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Teachers Notes

Scripture Module

The scripture module of RESource assists Religious Education teachers (Years 7–10) to find reliable online resources to help them prepare and present lessons and lesson sequences in the study of scripture. It follows a logical progression in the study of scripture and its application to life. The study of Scripture does not have cognitive learning as its sole end because Scripture is the word of God, always ‘alive and active' in the context of the community of believers that is the Church.

Introductory Presentation

The Scripture module opens with a brief visual résumé of salvation history. It moves from the mystery of the origins of the world in the creative word of God, through the history of the Chosen people of Israel, to the revelation of the word made flesh in Jesus Christ and the ‘turning point of the ages', his death and resurrection.

Two Arenas: Old Testament and New Testament

The final frame of the introductory presentation reveals two icons, which represent the Old and the New Testaments. Clicking on these will open either the Old Testament arena or the New Testament arena. Within each of the arenas a range of texts are assembled. Some of these are centred on whole books of the Bible, for example the Gospel of Mark. Others concentrate on a section of a book in the Bible, for example Genesis 1 and 2.

The RESource Approach

Each text opens with a ‘trailer' emphasising some key points of the chosen text. This may form a basis for introductory stimulus in the classroom, or may help in devising revision activities. The module then follows a four-step process:

  1. Exploring the World of the Text
    This section explores the geographical, historical, cultural and religious setting of the text. It refers to materials in Core Resources, but also draws attention to sites of specific relevance to the text under study.
  2. Examining the Background of the Text
    This section takes a close look at the text itself: the genre, the author, approximate dates and the community setting from which the text may have emerged. It recommends sites which discuss these issues.
  3. Encountering the Text
    This section encourages contact with the text through study and prayer. It makes recommendations about online versions, commentaries, outlines and studies of the particular text, which provide insights into its themes, structure or teaching. Where possible it also directs readers to prayer sites connected with the text.
  4. Responding to the Text
    This section examines the effect that the text has had on its hearers over the ages. It points readers to sites that contain the stories of saints and leaders moved to action/contemplation in response to the biblical text, as well as the stories of some present-day people similarly moved. It also directs readers to art, music and drama sites that show a creative response to scripture, before inviting a personal/class response.

Scripture on the Internet

While an increasing number of Internet sites for the study of scripture provide access to excellent online learning, these are still far outnumbered by sites which, while usually well intended, are of dubious value for the classroom. It is important, therefore, when using the Internet to be careful in selecting sites, to ensure that an evaluation of their authenticity, reliability and quality has been undertaken prior to their use as a resource.

The Internet for Religious Studies site has a fine section advising Internet users on ways to identify reliable sites. In addition, it is advisable to read some reputable print commentaries or introductions to the scripture you will be teaching. This is important because it will familiarise you with the subject matter of the text and some of the critical questions around it. Moreover, reputable books on scripture go through a process of screening, editorial comment and correction that websites do not, so reading some good introductions or commentaries will give you some basis on which to judge online resources. It is not sufficient to read ‘devotional' introductions. These are suitable for prayer but not as an introduction to study. Discussion with colleagues who are experienced in teaching scripture is also invaluable.

Core Resources

On the opening page of each arena, there is a section entitled either Old Testament Core Resources or New Testament Core Resources. The Core Resources section contains material on the general history and geography of the Old/New Testament world:

  • atlases, timelines and photo-galleries
  • sites that deal with cultural and religious background
  • sites that introduce the Catholic understanding of inspiration and approach to scripture studies
  • general sites that suggest methods of exegesis and praying with scripture and
  • directions to online responses to scripture in the arts and media.

Topic Outline

Each topic opens with a 'trailer' emphasising some key points of the chosen text. This may form a basis for introductory stimulus in the classroom or may help in devising revision activities.

Exploring the World of the Text

This section explores the geographical, historical, cultural and religious setting of the text. It refers to materials in Core Resources but also draws attention to sites of specific relevance to the text under study.

Examining the Background of the Text

This section takes a close look at the text itself: the genre, the author, approximate dates and the community setting from which the text may have emerged. It recommends sites which discuss these issues.

Encountering the Text

This section encourages contact with the text through study and prayer. It makes recommendations about online versions, commentaries, outlines and studies of the particular text, which provide insights into its themes, structure or teaching. Where possible it also directs readers to prayer sites connected with the text.

Responding to the Text

This section examines the effect that the text has had on its hearers over the ages. It points readers to sites that contain the stories of saints and leaders moved to action/contemplation in response to the biblical text, as well as the stories of some present-day people similarly moved. It also directs readers to art, music and drama sites that show a creative response to scripture, before inviting a personal/class response.