often, but I am not sure if they are aimed specifically for women or for protestants. Is that what you mean?
Some of the Bible studies have been aimed specifically for women.
One of the best Bible studies I know is Jeff Cavins’ “The Great Adventure”, which attempts to use several historical books of the Bible to teach salvation history.
I have heard that is a good one.
I have hosted many studies by Great Adventure/Jeff Cavins in my home including The Bible Timeline twice. They are excellent.
We did the Bible Timeline at church in our adult class.
Is Great Adventure expensive?
DVD sets can be up to $200 but the binders are $29 to $49.
My parish bought a bunch of DVD sets for the various studies and lends them out to the facilitators so we don’t have to pay for the DVD sets. The individual students purchase the binders but our Church tries to stock these or batches the purchases so as to save on shipping. You may want to talk to your pastor about doing this and Great Adventure flew two trainers from Minnesota to Atlanta to train about 20 of us to facilitate the groups. They will work with you.
These studies are well worth the cost. They have increased my understanding of the Bible greatly to the point where many at my parish come to me with Bible questions or ask me if I used to be Baptist.
Jeff references the Catechism, doctors of the Church, Early Church Fathers and encyclicals. It is authentically Catholic, not reworked protestant studies. Worth every penny.
Thanks. I will have to look into that. Do libraries carry these to rent do you know? You would have to do it all at once though.
I will check with my church and see if they have thought of purchasing it.
You may want to contact Great Adventure first and see if they have information, flyers or a summary of the program for the pastor of your parish to look at. It would help for him to know that this is a legitimate Catholic organization and that many parishes are using the programs.
I am going to send you a PM.
I presume that you are asking what are the most successful parish-oriented Bible studies, but the question is really a general one.
Some of my protestant coworkers used to say that the success of a Bible study group depends on the mix of people and the leader.
If there’s a big disparity in the bible studying experience of the members, it may be difficult to keep the more advanced members in the group, if the group is always dragged back by the least knowledgeable participants.
Cavin’s Great Adventure is good because it works at bringing in and holding people of varying levels of prior experience.
But, let us not disparage individual study, as well. In the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s paper, The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, it says recommends at the very least that a person read the Bible with a commentary nearby for some perspective on what is being read. It also says that, for example, Jewish commentaries are an excellent source of information, as long as you keep in mind the differences in perspective that is contained there.
I’m in a public library right now and I find that there’s very interesting and helpful books, even if they’re by non-Catholic authors. If I read something there, I hold it in mind as something to check out against a Catholic source, if and when I come across it.
For example, I was reading “Praying Like Jesus” by a man named Mulholland. He makes an interesting point (in this discussion of the Lord’s prayer) that “Thy kingdom come” and “Thy will be done” are really vows that we are making to God. You could add “hallowed be Thy Name” as a kind of vow, too. In other words, we make these vows to God, before we start the litany of petitions for what we need.
The NAB footnote calls all the clauses of the Lord’s prayer as “petitions.” I think the first three are BOTH vows and petitions. Why shouldn’t we make some pledge to God before we make our selfish petitions? It teaches us to keep God at the center, on His throne, with us as the servants, not Him.
I’m also re-reading Borg and Crossan’s “The First Paul” which contrasts the “real” Paul of the genuine Pauline letters against the Paul of the disputed letters. The comparisons of the matters of gender equality and of slavery are provocative, if nothing else.
Romans 16 mentions Phoebe who was a minister or deaconess, and it mentions Junia (a woman) as being “among the apostles.” Was she an apostle (inclusively) or was she just “among” the apostles (non-inconclusively) ? Is the correct interpretation that the roles of deacon, priest, and bishop were not elaborated at that point?
They give a surprising look at the ministry of Paul, the apostle to the “gentiles.” The evidence or maybe just their opinion suggests that his ministry was actually in synagogues
(in the first place) and that he was preaching to gentiles who had not converted to Judaism. Without a doubt, Paul made “the rounds” of the synagogues in Asia Minor maybe twice and then intended to go to Spain (although it is doubtful that he got there."
There’s some careful analysis by Borg and Crossan. I’m not sure I’d go all the way to agree to all their conclusions, but their ideas are interesting.
This 212 page book is worth the reading.
I just wanted to give a “thumbs up” for Jeff Cavins’ Bible Studies. I never knew our Catholic faith or the Bible the way I do now after having completed the Bible Timeline. We are now doing “Revelation”. It is fantastic.
Another great, but a little more expensive, Catholic Bible study is CSSI (Catholic Scripture Study International). They use people like Scott Haun and Father Mitch Pacwa for commentary. I think you can get some of the commentaries much cheaper than the whole Bible study. It does make it more economical if a larger group is participating in the study and can split the cost of the video and books.
I am skeptical of the more popular “non-denominational” Bible studies simply because they omit or change some of the most important aspects of our faith, like the Eucharist and the extensive meaning of covenant.
Good luck in your studies!