Bible Reading |

TBC Staff


Vatican, Nov. 07 ( - At his Sunday Angelus audience on November 6, Pope Benedict XVI strongly encouraged regular reading of the Bible, and said that the Vatican II document Dei Verbum, on Scripture and tradition, was "one of the pillars of the entire conciliar structure."

With Dei Verbum, which was promulgated on November 18, 1965, the Council underlined that the message of Revelation, contained in the Scriptures, is entrusted to the Church, through the Tradition passed down from the apostles. "It is this Tradition that makes the entire canon of Holy Books known, rendering them correctly understandable and effective," the Pope said. He added that "God, Who spoke to the patriarchs and the prophets, does not cease to speak to the Church and, through her, to the world."

One clear benefit derived from Dei Verbum, the Holy Father continued, is the revival among Catholics of the lectio divina: the regular habit of daily Bible reading, "as nourishment for meditation and contemplation." Dei Verbum was one of the last texts approved before the close of Vatican II. Since the opening of the Council in 1962, this document had been a focal point of many of the debates that shaped the Council. Pope Benedict has repeatedly called attention to the text, and encouraged regular Bible reading, saying that the practice will hasten "a new spiritual springtime" for Catholicism.

[TBC: While the pope advocates Bible reading, it is clear that rather than

the individual -- with the help of the Holy Spirit -- being responsible for the

interpretation of the Word as the Scriptures teach, the interpretation must remain the reserved province of the Magisterium. Further, the Catholic concepts of "meditation and contemplation" contrast greatly with the scriptural admonition to read, memorize, and meditate on its content (Joshua:1:8). Finally, we must not forget recent Catholic pronouncements that "they should not expect total accuracy from the Bible",,13509-1811332,00.html.]