Skip to comments.The Bible Reborn
Posted on 02/05/2014 8:25:43 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
Rediscovering the riches of Scripture
A revolution has taken place in the Roman Catholic Churchs understanding of the Bible. As a result, the life and mission of the church have been transformed. Biblical stories and themes formerly unknown have become familiar. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. While the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century championed biblically based preaching and teaching (sola scriptura), the Roman Church focused on traditional doctrine and insisted that its leaders alone were authorized to interpret the Bible. It was not until Pius XIIs encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu (On Promoting the Study of Sacred Scripture, 1943) that a dramatic change in church teaching on the Bible was launched. Considered the Magna Carta of the biblical movement, this document inaugurated a new era in Catholic life.
The Second Vatican Council spearheaded a marvelous revitalizing of the Bible in the church. Many of the council participants frequently attended private lectures given by prominent biblical scholars. The Book of the Gospels was solemnly enthroned at the beginning of many general sessions. In 1965, Dei Verbum (The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) opened the door to critical approaches to biblical interpretation. It was almost as if the Bible had been rediscovered, and those engaged in Bible study found new meaning in their religious tradition. The study of the Bible became exciting, and this excitement responded to a profound hunger in the people of God for the word of God. In a matter of decades, the hundreds of years of unfamiliarity with the Bible were quickly spanned and many Roman Catholics became as biblically astute as their Protestant sisters and brothers.
(Excerpt) Read more at americamagazine.org ...
Thought y’all might be interested in this one.
**It was almost as if the Bible had been rediscovered, and those engaged in Bible study found new meaning in their religious tradition. The study of the Bible became exciting, and this excitement responded to a profound hunger in the people of God for the word of God. In a matter of decades, the hundreds of years of unfamiliarity with the Bible were quickly spanned and many Roman Catholics became as biblically astute as their Protestant sisters and brothers.**
This has been very exciting and has been a process, so to speak. First, introducing individuals to the Bible — just being able to locate them in the Bible!
This was done through looking at the three readings for the upcoming Sunday (and it’s still happening that way.)
Then more was introduced by the priest and pastoral assistant.
Next Bible Study groups took off like wildfire. We had three groups using one series, and now have another women’s study, a teen study, a men’s study, and a young adult study going on. So we are growing and will be grateful to our non-Catholic brothers and sisters who showed us the way!
**Return to the Old Testament**
Another thing that has blossomed is typology. Tying the Old Testament to its fulfillment in the New Testament. Is this common in your Bible Studies too?
(Excerpt) Read more at americamagazine.org ...
Yes, indeed! No matter how much we read the Scriptures, there is always a new layer, a new connection, another insight. Truly, the words of God are spirit and life (John 6:63).
We must trust in the Word, and allow the same to do the work.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
At risk of possibly seeming to leap, or jump to other;
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
In context (from context?) of that entire chapter, and how that can apply, it is not a leap, but continuance of that which went before...
And to continue on one of those branches:
Give us this day our daily bread. Matt 6:11
I am that bread of life. John 6:48
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. - John 6:63
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Romans 10:17
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:27
This is a good thing. Five hundred years to come around is a bit long, but better late than never.
Now, about those criticisms of the Protestant Reformation.........
Seems to have let the air out of many of them.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
One of the things that's truly amazing about reading the Bible is how you can read a passage for years, or even decades, be thoroughly familiar with it, and then the Holy oSpirit gives you some new insight to it and you have one of those *Aha!* moments and wonder how you missed something so obvious for so long.
With an infinite God, there's ALWAYS something new to discover about Him.
It sure keeps it from getting dull.
Oh! And thanks for the ping.....
Well what a lovely positive and particularly God centered post this has turned out to be - not what the Religion Forum is particularly noted for - You’ll be given a free pass just this once! LOL
Seriously though I had given up reading most Religion threads. I’m glad I clicked on this one!
With an infinite God, there's ALWAYS something new to discover about Him.
Anyone who steals a Bible needs it more than I do and I would hope that they get some benefit from it.
It’s hard to complain about someone stealing THAT.
LOLOL! I’m so glad you came by, dear melsec!
Oops. I mentioned you in post 20 and forgot to ping you.
good post. one of the greatest joys of the computer age has been the ability to study the Bible online, using modern computer search to generate concordances at will.
and i’m forever thankful to those brave, God fearing, souls who first dared to translate the Bible for the common man and Gutenburg’s invention of movable type, mass printing which made possible the dissemination of the Word to all of us who crave it.
Soooo very true, dear dadfly! I also am very grateful to the translators and printers!
“Now, about those criticisms of the Protestant
The Spirit moves, as and when it will.
In earlier years I often complained that it was not only unfair but somewhat condescending that the Roman Catholic Church elders only were to be trusted to interpret the Bible and lead the parishioners to Christ, and not the parishioners themselves.
Then I started to attend several independent Bible studies with other Catholics and found that many ended up more confused and lacking in faith than before our studies began. Mostly, I think, due to laziness in studying the Word, arguing instead of sincerely searching for the truth, and inconsistent effort.
Based on that experience (that spanned years), I realized why the Church did what it did with respect to Bible reading. Although I still study on my own with my family, I no longer complained.
I am not trying to be sour grapes here - this truly is an exciting development and I will embrace it to be sure. I just wanted to share with you some of the pitfalls I've come across in my own journey.
thank you for this thread.
Group Bible study is a wonderful thing, but it is true that we aren't made with a cookie cutter so some will go faster, some slower, veer this way or that, twiddle thumbs or jump on a soapbox. Like school.
For that reason I always strongly encourage individual Bible reading.
Indeed, my first suggestion for a new Christian is a hot cup of cocoa, coffee or tea in a comfortable chair and the Gospel of John.
Yes, indeed, dear brother in Christ! Thank you for your encouragements!
This preparatory document urged all believers to pursue greater understanding of the churchs teaching concerning Scripture and knowledge of appropriate interpretive methods.
These two thoughts don't seem to go together. 'If all forms of instruction were to be rooted in scripture' why would 'greater understanding of the churchs teaching concerning Scripture and knowledge of appropriate interpretive methods' be necessary?
Psa_119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Contemporary forms of liberation theology that champion gender, racial, ethnic, political or economic rights ground their demands for justice, as did Jesus, in the teachings of these prophets.
Another 'odd' statement. Not unknown to Jesus? Since he was there, that is Jesus the Word in Jeremiah.
Kinda kills the good feeling. Revolutionary teachings? Changing the Word of God to suit an agenda, same pld baloney.
This sentence belies the purported scholarship of this article. It reveals a fundamental disconnect. From whence does the author think the words of the Psalms originate?
The church has always officially resisted supersessionist thinking.
Complaints were made that while the Pope did indeed eliminate certain severe expressions in the 1962 Missals prayer that many were finding offensive to Jews, he did not modify the old prayers doctrinal content. That is, the new text prays just as clearly as the old for the conversion of Israel the Jewish people to belief in Jesus as the promised Messiah. And this has been seen in some quarters as a reversion to the centuries-old Catholic belief in supersessionism that many understood to have been definitively abandoned by the Church as a result of the Second Vatican
I am not familiar with Catholic Culture but there seems to be a contradiction. Based on the earlier review of the article, Catholic Culture seems more credible.
This statement is false. The Catholic Church has officially interpreted less than a dozen verses, and has always that that people may interpret the Bible for themselves, as long as those interpretations do not directly contradict those official interpretations.
I have loved you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3). The divine passion expressed in these few words is mind-boggling"
Isn't it just!
I'm aware that a lot of the time I come across as a giddy teenager on the RF,bursting at the seams trying to horn in on the adults conversation for the most part.Being diligent to have only one foot in my mouth at a time.
I don't care.
When I first accepted Jesus at a catholic charismatic meeting I was badgered into attending,I had little idea of what I was in for.
The more I read the more I got the feeling I was making a monumental discovery.Matthew 13:44 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."
A certain (badgering)friend handed me a shovel and the two of us felt like Indiana Jones as we dug in that field.The more we discovered the more we began to grasp what we didn't know and the more our awe of God grew.We quickly ran out of words to describe what was unfolding before us and I began to wonder if it were even possible to exaggerate the enormity of it all.
We discovered eternity and that the Cosmic Observer,the Almighty Creator,the Father of Light,was deeply interested in each one of us as individuals.To the point He knows our hearts better than we do.We came to believe that the Word of God was a bonifide extra-terrestrial artefact and provided proof that we are indeed not alone in the universe.
Those are pretty big discoveries in anybody's book.The only thing stopping me from running around as though my hair were on fire was the fact it seemed as though no-one else had any inkling of any of this.Which sometimes made me wonder if I was slowly loosing my marbles.I'm fairly certain I'm not But I still chuckle nervously at the thought.
The point of that rant being that Christianity is the greatest discovery that anyone can ever make.Dig in that field and you will never be the same!
The Word of God is dynamite!Ushers should issue helmets and pews should be fitted with safety belts!
Thanks for the article Alamo-Girl.It's always good to see His Word held up.
And thanks for suffering me to rant a little,or a lot,or not.
If the Catholic church has only OFFICIALLY interpreted less than a dozen verses and Catholics may interpret as they see fit as long as it does not contradict official interpretation, that means that there's only less than a dozen verses not left open to any RC's own personal interpretation.
That in effect, leaves the entire rest of the Bible open to any Catholic person's OPIOS.
And non-Catholics are derided for what again?
NOw there's not a Catholic around who can legitimately tell me that my own personal interpretation is not valid.
A dozen verses?
What have they been doing?
Thanks for posting this... Good to see this happening... Isn’t this what Wyclif, Luther and many others were doing by translating the Bible into the common people’s language?
There is no better translator nor interpreter than the Holy Spirit while in communion.
Comment from the conclusion of the article:
But it is already clear that by opening the treasures of the Scriptures for the entire Catholic community, the churchs revolutionary teachings on the Bible have revitalized its life and mission and continue to do so. They make it possible for Catholics to become acquainted with the deep and challenging religious message found in both testaments of the Bible and to have their lives transformed by it.
Warms my heart to hear this.......
“While the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century championed biblically based preaching and teaching (sola scriptura)...”
It’s a myth to posit that Protestants had biblically based preaching and teaching and that Catholics didn’t. No one should ever trust anything in America magazine.
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You've got that right, vladimir998!
For a quick example, in this article -- ("New Era Under Pope Francis?") in the current edition, "America the National Catholic Review" speaks glowingly of a Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, who they quote as speaking about a "new era" in the Church, and who says the Pope was right to attack capitalism in his recent exhortation.
The Cardinal is also quoted there in "America" magazine as saying the Church is "bound by Gods commandment" but he 'explained' that there were "many ways to interpret" the commandment, and "still much room for a deeper interpretation" of God's commandment (presumably to change some teaching of the Church).
In that same article, this Jesuit "America" magazine (headquartered in New York City) also bashed another Cardinal for being "too rigid" in his own defense of Church teachings.
Catholics were better off when they didn't read the Bible but believed it implicitly. They read it now, but with irreverence and skepticism. In this case familiarity really has bred contempt.
I disagree with Fundamentalist Protestants on many things (sola scriptura being one of them). But they have never allowed their access to the Bible to cost them their reverence of it.
PS: America is a liberal J*suit rag. No wonder they celebrate this new attitude.
I predict a descent into our normal catfighting.
Can’t go wrong with the Bible which was all divinely inspired vs. many other religious tenets that were decided upon by mortal men without the divine inspiration. Quite frankly, it is the reason I opted to go non-denominational some years ago; to keep the message clean and free of one of the 30,000 some odd interpretations that have come about with the rise of so many sects/versions of Christian religions. The Bible provides all one needs to understand how God’s love for us is complete and deserving of our return love and worship.
Get back to me when it's time for breakfast cereal.
30,000 interpretations of the Bible?
But as it is gives some credit to Prots, and rightly so as Bible study was very rare among RCs, this it will be attacked by some who suffer from the Roman Reactionary Syndrome, which kicks in whenever anything at all seems to impugn their cherished conception of their One True Church®.
91% of Evangelical Christians and 63% of other Protestants and 25% of Catholics consider themselves to be born again; ^
44% of Evangelical Christians reflect at least daily on the meaning of Scripture in their lives. 36% of other Protestants and 22% of Catholics do the same; ^
52% of Evangelical Christians have had a meaningful discussion about their faith with a non-Christian during the past month. 28% of other Protestants and 18% of Catholics also have held such a discussion. ^
68% of Evangelical Christians attend a regular Bible Study or participate in some other small-group activity. 47% of other Protestants take part in small groups related to their faith, along with 24% of Catholics. ^
And then we have testimonies as this from Catholic Answers:
My 13 year old son's friend (a baptist and Great kid) attends a church with incredible youth involvement and activities designed to keep the young people "ALIVE WITH THE FAITH" and IT WORKS!!!! Tons of pressure on my son because our parish is "flatlined" when it comes to youth. As a side note to this, I allowed him to attend one evening program at his friends church and when he came home, he was excited about what he read in the bible and what it meant in his life (he NEVER once had to bring a bible with him to religious ed. nor did they ever read from scripture)
cellodude: I think it is a good idea to study what vibrant non-Catholic churches do, though any impulse to imitate must be tested and measured against our own beliefs as Catholics. That being said, I really see the Holy Spirit working outside the Catholic Church drawing people closer to him. HOW MUCH MORE, then, will the Holy Spirit blow with loving fury WITHIN the Catholic Church when our own members become docile to His presene? AntalKalnoky: All it takes ONE, or One Couple, who KNOW The Bible, to get Approval by the Pastor, or Bishop, to start. We have 3 Excellent Bible Studies , by Converts from Protestant bible Churches who have 3 types [eph. mine] (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=578988)
The reality is that they covet converts from evangelical churches to give them some life, while usual excuse for the lack thereof in Rome by the few RCs who admit this is not that there is something fundamentally wrong with the RC gospel, but that adults are "poorly catechized."
Indeed, as often said, within the parameters of RC teaching, RCs have great liberty to interpret Scripture as they want in order to support Rome, and thus often wrest it (2Pt. 3:16) to do so, as in reality Scripture is not their supreme authority for doctrine, but is mad into a servant to support Rome's traditions of men.
Then they disallow our interpretations under the premise that 2Pt. 1:20 forbids "private interpretation," but which itself is an example of "wresting" Scripture as that is not what it is referring to.
Meanwhile, they will claim they are not engaging in private interpretation as they are teaching in accordance with the magisterium. However, as seen in cases such as Lumen Gentium, Canon 915, etc., this is subject to interpretations by the RC. For they have no infallible interpreter for their infallible interpreter, and cannot even tell what magisterial level every teaching falls under, so as to know what level of submission is required, and whether it allows dissent.
And what RCs can disagree on is extensive, but not as pronounced as it is with doctrine extensive evangelicals (which also have the greater unity) , while the sharpest divisions in Catholicism are among the more doctrinally committed.