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Dear Father Dave Bechtel, Since you see the New Testament Gospels as "historical documents" does this mean you have a higher opinion of The Story of Jesus by Marie-Joseph Lagrange than you do of the modern Biblical scholarship to be found in the Jerome Biblical Commentary, in both its first and newest editions?

I have heard of Lagrange and I have some works by him, but I am not familiar with his works on the Scripture.  Thus, I cannot directly speak to his work on Scripture. From what you say in your question, he looks like someone I would like to read in regard to the Scripture.  

As for the New Jerome Biblical Commentary--you can have it.  I am not impressed.  

While I cannot speak to Lagrange, I DO have high opinions of those who take the Bible seriously, believe what it says and seek to defend it.  

As a Catholic priest, I believe:

1) That the Bible is Inspired--and thus God's Word.

2) God cannot make mistakes, therefore the Bible is Inerrant.

3) God cannot lie, therefore what the Bible teaches is True.

4) As God cannot make mistakes, any mistakes that appear in the Bible are only apparent.  That is---the reason the Bible seems to conflict with itself, or seems to be in error is because we are not understanding it.  We need to further study and research the issue in question.  


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Father Dave Bechtel


I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.


I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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