Letter & Spirit: Volume 3, 2007
Letter & Spirit, vol. 3

The Hermeneutic of Continuity:
Christ, Kingdom, and Creation



The hermeneutic of continuity is hardly a term of art in biblical theology. In fact, as near as we can tell the term itself is of fairly recent vintage, perhaps originating from the deliberations of the Synod of Bishops in 1985.

The synod had been convened to discuss the reception and interpretation of the Second Vatican Council (1963–1965). The synod fathers were disturbed by a tendency in the post-conciliar era for theologians and pastoral leaders to interpret Vatican II’s teachings as marking a sharp break or departure from the teachings of earlier Church councils. To the contrary, they affirmed that by its very nature the Council stands in an unbroken line of continuity with the whole of the Church’s doctrinal, liturgical, and moral tradition.

The actual expression, “hermeneutic of continuity”, did not appear in the synod’s final report. But the principle was crisply stated: “The Council must be understood in continuity with the great tradition of the Church, and at the same time we must receive light from the Council’s own doctrine for today’s Church and the men of our time. The Church is one and the same throughout all the councils.”

For us, the hermeneutic of continuity describes something more...[READ MORE]

Table of Contents

Contributors [.pdf]
Editors' Introduction [.pdf]


The Impression of the Figure: To Know Jesus as Christ [.pdf]
Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, O.P.

The Church and the Kingdom:
A Study of their Relationship in Scripture, Tradition, and Evangelization
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.

Reedeem Your Sins by the Giving of Alms:
Sin, Debt, and the “Treasury of Merit” in Early Jewish and Christian Tradition
Gary A. Anderson

Sonship, Sacrifice, and Satisfaction:
The Divine Friendship in Aquinas and the Renewal of Christian Anthropology
Romanus Cessario, O.P.

Divine Liturgy, Divine Love: [.pdf]
Toward a New Understanding of Sacrifice in Christian Worship
David W. Fagerberg

Christ, Kingdom, and Creation:
Davidic Christology and Ecclesiology in Luke-Acts
Scott W. Hahn


Covenant and the Union of Love in M. J. Scheeben’s Theology of Marriage
Michael Waldstein

Rebuilding the Bridge Between Theology and Exegesis:
Scripture, Doctrine, and Apostolic Legitimacy
R. R. Reno


Feminine-Maternal Images of the Spirit in Early Syriac Tradition [.pdf]
Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil, O.C.D.

Seven Theses on Christology and the Hermeneutic of Faith
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI


  • Paul R. Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God's Unfolding Purpose (Downers Grove, IL: Apollos/InterVarsity, 2007)
  • Ralph W. Klein, 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 2006)
  • Young S. Chae, Jesus as the Eschatological Davidic Shepherd: Studies in the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and in the Gospel of Matthew (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006)
  • Michael E. Fuller, The Restoration of Israel: Israel’s Re-gathering and the Fate of the Nations in Early Jewish Literature and Luke-Acts (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2006)
  • John A. Dennis, Jesus’ Death and the Gathering of the True Israel: The Johannine Appropriation of Restoration Theology in the Light of John 11:47–52 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006)
  • Jocelyn McWhirter, The Bridegroom Messiah and the People of God: Marriage in the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2006)
  • Kiwoong Son, Zion Symbolism in Hebrews: Hebrews 12:18–24 as a Hermeneutical Key to the Epistle (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2005)
  • Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006)

For Contributors

At this time, Letter & Spirit does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
All other editorial inquiries should be directed to:
Dr. William Bales
Managing Editor
[email protected]

Letter & Spirit
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Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 264-9535 - phone
(740) 264-7908 - fax

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