For those of you living in southern California, I want to invite you the free Bible study I'm leading at John Paul the Great Catholic University on Wednesday nights at 7pm. For directions, go here. If you So-Cal readers would help us spread the word, we would be grateful.
This is a very detailed study--we're going through about a chapter or a half of a chapter a session. Each night participants get a packet of handouts that contains outlines, summaries, and a ton of footnotes with bibliographic information for further study. We're looking at all kinds of elements and issues attached with the Gospel--historical, apologetic, theological, pastoral, etc. The effort is made to appeal to both a popular and more academically inclined audiences. We're going through everything from Catholic magisterial teaching to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the early fathers, contemporary scholarship, Pope Benedict's new book on Jesus, etc.
After we are through with Luke we will take up Acts of the Apostles.
Some of the issues we are discussing include:
--Whether the Gospel of Luke is historically reliable
--Why Jesus called himself "the Son of Man
--How the Dead Sea Scrolls relate to our understanding of Jesus and the Judaism of his day
--Why Mary is likely a source for Luke's knowledge of Jesus
--Why there are differences in the Gospel accounts of episodes and teachings of Jesus
--How Luke's Gospel is related to Paul's Epistles
--How Old Testament hopes are fulfilled in Jesus and his ministry
--Why the Apostles are described by Luke as priests of the messianic age
--How Daniel's prophecy of 490 years (cf. Dan 9) is related to Jesus' ministry
--How Jesus is presented as a new Adam, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, etc.
--What contemporary scholarship is saying about the various Gospel episodes and the historical Jesus
--How the early Church interpreted Jesus' teachings
--and much, much more...
Next week: As we move into Luke 7, we will discuss:
--Jesus' role as the new Elisha
--miracles and historical research
--Why John the Baptist, who had leaped in his mother's womb at the Visitation and had baptized Jesus, sent messengers to Jesus with the question, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (cf. Lk 7:19).
--and much more...
If you really want to do some extra preparation before each session, get a hold of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The Gospel of Luke (buy it through this link and support the St. Paul Center!).