702 affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.’72 io8 Still, the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book’. Christianity is the religion of the ‘Word’ of God, a word which is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living’.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, ‘open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.’74

III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture
109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75 i jo In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. ‘For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.’~6 i i i But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. ‘Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.’77 The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78 112 I. Be especially attentive ‘to the content and unity of the whole Scripture’. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scrip 128 ture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ 368 Jesus is the centre and heart, open since his Passover.79 The phrase ‘heart of Christ’ can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes
known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure.