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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter treats Catholic biblical interpretation since Pius XII’s encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu (1943). At the heart of the chapter is Vatican II’s teaching in its constitution Dei verbum. This text promoted an account of revelation as a multifaceted reality, and outlined a rounded account of biblical interpretation that endorsed some styles of modern historical critical analysis while insisting that Scripture should be interpreted in the light of a knowledge of what God intended to convey through Scripture. The chapter then considers how two key documents of the Pontifical Biblical Commission develop this teaching, and ways in which post-conciliar debates have continued to explore persistent challenges and tensions. Significant space is given to Pope Benedict XVI’s reflections on these debates. A final section suggests an agenda for the future development of Catholic exegesis.

Keywords: exegesis, interpretation, hermeneutics, Vatican II, Benedict XVI, Scripture, historical criticism

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