Teaching a class -- would love some OT scripture help!


#1

Hello everyone,

My college is starting a student taught courses program, so I'm doing a "Catholic Spirituality" one. I'm not an expert on the topic so we will only meet about 8 times for 1h30, and it will be one third lecture and two thirds discussion format. I'm looking forward to talking about this with people, and I feel that I can make a decent presentation of the material.

My goal is to give a good background before I get into spirituality, so I want to do one class on the Hebrew monotheistic conception of God and our relation to Him. I'm planning on drawing from the Psalms mostly, but I don't have a detailed knowledge of them. Thankfully I just spent a week in a monastery going to the liturgy of the hours 6 times a day, so I kind of have a feel for what I could talk about productively.

Could you please tell me which Psalms you think I should have the class read? If you could also point out your preferred translations (from a poetic point of view) that would be great too. For example the KJV psalm 23 is beautiful. The conception of God + the relation to God are what the focus will be. Of course, if you have any other Old Testament recommendations helpful to understanding the Hebraic religion that would be great too!

Regards,

Robert


#2

It depends on what area of Catholic spirituality you want to focus on. Almost all the sacraments are pre-figured in the OT. Baptism: Noah’s flood, parting of the Red Sea. Confirmation: the story of the 70 Elders: Number 11: 16- 30. Eucharist: Passover, as well as Leviticus 26, which covers the regulations for the Day of Atonement and introduces the priestly duty of presenting the sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Holy Orders is prefigured by the story of Abram and Melchezidek as well as in Exodus. Of course stories abound regarding Anointing of the Sick. Marriage goes back to Adam and Eve. Reconciliaiton isn’t pre-figured, but in Numbers 15:22-31 are the rules for the Sin Offering, which only applied to those who sinned inadvertently. “But anyone who sins defiantly,k whether he be a native or an alien, insults the Lord, and shall be cut off from among his people. Shice he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, he must be cut off. He has only himself to blame.” (Numbers 15: 30-31 NABRE). Contrast that with Reconciliation. There was no Reconciliaiton then because there was no Savior then.
Which translation depends on your class. Are they Catholic or Protestant, or a mixture? While the KJV is poetic, it can also be very hard to understand if they aren’t used to 16th century English. Most Protestants today, especially evangelical ones, use the NIV. And Catholics hear the NABRE at Mass.
For Psalms, again, it depends on the focus of your class. If you could post a list of which topics you are planning to cover when, I can help you find scriptures. (It’s the one good thing from my Protestant background!:D) I’ll be praying for you!
Kris


#3

[quote="Robert_Caritas, post:1, topic:312004"]
Hello everyone,

My college is starting a student taught courses program, so I'm doing a "Catholic Spirituality" one. I'm not an expert on the topic so we will only meet about 8 times for 1h30, and it will be one third lecture and two thirds discussion format. I'm looking forward to talking about this with people, and I feel that I can make a decent presentation of the material.

My goal is to give a good background before I get into spirituality, so I want to do one class on the Hebrew monotheistic conception of God and our relation to Him. I'm planning on drawing from the Psalms mostly, but I don't have a detailed knowledge of them. Thankfully I just spent a week in a monastery going to the liturgy of the hours 6 times a day, so I kind of have a feel for what I could talk about productively.

Could you please tell me which Psalms you think I should have the class read? If you could also point out your preferred translations (from a poetic point of view) that would be great too. For example the KJV psalm 23 is beautiful. The conception of God + the relation to God are what the focus will be. Of course, if you have any other Old Testament recommendations helpful to understanding the Hebraic religion that would be great too!

Regards,

Robert

[/quote]

I really like psalm 139:

O LORD, thou hast searched me and know me! Thou knowest when I sit and when I rise up;
thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,
And art acquainted with all my ways...
Where shall I go from thy spirit? Or where shall I flee from thy presence?...
For thou didst knit me in my mothers womb.
I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works!
Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance.

That's just some if it, but I think that's sort of what you were talking about. The whole psalm is about Gods omnipotence and omnipresence, and yet he knows and loves each one of us personally, and that fills David with awe. At least that's what I get out of it when I read it.

This was from the RSV by the way. There might be better translations out there but I think this ones pretty good. But like Kris said above me it depends on what the students are used to reading.

Hope that's a help! Good luck with your class!!


#4

Focus on what already know and have experienced and believe. Then it will strike everyone as sincere. You could devote endless sessions to a single psalm. Don't guess at what might constitute the ideal instruction In your imagination and strive for a fantasy. Teach what you know, not what you wish you knew. Trust that that will be plenty. As the journey progresses opportunity for augmentation will present itself. What a reassurance to find one's teacher is still also a student. Unless you signed up for something you had no business signing up for, you'll be a great instructor.

Respectfully, peterk

Oh, and best of luck, also.


#5

Psalm 1, 23, 42, 67, 139 (just to name a few). Translation for me is the RSV-2CE.


#6

[quote="Robert_Caritas, post:1, topic:312004"]
Hello everyone,

My college is starting a student taught courses program, so I'm doing a "Catholic Spirituality" one. I'm not an expert on the topic so we will only meet about 8 times for 1h30, and it will be one third lecture and two thirds discussion format. I'm looking forward to talking about this with people, and I feel that I can make a decent presentation of the material.

My goal is to give a good background before I get into spirituality, so I want to do one class on the Hebrew monotheistic conception of God and our relation to Him. I'm planning on drawing from the Psalms mostly, but I don't have a detailed knowledge of them. Thankfully I just spent a week in a monastery going to the liturgy of the hours 6 times a day, so I kind of have a feel for what I could talk about productively.

Could you please tell me which Psalms you think I should have the class read? If you could also point out your preferred translations (from a poetic point of view) that would be great too. For example the KJV psalm 23 is beautiful. The conception of God + the relation to God are what the focus will be. Of course, if you have any other Old Testament recommendations helpful to understanding the Hebraic religion that would be great too!

Regards,

Robert

[/quote]

Perhaps a good place to start is the Author of Life created all of us in His Image and Likeness, yet we are each created unique and unpeatable. And today is the Day of Prayer for the legal protection of Unborn Children- All life in each stage should be protected with dignity and respect.
PSALM 139
The All-knowing and Ever-present God

Lord, you have probed me, you know me:
You know when I sit and stand;
You understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark;
With all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
Lord, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
And rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me,
Far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I hide from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;
If I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night
Shall be my light” -
Darkness is not dark for you,
And night shines as the day,
Darkness and light are but one.

You formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
praise you, so wonderfully you
Made me; wonderful are your works!
My very self you knew;
My bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
Fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions;
In your book all are written down;
My days were shaped, before one came to be.

How precious to me are your designs, O God;
How vast the sum of them!
Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands;
To finish, I would need eternity.
If only you would destroy the wicked, O God,
And the bloodthirsty would depart from me!
Deceitfully they invoke your name;
Your foes swear faithless oaths.
Do I not hate, Lord, those who hate you?
Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?
With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own.

Probe me, God, know my heart;
Try me, know my concerns.
See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths.

usccb.org/bible/scripture.cfm?bk=Psalms&ch=

myjewishlearning.com/texts/Bible/Writings/Poetic_Writings/Book_of_Psalms.shtml

scroll down to the Augustine - Expositions on the Book of Psalms:

ewtn.com/vlibrary/search2.asp?pgnu=10&version=TXT&fldlibrary=PATRISTC&afterdate=&author=&keyword=&code=&search_type=contains&recentadd=

agapebiblestudy.com/Links_Menu.php

Sounds like a great class - wish that we could all participate! Good luck


#7

Thanks for the helpful advice and references!

I am definitely going to have a close look at these psalms, and this has given me ideas on how to build the syllabus.

Please say a prayer for this class!


#8

a different point of view: Reconciliation/confession surely is in view in Leviticus. You have people bringing various offerings to make appropriately for the circumstances. You had to TELL YOUR SIN TO THE PRIEST to make sure it was the correct offering in the correct ritual.

This type of reconciliation surely is a “type” that points forward to sacramental confession.

In the wider view, it was a rededication after one’s infancy circumcision which parallels continual confession long after our infancy baptism (in a lot of cases).


#9

Keep in mind that the psalms refer to Christ.

Psalm 1 is the “king” psalm. It was no accident that it was placed at the head of all the psalms. You can’t get to the spirituality of the other psalms unless you decide where you stand on this psalm. The tree of life is envisioned here “Etz Hayim” - the tree of the cross, the water of salvation.

122 - “I was glad” see youtube.com for videos

117 - Praise the Lord see youtube.com for videos (“Laudate Dominum”)

Psalm 90 - KJV A psalm of Moses. If you look closely, it is a recapitulation of creation.

Psalm 119 - Love for the Law. Thy Word is a lamp for my feet, thy Word is a light for my path. Thy word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

scattered around are the Todah psalms, the psalms of thanksgiving for the individual and for the community.

The psalms are overwhelming.


#10

You might find Psalm 119 of particular poetic interest as it is divided into sections which follow the Hebrew alphabet.


#11

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