Sunday, March 25, 2012

Study through Acts: Lesson Three

This lesson is a continuation of Lesson Two:
Acts Chapter 2:

v. 26   Abiding in hope. The Greek for "Hope” ἐλπίς (elpis) means, “a confident expectation of salvation. See also Heb 6:18-20.  What does that concept – a confident expectation – mean to you regarding God’s love for you and the security of your position in Christ?

v. 27  St. Peter quotes here from Psalm 16. The apostles and writers of the NT interpreted this portion of Psalm 16 as prophetic, pointing to the first advent and the resurrection of the Messiah (note Peter’s comment immediately following in vv 29-35, quoting from Psalm 110:1-2).

What does Peter the Fisherman’s familiarity with the Old Testament this tell us about the importance of Scripture for you and me? Consider the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the subject of Scripture: (CCC 123-141 below).

vv. 29-32  What link to you see between verse 32 and Isaiah 51:12-13, see also
Isaiah 8:11-13 (Note the translation of this verse in the Catholic Douay-Rheims (DR) is different from the Catholic New American Bible (NAB); The Hebrew word קֶשֶׁר, (qesher) in verse 12 is translated as ‘conspiracy’, or ‘treason’ in the DR. The New American Bible translates the word as an ‘alliance’. In verse 13, the DR translates קָדַשׁ  (k'desh) as ‘sanctify, while the NAB translates is as ‘alliance’.

            What does this difference in the two Catholic versions suggest to us regarding the study of Scripture? A few Bible study websites I often use to compare translations are found at:, and Other helpful sites include and (for study and search of the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

vv. 33-36         What does verse 36 suggest to us regarding evangelism?
Consider Ezek 33:1-9, 2 Tim 3:1-5 with 4:1-4. Review last week’s Catechism passages regarding the    missionary mandate to the Church (specifically paragraphs 849-856. Click on the link at 849 and you can then read that paragraph in context with the others.)

 What does the above text in Acts (2:33-36) have to do with the increasingly common refrain, “Why can’t we all coexist in peace? Why can’t we all just get along?”  To what group is that challenge usually directed? Though we should “seek peace with all men (1 Peter 3:11, Romans 12:17-19),” can we always get along? Should we always ‘get along’? Is there a time when we must not ‘get along’?

vv. 37-42         Note the result of vv. 33-36. Is there application for us today? If so, what is it?

We will continue in the next lesson.

Catechism Paragraphs
Please also review my questions after several paragraphs and highlighted in bold

The Old Testament

123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).

The New Testament

124 "The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament"96 which hand on the ultimate truth of God's Revelation. Their central object is Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and his Church's beginnings under the Spirit's guidance.97

125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures "because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Savior".98

The unity of the Old and New Testaments

129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself.105 Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.106 As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.107  (Each sentence in this paragraph carries significant importance for us as we try to please the Lord in all things. How would you put each sentence into your own words?)


131 "And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life."109 Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful."110  (Access to Sacred Scripture is, at least in the United States and Western countries, wide open. How often do you access it in your personal study?  Might you do more?)

132 "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."111

133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.112 (It was St. Jerome who said, ‘Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.’  What does that mean to you?)

141 "The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord" (DV 21): both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119:105; cf. Is 50:4).

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