Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The MOST Theological Collection: Basic Scripture

"Addenda: Course information; study questions and answers"

Options:

MOST Home
Browse by Title
New Search
Table of Contents for this Work

NOTRE DAME INSTITUTE : Scripture 525: General Introduction

1. Course description: A general introduction to Old and New Testaments, opening with an explanation of the techniques used in Historical Critical Method, plus introductions to each book or group of books of both Testaments, and explanation of some major problems in each

2. Specific course objectives: To learn the new techniques of study of Scripture and to become acquainted with major data and problems of all books both Testaments and the principles of Vatican II, Dei verbum.

3. Methods of instruction: Lectures and discussion with study questions and answers to study questions.

4. Grading: Midterm and finals graded 50% each. No term paper.

5. Topics covered and dates: [omitted]

6. Required books: NDI text. Recommended readings given separately

Questions on Basic Scripture

1. What documents do they say made a revolution in Scripture study? Is it true? What did DV (Constitution on Revelation) say about previous councils?

2. What charge of error was made about Daniel 1:1? How can we answer it?

3. What pattern of writing do we have in a modern historical novel? What is the name for these patterns? From where did we get our English patterns of writing? May we assume that Scripture follows the same patterns? Why? What is the key word to watch in studying genre?

4. How do we answer those who claim to find many errors in Scripture?

5. Did ancient Semites try for precision in speaking of time and other things? What Pope informed us about this?

6. How do the leftists try to support their claim that DV lets us think there are all kinds of errors in Scripture? Answer them.

7. What did Vatican I say about inerrancy in Scripture? Did Vatican II mention that? What did Pius XII say about that text of Vatican I? What did Leo XIII say about errors in Scripture? What principles did Vatican II give for Scripture study?

8. What difference is there between our time and the start of this century in answering claims of errors in Scripture?

9. What are the seeming problems abut the three accounts of St. Paul's conversion in Acts? How solve them?

10. Is it enough to say a book is inspired if it contains no error? Why? Is it enough to say a book is inspired if the Church has checked and approved it? What is the essential requirement for saying a book is inspired?

11. Why is there a problem in knowing which books are inspired? What is the only way to determine which books are inspired?

12. How do we answer the problem: "There is no such thing as an unbiased account"?

13. Do we need to know the names of the Evangelists? Why? What do we really need to know about them?

14. What chances did the Evangelists have to get the facts about Jesus?

15. What are the six points needed for apologetics?

16. How did Luther try to determine which books are inspired? Was he right? Why? What did Luther think Paul meant by faith?

17. What is the genre of the first chapters of Genesis? Did the Church ever teach fundamentalism on Genesis? What did St. Augustine say about the account saying God made a clay figure and breathed on it? What did St. John Chrysostom say about the rib to Eve incident?

18. What did the Biblical Commission say about Moses as author of the Pentateuch? Does that point pertain to faith or to history?

19. What is the documentary theory? Do all hold it today?

20. May we consider evolution as possible? What decision was reached by a meeting of scientists at the Field Museum of Chicago in October, 1980?

21. What is the probable genre of Pentateuch 12ff? of Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Jonah, Daniel?

22. Does the book of Joshua seem to contradict Judges? Explain.

23. What is the genre of Jonah? What are the chief messages of the book of Jonah?

24. What is Apocalyptic? How long did it run? Give an example or two of it.

25. What does apocalyptic show us about the texts that speak of the sun being darkened and the stars falling?

26. What is the nature of the Wisdom genre?

27. What are variant traditions? Do they mean an error in Scripture? Explain. Give one or two examples of such traditions.

28. Do angels have bodies? How did some early writes make a mistake on this?

29. Isaiah 64. 5 says all our justifications are filthy rags? So was Luther right on this? Explain.

30. What is academic freedom? Does it warrant contradicting the Church How?

31. What is the fuller sense of Scripture? What did Vatican II do about it?

32. St. Paul quotes Malachi quoting God as saying: I have loved Jacob but hated Esau. Does God hate some?

33. 1 Samuel 4:3 reports the Jews after a defeat said: "Why did God strike us today before the face of the Philistines"? Comment.

34. What are Targums? What help do they give us? What about the date of writing them?

35. What does Hebrew hesed mean? How do our translations usually render it?

36. Why do we now often say covenant where we used to say testament?

37. What can we learn from ancient Hittite treaties about the meaning of the word love?

38. What is the most basic concept of sin found in Scripture?

39. What does it mean to read Scripture "by or in the Spirit by which it was written?. What is the analogy of faith?

40. What levels of teaching does the Church use?

41. What is Form and Redaction Criticism? Does the Church approve of using Form and Redaction Criticism? What are the dangers in Form and Redaction criticism about which the Church warns. What are the three stages in the development of the Gospels?

42. How can we show that the Church has something more basic than the Gospels?

43. What did Vatican II say of the historicity of the Gospels?

44. May we believe that the Gospels do not always use the same words that Jesus used? If not, what follows?

45. Who made a Form Critical analysis of the episode at Caesarea Philippi in Mark 8? What conclusion did he draw? What does the same writer say today about Form Criticism?

46. What claim did Wrede make about the Messianic Secret? How answer him?

47. Jesus is reported to have predicted His death and resurrection at least three times - yet the Apostles, when it happened, acted as if they had never heard of it? How can it be?

48. Why was the Church slow to draw up a list of the Canon of Scripture? What is the Canon? When was it made final? What are protocanonical and deuterocanonical books?

49. What is the genre of Genesis 1-11; of the rest of Genesis?

50. What scientific developments are there on polygenism?

51. What is the nature of original sin? What improvements in language about it have there been in our time?

52. What was the coordinating gift (gift of integrity)?

53. Did the Jews see original sin in Genesis? How can we show it is there?

54. Was there an Adam and Eve? Could the human writer of Genesis have made use of Mesopotamian stories? What Babylonian epic has a flood story? Is it like that of Genesis?

55. What do we make of Genesis 6:1-4 telling about the sons of God having children by earthly women?

56. What reasons can we give to support the historical character of the stories of the patriarchs?

57. Compare Abraham's faith with the standard set by St. Paul for faith.

58. What do the Targums say about Genesis 3:15? About Genesis 49:10? What did Vatican II say of Gen 3:15 and Is 7:14?

59. How as Gen 49:10 fulfilled?

60. What reasons have we to show that there was an Exodus?

61. What are the two chief proposals for the date of the Exodus? On what is each chiefly based? What do we do if archaeology seems to contradict Scripture?

62. Could the plagues in Egypt have come from natural causes?

63. How were the Israelites taught reverence at Mt. Sinai?

64. Explain the Sinai covenant? What did it provide? Was Sinai bilateral or unilateral? To what kind of ancient treaty has the Sinai covenant been compared? Comment?

65. Is Sinai legalistic? Relation to love?

66. Need we believe that all the numerous laws of the OT were directly revealed by God at Sinai?

67. What do we say of the Talion law?

68. How many laws are there in Leviticus? Is that too large?

69. What can we learn from the ordination of Aaron and his sons and events soon afterwards?

70. What was sheggagah?

80. Tell of the revolts against Moses?

81. What did the spies sent into the promised land report? What was the outcome?

82. What is the general nature of Deuteronomy?

83. What is the story of the reform under King Josiah later?

84. Why did God give commands?

85. What is the Shema? What did the Israelites understand by the command to love neighbor?

86. In what way did Moses put before them a blessing and a curse?

87. Is it unjust for God to say (Exodus 20:5-6) He punishes the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation? Compare to His words in Jer. 31:29?.

88. Was the ban (herem) immoral?

89. What is the problem raised by archaeology about Jericho? Solution?

90. Did Joshua cause the sun to stand still?

91. What is the Deuteronomic theme?

92. What is the probable relation of the books of Samuel, and of those of Kings? What is the genre?

93. What pattern shows strongly in the books of Samuel and Kings?

94. Tell the story of Samuel. How did he come to appoint a king?

95. Tell the story of Saul. Why was he rejected while David was not?

96. What do we learn from necromancy in the actions of Saul?

97. Who built a temple? Why did not David do it?

98. Why was there a split into north and south? How did the northern kingdom fall? The southern kingdom?

99. Tell the story of Elijah. The story of Elisha.

100. What is the nature or Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah?

101. Who let the Jews return from exile? Why? How did they react then?

102. What kinds of prophets are there in the OT? Does the fact that ecstatic prophets are spoken of in OT as having the spirit of God prove they really did have it?

102. How could Amos say he was not a prophet?

103. When a prophet says :thus says God, does it always mean he had a new revelation?

104. How far in advance did Amos foretell the fall of the northern kingdom?

105. Where do we first find the remnant theme? What does it mean?

106. What is Hebrew parallelism? Source? Why did Amos say: for three crimes and for four?

107. What is relation of Amos to the deuteronomic pattern? Relation to Isaiah's pattern?

108. When and where did Hosea prophesy? What is a very distinctive feature of the words of Hosea? What did he mean to convey by it? What did it mean to say: "I want mercy and not sacrifice"?

109. What is multiple fulfillment?

110. Describe the chief messianic prophecies of Isaiah. How do the Targums treat each of these? What special problem? What did Vatican II say of each?

111. Why do many think there were three Isaiahs? May we admit it?

112. What defect did Isaiah find in the sacrifices of his day?

113. What are the Servant Songs in Isaiah? Are they messianic?

114. When did the ministry of Jeremiah begin? Was his life ever in danger? Why?

115. What prophecy did Jeremiah make about the covenant? How was it fulfilled? Did Jeremiah understand all about it?

116. Did Jeremiah know the redemptive value of suffering?

117. What is the Day of the Lord? Who spoke specially of it?

118. What prophet did St. Paul use for a basic quotation? Did Paul attend to the original setting?

119. What did Ezekiel say about the watchman? What did Ezekiel say about conversion and individual responsibility?

120. What is the date for Haggai? What did he say to induce the Jews to rebuild the temple? What messianic prophecy did he make?

121. Who next to Isaiah has the most messianic prophecies? What are some striking features?

122. What prophet did St. Peter quote on the first Pentecost?

123. Who is the last of the OT prophets? Are we sure we have his name? Did he foretell the Mass? What did he say of the coming of the Messiah?

124. What two numbering systems are there for the Psalms? Did David write all the Psalms? What do the NT authors say of authorship?

125. Name two important Psalms that we know from NT are messianic which the Targums did not see as such?

126. Does Ps 22 show Jesus did not know who He was when dying?

127. Which Psalms seem to show an awareness of being able to be with God in an afterlife.

128. How do we explain the "cursing psalms"?

129. What is the general characteristic of wisdom literature? What other nation influenced Israel's writing in this genre? How does Sirach and Wisdom describe Wisdom?

130. Did Job or Sirach deny an afterlife? When did the Jews come to know of an afterlife? What two opinions on that today? What about their belief in future retribution? What principles do we need to use to explain? Did Qoheleth know of an afterlife?

131. What can we say of the claim that the Hebrews had a unitary concept of man? What of nefesh?

132. What is the problem raised in Job? What answer is given? Did Job know of future retribution? Who said in Job 14:13 ff Job denies an afterlife? How answer that claim?

133. Which OT book is the first to speak clearly about afterlife and retribution?

134. What genres are there in Daniel? What languages? When was Daniel written? Who is the Son of Man in Daniel 7?

135. Which text shows a belief in purgatory?

136. What is the subject of 1 & 2 Maccabees? What is the genre of each book? What reference is there in 2 Mac to purgatory?

137. Where do we find the theme of filling up the measure of sins? What does it mean? Where else in Scripture is it found?

138. What is the genre of Tobit, Judith, and Esther? What reason for saying this?

139. What is to be said of the names of the four Evangelists?

140. What is the value of the testimony of Papias? What other witnesses are there. What is the value of the other external sources? What did Hengel say about Mark?

141. What is the Synoptic problem? What two sources does it suppose for Mt. and LK? Was Mark the first Gospel written? What is a doublet? What do they prove?

142. Which Gospel shows the most Semitisms? Why?

143. What is the genre of the Gospels? What ideals did the pagan Greek and Roman historians hold for their writing?

144. Is there such a thing as an uninterpreted report?

145. Do the Gospels always follow chronological sequence? Do they always keep to the exact words of Jesus? Why not?

146. What is the genre of the infancy Gospels? What do we learn from Paul VI, Vatican II, and John Paul II on it?

147. How solve the problem of the census in Luke?

148. How solve the problem of discrepancies in the genealogies in the Gospels?

149. Why did Jesus spend most of His life at home?

150. Why did Jesus let His parents worry at age 12? What about His attitude at Cana? When He said: "Who is my Mother"?

151. Why did He not explain what He really meant when promising the Eucharist in Jn 6?

152. What is the problem of Mark 3:20-35? How solve it? What did His Mother know about Jesus? When did she first learn it?

153. How solve the problem of the brothers of Jesus?

154. What was the purpose of the parables? What are the two spirals?

155. What is retrojection? Can it be found in the Gospels? What limits? May we say that the Gospel explanations of the parables, put on the lips of Jesus, did not come from Him? Some claim the disputes of Jesus with Pharisees happened only later when the Christians began to argue. Can we accept this? Why? Give examples of foolish disputes by the rabbis.

156. Did Jesus reveal self gradually? Why? In what way did He do this?

157. What did Jesus mean by the title Son of Man? Prove He meant Himself.

158. What was the Messianic secret? What did Wrede claim? What was his chief proof? Answer it.

159. Why did Jesus say at various times your Father, my Father?

160. What was implied in Jesus' about the coming of Elijah?

161. How can the words such as "Before Abraham was, I am" be genuine when the Synoptics do not have anything like them?

162. What does the Church teach on the consciousness of Christ? What can we learn from theological reasoning on it? Is this Church teaching infallible? Did Jesus suffer and have anxiety all His life long? How explain? How could He experience fear in the garden?

163. When did His Mother learn of His future suffering? How can we measure her suffering at the cross?

164. Lk 2;52 says Jesus advanced in wisdom? What problem and answer? In Mk 13:32 Jesus said He did not know the day of the end. What problem? Answer?

165. Does the Kingdom ever mean the Church? What evidence?

166. Jesus said He came not to destroy but to fulfill the law. Yet He broke the law. Explain. Did Paul contradict this? How did Jesus extend the law? He said one should turn the other cheek. Yet He Himself at His trial in the Jewish court did not. Explain.

167. Who were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes?

168. Who was really guilty of the condemnation of Jesus?

169. How answer those who deny the miracles of Jesus? Were some cases in the Gospels that were called exorcisms really cures of epilepsy?

170. Were the miracles of Jesus the same type as those of rabbis or pagans? What of Apollonius of Tyana?

171. NJBC says Jesus consistently refused to do miracles to show His power. Comment.

172. Do the Synoptics conflict with John on the Passover supper? How solve the problem? Was the Passover supper a sacrifice? Is the Eucharist a sacrifice? Explain. What is the relation of the Last Supper to the Cross and to the Mass?

173. What is the New Covenant? What is the relation of Our Lady to it? Did she cooperate in the redemption on Calvary? In what way? Show this from Vatican II.

174. How did the Redemption operate? What is the problem of the price of redemption? How solve the problem?

175. What title to forgiveness and grace was generated for each individual human? How? How then could anyone be lost? If the merits of Christ are infinite, then we cannot add, need not do anything?

176. How do we know He promised to be with the Church until the end of time?

178. How can we work out the sequence of events after the resurrection?

179. Who was the Beloved Disciple? Evidence?

180. What of the Johannine school or community? When John's Gospel speaks of the Jews, who are meant?

181. What reasons are given for saying Luke, author of Acts, did not know Paul? What is the problem about the report on Council of Apostles in Act 15? How solve it?

182. Where does Paul say the Jews are filling up the measure of their sins? Why?

183. Is it certain everyone will die? Why? What reason is given for thinking Paul expected to see the end? Will there be a rapture?

184. Does Paul teach God offers all the grace of final perseverance? Compare to the teaching of Trent.

185. What signs does Paul give that must happen before the end in 2 Ths?

186. What is the main subject of Galatians? Why did Paul curse an angel?

187. What led Paul to say we are free from the law? In what sense is that true or not true? Does Paul teach justification by faith? In same sense as Luther?

188. Explain focused and factual views of the law.

189. Did Paul rebuke the first Pope? Doctrinal problem?

190. What is the special importance of Gal 2:20?

191. Does Paul in Gal 3:28 defend ordination of women?

192. How did Paul in Gal. correct the misunderstanding of his words that we are free from the law?

193. In Phil. does Paul show he believes he could be with Christ between death and resurrection? How?

194. In what sense did Christ empty Himself?

195. How can we reconcile Phil. 2:13 with free will?

196. How can Paul say all things are rubbish - God made them good?

197. Paul in 1 Cor says Christ crucified was nonsense to the Greeks and a scandal to the Jews? Explain.

198. What does Paul say about inheriting the kingdom in 1 Cor?

199. In 1 Cor 6:11 Paul says only some of the Corinthians were guilty of the great sins. But in Rom 1 he says all are guilty. How explain?

200. How can Paul say virginity/celibacy is a better state than marriage - then those who marry could not reach perfection - but the Church says they can. Explain. And in what way is celibacy better? (Use Mt. 6:21).

201. How does Paul show he does not have infallible salvation?

202. Why does Paul do so much personal pleading in 2 Cor?

203. How can Paul say in 2 Cor 3:5 we cannot even get a good thought by our own power?

204 . What is the chief thrust of chapters 1-3 of Romans? How does that rule out speaking of mere tendencies to sin?

205. St. Justin Martyr says many who seemed to be atheists were really Christians, e.g., Socrates. Paul says atheists are inexcusable? Contradiction?

206. What is the "righteousness of God" in Rom 1:17? Most usual view? Is it right?

207. What two kinds of predestination are there? Of which does Paul speak in Romans 8:29 ff? Where does Scripture speak of predestination to heaven or hell? What new solution can we have for the question of predestination to heaven?

208. What does the word saved mean in Scripture? On what does God base His decision to give or not full membership in Church?

209. What is significance of Col 1:24?

210. What great mystery, once unknown, does Paul reveal in Col and esp. in Eph?

211. What does 2 Tim. 2:2 call for?

212. What genre is Hebrews? What could account for the special style in it?

213. Heb. 9:28 says Christ was offered once. Does this rule out the Mass?

214. If a person violates one commandment, how is he guilty of all?

215. What does 1 Peter mean by "spiritual sacrifices"?

216. 1 Pet 2:10 says they were once without mercy. Does not God have mercy on all?

217. How are we sharers in the divine nature?

218. Which Apostle said Paul is hard to understand?

219. How can 1 John speak both of antichrist and antichrists?

220. First John 3:9 says anyone begotten of God cannot sin. Explain.

221. In what sense can we love God?

222. How does 2 John define love of God?

223. What of the authorship of Apocalypse/Revelation? What is the genre?

224. What are chief tendencies of interpretation of Apoc. ?

225. Who is the woman clothed with the sun? Give reasons?

226. Does Apoc. teach two resurrections and a millennium?

Answers to Study Questions on Scripture 525

1. Did Vatican II or Pius XII revolutionize Scripture studies?

No. Pius XII encouraged more freely the use of literary genres, which was not forbidden before, but not encouraged. Vatican II made no further change.

3. What is meant by literary genre?

It is a pattern of writing, within which some things are asserted by the author, others not. e. g, in a modern historical novel the author asserts the main line is history, does not assert the fill-ins.

4. How answer those who claim to see so many errors in scripture?

A large part of the answer is found in noting that DV says that whatever is asserted by the human author is asserted by the Holy Spirit. But many things are not asserted, as we learn from checking literary genre of each part of Scripture.

6. DV 11 says Scripture contains without error what God wanted there for the sake of our salvation. Are other things open to error?

No, DV itself showed by notes taking us to such texts as Vatican II, which says God Himself is the Chief Author - hence no error possible in the things that are asserted.

7. What principles did Vatican II give for Scripture study?

We must remember that the Holy Spirit is the chief author of all, so one part of Scripture does not contradict another. And there is no error at all. We must always check to see if a proposed interpretation would clash even by implication with any Church teaching.

10. Is it enough for inspiration to be free from error?

No, also, we must say "God Himself is the chief author, who uses a free human instrument, but causes him to write what God wants, without error.

11. How can we know which books are inspired?

Only by decision of the providentially protected Church.

12. They say there is no such thing as an uninterpreted report - so this undermines all history, including Gospels.

There is some truth in the saying, but some things have so simple a structure that there is no room, e.g., a leper stands before Christ asking to be healed. He says: "I will it. Be healed." No room for interpretation in that account.

14. The first Gospels may have been written 40 or more years after Christ - how could they get the facts?

Some of the writers probably were eyewitnesses. Even if not, Pope Clement I, in his letter to Corinth of c 95 AD says Peter & Paul were of his own generation. They probably died c 67. So he must have heard them. Also we have Ignatius of Antioch who came from the see where Peter had worked not long before; And Quadratus, saying some in his day were still alive who had been cured by Christ or raised by Him. Even if not in 123, this covers easily 80-90 AD when many say Mt. & Lk were written.

15. How prove the Church has a teaching commission from Christ?

Six points: There was a man Jesus who, (2) claimed to be sent from God; and (3) proved He was by miracles done with a tie to the claim and, (4) in the crowds He had a smaller group, the Twelve and, (5) told them to continue His teaching and, (6) Promised protection: "He who hears you hears me."

Our sketch of apologetics did not show anything about a Pope.

True, but once we have a group or church commissioned to teach by someone sent from God, and promised protection, that group can tell us there is a Pope and what he can do. Also, two major Protestants, Albright and Mann in Anchor Bible , Matthew agree with our reading of Matthew 16.

16. What did Luther think Paul meant by faith?

Only confidence the merits of Christ are credited to me. Really if we read all of Paul, faith includes:believe in God's words, confidence in His promises, and obedience to His commands. Luther omitted the third, said we could sin freely.

17. What is genre of chapters 1-11 of Genesis?

Probably ancient stories, (could have been borrowed from Mesopotamia, but not really likely) used to bring out things that happened, e.g., God made all things, in some special way made first pair, gave some sort of command, they violated it, fell from favor or grace. Church never taught fundamentalism. Even Augustine said, about the clay image, that God does not have hands. St. John Chrysostom said the Eve incident should not be taken crudely.

19. What is the Documentary theory?

Says Pentateuch was put together out of 4 sources, Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly Code, Deuteronomist. We may believe theory, need not. Many scholars today are dropping it.

20. May we consider evolution?

Not atheistic, but theistic, said Pius XII in 1950. But scientific evidence for it is very scant.

21. What is likely the genre of: Pentateuch 12 ff? Joshua, Judges, Jonah, Daniel?

Pent. is probably epic; Joshua also, Judges, more factual, Jonah unclear, may be extended parable; Daniel includes edifying narrative and apocalyptic.

34. What are Targums?

Ancient Aramaic versions of OT, mostly free, with fill-ins to show how Jews understood it. So we can understand messianic prophecies better than some scholars do today.

40. What levels of Church teaching are there?

1) Definitions; 2) Universal teaching when showing it is meant to be definitive - infallible; 3) decisions of Pope in documents in Acta on debated questions: infallible; 4) things not presented as definitive.

41. What are the three stages in development of Gospels?

1)Words and acts of Jesus, adapted to current audience; 2)Way Apostles & others preached these things, with adaptation of wording to audience; 3)some individuals under inspiration wrote down part of this basic preaching: this is the Gospel. So the Church has something more basic than Gospels, its own ongoing teaching.

What method of study builds on what we just said?

Form and Redaction criticism tries to find at which of the 3 stages our present text was formed, and so find out some things. Can be useful, often is abused.

50. What is polygenism?

Theory that our race came from several pairs . Statement of Pius XII in 1950 may rule it out - some debate that. But Allan Wilson of UC. at Berkeley by study of mitochondria said we all come from one mother, 3500 yrs. Ago. Many scientists accept the view, lowered it to 200, 000yrs.

51. What is original sin?

In us, it is lack of the grace that should be there, i.e., a pure privation.

52. What was the coordinating gift or gift of integrity?

When God called: Adam where are you? and Adam said: I hid, was naked, we see Adam before the fall had no shame for nakedness, afterwards did - so had lost the means of easily controlling all drives. That gift was a coordinating gift.

58. Name two messianic prophecies from Genesis.

Targums see Gen 3:15 as such (enmity between you and the woman) and Gen 49. 10: (Scepter will not depart from Judah until messiah comes).

59. How did Gen 49:10 come true?

Was always some ruler from tribe of Judah until Herod in 41 BC. who was not of that tribe, by birth half Arab, half Idumean.

61. When was the Exodus?

Two chief theories: one says 1290 (Jews built store cities, in Ex. 1:11 , which have been excavated);others say around 1445 (Solomon began to build temple in 4th year of reign which was 480 yrs after Exodus).

What do we do if archaeology seems to contradict OT?

Recall many buildings were mud, washed away - there was some site shift - only a fraction of sites usually excavated -- check genre of the passage.

64. What did Sinai covenant provide?

A people to get favor on condition of obedience.

70. Lv 4 speaks of involuntary sin. What is it?

Violation of command of God without knowing the fact- requires a sacrifice, to restore damaged objective moral order.

80. God sometimes ordered Hebrews to wipe out a city: herem. Was it immoral?

No, the adults had sinned mortally; children in it had not, but life is a moment to moment gift: God decided to stop giving it, using Hebrews as a means. Killing is wrong precisely because it is a violation of rights of God, the Lord of life.

81. Why did Israel wander for 40 years?

First spies sent in to see the land lied, said people were giants. God then punished them by making them wait until that generation had died out.

82. What is the nature of Deuteronomy?

Mostly speeches of Moses, and repeat of earlier books. Seems dramatization.

84. Why does God give commands?

1) He loves all that is right - that says creatures should obey their creator; 2) He wants to give good to us, but we need to be open: commands tell us how to be open to receive.

86. What choice did Dt. 30 give?

Blessing for keeping covenant, curse for sins.

89. Kenyon expedition could not find walls of Jericho that had fallen.

But Bryant Wood did find them. Kenyon made other serious mistakes in excavating Jerusalem.

91. What is the deuteronomic pattern?

God warns, people keep on sinning, He punishes, they repent, He restores them.

92. How many books of Samuel were there?

Probably originally our 1 & 2 Sam were one book of which 1 & 2 Kings were also part.

96. How can we show whether the Hebrews knew of survival after death?

Many today deny that they knew, appeal to a supposed unitary concept of man, i.e., a body with breath in it. But the determined belief in necromancy we find in the OT shows they did know of a survival (Lev 19:31 and 20:6; Dt. 8:11), even if they did not know how to reconcile that with a possible unitary concept of man.

97. Who built the first great temple?

Solomon. God told David he , David, had shed too much blood. This was not sinful, God had commanded his wars. But it is a matter of fittingness.

98. Why was there a split into two kingdoms?

Solomon and the people sinned, punishment was a foolish ruler, Rehoboam, whose folly led to the split.

When did the two kingdoms fall?

North fell in 621; south in 597 & 587.

100. Probable relation of Chronicles to Ezra-Nehemiah?

Probably all parts were originally one book - cf. cases of 1&2 Sam and 1 & 2 Kings.

101. How did the great exile end?

Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylonia in 539.

104. Which prophet first foretold the fall of Samaria in 621?

Amos in 786-46.

108. What was sense of "I want mercy and not sacrifice?"

Really means God wants hesed, covenant fidelity, more than external rites.

110. Who was the child in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:5-6.

Targums saw child of 9 as Messiah, which implies same for child of 7. By multiple fulfillment (a prophecy can go through more than once) it would be both Hezekiah, son of Achaz, and Jesus.

What two other major prophecies are found in Isaiah?

In 11, Messiah will have the Divine Spirit; in 53, He will suffer terribly.

112. Why did the prophets speak against sacrifice?

They did not, they really meant God wants interior dispositions of obedience and not just external rites.

115. What is the greatest prophecy of Jeremiah?

The new covenant in 31:31, which was made by Jesus in Upper Room.

119. Which prophet said the son would not suffer for father's sins?

Ezekiel 18.

121. Which is the most messianic of the prophets next to Isaiah?

Zechariah, who foretold the entry into Jerusalem, the piercing of the Messiah, His being sold for 30 piece of silver.

125. Which Psalms have messianic prophecies?

Chiefly 2 and 22.

129. Was everything in wisdom books a religious teaching?

No, much was worldly wisdom, interspersed with religious ideas.

130. How could Job and Sirach and Qoholeth speak darkly about survival?

The afterlife then was much different from now, a drab limbo of the Patriarchs.

134. Does Daniel include future prophecies?

Most of the things in chapters 7ff seem to refer to time of Antiochus IV, yet some features seem to mean the times of Christ.

135. What text shows belief in purgatory?

2 Maccabees 12. We can also show it by noting that in Mal 3:2 God is a refiner's fire: "Who can stand when He appears?". So the soul must be pure to be united with Him forever - not just total corruption as Luther held.

138. What is genre of Tobit, Judith and Esther?

First two probably edifying narrative; second may be more historical.

139. Must we know the names of the Gospel writers? Why?

Need not, enough to know they tried to get things right, the for sake of their own eternity, and had the means to get the facts. See answer to qu. 14 on this. (Often in those times writers used a pen name, often that of a famous man).

141. What is the synoptic problem? Why? the Two Source theory?

There are some similarities in the text and even wording of the Synoptics - many say then that Mark wrote first, Mt. and Lk used him, plus a course Q (German Quelle = source) for things not in Mark. This view is under some attack today. Evangelists could have each had their own traditions, which were careful of wording.

145. Did Evangelists always keep the very words of Jesus and sequence of events?

Neither. They would adapt wording to current audience, and arrange events according to the special purpose they had.

146. Are the Infancy Gospels historical? Give reasons.

Yes, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Vatican II show they consider them historical. Objections easily answered.

147. What of the census in Luke?

There is a new solution now. Pick the eclipse of Jan 10, 1 BC as the one just before death of Herod. Then we know there was a registration to take oath of allegiance to Augustus before he was named "Father of his country" Feb. 5, 2 BC. Real governor of Palestine would have gone to Rome, put Quirinius in as acting governor for the registration. As to coins showing successors began to rule in 4 BC - this sort of pattern is well known in ancient things, and Herod had special reason: was in bad with Augustus, wanted to use names of Hasmoneans.

148. What of the differences in genealogies in Mt and Lk?

Genealogies then often were not family trees, were artificial to bring out other things.

152. What of fact W. Harrington says Our Lady did not believe in Him, as shown in Mk 3:20 ff.

But Mark would not contradict Luke, who shows her as first believer. If she went with that group - uncertain - she need not have agreed with them, might have wanted to hold them down, as most mothers would do.

When did Our Lady learn Jesus was to be Messiah?

As soon as Angel said He would reign over house of Jacob forever - then all the prophecies would begin to come to mind.

153. What of the "brothers of Jesus"?

Hebrew had few words for relatives, used ah for most things. Even though Gospels were in Greek, NT Greek often uses Greek words in such a way we need to think of the Hebrew to understand. And James the "brother of the Lord" was still alive in 49 at Council of Jerusalem: Jesus would have asked him to care for her.

154. What was purpose of parables?

Made possible for well-disposed to get more and more; ill-disposed less and less, as Isaiah had foretold.

155. Did Jesus really speak against Pharisees, or was it just the later Church?

Gospels could retroject some things He actually said, from after to before Easter. But cannot fake by retrojecting what He never did say.

156. Did Jesus at once reveal who He was?

No, used gradual self-revelation, especially by "Son of Man" which evoked Daniel 7. Had He said at once, "I and the Father are one" they would have stoned Him.

158. What was the messianic secret?

Wrede in 1901 said Jesus never said He was Messiah - Church was embarrassed, faked incidents where matter would come up, but He asked for secrecy. Wrede appeals to raising of daughter of Jairus -as clear case - anyone could see she was alive. But -Jesus needed only enough time of silence to slip out and get on way to next city, so crowd would not proclaim Him King Messiah.

162. When did Jesus find out who He was?

From first instant of conception, according to teaching of Church, His human soul saw vision of God, whence He knew everything that was to come upon Him, and all His mission.

163. How great was suffering of His Mother at cross?

All holy souls must positively will what God positively wills - so she was asked to positively will His horrid death, in spite of her love so great we cannot understand that love, according to Pius IX.

164. Lk 2:52 says Jesus advanced in wisdom.

St. Athanasius showed He did not grow in actual wisdom, but in manifestation of what He already had.

Jesus said in Mk 13:32 He did not know day of end.

Gregory the Great said He knew the day in His humanity (registered on human mind) but not FROM His humanity.

165. What does kingdom mean in Gospels?

Ancient words often had a span of meaning. Kingdom often meant Church in this world or next, cf. parable of wicked tenants: kingdom to be taken from them = they would no longer be members of People of God.

166. Why did Jesus often break the Law?

Never did, broke foolish oral additions by Pharisees, such as the Korban teaching which let them break the 4th commandment. He said He came not to destroy but to fulfill.

166. Did Jesus contradict Paul - Jesus said He came to fulfill law, Paul said we are free from law.

Paul meant that keeping law does not earn salvation, though breaking it can earn punishment: Rom 6:23. Jesus said same in saying we must be like little children, who get things because parents are good, without earning it, though they could earn to lose inheritance.

167. What was difference of Pharisees and Sadducees?

Pharisees held all oral law, believed in survival after death, retribution in next life. Sadducees denied survival, denied the oral law.

168. Who was guilty of the death of Jesus?

All who sin are guilty in general - in special way, those Jews who were before Pilate calling for His death. But Pilate tried to get Him free, fault was with Jews. Jews today try to deny the guilt of their ancestors.

169. Can we be sure Jesus worked miracles?

In His day even His enemies admitted He worked cures and exorcisms - attributed to magic or devil, did not deny.

Were some of those He exorcised really just epileptics?

Possibly, but not all. He did not come to teach science, but to heal souls and bodies.

170. Was not Jesus just much like Apollonius of Tyana?

Not at all - Latter was just a philosopher, his "miracles" not like those of Jesus, e.g., he quieted a satyr with wine, gave a threatening letter to a ghost instead of commanding the devil to go out.

171. NJBC says Jesus always refused to appeal to His miracles to prove claims.

Not so, the cases cited by NJBC are all foolish, e.g., He refused a miracle to amuse Herod, refused to come down from cross etc. But often He did appeal, e.g., John 5:36 and 14:10 and Mark 2.

172. Was the Last Supper a Passover celebration? John and Synoptics seem not to agree.

Pharisees celebrated on Thursday eve to avoid breaking Sabbath; Sadducees used Friday evening. And when Passover fell on a Sabbath, some lambs were sacrificed on Thursday eve to avoid running into sabbath rest.

173. Who foretold the New Covenant? How does it apply to the redemption?

Jeremiah 31. 31 foretold it. Covenant condition was obedience, basically that of Jesus (Rom 5:19) to which His Mother's obedience was joined, not as adding - her whole ability came from Him, but as making things richer in good order (cf. I. 19. 5. c , . and LG §61).

174. To whom was price of redemption paid? Was it infinite?

Not to satan, nor to the Father(not the captor) but in God's love of all holiness to rebalance the objective moral order. It was infinite, work of an Infinite Person, and gives an infinite title for the whole race, and also infinite title for each individual: Cf. Gal. 2:20 and GS §22.

175. If merits of Christ are infinite, then we cannot do anything, need not do anything.

This forgets the syn Christo theme of St. Paul. e. g, Rom 8:17: "We are heirs together with Christ, provided we suffer with Him so we may be glorified with Him". Cf. also Romans 6:3-8; Col 3:1-3; Eph 2:5-9; Rom 8:9. We get in on the claim He established insofar as we are members of Him and like Him.

176. How do we know He promised to be with the Church until end of time?

Cf. Mt. 28. 18-20 and parables of weeds and net. Would it not be ridiculous to suppose He became incarnate and died for just one generation?

178. Make sequence of Easter events.

Magdalen & others come to tomb, find it empty - run to Apostles -- they refuse to believe, but Peter & John run to tomb, see it is empty, do not see Jesus - Magdalen stays, sees Jesus - goes to Apostles again - He appears to Peter - then to two on road to Emmaus - the two find Peter has seen Jesus - He appears to the Eleven without Thomas - returns when Thomas is there -- more appearances at Lake of Galilee.

179. Who was Beloved Disciple?

Some question today. But was John - was one of inner three- surely not Peter, not James, who was martyr in 42.

181. Does Acts disagree with Epistles?

No. Paul in Acts & Romans 1 & 2 does preach repentance. Acts show Paul in Nazirite ceremony - in 1 Cor he says he was all things to all men. 2 Cor 11: Paul recounts his sufferings - in Acts we actually see them.

How could Paul tell Corinthians they can eat meat sacrificed to idols, when Acts 15 forbids it.

Letter of Acts 15 sent only to converts in Syria and Cilicia -- when in that area Paul did preach rule of Acts 15.

183. Will everyone die?

No, 1 Thes 4:13 ff shows those alive at the parousia will never die.

Is there a rapture -- 1 Ths 4:13 depicts event in air, Last judgment is on earth.

Both passages have strong apocalyptic color - in that we do not press details.

184. Will God offer all the grace of final perseverance?

Yes: 1 Ths. 5:23-24; Phil 1:6; 1 C or 1:7-9. Trent says we cannot be sure of having it - but if God offers, a man may reject and not have it.

187. What is justification by faith?

Justification means the soul is transformed, made capable of face-to-face vision of God: 2 Peter 1:4 and 1 Cor 13:12, and becomes Temple of Holy Spirit: 1 Cor 3:16 and 6:19. Faith includes three elements; cf answer 14. Luther thought justification left one totally corrupt, was only legal, and thought faith is just confidence merits of Christ apply to me.

What did Paul say of Law?

We are free from law in sense that keeping it does not earn salvation, which is an inheritance to children of God; but not free to violate it, if we do, we lose our inheritance: Rom 6:23, 1 Cor 6-9-10.

188. What are focused and factual views of Law?

In focused view, we as it were look through a tube, see only what is within circle:law makes heavy demands, gives no strength, so we must fall. In factual view, circle is removed, we see off to side, in no relation to law, grace was given even in anticipation of Christ: outcome is then good.

191. Gal 3:28 says in Christ we are neither male nor female. Why not ordain women?

Paul spoke of getting justification by faith - not of all else too.

193. How do we know Paul believed in survival after death?

In Phil 1 he wants to be dissolved to be with Christ, in 2 Cor 5 he wants to leave the body to be present to God. And he was a Pharisee - they believed in survival.

194. What does it mean Christ emptied self?

Gave up using divine powers for own comfort.

195. If God causes the good thought, the act of will and the doing, how are we free under grace?

Actual grace comes, with no help from me makes me see something as good, makes me well-disposed. At that point I could reject. If I merely make no decision against grace, it continues in its course, then works in me both the will and the doing while giving me power to cooperate.

196. How can Paul say all creatures are rubbish - God made them good?

Paul means on relative scale, comparing time and eternity.

197. How was incarnation and redemption nonsense to Greeks & Jews?

Greeks believed no god associated with men - Jews believed one who hangs on the wood is cursed, and Messiah would never die.

199. In 1 Cor 6:11 Paul says that only some of the Corinthians had committed the great sins; but in Romans 1 he implies all Greeks had done all. How possible?

We saw in answer 95 that there are two ways of looking at law, focused and factual. In 1 Cor 6:11 it is factual; in Romans 1 it is focused: each command in the law makes a heavy demand, gives no strength, so all fall and sin against each major demand. Hence in Romans 2:1 each one is guilty of the very same sins.

200. Church teaches we can reach perfection in any state in life. How can Paul say celibacy/virginity is higher than marriage?

One gives greater means than the other, but the key is this: to follow what one sees is God's will for him/her is not lacking in generosity, and so perfection is possible. Marriage, from differences of male & female psychology, requires much giving in, the opposite of selfishness, and so can be a means of spiritual growth.

201. How does Paul show he does not believe in infallible salvation?

In 1 Cor 9:26-27 he says he is hard on his body so it will not lead him into sin, and he might be lost in eternity. Chapter 10 shows the original People of God did not have it made from being such either.

203. How can Paul say in 2 Cor 3:5 we cannot even get a good thought by our own power?

"Without me you can do nothing." Cf. 1 Cor 4:7.

204. In Romans 1-3 Paul wants to show all are hopeless if they try for justification by law, can't keep it. But in 2:14-16 he says some gentiles do make it by keeping law. How?

This is a factual picture, not the focused picture of Romans 1-3 in general. Some say Paul speaks in Rom 1 only of tendencies - but then Paul's thrust would be void, for he is trying to prove that no one can gain justification by keeping the law.

205. How can St. Justin say some in the past were Christians long before Christ?

Justin says also that the Divine Word is in all - not a spatial presence. He writes the law on hearts (Rom 2:15), i.e., makes known what morality requires. If a person obeyed that, he was following the Spirit of Christ, without knowing what he was following. And also, in view of Rom 8:9, he belonged to Christ, and so was a member of Christ = member of the Church, without external adherence of course.

206. What is "justice of God" in Romans 1:17?

Usual view: salvific activity by God. But a study of Hebrew sedaqah shows it is God's concern for what is morally right, leading to reward for the good, punishment for breaking covenant.

207. What is predestination?

A providential arrangement so a person gets full membership in the Church - given without merits, but, it seems from 1 Cor 1 and elsewhere, it is given where more is needed. Predestination to heaven is not mentioned in Scripture: however, God lets one go down who gravely and persistently throws away, the only thing that could save him, grace; but then predestines to heaven, without merits, those who do not resist that way. Reason: He wanted to do so in first place, they do not block Him.

208. What does word saved mean?

1)rescue from temporal danger; 2) entry into Church ; 3)reaching heaven. -- It never has the meaning of getting "infallible salvation".

209. What does Col 1:24 mean?

Paul wills to make up for deficiency of members of Christ who do not do enough to rebalance objective moral order for their own sins.

210. What great mystery, once unknown, does Paul reveal in Col and esp. in Eph?

God calls gentiles too to be part of His people.

211. What does 2 Tim 2:2 call for?

Oral transmission of faith - pass on to those who can pass on to others.

212. What is genre of Hebrews?

Except for introduction, it is homiletic: constant comparisons of old Temple vs Christ. He earned title to all grace and forgiveness once for all -- yet God in His love of good order wants a means or title for giving it out, for which Christ provided saying, "Do this in memory of me" -- Under same external sign as on Holy Thursday, obedient will of Christ is presented as title for giving out graces -- to receive, we must be members of His and be like Him (syn Christo theme, as in answer 175).

213. Hebrews 9:28 says Christ died once for all. How then is there room for the Mass?

It is one thing for Christ to earn all forgiveness and grace, another for a person to take it in - person must be disposed, open. For this, he must be a member of Christ and like Him. Cf. the syn Christo theme. esp. Rom 8:17:"We are heirs with Christ, provided that we suffer with Him, so we may also be glorified with Him."

214. Most striking things in Epistle of James?

Speaks of faith as only intellectual acceptance - stresses that if one can control the tongue, he will do everything else too.

215. What are "spiritual sacrifices"?

Everything we do that is offered to God. Cf. LG §34.

224. Chief trends in interpreting Apocalypse/Revelation?

1) It is purely a book of consolation, no prophecy at all, 2) It is consolation, adds some prophecies, hard to interpret, though Popes seem to favor the woman clothed with the sun as Our Lady standing for the Church.

226. Will there be a reign of the just with Christ on earth for 1000 years?

No, this was an early error on Apoc. 20. First resurrection is from sin - to rule is to not be slave to sin - then physical resurrection.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 16 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 17 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 22 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17