1. DOI /vx. Pontifical Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu () and Principle of Interpretation Bible. PhDr. ThDr. Daniel Slivka, PhD. DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU Encyclical of Pope pius xii concerning the advancement of biblical studies. The document is dated Sept. 30, , feast of St. WHEN the Encyclical Letter Divino Afflante Spiritu appeared thirty years ago, it was the conclusion that in this field Pope P ius XII’s Encyclical was really.

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This true liberty of the children of God, which adheres faithfully to aff,ante teaching of the Church and afflane and uses gratefully the contributions divini profane science, this liberty, upheld and sustained in every way by the confidence of all, is the condition and source of all lasting fruit and of all solid progress in Catholic doctrine, as Our Predecessor of happy memory Leo XIII rightly enctclical, when he says: And in this very arduous and important office let them have “for their comfort the Holy Books”[46] and be mindful of the promised reward: Jerome, which strives to promote among the faithful – and to facilitate with all its power – the truly praiseworthy custom of reading and meditating on the holy Gospels; he exhorted them to afflantw in the enterprise they had begun, proclaiming it “a most useful undertaking, as well as most suited to the times,” seeing that it helps in no small way “to dissipate the idea that the Church is opposed to or in any way impedes the spiriti of the Scriptures in the vernacular.

Let, then, the interpreters of the Divine Oracles devote themselves to this holy practice with all their heart. Nor should anyone think that this use of the original texts, in accordance with the methods of criticism, in any way derogates from those decrees so wisely enacted by the Council of Trent concerning the Latin Vulgate. It is scarcely necessary to observe that this criticism, which some fifty years ago not a few made use of quite arbitrarily and often in such wise that one would say they did so to introduce into the sacred text their own preconceived ideas, today has rules so firmly established and secure, that it has become a most valuable aid to the purer and more accurate editing of the sacred text and that any abuse can easily be discovered.

This is in line with the rule of interpretation which is to discover and define what the writer intends to express. The New American Bible rev. For all human knowledge, even the nonsacred, has indeed its own proper dignity and excellence, being a finite participation of the infinite knowledge of God, but it acquires a new and higher dignity and, as it were, a consecration, when it is employed to cast a brighter light upon the things of God.

And of no less importance is papyri which have contributed so much to the knowledge of the discovery and investigation, so frequent in our times, of letters and institutions, both public and private, especially of the time of Our Savior.

Modern Catholic biblical exegesis, which is both scientific and religious, was greatly furthered by this encyclical.

Divino afflante spiritu | encyclical by Pius XII |

In his encyclical, Pius stressed the importance of diligent study of the original languages and other cognate languages to arrive at a deeper and fuller knowledge of the meaning of the sacred texts:. The progressive exploration of the antiquities of the East, mentioned above, the more accurate examination of the original text itself, the more extensive and exact knowledge of languages both biblical and oriental, have with the help of God, happily provided the solution of not a few of those questions, which in the time of Our Predecessor Leo XIII of immortal memory, were raised by critics outside or hostile to the Church against the spiiritu, antiquity, integrity and historical value of the Sacred Books.

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Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Wherefore the same Pontiff, as he had already praised and approved the school for biblical studies, founded at St.

Sedis XIIpp. Other documents had greatly increased our knowledge of the history, the daily life, and the religious thought of the ancient world. Sublime office, We say; for what is more sublime than to scrutinize, explain, propose to the faithful and defend from unbelievers the very word of God, communicated to men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.? Jerome himself, by means of which the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are being so widely diffused, “that there is no Christian family any more without them and that all are accustomed to read and meditate them daily.

Nor does “the word of God, living and effectual and more piercing than any two-edged sword and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”[27] need artificial devices and human adaptation to move and impress souls; for the Sacred Pages, written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, are of themselves rich in original meaning; endowed with a divine power, they have their own value; adorned with heavenly beauty, they radiate of themselves light and splendor, provided they are so fully and accurately explained by the interpreter, that all the treasures of wisdom and prudence, therein contained are brought to light.

It may not be out of place here to recall gratefully the principal and more useful contributions made successively by Our Predecessors toward this same end, which contributions may be considered as the complement or fruit of the movement so happily initiated by Leo XIII.

Now, however, this kind of investigation is much more frequent and, since more precise methods and technical skill have been developed in the course of sliritu experience, it gives us information at once more abundant and more accurate.

In conclusion the Holy Father exhorts bishops, priests, laity, and seminarians to use the Holy Bible for spiritual profit. Jerome strove earnestly to achieve, as far as the science of his time permitted; to this also aspired with untiring zeal and no small fruit not a few of the great exegetes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, although the adflante of languages then was much less than at the present day.

They generally referred back to the source texts in Biblical HebrewBiblical Aramaic and Biblical Greek only to clarify the exact meaning of the Latin text.

Thus has it come about that confidence in the authority and historical value of the Bible, somewhat shaken in the case of some by so many attacks, today among Catholics is completely restored; moreover there are not wanting even non-Catholic writers, who by serious and calm inquiry have been led to abandon modern opinion and to return, at least in some points, to the more ancient ideas.

Divino Afflante Spiritu |

For what they wished to express is not to be determined by the rules of grammar and philology alone, nor solely by the context; the interpreter must, as it were, go back wholly in spirit to those remote centuries of the East and with the aid of history, archaeology, ethnology, and other sciences, accurately determine what modes of writing, so to speak, the authors of that ancient period would be likely to use, and in fact did use.

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Hence with grave words did he proclaim that there is no error whatsoever if the sacred writer, speaking of things of the physical order “went by what sensibly appeared” as the Angelic Doctor says,[5] speaking either “in figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time, and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even among the most eminent men of science. This article needs additional citations for verification. In O’Brien, William James. Stephen’s, Jerusalem, by the Master General of the Sacred Order of Preachers – from which, to use his own words, “biblical science itself had received no small advantage, while giving promise of more”[11] – so in the last year of his life he provided yet another way, by which these same studies, so warmly commended in the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deusmight daily make greater progress and be pursued with the greatest possible security.

Divino afflante spiritu

Motu proprio Bibliorum scientiamApril 27, ; Acta Ap. Apostolic Letter Hierosolymae in coenobioSept.

The Holy Father makes a clarion call here, as he proclaims the above teaching of his predecessor, urging all encycliacl adhere to it religiously.

Nor should We fail to mention here how earnestly these same Our Predecessors, when the opportunity occurred, recommended the study or preaching or in fine the pious reading and meditation on the Sacred Scriptures. We ought to explain the original text which was written by the inspired author himself and has more authority and greater weight than any, even the very best, translation whether ancient or modern. For not a few things, especially in matters pertaining to history, were scarcely at all or not fully explained by the commentators of past ages, since they lacked almost all the information which was needed for their clearer exposition.

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The Holy Church considers this heaven-sent treasure afflqnte most valuable source of doctrine on faith and morals. What those exactly were the commentator cannot determine as it were in advance, but only after a careful examination of the ancient literature of the East.

With what little reason they thus speak is shown by the experience of many, who, assiduously considering and meditating the word of God, advanced in perfection and were moved to an intense love for God; encyclicall this same truth is clearly proved by the constant tradition of the Church and the precepts of the greatest Doctors.

The progress in knowledge in these six areas in particular had already resulted in an increasing use, beforeof the scientific method by many Catholic exegetes, but at the same time wpiritu caused hesitation on the part of some concerning the propriety of using scientific means to interpret Sacred Scripture.

Quite wrongly therefore do some pretend, not rightly understanding the conditions of biblical study, that nothing remains to be added by the Catholic exegete of our time to what Christian antiquity has produced; since, on the contrary, these our times have brought to light so many things, which call for a fresh investigation, and which stimulate not a little the practical zest of the present-day interpreter.

John Chrysostom extolled with the highest praise and repeatedly declared to be found in the Sacred Books. In this consists that “condescension” of the God of providence, which St.