SAS 304

Introduction to Sacred Scripture

Fall 2017

Joan Morris Gilbert, STD


Home phone: 203-266-7709; Cellphone: 203-217-3343


This course will study Catholic understanding of Sacred Scripture: the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the role of the Magisterium, the mystery of inspiration, the unity and inerrancy of Scripture, the biblical Canon, and principles of interpretation of the Bible. The first half of the course will focus on the study of Magisterial teachings and hermeneutical principles, including a survey of the various methods of interpretation. The second half will focus on reading and discussion of the Scriptures themselves, with readings selected according to various themes which find expression in both the Old and the New Testament.


Students will demonstrate:


Aug 29                Introduction and Review of Syllabus

Aug 31                Divine Revelation: Vatican II’s Dei Verbum

Sept 5                DV: 3 Criteria for Interpretation: Content and Unity, Tradition, Analogy of Faith

Sept 7                Verbum Domini of Benedict XVI

Sept 12        VD: The Marian Listening Church

Sept 14        Biblical Inspiration: A Mystery of Catholic Faith

Sept 19        The Effects of Inspiration

Sept 21        The Unity of Sacred Scripture

Sept 26        The Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture

Sept 28        The Four Senses of Scripture

Oct 3                The Various Methods of Biblical Interpretation

Oct 5                The Biblical Canon

Oct 10                 The Texts and Versions of the Bible

Oct 12                Review

Oct 17                Midterm Exam

Oct 19                The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church (VD, #50-124)

Oct 24                The Creation

Oct 26                The Fall

Oct 31                The Covenant

Nov 2                Daughter Zion: Spouse Israel and Bride Church

Nov 7                The Law

Nov 9                The Priest

Nov 14                The Prophet

Nov 16                The King

Nov 21                The Shepherd

Nov 23                The Suffering Servant

Nov 28                The Institution of the Eucharist

Nov 30                The Incarnation (Infancy Narratives)

Dec 5                Summary and Review

Dec 7                Final Exam



Suggested version: Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (also listed as “with Apocrypha”).

Recommended copy: San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006.         

Many other translations and versions are acceptable: this will be discussed in class.



Grading scale: 

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73; D 60-69; F 59 or below


Students in this course seeking accommodations to disabilities must first consult with the Disabilities Resource Center in the Registrar’s Office and follow the instructions of that office for obtaining accommodations.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


It is expected that students will attend all classes. Sickness for either on campus or off campus students is a legitimate excuse for absence. Students are asked to communicate by phone or e-mail directly to the instructor, and to follow up in person with the instructor upon return to class.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.To request an incomplete, students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


Joan Morris Gilbert, S.T.D. received the Doctorate in Sacred Theology, as well as the Licentiate in Sacred Theology, from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, through the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Washington, D.C. Session). She received the M.A. in Theology and the B.A. in Humanities from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She is sacramentally married, and has seven children and seven grandchildren. She is a life-committed Benedictine Oblate.

Telephone 203-266-7709

Cellphone: 203-217-3343 (Texts: Please include your full name in text.)

email: jgilbert@holyapostles.edu (Please include Course # in Subject line)