To provide a clear statement of the Catholic doctrine on the nature of biblical inspiration. To describe the evolution of the canon. To offer an introduction to principles and methods for interpreting the Bible (i.e., hermeneutics).
Inspiration Key Bible passages: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2Peter 1:19-21 Vatican II on Biblical Inspiration: Dei Verbum – Nos. 11-26 Catechism of the Catholic Church: Nos. 101-141 Biblical Canon The process by which the canon was defined The Catholic Canon as opposed to the Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish Canons Hermeneutics Biblical Hermeneutics in general Exercises and examples of methods and approaches for interpreting the Bible
Textbooks: Catechism of the Catholic Church. Second Edition revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II. Vatican City: -Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994. Senior, Donald, John Collins, and Mary Ann Getty (eds). The Catholic Study Bible. 3rd Edition. Oxford: OUP, 2016. Vatican Council II: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Dei Verbum. Bibliography: Alonso Schökel, Luis. “Inspiration,” in Rahner, Karl (ed). Encyclopaedia of Theology. A Concise Sacramentum Mundi. London: Burns & Oates, 1975. 719-726. Alonso Schökel, Luis. The Inspired Word. Scripture in the Light of Language and Literature. London: Burns and Oates, 1967. Brown, Raymond, E. & Collins, Raymond F. “Canonicity,” in Brown, Raymond E., Fitzmyer, Joseph A. & Murphy, Roland E (eds). NJBC. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1990. 1034-1054. Brown, Raymond, E. & Schneiders, Sandra, M. “Hermeneutics,” in Brown, Raymond E., Fitzmyer, Joseph A & Murphy, Roland E (eds). NJBC. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1990. 1146-1165. Collins, Raymond F. “Inspiration,” in Brown, Raymond E., Fitzmyer, Joseph A & Murphy, Roland E (eds). NJBC. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1990. 1023-1033. Divino Afflante Spiritu. Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XII on Promoting Biblical Studies, Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Providentissimus Deus, 30th September 1943. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Gorman, Michael. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. Peaboy: Hendrickson, 2009. Graves, Michael. The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014. McDonald, Lee. The Biblical Canon. Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Peaboy: Hendrickson, 2007. Okure, Theresa. “Invitation to African women’s hermeneutical concerns,” in Interpreting the New Testament in Africa, edited by Getui N. Mary; Maluleke, Tinyiko; Ukpong, Justin. Nairobi: 1993. Pitre, Brant. “The Mystery of God’s Word: Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the Interpretation of Scripture.” Letter & Spirit 6:47-66, 2010. Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Inspiration and truth of Sacred Scripture: The Word that Comes from God and Speaks for the Salvation of the World. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014. Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1993. Schneiders, Sandra, M. The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1999. Segovia, Fernando, F. “Liberation Hermeneutics: Revisiting the Foundations in Latin America,” in Segovia, F. Fernando (ed). Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2003 Thiselton, Anthony, C. New Horizons in Hermeneutics: The Theory and Practice of Transforming Biblical Reading. London: Marshall Pickering, 1992. Ukpong, Justin, S. “Reading the Bible with African Eyes: Inculturation and Hermeneutics.” JTSA Vol 91, 1995.
Upon completion of the course, students are expected to have acquired a basic knowledge of the Bible, its canonical development and the methods used in its interpretation which will be necessary for the further study of sacred Scripture and of theology. To be familiar with the content and language of the Decree Dei Verbum (DV) and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on Scripture’s place in theology and the life of the Church. To be able to define, identify and distinguish between the various modern exegetical methodologies, both synchronic and diachronic. To be able to state the value and importance of contextual reading of sacred Scripture.