«What is man? (Ps 8: 5). A Biblical Anthropology Itinerary »Translation coordinators: Nuria Calduch-Benages and Juan Miguel Díaz Rodelas (†). BAC, Madrid, 2020. BAC-Documents Collection 75.
The document is the result of the work that the Pontifical Biblical Commission has carried out during the period 2014-2019. Taking into account the pastoral challenges of our times, Pope Francis asked the members of the Commission (20 biblical men and women, of different nationalities and tendencies) to study the conception of the human being in Holy Scripture, in order to offer Christians and the whole world a message of light and hope, the fruit of an updated exegesis of the revealed Word.
Following the Pope's mandate, the Biblical Commission does not limit itself in this document to answering certain specific anthropological questions, but offers a comprehensive vision of the human person, his dignity, his relationships and his destiny, so that in this global framework, the challenges of our culture can find their right place. In its four chapters (just under 380 pages in total), it addresses topics such as the human being as a creature of God, work, food, dealing with other living beings, the human family or the relationship of the human being with the law.
As highlighted by the Commission secretary, the Jesuit Pietro Bovati (cf. L'Osservatore Romano, 9/1/2020), a particularly interesting aspect of the document is its methodology. In obedience to the Word of God, which demands to be considered in its entirety, the Document does not take isolated quotes or texts, citing them as "scriptural proof" of a prefixed discourse, but rather assumes the task of exposing the entire communicative path of the Bible, from chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Genesis.
The document is addressed to faculty of theology faculties, also to catechists, to religious science students, and to anyone interested in Biblical anthropology. All are offered help to foster a global vision of the divine project, which began with the act of creation and is carried out over time, until its fulfilment in Christ, the new man, who constitutes "the key, the center and goal of all human history ”(Gaudium et Spes, § 10).
The Bible does not offer a univocal definition of the essence of the human being, but an articulated consideration of his being as the subject of multiple relationships. We are not only creatures, intelligent and free beings, but also sons and daughters of the Most High, similar to Him, with a similarity difficult to understand and formulate, but which will be fully revealed in the "fulfillment of existence", when the figure gives way to reality and let's see God face to face.
The Document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission helps us to undertake this daring path of intelligence and bliss.