Monday, May 4, 2015
The fruits of modern higher criticism of the Bible. . .
B16, the former and better than current pope, is a fine scholar and has written more than a little on the limits of modern higher criticism and its undoing of the text. You can read some of it here. . . He finds the problem with this approach is that “it did not pay sufficient attention to the final form of the biblical text and to the message which it conveyed in the state in which it actually exists.” The basic charge with modern exegetes is that they forget that “the text in its final stage, rather than in its earlier editions … is the expression of the word of God." The missing element—the central fatal flaw—of the method is its unwillingness to realize that “faith is itself a way of knowing.”
He certainly gets it. Unfortunately, many Roman Catholic exegetes have joined the ranks of the liberal Protestants who think that the chief job of the Biblical scholar is to undo the text, undermine what it says, and undercut the confidence of the people of God in the Word of the Lord. Would that more Roman Catholic exegetical theologians listened to Bp Ratzinger and Benedict XVI. The end result of most modern higher criticism is not a conclusion except the one that says what we thought we knew was wrong but we have nothing but fragile theories to replace what we thought we knew. Meanwhile the rest of us know that this is not enough. Faith is its own way of knowing.