I am pretty neutral on the subject of the historical-critical method of studying the Bible. So much so that I don’t even really consider myself qualified to offer my opinion on the topic.
But what I’ve noticed is that many textbooks about Scripture start off with “how we got the Bible” and include discussion of source criticism, that kind of thing. And it’s not that I don’t consider that valuable information – I think it’s good to talk about these things with our students so that they can answer questions (their own, or questions from other people) about where the Bible came from and how we interpret it.
I just think that for most kids – especially those who are not necessarily at CCD/Catholic school because of their deep and publicly expressed interest in learning more about their faith (a.k.a., “Grandma made me go”), starting off with the dry stuff about the priestly source and the canon of Scripture, etc., comes across as “basically, this is all made up, but here’s how it was made up.”
I mean, I PERSONALLY find this stuff fascinating – really. But, in my official capacity as Woman with Blog, I give you permission:
Skip those chapters. Or save them until the end. Here’s an activity I’ve used as a one-day overview of the four senses of Scripture, if you’d like:
There are two files – one’s a student handout, in which they read and summarize individual Scripture passages, then analyze the different senses of each passage. The other is directions for running the activity with your class, and activity cards that the students can “match” to the appropriate sense of each passage.
The best resource I’ve used is Mark Shea’s Making Senses out of Scripture, which explains the Catholic approach to studying Scripture in a simple, engaging fashion – it’s a book I’d love to have a class set of, actually. I need to double-check this, but I think the cards for the activity may actually have excerpts from his book (in which case, I need to edit those to reflect that – this is an activity I made several years ago and suddenly remembered).
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