New Testament Study Guides

Yes, these files are free to download and use for your Bible study. These are provided as a supplement to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament.

The Lost Sheep

One of the ways Jesus taught his disciples was through parables. Parables are vivid stories that have a hidden message. Jesus often used parables to respond to criticism.

The Gospel of Luke is in the New Testament of the Bible. It tells of an incident where Jesus was preaching to a group of tax collectors and sinners.

…at which the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then he addressed this parable to them: “Who among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wasteland and follow the lost one until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:2-7)

Explain the message of this parable.

The Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son, or wasteful, son is found in the New Testament of the Bible. It tells of a man and his two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, moved to another country, and spent all his money. Once all his money was spent, the younger son was close to starvation. Finally he decided to return to his father. He felt that his father owed him nothing, since he treated his father ungratefully. He planned to ask his father for a job as a servant.

As the son approached the farm, his father saw him and ran to greet him. The father had the servants bring fine robes for his son and prepare a feast.

The older son, who had stayed on the farm, was angry about this. He pointed out that he had always obeyed his father and worked hard, but his father had never thrown a party for him. The father replied, “Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:31-32)

What do you think is the message of this parable?

Jesus as Light

In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus and God are often called “the light.” Why is that? What associations do you have with the word “light”?

From what you know of Christianity, are there other words that could describe Jesus or God symbolically?