Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Some healthy food for thought... | Main | Blessed G. K.? »

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



'There are several official documents put out by the Magisterium on the topic of sacred Scripture...'

There are indeed but unfortunately Mr Martin seems largely to have ignored those which have appeared since Pius XII.

I sympathise a great deal with Martin's worry that the Bible has become a 'closed book' to the faithful because of modern trends in biblical scholarship, and with his concerns about some of the conclusions of the historico-critical exegetes and how their method is often isolated from a more complete, Catholic approach reading the Bible.

However I think on the questions of Biblical reliability, historicity, inspiration and inerrancy, etc, he should make further study of the more nuanced teaching of Vatican II's Dei Verbum, and the valuable contribution of documents such as the Pontifical Biblical Commission's 'The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church' and the excellent speeches and writings of Benedict XVI on the subject.

Catholic Femina

I understand the biblical paralysis spoke of in this article and I hope that readers do not dive into the bible like a novel. It is meant to be read slowly taking consideration to each part. If you don't understand something read the catechism or a commentary before moving on. The scriptures need to be looked at from all aspects and a reader should not feel bad if they need extra assistance with their understanding. I have numerous commentaries on the scripture and I look for my understanding in scripture but I always take the commentaries approach as well. Make sure you look for the Imprimatur when choosing one. P.S. I got some of mine from Ignatius press!


Having re-read the second part of the article, my comment that Mr Martin has 'ignored' the post-Pius XII documents was unfair. But his account of Biblical inerrancy still appears to me to be narrower than that espoused by Vatican II and post-conciliar documents. It seems to gloss over the human aspect of the text.


I am a convert to Catholicism. I also have done my stint to M.Div in a seminary so i have been wandered through any number of ways of reading a Bible. I actually don't think Catholics do all that bad with a Bible in hand. Daily Mass folk here alot of stories. We sing or say the psalms. The Jesus gives us a new take on life.

I am not much on reading the Bible as a rule book. it wasn't a rule book. it is a story of people who struggled to understand what it meant to be in a relationship with God. They struggled to see what it meant every day. They struggled to see what it meant on forever days. And they had come to see that their "take" on what God said from one generation to the next might actually be different. God had not changed. They had. To whom much has been given more will always be expected.

It was easier then to decide who was outside the covenant. The problem with pretending that we are a Christian nation for example is that many people - were they to have to chose - would chose not to be so self identified. In Western culture identification is what we do rather than actually thinking at all. We assume we are opted in until we opt out. The reverse was true among the Ancient Ones. Each social context came with an opt in requirement.

When we speak of reading scripture to day we tend to want to do it to prove somehow that we read it better than another - or than someone else got it worng. Actually the stories of faith that the Fathers and Mothers kept were stories that forced people to examine who and Whose they were so that every day one might choose again. It isn't necessary to grasp all the roots than it is to know every ancestor one has ever had. It is also not necessary to presume that the Ancient Ones had a better grasp of what God wanted from them than we do about what God wants from us. It is necessary to frequently - maybe even daily - enter the struggle of seeing the story and asking if we might indeed choose again today to say "Yes! I do choose Christ." The we can go back to Church - those who struggle with us and further ask - "how is that to be lived today?" Not all answers are infallible. Not all answers are so definite an answer that our good Catholic hearts might not inform them or change them. But a good Catholic answer will be the one that brings the most to Body and to Table. it will be the one that is more prepared to die than inflict pain. it is the one that is more willing to forgive than to punish. The one that is more willing to give than to recieve. It is the one more willing to be rejected thant to be heralded as great.

Actually - in the big picture of things= I believe the Mothers and Fathers of the Church - the ones held in Holy Memory - even the ones that died before they could hold printing in their hands - did a pretty good job of understanding Bible. Perhaps we modern types do not lack ability so much as patience and the courage to have God challenge our certitude.

I have never met a Bible class that didn't soar as they learned to love with the Love Story in their hands.


Agreement with linda: Catholics don't really do badly with the Bible. The room for improvement: encouragement for the practice of Lectio Divina, for lay people preparing for Sunday Mass by studying and praying over the readings, better preaching, and the notion that the Bible is dozens of books, not one. Take Job, Jonah, Mark, a psalm or two, Philemon, Ruth, Hosea, and approach as prayer as much or more than study.


I've found that the Catechism section on Sacred Scripture is very good:

Regarding "the Ancient Ones," this grave appellation is new to me. Please explain.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad