The Bible is the Word of God
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching…” 2 Tim 2:13
About the Bible: The Bible is the most famous and widely distributed book on the face of the earth. It is divided into two major sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each of these sections contains a collection of books written by various authors at various times. There are a total of 73 books that the Church recognizes as inspired. (Keep in mind that not every version of the Bible is Catholic. Much of the commentary in non-Catholic Bibles contradicts the Catholic faith.) The Bible is written using various literary forms. There are historical books, poetic books, prophetic books, wisdom literature, and instructional letters. While not written as a history book that we are accustomed to, the Bible is indeed historical in character. It is NOT mythology! The Bible faithfully and authentically presents the history of salvation. The Church teaches that God is the primary author of Sacred Scripture. The human authors acted as true authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Information about the specific literary forms and genres of writing used in the Bible are included in the Catechism. Familiarity with these literary forms is important for proper interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures.
Let the following statement from the Second Vatican Council be your guide when reading the gospels: The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up." (DV 19) Scripture should be read, prayed, and studied in such a way that it benefits the spiritual life of the reader. It is a waste of time to read scripture as “good literature” or for its entertainment value alone!
· The Bible should be read and studied frequently
· The Bible has God as its primary author
· The human authors acted as true authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
· The Bible is the inerrant word of God
· There are many different styles of literature in the Bible
· It can be misleading and even dangerous to take specific Bible verses out of context and apply our own meanings to them
· Jesus speaks to each of us through the words of the Bible
· Any private interpretation of Scripture that contradicts Church teaching is false
· The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church
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.
110 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."
111 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."
The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.
112 1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.
The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.
113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church").
114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
The senses of Scripture:
115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."
117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.
2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".
3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Bible is the Word of God
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching…” 2 Tim 2:13
Heavenly Father, lead us to a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures. Give us the grace to have faith in the revealed truths that they contain. Let us hear the voice of Your beloved Son as we read and hear the Gospel. Amen
The Bible is the written word of God. God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. There are various literary forms found in the Bible. The Bible is the truth.
Luke 1:1-4 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near.
Explanation of the Bible readings: St. Luke is telling us the reason that he wrote his gospel and the sources that he used. His reason for writing is so that we will know the truth about Jesus. His sources are eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. Reading the Bible is a great way to know Jesus. In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. (CCC 109) In a general sense, Revelation 1:3 tells us that we will be blessed if we read, or if we hear God’s word.
Luke 1:1-4 Written so you may know the truth
Revelation 1:3 Blessed are those who read these words
"If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself."
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
126 The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."
100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.
105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."
107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as 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."
112 Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture".
113 Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church"….
114 Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God….
Inerrancy: God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (DV 11). CCC 136
Inspired: God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.” CCC 106
Do you find the Bible to be an intimidating book?
What is your impression of “Bible Christians”?
Have you seen anything on television or in other media about the Bible?
Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum
Second Vatican Council The New Testament Chapter V
17. The word God, which is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (see Rom. 1:16), is set forth and shows its power in a most excellent way in the writings of the New Testament. For when the fullness of time arrived (see Gal. 4:4), the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us in His fullness of graces and truth (see John 1:14). Christ established the kingdom of God on earth, manifested His Father and Himself by deeds and words, and completed His work by His death, resurrection and glorious Ascension and by the sending of the Holy Spirit. Having been lifted up from the earth, He draws all men to Himself (see John 12:32, Greek text), He who alone has the words of eternal life (see John 6:68). This mystery had not been manifested to other generations as it was now revealed to His holy Apostles and prophets in the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 3:4-6, Greek text), so that they might preach the Gospel, stir up faith in Jesus, Christ and Lord, and gather together the Church. Now the writings of the New Testament stand as a perpetual and divine witness to these realities.
18. It is common knowledge that among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special preeminence, and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our savior. The Church has always and everywhere held and continues to hold that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin. For what the Apostles preached in fulfillment of the commission of Christ, afterwards they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing: the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
19. Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (see Acts 1:1). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done. This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ's life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth. The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always in such fashion that they told us the honest truth about Jesus. For their intention in writing was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who "themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word" we might know "the truth" concerning those matters about which we have been instructed (see Luke 1:2-4).
20. Besides the four Gospels, the canon of the New Testament also contains the epistles of St. Paul and other apostolic writings, composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by which, according to the wise plan of God, those matters which concern Christ the Lord are confirmed, His true teaching is more and more fully stated, the saving power of the divine work of Christ is preached, the story is told of the beginnings of the Church and its marvelous growth, and its glorious fulfillment is foretold. For the Lord Jesus was with His apostles as He had promised (see Matt. 28:20) and sent them the advocate Spirit who would lead them into the fullness of truth (see John 16:13).
- Tom Bosco
- I live in Suffolk County NY located in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. I have been involved in Catechesis for 10 years and accept all the teachings of the Catholic Church with complete faith. Above all, I want to spread the Gospel of salvation through the teachings of the Church. The contents of this blog have been taken from my RCIA course entitled RCIA: The Way, the Truth, and the Life, available at www.lulu.com/tombosco
- Introduction to RCIA Process
- RCIA Nuts & Bolts
- Lesson 1 - Introductory Lesson
- Lesson 2 - The Call of the Disciple
- Lesson 3 - Who is God? The Trinity!
- Lesson 4 - The Bible is the Word of God
- Lesson 5 - The Liturgy of the Word
- Lesson 6 - The Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Lesson 7 - Lord, Teach Us to Pray
- Lesson 8 - The Catholic Church
- Lesson 9 - The Pope, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons...
- Lesson 10 - The Family is the Domestic Church
- Lesson 11 - Nothing is Impossible with God
- Lesson 12 - Creation and the Fall
- ▼ December (14)