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The Bible & Private Interpretation

Fr. Walter J. Quinn, OSA
Priest Associate, Priests for Life

July 25, 2015
   
 

2 Peter 1:20-21

CAN ANYONE INTERPRET the Scriptures....according to what he/she believes is correct?  St Peter, the  Apostle says:.....”no prophecy of Scripture...is made by private interpretation.  For not by will of man was prophecy brought or made at any time...but by holy men of God...who spoke....as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

SUPPOSE A HUSBAND & WIFE disagree on a specific citation in the Bible...one says YES & the other says NO.   Now, we have a real problem...so HOW & WHERE do we find the proper solution....the whole Truth.....& “nothing but the Truth”...as they say in a Court of Law?...& no private opinions “mixed in.

MANY TIMES some one who disagrees with the Catholic Church’s Teaching on a subject will say...”that’s your Interpretation.”   Often they will not give one citation to back up their disagreement.

PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS of the Bible have resulted in many separate & distinct Religious Churches or Denominations.  We should note here that...there is not ONE single point on which every Denomination is in FULL agreement....NOT ONE!

TRUTH IS OBJECTIVE...not Relative.   It has its own Reality.  It has an Existence....in & of itself.  TRUTH exists outside of my own Mind....outside of the Human Person.   Any Truth cannot be Yes & No at the same time...in the same way that one cannot say the Sun IS now shining & NOT shining at the same  time!

TRUTH APPLIES TO ALL MANKIND.   It exists in all places, at all times, in all cultures, for all ages.

 Religious Moral Truths are OBJECTIVE...not Relative.  Church Teachings of Religion & Morality are a part of TRUTH.

TO SUPPORT ALL of the above statements...we can look  to ST. THOMAS AQUINAS...Died March 7, 1274, (Feast: Jan 28th)) for his Clarity & Wisdom as a Theologian, Philosopher & Dominican Priest & Doctor of the Church...also known as the Angelic Doctor. He wrote the “SUMMA THEOLOGICA”....a most profound & treasured composition of Tradition, Reason & Divine Revelation.  He was Canonized a Saint on July 18,1323, AD.   Pope Leo XIII declared him a Patron of Catholic Schools & Universities.

PILATE ASKED CHRIST...”What is Truth”....reflecting the Skepticism of the times.   QUESTIONS such as: “where does Truth lye”...or....”in what does Truth subsist”...”Is Truth Eternal”...”does  Truth apply to every person”....”does Truth ever change.”    These are some of the most important & profound questions in Life....to which most people eventually seek the answers.  St Thomas believed that knowledge is all about Truth...& that it exists as an independent reality...& therefore exists independently of the human mind.

POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI has some beautiful words of praise for St Thomas Aquinas. “ I wish to speak of the one whom...my predecessor Saint Pope John Paul II ...recalled that the Church has been consistently proposing St Thomas as a Master of Thought & a Model of the right way to express Theology.”

AMONG THE CHURCH Fathers, Doctors & Ecclesiastical writers mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church...(CCC)...St Thomas is cited more than any other...at least 61 times.  He is also called the Angelic Doctor...perhaps because of his Virtues, the Sublimity of his thought...& the Purity of his Life.

WE CAN CONCLUDE this commentary on TRUTH by saying...‘AMEN”...which means   “LET IT BE SO.”

   
 
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