By Matthew J. Ramage
A number of gods? Divinely mandated genocide? Rejection of an afterlife? If the Scriptures are the encouraged and inerrant observe of God that Christians declare them to be, how can they comprise these items? for lots of believers within the smooth age, conventional Christian solutions to those demanding situations aren't any longer convincing. notwithstanding spiritually edifying, they're not able to account for the sheer scope and intensity of difficulties raised in the course of the creation 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 examining of Scripture dependent within the patristic-medieval culture. while those ways are frequently seen as collectively particular or maybe contradictory, Ramage insists that the 2 are at the same time enriching and important for doing justice to the Bible's such a lot hard texts.
Ramage applies Benedict XVI's hermeneutical rules to 3 of the main theologically not easy components of the Bible: its therapy of God's nature, the character of fine and evil, and the afterlife. Teasing out key hermeneutical rules from the paintings of Thomas Aquinas, Ramage analyzes every one of those topics with a watch to reconciling texts whose presence would appear to violate the doctrines of biblical thought and inerrancy. while, Ramage at once addresses the issues of concrete biblical texts in gentle of either patristic and smooth exegetical equipment.
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Additional info for Dark Passages of the Bible: Engaging Scripture with Benedict XVI and St. Thomas Aquinas
The Old Testament appears to maintain remnants of this polytheistic tradition, especially in the Genesis narrative of man’s creation and original sin. ” Once again, Christians have various means by which to deny traces of polytheism here (for example, stating that God is speaking with the “royal we” or that the “us” refers to the persons of the Trinity). The question is whether these explanations hold up when we honestly confront all the trace evidence of polytheism in the Old Testament. The issue of polytheism becomes all the more acute when we acknowledge the probable dependence of Genesis on other, much older myths of creation and flood from the ancient Near East.
21. Cf. Ps 88:5, 11; Jb 10:19. 22. Cf. Is 5:14; 38:18; Ez 31:16; Pss 30:4; 88:4–5; Prv 1:12. For a more thorough presentation of the abode of the dead as it was viewed in ancient Israel, see Theodore J. Lewis, “Dead, Abode of the,” ABD, vol. 2, 101–5. 23. Cf. Ps 88:11; Jb 26:6; Prv 15:11. 42 The Bible ’ s Problem s Dead souls would be trapped in this place indefinitely, devoid of all thanksgiving, praise, and—most importantly—hope. 25 As Pope Benedict observed, in a work written while he was still a cardinal, in his own work on the subject the ancient view of Sheol described above remained dominant in Israel until around the time of Christ.
This identification has been depicted beautifully in Rublev’s icon of the Trinity, in which the three angels who visited Abraham are connected with the three persons of the Trinity. In order to fully appreciate the evidence presented thus far that ancient Israelite religion was not strictly monotheistic, it is once again important to recall that the patriarchs grew up within the context of the broader religious landscape of the ancient Near East. Indeed, the book of Joshua informs us that Israel’s ancestors were polytheists: 8.