As the new school year begins, we continue to be humbled and amazed at the extraordinary success of our textbook, Understanding the Scriptures.
Dr. Scott Hahn has called the 560-page, lavishly illustrated, comprehensive introduction to Bible study, "perhaps my most important book." Published in 2005, the book sold out within a few months, and has since been reprinted several times by the publisher, Midwest Theological Forum.
Principally written for high school students, the textbook is now also being used in colleges and universities, as well in parishes and home-schooling across the country.
At St. Mary Immaculate Conception Church in the Diocese of Austin, Understanding the Scriptures is the basis for a major adult-education initiative. "This course is more than a simple study of the Bible," says Carson Weber, the parish's director of faith formation. "This is a form of adult catechesis that utilizes salvation history as both the curriculum and the content.”
Nearly 100 parishioners are signed up for the demanding, 9-month session. Classes meet once a week for a 90 minutes and students are eagerly reading one chapter of the book each week for "homework," says Weber. "They absolutely love the content, layout, sacred art, diagrams and photographs -- which make this book such a fabulous resource for any student of the Bible."
The course at St. Mary has proven so popular that even some Baptist and Lutheran neighbors are now attending.
In the Pittsburgh Diocese, Seton-LaSalle High School, recognized as one of the 50 top Catholic high schools in the country, supplies the textbook to all incoming freshman students.
The chair of the school's religion department sent her heart-felt thanks: "How blessed we are to have dedicated theologians who believe in providing high school students with the content of our faith in a clear, intellectual manner."
Understanding the Scriptures is available in our on-line bookstore.
Podcasts of Weber's lessons are available at www.catholicboard.com.