Study Aids

Program Details and Recommended Study Resources: fact sheets, books, and videos.

Holy Scriptures

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Truths of Faith Holy Scriptures Saints & Heroes Catholic Culture Worship & Tradition

Holy Scriptures—Overview

The Holy Scriptures study program includes both Old and New Testament histories, with units on Genesis, the Life of Moses, the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Life of Christ and Acts of the Apostles. The program does not currently cover the Prophets or Wisdom Books of the Old Testament or the Epistles of the New Testament, so it is accessible to most students with an introductory knowledge of the Bible.

The Old Testament study units cover the Biblical history of the Jewish people from Genesis to the Maccabee rebellion. Students need to know all of the main biblical Characters and stories of the Old Testament, but don't need to be familiar with the writings of the minor prophets, psalms, or proverbs. The Question bank includes questions relating to all of the deuterocanonical texts, including Tobit, Judith, and Maccabees, so a Catholic Bible is required for reference.

The New Testament study units are based mainly on the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. Students need to be familiar with all New Testament characters as well as the parables and teachings of Christ and theologically significant passages. Units covering the Epistles and Revelation are not available at this time.

The current version of the Holy Scriptures program is intended to be a general introduction to scriptures, accessible for students who are familiar with Biblical history. It is the least difficult of the five Catholc Knowledge study programs.

Subdivisions and Study Aids

There are about 650 study questions associated with the Truths of the Faith program subdivided into seven units of about 100 questions each. Links to study aids, homework assignments, and reading recommendations are provided for each subtopic.

Unit Topics Covered
1: Genesis Creation, Fall of Adam, Abel and Cain, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israelites in Egypt, etc.
2: Moses to Judges Moses, Exodus, Ten Commandments, Canaan, Joshua, Judges, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, etc.
3: Kings of Israel Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, Divided Kingdom, Northern Kingdom, Fall of Israel, Tobit, etc.
4: Restoration of Judah Southern Kingdom, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Judith, Esther, Maccabees, etc.
5: Ministry of Christ Incarnation, Youth, Early Ministry, Apostles, Miracles, Parables, etc.
6: Passion of Christ Entry into Jerusalem, Last Supper, Arrest, Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, etc.
7: Acts of Apostles Ascension, Pentecost, Miracles of Apostles, Gentile Converts, Missionary Journeys, etc.
8: Biblical Wisdom Books, Authors, Facts, Quotes and Sayings, Epistles, Proverbs, Psalms, Wisdom, etc.

Recommended Reading and Videos

Catholic Bibles

A Catholic Bible is a necessary reference for the Holy Scripture division. Either the Douay Reims or the Revised Standard Version are good translations and both can easily be found online.

  • This online version of the Douay Reims Bible includes good search algorithms and a brief summary of each chapter a the top. These features make scrolling through chapters and finding specific passages easy.
  • The Bible Gateway is a well-known search engine for Bible passages that includes complete versions of over twenty popular Bibles, both Catholic and Protestant.

Children's Bibles and Biblical References

In addition to Catholic Bibles, a number of other resources may be useful. In particular, a high quality Children's Bible is helpful for the study of Old Testament history, especially for novices. Fr. Laux's Introduction to the Bible is a useful reference for more advanced students.

  • Bible History for Catholics by Fr. Richard Gilmour
    The first portion of this book summarize most of the important Bible stories in both the Old and New Testaments at a level of detail appropriate for middle school students. The final third includes a list of major events in Church history from the Missionary Journeys of Paul to the French Revolution.
  • Children's Bible - Old Testament by Sherman and Kent
    This Children's Bible is a true classic and was a favorite in many American homes for decades. The authors were renowned scholars of biblical literature, and every section of the Bible is rendered with great care to preserve Biblical accuracy while retelling the most important stories in common language. This first volume contains the most famous stories of the Old Testament, all told in fascinating detail, and broken up into short chapters to make it friendly for young readers. Perfect for daily reading, family reading, or reference.
  • Children's Bible - New Testament by Sherman and Kent
    This Children's Bible was a favorite in many American homes for decades. The authors were renowned Biblical scholars and every section is rendered with care to preserve Biblical while retelling the most important stories in common language. This second volume of the Children's Bible covers the New Testament, from the Birth of Christ, to the Acts of the Apostles, ending with Stories from the Epistles of Paul, James, and John.
  • Introduction to the Bible by Fr. John Laux
    Fr. John Laux's introduction to the scriptures includes the true meaning of Inspiration, guidelines to understanding the Bible and the Church's role as the Bible's official interpreter. Briefly introduces each of the Bible's 72 books, with well-chosen Scriptural passages. The information contained here remains as valid as traditional Catholic teaching presents it.

Bible Based Video Series

There are hundreds of good quality web pages and videos covering Biblical themes produced by both Protestant and Catholic organizations. The series described below is one of the best for advanced students.

The Bible Project Youtube Channel contains over 150 Bible Videos. About half are associated with a series calle "Read Scripture" that covers each Book of the Bible in sequence, using a very cleverly done automated illutration technique that is just as enjoyable, as a more elaborate animation. Importantly, the narration of important themes is very good. Most videos are only seven to ten minutes long, but they do an excellent job of discussing both historical context and theological importance at a level easily understood by secondary school students.

The series does a particularly good job on many of the Old Testament Prophetic books, and New Testament Epistles which are difficult for most students to understand. By providing both historical and theological context, even videos on relatively minor prophets or letters are of great interest.