In order to encourage Bible study groups to use Scripture from Scratch, we have created ten mini-courses that suggest ways to organize sessions around a particular theme. This will enable groups interested in a particular aspect of Scripture to draw on the work of some of the best Scripture scholars writing today, in easily digested four-page articles.

These mini-courses can be used for a variety of purposes: adult education, Christian initiation (RCIA), catechist formation or enrichment, post-RENEW groups, Bible study groups, Newman centers, college curricula and departmental in-services for Catholic educational, medical or financial institutions. Use the suggestions on the following pages or create your own groupings according to your needs. Use the form included in the Sourcebook to order as many copies as you need, or order the Sourcebook from's online catalog.

The mini-course outlines offered here are flexible. We have suggested issues of Scripture from Scratch for four-, six-, or eight-week courses (five weeks during Lent). Adapt them as needed for the time available to your group. Generally speaking, one issue of Scripture from Scratch per session is a good guideline, although you may want to include supplemental articles as take-home reading. Occasionally, two issues may be combined in a single session.

The main article can be read prior to the session, or you may want to allow time for the participants to read it at the beginning of your time together. This provides the core of the material to be discussed, communicating in depth the message of each session. Encourage the group to use reliable translations of the Bible and consult the Scripture references included in each article. One of the goals of Scripture from Scratch is to enable people to read the Bible with increasing confidence and understanding.

In addition to the main article, each issue of Scripture from Scratch includes auxiliary material specifically designed for group use:

  • "Praying with Scripture" (found on Page 2 of each issue) can be adapted for an opening or closing prayer. The Bible is a key source of nourishment for a Christian's prayer life.
  • "Living the Scriptures" encourages an application of the topic to the reader's everyday life. For a Christian, the Bible is more than merely a source of knowledge; it's a guide to a life rooted in God's word. The article itself may also begin with this sort of everyday application, drawing readers into the topic from the perspective of their own experiences.
  • "Talking about Scripture" suggests thought-provoking questions to begin discussion of the topic. It will encourage participants to explore the topic and deepen their understanding of the issues involved. You may want to encourage participants to read the article ahead of time and reflect on the questions included, as well as bring questions of their own to the session.
  • "Reading about Scripture" offers further resources for those who are interested in pursuing the topic. You may want to locate some of these resources in the parish, diocesan or public library and bring them to the session.
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