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Vatican II and Scripture. What changed & why. Where Do Bibles Come From?. Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of the original Hebrew & Aramaic; in Alexandria around 250 BCE; more complete than existing Hebrew texts

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vatican ii and scripture

Vatican II and Scripture

What changed & why

where do bibles come from
Where Do Bibles Come From?
  • Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of the original Hebrew & Aramaic; in Alexandria around 250 BCE; more complete than existing Hebrew texts
  • Vulgate Latin translation of the LXX and Greek New Testament by St. Jerome (Between 384-405)
where do bibles come from1
Where Do Bibles Come From?
  • Papyrus (Reeds sliced, laid crosswise & pressed)
  • Parchment or Vellum
  • Sewn together into scrolls
  • Stacked and attached into a book called a codex.
  • Oldest extant copy of the Bible probably is the Codex Vaticanus(4th century)
  • Handwritten as opposed to printed (Gutenberg 1456)
  • Greek uncial (Block letters, like all capitals in English) or miniuscule (Small, connected letters, like cursive)
  • About 3,000 manuscripts of the Greek N.T. (in whole or in part, dating from the 2nd -17th centuries) have been preserved
textual families
Textual Families
  • Alexandrian: 2nd century onward. Careful copying & a sophisticated understanding of Greek led to spare, short readings.
  • Western: N. Africa, Italy & Gaul. Longer readings as if words are added for explanation. Acts = 10% longer.
  • Caesarian: Major library 3rd & 4th centuries. This text is between Alexandrian & Western. Spread east.
  • Byzantine: Some go back to Antioch ca. 300. Harmonizes differences. Underlays Textus Receptus.
where bibles come from
Where Bibles Come From
  • Text breaks (if any) correspond to liturgical readings
  • Chapter division: 13th century, Stephen Langdon
  • Verses: Printed version by Robert Stephanus 1551
so what changed
So What Changed?
  • Our understanding of Science
  • Our understanding of Languages
  • Our understanding of History & Culture
  • Our Experience
what changed in science
What Changed in Science
  • Nicholas Copernicus 1473-1543 (Earth is a sphere, revolves around the Sun)
  • Galileo: 1610 The Starry Messenger.
  • Objection: Contradicts all known laws of science (It did. Newton, b 1642, rewrote them.)
  • Objection: No Stellar Displacements (First observed in 1843.)
  • Objection: Contradicts Scripture: Joshua 10:12-13, Psalm 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5.
  • Galileo condemned 1633.
what changed in language
What Changed in Language
  • Napoleon conquers Egypt, 1798; brings scientists.
  • Rosetta Stone 1799; Hieroglyphic/Demotic/Greek
  • Cuneiform deciphered 1830’s.
  • Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Sumer, Akkad
understanding ancient cultures
Understanding Ancient Cultures
  • History
  • Legal Customs (Covenants & Suzerainty Treaties)
  • Social Customs
  • Creation Stories
  • Flood Stories
biblical criticism historical critical method
Biblical Criticism (Historical-Critical Method)
  • “What did the evangelist know and when did he know it?”
  • Textual (Accuracy of translation?)
  • Historical (What setting?)
  • Form (Literary form: Poetry? Historical? Prophecy?)
  • Protestant scholars
  • Four-sources for O.T. / Julius Wellhausen 1870’s.
  • “The Fundamentals” 1910
providentissimus deus leo xiii 1893
Providentissimus Deus (Leo XIII 1893)
  • Recognizes contributions made by “scientific methods”
  • Points out the Biblical authors (who shared the scientific views of their times) do not teach answers to problems raised by the “natural sciences.”
  • Establishes a Pontifical Biblical Commission
divino afflante spiritu pius xii 1943
Divino Afflante Spiritu(Pius XII 1943)
  • Response to booklet declaring the study of Scripture in the original languages was a grave danger to souls.
  • Pius encourages knowledge & mastery of original languages.
  • Encourages use of textual criticism & literary analysis.
  • Biblical (the Vulgate’s) “authenticity is therefore more properly called ‘juridical’ than ‘critical.’”
vatican council ii 1962 65
Vatican Council II (1962-65)
  • Called by John XXIII in January 1959
  • 1959-62: Work by Preparatory Commissions dominated by Curia; other opinions excluded
  • Opens October 11, 1962
gaudet mater ecclesia
Gaudet Mater Ecclesia
  • John XXIII’s Opening Speech: “Mother Church Rejoices”
  • Church is to bring herself up to date, organize mutual cooperation.
  • Rejects “prophets of doom” who seek return to a non-existent golden age.
  • Our duty is not to guard a precious treasure, but to share it.
  • Substance of doctrine is one thing; how it’s presented is another.
  • Prefers the medicine of mercy to the arm of severity.
the debate over two sources
The Debate over “Two Sources”
  • De Fontibus Revelationes: Scripture & Tradition
  • Complete revelation is not contained in Scripture alone but in Scripture and in Tradition
  • Don’t dare to consider Tradition to be of inferior worth
  • God is the author of every book in the Old and New Testaments
  • It is utterly forbidden to say the sacred author himself has erred; all Scripture in infallibly free from error
the debate over two sources1
The Debate over “Two Sources”
  • Criticized for being a list of condemnations and non-ecumenical.
  • Alternative versions circulated. (Including one by Rahner & Ratzinger.)
  • Vote to end debate: 1,368 (1,473 required) to 822.
  • Pope John decides schema to be withdrawn.
  • Mixed commission to re-write.
new instruction
New Instruction

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Historicity of the Gospels 1964

development of the gospels
Development of the Gospels
  • 0 – 33 Jesus of Nazareth lives & dies; The Resurrection
  • 33-60 Oral Proclamation in the light of faith
  • 60-100 Written Gospels
development of the gospels1
Development of the Gospels
  • Jesus is Lord & Messiah at the Resurrection
    • Paul. See Romans 1:3
  • Jesus is Lord & Messiah when Public Life Begins
    • Mark
  • Jesus is Lord & Messiah at his Birth
    • Luke, Matthew
  • Jesus is Lord & Messiah from before time
    • John
dei verbum 1965
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation
  • God is revealing Himself, not just a list of rules
  • General Revelation: God speaking to all humans, calling them to love
  • Special Revelation: God’s choice to reveal Himself to specific groups of human beings, Jews and Christians
  • The Christian revelation (Jesus & the sending of the Spirit) is the high point of revelation, in that it is God’s personal self-communication
dei verbum 19651
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • What Jesus reveals to his disciples is called the Deposit of Faith.
  • Scripture (Writings inspired by the Holy Spirit) and Tradition (Our common experience of trying to live what Jesus taught, guided by the Holy Spirit) arise out of the Deposit of Faith.
  • “The task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church.” (DV 10) This is called Magisterium.
dei verbum 19652
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • “This teaching office is not above the Word of God, but serves it.” (DV 10)
  • Sacred tradition, sacred Scripture & the teaching authority of the Church “are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others.” (DV 10)
  • Scripture “teaches firmly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.” (DV 11)
dei verbum 19653
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • “Since God speaks through sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by the means of their words.” (DV 12)
  • “Due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of perceiving, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer.” (DV 12)
dei verbum 19654
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful (22)
  • All the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture (21)
  • Catholics should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text, itself... (through the liturgy or devotional reading) or through instructions suitable to the purpose and other aids.
dei verbum 19655
Dei Verbum (1965)
  • “Just as the life of the Church is strengthened through more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, similarly we may hope for a new stimulus for the life of the Spirit from a growing reverence for the word of God, which ‘lasts forever.’” (26)