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The Interpretation of Scripture: In Defense of the Historical-Critical Method

ISBN: 9780809145041
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This collection of essays seeks to establish the properly oriented use of the historical-critical method to interpret the Word of God in the Church. Joseph A. Fitzmyer presents the volume in defense of this method for the benefit of all Christian churches.

  • The Second Vatican Council and the Role of the Bible in Catholic Life
  • A Roman Scripture Controversy
  • The Biblical Commission’s Instruction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels
  • Historical Criticism: Its Role in Biblical Interpretation and Church Life
  • Concerning the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church
  • The Senses of Scripture
  • Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Renowned Representative of Biblical Scholarship
  • Concluding Remarks

Top Highlights

“The result was that many Catholics at that time lived abiblical or nonbiblical lives” (Page 3)

“We would love to know what in it was ‘offensive to pious ears’ or ‘close to heresy.’ Another censured proposition was: ‘The holy obscurity of the Word of God is not a reason for the laity to dispense themselves from the reading of it’ (§81).3 That was Quesnel’s moral reflection on Acts 8:31, which records the Ethiopian’s question, ‘How can I (understand Isaiah), unless someone guides me?’” (Page 2)

“Scripture plays a role in the life of the Church, by being, along with Tradition, the supreme rule of faith, because in it our heavenly Father speaks to and meets his children; for this reason easy access to Scripture should be available to the Christian faithful in accurate vernacular translations.” (Page 7)

“The preconciliar Catholic Church in the twentieth century was a deeply eucharistic Church, in which most of the faithful had no idea of what the ‘Word of God’ was all about.” (Page 2)

“Part of the unfortunate heritage of the Counter Reformation has been that Catholics tended to shy away from the Bible, as if it were ‘the Protestant book.” (Page 1)

Joseph A. Fitzmyer, SJ, is professor emeritus of biblical studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is a noted scholar of New Testament and Aramaic, and has taught at Woodstock College, University of Chicago, Fordham University, and Weston School of Theology. In 1984 he was awarded the Berkitt Medal for Biblical Studies by the British Royal Academy. He is the American member of the Biblical Commission, president of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, and past president of both The Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association. He has authored over twenty books, including The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins, and he is coeditor of the New Jerome Biblical Commentary.


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  1. Dr. Gordon Arthur


Digital list price: $15.99
Save $3.00 (18%)