Heaven in Daily Instalments - Episode 8

Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church teach us that there are two layers of meaning in the Bible: the literal sense and the spiritual sense. The Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 116 states: "The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following rules of sound interpretation." We know that it was the Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible, but he used some men as instruments - men from a specific time and culture, with their own language and traditions. The work of exegetes requires knowing the original language and cultural background of the writers. While it is Sacred Tradition that teaches us how we should interpret the literal meaning, to make it easier for us to determine how we should interpret certain passages in the Bible, Catholic versions of the Bible include footnotes which explain the more difficult passages.