Benedict and the Bible: The importance of the Greek Old Testament for the Pope Emeritus’s theology

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? You can find out today in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, which features my article “The Septuagint in the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI”:

A review of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict’s writings on the Septuagint reveals that he does not see the translation’s importance as being confined to the past. Because it shaped not only the Church’s reception of divine revelation, but also her conception of the relationship between faith and reason, he holds that it remains a deeply relevant source for Christian theology. For this reason, Benedict’s observations on the Greek translation of the Old Testament provide an entryway into the central insights of his own theological works. …

Three points made in [the pope's] Regensburg lecture are of particular importance for understanding the outlines of Pope Benedict’s thought on the Septuagint:

  • The Septuagint is “more than a simple (and in that sense really less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation.”
  • It “brought about this encounter (between biblical faith and the best of Greek thought) in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity.”
  • It therefore comprises “a profound encounter of faith and reason,” “an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion.”

Each of these points is, in Benedict’s theology, a touchstone that leads to deeper and wider insights.

And what are those “deeper and wider” insights? Hie thee to the Homiletic & Pastoral Review website to find out!

Comments are closed. Please pray for me as I prepare for my S.T.B. comprehensive exams.


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