Tag Archives: bible

Bible study resources

Bible study Catholics is no longer optional. Everything, and I mean everything in the Church, must be dependent on sacred Scripture, even the Magisterium. I came across this quote from Bishop Christopher Butler, OSB, which may be a bit cheeky, but to my mind it shows the degree of seriousness that we ought to think in biblical terms, “It is all very well for us to say and believe that the Magisterium is subject to holy Scripture. But is there anybody who is in a position to tell the Magisterium: ‘Look, you are not practicing your subjection to Scripture in your teaching’?” (in JJ Miller, ed., Vatican II: An Interfaith Appraisal, 1966). Indeed, we all need to be subject to Revelation.

We need to keep on top of our study and love of God’s revealed word: the study of Scripture is a non-negotiable for Catholics if they think they are going to be saved on the Last Day. Pope Benedict spoke of lectio divina as the springtime of the Church and organizations like the American Bible Society have spent lots of time and money trying to help Christians, including Catholics, to the biblical narrative of redemption.

Here are some bible resources:

Pope Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu

Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)

The Letter of Saint Athanasius on the Interpretation of the Psalms

Scott Hahn, Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Baker Brazos Press, 2009).

Scott Hahn, Consuming the Word: The New Testament and The Eucharist in the Early Church (Image, 2013)

Richard John Neuhaus, ed., Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: The Ratzinger Conference on Bible and the Church, (Eerdmans, 1989).

Some other things to have on your shelf, virtual or otherwise:

Understanding the the readings of the Liturgy (scroll down on the calendar to the month and day and click on the link)

Scott Hahn’s website, the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Scott Hahn also has a great short summary of the Sunday readings that you can get sent free via e-mail once a week

Faith Comes by Hearing: Illiteracy not an obstacle in sharing Biblical faith

An extraordinary gift has made the good news of the Bible better known for those who are unable to read and write. Reportedly 50 percent of the world is illiterate. An initiative of Jerry Jackson and colleagues, Faith Comes by Hearing, is making it possible for the world to hear the Bible in one’s language. It is available in more than 610 languages, reaching 185 countries and 5 billion people to date. AND the Pope now has an iPod with the audio Bible.

Watch the video clip on Faith Comes by Hearing here.
Support Faith Comes by Hearing!

What, rather who, is Wisdom?

The first reading at Mass today was taken from the Book of Wisdom. Not a regularly heard from book of the Bible. The Church offers us at least two things today with regard to Wisdom: what is it (how do we define what it is) and who is Wisdom?

Both Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Paul indicate that Wisdom is Jesus Christ. You might say that the contents of the Book of Wisdom is perfected in the person of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, here’s what we heard today.

Wisdom VTiziano.jpg

In Wisdom is a spirit

intelligent, holy, unique,

Manifold, subtle, agile,

clear, unstained, certain,

Not baneful, loving the good, keen,

unhampered, beneficent, kindly,

Firm, secure, tranquil,

all-powerful, all-seeing,

And pervading all spirits,

though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.

For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,

and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.

For she is an aura of the might of God

and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.

For she is the refulgence of eternal light,

the spotless mirror of the power of God,

the image of his goodness.

And she, who is one, can do all things,

and renews everything while herself perduring;

And passing into holy souls from age to age,

she produces friends of God and prophets.

For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.

For she is fairer than the sun

and surpasses every constellation of the stars.

Compared to light, she takes precedence;

for that, indeed, night supplants,

but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily

and governs all things well.

Wisdom 7:22b-8:1

Praying with the Pentecost sequence

Pentecost TGaddi.jpg

In the days that lead up to the great solemnity of Pentecost meditating on the sequence for Pentecost, “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (Come Holy Spirit), is appropriate. Take the text of the “Veni Sancte Spiritus” use it for your Lectio Divina up to Pentecost, and perhaps in days following.


For many people in the pew,  the Church’s use of the sequence 4 times a year jumps out of no where and it sinks into oblivion because it is infrequently spoken of in bulletins or in homilies. With rare exception priests sadly ignore the sequences. Today, the priest actually made the suggestion to pray with the Pentecost sequence, “Veni Sancte Spirtus”.


The sequence, as you know, is a poem of the Middle Ages that was composed for specific feasts of the Paschal Mystery, holy days and feasts of saints to draw our attention to the truth of the faith. It is the lex orandi tradition at its best. While not taken from the Bible, the sequence relates to us the major themes of sacred Scripture to which we need to give some attention. The sequence is sung after the second reading and right before the Alleluia verse (Gospel acclamation).

Here are but a few lines from “Veni Sancte Spiritus” to bring to prayer:

O most blessed Light fill the inmost heart of thy faithful.

Without your spirit, nothing is in man, nothing that is harmless.

Wash that which is sordid water that which is dry, heal that which is wounded.

Make flexible that which is rigid, warm that which is cold, rule that which is deviant.

The full text of the Pentecost sequence is noted here.


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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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]yahoo.com.
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