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Inquiry Class 2 - Divine Revelation. What does the Catholic Church teach about: Sacred Scriptures Sacred Traditions Inspiration The Canon of Scriptures Let’s shed some light on these topics…. Before we begin…. Let’s begin with prayer Prayer intentions…. Application.
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Inquiry Class 2 -Divine Revelation What does the Catholic Church teach about: Sacred Scriptures Sacred Traditions Inspiration The Canon of Scriptures Let’s shed some light on these topics…
Before we begin… • Let’s begin with prayer • Prayer intentions…
Application • After last weeks lecture • If someone were to come up to you on Tuesday at work, and ask you one of two questions how would you answer? • “You mean to tell me that God exists? Can you prove that to me?” • How would you defend the existence of God? • “You tell me the Trinity is one, yet 3 what is that all about?”
Divine Revelation • Divine Revelation is how God reveals Himself to us with truths of who He is. • The ultimate revelation of God to us is with His Son, Jesus Christ, who is really the incarnation of God’s revelation. • But there is quite a bit of Pre-Christian revelation that God gives us in humanity. • First of all, last week, we looked at 8 ways we can come to know God. • Through the use of natural reason, • Looking at the beauty of the created universe, • Seeing order of things in nature, • Noting through this that there must be an Intelligent Creator.
Divine Revelation… • Divine Revelation is God Himself breaking into this world and revealing Himself to us. • Either naturally or supernaturally, • Either way, we can come to know God through our conscience, and the light of natural reason;
Today’s focus… • Our topic today is about how God reveals Himself to us supernaturally, • There are many truths of our Faith that could not be known from the light of natural reason. • One of them we talked about was the Trinity. • We could have never figured out on our own that God is actually three Divine Persons, • Father, • Son, • Holy Spirit, • Yet, there’s only One God. • We could not have come to that knowledge - God had to reveal that to us. • What about Angels? • God had to reveal that to us. – we could not figure this OUT!
It all starts with Creation • God began revealing truths to the human race all the way back at the time of our first parents, Adam and Eve. • This is something that we call public revelation. • Public revelation is the official revealing of God to us, beginning with Adam and Eve, and ending at the death of the last Apostle, who was St. John the Evangelist, who died about the year 100 AD. • All public revelation occurred during that time period from the existence of our first parents, and ended with the death of John the Apostle, John the Evangelist.
Public vs. Private Rev. • Public revelation is different from private revelation. • You might have heard of private revelations where sometimes the Blessed Mother appears to the children of Fatima, • Or when Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, and manifested the Sacred Heart. • Many of the saints have appeared over the years to people. – private appearances • These are all private revelations.
Private Revelation is… • Not necessary for our salvation. • Public revelation which ended with the death of the last Apostle helps us to attain salvation. • The Church is not inventing any new doctrines or any new teachings. • It was all revealed by God and ended during the Apostolic Age • public vs. private • revelation
Pre-Christian Revelation • The Pre-Christian (before Christ) revelation can be divided up into three sections • 1. The first is called Primitive. • Primitive revelation is the revelation God made to Adam and Eve. • 2. The second is Patriarchal. • Patriarchal revelation is how God revealed Himself to the patriarchs, namely Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob figures of the OT. • 3. Finally, the Mosaic revelation, • This is when God revealed Himself to Moses and the prophets. • God began by speaking to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise. He continued to speak to Abraham, to know him, and then He sent Moses to the Israelites. All of this was what we call Pre-Christian or Old Testament revelation.
Then along comes Jesus… • With Jesus, we come to the fullness of God’s revelation, which is Christian revelation. • This came because God sent His Son into the world, and Jesus is the revelation of God the Father. – John 3:16 • The Lord taught the Apostles, and He said, “Go out and preach the Gospel until the end of time.” –Matt. 28:20 • He said, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations.” Matt 28:19
Who is the author? • Divine Revelation has God • As its author, • As its origin. • Why? • God can neither deceive nor be deceived. • We know that what He reveals • Either is through the Old Testament, • or through Christ in the New Testament, • Both are true.
Pillars of Revelation… • There are two legs of Divine Revelation, • 1. Sacred Scripture, • 2. Sacred Tradition. • Scripture comes from the Latin word which means “the writings.” • The bible is a collection of books or writings. • And Tradition comes from the Latin word which means “what is passed down” or “what is handed on.” • Tradition is something that’s handed on.
Tradition – “handed on” • You might have Christmas traditions, Easter traditions, Thanksgiving traditions, and Halloween traditions in your family; • Something that is handed down. • Scripture refers to the written Word of God; • Sacred Tradition, refers to the spoken Word of God. • Combined these are what’s called the two channels or two legs of Divine Revelation in this world.
Tradition - capital “T” • Sacred Tradition is with a capital T. • It’s not traditions of men that Jesus condemned in the New Testament. • Sacred Tradition is the teachings (the verbal, the oral teachings) that have come down to us from the time of the Apostles.
Passages in Scripture • Some passages that talk about Scripture and Tradition • 2 Thess. 2:15 – “To hold fast to the teachings that you have learned, whether by word, or by letter.” • This is a very important teaching, because it is something that would show the difference between Catholic teaching and Protestant teaching; • One of the basis for the Protestant Reformation was their Doctrine called Sola Scriptura. • Do you know what that means?
Sola Scriptura… • Have all of you heard of that? • Sola, meaning alone, • Scriptura– Scripture alone. • This is one of the cries of Martin Luther, saying that we don’t need the Church anymore; • With his idea: • All that we have is the Bible, • All we need is the Bible.
No, we need SS and Tradition • 2 Thess. 2:15 - the teaching of St. Paul on this is very important. • Why? • He shows us why we believe in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. • Sola Scriptura was Martin Luther’s position that you don’t need the Church, you don’t need anything. All you need is the Bible. • His claim was that if you have the Bible, then you have everything. • We’ll see later how there is actually more than just the Bible, • Remember, Jesus didn’t come to give us the Bible. • He came to establish His Church. The Church is more than the Bible • The Church is what gives us the seven sacraments, and the Bible, and the teachings of Christ.
2 Thess. 2:15 refutes ML • One of the passages that actually refutes Sola Scriptura in the Bible (and nowhere in the Bible does the Bible itself teach that Scripture alone has all that is truly necessary for salvation) is this quote, St. Paul told the Thessalonians, • “Hold to the teachings you have learned, whether by word” (which is Sacred Tradition), “or by letter” (which is Scripture). – 2 Thess. 2:15
Other passages… • John, 21:25. “There are, however, many other things that Jesus did. If every one of these should be written down, not even the world itself, I think, could hold the books that would have to be written.” • In other words, John is saying that what Jesus said and did is a whole lot more than what’s written in the Bible. • St. John says that he doesn’t think the world could contain all the books it would take to write down everything that Jesus did and said. • So not everything Jesus did and said is written down in Scripture -- Did he go to the bathroom?
Look a bit closer… • In fact, even before the Scriptures were written, there was the Sacred Tradition • These Traditions were the passing on of the truths that Jesus taught the Apostles. • Jesus died roughly about the year 33, and then rose, and then ascended to Heaven; but the first books of the New Testament weren’t written until the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and some as late as the 90’s. • You have this whole period between the life of Christ and the times that the Bible was written down, and during this time we refer to the Sacred Tradition, the passing on of the faith through the spoken word, and oral tradition.
Sacred Scripture first… • Let’s focus on the Sacred Scriptures first, then we will talk about Sacred Tradition!
The Number of Books… • The Scriptures are a composite of books. • We will spend some time talking about the differences between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible. • The New Testament is identical. Both the Catholic and the Protestant New Testament have 27 books. • The difference is that in the Old Testament, we have the 46 books of the Old Testament, whereas, the Protestants have 39. • That means we have books in the Old Testament that the Protestant Bibles will not have.
Important to remember • With Sacred Scripture, • It is important to remember that the Bible is the Word of God. • We treat it with great reverence and respect as Catholics. • We know that it is inspired by God, • The primary author of Scripture is God Himself - even though He used human beings to write it down.
God is the Author! • If you were asked the question, “Who is the primary author of Sacred Scripture?” • The answer is God – • God inspired the Old Testament and the New Testament writers to write down these works. • The Holy Spirit inspired Sacred Scripture. • The writers were the instruments that God chose.
Bible = NT + OT • All together, we have the books of the Old Testament and the books of the New Testament that combine into one book, which we call the Bible. • This comes from the Latin word biblia, which means a collection of books, or a library. The Bible is whole library of books.
More on the bible? • The books of the Bible were written over the course of 1300 years, • This is from the time of Moses, (~1200 BC), tothe time of St. John the Evangelist (~100 AD). • The Bible was written mostly in three different languages over the course of this time: • Hebrew, • Aramaic, • Greek
Inspired by God • The writers were inspired by God, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. • Their mind was enlightened • Their will was moved to write what He wished. • It is sort of mysterious how the writers of Scripture remained as free instruments. • Their will was not forced in any way. • They still had their free will. • The writers still used their own styles. • They were God’s instruments. God directed them and preserved them from writing error
God, the primary author • God is the primary author of Sacred Scripture. • The Bible is the Word of God, we owe it the greatest reverence and respect. • In courtrooms, they ask you to place your hand upon the Bible (upon the Word of God). • Solemn oaths are taken by placing your hand on the Bible. • At Mass, when the Gospel is read, we all stand out of respect for the Word of God. • The Bible has been read in every Catholic Mass for the last 2000 years (passages of Sacred Scripture).
Reverence for God’s Word • At Christmas and Easter, and other times we incense the Word of God to show our respect and reverence for the Holy Word of God. • We’ve had many Catholics over the years that were martyred, because they were safeguarding and defending Sacred Scripture. • This is prevalent in the early Church where the Roman government was trying to burn and destroy copies of Sacred Scripture, and many Christians gave their lives to preserve the Word of God.
Bible – a historical record • The Bible give us reliable historical records. • Over the years, science has come, in their excavations, to reaffirm things that are present in Scripture. • One event would be the fall of Jericho. • They’ve done excavations in that part of the world (archeological digs), and they’ve found ruins of the walls of Jericho, which confirms what was mentioned in the Bible. • The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has been shown through archeology. • Evidence of the Great Flood.
St. Jerome • One of the greatest events in the history of the Bible was about St. Jerome. • St. Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus. • St. Jerome was the one who translated the Scriptures into the Latin, to get it into the language of the people. • At the time, the Old Testament was in Hebrew, and the New Testament was in Greek. • It’s important to remember that the Old Testament was largely written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was largely written in Greek. • But then, about the year 400, the pope wanted the Bible to be brought into the language of the people.
More on St. Jerome • St. Jerome was commissionedto translate the entire bible into the Latin language. • It took about 35 years to translate the entire Bible into Latin. • This translation into Latin is called the Vulgate.
What is the Vulgate? • The Vulgate comes from the Latin word meaning the language of the people, or the common language. • We get the word “vulgar” from this word. • It doesn’t mean bad, it just means common language. • Unfortunately, it has different connotations today, if somebody speaks in a vulgar way. • But originally it meant the common tongue, the language of the people.
More on St. Jerome • St. Jerome moved from Rome to the Holy Land. • He lived in a cave at Bethlehem. • While in the cave, he spent this time in prayer, and penance, and fasting. • You may be asking yourself why did he move to Bethlehem? • He moved to Bethlehem so he could work with the rabbis (the ancient rabbis) that knew the original languages. • There he made his translation of the Vulgate, which is the official translation of the Church.
A good time for handouts • Take a look at the handout called “The Making of the New Testament – The Catholic Church, Mother of the Bible.” – Page 9 • See here, we have the life of Christ, from basically one AD to 33 AD, even though Jesus was actually born between four and six BC, most likely, according to most modern scholarship. • So, when the Lord died and rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, but he left on earth a Church. Remember, Jesus came to establish His Church. Then the Church is what wrote the New Testament, and then approved the books of the Old Testament.
The making of the NT • Let’s say Jesus died around the year 33, rose, and ascended into Heaven. • The first books of the New Testament weren’t written until between the year 42 and 97. • You have several decades that the Church was preaching the Gospel and teaching, before even a word of the New Testament was written down. • The Epistles and the Gospels were written, again between the years 42 to about the year 100. And then, between the year 100 and 393, there were several Gospels that were out there sort of floating around.
Other Gospels??? • There were about 50 Gospels that people could have been reading at the time. • The unfortunate thing was that only four of them were authentically the inspired Word of God • Matthew, • Mark, • Luke, • John.
What other gospels? • The Church had to examine all these other writings, things like: • The Didichae, • The Shepherd of Hermas, • The letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, • The letters of St. Clement of Alexandria. • The Church had to determine which of these were truly the inspired Word of God. • How did they do this?
Which gospels were inspired? • The Church, in 393, all of the bishops of the church gathered at the Council of Hippo, which is in northern Africa, came up with the Canon. • What is a Canon? • A canon is a Hebrew word meaning measuring rod. • It is a list of inspired books. • The Bishops of the Church are the ones who determined that these were the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were the only four inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Bible formulated in 393 • The New Testament books were determined at that time. • They were added to the Old Testament Canon that the Church had as well. • In the year 397 at the Council of Carthage, the Church again solemnly declared at the Council of Carthage, again in northern Africa, these lists of books. • Even the Protestant scholars would accept this as historical data, that the bible is given to us by the Bishops of the Catholic Church and in the early Church there were many writings.
In the church, many writings… • Some were: • Authentic, • Fraudulent, • Not true, authentic writings. • It was the Church that had to determine this, and it did this at Councils. • Councils are when all the bishops of the Church would gather together, and then they would make their decision and give us a list of truly inspired books.
Then, the printing press! • The next major event was in 1450, the invention of the printing press. • The very first book ever printed on the printing press was the Catholic version of the Bible, by Gutenberg, who himself was a Catholic. • It says here, in the right-hand column, 626 Catholic editions were printed in all languages. • This helps us to realize the Church was not trying to keep the Bible away from the people; • Rather, the Church was trying to get the Bible into the language of the people.
Thanks to St. Jerome • That’s why the pope commissioned St. Jerome to translate it into Latin. • As time went by, the Church translated the bible into: • German, • Italian, • And into the other languages. • It says 17 editions were made in Germany before Luther’s translation. • This can hopefully clear up some misunderstandings.
In the movie, “Luther” • A little while back a movie “Luther” came out. • I don’t know if any of you got to see it • One of the things it was saying was that it was Martin Luther who made the very first translation of the Bible into German. • And once the people in Germany read this, they rejected the Catholic Church and said Sola Scriptura (all we need is the Bible). • Well, the only problem is that there were already translations in German even before Luther was born.
Sorry, Luther • Martin Luther was not the first one to translate it into German. • It says here there were nine editions were published before Luther was born. • If you look further down on the handout, we have the Douay- Rheims translation, and then the King James Version in 1611. • So the official Catholic version is the Douay-Rheims. There are many other versions, and the revised Catholic version as well
Another handout • Look at the handout “Where We Got the Bible.”–Pages 2-6 • This is a very good article that was put out by St. Joseph’s Radio in California. • It covers things we have already talked about; things like: • The word Bible means a library of books; • The bible was written over a span of 1,300 years. • It talks about how the Bible was compiled. • It talks in the first paragraph of St. Jerome, who brought about the Vulgate. • It says how the monks in the monasteries hand-copied the Scriptures over the centuries. • So we owe a great debt of gratitude to the Benedictine monks, and to the Augustinians, and other orders that were around.