Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'll tell you what...

Posting has been light so I don't make an idiot of myself. But I figure I might as well tell you where I'm at right now. I'm just finishing up Providentissimus Deus and started the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. I finished Inter Praecipus last week. Both PD and IP are pretty "old school". PD however does not completely rule out the scientific method. In fact it encourages the proper use thereof. John Paul II pointed this out in his acceptance speech of the document from the Pontifical Biblical Committee.

One point in which PD stuck me was in paragraph 3, where HH Leo XIII indicated Our Lord's own use of the Scriptures: (My emphasis in black, reference points in red)

That such was the purpose of God in giving the Scripture of men is shown by the example of Christ our Lord and of His Apostles. For He Himself Who "obtained authority by miracles, merited belief by authority, and by belief drew to Himself the multitude" was accustomed in the exercise of His Divine Mission, to appeal to the Scriptures. (1) He uses them at times to prove that He is sent by God, and is God Himself. (2) From them He cites instructions for His disciples and confirmation of His doctrine. (3) He vindicates them from the calumnies of objectors; (4) he quotes them against Sadducees and Pharisees, and (5) retorts from them upon Satan himself when he dares to tempt Him. (6) At the close of His life His utterances are from Holy Scripture, and it is the Scripture that (7) He expounds to His disciples after His resurrection, until He ascends to the glory of His Father. Faithful to His precepts, the Apostles, although He Himself granted "signs and wonders to be done by their hands" nevertheless used with the greatest effect the sacred writings, in order to persuade the nations everywhere of the wisdom of Christianity, to conquer the obstinacy of the Jews, and to suppress the outbreak of heresy.

In this paragraph I reflect on the way Christ used the scriptures. They were used to teach the faith. Christ never teaches like this: "You have heard that Scriptures say do not commit adultery, but rather I tell you this line was inserted some time later and many contemporary Jewish scholars believe Moses may have had a secretary. This is due to the fact that some of the words in some ancient manuscripts are written in a literary style, and Moses probably couldn't even read. Yet some scholars hold that Moses did in fact teach this."

Obviously, I jest here. My appreciation for both sides of the coin in growing. Nevertheless, I am plugging onward ...

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton