Bible Studies

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Bible Studies

ICXC3largeWe have been using Search the Scriptures by Dr Jeannie Constantinou. You can visit her “Ancient Faith Radio” page by clicking here.  You can read a bio of her here.  And you can listen to Jeannie explain her background here.

Below you will see our recent and upcoming classes. You can keep up with the classes by clicking the link to listen to Dr. Constantinou while keeping certain questions in mind. Jot down your answers while you are listening. A notebook for this purpose would be helpful.

Recent and Upcoming Classes

August 6 Genesis Part 11 and Part 12

July 23 Genesis Part 9 and Part 10

July 9 Genesis Part 7 and Part 8

June 25 Genesis Part 5 and Part 6

June 11 Genesis Part 3 and Part 4

May 28 Genesis Part 1 and Part 2

May 14 Introduction to Genesis

April 30, 2014Christ is Risen – 3Christ is Risen – 4

April 23, 2014Christ is Risen – 2

April 9, 2014Christ is Risen!

April 2, 2014 – The Crucifixion of Christ – 2

  • Why do the 4 Gospels sometimes say different things?
  • What were the emphasizes of the different Gospels?
  • How are the Gospels different than a strictly historical account of the events they portray?
  • Where does the phrase “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” come from?
  • How do Christ’s words from the cross show that Mary had no other children?
  • How does Christ show his authority and control on the cross?  How is this portrayed in Orthodox iconography?
  • Why might Jesus have refused the wine mixed with gall?
  • Why were the legs of the thieves broken?
  • What does the blood and water that came from Christ’s side allude to?
  • What is the difference between INRI and INBI?  What is the proper thing to say on the title of an Orthodox icon of the Crucifixion?
  • When is making the Sign of the Cross truly meaningful according to St Augustine?
  • St Augustine also said that we do not overcome by doing wrongfully but by…what?

March 19, 2014 – The Crucifixion of Christ – 1

  • If Jews were not allowed to execute people, how do we explain St Stephen?
  • What do the fathers say about why Jesus came to his crucifixion willingly?
  • What are some of the characteristics of crucifixion?
  • Why was it such a scandal?
  • What is the difference between a Jewish flogging and a Roman scourging?
  • Why is there a scull underneath the cross in some icons of the crucifixion?
  • Where do we find a major Old Testament Prophesy of Christ’s Passion?
  • Why would the soldiers want Jesus’ clothes?
  • Why was there no lamb at the “Last Supper”?
  • What was happening in the temple at the time of Jesus’ death?
  • What is so important about Thallus?

March 12, 2014The Roman Trial – 2

  • Why was Pilate called back to Rome?
  • What was the crime Jesus is accused of before Pilate?
  • Why was Pilate and Herod in Jerusalem at the time?
  • Why might the penalty of one person be harsher than the penalty of another for the same crime?
  • What three reasons show that Jesus was not interested in challenging the political power of Caesar according to St John Chrysostom?
  • The Jewish leaders fail to convince Pilate of the guilt of Jesus.  Than why was he condemned to death?
  • What prophesy speaks about the silence of Jesus at his trial?  When is this prophesy used during our liturgical services?
  • Who was Barabbas?
  • Why does Dr Constantinou think that the crowds on Palm Sunday are different people than those crying “crucify him” to Pilate?
  • What was St John Chrysostom’s comment on the words, “His blood be on us and on our children”?

March 05, 2014The Roman Trial – 1

  • What is a flogging? Why does Dr Jeannie Constantinou think Jesus was flogged by the Jews?
  • What is the difference between Judah and Judea?
  • Who did the Governor have authority to execute?
  • What benefits did a Roman Citizen have in criminal proceedings?
  • What violation of Roman law did they accuse Jesus with?
  • Why did they want Jesus crucified and not simply killed?

February 26, 2014The Jewish Trial – 2

  • What is the source of much of the historical information being presented?
  • What do we know about Caiphas?
  • Why was Jesus silent during his trial?
  • What is the meaning of “Messiah”?
  • Is the claim to be Messiah the reason Jesus is condemned?
  • When does the idea of Son of God come about? Why does Jesus sometimes use the phrase son of man?

February 19, 2014The Jewish Trial – 1
February 12, 2014The Trials and Crucifixion – 2b

  • Who are the Herodians?
  • Why was the question of the Tax a controversial issue?
  • What did the Zealots think?
  • What is the irony of the Herodians according to Chrysostom?
  • How much was the tax? Why couldn’t you go into the Temple with a Roman coin?
  • Why didn’t the Sadducees believe in resurrection?
  • What qualification does Chrysostom make about marriage and the angels?
  • Why do some icons of St John the Baptist show him with wings?
  • How does Jesus’ quotation from Genesis answer the Sadducees question?
  • Who is David’s son? What does it mean by David being “in the spirit”?
  • How does Jesus show that the Messiah is not only the son of David, but greater than David?
  • What is a woe? What are some of the reasons Jesus denounces the Pharisees?

February 5, 2014The Trials and Crucifixion – 2a

  • Why did the Pharisees consider the oral law as more important than the written law?
  • Why were the Pharisees successful?
  • How did Jesus break the rules of ritual purity?
  • Why is Lazarus Saturday celebrated just before Holy Week?
  • Why is Palm Sunday considered so joyous?
  • What would St John Chrysostom say to people concerned about the differences in the way the miracle of the fig tree is portrayed in Mark and Matthew? What does the fig tree represent?
  • What is the relationship between the miracles and teachings of Jesus?
  • Why did some of the Jews feel Jesus’ power was from Satan?
  • Why did the Pharisees not want to answer Jesus’ question about John? Why is John called the forerunner? When do we commonly hear this word in the services?
  • How did Jesus respond to those who were not receptive to him?
  • Who is the real Israel?
  • What does the parable of the 2 sons represent? What 2 vices are represented by the harlots and tax collectors (Publicans)?
  • When Jesus begins the parable of the wicked tenants, why would the Jews recognize that he is talking about the nation of Israel?
  • According to Chrysostom, what is to be the fruit that the tenants ought to bear?
  • How do his hearers condemn themselves?
  • What does it mean that the tenants lose the vineyard?

January 29, 2014The Trials and Crucifixion – 1

  • What is the difference between Augustine and Augustinianism?
  • What is an Orthodox Phronema and how is it formed?
  • What do the early services of Holy Week show us?
  • What is a possible problem of the Biblical stories being so familiar to us?
  • Who was Flavius Josephus?
  • Why did the Jewish leaders react negatively to the message of Christ?
  • When did Jesus first get a negative reaction to his message?
  • What triggered the crowds to come out on Palm Sunday? How did the Jewish leaders react?
  • What is the Law of Moses?
  • What is the difference between ritual cleanliness and physical cleanliness?
  • What was so important about the Temple? When was the first Temple?
  • What happened in the Temple that does not occur in a Synagogue?
  • Why is the 2nd Temple sometimes called Herod’s Temple?
  • Does anything remain of the ancient Jewish Temple?
  • Who were the Pharisees? How did they deal with what was not covered by the Law of Moses?
  • Why was it hard to follow the Law?
  • Why are the Pharisees considered adaptable and flexible?
  • What was the problem of the Pharisees? Where can this be a problem today for Orthodox Christians?
  • What did the Pharisees consider Holy Scripture?
  • Though Jesus was a Rabbi, how was he different from the Pharisees?
  • Why did they call Jesus a false prophet?
  • Who were the Scribes? Why are they sometimes called lawyers? How are they similar to the Pharisees?
  • What were the Scribes and Pharisees lacking according to Christ?
  • Why did they question the authority of Jesus’ teachings?
  • Who were the Sadducees? What did they consider scripture?  What did they accept as binding on Jews?
  • Who were the Elders? Who were the Chief Priests?

January 22, 2014 – Lesson 2 on the Church FathersOn the Church Fathers – 2 & 3

Questions to think about:

  • What did St. John Chrysostom mean when he compared the Bible to a medicine chest?
  • Why did he believe that it was important for children to be instructed in Holy Scripture?
  • What was some advice the Fathers gave for learning Scripture?
  • Why is it important to interpret the Scripture “according to Holy Tradition?”
  • What was some advice from the Fathers for having the proper spiritual disposition when studying the Bible?
  • What qualified someone to be considered a “Father” in the Orthodox Church?
  • How does the Orthodox view of the Fathers of the Church differ from the Roman Catholic view?
  • What about St. Augustine?
  • What is his role in the Orthodox Church as it relates to the study of the Bible?
  • What does interpreting Scripture “according to the Fathers” really mean and why is it so important to understand this?

January 15, 2014The Church Fathers – 1

Questions to think about:

  • Who are the “Fathers” of the Church?
  • When did they live and why are we encouraged to “imitate” them?
  • Why do we trust them in what they have to tell us… especially when it comes to interpreting the Bible?
  • Why did they encourage EVERYONE — no matter their education — to read the Bible regularly?
  • According to the Fathers, why does Holy Scripture exist — what is its sole purpose?
  • What were some of the excuses that St. John Chrysostom’s congregation gave for neglecting to read the Bible?
  • How does the availability and affordability of the Bible back then compare to today?
  • Why is it important to read the Bible even if you don’t understand it?
  • What do the Fathers mean when they said the Bible is “God’s condescension to humanity?”
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