Interpretation of the Bible
In 1993 the Pontifical Biblical Commission presented to Pope John Paul II the document on The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. It reviewed the key features of historical critical exegesis, other current exegetical methods, the philosophies and theologies that define hermeneutics, and the pre-understandings that the exegetes bring to the reading of the text. The text presented two sections on the characteristics of Catholic interpretation and the interpretation of the Bible in the life of the Church. The document states that its purpose is to give serious consideration to the various aspects of the present situation as regards the interpretation of the Bible - to attend to the criticisms and the complaints as also to the hopes and aspirations which are being expressed in this matter, to assess the possibilities opened up by the new methods and approaches and, finally, to try to determine more precisely the direction which best corresponds to the mission of exegesis in the Catholic Church. It examines all the methods likely to contribute effectively to the task of making more available the riches contained in the biblical texts. The aim is that the word of God may become more and more the spiritual nourishment of the members of the people of God, the source for them of a life of faith, of hope and of love, and indeed a light for all humanity.