Bible Study

Read Steve’s many articles about the Bible and Bible Study by clicking here. Steve is hoping to eventually write Study Guides on each of the New Testament books. The first one published is ”St. John’s Gospel: A Bible Study Guide and Commentary“. You can order it at our Online Bookstore.

Check out Steve’s detailed Study of Acts, and other recorded materials by clicking here.

Steve Ray’s recommended books for Bible Study, Software and Links for Bible Study.


The Best in Programs for group Bible Study: For a marvelous Catholic Bible Study program that anyone can start in their parish or community, visit Catholic Scripture Study International. It is the best progam you will find anywhere!!

I purchased this study from CSS and noticed you were the author. It is excellent and I am enjoying the study very much. I did not know you were the author of this study when purchased but when I saw your name on it I was pleasantly surprised because I have read Upon This Rock and enjoyed it very much. I notice you have authored other studies on CSS and I will certainly purchase those in anticipation of your excellent work. Thank you.
~ John Murray 

Click on the image to learn more, watch a video or to purchase Verbum at a 15% discount


Time for Catholics to Get on Board!

Bible Study for the 21st Century–

Electronic Books! Bible Study Software! Catholic Software!

Find out why Steve never opens a Bible anymore because he’s able to carry 6,000 Bibles and books in his backpack and on his iPhone :-)

For the absolute best in Catholic and Bible Software check out Verbum, produced by Logos Software. Steve has used it since 1990 and it is the source of 90% of his research and Bible study. The Catholic version comes in multiple levels and prices. Use the product code STEVE for a 15% discount. 


Steve Ray’s Recommended Bible & Catholic Software

Visit Budget Scripture Software for the latest and best software at the guaranteed lowest prices. The goal is not to make money but to get Catholics using Bible software.

Listen to Steve’s  Electronic Bible Study show on Real Audio. Read Steve’s Article St. Jerome Would Be Shocked—St. Francis de Sales Delighted! Bible Study & Catholic Software

NEW! Jimmy Akin’s Comments on Logos and Harmony Media. I agree–Logos is fabulous for Bible study, Harmony is fabulous for Catholic study. The two make a great team.

For more articles like the one above, visit Steve’s Free Resources

A Bible Study Guide and Commentary, by Stephen K. Ray

St. John’s Gospel: A Bible Study Guide and Commentary 462 pgs.

1) The Back Cover
2) Table of Contents
3) Excerpt from John 6


1) The Back Cover reads:

“Catholics have rediscovered the Bible and are searching for solid Catholic Bible Study material. How do you study the Bible? Where do I begin? Is it OK to interpret the Bible for ourselves? What Bible should I use? How can I understand such a deep book as the Gospel of St. John? How can I be guided in my studies?

This book is the answer to all of these questions. This books takes the difficult and makes it easy; it takes the confusion and makes things clear. This is a book to answer the questions and give a simple start for a beginner while providing the depth and profundity for the scholar.

This book is one of a kind-there is nothing else like it. Catholics have had few detailed Bible study tools; Evangelicals have published many smaller scale study guides for biblical studies. This, however, is the first extensive, easy to use and thoroughly Catholic study guide available.

This book provides extensive “text boxes” with detailed information that helps students discover the cultural, religious, historical and other information on the specific passage they are studying. It utilizes quotes for a wide range of scholars, historians and specialists to instruct the student and give valuable insights into background and meaning of the text. This book can serve as a basic Bible study guide for working through the Gospel of John, helping the student plumb the depths of St. John’s marvelous and deeply spiritual gospel. It is excellent for use by individuals or groups, for families or schools.”

2)
Table of Contents

Dedication . 4

Table of Contents . 6

Introduction . 11

Simple Guidelines for Studying the Bible. 13

Which Translation to Use?. 22

How to Use This Study Guide. 26

Who Wrote the Gospel of St. John?. 29

The Apostle John. 33

John’s Audience and Purpose in Writing. 36

John 1a: The “Overture”: The Word Becomes Flesh . 41

John 1:1-2: In the Beginning was the Word. 43

John 1:1–5: All Things Came into Being through Him.. 47

John 1:6–13: True Light and Children of God. 51

John 1:14–18: The Incarnation—the Word Became Flesh. 56

John 1b: John the Baptist; Choosing the Disciples . 74

John 1:19–34: Testimony of John the Baptist74

John 1:35–51: Jesus Chooses Disciples. 80

John 2:Jesus, Mary and the Wedding in Cana—Cleansing the Remple in Jerusalem .. 91

John 2:1–5: The Wedding in Cana: Mary and Jesus. 92

John 2:6–11: The Wedding in Cana: Water into Wine, Old Transformed into the New.. 104

John 2:12–21: The Temple in Jerusalem, the Resurrection Proclaimed. 109

John 2:22–25: Belief and the Heart of Man. 118

John 3: “You Must Be Born Again”—”For God So Loved the World” . 120

John 3:1-21: Jesus and Nicodemus. 120

John 3:22–36: John the Baptizer140

John 4: The Samaritan Woman, the Gentile Official: Conversion and Faith . 144

John 4:1–42: The Samaritan Woman is Offered Living Water144

John 4:43–54: Jesus’ Second Sign; He Heals a Gentile’s Son. 161

John 5: Infirm Man Healed at the Pools of Bethesda—Jesus Calls Four Witnesses . 163

John 5:1–9: Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath. 163

John 5:10–18: The Jews React to the “Sabbath Violation”. 168

John 5:18–47: Jesus Defends and Explains His Equality with God. 173

John 6a: Miraculous Bread to Feed the People—Jesus Walks on the Water 182

John 6:1–21: Multiplication of Loaves, the Eucharist Foreshadowed. 182

John 6:16–21: Jesus Walks on the Water: The Fifth Sign. 195

John 6b: “Unless You Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood”—The Eucharist 200

John 6:22–51: Jesus, the Bread of Life. 200

John 6:60–70: Many Disciples Abandon the Words of Eternal Life. 223

John 7:1–13: Jesus Goes up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths. 233

John 7:14–24: Jesus Teaches at the Feast239

John 7:25–44: Is Jesus the Christ?. 244

John 7:45–53: Unbelief of Jewish Leaders. 248

John 8: The Adulterous Woman; More Debates: Who Is Christ? The True I AM … 252

John 8:1–13: The Woman Caught in Adultery. 252

John 8:12–30: Jesus Is the Light of the World. 257

John 8:31–59: The Truth Will Make You Free. 263

John 9: The Blind Mans Sees—The Seeing Men are Blind; More Debates, Who is Jesus? . 272

John 9:1–12: Jesus Heals The Blind Beggar272

John 9:13–34: Dispute over the Healed Man. 279

John 9:35–41: Jesus Reaffirms His Deity. 284

John 10: The Good Shepherd Makes Himself out to Be God! Who Is Jesus? . 288

John 10:1–21: The Bad Shepherds Oppose the Good Shepherd. 288

John 10:22–42: The Feast of Dedication: Are You the Messiah? Are You God?. 296

John 11: Lazarus Raised from the Dead: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life” . 308

John 11:1–16: The Setting for the Seventh Sign. 308

John 11:17–33: Jesus Goes to Bethany. 312

John 11:34–44: Jesus Raises Lazarus. 319

John 11:45–57: The Sanhedrin Condemns Jesus. 322

John 12: Anointing Jesus—the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem .. 327

John 12:1–11: Jesus Anointed at Bethany. 327

John 12:12–19: Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.. 333

John 12:20–36: Greeks Seek Jesus; His Death Foretold. 336

John 12:37–50: The Disbelief of the Jews. 341

John 13: The Humble, Compassionate King; the Foolish, Treacherous Servant 345

John 13:1–17: Maundy Thursday: Jesus Washes Feet345

John 13:18–38: The Betrayal and Glory. 355

John 14: The Way to Heaven—The Gift of the Holy Spirit 366

John 14:1–14: Heaven and the Way to Get There. 366

John 14:15–31: Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit376

John 15: The Vine and Branches—In the World, but Not of the World . 385

John 15:1–17: Abide Fruitfully in Christ or Burn. 385

John 15:18–27: In the World, but not of the World. 394

John 16: Jesus Prepares to Leave and Return; The Action of the Holy Spirit 401

John 16:1–6: Christians and persecution. 401

John 16:7–15: The Action of the Holy Spirit404

John 16:16–22: Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection Foretold. 410

John 16:25–33: Jesus’ Last Consolations. 411

John 17: Our High Priest Prays—The Visible Unity of the Church . 416

John 17:1–5: Jesus Prays for Himself416

John 17:6–19: Jesus Prays for His Disciples. 425

John 17:20–26: Jesus Prays for the Church—Those Believing the Apostles’ Word. 428

John 18: The Betrayal, Arrest, and Trials of Jesus—”King of the Jews?” . 434

John 18:1–11: Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested. 434

John 18:12–23: Trial Before Annas. 440

John 18:23–27: Trial Before Caiaphas. 449

John 18:28–40: Trial Before Pilate. 450

John Chapter 19a: Jesus Condemned—The Pain of the Crucifixion . 460

John 19:1–16: Jesus Abused Before Pilate. 460

John 19:17–24: The Crucifixion Begins. 469

John 19b: The Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus—The Birth of the Church . 482

John 19:25–27: Mary and John at the Cross. 482

John 19:28–37: Jesus Dies on the Cross. 492

John 19:38–42: The Burial of Jesus. 505

John 20: Death Could Not Hold Him—“My Lord and My God” . 512

John 20:1–10: The Empty Tomb. 512

John 20:11–18: Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalen. 518

John 20:19–31: Jesus Appears to the Disciples. 522

John 20:24–31: Jesus and ‘Doubting Thomas’530

John 21: The Grand Finale: Jesus Meets the Apostles—The Pope and the Church . 537

Appendix: St. John’s Grand “Finale”!537

John 21:1–14: Jesus Appears in Galilee. 538

John 21:15–17: Peter Appointed as Shepherd. 548

John 21:18–23: The Future of Peter and John. 557

Concluding Thoughts . 563

Bibliography . 566

3) Excerpt

John 6b: “Unless You Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood”—The Eucharist

John 6:22–51: Jesus, the Bread of Life

Introductory Comments: We now embark on one of the most profound and deeply spiritual passages in the whole New Testament. Keeping with John’s expertise at revealing deeper spiritual truths through the vehicle of historical events, dialogues, and stories of Jesus’ life, it is our duty here to discover the levels of meaning John has carefully embedded in chapter six. John’s is a “spiritual Gospel” and in this chapter he intends to provide readers with the fundamental truths and mysteries of the Eucharist.

The other three Gospels give careful accounts of the institution of the Eucharist (CCC 1334)—John does not. What John does give is the theology behind it, and he recalls the promise that Christ made of the sacred food and drink—his Body and Blood—the Eucharist, that would be offered by the “nations” (Gentiles) from “east to west”, a “pure offering” on the “table of the Lord” (Mal 1:11 , 12; CCC 1330).

1. The day before this discourse on the Bread of Life, Jesus had just performed two more “signs”: feeding up to twenty-thousand people with five barley loaves and two fish and then walking on water and instantly causing the boat to reach shore. He then walked across the Sea of Galilee and joined the disciples in their boat on their way back, in the dark, to Capernaum. The crowds stayed on the opposite side of the sea, waiting to see Jesus at daybreak, not knowing he had left for Capernaum. What did they do when they realized Jesus had slipped away in the night (Jn 6:24)? Why did they assume Jesus was back in Capernaum (Mk 2:1)? We see the word “sign” used again in verse 26. Were the crowds interested in the signs Jesus was providing (cf. Jn 2:11, 23; 4:53–54; 6:2)? What preoccupied their minds (vv. 24, 26)? Is seeking Jesus always commendable? Do we seek Jesus for himself or for what he can do for us (CCC 305, 428, 2709)?

2. By the end of the first century (at the time John wrote this Gospel), the “breaking of bread” was already commonly called the Eucharist (e.g., St. Ignatius of Antioch, cf. CCC 1369), which means “blessing” or “thanks”. Read verse 23. Considering John’s audience, why do you think he uses the word “thanks” (eucharistia)? What context do you think he is establishing for the discourse that follows? What would have been the first readers’ immediate association?

Textual Note: Referring to John 6, Baptist theologian George Beasley-Murray writes, “It is evident that neither the Evangelist nor the Christian readers could have written or read the saying without conscious reference to the Eucharist; to say the least, they would have acknowledged it as supremely fulfilled in the worship event” (Beasley-Murray, Word Biblical Commentary: John , 95). W. Leonard writes, “[John] does use euvcaristhvsa~ instead of the euvloghvsa~ of the Synoptists. This verb deliberately repeated in 23 should be regarded as a distinct allusion to the Eucharistic significance of the miracle. . . . Let us take St Augustine’s advice and not merely look at the outside of the miracle, like a man who admires calligraphy which he cannot read. Mental comprehension, not mere ocular or imaginative apprehension, should be our endeavour, when we read this miracle on Laetare Sunday. The same Word, ‘by whom are all things’, feeds the world from a few grains of corn, and the same also multiplies himself Incarnate on thousands of altars” (Orchard, A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture , 991).

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan February 7, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I’m planning to lead a short study on the life of Jesus during Lent using your “Jesus” travelog/Bible study. It will be a small group of about 7 to 10 people. Do you have any suggestions about how to use the study guide that comes with DVD? I want to get a good discussion going.

Thanks for any tips you can give me.

JOAN: STEVE RAY HERE: I suggest you watch each video by “chapter” which are each about 20 minutes and then open it up for discussion using the guides found here http://www.catholic-convert.com/resources/writings/steve-rays/

Scroll down to My Books…

Good luck and enjoy! Thanks for doing this.

Irvin Brenaman March 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Steve ,do you have a DVD series on defending the faith? If you do where can I get some info on it.

mariaelena August 4, 2012 at 12:13 AM

i wanted to ask why is the catholic bible different then the protestent. they have elimanted the books i beleive of the macabees in their bible. i thought the word of the lord is the word of all christians. that always puzzled me yet noone answers me be it catholic or protestent. thanks

Robin Jackson August 20, 2012 at 1:50 AM

I would like to know if you have a RCIA course either online or CD, or could you recommend one?
I love listening to your CD’s, I learn a lot and the way you tell stories or the hisotry, I find it very easy to stay interested. Thank you for your time.
Robin

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