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1 © 1/3/2013, Jeffrey Bame – Content of this presentation may not be used without explicit permission.

2 “The Word of God: Interpreting Scripture and Tradition”  Cornerstone document: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Dei Verbum  Date: November 18, 1965  English Copy: can_council/documents/vat- ii_const_ _dei-verbum_en.html can_council/documents/vat- ii_const_ _dei-verbum_en.html  Spanish Copy: can_council/documents/vat- ii_const_ _dei-verbum_sp.html can_council/documents/vat- ii_const_ _dei-verbum_sp.html

3 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

4 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

5 The Prologue of the Gospel according to John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

6 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

7 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him. - John 1: 1-18

8 Bible Quiz Question 1: What is the origin of the word “Bible”? What does it mean?

9 Bible Quiz Answer: The word “Bible” comes from “τ ὰ βιβλ ί α” in Greek. In Greek, this is a plural noun literally meaning “the books”.

10 Bible Quiz Question 2: How many books are there in the Bible?

11 Bible Quiz Answer: The Catholic Bible has 73 books, 46 from the Old Testament and 27 from the New Testament. (The Protestant Old Testament contains seven fewer books.)

12 Bible Quiz Question 3: What are the “extra” books of the Catholic Bible called?

13 Bible Quiz Answer: The “extra” books are called the deuterocanonical books (meaning “second canon”). The Protestants often call these books “apocyrphal” (hidden).

14 Bible Quiz Question 4: In what language was the Bible written?

15 Bible Quiz Answer: Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, while the deuterocanonical books and the New Testament were written in Greek. The official translation used by the Church is in Latin.

16 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

17 1. What is Divine Revelation?  “God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.” (CCC 69)  God revealed himself:  in the order imposed during creation  in the Law given through Moses  through the prophets  through his promises and covenant  in the Incarnation (the fullness of revelation)  in the tradition passed down through the apostles

18 1.What is Divine Revelation? “In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (see Eph. 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (see Col. 1;15, 1 Tim. 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex. 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself.” (DV 2)

19 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

20 2. What Constitutes Divine Revelation?  Revelation is constituted by two elements:  Holy Scripture – the set of holy writings inspired by the Holy Spirit  Sacred Tradition – “the living transmission of the message of the Gospel in the Church” (CCC Glossary)  However, these are not separate or distinct elements but “one sacred deposit” that along with the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church) “are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others.” (DV 10)

21 2. What Constitutes Divine Revelation? “While in the Church we greatly venerate the sacred Scriptures, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book”: Christianity is the “religion of the word of God”, not of “a written and mute word, but of the incarnate and living Word”. Consequently the Scripture is to be proclaimed, heard, read, received and experienced as the word of God, in the stream of the apostolic Tradition from which it is inseparable.” - John Paul II, Verbum Domini, 7 (2010)

22 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

23 3. Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture  Old Testament comes together over the millennium before the birth of Christ  Apostles witness the words, deeds, and life of Christ  Apostles and followers commit oral tradition to writing  During the first six centuries of the Church, individual Church Fathers and then councils determine by tradition the canon of Scripture.  During the Reformation (16 th century), Martin Luther rejects some books traditionally held as canonical  The canon is dogmatically defined by the Council of Trent in 1546

24 3. Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture  The Canon of Scripture, that is, the understanding of what is divinely inspired, comes from Tradition (DV 8)  Public revelation is closed – no new Scriptures are forthcoming (DV 4)  “Saint John of the Cross expresses this truth magnificently: ‘Since he has given us his Son, his only word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything at once in this sole word – and he has no more to say… because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has spoken all at once by giving us this All who is his Son.’” (Verbum Domini 14)

25 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

26 4. Inspiration of Scripture  The Holy Spirit inspired imperfect men to write, edit, and compile the Scriptures – God did not dictate  God is free from error, but human writers are not  Words, details, facts, etc. may be wrong, but the true message of God is not (DV 11)  “In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted.” (DV 11)

27 4. Inspiration of Scripture Warning Against Rationalism  Tendency of modern biblical science to examine Scripture with a presupposition of its mythical nature  Rationalistic scholars deny the possibility of God’s self-disclosure (or flat out deny God’s existence)  Tendency to study Scripture out of context and use “errors” as a means of disproving divine inspiration  “The unity of the two levels at work in the interpretation of sacred Scripture presupposes, in a word, the harmony of faith and reason.” (Verbum Domini 36)

28 4. Inspiration of Scripture Warning Against Fundamentalism  Approach championed by many Protestant groups  Takes each word of Scripture at face value, literally, without consideration of genre, message, or context in the rest of Scripture - incorrectly treating Scripture as if it was dictated by God  “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6)  “Christianity, on the other hand, perceives in the words the Word himself, the Logos who displays his mystery through this complexity and the reality of human history.” (Verbum Domini 44)

29 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

30 5. Interpretation of Scripture (see “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church” by the Pontifical Biblical Commission for more information)  Historical-Critical Method  Scientific study of the ancient texts of Scripture  Study of the patterns, genres, forms, sources, redaction, archaeology, anthropology, history, etc.  Canonical Exegesis  Not opposed to the Historical-Critical Method, but offers balance  Reading each passage of Scripture in context of the entire body of Scripture (DV 12)

31 5. Interpretation of Scripture  Literal Sense vs. Spiritual Sense  Literal sense is the direct meaning conveyed by the words of the human author (not necessarily literalism that ignores metaphor or context)  Spiritual sense is the meaning of a text when read under the influence of the Holy Spirit in the context of the paschal mystery of Christ  Typology: “discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son”. (Verbum Domini 41)

32  Genres  Historical  Legal  Liturgical  Wisdom  Prophetic 5. Interpretation of Scripture  Psalm/Song  Apocalyptic  Epistle  Parable/Allegory  Etc.  Old Testament vs. New Testament - “The New Testament is hidden in the Old and the Old is made manifest in the New” – St. Augustine (Verbum Domini 41)

33 5. Interpretation of Scripture  Difficult Passages  Some passages seem difficult or problematic, especially in the light of the Gospel message (passages of revenge, permitted murder or violence, or promiscuity, etc.)  “Here it must be remembered first and foremost that biblical revelation is deeply rooted in history. God’s plan is manifested progressively and it is accomplished slowly, in successive stages and despite human resistance.” (Verbum Domini 42)

34 5. Interpretation of Scripture  Caution for Interpretation “In this regard, however, one must avoid the risk of an individualistic approach, and remember that God’s word is given to us precisely to build communion, to unite us in the Truth along our path to God. While it is a word addressed to each of us personally, it is also a word which builds community, which builds the Church. Consequently, the sacred text must always be approached in the communion of the Church.” (Verbum Domini 86)

35 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

36 6. The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life  Proper response to Divine Revelation  Our proper response to God is “the obedience of faith”, “offering the full submission of intellect and will to God”. (DV 5)  Respond in prayer: “The word of God draws each of us into a conversation with the Lord: the God who speaks teaches us how to speak to him. Here we naturally think of the Book of Psalms, where God gives us words to speak to him, to place our lives before him, and thus to make life itself a path to God.” (Verbum Domini 24)

37 6. The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life  Private Revelation  Not on the same level as public revelation (i.e. Scripture and Tradition)  Ex.: Rosary, Divine Mercy, apparitions  “Distinguish the word of God from private revelations” whose role “is not to ‘complete’ Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history”. (Verbum Domini 14)

38 6. The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life  Liturgy  “the double table of the word and of the Eucharist” (Verbum Domini 68)  “’Christ’s body and blood are really the word of Scripture, God’s teaching. When we approach the [Eucharistic] Mystery, if a crumb falls to the ground we are troubled. Yet when we are listening to the word of God, and God’s Word and Christ’s flesh and blood are being poured into our ears yet we pay no heed, what great peril should we not feel?’. Christ, truly present under the species of bread and wine, is analogously present in the word proclaimed in the liturgy.” (Verbum Domini 56)

39 Other Papal Documents Referenced:  Benedict XVI – Verbum Domini: exhortations/documents/hf_ben- xvi_exh_ _verbum-domini_en.html exhortations/documents/hf_ben- xvi_exh_ _verbum-domini_en.html  The Pontifical Biblical Commission – The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (1993)  Catechism of the Catholic Church

40 © 1/3/2013, Jeffrey Bame – Content of this presentation may not be used without explicit permission.

41 Tonight’s Outline A.Prologue of the Gospel of John B.Dei Verbum 1.What is Divine Revelation? 2.What Constitutes Divine Revelation? 3.Development of Canon of Sacred Scripture 4.Inspiration of Scripture 5.Interpretation of Scripture 6.The Word of God in Liturgy and Christian Life C.Prayer: Lectio Divina

42  Lectio divina is an ancient prayer practice that involves praying and meditating upon a Scripture passage. In the Word of God, we hear God speak to us and then respond in prayer.  Practice established by St. Benedict in the 6 th century  In Dei Verbum, Paul VI recommends this practice for all Christians  Importance of Silence

43 C. Prayer: Lectio Divina  Traditional Structure: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, Contemplatio (Verbum Domini 87)  Alternative Approach  Read and LISTEN  Read and THINK  Read and FEEL & RESPOND  Read and ACTION  Another alternative approach is to read a passage several times, while assuming the point of view of a different character in the passage each time.

44 © 1/3/2013, Jeffrey Bame – Content of this presentation may not be used without explicit permission.


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