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Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 03.05.14 |
The readings for today’s Mass are exceptionally rich and could be the subject of several week’s worth of lectures, so we will have to limit ourselves today to a few central themes.
1. The First Reading is the account of the Fall, in which Eve, followed by Adam, gives in to temptation by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.26.14 |
David Bentley Hart, in Atheist Delusions, writes about the kind of religious culture early Christians left behind when they accepted baptism:
“Quite apart from their more revolting ritual observances, however, the religions of the empire were— to a very great degree— contemptible principally for what they did not do, and what in fact they never considered worth doing. Occasional attempts have been… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.19.14 |
This Sunday’s Readings include some of the best known—and hardest to practice—passages from the Gospel, including Jesus famous command to “turn the other cheek.” Biblical scholarship can only go so far in elucidating some of Jesus’ challenging commands; beyond that, we need the saints.
- Our Readings start off showing the continuity between Jesus’ teachings and the Old Testament, quoting a section from… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 12.20.13 |
Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is vigorous and beautiful reading, full of provocative statements to awaken us from spiritual slumber. Unfortunately, it is a long document, and many may not read it through carefully. I thought it would be helpful to clip out some of the most striking comments the Pope makes on the interpretation of Scripture. Although he has in mind… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 07.12.12 |
Lately I’ve been reading through St. Bernard’s four volumes of sermons on the Song of Songs. I find it both spiritually edifying and historically interesting.
Frequently, St. Bernard’s descriptions of the moral terpitude of twelfth-century Europe sound scarcely any different from contemporary American culture. Truly there is “nothing new under the sun.”
St. Bernard’s style of exegesis is certainly… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 05.14.12 |
Continuing the series on the text of the Bible:
Of great interest to textual scholars are the Dead Sea Scrolls, the remains of an Essene library found in caves at the north-west end of the Dead Sea in the late 1940s at a site called Qumran.
The scrolls provide our oldest copies of any portion of Scripture, including a few manuscripts that date to the third century (200s) BC. The majority, however,… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 05.01.12 |
In this follow up to the last post, we discuss important manuscripts (hand-written copies) of the Old Testament.
The Oldest Manuscripts of the Old Testament
The original manuscripts (the autographs) written by the sacred authors themselves are no longer extant for any book of the Bible. The oldest partial copies of the text of any biblical book are to be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (treated… [Continue Reading]
Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 04.26.12 |
This is part of a series of posts on fundamental Catholic teaching on Scripture. In this post, we delve into some of the specifics of the human dimension of Scripture: in this case, the original language(s) of the Old Testament.
The original language of large majority of the Old Testament books is Hebrew. Hebrew is the ancestral language of the people of Israel. It is a Semitic language, that… [Continue Reading]