Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus' Use of Scripture

CD, 2014, 60 min
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Jesus’ method of interpreting scripture—his “hermeneutic”—persistently focuses on inclusivity, mercy, and justice, while avoiding all passages that allow or affirm violence, religious imperialism, or separatism. Jesus uses his own biblical texts quite selectively, quoting some books while ignoring others. He clearly teaches a “hierarchy” of truths. Jesus says that “the entire law and all the prophets” (Matthew 22:40) are summed up in love of God and love of neighbor. In doing so, he shockingly dismisses hundreds of clear laws and prescriptions!

Richard Rohr invites us to reexamine our own hermeneutic in light of Jesus’ teaching. He reflects on Pope Francis’ statement that not all truths are equally relevant or important. There is “a hierarchy of truth,” and Pope Francis believes that at the top is mercy or “love in action.” Jesus affirms this, showing through his words and his behavior what is most true.

Fr. Richard’s insights may change the way you read the Bible and guide you in discerning the truest of true things.

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