Welcome to History of Salvation

 

 “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Second Vatican Council described the study of Sacred Scripture as the ‘soul’ of all theology (DV, 24). This subject studies the way God reveals Himself as He accomplishes His salvific plan in human history, culminating in Jesus Christ. The aim of this course is not to learn ‘bible history’ as such, but to understand the anthropological, cultural & religious contexts in which it occurs, & in which God acts for our salvation. We will look at how historical biblical events are recorded in archaeology, religious traditions & Sacred Scripture. We will see that history is linear, with a beginning & an end, not a cyclical process. In it, God’s salvific action is manifested in creation &, above all, in the Redemption, & in the response of each person to God’s invitation to participate in the redemptive mission.

While the Bible contains teachings about the beginning & end of the world, the historical events recorded in Sacred Scripture cover the period from 1900 BC, the time of Abraham, until the 1st century AD, the time of the Apostles. What God reveals about Himself & His will, through words & deeds, is the foundation of the Jewish & Christian religions.

The subject is divided into three stages: Old Testament times, the time of Jesus Christ, recounted in the Gospels, & the time of the Church, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles & the rest of the New Testament. While the focus is biblical, we will recall the action of the Holy Spirit, & that salvation history has not ended. A reflection on the time of the Church should present students with horizons for the Christian mission, which extends to all the baptized, & for all time.

TEACHER: Dr Ailish McKeown (ailishmckeown@yahoo.com.au)

DURATION: 15 classes

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the Biblical foundations of Judaism & Christianity, in which God reveals Himself & acts to accomplish His saving plan, in words & deeds, through history, culminating in Jesus Christ.
  2. Be familiar with the historical, cultural, religious & anthropological context of Biblical events.
  3. Appreciate that history is linear, beginning with creation & culminating in the redemption, depending on God’s salvific action & on the free human responses to God’s loving initiative.
  4. Explain the notion of ‘covenant’ in Sacred Scripture & how the Old Testament covenants look towards & are fulfilled in, Jesus Christ.
  5. Explain the concepts of typology and ‘figures’ of Christ in the Old Testament, and give examples.
  6. Generate a timeline of key events in salvation history from 1900 BC to 1st century AD, & relate it to the beginning & end of the world.
  7. Recognise the action of the Holy Spirit as salvation history continues in the time of the Church, & draw out implications for their personal life & apostolic mission.

PROGRAM

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. IN THE BEGINNING: CREATION TO NOAH
  3. THE TIME OF ISRAEL
    • The Patriarchs
    • Exodus
    • The Promised Land
    • The Monarchy
    • Exile and Restoration
    • Palestine under Greek and Roman Rule
  4. THE TIME OF CHRIST
    • The Land of Jesus
    • Jesus, Messiah and Mediator of a New Covenant
  5. THE TIME OF THE CHURCH
    • Birth of the Church
    • Formation of Christian Communities Outside Jerusalem
    • St Paul and the Preaching to the Gentiles
    • Development of the Church in Apostolic Times
    • The Church in Post-Apostolic Times

    The full program is available here |  VIEW

    RESOURCES

    List of Books of the Bible (CCC, n. 120)  |  VIEW

    Table of the Covenants in Scripture, from Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

    | VIEW

    Table of the Chosen Line in Genesis | VIEW 

    Map of the Holy Land in the Time of Jesus (Charles Foster Kent derivative work: rowanwindwhistlerCC BY-SA 4.0)

    Map of the Missionary Journeys of St Paul (J Wooldridge, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

    General Ancient History Timeline | VIEW

    Timeline Map of the History of Human Civilization | VIEW

    Salvation History Timeline | VIEW

    Codex Sinaiticus

    Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Bible written in the mid 4th century, contains the earliest complete copy of the New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek. The New Testament appears in the original vernacular language (koine) and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint and the New Testament has been heavily annotated by a series of early correctors. Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.

    Find out more about the Codex Sinaiticus and view the manuscripts here. | VIEW

    ASSESSMENT

    TBA

    INTRODUCTION

    Essential Reading

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 1, pp. 5-11.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 1.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, Chapters 1, 2 and 14 (pp. 2-24, 170-78).

    Further Reading

    • CCC: God Comes to Meet Man, 50-3, 65-66, 74-79.
    • CCC: How to Read Sacred Scripture, 109-119.
    • CCC: Unity of the Old and New Testaments, 128-30.
    • John Paul II, Letter Concerning Pilgrimage to the Places Linked to the History of Salvation, 29 June 1999. | VIEW
    • John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 1998, nn. 10-11, 16, 94. | VIEW

    2. THE BEGINNING: CREATION TO NOAH

    Essential Reading

    • Genesis: 1-3, 6-9.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 2, pp. 12-15.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapters 2-4.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 26-42.

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 54-59, 279-421.

    3. THE TIME OF ISRAEL

    3.1 The Patriarchs

    Essential Reading

    • Genesis 11-12, 17, 22, 28, 48, 50.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 3, pp. 16-20.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 5-6.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 42-50.

    Further Reading

    CCC: 59-61, 144-147, 218-219, 705-6.

    3.2 Exodus

    Essential Reading

    • Exodus: 1-4; 19-24.
    • Numbers: 20-21.
    • Deuteronomy: 8-10; 31-34.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 3, pp. 21-28.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 7-9.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 52-66.

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 62-63, 203-213, 1334, 1409-1410, 2807-2815.

    3.3 The Promised Land

    Essential Reading

    • Joshua: 1; 3; 6; 23-4.
    • Judges: 1-3.
    • 1 Samuel: 1; 3; 13; 16.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 3, pp. 29-34.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 10.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 67-74.

    3.4 The Monarchy

    Essential Reading

    • 2 Samuel: 5-7; 19; 22-3.
    • 1 Kings: 2; 5-6; 11-12.
    • 2 Kings: 10; 17-18; 24-25.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes,  Chapter 3, pp. 35-40.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 11.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 76-88.

    3.5 Exile and Restoration

    Essential Reading

    • 2 Chronicles: 36.
    • Ezra: 1; 3; 7-10.
    • Nehemiah: 1-3.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 3, pp. 41-46.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 11.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 90-94.

    3.6 Palestine Under Greek and Roman Rule

    Essential Reading

    • 1 Maccabees: 1; 8.
    • 2 Maccabees: 1; 3; 15.

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 3, pp. 47-52.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 95-102.

    4. THE TIME OF JESUS CHRIST

    4.1 The Land of Jesus

    Essential Reading

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 4, pp. 53-56.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 12.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 104-156.

    4.2 Jesus the Messiah, Son of God

    Essential Reading

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 4, pp. 57-62.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 104-156.

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 422, 430-433, 436, 450, 539, 547-549, 577-587, 590, 593.

    4.3 Jesus, Mediator of a New Covenant

    Essential Reading

    One of the following:

    • Course Notes, Chapter 4, pp. 63-67.
    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 104-156.

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 613, 577-586, 599, 601, 613-614, 616, 618, 642, 652, 654-55, 642, 662, 666-67.
    • CCC: Mary, the New Eve, 489, 494, 504-5.

    5. THE TIME OF THE CHURCH

     

     

    5.1 Birth of the Church

    Essential Reading

    • Acts 1-7.
    • Course Notes, Chapter 5, pp. 68-71.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, pp. 158-68.

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 731, 732, 738.

    5.2 Formation of Christian Communities Outside Jerusalem

    Essential Reading

    • Course Notes, Chapter 5, 72-74.

    5.3 St Paul and the Preaching to the Gentiles

    Essential Reading

    • Course Notes, Chapter 5, pp. 75-78
    • Acts 8-28, Letters of St Paul

    Further Reading

    • V.M. Traverso, ‘A Quick Guide to St Paul’s Travels According to Today’s Map’, Aleteia, 19.9.2018. | VIEW

    5.4 Development of the Church in Apostolic Times

    Essential Reading

    • Course Notes, Chapter 5, pp. 79-80

    5.5 The Church After Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Times

    Essential Reading

    • Course Notes, Chapter 5, pp. 81-84.
    • Acts 15

    Further Reading

    • CCC: 748-776, 831-50.

    5.6 The New Jerusalem

    Essential Reading

    • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Chapter 12.
    • Understanding the Scriptures, Chapter 12, pp. 166-168.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Essential Reading

    One of the following texts:

    • Course Notes | VIEW
    • Hahn, Scott, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture, Charis, Servant Publications, Michigan 1998.
    • Hahn, Scott, Understanding the Scriptures, Parish Ed., Midwest Theological Forum: Downers Grove 2014. (Ebook can be purchased here) | VIEW

    Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, The Navarre Bible, (Dublin: Four Courts Press), 1985-1992.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 50-141. | VIEW 

    Readings from the Bible and CCC are set out in each section.

    Further Reading

    Gil, J., and Dominguez, J., Bible Portico: Learning Resources for Understanding the Bible: Timelines, Maps and Graphics for Each Book, Saxum International Foundation, 2022. | VIEW

    Bergesma, J., Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN, 2015.

    Fuentes, A., A Guide to the Bible, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1993.

    Laux, J., A Handbook of Bible Study, Doctrinal Research Foundation, Quezon City, 1998.

    Baker, K., Inside the Bible: A Guide to Understanding Each Book of the Bible, (Ignatius Press), 1988.

    Millard, A., Discoveries from Bible Times, Lion Publishing, Oxford, 1997

    Magisterial and Other Documents

    Ecumenical Councils

    Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, 18.11.1965. |  VIEW

    First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Filius, 1870. | VIEW 

    Popes

    Francis, Apostolic Letter, Scripturae Sacrae Affectus, on the 1600th Anniversary of the Death of St Jerome, 2020. |  VIEW

    Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini, 2010. |  VIEW 

    John Paul II, Discourse to International Symposium of Scientists on the occasion of the 350° Anniversary of the Publication of Galileo’s “Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems”, 9.5.1983.  |  VIEW

    John Paul II, Letter Concerning Pilgrimage to the Places Linked to the History of Salvation, 29 June 1999. | VIEW

    Pontifical Biblical Commission

    Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, 23.4.1993. |  VIEW

    Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture, 2014.

    Pontifical Biblical Commission, What is Man? An Itinerary of Biblical Anthropology, 2019.

    Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Jewish People and the Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, 2001. |  VIEW 

    Videos

    Discover Your Place in the History of Salvation, St Paul Center | VIEW

    Genesis to Jesus, St Paul Center (23.37 mins) | VIEW

    The Bible Project (nb: This website is Protestant & some episodes need supplementing/clarification, particularly those relating to priesthood, sacraments, the Church, etc.)

    • Summaries of Events of Biblical Books |  VIEW
    • The Temple | VIEW
    • The Sabbath | VIEW
    • Blessing & Curse | VIEW

    Everything You Need to Know About the Jerusalem Temple, Jewish Learning Institute | VIEW

    Podcasts

    The Bible in a Year, Fr Mike Schmitz | VIEW

    Understanding the Scriptures: Genesis to Revelation, Carson Weber (30 episodes following Scott Hahn’s book Understanding the Scriptures) | VIEW

    Free Resources for self-study and preparing classes

    Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical World View (6 classes), St Paul Center for Biblical Theology | VIEW

    God’s Covenant Plan (6 classes), St Paul Center for Biblical Theology | VIEW