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Friday, April 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission today concludes its annual plenary session, during which it has been examining the theme: "Inspiration and Truth in the Bible". For the occasion the Holy Father has sent a message to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the commission.

The Pope notes that the theme of this year's gathering is vital "for a correct interpretation of the biblical message. It is inspiration as an act of God which ensures that human utterance can express the Word of God", he writes. "Indeed, any interpretation of Sacred Scripture which overlooks or forgets its inspiration fails to take account of its most important and precious characteristic; that is, the fact that it comes from God".

"Thanks to the charisma of inspiration", the Benedict XVI goes on, "the books of Sacred Scripture have a direct and tangible appeal. Yet the Word of God is not confined to writing, for although the Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, the revealed Word has continued to be announced and interpreted by the living Tradition of the Church. Thus the Word of God, fixed in the holy texts, is not an inert matter at the heart of the Church but the supreme rule of her faith and her life force. The Tradition she draws from the Apostles advances with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and grows through reflection and study on the part of believers, through the individual experience of spiritual life and the preaching of bishops".

Hence the need for deeper study on the theme of inspiration and truth in the Bible, because it is "fundamental for the life and mission of the Church that Sacred Scripture be interpreted according to its nature; and inspiration and truth are constituent characteristics of that nature".

In conclusion, the Pope expresses his appreciation to the Pontifical Biblical Commission for the activities it undertakes to promote knowledge, study and acceptance of the Word of God in the world.

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