Dei Verbum: The Word of God in Modern Times

Yesterday's post was on Vatican II as a background to Dei Verbum. Here you will see how the Catholics talk about integrating critical methods with the pastoral mission of the Church. This is a very interesting topic, but I am assured that students at BYU would find this scary and useless (See comment #30) so if you came out of that institution you'll want to read the rest of this with your eyes closed and the blankets over your head.Although pretty much all of the documents of Vatican II … [Read more...]

Vatican II and Modernity

Last time we met, Pius XII had published Divino, and set the Catholics on a glide path for a more productive encounter with modern life. I should emphasize that it's a Catholic approach to modern life, so you won't be finding a retreat from Catholic positions on faith and morals. But you will see that they are far more engaged than they had been.Before we get into Vatican II, there's one more event I'd like to mention because it gets at the relationship between exegesis and theology. Before … [Read more...]

The Shift Toward Modernity

Today's important news is that I ate my first ripe tomato of the 2008 season last night. Now we can get back to the Catholics. When last we left off in this little exercise, Pius X had dealt rather, er...firmly..., with Modernism. In addition to excommunicating many of the Modernists, he condemned much of their thought. He also required the clergy to take an anti-Modernist oath. These folks seem to have complied, but not so enthusiastically, and once Pius X passed away things began to … [Read more...]

The End of Modernism?

When last we met to discuss the world of Catholic Biblical scholarship, Pius X had just excommunicated Alfred Loisy in an effort to suppress Modernism...What else did Pius X do about Modernism? In addition to excommunicating Loisy, et. al., he called the Catholic faithful to reject Modernism root and branch. The first encyclical published was Lamentabili sane exitu, dated July 3, 1907. It listed 65 propositions, taken mostly from Loisy’s work but also including ideas from Tyrrell and a few … [Read more...]

A Modicum of Modernism

This post arises from one of the issues raised in Nitsav’s Apologia. (Since it’s now, like, 130 comments long, I am sure we’ll never need any other identifier for that post.) At some point in the middle of all those comments, we got on to a discussion of how others handle the problematic issues raised by close study of the Bible, and from there to the modern Catholic approach to scripture. Since I come out of the Catholic intellectual tradition with respect to scripture, I decided I’d venture … [Read more...]

God is Light III: The Situation

This is the third in a series of posts that will, at some point before Final Judgment, culminate in the exegesis of a selected section of 1 John. I will try to avoid the War and Peace effect this time but, my goodness, it is such fun to think about!The bottom line is this: The community that had originally formed around the Beloved Disciple and the Fourth Gospel has now broken into at least two factions. The Elder writes to those who yet remain in his camp to confront and correct the errors … [Read more...]

God is Light II: Literary Relationships

This is the second post in a series on 1 John. The point of this series is to illustrate how exegesis is done by “doing” a bit of exegesis in a rather step-by-step fashion. The first post dealt with author and genre. This one deals with the literary relationships between the Johannine Epistles and the remainder of the Catholic Epistles, the Gospel of John, and the rest of the NT.Although I neglected to mention it in the first post, the content of the first four or five posts will cover what … [Read more...]

God is Light I: Genre and Author

Some time ago, quite some time ago, actually, Eric asked if I’d do a bit of exegesis of a passage in 1 John to illustrate the activities involved. I don’t remember quite what passage we agreed on, but I think it was the first substantive section of the First Epistle of John, 1 John 1:5-2:17.So here we go…GENREThe first stop is genre. A literary genre is a group of texts that exhibit a coherent and recurring pattern of features, usually further defined in terms of form, content, and funct … [Read more...]


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