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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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Salvation History Track

This course of study is designed to introduce students to the main issues and themes of salvation history.

What is salvation history? Simply put, it's the history of God's dealings with men and women as recorded in the pages of the Bible -- from the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis to the coming of the new heavens and a new earth in the Book of Revelation.

These three classes will give you a roadmap for finding your way around the Bible. When you've completed this track you'll have a great grasp of the key themes and issues that run through the Bible, and an excellent understanding of the "story" the Bible tells -- from its first page to its last.

You will gain a better knowledge and appreciation of who God is, how He works in the world, and how salvation history continues in the Catholic Church, especially in the Mass and sacraments. You will also gain a deeper awareness of the part you are called to play in God's divine plan, and you will be able to enter into and penetrate more deeply into the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist.

Salvation History Track
Course One:
Covenant Love: An Introduction to the Biblical Worldview

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.

Salvation History Track

Course Two:
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.

Salvation History Track

Course Three:
‘He Must Reign': Rival Visions of Kingdom Restoration in the New Testament

Explore the key theme -- the kingdom of God -- and its central importance for understanding the unity and meaning of the Bible!  

Course Taught By Dr. Scott Hahn and David Scott

What you will learn:
  • What the Old Testament means by "kingdom of God" and how the restored kingdom of David is the hope of the prophets.
  • How the New Testament depicts Jesus as the royal Son of David.
  • How the Church is portrayed in the New Testament as the restored kingdom of God.  and the Church He establishes as the restored Kingdom of David.   

Recommended Texts:

  • 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.

Salvation History Track

Books for Further Study:

  • A book-by-book guide to the Bible written in a popular style.
  • "[The Scriptures] are the earthly sign and sacrament of those eternal designs and decisions in which God has planned the 'economy' of our salvation . . . To read the Scriptures means, therefore, to enter into this 'mystery' . . . We must be ready to be recreated by God's Word." -- from Pathways in Scripture.

  • A spiritual reading of the great themes in Scripture: creation, divine promise, Passover, exodus, covenant, kingdom, exile and return, resurrection, and liturgy.
  • "The Bible should be read with an existential rather than a scholarly approach. God speaks in it through the men to whom He has entrusted the task of expressing Him. Christ is the Word of God made flesh. . . . For all practical purposes this means that we should read the Bible in the light of Christ who is, personally, the New Testament . . . . Christian tradition has called this a 'spiritual' reading of Scripture.  . . . If the facts of the gospel appear to pre-figure the realities of the future glorious coming of Christ (see Luke 20:14-18), it is because they make them present in advance under the veil of the sacramental mystery which is the mystery of Jesus' humanity, the sacrament of the Word and of His Body, the sacramental Church of the present." -- from Path to Freedom

  • Traces the history of the Mass from the Last Supper through the 4th century.
  • Collects all the major early liturgies and important writings on the Mass by the Church fathers.
  • "We can take the early Christians at their word. We know, generally, what they said and did when they went to Mass, and we know the faith they believed when they drew near to the altar. They left behind just enough of a documentary trail for us to glimpse the Mass as they saw it, and to hear it as they heard it. . . . The historical record is clear about this: Wherever Christianity spread, the Church immediately established the liturgy -- 'the breaking of the bread and the prayers' (Acts 2:42) -- on the "Lord's day' (Revelation 1:10), which was Sunday. Indeed, every generation of the Church's history has left us some evidence of its eucharistic life." -- from Mass of the Early Christians.

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