As we celebrate National Bible Week in the Catholic Church here in the United States, I found this to be the perfect opportunity for a QLC on the Sacred Scriptures. National Bible Week encourages all Catholics to read the Scriptures more, especially since we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary tomorrow of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council document on Divine Revelation known as Dei Verbum. To learn more about Dei Verbum, I would encourage you to read my article, which will be featured on Catholic Exchange on Wednesday, November 18.
For someone who did not begin to truly study the sacred page until his mid-20’s, I really have a love and devotion to the Sacred Scriptures and know how important they are when it comes to Theology as a whole as well as to the life of a Catholic. My passion for the Scriptures began in 2001 when studying the Book of Genesis through Gayle Somers’ Bible study program, Cor Ardens. When I was in graduate school for Theology at Franciscan, I took as many Scripture courses that were allowed to me just so I could have a deeper and complete understanding of the Scriptures. It was the best decision I made since now I run an Adult Faith Formation program that focuses on Bible studies.
Now that I have shared with you briefly my passion and background with the Sacred Scriptures, let’s turn our attention to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the subject –
All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and this one book is Christ, “because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ” (Hugh of St. Victor, De arca Noe 2,8:PL 176,642: cf. ibid. 2,9:PL 176,642-643). [#134]
“The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God” (DV 24). [#135]
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 (cf. DV 11). [#136]
Interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be attentive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully “understood except by the Spirit’s action’ (cf. Origen, Hom. in Ex. 4, 5: PG 12, 320). [#137]
The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. [#138]
The four Gospels occupy a central place because Christ Jesus is their center. [#139]
The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God’s plan and his Revelation. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God. [#140]
“The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord” (DV 21): both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105; cf. Is 50:4). [#141]
For a more complete understanding of this topic in the Catechism, I would suggest you also read paragraphs 101 through 133.
I have written my fair share of blog posts on the Sacred Scriptures through this blog in the past. If you are interested in reading those previous posts, you can do that Here.
The famous quote in regards to the Scriptures by St. Jerome, the Father of Biblical Science, says, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” I would also encourage you to check out the blog post titled after St. Jerome’s quote on the Catholic Diocese of Arlington blog Here. It has some great resources for you when it comes to reading and knowing the sacred page.
As we conclude, let us remember the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his document Verbum Domini (Word of the Lord),
With the Synod Fathers I express my heartfelt hope for the flowering of “a new season of greater love for sacred Scripture on the part of every member of the People of God, so that their prayerful and faith-filled reading of the Bible will, with time, deepen their personal relationship with Jesus”.