bible

Erdoğan’s Ottoman Fantasies

British journalist Robert Fisk once stated, “The story of the Armenian genocide is one of almost unrelieved horror at the hands of Turkish soldiers and policemen who enthusiastically carried out their government’s orders to exterminate a race of Christian people in the Middle East.” The extermination of one and a half million Armenian Christians during [...]

The essential drama of Holy Writ

I haven’t done it in years, but, before I was assigned to cantor Sunday Mass every week, I occasionally served as one of our several parish lectors. In those days, a parishioner was entrusted with finding and scheduling lectors. Whether these were given special training or not I don’t recall, though I do remember receiving [...]

Protecting God’s Word From “Bible Christians”

"Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." ~ St. Paul to the Thessalonians A former student of mine is thinking of becoming a Catholic, and she had a question for me. “I don’t understand the deuterocanonical books,” she ventured. [...]

On the Dangers of Reading the Bible as a Kid

Other than regular Sunday readings and occasional rumblings heard as an altar boy, I first began to read the Scriptures at age 12 in the spring of 1963.  It was Lent.  Our teacher, a formidable Dominican nun in full white regalia, laid it down as a project for 7th grade religion that all students should [...]

A Dog’s Life: From Beast to Companion

In a our present milieu where dogs are our darling pets, fed on choice delicacies, shampooed and bathed in fancy dog tubs, housed in designer kennels, and taken around for joy rides sometimes in flamboyant doggy clothes, canine fans may be puzzled by the derision dogs receive in the pages of the New and Old [...]

Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel

One of the disappointments of the post-Vatican II period has been the glacial pace of the growth in Catholic biblical literacy the Council hoped to inspire.  Why the slow-down? Several reasons suggest themselves. The hegemony of the historical-critical method of biblical study has taught two generations of Catholics that the Bible is too complicated for [...]

Nicholas Kristof Fails Sunday School

  Nicholas Kristof doesn't appreciate the Bible being used to support conservative moral positions with which he disagrees, so it must have been an exciting moment when he unwrapped Jennifer Wright Knust's new book, Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. Knust, an ordained Baptist minister and assistant professor of religion at [...]

The Gospel of Ann Coulter

St. Paul tells us that it was Jesus who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, pastors, and teachers. So far as I can tell, however, there is no office in the Church of "Professional Bomb Thrower." That's just one of the reasons I don't turn to Ann Coulter [...]

Quodlibets: Going Home

Late spring and summer become, with age, times of commemoration. Class reunions, anniversaries of one graduation or another and, for many, a visit to the town where we grew up. Some move from a small town to the city, but I went from Minneapolis — which, together with St. Paul and the swarming suburbs, makes [...]

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