Biblical Criticism

Let’s try this again (didn’t work last time, I think)

I am new here. I am a Reformed Christian who has recently been attending some functions at a Catholic church and am interested in learning about Catholicism from Catholics. I look forward to some good discussions here.

Now, here is my question. I own a copy of both the NAB Bible and the NJB. I must confess that I don’t care for a lot of the editorial introductions and notes, and this has nothing to do with them being Catholic. It seems the editors of both of these have accepted the radical view of Biblical criticism propounded by liberals a century ago and do not even consider traditionalist views.

:mad: My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”. (Those who think Daniel talks about the coming of Christ are just ignorant fundamentalists I guess.)

If this is true, then Daniel is a forgery and a fraud; would this mean that there is no place for it in the Bible? Their Holinesses Leo XIII (Providentissimus Deus) and Pius XII (Divino Afflante Spiritu) both came out in favor of the view that the Bible is inerrant. (I’m no fundamentalist - I believe in interpreting the Bible literally but NOT literalistically) Don’t these “scholars” not only malign God’s Word, but also go against what these Pontiffs have said? Are there still priests, bishops, and scholars who believe Daniel wrote Daniel?

Catholic Scripture scholarship is in sad shape. It has been taken over by liberals and the Pope hasn’t lifted a finger to stop them. Yes, there are Catholic priests, bishops, and scholars who still believe the dogma of the total innerancy of Scripture, but they are the minority. Fr. Raymond Brown has spread his poison quite effectively: catholicintl.com/epologetics/FrRayBrown.asp

Ditto what Hananiah said.

Catholic scripture scholarship is in a sad state of affairs today when you have liberals denying the inerrancy of Scripture in favor for what they believe to be what actually historically happened.

Here’s a recent paper by Catholic Apologist Robert Sungenis on Fr. Brown, Historical Criticism and the demise of Catholic Scholarship. I encourage you to read it; it will shed some light to the situation the Church is undergoing in the area of biblical studies.

Miguel.

Most Catholics that are serious Scripture readers these days avoid the NAB/NJB/Collegeville/Raymond Brown type of commentary and instead are turning to more traditional material like the Navarre Bible series and the Ignatius Bible commentaries. I’d recommend Scott Hahn’s website (St. Paul Institute for Biblical Studies) and just about anything published by Ignatius Press, or put out in tape/CD form by St. Joseph’s Communications. Robert Sungenis has a comprehensive new commentary on Matthew, and Steve Rays study on John is excellent. As a matter of fact, excepting the Navarre series, the best Bible study material is being put out by ex-Protestants who have converted to Catholicism and have led a resurgence of the traditional Catholic understanding of Sacred Scripture.

[quote=Fidelis]Most Catholics that are serious Scripture readers these days avoid the NAB/NJB/Collegeville/Raymond Brown type of commentary and instead are turning to more traditional material like the Navarre Bible series and the Ignatius Bible commentaries. I’d recommend Scott Hahn’s website (St. Paul Institute for Biblical Studies) and just about anything published by Ignatius Press, or put out in tape/CD form by St. Joseph’s Communications.
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I’ll look into it. Thanks. I also just got ahold of a reprint of the old Douay-Rheims Bible, so I guess that could be part of something as well. (I don’t have a problem with Shakespearean English, thanks to a lot of exposure in high school.)

[quote=Fidelis] As a matter of fact, excepting the Navarre series, the best Bible study material is being put out by ex-Protestants who have converted to Catholicism and have led a resurgence of the traditional Catholic understanding of Sacred Scripture.
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This is interesting - I recently saw a fellow on EWTN who was a former Baptist preacher talking about the Bible. He wasn’t a priest or anything, but from what little I was able to see he did seem to come down on the side of the traditional view (e.g. Ecclesiastes written by Solomon, the Pentateuch by Moses, etc.).

Start buying the St Ignatius Study Bibles or the Navarre Bibles from Amazon used books.

These bibles you buy in sections.

The St Ignatius is edited by Scott Hahn and has extensive notes, articles, timelines. It also is cross-referenced to the Catechism, the OT, Tradition, and dogmas of the Church.

The Navarre Pentateuch volume is 800+ pages, Joshua-Kings over 600 pages. Each volume contains both the English and Latin translations and tons of notes and articles. I haven’t got to the rest yet.

Its Bible heaven. :slight_smile:

The Haydock Douay-Rheims Bible (c.1859) is what I use. It was expensive (around $100.00) and worth every penny I paid for it.
It is full of orthodox commentary and quotes from the Early Fathers. Almost half of every page is commentary. I urge everyone to cancel the cable and buy a Haydock.

Peter John

I’ll buy the Haddock if you buy the Navarre and St Ignatius :smiley:

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”.
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Wait a second. Pardon me for showing my utter and complete ignorance here. But it’s one thing to know that translations are different… I use a couple of different ones for that reason… but it NEVER occurred to me that the introductions would be different or WRONG… it’s one of the reasons I LIKED the NAB because they always put everything so nicely in context for me… Now you’re telling me that not only is it opinion not fact but that it’s WRONG??? Or at least controversial??? :banghead: Feeling really really really stupid right about now…

[quote=cmom]I’ll buy the Haddock if you buy the Navarre and St Ignatius :smiley:
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The Haydock broke the bank. I probably will buy the Navarre and St. Ignatius at some point in the not too distant future. Deal, now start saving your pennies.

Peter John

[quote=Maggie]Wait a second. Pardon me for showing my utter and complete ignorance here. But it’s one thing to know that translations are different… I use a couple of different ones for that reason… but it NEVER occurred to me that the introductions would be different or WRONG… it’s one of the reasons I LIKED the NAB because they always put everything so nicely in context for me… Now you’re telling me that not only is it opinion not fact but that it’s WRONG??? Or at least controversial??? :banghead: Feeling really really really stupid right about now…
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I daresay the NAB has some redeeming qualities, however it is infected with a strong modernist bent disposed against the miraculous. To use the Daniel example (I could use several others), the type of scholarship employed in the NAB assumes that, if this book was written by one writer (Daniel), it means that he was able by miraculous means to prophesy about the future. In their mind this can’t POSSIBLY be, so they look for other scenarios. The one they come up with is that it was written AFTER the event by someone other than the original Daniel, and they build upon that. Even if this were valid speculation based on the text itself (which is isn’t) how does the average reader of Scripture benefit from this? It has the effect of sucking the life out of the Word of God.

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]Let’s try this again (didn’t work last time, I think)

I am new here. I am a Reformed Christian who has recently been attending some functions at a Catholic church and am interested in learning about Catholicism from Catholics. I look forward to some good discussions here.

Now, here is my question. I own a copy of both the NAB Bible and the NJB. I must confess that I don’t care for a lot of the editorial introductions and notes, and this has nothing to do with them being Catholic. It seems the editors of both of these have accepted the radical view of Biblical criticism propounded by liberals a century ago and do not even consider traditionalist views.

:mad: My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”. (Those who think Daniel talks about the coming of Christ are just ignorant fundamentalists I guess.)

If this is true, then Daniel is a forgery and a fraud; would this mean that there is no place for it in the Bible? Their Holinesses Leo XIII (Providentissimus Deus) and Pius XII (Divino Afflante Spiritu) both came out in favor of the view that the Bible is inerrant. (I’m no fundamentalist - I believe in interpreting the Bible literally but NOT literalistically) Don’t these “scholars” not only malign God’s Word, but also go against what these Pontiffs have said? Are there still priests, bishops, and scholars who believe Daniel wrote Daniel?
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The Book of Daniel, which is even quoted by Christ, Himself, is clearly inspired and canonical.

However, why should fictions in it make it unworthy of inclusion in the Bible?

Every one of Christ’s parables is a fiction. Yet, we regard those as inspired and canonical.

Do the traditional Bible scholars (e.g. Hahn, Navarre) reject the historical critical method?

–Bill

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]Let’s try this again (didn’t work last time, I think)

I am new here. I am a Reformed Christian who has recently been attending some functions at a Catholic church and am interested in learning about Catholicism from Catholics. I look forward to some good discussions here.

Now, here is my question. I own a copy of both the NAB Bible and the NJB. I must confess that I don’t care for a lot of the editorial introductions and notes, and this has nothing to do with them being Catholic. It seems the editors of both of these have accepted the radical view of Biblical criticism propounded by liberals a century ago and do not even consider traditionalist views.

:mad: My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”. (Those who think Daniel talks about the coming of Christ are just ignorant fundamentalists I guess.)

If this is true, then Daniel is a forgery and a fraud; would this mean that there is no place for it in the Bible? Their Holinesses Leo XIII (Providentissimus Deus) and Pius XII (Divino Afflante Spiritu) both came out in favor of the view that the Bible is inerrant. (I’m no fundamentalist - I believe in interpreting the Bible literally but NOT literalistically) Don’t these “scholars” not only malign God’s Word, but also go against what these Pontiffs have said? Are there still priests, bishops, and scholars who believe Daniel wrote Daniel?
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I don’t like either of those translations. I like the RSV-CE (Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition), of which the Navarre Bible also contains good commentary. I also like the Duoay-Rheims. The one with Haydock commentary is the best edition.

[quote=Mot Juste]Do the traditional Bible scholars (e.g. Hahn, Navarre) reject the historical critical method?

–Bill
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I don’t know that Hahn would call himself a “Bible scholar.” To the best of my knowledge, while historicity is not an “acid test” of canonicity for him, he uses history as one interpretive guide. BUT, he also clearly believes that the Bible is a typological structure with a sensus plenior – a spiritual “fuller sense” meaning.

The Navarre Commentary was authored by a group of scholars who probably are a little more demanding in terms of the historicity of the plaintext level text. I haven’t read the Navarre Commentary on Judith or Tobit, both of which are clearly fictional pieces.

[quote=Fidelis]Even if this were valid speculation based on the text itself (which is isn’t) how does the average reader of Scripture benefit from this? It has the effect of sucking the life out of the Word of God.
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This is virtually the same thought I have been expressing in a number of new threads in this forum.

“Sucking the air out of the room” is exactly what happens when these revisionist Neo-Modern (see the book “Flawed Expectations”) get their hands on the Bible, offering their personal interpretations as doctrine.

I agree somewhat with the writer who says that the Pope has done little to stop these liberals. But, he was responsible for organizing the Catechism. After this year of the Eucharist is concluded, I’d like to see the “Decade of the Catechism.”

No one can stop the liberals from revising the exegesis of the Bible. But, as our Lord directed us to be salt and light, we can put forth the truth of God, and be assured it will not come back empty. Those who go out sowing in tears, will come back rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

I’ve picked up about a dozen interpretations of the Bible, and some offer some great insights. Although it is not a Catholic Bible, I like the NIV Study Bible.

But, I think I’ll have to invest some more in one of these study Bibles. People seem to like Hahn’s commentary. Right, I’ll have to look for a used copy at www.alibris.com

[quote=J_Chrysostomos] :mad: My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”. (Those who think Daniel talks about the coming of Christ are just ignorant fundamentalists I guess.)

If this is true, then Daniel is a forgery and a fraud; would this mean that there is no place for it in the Bible? Their Holinesses Leo XIII (Providentissimus Deus) and Pius XII (Divino Afflante Spiritu) both came out in favor of the view that the Bible is inerrant. (I’m no fundamentalist - I believe in interpreting the Bible literally but NOT literalistically) Don’t these “scholars” not only malign God’s Word, but also go against what these Pontiffs have said?
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History is an art, not a science. Ask a police officer about witness statements some time; they vary considerably, even when the event occurred mere minutes beforehand. The relevance of this is the fact that it is next to impossible to prove anything in history. Instead, we go with our ‘current best guess’.

Having said that, even if the version of the Book of Daniel which we now have was written three hundred years after the fall of Babylon, what does that tell us about Daniel’s prophetic ability? Nothing. Because that version could be the original, or it could be a copy of an earlier text, or it could be the first written edition of an oral story, and we have no way of proving which one of those options is actually the case.

P.S. What do you mean by “literal” as opposed to “literalistic”?

may I suggest you get the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. This is the version used in Vatican documents, and is a more comfortable read for those who grew up with the elegance and style of the KJV. There are good commentaries from Ignatius on most of the New Testament, and OT is coming. For a good orthodox Catholic commentary the Navarre Bible is outstanding, but out of range for most of us due to cost.

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]Let’s try this again (didn’t work last time, I think)

I am new here. I am a Reformed Christian who has recently been attending some functions at a Catholic church and am interested in learning about Catholicism from Catholics. I look forward to some good discussions here.

Now, here is my question. I own a copy of both the NAB Bible and the NJB. I must confess that I don’t care for a lot of the editorial introductions and notes, and this has nothing to do with them being Catholic. It seems the editors of both of these have accepted the radical view of Biblical criticism propounded by liberals a century ago and do not even consider traditionalist views.
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St. Thomas Aquinas was greatly influenced by Jews & Muslims - if something is bad or suspect because its source is not Catholic, most of his works should be destroyed.

The same could be said of many of the Fathers - and of the Bible. And of much more.

For some reason, people only notice that ideas don’t come from unquestionably Catholic sources if those sources are no more than a century or two old - if a thirteenth-century professor of theology is influenced by heathens, Muslims, & Jews, that’s fine; if a twentieth-century theologian (not, of course, any theologian whom one admires; only those whom one does not admire) is influenced by non-Catholics, all Hell breaks loose.
Weird, that :slight_smile: - and very inconsistent. Jesus was pretty radical - so were the Apostles: allowing the admission of Gentiles to the Church without requiring them to be circumcised first, caused a major rumpus. ##

:mad: My big beef (among many) is how they treat the book of Daniel. If Daniel was written by who it said it was and at that time, then it is a marvelous proof of God’s sovereignty and His control over and knowledge of the future. However, the NAB and NJB says that it was written by someone else during the Maccabean period and was presenting the past as “future”. (Those who think Daniel talks about the coming of Christ are just ignorant fundamentalists I guess.)

“Ill-informed” would be a kinder word. The book has nothing to do with the coming of Christ, any more than Esther has, or Proverbs. Yet all three books are ultimately related to Him, because He is the grand theme of the Bible. This does not mean there are no subsidiary themes in it, or that all books must be immediately Christ-related.

If this is true, then Daniel is a forgery and a fraud;

That doesn’t follow, so there’s no need to worry about *that *:slight_smile:

would this mean that there is no place for it in the Bible? Their Holinesses Leo XIII (Providentissimus Deus) and Pius XII (Divino Afflante Spiritu) both came out in favor of the view that the Bible is inerrant. (I’m no fundamentalist - I believe in interpreting the Bible literally but NOT literalistically) Don’t these “scholars” not only malign God’s Word, but also go against what these Pontiffs have said? Are there still priests, bishops, and scholars who believe Daniel wrote Daniel?

It’s not a forgery or a fraud - it is merely not a prophetic book. It’s still inspired, “written for our learning”, and so on. It’s an example of apocalyptic writing - as is the Revelation (apocalypsis = “unveiling” = “revelation”); and some other passages in the Bible.

And inerrancy, even if true (I have to say that I find the reasoning for it utterly unconvincing - but I’m open to persuasion, if someone would only make a case for inerrancy that makes sense & is not full of holes :() is irrelevant to the date of the book. What matters is that the book is canonical & inspred: that it is part of Scripture; not its date or authorship. It is, after all, not as though the name of Daniel appears as that of the author.

The Bible is not being maligned; nor is anyone going against Papal teaching: far from it - they have been encouraged to undertake this kind of scholarly work since at least 1943. This kind of work has been called “indispensable”, in a document on the Bible in the Church that was published in 1993. They are not disobeying the Popes, but obeying them. If anyone has been maligning anyone, the less well-informed critics are the maligners; for these critics, knowing nothing of the scholars they criticise except that they do not like what they are doing, nor of why they do it, frequently accuse them of heresy; with no good reason. They do malign people - but the scholars malign no one: they have better things to do.

Other documents on the Bible: catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/index.html

[quote=Fidelis]I daresay the NAB has some redeeming qualities, however it is infected with a strong modernist bent disposed against the miraculous. To use the Daniel example (I could use several others), the type of scholarship employed in the NAB assumes that, if this book was written by one writer (Daniel), it means that he was able by miraculous means to prophesy about the future. In their mind this can’t POSSIBLY be, so they look for other scenarios. The one they come up with is that it was written AFTER the event by someone other than the original Daniel, and they build upon that. Even if this were valid speculation based on the text itself (which is isn’t) how does the average reader of Scripture benefit from this? It has the effect of sucking the life out of the Word of God.
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The idea is supported by the text - chapter 11 makes very good sense if it is a look back at the history of the Seleucid dynasty from the vantage point of 160 or so; it makes less sense for the chapter to be regarded as a prophecy, because there is no reason to think of Hebrew prophecy as being a means of predicting the relationships and activities of persons living 300 or more years in the future. OT prophecy has its own literary styles, anmd is always directed to the present, and to announcing the will of God to man in the present. It is a moral force. None of this is true of Daniel 11: Gypsy Rose Lee or Jeane Dixon could have come up with “prophecy” like this - except that it is not prophecy, so it is not banal and trifling, as the miscategorisation of it as prophecy would make it.

BTW - not all of us are Fundamentalists. There are ways of profiting from the Bible which are completely compatible with accepting the validity of the results achieved by the critics over the last 150 years, &, more important, the critical method (as it is somewhat unhelpfully called). Having been a semi-Fundamentalist & anti-critic, I know of both approaches to the Bible: I far prefer the critical approach; it gives one the freedom to take the Bible as it is, without distorting it to fit some pre-conceived theological scheme.

The miraculous is not used as a category in Biblical study for the same reason as it is not used in historical study or in the earth sciences: because if it’s miraculous, it is outside the scope of human sciences, which deal with matters which depend on various kinds of evidence. IOW - these studies deal with what is controllable within the limits of these studies - the supernatural, because supernatural, is not controllable within these limits: it’s too elusive. That doesn’t make it unreal - it is merely inappropriate to sciences which deal with matters which are of this world, are natural, to deal with something that eludes these sciences.

It is of course far too much to expect people who perpetuate this whiskery old misconception to read what the scholars actually think. That would upset the stereotype of the critic as, by nature, little better (if at all better) than an atheist or heretic. Fundamentalism depends upon attacking non-Fundamentalists for their failure to be Fundamentalists: this is a good reason to have no more to do with it. ##

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