Who should read the Bible? What is the biblical word? How is Scripture to be interpreted? How is it to be prayed and lived? How does Scripture call forth the Church's entire life and mission? In October 2008 the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church took place in Rome. During the synod the bishops addressed these questions on the significance of the Word in the life and mission of the church. Beginning with a helpful explanation of the synod process, James Chukwuma Okoye, CSSp, follows the synod in historical progression, highlighting important topics and issues along the way and concluding with an exposition of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, which Benedict XVI signed on September 30, 2010. Okoye emphasizes that the Synod on the Word of God was not just about Scripture's function in the pastoral life of the church but "it was also about tradition and God?s continuing self-disclosure in history and in the religions and cultures of humankind."
James Chukwuma Okoye, CSSp, is the Carroll Stuhlmueller Professor of Old Testament at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. His teaching and ministry place him among people of many diverse cultures. Okoye has been Provincial of his Nigerian Congregation of Spiritans and General Assistant in the Congregation's headquarters in Rome. He was a member of the International Theological Commission and a peritus of the 1994 First Synod of Bishops for Africa.
In reading this book, one cannot but appreciate how much the Church has encouraged its members to know and love the Scriptures and all they represent in the Catholic tradition. [It] is an obvious labor of love, and the author's own genuine and passionate appreciation for the word of God shines brightly through every page.
Gregory J. Polan, OSB, Worship
With the skill of a master teacher and the conviction of a lover of God's Word, James Okoye helps his readers plumb the depths of the recent Synod on the Word of God and Benedict XVI's Verbum Domini. He does this with pastoral sensitivity and depth, with care and clarity, and with an appreciation for intercultural perspectives.
Stephen Bevans, SVD, Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union
The chapter on recent Catholic exegesis will be particularly useful to students. It is a credit to Professor Okoye that he has achieved such a comprehensive survey in a few pages.. [He] is to be congratulated on giving us this excellent book.
Dom Michael Clothier, OSB, The Downside Review
A most informative primer on the role of Scripture in the Catholic tradition. The clarity and solid information of this work make it a valuable resource for college and seminary courses that require a broad understanding of the role of Scripture and biblical scholarship in the Catholic tradition.
Donald Senior, CP, The Bible Today
In the context of the recent Synod of Bishops on the Word of God and the papal document that followed, Professor Okoye provides an excellent introduction to the developmental history of Catholic biblical interpretation. The internal process of the synod, the international implications, the thinking of synod participants, and the generations of scholarship behind them, are all brought out. Readers of the book will understand that such a synod represents the whole church, and they will be updated on modern Catholic biblical hermeneutics and theology of inspiration and will understand that interpretation of eternal truths changes and progresses.
Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ, Archivist, Society of the Sacred Heart, U.S. Province, Charles Fischer Professor of New Testament Emerita, Brite Divinity School
Okoye's work helps situate the Synod within recent Vatican documents and will stimulate readers towards further exploration of the hermeneutical and pastoral issues.
Anthony O'Leary, Journal for the Study of The New Testament