A Protestant Thinks About the Blessed Virgin Mary

Talking about Mary can feel dangerous, especially if you are a Protestant who adheres to Protestant orthodoxy. Sure, we sing about Mary at Christmas, feel her pain on Good Friday, and maybe even read a little about her in the gospels. But for most American Protestants, almost any other interaction with Mary is borderline Catholic.Continue reading “A Protestant Thinks About the Blessed Virgin Mary”

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The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism

In the sixth chapter of his The Word in the Desert, Douglas Burton-Christie reflects on the influence of eschatology, compunction (penthos), asceticism, and the struggle against evil on the shape of the scriptural interpretation of the Desert Fathers (and Mothers). Highlighting monastic awareness of coming death and judgment (182-3), compunction and the power of scriptureContinue reading “The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism”

SSP: The “Third Part” of Patrick’s Bible

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland. Before turning to our examination of the form of Patrick’s Bible, a brief word must be said concerning Patrick’s relationship with the “third part” of the New Testament:[1] the writings of the Church Fathers. While Hanson argues that PatrickContinue reading “SSP: The “Third Part” of Patrick’s Bible”

SSP: The Vulgate

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland. The second major Latin version of the Bible circulating in the Middle Ages was the Vulgate. Commissioned by Pope Damasus in 383 CE, the Vulgate is commonly attributed as the work of Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus or, as he isContinue reading “SSP: The Vulgate”

SSP: Vetus Latina

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland. During the course of the Middle Ages two groups of Latin Bibles circulated in the Western world, the Vetus Latina and Vulgate versions. The Vetus Latina (“old Latin”) is a family of locally made Latin translations of both theContinue reading “SSP: Vetus Latina”

Bible Translations, Not Inspired (Redux)

Some time ago I published a brief reflection titled “Bible Translations, Not Inspired,” in which I argued that we must not assume that our contemporary Bibles—because they are translations—are the same thing as the inspired (inherent) words of God. While I don’t want to disagree with that post, I do want to reflect upon theContinue reading “Bible Translations, Not Inspired (Redux)”

Numbering the Psalms?

The Psalms have long been the hymnal of Christian worship. Jesus and his disciples sang the psalms of the Hebrew Bible and the practice continued with Paul and other early followers of Christ. In fact, insofar as we can tell, Christians of the first two centuries used the Psalm more than any other book ofContinue reading “Numbering the Psalms?”

Book Review: The Body and Society (Brown)

In the updated 20th anniversary edition of his classic work, The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, Peter Brown examines the “practice of permanent sexual renunciation—continence, celibacy, life-long virginity” that developed in Christian circles from the first through fifth centuries.[1] In this work, Brown examines a vast array of perspectivesContinue reading “Book Review: The Body and Society (Brown)”

Luther and Erasmus: Erasmus on Scripture, Canon, and Authority

This post is part of our ongoing series comparing Martin Luther and Erasmus of Rotterdam’s perspectives on scripture, canon, and authority during the Age of Theological Reformations. Written in 1524 as a response to Martin Luther’s Assertio omnium articulorum, in which Luther wrote that “everything happens by absolute necessity” (Watson, 13), [1] Erasmus’ De LiberoContinue reading “Luther and Erasmus: Erasmus on Scripture, Canon, and Authority”