Array ( )

Becoming Scripture-Smart Catholics


Sacred Heart Cathedral
Glendive, Montana
Diocese of Great Falls - Billings
United States

More Info

For more information, email Laurie Manhardt.

Moses and the Torah: the latest book in a lay-friendly Catholic Bible study series

"I had a spiritual experience like Paul at age 32. I had this desire to read the Bible so I just started reading…cover to cover! When we moved, someone invited me to [a non-denominational Bible Study]. I so enjoyed the format of the study. However, after three years, I was getting somewhat confused. Through prayer I felt the Lord directed me out. But I really missed the study. So I began to pray for someone to have a Catholic Bible Study with a similar format. YOURS IS IT!!! Praise God!!" Cassondra Hite, Miramar, FL

The need it meets

The "Come and See" Scripture study series meets the need for quality Catholic Bible study resources in three ways:

  1. It is written in a lay-friendly style with a well-organized format that helps busy readers to understand the lessons and apply them to daily life.
  2. It is completely faithful to Catholic doctrine, obedient to the Magisterium, and enriched by the Church Fathers’ perspective on the interpretation of Scripture.
  3. It is ecumenically sensitive.

Where it came from

Come and See ~ Catholic Bible Study is an orthodox Catholic Bible Study series co-authored by a priest and a lay scholar.

  • Father Joseph Ponessa, SSD, is a Catholic priest and biblical scholar, a 2000 graduate of Rome‚Äôs Pontifical Biblical Institute with a doctorate in Sacred Scripture and a mastery of 13 languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. He is also the pastor of three parishes in Montana.

  • Laurie Watson Manhardt, PhD, is a lay person and a wife, mother, and grandmother with a doctorate in education. She also serves on the board of Renewal Ministries in Ann Arbor, Michigan and leads a ‚ÄúCome and See‚Äù group study in Vero Beach, Florida.

  • Emmaus Road Publishing Company ( makes sure that the Bible Study is faithfully Catholic; Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton, NJ, gives it his Imprimatur.

Moses and the Torah, which covers the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is the sixth volume of an ongoing series. The first five are: 1) The Gospel of John, 2) Genesis, 3) Prophets and Apostles, 4) The Synoptics: Matthew, Mark and Luke, and 5) David and the Psalms (which covers the books of Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, and the Psalms).

For the filmed DVD segments of Moses and the Torah, the authors also teamed up with Deb Herbeck, a Messianic Jewish Catholic.

How it works

The basic steps are:

  1. Pray
  2. Read the Bible chapter
  3. Read the commentary in the book
  4. Answer 20 short home study questions that involve the Catechism of the Catholic Church and real-life applications
  5. Share your answers in a small group
  6. Watch a short lecture by Father Ponessa on video

It works equally well as a home study or as a parish study, for youth or adults. (Fr Ponessa’s youth group enriched their study with two additional films: The Prince of Egypt and The Ten Commandments. They used their new knowledge of Scripture to critique the films.)

The results

At the current time, 55 parish groups in 19 States (USA) are using this resource. Common fruits among both youth and adults have been:

  • A deeper appreciation for our Catholic Church and faith.
  • A deeper sense of the sacred and more meaningful participation in the Mass.
  • Better grounding in Catholic morality thanks to the in-depth study of the 10 commandments.

Key elements

  • Small group leader
  • Bible and catechism
  • Moses and the Torah book
  • DVD player
  • Prayer

How to implement it

  • The website tells you how to get started. It also features a sample chapter and downloadable promotional flyers.
  • A limited number of free DVDs are also available. Click on the "Contact Us" icon.
  • Copies of Moses and the Torah can be ordered from Emmaus Publishing Company at 1-800-398-5470 or
  • If you start a small group, please send an email to with your name, city and state for the ‚ÄúCurrent Groups‚Äù page on
  • If tough questions arise in your bible study, e-mail the authors at and they will respond quickly with an answer.

Fr. Joseph Ponessa is pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Do you have a Best Practice?

We want to hear about it!

Got an idea? General comment or feedback?

Drop us a line. We are interested in what you have to say.

Send a Comment