Introduction to the Study of Sacred Scripture
This course has three purposes: 1) To aid the student in getting acquainted with the Bible as well as developing the skills needed to makes use of those tools; 2) To aid the student in understanding the Bible as the Word of God; 3) To aid the student in understanding the development of the Bible as a normative text for the Church. Among issues discussed in this course will be: the historical-critical method, tradition history, the Bible as literature, the transmission of the Bible, its various English translations and textual criticism.
Hermeneutics and Exegisis I
This course involves a careful study of the principles of Scriptural interpretation and explanation, including: original languages and the languages of translation; philology and linguistics; textual, literary and form criticism; cultural, historical, geographical and other conditions influencing the writers of the Scriptures; and the facts and truths of salvation history.
Hermeneutics and Exegisis II
This course explores a variety of exegetical methods and hermeneutical perspectives used in interpreting the Scriptures. In addition, students will practice these methods in developing hermeneutical profiles on New Testament texts in preparation for preaching.
The Apocrypha / Deuterocananicals and the Pseudepigrapha
This course involves the study of those books mistakenly called the Apocrypha by Protestant Churches or the Deuterocanonical Books by the Catholic Church together with other apocryphal writings of the Old Testament (commonly called the Pseudepigrapha) and of the New Testament (such as the Apocryphal Gospels of James, Thomas the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, the History of Joseph, and the various books of Acts by John, Paul, Peter and Andrew.
The Qumran (Dead Sea) Scrolls
The story of the discovery of the scrolls and their importance as a source of information about Jewish literature and history during the period between the Old and New Testaments and the history of the Old Testament texts.
Aids in the Study of the Sacred Scriptures
A study into the use of Concordances, Bible Dictionaries, Commentaries, Maps, Linguistic aids and other supplemental tools for a proper study of the Sacred Scriptures.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This course is designed to help the student: 1) understand the context of each book of the Old Testament, 2) appreciate the poetic and narrative skills witnessed in the Old Testament, 3) comprehend the themes and theologies developed in the Old Testament.
A survey of modern scholarship will allow the student to realize the present situation in Pentateuchal studies. Together with the so-called documentary hypothesis, other more recent proposals will be presented. The critical analysis of many texts will illustrate and manifest the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches.
JUDGES AND RUTH
A study of the themes contained within these two books. Judges, the themes of sin and punishment, repentance and deliverance. Ruth, the themes of filial piety, faith and trust in God, the universality of messianic salvation.
THE HISTORICAL BOOKS
This course is a study of the composition, structure, purpose, historical background and theological themes of the following books from the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings. There is also exegesis of selected passages.
Biblical Wisdom literature will be studied for its literary form and content with a view to understanding its growth through life experience from practical wisdom to theological development.
The structure and meaning of the Psalms will be studied in relationship to their Hebrew roots and their later use by the Christian community.
THE MINOR PROPHETS
Minor Prophets, or the Book of the Twelve, will be studied in their literary and historical context so as to understand their interaction with the social and religious society in which they preached.
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an opportunity to appreciate the artistry and theology of the Book of Isaiah. We will approach the book as a literary unity and engage in close reading of selected passages with an aim to: 1) gleaning what we can of the historical milieu; 2) discovering what literary techniques the author has employed to sustain our interest and convey his message; 3) and benefiting from the book’s manifold insights into the relationship between people and God.
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an opportunity to appreciate the Book of Job as literature and as a theological statement about man and God.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
An introduction to the world of the New Testament, to the various writings which comprise it (who wrote them, where, when and why), to the thought expressed by these writings and to the process by which they were gathered into the New Testament.
Topics considered in this course include: the structure, purpose, historicity, authorship and theological themes of each of the synoptic gospels and hypothetical attempts to account for the similarities and differences between these gospels. An exegesis of selected passages will also be included.
THE GOSPEL OF SAINT JOHN
The study of the Gospel of John within the context of its historical environment. Through a careful reading of selected passages, this course explores the Fourth Gospel's distinctive way of telling the story of Jesus. Historical, theological, literary, and homiletical issues will be considered.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
An examination of the events in this earliest record of the life of the Church in the apostolic age, as a vital model of spiritual and ecclesiological development for the contemporary Christian and the Church in our age.
THE PAULINE EPISTLES
A systematic synthesis of the theology which underlies the letters of Paul, especially his letter to the Romans. We will consider Paul's understanding of: 1) the human condition, 2) God's transformation of that condition through Jesus Christ, and 3) the appropriate human response to that transformation.
THE CATHOLIC EPISTLES
A study of the seven epistles of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John and Jude. Commonly called the catholic Epistles since it was once thought that they were not written for specific Christian communities but rather for all Christians universally.
THE APOCALYPSE (Revelation) AND APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE IN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES
This course focuses on the eschatological dimension of biblical revelation. Exemplified especially in the book of Revelation, apocalyptic literature is found in both the Old and New Testaments. Topics covered include the characteristic features and major themes of apocalyptic literature, and the similarities and differences between biblical and extra-biblical apocalyptic literature.