General Objectives: To provide a clear statement of the Catholic doctrine on the nature of biblical inspiration. To describe the evolution of the canon. To offer an introduction to principles and methods for interpreting the Bible (i.e., hermeneutics).
Course Outlines: 1. Inspiration. Key Bible passages (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:19-21); Catechism of the Catholic Church (#101- 141); Vatican Council II; Dei Verbum (#11-26). 2. Canon. The process by which the canon was defined; the Catholic canon (as opposed to the Orthodox, Protestant, and Jewish canons). 3. Hermeneutics. Biblical hermeneutics in general; exercises and examples of methods and approaches for interpreting the Bible.
Textbooks: Senior, Donald, John Collins, and Mary Ann Getty, eds. The Catholic Study Bible. 3rd Edition. Oxford: OUP, 2016; Catechism of the Catholic Church; Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum” on Divine Revelation. Bibliography: Brown, Raymond, Joseph Fitzmyer, and Roland Murphy, eds. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990; Carl, Scott, ed. Verbum Domini and the Complementarity of Exegesis and Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015; Farkasfalvy, Denis. A Theology of the Christian Bible: Revelation-Inspiration-Canon. Washington: CUA Press, 2018; Freedman, David, ed. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992; Gorman, Michael. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2009; Graves, Michael. The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014; McDonald, Lee. The Biblical Canon. Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007; Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture: The Word that Comes from God and Speaks of God for the Salvation of the World. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014; Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 1993.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to have acquired a basic knowledge of the Bible, its canonical development and the methods used in its interpretation which will be necessary for the further study of sacred Scripture and of theology; to be familiar with the content and language of the decree Dei Verbum and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Scripture’s place in theology and the life of the Church; to be able to define, identify and distinguish between the various modern exegetical methodologies, both synchronic and diachronic.