Letter & Spirit, Vol. 1: Reading Salvation: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries

Reading Salvation

Word, Worship and the Mysteries


From the Editors’ introduction:

Welcome to Letter & Spirit. With this new journal we hope to foster a deeper conversation about the Bible—what it is and where it comes from; how we should read it; and what claim it should make on our lives, on the teaching and practice of the Church, on the world we live in.

We realize that wildly divergent answers to these questions have long been afoot in our churches, seminaries, and academies. Some have gone so far as to describe a “crisis” in contemporary understanding of the Bible. Indeed, we would suggest that a failure to think straight about the Bible risks confounding our worship, confusing our doctrine and morals, and rendering uncertain the Church’s witness to the culture and to other believers.

That said, the readers of this journal deserve to know where we are coming from—our starting points, the prior judgments and assumptions we bring to this conversation. Without trying to put too fine a point on it, we read the Bible from the heart of the Church. That means we read the Bible as the Church hands it on—as Scripture, as a divine Word spoken by God to a faith community that acknowledges this Word as authoritative and normative for its life and worship. We read, then, from within a tradition that for more than two millennia has listened to and contemplated God’s Word—preaching, praying, and interpreting that Word in liturgy, doctrines, and devotions, and applying its wisdom in countless pastoral settings.

The Bible is an ecclesial and liturgical document. As we see it, this is a statement of historical fact, not an article of faith. The Bible exists because the apostolic Church composed, collected, and preserved this Word, even to the shedding of blood by its martyrs. The Church continues to proffer this Word as essential for making disciples of the God revealed in its pages and for worshipping that God, revealed finally and fully by Jesus Christ (John 20:311 Thess. 2:13).

Table of Contents



Tradition & Traditions

  • To the New Student of Sacred Scripture
    Hugh of St. Victor
  • The Sacrament of Sacred Scripture
    F. X . Durrwell, C.Ss.R
  • Vatican II and the Truth of Sacred Scripture
    Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J.