1. What sparked your desire to produce this series?
PSW: Both Mary and I have experienced great grace in our lives through reading and studying Scripture. The benefit we received was due in part to gifted teachers who opened up the word of God to us. We noticed that many Catholics needed the kind of help we ourselves were blessed to receive.
There seemed to be a gap in the Catholic biblical resources available. On the one hand, there were study Bibles and simple introductory books on Scripture. On the other hand, there were academic works that tended not to focus on Christian faith and life, but on scholarly questions. So we set out to write and edit commentaries of theological depth whose aim is to help Catholics deepen their faith, hope, and love.
2. What questions in modern Scripture scholarship are you hoping to answer through this series?
PSW: Actually, we’re not trying to answer scholars’ questions, but the questions of ordinary Catholics and of the clergy and lay leaders who teach and preach to them. Our goal is to gather the best insights of Scripture scholarship and make it accessible. We ensure that our authors write in ordinary language that does not require translation for preaching and teaching.
3. What aims/goals do you wish to obtain through these commentaries?
MH: We hope Catholics will fall in love with the word of God and learn to read it the way the Church has traditionally read it: as a diverse library and yet a single word that speaks of Christ. We also hope to help overcome the enormous gap that has divided theology from biblical studies in recent years, by interpreting each biblical book in light of the whole canon of Scripture and the tradition of the Church.
4. What benefits have you derived in your own scholarship from the feedback obtained from the series?
MH: The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Part of the reason is that each of our volumes goes through an extremely rigorous editorial process in which it is reviewed and edited eight to ten times by different sets of eyes. I have benefited enormously by the insightful and sometimes critical comments of my fellow editors and other reviewers. They have caused me to read the text more carefully and to ensure that there are no gaps in my explanations.
5. How are these commentaries accentuated by the tools and functionality of Verbum?
PSW: Our commentaries include many biblical references to support or illustrate what is being said, as well as footnotes to church documents. They also include cross references to the Catechism and Lectionary of Sundays and Special Seasons. Verbum makes checking out cross references so easy!
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