VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Both scientific exegesis and a prayerful reading of the Bible are necessary to get to the message God wants to give today through Scripture, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today before praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. He had just concluded the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.
"Every synodal assembly is a strong experience of ecclesial communion, but this one even more so because at the center of the attention was placed that which enlightens and guides the Church: the Word of God, which is Christ in person," the Holy Father said.
The Pontiff noted that one aspect that had been considered was the relationship between the Word and words, "that is, between the Divine Word, and the Scripture that expresses it."
Citing the Second Vatican Council, Benedict XVI affirmed that "a good biblical exegesis requires both the historical-critical method and the theological one, because sacred Scripture is the Word of God in human words."
This implies that every text should be read keeping in mind the unity of all Scripture, the living tradition of the Church and the light of faith," he added. "If it is true that the Bible is also a literary work, even more, the great code of universal culture, it is also true that it should not be robbed of its divine element, but rather should be read in the same Spirit in which it was written.
"Scientific exegesis and lectio divina are, therefore, both necessary and complementary for seeking, through the literal meaning, the spiritual one, which God wants to communicate to us today."