Increasing Bible Literacy

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Diving deeper into Scripture deepens our life with Christ


Increasing Bible literacy in our students ought to be one of our aims as catechists. In my teens, someone jokingly told me that the letters of the word Bible could be an acronym — B.I.B.L.E.— for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

That lesson stayed with me. I understood that the Bible had eternal ramifications, but as I started reading it on my own, it became much more personal.

My life with Jesus Christ grew daily as I discovered the truth behind St. Jerome’s maxim, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, 25).

Take up and read God is the author of the Bible, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the relationship we are called to have with him by way of his Word.

In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God.” “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them” (CCC, 104).

Our publishing company, Bayard, takes inspiration from our sponsor — the Augustinians of the Assumption (the Assumptionists), whose founder is Venerable Emmanuel d’Alzon. His advice is simple:

“Take up and read the Gospel, re-read it, meditate on it, and apply from the life of the Savior whatever you are able to imitate.”

I hope Fr. d’Alzon would approve of our efforts to provide catechist formation, lessons and activities, and resources that build knowledge of Jesus Christ through familiarity with Scripture.

I hope you will enjoy this list of articles that can help you assist others in embracing the Word of God:

  • If you’ve seen the 2017 movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ,  you’ll enjoy our discussion guide for teens and adults by Beck Groth, here.
  • Cathryn Torgerson, has a prepared a great primer, Bible 101.
  • William O’Leary offers tips for prepping Scripture-soaked lessons.
  • Jared Dees takes students through lectio divina.
  • Catholic IQ offers two Bible-based quizzes here and here.
  • Crafts for Catechesis has Scripture prompts for memorization.
  • Digital Catechesis lists Bible apps and Instagram suggestions here.
  • Youth Ministry Chat shares tips for Bible rookies here.
  • The Domestic Church describes the Bible as a powerful TV alternative for families here.


Pat Gohn, MA is the Editor of Catechist magazine and

This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, September 2018 and has been modified to fit this format.

Image credit: Keep Smiling Photography/ 588422027


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