All posts by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Jeff Morrow is Associate Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Jeff earned his Ph.D. (2007) in Theology at the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, in the program on the U.S. Catholic Experience, where he focused on historical theology and the history of biblical exegesis. He earned his M.A. (2003) in Theological Studies, with a focus on Biblical Studies, also at the University of Dayton. He earned his B.A. (2001) at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he double majored in Comparative Religion and Classical Greek, and minored in Jewish Studies. Jeff originally comes from a Jewish background; he attended Hebrew school and had a bar mitzvah. In 1997 he became an evangelical Protestant and was heavily involved with para-church ministry as an undergraduate student. He entered the Catholic Church, Easter Vigil 1999. Jeff is a popular speaker who speaks regularly at parishes and schools, as well as at larger events. He has made popular presentations at the Applied Biblical Studies and the Defending the Faith Conferences at Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as with the Coming Home Network International. He has also published in popular periodicals including This Rock, The Catholic Answer and New Oxford Review. Jeff's scholarly work is primarily in the history of biblical interpretation, but he has also presented academic papers, and published scholarly articles, on a variety of topics related to theology, religion and the Bible. He has published scholarly works in academic journals including International Journal of Systematic Theology, New Blackfriars, Pro Ecclesia, and Toronto Journal of Theology. He has also made scholarly presentations before a number of learned societies, including the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the College Theology Society. He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Maria (who has a Ph.D. in Theology, specializing in Moral Theology, also from the University of Dayton) and their five children Maia, Eva, Patrick, Robert, and John.

Catholic Apologetics Bibliography–Out in Time for Lent!

My Catholic Apologetics Resources has been published by the Principium Institute, and is available in both Kindle for $2.99, and in Paperback for $6.99. It has come out just in time for Lent, for those interested in beefing up on their apologetics reading during Lent. The book is a lengthy bibliography, organized both topically and by reading level. Spanning 219 pages, this resources lists important sources on a variety of topics: baptism, communion of saints, confession, Crusades, Eucharist, existence of God, Inquisition, Jesus’ resurrection, Mary, papacy, purgatory, reformation, reliability of the New Testament, reliability of the Old Testament, and a number of other topics.

On Biblical Scholarship and Bias.

Cover Three Skeptics and the BibleThe online magazine, The Bible and Interpretation, has recently published an article I wrote entitled, “On Biblical Scholarship and Bias.” The article has stirred up some controversy, even  eliciting a published response by Thomas L. Thompson, the famous biblical “minimalist” from the University of Copenhagen. The Bible and Interpretation intends to present articles written by biblical scholars that are more widely accessible to a broader audience outside the realm of specialist scholars. My article uses Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) 1988 Erasmus Lecture on “Biblical Interpretation in Crisis” as the starting point for the discussion. If you are interested in this debate, check out my Three Skeptics and the Bible.

On Mercy Late in Life and Contagious Holiness: St. John of God

st john of godA few days ago we celebrated the optional memorial of St. John of God. Our pastor gave a marvelous homily that day, which inspired this post. One of the key connection points the pastor made was the connection St. John of God had with other Saints with whom I was more familiar. To be quite honest, I knew next to nothing about St. John of God. So I began to investigate his life, and what an amazing man of God, St. John of God was! I thought his life–as well as his spiritual connection to other Saints–made this a very appropriate topic for a post during Lent….especially as we approach the end of Lent.

St. John of God is best known for his many followers who eventually founded the Hospitallers, a religious institution focused on aiding the sick, suffering, and dying, among other services they now provide. They are still in existence today.

What I didn’t know was St. John of God’s late conversion in life. In many ways he was a prodigal of the Church. A baptized Catholic, like virtually all his family and friends, he was a public sinner, who sinned in countless ways. He wasn’t just known for one particular sin, but many. He was a soldier, but was particularly known for leading a life best described as completely “wild.” He was around 40 years old, or so, when he had his conversion. He found mercy rather late in life.

Taking Stock Daily: The General Examination of Conscience

note takingOne of the most important but neglected spiritual practices is the daily general examination of conscience. No business would last very long without taking stock daily, calculating how much profit was made, etc., and there is no business more important than our soul. Socrates famously said that, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” We could say that an unexamined life is dangerous. It’s important to examine how we are doing fairly regularly in order to improve. When our goal is off in the distance, a little misdirection early in the journey–if it is not corrected–can spell disaster, landing us far off the mark.