Friday, September 07, 2007

Is Scripture Self-Interpreting?: Part 3

Last month, I posted a 2-part debate on whether or not Scripture is self-interpreting, which lead into a discussion of the role of the Church in interpreting Scripture. Well, I just realized today that I never posted Part 3 in the debate, so I figured I might as well post it now. There's not a whole lot to it, but I guess it still works to round-out the views I expressed in my two earlier posts. See also Part 1 and Part 2.

Pax Christi,
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My response above will be my response to what you said concerning one overarching interpreter. Given the re-contextualizing of the Biblical text which speaks in new ways to the reader by the dynamics of different times, places, and spirit of the age, having a situated interpreter interpreting within the confines of his own time and space is inadequate.
Was that for me? If so, then you may have misunderstood what I said.

The Church is not stuck in the past. It is developing and growing every day, just like the rest of the world. It is the mustard seed growing into a large tree. During this process, she is always reading the Scriptures and plumming the depths of its meaning for today's audience.

This "re-contextualizing" of the Bible that you speak of can be dangerous b/c we can, with our modern vantage point, make the Bible say things it was never intended to say. But, the Church knows what the Scriptures mean, since they are an expression of her faith and they grew out of her. She knows how to apply them to new situations and she knows when a passage can be opened up to new meanings and when it can't.

She has the authority to make these decisions b/c it was to Her that the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles were first entrusted. She safeguarded this teaching by writing it down (producing the Scriptures), but also by passing it on to others, and by establishing faithful men who would ensure that it was never corrupted. And, like I said in my previous post, this cycle of teaching and entrusting has continued in the Catholic Church down to the present day.

Pax Christi,

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