In Memoriam: Benedict XVI, David L. Schindler, Roch Kereszty

Normative and Performative: The Authority of Scripture in the Thought of Benedict XVI

Scott W. Hahn

1. Introduction: Benedict, Dei Verbum, and Verbum Domini

If the first half of the twentieth century was marked by the emergence of three renewal movements—the biblical, the patristic, and the liturgical—we see the convergence of these movements in Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum. In his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, Benedict is attempting to put into practice the criteria of Dei Verbum 12. In his own words, Benedict is

finally putting into practice the methodological principles formulated for exegesis by the Second Vatican Council (in Dei Verbum 12), a task that unfortunately has scarcely been attempted thus far.

While this article will not explore the trilogy, it will explore the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, where Benedict explained what the Dei Verbum criteria fundamentally requires. In Benedict’s corpus, Verbum Domini is an explanation of how to do theology according to Dei Verbum, while Jesus of Nazareth is a demonstration.


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