July 4, 2021

1. DOI /vx. Pontifical Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu () and Principle of Interpretation Bible. PhDr. ThDr. Daniel Slivka, PhD. DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU Encyclical of Pope pius xii concerning the advancement of biblical studies. The document is dated Sept. 30, , feast of St. WHEN the Encyclical Letter Divino Afflante Spiritu appeared thirty years ago, it was the conclusion that in this field Pope P ius XII’s Encyclical was really.

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Pope Pius sets forth to expound the content of Providentissimus Deus and to defend them. The sacred Council of Trent ordained by solemn decree that “the affante 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.

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

Divino afflante spiritu

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 fivino zeal and care. Print this article Spritu all entries for this topic Cite this article. Motu proprio Bibliorum scientiamApril 27, ; Acta Ap. The professors of Sacred Scriptures in the seminaries should on their part teach the course perfectly and imbue the students with love for the same.


This is in line with the encyflical of interpretation which is to discover and define what the writer intends to express. 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. Hence their exegetical explanation should aim especially at the theological doctrine, avoiding useless disputations and omitting all that is calculated rather to gratify curiosity than to promote true learning and solid piety.

I, 4 PG 53, col. If, with the greatest satisfaction of mind, We perceive that these same interpreters have resolutely answered and still continue to answer this call, this is certainly not the last or least of the fruits of the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deus, by which Our Predecessor Leo XIII, foreseeing as enctclical were this new development of biblical studies, summoned Catholic exegetes to labor afflnate wisely defined the direction and the method to be followed in that labor.

Let them favor therefore and lend help to those pious associations whose aim it is to spread copies of the Sacred Letters, especially of the Gospels, among the faithful, and to procure by every means that in Christian families the same be read daily with piety and devotion; let them efficaciously recommend by word and example, whenever the liturgical laws permit, the Sacred Scriptures translated, with the approval of the Ecclesiastical authority, into modern languages; let them themselves give public conferences or dissertations on biblical subjects, or see that they divinp given by other public orators well versed in the matter.

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


The present article treats of the contents of the encyclical, the circumstances leading to the document, its characteristics, and its effects. How much light has been derived from these explorations for the more correct and fuller understanding of the Sacred Books all experts know, as well as all those who devote themselves to these studies.

Letter to the Most Rev. Catholic exegetes received the Divino afflante Spiritu with profound gratitude.

Would that many, by seeking out the authors of the Catholic interpretation of Scripture and diligently studying their works and drawing thence the almost inexhaustible riches therein stored up, might contribute largely to this end, so that it might be daily more apparent to what extent those authors understood and made known the divine teaching of the Sacred Books, and that the interpreters of today might thence take example and seek suitable arguments.

Apostolic Letter Hierosolymae in coenobioSept. The doctrinal section concludes on the positive note that the scientific method in Scripture studies, having already solved many difficulties of long standing and demonstrated the historical nature of the Bible, still affords promise of the solution of remaining difficulties.

The former helps in the knowledge of spiiritu, letter, events, customs, and forms of worship of the ancient times while the latter has contributed to the discovery of letters and institutions of afflantf time of our saviour.

Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. He desires for all sons of the church to continually meditate on the divine word difino that they may taste as their reward how good and sweet the spirit of the Lord is. 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. Let those who cultivate biblical studies turn their attention with all due encyckical towards this point and let them neglect none of dkvino discoveries, whether in the domain of archaeology or in ancient history or literature, which serve to make better known the mentality of the ancient writers, as well as their manner and art of reasoning, narrating and writing.

Apostolic constitutions and bulls Encyclicals Apostolic writings Magisterium. The progress in knowledge in these six areas in particular had already resulted in an increasing use, beforeof 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.

Stephen’s, Jerusalem, by the Master General of the Sacred Order of Preachers – from which, to use his own words, “biblical science itself had received no small advantage, while giving promise of more”[11] – so in the divibo year of his life he provided yet another way, by which sipritu same studies, so warmly commended in the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deusmight daily make greater progress and be pursued with the greatest possible security.

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.


God wished difficulties to be scattered through the Sacred Books inspired by Him, in order that we might be urged to read and scrutinize them more intently, and, experiencing in a salutary manner our own limitations, we might be exercised in due submission of mind.

Peter’s, on the 30th of September, the feast of St. In Brown, Raymond E. The encyclical concludes with an assurance of liberty to Catholic Scripture scholars and with a request that the scholars be judged by all with the utmost charity.

For of the modes of expression which, among ancient peoples, and especially those of the East, human language used to express its thought, none is excluded from the Sacred Books, provided the way of speaking adopted in no wise contradicts the holiness and truth of God, as, with his customary wisdom, the Angelic Doctor already observed in these words: There was a significant return in the Church to the scientific study of the Bible.

In the end, the Holy Father urges the faithful to be nourished with the knowledge of the Bible and the love of Divinoo which will encyclicak them to eternal perfection. II, 16; PL 34, col. Sedis XXVIpp. The second and more important part of the encyclical sets down a scientific program for biblical studies.

It inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic biblical studies by encouraging the study of textual criticism or lower criticismpertaining to text of the Scriptures spiriru and transmission thereof for example, to determine correct readings and permitted the use of the historical-critical method or higher s;irituto be informed by theologySacred Traditionand ecclesiastical history on the historical circumstances of the text, hypothesizing divono matters such as authorship, dating, and similar concerns.

Abbot Aidan Gasquet, Dec. It is indeed regrettable that such precious treasures of Christian antiquity are almost unknown to many writers of the present day, and that students of the history of exegesis have not yet accomplished all that seems necessary for the due investigation afflantee appreciation of so momentous a subject. Let diviho the other sons of the Church bear in mind that the efforts of these resolute laborers in the vineyard of the Lord should be judged not only with equity and justice, but also with the greatest charity; all moreover should abhor that intemperate zeal which imagines that whatever is new should for that very reason be opposed or suspected.

This change is due in great part to the untiring labor by which Catholic commentators of the Sacred Letters, in no way deterred by difficulties and obstacles of all kinds, strove with all their strength to make suitable use of what learned men of the present day, by their investigations in the domain of archaeology or history or philology, have made available for the solution of new questions. Pope Pius X here includes the conditions for biblical studies as investigation by means of excavation and the use of papyri.

As the document itself states, the remote occasion for this encyclical was the considerable development in archeological, historical, diino other technical fields during the decades preceding