Resources on St. Paul

Fr. Raymond Collins is a widely respected biblical scholar with a particular expertise in the writings of St. Paul. The Liturgical Press has published two books of Fr. Collins that I believe merit consideration by serious students of Scripture.

One is part of the Sacra Pagina series of biblical commentaries that the Liturgical Press launched in the 1990s. It is on 1 Corthinians. The other is entitled “Letters that Paul Did Not Write.”

I recommend highly for several reasons.

First, Fr. Collins is a top rate scholar.

Second, he is not ideologically oriented. Sometimes he opts for a traditional perspective, other

Jesus and Divorce, A contemporary perspective

In 2002, Wipf and Stock Publishers published an excellent scholarly work by two highly respected evangelical authors, Gordon J. Wenham and William E. Heth. They tackle one of the more perplexing problems in New Testament exegesis (critical interpretation or study), that of Jesus’ uncompromising teaching on divorce and remarriage.

This topic is particularly relevant in the American Roman Catholic community because of the disproportionate number of annulments granted, an aberration addressed by the last several pontiffs. This has been chronicled in several books, both from a sympathetic and critical perspective.

First, there is little doubt among scholars as to the historical teaching of Jesus on divorce and remarriage: he absolutely prohibited it. The so-called exception clause to this prohibition in Matthew’s Gospel is generally presumed by Catholic scholars to refer to marriage within forbidden degrees of kinship according to Leviticus. It is typically considered to originate from Matthew or his community in response to a pastoral issue. Because of its highly Jewish flavor, Matthew’s Gospel is particularly sensitive to this issue.

Paul’s teachings, including the so-called Pauline Privilege accessed by Catholic canon law in annulment proceedings, though not specifically discussed under those terms, are also addressed.

Jesus and Divorce addresses this and other New Testament teachings on divorce in an even-handed manner that would be of particular interest to Roman Catholics. It offers an extensive critique and affirmation of Fr. Raymond F. Collins highly praised work Divorce and the New Testament, available from The Liturgical Press.

A Roman Catholic reader unfamiliar with scholarly exegesis would be overwhelmed by the book. However an informed reader of any Christian denomination would find it packed with useful information and helpful insights.

Gordon Wenham is the author of an outstanding commentary on Genesis as well.  He has written another book on the subject of marriage and divorce in the New Testament, and is worth checking out. I find him accessible, thorough, balanced, and orthodox, an uncommon combination today.

I highly recommend Jesus and Divorce to serious readers interested in exploring this problematic question.  The following is contact information from the publisher:

Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401-2960

Tel: (541) 344-1528 Fax: (541) 344-1506

Ordering Inquiries: Orders@wipfandstock.com

I am confident you will find this book challenging and enlightening. It is particularly refreshing in contrast to permissive views on the subject that have infiltrated the Christian churches both at the magisterial and pastoral level. The authors take seriously the words of Jesus and their practical import for 21st century readers. Would that more scholars articulate this perspective with such clarity and acuity.

New book on Pope Francis

Crossroad Publishing has recently published an attractive coffee table picture book on Pope Francis with excellent essays on his background and perspective, as well as that of his predecessor. The pictures are very well done, and the writing quite accessible. The book is entitled: A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Church. If you slip and refer to him as St. Francis, don’t worry, you have plenty of company. With a name, personality, and background like that, it comes with the territory.

I found the writing particularly engaging. It speaks to both novice and the well read. It is broken down into manageable and user-friendly subtopics surrounded by colorful photos.

For a limited time, Crossroad is offering this at an outstanding price of $7 per copy, and $6 per copy for orders of 40 or more. This offer expires on June 14.  Here is ordering information provided by the publisher.

To order online – www.popefrancisbook.com

For bulk orders, email sales@crossroadpublishing.com

YouTube Video Clip – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13OoeYvaCfM

If you mention this blog as a source for your interest, you unfortunately will not receive an additional discount, but you will likely get some sympathy.  Check it out and enjoy.

The hypocrisy of sports illustrated

Sports illustrated, the same shameful rag that objectifies women in swimsuits at the same time that it castigates men who respond to inappropriate dress and advances tries once again, unsuccessfully and shamefully to be socially relevant.

As the Church teaches, and society observed until the onset of hedonism, relativism, and individualism, homosexual behavior is wrong. Making an issue, literally, of a basketball player acknowledging his homosexuality. Not worthy of comment here.

However, what does merit mention is a comment some weeks ago by a SI writer:

In the March 18, 2013 edition of SI, an author, Richard Hoffer, made this comment:

“McIlroy became, in the casual decision to walk to his car instead of the 9th tee
box, a loser of the worst stripe, joining a gumptionless gallery of quitters
that includes the likes of Roberto Duran, Shelley Long, Dave Chappelle and Pope
Benedict XVI.”

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1207088/index.htm

Can u imagine the gall and inappropriateness of writing that and of publishing it.

Put simply, it is ok to malign a pope, but not those who act immorally.  Sports has become idolatry. Write SI with your disapproval. I did but the email bounced. Maybe they are not interested in hearing negative feedback on their immorality. If you get a valid email address for such letters, send it to me.

Also, I welcome your posts on this. Send em along. But write the rag first.

Pray for the writer of this atrocity. If he has to pick on an 84 year old pope who has given so much to others, he can’t possibly not need it. And for the magazine.

And have a great end of the Easter season!