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« And you thought it was about Jesus! | Main | We interrupt this blog... »

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Comments

Ed Peters

"Fifteen years ago, maybe we weren't ready. But I think the pontificate of Pope Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was a great doctrinal course for all of us. We're ready now."

Well, I haven't read the book, but isn't this a wee-bit pretentious? This is a book about Jesus in the Scriptures, right? And 15 years ago, "we" WEREN'T ready (whatever that means), but now suddenly "we" are? C'mon, something doesn't fit here.

"I think we're too close to it to appreciate what is going on, but this is arguably the first time in Catholic history when a theologian of world stature, a renowned biblical theologian, has been elevated to the chair of Peter."

Is he serious? No really, is he?

"And not since St. Peter have we had a pope with such a profound understanding of the ancient rabbis."

I defer to other's detailed knowledge of the 265 popes, but where exactly has B16 demonstrated this profound knowledge of ancient rabbis? Did I miss it in even several of pre-16's monographs?

I'm sure this is a terrific book, and I look forward to it. But I'm allergic to hype, and right now, my eyes are really itching.

cranky

Ed,

I'm still anxious to read the book, but now I'm going to be more reflective as I do so. I REALLY LIKE B16, but I probably do need to keep rational when I read anything by anyone--including Popes of which I am particularly fond.

Thanks for reeling me in.

Josephine Gatchell

Do not beware of the POPE beware of the theologian, those who would join by deceit to cling to Mother Church through flatteries. Look at the bigger picture of those who want to become so well learned and know not who they serve

Josephine Gatchell

Do not beware of the POPE beware of the theologian, those who would join by deceit to cling to Mother Church through flatteries. Look at the bigger picture of those who want to become so well learned and know not who they serve

Josephine Gatchell

The Second post is for you Olsen

cranky

Josephine,

Does this mean you don't like Scott Hahn's stuff? I'm easily confused.

Josephine Gatchell

The Second post is for you Olsen

Josephine Gatchell

SORRY Mr. Hahn, I thought you were one of those medjugorje prisoners

Ed S

[C]ranky, I think it's about time you change your name. You're not even close to being as cranky as the other two.

Patricia Gonzalez

Ms. Gatchell, I really don't know what you're talking about -- however, I am looking forward to the Pope's book, even though it sounds as if Scott Hahn got a little carried away in his comments. Also, Ms. Gatchell, I think your blog manners need work -- your reference to Carl Olson as "Olson" is a little on the rude side, IMO. And what, pray tell, is a "Medjugorje prisoner"???

Josephine Gatchell

OH My, I am sorry to Offend anyone, is that politically correct? Contemplate my name, given to me by Our Thrice Holy God, then you will understand where I am coming from,And if you are interested in a more detailed explanation go to newadvent.org and look up litmus test, I am at the bottom of the blog, but in all, with the Love of Jesus, when on these Holy Days I am trying to do the works of Divine Mercy and I go into the Tomb with him and I vision His dying on the Cross for the institution of Holy Mother Church,and I,see His True Mother holding His Body in Her arms, then I read a blog that deals a blow to His Vicar on earth, I can say thank you for letting me enter into his Passion in the fullest extent of the Word. May the Peace and Love and Justice remain with us all through the rest of this season and forever. In the Name of Christ josephine

Cristina A. Montes

"I defer to other's detailed knowledge of the 265 popes, but where exactly has B16 demonstrated this profound knowledge of ancient rabbis? Did I miss it in even several of pre-16's monographs?"

And apparently, B16's knowledge of ancient rabbis is more profound than that of St. Peter himself! :D

Just the same, I'm looking forward to reading B16's "Jesus of Nazareth".

Cristina A. Montes

"I defer to other's detailed knowledge of the 265 popes, but where exactly has B16 demonstrated this profound knowledge of ancient rabbis? Did I miss it in even several of pre-16's monographs?"

And apparently, B16's knowledge of ancient rabbis is more profound than that of St. Peter himself! :D

Just the same, I'm looking forward to reading B16's "Jesus of Nazareth".

Marie

I am really surprised by the negativity of this thread. Dr. Peters, I usually really appreciate what you have to say...loved your recent critique of the God Squad and their response regarding giving the Eucharist to a mentally compromised Catholic - and I am a big fan of your son's blog - but I think your comments are unfair to Dr. Hahn.
Firstly, he was asked by the reporter if the "average Catholic" would be able to understand something written by Pope Benedict as he is a world class theologian. It was in response to that question that Dr. Hahn said "we're ready now" - the "we" being "average" Catholics, after a very visible, lengthy and prolific teaching pontificate of Pope John Paul II. That makes complete sense to me.
Secondly, Dr. Hahn is a Biblical scholar trained in modern methods of Biblical scholarship and employing those methods according to the Church's teachings on the interpretation of Sacred Scripture. There has been more teaching on the interpretation of Scripture from the Church's Magisterium in the past 100 years than in the past 2000. Incredible strides have been made in Scripture scholarship in the past 100 years, and I think this is what Dr. Hahn is referring to when he speaks of a reknown biblical theologian on the Chair of Peter. This was evident in Pope Benedict's homily on Holy Thursday in which he suggested a way to reconcile an apparent "contradiction" in the Biblical text regarding the Passover and the Crucifixion of Christ - the Synoptics stating that the Passover was celebrated by Jesus at the Last Supper, while the Gospel of John states that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered, in fact, on Good Friday, at the Hour when Jesus was Himself slaughtered. It is a fascinating homily, and shows the value of a Pope who is a Biblical theologian and can preserve the Church's teaching on the inerrancy of Scripture while going head to head with the modern "big boys" of Scripture scholarship who are often flagrantly violating the Church's teaching on Scriptural interpretation.
Dr. Hahn is in a great position to appreciate these qualiites in Pope Benedict, as he is fighting the same battle. His level of scholarship may not be evident to those who have only encountered his "popular" works. I would recommend to any interested in this topic that they obtain a copy of Volume II of "Letter and Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology" from the St. Paul Center (www.letterandspirit.org) in which you can read Dr. Hahn's article "The Authority of Mystery: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI".
Peace to you and a Happy Easter.

Ed Peters

Fair enough, Marie. I just get tired of every good project these days being described as stunningly stupendous, for fear that otherwise people might disregard it. Not every papal writing has to be the greatest thing since St. Peter. Not everything is great. Some is just plain old good. Comments chock full of universal affirmatives are too easisly shot down to pass muster...well, with me, anyway.

Ed Peters

Marie got me to thinking, so I followed her link to LETTER & SPIRIT, a journal I frankly had not heard of (Scripture is not my field), and found out, golly, that L&S is edited by Scott Hahn, and published by a institute founded by Scott Hahn. Sorry, but that's tantamount to saying that Ed Peters' canon stuff is so persuasive because, after all, it's published in LIGHT OF THE LAW, without mentioning that I edit and publish LotL.

But my beef is not with Scott (hardly!) but rather with hype, regardless of the source.

Marie writes that Scott "was asked by the reporter if the 'average Catholic' would be able to understand something written by Pope Benedict as he is a world class theologian. It was in response to that question that Dr. Hahn said 'we're ready now' - the 'we' being 'average' Catholics".

Now what CAN that mean? The "average" Catholic across the world is, no hype here, functionally illiterate. He CAN'T read what B16 writes. So, what Scott and Marie must mean by "average Catholic" is, I assume, white, professional, Euro/North American practicing Catholics. In other words, a decidely UNaverage minority of Catholics.

But even of this group, I ask again, does Scott seriously mean to say that THAT group was not ready, even 15 years ago, to read what B16 might write about Jesus in the Scripture? C'mon, that's simply not credible. What, may I ask, tiny sliver of Catholics have read (really now, read JP2, cover to cover) and understood enough of JP2 (750,000 pages in the IGP2) such that without doing X amount of JP2, they could not have understood whatever B16 has to say about Jesus in the Bible? If that assertion isn't hype, I have a hat to eat.

I defer to Marie's knowledge of the literal bulk of Scriptural teaching put out by the magisterium over the last hundred years; but, with due allowances being made, I wonder what the hundreds of finely printed tomes of Migne recorded, if not privileged teaching of the Fathers on, off all things, Jesus and the Bible? Which brings us back to what I see as a distinctly modern penchant for painting everything, the good AND the bad, in hyperbole. I wish people would stop. We need words to mean what they say. If it's good, say it's good; don't say it's greatest thing since Kingdom come. Because if it's NOT, folks are gonna be disappointed. And that's not fair to the author, who never made the silly claim to begin with.

Oh well, like I said, I haven't read the book. Scott has. But I'll have to reply on others here, for not having read everything JP2 wrote about Scripture or Jesus (heck, I still haven't read all his encyclicals; apostolic constitutions are more my cup of tea) I'm not ready to, or capable of, reading whatever B16 might have to say about Jesus in thr Bible. My loss, I am sure.

Marie

Dr. Peters -
Your comments have made me think, too.
I agree with you entirely on the use of hyperbole. Recently, I was corrected by someone for using the word "awesome" carelessly, since it should only be used to speak of God or divine things. Just in this past weekend, I have caught myself saying "awesome", oh, probably 30 times. Is the fact that my four year old made it through the night without a bed-time diaper truly "awesome"? I console myself by claiming impairment due to the fact that I grew up in California...
I haven't read the book either, so the comments may be hyperbolic. Thank you for bringing the perspective of a legal mind attuned to the meaning of words. That is something I really do appreciate.
I should clarify my intention in passing on the link to Letter and Spirit - obviously I am aware that it is a Journal published by Scott Hahn, since I read it - I just thought it might be helpful to some people to be exposed to some of his more "scholarly" writings, and in this case specifically, an article which he wrote to explain why he believes Benedict XVI's Biblical Theology is so significant. I thought reading a larger treatment of Dr. Hahn's view of Pope Benedict's thought may provide context for his comments in the interview.

Carl Olson

Marie got me to thinking, so I followed her link to LETTER & SPIRIT, a journal I frankly had not heard of (Scripture is not my field), and found out, golly, that L&S is edited by Scott Hahn, and published by a institute founded by Scott Hahn. Sorry, but that's tantamount to saying that Ed Peters' canon stuff is so persuasive because, after all, it's published in LIGHT OF THE LAW, without mentioning that I edit and publish LotL.

I understand the comment, and I agree that Scott is certainly given to hyperbole at times, but "Letter and Spirit" is indeed a fine and scholarly journal. And Scott has published scholarly articles in journals such as Journal of Biblical Literature and Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Personally, I'm anxious to read B16's book on Jesus because Ratzinger/B16 has long been one of my favorite theologians and I'm certain I'll learn much in reading it.

Rose

Curious comments from Dr. Peters whose erudition should certainly be uncontested.

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