FIYH 27-29: More on Exegesis

This document we’re looking at is the US Bishop’s Fulfilled in your Hearing. It is available as a pdf online at the USCCB web page. Continuing with yesterday’s theme of exegesis, the bishops first suggest a basic preacher’s library:

[27] It is hard to imagine that a person who has as his primary duty the proclamation of the Gospel to all would be without the basic tools and methods that help to ensure an accurate understanding of this Gospel. Surely every preacher ought to have a basic library to turn to in the preparation of homilies. A good Bible dictionary will help in picturing the background of a passage; a concordance will locate other passages that are related; a “theological” dictionary of Scripture will trace ideas that recur through Old and New Testaments; Gospel parallels will set similar texts that occur in more than one Gospel side by side. Standard commentaries on the major books of the Bible that appear in the lectionary should also be ready at hand, as well as exegetical commentaries based on the lectionary itself.

Any preachers out there have any additional suggestions? The bishops make the case for the living relevance of the Bible:

[28] The texts of Scripture from which our preaching flows are not locked in antiquity. They are texts which have nourished the church’s life throughout all its history, sustaining it in times of trial, calling it back to fidelity in times of weakness and opening up new possibilities when it seemed immobilized by the weight of human traditions.

[29] The history of the interpretation of the Scriptures is part of the contempo­rary meaning of the Scriptures. The way they have been preached, the liturgical expressions they have generated, the prayer they have nourished, the magisterial statements they have inspired, the theological systems they have fostered, even the heresies they have occasioned, expand and deepen the way the Scriptures speak to us today.

(All texts from Fulfilled in Your Hearing are copyright © 1982 USCCB. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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