chapter 2 introduction to sacred scripture n.
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  1. CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO SACRED SCRIPTURE • Bible as an inspirational collection of writings, the written record of God’s Revelation • What does it mean to be inspirational? • Arouses confidence • Challenges us to be the BEST we can be • What does the Church teach us about the Bible? • God is the author of the Bible • The Holy Spirit inspired the writers • The Bible (Sacred Scriptures) teach the truth

  2. Bible is NOT a religious text • Bible as a living book • Readers have to open their minds to its “Good News” • Human authors as instruments committed to writing those truths • Drew on their own background, education, skill, talent, vocabulary • Guided by the Holy Spirit • End product: inerrant (free from error) Word of God • How To Read the Bible: • Be aware of how the history of their time and culture influenced the writers • To identify the writers’ intention: identify the literary form or genre (a particular style

  3. HOW TO LOCATE AND READ BIBLE REFERENCES Typical Bible Reference: Jn 1:1-18 • “Jn” is an abbreviated title for the Gospel of John • The first number is the chapter number; the verse number follows the colon (:) • The hyphen (-) indicates several chapters or verses • Gn 1-2 (Genesis, chapters 1 and 2) • A semicolon (;) separates two distinct references; a comma (,) separates two verses in the same chapter • Is 9:1,3,8 (Isaiah, chapter 9, verses 1,3, and 8) • The “f” means the following verse; “ff” means several verses • Prv 6:6f (Proverbs, chapter 6, verses 6 and 7) • Prv 6:6ff (Proverbs, chapter 6, verses 6 and several verses after that)

  4. Ways to Interpret Sacred Scripture in Accordance with the Holy Spirit Who Inspired It(Second Vatican Council: 1962-1965) • Look at the content and unity of the whole • Jesus Christ as the Word of God (Center and heart of Sacred Scripture) • Read in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus • Read the New Testament in light of the Old Testament • Read the Sacred Scripture within the tradition of the whole Church • Deposit of Faith: handing down of faith from the Apostles to us through the magisterium (help us to understand the meaning of God’s Word and how to apply it in our own lives) • Be attentive to the “analogy of faith” • Truths in the Sacred Scripture cannot contradict each other • Message of the Sacred Scripture is timeless

  5. LITERARY GENRES • A particular style of writing • Exegesis:process used by Biblical scholars to discover the meaning of the text • Literal Sense: the meaning conveyed by the words of the Scripture • Examples of Literary Genres: • Allegory: acomparison where elements of a storyrepresent deeper meanings • Biography: a person’s life story • Creed: a statement of religious beliefs • Etiology: a story that states the cause of something • Fable: a story with a moral; animals act and speak like humans • History: a chronological record of events in the life of a nation or institution

  6. Law: rules of conduct or standards of behavior • Prophecy:inspired words of a prophet • Genealogy: story of a family tree • Hyperbole: a deliberately exaggerated saying to emphasize a topic • Miracle Story: story of a powerful sign performed by Jesus • Riddle: a question or statement that teases the mind; requires thought • Parable: story told by Jesus with a surprise ending • Pronouncement Story: an important saying by Jesus

  7. UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE • There are 4 senses of Scripture: • Literal Sense: the meaning of the words • Spiritual Sense: refers to the realities and events (deeper meaning) • Allegorical Sense: story line conveys more than one meaning at the same time; looks at OT in light of its fulfillment in Jesus (NT); what you should believe • Moral Sense:how to live your life (with goodness and justice) • Anagogical Sense: looks at earthly events and sees them as a way to lead us to Heaven; teaches you where you are going (increasing your hope)

  8. BIBLICAL TRANSLATIONS Old Testament: • Most of the Old Testament written in Hebrew • Small sections written in Aramaic • Seven books written in Greek New Testament: • Entire NT written in Greek (“Koine”) – 1st century AD • Latin Version:St. Jerome completed the Vulgate (383-405) (Church’s official translation of the Bible from the original languages); known as a Church Father

  9. Dead Sea Scrolls: • Discovered in caves near the Dead Sea (1947); belonged to a religious Jewish sect; contained manuscripts that were written before the birth of Christ

  10. Protestant Translations of the Bible: • King James Version (1611); borrowed material from the NT of the Douay-Rheims Bible Catholic Translations of the Bible: • Douay-Rheims Bible (1582-1609); a translation of the Latin Vulgate; used until the 20th century; NT translated from the Vulgate in 1582; OL translated from the Vulgate in 1609 • Translation of the Bible from original languages (Pope Pius XII) in 1943 • New American Bible: (1970) used for readings at liturgies in the U.S. • New Jerusalem Bible: (1985) borrowed material from the French Bible

  11. MODERN APPROACHES FOR STUDYING SACRED SCRIPTURE • Fundamentalists: take a literalist approach • Believing in the exact meaning of the words • Catholic Church: readScripture prayerfully and interpret it critically • Historical Criticism: looks at the history behind the text; uses archeology, dating techniques, historical research; distinguishes the true from the false concerning facts of the past; an attempt to verify the historicity of an event and the understanding of its meaning; Bible must be read as a product of a secular historical science • Source Criticism: helps discover where the biblical authors got their material • Form Criticism:identifies the type or genre; studying small units of a text to see how it took shape before it was written; • Redaction Criticism: looks at how the biblical author arranged his work to give a particular theological insight; shapes the material and focuses on the production of the final written form; builds upon historical, source, and form criticism; acts as an editor