Friday, February 28, 2014

An Offer

So, spurred on by the example of another, I have been looking at some of my Bibles and other Bible-related resources and would like to unload a few of them.  Not exactly sure if I know how I want to distribute these, but I know there are some of you who may be interested in some of these books.  So, below is a list of books that I would like to give to a good home.  These books are all in good condition, even some of the older ones.  I am willing to pay the shipping costs, as long as it is in the USA, but would appreciate some sort of small "free-will offering" if you can.  I'll leave that up to you.  Please send me an email, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com if you are interested.  I'd be happy to send you a picture if you want.  

All things are sold.  Thanks for the quick reply.  May have something like this in the future.  

NT Wright For Everybody Series (includes commentaries on Mark, Luke, Acts (1&2), Galatians, Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians, the Prison Letters, the Pastorals, Hebrews, and the Catholic letters)**Sold**

1914 Hardcover Douay-Rheims (PJ Kenedy & Sons) **Sold**

Saint Benedict Press Premium Ultra-Soft NABRE **sold**

A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (1953) **sold**

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature ed. Walter Bauer (University of Chicago 1979)

New Jerusalem Bible (Hardcover in Slip Case) Full Edition with Notes. **Sold**

13 CD Scott Hahn Bible Study on Romans (St. Joseph Communications)

Archbishop Gomez on "Son of God" Movie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Benedict on Wednesday

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

"Naturally, this situation does not occur everywhere with the same starkness. The methods are often applied with a good deal of prudence, and the radical hermeneutics of the kind I have just described have already been disavowed by a large number of exegetes. In addition, the search for remedies for basic errors of modern methods has been going on for some time now. The scholarly search to find a better synthesis between the historical and theological methods, between higher criticism and church doctrine, is hardly a recent phenomenon. This can be seen from the fact that hardly anyone today would assert that a truly pervasive understanding of this whole problem has yet been found which takes into account both the undeniable insights uncovered by the historical method, while at the same time overcoming its limitations and disclosing them in a thoroughly relevant hermeneutic. At least the work of a whole generation is necessary to achieve such a thing. What follows, therefore, will be an attempt to sketch out a few distinctions and to point out a few first steps that might be taken toward an eventual solution.

There should be no particular need to demonstrate that on the one hand it is useless to take refuge in an allegedly pure, literal understanding of the Bible. On the other hand, a merely positivistic and rigid ecclesiasticism would not do either. Just to challenge individual theories, especially the more daring and dubious ones, is likewise insufficient. Likewise dissatisfying is the middle-ground position of trying to pick out in each case as soon as possible the answers from modern exegesis which are more in keeping with tradition. Such foresight may sometimes prove profitable, but it does not grasp the problem at its root and in fact remains somewhat arbitrary if it cannot make its own arguments intelligible. In order to arrive at a real solution, we must get beyond disputes over details and press on to the foundations. What we need might be called a criticism of criticism. By this I mean not some exterior analysis, but a criticism based on the inherent potential of all critical thought to analyze itself.

We need a self-criticism of the historical method which can expand to an analysis of historical reason itself, in continuity with and in development of the famous critique of reason by Immanuel Kant. Let me assure you at once that I do not presume to accomplish so vast an undertaking in the short time we have together. But we must make some start, even if it is by way of just preliminary explorations in what is still a largely uncharted land. The self-critique of historical method would have to begin, it seems, by reading its conclusions in a diachronic manner so that the appearance of a quasi-clinical-scientific certainty is avoided. It has been this appearance of certainty which has caused its conclusions to be accepted so far and wide.

In fact, at the heart of the historical-critical method lies the effort, to establish in the field of history a level of methodological precision which would yield conclusions of the same certainty as in the field of the natural sciences. But what one exegete takes as definite can only be called into question by other exegetes. This is a practical rule which is presupposed as plainly and self-evidently valid. Now, if the natural science model is to be followed without hesitation, then the importance of the Heisenberg principle should be applied to the historical-critical method as well. Heisenberg has shown that the outcome of a given experiment is heavily influenced by the point of view of the observer. So much is this the case that both observer's questions and observations continue to change themselves in the natural course of events.7 When applied to the witness of history, this means that interpretation can never be just a simple reproduction of history's being, "as it was." The word "interpretation" gives us a clue to the question itself: every exegesis requires an "inter" an entering in and a being "inter" or between things; this is the involvement of the interpreter himself. Pure objectivity is an absurd abstraction. It is not the uninvolved who comes to knowledge; rather, interest itself is a requirement for the possibility of coming to know.

Here, then, is the question: how does one come to be interested, not so that the self drowns out the voice of the other, but in such a way that one develops a kind of inner understanding for things of the past, and ears to listen to the word they speak to us today?

This principle which Heisenberg enunciated for experiments in the natural sciences has a very important application to the subject-object relationship. The subject is not to be neatly isolated in a world of its own apart from any interaction. One can only try to put it in the best possible state. This is all the more the case with regard to history since physical processes are in the present and repeatable. Moreover, historical processes deal with the impenetrability and the depths of the human being himself, and are thus even more susceptible to the influence of the perceiving subject than are natural events. But how are we to reconstruct the original historical context of a subject from the clues which survive?

We need to introduce at this point what I have already called the diachronic approach to exegetical findings. After about two hundred years now of exegetical work on the texts, one can no longer give all their results equal weight. Now one has to look at them within the context of their particular history. It then becomes clear that such a history is not simply one of progress from imprecise to precise and objective conclusions. It appears much more as a history of subjectively reconstructed interrelationships whose approaches correspond exactly to the developments of spiritual history. In turn, these developments are reflected in particular interpretations of texts. In the diachronic reading of an exegesis, its philosophic presuppositions become quite apparent. Now, at a certain distance, the observer determines to his surprise that these interpretations, which were supposed to be strictly and purely "historical," reflect their own overriding spirit, rather than the spirit of times long ago. This insight should not lead us to skepticism about the method, but rather to an honest recognition of what its limits are, and perhaps how it might be purified."

Monday, February 24, 2014

February Contest Winner

Congrats to Keith Kelley who was randomly selected from all the entries.  Keith, please send an email to mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address and I'll get your Bible out to you this week. Thanks to all who entered.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunday Knox: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18

The Lord, too, spoke to Moses, bidding him give the whole company of Israel this message: You must be men set apart, as I am set apart, I, the Lord your God. 

Do not nurse resentment against thy brother; put thyself in the right by confronting him with his fault. Do not seek revenge, or bear a grudge for wrong done to thee by thy fellow-citizens; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; thy Lord is his.*

Knox Note:
 ‘Thy neighbour’; literally, according to the Latin, ‘thy friend’, but cf. verse 13 above, where the Latin renders the same Hebrew word by ‘neighbour’, and Lk. 10.27.

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Study Bible Poll

  • The Catholic Study Bible NABRE (Oxford)
  • The Catholic Bible: Personal Study Edition NABRE (Oxford)
  • The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible NT RSV-2CE
  • Little Rock Catholic Study Bible NABRE
  • Anselm Academic Study Bible NABRE
  • (New) Jerusalem Bible Standard Edition
  • Haydock Douay-Rheims
  • Other (Indicate in Comments of Post)
More polls: Free polls

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Benedict on Wednesday

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

"Such a state of affairs could not but generate a counter-reaction. Among cautious systematic theologians, there began the search for a theology which was as independent as possible from exegesis. But what possible value can a theology have which is cut off from its own foundations? So it was that a radical approach called "fundamentalism" began to win supporters who brand as false in itself and contradictory any application of the historical-critical method to the Word of God. They want to take the Bible again in its literal purity, just as it stands and just as the average reader understands it to be. But when do I really take the Bible "literally"? And which is the "normative" understanding which holds for the Bible in all its particularity? Certainly fundamentalism can take as a precedent the position of the Bible itself, which has selected as its own hermeneutical perspective the viewpoint of the "little ones," the "pure of heart." The problem still remains, however, that the demand for "literalness" and "realism" is not at all so univocal as it might first appear. In grappling with the problem of hermeneutics, another alternative process presents itself: the explanation of the historical process of the development of forms is only one part of the duty of the interpreter; his understanding within the world of today is the other. According to this idea, one should investigate the conditions for understanding itself in order to come to a visualization of the text which would get beyond this historical "autopsy." In fact, as it stands, this is quite correct, for one has not really understood something in its entirety simply because one knows how to explain the circumstances surrounding its beginning.

But how is it possible to come to an understanding which on one hand is not based on some arbitrary choice of particular aspects, but on the other hand allows me to hear the message of the text and not something coming from my own self? Once the methodology has picked history to death by its dissection, who can reawaken it so that it can live and speak to me? Let me put it another way: if "hermeneutics" is ever to become convincing, the inner harmony between historical analysis and hermeneutical synthesis must be first found.

To be sure, great strides have already been made in this direction, but I must honestly say that a truly convincing answer has yet to be formulated. If Rudolph Bultmann used the philosophy of Martin Heidegger as a vehicle to represent the biblical word, then that vehicle stands in accord with his reconstruction of the essence of Jesus' message. But was this reconstruction itself not likewise a product of his philosophy? How great is its credibility from a historical point of view? In the end, are we listening to Jesus, or to Heidegger, with this kind of an approach to understanding? Still, one can hardly deny that Bultmann seriously grappled with the issue of increasing our access to the Bible's message. But today, certain forms of exegesis are appearing which can only be explained as symptoms of the disintegration of interpetation and hermeneutics. Materialist and feminist exegesis, whatever else may be said about them, do not even claim to be an understanding of the text itself in the manner in which it was originally intended. At best they may be seen as an expression of the view that the Bible's message is in and of itself inexplicable, or else that it is meaningless for life in today's world. In this sense, they are no longer interested in ascertaining the truth, but only in whatever will serve their own particular agenda. They go on to justify this combination of agenda with biblical material by saying that the many religious elements help strengthen the vitality of the treatment. Thus historical method can even serve as a cloak for such maneuvers insofar as it dissects the Bible into discontinuous pieces, which are then able to be put to new use and inserted into a new montage altogether different from the original biblical on text."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Catholic Biblical Quarterly Vol. 76, No. 1

Catholic Biblical Quarterly  Vol. 76, No. 1/January 2014

Mark 1:1-15: A "New Evangelization"
Richard J. Dillon

The History of Legal Theory and the Study of Biblical Law
Joshua Berman

"Associative Meetings" in the Character Evaluation of Lot's Daughters
Jonathan Grossman

The Affirmation of Prophetic Power and Deconstruction of Royal Authority in the Elisha Narratives
Walter Brueggemann and Davis Hankins

Storing UP Treasure with God in the Heavens: Celestial Investments in Matthew 6:1-21
Nathan Eubank

Assessing Stanley E. Porter's Objection to Richard B Hays's Notion of Metalepsis
Alec J. Lucas

Monday, February 17, 2014

February Contest: Catholic Men's Bible

It is time for another contest.  The winner will receive a brand new copy of the Catholic Men's Bible from OSV.  This paperback edition includes the NABRE Catholic Bible combined with the teachings and instruction of Fr. Larry Richards.  For more on this new Bible, you can check out an audio interview I did with Fr. Larry here.

The rules:
1) If you have a website or blog or are active on Facebook, please announce this contest.   If you don't, that is OK.  You can still enter the contest. 

2) Please enter your name in the comment section of this blog post.  I will randomly draw one winner at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday February 23rd at 11:59 PM.   

3) I will announce the winners on Monday February 24th.  The winners must contact me, via email, within a week with their full name and address.

4) One entry per person.

5) Contest is only available to those who live in the United States

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sunday Knox: Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 15:15-20

"Those commandments if thou wilt observe, they in their turn shall preserve thee, and give thee warrant of his favour.* It is as though he offered thee fire and water, bidding thee take which thou wouldst; life and death, blessing and curse, man finds set before him, and the gift given thee shall be the choice thou makest; so wise God is, so constraining his power, so incessant the watch he keeps over mankind.   The Lord’s eye is watching over the men who fear him, no act of ours passes unobserved;  upon none does he enjoin disobedience, none has leave from him to commit sin."

Knox Note:
* The rendering given above is an attempt to combine the Greek and the Latin versions, either of which, taken by itself, is untranslatable.


"If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power, and all-seeing. The eyes of God are on those who fear him; he understands man’s every deed. No one does he command to act unjustly, to none does he give license to sin."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Benedict on Wednesday

For the next few weeks, I will be choosing selections from Pope Benedict's monumental paper Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Today which he delivered on the 27th of January 1988, at Saint Peter's Church, in New York, NY.

"In Wladimir Solowjew's History of the Antichrist, the eschatological enemy of the Redeemer recommended himself to believers, among other things, by the fact that he had earned his doctorate in theology at Tübingen and had written an exegetical work which was recognized as pioneering in the field. The Antichrist, a famous exegete! With this paradox Solowjew sought to shed light on the ambivalence inherent in biblical exegetical methodology for almost a hundred years now. To speak of the crisis of the historical-critical method today is practically a truism. This, despite the fact that it had gotten off to so optimistic a start.

Within that newfound freedom of thought into which the Enlightenment had launched headlong, dogma or church doctrine appeared as one of the real impediments to a correct understanding of the Bible itself. But freed from this impertinent presupposition, and equipped with a methodology which promised strict objectivity, it seemed that we were finally going to be able to hear again the clear and unmistakable voice of the original message of Jesus. Indeed, what had been long forgotten was to be brought into the open once more: the polyphony of history could be heard again, rising from behind the monotone of traditional interpretations. As the human element in sacred history became more and more visible, the hand of God, too, seemed larger and closer.

Gradually, however, the picture became more and more confused. The various theories increased and multiplied and separated one from the other and became a veritable fence which blocked access to the Bible for all the uninitiated. Those who were initiated were no longer reading the Bible anyway, but were dissecting it into the various parts from which it had to have been composed. The methodology itself seems to require such a radical approach: it cannot stand still when it "scents" the operation of man in sacred history. It must try to remove all the irrational residue and clarify everything. Faith itself is not a component of this method. Nor is God a factor to be dealt with in historical events. But since God and divine action permeate the entire biblical account of history, one is obliged to begin with a complicated anatomy of the scriptural word. On one hand there is the attempt to unravel the various threads (of the narrative) so that in the end one holds in one's hands what is the "really historical," which means the purely human element in events. On the other hand, one has to try to show how it happened that the idea of God became interwoven through it all. And so it is that another "real" history is to be fashioned in place of the one given. Underneath the existing sources — that is to say, the biblical books themselves — we are supposed to find more original sources, which in turn become the criteria for interpretation. No one should really be surprised that this procedure leads to the sprouting of ever more numerous hypotheses until finally they turn into a jungle of contradictions. In the end, one no longer learns what the text says, but what it should have said, and by which component parts this can be traced back through the text."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Audio "7 Questions" with Fr. Larry Richards

A special note of thanks to Fr. Larry Richards for agreeing to do this audio edition of "7 Questions" on the importance of Scripture, daily reading of the Bible, and the new OSV Catholic Men's Bible.  A special thanks to Mary Therese for helping to facilitate this interview.  For more on what Fr. Larry is doing, head on over to The Reason for Our Hope Foundation website.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sad News

From America:

"Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, a Jesuit priest, professor of New Testament at Boston College (and the Weston Jesuit School of Theology), longtime editor of New Testament Abstracts, former columnist for "The Word," America's Scripture column, and one of the world's leading New Testament scholars, died yesterday at the Jesuit infirmary of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, in Weston, Mass."

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

40% Off Bibles at Saint Benedict Press

This is an amazing sale, so don't wait.  Bible translations include the NABRE, RSV-CE, Douay-Rheims, and a Confraternity New Testament.

Sunday Knox: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

"So it was, brethren, that when I came to you and preached Christ’s message to you, I did so without any high pretensions to eloquence, or to philosophy.  I had no thought of bringing you any other knowledge than that of Jesus Christ, and of him as crucified.  It was with distrust of myself, full of anxious fear, that I approached you; my preaching, my message depended on no persuasive language, devised by human wisdom, but rather on the proof I gave you of spiritual power; God’s power, not man’s wisdom, was to be the foundation of your faith."

NAB Lectionary:
"When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Catholic Study Bible Nominations

I am planning to do a series on Catholic Study Bibles in the coming months.  So, I'd like to solicit from you, my faithful readers, your nominations for the best Catholic Study Bibles available today.  Please limit your entry to one Study Bible.

Here are some things that I will be looking at as I begin this series on Study Bibles:

1) Quality of the Study Notes and Commentary

2) Inclusion of Other Study Helps, Articles, Maps, Concordance, Essays, etc....

3) Overall Appearance of the Volume (This Includes Page Layout, Binding, Cover Material, Etc....)

4) Usefulness in the New Evangelization

5) Fully Catholic Study Bibles Only.  (While I certainly like, and utilize, the various editions of the NOAB, let's keep this focused on Catholic Study Bibles.)

6) Translation

7) Any Unique Contribution Not Found In Other Study Bibles

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Benedict on Wednesday

"First, the world of the Bible presents us with a new image of God. In surrounding cultures, the image of God and of the gods ultimately remained unclear and contradictory. In the development of biblical faith, however, the content of the prayer fundamental to Israel, the Shema, became increasingly clear and unequivocal: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Dt 6:4). There is only one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who is thus the God of all. Two facts are significant about this statement: all other gods are not God, and the universe in which we live has its source in God and was created by him. Certainly, the notion of creation is found elsewhere, yet only here does it become absolutely clear that it is not one god among many, but the one true God himself who is the source of all that exists; the whole world comes into existence by the power of his creative Word. Consequently, his creation is dear to him, for it was willed by him and “made” by him. The second important element now emerges: this God loves man. The divine power that Aristotle at the height of Greek philosophy sought to grasp through reflection, is indeed for every being an object of desire and of love —and as the object of love this divinity moves the world—but in itself it lacks nothing and does not love: it is solely the object of love. The one God in whom Israel believes, on the other hand, loves with a personal love. His love, moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses Israel and loves her—but he does so precisely with a view to healing the whole human race. God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape.

The Prophets, particularly Hosea and Ezekiel, described God's passion for his people using boldly erotic images. God's relationship with Israel is described using the metaphors of betrothal and marriage; idolatry is thus adultery and prostitution. Here we find a specific reference—as we have seen—to the fertility cults and their abuse of eros, but also a description of the relationship of fidelity between Israel and her God. The history of the love-relationship between God and Israel consists, at the deepest level, in the fact that he gives her the Torah, thereby opening Israel's eyes to man's true nature and showing her the path leading to true humanism. It consists in the fact that man, through a life of fidelity to the one God, comes to experience himself as loved by God, and discovers joy in truth and in righteousness—a joy in God which becomes his essential happiness: “Whom do I have in heaven but you? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides you ... for me it is good to be near God” (Ps 73 [72]:25, 28)."  -Deus Caritas Est 9

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Son of God Movie Book

Our friends at Saint Benedict Press/TAN will be releasing a coffee table book to coincide with the release of Roma Downey's and Mark Burnett's film Son of God which will be in theaters at the end of the month.  The Son of God: The Life of Jesus Christ in Pictures seems aimed at a Catholic audience and includes a foreword by Roma Downey.  It will be released very soon.  If I happen to get a copy, I'll let you know how it is.    

Here is a bit more about this:

For a brief span of time the SON OF GOD walked among us, ate with us, laughed and cried with us. Jesus, God Himself, became one of us, and ultimately died for us. He gave his life for our sins and on the third day rose again, so that we might rise again from the death of sin and live with him forever.

Now, with SON OF GOD: The Life of Jesus Christ in Pictures, immerse yourself in that time. Witness his miracles, listen to his divine teachings, and walk with him on the road to Calvary as he carries out the redemptive plan for mankind.
In these pages, read informative and inspiring profiles of key biblical figures. And discover the background and meaning of key events from Jesus’ life, including his . . .
• Birth in a manger
• Baptism in the Jordan
• Calling of Peter
• Sermon on the Mount
• Miraculous healings
• Rising of Lazarus 
• Institution of the Eucharist
• Passion and Death
• Triumphant Resurrection
• And much more

Featuring more than 50 full color photographs from the major motion picture SON OF GOD and a Foreword by producer and star Roma Downey, this life of Christ is a beautiful, inspirational, and devotional journey with Jesus from his humble birth to his passion and death to his triumphant resurrection.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Arctic Vortex Contest Winner

Stuart Dunn is the winner.  Please send me an email with your address and the prize will be shipped out to you later this week.  Thanks to all who participated.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunday Knox: Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4

See where I am sending an angel of mine, to make the way ready for my coming! All at once the Lord will visit his temple; that Lord, so longed for, welcome herald of a divine covenant. Ay, says the Lord of hosts, he is coming;  but who can bear the thought of that advent? Who will stand with head erect at his appearing? He will put men to a test fierce as the crucible, searching as the lye that fullers use.  From his judgement-seat, he will refine that silver of his and cleanse it from dross; like silver or gold, the sons of Levi must be refined in the crucible, ere they can offer the Lord sacrifice duly performed.  Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings of Juda and Jerusalem, as he did long since, in the forgotten years.


Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; And suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.