The stories of the Bible have been familiar to many of us since childhood. Yet, the Word of God is more than a story and there is always another layer to uncover if we are willing to enter into the Scriptures once more. A Bible study is an excellent way to take a deeper dive into the familiar, yet mysterious Scriptures.
Jan Redmond leads a Bible study in our parish, but her own journey with Scripture began many years ago. Jan remembers when she was in 11th grade and all of the students were required to buy a New Testament.
“We put it in our desk and never took it out all year,” Jan says. “That was the beginning — I wanted to know what was in this book.”
Jan learned of the Denver Catholic Biblical School from some of her fellow parishioners. At first, she put off taking a class — but after looking at the brochure many times, she finally made the call and it just happened to be the last day before registration closed. Jan then began the extensive, four-year program.
“I just had this yearning to know more,” she says. “Where did I fit into this story? We know the Jesus story, but we don’t know the Old Testament as well. That has been a wonderful gift for me.”
Having been part of a Bible study in the past, and with her new enthusiasm and knowledge, Jan has led Bible studies on and off over the years. Recently, Jan has helped to lead parishioners through the Great Adventure Bible study by Jeff Cavins.
“We just need to know Scripture, and we need to know what God has been saying to us and be able to use it in our daily lives,” Jan says. “As a parishioner myself, I’m thankful we have Bible study. There are so many layers that we can delve into and get to know who Jesus is.”
Jan tries to lead one long Bible study and one shorter one each year, so there is something for everyone to learn. While the Bible studies often draw 20-30 people, much of the time is spent in smaller group discussions.
“Everybody is encouraged to ask questions and to ask the difficult questions,” Jan says. “This group is keeping me on my toes. They have brought up questions that I had to research. I don’t know all the answers, but I know where to get them and I’m not afraid to search.”
The Bible studies that Jan leads are accessible to everyone, whether they are a beginner or an academic. Studying the Scriptures prayerfully is an opportunity to deepen your relationship with God and understand the context of familiar stories.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve never opened the Bible,” Jan says. “You don’t have to be a Scripture scholar.”