Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mark Shea on How He Reads Tobit

Mark Shea, the gold standard in Catholic blogging and the author of many books, including Making Senses Out of Scripture, recently posted a response to a reader question on how one should read the book of Tobit. I agree with his main points, because he shows the liberty the Church gives in matters of interpreting the Bible. Check it out here.

What are your thoughts?


davis said...

So I wonder if Shea has the same viewpoint of the Gospels as he does of Tobit? Jesus, like Raphael, exists, but is incorporated into fictional storylines. This is the slippery slope to disregarding miracles, the resurrection, and even salvation/the life of the soul after the death of the body.

Timothy said...


I am not sure Mark is denying those things at all, but pointing out that some books may be written in a different literay style or form distinct from the more historical ones like the Gospels. This does not deny the historicity of any particular character in Tobit. For example, a story like Judith, which may have historical elements to it, does not seemed to be concerned primarily with being a precise historical account. See Judith 1-4 and it's use of Nebuchadnezzar as an Assyrian, when he is clearly a Babylonian. I don't think this is an error by the writer, however, but intentional as part of the overall point of the story.