Upon completion of this course, students will have acquired a basis of knowledge concerning the Bible and its interpretation which will be necessary for the further study of Sacred Scripture and of all theology. This objective will be met by means of the following learning activities: 1. Attendance at all lessons. 2. Personal reading and analysis of selected texts from the Bible and from the magisterium, both in class and as homework. 3. Group work: reading and analysis of texts, discussion of questions, etc. 4. Expositions by the professor, with the active participation of the students.
I. Inspiration: a. Vatican II, Dei Verbum (11-26); b. Catechism of the Catholic Church (101-141). II. Canon: a. The books considered divinely inspired and normative for Catholic Christians; b. The Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox canons; c. The historical process by which the text has come to us. III. Hermeneutics: a. Biblical hermeneutics in general; b. Exercises and examples of methods and approaches for interpreting the Bible. Learning Outcomes: Students will understand and be able to explain what Catholics believe about the divine inspiration of sacred Scripture. They will be familiar with the content and language of the decree Dei Verbum and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Scripture’s place in theology and the life of the Church. They will know all the books of the Bible by name and category. They will be capable of using and explaining the vocabulary of modern biblical criticism. They will have clear ideas regarding the chronological development of the OT and NT. They will be familiar with ancient manuscripts and understand how they are used in translating and editing modern editions of the Bible. They will understand and be able to use the basic principles of Catholic Biblical hermeneutics. They will be able to define, identify and distinguish between the various modern exegetical methodologies, both synchronic and diachronic.
Textbooks: The complete Bible, translated in English; Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994); FLANNERY, AUSTIN (ed.) Vatican Council II. The Basic Sixteen Documents. Constitutions, Decrees, Declarations. A Completely Revised Translation in Inclusive Language (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014). Freedman, David Noel (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols. (New York, Doubleday 1992); Gorman, Michael J., Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers (Peabody, Hendrickson 2009); Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Vatican City, LEV 1993).