My two year review

By Father Patrick Toner Contributing Columnist

May 9, 2014

I started writing these articles two years ago. I’ve covered many different topics from a catholic and a Catholic perspective.

The small “c” catholic was an universal look at some issues. The capital “C” usage was for those things about the Catholic church that I wished to share. It is good to look back and review and critique what one has written. I’ve written 10 articles pertaining to the Bible itself.

My first article looked at the question, “Do Catholics and Protestants have different Bibles?” I included what is in the table of contents. The table of contents dealt with what is in the “canon” of scripture and why Catholics include seven Old Testament Books that Protestants consider as apocraphal and Catholics call “deutero-Canonical.”

I returned to that topic in recent articles entitled, “Where did the Old Testament Come From?” and, “How the New Testament Canon was determined.” I find the history of the Bible and what God’s inspiration of the human authors meant to be fascinating. My previous article was titled, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” It serves as a summary and reminder that even with human authors and editors involved, God is the inspiration and ultimate author.

My second venture into the topic dealt with Biblical assumptions. I touched on a couple of the beliefs we bring to the reading of scripture. I recognize that this is a tricky question that touches upon the faith of the reader. Some people believe too much about the Bible and others not enough. We should not be afraid to look at the questions these assumptions raise. Any pursuit of truth will lead us to God and is worth the effort.

In another article, “Do Bible passages have more than one meaning?” I chose to look at the two ways of reading scripture, literal and spiritual. Even biblical fundamentalists will find more in a passage than the literal meaning and will be glad to tell you what it meant. It is the spiritual reading of scripture that nourishes the preacher. An article on “Feminine Perspective” was a reminder that we read the Bible from our own perspective and the insights that come from different perspectives can be enrichening. The article, “The Bible is an invitation to grace,” was to illustrate the Word of God speaking to us.

In an article of “Biblical Literary,” I advocated the importance of knowing the story and how to use the resources of the Bible to your best benefit. The key question is “Where is that in the Bible?” This is always a favorite topic in the Bible studies at the prison.

If you would like copies of back articles, contact me at and I’ll send them.

Father Patrick Toner is pastor at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 140 West Ave., Plain City. He can be reached at or (614) 873-8850.