‘Supper at Emmaus’ Caravaggio (1571-1610)

Course Description

On the night of Jesus’ resurrection, as recorded in the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was walking on the road from Jerusalem to a town called Emma’us, approximately seven miles in distance (see Lk 24:13). While on the way Jesus met two disciples who did not immediately recognise him. They were downcast because they had thought that Jesus had been killed in Jerusalem by the chief priests and rulers only three days earlier. They were in despair; until Jesus spoke with them and proceeded to break open the Scriptures for them while on the journey. Then, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, Jesus interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk 24:27). The disciple’s reaction was so profound that they later said: “Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Lk 24:32).

In this course we will get a glimpse of what Jesus probably taught these two disciples. Diving deeply into the Old Testament we will see how Jesus was prefigured by all the great characters of the Old Testament: men like Abraham and Isaac, Moses and David, Joshua and Solomon, just to mention a few. It is hoped that this will enliven your understanding of who Jesus is and what he has come to do for you, just as it did for the two disciples in Luke’s Emma’us account.

The course will use the five major covenants of the Old Testament as a basis for finding, or ‘seeing,’ Jesus in the Old Testament. Beginning with the covenant that God had made with Adam at the dawn of creation, we will see how Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection redeemed Adam’s sin, which warranted his expulsion from the Garden of Paradise. After this we will see connections with Noah and Abraham as we make our way through Salvation History to Israel’s Exodus from Egypt and the establishment of the Davidic Kingdom under David and Solomon.

Connecting the events of the Old Testament with Jesus’ actions and mission in the New will definitely enliven your future reading of Scripture. But it is hoped that it will do much more than that. For when we look closely at Luke’s account of the Emma’us story we see something quite interesting. Although Jesus’ explanation of the Scriptures to the two disciples moved them deeply, it was only later in the Breaking of the Bread that they actually recognised him. Jesus’ manifestation of himself to these two disciples is the model for our own personal encounter with the risen Lord. It is hoped that you will encounter Jesus most profoundly in this course. And it is hoped that this will be a profound preparation for you to truly encounter and recognise the risen Jesus in the Breaking of the Eucharistic Bread every time you attend Mass!

So come and join us for this exciting study of ‘Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.’

Course Objectives

  1. To understand the biblical notion of typology.
  2. To see how Jesus and his actions were prefigured in the Old Testament.
  3. To learn how Jesus fulfilled the five major covenants of the Old Testament.
  4. To discover Jesus’ role in Salvation History as not abolishing the Old Testament but as fulfilling it.
  5. To understand the connection between Jesus’ ministry and our own Christian life, especially as it is lived out in the Church’s liturgy.

Course Duration

6 Weeks: 12 Hours (i.e., two hours, one night a week).

Recommended Reading

Texts Recommended for Purchase by Course Participants:

Kaiser, Walter. Messiah in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.

Hahn, Scott. A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. Michigan: Servant Publications, 1998.

Popular Level Reading:

Brueggemann, Walter. An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Danielou, Jean. From Shadows to Reality: Studies in the Typology of the Fathers. London: Burns and Oats, 1960.

Kaiser, Walter. The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008.

Scott, J. Julius. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1995.

Veras, Richard. Jesus of Israel: Finding Christ in the Old Testament. Cincinnati, OH: Servant Books, 2007.

Wright, Christopher J.H. Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995.

Thematic Works for this Course:

Achtemeier, Paul J. Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1999.

Beale, Greg K. Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

Béchard, Dean P. ed. and trans. The Scripture Documents: An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002.

Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981.

Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Homebush: St Pauls, 1994.

_________. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church: Address of His Holiness John Paul II and Document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Boston: St Paul Books and Media, 1993.

_________. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition, vol. 1. Edited by Austin Flannery. New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1996.

Dauphinais, Michael and Matthew Levering. Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005.

Farkasfalvy, Denis. Inspiration and Interpretation: A Theological Introduction to Sacred Scripture. Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2010.

Geisler, Norman L. and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2011.

Hahn, Scott. A Pocket Guide to the Bible. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Division, 2008.

_________. Scripture Matters: Essays on Reading the Bible from the Heart of the Church. Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road, 2003.

Shea, Mark P. Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did. San Diego: Basilica Press, 1999.

Sri, Edward. The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures. West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, 2009.

Stravinskas, Peter M.J. The Catholic Church and the Bible. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

_________. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

Scholarly Level Reading:

Beale, Gregory K. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

_________. Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

Beale, Gregory and D.A. Carson, (eds.). Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007.

Buchanan, G.W. Typology and the Gospel. New York: University Press of America, 1984.

Goppelt, L. Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982.

Harrington, Daniel. Interpreting the Old Testament. Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1981.

Herbert, A.G. The Throne of David: A Study of the Fulfillment of the Old Testament in Jesus Christ and His Church. London: Faber and Faber, 1942.

Lampe, G.W.H. and K.J. Woollcombe, Essays on Typology. London: SCM Press, 1957.

McCarthy, D.J. Old Testament Covenant: A Survey of Current Options. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1972.