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  #1  
Old 10th April 2007, 11:23 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default TS 2: Interpretion of Scripture

In St. Thomas Aquinas' view (but with my wording):

every passage has a plain meaning, either literal or figurative,
in which the words signify things

additionally some passages (perhaps all) have a spiritual meaning
where the things signified by the words also signify other things

Example:
[Luke]
{2:41} And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the time of the solemnity of Passover.
{2:42} And when he had become twelve years old, they ascended to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast day.
{2:43} And having completed the days, when they returned, the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And his parents did not realize this.
{2:44} But, supposing that he was in the company, they went a day’s journey, seeking him among their relatives and acquaintances.
{2:45} And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
{2:46} And it happened that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, listening to them and questioning them.

The literal meaning is that Jesus as a 12 year old boy went to the Passover feast in Jerusalem, stayed behind, and was found after three days in the Temple. This event actually happened and this is the plain, literal meaning of the passage.

On the spiritual level of meaning, the events of the three days when Jesus was lost and then found in the Temple signify the three days from His future Crucifixion and Resurrection, when he was found on the third day in the Temple of His body.

Pick a brief passage from the Bible and give the plain meaning (literal or figurative) and the spiritual meaning.
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  #2  
Old 10th April 2007, 01:29 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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Quote:
{6:1} “Pay attention, lest you perform your justice before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you shall not have a reward with your Father, who is in heaven.
{6:2} Therefore, when you give alms, do not choose to sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the towns, so that they may be honored by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
{6:3} But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
{6:4} so that your almsgiving may be in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
{6:5} And when you pray, you should not be like the hypocrites, who love standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets to pray, so that they may be seen by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
{6:6} But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and having shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.

The literal meaning is obvious, that we should be praying to God for the sake of prayer, not for others to see us pray for whatever motivation (pride, praise, etc.)

One of the spiritual meaning is referring to interior prayer. Shut the door, pray in secret, is going within oneself. St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle describes this in detail, as does 'Way of a Pilgrim'.
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2cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, most beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God.
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  #3  
Old 10th April 2007, 05:20 PM
Climacus Areopagite Climacus Areopagite is offline
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Default Esther Chapter 12

[Esther 12]
{12:1} On that day king, Artaxerxes gave the house of Haman, the adversary of the Jews, to queen Esther, and Mordecai entered before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her paternal uncle.
{12:2} And the king took the ring, which he had ordered to be taken from Haman, and he handed it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai over her house.
{12:3} Not content with these things, she threw herself down at the king’s feet and wept, and, speaking to him, pleaded that he would give orders that the malice of Haman the Agagite, and his most wicked schemes, which he had contrived against the Jews, would be made ineffective.
{12:4} But he, as was the custom, extended the golden scepter with his hand, which was the sign of clemency, and she rose up and stood before him.
{12:5} And she said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his eyes, and my request is not seen to be disagreeable to him, I beg you that the former letters of Haman, the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he instructed them to be destroyed in all the king’s provinces, may be corrected by new letters.
{12:6} For how will I be able to endure the murder and execution of my people?”

Literal: At the court of the King Artarxes Esther falls down at his feet and weeps and pleads for the salvation of her people.

Spiritual: In the court of Heaven the Blessed Virgin Mary kneels at the feet of Christ the King supplicating for her people.


Nicholas
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  #4  
Old 10th April 2007, 05:59 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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From Luke:
{15:11} And he said: “A certain man had two sons.
{15:12} And the younger of them said to the father, ‘Father, give me the portion of your estate which would go to me.’ And he divided the estate between them.
{15:13} And after not many days, the younger son, gathering it all together, set out on a long journey to a distant region. And there, he dissipated his substance, living in luxury.
{15:14} And after he had consumed it all, a great famine occurred in that region, and he began to be in need.
{15:15} And he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that region. And he sent him to his farm, in order to feed the swine.
{15:16} And he wanted to fill his belly with the scraps that the swine ate. But no one would give it to him.
{15:17} And returning to his senses, he said: ‘How many hired hands in my father’s house have abundant bread, while I perish here in famine!
{15:18} I shall rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
{15:19} I am not worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired hands.’
{15:20} And rising up, he went to his father. But while he was still at a distance, his father saw him, and he was moved with compassion, and running to him, he fell upon his neck and kissed him.
{15:21} And the son said to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. Now I am not worthy to be called your son.’
{15:22} But the father said to his servants: ‘Quickly! Bring out the best robe, and clothe him with it. And put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.
{15:23} And bring the fatted calf here, and kill it. And let us eat and hold a feast.
{15:24} For this son of mine was dead, and has revived; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to feast.
{15:25} But his elder son was in the field. And when he returned and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
{15:26} And he called one of the servants, and he questioned him as to what these things meant.
{15:27} And he said to him: ‘Your brother has returned, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safely.’
{15:28} Then he became indignant, and he was unwilling to enter. Therefore, his father, going out, began to plead with him.
{15:29} And in response, he said to his father: ‘Behold, I have been serving you for so many years. And I have never transgressed your commandment. And yet, you have never given me even a young goat, so that I might feast with my friends.
{15:30} Yet after this son of yours returned, who has devoured his substance with loose women, you have killed the fatted calf for him.’
{15:31} But he said to him: ‘Son, you are with me always, and all that I have is yours.
{15:32} But it was necessary to feast and to rejoice. For this brother of yours was dead, and has revived; he was lost, and is found.’ ”

Literal- A true story which occurred in an unknown part of the world (a true story because Scripture contains true facts)

Spiritual- God is always ready to forgive those who leave him and come back.

Eschatological - This passage refers to a future event, perhaps the protestant church repentance and reunification with the Catholic Church

I believe that there perhaps other infinite layers of meaning because Scripture is infallible. Truly the Bible is the longest book ever written but it magically fits into few thousands pages!
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For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)
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  #5  
Old 11th April 2007, 10:19 AM
Love The Fisherman
 
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Default First Public Miracle A Parable?

Hi Ron,
Could The First Public Miracle Of Jesus Be Seen Also As A Parable For Conversion (As Weall As A Real Event)? Was He Indicating With This First Public Miracle The Focus Of His Lifes Work? Instead Of Water Into Wine Could We Read Sinner Into Saint? Done Through The Intercession Of His Blessed Mother. He Will Do Everything; All He Requires From Us Are The Little AMENs Of Repentant Sinners. Is This The Sort Of Thing You Mean? Im Really Learning A Lot. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 11th April 2007, 12:09 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love The Fisherman View Post
Hi Ron,
Could The First Public Miracle Of Jesus Be Seen Also As A Parable For Conversion (As Weall As A Real Event)? Was He Indicating With This First Public Miracle The Focus Of His Lifes Work? Instead Of Water Into Wine Could We Read Sinner Into Saint? Done Through The Intercession Of His Blessed Mother. He Will Do Everything; All He Requires From Us Are The Little AMENs Of Repentant Sinners. Is This The Sort Of Thing You Mean? Im Really Learning A Lot. Thanks.

Yes, you could see the changing of water into wine as changing sinner into saint, on the spiritual level of meaning.

I consider the changing of water into wine to symbolize the change of the natural marriage of the OT, into the Sacrament of marriage of the NT.
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  #7  
Old 11th April 2007, 02:54 PM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Wink The Cleansing of the Temple: John 2:19

After Jesus had driven the money-changers out of the temple, he was accosted by the Jews
who demanded that he justify his action: "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus said
to them in reply, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews said, "This temple
has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was
speaking about the temple of his body. [John 2:18-21]

Jesus was speaking figuratively on this occasion, although his enemies took his words literally. These
very irate money-changers and pharisees must have been among the false accusers against Jesus
during his trial before the high priest. In any event, Jesus is alluding to his death at the hands of
the Jews who rejected him and his resurrection from the dead in three days which would follow. His
figurative speech constitutes a veiled prohecy rich in spiritual significance. Both the Jews and his
disciples failed to understand what he was talking about until after he had risen from the dead. I
believe that Jesus was also alluding to the eventual destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem which
occurred during the first Jewish Revolt in 70AD. The reconstruction of a new temple would be realized
in the birth of the Catholic Church: the mystical body of Christ. All this would happen in such a short
space of time, symbolized also by the Old Testament expression 'in three days'.
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  #8  
Old 11th April 2007, 03:00 PM
Padraig
 
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Wink

'his mother stored all these things in her heart” Luke

Some traditions hold that St Luke met Mary, Jesus’ mother and heard directly from her some of the incidents in Jesus’ early life. He is the evangelist who tells us the stories of the Annunciation and Visitation and other incidents which could have been known only to her.

From such a distance, we can neither prove nor disprove this idea but today’s Gospel and the comment that “his mother stored all these things in her heart” does hint that someone had spoken to her of the things she remembered and had reflected on during Jesus’ early life.

Another meaning may be that she went away to pray and meditate deeply about things?/
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Old 11th April 2007, 03:12 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Both of the above two most recent posts are good interpretations.

But as an exercise I'm asking members (optionally) to choose a passage and clearly delineate the literal or figurative meaning from the spiritual level of meaning. The spiritual level of meaning is not the same as when the literal or figurtive meaning is spiritual in its message.

Example:

the transfiguration of Jesus literally occurred and is literally described in the Gospels

but on a spiritual level of meaning, it refers to the Warning (at least in my interpretation it does).
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  #10  
Old 11th April 2007, 03:43 PM
CRW
 
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Luke 1, 41: And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

Our Blessed Mother, full of grace, brings the Holy Spirit to Elizabeth

Spiritually: The Holy Spirit, through Elizabeth, baptizes John in a spiritual baptism. This prefigures John baptizing our Lord.

Cecil
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