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Scripture Study Resources for Catholics

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About Carol Kloss
BEGINNING BIBLE STUDY
You've got your Bible, in the translation and edition that's right for you. You're read a Catholic introduction to the Bible and gotten answers to questions you knew you had about the Bible and even answers to some questions you didn't know you had. You're ready to start studying Scripture, but where in the Bible do you begin?
One thing I don't recommend you do is open your Bible to the beginning of Genesis and keep going, day after day, no matter what, until you reach the end of Revelation! Although you'll start out fine with the excitement of the creation of the universe, it's pretty unlikely you'll survive the details of the daily sacrifices in Leviticus or the censuses of the Israelites in Numbers.
In many Bibles, you'll find reading plans that take you through the entire Bible in a certain number of years, or even months. While completing what you start as quickly as possible can indeed be a worthy goal, consider why you're studying the Bible. Are you aiming for quantity, or the quality of developing a lifelong relationship with Sacred Scripture? (That's meant to be a rhetorical question!)
So Where Do I Begin?
My advice: Make it easy on yourself. Begin with something you know well, or something with which you're familiar, or some small part of the Bible you've always wanted to learn. That way, it'll be easy to keep your enthusiasm and you'll build a positive foundation for the next step of your relationship with the Bible.
Probably the easiest place for Catholics to begin Bible study is with a gospel. You could follow the Church's list of readings for the liturgy, the lectionary, and focus on the gospel section read at Sunday Mass.
  • See Study the Sunday Readings for resources to help you begin Bible study with the Sunday readings (the Sunday lectionary), especially the gospel.

You could also begin with an individual book of the Bible. Read one gospel, for example, or one letter of Paul, from start to finish. You might also start with well known sections of Old Testament books, such as the stories of creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah you'll find in Genesis 1-11.

  • See Study a Biblical Book for suggestions and resources to help you begin Bible study with a book or section of a book.

Wherever you choose to start, think of that place as the first step in a journey you'll happily be continuing the rest of your life. There's no rush to get to the end of the journey because, as many people will tell you and as generations of holy people have witnessed, when it comes to Scripture there is no end. There's only the deepening experience of the journey and you'll come to appreciate that more and more. So, a small step at the start is just as good as a big step. It's the beginning itself that matters.

WHERE TO BEGIN


1. Choose your Bible.

2. Read a basic Catholic introduction to the Bible.

3. Then, the easiest place to begin Bible study is with the Sunday readings, especially the Sunday gospel.

4. Another place to begin is with a book of the Bible, such as one of the gospels or one letter of Paul.

5. Another place to begin is with a familiar section of a book in the Old Testament.


ACTIVITY 1

Spend some time thinking about where in the Bible you would like to begin your study. There's no right or wrong place.


ACTIVITY 2

Think of people you could invite to join you in Bible study: at home, work, or parish, among friends and family.

You don't have to wait for someone else to organize a Bible study. Use the resources available here and elsewhere, as well as the help of your parish staff, and start a Bible study yourself.

When you study Scripture with other people, you reinforce commitment, build a Catholic Christian community, and hear viewpoints you’d never think of yourself!