Tag Archives: scripture

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.

Where are the 12 Apostles buried?

Have you ever wondered about the details of the Apostles’ death and burial? It is a curious question for biblical studies and archeology, liturgical studies and piety in general. I caught this clever illustration the other day and it answers my question. I hope it is accurate. When in Rome I’ve been to some of the tombs; I guess I’ll have to wait to get to India, Spain and Germany.


Women in the New Testament

It is true that women have had a better sense in recognizing the risen Jesus than men:  “the women were the first witnesses” of Jesus’ resurrected existence. The teaching of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus and our own future resurrection is undeniably hard teaching to grasp. Yesterday, we heard in the account of the Marys at the tomb. One of the Marys, that of Magdala, is known as the Apostle to the Apostles. Below are three paragraphs on the subject from today’s Wednesday General Audience of Pope Francis. I am sure some will raise the issue that the Pope is not going far enough by denying the ministerial priesthood to women. Of course, we are not talking about ministerial priesthood here; the Pope’s point here is to draw our attention that God’s ways, God’s criteria in selecting those who called to serve Him is not same as human ways of judging AND the identification and verification of the Lord’s truth as the Son of God, alive and present to each of us. As Francis says, “In our journey of faith it is important to know and feel that God loves us, do not be afraid to love: faith is professed with the mouth and heart, with the word and love.”

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I would like to dwell the second, on testimony in the form of the accounts that we find in the Gospels. First, we note that the first witnesses to this event were the women. At dawn, they go to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, and find the first sign: the empty tomb (Mk 16:1). This is followed by an encounter with a Messenger of God who proclaims: Jesus of Nazareth, the Crucified One, he is not here, he is risen (cf. vv. 5-6). The women are driven by love and know how to accept this proclamation with faith: they believe, and immediately transmit it, they do not keep it for themselves. They cannot contain the joy of knowing that Jesus is alive, the hope that fills their heart. This should also be the same in our lives. Let us feel the joy of being Christian! We believe in the Risen One who has conquered evil and death! Let us also have the courage to “go out” to bring this joy and light to all the places of our lives! The Resurrection of Christ is our greatest certainty, it is our most precious treasure! How can we not share this treasure, this beautiful certainty with others! It’s not just for us it’s to be transmitted, shared with others this is our testimony!

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What Benedict XVI will be reading?

vB Post Critical Bib Inter.pngI can’t verify this information personally but Salt and Light TV heard the news bite, and it sounds right, that one of the books Benedict XVI will be reading in his retirement is W.T. Dickens’ Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theological Aesthetics: A Model for Post-Critical Biblical Interpretation (UND Press, 2003).

Dr. Dickens also published a journal article in The Heythrop Journal, “The Liturgical Shaping of Biblical Interpretation” (March 2012; Vol. 53, Is 2;  pp. 191-203).
W.T. Dickens earned his doctorate at Yale, was a visiting professor at Cornell University and is now the Chair of Religious Studies at Siena College.

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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