Return to Sacred Scripture ~ 2 ~

III. THE HOLY SPIRIT, INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE

Now we will discuss more on How to read the bible, which is my greatest question about the bible. Here is the beautiful plan of God in how to read in His way, through the Holy Spirit, the inspirator and the interpreter.

109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.

110 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. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”

From these two paragraph, it is said, we must interpret the way God want us to interpret. So that we can get the teaching, meaning, truth of the Word of God. This explanation really amazed me at the first time I read it. I didnt know at all, about the beauty of the Scripture, I didnt know about the Word of God in the human language!! I told to myself, how come that God who is infinite, use the human language to deliver His Word, as we know the language of man has a lot of err and also aruable things. I was reminded by our saviour, Jesus Christ. True God and true man!! How could it be, He who is so holy want to be human? The immortal come down to earth to be the mortal? It works through a similar way in the scripture.

111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.”
The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.

112 1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.
The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.

113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).

114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

The three criterias here are the great reflection for me personally. It is like telling me about the aspects of the scripture. First criteria, to read in the unity and the wholeness of the scripture, that is why in the liturgy of word during the mass, there are first reading, responsial psalm, second reading and the Gospel reading. This is one of the example to read in the unity of the scripture. It taught me that the content of each book in the bible is unseparated, they are different but unseparated.

The second criteria, as I have mentioned before, that we should read in within the living tradition of the Church. Why is that so? Because the Church pass down the experience from the aposlte, disciple who lived together with Jesus on His earthly ministry through what we called the Living Tradition. So by reading within the tradition of the Church, we keep the context, the meaning and the teaching from the Scripture affirmed by the living tradition of whom lived and experience Jesus.

The third criteria, the analogy of faith. The scriputre contains the Word of God, which revealing Himself to us. Many of the aspects requires faith for us to understand or graps the meaning. Its impossible for us to elaborate everything about God using our mind only.

The Senses of Scripture

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: “All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.”

117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.
2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.
3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.

118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.

119 “It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God.”
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.


Praise The Lord!!

~ To Sacred Scripture ~4~