Catholics read the Scriptures

Commentary on Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini

Bevil Bramwell OMI

Book Summary
Historically, Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini appeared after a long period during which Catholic exegetes flirted with the various tools of what came to be generally known as the Historical-Critical Method. The problem with this kind of tinkering was that one has to be expert in theological anthropology, in Christology and at least some philosophical hermeneutics. The highly developed skills that were demanded led to less able scholars treating the scriptures as a palimpsest on which they could write their own gospel so to speak. The issue that Benedict XVI identified and explained was something on which Vatican II had given some very clear guidelines in Dei Verbum but which were subsequently pushed aside in the efforts to on the one hand eschew any association with Catholic Tradition and on the other to bend the scriptures to fit and even give credence to modern socio-political agendas. The issue of the unique nature of the sacred scriptures such that their only possibility of being understood lies in the tradition that gave them birth and that remains in union with them. This textbook on Catholic theology is a must-read for students at college levels and those discerning the priesthood or wanting to serve the Church in any capacity. It gives a framework for appreciating the Scriptures, shows the use of Scripture in many pastoral situations, and suggests many applications for the Scriptures in personal spiritual growth. It also details the history of attempts to remove the Scriptures from their ecclesial context.
Excerpts:
Pope Benedict XVI: “The covenant is not one between equals.” Then entirely by action on God’s part “God bridges every distance and truly makes us his partners.” page 31 Yes, God is in dialog with man but it is not with man as an isolated individual. In the whole of the Old Testament and the whole of the New Testament, it is a dialog with the individual living within the People of God and yet ultimately directed to all of the nations. page 39 Quoting from the Principles and Norms of the Liturgy of the Hours: “This prayer is the voice of the bride speaking to the bridegroom. It is the very prayer that Christ himself, together with his Body, addressed to the Father.” page 79

OTHER BOOKS

The Catholic Priesthood: A 360 Degree view

The World of the Sacraments: The Catholic Theology of the Sacraments
The Laity: Von Balthasar’s Theology of the Laity
John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae : The Gift of Catholic Universities to the World

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