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The Secrets Of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel
The Secrets Of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel
by James M Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.95
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4.0 out of 5 stars Judas, a Catalyst for Salvation , or an Advocate of Betrayal, July 25 2008
"Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal. For someone else will replace you, in order that the twelve disciples may again come to completion with their God." The Gospel of Judas

Gnostic Gospel Surfaces:
The rediscovery of a long lost Gospel, of Judas Iscariot, has agitated the Church and Christian scholarship. What the Synoptic Gospels and that of John inform us on Judas, as the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is here debated as inconsistent and biased. Therefore, the revelation of an ancient gospel that portrays this despised man as someone who saw his role in the Passion of Christ as integral to a Cosmic divine plan brings new vision to the old story. If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, Jesus would not have been handed over to the authorities, crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. So, without Judas, the Easter miracle would never have happened!
At least four ancient codices, in Coptic and Greek, surfaced on the international artifacts black market, in the last two decades. Quite incredible rumors about them circulated online, but their exact whereabouts was a matter of uncertainty. All four were discovered near Minya, in upper Egypt and smuggled by a certain Cairo dealer called Hannah, offering them in Switzerland in 1983 for $3 millions, but decided in 1984 to import them into the USA. They sat safely in a NY bank vault for five years, when Dr. James M. Robinson (Book author) made an attempt to recover them. This transaction failed; and they were later bought in 1999 by Frieda Tchacos, a Swiss dealer who entrusted them to Bruce Ferrini, an American philanthopist dealer. Mrs. Tchacos repossessed what was left after Ferrini's violations, a sole codex of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas, which was then placed in the custody of Mario Roberty, her lawyer, and the established Maecenas Foundation. They ultimately sealed a deal with the US National Geographical Society, which published the codex.

Who was Judas Iscariot?
Judas Iscariot,Hebrew: Y'hû''h 'Îs-q'riyyô') was, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, according to the New Testament. Among the twelve, he was apparently designated to keep account of the money funds. He is mostly known for his role in Jesus' betrayal into the hands of the Jerusalim Senhadrin authorities. Judas has been a figure of great interest to esoteric groups, and has also been the subject of speculative Gnostic writings. His name is associated with the Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic gospel that existed since the second century, in a Coptic Sahidic text. Although the certain significance of Iscariot, is uncertain, two main assumptions on its etymology have been proposed. A most traditional explanation derives Iscariot from Hebrew that means 'man of Kerioth'. The Gospel of John refers to Judas as "son of Simon Iscariot" (John 6:71), implying what some speculate that Kerioth refers to a region in Judea, or one of two known Judean towns. A second assumption is that 'Iscariot' identifies Judas as a member of the Sicarii, linking him to Nathnael, who may have followed the Messiah, a promised political liberator of Israel, a group of national Jewish rebels intending on driving the Romans out of Judea utilizing guerilla assassination models.

The Gospel of Judas:
The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel, the text of which was partially reconstructed and translated recently from Coptic. It shows a positive perspective of Judas Iscariot, without claiming to have been written by him. According to the canonical Gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities, who then turned him over to the Roman ruler by whom he was crucified. The Gospel of Judas interprets this act positively, as one performed in obedience to the instructions of Jesus, rather than as a betrayal. This positive portrayal follows from the Gnostic notion that Judas helped to release the spirit of Christ from its physical constraints. In the Gnostic view, the human body is a form of a mundane prison.
The Gospel of Judas does not claim that the eleven disciples knew Gnostic teachings. On the contrary, it asserts that the disciples have not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot, as exemplified in the following words: "Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him: Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal. For someone else will replace you, in order that the twelve disciples may again come to completion with their God." The Gospel of Judas shows Jesus in various occasions criticizing the other disciples for their ignorance. He interprets a vision they told him, clarifying its true meaning as follows, "Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar -- that is who you are. That is the God you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you have seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray before that altar. (. . .) will stand and make use of My name in this way, and generations of the pious will remain loyal to Him."

The Secrets of Judas:
Dr. James M. Robinson, an expert in Antiquity and early Christianity, examines the Bible and other ancient texts and reveals what we can and cannot conclude about the life of the historical Judas, his role in Jesus's crucifixion, and whether the Church should review his intentions and possible innocence. Robinson recounts the sensational story of the discovery of a gospel attributed to Judas, and debates how this reshapes Judas's reinterpreted meaning for church history and for the Christian faith. Dr. Robinson begins by examining Judas Iscariot in light of the NT, Gospels and Acts. He discusses that the traditional concept of Judas as a traitor conflicts with the Gospels accounts, creating a debated inconsistency between Church doctrine and Scripture. Dr. Robinson performs the same historical search, similar to his earlier ones, resulting in fascinating facts that cast doubts in the case against Judas. Then, Dr. Robinson devotes the rest of the book, examining the Gnostic source. Once he introduces The Gospel of Judas, he discusses the text and its implications, in a scholarly pursuit of history and archeology. Dr. Robinson's account of the 'smagglers underworld' for obtaining rare historical documents from shadowy sellers would strike most outsiders as dull, but for a concerned Copt, as this reviewer it is of great concern, since the curators of the Coptic Museum have had to try many dark alleys in order to recover the Coptic Gnostic Codices, half a century ago.
I read first about the discovery related events, a couple of years just before the Easter of 2006, in an article in the Coptic weekly, Mia Patria. This book, written by the father of American Coptology is informative and thought-provoking, as well as entertaining.

About the Author:
James M. Robinson is the founding director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity and professor emeritus at the Claremont Graduate School. He is the general editor of The Nag Hammadi Library in English, author of A New Quest of the Historical Jesus, Trajectories Through Early Christianity, and The Secrets of Judas, and is widely known for his pioneering work on the Sayings of Gospel Q.

Documents Of Christian Worship
Documents Of Christian Worship
by James F. White
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 38.47
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4.0 out of 5 stars Revitalizing Church Worship through Liturgical Pedagogy, April 8 2007
"The lack of a strong sacramental life does not seem to vitiate the vigor or intensity of a worship tradition. ... Jesus Christ alone remains the first and enduring sacrament, the only permanent encounter of God and humanity for all groups of Christian worshipers." J. F. White, Protestant Worship

Sacrosanctum Concilium:
Liturgy, means worship, the congregational work of the people, and was the way in which all Christians have expressed their belief in public fellowship. It is a communal way, in which the worship of churches is similar in core, even if varies with time, space, and culture. During the first three centuries of Christianity, when all worship rites were still forming, the ceremonies commonly used throughout the Christian world were almost of Eastern origin. Since public worship was normalized between Alexandria and Constantinople, in the fourth century, most other churches followed their suit.

Neglect & Revival of Liturgy:
The late Dean of St. Paul's, was dining at a high table in Oxford, and was asked by his neighbor, Rev. Ratcliff, a distinguished liturgist, whether he was interested in liturgy. 'No,' said the Dean, neither do I collect postage stamps.' Dr. Inge's estimate of liturgical study was not far from a trivial branch of archaeology. "A good deal of water has passed under Folly Bridge since the days of the Gloomy Dean," was A. Couratin introduction to write a chapter on liturgy, in Vol. 2 of the Pelican Guide to Modern Theology, 1969.
Since the publication of Dom Gregory Dix classic, 'The Shape of the Liturgy,' sixty years ago, and Vatican II liturgical reform in 1963, there have been an active though gradual progress towards restoration of worship as a central part in the Christian life. Many important studies were written since, as 'The Study of liturgy, 1972 by C. Jones et al., Handbook for Liturgical Studies, by Anscar Chupungco, and Orthodox liturgical books including, 'For the Life of the World, by Fr. Schmemmann.

Participation in Worship:
One of the most oft-quoted phrases of the Second Vatican Council is 'full, conscious, and active participation.' It seems all Christian faithful, not only Catholics have felt this challenge and have responded with efforts to bring about a more lively and participating worship experience--one much more contemplative. Most denominations have introduced more contemporary music, drama, visual arts, even dance, and other 'hands-on' worship elements. There remains a question, however: what did the Council, which echoed a universal need, really have in mind when inviting to a new way to participate in worship?
Many if not most Christian denominations are struggling with what lies underneath this clarion call of the Council for full, conscious, and active participation. A liturgical commentator wrote, "It simply won't do to have people come to church and be bumps on a log; worship is definitely not a spectator sport! We are concerned with our young people who don't seem interested in established worship patterns. We are scrambling for solutions to the contemporary vs. traditional worship style battles. At the same time, 'participation' in worship actually raises some deep issues to which we must attend if we continue on our journey of worship renewal." Some of these issues will become clear as the reader reflects on the need for liturgical pedagogy, which White stressed in the 'Interpretive part of Worship Documents.'

Interpreting the Sources:
The book begins by surveying the various Christian liturgical traditions, Time and space as liturgical communications, developments in Christian worship, as the Daily public prayer, The Service or Liturgy of the word. The second half of the book covers the sacraments, Baptism as initiation, The Eucharist as doctrine and rite, and surveys confession/ penance, healing of the sick, Christian marriage, ordination and burial. Throughout the author stresses the need for liturgical pedagogy, the teaching of the meaning of various elements constituting the liturgy. White methodology is to survey main forms of transmission of the essence of Christian living, and the various elements within the Christian tradition. "Space as Communication;" gives a concise representation of architectures and furnishings, as liturgical centers with photographs and sketches. White explains the message of worship places, drawing worshippers thoughts upwards, or symbolizing God's holiness, etc.

Some Ancient Sources:
Serapion Prayer Book:
This document, in the British Museum, is a celebrants book, containing thirty prayers belonging to the mass, baptism , ordination, benediction of oil, bread and water, and burial, omitting the fixed structural formulae of the rites. Sarapion was bishop of Thmuis (c. 350), in the Nile Delta and a prominent supporter of Athanasius against Arianism, best known in connection with his sacramentary prayer-book, intended for the use of bishops. This book is important as the earliest liturgical collection on so large a scale.

Monastic Horologion:
After briefly covering Hippolytus text, and origen, On Prayer, he mentioned, 'The Peoples Office,' which started with the Didache morning and evening prayer becoming public. He then quotes John Cassian Institutes, on the Monastic Office called Agpeya, or the hours. This is the survived version of the 4th century Coenobitic office of Pachomian Koenonia, fellowship of prayer in time. This hourly prayer book of the Church of Alexandria developed from the twelve psalms that the novice monks trained in to the life of prayer, alleged to an angelic advice according to the Lausiac history.

James F. White (1932-2004):
James was born in Boston, Mass., graduated from Harvard U., undertaking seminary studies at Union Theological in New York. He was ordained deacon and elder in the United Methodist Church. He studied at Cambridge, UK, and earned a PhD in Church History at Duke U. Dr. White's academic career, spanned four decades, teaching liturgy at the U. of Notre Dame from 1983 until his retirement in 1999. Dr. White also taught at Drew, Emory, Yale and The C. U. of America. Member of nine learned societies, and past president of the N. American Academy of Liturgy, Dr. White was dedicated to revitalizing church worship. Author of 20 books, wrote extensively on worship, sacraments, and liturgical architecture.

The Hereticus Papers: (Being Volume II of 'the Collect'd Writings of St. Hereticus') ...
The Hereticus Papers: (Being Volume II of 'the Collect'd Writings of St. Hereticus') ...
by Robert McAfee, Brown
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 15.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful humor of St. Hereticus, July 5 2004
Delightful St. Hereticus:
"If there are similar kinds of nonsense verse nowadays, I'm unaware of them. The only contemporary versifier I can mention with appreciation is "St. Hereticus" who writes delightfully, but infrequently, for Christianity and Crisis. But for the most part, theologues today, whether in church, seminary, or divinity school don't make humor like they used to.(Hugh T. Kerr, Theology Today - Vol 32, No. 1, July 1975)
Humor& American theologues:
The adjective 'American' is added, since the humorous attitude of the European faithful was, at least, occasionaly felt. Even at the time of the 'Gloomy Dean,' the verses on the graduate student at Trinity who abandoned Math and took divinity was very popular. British theologians, and preacher habitually included brisk humor in their discussions, essays, and sermons. The late dean of Evanenglican scholars, F. F. Bruce, writes with a style, using subtle expressions that tickle your ribs.
While touring the nave of St. Steven Cathedral, Vienna, Austria, my sons noticed engraved characters, mockingly posing on the side of the pulpit rotunda, which I was delighted to examine. The reformers, utilized humor to discredit the Roman curia, and its malpractice. Zwingli,'the peoples preacher,' controversially walked around in Zurich eating wurst, during the Catholic fasts.
Hereticus Papers:
This Collection of 'Hereticus Papers', presents the humorous, sometimes satirical, and always pointed observations of "St. Hereticus" on theological, ecclesiastical, and political events and foibles of the year since 'The collected writings of St. Hereticus' first appeared in 1964. The Hereticus Papers will appeal to a new generation of readers. they will respond warmly to Hereticus' willingness to take on anything or anyone as he comments on the world about us. St. Hereticus is closely identified with Robert McAfee Brown. (from the book's title page)
Robert McAfee Brown:
I found this theologian and teacher, one of the most versatile writers with around thirty books of a diverse selection of serious contemporary topics. An ecumenical versatile extrovert theologian who, forty years ago, witnessed and reported the break through of Vatican II , from a point of view of an analytical Protestant. His teaching and scholarly career was shared within four great theological schools, while pretending he could not keep his job in any of them!

New Paths through the Old Testament
New Paths through the Old Testament
by Carroll Stuhlmueller
Edition: Paperback
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OT concisely thorough guide with a scholarly stance., June 29 2004
Scriptural Fresh air:
This introduction to the Old Testament for all kinds of people, Bible study groups, college and seminary freshmen and women, and the typical theological seekers is enlightening. This slim book is an excellent introduction of the Hebrew Bible and its Christian counter part, the Old Testament, written by an OT expert, and teacher, is recommended for any Christian or Jewish reader looking for a deeper understanding and faith promoting guide in the light of modern scholarship. New Paths invites readers to re-approach the Bible in a friendly way, inquiring, discovering, yet listening, in order to understand the new scholarship as compared to the pragmatic treatment of scripture.
New Paths' book themes:
Bible, Biblical Criticism & Interpretation, Hebrew Bible & Old Testament, Old Testament Commentary, Messianic prophecies, Study References. Those themes are elaborated in six chapters and an instructional introduction. chapters four and Five make the core of the author's facilitation of scholarly issues. The only prequalification to read and enjoy this book is the interest to rediscover the book of books. The author will take you through the whole OT in just 110 pages, an ever challenging and enriching tour of the total collection. The reviewer recommends this book as an excellent introduction to the subject per se, and for those who are then ready for "The Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible," by Prof. Julio T. Barrera.
Pilgrimage through the OT:
The book reflects the depth of Fr. Carroll's understanding of scriptural unity, meaning of revelation, and inspiration supported by his massive readings and writings of authority in the field of holy scripture, coupled with his exceptional talent of teaching the Old Testament with a clear purpose and proven clarity. Fr. Stuhlmueller explains the basic biblical themes of the OT utilizing the contemporary theological tools and clarifies the assumptions of modern biblical scholarship.
In chapter 4: 'Traditions Alive'; he starts showing the Jewish Vs Christian arrangement of the OT books to reveal their unique message. He hence discusses ways that scriptural traditions (J,E,P,D) merge to reveal an integral picture of God in the Pentateuch (five books of Moses). Fr. Stuhlmueller skillfully demonstrates their applicability with selected example studies from Exodus and Isaiah, citing their major difference. He compares liberation, covenant and election to Isaiha's themes; Lord's enthronement, Jerusalem temple, and Davidic entrust.
His fifth chapter on historical reality behind the Bible, he discerns the religious from the historical message pursue his argument calling on; "How much is historical", and "A unique kind of History and Theology." He concludes with examining the messianic icons and prophecies in the Old Testament.
Carroll Stuhlmueller,C.P.
The author, the late Fr. Carroll Stuhlmueller (passed away, before few years), is a widely read author. He invites lots of fresh air into biblical scholarship, while explaining in plain English. He has authored some thirty popular studies, While serving as professor of old Testament at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, he wrote profusely. In addition to 'Scripture and Prayer,' and 'Biblical Meditation,' he composed in six volumes.

Ancient Egypt And The Old Testament
Ancient Egypt And The Old Testament
by John Currid
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.55
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Hebrew Bible is very deeply rooted in Ancient Egypt, June 11 2004
"The whole subject of the interrelation of ancient Egypt and the Old Testament is very much larger than most people realize, be they lay or scholars!" K. Kitchen
Curried valued credentials:
If you are new to the subject, how would you support your expectations? The author, John Currid got his Ph.D. degree from the Oriental Institute, at the University of Chicago, one of the finest, a Pioneer to the Past, established by the eminent Egyptologist James H. Breasted. Prof. Edwin Yamauchi, a towering expert, and author of 'Persia and the Bible', described the book as; "An excellent study of the Egyptian background of certain parts of the Old Testament. The author has read widely and commented judiciously on a number of very interesting topics." While K. Kitchen, attests that; "Currid's well documented book is a breath of fresh air and represents a valuable contribution." I may add that John Currid has shown scholarly prudence, in referring to the Septuagint, the Alexandrian Koine translation of the Hebrew Bible.
Book's Thesis:
Kitchen's Forward, and Currid own Preface should be examined carefully before reading and after finishing its discourse. In five parts, Currid writes a plan, elaborates on his defense of the Old debated case for the Egyptian Origins of OT, as follows
1. Egypt and the Bible / ancient Near east Cosmologies.
2. Pentateuch Egyptian Element.
3. Egypt / Israel in the Historical Books
4. Parallels of Egyptian Wisdom
5. Prophecy in Egypt and Israel.
This book represents the depth of American scholarship in comparison to the broad and versatile style treatment of such subjects as represented by: Moses, The Egyptian, which Jan Assmann, of Heidelberg University wrote in California, same year. Assmann puts it forward; "The aim of a mnemohistorical study is not to ascertain the possible truth of traditions such as the traditions about Moses but to study these traditions as phenomena of collective memory. Memories may be false, distorted, invented, or implanted." Moses the Egyptian, Jan Assmann
Conscience and Revelation:
Currid does not intend to support the historicity of the Hebrew Bible but just to explain why it is logical. The most important issue here is what shocked his own pioneer James Breasted; "When that experience began, it was a dark day for my inherited respect for the theological dogma of 'revelation.' I had more disquieting experience before me, when as a young Orientalist I found that the Egyptians had possessed a standard of morals far superior to that of the Decalogue over a thousand years before the Decalogue was written." Revelation should be directly proportional to the tuned perception of the receiving side to interpret the All Knowing Lord's thought line.
Egyptian Wisdom Parallels:
Job, written some fifteen hundred years before a similar book among the Hebrew wisdom, reminds OT scholars of the Hieratic papyrus in the Berlin Museum: 'A dispute over Suicide', that dates from the middle kingdom (Ca 1900 BC).
The use of dialogue to treat a philosophical and religious problem is followed by the author of the book of Job in his presentation of the problem of suffering more than fifteen hundred years later." (Documents from Old Testament Times, W. Thomas, Editor)
Here I find Currid's treatment of the Egyptian parallels in Psalms and Proverbs is much short of Breasted's original and thorough treatment, apart from 'Proverbs 22 and Amenemope.' My NRSV Harper Collins study Bible, W. Meeks Editor, indicate in the foot comments: "Proverbs 22.17-24.22 this section departs from the proverb collections of 10.1-22.16, as it makes a free adaptation from the popular Egyptian wisdom text; The instruction of Amenemope."
Interrelation Reconstructed:
The greatest early Bible commentators and exegesis were from the two great Churches in the East, Alexandria and Antioch, both of Jewish ancestry, who did not find anything illogical in the Biblical derivations. The Hebrews lived in Egypt for four centuries, acquiring their culture, folklore and traditions. They were led out from their alleged slavery by an Egyptian or assumed Egyptian, in education, wisdom, and 'Akhenaton' monotheistic belief system. What is more logical than Moses asking the Israelites, bitten by the fiery serpents to the Egyptian Symbol of pharmaceutical healing, that many pharmacies depict as their logo today?
It is not but logical to have these narration, given Egypt dominated the thought theater for the two thousand years. Mostly all native rulers were educated in memphis and Heliopolis. The Kingdom of Israel and Judah, among all others in the fertile Crescent, were planets in the ancient Egyptian 'Solar' system.

Hearer of the Word: Laying the Foundation for a Philosophy of Religion
Hearer of the Word: Laying the Foundation for a Philosophy of Religion
by Karl Rahner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 36.95
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rahner Philosophy of Being, knowledge, Freedom, Faith & Love, May 31 2004
"It is the sine qua non of Rahner studies...the best key to understanding his Omnia Opera." Andrew Talon
Aquinas Reinterpreted:
This insightful and bold work of Karl Rahner, closely followed and complemented his dissertation thesis "Spirit in the World," rejected by Prof. Honecker, his mentor in Freiburg University. Prodigious young Rahner got his intuition from a fellow Jesuit, and skillfully rephrased his new interpretation of Aquinas with M. Heidegger's neo-Kantian terminology. Fifteen lectures just delivered before the break of W.W.II at Salzburg, Austria, made the chapters of this book.
Publisher, Translator & Editor:
The prestigious Continuum should be commented for taking this task of rendering the translation of this First Edition by Fr. Donceel, of Fordham, who gave an informing preface, while Prof. Tallon of Marquette University edited the lectures into chapters as such, with a good introduction and Notes. He confessed that:
"Rahner taught us to be fearless in seeking truth from any human quarter, and his equally unrestricted devotion to teaching and preaching the truth meant he was often in trouble with Rome."
In Conclusion:
"From the start we have seen that theology in the catholic sense of the word, as a listening to the personal revelation of the supremely free and transcendent God to humanity, cannot be set up in function of humanity, that it always rests on the fact of such a Logos of God. all sciences, are in a true sense, anthropology, except for theo-logy. all of them, irrespective of their reference to things, are based in their reality and procedure upon the logos of humanity; they are the 'things in the spirit of humankind." K.R.
A Posteriori:
"However, those who do not share this a posteriori prejudice and who have not, from the start, given up the courage of the absolute within the finite, cannot find it difficult to establish the essentially qualitative difference of Christianity from all other religions, to recognize the Church as the sign raised among the nations."
"When this courage is lacking, when one claims at the most only a certain preference above other forms of Christian religion, one gives up the historical uniqueness of God's word and together with the courage of believing in a real revelation of God." Karl Rahner

Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers
Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers
by Christopher A. Hall
Edition: Paperback
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4.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to Patristic interpretation of Scripture, May 30 2004
"When we trace the development of patristic literature we discover something of how the intellectuals thought." RPC Hanson
Fathers of the Church:
Chris. Hall coeditor of "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture" has written a pleasant and useful introduction to the Commentary series and to patristic studies of scripture, in general, targeted for the curious American reader. He discusses in a logical sequence expected queries of the postmodern western mind, "why pursue an abandoned Eastern Church tradition, when they no more read the scripture, let alone studying it?" Hall uses here the authority of Robert Wilken and Thomas Oden's own journey home to the Fathers through paleo Orthodoxy, to prove his case to patrology seekers. The desert fathers, says Burton-Christie, needed only scripture to sustain their spiritual life.
Fathers' Sola Sciptura:
"Ecclesiastical leaders and teachers who are accepted as authorities in matters of doctrine. In the early Church, Orthodoxy was determined by the so-called consensus patrum that showed general agreement among a set of Christian leaders distinguished by purity of faith, holiness of life, approval of the church, and antiquity." Nelson's New Christian Dictionary
None of first and second century fathers could make it to Hall's list, Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, Justin, Irenaeus, and Polycarp. The master of all exegetes, Origen of the Hexapla (of 6000 works) was covered only as representative of the Alexandrine school, and his associate Dionysius the Great, master of textual & redaction criticism was totally ignored.
The Hermeneutical Fathers:
"The Fathers placed the Bible in the context of the Christian life"
RPC Hanson, Introduction: Historical Theology, Vol. 2, p. 31
The study of the scripture with the aid of early church fathers, is a great project, invigorating patristic hopes, that Nottingham & Cambridge patrologist and Coptologist Dr. George Bebawi has proposed to translate the series into Arabic for the benefit of Christian readers in the Middle East. Hall seems to intentionally avoid a systematic and extensive discussion of biblical exegesis, in favor of introducing the novice reader to a group of patristic figures defined by the (Roman) Church. Even if recognized as exemplary in their approach to interpret the Bible devotionally, ecclesiastically, and morally (Chrysostom), collosal Biblical interpreters, including Cyril of Alexandria, who wrote the best on the Gospel of Luke, and Doctor of the Catholic Church (1982!), and champion of Orthodoxy was left out.
Fathers Comparative deductions:
While Dr. C. Hall gave enhancing applications, he could have elaborated on Golden mouth against the brilliant deduction of Gregory on priesthood, as masterfully exposed by the founder of the first patristic review in North America;" Priesthood between St. Gregory and St. Chrysostom, Dr. Rodolph Yanney, Coptic Church Review, vol. 20, No. 4, winter 1999, pp 135-141.
Hall decided honestly that the meager exegetical crop of early Christian 'mothers' does not sustain the anti chauvinist title of "church mothers"
Reading with the Doctors:
When evangelical scholars discovered that their exegetical memory was far from adequate, they started to find out why Alexandria led, Scriptura! Alister McGrath edited his 'Theology Reader', of which his proposed study panel (5) on interpretation of scripture included: Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Origen, Augustine, and Bernard of Clairvaux (last of the Fathers)Hall is in fact reading the scripture with these eight church teachers with a sampler of each doctor's Hermeneutical views and their contributions to the early Church thought. He also presents a birds eye view of the patristic thought on: allegory in the scripture, Christology, development of scripture, prayer, etc. Although he treated fairly well basic church exegetical traditions in Alexandria and the Antiochene 'response' of sticking to historical moral methodology.
What do Patrologists say?
Hall was reluctant to mention any of the contemporary masters of patristic studies: Bettenson, H. Chadwick, Crouzel, Daniellou, or RPC Hanson, let alone Hans von Balthasar. The best defense for patristic studies is its overwhelming influence in restoring the Roman Church to Catholic originals by the above 'Nouvelle theologie' through the writings of the Church Fathers. I hope when he edits his reader friendly essay, that he may not overlook the monumental work by Charles Kannengiesser; "Handbook of Patristic Exegesis: The Bible in Ancient Christianity", April 2004

Theological and Natural Science:
Theological and Natural Science:
by Thomas F. Torrance
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.22
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific Theology from John Philoponus to J. Clerk Maxwell, May 29 2004
Compatibility of Science and Theology:
An anonymous saying was iterated secretively since the time of Dr. W. Inge, popularly known as the Gloomy Dean, that read:
'A graduate student at Trinity..Computed the square of infinity.
But it gave him the fidgets.. To put down the digits,
So he dropped math and took up divinity.' (Anon.)
That was not the tradition in Late Antiquity Alexandria, the City of Mathematics, were a heroic figure, John Philoponus, a sixth century scietheologian astonishingly anticipated Clerk Maxwellian break through in science, while steadfastly defending the genuine Orthodox Christology of Athanasius, Cyril, and his own colleague Severus of Antioch.
Cambridge philosophic Scientists:
In the early 1930s, a group of Cambridge scientists, led by Sir Arthur Eddington, exploring the depth of 20th century physics, came to a conclusive world view that the staff of the Cosmos is a mathematical 'mind-stuff.' One of them, Sir James Jeans argued that, "If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must be an act of thought." Dr. David Forster suggests that the void is God's mental space, supported by Einstein's matter-tensor, giving mathematics a mass-energy substance of: 'The shaping of the void.'
Eddington, Jeans and Whitehead came to the same conclusions on the 'Mathematical Cosmic Mind,' through different approaches of thought. My own unqualified assumption, that the launchiong of T.Torrance TheoLogos move that broke 'officially' in Edinburgh at its fourth centennial inaugration of the great Northern Scottish thought Castle, where J. Clerk Maxwell's mathemagical genius in his epoch making work on the electromagnetic field was published has started a huge centennial wave of authentic reality that swept the anathemas off the 'toil lover' John, setting his rational soul free.
Torrance Theological Science:
In nine lucent addresses on the interrelation between Christian theology and natural science, that linked the genius thought of J. Clerk Maxwell and a remarkable anticipation of his medieval predessesor who caused the scientific tension to erupt a millenia later into revolution as per Kuhn's terminology, Prof. Torrance masterfully gives us the most compelling 'double edged knowledge' that leaves you in awe. His engaging preface, on the subject lectures, is so personal that I thought he was telling me his story, meeting with my heroic toil lover, the Alexandrine sophi-Scientogist.
T.T. introduced me anew to many thinkers I thought I really knew!
His theological pilgrimage interfacing Cyril's Orthodox Christology is a remedy for the Orientals' abuse by Aristotelian Byzantines, and a patristic encounter with St. Basil's "De Opificio Mundi' through the Neoplatonist's commentary.
Einstein & God:
T.T. starts his case of unity of reality, science and theology, by a tour in Albert's noia, the center of perception of Divine Wisdom. His exposition understandably includes a curved space universe, a new mathesis but also Spinoza and Freud. Einstein later claim that "Only an Ox eats stritly kosher", is a statement that insinuates he read "Moses and monotheism, but sure he conversed with M. Buber, about his faith. In chapter eight;Michael Polanyi and the Christian faith, his personal report is so touching that I felt for the first time his multi talented and genuinely personal Christianity. T.T. was born to missionary parents, served as moderator of the assembly of the Church of Scotland, and converted John Emory McKenna from a Princeton physicist to a Philoponoi Christologist, John's theognostic language moved from Hebrew to Syriac, a big price for a unique encounter of Christ's Wisdom in the Grammarian.
Thanks JEM for advising me to review this theognostically metanoic, an inner thought changing insight for the Theo-minded.

Wound of Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross
Wound of Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross
by Rowan Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.94
33 used & new from CDN$ 10.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wound of Knowledge: a study of Mystical Christianity, May 22 2004
Wounded in Knowledge:
Salvation by Knowledge of the Father through His only begotten: john 17:3. This knowledge is never intimate unless through the instruction of the Holy Spirit: john 14:26. Acquiring the Holy spirit is only through abiding in love: John 14:23. This gift of the Holy spirit requires kenosis, mortifying our negative passions, which leaves the disciple in complete darkness: Ps. 73:22, The realization of ignorance, delving in Divine darkness that leads to the wound of love (real knowledge); Ps 73:21.
History of Loving Knowledge:
The Passion of my God; starts with faith, spirituality, belief (doctrine) which is represented in the Philippians Christological hymn. His first patristic example was Ignatius of Antioch, allegedly the kid who offered the five loaves to Lord Jesus. His masterful statement is, p17: "Thus martyrdom comes as a natural culmination of a far more prosaic process of unselfing (kenosis); "The shadow of the Flesh":
The tour of the Mystics:
Starting with Philo the mystical Jew, Irenaeus, and the Apophatic Alexandrines: Clement, Origen, in a fascinating virtual tour. Throughout the book, Bp. Williams became absorbed in mystical expressions: End without End (Arian Crisis, and Athanasius), The glamour of the heart (Augustine of Hippo), Acrobats and jugglers.
Rowan's Mystical Circus
The City? The desert (Antony, Macarius, and the desert fathers). He refers here to D.Chitty's book: The desert, a city. The Monastery is the third development in his account, John Cassian now carries to the West this monastic ideal of Pachomian system of 'Organized Spirituality,' where Benedict relaxes the rule, then Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century), returns back to the serious desert tradition of self mortification.
Ecstasy and understanding:
Here R. Williams contrasts the Apophaic tradition of the great Syrian mystic of pseudonym; Dennis the Areopagite with the Cataphatc Aristotelian theology of Thomas Aquinas, a back shift from Neo-Platonism of the East. Johannes Elkhart, another Dominican was dubbed heretical by those who could not perceive his mystical language.
The End Of Christendom:
The Sign of the Son of Man: Luther and Ockham, reformation and its dogmas: Faith, and Sola Scriptura. In the secret stair: Williams recounts in the "Way of Denial," from a similar spiritual experience of john of the Cross and Luther, both being in hell, but broke off differently through an apophatic versus Luther's cataphatic solution. Now John+ and associate Teresa of Avila, both embodied their vocation, threough Carmelites failure.
"Oh who my grief can mend! Come, make the last surrender that I yearn for,"
Theological History; NT to Luther and John+:
A long subtitle, for a fast virtual tour. In less than 180 pages you join the party of the Mystics and say with Abbot Chapman: The unperceived, infused contemplation occupies the mind, and it can't think of something else;..." Alas, the party is over but never my longing for the company of the holy mystics.
Author: Archbishop Williams:
Dr. Williams started with this book's experience: an ecumenical journey to discover ancient Christian tradition, through delving into the patristic door. Living the faith, is part of his pilgrimage, reflected in his contribution to "Anglican quest for holiness," and continues with his book: The Making of Orthodoxy. He is unique in being the only theologian to have been Professor of Divinity at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. His depth of knowledge and evident spirituality have made him a sought after Church figure and became a spokesperson for Christianity since he was elected Archbishop of Canterbury. He never gave up on his belief in ecumenical values that bind all Christians.

The Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible: An Introduction to the History of the Bible
The Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible: An Introduction to the History of the Bible
by Julio C. Trebolle Barrera
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 55.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Bible History: its Ancient Milieu to its Modern Hermeneutics, May 15 2004
Barrera, Julio Trebolle:
Julio Trebolle Barrera, a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls International Editors, is a Spanish professor of Hebrew/Aramaic, who translated, authored and edited many books from Qumran and on Biblical and literary criticism to contemporary hermeneutics.
Barrera Hebrew bible scholarship speaks for its merits, through his book "A 'Canon within a Canon': Two Series of Old Testament Books Differently Transmitted, Interpreted and Authorized," and his editorial work in "Qumran Cave 4. IX: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995, etc.
His diversified though in depth expertise, that enriched his scholarly career, while his Biblical and other linguistic tools, supported by a wealth of unparalleled information, available to few of the Dead Sea Scrolls experts, grant him a unique authority in this field.
Condensed but Thorough:
In this bench marking reference on the subject of Biblical History for which its translator W. Watson should be highly praised, and Brill Eerdmans is commented.
In five integral Chapters he takes you in subsonic conciseness and masterful thoroughness from the ancient world Bible and Book, to Modern Hermeneutics and Interpretation, in a logical order; Collection of Biblical books, and their Canon, criteria of canonicity. In chapter III (ca 100 pages), he treats the O & NT Versions (Syriac Vetus Syra & Pesitta to Arabic & Slavonic), and their history. He got time and space, to even include some Patristic quotations, and review the witness of the most ancient and trustworthy Alexandrian texts: Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and last century discoveries of oldest bible papyri.
Seriously Legible Book:
A criterion for deciding on a book, in this important subject is to check few subjects or find answers for queries.
Q: I was curious to see if any book of the genre ever mentioned the proto- Canaanite script.
A:The answer may be found on page 83: "The oldest alphabetic script, however was found in 24 inscriptions from the Sinai peninsula, and according to many scholars, can be dated around 1400 BCE, but which could well go back to 1800 more or less. These Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions were written in a consonantal alphabet derived from Egyptian hieroglyphic writing by the acrophonic system."
Now, ask your own questions and find out if you are convinced with his answers!
Book for Scholars?
Professor Barrera took a challenge of availing such biblical scholarship to all interested in a vital subject, lay and ecclessiastics, amateurs and scholars, and excelled. Although this encyclopedic, up to date, reference book on the subject that leeds the specialized through, deserve praise, yet the hard back price is beyond the reach of the amateur. A paper back edition is needed. Now if you are a starter, a good brief introductory book is: The Origin of the Bible, by Philip Comfort (Editor), used & new from $7.98 (Please read the reviews)

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