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Catholic Principles for Interpreting Scripture.
A study of the Pontifical Commission’s «The interpretation of the Bible in the Church».

Preface by Albert Vanhoye S.J., 2001, pp. XXII +400

What distinguishes Catholic exegesis from other approaches to interpreting Scripture? This study examines the Pontifical Biblical Commission's document, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, and derives from it twenty principles of Catholic interpretation. The meaning of each of these principles is explained and its significance is discussed in light of commentary on the Biblical Commission's document, magisterial documents on Scripture, and contemporary scholarly discussion.

Part I considers the foundational principle, that Sacred Scripture is «the word of God expressed in human language». Part II addresses the «human language» dimension and the use of «scientific» or scholarly means to interpret it. Part III presents principles which consider Scripture as «the word of God» and relates the interpretation of Scripture to Christian faith. Part IV treats the literal, spiritual, and fuller senses of Scripture. Part V discusses the methods and approaches used by exegesis and the ways in which their use is conditioned by the unique object of their study. Part VI treats the role of the exegete and the theoretical and practical principles that guide actualization, inculturation, and the use of the Bible in the life of the Church. The study concludes with an evaluation of the Biblical Commission's achievement, an agenda for further discussion, and remarks ori the challenge ahead for Catholic exegesis.

The volume includes a preface by Albert Vanhoye, Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, a bibliography of works about the Commission's document and of works cited, a general index, and a glossary.

Peter S. WILLIAMSON reccived his M.A. in theology from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and his S.T.B., S.T.L. and S.T.D. in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a married layman who has been involved for nearly 30 years in evangelization and pastoral ministry in the United States, and more recently in Lithuania and Kazakhstan. He presently serves as a mission associate of Renewal Ministries and teaches Scripture at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan and St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario.