Living Word: An Introduction to Holy Scripture

“The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”

(Psalm 19:8)


The course will take a comprehensive look at the structure and contents of the Bible, i.e., both the Old and the New Testaments, their historical background and the centuries-old tradition of Biblical interpretation (aka ‘exegesis’).

Each term offers a unique focus, beginning with the Old Testament where we unravel its historical background, immerse ourselves in the profound teachings of the Pentateuch, explore the mission and message of the Prophets, and delve into the timeless insights within Wisdom Literature.

Transitioning to the second term, the course will introduce participants to the freshness of the New Testament, giving insights into its historical background, immersing ourselves in the narratives of the Gospels, exploring the depth of wisdom in the Letters, and unlocking the mysteries of the Apocalypse.

The final term is a captivating exploration of over two millennia of Biblical Interpretation, spanning both Jewish and Christian traditions. Discover the depth and breadth of interpretation that has shaped understanding, drawing wisdom from the diverse perspectives that enrich our understanding of these sacred texts.

Experience the joy of learning as we unveil the Scriptures, recognizing them as a divine gift and an unparalleled guide for daily living. These teachings serve as a wellspring of inspiration, illuminating our lives with timeless wisdom and guiding principles. Join us as we embrace the Scriptures not just as ancient texts but as a source of profound joy and a guiding light for our journey through life. As the Psalmist says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”

Aims of the Course

  • Introduce to Holy Scripture those who wish to familiarise themselves with the Bible
  • Cover both the Old and New Testaments and contextualising their composition and the riches of their historical inspiration.
  • Ignite your passion for the profound teachings of the Bible
  • Communicate the joy of the Scriptures
  • Present the Scriptures as not just ancient texts to be studied but as guiding light for our journey through life

Learning Outcomes

  • Solid familiarity with the structure and main themes of both the Old and New Testaments.
  • Well-grounded understanding of their historical background.
  •  A sound perception of Biblical interpretation (exegesis)  and its role in the Catholic Tradition
  • A renewed appreciation of the Scriptures as the Living Word of God

Our Instructor

Mr Cyril Chilson

Cyril studied Byzantine Studies, Classics and History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Oxford. He is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Lodz on Sozomen of Bethelia, a Byzantine Palestinian-born fifth-century ecclesiastical historian.

Cyril’s research interests include ecclesiastical historiography in late antiquity, Patristic Biblical exegesis, dogmatic theology, Christian mysticism and modern theological appeal to Patristic authority.

Course Dates & Curriculum

Term I: The Old Testament
1Wed 16 OctIntroduction to the Old Testament
2Wed 23 OctThe Historical background
3Wed 30 OctThe Pentateuch
4Wed 6 NovThe Prophets I
5Wed 13 NovThe Prophets II
6Wed 20 NovThe Books of Wisdom
Term II: The New Testament
1Wed 22 JanIntroduction to the New Testament
2Wed 29 JanThe Historical Background
3Wed 5 FebThe Gospels I
4Wed 12 FebThe Gospels II
5Wed 19 FebThe Letters
6Wed 26 FebThe Apocalypse
Term III: More than Two Millenia of Biblical Interpretation
1Wed 30 AprJewish Biblical Interpretation
2Wed 7 MayThe Church Fathers I
3Wed 14 MayThe Church Fathers II
4Wed 21 MayMedieval Biblical Interpretation I
5Wed 28 MayMedieval Biblical Interpretation II
6Wed 4 JunModern Catholic Biblical Theology

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