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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Digitalization of Ancient Manuscripts

In 13 History on 2015/12/11 at 12:00 AM

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The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican Library) have joined efforts in a landmark digitization project with the aim of opening up their repositories of ancient texts. Over the course of the next four years, 1.5 million pages from their remarkable collections will be made freely available online to researchers and to the general public.

The initiative has been made possible by a £2 million award from the Polonsky Foundation. Dr Leonard Polonsky, who is committed to democratizing access to information, sees the increase of digital access to these two library collections — among the greatest in the world — as a significant step in sharing intellectual resources on a global scale.

Dr Polonsky said: ‘Twenty-first-century technology provides the opportunity for collaborations between cultural institutions in the way they manage, disseminate and make available for research the information, knowledge and expertise they hold. I am pleased to support this exciting new project where the Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will make important collections accessible to scholars and the general public worldwide.’

The digitization project will focus on three main groups of texts: Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula, or 15th-century printed books. These groups have been chosen for their scholarly importance and for the strength of their collections in both libraries, and they will include both religious and secular texts. For the launch of the project, however, the two libraries have focused on bringing to light a smaller group of Bibles and biblical commentaries, each of which has been chosen for its particular historical importance.

VIS 131203

The Role of Church History in Conversion to Catholicism

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/03/13 at 12:00 AM

by Father John McCloskey

I am often asked to speak about conversions since I have been instrumental in bringing some people to the Faith. I have been invited to speak chiefly on account of the notoriety of a handful. Some were Protestant ministers of various denominations, others well known men of business, others intellectuals, and some politicians and journalists. A good number have been Jews, one the head of a synagogue when I first met him on the Internet. They represent a few of the many with whom I have dealt. I have written a short piece, available on my website, entitled “Winning Converts” with a companion piece entitled “Recovering Stray Catholics.” I am working on a book on this topic in collaboration with Mr. Russell Shaw to be published by Sophia Institute Press.

Now, what do these “high” level converts have in common? Very little except several traits that are highly valued, at least by this priest. They are all men of high intelligence, with a voracious and insatiable appetite for books, and most importantly, an unending thirst for the truth in all matters religious. Many of them faced familial opposition, the possible loss of reputation, and in some cases possible high political office. But their increasing conviction that they had encountered “the pearl of great price,” the Historical Church that is co-terminus with the Lord and Savior, conquered all doubts. Their assent was not simply “notional” to use Newmanian terms, but truly “real.” In some cases, their conversion was a question of years, or more than a decade of patient dealing backed by true friendship, prayer, and sacrifice. The sweetest words that I have ever heard and, thanks be to God, I have heard them often, are “I want to become a Catholic.”

No doubt, the historical argument was powerful in these conversions. Some of the better known converts have already told their story in print or tape, others will, I trust, do the same in the future. I always required that they read several books on the history of the Church because I do believe the argument, at least rationally, is unassailable—the Catholic Church is true, and no other has ever made a credible claim to be the one that was founded by Him. Either the Lord of History established a church with a visible structure on this earth until He comes again or there is simply no authority that guides and must be obeyed. From the time of the great Schism and the Protestant revolution, the principle of private judgment has given rise to thousands of Christian sects and denominations. That is hardly what was intended when He asked His Father “that all may be one.”

Those men and women whom I have instructed in the Faith over the last 20 years have read Philip Hughes, Ronald Knox, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Hugh Benson, Louis Bouyer, Warren Carroll, Orestes Brownson, Russell Shaw, Ken Whitehead and many others. They have also read many anthologies of converts telling how they came to that “Ancient Beauty, ever new.” History is at the heart of all conversion: personal histories and history as it is written by the historian, Flavius Josephus or Pliny the Younger, or Bede the Venerable or even enemies like Gibbon or Macaulay, all give witness to the One Church.

History, in fact, provides an essential perspective for the mission of conversion, and we must understand the historical moment in which we live. It is a post-Christian era in some respects. This is particularly true in what some decades ago was known as the First World, i.e. Europe and North America. Even though it pains us, it should not surprise us. After all, Christianity has all but disappeared at other times in history, for instance in the Middle East and northern Africa after the invasion of Islam by conquering forces. Now an even more rapid and unsettling de-Christianization is occurring in Europe, through minimal practice of faith in any traditional sense, a collapse of morality based on natural law and the Commandments, and a continental suicide of the native peoples by contraception. Hilaire Belloc, one of the great popular Catholic historians, could not have imagined how wrong he was when he said that:” Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe.” I am sure all of us are aware of the masterful work of historian Philip Jenkins who points out convincingly that the greatest recent growth in Christianity, both in numbers and orthodoxy, has been and will continue to be in Africa and Asia.

As for us in the United State, liberal Protestantism is fading fast with large decreases in membership and almost no creedal belief that distinguishes one sect from another. Virtually all have caved in on the moral issues having to do with marriage, family, and sexuality. “Private judgment” basically assures that Protestant sects and denominations will not evidence any belief in an objective moral teaching through Revelation. The upcoming 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, 1517, will show I think, that mainstream Protestantism in any culture transforming sense is finished in America. And there is no possibility of a Third or Fourth Great Awakening because secularism and the new paganism in a society sated by undreamt of affluence is not going to lead anyone simply to read the Bible and be converted. America is not a Christian nation in any sense other than that probably a plurality of our fellow citizens have been baptized, although that may change in the decades to come.

As for the Evangelicals and fundamentalists, I have great respect and affection for our fellow Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible as the sole source of revelation and salvation. I do not believe, however, that a Christian faith without the sacraments, without the liturgy, and without authority, can bring about a renewal of Christian life in our country. Indeed, without denigrating in any way the numerous dialogues that take place at the diocesan, national, and even international level between Catholics and Protestants, I simply do not believe there is any possibility of any one of the Protestant denominations as a group coming home given the decrepit state of their practice and belief. Ironically enough, it might have been possible 75 years ago when Catholic and Protestants generally shared a common moral belief with important doctrinal disagreements, but not now.

Truth be told, (and indeed are we not all truth-tellers?), there is also little possibility of any of the autonomous Orthodox Churches acknowledging the primacy of Peter and arriving at full allegiance to the dogmas and moral life of the Catholic Church. We know there has been virtually no development of common doctrine after the first seven ecumenical councils in the East. How could there be, given there is no universal shepherd of the Orthodox to call and ratify ecumenical Councils? Indeed, separated from the fullness of truth and the magisterium, the moral teachings in some areas have also deteriorated. The result has been a mystical spiritual theology, of great interest to monks, but not applicable to the Eastern Christian in the street. There is no evangelizing zeal, or lay spirituality. The Eastern Churches are largely sacramental and indeed, if a Patriarch were to return home to Rome, how many of his faithful would there be to follow? We must pray above all for a change in heart in our Eastern Orthodox brethren so we can welcome them home.

Having said all of this, I have to acknowledge openly that the Spirit blows where it will, and God’s grace poured into open hearts can indeed perform miracles of mass or denominational conversion to Catholicism. It can happen when and how the Lord wants, but, I think it safe to say that for the foreseeable future which is our lifespan, converts coming to the fullness of faith will come one by one, or family by family, and occasionally congregation by congregation. And that is the way it should be. Early Christianity grew over the course of some 275 years to its legalization. Starting with Pentecost, it spread from 12 to hundreds and eventually to millions until at the beginning of 4tth century, it composed 10 percent of the Roman Empire. The Church was legalized in 313 and less than a century later was the state religion. The remarkable growth was not the result of mass conversion, but rather of the personal witness in behavior of individual persons and families, including confessors and martyrs fortified by prayer and the sacraments.

We must remind ourselves that each year there are hundreds of thousands of adults who are either baptized during the Easter vigil or received into full communion within the Church. This number is growing, and while always a small percentage of the whole, it does mean that an increasing number of “serious” Catholics are entering the Church, the great majority of them removed from the controversies of the post-conciliar Church in the United States. We may take heart in that younger priests ordained within the last 15 years (given the advanced age of current pastors, they will soon become pastors themselves) are more oriented towards evangelization of persons, families, and the society than those who were ordained prior to the pontificate of John Paul II. The Holy Father’s example of his living the “duc In altum” in order to fish souls without apologies will be the standard modus operandi of bishops and priests certainly well into this new century.

Two other factors are helping to break through the wall of mistrust in this post-Christian era. One is various new ecclesial institutions and movements whose impact is just now being felt in the US. They operate with full approval of the Church, are lay oriented, and by their very nature are apostolic and evangelizing. They provide yet another way for non-Catholics to witness a lived Christianity in the world that over time may bring millions to the Church in the years ahead. One of these movements is the Coming Home Network itself, which has contributed to the conversion of thousands of Protestant ministers into the Catholic Church and will be seen in the English speaking world, I believe, as the 21st century equivalent of the Oxford movement of the 19th century England of my hero, Venerable John Henry Newman to whom we should all pray for the unity of Christians in the Catholic Church. He, as many converts, knew the sleepless nights, the serious study, the long hours of prayer, the fears of loss of income, of friends and even the love of family that is involved in coming home to the Church. Such it will always be for acquiring the pearl of great price.

The second factor is tens of millions of Hispanic immigrants in our country with surely more to come regardless of changes in immigration laws. Sadly and ironically, without them the Unites States would be in negative population growth as we are now hovering at the lowest per capita birth rate in our history as a nation. Abortion and contraception continue to take their deadly toll. Without the Hispanics, virtually all of who are at least culturally Catholic, we as a nation would be doomed to the almost certain fate of continental Europe: demographic suicide within several decades. The catechesis and evangelization of Hispanic Catholics is therefore crucial for the health of the Church and country, an important means of breaking through the wall of mistrust to bring other Christians home.

But far beyond all these signs that, in time, the wall of mistrust will fall looms the magnificent figure of John Paul II. The greatest Pope of the last 500 years will leave much magisterial teaching behind for us to study and implement in the decades ahead. Although he has many important themes in his Pontificate, the one that is clearly closest to his heart and to that of Christ is that all may be one. His ecumenical outreach to his fellow Christians has been tireless and nothing less than extraordinary. He has not spared any effort to reach out to fellow Christians, urging them to recognize and embrace” the fullness of truth” in the Catholic Church, always with great respect and kindness in acknowledging all that is true in their traditions, whether Orthodox or Protestant. In virtually every one of the over 100 papal trips, he has always scheduled, when feasible, meetings with other Christian leaders to extend a hand of friendship and fellowship. At times, he has done so and exposed himself to coolness, indifference, and even insult. In doing so, he imitates the example of the Lord and his Apostle Paul, preaching “opportune et importune” (in season and out).

Pope John Paul’s extraordinary witness alone has been enough for millions to become Catholic and for many millions to return to the Faith. I share his vision of the springtime of the Church in this century and pray that the crowning achievement of this springtime will be the unity of all Christians. The favorite short prayer of Saint Jose Maria Escriva, a man whose example and writings have brought many home to the Church, was “Omnes cum Petro ad Jesus per Mariam (All with Peter, to Jesus through Mary!). May it be so.


New Chinese-English Bible Marks Major Evangelization Breakthrough

In 13 History on 2014/02/07 at 12:00 AM

The new Bible will help spread the faith among those curious about Christianity and wanting to learn English.

by ADELAIDE MENA/CNA/EWTN NEWS 09/27/2013 Comments (11)
Petr KratochvilAn open Bible– Petr Kratochvil

WASHINGTON — A new edition of the Old Testament in both English and traditional Chinese is a valuable tool for Chinese Catholics and represents a new possibility for evangelization, say leaders in the community.

Carolyn Ng, director of religious education for the Our Lady of China Pastoral Mission in the Archdiocese of Washington, told CNA that she is “overjoyed” about the new translation, and  she is “very happy there is such a tool for evangelization as well as use among Catholics.”

She stated that the complete parallel translation will help baptized Catholics be able to participate more fully in the Chinese Catholic community, whether English or Chinese is their first language.

“If they share the Bible together with the elders, I think it will help everybody,” Ng said, explaining that she thought the Bible would promote an “intergenerational type of use.”

Ng also noted that the parallel translation “will be a wonderful, wonderful tool” for evangelizing Chinese atheists and agnostics, “who are eager to learn English and who are curious about Christianity, especially the Catholic faith.”

Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno, Nev., who chairs the U.S. bishops’ committee on Asian and Pacific island affairs, has called the new Bible a sign of “the continued growth and strengthening of the faith among Chinese Americans.”

The new parallel translation “helps the Church around the world to understand the history and struggles of the Catholic Church in China,” Bishop Calvo said in a statement.

“In the Year of Faith, our hope is to see a greater number of Chinese Catholics growing in their faith, teaching their children about Jesus and spreading the word of God,” he said.

With the advent of the side-by-side translation of the Old Testament, a full Bible in both English and Chinese is now available to Catholics who are Chinese-American. A parallel translation of the New Testament in traditional Chinese and English has been available since 2009, with a simplified Chinese edition released in 2011.

Simplified Chinese characters were introduced to the People’s Republic of China in the mid-20th century, and they are the primary written form of Chinese in mainland China and Singapore, while traditional Chinese characters are primarily used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

All editions of the parallel translation have used the New American Bible, Revised Edition, and the Chinese translations are those of Blessed Gabriele Allegra, a “determined” Italian priest who produced the first Chinese Bible translation in 1968 after a 40-year collaboration with scholars and translators.

An estimated 340,860 Chinese Catholics live in the United States and are a minority of the largest Asian-American ethnic group in the United States. Ng estimated that there are about 40 Chinese Catholic communities “celebrating the Mass in Chinese on a regular basis,” with many more Bible studies and prayer groups at parishes across the country.

National Catholic Review 9/27/13

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/new-chinese-english-bible-marks-major-evangelization-breakthrough?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-09-27%2014:40:01#ixzz2gXEoZjuO

Signs For Our Times – Part II: Holiness of the Church

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/04/10 at 12:00 AM

The second mark of the Church or sign for our times is that of HOLINESS.  Holiness is a state of existence in which a person consciously endeavors to live in accordance with the perceived will of God because He is seen as far superior to man and to whom man owe’s obedience and worship.  This attitude may arise from the dictates of the Natural Moral Law embedded in the minds and hearts of all people by their Creator or the active participation in a religion that fosters holiness of life.

God in His goodness has given man through the Catholic Church a certain way to strive towards holiness because holiness of life is an essential of attaining salvation  which,  whether you believe it or not, is the ultimate goal of human life.  However, holiness of life can be rejected and contemporary society has done just that.  The capital sins are easily embraced and the Ten Commandments are flagrantly violated.  Holiness is not popular even among too many “Catholics”.  Holiness may be rejected, but it is still necessary and it will only be found fully in the Catholic Church.

The first aspect of the Church’s holiness is evident in its Founder.  It can be proven that Jesus Christ is a Divine Person in human form who came to save the human race (those who want to be saved) from the effects of its sins. The historical record shows without doubt that the Founder of the Catholic Church was God Himself.  He claimed to be God and proved it by doing things (miracles) that only God could do.

He even challenged His enemies to point out any moral deficiencies in His life and they could not.

Founders of other religions did not claim to be divine and in every case their lives did not suggest any notable degree of personal holiness.  For example, Mohammed, Martin Luther, the Buddha, and all the other lesser known founders.

Because He was God, Christ could endow the Church with the means to help its members acquire holiness in accordance with the individual’s free choice and acceptance of the graces given.  The means that set up by Christ are the seven Sacraments, which if used correctly, will enable the believer to make steady progress towards holiness.  No other religion, even many who call themselves Christians, have anything even remotely resembling the Catholic Sacraments, and therefore, if any of their members happen to be holy in God’s sight, it is in spite of their religion.

There are thirty thousand plus “Christian” denominations.  Some claim one, two, or three sacraments; none claim seven.  Without the Seven Sacraments, no church can claim to be the Church founded by Christ.

There will be those who say that they have the Bible and that is quite sufficient.  The problem is that the Bible as we know it came from the Catholic Church historically and did not appear as we know it until the end of the fourth century.  Only one apostle could possibly have read the New Testament (St. John).  Christ Himself did not tell the Apostles to write but to preach.  For the first centuries, Christians really did not have access to the Bible as we know it.  If the Bible had been meant to be an essential part of the true Church it would have been available from the  beginning.  The Catholic Church reveres the Bible and uses it, but does not claim it is the only means of knowing God’s will.

Holiness, by its very nature, suggests consistency and permanence.  This is  one of the reasons the Catholic Church is hated and ridiculed…it is consistent in its teachings. It does not bow to the whim of any contemporary culture. What was demanded by divine law centuries ago is still valid, and therefore, the Church refuses to join the cultural bandwagon which is clamoring for sin to be declared non-sin. Other groups that call themselves “Christian” readily and easily salute the contemporary cultural icons and are duly applauded for failure to be a consistent defender of God’s law. How many groups have embraced the homosexual demands  to be designated as  just another lifestyle with no negative moral implications? The Catholic Church does not do this, thus affirming her commitment to the idea of consistent standards of holiness. In another fifty years, the cultural elite will be demanding something else. The Church demands holiness.

There are three questions each person should ask himself:

1.  Where did I come from? (We came from God because parents only make our bodies, but it has to be God who creates our soul because human parents are incapable of creating an immortal soul.)

2.  Why am I here? (Merely to get the most out physical life and then die without any consequences?  No, to serve that God who created your soul and who will judge your performance.)

3. Where am I going?  (To a grave and nothing more?  We have a built-in sense of immortality (which means it is real) and we reach that state eventually, but how we spend it is up to us.)

(The above questions and answers are true whether you believe them or not.)

The Catholic Church alone has the complete truth regarding these questions and the best means to achieve the goals is through the holiness of the Church given through the Sacraments.  If you are a Catholic striving to lead a holy life, keep it up.  If you are a lapsed or an indifferent Catholic who picks and chooses what you will accept or do, you are telling God that you are right and He is wrong.  Rather risky!  If you are not a Catholic, pray for the grace to find God’s will.  If you find it is in the Catholic Church, embrace it and be grateful and live it to the fullest (as do most converts).

Next time we will look at another sign for our times, the Catholicity of the Church.

Human Intelligence Can Find Key to Understanding the World in Sacred Scripture

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/03/01 at 12:00 AM

 The Holy Father focused on the phrase “Creator of heaven and earth”, explained in light of the first chapter of Genesis.

“God,” the Pope said, “is the source of all things and the beauty of creation reveals the omnipotence of the loving Father. As the origin of life … He cares for what has He has created with unceasing love and faithfulness. Creation, therefore, becomes the place in which to know God’s omnipotence and goodness and becomes a call to faith for believers so that we might proclaim God as Creator. … In the light of faith, human intelligence can find the key to understanding the world In Sacred Scripture. Particularly … in the first chapter of Genesis, with the solemn presentation of divine creative action … The phrase ‘and God saw it was good’ is repeated six times. … Everything God creates is good, and beautiful, full of wisdom and love. God’s creative action brings order and infuses harmony and beauty into it. In the story of Genesis, it later says that the Lord created with His word and ten times in the text the phrase ‘God said’ is repeated… Life springs forth, the world exists, so that everything might obey the Word of God.”

“But does it still make sense to talk about creation,” the Pope wondered, “in this age of science and technology? The Bible isn’t intended to be a natural science manual. Its intention is to reveal the authentic and profound truth of things. The fundamental truth revealed in the stories of Genesis is that the world isn’t a collection of opposing forces, but has its origin and stability in the Logos, in God’s eternal reason, which continues to sustain the universe. There is a plan for the world that springs from this reason, from the Creator Spirit.”

“Men and women, human beings, the only ones capable of knowing and loving the Creator,” are the apex of all creation. “The creation stories in Genesis … help us to know God’s plan for humanity. First, they say that God formed man out of the clay of the ground. … This means that we are not God; we have not made ourselves; we are clay. But it also means that we come from the good earth by an act of the Creator. … Beyond any cultural and historical distinctions, beyond any social difference, we are one humanity, formed from the one earth of God who … blew the breath of life into the body He formed from the earth. … The human being is made in the image and likeness of God. … We carry within us His life-giving breath and all human life is under God’s special protection. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity against any temptation to judge the person according to criteria of utility or power.”

In the first chapters of Genesis, “there are two significant images: the garden with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the serpent. The garden tells us that the reality that God has placed the human being within is not a savage forest, but a place that protects, nourishes, and sustains. Humanity must recognize the world, not as property to plunder and exploit, but as a gift from the Creator … to cultivate and care for respectfully, following its rhythms and logic, in accordance with God’s plan. The serpent is a figure derived from oriental fertility cults that fascinated Israel and that were a constant temptation to forsake the mysterious covenant with God.” That is why, “the serpent raised the suspicion that the covenant with God was a chain that … took away freedom and the most beautiful and precious things in life. The temptation becomes the building of a world of one’s own without accepting the limits of being a creature, the limits of good and evil, of morality. Dependence on the love of God the Creator is seen as a burden to be overthrown. … But when our relationship with God is distorted, when we put ourselves in His place, all our other relationships are altered. Then the other becomes a rival, a threat. Adam, after have succumbed to temptation, immediately accuses Eve. … The world is no longer the garden in which to live in harmony, but a place to exploit, one in which … envy and hatred of the other enter into our hearts.”

The Pope emphasized one last element of the creation stories. “Sin begets sin and all the sins of history are related. This aspect leads us to speak of what is called ‘original sin’. What is the meaning of this reality, which is so difficult to understand? … First, we must keep in mind that no person is closed in upon themselves. … We receive life from others, not only at birth, but every day. The human being is relational: I am only myself in you and through you, in the loving relationship with the You of God and the you of the other. Sin alters or destroys our relationship with God … taking the place of God … Once that fundamental relationship is altered, our other relationships are also compromised or destroyed. Sin ruins everything. Now, if the relational structure of humanity is altered from the beginning, all humans enter the world characterized by the alteration of that relationship; we enter into the world changed by sin, which marks us personally. The initial sin disrupts and damages human nature. … And humanity cannot get out of this situation alone, cannot redeem itself. Only the creator can restore the correct relationships. … This takes place in Jesus Christ follows the exact opposite path of Adam. … While Adam does not recognize his being as a creature and wants to supplant the place of God, Jesus, the Son of God is in perfect filial relation to the Father. He lowers himself, becomes a servant, walks the path of love, humbling himself even to death on the cross in order to restore the relationship with God. Christ’s Cross becomes the new Tree of Life.”

“Living by faith,” Benedict XVI concluded, “means acknowledging God’s greatness and accepting our smallness, our creatureliness, letting God fill us with His love. Evil, with its burden of pain and suffering, is a mystery that is illuminated by the light of faith, giving us the certainty of being able to be freed from it.”

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Fr. Kenneth Baker – Inside the Bible

In 15 Audio on 2011/11/02 at 11:11 PM

Inside the Bible

Host – Fr. Kenneth Baker

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. presents all 72 books of the Bible in a seamless and magisterial narrative. Outlining each book, he shows how Sacred Scripture reveals God’s Mind to us: who we are; why the world is here; and what God wants us to do to reach the fullness of our humanity. He reveals how the story of Israel is also our story as individuals.

Please click on this link to access these programs:  http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6029&T1=Baker

1.The Pentateuch: Introduction to the series. The Bible is a difficult book to read; one book with 73 chapters.  Letters all from one author. Faith of Abraham.

In Leviticus there is that sense of “holiness”. Holiness of being separate and apart. A sort of holiness code is presented.

2.Deuteronomy-Faithfulness to the Creator. Joshua-If one is faithful one will be rewarded if not, punishment.

JudgesProblem of falling into idolatry.

Ruth- is a morality play. Universality of Godʼs love.

3.Second Samuel/Historical books. Throne of David. Jesus is a Son of David. Kings- Solomon asked for wisdom not wealth or power.

Elisha and Elijah, idea of the remnant.

Chronicles-concerned about worship in the Temple. God uses secondary causes to show his will. God is the master of history, he permits things for his own mysterious purposes.

4.The Book of Tobit…More historical books of the Bible.

Tobit- a good man is persecuted for keeping his faith in a foreign land.

Judith-a story of Divine Providence. Courage and virtue, God using someone faithful to the Covenant.

Maccabees- Theocracy established, rule by Priests. Persecution of the people. Encouragement to resist paganism.

Job- problem of evil in the world. Suffering by those who are just.

5. The Wisdom Books and the Psalms

Psalms-Poetry written to be sung. Some are messianic, some wisdom and some historical.

Proverbs-fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Filial fear.

Ecclesiastes fragility of human existence.

Songs-a celebration of love and mutual love that leads to marriage. Spousal love.

Wisdom-wise person follows the laws of the Lord. Recounts wonders God has done for Israel. Essay against idolatry.

Sirach-practical, moral wisdom. Christ is the wisdom of God.

6.The Prophets: Prophets are the conscience of Israel.

Isaiah-the faithful remnant.

Jeremiah- aware of personal responsibility.

Baruch-denounces idol worship.

Ezekiel-description of the new law/New Testament.

7.The Minor Prophets

Daniel-a book of resistance.

Hosea-steadfast love, relationship, separation, rejoining, a symbol of God and Israel. Joel-coming of the Lord. Amos-very somber and serious, denouncing sin.

Obadiah-depicts destruction.

Jonah-Godʼs love of mankind extends to all people.

Micah-predicts destruction, but a remnant will survive.

8.The Minor Prophets Part 2

Nahum-fall of Nineveh and Assyrian Empire.

Habakkuk-problem of evil. How God permits his ends to be accomplished through unbelievers. Rebellion against Godʼs law.

Zechariah- universalism, Godʼs love extends to all. Mal.-proclaims Godsʼ word to people who are self-centered.

9.Matthew, Mark, Luke, John… The Gospels are good news, different angles of the same subject.

Matthew-written for Jews,notion of promise and fulfillment.

Mark-suffering Messiah. Luke-presence of God with his people.

John-transcendence of Jesus Christ.

10.Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians

Acts-account of the Church after the Resurrection.

Romans-justification which makes one pleasing to God is available to everyone.

Corinthians-urges unity in Church, love of God urges Paul on. Galatians-one does not have to be Jewish to be Christian.

11.Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians

Ephesians-a mystery has been revealed to us. Jesus Christ. possesses fullness of all reality.

Philippians-urges us to imitate Jesus Christ. Colossians- image of the invisible God.

Thessalonians-Primacy of Christ as Redeemer

12.Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, Peter:

Timothy-all scripture is inspired by God.

Titus-advice about false teachers.

Hebrews theological interpretation of Old Testament. Jesus as Son of God, Savior and eternal high priest.

James-practical letter.

13.John, Jude, Revelation:

John- truth of the Gospels. Jude-hints at doctrine of Trinity. Strong doctrinal and moral sense.

Revelation.-God, absolute Lord of History. Ends on a joyous note.

Please click on this link to access these programs:http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6029&T1=Baker