Monday, July 13, 2015

Letter and Spirit Volume 9: Christ and the Unity of Scripture

I don't read many Catholic scholarly journals, because they honestly make me feel dumb. However, I have learned that isn't a bad thing, because it helps to keep me humble, and it reminds me that there are many great minds smarter than I am. Today, I am featuring, and reviewing, if I can call it that, Letter and Spirit Volume 9: Christ and the Unity of Scripture. The contents of this particular volume are as follows:

  • The Matthean Christ, Center of Salvation History by: Leroy A. Huizenga
  • Jesus as the Fulfillment" of the Law and His Teachings on Divorce in Matthew by: Michael Patrick Barber
  • "These Least Brothers of Mine": A Reappraisal of the Great Judgment Scene as Apocalyptic Retribution in Matthew 25:31-46 by: William A. Bales
  • The Last Supper and the Quest for Jesus by: Brant Pitre
  • All Things in Wisdom: Reading the Prologue to the Gospel of John with St. Augustine by: William M. Wright IV
  • Covenant Fulfillment in the Gospel of John by: Vincent P. DeMeo
  • Fulfillment in Christ: The Priority of the Abrahamic Covenant in Paul's Argument Against the Galatian Opponents (Galatians 3:15-18) by: Scott W. Hahn
I have been reading Pitre's work lately as he is coming to my hometown for a conference. The article in this journal took several reads, though, as he talked about the Jewish Jesus and the eucharistic Jesus. There is apparently debate among New Testament scholars on whether Jesus said the Words of Institution or if those words were added to Scripture by members of the Early Church. The fact that "New Testament scholars" have such skepticism over Jesus is depressing to say the least. How can you be a scholar on something that you doubt? That's a rant for another day. The article I found most fascinating was the one which Bales wrote. In his article, he argues that the passage is often misunderstood, because people read it at a horizontal level, which is to look after the less unfortunate. However, it is should be read at a vertical level, which is that the primary work then and presently is missionary work. The Apostles were commissioned to spread the message of Jesus' forgiveness and the salvation He offers. We too have that same mission.

I won't pretend that I understood every word of this journal, but what I did was edifying. As I said earlier, I don't make it a practice to read Catholic scholarly journals, but I do read the Letter and Spirit series, because I trust Scott Hahn to put out a quality product that adheres to the teaching of the Catholic Church. If you are interested in higher level thinking in the field of Catholicism, I recommend all nine volumes. I also eagerly await the publication of Volume 10, and hope that I continue to understand a little more each time I read.

This book was provided to me for free by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!