Biblical document highlights the crucial issues of the pandemic

What is Man bookWhat is Man? A Journey through Biblical Anthropology has been published by London publisher Darton, Longman and Todd  The new document from the Pontifical Biblical Commission is the fruit of five years’ work, which took a year to translate from Italian into English.

Fr Adrian Graffy, priest of Brentwood Diocese and member of the Commission since 2014, was one of two translators who laboured throughout 2020 to complete the book’s translation. What is Man? A Journey through Biblical Anthropology considers a vast array of topics concerning the Bible’s presentation of human beings. Starting with the texts of Genesis chapters 2 and 3 the document explores relevant passages throughout the whole Bible. Topics include creation of the human being, life and death, human work, food, human beings and animals, ecology, the human family, sexuality, parents and children, brothers and sisters, war and peace, capital punishment, sin and its consequences, and salvation through Christ. A generous thematic index allows easy access to what is a sizeable work of biblical scholarship.

Professor Nuria Calduch-BenagesFr Adrian comments: “What has really struck me is that the document reflects major features of the magisterium of Pope Francis, because both the Commission and the Pope are drawing deeply on the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. And the crucial issues of the pandemic, which we risk neglecting in an understandable desire to return to ‘normal’, such as respect for the creation and outreach to our brothers and sisters all over the world, emerge very strongly in the document.”

The English version of the document was launched in a live-stream event with the newly-appointed secretary of the Commission, Professor Nuria Calduch-Benages (above left), who teaches at the Pontifical Gregorian University. The launch can be viewed on