| Visiting priest offers Scripture classes in East County
Rev. Conrad Bayor
Rev. Conrad Bayor is a priest from the Diocese of Wa in northwest Ghana who is studying at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. In addition to his advanced studies at the GTU, he helps at Good Shepherd Parish in Pittsburg.
And he generously teaches lay people. Currently, Father Bayor teaches a course on the Gospels at Holy Angels Books, 702 W. Second St, Antioch.
One of Father Bayor's teaching methods is to compare a story or parable in one Gospel with the parallel accounts in other Gospels. He highlights the major and subtle differences between the Gospels, especially among those stories that appear in multiple Gospels. The tiny differences in word choice that the individual evangelists use have important ramifications for the theology and teachings of their own individual Gospel.
(I am a student in Father Bayor's class and I work with the Scriptures in their original languages (most of the Hebrew Scriptures in the Old Testament are written in ancient Hebrew, while the New Testament is in ancient Koine Greek). However, Father Bayor knows these Biblical languages, and I have been happily learning many new things in his wonderful class.)
Each Gospel is a spiritual work of art, crafted by the Evangelist, who is guided by, and working in close collaboration with, the Holy Spirit. The four Gospels are four different works of art, and each Evangelist adds many unique themes and literary structures to his own book. As all artists and poets know, each part, millimeter, or word of their work of art is important for the messages therein.
The class also explores ways in which we can bring the Scriptures and Church teachings into our current lives and the life of our community, and how we can read the "signs of the times" and work out our living faith now, today.
In one class we spoke of how after RCIA classes have culminated in the Easter season, we can guide our new sisters and brothers as they begin their new lives in the Church.
This class has dealt with deep biblical scholarship, Church tradition and theology, and the challenging real-life issues that are present in the Church today. Each class is a new important and exciting conversation.
Father Bayor is teaching a new course on St. Paul at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and we will be reading Acts of the Apostles and Paul's letters. For more information, contact Andrea Vitalie at Holy Angels Books at 925-778-7575.
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