Volume 2, 2006

The Authority of Mystery

The Word of God and the People of God


The authority of mystery is a phrase used by Pope Benedict XVI to describe the power of the divine liturgy. For us, it is also a good way to understand the broader relationship between the Word of God and the people of God, the Church. The Church is born under the authority of mystery. It bears witness to the mystery of the incarnation, the mystery of the Word of God made flesh. This Word, Jesus Christ, discloses the face of the Father and the mystery of his will, the plan of the mystery hidden for all ages.

The mystery of God is his loving plan of salvation—to share his life with his people by means of a new covenant, making them divine sons and daughters in his Church, the kingdom of God. This mystery forms the content of the canon of sacred Scripture. The Bible narrates the slow unfolding of the mystery in history, culminating in the paschal mystery—the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. This mystery is remembered and celebrated through scriptural words and signs in the Church’s liturgy. And this mystery is the source and purpose of the sacred mysteries...

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Table of Contents


  • Vatican II on the Interpretation of Sacred Scripture
    Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J.
  • Inspiration and Incarnation: The Christological Analogy and the Hermeneutics of Faith
    Mary Healy
  • The Use of Scripture in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    John C. Cavadini
  • Theologia Prima: The Liturgical Mystery and the Mystery of God
    David Fagerberg
  • The Lord’s Prayer and the New Exodus
    Brant Pitre
  • The Authority of Mystery: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI
    Scott W. Hahn


Tradition & Traditions

  • The Ladder from Earth to Heaven Guigo II
    (In a new translation by Jeremy Holmes)
  • The Word, Scripture, and Tradition
    Hans Urs von Balthasar
  • The Sacraments and the History of Salvation
    Jean Cardinal Daniélou, S. J.
  • The Kingdom of God and the Heavenly-Earthly Church
    Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, O. P.

Reviews & Notices

  • Carol M. Kaminski, From Noah to Israel: Realization of the Primaeval Blessing after the Flood (London: T & T Clark, 2004)
  • Alice M. Sinnott, The Personification of Wisdom, Society for Old Testament Study Monographs (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005)
  • Ellen Bradshaw Aitken, Jesus’ Death in Early Christian Memory: The Poetics of the Passion, Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 53 (Fribourg: Academic Press, 2004).
  • Jacob Neusner, How Important Was the Destruction of the Second Temple in the Formation of Rabbinic Judaism? (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006)
  • Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil, The Spirit of Life: A Study of the Holy Spirit in the Early Syriac Tradition (Kerala, India: Oriental Institute of Religious Studies, 2003)
  • John J. O’Keefe and R. R. Reno, Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible (Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 2005)
  • Kevin J. Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology(Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2005)
  • Kevin J. Vanhoozer, gen. ed., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Grand Rapids,MI: Baker, 2005)

For Contributors

At this time, Letter & Spirit does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

All other editorial inquiries should be directed to:

Dr. William Bales
Managing Editor

Letter & Spirit
2228 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 2A,
Steubenville, Ohio 43952

(740) 264-9535 phone
(740) 264-7908 fax