Skip to comments.Let the Bible be “entrusted” to the faithful
Posted on 04/12/2013 5:10:48 PM PDT by markomalley
In his speech to members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Pope Francis said the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church
The speech given by Francis to members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission this morning followed faithfully in the footsteps of his predecessor Benedict XVI teaching. Members of the Commission scholars and theologians from all over the world gathered under the leadership of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Gerhard Müller - concluded a period of reflection on the theme: the inspiration and truth of the Bible. Benedict XVI had drawn attention to this during the 2008 Synod on Sacred Scripture.
The bottom line question revolves around the role of modern disciplines and scientific techniques textual analysis, palaeographical analysis of texts, archaeological and historical discoveries, philological work on sources and so on in the Church's interpretation of the Bible. The path outlined by Ratzinger, whilst not underestimating the value of scientific findings, reaffirmed the fact that one cannot truly understand the Bible and its texts unless it is through the eyes of faith, in the light of the Church's thousand-year-old history, whilst always taking into account the organic relationship between each of the Bible's books and the Bible as a whole and the message Christians find in it.
Francis clearly echoes this line of thought: The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church. This norm is essential to specify the correct relationship between exegesis and the Magisterium of the Church, Francis said during today's audience.
Francis believes the Second Vatican Council reiterated with great clarity that there is an unbreakable unity between Scripture and Tradition, as both come from the same source... and are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.
This is why, according to the Pope, every subjective interpretation is insufficient as simply limited to an analysis incapable of embracing the global meaning that has constituted the Tradition of the entire People of God. The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church. This norm is essential to specify the correct relationship between exegesis and the Magisterium of the Church, Francis added.
At the same time, the Pope guarded against a literal reading of the sacred text, recalling that the Bible the testimony in written form of God's Word whereas the Word of God precedes and exceeds the Bible. Hence the Christian faith has at its centre not just a book but a history of salvation and especially a Person, Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh.
Tradition does not trump Scripture. The testimony of history shows us what happens when a few are "entrusted" with biblical interpretation.
Francis, meet Roy Zuck, author, "Basic Bible Interpretation". It's everyone's responsibility.
Tradition preserves the same and constant interpretation. Tradition was commanded by scripture itself.
It prevents what happens when tradition is discounted and everyone can make up their own interpretations. As evidence consider the state of protestant theology in the US at present ( or Europe for that matter ). If you look at raw numbers well over 60% now teach either abortion or same sex marriage are perfectly ok and its growing rapidly.
But orthodoxy holds that sound hermaneutics is the gatekeeper for doctrine, and that instrument is applied equally throughout orthodox Christianity. Truth be told, we could not give a rip about "protestant" theology. Whatever that is.
But that doesn't fly with Bible Believing churches, and our understanding of Scripture is remarkably consistent world-wide.
“It prevents what happens when tradition is discounted and everyone can make up their own interpretations. As evidence consider the state of protestant theology in the US at present ( or Europe for that matter ). If you look at raw numbers well over 60% now teach either abortion or same sex marriage are perfectly ok and its growing rapidly.”
To reflect your words back to you...
Scripture preserves God’s truth from drift into all kinds of foolish pagan practices.
It prevents what happens when Scripture is discounted and any leader can make up new traditions - even ones that didn’t exist during the first one hundred years of Church history - and you end up with a situation where anything becomes tradition that invalidates the Word of God for the sake of traditions.
“As evidence consider the state of protestant theology in the US at present ( or Europe for that matter ). If you look at raw numbers well over 60% now teach either abortion or same sex marriage are perfectly ok and its growing rapidly.”
As evidence consider the state of the Roman Church worldwide, where regardless of what the church teaches, a huge number of members use birth control, get abortions and are perfectly ok with same sex marriage.
“Tradition preserves the same and constant interpretation. Tradition was commanded by scripture itself.”
I like Augustine’s tradition, and “Pope” Gregory the First. They’re not like Rome’s current teachers.
Pope Gregory the First, for example, says that the See of Peter is governed by three Bishops. Thus, the Bishops of Antioch, Alexandria and Rome all possess the throne of Peter.
Whereas there were many apostles, yet for the principality itself, one only see of the apostles prevailed, in authority, which is of one, but in three places. For he elevated the see in which he condescended to rest, and to finish his present life. He decorated the see, to which he sent his disciple the evangelist, and he established the see, in which, although he intended to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since there fore the see is of one and is one, over which three bishops preside by divine authority, whatsoever good I hear of you, I ascribe to myself. And if you hear any good of me, number it among your merits, be- cause we are all one in him who says, that all should be one, as thou, O Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us. In the Eulogy to the Bishop of Alexandria
Theodoret references the same belief when he places the throne of Peter under the Bishop of Antioch:
Dioscorus, however, refuses to abide by these decisions; he is turning the See of the blessed Mark upside down; and these things he does though he perfectly well knows that the Antiochene (of Antioch) metropolis possesses the throne of the great Peter, who was teacher of the blessed Mark, and first and coryphæus (head of the choir) of the chorus of the apostles. Theodoret - Letter LXXXVI - To Flavianus, Bishop of Constantinople.
Here is Augustine channeling the wicked Protestants, who in turn were just reading the scripture plainly:
CHAP. 38 [XIX.] WHAT IS THE VIEW OF THE PELAGIANS, AND WHAT OF THE SEMI-PELAGIANS, CONCERNING PREDESTINATION.
But these brethren of ours, about whom and on whose behalf we are now discoursing, say, perhaps, that the Pelagians are refuted by this apostolical testimony in which it is said that we are chosen in Christ and predestinated before the foundation of the world, in order that we should be holy and immaculate in His sight in love. For they think that having received Gods commands we are of ourselves by the choice of our free will made holy and immaculate in His sight in love; and since God foresaw that this would be the case, they say, He therefore chose and predestinated us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Although the apostle says that it was not because He foreknew that we should be such, but in order that we might be such by the same election of His grace, by which He showed us favour in His beloved Son. When, therefore, He predestinated us, He foreknew His own work by which He makes us holy and immaculate. Whence the Pelagian error is rightly refuted by this testimony. But we say, say they, that God did not foreknow anything as ours except that faith by which we begin to believe, and that He chose and predestinated us before the foundation of the world, in order that we might be holy and immaculate by His grace and by His work. But let them also hear in this testimony the words where he says, We have obtained a lot, being predestinated according to His purpose who worketh all things. [Eph. 1.11.] He, therefore, work-eth the beginning of our belief who worketh all things; because faith itself does not precede that calling of which it is said: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; [Rom. 11.29.] and of which it is said: Not of works, but of Him that calleth [Rom. 9.12.] (although He might have said, of Him that believeth); and the election which the Lord signified when He said: Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. [John 15.16.] For He chose us, not because we believed, but that we might believe, lest we should be said first to have chosen Him, and so His word be false (which be it far from us to think possible), Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. Neither are we called because we believed, but that we may believe; and by that calling which is without repentance it is effected and carried through that we should believe. But all the many things which we have said concerning this matter need not be repeated.
Augustine against the idea of Mary being more blessed than believers:
It is written in the Gospel, that when the mother and brethren of Christ, that is, his relations after the flesh, were announced to him, and waited without, not being able to approach him by reason of the crowd, he answered, Who is my mother, and who are my brethren and prompting to his disciples he said, These are my brethren, and whosoever shall perform the will of my Father, he is my brother and mother and sister. What else did he teach us by this, but that we should prefer our spiritual to our carnal relationship, nor that men are therefore blessed because they are carnally related to righteous and holy men, but because they adhere to them by their obedience and their imitation of them in doctrines and morals. Mary, there fore, teas more blessed in adopting the faith of Christ, than in conceiving his flesh. For when some one said to him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, he answered,. Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. Lastly, what did that relation- hip profit his brethren, that is, his relations after the flesh, who did not believe in him i Thus also her maternal relationship would have profited Mary nothing, if she had not borne Christ more blessedly in her heart than in her flesh. Upon Her Virginity
More against the Roman cult of Mary:
Wherefore when the Lord appeared wonderful in the midst of the crowd, working signs and wonders, and showing what was hidden in the flesh, certain persons admiring, said, Blessed is the womb that bare thee. But he answered, Verily blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it. That is to say, My mother, whom thou hast called blessed, is thence blessed because she keeps the word of God, not because the Word was made flesh within her. Tenth treatise on the second chap of Johns Gospel
Augustine explaining that he understands the eating and drinking of Christ as figurative:
If a passage is perceptive, and either forbids a crime or wickedness, or enjoins usefulness or charity, it is not figurative. But if it seems to command a crime or wickedness, or to forbid usefulness or kindness, it is figurative. Unless ye shall eat, he says, the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye shall not have life in you. He appears to enjoin wickedness or a crime. It is a figure, therefore, teaching us that we partake of the benefits of the Lords passion, and that we must sweetly and profitably treasure up in our memories, that his flesh was crucified and wounded for us. The third book upon Christian Doctrine
Jesus answered and said to him, This is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent. To do this is to eat the meat which perishes not, but endures unto eternal life. Why do you prepare your teeth and your stomach ? Believe only and you will have eaten. The 5th treatise upon the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John,
Against Peter being the Rock of the Church:
I have said in a certain passage respecting the apostle Peter, that the church is founded upon him as upon a rock. But I know that I have frequently afterwards so expressed myself, that the phrase Upon this rock, should be understood to be the rock which Peter confessed. For it was not said to him, Thou art Petra, but, Thou art Petrus, for the rock, was Christ. Let the reader select which of these two opinions he deems the most probable. The first book of his Retractions
Against Peter only receiving the Keys, and not all the Apostles:
It appears in many passages of Scripture that Peter represented the church, and particularly in that place where it is said, I give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven... For did Peter receive those keys, and did John and James and the other apostles not receive them? What was given to him, was given to the church. Therefore Peter represented the church, and the church was the body of Christ. Serm. 149, upon the words of 10th ch. of Acts
Against only Peter being told to feed the sheep:
When it was said to him, Lovest thou me, Feed my sheep, it was said to all. Upon the Christian Contest
Against Justification by Works:
All our good merits are only wrought in us by grace, and when God crowns our merits, he crowns nothing but his own gifts. To Sextus, letter 194,
This is the chief cause of this mad impiety, that a figure resembling a living form operates more forcibly upon the feelings of these wretch ed men, than its being manifest that it is not living, and therefore that it ought to be despised by the living. Exposition of the 113th Psalm.
Against intercession from dead Saints:
He is the High-priest who has now entered within the veil, and who alone of those who have appeared in the flesh, intercedes for us. As a figure of which, among the first people and in the first temple, the high-priest alone entered into the holy of holies, whilst all the people stood without. On the 64lst Psm.
I could literally go on for a very long time with these.
So, I guess it depends on whose Tradition you want to listen to. The Catholics prior to 500-600AD, or the Romanists circa 2013, who are even still different from the Romanists prior to Vatican II.
As for me, I’ll just read the plain words of the scriptures as we are commanded to:
2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Because the scripture does not change with men, but is always useful for reproof, correction, doctrine, so that the man of God may be perfect:
2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
>>As evidence consider the state of protestant theology in the US at present ( or Europe for that matter ). If you look at raw numbers well over 60% now teach either abortion or same sex marriage are perfectly ok and its growing rapidly.
That means that 40% do not. The 60% figure is not growing rapidly, if that number is even accurate. You probably include the UMC in that 60%. Most people on FR do, but its not true. The UMC does not teach that either are ok.
But the RCC does not have a spotless history of perfect faith either. It has had its share of bad things in the last 1000 years. You know what they are, so there’s no need to rehash them.
The bottom line here is that the Word is for all believers. True, people need to be trained to do proper exegesis, but that does not require a professional. We all receive the same Holy Spirit and he works in each of us.
AMEN. If you desire to stand before God UNASHAMED as His workman, study His Word of truth, rightly divided. It’s that simple. God said it, not me. :)
and we have 20,000 or so "denominations" to show how well that works....
I think you should evaluate "Tradition" in the light of what it actually means: that which has been handed on to us. This includes handed on in writing, handed on in oral preaching, and handed on by example.
Since this is the meaning, then the really important question is not "how was it handed on (preaching? writing? example?) but WHO handed it on.
If it was handed on by the Apostles, then it is past of the "treasury" of the Apostolic faith which we all must carefully observe.
St. Paul himself said that we should both heed his words (oral preaching), and be imitators of him --- his example.
1 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 2:14
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of Gods churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 3:9
We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
Rather, the further churches depart from upholding the supremacy of Scripture as the authoritative literal word of God then the more liberal they become, thus evangelicals are much more conservative than their overall liberal Catholic counterparts: http://www.peacebyjesus.com/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html<
And RC Bible scholarship itself is largely liberal . Meanwhile, "Tradition" in Scripture cannot be shown to be anything more than what was subsequently written, versus such traditions as praying to the departed. , etc.
Sorry; first link is http://www.peacebyjesus.com/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html
Dear AMorePerfectUnion: The teachings of the Catholic Church are to be evaluated according to their truth, and not their popularity.
Obliviously in the Catholic Church were a democracy, she would be teaching whatever is being taught by the ruling elites who control the law, the schools, and the mass media.
Nobody can plausibly conclude that the Catholic community is flawless. On the contrary, it is full of infidelity to its own teachings, darkened with dissent and loaded with sin. What the Church does have, though, is sound moral doctrine: which is precisely why it faces daily these relentless assaults from without and within.
We are in a situation --- predicted by Our Lord --- where the tares are growing thick in the field with the wheat; or, to use a different analogy, where the dragnet pulls in all kinds of fish, some of them pretty ugly. The Lord says the tares will not be gathered and burnt, nor the fish sorted, til the Day of Judgment. Until then, we cling to the truth which Christ teaches us through the Church.
I will be grateful--- grateful forever--- for this truth, which, battered and embattled on all sides, still stands.
Here's a thought experiment: As the others give way on one contested point after another --- civil divorce/remarriage, contraception, sterilization, indiscriminate WMD's, total lethal assaults on the conceived child, artificial reproductive technologies, the radical deconstruction of sex, gender, marriage and family --- 20 years from now, which Church, do you think, will still have the the same, sound, unchanged moral doctrines that Christianity preached 80 years ago, 150 years ago, 500 years ago?
Well, you missed the whole point of my post.
I still like you and all that... :-)
I think some miss the mark on Pope Francis words here.
He is speaking against textural criticism method and historical-critical method. He’s saying these methods ignore or cannot include Sacred Scripture as part of and in the context of where it came from and remains - the faith community of Christianity.
If you disagree with this, you’re in the Jesus Seminar category.
A very useful resource. Thank you for pinging me with it!
*8In his speech to members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Pope Francis said the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church**
Amen! And double Amen!
So are you a member of the magesterium now? Or did you susddenly take over Pope Francis’ position?
The same Augustine whom you would like to pretend rejected devotion to Mary wrote the following prayer:
Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God. Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God. May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection. Be ready to help us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, who lives and reigns forever. Amen