Thursday, February 28, 2013

B16 Week: Pope Benedict on Sacred Scripture

"Sacred Scripture is not something for the past.  The Lord does not speak in the past but speaks in the present, he speaks to us today, he enlightens us, he shows us the way through life, he gives us communion, and thus he prepares us and opens us to peace."
(March 29, 2006)

May God continue to bless Pope Benedict XVI during his retirement!

1 comment:

Theophrastus said...

This is a great sound-bite, but I think it is out of context. When we read the full remarks; we can see that the Pope was really talking about communion; with mention of Scripture being a bit incidental (and seemingly applying specifically to the preceding verses he actually quoted).

In particular, I think that you quoted on Monday from Cardinal Ratzinger's Erasmus Lecture (which is well worth reading completely, and will be of interest to almost all readers of the blog) represent a much more nuanced and personal view of his views on Biblical interpretation. He definitely realizes the very historical aspect to Biblical writings. He has repeated this nuanced theme many times (for example, note that he discusses it in the introduction to his Jesus of Nazareth (volume 1), which he published under the personal name Ratzinger rather than in his role as Pope.)

Speaking for myself, I have always been impressed with Benedict/Ratzinger's role as a teacher -- and it seems to me that in many times he was talking to us in a dual role: both as Pope and as Professor Ratzinger. It is of course too soon to predict the ultimate impact of his writings, but he presented a sophisticated and serious approach to understanding Scripture (and, more broadly, theology, liturgy, etc.) In particular, both in a theoretical framework and in actual application, he proposed ways of reading Scripture that take advantage of the fruits both of modern scholarship as well as historical exegesis.