The "canonical" approach, which originated in the United Statessome 20 years ago, proceeds from the perception that the historical-criticalmethod experiences at times considerable difficulty in arriving, in itsconclusions, at a truly theological level. It aims to carry out the theologicaltask of interpretation more successfully by beginning from within an explicitframework of faith: the Bible as a whole.
It is, then, appropriate to give serious consideration to the various aspectsof the present situation as regards the interpretation of the Bibleto attendto the criticisms and the complaints as also to the hopes and aspirations whichare being expressed in this matter, to assess the possibilities opened up by thenew methods and approaches and, finally, to try to determine more precisely thedirection which best corresponds to the mission of exegesis in the CatholicChurch.
What does the word "apologetics" mean
What is to be said about these contemporary theories of the interpretation oftexts? The Bible is the word of God for all succeeding ages. Hence the absolutenecessity of a hermeneutical theory which allows for the incorporation of themethods of literary and historical criticism within a broader model ofinterpretation. It is a question of overcoming the distance between the time ofthe authors and first addressees of the biblical texts, and our own contemporaryage, and of doing so in a way that permits a correct actualization of theScriptural message so that the Christian life of faith may find nourishment. Allexegesis of texts is thus summoned to make itself fully complete through a"hermeneutics" understood in this modern sense.