The MOST Theological Collection: The Living God

"Addenda: Outline; reading list; syllabus; paper topics; study Q & A"


Browse by Title
New Search
Table of Contents for this Work

NOTRE DAME INSTITUTE: Theology 601: The Living God

1. Course Description: This course will introduce the student to theology of God. Knowledge of God by reason and revelation; salvation history and messianic prophecies; Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium; Attributes of God, Providence; Creation of angels, of men, evolution, immortality; Original Sin and original justice; the election of Israel; Holy Trinity

2. Specific Course Objectives: 1. inform student of nature and need of revelation and its need of interpretation by the Church; 2. Knowledge of God by reason, and need of revelation; 3. Learn of messianic prophecies and how to interpret them; 4. Study God's attributes and providence; 5. Introduce creation and evolution, original sin and original justice; 6. Distinguish election of Israel from final salvation; 7. Understand problems in history of Israel, esp. Exodus; 8. Introduction to the theology of the Holy Trinity.

3. Method of instruction: lectures, discussion, study questions to focus attention, compact summaries of answers to essential study questions, review periods for midterm, for final; term paper.

4. Grading: Midterm exam: 50%; Final exam 50%. Term paper is prerequisite to grading.

5. Topics covered and timing:

class 1: Knowledge of God by reason; need of revelation

class 2: Salvation history and prophecies; inspiration, relation of Scripture and Tradition

class 3: Levels of Magisterium teaching; historicity of Gospels

class 4: Providence and Predestination

class 5: Creation of angels and of men, evolution, polygenism

class 6: the Hebrew concept of nefesh and implications; Immortality of soul, origin of each soul; image of God

class 7: Original sin; concupiscence. review for midterm

class 8: Midterm examination

class 9: Original justice, Immaculate Conception

class 10: Original sin;need of redemption

class 11: Election of Israel; salvation outside the Church

class 12: transcendence & immanence; appearances to Israel

class 13: Patriarchal age; later history of Israel; Exodus problem

class 14: Date of birth of Christ; Trinity; review for final

class 15: Final examination

6. Required books:

Wm. G. Most, The Living God, Father and Creator

Vatican I, Constitution Dei Filius

Pius XII, Encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritu

Idem, Encyclical On the Mystical Body, 1943.

Vatican II, Constitution Dei Verbum on Divine Revelation

Paul VI, Credo of the People of God

7. Recommended Books

Kenneth Baker, S.J., Fundamentals of Catholicism, 3 vols.

S. Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory

Wm. G. Most, Free From all Error, Prow Press, Libertyville, IL, 1985

Idem, Catholic Apologetics Today, Tan Books, Rockford, Il, 1986.

Idem, Our Father's Plan, Trinity Communications, Manassas VA, 1988.

Samson Levey, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio

Hershel Shanks, ed., Ancient Israel

Kitchen, The Bible in its World, The Bible and Archaeology Today, Intervarsity Press.

Idem, Ancient Orient and Old Testament

Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings

A. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. I. 2d ed. John Knox Press, Atlanta, 1974.

Alexander Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis

Science, Research notes, Nov. 21, 1980, pp. 883-87.

Newsweek, Jan. 11, 1988, pp. 46-52.

Bertrand De Margerie, S.J., The Christian Trinity in….

E. L. Martin, The Birth of Christ Recalculated

Bryant Wood, "Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?" in Biblical Archaeology Review, March- April, 1990.

"Yigal Shiloh: Last Thoughts" In Biblical Archeology Review. March-April, 1988

Syllabus of Theology 601: The Living God

I. Revelation

1. Natural knowledge of God: It is defined He can be known by reason; Ontological argument; Aristotelian argument; He is unmoved, eternal, infinite, one , spiritual, cause of all existence.

2. Man's need of revelation: Some truths inaccessible by reason; Aristotle saw this; Eunomius: we can understand completely in this life; Patristic statements: He is beyond being; Thomas Aquinas: goal is supernatural, so revelation is needed; Does Thomas imply many have no chance at salvation? Not true in se: Romans 2. 14-16 related to Justin Martyr; Pius IX, Holy Office for Pius XII, Vatican II.

3. Concept of Salvation History: History of the term; Stages in salvation history: distinguish election and cies: date of Targums; Gen. 3. 15:Magisterium & Targums; Gen. 49. 10: Targums: historical fulfillment; Isaiah 9. 5-6: Targums, Sense of El gibbor; Isaiah 7. 14:Shifting Jewish tradition. Almah. Who meant?; Isaiah 53: Targums and distortion; Micah 5. 1-3: Targum. Implication of eternal existence?; Our Lady's knowledge about Jesus.

4. Scripture and Tradition and Magisterium: Inspiration: God is chief author; Inerrancy: Cardinal Koenig and R. Brown; New methods of answering charges of error; Examples of modern blindness; How inspiration functions: leaves human author his of Scripture and Tradition: Vatican II debates on rson and/or of doctrines?; Public revelation is closed: Judaism now insufficient; Private revelations; Gabriel Moran on ongoing revelation; Interpreting revelation: 2 phases in exegesis; Four levels of magisterium teaching; assent to level 4; Holy Spirit leads to progress; Historicity of Gospels: Vatican II debates.

5. Faith is our response: what is faith?

II. The Nature of God

1. Our knowledge of God: It is analogical; 2. God is a Spirit; 3. Attributes of God; 4. Simplicity of God. YHWH; 5. Immutability of God; 6. Eternity of God; 7. Immensity and ubiquity; 8. Infinity; 9. Unicity; 10. Love, creation for glory of God; 11. Identity with His perfections; 12. Truths beyond reason; 13. All works outside Divine Nature common to all Three; 14. Providence in internal and external economies. His knowledge; 15. Predestination

III. Creation

1. Philology: the word bara; Creation proved by reason; Creation proved by Magisterium; Documentary hypothesis on Pentateuch; Babylonian parallels: Enuma Elish.

2. Angels and Their Fall: Existence of angels; Choirs of Angels; Spirituality of Angels; Guardian Angels.

3. Evolution and polygenism: Theological approach; Scientific approach; Alan Wilson; Charles Darwin; Factorials; Was there an Adam & Eve?; Humans have one soul; One or two parts in humans; Nefesh; Modern scholars on nefesh and survival; Between death and resurrection.

4. Immortality of the soul.

5. Origin of each soul: traducianism and preexistence.

6. Time of creation of each soul.

7. Image of God.

IV. Original Sin

1. Definition of original justice; 2. Errors on original justice; 3. Magisterium on original justice; 4. Genesis 3; 5. Loss of coordinating gift; 6. Genesis 3. 15: the modern versions, the Targums; 7. Magisterium on Gen 3. 15: Pius IX, Pius XII, Vatican II, John Paul II; 8. Did Our Lady Know of Her Own Immaculate Conception; 9. Infused knowledge in Adam; 10. Nature of original sin; 11. Concupiscence; 12. Conclusions on the use of creatures; 13. Our need of redemption; 14. Fate of unbaptized infants; 15. Theological speculation on unbaptized infants; 16. Council of Florence; 17. Nature of the first sin.

V. The Election of Israel

1. Election vs final salvation; 2. No salvation outside the Church; 3. Scriptural vocabulary for entering the Church; 4. God's appearances to Israel: The Logos appears; 5. Problems of subordinationism in the Fathers; 6. Three kinds of appearances; 7. Three kinds of revelations; 8. Transcendence and immanence: Fathers on "beyond being", Problem of the Incarnation, God's knowledge; 9. Principal early manifestations to Israel; 10. Revelation of retribution in future life; 11. Hebrew names for God; 12. Overview of the history of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph; 13. Historicity and dating of the Patriarchs; 14. Bibliography on the problem of the Exodus; 15. Problem solving in Archaeology.

16. Theories on the patriarchal age: Eponyms; Albright, Speiser, G. E. Wright school; Criticisms of Albright school; Noth & Albrecht Alt school; Criticisms of Noth; T. L. Thompson; Conclusions.

17. The Exodus: Form of the Exodus; Historicity of the Exodus; Number involved; Route taken.

18. Covenant of Sinai: Relation to Hittite Treaty Form; Covenant is bilateral; Covenant law.

19. Mosaic authorship; 20. Problem of Jericho; 21. Joshua vs Judges; 22. Morality of herem; 23. The First Kings: Saul & David; 24. Chronology of the Kings; 25. Babylonian Captivity; 26. The return; 27. The persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes; 28. Date of birth of Jesus.

VI. The Holy Trinity

1. Old Testament hints; 2. Father, Son, Holy Spirit; 3. Church has always taught the Trinity; 4. The Processions; 5. The Relations; 6. Works ad extra are common; 7. Appropriation; 8. Missions; 9. Perichoresis.

Topics for Papers, Theology 601

1. State and evaluate the various arguments for the existence of God.

2. The theology of inspiration -- relation to inerrancy - modern debates and critique.

3. The principal Messianic prophecies in the light of the Targums.

4. New methods of answering charges of error in Scripture.

5. The various levels of teaching by Magisterium and their obligation.

6. The ideas of Eunomius and their refutation by the Cappadocians.

7. If God created for His own glory, how can He love us (cf. Vatican I).

8. How can we prove there was creation and that it was not from eternity.

9. Differences of internal and external economies: God's principles in each. Examples of each especially from St. Paul.

10. The history of the Documentary Hypothesis on the Pentateuch, and evaluation.

11. Babylonian parallels, real and supposed on Genesis.

12. Problems of doctrine on angels.

13. What does theology say of bodily evolution? What does natural science say today? What of Polygenism?.

14. Did the Hebrews have a merely unitary concept of man - problems of nefesh.

15. When did the Hebrew come to know retribution in the next life?.

16. Ancient and modern views on the period between death and resurrection.

17. Views of "Thomists"and Molinists on predestination. A way out?.

18. History of belief in the immortality of the soul, and evaluation of arguments.

19. The four possibilities of the origin of individual human souls-history of debates and solution.

20. In what sense is man made to image and likeness of God?

21. Definition of original justice; errors on it.

22. The interpretation of Genesis 3:15.

23. In what ways do human need redemption. History of concept of how redemption produces its effect.

24. History of understanding of original sin - in Genesis, in Old Testament, in Intertestamental Literature, in Patristic age.

25. History of views on the fate of unbaptized infants.

26. The problem of "no salvation outside the Church" - modern and patristic discussion.

27. Theology of the various kinds of apparitions and various kinds of revelation.

28. The problem of how God knows things.

29. Problem of historicity and dating of patriarchs. Various modern views.

30. The problem of the nature and date of the Exodus.

31. What can we do when archaeology seems to clash with Scripture?

32. Relation of Sinai covenant to ancient Near Eastern forms. Was Sinai bilateral?

33. The history of the problems of archaeology of Jericho.

34. Determination of date of birth of Jesus.

35. Deportations by Assyria and New Babylonia.

36. History of Church teaching on the Holy Trinity.

37. Old Testament hints of the Trinity as seen by the Fathers.

38. Intratrinitarian and extratrinitarian life.

Study Questions for Theology 601:The Living God


1. How can we avoid a vicious circle in saying that Vatican I could and did define that the existence of God can be known by reason?

2. How would you answer a Protestant who thumped the Bible and said: Where do you find the Immaculate Conception?

3. Did Vatican I specify which rational proofs are valid?

4. What kind of proofs did St. Paul have in mind in Rom 1?

5. Who is famous for an ontological argument? What does it assert?

6. Summarize an Aristotelian proof for the existence of God.

7. How can we show from reason, after this proof, that the Unmoved Mover is: eternal, infinite, one, spiritual?

8. If we use the argument of question 6 are we necessarily religious? Why?

9. Can we prove creation from Genesis 1. 1 alone?

10. Why does man need some revelation? Why? on what kind of points?

11. Which pagan philosopher seems to have felt the need of revelation? How?

12. Is it possible to have a Catholic philosophy? How? What difficulties about it?

13. Who thought we could completely understand God in this life? In what did divinity consist according to him?

14. Can we really fully understand God in this life?

15. What does it mean to say that God is best known by unknowing? Name two writers who said this, substantially.

16. What did Thomas Aquinas say that seemed to almost preclude the salvation of pagans?

17. What evidence is there from St. Paul that pagans can be saved? From Pius IX? From Pius XII? From Vatican II?

18. What did Leonard Feeney teach? What was his basic error?

19. Which Father of the Church thought Socrates had been Christian? How explain this?

20. What is salvation history?

21. What are Targums? How can we determine something about the date of their composition?

22. Why did some Rabbis steer clear of Psalm 80, 15-18?

23. What is the possible relation of Ezra to the Targums?

24. How answer someone who says we can get something out of the OT Messianic prophecies only by hindsight? Who said that?

25. What did Pius IX and Pius XII say about Genesis 3. 15. What did Vatican II say?

26. What do the Targums say about Genesis 3. 15?

27. Is it possible to see a doctrine of the transmission of original sin in Genesis 3. 15?

28. What do the Targums show about Genesis 49. 10? What does Jacob Neusner say about it?

29. What reason do some modern exegetes offer for a translation of Gen. 49. 10 that is not clearly Messianic? What answer do we give to them?

30. What does history show of the fulfillment of Genesis 49. 10? Why was it not more glorious?

31. What do the Targums say of Isaiah 9. 5-6? Can modern scholars evade the statement in that text that the Messiah is God? How does NAB evade? Can the Targum be translated so as to avoid calling the Messiah God? How?

32. Are there any other OT texts which could be taken to mean the Messiah is God? What does R. H. Fuller say about Mal 3. 1?

33. What does El gibbor mean in other occurrences in the OT?

34. Does the Targum see Is 7. 14 as Messianic? Did the Jews ever see it as Messianic? What does Neusner confess about it?

35. What do H. J. Schoeps and Samson Levey admit about Jewish treatment of Messianic prophecies?

36. Does Hebrew almah have to mean virgin? What other word was there? What of the evidence of the Septuagint on this passage? Who tried to devalue that evidence and how? What serious slip did he make?

37. What of the fact that the Hebrew has "she will call" in Is 7. 14 while the Septuagint has "you will call"?

38. Who really was the child of Is 7. 14? What is multiple fulfillment?

39. Does the Targum see Isa 53 as messianic? What distortion does it introduce? Give two reasons why it distorted?

40. Does the Targum see Micah 5. 1-3 as Messianic? What in the Hebrew or the Aramaic Targum could imply eternal existence for the Messiah? Was there anything in Rabbinic literature about the eternal existence of the Messiah?

41. If even the Jews with a veil on their heart, as St. Paul said in 2 Cor. 3. 15, could see so much in these prophecies, what would Our Lady see? How soon would she have seen these things?

42. Compare revelation and inspiration.

43. What does it mean to say a book is inspired? How can we know with certainty which books are inspired?

44. What did Vatican I, Leo XIII, and Pius XII say about freedom from error?

45. Who at Vatican II charged there are many errors in Scripture?

46. What does R. Brown hold about the inerrancy of Scripture? How does he try to show Vatican II agreed with him. What does Brown say about Job 14. 13ff?

47. What did Thomas Hoffman say about inerrancy? Why is it ironic that some today should charge many errors in Scripture? Give an example of failure by scholars to answer charges of error in Scripture?

48. What is transcendence? What is the relation of inspiration to divine transcendence? Who said God is beyond being? What does that mean?

49. How does inspiration affect the literary style of the human writer? His correctness in grammar?

50. What is the relation of Scripture and Tradition? Is there more than one source of revelation?

51. If we say that Jesus is the revelation of the Father, have we said it all? Are there specific statements in addition?

52. What is the difference of public and private revelation? Is there still public revelation today? What does the answer to this last question indicate about the sufficiency of Judaism today?

53. What does the Holy Spirit do for the Church in regard to revelation?

54. What kind of revelation is Fatima? Are we obliged to believe private revelations approved by the Church? If the Bishop of the place of an alleged private revelation forbids pilgrimages there, must we obey? What if he has made a false decision on the authenticity of the revelation?

55. What is to be said of the view of Gabriel Moran on revelation?

56. How can we be sure of the meaning of unclear things in public revelation? What are the two phases in the study of an item in revelation?

57. What is the analogy of faith? What did Vatican II say about it?

58. What are the four levels of teaching by the Magisterium? Which are infallible? What is our obligation toward the noninfallible things?

59. How is it possible to assent to something that is not infallible?

60. Can one part of Scripture contradict another part? Why?

61. Define Tradition and tradition?

62. What is the relation of Tradition to knowing which books are inspired? How did Luther try to determine which are inspired? Calvin? What did Professor Gerald Birney Smith conclude about the problem?

63. If the Gospels are of apostolic origin, does that mean all were written by Apostles?

64. Is the question of authorship of a book of Scripture a matter of faith? What then of some decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on this point?

65. What did Vatican II teach about the historicity of the Gospels? Why did the Council hesitate about the word history?

66. Were the Gospels written with the same understanding that the Apostles showed before the death of Jesus?

67. Do the Gospels always follow chronological order? Do they always keep the very words of Jesus?

68. What is the Pauline sense of faith? Compare it to Luther's idea.

The Nature of God

69. What kind of knowledge about God can we have? What does it mean to say God is beyond being?

70. What does it mean to say God is a spirit. Has the opposition of spirit and matter always been clear? Who confused it? How could we show, using Aristotle's principles, that God is spirit?

71. In what senses does St. Paul use the word spirit? What does OT ruah mean?

72. Name some of the chief attributes of God. What is the relation of these to His nature, e.g., is it right to say He has love?

73. What is the probable meaning of the word YHWH? Did the ancient Jews use the word freely?

74. Show from Scripture that God, even being completely simple, takes care of an immense amount of details?

75. What is an anthropomorphism? Give an example from the OT. How can God cause things at various points of time if He is immutable?

76. Give two senses of the word eternal. Which is true of God? How can we prove this? How does St. Thomas Aquinas use the notion of eternity to explain how God knows future free acts? What is the problem about knowing them?

77. When we die, do we go to eternity? What is aevum?

78. Give at least two Scriptural texts to show the immensity of God.

79. In what sense can 1 John 4. 8 say: God is love? When 1 Tim 2. 4 says that God wills all men to be saved, does God Himself really will this? Who said He did not? How prove He is sincere?

80. Vatican I defined that God created for His own glory. In what sense was this meant? What is the relation of this to His love for us?

81. Pius XII in Haurietis aquas taught Jesus has a threefold love. What three? Is devotion to Sacred Heart a peripheral or mainline devotion? Why? Distinguish devotion from devotions.

82. What does the New Covenant make clear about His love for us? Relate this to Gal. 2. 20.

83. How can mercy and justice be identified in God?

84. In the things done outside the divine nature, are some things the work of one Person alone?

85. What instance of transcendence do we see in the Incarnation? What does transcendence mean?

86. Cite a text of OT to show God governs human beings. What is the difference of internal and external economies? What is the difference of God's way of acting in each? Can God so move as to forestall or bypass human resistance without entirely taking away human freedom? What kind of grace is needed for this? Under what conditions is He apt to give such graces?

87. What does St. Paul say about our ability to get a good thought? to make a good decision of will? How does the Church explain this?

88. What are the active and passive ways of knowing? Which does God use?

89. What is predestination? What two kinds are there? What are the two chief theological schools of thought on predestination to heaven? What objections to their solutions? How can we avoid those difficulties?


90. Can we prove creation from Genesis 1. 1 without the help of the Church?

91. How can we prove by reason that there was creation? If we do so, are we religious?

92. What is the Documentary Hypothesis? Does the Church permit us to hold it? What is the current trend of exegetes on it?

93. What is the probable relation of the Creation narrative in Genesis to Mesopotamian stories?

94. What is the status of Church teaching on the existence of angels?

95. Are there choirs of angels? How did the idea arise?

96. Do angels have bodies? What were some Patristic views on the point?

97. Were the devils once good angels? Did they have sanctifying grace at one time? What kind of sin did the devils commit? Why did they not get a second chance?

98. What is the teaching of the Church on guardian angels? Is there one for each person? Why are they given when we have the Blessed Mother?

99. What is the stance of the Church on bodily evolution? On polygenism? What is the current state of scientific evidence on each point?

100. How can one calculate the chances of anything coming together by chance?

Human Nature

101. Was there an Adam and Eve?

102. What did the ancient Hebrews believe about the structure of a human being? Any difference in views of scholars on this?

103. When did the Hebrews first clearly see that there is retribution in the future life? What did they mean by nefesh?

104. What did St. Paul believe about a state between death and resurrection? What do some today say about a resurrection body? What was the difference between the afterlife before and after the death of Jesus?

105. Did the Fathers of the Church think a just man could attain

the beatific vision before the end of time?

106. Can we prove the immortality of the soul by reason? How? What great philosophers tried with poor success?

107. What do we know today about the origin of each individual soul? What did the Fathers think about it? What is Traducianism?

108. What does the Church today teach about the time of infusion of individual souls?

109. What does it mean to say we are made in the image and likeness of God?

The State of Original Justice

110. What does original justice mean? What three kinds of gifts did God give our first parents? How can we get this data from Genesis?

111. What was the error of the Pelagians? Of Luther?

112. What did Luther think St. Paul meant by faith? What does St. Paul really mean? How can we be sure of the sense?

113. If all were totally corrupt, and yet grace is everywhere- why would some not be saved? What answer did the Missouri Synod of Lutherans give?

114. What were the chief errors of Baius? Of Jansenius?

115. When did Adam receive sanctifying grace?

116. What did Paul VI teach about original sin?

117. What did Pius XII say of the genre of Gen. 1-11? What did John Paul II add, especially about the creation of Eve?

118. Who did the original writer think was the woman of Gen 3. 15? What did Pius IX say on this? What did Pius XII say? Who does Vatican II say it is? What did John Paul II say of it?

119. What did the Targums say of this text?

120. Is it likely that Our Lady knew of her own Immaculate Conception? Did the ancient Hebrews speak of original sin in us?

121. Did Adam have infused knowledge? Give reasons.

122. What is the nature of original sin: positive or simple negative, or privative? In what sense can we speak of a new baby as being in the state of sin? (cf. again Paul VI, Credo)

123. What of the reading "in whom all have sinned?" What did the Greek Fathers have on this? What did Trent define on this?

124. What did Trent say of the Vulgate? What misunderstanding followed? Who finally cleared it up?

125. What does it mean to say our race was "injured in its own natural powers? Give three views which are permissible in Catholic theology. Which do you favor?

126. What did Trent say about concupiscence? What did St. Augustine think about it in relation to original sin?

127. Did the Fathers once think intercourse within marriage was venially sinful? Specially note Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Gregory I. What did Vatican II teach on this?

128. What did Socrates teach about the use of creatures? What did St. Paul teach? Note especially the problem of 1 Cor 7. 5. Vatican II?

129. What did Pius XI and Paul VI teach on the possibility of holiness in marriage?

130. In what sense did or does the human race need redemption? Distinguish original sin and personal sin.

131. What of the fate of unbaptized infants? Cf. St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St Thomas Aquinas. What theological speculation could we possibly add?

132. How do we understand the words of the Council of Florence about those who die in original sin or outside the Church?

133. What kind of sin was it that Adam and Eve committed?

134. What is the relation of divine election to final salvation?

135. In Romans 9 St. Paul presents the negative side of God's principles for election. What is it? Where does he at least imply the positive part of the same policy? What is it? Should Catholics feel insulted on hearing it?

136. What is the meaning of the teaching "No salvation outside the Church"? Who committed a great error on it? What is the Patristic concept of membership in the Church? What is the relation of Romans 2. 14-16 to membership.

137. What does the word save mean in Scripture?

138. What did the Fathers, up to St. Augustine, think of the Old Testament appearances of God? Was there any possible implication of subordination of the Logos to the Father in this? What point of theological method must we keep in mind in reading their statements on this matter? What of subordinationism in St. Justin and in Origen?

139. What three kinds of divine appearances are there? Does the risen body of Jesus ever leave heaven to appear?

140. What three kinds of revelations-- in contrast to appearances-- are possible?

141. What are interior locutions? Mention a famous probable case.

142. What warning does St. Teresa of Avila give on locutions and visions?

143. What category of graces, i.e., sanctifying or charismatic, do visions belong to?

144. What warning does St. John of the Cross give on visions and their acceptance? His reasons?

145. What do we mean when we say God is both immanent and transcendent?

146. Cite some Patristic texts on transcendence.

147. Give some instances of transcendence in God's knowledge.

148. Mention some of the early manifestations to Israel.

149. Can human reasoning and experience ever be at least in part a channel of divine revelation?

150. What are the chief Hebrew names for God? When was the name Yahweh first revealed, and what problem is there about the time of revelation?

151. Sketch the story of the patriarchal age of Israel.

152. Why did God strike the Pharaoh for having the wife of Abram when he was in good faith?

153. What use does St. Paul make of the fact that Abraham was justified without keeping the law? What relation does Paul see between the events of chapters 15 and 17?

154. What important theme appears when God promises in Gen. 15. 16 to give the land to Abraham, but not at once?

155. What is the problem of the dates for the patriarchs? What two solutions have been offered?

156. What are the chief proposals for dating the Exodus?

157. Did the people of the ancient Near East always use genealogies as we do, as purely family trees?

158. What is the probable literary genre of the accounts of the patriarchs and the exodus and the wandering in the desert?

159. What do we do when archaeology seems to contradict the Bible?

160. What are the chief theories on the patriarchal age? Criticize them.

161. What form did the exodus take? What are the problems of historicity of the exodus?

162. What of the probable route of the exodus?

163. What of the relation of the covenant of Sinai to Hittite treaty forms? Was Sinai bilateral or unilateral?

164. What is the relation of Israelite law to that of other nearby nations?

165. Need we believe that Moses was in any sense author of the Pentateuch? What was the ancient idea of authorship?

166. How solve the seeming conflict between the accounts of Joshua and Judges?

167. Was the ban immoral?

168. What can we learn from the fact that Saul was rejected after a sin or two while David after murder and adultery was confirmed in kingship?

169. What were the dates of the Babylonian Captivity? Why was it not 70 years? Were there other deportations?

170. What neglect showed after the Jews returned from captivity.

171. What is the special significance of Haggai 2. 6-9?

172. Who were the Maccabees? the Hasmoneans?

173. What new research has determined the date of the birth of Jesus? Was there Messianic expectation among the people at that time? How solve the problem of the historicity of the "census" mentioned by St. Luke?

174. Were there at least hints of the Blessed Trinity in the OT ?

175. How can we show that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons? How show they are divine?

176. What are processions? What of the Filioque?

177. By what are the Three Persons constituted and made different?

178. Are all works of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity outside the divine nature common or individual?

179. What is appropriation? What is the relation of the missions to the processions? What is the economic Trinity?

180. What is perichoresis?

Answers to Study Questions, Theology 601

1. We avoid a vicious circle by showing through apologetics(the 6 points and preliminary checking) that the Church has a divine commission to teach and promise of protection. Then that Church can define which books are inspired- including Epistle to Romans, in which we read that the existence of God can be proved by reason.

3. No.

4. St. Paul did not specify- seems to mean that from observing creation we can conclude it had a Maker.

10. We need revelation a) to give truths reason cannot reach b)to make it easier and surer to reach truths reason could have reached.

11. Plato seems to have felt it- in his Phaedo after several attempts to prove afterlife, one of the speakers says he wishes some god would reveal the truth on the matter.

12. Some say no, since philosophy works only by reason, not authority. But we could have a setup like that of a mathematics book. In the body of the book we have explanations and problems to work. After working them, we look them up in the back to see if our answer is right- if not, we recheck our work. Similarly, the teaching of the Church can be like the back of the book, while the body of the book works through reason alone.

13. Eunomius the Arian said that being unbegotten completely expresses what God is like.

16. St. Thomas said since our goal is supernatural, we should know it so as to direct our path to it. That could seem to imply that those who have no divine revelation are lost. That is not true, as we know from teachings of Pius IX (Quanto conficiamur moerore) and Vatican II (Lumen gentium §16)

19. St. Justin Martyr, in First Apology4 6 said Socrates followed the Logos and so was Christian. Probably means that the Logos (or Spirit of Christ) writes law on the hearts of men- those who follow it-- even if they do not know it is the Logos-- are objectively following the Logos and so are Christians.

20. Salvation history is the account of God's dealings with our race, especially the chosen People.

24. The Targums-- old Aramaic versions, with fill-ins, of the OT--show how the Jews understood the prophecies without help of seeing them fulfilled in Christ. Jacob Neusner (great Jewish scholar today) in Messiah In Context shows there was no interest in Messiah from fall of Jerusalem up to about 500 AD. So the Targums, which study the prophecies in detail, must have been written before the time in which interest died out. R. Brown said we get things only by hindsight.

25. Pius IX said, with seeming favor , that the Fathers and Church writers saw in it a promise of the Redeemer, and of His Mother. Pius XII said that text is the foundation of the Immaculate Conception, and that it foretells the victory over the infernal serpent. Vatican II (Lumen gentium, §55) says that the Church, with the help of growing light sees in it that the Mother of the Redeemer gradually comes to light.

27. Yes, since Adam & Eve lost God's favor/grace, their descendants would not have it. To be born without it, is to be in original sin.

28. Targums see Gen 49. 10 as Messianic. J. Neusner says that is of course true (In Messiah in Context, p. 242).

31. Targums see Isa. 9-5-6 as Messianic. Scholars now evade calling Messiah God (el gibbor) by changing sentence structure of the Hebrew and of the Targum to mean that the child is called Messiah by the Wonderful Counselor, by the Mighty God. NAB makes El gibbor mean "God-hero". But in OT El gibbor never means that.

34. The Targum as we have it does not call Isa 7. 14 Messianic. But J. Neusner, op. cit. , p. 174 cites Hillel (one of greatest teachers of time of Christ) saying Hezekiah, son of Achaz, had been Messiah-- thereby admitting Isa 7. 14 was Messianic. Neusner adds, p. 190, that when Jews saw Christians using the verse they began to deny it meant the Messiah. -- But, all admit today the child of 9. 5-6 and of 7. 14 is same child. Since Targum calls the child in 9 Messiah, implies same for 7.

35. Schoeps and Levey both admit the Jews doctored texts to keep Christians away from them.

38. The child of Isa 7. 14 seems to be both Hezekiah and Jesus- by multiple fulfillment: a divine prophecy can go through more than once.

39. Targum sees Isa 53 as Messianic, but distorts the meek lamb into an arrogant conqueror-- probably at time of Bar Kokhba (died 135) who was thought to be Messiah by some, and also, as Levey and Schoeps admit, Jews distorted to keep Christians away from Isa 53.

40. Targum sees Micah 5. 1-3 as Messianic. The expression that "whose origin is from of old" in the Hebrew could imply a preexistence for the Messiah, as Levey admits. The same for the Targum. In rabbinic literature the closest we find to eternal existence of Messiah is that his name was spoken before creation.

42. In revelation, new truths are conveyed- in inspiration as such, no, but the Spirit takes over the human writer that he writes what the Spirit wills, and without error.

43. See #42. We can know which books are inspired only by the help of the Church.

44. All insisted there is no error of any kind in Scripture.

46. Brown thinks there are errors on science, history, even religion--only thing protected is what is needed for salvation. He thinks Job 14. 13 ff. raises question of afterlife, then denies it. Brown claims Vatican II, On Revelation §11, by saying that the truth that God wanted in there for sake of our salvation is a restrictive clause--only that is protected. But Pius XII in Divino afflante Spiritu, 1943, said the statement of Vatican I of inerrancy was a "solemn definition".

46. To say God is transcendent means He is above and beyond all our categories or classifications. By transcendence He can , in inspiration, use a human writer so that the human writer remains free, but yet writes what the Spirit wills, and without error.

God is beyond being in that the word being as applied to Him is partly same, partly different from the sense of being as applied to all others-- mostly different. Plato and Plotinus said He is beyond being.

49. Inspiration does not affect the literary style of the human writer.

50. Scripture and Tradition have the same one source, God-- but they are different places in which we find what He has revealed.

Gospels arose in three steps:

(1) words and acts of Jesus (words adapted to audience); (2) The way Apostles and others of that time preached what He did and said (words again adapted to audience); (3) some individuals under inspiration wrote down part of that basic preaching of stage 2-- that writing is the Gospel. --So Church has something more basic than Tradition-- its own ongoing teaching.

Note: traditions(small t) are not same as Tradition with large T.

51. Jesus reveals the Father in that "I and the Father are one". But there are specific teachings given by Him and by the Church under guidance of His Spirit.

53. The Holy Spirit leads the Church to an ever deepening understanding of the original deposit of revelation (closed when last Apostle died and NT as finished).

56. We are sure only when the Church tells us the sense, at least indirectly. In working on Scripture, we

(1) study by human techniques of exegesis; (2) see what Church teaches on same point. Cf. #57.

57. The analogy of faith means the whole body of truths the Church teaches. If a proposed interpretation of Scripture clashes even by implication, it is wrong.

58. Four levels:

(1) Solemn definition; (2) Teaching of the Church scattered throughout the world when it gives something as definitive- infallible; (3) If a Pope in his official journal deliberately takes a stand on a matter previously debated- then, no longer open to debate, and comes under the promise "He who hears you hears me." That promise of course cannot fail.

We should believe noninfallible (non definitive) things with internal assent, taking into account that there is an outside chance of error.

65. Vatican II said Gospels teach the real truth about Jesus. Hesitated to use the word history because of confusion among German authors over two meanings of the word.

66. Evangelists wrote with the light of better understanding of Jesus they had after the Resurrection. But did not falsely report clearer understanding in the Apostles before the resurrection.

67. Do not always use chronological order, or keep same words- but same sense.

68. Luther thought faith is the confidence that Jesus died for me- or that His merits are credited to me. This is a mistake. Paul says faith calls for different things at different times:

(1) if God speaks a truth, belief in our mind is required; (2) If He makes a promise: confidence is required; (3) If He tells us to do something: obedience is required, "the obedience of faith." All to be done in love.

69. Our knowledge is all analogous-- we use words in sense that is part same, part different as compared to ordinary usages. On beyond being cf. question #48.

72. Some of the chief attributes are: simplicity, immutability, eternity, immensity, infinity, unicity, love, justice, mercy. We do not say He has love-- He is love.

76. Two senses of eternal:

(1) something that always has been going on, always will go (cf. Aristotle on eternal motion of the spheres in the sky).; (2) A duration in which everything is simultaneously present - no past, no future, no change at all. Second sense applies to God alone.

Future free decisions have no causes that will bring them on (would not be free) and yet decisions do not yet exist- so, as future not knowable. But in eternity- all is present- it makes them present to God. In present they are knowable.

79. God is love since He is identified with all His attributes. When He says He wills all to be saved, this is sincere-- it is just an expression of His love, which is sincere and strong. Bañez and Cajetan said He did not really want all to be saved- this implied denial of His love. He proved His love by sending Christ to die to make eternal happiness possible for us. Cf. Romans 5. 8.

80. God created for His own glory in that His benefits to creatures are glory to Him- the two are tied together in His desire. His desire to save is same as His love, for to love is to will good to another for the other's sake.

82. A covenant is much like a pact or contract--each party gives something of about equal worth. The price of redemption was infinite, so the Father pledged to make available to us an infinite treasury of forgiveness and grace. Gal 2. 20 says He loved me and gave Himself for me- so an infinite title is made not just for the world as a whole, but even for each individual. (We could still fail if by repeated sins we make selves blind and hard, so His grace cannot enter us).

87. 2 Cor 3. 5 (in correct translation- not NAB) says we cannot even get a good thought by our own power. Phil 2. 13 says same of decision of will. The Church confirmed this interpretation at Second Council of Orange (local but with special papal approval).

89. Predestination is arrangement of Providence to see to it that someone gets either to heaven, or to full membership in the Church. Scripture speaks explicitly only of the second. "Thomists" said God decides to predestine (or opposite) to heaven without looking at how a person lives- but then He could not reprobate without looking and also say 1 Tim 2. 4. Molinists (Jesuits) said He decides after looking at merits- but our merits are His gifts- so a vicious circle.

Avoid problems: Three logical steps--

(1) He wills all to be saved (sincere and strong).; (2) He looks to see who resists His grace gravely and so persistently he cannot be saved- then God reprobates, lets the one go to ruin.; (3) all others He predestines, not because of merits (have not appeared on the screen yet) nor even because of the lack of such resistance, but because (step

(1) He always wanted that, and the person is not blocking Him.

90. Gen 1. 1. could also read: "When God set about to form heaven and earth. That need not be creation out of nothing.

91. Aristotle's reasoning on causes shows that to get from the possibility of existence to existence needs the First Cause, God. Non-existence is nothing. So there was creation. To say this is not necessarily religious- would need to add reverence and worship. (Aristotle himself did not reason this far).

92. Documentary hypothesis says Pentateuch was put together out of 4 sources: Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly Code, Deuteronomist. Church permits us to hold it- scholars are increasingly doubting it.

98. Church teaches there are guardian angels, by the liturgy, and by universal teaching. Does not make explicit there is one for each person. An angel could take care of many. God gives them to make things richer, and as a counterbalance to evil spirits. (Cf. St. Thomas I. 19. 5. c).

99. Church permits us to consider bodily evolution as possible- unless we make it atheistic. Not entirely clear on polygenism. Pius XII said we may not hold polygenism because we cannot see how it fits with Scripture and Magisterium. Some think he meant to leave door open, if someone would find a way. Scientific evidence is increasing that our race all came from one mother- not clear about one father. (Nor does science make clear whether or not there were other lines than that one mother- lines that died out).

101. Yes, there was a first human pair-- not sure if they used those names.

103. Majority opinion says they first knew of future life retribution in 2nd cent. BC. Minority says at least by start of monarchy, about 1000 BC, perhaps earlier. Nefesh is vague, seems to mean life principle or the self. Majority think it did not mean same as soul.

106. We have concepts of justice, truth, etc. , even of dog-- the dog is not high or low, long or short etc.- just plain dog. No artist could make an image of it in any medium--so that in me which holds the concept is not material but spiritual. Plato and Aristotle tried to prove survival, not too much success.

107. We know each soul is directly created by God. Some Fathers thought is was derived from parents' soul (Traducianism), or even had existed previously in a world of spirits before taking a body.

108. Church does not pinpoint time of infusion-- but prohibits abortion even so.

110. Original justice means state of grace in our first parents. God gave them

(1) natural gifts (body & soul); (2) preternatural gifts-- freedom from death, plus means of easily keeping each natural drive in proper strength (gift of integrity or coordinating gift); (3) grace, the life of the soul. In Genesis God threatened death, physical and spiritual. They also lost the gift of integrity-- as shown by shame at nakedness after fall, but not before.

112. Same as question #68.

113. Missouri Synod said: we do not know- they could see just ahead would be blind predestination.

117. Pius XII said Gen 1-11 pertains to the genre of history. Probably means: it reports things that really happened, through vehicle of a story. John Paul II said Adam's sleep stood for return to moment before creation, so as to reemerge in double unity of male and female.

118. Not sure what original writer thought-- for rest, see question #25.

122. Original sin is the lack of grace which should have been there- it is a privation. Baby lacks grace, so does an adult who committed mortal sin- difference: one by personal guilt, other not. (sense is analogous: part same, part different).

123. Greek Fathers read that clause as "inasmuch as all have sinned". Trent defined nothing on that clause (said we understand the way the universal Church understands- but Greeks understood differently from Latins)- but said Rom 5. 12 did in some way teach original sin.

124. Trent said Vulgate was authentic-- valid for proof in religious questions. People thought that prohibited versions from original languages- Pius XII cleared the confusion in Divino afflante Spiritu.

126. Trent said concupiscence comes from sin and leads to sin, but is not sin in itself. St. Augustine is not clear, seems likely he thought it part of original sin.

127. Augustine and Jerome could give impression they thought intercourse in marriage was venial sin. Might have meant only intercourse without intending children or in cases or times when no conception is possible. Vatican II taught it is not sinful, is noble and good, if done properly within marriage.

128. Socrates said the man who seeks truth should have as little as possible to do with things of the body. St. Paul similarly urged detachment from creatures. 1 Cor 7. 5 means that even lawful use of marriage makes it somewhat less easy for thoughts and heart to rise to divine level.

129. Pius XI taught perfection possible in all states of life. Paul VI said marriage, properly done, is a long path to sanctification.

134. St. Paul uses election to mean God's giving special gift of full membership in Church. That does not guarantee salvation, nor does opposite guarantee eternal loss. But to have the membership is a great help.

136. There is no salvation without some sort of membership in Church, or at least pertaining to it by a desire which may not be conscious (Pius XII in Mystici Corporis). Fathers of Church had broad notion of membership- room for lesser degrees without formal adherence to Church. Leonard Feeney made the teaching mean in effect that if one does not formally join, he is damned, even if he never had the chance to hear of the Church. Romans 2. 14-16 indicates that if a person follows the Spirit of Christ telling what to do, that is, objectively, accepting the Spirit of Christ- those who have and follow the Spirit belong to Christ = are members of Christ = members of Church at least in a lower degree.

137. saved has three senses

(1) rescue from temporal danger; (2) enter the Church; (3) To reach heaven. The simplistic sense of infallible assurance of final salvation is not found in Scripture, has no scholarly support at all.

138. Fathers before Augustine thought it was always the Logos who appeared in OT. To say the Logos is needed since Father is transcendent, as Justin Martyr says, could imply Logos is lesser. But some Fathers, like Origen, make two kinds of statements, one implying inferiority, the other stating equality. They did not know how to put together the fact of equality with the use of Logos because of transcendence of the Father. So they stated both things.

145. God is immanent because He is present to us- He is transcendent because above all our categories. Cf. q. 48.

146. St. Augustine: We should not call Him inexpressible, for when we say that, we say something. Pseudo-Dionysius: God is best known by unknowing.

147. When God knows free future decisions, there is transcendence- for neither the active (by causing things) nor the passive way of knowing (by taking on impression from outside) can explain how He does it. But eternity makes free futures present, and they are knowable in present. He also knows what would be if some condition would be present (futuribles). Here is more transcendence.

151. God manifested Himself to Abraham, promised the land forever. Abraham justified by his belief in God. He also revealed self to Isaac and Jacob. through Moses He made the covenant of Sinai.

152. Even though Pharaoh was in good faith, it was objectively wrong.

153. In Gen 15 God promises to give land to Abraham, without Abraham doing anything. Abraham was justified by his belief or faith. In Gen 17 God commanded circumcision. So Abraham was justified by faith, without works.

155. We do not know dates of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-- hinges chiefly on date of Exodus- which may be 1290 BC or 1446 BC, some say earlier. we do not know length of time in Egypt.

156. Cf. #155.

157. Genealogies were not always family trees-might be built to show a different point or relationship.

158. Genre uncertain--may be something similar to our genre of epic, story of great beginnings of a people, told with some embellishment.

159. Points to check: mud-brick buildings often swept away in time by wind, sand, rain-- many sites only partly excavated, e. g, only about 10% of Et-tell, which may be Ai-- have been excavated. There is also site shift, rebuilt nearby: three sites for Jericho. Later excavators sometimes find what earlier workers missed completely: Yigal Shiloh in city of David found what Kathleen Kenyon said would not be found.

165. Most scholars today say Moses was not author-- yet with the loose concept of authorship in ancient Near East he could be behind it. Biblical Commission early in this century said he might have used secretaries, and approved at end. But authorship of a book is not part of faith.

166. Different genres for the two- one is largely historical, the other closer to epic.

170. After captivity Jews were slow to rebuild temple.

172. Maccabees made armed resistance to Antiochus IV, made possible survival of Judaism. The Hasamoneans rule after them.

173. Work of E. L. Martin, The Birth of Christ Recalculated, 2d edition, Foundation for Biblical Research, Pasadena, 1980 has shown to satisfaction of many observatories that Jesus was born in 3 BC, probably in September. All hinges on fact Herod died soon after lunar eclipse- which one? Martin shows events fit only with the eclipse of Jan 10, 1 BC. Other eclipses near day of Herod do not fit. (Cf. Catholic Apologetics Today, pp. 251-54. It is generally admitted there was great Messianic expectation then- one reason: Genesis 49. 10. Then for first time a ruler from Judah failed.

174. Some think plurals in Elohim in Genesis hint at Trinity.

175. We know they are distinct because of different roles literally attributed to the Three- and by teaching of the Church. Words of Scripture on each indicate divinity. John 1. 18 speaks of Only-begotten of the Father. John 14. 16-26 shows Holy Spirit is given by Father at request of Son. Spirit alone scrutinizes the depths of God:1 Cor 6. 19.

176. Procession: Son comes forth from the Father, and Holy Spirit from both. Filioque in creed expresses fact Holy Spirit has origin in both.

177. The Three Persons are different and constituted by the relations of each to the others.

178. IV Lateran defined that all works done outside the divine nature are common to the Three Persons. Pius XII in Mystici Corporis taught same.

179. In spite of #178, we appropriate or assign or speak of certain this as special to a certain Person, because of some fittingness:Father is Creator, Son reveals Father, Spirit sanctifies.