Tag Archives: scripture study

Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, OP, RIP

Jerome Murphy OConnorOn November 11 in Jerusalem one of the world’s best known scholars of the New Testament died, Dominican Father Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, 78. Father Jerry, as he was known, was certainly the best known priest in Jerusalem. He lived with poor health in recent years.

A tall man with a big personality was certainly a force to be reckoned with on all planes. He was certainly a provocative thinker, particularly on Saint Paul, was one who pushed the boundaries; but he was a man of trust in Divine Mystery. Some may say he was a modernist scholar; a keen interest was the real humanity of Jesus, especially as Jesus approached the crucifixion. Hence, you may not agree with all things that he said, but one would hope that you’d do your own research and draw your own conclusions, but you can’t dismiss out of hand professional and honest work. I certainly think history will show us that JMC was a on to something.

His last book was, Keys to Jerusalem: Collected Essays (Oxford, 2012).

I met Father Jerry at University of Notre Dame several years ago while he was there doing some teaching and lecturing in NT studies.

Several articles ought to be read:

May God be merciful to Father Jerome. May Our Lady and Saint Dominic guide Father to the Beatific Vision.

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

10 Biblical Verses leading to Catholicity

Lord God, your words were found and I consumed them;

your word became the joy and happiness of my heart. (Jer. 15:16)

10 Biblical Verses that lead to a deeper, more vibrant Catholic faith:

1. Matthew 16:18-19 / Isaiah 22:22 (Authority)

2. 1 Timothy 3:15 (Authority)

3. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (Tradition)

4. 1 Peter 3:21 (Baptism)

5. John 20:23 (Confession)

6. John 6:53-58, 66-67 (Eucharist)

7. 1 Corinthians 11:27 (Eucharist)

8. James 5:14-15 (Anointing)

9. Colossians 1:24 (Suffering)

10. James 2:17- 26 (Works)

This is what you’ll call evangelical Catholicism: relying on the scripture base your faith. The first question we have to ask ourselves: What does Scripture reveal? These bible verse are ones it is said, that Protestants Cannot Accept (without becoming Catholic). Blessed feast of Saint Jerome, patron saint of biblical scholars.

The Garima Gospels witness to a living Christian faith

Gramina GospelsIn 2010, there was an interesting “find” for the biblical world of our era. This article is three years old but it ought to raise our interests in the biblical narrative not merely for literary and artistic considerations, but for matters pertaining to divine revelation. We have a lot more work to do if we are to say we “know it all” when it comes to the bible.

I say this because while news reports reveal what can be viewed as a testimony to the attractiveness to the biblical tradition of the Christian Church. The attractiveness of a dynamic faith in Jesus as Savior and Messiah. The realization that our Christian faith is based on meeting God and that we just don’t make things up as we go along.

What is now considered to be among the oldest surviving works of Christianity, the Garima Gospels date perhaps to the early fourth century first came to light in the 1950s; scholars and philanthropists in England are helping to preserve the treasure today.

The Monastery of Abba Garima in northern Ethiopia is one of many places where Christians have conserved their ancient texts relating to the Good News preached by Jesus Christ. That we have a fourth century manuscript with some very early extant Christian illustrations is stunning. The images have Coptic similarities. One more reason we need to have concern for Christians who live in Egypt, Ethiopian and Eritrea. According to reports, the Garima Gospels contain portraits of the Evangelists. A literary and cultural find for some, another piece for biblical archeology for scholars, these Gospel pages are relics of a living faith.

Peter, you are the rock upon which I will build my church

St Peter recieving keys from Christ LMonaco.jpg

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16 13-20)


A challenging gospel passage for people who are skeptical about Christ being THE Way, and giving the keys to Peter and thus to the Church. We have to ask ourselves: Who do you say Jesus is? Do you take His words seriously? Is Peter’s confession of Jesus believable? Do you know the Church in a loving and faith-filled way?

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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