The Old and New Testament

 ‘For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.’ (John 1:17) The Sacred Scriptures lead to eternal life in two ways: by telling us what we must do to live eternally and by helping us to do these things. We are told what we must do in the Old Testament and we are given help to execute these commands in the New Testament. These commands are called the Law and this help is called Grace. Keeping in mind the end of Sacred Scripture, that we may live the life of God, it makes sense that we, … Continue reading The Old and New Testament

What is a Textual Division

Divisions of a text were basic exercises for ancient and medieval students aimed at answering a couple of questions: what is the goal of this piece of writing, what are the parts of this writing, and how are the parts and the goal related? Before a student could begin to analyze a text, that is examine the specific arguments of the text, he had to be able to state clearly its end and its form. A text’s end or goal dictates everything else about the text. Indeed this is true of everything. If my end is to get to New York from Los Angeles I had … Continue reading What is a Textual Division

The Divine Division of Scripture

In our previous posts we discussed what a textual division is and how to construct one. Now we will take up the question of why a textual division is a good way to study Sacred Scripture. Often Scripture is approached using a historical method, presenting the events in a chronological order. Indeed, a quick glance at the table of contents of the Revised Standard Version will show that the books are arranged in an attempt to present them chronologically. Because of this the reader, and often the teacher, find themselves at a loss when presenting those books which have little … Continue reading The Divine Division of Scripture

The Hagiographers

My son, keep the commandments of your father (Proverbs 6:20) The books of the Hagiographers: Joshua, Chronicles, Judith, Maccabees, Tobit, Esther, Ezra, the Psalms, Job, Wisdom, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Sirach warn us of the consequences if we do not follow the commands established in the Law which are necessary for us to follow if we are to arrive at eternal life. Here moral virtues are taught as though a father were teaching his sons: by word and by deed. Some of the books teach in one of these ways exclusively and one teaches moral virtue by both word … Continue reading The Hagiographers