Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation

Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation

Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation

Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation

Synopsis

This volume was written by a group of eminent Catholics, including Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI. In these erudite essays the authors contend that historical-critical interpretation of Scripture has long since run its course in both Protestant and Catholic exegesis. Instead, they argue, the future of interpretation lies in accepting that the Bible is not just a collection of historical documents but also a record of revelation conceived in faith. By this token, true exegesis involves the faith and humility of the exegete.

Excerpt

José Granados

In 1988, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger attended a conference in New York, where he presented a lecture on the crisis of biblical interpretation and other scholars offered complementary viewpoints. the proceedings of the conference were published the following year by Richard John Neuhaus under the title, Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: the Ratzinger Conference on Bible and Church. the main topic of Ratzinger’s presentation was the necessity of submitting the historical-critical method to a thorough revision, what he termed a criticism of the criticism. Raymond Brown, for his part, presented an essay that insisted rather on the positive fruits the historical-critical method has yielded.

Along with two other papers by George Lindbeck and William H. Lazareth, the published conference proceedings also included a text on the discussion that followed the presentations among the twenty or so partici-

1. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.

2. “The Contribution of Historical Biblical Criticism to Ecumenical Church Discussion,” in Biblical Interpretation in Crisis, pp. 24-49.

Fr. José Granados (Madrid 1970), Disciple of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, holds a doctor
ate in Sacred Theology (Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome, 2005). He is Assistant
Professor of Theology at the John Paul ii Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at
The Catholic University of America.

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