This is the first main installment of my review of the Catholic Bible Dictionary edited by Scott Hahn. My first impression is that the dictionary does fill a gap in Catholic Biblical scholarship, but more on that in a later post. In this post, I’ll give a little background on the author.
My first encounter with Scott Hahn was in a Bible study being held in my church parish when I had recently returned to the Catholic Church. It was his study on the Gospel of John, which our church had an audio copy of. This was a bit of a mixed experience for me as it was an awkward experience of a Bible study. In the tradition I had previously been a part of, we had a live human teacher. But, in this class, we listened to the audio recording and would pause it from time to time for discussion. That experience was different enough that I really didn’t run out and buy any Scott Hahn books, though at the time I was also reading mostly linguistics books for my dissertation anyway.
Eventually, I did pick up his Covenant and Communion at the Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, MI. It was on clearance, since I suppose all those Calvinists in Grand Rapids didn’t have much use a book about Pope Benedict’s theology 😉 (I mean that entirely in jest. I was in Grand Rapids at Calvin College for a conference on the use of Bible software in the classroom and pastorate and had an absolute blast). At any rate, I was impressed with Covenant and Communion and eventually picked up The Lamb’s Supper (another book put out by Doubleday Religion). This turned out to be one of the best popular level books I’ve read on the Book of Revelation. Considering the positive experience I had with those two books, I have high hopes for the Bible dictionary, which have been affirmed to some extent as I’ve been working through it.
Scott Hahn’s educational background includes a BA from Grove City College with a triple major: Theology, Philosophy and Economics. He has an MDiv degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and and PhD in Biblical Theology from Marquette University. He currently teaches theology and scripture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. His list of publications is pretty incredible, including a considerable number of academic articles and popular level books. And, his work is a staple among many American Catholics
For more info on Scott Hahn, you visit HERE for his CV.