General Objectives: To provide a clear statement of the Catholic doctrine on the nature of biblical inspiration, by documenting this position with references to some significant documents of the Church, especially the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum. To describe the evolution of the biblical canon. To confront one of the most challenging issues in contemporary biblical study, i.e. hermeneutics, or the interpretation of the Bible.
Course Outlines: 1. Inspiration. 1.1. The key biblical passages on inspiration: 2 Tim 3:16-17 and 2 Pet 1:19-21 will be examined along with a summary of patristic views and different contemporary theories of inspiration. 1.2. Discussion on Dei Verbum (#11- 26) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#101-141). 2. Canon: 2.1. The process of the development of the canon will be examined, showing how decisions about canonicity brought an end to this creative process. 2.2. Focus on the books considered divinely inspired and normative for Catholic Christians. 3. Hermeneutics: 3.1. Biblical hermeneutics in general. 3.2. Exercises and examples of methods and approaches for interpreting the Bible.
Textbooks: The Bible, translated into English; Second Vatican Council. 1965. Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum on Divine Revelation. Vatican City: LEV; Catechism of the Catholic Church. 1994. Vatican City: LEV; Pontifical Biblical Commission. 1993. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Vatican City: LEV; Pontifical Biblical Commission. 2014. The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture: The Word that Comes from God and Speaks of God for the Salvation of the World. Collegeville: Liturgical Press. Bibliography: Bartholomew, Craig, et al., eds. 2015. Canon and Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan; Brown, Raymond, and Raymond Collins. 1989. “Canonicity”. In New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, and Roland Murphy, 1034-1054. London: Geoffrey Chapman; Brown, Raymond, and Sandra Schneiders. 1989. “Hermeneutics”. In New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, and Roland Murphy, 1146-1165. London: Geoffrey Chapman; Carl, Scott, ed. 2015. Verbum Domini and the Complementarity of Exegesis and Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; Chaberek, Michael. 2015. Catholicism and Evolution: A History from Darwin to Pope Francis. Brooklyn: Angelico Press; Collins, Raymond. 1989. “Inspiration”. In New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, and Roland Murphy, 1023-1033. London: Geoffrey Chapman; Farkasfalvy, Denis. 2018. A Theology of the Christian Bible: Revelation-Inspiration-Canon. Washington: CUA Press; Freedman, David, ed. 1992. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday; Gorman, Michael. 2009. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. Peabody: Hendrickson; Graves, Michael. 2014. The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; McDonald, Lee. 2007. The Biblical Canon. Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Peabody: Hendrickson.