Understanding The Scriptures



The Understanding the Scriptures Podcast (Understanding-Scriptures.com) is composed of 30 episodes with each episode having a length between 72 and 80 minutes. Each episode/class covers one of the 30 chapters in the textbook titled "Understanding the Scriptures," by Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (this textbook is part of the Didache series published by the Midwest Theological Forum at TheologicalForum.org). Listeners to the podcast need not purchase this textbook, though it would be beneficial to do so. The course follows the plan of Salvation History from Genesis to Jesus and demonstrates the unity of God's salvific plan throughout the Old Testament, into the New Testament, and even through to today. Presented by Carson Weber, B.B.A., M.A. You may find Carson online at CarsonW.org.


  • Introduction

    07/07/2009 Duration: 02min

    The Understanding the Scriptures Podcast is composed of 30 episodes with each episode having a length between 72 and 80 minutes. It is hosted online at Understanding-Scriptures.com, where you may read reviews, comment on an episode, donate to the podcast, and find other quality Catholic Bible study resources. Each episode/class covers one of the 30 chapters in the textbook titled Understanding the Scriptures, by Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (this textbook is part of the Didache series and is published by the Midwest Theological Forum at TheologicalForum.org). Listeners to the podcast need not purchase this textbook, though it would be beneficial to do so. The course follows the plan of Salvation History from Genesis to Jesus and demonstrates the unity of God’s salvific plan throughout the Old Testament, into the New Testament, and even through to today. Presented by Carson Weber, B.B.A., M.A. You may find Carson online at CarsonW.org.

  • Ch. 1 - What Is the Bible?

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h13min

    In this lesson, Carson kicks off this exciting Bible course by describing the sacred, inspired nature of the Bible, which is a quality unique to the 73 books of Sacred Scripture. What do we mean when we say that Scripture is inspired, and where do we go in the Bible itself to find this claim? The answer is to be found in Chapter 3 of St. Paul's Second Epistle to St. Timothy. In the second half of this lesson, Carson examines the golden thread that ties the Biblical narrative together (from the Old Testament right on through the New Testament). This unifying principle is called "the covenant," and it is extremely important to understand the nature of a covenant in order to understand the story that the Bible tells. Understanding the Scriptures begins not only with knowledge of the inspired nature of these writings but also an understanding of a covenantal worldview.

  • Ch. 2 - The Old Testament

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h16min

    In this lesson, Carson speaks on the golden thread that holds the Bible and all of Salvation History together: the covenant. You will learn the different important aspects of a covenant and about oath-swearing, which is the means by which one enters into and renews the covenant. This covenant theology is related to what Scripture says and how an Israelite saw religion. This lesson will help you interpret Scripture not as a 21st century American (or whatever nationality you are), but as an ancient Israelite with a Hebrew, covenantal worldview. An overview of the Old Testament is also given along with an introduction to the concept of Biblical typology.

  • Ch. 3 - The Creation of the World

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson focuses upon the language and structure of the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis. This allows us to discover the interpretive clues that the author of Genesis gives, which in turn serve as the key to unlocking the truths the author means to affirm. You will learn how the cosmos is one large temple in which the Garden of Eden serves as the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. Adam is instructed to keep and guard the sanctuary as its priest, which helps us understand why as an unfallen, upright, just man, he would have so easily transgressed the divine command. These Old Testament realities are then shown to serve as types, which are fulfilled in the New Covenant antitypes of Jesus and Mary, the New Adam and the New Eve.

  • Ch. 4 - The Early World

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h14min

    In this lesson, Carson covers Chapters 4 through 11 in the Book of Genesis. The author of Genesis contrasts the descendants of Cain (the evil seed of the serpent) with the line of Seth (the righteous seed of the woman), and various interpretive clues in the text help us to discern what the original human author intended to affirm. Noah is a New Adam. The Flood and the subsequent repopulation of the earth are presented as a New Creation. God's covenant family is at odds with those who attempt to create a name (Hebrew: shem) for themselves out of pride and vainglory. Calling upon the name of the Lord indicates covenant worship. Find out what the Hebrew names: Cain, Abel, and Seth mean and how Genesis 1-6 is a literary parallel of Genesis 7-11. All this and more in this podcast episode!

  • Ch. 5 - Abraham, Our Father

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h18min

    In this lesson, Carson shows how the remainder of Salvation History is foretold in the three covenants God successively formed with Abram in Genesis 15, with Abraham in Genesis 17, and with Abraham's seed (Hb zerah) in Genesis 22. The first covenant (Gn 15) finds its fulfillment in the Mosaic Covenant when God forms Israel into a nation at the foot of Mount Sinai in the Arabian desert. The second covenant (Gn 17) is fulfilled in the Davidic Covenant when God takes the nation of Israel and transforms it into a kingdom under David, his heir Solomon, and each subsequent Davidic king. Finally, the third covenant (Gn 22) is fulfilled when Abraham's seed, Jesus, establishes the New Covenant wherein all the nations or families of the earth (i.e. the Gentiles) find blessing. You will see how the Biblical account of the binding of Isaac in Gn 22 (Hb aqedah) foreshadows the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross in several very significant ways.

  • Ch. 6 - The Patriarchs

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h12min

    In this lesson, Carson presents the Biblical account from the end of Abraham's life through the end of the Book of Genesis when all is well for the 12 tribes of Israel in Goshen, Egypt. This lesson covers the important events in the life of Isaac, then his son Jacob (who is renamed Israel by God), and finally Jacob's twelve sons, including Joseph who becomes the pharoah's chief steward or vizier. Joseph prefigures Jesus as an unjustly accused righteous man who is sold for silver, saves his kinsmen, and rises to the throne. Joseph also serves as a type of the chief steward whom Jesus appoints over his kingdom: St. Peter (Cf. Matthew 16). God reveals important things to both Joseph and Peter. Pharaoh and King Jesus ask Joseph Peter, respectively, a question regarding this revelation. Both give the revelation. This is followed by an acknowledgement that the revelation comes from God. Subsequently, Pharoah elevates Joseph to the level of vizier. Jesus elevates Peter to the level of vizier or prime minister. Phar

  • Ch. 7 - The Exodus

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson explains the background of the narrative in the Book of Exodus, which in turn sheds light upon the story we read. Moses is presented as a New Noah, and early events in his life prefigure his vocation as liberator and ruler/judge of Israel. The 10 Plagues God wrought against Egypt through his servant and prophet Moses were not so much a demonstration of God's power - as if God were flexing his muscles - but more so are divine judgments upon the false idolatrous gods of Egypt. For example, the Nile was worshipped by the Egyptians as a god, and when its waters are turned to blood, the significance is that of God slaying this false Egyptian god. You will discover more typology in this lesson that will once again point to Jesus and the salvation he delivers for his New Covenant Family as the New Moses, especially as St. Paul teaches in the tenth chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians. The event of the exodus of Israel through the Red Sea prefigures Christian baptism. The manna

  • Ch. 8 - The Law

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h16min

    In this lesson, Carson begins where the last lesson left off with the Sinai Covenant wherein God enters into a solemn covenant relationship with the 12 Tribes of Israel. This covenant, which involves a sacrifice and a sacrificial meal, transforms Israel into a nation. The covenant law is the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20-23). However, as soon as Israel enters into this covenant, Israel breaks it by committing a grave act of apostasy. Israel does so by constructing and worshipping a golden calf, which is a return to the idolatrous worship of the Egyptian Apis cult. This mortal sin causes the covenant curse to be administered. The Tribe of Levi slaughters 3,000 Israelites in one day. In doing so, Levi is granted the priesthood, and so the Levitical priesthood begins as a probationary, temporary priesthood to keep Israel, God's wayward son, in check until the time Jesus comes to completely deliver Israel from this broken covenant. Jesus will do this through his redemptive death upon the Cross. The Mosa

  • Ch. 9 - The Rise of the Kingdom

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h18min

    In this lesson, Carson covers the history of salvation between the 40 years of Israel's wilderness wanderings and the rise of King Saul to the throne. We cover one of the most important books in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy, which means Second Law. It was delivered to the 2nd generation of Israelites (since the exodus from Egypt) on the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan river, in response to that generation's apostasy at Beth-Peor through worship of Ba'al-Peor. In it, Moses delivers various concessionary laws that Ezekiel 20 describes as "not good" such as divorce remarriage, genocidal warfare, slavery, and concubinage. Structured like an ancient Hittite treaty between a suzerain king and a potentially rebellious vassal, Deuteronomy serves as Israel's national constitution, to keep Israel under probation. Towards the end, Moses tells Israel that it will transgress this Deuteronomic Covenant, it will incur its covenant curses, which includes eventual exile to a foreign land, and finally, Israel w

  • Ch. 10 - The Kingdom of David

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson begins with the ascension of Saul to the throne of kingship over all 12 tribes of Israel in the First Book of Samuel. However, due to Saul's repetitious sin, he loses not only his dynasty (his own son will not succeed him) but his kingship as well. We discover that the words Messiah and Christ are the Hebrew and Greek terms, respectively, for "the anointed one." When the king is installed in office, he is anointed with a flask of oil, and it is this anointing that makes him "the Messiah" or "the Christ." God chooses David, a young shepherd boy, to replace Saul, and eventually, when Saul dies at the hand of the Philistines in battle, the Tribe of Judah anoints David as their king. David reigned over Judah for 7 years and 6 months before the other 11 tribes of Israel decided to make David their king as well. David reigned another 33 years over all Israel. It was during this time that God entered into the Davidic Covenant with King David, which is one of the most important covenants

  • Ch. 11 - Wise King Solomon

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h18min

    In this lesson, Carson reviews the defining characteristics of the Davidic Covenant before moving into the reign of King Solomon. Bethsheba, whose name means Daughter of the Oath is elevated by her son, Solomon, to the office of Queen Mother. In eastern kingdoms - including the Davidic Kingdom - the mother of the king reigned as queen (not the king's wife). In Israel, the name Israelites used to refer to the Queen Mother is Gebirah, which is a Hebrew word meaning "Great Lady." We look at how this office is ultimately fulfilled by Mary, the mother of King Jesus, who is portrayed in St. John's Apocalypse as Queen Mother in the twelve chapter of the Book of Revelation. Another prominent feature of Solomon's court is that of the vizier, which can be likened to the position of prime minister in the Western monarchies we are more familiar with. Just as Solomon built the Temple upon the eben shetiyah (Hebrew for "stone of foundation), so Jesus (the New Solomon) will build his Church (the New Temple) upon Peter

  • Ch. 12 - The Divided Kingdom

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h17min

    In this lesson, Carson covers 1 2 Kings, showing how the united Davidic Kingdom under Solomon split in 930 B.C. when Solomon died. This split in the Kingdom was ultimately God's punishment due to Solomon's threefold sin of (1) amassing wealth for himself, (2) acquiring a great number of wives who turned his heart to idolatrous worship, and (3) acquiring many horses for a standing army. These very three transgressions were forbidden in Deuteronomy 17. Solomon's son, Rehoboam, decided to harshen his father's rule by making the yoke on his subjects heavier. This poor decision resulted in the northern 10 tribes seceding under the reign of Jeroboam. This Northern Kingdom, bereft of the Davidic throne, is thereafter called by three popular names: Israel, Jacob, and Ephraem in the historical and prophetic books. The Southern Kingdom, now led by Rehoboam, consisted of only two of the original 12 tribes: Judah and Benjamin. It is now called the Kingdom of Judah. Since the Levites did not acquire tribal land a

  • Ch. 13 - Conquest and Exile

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h16min

    In this lesson, Carson explains how the Deuteronomic curses (outlined in the Book of Deuteronomy) are fulfilled in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms as they break the Old Covenant by committing the grave sin of idolatry. First, the Northern Kingdom (10 Tribes) is besieged, conquered, and exiled by Assyria in 722 B.C. The people who once inhabited the Northern Kingdom eventually lost their national identity when Assyria intermixed them among the foreign nations in their exile among those nations. Simultaneously, we read in 2 Kings 17 how Assyria imported 5 foreign conquered peoples into where the Northern Kingdom used to exist (i.e. Samaria), and the Israelites who remained in the land interbred with these foreigners creating halfbreeds who practiced a hybrid form of religion consisting of Torah and pagan idolatry. These people in Jesus' day were known as Samaritans. The Southern Kingdom (2 Tribes) experienced the destruction of Jerusalem, its walls, and Solomon's Temple under the reign of the Babyl

  • Ch. 14 - A Remnant Returns

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h18min

    In this lesson, Carson covers some of the key Old Testament prophetic passages that foretell the restoration of all Israel under the descendant of King David: the Davidic King. We go through several key passages in the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Ezekiel before taking a quick look at Chapter 52 of the Book of Isaiah. These passages, among others, bolstered the Messianic hopes of Israel both in the Babylonian Exile as well as upon returning to "the Land" and its capital city of Jerusalem, beginning in 538 B.C. Eventually, these hopes will find their fulfillment in the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the restoration he brings about in his one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church through the sacrament of baptism.

  • Ch. 15 - Revolt of the Maccabees

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h14min

    In this lesson, Carson gives an overview of the history between when the exiled Jews first began to return to the Holy Land (i.e. Palestine) in 538 B.C. and the rule of Herod the Great when our Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. We look into the reason why Israelites such as Jesus and his 12 Apostles spoke Aramaic and not Hebrew. We also take a look at what version of the Old Testament our Lord and the Apostles read and quoted from: the Septuagint. The material this session covers includes 1 and 2 Maccabees, which you will find in Catholic Bibles, but not in Protestant Bibles. These two historical Old Testament books serve as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. They describe the revolt of pious Jews against the paganizing and tyrannous rule of Antiochus IV "Epiphanies" (meaning "God Manifest" because he considered himself the visible manifestation of Zeus). You will learn of how Alexander the Great conquered Persia, but when he died of fever, his empire was split among his 5 generals. Th

  • Ch. 16 - The World of the New Testament

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson goes over the various religious groups in the Holy Land both when Jesus was born and when he went about his ministry at approximately the age of 30. In order to understand Jesus and his ministry clearly, we need to first look at the historical environment in which he lived. We begin by examining the reign of King Herod the Great (37 to 4 B.C.). Who was he and what was he up to with his massive building projects (e.g. the Temple)? Then, we examine his three sons who each ruled over a part of his kingdom after his death. First we have Archelaus who ruled over Idumea, Judea, and Samaria; then there is Herod Antipas who reigned over Galilee and Perea; finally, there is Philip who reigned over the northern Transjordan region (east of the Jordan river). This session covers the identity of the Pharisees and the two main divisions among them: the Shammaites and the Hillelites. We also look at the nature of the Sadducees as well as the Essenes. By understanding each of these different wa

  • Ch. 17 - The New Testament

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson introduces the 27 books of the New Testament. We start off the spring semester (Chapters 17 through 30) by reading paragraph 129 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which reads: "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 (Mark 12:29-31). Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament (1 Cor. 5:6-8; 10:1-11). As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New (St. Augustine, Quaestiones in Heptateuchum 2:73)." An overview of the four Gospels is given. We look at who wrote the Gospels, who their audiences most probably were, as well as the major themes they contain. We then move on

  • Ch. 18 - The Incarnation

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h19min

    In this lesson, Carson begins with an explanation of the Christological definition formulated at the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. (a location which is now a part of the modern day city of Istanbul). He then speaks about the two means by which God has successively dealt with humanity. In the Old Testament, God descended (katabasis) to our human level in dealing with us, by offering us temporal goods as rewards and conceding to our sinful longings. This condescension came to a climax in the Incarnation when he took upon himself a human body and a human soul. In the New Testament, God takes on our humanity in order to lift us up out of our misery, so that we might ascend (anabasis) into the heights of his divinity. At this point, we read from the important passage Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:4 - "he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature." We

  • Ch. 19 - What Jesus Did

    07/07/2009 Duration: 01h17min

    In this lesson, Carson explains the baptism of Jesus, his temptation in the desert wilderness, the wedding at Cana (found in John 2), as well as Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom. We hearken back to Old Testament typology and prophetic themes, which stand as a backdrop to these Gospel narratives. We switch back and forth between the Gospels of Luke, Mark, Matthew, and John as we unveil the hidden meaning behind "what Jesus did." When you tune into this episode, you will discover... ...why Jesus - who was without sin - submitted to a baptism of repentance. ...what the significance was of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness. ...why Jesus turned 180 gallons of water into the best of wine at a wedding. ...what kingdom Jesus meant when he said, "the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" ...what significance there is in where Jesus began his ministry: Capernaum. ...the meaning behind the number of apostles Jesus chose.

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