| Problems? | Register
Scripture Bulletin - January 2013 E-mail
Written by The Editor   
Sunday, 20 January 2013 20:53

The fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council marked the beginning of the Year of Faith, which will run until November 2013. This current edition of Scripture Bulletin contains three articles related to this initiative of Pope Benedict. In the first, Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB charts the progress of Catholic biblical scholarship in the fifty years since the Council began, describing the massive sea-change in the exposure to Scripture on the part of ordinary Catholics (not least with the introduction of the new Lectionary in 1967), and the emergence of a confident and influential body of Catholic biblical scholars. He identifies three strands which he regards as of particular significance: redaction-critical study of the Gospels, a renewed appreciation of the Jewishness of Jesus and his cultural world, and a greater openness to what Wansbrough calls ‘Alexandrine-style’ theological interpretation of Scripture. The latter approach, interwoven with the historical-critical method, is well-exemplified in the biblical hermeneutic of Pope Benedict himself.

For many readers of the New Testament, St Paul is the apostle of faith par excellence. Our second article, by Fr Nicholas King SJ, sets out to explore Paul’s good news in and through Paul’s own words, examining how his preaching was ‘gospel’ to the three overlapping cultural worlds Paul inhabited. King manages to convey something of the passion of the apostle, in his urgent mission to spread the love of Christ, and love for Christ, to ‘all the nations’ of the Mediterranean world. More importantly, he considers the implications for contemporary preachers of the gospel: ‘Paul’s enthusiasm may in turn serve as a model and as a stimulus for our own evangelising efforts.’

Finally, Fr Richard Ounsworth OP takes us more deeply into the theme of this year through a careful examination of the concept of faith in the Letter to the Hebrews.  Hebrews’ definition of the faith which God’s people are called to exemplify (Heb. 11:1) is one of the most memorable verses in the New Testament. This article makes a compelling case for the Epistle’s understanding of faith being profoundly Christological, most especially in its presentation of Jesus, in his role as alter Joshua, as the ‘pioneer and perfecter of our faith’ (Heb. 12:2).

Ian Boxall