Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What is the Bible?

The revelation of God in Jesus Christ is transmitted through Scripture and Tradition as one common source. The Tradition includes the Scriptures which are a privileged expression of the Tradition. " Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy spirit. And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit" (DV 9). The Word of God in written or oral form is interpreted authentically by the magisterium of the Church. Scripture-the Bible-has to be read and explained in the Church.

The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. In seventy-three books, it gives us the history of God's plan for our salvation, beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the beginnings of the Christian Church. Together with the teaching of the Church, the Bible tells us what we need to know in order to be saved.

Although the Bible is made up of many books, together those books tell one story. God created us perfect in the beginning, but our first parents, through their free will, sinned and brought death upon themselves and their descendants. The rest of the Bible tells how God gave human beings the means to salvation. We learn how God chose the people of Israel to lead all people back to himself, and how God the Father completed that work in his only-begotten son, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice on the Cross. Finally, we learn the truth about the end of history: good triumphs, evil fails, and the People of God live forever in paradise. That is the story of our faith.

Sacred Scripture is not the only authority for our faith, as Scripture itself tells us. The Church was founded by Jesus Christ to keep the living tradition of the faith alive. As Catholics, we believe that the Church is not simply religious institution that preserves tradition. At Pentecost, after the death and resurrection of Christ, God poured out the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, and because of that gift, the Holy Spirit continues to dwell in and guide the Church. The teaching of Church opens up all the riches of the Bible to us. Because we have the living truth of the Church, we can read Scripture with more confidence, more understanding, and more freedom.

1 comment:

Joan said...

Nice grip on the Bible rj :)