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|No. 143||Roman Theological Forum | Article Index | Study Program||November 2009|
REGARDING POPE BENEDICT XVI’S ADDRESS ON BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND THEOLOGY OF 14 OCTOBER 2008
1. In his address of October 14, 2008, to the constituents of the Fourteenth General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI commented on the need that critical analysis of the biblical text be thoroughly informed by the hermeneutics of faith, as called for in Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council. The text of this address, as released in an unofficial English translation on the Vatican web site, is as follows.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, the work for my book on Jesus offers ample occasion to see all the good that can come from modern exegesis, but also to recognize the problems and risks in it. Dei Verbum 12 offers two methodological indications for suitable exegetic work. In the first place, it confirms the need to use the historical-critical method, briefly describing the essential elements. This need is the consequence of the Christian principle formulated in John 1:14, Verbum caro factum est [the Word was made flesh]. The historical fact is a constitutive dimension of Christian faith. The history of salvation is not a myth, but a true story and therefore to be studied with the same methods as serious historical research.
However, this history has another dimension, that of divine action. Because of this Dei Verbum mentions a second methodological level necessary for the correct interpretation of the words, which are at the same time human words and divine Word. The Council says, following a fundamental rule for any interpretation of a literary text, that Scripture must be interpreted in the same spirit in which it was written and thereby indicates three fundamental methodological elements to bear in mind the divine dimension, the pneumatology of the Bible: one must, that is, 1) interpret the text bearing in mind the unity of the entire Scripture; today this is called canonical exegesis; at the time of the Council this term had not been created, but the Council says the same thing: one must bear in mind the unity of all of Scripture; 2) one must then bear in mind the living tradition of the whole Church, and finally 3) observe the analogy of faith.
Only where the two methodological levels, the historical-critical and the theological one, are observed, can one speak about theological exegesis — of an exegesis suitable for this Book. While at the first level, today’s academic exegesis works on a very high level and truly gives us help, the same cannot be said about the other level. Often this second level, the level constituted of the three theological elements indicated by Dei Verbum seems to be almost absent. And this has rather serious consequences.
The first consequence of the absence of this second methodological level is that the Bible becomes a book only about the past. Moral consequences can be drawn from it, one can learn about history, but the Book only speaks about the past and its exegesis is no longer truly theological, becoming historiography, the history of literature. This is the first consequence: the Bible remains in the past, speaks only of the past.
There is also a second even more serious consequence: where the hermeneutics of faith, indicated by Dei Verbum, disappear, another type of hermeneutics appears of necessity, a secularized, positivistic hermeneutics, whose fundamental key is the certitude that the Divine does not appear in human history. According to this hermeneutic, when there seems to be a divine element, one must explain where it came from and bring it to the human element completely. Because of this, interpretations that deny the historicity of divine elements emerge. Today, the so-called “mainstream” of exegesis in Germany denies, for example, that the Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist and says that Jesus’ corpse stayed in the tomb. The Resurrection would not be an historical event, but a theological vision. This occurs because the hermeneutic of faith is missing: therefore a profane philosophical hermeneutic is stated, which denies the possibility both of the entrance and the real presence of the Divine in history. The consequence of the absence of the second methodological level is that a deep chasm was created between scientific exegesis and lectio divina. This, at times, gives rise to a form of perplexity even in the preparation of homilies.
Where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology and, vice versa, when theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Scripture in the Church, this theology has no foundation anymore.
Therefore for the life and the mission of the Church, for the future of faith, this dualism between exegesis and theology must be overcome. Biblical theology and systematic theology are two dimensions of the one reality, what we call Theology.
Due to this, I would hope that in one of the propositions the need to bear in mind the two methodological levels indicated in Dei Verbum 12 be mentioned, where the need to develop an exegesis not only on the historical level, but also on the theological level is needed. Therefore, widening the formation of future exegetes in this sense is necessary, to truly open the treasures of the Scripture to today’s world and to all of us.
SOME REFLECTIONS ON THIS PAPAL ADDRESS OF 14 OCTOBER 2008
2. Pope Benedict XVI begins by noting both the good that can come from modern exegesis and the problems and risks that it contains. By “modern exegesis” he is referring mainly to the “historical-critical method” of biblical interpretation, and he bases the need for this modern approach on the fact that Christianity is an historical religion rooted in true historical events, such as the real historical incarnation of the divine Son of God in the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth and his real historical resurrection from the dead. This observation of the Pope needs to be understood correctly. He is pointing out that, while many religious faiths present mythical and imaginary objects of belief, the objects of Christian faith, and in particular the objects of Catholic Christian faith, are real and are part of the context of historical fact.
3. Let it be noted that the expression “historical-critical method,” as used here by Pope Benedict XVI, and as generally used today in ecclesiastical parlance, is ambiguous. Pope Benedict is referring to this method as it is characterized in its essentials in the Second Vatican Council document, Dei Verbum, no. 12. What are these essential elements? In the first place, according to Dei Verbum, the interpreter of Sacred Scripture “should carefully search out the meaning which the sacred writers really had in mind, that meaning which God had thought well to manifest through the medium of their words.” And so, “attention must be paid ,among other things , to ‘literary forms,’ for the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetic and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.” And so, the biblical interpreter "must look for that meaning which the sacred writer, in a determined situation and given the circumstances of his time and culture, intended to express and did, in fact, express, through the medium of a contemporary literary form.”
4. Note that the examples of literary forms mentioned in Dei Verbum are the classical categories of historical, prophetic, and poetic, with an added general reference to certain other unnamed forms of literary expression, and the reference given by the Council document to this whole sentence is Saint Augustine’s De doctrina Christiana. But the way in which the expression “historical-critical method” is commonly understood today even within ecclesiastical circles is the method characterized by the use of the “form-criticism” introduced into biblical interpretation by Hermann Gunkel, Rudolf Bultmann, and others of the liberal Protestant tradition. This method uses a framework of novel literary forms, such as “myth,” “legend,” “saga,” “prophecies after the fact,” “miracle stories,” “I-sayings of Jesus,” “midrash,” and other avenues of literary fiction in no way consonant with the teaching of Saint Augustine, of Dei Verbum, or of Catholic biblical tradition. In fact, this method was condemned as a pseudoscience by Pope Leo XIII and as a product of Modernism by Pope Pius X.1 And the truth is that, while the non-Catholic founders of this method were self-professed Modernists, whereas Catholic form-critics do not consciously subscribe to the principles of Modernism, neither have Catholic form-critics ever properly sorted out the problem of philosophy that underlies this method.
5. Pope Benedict XVI then referred to another dimension, or methodological level, of history, namely, the “divine action” which is “necessary” for the correct interpretation of the inspired words of Scripture, because the sacred text “must be interpreted in the same spirit in which it was written.” And for this, he said, there are three fundamental elements: the unity of the entire Scripture, the living tradition of the whole Church, and the analogy of faith. This second level, he added, is almost entirely absent in contemporary exegetical interpretation. As a result, he continued, the Bible has come to be understood merely as a book of the past, as a part of the history of literature. Also, the “hermeneutics of faith” disappears, and there appears “a secularized, positivistic hermeneutics,” based on the conviction that divine interventions do not occur in human history, but can always be reduced to human acts. Thus, he said, for this approach, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead was not a real historical event, but is only a theological vision. Thus also, there results a “deep chasm” between what is called “scientific exegesis” and lectio divina. And so, theology loses its foundation in historical reality.
6. It is important to understand properly these thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI. Form-criticism functions on the presupposition that, except for very limited exceptions, the so-called historical events recorded in Sacred Scripture are actually forms of literary fiction presenting products of religious imagination. While the expression “literary forms” as mentioned in Dei Verbum 12 and in other magisterial documents of the Church represents a larger category which includes every kind of written expression, such as real history, legal documents, prophecies, poetry, books of mathematics, maps, etc., according to the method of form-criticism, anything written in the Bible under the guise of history is assumed to be actually fictitious unless there is solid evidence that it is not. This assumption is clearly expressed in the writings of Gunkel, Bultmann, and other founders and mainline promoters of form-criticism, but it is often covered in the writings of Catholic form-critics.
7. Thus, for instance, Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932) assumes that many of the stories narrated in the final text of Genesis were taken originally from imaginary stories about pagan gods that were gradually transformed by Hebrew poets into their own imaginary stories about the Hebrew god, fictitiously acting in relation to fictitious patriarchs whom they projected as founders of their nation. Gunkel says that he doesn't understand why believing Christians should be shocked by such an idea, since for him it is only a matter of understanding the fictitious literary genres of the stories.2 Of course, the problem is that Catholic faith is based upon an affirmation of the reality of the objects of faith, not upon their being “understood” as embodied in fictitious literary forms.
8. And Modernism is functional in the form criticism of Hermann Gunkel. Contrary to the viewpoint depicted in the Book of Genesis and underlying the traditional outlook of Catholic faith and Catholic exegetical tradition, Hermann Gunkel avers: "Following our modern historical world-view, truly not an imaginative construct but based on the observation of facts, we consider the other view entirely impossible." As a modern man, he feels that the extraordinary events recounted in Genesis "contradict our advanced knowledge," to the extent that it would be doing an "injustice" to the text of Genesis if we were to "incorporate it into sober reality."3 It is clear from these words that Gunkel’s judgment is based upon the Rationalist presupposition that miracles and divine interventions could not have happened. This Rationalist premise is confirmed when he says that God never appears to us as an active agent alongside others, but always as the ultimate cause of all."4
9. Gunkel went on to say that Jesus and his Apostles thought that the accounts of Genesis were historical events of the real world, but “they shared the opinions of their time,” and so “we may not, therefore, seek information in the New Testament concerning questions of the history of the Old Testament literature.” Gunkel was convinced that he, as a modern man, had a viewpoint superior to the “primitive” viewpoint of Jesus and his contemporaries.5
10. The basis of this judgment is Gunkel’s adherence to what is called the "modern historical world-view," an outlook which has its origins in the presuppositions of Deism, Naturalism, Rationalism, and Modernism, attitudes that are simply assumed without proof. According to the presupposition of the Deist, God cannot intervene in the world of created nature, and, therefore, the preternatural events described in Genesis are deemed impossible. According to the presupposition of the Naturalist in religion, nature is a closed system that does not admit of outside interference, and, therefore, many of the accounts of Genesis are incredible. According to the presupposition of the Rationalist, nothing is accepted as real that cannot be demonstrated from natural reason, and, therefore, many of the accounts of Genesis are automatically assumed to be unreal. According to the presupposition of the Modernist, the marvelous accounts of Genesis are constructs deriving from religious imagination, and, therefore, are unacceptable to the belief of modern man.
11. Gunkel subscribed to all of these presuppositions, and they led him to assume without sufficient reason that the accounts of Genesis are legends, not history. For Gunkel, the one true God does not really act in history, and this view is Deism. Gunkel's method also reflects Naturalism where he tells us that "a series of myths can be understood in terms of a natural event often or regularly occurring in the real world which provided the palette for an account of such an event in the primordium."6 This means that, for Gunkel, alleged acts of God are not located "in the real world." But Gunkel is also a Rationalist, as he tells us himself. "In many cases, we too, whose worship withstood a powerful purification in the Reformation and again in Rationalism, do not, or only partially, understand the original meaning of what we see and hear in our churches."7 How much of Christian worship did manage to survive the "purification" of Rationalism in Gunkel's mind is a big question, but it is obvious that the action of God in the reality of this world did not. And Modernism reigns also behind his "modern historical point of view." He finds that those legends of Genesis created out of a desire "to explain something" are characteristic of the childish mode of thinking and reasoning,8 while others arose as "pure products of the imagination," in a manner that he calls "novelistic," or even "fairy-tale-like."9 Yet, he explains, the originators of these legends did not deliberately intend to deceive. "Legend stems from times and circles which did not yet have the intellectual ability to distinguish between fiction and reality."10
12. Somewhat later, when the form-criticism of the Gospels arose in the early 1920s, the accounts in the Gospels were also assumed to be "fiction, not history." Catholic faith, while it is primarily and per se an affirmation of the dogmas of Catholic faith, is also, secondarily and per accidens, an affirmation of the reality of what is stated in Sacred Scripture rightly understood. Central to this whole discussion is the notion of historical reality. I contend that science is science only to the extent that its medium of thought is recognized and defined, and, therefore, that historical science is historical science only to the extent that the historical medium of thought is recognized and defined in the mind of the historian. The frame of reference in the mind of the historian is his historical present. I contend that the awareness in the mind of the biblical scholar of the presence of the one true God, of the God who presents Himself in the Sacred Scriptures, is necessary for the scientific interpretation of the Scriptures.11
13. Gunkel sees in the "primal legends" of Genesis both the presence of "weakened myths" and "a quiet aversion to mythology." By a "myth" he means "a story of the gods." Israel’s strong emphasis upon monotheism would tolerate only "myths in which God acts alone, as in the creation narrative," or myths "in which the story takes place between God and people."12 But these "myths," as so identified by Gunkel, are obviously seen to be merely fictitious stories, since (the one true) God is for Gunkel always and only "the ultimate cause of all" and never plays any role in human history or the history of the world. In this description Gunkel may be retaining a residual belief in the existence of the one true God, but as far as his interpretation of Genesis is concerned, what comes out in the "primal myths" is the fictitious god of Israel, who is depicted as acting either alone or with people. In this interpretation there is no real connection between the god of Israel and the one true God of authentic Christian belief.13
14. According to Hermann Gunkel, the patriarchal accounts of Genesis are legends, that is, they are poetic recastings of vague historical memories, into which later popular elements and even whole other figures have been interwoven.14 He sees these accounts as constructs fashioned from imaginary thinking, such as, for example, from the idea that every different nation was descended exclusively from a different remote ancestor, in such wise that two closely related nations would be imagined to have descended exclusively from brothers or from the same mother. He thinks that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob probably never existed, but, even if they did, what they were like could not have been remembered, because over a period of so many centuries the personal characters of these persons could not have been preserved.15 To conclude this he had to assume that no handwriting was available to these shrewd traders and their successors, that an oral account could not be preserved intact by narrators with good memories, and that there could have been no divine inspiration or help of divine providence. But he had no external evidence to back up these assumptions.
15. Does Gunkel’s analysis of the separate accounts in Genesis really stand up under truly scientific criticism? I think that it does not, but it is amazing that, over more than a century of use of his book by Catholic form-critics, there has been practically no searching criticism of his method. Gunkel’s method presumes that everything miraculous narrated in the Genesis accounts and every intervention on the part of the one true God are historically unfactual and need to be given a natural explanation. Is this presumption in keeping with historical science? I would say that it is not. Natural science is limited to the observation of natural facts and occurrences, but historical science is not. A natural scientist as such cannot recognize the occurrence of a miracle or of any divine intervention in the world of physical reality, but he is obliged to accept the results of those higher sciences that can observe supernatural occurrences, and historical science is one of these, because historical science observes whatever has taken place in the past and must accept these occurrences without excluding in advance what exceeds the workings of physical nature. Therefore, the evidence for a happening is what concerns the historian and not whether or not the happening is within the bounds of a natural occurrence. But Gunkel’s method, because it is governed by the false principle of Naturalism, excludes in advance, even without any evidence, the recorded reality of every happening that exceeded the workings of physical nature, and, therefore, Gunkel’s method is not historically scientific.16
16. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) was the most celebrated of five principal founders of the form-criticism of the New Testament. His History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) was an exegetical work in which he employed form-criticism seemingly to the almost total elimination of the historicity of the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, leaving as a residue not much more than the man Jesus of Nazareth, who did exist, was, indeed, probably crucified, and did quite possibly enunciate a few identifiable sayings that are attributed to him in the Synoptic Gospels.
17. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in a widely circulated lecture, titled “Biblical Interpretation in Crisis,” delivered in New York City on January 27, 1988, and published soon afterwards in English and in other languages,17 observed that over the past hundred years biblical exegesis has made some great errors and these errors “have in some measure grown to the stature of academic dogmas."18 He traced this problem to the influence of Martin Dibelius and Rudolf Bultmann, whose "basic methodological approaches continue even today to determine the methods and procedures of modern exegesis."19 Ratzinger found it imperative at this juncture of time to challenge the fundamental ideas behind the method of Dibelius and Bultmann, such as the carrying over of the evolutionist model of natural science into the history and life- processes of the spirit.20
18. “The real philosophic presupposition of the whole system,” he said, seems to be situated "in the philosophic turning-point proposed by Immanuel Kant,” according to which “the voice of being-in-itself cannot be heard by human beings.”21 “In theological terms,” said the Cardinal, “this means that revelation must recede into the pure formality of the eschatological stance, which corresponds to the Kantian split,” and to this extent, for Bultmann and for the majority of modern exegetes, “there lies in modern exegesis a reduction of history into philosophy, a revision of history by means of philosophy.”22
19. The Cardinal proposed some "basic elements for a new synthesis," which will require the attentive and critical commitment of a whole generation.23 On the level of the integration of the biblical texts into their historical context, said the Cardinal, the time is ripe for a " new and thorough reflection on exegetical method,” also in the sense that “scientific exegesis must recognize the philosophic element present in a great number of its ground rules, and it must then reconsider the results which are based on these rules.” To achieve this task he saw the need to introduce into the discussion “the great outlines of patristic and medieval thought."24
20. Regarding philosophical systems, the Cardinal affirmed: “At its core, the debate about modern exegesis is not a dispute among historians; it is rather a philosophical debate.”25 As to the “scientific” and “historical” character of the historical-critical method, the Cardinal remarked: “Now, at a certain distance, the observer determines to his surprise that these interpretations, which were supposed to be so strictly scientific and purely ‘historical,’ reflect their own overriding spirit, rather than the spirit of times long ago. This insight should not lead us to skepticism about the method, but rather to an honest recognition of what its limits are, and perhaps how it might be purified.”26
21. Both Bultmann and Gunkel based their idea of modern man, at least implicitly, upon Kant’s thoroughgoing distinction between factual knowledge, as gained from empirical observation, and metaphysical and religious opinion, which is postulated but not known. The form-criticism of Gunkel and Bultmann is a critical approach to the interpretation of Sacred Scripture in the sense that it sets aside Christian faith and concentrates exclusively upon critical reason in the Kantian sense in order to critique the Bible. It does not consider at all the critical reasoning of traditional biblical interpretation in which the ars critica of conventional historical research is used also to certify and defend the Scriptures as well as to achieve a fuller understanding of them. The method of Gunkel and Bultmann is a Modernist method in the sense that it unreasonably extols the reasoning of so-called “modern man” over the supposedly inferior thinking presented in the sacred writings. The form-criticism of Gunkel and Bultmann is also a reductive method in that it focuses exclusively upon the human side of the Bible and rules out a priori in its reasoning any divine and supernatural influence in the writing of the sacred books. It is reductive also to the extent that it puts aside the use of sound metaphysics and thus falls repeatedly into philosophical errors that only sound philosophy can adequately ascertain.
22. To be sure, Gunkel and Bultmann do not follow Kant in explicitly assuming that the things we see do not exist outside of our own minds, but they and their followers do fall into the consequent error of using a defective subject-object model of reasoning that overlooks the formal object of human understanding and thus puts out of critical focus the very mental framework that they are using in the course of their reasoning. Finally, the “Kantian split” is functional in this form-critical method, because the aura of reality is given only to their own critical thinking, while the teaching and historical episodes of the Bible are consigned arbitrarily to a religious dream-world of myth and fancy. So why was the Bible relevant at all for Gunkel and Bultmann? They studied it, I think, not only to critique it in the Kantian sense, but also with the idea that its fiction retains an underlying existential meaning for modern Christians that is to be found on the other side of the “Kantian split.”27
23. Rudolf Bultmann often raised the question of "reality" in relation to Christian faith and the contents of the New Testament Scriptures. To resolve the dilemma that the question of reality raised for him, he divided the concept of reality into two and proposed a novel meaning of Wirklichkeit, the German word for reality: a) the reality that is known by sense experience and constitutes the real world of empirical science he called, not Wirklichkeit, but Realität, and this is the objective representation of the world in which man finds himself; b) and he called Wirklichkeit "the reality of the historically existing man."28 This distinction enabled Bultmann to predicate reality in relation to a certain understanding of the object of faith without predicating reality in the commonly understood sense to the object of faith itself. This was a wrong answer to the question of reality, but it did address a question that for too long has escaped the critical attention of modern exegetes of the prevailing school.
24. Modern historical-critical exegetes, to the extent that they uncritically follow the method of Bultmann and make use of his presuppositions, actually cut themselves off from the reality that is objectively presented in the Scriptures along the lines of Bultmann's exclusion of Realität in the objects presented by the biblical narrative. Catholic form-critics seldom raise the question of reality at all, and one of the unanswered questions throughout almost the whole of their discourse is whether in their judgment the biblical events which they are interpreting really happened or did not.
25. In his speculation, Rudolf Bultmann often raised the question of "history" in relation to Christian faith and the contents of the New Testament Scriptures. Again he proposed a double meaning of the German word for history, Geschichte, and he set up a radical distinction between history as Historie, which, he said, is composed of causally connected events and relationships between facts which are objectively verifiable and chronologically determinable,29 and history as Geschichte, which consists of the encounters of the "genuinely" existing human being, whose "existential constitution" ultimately signifies "to exist, to be confronted with non-being, to be able to be and ever to decide anew." Thus, for Bultmann, the question of the "historicity" of the Gospels was subjectivized into the possession by the contemporary thinker of what he called "true historicity," which was "the existential constitution of the being which necessarily exists in history."30 While these definitions of reality and of history are proper to Bultmann, they are derived from the “Kantian split” between empirical “reality” and the “fictitious” nature of all other forms of thought.
26. Finally, in his address of 14 October to the Fourteenth General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI concludes that, “for the life and the mission of the Church, for the future of faith, this dualism between exegesis and theology must be overcome.” This dualism is the simultaneous presence in the minds of Catholic exegetes and theologians of two opposing systems of thought, namely, the framework of form-critical thinking and the framework of Catholic belief. And it is really a dualism, because the framework of form-criticism being used has never been synthesized with the outlook of Catholic faith or with the corpus of Catholic theology. Catholic form-critics do not deny their faith; they simply do not use their faith when they are doing their form-critical thinking. Often they strive to put their form-criticism aside when they are saying their prayers, but they also often preach and think about results of this method which tend to call into question the theology that they have learned . And that is a big reason why this dualism of exegesis and theology must be overcome, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “for the life and the mission of the Church, for the future of faith.”
1 To quote the exact words of Pope Pius X: “Some Modernists, devoted to historical studies, seem to be greatly afraid of being taken for philosophers. About philosophy, they tell you, they know nothing whatever – and in this they display remarkable astuteness, for they are particularly anxious not to be suspected of being prejudiced in favor of philosophical theories which would lay them open to the charge of not being objective, to use the word in vogue. And yet the truth is that their history and their criticism are saturated with their philosophy, and that their historico-crtiical conclusions are the natural fruit of their philosophical principles” (Pascendi dominici gregis, no. 30).
2 H. Gunkel, Genesis (Göttingen, 1901); Eng. trans. of the of the 3d revised edition (1910), Genesis (Mercer: Macon, Georgia, 1997), p. viii. See Living Tradition 77, paragraph 19.
3 Gunkel, Genesis, p. x.
4 Gunkel, Genesis, ibid. See Living Tradition 111, paragraph 38.
5 Gunkel, Genesis p. viii. See Living Tradition 140, paragraph 42. For a detailed analysis of Gunkel’s approach to form-criticism see J.F. McCarthy, “Rationalism in the Historical-Criticism of Hermann Gunkel” in Living Tradition 108.
6 Gunkel, ibid., p. xiii.
7 Gunkel, ibid. p. xx.
8 Gunkel, ibid., xxi. Cf. ibid., lxvii, lxix.
9 Gunkel, ibid., xxiii.
10 Gunkel, ibid., xxvi. See Living Tradition 77, paragraph 21.
11 See Living Tradition 77, paragraph 22.
12 Gunkel, Genesis, pp. xii-xiii.
13 See Living Tradition 108, paragraph 12.
14 Gunkel, Genesis, p. xvi.
15 Gunkel, Genesis, p. lxviii. See Living Tradition 108, paragraph 15.
16 See Living Tradition 108, paragraph 27.
17 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in Richard J. Neuhaus, ed., Biblical Interpretation in Crisis (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), pp. 1-23).
18 Ratzinger, ibid., p. 21. For more on this discussion, see Living Tradition, issues 41 and 137.
19 Ratzinger, ibid., p. 9.
20 Ratzinger, ibid., pp. 10, 14-15.
21 Ratzinger, ibid., p. 15.
22 Ratzinger, ibid., p. 16.
23 Ratzinger, ibid., pp. 16 and 17-23.
24 Ratzinger, ibid., pp. 21-22.
25 Ratzinger, ibid.
26 Ratzinger, ibid., p. 8.
27 See Living Tradition 140, paragraph 44.
28 R. Bultmann, "Zum Problem der Entmythologisierung," in H. W. Bartsch et al., Kerygma und Mythos (Hamburg: Evangelischer Verlag), vol. VI-1: a) "... die ein objektivierenden Sehen vorgestellte Wirklichkeit der Welt, innerhalb deren sich der Mensch vorfindet..." (p. 20); b) "... als die Wirklichkeit des geschlichtlich existierenden Menschen" (p. 21). See Living Tradition 41.
29 R. Bultmann, History and Eschatology (New York: Harper and Row, 1957), pp. 143-144.
30 Cf. R. Bultmann, in H. W. Bartsch ed., Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate, vol. I (London: SPCK, 1953), pp. 191-193, and 200.