Review of the Ninth Session April 26th

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions.

Here is a recording of our discussions:

Review Questions:

1. God chose Israel’s first king from the tribe of Benjamin. Why is this significant?

Answer: The tribe of Benjamin descends from Benjamin, the youngest of Jacob/Israel’s twelve sons. By choosing from this tribe, God is making it clear that any success and any victories are the work of God and not Saul’s own strength.

2. Saul quickly lost favor with God. Why did this happen?

Answer: Saul lost God’s favor by his disobedience. First, before going into battle, Samuel was to offer sacrifice for a successful outcome. When Samuel does not show up on time, Saul takes it upon himself to make the sacrifice, even though he had no authority to do this, since he was not a priest. This displeased God and caused Saul to lose his dynasty.

Not long afterward, he again disobeyed God’s instructions. He was told to smite all the Amalekites and destroy all their livestock. But instead, Saul spared the Amalekite king and the best livestock with the excuse that he kept them for sacrifice. This cost him the throne.

3. David combines two offices and roles in himself. What are these two roles, and in what ways does he exercise them?

Answer: David is both a king and a priest. He is anointed as king and exercises governing authority over Israel. But he also acts as a priest—wearing a Levitical garment, bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, offering sacrifices, and blessing the people in the name of the Lord.

David received from God the pattern for the temple his son Solomon would build, along with instructions for how Israel was to worship God there. He organizes the duties of the Levites as sanctuary ministers and musicians, and under his rule the todah (thank offering) rises to a prominent place in the worship of Israel.

To prepare for the Tenth session:

Scripture Reflection:

In your prayer time this week, contemplate on this scripture: “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son." (2 Samuel 7: 12-14)

There is no specific reading to do in advance of the next session, but you may wish to look at the discussion on violence in the old testament that follows:

The question of how to deal with the murder, mayhem and general violence in some of the OT Scriptures

During session 8, there was some discussion and some un-0answered questions about the reason for all that violence, for example God's command to smite 3000 non-believers here, and to destroy cities there.

An historical point  -  not all of the wholesale destruction described as the Israelites took over the promised land, is supported by archaeological evidence (see 'The Living World of the Old Testament" by Bernhard W Anderson). Anderson identifies three theoretical approaches to the relationship between scripture and archaeological evidence: 1) Israel's occupation was progressive, and by a kind of Osmosis over several generations as the people settled in Canan, intermarried with the canaanites and gradually took over: 2) The scriptures were written to 'big up' the leaders - thus victories achieved by others (even, by non Israelite armies) are attributed to Israel under the command of Joshua, to re-inforce his kingship: 3) a social revolution, from within Cana, with some violent skirmishes here and there but also some taking-over of cities and regions with no battle. It is perhaps the most likely scenario, as it can be modelled to fit both the scriptural elements (if exaggerations are accounted for) as well as the surviving archaeology.

The more significant discussion however, is how did (does) God allow his people to use violence to make their way in the world - we would think this to be wrong in our day. Well, Vatican II did consider this, and Pope Benedict XVI wrote about this as in the extract below. His points about how the process of teaching his people (including us) has been progressive, and what was relevant and necessary 4000 years ago should not be expected to be relevant now (and VV). Also, of course, on the issue of innocent people suffering that the chosen people might grow - Jesus suffered a most brutal death, His Father willingly gave him over for this, and the Spirit raised him from that, destroying that evil for all time.

Review of the Eighth Session April 19th

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions.

Here is a recording of our discussions:

Review Questions

1. What was God’s original purpose in asking Israel to sacrifice animals? Why, following

the events in Exodus 32, does he command the continual sacrifice of animals?

Answer: God instructs Israel to sacrifice cattle, sheep, and goats. Sacrificing these ani- mals was sacrilegious to the Egyptians, and the Israelites would be stoned for attempting to make the sacrifices because these are animals that the Egyptians worshipped as images of their gods. God didn’t just want to lead his people out of physical bondage; he also wanted to lead them out of spiritual bondage. During the centuries they lived in Egypt, the Israelites adopted the religious practices of the natives. They began worshipping the idol gods of Egypt, and God wanted to break their attachment to idolatry.

After Exodus 32, God calls for regular animal sacrifices because, as indicated by the wor- ship of the golden calf, Israel is still in spiritual bondage to the gods of Egypt. Because they worshipped the golden calf, they must now regularly sacrifice calves, as well as sheep and goats, as a way of renouncing the gods of Egypt.

2. In what ways are the person and work of Christ prefigured in Moses?

Answer: Moses, like Jesus, was born during the reign of a ruthless king who killed He- brew baby boys. Moses, like Jesus, escaped that slaughter, and after a time of flight and exile, he returned to his birthplace to begin God’s work. Both pass through water—Mo- ses in the sea and Jesus in the Jordan—and then both go out into the wilderness to be tested. Both fast for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses turned water into blood; Jesus turns water into wine at Cana and then wine into blood at the Last Supper.

Jesus also teaches from a mountain (the Sermon on the Mount), just as Moses’ teaching was revealed by God on a mountain (Sinai). Jesus radiates divine glory on the mount of Transfiguration, just as the face of Moses shines with divine glory after being with God on Sinai. Jesus feeds us with the heavenly bread and spiritual drink of the Eucharist, recalling how God supplied manna and water to the Israelites under Moses. Jesus choses twelve apostles and then another seventy to preach the gospel, much as Moses appointed judges and elders to assist him in the wilderness.

3. The Eucharist is the new Passover. What are some of the parallels that reveal this?

Answer: In Israel’s Passover, a lamb was sacrificed, its blood was shed, and its flesh was eaten as part of a family meal. Also, those who partook in the Passover feast were spared death. In the Passover of Christ, he is offered as the sacrificial Lamb of God. His blood is shed for the salvation of the world. And just as Israel must eat the lamb, so too the Church bids us to feed upon Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Likewise, through the Eucharist, we obtain the graces we need to be freed from the bondage of sin to enter eternal life.

To prepare for the Ninth session:

Scripture Reflection:

In your prayer time this week, contemplate on this scripture: “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be new dough, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5: 7-8)

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • 2 Samuel 6, 7

Review of the Seventh Session April 12th

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions.

Sadly the recording of our conversation did not work - most probably I forgot to click he correct button at the right time - my apologies! Here are the review questions and answers:

Review Questions

1. In the Book of Exodus, God brings judgment on the gods of the Egyptians. How does

this happen?

Answer: The Book of Exodus reveals God’s judgment on the gods of the Egyptians in the ten plagues. In the first plague, God turns the waters of the Nile into blood, showing his victory over the Egyptian god Hapi, who governed the Nile. In the second plague, the plague of frogs, God mocks the frog goddess Heket. In the fifth plague, God destroys the cattle, judging the bovine gods Apis and Hathor. Finally, in the ninth plague, God covers Egypt with a plague of darkness for three days, upstaging the sun god Ra (Exod 10:21–29).

2. What, according to the study, was the main purpose of the Exodus?

Answer: God’s goal in the Exodus was not just to lead his people out of physical bondage, but to lead them out of spiritual bondage. During their time in Egypt, the Israelites ad- opted the religious practices of their captors. They were worshipping idols, the Egyptian gods, and God had to break them of that idolatry. God says this explicitly through the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek 20:6–9).

God also makes his intent clear in Exodus 7:16 when he instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh on his behalf: “Let my people go that they may serve me in the wilderness.” “Serve” is the key word here because, in Hebrew, the words for “serve” and “ministry” are related. They both have liturgical connotations. God wants the Israelites to serve and worship him, not the false gods of Egypt.

3. What is the significance of the Israelites bowing in worship before the Egyptian god Apis?

Answer: The Israelites are succumbing to the temptations of money, sex, and power. Gold represented wealth. Apis was the god of fertility, so orgies, where they “rose up to play,” were part of their worship. This god was also the god of firstborns, representing virility, power and strength. Essentially, the people of Israel were attributing their deliv- erance to Apis and not to God.

 

To prepare for the Eighth session:

Scripture Reflection:

In your prayer time this week, contemplate on this scripture: When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” (Exodus 24:3)

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • Exodus 32
  • Ezekiel 20: 1-26

 

Review of the Sixth Session

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions. Notes will be placed here after the session.

You might also like to watch Bishop Robert Baron's talk on Dei Verbum which takes a deep look at how the Bible was authored, and to what extent is it a literal book?

Bishop Robert Baron on Dei Verbum

To prepare for the Seventh session:

Scripture Reflection:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that all who believe in Him should not perish, but shall have eternal life. (John 3:16)

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • Genesis 12, 15, 17, 22

 

Review of the Fifth Session

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions.

Please find here, my notes of the plenary session - sorry for my handwriting! They are memory joggers only. There is also a recording of the evening, for catch-up.

 

To prepare for the Sixth session:

Scripture Reflection:

When God's Patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water, Baptism, which corresponds to this, nnow saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • Genesis 12, 15, 17, 22

 

Review of the Fourth Session

Thank you all for your contributions to the discussions.

Please find here, my notes of the plenary session - sorry for my handwriting! They are memory joggers only. There is also a recording of the evening, for catch-up.




 

To prepare for the Fifth session:

Scripture Reflection:

Read and meditate on Genesis 3:15. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed: they shall bruise your head and you shall bruise their heels."

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • Genesis Chapters 4 through to 11. Probably - best to aim for one chapter per day?
  • Dr Scott Hann's Book "A Father Who Keeps His Promises" Chapter 4

 

Review of the Third Session

Another valuable and constructive discussion evening, thank you to all those present.

Please find here, my notes of the plenary session - sorry for my handwriting! They are memory joggers only. There is also a recording of the evening, for catch-up as some were not able to join us this week.




 

To prepare for the Forth session:

Scripture Reflection:

Read and meditate on Genesis 1:26

“Then God said: Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish in the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the earth."

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

  • Genesis Chapter 3.
  • Dr Scott Hann's Book "A Father Who Keeps His Promises" Chapter 3

 

Review of the Second Session

Session Aims

In the second session we discussed:

  • The use of 'Typology' in scripture
  • Scripture as a gift from God for the sake of our salvation
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in relation to Scripture
  • Salvation History as a Covenant (not contract) history.

You may wish to read the scripture passages used again:

  • John 6:31–35
  • Psalm 119:9–11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4–7
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:15
  • Ephesians 4:11–14
  • Jeremiah 31:31–34

Discussion Notes

At the end of the evening we had the plenary in which each group told us the fruits of their discussion. The file here is a recording of this.

To prepare for the Third session:

Scripture Reflection:

Read and meditate on 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture, having been divinely inspired, is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in justice, so that the man of God may be perfect, having been trained for every good work."

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

 

Review of the First Session

Session Aims

The first session aimed to:

  • Why and how should Catholics study the Bible?
  • The Mass as the key to understanding Scripture
  • Scripture as the inspired Word of God
  • Salvation history as a two-part story

Follow Up

  • You could re-read the scripture used in the video:
    • Luke 24:13–24
    • Luke 24:31–35
    • John 16:12–14
    • Timothy 3:16–17
    • Galatians 4:4–5

To prepare for the Second session:

Scripture Reflection:

Read and meditate on Luke 24: 3-32:

 

“And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?' "

If you can make time, read the following (in order of importance):

 

Monday Evening Scripture Study, beginning first Monday of Lent (22 February)

What is the Bible, where does it come from, and what is its purpose? Is there a 'Catholic' was to read the Bible,  and what story does it tell?

These are the ever-important questions which we will seek to answer on this program. Join us to learn the basic Catholic principles for reading Scripture and to survey the broad outlines of the books of the Bible and their place in the story of salvation.

This course will consist of a series of evenings with a streamed video inspired by the renowned theologian Dr Scott Hahn, followed by small group discussions with a series of questions to guide us. This will all be done using zoom, which allows us all to see each other and to share the content easily. It will be possible to take part using a computer, a tablet or a smart phone (anything which can play YouTube video will do).

The course is twelve sessions in total. It will therefore re-start after Easter on Monday evenings leading up to Pentecost. If in that time we are able to use the Parish rooms in the old priory we will do so - but it will always be possible to take part on line. Each of these Monday evening sessions will begin at 19:30 and will be completed no later than 20:50. There is then an opportunity for those who wish, to join evening prayer on line which we are already saying every evening at 21:00. (There is a link on the home page to this). The gap in between will be useful for social conversation...

Please watch the introductory video below, to acquaint yourself with the style of the inputs, and then decide if you wish to join us on this lentern journey, from Genesis to Jesus.

If you want to discuss further, contact John Andrews - initially by email, or catch me in Church under the old organ loft after 08:00 or 09:30 Mass on Sundays.

Booking Form

Please complete this booking form to register your interest for the program.

  • The sessions will be on Monday evenings starting at 22nd February and continuing till Pentecost Inclusive.
  • There are two types of ticket:
    • one is to indicate that you intend to attend.
    • The other is a way for you to volunteer as a breakout group moderator. These volunteers will be provided with questions to guide the breakout group discussion after each video and will also be offered a separate discussion time with John Andrews to prepare. They are not required to be scripture scholars and will not be there to give the correct answers! The role is to guide the discussions and to report back to a plenary each evening on the key points that each group has discovered.

From Genesis to Jesus - Introduction

There are no tickets available for this event currently, please come back later

Optional Participant Workbook.

You can order yourself an electronic copy of the  optional participant's pack by clicking here. Although you can also order a printed copy at the same price, we do not recommend this as it would be shipped from USA and might arrive later than would be useful for you!

Session One / Introduction