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Editorial
January 2011 - Volume XLI No. 1 E-mail
Written by Editor   
Monday, 10 January 2011 20:27

December 2010 witnessed the revival of the Lattey Lectures at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, originally founded in honour of Fr Cuthbert Lattey SJ, first Chairman of the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain. Henry Wansbrough OSB delivered a commemorative lecture marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the CBA, a shortened version of which was published in The Tablet of 11th December 2010. We are delighted to be able to publish the full version here, in the on-line journal of the CBA. In his lecture, Fr Henry traces the CBA’s key phases and important publications, and provides affectionate pen portraits of its major players, against the backdrop of the great Roman encyclicals on Scripture.

Another anniversary, falling in this new calendar year, is the quatercentenary of the King James Version of the Bible. To mark this occasion, Nicholas King SJ, himself an accomplished translator of the Scriptures, reflects on the cultural context of this significant English version, and the influence of its antecedents, including the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible. More broadly, he offers an insightful reflection upon the particular challenges confronted by all biblical translators.

In the third article, Adrian Graffy offers a lucid assessment of the recently-published Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, the long-awaited post-synodal document to the 2008 Synod on the Word of God. He explores its threefold focus on the word in itself (Verbum Dei), in the Church, especially the liturgy (Verbum in Ecclesia), and vis-à-vis the world (Verbum Mundo). He suggests that Verbum Domini should itself been seen as a milestone in Catholic attitudes to the Bible, evaluating how far Catholics have come since the Second Vatican Council, and inviting a renewed commitment to the Scriptures within the life of the Church.

Ian Boxall
Editor

 
July 2010 - Volume XL No. 2 E-mail
Written by Editor   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 17:37

To mark the impending beatification of John Henry Newman, this edition of Scripture Bulletin includes two articles exploring different aspects of Newman’s engagement with the Bible.

In our first article, Henry Wansbrough OSB offers a stimulating account of two aspects of Newman’s developing thought pertaining to biblical study: the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, and the quest for an appropriate Catholic understanding of scriptural inspiration. In the former case, Wansbrough shows how Newman anticipated the direction eventually taken by the Second Vatican Council, for which, among a number of reasons, Vatican II has often acquired the title ‘Newman’s Council’. In the second, we also see Newman responding, often creatively, to challenges posed by critical scholarship and developments in the natural sciences.

The second article considers Newman as a preacher of the gospels. In this year of Luke, it examines Newman’s treatment of the Third Evangelist and his writings, together with some specific examples of sermons on Lucan texts. It aims to show that, although very much a preacher of his time, in several ways Newman anticipates more recent developments in scholarly study of the Bible, as well as reminding us of older, well-tested exegetical strategies.

Timothy Ashworth’s article offers a sustained study of a fundamental aspect of Pauline thought as expressed in his Letter to the Galatians: the relationship between Christian liberty in the Spirit and continuing moral discipline. He does this through a very effective exploration of the key terms stoicheia and stoicheō, arguing that, in contrast to their normal treatment by translators, they have firm definitions which Paul uses effectively to clarify difficult theological concepts.

Ian Boxall
Editor

 
January 2010 - Volume XL No. 1 E-mail
Written by Ian Boxall   
Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00

Welcome to the first on-line edition of Scripture Bulletin. The Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Association is most appreciative for the very generous donations from subscribers which have made this new
venture possible. We hope that this new format will enable the journal to reach out to a wider audience, as well as to our existing body of readers.

In the modern tendency to oppose Science to Theology, and against a general preference for the ‘scientific’ prosaic over the poetic, the Bible is regularly regarded as a problematic text. In her article on ‘Reading the
Bible after Darwin,’ at the end of a year marking the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, Mary Mills examines the presuppositions underlying both creationist and evolutionary treatments of the Bible, and explores an alternative and more nuanced strategy for reading Genesis. She finds in the early chapters of Genesis some similar interests, though differently expressed, to those found in evolutionary theory. She also highlights ways of reading Genesis which prioritise human responsibility over human ‘dominion’.

In the latest article in our ‘What are they saying about…?’ series, Peter Anthony offers a wide-ranging exploration of recent trends in scholarship on Luke-Acts. He shows the potential for complementing more established historical-critical approaches with other methods: holistic readings, for example, which encourage an approach to the finished text, and social scientific approaches. He also alerts us to some of the challenges posed, for example, by deconstructionist approaches and committed readings. This is a fine survey of the range of approaches on the current scholarly table, which includes suggestive pointers to the future shape of this fertile area of New Testament studies.

Our final article is what might be called an exercise in historical imagination, aiming to flesh out the historical and social context presupposed by the book of Revelation. Ironically, although authorial location is regularly regarded as significant for the interpretation of the gospels and the Pauline letters, John’s named context of Patmos has been largely ignored in scholarly discussions of the Apocalypse. This article hints at how to restore the balance, inspired by visits to Patmos itself.

Ian Boxall
Editor

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July 2009 - Volume XXXIX No. 2 E-mail
Written by Ian Boxall   
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 00:00

The first article in the current issue, by Michael Tait, revisits Matthew’s story of the magi, to challenge a long-established interpretation – popularised by Prudentius’ hymn ‘Bethlehem, of noblest cities’ – according to which the gift of myrrh prefigures Christ’s death and burial. In his rich survey of biblical and other Jewish antecedents, Tait argues that the funerary associations of myrrh are rare, and offers other more plausible interpretations of this gift to the Christ-child. Subscribers to Scripture Bulletin have often expressed appreciation for its commitment to keeping them abreast with developments in contemporary biblical studies.

In what it is hoped will be the first in a series of ‘What are they saying about…?’ articles, Richard Ounsworth OP offers a wideranging survey of recent scholarly literature on the Letter to the Hebrews. He opens up for readers a number of the new avenues Hebrews scholars are exploring, revisits the state of play on some older issues, and offers his own informative and incisive assessment.

In the final article, Henry Wansbrough OSB introduces the background to, and contents of, the latest document of the Pontifical Commission, on the subject of the Bible and Morality. Particularly illuminating is his examination of the six biblical criteria for moral reflection with which the document concludes. These, Wansbrough suggests, might be better regarded as five criteria and one principle of discernment, the latter concerned with the application of the earlier criteria in specific situations.

As the accompanying letter explains, this July issue will be the last issue of Scripture Bulletin in its current paper format. The Editorial Board hopes that our readers will continue to enjoy the benefits of the journal in its new free on-line format.

Ian Boxall, Editor

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