Bible Study Book for Catholic Friend?

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Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
A co-worker of someone in my church began attending our church a few months ago. She is a Catholic from Mexico who has been in the US for 6 years. After a few weeks of coming to our church, she professed saving faith in Christ.

This lady comes over to my house once a week for English study. Last night she began asking more questions about the Bible and I spent two hours with my Bible open talking about God. She loves music so we went through the Psalms together. She doesn't know anything about the Bible but wants to learn more.

My question is this--do you know of a good Bible study book either 1) for children, so she can understand the basic English, or 2) in Spanish? She is reluctant to leave her Catholic roots because it was part of her culture for so long. So rather than deal with negatives (why Catholicism is wrong) I'd like to teach her positives from the Bible so she can see for herself what the Lord says.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
Does she have Online Access? The PURITANLIBRARY.COM library just posted has tons of good stuff. Thomas Watson comes quickly to mind as a good one to start with!

She has limited online access, but there is no way she would understand puritan writings. Although her conversation English is pretty good, she had trouble, for example, getting through the "difficult" vocabulary in the first six pages of Charlotte's Web.

The Bible study material would have to be written for children or in Spanish.
 

pilgrim3970

Puritan Board Freshman
A co-worker of someone in my church began attending our church a few months ago. She is a Catholic from Mexico who has been in the US for 6 years. After a few weeks of coming to our church, she professed saving faith in Christ.

This lady comes over to my house once a week for English study. Last night she began asking more questions about the Bible and I spent two hours with my Bible open talking about God. She loves music so we went through the Psalms together. She doesn't know anything about the Bible but wants to learn more.

My question is this--do you know of a good Bible study book either 1) for children, so she can understand the basic English, or 2) in Spanish? She is reluctant to leave her Catholic roots because it was part of her culture for so long. So rather than deal with negatives (why Catholicism is wrong) I'd like to teach her positives from the Bible so she can see for herself what the Lord says.

First, I think that focusing more on the positives than negatives is the prefered approach - certainly more so than the confrontational approach that is frequently taken. Many forget the admonition of Paul that "the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 2:24,25 ESV). I believe you will get a lot more mileage with focusing on the truth.

It is like that anecdotal story I've heard repeated that Secret Service agents learn to spot conterfiet money not by examining the conterfeit itself but by examining and becoming intimately familiar with the genuine article.

I would disagree with Steven with immediately thrusting her into the puritan works mentioned. She is yet a babe and needs the sincere milk of the Word first and foremost.

As to Bible versions, although not my favorite translation, the NIV (maybe even the NIrV? It has a 4th grade reading level.) might be a good place to start. There are obviously more word for word literal translations. The ESV, for example, would be much better. Since I am assuming that she still has some difficulty reading English, this would actually be a good opportunity for you to not only help her learn the Scriptures but improve her reading skills (teach a man to fish...). I'm guessing she would welcome both.

Another thing that might be helpful is to share some basic Bible study strategies as well. Being able to drop her own bucket into the well will give her further encouragement to develop a habit of Bible study. Though I am by no means a Rick Warren fan, I did glean a helpful tool that I like to start people out with to get get them into inductive study. His S.P.A.C.E P.E.T.S acrostic provides some basic questions that one may ask to draw some basic information from a given text:

Sin to confess?
Promise to claim?
Attitude to change?
Command to obey?
Example to follow?

Prayer to pray?
Error to avoid?
Truth to believe?
Something to praise God for?

Some may cringe at the mention of Rick Warren's name but it is a place to start anyway.

Start her out reading one of the Gospels, Mark perhaps, then get her started with a Bible reading plan. M'Cheyene's or if she is up for a crash course the 90 day plan.

For a followup, you might consider eventually introducing her to J.I. Packer's Knowing God in Spanish. But of course she should be grounded in the Scriptures first and foremost.

Hope this helps.
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
A co-worker of someone in my church began attending our church a few months ago. She is a Catholic from Mexico who has been in the US for 6 years. After a few weeks of coming to our church, she professed saving faith in Christ.

This lady comes over to my house once a week for English study. Last night she began asking more questions about the Bible and I spent two hours with my Bible open talking about God. She loves music so we went through the Psalms together. She doesn't know anything about the Bible but wants to learn more.

My question is this--do you know of a good Bible study book either 1) for children, so she can understand the basic English, or 2) in Spanish? She is reluctant to leave her Catholic roots because it was part of her culture for so long. So rather than deal with negatives (why Catholicism is wrong) I'd like to teach her positives from the Bible so she can see for herself what the Lord says.

The Heidelberg Catechism or the Westminster Shorter Catechism and along with wisdom from above in you should be enough to teach her the truths of the Bible in order to replace the superstitions in her mind.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you all for your suggestions. I plan on using our time together as a Bible study/English study. I want to encourage her to study her Bible more often than just with me. I know when I was growing up, I would use some simple devotion books that would have you read a passage in the Bible and then answer some questions about the reading to show that you understood what you read.

I thought about going through our church's statement of faith with her. Although I have an additional "problem" (well, more of a concern). My church isn't reformed. I am (well, I'm becoming reformed). We differ in the view of God's grace, covenants, and eschatology.

So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
 

pilgrim3970

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you all for your suggestions. I plan on using our time together as a Bible study/English study. I want to encourage her to study her Bible more often than just with me. I know when I was growing up, I would use some simple devotion books that would have you read a passage in the Bible and then answer some questions about the reading to show that you understood what you read.

I thought about going through our church's statement of faith with her. Although I have an additional "problem" (well, more of a concern). My church isn't reformed. I am (well, I'm becoming reformed). We differ in the view of God's grace, covenants, and eschatology.

So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.


Wouldn't worry so much about going through a statement of faith with her right off the bat. Go through the Scriptures with her and deal with specific points as they arise. Once you get her started studying the Bible you can move onto dealing with any erroneous beliefs she may have.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) audio streams via internet in several languages. The radio broadcast is commercial free, 1/2 Bible Study and 1/2 traditional Christian music.

In addition, there is a "Bible Institute" page where she can enroll in free on-line audio courses that teach many of the basic doctrines of Christianity including the authority of Scripture and justification by faith (in Christ's righteousness) alone.

Here is the Spanish Language link to the "Bible Institute":
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