Wisdom Overflowing

Scripture Study Resources for Catholics

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About Carol Kloss
ADVANCING IN BIBLE STUDY
In one sense, studying the Bible is like studying learning any large subject. You begin with an overview that leaves out details and complexities. As you continue, you gradually learn the details and complexities and come to appreciate the depth of the subject.

Think of how we learn science in school. We begin in elementary school with a general science class. In high school, we take a more in-depth science class, or individual classes in biology, chemistry, and physics. If we go to college and major in a branch of science, we'll get even more of its details and complexity. We learn gradually, getting to know the subject level by level. If we began our study of science with a college-level chemistry class, we'd certainly be scared away. Study science? Too hard!

In another sense, though, studying the Bible is completely different from learning other subjects. Most of us want to know the texts of the Bible as Sacred Scripture, as texts that reveal in a deep way God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We want to know what it means to be part of an ancient and modern community of faith, the people of God. The more we study the Bible, learning things that can be written in books and taught by teachers, the more likely we are to remove the obstacles that can prevent us from experiencing Scripture as people of faith.

In this section, you'll find suggestions for the next levels of learning, what I would call advanced beginner and intermediate. Maybe you have questions about the biblical text that aren't answered in the Beginning Bible Study resources. Maybe you're ready to move to the next levels, or are already there.

As you continue to learn, remember why you're studying. As Fr. Jerome Kodell puts it in The Catholic Bible Study Handbook, use these resources as a doorway to the Bible and not as a substitute for it. Your goal is to find the doorways that take you into the space where you experience the Bible's texts as Sacred Scripture.
A Variety of Resources
An essential resource for the next levels of Bible study is the all-in-one resource of a study edition of the Bible. (Editions of the Bible presents examples of several types of Bible editions, including those for study.)
  • See Study Bibles for study editions suitable for the advanced beginner and intermediate levels.

In daily life, when we hear a word and don't understand what it means, we look it up in a dictionary. When we want to find exactly where a place is, we look it up in an atlas. We use the tools called a dictionary and an atlas. We use the same kinds of tools for similar reasons in Bible study.

  • See Bible Study Tools to learn about the various types of these truly helpful resources and how and when to use them.

As you study the Bible book by book and as a whole at advanced beginner or intermediate levels, you'll want resources that look more closely at the individual texts and sections of the Bible.


CONTINUE STUDY


1. We learn the Bible as we do any large subject, moving gradually from a simple level to levels that increase in detail and complexity.


2. The more we study the Bible, the more likely we are to connect with its texts in faith. As we learn, we remove obstacles that can block our experience of the Bible as the Word of God.


3. Study Bibles, Bible study tools, and resources that look more closely at the individual books and sections of the Bible all help students at the advanced beginner and intermediate levels.


4. As you continue, use the resources as a doorway to experiencing Sacred Scripture and not as a substitute for it.