Developments and Challenges in the Use and Interpretation of Scripture in the Study and Teaching of Christian Moral Life

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This paper deals with three different stages/periods in the progressively evolving use and interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Scripture in moral theology. The first stage refers to some moral theologians’ gradual move away from the rigid and juridical nature of the manuals-based moral theology toward an emphasis on the grounding of the Christian moral life in the person of Jesus. The second stage shows the need to adopt various Biblical interpretative approaches because making Jesus as the norm and source of inspiration in doing moral theology necessitates a better approach to the study of Scripture. In making the meaning of Scriptural accounts relevant to the changing context of people; moral theologians further moved to the third stage wherein human experience; through various secular disciplines; is paid a better respect for its autonomy and taken to serve scriptural interpretations for today. Thus; theologians also gained better theological insights with their use of the secular sciences to critically understand various moral issues including those that were historically non-existent in the Scripture. Such developments thereby brought valuable challenges to the ways the Christian moral life is taught in religious education courses.