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Making Sense of Scripture

Francis Etheredge


In order to give a general introduction to the use of Scripture in the various investigations on the beginning of life, this short essay seeks to give some order to the different tasks and terms which are fundamental to the theologian who would make use of Scripture1.  For on the one hand 'the "study of the sacred page" should be the very soul of sacred theology'2.  And on the other hand the Church has made progress3 in understanding what sacred Scripture is: both by its analogy to the incarnation and by a new realism with regard to the human activity of its authors.  I therefore offer the following points of reference to others who, like myself, may need the challenge of what is new to avoid the danger of fundamentalism, while at the same time it is helpful to realize that true development is as organically related to the past, as the past often anticipates those future developments.

Beginning, then, with the summary words of Dei Verbum on The nature of Scripture (I) I go on to consider the interrelationship of Inspiration and Revelation (II).  This leads to Time and the sense of Scripture, (III) and then on to Exegesis (IV, which is subdivided into A working definition of Exegesis [IV. i.] and Scripture interprets Scripture [IV. ii.] ).  Finally, the last section is on The intention of the author (V).

1 The author undertook the BA (Hons) Div program of the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, B44 9AG, England.  At the time of writing 'Making Sense of Scripture', the author was in the second year of doing an MA in Catholic Theology at the Maryvale Institute and, as such, has drawn on some of his coursework material.    Back
2 Dei Verbum, art 13, page 758 of Vatican Council II, Vol I, gen. ed. A. Flannery OP, (Dublin: Dominican Publications, new revised edition, 1992). Abbrev. VCII etc.    Back
3 Dei Verbum, art 8, page 754 of VCII.    Back

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