Dr. Gale Yee's Public Lecture at LST

Dr. Gale A. Yee, this year's guest speaker at the CBAP Annual Convention, gave a public lecture at the Loyola School of Theology Cardinal Sin Center last 26 July 2006 at 8:00 in the evening. Her paper, "The Book of Ruth: An Asian American Perspective" used insights from sociological studies on Asian citizens and immigrants in the U.S. to interpret the stories in the Book of Ruth. Dr. Yee's novel approach using contextual reading of Scripture aroused great interest among the mostly lay audience, who--despite heavy rain that evening--attended the lecture. [For more pictures of the public lecture, click on: 1, 2, and 3.] Two days earlier, on 24 July 2005, Dr. Yee, accompanied by Sr. Helen Graham, MM, had lunch with the LST professors, during which they discussed current trends in Biblical hermeneutics and interpretation.

CBAP BOT Dinner in Honor of Dr. Gale A. Yee

The CBAP BOT tendered a testimonial dinner in honor of Prof. Gale A. Yee last July 26, 2006, at the Loyola School of Theolohy board room. Incoming and outgoing trustees were present. The Executive Secretary of the CBAP, Herb Schneider SJ, a culinary expert and an avid gourmet, prepared a sumptuous array of delicacies that delighted everyone at table. Toward the end of the dinner, the newly elected President of CBAP, Rev. Victor Nicdao, thanked Dr. Yee on behalf of CBAP for coming to the Philippines to be the main speaker at the CBAP Annual Convention and to give a series of lectures at various schools in Metro-Manila. [For more pictures of the testimonial dinner, click on: 1 and 2.


7th Annual CBAP Convention

The Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines held its 7th annual convention at Phinma in Tagaytay City, on the theme: "Biblical Responses to the Poor and the Marginalized, Then and Now." Prof. Gale Yee of the Episcopal Divintiy School in Cambridge, MA, delivered the main lecture on "Recovering Marginalized Groups in Ancient Israel: Methodological Considerations." Bernie Dianzon, FSP, who teaches at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City, also gave a lecture on "In Christ - Incorporation of the Marginalized Gentiles into the Covenant Community."

The workshop papers were given by Leander Barrot, OAR ("Purity of Heart"); Rustam Sabularse ("Monotheism in Ancient Israel: Pre-Monarchic and Early Monarchic Archaeological Evidence"); Renato Repole, SJ ("Eschatology and Ethics in Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians"); Regino Cortez, OP ("The Davidic Covenant and the Da Vinci Code Stunt"); Miriam Alejandrino, OSB ("Biblical Responses to the Poor and the Maginalized in the Gospel of John"); and Bienvenido Baisas, OFM ("From Marginalization to Inclusion: A Renewed Re-Reading of the Syro-Phoenician Woman in Mk 7:24-31a").

Two CBAP members who were recently appointed bishops actively participated in the convention: Broderick Pabillo and Pablo David. The latter, as Vice-President of the association, read the President's Report of Vic Salanga, SJ, who is currently on sabbatical in the U.S.

The following were elected to the new CBAP Board of Trustees: Victor Nicdao (President); Arnold Monera (Vice-President); Bernie Dianzon, FSP (Secretary); Gil Alinsangan, SSP (Treasurer); Alex Gobrin, CMF; Leander Barrot, OAR; Clarence Marquez, OP; and Fruto Ramirez, SJ. The board appointed Herb Schneider, SJ, as Executive Secretary.

Archbishop Oscar Cruz, DD, of the Archdiocese of Lingayen, presided over the closing liturgy of the Eucharist.


Scripture and the Quest for a New Society

Surfing the internet sometimes seems like scavenging in a garbage can where people throw all sorts of ideas and opinions. One can find in the cyber bin valuable insights that can be put to good use – but only after painstakingly sorting out the ‘recyclable’ from the ‘rubbish,’ and throwing away piles and piles of trash.

Searching for “bible politics” at Google yields web articles like these:

* Politics and Bible don’t mix
* Separation of church and state, God versus politics in America
* End-time Ministries – Revealing the future through Bible prophecy
* GOP: ‘Liberals’ will ban the bible
* The Bible as Bush’s guidebook
* Why the Cross can do what politics can’t
* The Bible teaches peace: Ancient Israel’s power politics

The short list above shows divergent and polarized opinions on the role of Scripture in politics. Some people find the Bible completely irrelevant to the affairs of the state, while others commandeer God’s Word to support their political agenda (crusade or jihad?). Obviously, there is need for a critical study on how the Scripture can be used or abused for political ends; and how God’s Word can truly help us reflect on social and political issues of our times.

The 6th Annual Convention of the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, held last 22-24 July 2005 at Phinma Training Center in Tagaytay City, provided a timely forum to discuss the role of Scripture in politics. Dr. Paul D. Hanson (“In Search of a Biblically Based Political Theology”) and Dr. Arnold T. Monera (“The Christian and the State according to the New Testament”) lectured on how Scriptures could shape the people’s faith-response to social, political, and economic issues.

The workshop papers of Anthony Ceresko (“Endings and Beginnings: ‘Alphabetic Thinking’ and the Shape of Psalms 106 and the Psalter”); Randy Flores (“‘. . . ’ (NAB) Elihu’s Critique of Power and Wealth: An Exegesis of Job 36:16-21”); Helen Graham (“A God Who Crushes Wars: Reading the Book of Judith as an Anti-War Document”); and Herb Schneider (“Women in Early Christianity and the Institutionalization of Charisma”) also discussed how the Bible deals with various social and political issues.

Instead of being purely academic, the lectures and discussions drew from the Bible practical lessons on politics and governance. They also inspired and called people to action. As it turned out the CBAP convention produced several excellent papers that are grounded on solid scholarship and balanced views of the authors. The precious insights they present can be a firm rock on which people—faced with unsettling waves of divergent ideas and opinions in the internet as well as in other popular media—can anchor their values and convictions

The main lectures and the worshop papers has recently been published in Scripture and the Question for a New Society (Manila: CBAP, 2006) 156 pp.


Dr. Paul Hanson's CBAP Lectures Published

The Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines published recently the public lectures of Dr. Paul D. Hanson when he came to the Philippines to be guest speaker in the 2005 CBAP Annual Convention. The book bearing the title Religion and Politics: (Mis)Interpreting the Bible contains two articles: "Jesus Christ, Savior and the Human Condition" and "Worship: Touchstone of Christian Political Action." Dr. Hanson is the Lamont Professor of Divinity at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachussetts, where he taught since 1971. The focus of his current research is on biblical interpretation and the Bible and politics.


Two CBAP Members Named Bishops

The Vatican recently announced the appointment of Broderick Pabillo as auxiliary bishop of Manila, and Pablo David as auxiliary bishop of San Fernando, Pampanga. Both are active members of the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines. Pabillo, a former Rector of the Salesian Theologate in the Paranaque, now works as parish priest in a rural parish in Palawan. David, Vice President of the CBAP, is a Scripture professor in Mother of Good Counsel Seminary in San Fernando, Pampanga, and Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City.


CBAP Invites Prof. Gale A. Yee as Convention Lecturer

The Catholic Biblical Association of the Philppines will hold its 7th Annual Convention on 21-23 July at PHINMA, Tagaytay City. Prof. Gale Yee of the Episcopalian Divinity School at Cambridge, MA - USA, will give the main lecture on "Biblical Responses to the Poor and the Marginalized". An Asian-American biblical scholar, Prof. Yee is visiting professor of the Department of Religion at the Chinese University of Hongkong. Sr. Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, professor at Loyola School of Theology, will deliver the other major paper. Sr. Bernie holds an SSL degree from the Biblicum in Rome and has recently earned her STD from LST.

5th CBAP Convention with Prof. Amy-Jill Levine

The Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines had Prof. Amy-Jill Levine as main lecturer in its 5th Annual Convention held at PHINMA in Tagaytay City last July 2004. A Jewish biblical scholar from Vanderbilt University, Prof. Levine delivered a paper on "Jesus and Judaism: Why the Connection Still Matters". An engaging speaker with a good sense of humor, she described how Jesus and his message would have been seen and understood from a first-century Jewish perspective. Prof. Levine also gave public lectures at Loyola School of Theology and other academic institutions in Manila.


Graduate Programs in Biblical Exegesis at LST

The MA & PhD Programs of Biblical Exegesis at Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City, Philippines, are the only programs in biblical exegesis outside Europe and North America. The Jesuit school offers rigorous training in the biblical languages and various methods of biblical research. Its library (Ralph Gehring Library) is one of the finest theological libraries in Asia, and contains a large collection of books and periodicals on Scripture.



Bar Nasha, Aramaic for "Son of Man", is a forum for discussion of the meaning of human life from a Judaeo-Christian perspective. Jesus chose this particular title as his self-designation perhaps to underline his oneness with humanity in all its frailty and fragility -- but also in all its glory and beauty! "He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the NAME which is above every name..." (Phil 2:7-9f)