Category Archives: Bible

Morrow’s Response to Thompson

Cover Three Skeptics and the BibleWell, for those of you interested in the debate about biblical scholarship and bias, as in Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s famous lecture from before becoming pope, “Biblical Interpretation in Crisis,” or in my book, Three Skeptics and the Bible, my formal response to Thomas L. Thompson was just published. Inspired by Benedict XVI’s work, I had written a article entitled, “On Biblical Scholarship and Bias.” The important Old Testament scholar, Thomas L. Thompson, a leader of the so-called Copenhagen Minimalist School of Biblical Scholarship, wrote a scathing response, which he entitled, “On Myths and Their Contexts: An Issue of Contemporary Theology? A Response to Jeffrey Morrow.” The editors of the magazine were kind enough to publish my response to Thompson, entitled, “Explaining Bias and the History of Modern Biblical Scholarship: A Response to Thomas L. Thompson.” For more on this history, see Three Skeptics and the Bible, or, better yet, check out Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker’s, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture 1300-1700.



July 22-24, 2015: Applied Biblical Studies Conference

A picture of a group of us from a previous ABSC conference
A picture of a group of us from a previous ABSC conference

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

Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn

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

My New Blog: History of Interpretation

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 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.

Curtis Mitch on the Authorship of the 4 Gospels

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament

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:

Jeff Morrow radio Interview: Conversion and the Bible Politicized

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.

According to…WHO? On the Authorship of the Gospels

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:

Medieval Jewish Usage of the Greek Old Testament

Hebrew written over Akylas' Greek translation of the OT

Up until recently, common scholarly opinion was that Jews stopped using the Greek translation of the OT fairly early.1 Even when scholars conceded that Ethiopian Jews continue to use the Septuagint (LXX), the claim was that this is completely unique within the world of Judaism, without even remote parallels. Recently, scholars at Cambridge University working on the documents from the Cairo Genizah have discovered OT texts from the medieval period that are in Greek translation, but were transliterated into Hebrew. What that means is that these texts are in the Greek language—they are translations from earlier Hebrew copies—but then scribes wrote the Greek words using Hebrew letters.2 This is not the only example of such transliterations within Judaism, e.g. the Constantinople Pentateuch from 1547 includes side-by-side columns of the Pentateuch written in Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish, all in Hebrew script.3 The Cambridge find, however, is absolutely amazing! And it shows that the Greek OT was in use within the world of Judaism long into the medieval period (10th to 13th centuries!!!). Different Greek translations are present in these Genizah documents, but they include the LXX.4

The project’s website states: