By Matthew J. Ramage
A number of gods? Divinely mandated genocide? Rejection of an afterlife? If the Scriptures are the encouraged and inerrant be aware of God that Christians declare them to be, how can they include this stuff? for plenty of believers within the smooth age, conventional Christian solutions to those demanding situations are not any longer convincing. notwithstanding spiritually edifying, they're not able to account for the sheer scope and intensity of difficulties raised during the introduction of historical-critical scholarship.
Following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI, in darkish Passages of the Bible Matthew Ramage weds the historical-critical process with a theological studying of Scripture dependent within the patristic-medieval culture. while those ways are usually considered as jointly particular or maybe contradictory, Ramage insists that the 2 are jointly enriching and important for doing justice to the Bible's so much difficult texts.
Ramage applies Benedict XVI's hermeneutical ideas to 3 of the main theologically tricky components of the Bible: its therapy of God's nature, the character of excellent and evil, and the afterlife. Teasing out key hermeneutical rules from the paintings of Thomas Aquinas, Ramage analyzes every one of those issues with a watch to reconciling texts whose presence would appear to violate the doctrines of biblical proposal and inerrancy. even as, Ramage at once addresses the issues of concrete biblical texts in mild of either patristic and smooth exegetical tools.
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Extra resources for Dark Passages of the Bible: Engaging Scripture with Benedict XVI and St. Thomas Aquinas
If anything there is evidence that Old Testament doctrine on the afterlife is quite diverse and that even the New Testament is not utterly uniform in its depiction of the hereafter. However, for the purpose of this study we will largely prescind from issues within the New Testament and focus on the more obvious problems present within the Old Testament, in which certain writers went so far as to deny altogether the reality of life after death for man. We will now survey examples of such denials, beginning with the work of the prophet Isaiah.
And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but when he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and he repented of the evil (1 Chr 21:15; cf. 2 Sm 24:16). [The angel of the Lord] said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Gn 22:12). In the first passage, we discover that God is “sorry” and “grieved” over his creation of man, odd sentiments to behold in an omniscient being who presumably would foresee man’s sin even before his creation.
16 Below, we will explore the question with several series of statements which acutely frame the problem: [Yahweh] blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark (Gn 7:23). At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to kill him (Ex 4:24). And that night the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies (2 Kgs 19:35).