JUNE 30, 1909

Dubium I.: Utrum varia systemata exegetica, quae ad excludendum sensum litteralem historicum trium priorum capitum libri Geneseos excogitata et scientiae fuco propugnata sunt, solido fundamento fulciantur? Resp.: Negative.
Question I: Whether the various exegetical systems which have been proposed to exclude the literal historical sense of the three first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and have been defended by the pretense of science, are sustained by a solid foundation?--Reply: In the negative.
Dubium II.: Utrum, non obstantibus indole et forma historica libri Geneseos, peculiari trium priorum capitum inter se et cum sequentibus capitibus nexu, multiplici testimonio Scripturarum tum Veteris tum Novi Testamenti, unanimi fere sanctorum Patrum sententia ac traditionali sensu, quem, ab Israelitico etiam populo transmissum, semper tenuit Ecclesia, doceri possit: praedicta tria capita Geneseos continere non rerum vere gestarum narrationes, quae scilicet obiectivae realitati et historicae veritati respondeant; sed vel fabulosa ex veterum populorum mythologiis et cosmogoniis deprompta et ab auctore sacro, expurgato quovis polytheismi errore, doctrinae monotheisticae accomodata; vel allegorias et symbola, fundamento obiectivae realitatis destituta, sub historiae specie ad religiosas et philosophicas veritates inculcandas proposita, vel tandem legendas ex parte historicas et ex parte fictitias ad animorum instructionem et aedificationem libere compositas? Resp.: Negative ad utramque partem.
Question II: Whether, when the nature and historical form of the Book of Genesis does not oppose, because of the peculiar connections of the three first chapters with each other and with the following chapters, because of the manifold testimony of the Old and New Testaments; because of the almost unanimous opinion of the Holy Fathers, and because of the traditional sense which, transmitted from the Israelite people, the Church always held, it can be taught that the three aforesaid chapters of Genesis do not contain the stories of events which really happened, that is, which correspond with objective reality and historical truth; but are either accounts celebrated in fable drawn from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and adapted by a holy writer to monotheistic doctrine, after expurgating any error of polytheism; or allegories and symbols, devoid of a basis of objective reality, set forth under the guise of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or, finally, legends, historical in part and fictitious in part, composed freely for the instruction and edification of souls?--Reply: In the negative to both parts.
Dubium III.: Utrum speciatim sensus litteralis historicus vocari in dubium possit, ubi agitur de factis in eisdem capitibus enarratis, quae christianae religionis fundamenta attingunt: uti sunt, inter cetera, rerum universarum creatio a Deo facta in initio temporis; peculiaris creatio hominis ; formatio primae mulieris ex primo homine; generis humani unitas, originalis protoparentum felicitas in statu iustitiae, integritatis et immortalitatis, praeceptum a Deo homini datum ad eius obedientiam probandam; divini praecepti, diabolo sub serpentis specie suasore, transgressio; protoparentum deiectio ab illo primaevo innocentiae statu; nec non Reparatoris futuri promissio? Resp.: Negative.
Question III: Whether in particular the literal and historical sense can be called into question, where it is a matter of facts related in the same chapters, which pertain to the foundation of the Christian religion; for example, among others, the creation of all things wrought by God in the beginning of time; the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man; the oneness of the human race; the original happiness of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given to man by God to prove his obedience; the transgression of the divine command through the devil's persuasion under the guise of a serpent; the casting of our first parents out of that first state of innocence; and also the promise of a future restorer?--Reply: In the negative.
Dubium IV.: Utrum in interpretandis illis horum capitum locis, quos Patres et Doctores diverso modo intellexerunt, quin certi quippiam definitique tradiderint, liceat salvo Ecclesiae iudicio servataque fidei analogia, eam, quam quisque prudenter probaverit, sequi tuerique sententiam? Resp.: Affirmative.
Question IV: Whether in interpreting those passages of these chapters, which the Fathers and Doctors have understood differently, but concerning which they have not taught anything certain and definite, it is permitted, while preserving the judgment of the Church and keeping the analogy of faith, to follow and defend that opinion which everyone has wisely approved?--Reply: In the affirmative.
Dubium V.: Utrum omnia et singula, verba videlicet et phrases, quae in praedictis capitibus occurrunt, semper et necessario accipienda sint sensu proprio, ita ut ab eo discedere numquam liceat, etiam cum locutiones ipsae manifesto appareant improprie, seu metaphorice vel anthropomorphice usurpatae, et sensum proprium vel ratio tenere prohibeat vel necessitas cogat dimittere? Resp.: Negative.
Question V: Whether all and everything, namely, words and phrases which occur in the aforementioned chapters, are always and necessarily to be accepted in a special sense, so that there may be no deviation from this, even when the expressions themselves manifestly appear to have been taken improperly, or metaphorically or anthropomorphically, and either reason prohibits holding the proper sense, or necessity forces its abandonment?--Reply: In the negative.
Dubium VI.: Utrum, praesupposito litterali et historico sensu, nonnullorum locorum eorundem capitum interpretatio allegorica et prophetica, praefulgente sanctorum Patrum et Ecclesiae ipsius exemplo, adhiberi sapienter et utiliter possit? Resp.: Affirmative.
Question VI: Whether, presupposing the literal and historical sense, the allegorical and prophetical interpretation of some passages of the same chapters, with the example of the Holy Fathers and the Church herself showing the way, can be wisely and profitably applied?--Reply: In the affirmative.
Dubium VII.: Utrum, cum in conscribendo primo Geneseos capite non fuerit sacri auctoris mens intimam adspectabilium rerum constitutionem ordinemque creationis completum scientifico more docere, sed potius suae genti tradere notitiam popularem, prout communis sermo per ea ferebat tempora, sensibus et captui hominum accommodatam, sit in horum interpretatione adamussim semperque investiganda scientifici sermonis proprietas? Resp.: Negative.
Question VII: Whether, since in writing the first chapter of Genesis it was not the mind of the sacred author to teach in a scientific manner the detailed constitution of visible things and the complete order of creation, but rather to give his people a popular notion, according as the common speech of the times went, accommodated to the understanding and capacity of men, the propriety of scientific language is to be investigated exactly and always in the interpretation of these?--Reply: In the negative.
Dubium VIII.: Utrum in illa sex dierum denominatione atque distinctione, de quibus in Geneseos capite primo, sumi possit vox Yôm (dies) sive sensu proprio pro die naturali, sive sensu improprio pro quodam temporis spatio, deque huiusmodi quaestione libere inter exegetas disceptare liceat? Resp.: Affirmative.
Question VIII: Whether in that designation and distinction of six days, with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word (dies) can be assumed either in its proper sense as a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among exegetes?--Reply: In the affirmative.

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