The National Catholic Review

I was able this past weekend to attend a conference at the Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies at the St. Paul Seminary, School of Divinity, where I also spend a part of my working week. The conference, The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church: The Catholic Seminary Professor of Sacred Scripture and the Classroom, focused to a large degree on understanding and integrating the Pope’s recent document Verbum Domini in the interpretation of Scripture and applying its ideas to classroom teaching, particularly in seminaries, and the actual practice of biblical studies. Although centered on the teaching and interpretation of the Bible in seminaries, these papers will be valuable for teachers of the Bible at the undergraduate and high-school levels also and for anyone interested in the study of the Bible in general.

The papers were uniformly excellent and penetrating, at both an academic and spiritual level, which was much the point of the conference.  Papers were offered by Catholic biblical scholars such as Fr. James Swetnam, S.J., Peter Williamson, Mary Healy, Brant Pitre, Scott Hahn, Fr. Stephen Ryan, O.P, Fr. Andreas Hoeck, and many others. I wish I could share aspects of these papers with you now, but they are still working copies. The final copies will, however, be posted at the Quinn Institute website, and I will alert you to when that takes place. I think you will enjoy these papers and the fruit of many good minds reflecting on Verbum Domini.

John W. Martens

Follow me on Twitter @johnwmartens


JANICE JOHNSON | 6/13/2011 - 10:07pm
John, as you know, I'm always interested in good things coming out of my home state.  I've heard Brant Petre speak on the Jewish underpinnings of the NT and Scott Hahn speak on his conversion and the Eucharist.  I'll be interested in reading their papers and those of the other participants.  Sounds like a great conference.

I've found an additional resource for gaining both spirtual and intellectual  benefits for parishioners through their dioceses.  San Diego Diocese has a Diocesan Institute for the preparation of deacons in training and for parishioners who need certificates for various ministries in their parishes.  Classes are open to all in the diocese and can be taken for credit or audited.  I would imagine that other dioceses have similar programs.  Our institute director is a woman of Polish ethnicity from New Prague, MN!  Do you know that little town of mainly Czech residents??  She is a Katie, like me, and she has her licentiture in theology from a Swiss University.  I've been taking classes , many with her as teacher, for several years and find her lessons a combination of homily and instruction.  Some titles:  "The Psalms", "Wisdom Literature", "Apocolyptic Literature", "New Testament", Old Testament".  I always leave classes feeling both inspired and educated.  Your essays here have the same effect on me. 

I hope you and your family are enjoying the month of June.  It was one of my favorites.  God bless you all.
bill van ornum | 6/13/2011 - 2:12pm
oops...don't mean to criticize the great conference noted here, just a comment in general about seeing the forest and not the trees in this important topic! bill
bill van ornum | 6/13/2011 - 2:05pm
from a lurker re:
Catechesis in Parishes

There's been some good discussion here on developing bible studies in parishes-I've studied the Cavin's series from Ascension Press and somehow it doesn't quite satisfy my own yearnings. Gets a bit cloying and sanctimonious and perhaps tries to echo catechisms, etc. too closely....but this is a sure way to sell books or a series these days.

My favorite commentary on the Bible is "The Bible Reader: An Interfaith Interpretation" ny Walter M. Abbott SJ, Rabbi Arthur Gilbert, Rolfe Lanier Hunt, and J Carter Swaim, NY: Bruce, 1969.

Fr. Abbott was an Editor for AMERICA and he put together the collections of Vatican II documents. This nearly 1,000 page book has various biblical translations interspersed (including Jewish, King James, Douay, even American Indian!) with great notes/introductions by the four editors who represent Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths. Father Abbott's wisdom as an eceumenical force comes through just as strong in the 21st century as it did during those halcyon [:-)] days of 1969.

Last I checked, AMazon had about 30 used copies avaialble, with one of these and access to a xerox machine I suspect one could put together a really good parish bible study.

I know there have been many advances in biblical scholarship; as for myself, sometimes I'm in that early 15th century timeframe of Thomas a Kempis, "we ought to seek in Holy Scripture spiritual profit rather than elegance of style"...or too much scholarship. bvo

Recently by John W. Martens

Mercy’s Healing (May 12, 2016)
Real Presence (May 12, 2016)
Continuing Education (May 3, 2016)
The Value of Each Life (April 21, 2016)
The Peace of Christ (April 14, 2016)