Only a prehistory

[In] natural science and technology, the history of their discoveries is not an essential part of themselves, but only a prehistory. Only the datum is significant, not how it came to be. In much the same way, the history of exegesis has degenerated for the [contemporary] exegetes into a prehistory with which their own efforts are not directly concerned.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), Part 1, Section 2 E, p. 133 (emphasis added), as cited in Mary S. Ford, The Soul's Longing: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Biblical Interpretation (Waymart, Pennsylvania: St. Tikhon's Monastery Press, 2015), 165.