Over the past three weeks, I have been teaching a course for the Diocese of Phoenix Diaconate Program titled, Scripture in the Life of the Church. One of the two documents we read and discussed is the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation from the Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum.
I am no stranger to this document from Vatican II, since I have read it nearly ten times since the Fall of 2008. While in graduate school at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I read Dei Verbum at least five times for five different courses. If you ask any of my peers who studied with me during the years of 2008-2010, they will tell you the same thing, we read this document many times! It’s one of those great documents that should be read over and over again.
If you have not read it yet, please take the time to read it (it’s not very long). If you are fearful to read it in the case that you may not fully understand it, then seek out someone who has read it, so that they may explain the rich content within its pages. You will come to love the Sacred Scriptures more and have a passion to pray and study the Scriptures in your daily life.
Below are 12 great quotes from my studies. The number in the parentheses is the article number from the document.
1. “…This present council wishes to set forth authentic doctrine on divine revelation and how it is handed on, so that by hearing the messages of salvation the whole world may believe, by believing it may hope, and by hoping it may love” (1).
2. “The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Tim. 6:14 and Tit. 2:13)” (4).
3. “This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face (see 1 John 3:2)” (7).
4. “Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence” (9).
5. “Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church…But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (10).
6. “…The books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because 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…the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation” (11).
7. “The plan of salvation foretold by the sacred authors, recounted and explained by them, is found as the true word of God in the books of the Old Testament: these books, therefore, written under divine inspiration, remain permanently valuable…The principal purpose to which the plan of the old covenant was directed was to prepare for the coming of Christ…” (14-15).
8. “The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body” (21).
9. “Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful” (22).
10. “…And so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology” (24).
11. “Therefore, all the clergy must hold fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study, especially the priests of Christ and others, such as deacons and catechists who are legitimately active in the ministry of the word” (25).
12. “…Prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for “we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying” (25).
For more information on studying and praying with the Sacred Scriptures, please see the post, Scripture in the Life of the Church.