St Augustine on Bible Reading and Interpretation


Dr. Scott Hahn is the editor of a periodical called Letter & Spirit. I have three of these volumes and they have a lot to say about scripture reading from a Catholic perspective.

I’d like to focus on Volume 8 (2012-2013) of this series which is titled Promise and Fulfillment, the Relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Larry Huizinga of the University of Mary (never heard of that) has an interesting article quoting St. Augustine.

Augustine: “So if is seems that you have understood the divine Scriptures, or any part of them, in such a way that by this understanding you do not build up this twin love of God and neighbor, then you have not understood them……”

faith gives way to sight, hope gives way to bliss itself…while charity will actually grow when these other two fade out…(and then “shockingly” as Huizinga calls it, Augustine continues)…And so people supported by faith, hope, and charity, and retaining a firm grip on them, have no need of the Scriptures, except for instructing others.”

–quoted from Augustine’s Teaching Christianity, Book 1


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