If you’ve been following along here, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about the book I just wrote. Finally, last night, I got physical copies of the book in my hands. It’s called “Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture.” Take a look:So…if you want to order one and see what I have to say about the nasty stuff in the Bible, you can order in two ways:
In the book, I deal with a lot of the passages that give Bible readers grief: the killing of the Canaanites, child sacrifice, innocent suffering, the problem of Hell. I sort through these problems in a detailed, yet accessible way and try to get the bottom of how it is the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament could be the same. I hope you enjoy the book!
In my most recent video, I take a look at one the strangest passages in Scripture. I mean, how often do you come across prophet-inspired, boy-eating bears? Lots of people are disturbed by the violence of this event. But I’ve found out a few interesting things that will really tweak your view of this passage. I hope this video helps explain what’s going on!
This is the second installment of my new YouTube channel, Bible Broccoli. In this video, I explain why some of the typical “solutions” people come up with to address the dark passages of Scripture don’t really work. You can pre-order my new book at Amazon if you’d like.
So…I have a new book coming out entitled “Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture.” It will be released on September 20 from Our Sunday Visitor press. In the time leading up to the book release, I’ve put together a YouTube channel called “Bible Broccoli” and I’ll be posting several videos related to the book. This video above is my very first YouTube video and I address the first question you might ask about the book, “What are the Dark Passages of Scripture?” I hope you enjoy this video and I hope you check out my new book!
From 2006-2008, I was writing for a website called eCatholicHub.net. I wrote introductions to the books of the Bible and Lectio Divina meditations on the Sunday readings. I also produced a database of saints based on the Roman Martyrology for the site. In 2009, eCatholicHub closed up shop and all the content I had produced was transferred to Catholic News Agency. Their Bible page still houses my introductions to biblical books.
CNA already had a saint database, so I’m not sure exactly how (or if) they used the Roman Martyrology data that I provided. I should explain that I did not translate the whole 2004 Martyrology. Rather, I used the Martyrology to piece together the most complete possible list of saints and blesseds. I referred to the Martyrology project in a few previous posts: here, and here, also here. A few years have passed, so quite a few new saints and blesseds would need to be added to a new edition. As far as I know, there is no current English translation of the Martyrology.
On that note, I also wanted to straighten out exactly what editions exist. The most important one is the 2004 editio typica (official) in Latin:
Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Martyrologium Romanum. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004. ISBN: 978-88-2097-210-3. 844 pp.
The Latin uses some very obscure abbreviations that took me a lot of toil to figure out. Some of that is took place in an interchange with Fr. Z and his readers.
The previous editio typica came out in 2001, but was quickly superseded by the 2004 edition. For the sake of completeness:
Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Martyrologium Romanum. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001. 773 pp.
English translations of older editions:
O’Connell, J. B. The Roman Martyrology, in which are to be found the eulogies of the saints and blessed approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites up to 1961. An English translation from the 4th ed. after the typical edition (1956) approved by Pope Benedict XV (1922). Westminster, MD: Newman, 1962. LCCN: 62-21497. 412 pp.
Collins, Raphael J. The Roman Martyrology: The 3d Turin ed., according to the original, complete with the proper eulogies of recent saints and offices. Westminster, MD: Newman, 1946. LCCN: 46-6139. 352 pp.
The Roman Martyrology, in accordance with the reforms of Pope Pius X; in which are to be found the eulogies of the saints and blessed approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites up to the present time, with supplements for the Carmelite, Franciscan and Servite orders, and for the Society of Jesus. London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1923. 516 pp.
The Roman Martyrology published by order of Gregory XIII, revised by the authority of Urban VIII, and Clement X. Afterwards, in the year 1749, augmented and corrected by Benedict XIV. Baltimore: John Murphy, 1916. (Based on the 1914 Latin text.) Online at archive.org.
While not everyone reads the Roman Martyrology on a regular basis, it seems like it might be time for a complete English translation. I’d be happy to help, but I’m sure I’d need to consult some serious Latin experts to bring it to completion.
About six years ago, I did a post on St. Thomas Aquinas’ “16 Precepts for Acquiring Knowledge.” The precepts are from a letter that Aquinas wrote to a certain “John.” Now, some scholars doubt the authenticity of the precepts and I’m no Medievalist to argue over such things, so I’ll leave that up to you. I first became interested in the precepts upon reading A. G. Sertillanges’ book, The Intellectual Life, which is loosely based on the precepts. Last year, I used the precepts in an introductory course that I co-taught and for lack of a standard translation out there, I did my own. I’ll provide the Latin alongside my translation here so you can judge whether it’s a good one or whether there are errors. I hope you all find it useful. And this is the only place you’ll find it on the whole internet.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Sixteen Precepts for Acquiring Knowledge (De modo studendi)
Because it was asked of me, John, my beloved in Christ, how you ought to study in the in acquiring of a treasury of knowledge, such counsel is delivered to you by me:
That by rivulets, and not immediately into the sea, we choose to enter, because by the easier we must come at the more difficult. This is my warning then and your instruction:
I bid you to be slow to speak
and slow in coming to the place of talking.
Embrace purity of conscience.
Do not cease to pray.
Love to keep to your cell on a regular basis if you wish to be admitted to the wine cellar.
Show yourself amiable to all.
Pay no heed to others’ affairs.
Do not be overly familiar with anyone, because excessive familiarity breeds contempt and yields subtraction from the ability to study.
In no way enter into the sayings and doings of secular persons.
Above all, flee conversation; do not omit to imitate the footsteps of the saints and the good.
Do not consider from whom you learn,
but commit to memory whatever good is said.
It is the same with what you read and hear, work so that you may understand; resolve each of your doubts.
And busy yourself to store whatever you are able in the closet of your mind, as desiring to fill a vessel.
do not seek what is too high for you.
Following these footsteps, you will put forth and bear branches and fruit in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts as long as you have life. If you pursue this, you will be able to obtain that which you desire.
Quia quaesisti a me, in Christo mihi carissime Ioannes, qualiter te studere oporteat in thesauro scientiae acquirendo, tale a me tibi traditur consilium:
ut per rivulos, non statim in mare, eligas introire, quia per faciliora ad difficiliora oportet devenire. Haec est ergo monitio mea et instructio tua.
Tardi loquum te esse iubeo
et tarde ad locutorium accedentem;
conscientiae puritatem amplectere.
Orationi vacare non desinas;
cellam frequenter diligas si vis in cellam vinariam introduci.
Omnibus te amabilem exhibe;
nihil quaere penitus de factis aliorum;
nemini te multum familiarem ostendas, quia nimia familiaritas parit contemptum et subtractionis a studio materiam subministrat;
de verbis et factis saecularium nullatenus te intromittas;
discursus super omnia fugias; sanctorum et bonorum imitari vestigia non omittas;
non respicias a quo audias,
sed quidquid boni dicatur, memoriae recommenda;
ea quae legis et audis, fac ut intelligas; de dubiis te certifica;
et quidquid poteris in armariolo mentis reponere satage, sicut cupiens vas implere;
altiora te ne quaesieris.
Illa sequens vestigia, frondes et fructus in vinea domini Sabaoth utiles, quandiu vitam habueris, proferes et produces. Haec si sectatus fueris, ad id attingere poteris, quod affectas.
I should note that the “wine cellar” (cellam vinarium) in Precept #6 is a quotation from the Vulgate rendering of Song of Songs 2:4, “introduxit me in cellam vinariam ordinavit in me caritatem” (He brought me into the wine cellar, he ordered charity in me). This little idea, which in the Hebrew is closer to “house of wine” and dynamically, “banquet hall,” becomes important in Medieval spiritual reading of the Song.
One thing I’ve been working on over the past two years is writing introductions to every book of the Bible for eCatholicHub.net. After lots of sweat, reading, note-taking, writing, editing and after ecclesiastical approval: here they are. Read them, let me know what you think. My hope is that these introductions will help people get quickly into reading the Bible with a basic understanding. They are purposefully short. I attempt to give the reader a handhold for basic points in every book, so that reading the Bible is not a (primarily) confusing experience. I wrote the introductions from a Catholic perspective mainly for other Catholics. But I think lots of different kinds of people will find them useful. So take a look my introductions to every book of the Bible. Oh yeah, that includes the deutero-canonical books.