The secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, recently gave great advice on how the Scriptures should be read properly:
Eterovic said recently that the reading of the Word of God should be done without falling into “subjectivism, arbitrariness or fundamentalism.”
After noting that “the faithful’s personal encounter with the Word of God takes place in the sphere of the ecclesial community,” the archbishop recalled that Pope Benedict referred to “the need for a Catholic exegesis that takes into account the human and divine dimension of the revealed word.”
The Archbishop’s statement is in keeping with an article I wrote a few years back entitled “Catholic Scripture Interpretation: Resting on Fundamentals, Resisting Fundamentalism” (note: I think it unlikely that the Archbishop consulted my article before making his comments ).
The beauty of the proper Catholic interpretive method is that we are careful to emphasize both the human and divine elements of the sacred text, realizing that overemphasizing either will lead to misinterpretations. Too often folks will want to either exclude the human (fundamentalism) or the divine (extreme historical-criticism). Like most things, the Church is “both-and” on this issue: the Bible, like Christ, is both human and divine.