John W. Martens, an associate professor of theology at St. Thomas University, is well known to readers of "The God Word." In our latest podcast Prof. Martens reflects on the question, what is the Bible? The answer depends on whether you are Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. Even among English speaking Catholics there is disagreement about which Biblical translation is the best. Professor Martens shares his favorite translation and his favorite book of the Bible. He also explores the deeper question of what it means to say the Bible is inspired by God.

Listen to my conversation with John W. Martens.

Tim Reidy

 

Comments

Rick Folker | 9/14/2010 - 3:08am
What a great conversation!!  I loved the comment that Prof. Martens made about making the Bible more accesible to the average Catholic but I think it also begs the question: are we, as Catholics, biblically literate.  Last year, my parish offered a series of presentations and discussion on the letters of Paul in honor of the Pauline Year proclaimed by the Vatican.  I dont believe that I am being unfairly harsh in saying that most (not all) of the participants were ''woefully'' ignorant of some of the most basic knowledge of scripture.  One guy turned to me and said in passing, ''You mean, there weren't Bishops in Jesus' time?  Now, mind you, (after the smelling salts wore off) I gave him some friendly advice to pay a little more attention the Holy Writ and a little less wringing of hands over some of the mind-numbing minutiae of the Catholic Catechism.  Not to say, that both are important but Prof. Martens made a good point of mentioning Dei Verbum (which is one of only 4 documents meriting ''Constitutional Status).  Clearly the Council was giving us a heads up that in future we might give as much prominence to the Liturgy of The Word as well as The Liturgy of The Eucharist. As St. Augustine reminds us, ''Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ'' - and this was well before Martin Luther started his Home Depot renovation on the doors at Wittenburg.  Peter Gomes uses a wonderful metaphor in his book, The Good Book that likens our engagement with the Bible as one who took French many years ago and can still pick out of few of the words while hearing a French conversation in passing.  Granted, French might not be that important to ''brush up on'', but for those of us professing our Christian discipleship, I think it might be time that we at least glanced at the lectionary once in a great while.  As Vat II reminds us, Sola Scriptura and Sola Traditio are not mutually exclusive - both inform each other and one without the other is a faith in need of some balance.  Thanks for the great podcast.
Pax - Rick In KC
Igor Driker | 9/7/2010 - 12:10pm
test