In the context of romanticism in which scientific exegesis emerged in the

nineteenth century, the psychological interpretation proposed by Schleiermacher and the positivistic postulates that characterized the theory of understanding set forth by Dilthey have influenced the concept of the literal sense of the Bible, conceived as "the sense intended by the author." But hermeneutics has undergone a decisive shift under the influence of the phenomenology of knowledge. The intrinsic and cyclic relationship between the object known and the knowing subject, explored by Heidegger, has been taken up and developed by Bultmann (preunderstanding), Gadamer (appurtenance/fusion of horizons), and Ricoeur (distanciation, cycle of explication-comprehension). The recent literary methods propose certain procedures of the analysis of texts in order to advance the understanding of the sense of the text. The quest centers on the intention of the work rather than the intention of the author and on the role of the subject-reader, which leads to the recognition of multiple readings and the tradition of the effects of the sense. The reflection on the biblical sense requires us, however, to bear in mind some specific characteristics of biblical texts, notably the historical reality at their source and the recovery of the notion of the spiritual sense.