Scott Hahn and Emily Stimpson Chapman have written a marvelous and timely book, Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body. It not only explains the Christian meaning of death, and of the afterlife, but also the importance Christianity places on the body. The logic of relics and of the Sacraments makes profound sense when we understand them in this context. They ground their discussion, not only in light of contemporary Church teaching, but also in the teachings of the Church Fathers and of the Bible. Death is a reality we all have to face—it’s the one certitude everyone is prepared to admit, but so few are prepared to embrace. Hope to Die goes a long way in helping us prepare well for that moment, not only by helping us understand it better, but as importantly, in encouraging us to live so as to prepare ourselves for that final moment, which we do not know when will come. Instead of fearing that moment, this book encourages hope, and explains why, in some sense, what comes after death, should be something for which we yearn. They situate Church teaching on death, the body, the resurrection, heaven, etc., in the pages of Scripture, showing the organic growth as the Tradition continues to reflect on these important matters, and apply them in our changing contexts over time. They show how the body itself is a sort of sacrament; it has spiritual significance. They cover a host of related topics including Christian burials, funerals, death, judgement, the bodily resurrection, Catholic devotions including relics, and the Eucharist. My favorite chapter, I think, was chapter 9, on what heaven will be like, and how our lives will finally make sense, as will the lives of others, and all of human history. We should spend our whole lives lovingly preparing for the next, when everything in our life that seemed a mystery will finally make sense as we lovingly contemplate God’s fatherly providence with Him, the author of our lives and of human history. This is a book you will want to read, and reread over and over again during key moments of your life. It is available for pre-order here: https://stpaulcenter.com/product/hope-to-die-the-christian-meaning-of-death-and-the-resurrection-of-the-body/?fbclid=IwAR0eKnf4ZO2FWeLLeS6v7gLzQSyPpHz2uRerNw_6HgMFyW-FUsx_FSqBX8o
This July 22-24, 2015, you are not going to want to miss the Applied Biblical Studies Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville! It promises to be one of the most incredible conferences they’ve hosted, with a stellar line up of speakers. The conference theme this year is, “The Joy of the Gospel: Paul’s Letter
to the Philippians.” The event will kick off Weds. evening, the 22nd, with Scott Hahn overview of Philippians. His is just one of the many exciting talks that we’ll get to hear throughout the conference. We’ll hear about: Philippians 1 from Michael Barber; Philippians 2 as well as a second talk on the Eucharist from Brant Pitre; Philippians 3 as well as a second talk on Pope Francis from Edward Sri; Philippians 4 from John Bergsma; the joy of the Lord as our strength from Kimberly Hahn; recent scholarly discussions on Paul from Fr. Pablo Gadenz; a talk on Mary in the Old
I have started a new blog devoted to the history of biblical interpretation, particularly in the modern period. The blog is called, “History of Interpretation,” and can be found by clicking that link, or at historyof interpretation.wordpress.com. I wanted to make our readers aware of the blog. It has been receiving quite a lot of web traffic, and my hope is to include guest posts from several scholars, a number of whom have already agreed to contribute posts. My hope is to start a conversation about the state of modern biblical studies, its history, and the relationship between theology and biblical interpretation. The intent is that posts will be scholarly, but accessible to non-specialists, so that interested parties might benefit from the conversation without having to be scholars themselves. So please check out the site if the topic interests you.
A Systematic and Inspirational Study of Genesis 1-11. This is the first in a series of presentations on the book of Genesis. These events are organized by Ite Missa Est, the adult faith formation ministry of Immaculate Conception Church, Dayton, Ohio. Presented By Dr. Jeff Morrow and Fr. Satish Joseph.
I’m currently teaching a New Testament course and I have been re-reading a lot of great material dealing with all aspects of New Testament studies. I’m re-reading—among other things—Curtis Mitch’s work. I thought this was especially well-written, and a good synthesis of modern scholarship. The excerpt below comes from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament, which Curtis Mitch co-edited with Scott Hahn. With regard to the traditional attributions of authorship of the four Gospels—i.e., that Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote John—Mitch writes the following:
Dr. Michael Barber interviewed Dr. Jeff Morrow on The Sacred Page radio show for a Catholic radio station. The interview pertained to his conversion to Catholicism and also his research on the political roots of modern biblical criticism.
Who wrote the Gospels? Does it matter? Since their early reception in the Church they have been attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Until recently, this was basically unquestioned, though some may have quibbled about which John wrote the 4th Gospel.
The authorship of the Gospels came under deep scrutiny especially in the early 20th century as their very authority as authentic documentary witnesses was questioned. And if their testimony wasn’t authentic, then how could they be written by authentic witnesses? From the opposite angle, if one could prove their authorial attribution faulty, so too is their credibility as authentic witnesses marred.
In order to testify to the authentic witness of the Gospels, the Church made several pronouncements throughout last century. The following are some quotations from the popes, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and Vatican II which show what the Church has had to say about the authorship of the Gospels (note: the Pontifical Biblical Commission was an arm of theMagisterium until Paul VI’s Sedula Cura in 1971):
* Pope Leo XIII in Providentissimus Deus (18 November 1893) wrote of how important it was to the doctrine of the Church that the Scriptures were eyewitness testimony: