Bible Study , Home The Bible. For some, the very words evoke feelings of warmth and wisdom, but for many Catholics today, the Bible can be chronologically confusing and its meaning hard to grasp. Those who come to the Holy Bible for the first time could expect to open at the beginning of Genesis and read on through to Revelation with the same ease and excitement as reading the novel Gone With The Wind. We are not talking at this stage about understanding detail, rather grasping the scope of the divine story, the "big picture. In a nutshell, it is about God and His relationship with mankind, the most complex of His creation and the true object of His love and affection. It is mankind that would betray God, and yet God in turn would die for them.
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Bible Study , Home The Bible. For some, the very words evoke feelings of warmth and wisdom, but for many Catholics today, the Bible can be chronologically confusing and its meaning hard to grasp.
Those who come to the Holy Bible for the first time could expect to open at the beginning of Genesis and read on through to Revelation with the same ease and excitement as reading the novel Gone With The Wind. We are not talking at this stage about understanding detail, rather grasping the scope of the divine story, the "big picture.
In a nutshell, it is about God and His relationship with mankind, the most complex of His creation and the true object of His love and affection. It is mankind that would betray God, and yet God in turn would die for them. Starting with the first chapters of Genesis on through the book of Revelation, God gradually reveals His plan to re-establish the broken relationship between Himself and His treasured creation. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for" CCC It is important for the modern Catholic to understand that, although the Bible is a mystery on one level, it is also a book of history.
There should be no misunderstanding--it is true history as opposed to cleverly devised tales. Pope Paul VI said in Directorium Catechisticum Generale, "the history of salvation is being accomplished in the midst of the history of the world. The Catholic Church is the culmination of salvation history and the fulfillment of the Old Testament covenants with Israel.
God established His first covenant, the marriage covenant, between Adam and Eve, one couple. The story progresses to Noah and his three sons totaling four marriages, making one holy family with Noah as the mediator of the household.
In Genesis 9, God makes a covenant with Noah, but it extends beyond Noah, for God said that this covenant is "with you and with your descendants after you" Genesis , RSV. Next we find the number of people included in the covenant expanding to one holy tribe with Abraham acting as the tribal chieftain. God makes a three-part covenant with Abraham, promising him a land, a royal dynasty and world-wide blessing through his descendants.
These twelve tribes of Israel spent four hundred years in Egyptian bondage where the covenantal expansion plan silently progressed. It was in Egypt that God raised up Moses of the tribe of Levi to lead Israel out of bondage to become one holy nation.
Genesis 24 describes the dramatic scene as the nation of Israel is gathered around Mt. Sinai after leaving Egypt through a miraculous deliverance. There at Mt. Sinai Moses spoke to the Israelites the words of the covenant he had received directly from God, and they agreed to enter into a national covenant with Yahweh.
This New Covenant is the grandest of them all for it is a world-wide covenant where God rules and reigns as the head of His one holy Church. Though the divine history recorded in the Old Testament focuses primarily on the nation of Israel, the history and truth that the Hebrews passed on to their children would one day become the history of a people they knew not.
Their history with all its triumphs and disgraces would one day become our history as twentieth century Roman Catholics. Those who enter through that gate, Jesus, take on a new identity, including a new personal history. Suddenly, all that went before us in that small land of Canaan becomes intimate and important for us today.
Understanding The Big Picture The difficulty facing Bible readers is how to make this personal yet ancient story of salvation history come alive. They must discover the critical plot and, through the guidance of the Church, understand its meaning in order to make it their own story. The first step to understanding the Bible chronologically is to identify which of the seventy-three books are of historical nature. The term "historical" refers simply to those books that keep the story moving from one event to another.
The historical books provide us with continuity, or give us an ordered account of connected events from Genesis to Revelation. There are twelve historical books in the Old Testament and, for the sake of simplicity, two historical books in the New Testament.
By contiguously reading through these fourteen books, the reader will cover the entire Bible historically with a sense of continuity.
The books placed above and below the fourteen historical books indicate where the remaining fifty-nine books fit chronologically. These books read within the context of the historical books. For example, the book of Psalms should be read in the context of 2 Samuel, and the prophet Malachi should be read in the context of Nehemiah.
By reading about four chapters per day, the reader can go through the historical books in about three months. The chart below outlines the order in which to read the fourteen historical books. After the reader has finished, he or she should go back through them again but this time incorporate a few of the non-historical books.
The new Catechism of the Catholic Church is the perfect companion to read along with the Bible because sacred Scripture along with the sacred Tradition make up the full deposit of faith. When questions of faith or morality come up, the index of the Catechism is valuable for finding official Church doctrine.
Once readers familiarize themselves with the "big picture" of salvation history, they can build upon this framework for the rest of their lives. This will result in a more profound appreciation for Scripture and a deeper understanding of the master plan contained within it.
In this revolutionary approach to Bible study, The Bible Timeline divides the Bible into twelve color-coded time periods that make it easier to follow its narrative thread. Using a unique color-coded chart, you will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and discover how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith. Through its 24 sessions, The Bible Timeline will teach you how to read and understand the Bible and introduce you to the wonderful narrative of the Bible in a way that will transform your life. To do this study individually without creating an online group, simply purchase the Online Video Access product below to get immediate access to the videos for 6 months.
Jeff Cavins Bible Timeline Chart PDF
The Bible Timeline Chart