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The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
October 4, 2008 - 8:10 AM EDT
"Did not our hearts burn within he opened up to us the Scriptures?"
—Luke 24:32
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Biblical Theology Track

This course of study is designed to introduce students to the main issues and themes in biblical theology.

What is biblical theology? It is the study of the Bible as a unified whole that expresses God's Word as revealed by Jesus Christ. 

Biblical theology reads the whole Bible and discovers a unified vision of salvation history. Biblical theology is based upon God's Fatherly plan (known as the "divine economy"), the unity of the Old and the New Testaments ("typology"), and how this applies for us today in the seven sacraments, especially the Mass ("mystagogy").

In these three classes, you will learn how to read the Bible from start to finish as a single book about God's saving plan -- a plan that reveals itself as a divine economy of salvation. You will learn how to read the Old Testament in light of the New and the New Testament in light of the Old. You will come to see that what God says and does in the Old Testament points us to what Jesus says and does in the New. And what Jesus says and does in the New Testament sheds light on the promises and events we read about in the Old. And you will come to a deeper awareness of how the biblical plan of salvation continues in the Mass and sacraments of the Catholic Church.

Biblical Theology Track
Course One:
From Genesis to Jesus: A Journey Through Scripture

A big-picture overview of the Bible -- touching on all 73 books of the Bible!

Course Taught By Dr. Scott Hahn and David Scott

What you will learn:
  • The concept of "covenant" and how important this concept is for reading and interpreting the Bible. 
  • The five key covenants of the Old Testament.
  • The meaning of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ and how this new covenant fulfills the promises of the Old Covenant.
Recommended Text:  

  • A sweeping, "big-picture" view of the Old and New Testaments, highlighting the love of God as expressed in His covenants with His human family.
  • "After spending a decade intensively studying Scripture, I had finally begun to see the 'big picture' of salvation history, and how all of the innumerable puzzle pieces fit together into a big, beautiful divine love story. . . . .Our Heavenly Father has been watching over us throughout all of history, saving us from destruction over and over again. He long to convince us of His passionate love for each one of us, that relentless mercy which calls -- and enables -- us to share His own divine life." -- from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

Biblical Theology Track
Course Two
Reading the Old Testament in the Gospel of Matthew

How the New Testament writers read the Old Testament in light of the coming of Christ.

Course Taught By Dr. Scott Hahn and David Scott

What you will learn:
  • To understand how the Old Testament is interpreted by Jesus and the New Testament writers.
  • To learn how Matthew "structured" his gospel and how that structure is the key to understanding Matthew.
  • To understand the Old Testament context for many of the specific sayings and events recorded in Matthew's Gospel.

Recommended Text:


  • The best Catholic Study Bible to appear since the Second Vatican Council.
  • Includes explanations of individual verses, word studies, topical essays, and references to Catechism of Catholic Church.

Biblical Theology Track
Course Three:
The Lamb's Supper: The Bible and the Mass 

Discover the deep biblical roots of the Mass!

Course Taught By
Dr. Scott Hahn and David Scott

What you will learn:
  • The meaning and purpose of the Bible and the Mass in God's plan of salvation.  
  • How the death of Jesus Christ was a sacrifice to God, and how that sacrifice is re-presented in every Mass.
  • How the Mass we celebrate on earth is a participation in the liturgy of heaven.

Recommended Text:


  • Reveals how the Bible's Book of Revelation is the key to understanding the Mass.


  • "[The Mass] is . . . the event in which He seals His covenant with us and makes us His children. . . . In the Mass, you and I have heaven on earth. The evidence is overwhelming. The experience is a revelation." -- from The Lamb's Supper.

Books for Further Study:

  • A lively explanation of the Trinity and God's saving plan, drawing on the Scriptures and the writings of the saints, written in a popular style.
  • "Sanctifying grace . . . not only makes us adopted children of the Trinity, but when they adopt us they take up residence in our souls! With baptism we become Christ-bearers, temples of the Holy Spirit, dwellings of the Father, tabernacles of the Trinity! Dwelling within our souls, the three divine Persons live their life therein; and we, because of such intimacy, join this triune life. . . . Actually we are citizens of two worlds. We live two lives simultaneously; natural and supernatural, or better, human and divine." -- from The Divine Family.

  • An engaging study of the sacraments as dynamic encounters with the living God -- by which we are made sons and daughters of God.
  • "When we realize that the Son became man to give us the Holy Spirit who would join us to himself in baptism, thus making us truly adopted children of God the Fateher, we come to appreciate that in all the sacraments we are led by the Spirit to be sons of God. Their purpose is to form us into Christ. We greatly need to see our Catholic life as a unity, to simplify. And it is a unity -- Christ. The sacraments are acts that make it possible for us to act daily toward the Father as adopted sons in the Son." -- from Transformed by Grace.

  • A rich spiritual journey into the heart of the Christian mystery, drawing on the profound writings of the master saint-teachers of the Christian life -- Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, and Leo the Great.
  • "Till we get to heaven, we're all unfinished Christians . . . .This first meditations [in this book] introduce the idea of the mysteries and the role of the Church's tradition in revealing them through the ages. Later meditations focus on the individual sacraments of Christian life, their visible rituals, their deepest roots in human history, and their deepest meaning in eternal reality. The final readings return to the idea of the mysteries, then considering them in the fullness of their heavenly glory. So the book moves from glory to greater glory, as should our souls as we grow in grace, immerse ourselves in the sacraments, and respond to God's many mercies in the everyday, sometimes difficult, events of our lives." -- from Living the Mysteries.

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