VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While it may be a best-seller, the Bible still is not regularly read, nor has it become an integral part of many Catholics’ lives, said a panel of biblical experts.
"Unfortunately, it must be said, there is still little Bible in the lives of the faithful," said Italian Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Catholic Bible Federation.
Recent research conducted in Italy, Spain and France found that many Catholics consider the sacred Scriptures as something "reserved for the clergy" rather than as an accessible resource for them to draw upon for truth and inspiration in their own lives, he said.
Bishop Paglia, together with a number of biblical experts, spoke at a Vatican press conference Sept. 8 to present an upcoming international congress commemorating the 40th anniversary of "Dei Verbum," the Second Vatican Council document on Scripture and divine revelation. [Source]
Well the Archdiocese of Denver seems to be doing to right.
To outside Catholic educators, the Denver Biblical School is somewhat of an enigma.
They are surprised that it charges money for the courses. In fact, first-year tuition went from $300 last year to $500, excluding the cost of textbooks.
Yet the school is so successful in attracting students that it is straining to meet demand.
“The Biblical School is completely self-funded,” said school director Tim Gray, explaining that the Archdiocese of Denver does not subsidize its operations. Student donations and tuition fund the school, which has four full-time instructors.
Now in its 24th year of existence, the Biblical School is considered one of the most successful of its kind in the country. It offers a four-year Scripture program and even attracts students who are not Catholics.
Demand for the school’s instruction is so strong that enrollment for first-year students was closed earlier than usual.
In the current school year, the first-year class is a record 311students and total enrollment stands at an all-time high of 638.
We have a high-quality program,” Gray said in explaining the school’s success. “The teachers are dynamic and unique.
The program not only makes the Bible come alive, but makes it relevant to the lives of people,” he continued.
In contrast to some Bible study classes that take a piecemeal approach to the Bible, the Denver Catholic Biblical School undertakes comprehensive study of all books of the Bible. Homework is also assigned each week.
The school’s curriculum has been revamped to get away from an approach in which books of the Bible are grouped in terms of themes or literary narratives.
“We’ve emphasized the overarching narrative of the whole Bible,” said school instructor Wei-Hsien Wan.
Students meet once a week for two hours, with the first hour devoted to lecture and the second hour to small group discussion. Gray describes the instruction as “meaty, deep and serious.” [Source]
Wow that sounds great!
hile it may be a best-seller, the Bible still is not regularly read, nor has it become an integral part of many Catholics’ lives, said a panel of biblical experts.
“Unfortunately, it must be said, there is still little Bible in the lives of the faithful,” said Italian Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Catholic Bible Federation.
Maybe we should make a podcast of the Bible so that people can have it more readily available…
Oh yeah, never mind.
Incidentally, I went to Franciscan University with Tim Gray. Top-notch guy, first-rate scholar.
when I reconverted 12 years ago, I set out to find a Catholic bible. They can’t be found outside a Catholic bookstore which we do not have. Wal-Mart has a nice bible and spitiual book section but all the bibles are Protestant, because there is no market for catholic bibles.
A good daily study guide is Word Among Us. http://www.wau.org
It follows daily mass readings.
i don’t get it. we hear 3 different readings at each sunday mass. a protestant hears just what the preacher feels like talking about. catholics get a much broader biblical education without realizing it. we should stop selling ourselves short.
Why is EWTN allowed to use the NAB?
I’m not raising this a reactionary or anything. I’m not at all anti-historical critical method…but in my profoundly limited experience, Catholic colleges and RCIA programs, and commentaries all seem to be starting with historical/critical interperetation–which is of no value to someone who does not already have a background in that the Bible teaches as Bible.
The problem w/ lots of Catholic parish Bible studies is that they are too dry. Too much historical method perhaps.
And the poster above is right: if people open their ears at Mass they’re exposed to more of the Bible than they think. The daily emails from the Navarre Bible I used to get were the most helpful.
The thing w the USCCB is that they own the copyright to the NAB and are selective (unfortunately) on how it is used. EWTN would have permission. But they use other translations for things.
I like the NIV for a Prottie bible. It has the footnotes that point out the OT references that are quoted in the NT. Plus, I got a used pocket one for a quarter.
I like Magnificat over Word Among Us. It’s more liturgical.
Tim Gray’s shows on EWTN are good. Denver must be a hoppin’ place to be Catholic w/ Bishop Chaput and all.
If Tim Gray is involved, I guarantee that this is a great, faithful to Church teaching and facinating Bible School.
Archbishop Chaput brought Tim to the Rapid City diocese during his tenure there as Bishop. I had the wonderful privilege of attending a bible study that Tim did in Rapid City over the course of several months. It was wonderful. I wish I could move to Denver to go to this Bible College.
Maybe they’ll open up a franchise here.
In my experience the problem with Catholic Bible studies is that all the ones I’ve been to spend all their time in Catholic apologetics. OK Peter and the keys bla bla bla is that all there is in the Bible???
The NIV sucks. The New Idiot Version. Try the New American Standard Bible. Better yet try E-sword and download a bunch and see which you like for FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
I started the Denver bible study in Denver and then moved to Knoxville,TN. To my surprise one parish was teaching the same study. It is much more demanding in Denver: homework is reqired, checked and recorded. Attendance is reqired, checked and recorded.The homework is demanding. The Denver study is serious! I highly recommend it.
The Douay Rheims Catholic Bible is the one and only way to go if you’re going to get a bible that states it all, as it should be.
When speaking with a priest upon entering a parish, I asked if the parish had a bible study. His reply: “We are too busy for that type of thing.” Doing what?, thought I.
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