May 24 2001 The Pontifical Biblical Commission Publishes “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” #otdimjh

Post delayed due to Shavuot and Pentecost celebrations – Hag Sameach!

download

This landmark book-length document is key reading for anyone interested in how the Roman Catholic Church has tried to cleanse itself of anti-Judaism in biblical interpretation. Here is a section of the Preface:

Two main problems are posed: Can Christians, after all that has happened, still claim in good conscience to be the legitimate heirs of Israel’s Bible? Have they the right to propose a Christian interpretation of this Bible, or should they not instead, respectfully and humbly, renounce any claim that, in the light of what has happened, must look like a usurpation?

The second question follows from the first: In its presentation of the Jews and the Jewish people, has not the New Testament itself contributed to creating a hostility towards the Jewish people that provided a support for the ideology of those who wished to destroy Israel? The Commission set about addressing those two questions. It is clear that a Christian rejection of the Old Testament would not only put an end to Christianity itself as indicated above, but, in addition, would prevent the fostering of positive relations between Christians and Jews, precisely because they would lack common ground.

In the light of what has happened, what ought to emerge now is a new respect for the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament. On this subject, the Document says two things. First it declares that “the Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one, in continuity with the Jewish Scriptures of the Second Temple period, a reading analogous to the Christian reading, which developed in parallel fashion” (no. 22). It adds that Christians can learn a great deal from a Jewish exegesis practised for more than 2000 years; in return, Christians may hope that Jews can profit from Christian exegetical research.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 22.28.45

However, evangelical scholars were skeptical (see below). Do read if for yourself to see if you agree.

Darrell Bock, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, noted that the new statement seems to imply belief in a two-covenant view of salvation. “This would undercut evangelism to Jews and does not make sense of the efforts of the earliest church to reach out to Jews as seen in the New Testament,” Bock told Christianity Today. “On the key question of whether Judaism can save, the document is very unclear.”

The statement is “like the camel’s nose of universalism in the tent of the Catholic Church,” said David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus. “Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews, or he’s no one’s Messiah.

“I think it’s important for us as evangelicals to recognize that the Catholic Church has long given up the notion of a forthright evangelistic outreach to the Jewish people,” Brickner said. “The evangelical church should see this as a cautionary tale. The uniqueness of Christ is what’s at stake.”

Pontifcal_biblicum

Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome

Prayer: Thank you Lord for revealing your truth to Israel and the nations through the Messiah Yeshua. Fill us with your Spirit and nourish us in your Word that we may live to serve you, and proclaim your salvation to Israel and all nations. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/pcb_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20020212_popolo-ebraico_en.html

http://www.jcrelations.net/The+Jewish+People+and+their+Sacred+Scriptures+in+the+Christian+Bible%3A%3Cbr%3EA+Response+to+the+Pontifical+Biblical+Commission+Document.2757.0.html?L=3

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/august5/18.24.html

·       I. The Sacred Scriptures of the Jewish people are a fundamental part of the Christian Bible

A. The New Testament recognizes the authority of the Sacred Scripture of the Jewish people

1. Implicit recognition of authority
2. Explicit recourse to the authority of the Jewish Scriptures

B. The New Testament attests conformity to the Jewish Scriptures

1. Necessity of fulfilling the Scriptures
2. Conformity to the Scriptures
3. Conformity and Difference

C. Scripture and Oral Tradition in Judaism and Christianity

1. Scripture and Tradition in the Old Testament and Judaism
2. Scripture and Tradition in Early Christianity
3. Relationships between the two perspectives

D. Jewish Exegetical Methods employed in the New Testament

1. Jewish Methods of Exegesis
2. Exegesis at Qumran and in the New Testament
3. Rabbinic Methods in the New Testament
4. Important Allusions to the Old Testament

E. The Extension of the Canon of Scripture

1. In Judaism
2. In the Early Church
3. Formation of the Christian Canon

·       II. Fundamental themes in the Jewish Scriptures and their reception into faith in Christ

A. Christian Understanding of the relationships between the Old and New Testaments

1. Affirmation of a reciprocal relationship
2. Re-reading the Old Testament in the light of Christ
3. Allegorical Re-reading
4. Return to the Literal Sense
5. The unity of God’s Plan and the Idea of Fulfilment
6. Current Perspectives
7. Contribution of Jewish reading of the Bible

B. Shared Fundamental Themes

1. Revelation of God
2. The Human Person: Greatness and Wretchedness
3. God, Liberator and Saviour
4. The Election of Israel
5. The Covenant
6. The Law
7. Prayer and Cult, Jerusalem and Temple
8. Divine Reproaches and Condemnations
9. The Promises

C. Conclusion

1. Continuity
2. Discontinuity
3. Progression

·       III. The Jews in the New Testament

A. Different viewpoints within post-exilic Judaism

1. The last centuries before Jesus Christ
2. The first third of the first century A.D. in Palestine
3. The second third of the first century
4. The final third of the first century

B. Jews in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles

1. The Gospel according to Matthew
2. The Gospel according to Mark
3. The Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles
4. The Gospel according to John
5. Conclusion

C. The Jews in the Pauline Letters and other New Testament Writings

1. Jews in the undisputed Pauline Letters
2. Jews in the other Letters
3. Jews in the Book of Revelation

·       IV. Conclusions

A. General Conclusion
B. Pastoral Orientations

Vatican: Jews do not wait in vain for Messiah

But evangelicals question whether new statement undercuts evangelistic outreach

LaTonya Taylor/ AUGUST 5, 2002
According to a new Vatican document, recently released in English, Jews should continue to anticipate the coming of Messiah.

The Pontifical Biblical Commission released the English version of “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” in May. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger signed the work.

“The Jewish Messianic wait is not in vain,” the statement says. “It can become for us Christians a strong stimulus to maintain alive the eschatological dimension of our faith. We, like them, live in expectation. The difference is in the fact that for us, he who will come will have the traits of that Jesus who has already come and is already active and present among us.”

The document is the latest of several that some believe suggest the church is softening its stance toward Jews and their salvation. For example, several scholars said Dominus Iesus, a 2000 document that reaffirms that salvation comes through Christ and the church, does not apply to Jews the way it does to members of other non-Christian religions.

Two Covenants?
Darrell Bock, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, noted that the new statement seems to imply belief in a two-covenant view of salvation. “This would undercut evangelism to Jews and does not make sense of the efforts of the earliest church to reach out to Jews as seen in the New Testament,” Bock told Christianity Today. “On the key question of whether Judaism can save, the document is very unclear.”

John Pawlikowski, director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at the University of Chicago, said the statement raises questions about the way the church understands Jews and salvation. “It demands some kind of further reflection on the significance of the universality of Christ’s redemptive action,” he said. “To what extent, then, does their salvation depend primarily on their own covenant rather than, say, on the universal work of Christ?”

The statement is “like the camel’s nose of universalism in the tent of the Catholic Church,” said David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus. “Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews, or he’s no one’s Messiah.

“I think it’s important for us as evangelicals to recognize that the Catholic Church has long given up the notion of a forthright evangelistic outreach to the Jewish people,” Brickner said. “The evangelical church should see this as a cautionary tale. The uniqueness of Christ is what’s at stake.”

Relations with Jews
Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, said the statement could help Christians respond to Jews in a way that is respectful, but does not compromise Christian beliefs.

Eugene Fisher, associate director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the document may help Jews and Christians pursue a more intense level of interfaith dialogue using their shared Scriptures.

“It provides a solid basis of understanding for a local congregation to speak to a local synagogue—not only on social issues that we can get together on, but precisely on ‘Let’s talk about how we understand, say, the Book of Genesis,’ ” he said.

Leon Klenicki, a past president of the Anti-Defamation League, said the statement is good for Catholic-Jewish relations. But, he said, the document only describes Jewish beliefs and does not grant them theological validity.

Brickner cautions that interfaith dialogue, though valuable, should not replace evangelism. “This document demonstrates that those who have in one sense given up evangelism and replaced it with dialogue ultimately end up compromising the essence of the gospel itself.”

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/723048/posts

Despite questions, many religious leaders say the statement is a valuable step forward. Mary Boys, professor of practical theology at Union Theological Seminary, said the study’s emphasis on reading the Scriptures in their original context is helpful in correcting “the disparagement of Judaism that has been like a virus in Christian theology.”

Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, agrees. “For nearly 2,000 years, the Christians took the Jewish Scriptures and proceeded to essentially disregard Jewish scholarship and Jewish interpretation.”

Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, says evangelicals need to hear the Jewish Scriptures “as a word meant for Israel, not just the word that gets validated for us because we can spiritualize it or Christolocize it, validating it by some kind of New Testament connection.”

About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
This entry was posted in otdimjh and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to May 24 2001 The Pontifical Biblical Commission Publishes “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” #otdimjh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s