Friday, May 3, 2013

Sacred Scripture: Jesus Christ, Conversion, and Dr. Scott Hahn's Online Bible Study

Scripture is the spiritual game-changer for me.  Reading Scripture puts me in the direct voice of God, whether it is a dialogue with Jesus in the New Testament or Yahweh in the Old Testament.  Throughout my early life, my faith was like the seed buried beneath the earth that seemed dead but was waiting for the nourishing waters of Sacred Scripture. For many years, if asked about my faith, the standard answer was, "I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior," but that, and what I remembered about the Ten Commandments from CCD, was the extent of my faith, not that I was compelled to follow the Commandments or even study them.  
    Years later, however, I had a powerful conversion.  A significant part of Christ's reaching out to me came through Scripture.  Up until my conversion, the only Scripture I read was bits and pieces of the King James Bible the Gideons gave me before entering USAF basic training, and that interpretation left me baffled at times.  Through my discovery of Scripture, Christ led me to the New Testament where I was able to hear His voice calling me, as He does all of us, by name.  Reading the Gospels is like having an intimate conversation with Christ.  All of those years that I did not have Scripture in my life I found myself in a barren struggle to find happiness in things.  Yes, I had my loving wife and children, and they always brought joy into my life, but in the absence of embracing my faith through Scripture, I missed the pinnacle of reason for that joy, God.  I needed Scripture to reveal the truth of Jesus Christ’s salvific plan for me, and once God led me to Scripture, I was able to choose to develop and feed that submerged seed of faith.
   In reading Scripture, however, I found there were too many interpretive points of view in the Protestant camp of exegesis. Through prayer and discernment, God lovingly led me back to the Catholic Church, and by accepting that invitation, I discovered Dr. Scott Hahn’s online Scripture study program, From Genesis to Jesus.  Through this Catholic online Bible study, I was given the Catholic tradition and framework for understanding God’s inspired Word. 

* The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is a non-profit research and educational institute that promotes life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition.