Me on Dei Verbum

Leroy HuizengaBlog5 Comments

My talk on Dei Verbum from our recent Symposium on the Second Vatican Council, “The Enduring Legacy of Vatican II,” is now up on YouTube. It’s pitched fairly high, as I had priests and deacons in view when I put it together. My four theses:

(1) Dei Verbum is correctly interpreted when one approaches the text itself as a coherent and public whole and assumes the “hermeneutic of reform in continuity” of which Pope Benedict has spoken.

(2) Dei Verbum concerns the totality of divine revelation, given fully and finally in the Incarnation of the Son of God in Jesus Christ mediated to us by the Church’s Scripture and Tradition and interpreted definitively by the Magisterium, which is not master but servant of the Word of God (cf. CCC 86).

(3) Dei Verbum affirms spiritual exegesis, the classic Christian fourfold sense of Scripture comprising the letter, allegory (typology), tropology, and anagogy.

(4) Dei Verbum teaches that the Bible is the Church’s book, whose natural habitat is the liturgy, in which Christians encounter Christ in the unity of Word and Sacrament, receptive to the Word like Mary, mother and model of the Church.

5 Comments on “Me on Dei Verbum

  1. This is an excellent lecture! All your points were well argued within the limitation of time given to deliver the lecture. More importantly, the topics you cover are of great consequence. As you already know, much of the problems in the Church since the Second Vatican Council are due to bad exegesis. Much dissent is due to the dissolution of authority. When you attack the authority of Scripture you are attacking the authority of the Magisterium. Additionally, the presuppositions upon which modern exegetes of the historical critical method are not well-founded in reason and, as a result, attack reason itself and the very notion of doing some kind of “scientific” exegesis. Of course, there is no such thing as a purely “scientific” form of exegesis. This notion that modern scholars have to imitate the natural sciences in some kind of supposedly “objectivity” which does not exist even in the natural sciences, at least not purely, is a fantasy.

    Scripture and its exegesis has been a favorite topic of mine the past 20 years and it is so refreshing to hear a biblical scholar speak as you do. I studied at a Southern Baptist University but ended up finishing a bachelors in theology recently with Catholic Distance University.

    Sorry for being long-winded. Do you, by chance, have your lecture in written form?

  2. Thank you, Matthew. I don’t have a copy of this for public distribution, but I’m writing an essay on Dei Verbum largely along these lines that’ll appear in a book about a year from now.

  3. I will look forward to your new book. I enjoyed all four of your points that you covered. I was impressed how you demonstrated that Dei Verbum affirms spiritual exegesis. Perhaps in your book you can also expand on how the liturgy is the natural habitat of the Bible. God bless all your efforts.

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