Vol 38 No 4
GodLover or Judge?
A REFLECTION ON LOSS: IN THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW'S PASSION NARRATIVE
Cormac Nagle OFM
PUBLIC POLICY AND MORALITY
SOME POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT GAYS AND LESBIANS
Frank Fletcher MSC
INTRODUCING HEART SPIRITUALITY
Brendan Byrne SJ
CAN THE SCRIPTURAL WORLD STILL BE OUR WORLD? EARLY MILLENNIAL REFLECTIONS
OF AN AUSTRALIAN BIBLICAL SCHOLAR
ON THE RISE AGAIN NEO-FUNDAMENTALISM IN AUSTRALIAN CATHOLICISM (PART THREE)
NEW RELIGIOUS BOOKS BY AUSTRALASIAN AUTHORS
the scriptural world still be our world?
Early Millennial Reflections of an Australian Biblical
BRENDAN BYRNE SJ
MY TITLE CATCHES up the sustained critique of recent tendencies in Catholic
biblical studies mounted by the American New Testament scholar Luke Timothy
Johnson. I presume most of you are familiar with or at least aware of
that critique, set out in a series of books and articles over the past
decade, much of it gathered together in Johnsons contribution to
the work co-authored with William S. Kurz, The Future of Catholic Biblical
Scholarship: A Constructive Conversation.1 I am particularly concerned
with the chapter entitled, Imagining the World That Scripture Imagines,
which first appeared in Modern Theology in 1998.2 Johnson is an engaging
writerparticularly when writing polemically, as he is in his contribution
to this work, the chief target being the historical critical method and
the location of the study of scripture in the now largely
secularized academy, apart (in Johnsons view) from intentional communities
of faith. Johnsons critique will give a certain edge to the review
of Australian Catholic biblical scholarship which I am undertaking here
and pose some useful questions.
My review is highly personal, reminiscent, impressionistic and perhaps
provocative. It is not an historical study based upon careful review of
the sources. For the period up to 1990, we have such a review in Rod Doyles
excellent and painstaking survey, Biblical Studies in Australia: A Catholic
Contribution.3 What I am offering is more in the nature of a reflection.
It may stand in considerable need of correction.
PART A: THE THREE EPOCHS OF CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE OF BIBLE
With considerable indebtedness to Rod Doyle, I distinguish three epochs
in the course of Catholic biblical studies in Australia. I see the first
as beginning more or less with the foundation of the Catholic Biblical
Association in the early 1960s.4 Before that time there stretched
what Rod has called A Dark Era, overshadowed by the restrictive
atmosphere created by papal response to the Modernist crisis in the early
1900s. Ones heart can only bleed for Catholic scripture teachers
compelled to eschew theology, save in a highly apologetic sense, and restrict
themselves to textual, linguistic and archaeological matters. The name
that dominates this primeval era is that of William Leonard, lecturer
in scripture at St Patricks College, Manly from 1924. The fact that
Leonards doctoral thesis came down on the side of the Pauline authorship
of Hebrews5 sums up the atmosphere of control prevailing at the time.
Was he really free to read the evidence any other way?
Rod Doyle locates the beginning of what he calls the Renaissance
in 1943 with the publication of Pius XIIs encyclical Divino Afflante
Spiritu. With its cautious endorsement of the historical critical approach,
the encyclical truly did mark a watershed in Catholic biblical studies.
However, my sense would be that a good decade or more elapsed before its
impact was felt in Australia. Its effects only really came to be widespread
in the late 50s and early 60s in the years leading up to the
Second Vatican Council. Hence while not locating the twenty years between
1943 and 1963 to the Dark Era, I would think of them as a
time when the seed of biblical renewal was ripening in the soilespecially
in the overseas graduate studies of those who were subsequently to bring
it home to our shores and lead it.
Epoch 1: 1960c.1970--The Catholic Rediscovery of Scripture
In tandem with new movements in liturgy, especially, and catechetics,
the men of this era (and they were, I think, all men) began to open up
the Bible to seminarians, and religious sisters and brothers, all of whom
existed in great numbers at that time. (Names such as Harry Davis, Bill
Dalton, Jerome Crowe, Campion Murray, Bob Crotty, Angelo OHagan,
Dennis Murphy, John Scullion and others spring readily to mind.) They
had a wonderful, liberating message and, for the most part, audiences
thirsting for what they had to offer.6 In many ways, I suspect, they could
presume an audience reasonably familiar with the biblical record, even
if refracted through earlier manuals such as Shusters Bible History,7
whose etched illustrations remain deeply imprinted, I suspect, in many
a Catholic imagination, and, for the New Testament, precritical presentations
of the life of Jesus, such as those of Fouard,8 Goodier9 and Ricciotti.10
True heirs of Divino Afflante Spiritu, though not without encountering
opposition, these teachers could bring to their students the fruits of
the historical critical approach which that encyclical had cautiously
allowed into the Catholic sphere. Where previously the practice had been
to plunder scripture for proof-texts to bolster the claims of orthodox
Catholic theology, now the roles of theology and scripture were reversed:
theology must build upon scripture and flow from it. Thus my studies in
Christology in the late 1960s began with a long study of the New
Testament record as contained in Oscar Cullmanns, The Christology
of the New Testament,11 before becoming in any way speculative and systematic
in the traditional sense. We studied each evangelists distinctive
portrait of Jesus in its own right, with a firm concentration upon his
humanity, culled from long-neglected Gospel of Mark. A decade or so before,
Catholics had been liberated from such burdens to intelligence as Moses
personal authorship of the Pentateuch and a literal understanding of what
our first parents had been up to in the Garden of Edenthough the
implications for the doctrine of Original Sin remained, as it still does,
a neuralgic element in the interface between scriptural interpretation
and the theological understanding guarded by the Magisterium. 12 Discussion
raged over whether the Magi really did come on a star-led journey from
their Eastern home and whether an angel did literally startle Mary with
his momentous annunciation. No doubt exaggerated and rash claims were
made, not so much in the classroom, as from the pulpit where some with
only a little learning could hold forth. There was hurt and controversy
but for most, I suspect, a deep sense of liberation. The theological riches
of the new biblical world into which Catholics were being invited could
more than compensate for any loss derived from non-historical understandings
of such matters.
Underpinning that richness was the dynamic new understanding of revelation
enshrined in the dogmatic constitution On Revelation (Dei Verbum) of Vatican
II. Revelation was no longer understood as primarily the communication
of theological propositions but as the dynamic personal communication
to human beings of the Triune God. Along with Sacrament, the Word of scripture
was the privileged place where believers experienced both individually
and communally that divine outreach and address, with its message of healing
and hope for the world. The record of Jesus life and ministry contained
in the Gospels was not so much designed to impart accurate historical
information concerning him, as to constitute privileged narrative places
whether believers of all generations could come under the power of the
risen and ever-living Lord. Many of the audiences of those days doubtless
made their own the reflection of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus:
Did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us on the way and
opened up the scriptures to us (Luke 24:32).
Were we entering at that time a new worldthe world of scripture?
Yes, I think, we were. But the matter is perhaps more complex than that.
There is no need to elaborate upon the fact that Catholics of that era
still lived very much within the Catholic world, both socially
and theologically. This was intensified, of course, for seminarians and
members of religious orders but it was also true for the typically devout,
practising families from which they mostly came. The Catholic world, with
its weekly parish rituals of Sunday observance, its daily devotions in
the home, its social and sporting extensionswith the sense of Church
and indeed of God that all this communicatedwas for many the primary
world which they inhabited, the point of view from which all other aspects
of life were assessed.
I do not think the scriptural renewal of this epoch took people away from
that Catholic world into another. As I said before, I think it very much
presupposed a large area of knowledge of scripture previously built up.
It enlarged that world and brought new scriptural insights to challenge
and modify a great deal of prior theological understanding. This occurred
especially in respect to the person of Jesus Christ, involving a fresh
appreciation of his humanity and new ways of conceiving his redemptive
work beyond the well-worn satisfaction model that still lingers
in many an imagination. Accompanying this christology was a sense of the
Church not so much as a perfect society but as a community
captured by the reality of the Kingdom but not yet in possession of it,
a pilgrim people on the move, some straggling, some falling behind.
A notable aspect of that enlargement of the Catholic world, though not
entirely due to the rediscovery of scripture, was the ecumenical opening
that accompanied it. The way for this had been prepared by the participation
of leading Catholic scholars of the time in such ecumenical learned societies
as the Fellowship for Biblical Studies, which once flourished in Sydney,
as it continues to do in Melbourne. This meant that the Catholic world
and the Protestant worlds underwent a genuine meshing, reflected
in common worship, shared spirituality and a host of other ways in which
hitherto rigid denominational barriers came tumbling down. The way now
appeared open for the scriptural world to enter the Catholic imagination
in the fashion distinctive of the Protestant world since the Reformation.
No doubt this has occurred to some degree, aided particularly by the vernacularisation
of the liturgy that took place in association with the liturgical reforms
of Vatican II. But whether the scriptural world has entered Catholic bones
to anything like the same extent as in the Anglican and Protestant communions
is a good point. Such sensibility may presuppose a far deeper cultural
nurturing than can be established by liturgy and religious education,
no matter how effective.
One implication of this opening to the scriptural world shared with the
heirs of the Reformation was doubtless a blurring of the sharp lines of
Catholic identity and a gradual diminution in certain characteristic but
non-scriptural practices, which had been distinctive of that identity
and nourished it. The clearly unscriptural ritual of Benediction, for
example, gave way to Services of the Word, though whether
the latter have truly caught on in Catholic practice and imagination is
a further moot point.
Epoch 2: 1970searly 1990s--The Golden Age of the
The scripture teachers of what I have termed Epoch 1 taught for the
most part in seminaries of their diocesan or religious communities. They
met professionally but largely carried on their teaching individually
to the large classes of seminarians that in that era were arrayed before
them. Towards the close of the 60s, however, we have the beginning
in Victoria and NSW of the theological conglomerates and amalgamations.
These involved a kind of in-house Catholic ecumenism as various religious
orders combined and consolidated their resources, achieving a common core
curriculum taught with a good supply of well qualified teachers across
the various fields, scripture being notably represented. At the same time,
the ecumenical aspect was enhanced as such Catholic consortia sought and
found inclusion within hitherto solely non-Catholic degree-granting bodies
such as the Melbourne College of Divinity and the other ecumenical colleges
of Divinity that followed in other states (Perth; Adelaide; Sydney and
the Brisbane College of Theology). Catholic involvement in such larger
ecumenical bodies, teaching to Government regulated standards on a par
with universities and requiring central overview of assessment, would
hardly have been possible had not Catholic scriptural studies undergone
the shift towards the historical critical approach permitted by Divino
As is well known, those structures were originally set in place to consolidate
the philosophical and theological formation of candidates for ordained
ministry. When I began teaching in the late 70s, already a steady
trickle of non-ministerial students had begun to enrol. First, a good
number of religious sisters and then an ever-increasing number of lay-people,
until nowa phenomenon common to all denominationsthe pendulum
has swung so notably that candidates for ordination make up a distinct
minority of the overall student body. Such lay or private students are
not constrained to choose their courses according to ordination requirements.
Nonetheless, it is remarkable how, within this shift towards lay-people,
scripture has maintained its strong position, with many students still
taking a biblical major. The Catholic thirst for scripture, albeit in
close association with spirituality, remains clear.
Another outstanding feature of this period has been the increase in women
students, who would probably now represent the majority. At the same time,
beginning in the 80s women teachers of scripture, originally all
religious sisters, began to appear. When Frank Moloney and I returned
from our graduate studies in the late 70s and joined what was then
called the Catholic Biblical Association of Australia, our first meeting
consisted of around a dozen male clerics, seated congenially in armchairs
in the faculty meeting room at CTC, Clayton. Soon we were joinedwith
what courage I can only imagineby Veronica Lawson, who had begun
her long contribution to biblical education at Ballarat. Two other notable
women educators in scripture who joined us about the same time were Sheila
Byrne and Barbara Stead, both now sadly departed from us. Feminist biblical
criticism, led especially by Elaine Wainwright with her pioneering work
on Matthew,13 soon came to present a challenge to male hegemony both at
biblical conferences and in the classroom. Other liberationist approaches,
such as that of liberation theology, also made their voice heard.
This meant that the hitherto unchallenged historical critical paradigm
began to make room on its perch for other methods and approaches. I first
experienced the new literary approach in a paper read by the late Michael
Fitzpatrick, OFM. Soon, of course, Frank Moloney was to become a world-renowned
exponent of the narrative critical approach to the Gospel of John, while
Mark Coleridge applied his literary gifts to a similar orientation upon
Most of us who have been exposed to these new developments have rejoiced
in the freedom to move from what had perhaps become a rather constricting
commitment to the historical critical paradigm, with its relentless pursuit
of sources and the historical reality behind the text. While
not neglecting historical critical concerns, the new synchronic approaches
have allowed us to expand upon the world in front of the text,
the world that the text generates in the imagination of the reader and
invites one to enter. It is no secret that our students who had listened
for hours to rigorous historical critical exposition found it difficult
to relate much of that to present human experience in homilies and other
pastoral situations. How often one shudders as a teacher, on entering
the study of a former student, now long in ministry, to see prominent
on the shelves good old Barclay rather than the commentaries one strongly
Epoch 3: Early 1990sPresent--The Expansion to the Universities
I would reckon with a third epoch beginning with the opening of two
specifically Catholic universities in the early 1990s: the Australian
Catholic University within the unified system and Notre Dame University
in Fremantle as a private tertiary provider. Meanwhile, some of the colleges
of divinity formed associations with existing public universities in Perth,
Adelaide and Brisbane, in some cases constituting the theology faculty
of those universities.
It is no secret that the rise of university-provided theology caused no
small alarm to the institutions making up the colleges of divinity in
Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. With the shrinking of numbers of ordination
candidates and increasing reliance upon private students for continuing
viability of operation, the theological colleges perceived strong new
competition emerging in the theological pool where numbers of fish were
not large and where private students could find the prospect of government
financial assistance irresistible.
What the universities have provided, of course, is an employment track
for outstanding lay graduates in theology, for whom the colleges of divinity
could hold out little prospect of appropriately salaried academic employment.
Whatever the initial concerns that teachers in those colleges may have
had and perhaps continue to have regarding competition, it has surely
been a great source of satisfaction to see their best lay students find
this possibility. The theology faculties in the universities continue
to have significant numbers of clergy and religious amongst their staff.
As, however, their numbers decline, it is inevitable that more and more
the responsibility for the teaching of theology and of scripture in particular
will become a lay enterprise. Even in the colleges of divinity themselves
a glance at the list of regular and visiting teachers reveals a not dissimilar
Courses in theology and religious studies had indeed long been provided
in some of the longer established universities. However, there is no doubt
that a significant repositioning in the location of theological studies
took place in the 1990s. Moreover, while the colleges of divinity
do attract some younger students, a situation which the coming provision
of Fee-help may assist, there is no doubt that the provision of Catholic
theology to young Australians will increasingly fall to the lot of those
teaching within the university ambit.
PART B: REFLECTION UPON THESE DEVELOPMENTS
Having sketched these developments and the situation in which we now
find ourselves I should like to reflect upon them in the light of Johnsons
critique. I hasten to add that I do so as a teacher of scripture and as
one who has taught solely within the college, rather than the university
environment, albeit from the ecumenical platform of the United Faculty
For Johnson the pursuit of the historical critical method has gone hand
in hand with a shift of the location of scriptural interpretation away
from the Church, its natural setting, to the academy. Current biblical
scholarship is more responsive to the context of the academy than to the
Catholic community of faith. Lauding the pre-modern, indeed patristic
interpreters, especially Origen and Augustine, Johnson calls for a return
of scriptural interpretation to its natural home and sees the possibility
for this in the end of Christendom, the established role of
the churches in Western society and the rise of small intentional communities
of discernment gathered around the Word.14
In more hermeneutical vein, Johnson speaks of scripture as a collection
of texts that contain (and create) an imaginative world:15
not a source of propositions, still less a cluster of historical
sources, but as a vast collection of interconnected and internally coherent
images.16 He writes:
The world constructed by Scripture
provides enlarged perceptions
of the here and now, and provides options for disposing of this and that
in ways not otherwise imaginable. By imagining the world as essentially
and always related to a God who creates, sustains, judges, saves and sanctifies,
Scripture at the same time reveals that world and reveals this God.17
Because Scripture imagines the world in which we live and move as having
its source and meaning in the Other who enables us to move and live, we
are able to perceive the world this way and decide to live according to
this premise. So perceiving and so acting, we incrementally transform
the world imagined by Scripture into the physical world in which we live
Here, of course, Johnson would seem to owe much to Hans Freis classic
observation concerning the (for him) unfortunate separation between meaning
and reference that occurred in Protestant scripture scholarship in the
18th and 19th centuries, with its implication that the latter (historical
reference) became the measure of the former. Moreover, where previously
the non-biblical human world had been fitted into the great biblical story
created by the unitary canon of scripture, what took place at that time
was a notable reversal. The non-biblical historical world was the real
world. The biblical stories had to fit into this world and whatever truth
they contained had to be measured against it.19 My sense is that, overall,
Johnson is calling for a reversal of that previous reversal: a restoration
of the primacy of imagining the world that Scripture imagines as an alternative
reality to the world we otherwise inhabit.
Johnsons critique, of which I have provided only the briefest and
most inadequate sketch, itself raises a host of questions on several levels.
These concern especially:
1. the relationship between the world created by the unitary scriptural
story and the day to day world which we habitually inhabit;
2. the dismissal of history and what appears to be a return to a pre-critical
historical naivety that is, post-Enlightenment simply impossible (Once
youve detected the parental hand at work, can you go back to believing
in Father Christmas?);
3. the risk that a resumption of pre-modern interpretive practice will
be vulnerable to fundamentalism;20 and so forth.
Moreover, though Johnson lays claim to be operating within a post-modern
perspective, his apparent ringing endorsement of an overarching scriptural
grand narrative would seem to sit in some tension with the post-modern
temper in general. On a more practical level, the theological and faith-nourishing
poverty he attributes to the practice of the historical critical method
is hardly fair to its best Catholic representatives: one has only to consider
the contribution of the late Raymond Brown, to take just one example.
Moreover, if we think of our own experience as teachers over the three
epochs I have noted, in which the historical critical paradigm was for
many years the dominant paradigm and remains prominent today, it is hardly
true that what we have imparted has eroded rather than built faith: a
faith that seeks understanding and strives to bring back that understanding
to the Church community in ministry and celebration.
Nonetheless, I think there may be a certain usefulness at this moment
in considering what Johnson has to say regarding the scriptural worlds
we inhabit and seek to foster. As I said earlier on, what I think happened
in the 1st epoch was the inclusion of a new scriptural world within the
rather strictly defined Catholic world of the time. The expansion
which this entailed eroded much of the fixed contours of that previous
world. In no small degree owing to the teachers of the past fifty years,
there are out there a great many scripturally literate Catholics who inhabit
and enact a Catholic world enriched and expanded by their scriptural formation.
At the same time, and not without strong reinforcement from ecclesiastical
authorities, we see at present a strong nostalgia for and attempt to recapture
that old pre-Vatican II Catholic world, with its comfortable certainties,
clear lines of demarcation and not-very-scriptural rituals and practices.
One might almost say the latter is gaining an upper-hand; it certainly
seems to hold the purse-strings.
Between these two movements lies the vast mass of young Catholics who
barely inhabit either world, at least in regular practice, if not also
in basic belief. In an increasingly secularized Australian society, with
powerful appeals of so many other social forces and the discrediting that
the churches have undergone through the recent abuse scandals, it is not
surprising that the still small voice of scripture struggles to be heard.
The gulf between the scriptural world, with its heavy dose, at least as
regards the New Testament of the eschatological patterns and programmes
of first-century Jewish apocalyptic, and the present globalized culture
of internet and mobile phone, seems to be ever-widening. At the same time,
the Tolkien, the Harry Potter and more recently the Spiderman phenomenon
show the capacity for contemporary audiences on a mass scale to enter
other imaginative worlds in a not purely escapist way.
As I am sure the university-located teachers are particularly conscious,
one simply cannot presume even the most basic scriptural literacy amongst
those taking the introductory courses. That may not be true, of course,
of those who have come from well-taught religious education programmes,
especially when rounded off at the higher levels by Texts and Traditions
subjects and the like. But, though open to correction from those with
more immediate experience, I suspect that whatever scriptural formation
has been received has long since been pushed into the background of consciousness
by the claims of far louder and more insistent social forces.
A few days ago our newspapers carried a report, along with photographs,
of our Treasurer, perhaps the second most powerful person in Australia,
at Sydneys vast Telstra stadium, thoroughly endorsing the Christian
story along very traditional and Pentecostal lines, before an enthusiastic
audience of 30,000, mainly young people. From one point of view, that
was an example of a most successful entrance of a great number
of our contemporaries into the biblical story. The report in the Age,
however, concluded with the Treasurers brother, Tim Costello, expressing
serious reservations about the faithfulness of that particular biblical
world to the social implications of the Gospel, particularly in regard
to the meaning of wealth and its unequal distribution in our broader society.
I suspect that most of us here this evening, though we might envy the
ability of such movements as Hillsong to pull in the young, would share
Tim Costellos reservations.
Where, then, does all this leave us in regard to both the journey we have
travelled since the foundation of ACBA, the plurality of approaches that
we practice in addition to the historical critical, the extension of our
teaching to the university context, the multitude of rival powerful worlds
that impinge upon those to whom we strive to impart knowledge and appreciation
of the Bible?
These constitute the bundle of questions I am asking myself at this stage
of my own journey as a Catholic exegete and teacher in Australia. I refer
to them as a bundle because I do not think I have yet got them arranged
in a proper order or configuration. I throw them out to you this evening
in this very unfinished way in the hope that some, if not all of you,
may identify with them and offer some response.
Let me conclude, at any rate, on a far higher literary note than anything
I have said so far. Its not totally applicable to the biblical story
but it is a passage that has become a favourite of mine ever since I heard
my friend and erstwhile Doktorbruder Frank Moloney quote it some years
The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again.
The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They dont
deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They dont surprise you
with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or
the smell of your lovers skin. You know how they end yet you listen
as though you dont. In the way that you know that one day you will
die, you live as though you wont. In the Great Stories you know
who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesnt. And yet you want
to know again. That is their mystery and their magic. (Arundathi Roy,
The God of Small Things.21)
The question I am asking is, How do we continue to help people enter our
Brendan Byrne, S.J., teaches New Testament at Jesuit Theological College,
Parkville, within the Melbourne College of Divinity.His most recent book
is Lifting the Bur-den: Reading Matthews Gospel in the Church Today
(Strathfield, St Pauls Publications).
1 Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2002.
2 Modern Theology 14 (1998) 165-80.
3 Melbourne: David Lovell Publishing, 1990.
4 Unless some has come to hand since Doyle wrote his survey, documentation
indicating the precise moment of foundation is lacking. However, there
are records showing that the constitution was formally voted upon in 1964
and presumably that is why the 40th anniversary is being celebrated this
current year; see Doyle, Biblical Studies 9.
5 Cf. J Cambier, in A Robert and A Feuillet, Introduction to the New Testament
(New York: Desclee, 1965) 527n.
6 On this era see Doyle, Biblical Studies 6-10.
7 Ignatius Schuster, The Illustrated Bible History of the Old and New
Testaments (20th ed.; London: 1935).
8 Constant Fouard, The Christ the Son of God; a life of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ (French orig. 1886; English translation from 5th ed.; London
& New York: Longmans Green, 1945).
9 Alban Goodier, The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ; an Interpretation
(London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1930); The Passion and Death of
Our Lord Jesus Christ (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1933).
10 Giuseppe Ricciotti, The Life of Christ (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing
11 The Christology of the New Testament (2nd ed.; London: SCM, 1963).
12 See The Catechism of the Catholic Church (ET: Homebush, NSW: St. Pauls,
1994) §§396-406 (pp. 100-103); also Gabriel Daly, Original
Sin (Paragraphs 385-421) in M J Walsh, (ed.) Commentary on the Catechism
of the Catholic Church (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1994) 97-109.
13 Elaine M Wainwright, Towards a Feminist Critical Reading of the Gospel
according to Matthew (BZNW 60: Berlin: de Gruyter, 1991).
14 See Luke Timothy Johnson, Scripture and Discernment (Nashville, TN:
15 Imagining the World That Scripture Imagines 131.
16 Imagining the World That Scripture Imagines 132-33.
17 Imagining the World That Scripture Imagines 121.
18 Imagining the World That Scripture Imagines 121-22.
19 H Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1974), 4-10.
20 See the review by R D Witherup, Interpretation 58/1 (January 2004)
21 (London: Flamingo, 1997) 229.
Address given on 8 July, 2004, to mark the 40th anniversary of the
Australian Catholic Biblical Association. The address was dedicated to
the memory of William Dalton, SJ., who died on 10 May, 2004. Brendan Byrne
was a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, 1990-96 and is the
author of eight books, the most recent being Lifting the Burden: Reading
Matthews Gospel in the Church Today (see our review in this issue).