Very interesting post, and certainly a lot here I didn't receive in formation - we tended to go straight into theological conclusions. Reading Aquinas' commentary on various passages of scriptures, such as the Gospel of Matthew or John, I find he does a good job of weaving other passages of scripture together it eliminate erroneous interpretations. He also utilizes reason to narrow interpretations, while nonetheless also remaining open to possible meanings. In one instance, he was speaking of Jesus being supposedly scandalized by Peter's rebuke. Aquinas says that it is impossible for Christ to be scandalized since He is God. Rather, this type of scandal that Jesus spoke of was about Him insofar as it was about His Body, the Church.

I think of scriptural interpretation as something like dialogue. It begins, as you say, with our own interpretation or intuition, then we submit that, or test it, and polish it off. We submit it to outside sources of truth in conjunction with the Scriptures - such as the Magisterium, Context, Form, Reason, Prayer, etc.. I find that its when we leave any of these sources of truth out of the equation, that is when we tend to err. Consider those who espouse dual covenantal theology or perhaps even something akin to apokastasis. I find that these often result from a very isolated field, drawing absolute conclusions without all the nuancing that would render us an accurate conclusion.

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Thanks Fr. Chris,

There is a lot to unpack here still with this passage and the laity’s role of becoming the 72 and the purpose of the 72.

And I could certainly make it more clear the rudimentary steps that when interpreting Scripture it is a process of scripture, tradition, and magisterium as you allude to in your comments. In practice, I do employ this tri-pod in the above analysis of the text. I do think you add one more step with integrating philosophy via Thomas Aquinas. Nonetheless, if you have some sort of patristic pedigree in your corner you have a seed for interpretation.

What I want to make aware to Bible readers is when it comes to interpretation of the biblical text, the theologians mentioned are Augustine, Aquinas, and Fr. Lapide. Arguably not Augustine, but both Aquinas and Lapide would have interpreted the text influenced by the Church as a fully developed Institution of Christendom.

But let’s go back to your article on the death of Christendom, what if Christendom no longer exists? What if the institution no longer exists in the function of influencing the greater culture?

The biblical exegete is in the need to interpret the sacred text for a people who now live in a world that functions in hostility against them and more or less the laity live a separate live away from the institution.

Acts 6 and the ordaining of “the servants” is interesting. I allude to this above, but the noun for Deacon is never used here. The verb is used here in the passage.

Ven. Fulton Sheen refers to the renewal of the Church coming from the laity. The facts on the ground is that for whatever reason since the Church as institute no longer dominates the culture, the lay person has no material consequence for leaving the Church--no societal stigma.

It would be wise of the leadership of the Church to recognize this reality. And it has somewhat via the references I made to Pope St. John Paul the II’s exhortation, but the Church moves slowly.

Again, a lot to chew on here.

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