In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret it correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors wanted to affirm, as well as what God wanted to reveal by their words. (CCC 109)
Not just anyone can accurately interpret Scripture. Interpretation entails more than exegeting (looking up the meaning of Greek and Hebrew) words that appear in ancient manuscripts. The Catechism explains what’s actually involved.
INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE …
Since God spoke to men when giving us His revelation, the first step is to know what the men who penned it intended (CCC 110). After that, we must also know what God who inspired it intended (CCC 111). Therefore, the interpreter must know:
- The content and unity of the whole Scripture (CCC 112).
- The living tradition of the whole Church to whom Scripture was given (CCC 113).
- The analogy of the faith, which includes the coherent relationship of the truths of the faith among each other within the context of the entirety of the Revelation of the faith (CCC 114).
Failing in any of these things opens the door to schisms and heresies. The result is thousands of would-be prophets claiming to have a true revelation of the Holy Spirit, resulting in tens of thousands of “churches” and ecclesial groups, all of which were started by ordinary men, trying to replace the one, Church Jesus Christ started, builds, and is protecting to this day.
You don’t have to look long or far to find examples of this. Almost every one of these new, “one true churches” or faith groups has replaced the sound doctrine of the Holy Eucharist taught be a Jesus to His disciples (John 6:35-69; 1 Cor 11:23-26) with the tickling of ears (2 Tim 4:3).
Fortunately, as Catholics, we don’t have to contend with this. The Catholic Church possesses God’s revelation from the beginning of the Church, both in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. We have a long list of documentation for how decisions about the truth of the faith (doctrine and dogma) were reached, by whom, for what reasons, and when. Because of this, the Catholic Church is still one, single Church. She is still holy. Ans she is universal, located wherever there are men and women around the world. We’re one people and one family.
It’s yet another reason we like to say, “It’s cool to be Catholic! COOL2B!”