Resource Library

Scripture

Dr. Scott Hahn's Recent Academic Publications

A Broken Covenant and the Curse of Death: A Study of Hebrews 9:15-22

in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 66.3 (July 2004), pp. 416-436.

Canon, Cult and Covenant.

Scripture and Hermeneutics Series 7: Canon and Biblical Interpretaion, ed. Craig G. Bartholomew et al. (Zondervan, 2006), pp. 209-235.

Christ, Kingdom and Creation in Luke-Acts

Creazione e salvezza nella Bibbia, ed. Marco Valerio Fabbri and Michelangelo Tábet. (Pontifica Università della Santa Croce, 2008), pp. 167-190.

Christ, Kingdom, and Creation: Davidic Christology and Ecclesiology in Luke-Acts,

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 3 (2007), pp. 113-138.

Covenant in the Old and New Testaments: Some Current Research (1994–2004)

Currents in Biblical Research 3.2 (2005), pp. 263-292.

Covenant Oath and the Aqedah: Diatheke in Galatians 3:15-18

Catholic Biblical Quarterly 67.1 (2005), pp. 79-100.

Covenant, Cult, and the Curse-of-Death: Diatheke in Hebrews 9:15-22

in Hebrews: Contemporary Methods - New Insights, ed. Gabriella Gelardini (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

First Comes Love: The Family Spirit (appendix)

Those who are interested in what Dr. Hahn has written about the Holy Spirit may read an online version of the revised and expanded chapter from First Comes Love (pp.152-174), including Sources and References (pp. 201-213). Posted here with the kind permission of Doubleday Random House.

For the Sake of Our Salvation: The Truth and Humility of God’s Word

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 6 (2010), pp. 13–50

Kingdom and Church in Luke-Acts: From Davidic Christology to Kingdom Ecclesiology

in Reading Luke: Interpretation, Reflections, Formation Scripture and Hermeneutics Series VI; eds., Craig Bartholomew, Joel Green, Anthony Thiselton (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), pp. 294-326.

Liturgy and Empire: Faith in Exile and Prophetic Historiography in 1 and 2 Chronicles

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 5 (2009), pp. 13–50.

Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan (Genesis 9:20-27)

with John Seitze Bergsma, Journal of Biblical Literature 124.1 (Spring 2005), pp. 25-40.

On the Task of Interpreting Scripture

Scripture and the Liturgy: Inseparably United

in Origins 35.39 (March 16, 2006), pp. 648-653.

Temple, Sign, and Sacrament: Towards a New Perspective on the Gospel of John

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 4 (2008), pp. 107–143.

The Authority of Mystery: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 2 (2006), pp. 97-140.

What Laws Were Not Good: A Canonical Approach to the Theological Problem of Ezekiel 20:25-26

with John Bergsma, Journal of Biblical Literature 123.2 (2004), pp. 201-218

Worship in the Word: Toward a Liturgical Hermeneutic

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 1 (2005), pp. 101-136.

Historical and Literary Study

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

This excellent site, sponsored by St. Charles Borromeo Parish, enables you to view the text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to look up passages in the Catechism's table of contents and in its index.

The Church and the Bible

"He Interpreted to Them in All the Scriptures the Things Concerning Himself"

A good study of exegesis by Dr. Arthur Just, Jr., a Lutheran. A quote: "At the center of our hermeneutical task is the understanding that exegesis is always kerygmatic and therefore homiletical, and that to interpret Scriptures rightly requires a proper hermeneutical method that reflects a Biblical theology of preaching. As a result, to confess our preaching as Viva vox Jesu is to also speak of the Christocentricity of the Holy Scripture." (.pdf files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

A Meaning Worthy of God: Origen and Biblical Integrity

An overview of Origen's approach to Scripture.

A Pastoral Statement for Catholics on Biblical Fundamentalism

A statement that is not often cited, but remains relevant. Written in 1987 by a committee of U.S. bishops, it stresses the liturgical context in which the Church gives us the Word of God. Especially important is the document's conclusion: "We need a pastoral plan for the word of God that will place the Sacred Scriptures at the heart of the parish and individual life. Pastoral creativity can develop approaches such as weekly Bible study groups and yearly Bible schools in every parish. We need to have the introduction to each Bible reading prepared and presented by the lector in a way that shows familiarity with and love for the sacred text....We need a familiar quoting of the Bible by every catechist, lector, and minister...We need to educate - to re-educate - our people knowingly in the Bible..."

Address to the Pontifical Biblical Commission (April 23, 1993)

The Holy Father calls that biblical interpretation a "heartfelt concern," and adds: "The interpretation of Sacred Scripture is of capital importance for the Christian faith and the Church's life." A remarkable, and largely overlooked statement. See especially the Pope's vigorous critique of fundamentalism (no. 8) and this definition of the task of exegesis - "First and foremost, it must help the Christian people more dearly perceive the word of God in these texts so that they can better accept them in order to live in full communion with God" (no. 9). Repays a careful reading.

An Attempt to Establish an Historically Accurate Definition of "Typology"

An interesting overview of the history of the term and its use in the Bible and the writings of the Fathers.

Aphraates (4th Century)

- Demonstrations I, VI, VII, VIII, X, XVII, XXI, XXII

Athanasius (d. 373)

- On the Incarnation of the Word- On Luke 10:22/Matthew 11:27

Augustine Day-By-Day

Good selections from the master commentator. By the Augustinians of Villonova University.

Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Tod

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's famous Erasmus Lecture of Jan. 27, 1988. His conclusions remain as important today as ever: "Finally, the exegete must realize that he, does not stand in some neutral area, above or outside history and the Church. Such a presumed immediacy regarding the purely historical can only lead to dead ends. The first presupposition of all exegesis is that it accepts the Bible as a book. In so doing, it has already chosen a place for itself which does not simply follow from the study of literature. It has identified this particular literature as the product of a coherent history, and this history as the proper space for coming to understanding. If it wishes to be theology, it must take a further step. It must recognize that the faith of the Church is that form of "sympathia" without which the Bible remains a closed book. It must come to acknowledge this faith as a hermeneutic, the space for understanding, which does not do dogmatic violence to the Bible, but precisely allows the solitary possibility for the Bible to be itself."

Can We Reproduce the Exegesis of the New Testament?

An interesting meditation by an evangelical student.

Catholic Principles for Interpreting Scripture

A detailed summary by Peter Williamson of his comprehensive study Catholic Principles for Interpreting Scripture: A Study of the Pontifical Biblical Commission's "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church," published in 2001. An indispensable aid to understanding the IBC document.

Catholicism and the Bible

A key interview with Father Albert Vanhoye, former head of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on key issues in Catholic interpretation of Scripture. Originally published in the journal First Things.

Council of Trent

Decrees Concerning the Canon and Use of Scripture from the Church Council of 1546. In Latin and English.

Crisis in Scripture Studies

A critique of the excesses of "historical-criticism" that along the way provides a neat overview of the history of biblical interpretation. By Father William Most. See also, by the Roman Theological Forum: - Catholic Bishops of the 1980s: Attitudes to Scripture and Theology

Current Doctrinal Relevance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

An important reflection by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. See especially the long section on the Catechism's treatment of Scripture. This is must-reading.

Dei Verbum 35 Years Later

An excellent summary of the Church's teachings on the Bible by Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., which concludes with practical suggestions for lay people about reading, studying and praying with the Bible. Highly recommended.

Didascalia Apostolorum (ca. 3rd century)

"The Catholic Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" is a goldmine of early Church insights into the interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. Highly recommended. Kudos to the invaluable Bombaxo.com for making this rare translation available.

Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)

Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation. The "magna carta" of the Church's teaching on Scripture.

Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith (Dei Filus)

Vatican I's definition of the truth of Revelation, and Scripture and Tradition as the sources of Revelation.

Early Church Fathers on the Sanctity of Human Life

A good selection that demonstrates conclusively that Christian concern with unborn life started in the very beginning. From Byzantines.net.

Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 340)

- *The Proof of the Gospel (Argues in detail that the coming of Christ marked the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises.)

Gregory the Great's Commentary on the Song of Songs

Translated by Cassian DelCogliano, OCSO, of St. Joseph's Abbey.

Hermeneutics and Biblical Authority

A good study of the inspiration and authority of Scripture from an evangelical perspective. By James Packer, a leading evangelical scholar. Another good piece from a Protestant perspective is: - Origins of Modern Attacks on Biblical Authority

Historical-Critical Scripture Studies and the Catholic Faith

A good appraisal by St. Paul Center fellow, Michael Waldstein of the International Theological Institute.

Holy Scripture Is the Library of God

A fine testimony by Irish bishop Bishop Donald Herlihy of Ferns (d. 1983), who argues that we do not love Scripture enough because we do not know enough about it: "It is with a certain degree of hesitancy that we proclaim our love for Holy Writ. We hesitate because our knowledge of Sacred Scripture is limited and love is always proportioned to knowledge. We know all too little about the Bible. We know all too little about the part it plays in the life and prayer of the Church."

How Can the Bible Be Authoritative?

A good defense of Scripture and its authority and inspiration by N.T. Wright, top Scripture scholar and Anglican bishop of Durham, England. See also Bishop Wright's: - The Bible for the Post-Modern World - Resurrection Faith, History and Belief

Interpreting Texts in the Context of the Whole Bible

A thoughtful piece by a Protestant scholar. A quote: "It is not coincidence that the Old and New Testaments are bound in one volume. The God who reveals himself in the Old Testament is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament recounts the fulfilment of promises made centuries beforehand. So the two Testaments form one historical and theological work, in which each event and word can only be understood fully when interpreted in the context of the whole; and the whole can only be rightly interpreted in the light of its central event and Word, Jesus Christ."

Jean Levie and the Biblical Movement

A good critical look at the development and directions of Catholic biblical scholarship in the years before Vatican II. By Msgr. John McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Also instructive is his series on the "incomplete" Catholic response to the "de-mythologizing" movement started by the liberal Protestant exegete, Rudolph Bultmann in the 1940s and 1950s: - Part 1: Leopold Malevez and Heinrich Fries - Part 2: Rene Marle and Joseph Cahill - Part 3: Xavier Leon-Dufour and John McKenzie - Part 4: Anton Vogtle and Ugo Lattanzi

Lectio Divina and Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutic Philosophy

A good introduction to Ricoeur's thought and its promise - and limitations - for Christian study of the Bible. By a Reformed pastor, Rev. Michael J. Pahls. (pdf files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Neo-Patristic Exegesis

An ambitious effort to sketch a new synthesis between historical and theological methods in the interpretation of Scripture. By Msgr. John McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Includes: - The State of the Question - A Neo-Patristic Reply to the Historical-Critical Question

Newman and the Study of the Church Fathers

An interesting piece that looks especially at the Fathers' importance for understanding the Scriptures. By Father Thomas McGovern.

Norms for the Translation of Biblical Texts for Use in the Liturgy

A 1995 statement by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On Promoting Biblical Studies (Divino Afflante Spiritu)

Pope Pius XII's 1943 encyclical letter on promoting biblical studies. The first two lines of the document are a striking confession of the Church's faith in the Bible as a "heaven-sent treasure" that the Church has used "diligently as an instrument for securing the eternal salvation of souls."

On St. Jerome (Spiritus Paraclitus)

This 1920 encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XV on the legacy of St. Jerome includes a wealth of patristic quotes on the sacred Scriptures as well as a pointed observation on how Christ, in his preaching, "took his points and arguments from the Bible." For background on the encyclical and its continued relevance: - The Encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus in its Historical Context and Part 2 (by the Roman Theological Forum)

On the Study of Holy Scripture (Providentissimus Deus)

Pope Leo XIII's 1893 encyclical letter.

Pontifical Biblical Commission: Yesterday and Today.

Since 1971, the Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) is no longer an official organ of the Catholic Church. It is a consultative body of scholars whose conclusions are looked to with great respect by the Church. For a survey, see:

Pope Paul VI and the Truth of Sacred Scripture

A good look at the approach of Pope Paul, whose teachings on Scripture are often neglected. An adaptation of a doctoral dissertation defended by Father Brian Harrison at the Pontifical Atheneum of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Pope St. Gregory the Great (d. 604)

- Moralia or Commentary on the Book of Job">Moralia or Commentary on the Book of Job - Last Page

Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461)

- Homilies on the Nativity (Classics of biblical theology.) - Nativity II - Nativity III - Nativity IV - Nativity VI - Nativity VII - Nativity VIII - Homilies on the Epiphany ("A necessary sequel to the Nativity" sermons, says Leo. See: - Epiphany III - Epiphany IV - Epiphany VI - Homilies on Lent, Easter and Pentecost (The climax of salvation history, as preached by one of the great biblical interpreters in Church history.) - Lent II - Lent IV - Lent VII - Lent XI - The Transfiguration - On the Passion of the Lord III - Passion IV - Passion VII - Passion VIII - Passion XI - Passion XII - Passion XVI - Passion XVII - Holy Saturday - On the Resurrection - On the Ascension - Ascension II - On Pentecost - Pentecost II - Pentecost III - Feast of the Apostles Ss. Peter and Paul.

Reading Scripture with the Fathers of the Church

A excellent, well-organized collection of short selections from patristic sources. Be sure to see Maximus the Confessor on "Beyond the Literal Sense to the Deeper Meaning of Scripture." A quote: "The sacred Scripture, taken as a whole, is like a human being. The Old Testament is the body and the New is the soul, the meaning it contains, the spirit." (Editor's Note: This excellent site is hosted by an ecumenical group, and while we highly recommend the readings from the Fathers included, we would advise caution in reading other commentaries found on this site). Also on this site, meditations by the Fathers on: - Advent: Awaiting the Messiah - The Wonder of the Incarnation - The Cross of Jesus Christ - The Forty Days of Lent - News of the Resurrection! - The Promise of the Holy Spirit - The Fatherhood of God

Reading the Bible Today in the Land of the Bible

A pastoral letter by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem, written in 1993.

Renewed Biblical Catechesis Will Lead to a More Incisive Promotion of Vocations

A remarkable essay by Pope John Paul II. A quote: "In fulfilling the plan of redemption, God wanted to ask mankind's collaboration. Sacred Scripture narrates the history of salvation as a history of vocations, in which the Lord's initiative and people's response have become intertwined. In fact, every vocation is born from the meeting of two freedoms: the divine and the human. Having been personally invited by the Word of God, the one called places himself or herself at his service."

Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church

The first address on Scripture in the pontificate of Benedict XVI commemorates the 40th anniversary of Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum.

Scripture and Christology

A 1985 document that looks at the relationship between biblical interpretation and theology.

St. Augustine (d. 430)

- De Doctrina Christiana ("On Christian Doctrine" includes groundbreaking sections on biblical interpretation. See especially: Book I: Chapters 1-3; Book II: Chapters 1-26. Books III and IV explore these issues in detail.) - Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount - Harmony of the Gospels - Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament. - Tractates on the Gospel of John - Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John - Commentary on the Psalms.

St. Basil the Great (d. 379)

- On the Holy Spirit - Nine Homilies on the Formation of the World

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386)

- Catechetical Lectures

St. Irenaeus (d. 202)

- Against the Heresies (His masterwork.) - Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

St. John Chrysostom (d. 407)

- Homilies on Matthew or here - Homilies on John - Homilies on Acts - Homilies on Romans - Homilies on First Corinthians

St. Melito of Sardis (d. 180)

- On the Meaning of the Passover

The Allegorical Sense of Scripture

A good beginners' introduction to reading the "spiritual sense" of Scripture. From our friend Mark Shea's book, Making Senses Out of Scripture.

The Bible Gap

By Father Benedict Ashley, O.P. A quote: "Thus the abyss today opening between the Bible and theology, must be overcome by a type of exegesis that does not stop with historical and literary criticism but interprets the biblical text precisely as the Word of God redeeming our theological systems, not as re-written to conform to them. We must be instructed by God not instruct him."

The Divine Meaning of Human Scripture

A good study from Westminster Theological Journal.

The Early Church and Abortion

An impressive array of quotations from the Fathers of the Church and early Church Councils and manuals.

The Historicity of the Gospels

An important instruction, published in 1964, when the Commission was still an official organ of the Church. Hence it is regarded as reflecting official Catholic teaching.

The Influence of German Biblical Criticism on Muslim Apologetics in the 19th Century

A very interesting study by Dr. Christine Schirrmacher. A quote: "The aim of this paper is to trace the development of a new Muslim view of Christianity in the 19th century, which still has an enormous impact on today's Muslim apologetical works. The composition of anti-Christian books has changed in character due to the achievement of a different view of Christian dogmas and Christianity itself in the 19th century."

The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church

Published in 1993, this is a significant summary of the currents and tensions in Biblical interpretation. A must-read for understanding the state of exegesis in the Church today. For an excellent overview of this important document: - Catholic Principles for Interpreting Scripture

The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible

This 2001 document is valuable for its summary of "shared themes" of the Old and New Testaments, among them: the revelation of God, the covenant and the law, the election of Israel and the cult of the Temple at Jerusalem.

The Need for and the Use of Doxological Language in Theology

Interesting study of the Cappadocian Fathers

The New Catechism and Scripture

Good review of the Catechism's treatment of the Bible, by Father Thomas McGovern. See too his examination of Vatican II's (and the Catechism's) directive that Scripture should be "the soul of theology": - Magisterium, Scripture and Catholic Exegetes

The Old Testament is Essential to Know Jesus

An Address by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1997.

The Relationship Between the Magisterium and Exegetes

By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. A talk delivered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the commision's establishment.

The Use of the Old Testament in the New

Thorough discussion by Barry Smith of Atlanta Baptist University. See also Smith's: - Interpretation of Scripture

The Word of God and its Fullness in Christ

A short statement that brings together the main threads of Catholic understanding of Scripture. By the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy. Another useful reflection by the Congregation: - The Church and the Ministry of the Word of God.

Trinitarian Reality as Christian Truth

A good consideration of the Greek Patristic discussion by a Lutheran, Dr. William Weinrich. (pdf files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Two Views of Historical Criticism

A good consideration by Msgr. John F. McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Includes: - Historical Criticism as a Critical Method - Historical Criticism as an Historical Method

Typology: A Summary of the Present Evangelical Discussion

A useful overview of the various wings of Protestant thought on this key issue of biblical interpretation.

Unity and Diversity in the Church

A 1991 document that examines biblical teaching on "the relationship between local Churches, or between particular groups, and the universality of the one people of God."

The Word of God

"A Catechism of the Bible"

Originally written by Father John O'Brien in the 1920s, this is a good Question-and-Answer style catechism on such basic questions as: What is the difference between Protestant and Catholic Bibles? What does in mean to say that the Bible is "inspired"?

A Biblical Theology of Redemption in a Covenant Framework

By Father William Most, originally published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. We also recommend by Father Most: - Our Father's Plan: God's Arrangements and Our Response - The Nature of the Redemption - Outline of Christology (on the covenant framework of Jesus' redemptive work)

Abolished or Fulfilled? The Mosaic Law in Relation to the New Covenant

By Eric Sammons. A good student paper that analyses the question in the writings of the Church fathers.

All-In-One Bible Resources Search Page

Excellent site by Mark Goodacre of the University of Birmingham.

An Attempt to Establish an Historically Accurate Definition of "Typology"

An interesting overview of the history of the term and its use in the Bible and the writings of the Fathers.

Authorship, Inerrancy, and Historicity of Scripture

Father William Most's ambitious attempt to tackle the most provocative and difficult concepts in Scripture. Includes a strong critique of directions in Scripture interpretation following the Second Vatican Council.

Avoiding Biblical Paralysis

A good introduction to Catholic teaching on Scripture and Revelation by Curtis Martin.

Basic Scripture

Father William Most's thorough, book-by-book overview of the Bible. Includes important chapters on the history of Catholic understanding of Scripture.

Bible Overview Series

Another good Protestant Bible study. - The Pattern of the Kingdom and the Perished Kingdom - The Promised Kingdom & Partial Kingdom - I - The Promised Kingdom & Partial Kingdom - II - The Present Kingdom

Bibles in Other Languages

Useful and well-organized directory of Bibles in over 140 different languages, in print, audio and on-line. Other useful translation search engines: - The Unbound Bible - Bible Search Engine - On-Line Bibles - Compare Multiple Bible Versions - Blue Letter Bible

Biblical Greek Lexicon

Enables you to find any Greek word used in the New Testament by Greek or English word or by number in Strong's Concordance to the Bible. Other sources: - Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon - Perseus Greek For students with more advanced training in Greek: - Search the Greek New Testament - Morphological Analyses of Inflected Greek Words.

Biblical Hebrew Lexicon

Enables you to find any Hebrew word used in the Old Testament by Hebrew or English word or by number in Strong's Concordance to the Bible. Another source: - Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon.

Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Tod

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's famous Erasmus Lecture of Jan. 27, 1988. His conclusions remain as important today as ever: "Finally, the exegete must realize that he, does not stand in some neutral area, above or outside history and the Church. Such a presumed immediacy regarding the purely historical can only lead to dead ends. The first presupposition of all exegesis is that it accepts the Bible as a book. In so doing, it has already chosen a place for itself which does not simply follow from the study of literature. It has identified this particular literature as the product of a coherent history, and this history as the proper space for coming to understanding. If it wishes to be theology, it must take a further step. It must recognize that the faith of the Church is that form of "sympathia" without which the Bible remains a closed book. It must come to acknowledge this faith as a hermeneutic, the space for understanding, which does not do dogmatic violence to the Bible, but precisely allows the solitary possibility for the Bible to be itself."

Biblical Texts Related to the Catholic Mass

A helpful introduction, by Father Felix Just, S.J., of Loyola Marymount University.

Can We Reproduce the Exegesis of the New Testament?

An interesting meditation by an evangelical student.

Catholic - Intermediate Medieval Exegesis and the Modern Christian

An insightful look at how the medieval culture and the Catholic imagination were seeped in the Bible. Quote: "In fact, not only the monastic Office, but also Medieval worship as a whole was steeped in the texts and imagery of Holy Writ. In the Latin West, most of the music of the Church was composed by setting the texts of the Bible, usually the Psalms, giving glory to God through the words of his own inspiration..."

Catholic Encyclopedia Articles on the Bible

Although some elements of these entries are dated, there is much to be learned from the 1913 edition. See, especially the article on Biblical Exegesis. Here's a good list: - The Bible - Scripture - Inspiration - Biblical Exegesis - Heremeneutics - Types in Scripture - Authenticity of the Bible - Textual Criticism - Old Testament - Canon of the Old Testament - New Testment - Canon of the New Testament - Septuagint Version - Hebrew Bible - Douay Bible - Authorized Version

Catholicism and the Bible

A key interview with Father Albert Vanhoye, former head of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on key issues in Catholic interpretation of Scripture. Originally published in the journal First Things.

Communion and Koinonia: Pauline Reflections on Tolerance and Boundaries

By one of the best New Testament scholars, N.T. Wright. We also recommend his brief reflection on the implications of Jesus' preaching: - A New World

Comparing Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Bibles

A very helpful chart prepared by Prof. Felix Just, S.J., of Loyola Marymount University.

Covenant and Mission

Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., responds to a controversial statement adopted by a committee of U.S. bishops and Jewish leaders on the nature of God's covenant with the Jews and its relation to the New Covenant brought by Christ. Originally appeared in America magazine.

Covenant, Treaty and Prophecy

A brief look at the relationship between biblical prophecy and covenants and those of the Ancient Near East.

Crisis in Scripture Studies

A critique of the excesses of "historical-criticism" that along the way provides a neat overview of the history of biblical interpretation. By Father William Most. See also, by the Roman Theological Forum: - Catholic Bishops of the 1980s: Attitudes to Scripture and Theology

Current Doctrinal Relevance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

An important reflection by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. See especially the long section on the Catechism's treatment of Scripture. This is must-reading.

Dei Verbum and Christian Morals

Considers the implications of Vatican II's constitution on Scripture for moral theology. By Father Benedict Ashley, O.P.

Douay-Rheims

The first translation of the entire Bible into English, made from St. Jerome's edition of the Vulgate, and published in 1609-1610. - Search the Douay-Rheims Bible

Early Church Fathers on Sexual Morality

A good representative selection, organized by topic. From Byzantines.net.

Elementary New Testament Greek

A good place to begin. For another on-line tutorial that will get you started reading the New Testament: - Little Greek 101

English to Latin Word Search

Allows you to search for an English word in a dictionary of classical Latin. For less complex word studies, try here (be sure to change search option to "English") or here.

Feminism and Marriage: a Reflection on Ephesians 5:21-33

A study of the various biblical and theological interpretations of this famous passage, by Mary Shivanandan, a theologian at the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Washington, D.C.

For the Sake of Our Salvation: The Truth and Humility of God’s Word

Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology 6 (2010), pp. 13–50

Grace in the Bible

By Father William Most.

Greek New Testament

Below are links to more specialized on-line versions of the New Testament in its original language, as well as Greek study aids. To start: Browse the Greek New Testament.

Greek New Testament for Beginners

A superb resource. Gives word-by-word translation of the entire Greek New Testament, including parsings, pronunciations, and Strong's Concordance number for each word.

Hearing God’s Truth

A good beginner’s guide to Studying the Scriptures. By Rev. Rodney Whitacre of Trinity School for Ministry.

Hebrew Old Testament

Also referred to as the Hebrew Bible or the Tanak, a Hebrew word formed from the three divisions of the Old Testament - the Torah (The first five books of the Bible, called "The Law" or the "Teaching" or the "Pentateuch of Moses"), the Nevi'im ("The Prophets," which for the Jews also includes Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, books that the Church calls "historical") and the Ketuvim ("The Writings," which includes Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Lamentations and Ecclesiastes, as well as books considered "historical" by the Church: Ruth, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1-2 Chronicles, and Daniel.)

Hebrew-English Bible

According to the Masoretic Text and the Jewish Publication Society 1917 Edition. Of related interest: - Hebrew Bible (no English)

Hermeneutics and Biblical Authority

A good study of the inspiration and authority of Scripture from an evangelical perspective. By James Packer, a leading evangelical scholar. Another good piece from a Protestant perspective is: - Origins of Modern Attacks on Biblical Authority

Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology

Protestant scholar Steven Baugh says: "We must realize that there is one theme running throughout all of the books of the Bible, tying the subplots, characters, and sub-themes into one grand redemptive drama."

Historical-Critical Scripture Studies and the Catholic Faith

A good appraisal by St. Paul Center fellow, Michael Waldstein of the International Theological Institute.

How Does Music Express the Word of God, the Vision of God?

On the relationship between the Incarnation, the written Word of God, and Church singing. By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Published in the Adoremus Journal.

Instruction on Scripture and Christology

Many people today, especially in the West, readily admit that they are agnostics or nonbelievers. Does this mean that they show no interest in Jesus Christ or his role in the world? It is clear from studies and writings that are being published that this is scarcely so, even if the way of treating this question has changed. Yet there are (also) Christians who are deeply disturbed either by the variety of ways of handling the problem or by solutions proposed for it. The Pontifical Biblical Commission is anxious to offer some aid in this matter to pastors and the faithful in the following ways: (1) by presenting a brief survey of such studies to point out their import and the risks they run; and (2) by setting forth summarily the testimony of Scripture itself about the expectation of salvation and of the Messiah, so that the gospel may be rightly seen against its antecedent background, and then by showing how the fulfillment of such expectation and promises in Jesus Christ is to be understood.

Interlinear Greek New Testament

For every verse, this site provides a very thorough presentation of four Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, along with the Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims, and several other English translations.

Interpreting Texts in the Context of the Whole Bible

A thoughtful piece by a Protestant scholar. A quote: "It is not coincidence that the Old and New Testaments are bound in one volume. The God who reveals himself in the Old Testament is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament recounts the fulfilment of promises made centuries beforehand. So the two Testaments form one historical and theological work, in which each event and word can only be understood fully when interpreted in the context of the whole; and the whole can only be rightly interpreted in the light of its central event and Word, Jesus Christ."

Introduction to the Biblical Covenants

A 1999 edition of the Master's Seminary Theological Journal. (Editor's Note: While these will be helpful to advanced Catholic students, they do reflect a number of Protestant assumptions about Scripture and salvation history and should be used with caution. PDF files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.) Includes: - Noahic and Priestly Covenants - The Abrahamic Covenant - The Mosaic Covenant - The Davidic Covenant - The New Covenant - Bibliography of Works on the Covenant.

Jean Levie and the Biblical Movement

A good critical look at the development and directions of Catholic biblical scholarship in the years before Vatican II. By Msgr. John McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Also instructive is his series on the "incomplete" Catholic response to the "de-mythologizing" movement started by the liberal Protestant exegete, Rudolph Bultmann in the 1940s and 1950s: - Part 1: Leopold Malevez and Heinrich Fries - Part 2: Rene Marle and Joseph Cahill - Part 3: Xavier Leon-Dufour and John McKenzie - Part 4: Anton Vogtle and Ugo Lattanzi

Justification: The Joint Declaration

An important reflection by Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. on the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue on this critical theological issue. First published in the Josephinum Journal of Theology. Also on this subject by Cardinal Dulles: - The Two Languages of Salvation: The Lutheran-Catholic Joint Declaration (From the journal, First Things)

Latin Lexicon

Find definitions of Latin words and their derivatives. For less complex word studies, try here.

Latin Words in Context

Find instances of one or more words appearing in Latin texts. Useful in searching for Latin idioms and phrases. Have a Latin word that you're having a hard time finding in the dictionary? Morphological Analyses for Inflected Latin Words gives you dictionary entries from which it could be derived.

Learning God's Word: A Catholic Guide to Scripture Study

Most introductions to the Bible are quite large and imposing - thick volumes with many pages of text and fine print. I have tried to write something much more brief, perhaps surprisingly so; it is meant to be like a little "handmaid" for the reader who wants to have a succinct overview of the major themes in biblical study both past and present - whether as a goal in itself, or as a framework for further, more detailed study. I have drawn the material from documents of the Magisterium and from reputable Catholic scholarship both past and present, thereby hoping to provide the basic information and knowledge you need to appreciate the sacred texts within the living tradition in which they were written. May His Word always accompany you.

NAB Search

Not as convenient as it could be, but the best New American Bible search currently available.

Neo-Patristic Exegesis

An ambitious effort to sketch a new synthesis between historical and theological methods in the interpretation of Scripture. By Msgr. John McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Includes: - The State of the Question - A Neo-Patristic Reply to the Historical-Critical Question

New American Bible (NAB)

The translation of Scripture used in the Church's lectionary. From the United States bishops.

New Vulgate (Latin)

Also referred to by its Latin name, Nova Vulgata, this is the modern revision, approved by Pope John Paul II in 1979, of St. Jerome's 4th-century "common translation" (versio vulgata in Latin). The Pope's apostolic letter, Scripturum Thesaurus, gives a concise history of the Vulgate and its central importance in the Church's liturgy. For Jerome's version: Vulgate or Vulgate.

Norms for the Translation of Biblical Texts for Use in the Liturgy

A 1995 statement by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On-Line Hebrew Tutorial

A good place to begin.

Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion

A good introduction to biblical eschatology and prophecy, by a Reformed scholar, David Chilton.

Parallel Latin-English Psalter

Combines the Latin text of the Vulgate's Book of Psalms with the English text of the Book of Psalms from the Douay translation.

Pope Paul VI and the Truth of Sacred Scripture

A good look at the approach of Pope Paul, whose teachings on Scripture are often neglected. An adaptation of a doctoral dissertation defended by Father Brian Harrison at the Pontifical Atheneum of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Recordings of the Hebrew Bible

Mp3 recordings of every book of the Hebrew Bible. Available for downloading or listening on line.

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Our preferred modern translation, the text used as the basis for our Ignatius Study Bible.

RSV Catholic Edition

Another on-line edition of the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Septuagint Quotations in the New Testament

A very helpful guide by R. Grant Jones, an Orthodox scholar. Provides all quotations in the order in which they appear in the New Testament. Click on the Old Testament source to compare the Greek of the New Testament with the original Septuagint Greek and with the Hebrew Masoretic text. For more in-depth study, see: - Instances where the New Testament quotes the Septuagint against the Hebrew - Instances where the New Testament follows the Hebrew meaning against the Septuagint - The Septuagint in Early Christian Writings

Sunday Mass Readings

A valuable interpretative aide for seeing how specific passages of Scripture are used in the Church's liturgy. Often the way Old Testament and New Testament texts are associated in the liturgy suggest creative interpretative options and possibilities.

The Allegorical Sense of Scripture

A good beginners' introduction to reading the "spiritual sense" of Scripture. From our friend Mark Shea's book, Making Senses Out of Scripture.

The Attitudes toward the State in the New Testament

A short but useful overview.

The Bible Gap

By Father Benedict Ashley, O.P. A quote: "Thus the abyss today opening between the Bible and theology, must be overcome by a type of exegesis that does not stop with historical and literary criticism but interprets the biblical text precisely as the Word of God redeeming our theological systems, not as re-written to conform to them. We must be instructed by God not instruct him."

The Bible Today

Perhaps a little dated now, but still a clear, concise and worthwhile introduction to the Bible by C.H. Dodd, one of the great New Testament scholars of the 20th century. Written in 1956.

The Canon of Scripture

A fine treatment of the concept and history of the biblical canon. By Father William Most, originally written for the New Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Covenantal Structure of the Bible

Rev. Ralph Allan Smith provides a good overview of the covenants of the Bible. Keep in in mind that this is a Protestant approach and hence doesn't reflect the Catholic understanding that the Church is the fulfilmment of the covenants of the Old Testament. With that caveat, the work is still very helpful for understanding the covenant makeup of the Bible. Also helpful is Rev. Smith's: - Trinity and Covenant - Adam, Noah and the Kingdom

The Death of Jesus as Sacrifice

By Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., published in 1996 in the Josephinum Journal of Theology. Quote: "From my own reading of the biblical evidence, influenced by the work of many exegetes, I think it must be said that the idea of the death of the Redeemer as sacrifice is massively present in Holy Scripture....The New Testament does not permit us to view the Cross as an unfortunate accident contravening the plan of God. According to Peter's Pentecost sermon, reported in Acts 2:23, Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God."

The Development of the New Testament Canon

A very good overview site. Provides details on various sources and authorities from the early Church; tables depicting the reception of various texts as divinely "inspired"; a discussion of various heresies in the early Church and a list of texts found not to be inspired by early Church authorities.

The Divine Meaning of Human Scripture

A good study from Westminster Theological Journal.

The Early Church and Abortion

An impressive array of quotations from the Fathers of the Church and early Church Councils and manuals.

The Go'el in Ancient Israel: Theological Reflections on an Israelite Tradition

A good study of the important biblical tradition of the close relative, a "kinsman-redeemer," who takes upon himself the duties of "redemption" or "recovery" on behalf of a needy family member. (.pdf files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

The Importance of the Covenants

An excellent overview of God's covenants in Scripture by a Protestant scholar, R.N. Brinsmead. We also recommend highly Brinsmead's Christ The Meaning of All Scripture, Life and History which explores: - The Historical Pattern of the Old Testament - Christ, Meaning of Old Testament History - Prophets and Law

The Influence of German Biblical Criticism on Muslim Apologetics in the 19th Century

A very interesting study by Dr. Christine Schirrmacher. A quote: "The aim of this paper is to trace the development of a new Muslim view of Christianity in the 19th century, which still has an enormous impact on today's Muslim apologetical works. The composition of anti-Christian books has changed in character due to the achievement of a different view of Christian dogmas and Christianity itself in the 19th century."

The Liturgy and the Word of God

The proceedings of a Congress held in Strasbourg in 1958 that included some of the greats of the liturgical reform movement. Includes essays by Bouyer, Jounel, Danielou, von Balthasar and more. In addition, be sure to read the congress' conclusions. A quote: "It is not enough to say that the Bible occupies a privileged place in the liturgical celebration. It plays such a fundamental role that without the Bible there would be no liturgy. We cannot enter profoundly into the liturgical celebration if we ignore sacred history. No liturgical progress is possible without the Biblical education of clergy and faithful alike."

The Liturgy and the Word of God

The proceedings of a Congress held in Strasbourg in 1958 that included some of the greats of the liturgical reform movement. Includes essays by Bouyer, Jounel, Danielou, von Balthasar and more. In addition, be sure to read the congress' conclusions. A quote: "It is not enough to say that the Bible occupies a privileged place in the liturgical celebration. It plays such a fundamental role that without the Bible there would be no liturgy. We cannot enter profoundly into the liturgical celebration if we ignore sacred history. No liturgical progress is possible without the Biblical education of clergy and faithful alike."

The Liturgy Speaks God's Word, Not Ours

By Father Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. Must reading. Published in the Adoremus Journal. - Part 2

The Meaning of Covenant

An interesting article on human and divine covenant-making in the Scriptures.

The Meaning of Grace

A classic by Charles Journet, published in 1957.

The Nature and Aims of Biblical Theology

A good essay by the important Reformed thinker, Geerhardus Vos, the first chair of biblical theology at Princeton in 1893. For an assessment of his importance, again from a Reformed viewpoint: - What is Biblical Theology? Reflections on the Inaugural Address of Geerhardus Vos Of related interest: - Biblical Theology in the Study and in the Pulpit - Suggestions for Reading The History of Biblical Theology: Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

The Net Bible

A new on-line English translation, featuring thousands of text-critical and philological annocations. For reading only, with no search programs. The notes are what is valuable about this site.

The New Catechism and Scripture

Good review of the Catechism's treatment of the Bible, by Father Thomas McGovern. See too his examination of Vatican II's (and the Catechism's) directive that Scripture should be "the soul of theology": - Magisterium, Scripture and Catholic Exegetes

The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality

Interesting look at why the Scripture condemns homosexual acts. The answer: "It seems most likely that Israel's repudiation of homosexual intercourse arises out of its doctrine of creation....To allow the legitimacy of homosexual acts would frustrate the divine purpose and deny the perfection of God's provision of two sexes to support and complement one another." By Gordon Wenham of the College of St. Paul and St. Mary. Originally published in Expository Times. Other good studies: - The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 - The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romas 1:26-27

The Paschal Feast in the Bible

By P. Grelot and J. Pierron. From the introduction: "The purpose of this book is to open the eyes of Christians to the whole paschal scene, to the full mystery of our redemption which reaches back to the beginnings of the history of Israel. . . . The history of the Old Testament is the history of the people of God."

The Relationship Between the Magisterium and Exegetes

By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. A talk delivered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the commision's establishment.

The Sacraments and the History of Salvation

An important article on the relationship between Scripture, the Church and the Sacraments. By Cardinal Jean Danielou, S.J. Quote: "The sacraments are simply the continuation in the era of the Church of God's acts in the Old Testament and the New. This is the proper significance of the relationship between the Bible and the liturgy. The Bible is a sacred history; the liturgy is a sacred history."

The Septuagint

"Septuagint" means "seventy" and is also referred to as the "LXX Edition" because of an ancient Jewish tradition that claimed it was a translation produced by 70 scholars in 70 days. This is the collection of Jewish Scriptures in Greek translation that was current during Jesus' time and is the source for many of the New Testament's quotations of the Old. Includes all 39 books of the Old Testament and seven books not in the Hebrew Old Testament, known as "Old Testament Apocrypha." The translation was probably made in Alexandria, Egypt, circa 250 b.c. You can also find the Septuagint here and here.

The Truth and Salvific Purpose of Sacred Scripture According to Dei Verbum, no. 11

A very helful treatment from the Roman Theological Forum.

The Use of the Old Testament in the New

Thorough discussion by Barry Smith of Atlanta Baptist University. See also Smith's: - Interpretation of Scripture

Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical Worldview

A good introduction by the Reformed theologian, James Jordan.

Two Views of Historical Criticism

A good consideration by Msgr. John F. McCarthy of the Roman Theological Forum. Includes: - Historical Criticism as a Critical Method - Historical Criticism as an Historical Method

Typology: A Summary of the Present Evangelical Discussion

A useful overview of the various wings of Protestant thought on this key issue of biblical interpretation.

Weekly Synagogue Readings

Provides the Hebrew and English for the regular public Torah readings and festiveals and other special days. Also includes a good introduction to the use of the Scriptures in Jewish worship. Of related interest: - Current Jewish Calendar - Jewish Calendar Tools

Westcott-Hort Text Edition

An 1881 edition that was the first significant new manuscript of the ancient texts in three hundred years.

Westcott-Hort Text Edition

An 1881 edition that was the first significant new manuscript of the ancient texts in three hundred years.

What God Hath Not Joined: Why Marriage Was Meant for Male and Female

A good defense of Scriptural and traditional teaching by Dr. Edith M. Humphrey, an Anglican laywoman and New Testament scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. See also her related articles: - What Constitutes a Faithful Reading of Scripture? - What Is Disordered Sexuality? - How Is Sexuality Understood in Scripture, Tradition, and Contemporary Theology? - What Would It Mean for the Church to Bless Same-Sex Unions? - The New Testament Speaks on Same-Sex Eroticism - Holy Is as Holy Does

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