Monday I watched a video (see below) of a talk given by Dr. William Marshner at a Deeper in Scripture Conference in 2004, entitled “How Do We Know the Early Church?“. I learned some things I didn’t know, especially about the late Fr. Raymond E. Brown, who I had not realized was a Biblical scholar of the modernist camp (see this article for more about modernism). Dr. Marshner discusses Priest and Bishop in the last part (maybe the last half) of his talk. It’s one of Brown’s books–published in 1999, but widely shared in the 70s onward, according to Msgr. Kelly, apparently in booklet form and, unfortunately, by and among–who else?–priests and bishops. It’s available now from Amazon in print or from Logos/Verbum in their tagged and linked format. (This is the only format I want for serious Catholic study these days.)
Note that I am NOT recommending Brown’s books or ideas. I am recommending that Catholics make themselves aware of what damage his ideas did and still do as people insist on teaching and spreading his ideas. Until I heard this talk and began my own research, I had no idea how decidedly un-Catholic many of his ideas were. No wonder he was so popular with Protestants, who I’m sure were only too thrilled to have a highly respected Catholic priest and Biblical scholar reassure them that the claims of the Church were “unfounded” and “lacking in historical evidence”, or so he claimed. So much for the historical-critical method, which has its positive uses (and its not-so-positive uses as well). (Pope Benedict had plenty to say on that matter but some people still haven’t learned to reason, think critically, be faithful or even just listen.) The articles below will explain further:
Recently I found three really interesting pages that I want to share with you: Catholic Cross Reference, Online Catholic Library and a page on the Church Fathers at the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology. I added the first two to the main Resource page because they cover so much ground it’s hard to categorize them any further without adding them to every page in that section (and the thought of doing that makes me break out in hives). I added the St Paul Center page to the new Church Fathers page which I added earlier today here on Catholic Heart and Mind. :)
- Online Catholic Library: Looks like a really long and really good list of links to a lot of really good Catholic material. Audio, articles, books, documents, theology, spirituality–Looks like if it’s Catholic, it’s on their list. :)
The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is a non-profit research and educational institute that promotes life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition. The Center serves clergy and laity, students and scholars, with research and study tools — from books and publications to multimedia and on-line programming.
Our goal is to be a teacher of teachers. We want to raise up a new generation of priests who are fluent in the Bible and lay people who are biblically literate. For us, this means more than helping people to know their way around the Bible. It means equipping them to enter into the heart of the living Word of God and to be transformed and renewed by this encounter.
We read the Bible from the heart of the Church, in light of the Church’s Liturgy and living Tradition. In this way, we hope to help people experience the heart-to-heart encounter that Jesus’ disciples experienced on that first Easter night, when they knew Him in the breaking of the bread: “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us…while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (see Luke 24:13-37)
One of the things non-Catholics (and even some Catholics) are surprised to discover is how Catholic the Early Church was. (Hint: VERY.) And nothing makes this point better than reading the writings of the Early Church Fathers. I just added a list of resources that will help introduce you to the Fathers. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but, hey, it’s a start. :) I’ll add more to it as time goes on, as I’m doing with all the resource pages.