Presentation on theme: "How can we know what the Bible means? We are all interpreters. Hermeneutics means to engage in interpretation. Some events and actions have consistent."— Presentation transcript:
How can we know what the Bible means? We are all interpreters. Hermeneutics means to engage in interpretation. Some events and actions have consistent interpretations, like traffic lights. Words and stories can be misinterpreted when we do not know the wider situation or circumstance, i.e. the context. Knowing the context of a Scripture passage is important for interpreting its meaning.
How can we know what the Bible means? ‘In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current.’ Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 110
The contexts in which each of the books of the Bible was written Understanding the Context of the Bible Historical: considering the views, beliefs and culture of people at that time, i.e. scientific knowledge and understanding. Political: considering the relationships between different groups of people and rulers, i.e. Jews, Levites and Samaritans. Faith: considering the relationship between God and the people passed on through the oral tradition.
The contexts in which each of the books of the Bible was written We Cannot Interpret Alone The Bible was written in different languages; we depend on others to provide translation. The Bible was written in radically different life, social and political situations; we depend on biblical scholars to describe the context. The Bible reflects the great spiritual wisdom of our foreparents in faith; we must discern meaning in our lives today.
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church The Magisterium The Magisterium is made up of the Pope, together with the bishops of the whole Catholic Church, whose responsibility it is to give an authentic interpretation to the Word of God, whether contained in Sacred Scripture or in Sacred Tradition.
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church Deposit of Faith The heritage of faith contained in Sacred Scripture and tradition, handed on in the Church from the time of the Apostles, from which the Magisterium draws all that it proposes for belief as divinely revealed. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 509
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church Tradition The Tradition of the Catholic Church refers to the body of teaching of the Church, expressed in her beliefs, doctrines, rituals and Scripture, that has been handed down from the Apostles to their successors, the Pope and the bishops, through the ages, in an unbroken line of succession.
We must approach the Bible with an open mind and heart Things to Remember when Reading the Bible Read the Bible within the Tradition and teachings of the Catholic Church. Pay attention to what the human authors meant in the original context of the text. Know the history and conditions and culture of the time in which the book was written.
We must approach the Bible with an open mind and heart Things to Remember when Reading the Bible Read each part of the Bible in light of the unity of content and teaching of the whole Bible. Read the Bible for its spiritual wisdom and witness to faith. Seek to learn its spiritual wisdom for life.
We must approach the Bible with an open mind and heart Things to Remember when Reading the Bible Different books or parts of the Scriptures cannot contradict one another because they all come from the same Holy Spirit. Revelation is God’s own Word to us. The unity of our faith must be preserved. Understanding of faith and knowledge of Scriptures continues to evolve and deepen.
The story of St. Francis of Assisi St. Francis of Assisi Born in 1181 in Assisi in Umbria, Italy. Lived an affluent life before joining the military. Returned from battle to live a simple life in the hills after hearing God’s direction for his life: ‘As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.’