Presentation on theme: "Divine Revelation God and God’s Word. Ways of Knowing God Experiencing God Reasoning to God Believing Another – Experts say 90% of our knowledge comes."— Presentation transcript:
Divine Revelation God and God’s Word
Ways of Knowing God Experiencing God Reasoning to God Believing Another – Experts say 90% of our knowledge comes from reading (believing the word of another.)
Experiencing God Experiencing God is somewhat like experiencing the sun. We experience the sun not directly, but indirectly by its effects: heat, light, energy. Similarly, we experience God indirectly by increases in faith, hope, or love.
Reasoning to God The only reasonable explanation of our universe is that an infinite intelligence created it. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Faith in God We are very limited in what we can know about God from experience and reason Only Jesus can give us a clear and certain knowledge of God. John 1:18
Divine Revelation Refers to public revelation as opposed to private revelation. Ended with last apostle’s death We continue to uncover deeper meanings in it through study and prayer. (CCC 66-67)
What about “private revelations,” like Fatima? After investigation, if the Church rules a specific “private revelation” in not in conflict with public revelation, it may be believed The Church obliges no one to believe “private revelation”
Margaret Mehren Three ways of knowing? Did she experience God, reason to God and/or believe another? Testing the truth of the experience: Did she grow more faith-filled? Did she grow more hopeful? Did she grow more loving? (Faith, hope and love are theological virtues because they come from and lead to God.)
Handing on Revelation Revelation – Public (Bible/Tradition) – Private (e.g. visions) Immediate (deeds Ps 78:52, dreams Mt 1:20, visions Is 6:1-8) – To Prophets – To Apostles Mediate (handing on immediate revelation) – To Future Generations – Under Holy Spirit’s Guidance
Sacred Tradition Teachings passed orally and unerringly form generation to generation Example: Mary was a virgin all her life
Sacred Scripture (CCC 126)Gospels developed through three stages: – Life: what Jesus said and did – Oral: what apostles preached – Written: what evangelists wrote Divine Inspiration – Holy Spirit and human writer act as a team (The Spirit acts through the talents of the writer.) Inerrancy of Scripture – “free from religious error in matters related to salvation” – Bible is not free from scientific or historical error Interpretation of Scripture – “You must go back, as it were, in spirit to those remote centuries of the East. With the aid of history, archaeology, ethnology, and other sciences, you must determine accurately what modes of writing the ancient writers would likely use, and in fact did use.” Pope Pius XII to biblical scholars. – The Church is the mother of the New Testament and thus the interpreter.
Canon of Scripture Testament comes form the Greek meaning od “sacred agreement” (covenant) Old Testament: God’s covenant with Israel mediated by Moses. New Testament: God’s covenant with all people mediated by Jesus Dead Sea Scrolls importance: – ~1000 yrs older than oldest biblical manuscripts known to us – Non-biblical scrolls fill in gap of little-known Jewish history between 200 BC and 50 AD, and they help clarify biblical writings from this period
Old Testament Act One: Creation – God Creates Act Two: De-creation – Sin Destroys Act Three: Re-creation – God Saves Us
Interpreting the Bible Literalists – Interpret with the text alone – Adam lived 930 yrs – Creation happened in 4004 BC or 4026 BC (depending on which genealogies are used) – Genealogies were never intended to be taken literally – they build a literary bridge between Adam (father of all people) and Abraham (father of all Hebrews) Declining age spans symbolize the tragic impact that sin is having on the human family. Contextualists – Interpret with text and context (literary, cultural, historical) – Early chapters deal with pre-history – the fuzzy era between the appearance of people and the recording of their stories
Bible Connection Old Testament (46 books) has 4 parts – Pentateuch (5 books + 3 special books) – Wisdom (7 books) – Historical (13 books) – Prophetic (18 books) New Testament (27 books) has 4 parts – Gospels (4 books) – Acts (1 book) – Letters (21 books) – Revelation (1 book)
Creation Creation Story: Like Jesus’ parables convey religious truths and not historical facts Four Religious Truths of the Creation Story: God is One God planned creation God created everything good God made the Sabbath holy Second Creation Story It is suggested the image of God “breathing” life in to clay was inspired by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which ancients were familiar with (eg 2 Kings 4:32-34)
De-Creation De-creation: -Misuse of environment -Misuse of free will Sin: Personal Sin: the free act of a single individual (CCC1868) Social Sin: involves the collective behavior of a group of people, like a nation (CCC 1869) Two forms: -Commission – doing bad -Omission – not doing good
Origin of Sin First “sin story” is the snake tempting Adam and Eve to eat the apple Symbolic Story - Symbolic Meaning – Symbols Snake = devil Eating = sinful act – Teaching Evil enters the world through the sin of the first couple Three major tragic effects of the first sin – Introduces evil into world – Flawed human race – Doomed human race (God’s responses explained “origin” of disturbing realities) – The pain involved in childbirth (to the woman) – The pain involved in hard labor (to the man) – The ongoing struggle between good and evil in the world (to the snake) Ray of Hope: God’s remark to the snake (CCC ; 1 John 3:8)
“Her offspring (Jesus) Will crush your head (devil). In the process, however, Jesus will suffer (snake will bite his heel.)”
Re-creation Act 1: God creates us Act 2: Sin destroys us Act 3: God re-creates us Covenant with Abraham – New identity – God’s chosen person – New destiny – Father of nations Covenant with Israel – New identity – Chosen people – New destiny – Priestly people Covenant with David – New identity – Chosen king – New destiny – Ancestor of the Messiah God’s covenant moved form Abraham to Israel to David (CCC )
God’s people sin – After Solomon’s death: kingdom divided North – Israel South - Judah – Beginning of personal and social sins against God – God raised prophets, Israel did not reform, Assyria destroyed Israel in 722 BC – Judah also did not listen to prophets, Babylonian armies destroyed Jerusalem and Temple, people enslaved God’s people suffer – People exiled to Babylon, prophets try to help restore faith – Babylon conquered by Cyrus of Persia and Judah freed – sort of, other conquers claimed Judah before the Roman came in 63 BC God’s people wait – Hebrew scriptures end “unfinished” – Faithful Jews await the Messiah, pray for God to complete the work of re-creation in the world (CCC 716)