SUMMARY: DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU (By Fortunatus Nnadi ([email protected] com) Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Writers composed the bible which. Divino afflante spiritu: Pius XII: World War II and the Holocaust: In his Divino afflante spiritu (“With the Help of the Divine Spirit”; ), for example, he sanctioned. DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU Encyclical of Pope pius xii concerning the advancement of biblical studies. The document is dated Sept. 30, , feast of St.

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He continues by saying that the sacred writer is not also to be taxed with error if copyists have made a mistake or the real meaning of a passage remains ambiguous and finally, that it is absolutely wrong and forbidden to narrow inspiration to certain passages of the Holy scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred as it is impossible that God, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.

Jerome, patron of studies of the Bible. Being thoroughly prepared by the knowledge of the spritus languages and by the aids afforded by the art of criticism, let the Catholic exegete undertake the task, of all those imposed on him the greatest, that namely of discovering and expounding the genuine meaning of the Sacred Books.

Sedis XIIpp. This is the ancient and constant faith of the Church.

Letter to the Most Rev. Other documents had greatly increased our knowledge of the history, the daily life, and the religious thought of the ancient world. Pius X most heartily commended the society of St. The value of these excavations is enhanced by the discovery from time to time of written documents, which help much towards the knowledge of the languages, letters, events, customs, divinl forms of worship of most ancient times.

The Birth of Jesus: In the accomplishment of this task the Catholic exegete will find invaluable help in an assiduous study of those works, in which the Holy Fathers, the Doctors of the Church and the renowned interpreters of past ages have explained the Sacred Books.

The second and more important part of the encyclical sets down a scientific program for biblical studies. Bible portal Catholicism portal.

On the Catholic Interpretation of the Bible: Divino Afflante Spiritu – Jonathan F. Sullivan

For what was said and done in the Old Testament was ordained and disposed by God with such consummate wisdom, that things past prefigured in a spiritual way those that were to come under the new dispensation of grace.

Hence the Catholic commentator, in order to comply with the present needs of biblical studies, in explaining the Sacred Scripture and in demonstrating and proving its immunity from all error, should also make a prudent use of this means, determine, that is, to what extent the manner of expression or the literary mode adopted by the sacred writer may lead to a correct and genuine interpretation; and let him be convinced that this part of his office cannot be neglected without serious detriment to Catholic exegesis.

In this encyclical letter, the exegetes are instructed to disclose and expound the significance of the Gospel message carefully without proposing other figurative senses as the genuine meaning of the Sacred Scripture. But it is plain to everyone that priests cannot duly fulfill all this unless in their Seminary days they have imbibed a practical and enduring love for the Sacred Scriptures.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. 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. Sign in via your Institution. There remain therefore many things, and of the greatest importance, in the discussion and exposition of which the skill and genius of Catholic commentators may and ought to be freely exercised, so that each may contribute his part to the advantage of all, to the continued progress of the sacred doctrine and to the defense and honor of the Church.


In conclusion the Holy Father exhorts bishops, priests, laity, and seminarians to use the Holy Bible for spiritual profit. Previously, Catholic translations of the Bible into modern languages were usually based on the Latin Vulgate, the text used in the Liturgy.

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.

II, 16; PL 34, col. By the Apostolic Letter Vigilantiaepublished on October 30 in the yearhe founded a Council or Commission, as it is called, of eminent men, “whose duty it would be to procure by every means that the sacred texts may receive everywhere among us that more thorough exposition which the times demand, and be kept safe not only from every breath of error, but also from all inconsiderate opinions.

Divino afflante Spiritu “Inspired by the Holy Spirit ” is a papal encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XII on 30 September calling for new translations of the Bible from the original languages, instead of the Latin Vulgate of Jeromewhich was revised multiple times and had formed the textual basis for all Catholic vernacular translations until then.

This is why in recent times, and at other times when the divine origin and correctness of its interpretation are questioned, the Church undertakes its defense and protection with great zeal and care. Jerome, In Isaiam, prologus ; PL 24, col. Apart from the help rendered by the above mentioned successors towards the good use of the bible, there are the many students of the Holy Scriptures who impart in the younger clergy the doctrine they have acquired.

Thus the Divine Letter will become for the future priests of the Church a pure and never failing source for their own spiritual life, as well as food and strength for the sacred office of preaching which they are about to undertake.

Having acknowledged Pope Leo for his stern defense of Scripture, Pius then outlines how the landscape of biblical studies has changed in the 50 years since Providentissimus Deus was issued.

Wherefore this authority of the Vulgate in matters of doctrine by no means prevents – nay rather today it almost demands – either the corroboration and confirmation of this same doctrine by the original texts or the having recourse on any and every occasion to the aid sppiritus these same texts, by which the correct meaning of the Sacred Letters is everywhere daily made more clear and evident. How difficult for the Fathers themselves, and indeed well nigh unintelligible, were certain passages is shown, among other things, by the oft-repeated efforts of many of them to explain the first chapters of Genesis; divion by the reiterated divibo of St.

Sign in to annotate. Nor does “the word of God, living wfflante 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 idvino 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.

In this consists that “condescension” of the God of providence, which St. The professors of Sacred Scriptures in the seminaries should on their part sporitus the course perfectly and imbue the students with love for the same. Nevertheless no one, who has a correct idea of biblical inspiration, will be surprised to find, even in the Sacred Writers, as in other ancient authors, certain fixed ways of expounding and narrating, certain definite idioms, especially of a kind peculiar to the Semitic tongues, so-called approximations, and soiritus hyperbolical modes of expression, nay, at times, even paradoxical, which even help to impress the ideas more deeply on the mind.


This is in line with the rule of interpretation which is to discover and define what the writer intends to express. All these advantages which, not without a special design of Divine Providence, our age has acquired, spiritsu as it were an invitation and inducement to interpreters of the Sacred Literature to make diligent use of this light, so abundantly given, to penetrate more deeply, explain more clearly and expound more lucidly the Divine Oracles.

No less earnestly do We inculcate obedience at the present day to the counsels and exhortations which he, in his day, so wisely agflante.

Divino afflante spiritu

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 divkno and more accurate editing of the sacred text and that any abuse can easily be discovered.

Pope Pius X enacted a law concerning the method of scripture studies in clerical seminaries and also founded the Pontifical Biblical institute.

Pius concludes his encyclical with an appeal for peace. Abbot Aidan Gasquet, Dec.

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 actual experience, it gives us information at once more abundant and more accurate. Following the founding, by Pope Leo XIII, of a counsel of eminent men whose duty was to ensure that the sacred texts received thorough exposition and were kept safe, other Predecessors of Pope Pius XII made contributions to this regard.

Having expounded and recommended those things which are required for the adaptation of Scripture studies to eivino necessities of the spirifus, it remains, Venerable Brethren and beloved sons, that to biblical scholars who are devoted sons of the Church and follow faithfully her teaching and direction, We address with paternal affection, not only Our congratulations that they have been chosen and called to so sublime an office, but also Our encouragement spiritjs continue with ever renewed vigor with all zeal and care, the work so happily begun.

The former helps in the knowledge of languages, letter, events, customs, and forms afflanfe worship of the ancient times while the latter has contributed to the afflanye of letters and institutions of the time of our saviour. Its historical section does not dwell on the serious controversies over rationalism and modernism.

The progress in knowledge in these six areas in particular had already resulted in an increasing use, arflanteof the scientific method by many Catholic exegetes, but at the same time had caused hesitation on the part of some concerning the propriety of using scientific means to interpret Sacred Scripture. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a afflxnte or purchase.

For Catholic exegetes, by a right use of those same scientific arms, not infrequently abused by the adversaries, proposed such interpretations, which are in harmony with Catholic doctrine and the genuine current of tradition, and at the same time are seen to have proved equal to the difficulties, either raised by new explorations and discoveries, or bequeathed by antiquity for solution in our time.

Wherefore the exegete, just as he must search out and expound the literal sipritus of the words, intended and expressed by the sacred writer, so also must he do likewise for the spiritual sense, provided it is clearly intended by God. Atflante sacred Council of Trent ordained by solemn decree that “the entire books with all their parts, as they have been wont to be read in the Catholic Church and are contained in the old vulgate Latin edition, are to be held sacred and canonical.