The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Paperback)


In February 1994 a quite remarkable document appeared from the Pontifical Biblical Commission with a preface by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. It is remarkable, because at a time when official Roman Catholic teachings like Veritatis Splendor and the new World Catechism have displayed marked conservatism, it represents an endorsement of all the main types of modern biblical interpretation, and firmly rejects conservative literalism and fundamentalist ways of using the Bible. There was one snag: the document was published in instalments in a journal with limited circulation, and not at all easy to obtain. Certainly there was no active promotion of it. Hence its present publication in book form. The document itself, which forms the bulk of the book, is a succinct but exhaustive and 'lucid account of the various methods that are now used in the analysis and interpretation of scripture with a judicious evaluation and discussion of applications. It would make an admirable introductory textbook. To this have been added some previously published reviews and discussions from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States, and three specially commissioned articles commenting on the document from different perspectives, by Robert Carroll, John Muddiman and Kenneth Stevenson. Leslie Houlden contributes the article in which he introduces the document, and a preface.

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In February 1994 a quite remarkable document appeared from the Pontifical Biblical Commission with a preface by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. It is remarkable, because at a time when official Roman Catholic teachings like Veritatis Splendor and the new World Catechism have displayed marked conservatism, it represents an endorsement of all the main types of modern biblical interpretation, and firmly rejects conservative literalism and fundamentalist ways of using the Bible. There was one snag: the document was published in instalments in a journal with limited circulation, and not at all easy to obtain. Certainly there was no active promotion of it. Hence its present publication in book form. The document itself, which forms the bulk of the book, is a succinct but exhaustive and 'lucid account of the various methods that are now used in the analysis and interpretation of scripture with a judicious evaluation and discussion of applications. It would make an admirable introductory textbook. To this have been added some previously published reviews and discussions from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States, and three specially commissioned articles commenting on the document from different perspectives, by Robert Carroll, John Muddiman and Kenneth Stevenson. Leslie Houlden contributes the article in which he introduces the document, and a preface.

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