3.2 - Interpretation of the Bible (A source of guiding and teaching (It is…
3.2 - Interpretation of the Bible
The implications for Catholics today
When interpreting the Bible, Catholics must consider the time and culture, the literary genres, and the different ways of communicating that are found in the Bible, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (CCC 110)
Most Catholics are not literalists and accept the teachings of science without rejecting the spiritual truths of Genesis.
Faith in the Bible comes second to faith in Jesus.
A source of guiding and teaching
It is a source of guidance and comfort in times of need.
Catholic do not read the Bible like any other book: reading is often a prayerful activity.
Catholics are encouraged to read and study outside of Mass, and the Bible has many uses in the home: family prayers, readings after meals, children's books.
It is meant to be read and understood as a whole text, with no part taken out of context.
The lectionary provides approved readings for use in worship and liturgy.
The tradition and teaching of the Church guide Catholics in how to interpret the Bible.
Three different ways to interpret the Bible
The Inspired Word of God
There is truth in the message of the Bible, e.g. God created the world, spoke through the prophets, came to earth as Jesus.
This is the Catholic view, the Bible is the inspired Word of God, written down by human writers.
God is the primary author, as human authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
'All scripture is inspired by God' (2 Timothy)
The liberal view
Some parts of the Bible are outdated and irrelevant to modern life.
There is much symbolism and poetry in the Bible, resulting in a range of beliefs.
The Bible invites closeness with God by sharing human experience.
The Bible contains spiritual, not literal truths.
Some Christians believe the Bibles was written by humans who were inspired like any other writers.
The literal Word of God
If there is a contradiction with science, science must be wrong.
Some Christians believe the Bible is true, word for word.
If there is a contradiction, this is deliberate and there is a reason for it.
There are no mistakes, and it must be taken literally.
The Bible is interpreted in different ways by different Christians.
Catholics believe the Bible is God's message in human words.
Some take it literally, others interpret it more liberally.