St Ignatius students share their testimonies

Testimonials from two students from the Church of St Ignatius regarding their SPM Bible Knowledge (BK) experiences during their years of study

Jun 15, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Below are testimonials from two students from the Church of St Ignatius regarding their SPM Bible Knowledge (BK) experiences during their years (2015/2016) of study.

BK — less like a subject, more like a life lesson, Timothy Scott

Learning BK was a very different experience. I started off thinking it was going to be about studying the facts in the textbooks, but as time went on, I realised it was more about learning God’s word. So I treated it as less of a subject and more of a life lesson. This helped me to get good results for the BK SPM paper and learn more about the Bible. I am happy to say it paid off and I’m a better person now.

Many more stories to the Bible than what I thought, Divya J Mathew

In all honesty, the highlight of my experience as a Bible Knowledge student was the five minute break. My fellow classmates and I were blessed by a teacher who loved the Word of God, and cooking. The constant banter with my funny friends ensured that Bible Knowledge was anything but dull.

I knew most of the stories before I signed up. This was mainly because I had parents who shared many Bible stories when I was young. They bought many Bible story-related CDs too. Till today, I can remember the exact lines of each character in the Bible stories as a result of watching them over and over again.

Thinking my knowledge of the Bible was excellent, taking Bible Knowledge seemed an easy path to an A. However, there were many stories that I had yet to know about.

After learning a story, there was always a moral value and an explanation as to why something happened. Some stories were confusing. One specifically was about shrewd people and I did not understand why a master would praise his manager. His manager did not collect the full debts of people who borrowed from the master. It turns out that the manager thought ahead. He knew that if he lost his job, he would have friends. Friends he made by decreasing their debts. They would help him out in his time of need.

Furthermore, I learned that Thessalonians, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians and Galatians were actually people of different places and not names of certain people that St Paul wrote to.

One day, after my first class, I skimmed through the stories in the Gospel of St Luke. A story about Lazarus and a rich man worried and frightened me. Lazarus was a poor man who ate the leftovers of the rich man. The rich man only cared about possessions. When Lazarus died, he was taken to heaven, while the rich man ended up in hell because he did not care for Lazarus in life. I wondered why he should end up in hell when he was not aware of his actions. God forgives us, does he not? Why should he go to hell?

My vocabulary in English improved as well. I became more aware of my actions in everyday life which made me a lot more patient with problems I faced, especially how to manage my “loving” brothers. The stories are actually a guide to everyday life issues. If you take the time to analyse them carefully and consider the actions of people, it really does apply in daily life even though the stories are from 2000 years ago. Sometimes, I confuse people in debates by using Bible verses.

I was considered very pious for taking Bible Knowledge. Why should I be pious just because I am taking this subject? Is being pious a bad thing? Why are some people worried they would become “holy” by mixing with me?

While I do not have all the answers to the questions above, every day I try to spend more time with Jesus, reading His words. I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me. Each day, I am learning how to hear Him.

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Sunday Reflection

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time: That woman is Ourselves

Mark calls her “a Greek” but Matthew uses the ancient name “Canaanite,” a reference to the original inhabitants of the Holy Land, who were conquered by the Israelites some twelve centuries before the time of Jesus. Matthew recognises that this encounter between the woman from the area of Tyre and Sidon and Jesus is about an outsider “wanting in.” So he heightens the drama by identifying her as a member of that group of pagans who were Israel’s first enemies (after the Egyptians, of course).