Dark Passages of the Bible

Dark Passages of the Bible

MATTHEW J. RAMAGE
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4cg8n1
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  • Book Info
    Dark Passages of the Bible
    Book Description:

    Following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI, in Dark Passages of the Bible Matthew Ramage weds the historical-critical approach with a theological reading of Scripture based in the patristic-medieval tradition. Whereas these two approaches are often viewed as mutually exclusive or even contradictory, Ramage insists that the two are mutually enriching and necessary for doing justice to the Bible’s most challenging texts

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2157-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. INTRODUCTION: “HOW CAN THAT BE IN THE BIBLE?”
    (pp. 1-16)

    “How can that be in the Bible?” This question arises time and again in the minds of Christians who undertake serious study of the written word of God. When believers pose this question, often the more pressing issues of life cause them to forget about it before they are able to arrive at a satisfactory answer. Others pose it, do some investigation, and eventually have to set it aside for want of a satisfying response. Some even lose their faith over it. Nevertheless, the history of biblical exegesis is replete with attempts to reconcile contentious texts with sound Christian doctrine....

  5. CHAPTER 1 THE BIBLE’S PROBLEMS
    (pp. 17-52)

    Responding to the question of how the extremely bleak book of Ecclesiastes made it into the biblical canon, Peter Kreeft has written that there is nothing more meaningless than an answer without its question—and Ecclesiastes is in the Bible precisely because it provides the question to which the rest of the Bible is the answer.¹ The solutions proposed in the present work would likewise be meaningless if we did not first survey some of the problems in biblical exegesis today. The goal of this chapter is to elicit in the minds of readers questions such as “How can that...

  6. CHAPTER 2 BENEDICT’S “METHOD C” PROPOSAL AND CATHOLIC PRINCIPLES FOR BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
    (pp. 53-91)

    Having highlighted many of the significant problems concerning the text and contents of the Bible, we can now begin to lay the theological foundation for a robust response that takes seriously the claims of the previous chapter and yet maintains a deep faith in the truth of scripture. In view of achieving this end, we will look to Benedict’s “Method C” hermeneutics proposal for guidance, seeking to elucidate the principles found therein so we can later apply them to the various problems that arise within text of scripture.

    At the conference following his Erasmus Lecture in New York City in...

  7. CHAPTER 3 THE PROBLEM OF DEVELOPMENT
    (pp. 92-113)

    Having surveyed problematic themes within scripture in chapter 1 and elucidated Benedict’s Method C exegesis proposal in chapter 2, we are now in a position to explore more precisely how a Method C approach to scripture might operate. In the next two chapters, we will demonstrate that the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas provides the proper basis on which to carry out Benedict’s exegetical proposal.

    The present chapter elucidates Aquinas’s “theology of the history of revelation,” in which he is able to show the unity of scripture (emphasized by Method A exegesis) while acknowledging the significant developments observable within its...

  8. CHAPTER 4 THE PROBLEM OF APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS
    (pp. 114-154)

    The preceding chapters have emphasized that the problems of development, diversity, and apparent contradictions in scripture can be reconciled only if we develop a robust theology of scripture based on a synthesis of the best of ancient and modern exegesis. To this end, chapter 3 proposed a Method C approach to the problem of scriptural development on the basis of St. Thomas’s theology of the history of revelation. Aquinas demonstrates that divine revelation—and consequently scripture as its inspired witness—maintained a unity over the centuries (in accordance with Method A’s principles) despite the fact that it greatly developed throughout...

  9. CHAPTER 5 METHOD C EXEGESIS, THE NATURE OF GOD, AND THE NATURE OF GOOD AND EVIL
    (pp. 155-195)

    In the previous chapter, we followed Aquinas and his commentators as they argued that problematic portions of scripture can be understood only when the exegete takes into account the practical ends that govern the composition of biblical texts. The sacred author is an instrument whom God chooses to convey his truth to the world, but God often wanted works written for a reason other than merely teaching clear-cut dogmas. The purpose of a work may lie simply in prayer (e.g. the Psalms), while other times it may be to propose a debate (e.g. Job), govern (e.g. Leviticus), or exhort (as...

  10. CHAPTER 6 METHOD C EXEGESIS AND THE AFTERLIFE
    (pp. 196-273)

    Whereas the Method C treatment of our first two themes was fairly concise and to the point, I have devoted an entire chapter to treating the theme of the afterlife in order to paint a thorough and concrete portrait of Method C exegesis. The reason why the afterlife was chosen for this task is because of the disproportionately vast amount of biblical evidence we have of ancient Israel’s developing understanding of the afterlife, as well as a correspondingly disproportionate abundance of scholarly ink spilled on the subject—not the least important of which is found in the work of Pope...

  11. CONCLUSION: METHOD C EXEGESIS IN THE CHURCH
    (pp. 274-280)

    Just as our endeavor to tackle the “dark” passages of scripture began under the guidance of the church’s teaching on the nature of scripture, so we will conclude by underlining the vital role that the church ought to play in the life of a Method C exegete. Having applied Benedict’s proposal to the themes of the nature of God, the nature of good and evil, and the afterlife, I hope one finishes this work better able to see the reasonableness of Catholic magisterial teaching on the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, and to have confidence that apparently erroneous passages in...

  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 281-296)
  13. SCRIPTURE INDEX
    (pp. 297-300)
  14. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 301-303)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 304-304)