Category Archives: Sacred Scripture

Pope tells Biblical Commission –and Church– not to reduce Bible to mere human genius

The Pontifical Biblical Commission is a group of theologians and scriptural scholars who help the Pope and the teaching mission of the Church exploring particular questions and concerns about the nature and reality of divine revelation and Christian life. The PBC is meeting this week in Rome led by Cardinal William J. Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the theme is “Inspiration and Truth of the Bible.” Interesting. Did we forget that the sacred Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit? One way of figuring out why something is important to the Pope or to sacred Magisterium is to be aware of the work done by these commissions. So, yes, there seems to be skepticism among the faithful that the Scriptures are revealed by God through the agency of human language. Recall, however, this is not the first time in salvation history that the Church has had to deal with this question: think of the various heresies from the early Church, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment periods and even with the extreme use of the historical critical method of Scripture study. His Holiness reminds not only the professionally trained scholars but all of us that there can be in no way a reduction in how we interpret the Bible.

Here are the key points of what Benedict said to the PBC:

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Pope Benedict clarifies Christian view of who killed Jesus

The Jerusalem Post published a story today picking up on Pope Benedict’s clarifies what Christians believe about the Jews viz. the death Jesus. Sergio Minerbi’s article “Pope Benedict Revises the Gospels” looks at Benedict’s volume 2 of Jesus of Nazareth. This issue has been a painful one among Christians and Jews through the millennia. In his typical manner of precise writing –because of sharp thinking– Benedict challenges the reality of ideology that’s been a force for violence than reconciliation. This article ought to get you to re-read Nostra Aetate and to read volume 2 of Jesus of Nazareth.

The New American Bible, Revised Edition

NABRE.jpgThe other day there was some press, most of it inane, about the revised edition of the New American Bible.

I’ve not been a fan of the NAB and so I hope this new work of the nearly 100 scholars, theologians and bishops have produced a better translation than the previous one.
The US Bishops’ Conference published online the 7 penitential psalms and song of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah for Lent, take a look.

Scripture is to fill us head to toe

Bishop Pates' Ordination.jpgAt a priest’s ordination as bishop the Book of the
Gospels is held open over the man’s head by two deacons, a way to communicate that the
Scriptures are crucial to the life of the bishop and that Christ has infused
His Word in his heart and mind. Archbishop Timothy Broglio said this when he
ordained Bishop Spencer in 2010: 

writings inspired by Almighty God and identified and transmitted over the
centuries by His Church must fill you from head to toe.  You must be imbued with that word so
that whatever comes from your mouth will be an expression of what you have read
and heard.  You will have a special
opportunity to deepen the faith of those to whom you are sent.” We are to be
similarly filled.

The Word of God is everything: hearing what the WORD has to say

I am reading Verbum Domini with great eagerness. I am talking my reading seriously and trying to ponder what the Pope has given us as a path to Christ and to live as an authentic Christian today. Let’s recall the extraordinary address of Pope Benedict XVI on October 6, 2008 where he said: 


“the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent.”

Scott W. Hahn, Covenant and Communion (2009), p. 22.


In another place we read: 

You cannot put revelation in your pocket like a book you carry around with you. It is a living reality that requires a living person as the locus of its presence.

That is, the believer becomes real insofar as he becomes the Word by hearing such that he does it. That seems to be the only reality that perdures. Revelation is an act in which God shows Himself. Faith is a corresponding act of hearing and doing the Word heard. Outside of that, everything else perishes into nothingness.

J. Ratzinger, God Word: Scripture – Tradtion – Office, Ignatius (2008): 52.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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