God’s Covenant Plan
Note: This study was formerly known as Genesis to Jesus. We’ve renamed it to avoid confusion with the Journey through Scripture study of the same name.
What is the Bible, where does it come from and what is its purpose? How are Catholics supposed to read the Bible and what story does it have to tell? These are the questions we take up in this “big picture” survey course.
Following an introduction to Catholic teaching about divine revelation and Bible, we jump right in and begin reading. We start with the creation story and Noah’s ark, and trace the history of salvation as it unfolds in the series of covenants that God makes with His chosen people - from Abraham and the twelve tribes of Israel to Moses and finally to King David. We see how this history reaches its climax and fulfillment in Jesus and the Church. The aim is to give you a solid outline and overview of the story that the Bible tells, from Genesis to Jesus.
- To learn the basic Catholic principles for reading Scripture.
- To learn about God’s covenants in the Bible, and to understand their significance for reading and interpreting the Bible.
- To learn the broad outlines of the books of the Bible and to understand their place in the story of salvation told in the Bible.
The primary text will be the Bible. And each lesson will provide links to biblical passages cited. In addition, the instructors recommend Scott Hahn’s A Father Who Keeps His Promises, which covers much of the material to be studied in this course.
- Lesson One: How a Catholic Starts to Read the Bible
- To learn how to read the Bible the way the Catholic Church has always read it.
- To understand the concepts of “salvation history” and “covenant” and their importance for reading the Bible.
- To learn the key points of the creation story in the Bible’s first book, Genesis.
- Lesson Two: Creation, Fall and Promise
- To read Genesis 1-3 with understanding.
- To learn God’s “original intent” in creating man and woman.
- To understand the sin of Adam and Eve and understand God’s promise of a New Adam and a New Eve.
- Lesson Three: East of Eden, Headed to Egypt
- To read Genesis 3-50 with understanding.
- To understand God’s covenants with Noah and with Abraham and to see how these covenants look forward to, and are fulfilled in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.
- To appreciate the key figures in the story of Abraham - Melchizedek, circumcision, the sacrifice of Isaac - as they are interpreted in the Church’s tradition.
- Lesson Four: On the Way to the Promised Land
- To read the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy with understanding.
- To understand God’s covenant with Israel at Sinai and to see how this covenant looks forward to and is fulfilled in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.
- To appreciate the key figures and events - Moses, the Passover, and the vocation of Israel as “a kingdom of priests” - as they are interpreted in the Church’s tradition.
- Lesson Five: To Kingdom Come
- To finish reading the Old Testament (from Joshua to Malachi) and to read with understanding.
- To understand the broad outlines of the history of Israel in light of God’s covenant with Abraham.
- To appreciate the crucial importance of God’s everlasting covenant with David.
- Lesson Six: Into the Kingdom of the Son
- To read the New Testament with understanding.
- To understand how the New Testament depicts Jesus as the fulfillment of the covenants of the Old Testament.
- To appreciate, especially, the importance of God’s everlasting covenant with David for understanding the mission of Jesus and the Church as it is presented in the New Testament.
Whether you're studying Scripture for the first time, looking to take your studies to a higher level, or whether you're ready for advanced training, you've come to the right place!
How to Use the Courses
Work at your own pace: All courses and each individual lesson will be archived and can be read or printed at any time.
Tips for Learning
Read each lesson as well as the Bible passages and other resources the instructor recommends. Taking notes will help you remember what you read. Then answer the study questions.