Life & Soul Life and Soul

How to… Read Scripture

In Dei Verbum, the council fathers pointed out that there are many ways to encounter Scripture, including in the liturgy. As for reading, this needs to be guided by the Holy Spirit. That means reading prayerfully – and also being attentive to the tradition of the Church: bishops, says Dei Verbum, should provide “necessary and really adequate explanations” of Scriptural passages, “so that the children of the Church may safely and profitably become conversant with the Sacred Scriptures.”

Often, such explanations already exist – for instance, the Catena Aurea of St Thomas Aquinas collects the sayings of Church Fathers about the Gospels.

As for apparent contradictions or mistakes, St Jerome explained: “If in these Books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand.”