Verbum libraries with Protestant resources?

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James Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Aug 23 2016 7:20 PM

It seems that the new Verbum Portfolio package has a lot of Protestant resources, including several Protestant Bibles and many volumes by Karl Barth and John Wesley.

I had thought that in the past, if I bought a Verbum library, I would get only Catholic resources, and that if I bought a Logos library, I would get Protestant resources.

I'm primarily interested in Catholic resources, but I have bought the various Protestant resources that I needed on an a la carte basis. I much prefer that method so that I have a clearer idea of what's included in the various packages.

I'm surprised to see non-approved (by Catholic authorities) Bibles in the Catholic libraries. Have I missed something or is Faithlife changing the brand distinction between Verbum and Logos? I note too that the Verbum website is still not fully functional (I can't get lists of resources of the various libraries, for example), and I can only get this information from the Logos website. Is that a further indication that the brand distinction will be dropped?

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 23 2016 7:36 PM

All of the earlier lines of Verbum base packages contained significant amounts of Protestant material. Jewish and Eastern Orthodox material has also featured.

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James Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 23 2016 7:37 PM

Thank you SineNomine. Could you give some examples please?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 23 2016 7:43 PM

I was also a bit surprised by Wesley and Barth ... but Verbum has never been limited to resources with an imprimature - nor do I believe all resources have been Catholic at least in the sense of Western Latin Catholic. So I don't think there's been a change in philosophy between the brands.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 23 2016 7:48 PM

Off the top of my head with a glance at the website to jog my memory: JPS commentaries, Lexham resources, Josephus, pre-conversion works by Newman and Chesterton, Keil and Delitzsch, Strong's, and I can't remember exactly which Bibles. I'm forgetting about plenty of other stuff, too.

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James Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 23 2016 8:15 PM

Right, no need for an imprimatur on everything, though I would expect them on Bibles (noting SineNomine's point about the Lexham versions).

I would like some explanation from Faithlife though on why they included such an extensive amount of Wesley and Barth in these packages.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 1:40 AM

I think the idea is not so much to include only Catholic resources, but to include books that are of a high level of interest for Catholics - and there are many books by Protestants, Jews, and other non-Catholics that are truly of great interest for Catholics.

For example, Karl Barth was called by Pope Pius XII the greatest theologian since St. Thomas Aquinas (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Barth). Balthasar even wrote a book about the theology of Karl Barth (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54551.The_Theology_of_Karl_Barth). Not to say Barth was Catholic, but he is of great interest to many Catholic theologians.

Same goes for Wesley, who wrote against a Calvinistic view of predestination, and proposed a view of sanctification much closer to the Catholic view than many of his Protestant brethren (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley). And similarly could be said for works of philosophy, history, Bible translations, etc.

This is very much reflected as well in the writings of recent Catholic authors. It's enough to take a look at the footnotes from books by people like Pope emeritus Benedict, Scott Hahn, etc. to see how often they cite Protestant, Jewish, and other non-Catholic authors, oftentimes to agree with them or to back up their points.

Verbum is a tool for people who want to study the Catholic faith, and so the Libraries seem to me to be thought up in that sense. It reflects the presupposition, so beautifully proposed by St. John Paul II in Fides et Ratio, that we are capable of coming to the truth, and that we need not fear dialogue with and about faith and reason. 

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 6:12 AM

I think it's also worth looking at what level of base package/library the non-Catholic resources are showing up. The less expensive packages have a higher proportion of Catholic material. Few Catholics who aren't clergy, professional scholars, holders of advanced/professional theology degrees, etc. are going to buy Verbum Portfolio or one of the other high level packages. To put it another way, few Catholics who buy a high level Verbum package are going to be particularly confused about the non-Catholic status of people like Barth and Wesley, but perhaps many Catholics new to studying the faith who pick up a lower level package would be.

If Verbum Starter had Wesley and Barth, then I would see a problem.

Posts 66
James Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 7:38 PM

Dear Father,

Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate Faithlife's quickly addressing my question and offering a thorough and cogent reply. I would have expected those works of Barth and Wesley to be grouped into some kind of package on the Verbum site, explaining that they are included in Verbum Portfolio library for the reasons you mentioned. Indeed, perhaps it is marketed that way on the Verbum site, except I can't tell as the Verbum website is still not working properly (can't see contents of the Verbum packages for example). In any case, thank you for the excellent explanation.

Best,

James

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 8:11 PM

FYI Father Devin is an MVP not a Faithlife employee.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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