And the Word was made Flesh and Dwelt among us.

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1 And the Word was made Flesh and Dwelt among us.

2 Goal: To come into deeper intimacy with Jesus through a more profound engagement with Sacred Scripture Objectives: What is Divine Revelation? The Holy Bible The Word of God Protestant Approach to Scripture Catholic Understanding of Scripture Inspiration & Inerrancy Economy and Typology Praying Sacred Scripture

3 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. (Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 21)

4 What is Divine Revelation? By natural reason humanity can know God with certainty by His works But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot arrive at by his own powers; the order of divine revelation. Divine Revelation God s self-disclosure of who He is and His plan for our salvation. Revelation has a double focus: Reveals God to man Reveals man to himself

5 What is Divine Revelation? The divine plan of Revelation is realized simultaneously by deeds and words which are bound up with each other and shed light on each other The words explain the deeds The deeds illustrate the words God reveals Himself to man gradually (Divine Pedagogy) He prepares him by stages, slowly unfolding His revelation Culminates in the person and mission of Jesus Christ The question we must come to terms with

6 The Holy Bible Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book." Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, a word which is "not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living." If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures (CCC 108, Quoting St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

7 The Holy Bible In both Latin and Greek the term "Biblia" means: The Books. Originally, the Bible was not one book but a collection of books. It was in the fourth century that the seventy-three books of the Bible were combined to form one "volume." The Council of Hippo, created the list of the Old and New Testament books in 393 AD which is the same as we use today. This was confirmed by the Council of Carthage in 397 AD.

8 The Holy Bible The term " Testament," as applied to the two parts of the Bible, means: a covenant, agreement, pact. The Old Testament refers to the time before Christ and is the same as the Hebrew Bible. Masoretic Text: Hebrew and contains 39 books (Protestants). Septuagint Text: Greek and contains 46 books (Catholics). The New Testament (27 books) refers to the time during and just after Christ. Written in Greek

9 The Word of God In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: "Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men. (Catechism no. 101, DV 13)

10 The Word of God The Word of God primarily refers to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Bible is called: The Word of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us John 1:14 Jesus Christ took on human nature to save humanity from sin and death Fully Human & Fully Divine Like humanity in all things but sin Scripture is like Christ in two ways Divine and Human Authorship Like human writings in all things but error

11 The Word of God This does not mean that Scriptures are divine in the same way that Jesus is divine. The Scriptures are rather divinely inspired and, as such, unique in the world of literature. This inspired word resembles the Incarnate Word in many ways. We therefore cannot conceive one without the other: the Bible without Jesus, or Jesus without the Bible Each is the interpretive key to the other. Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ St. Jerome

12 Protestant Approach Sola scriptura (by scripture alone) is the doctrine that the Bible is the only infallible or inerrant authority for Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, Sola Scriptura demands that no doctrine is to be admitted or confessed that is not found directly or logically within Scripture. However, Sola Scriptura is not a denial of other authorities governing Christian life and devotion. Martin Luther

13 Protestant Approach Sola scriptura simply demands that all other authorities are subordinate to, and are to be corrected by, the written word of God. Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the Reformers. During the Reformation, authentication of Scripture was governed by the discernable excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to the heart of each man. John Calvin

14 Catholic & Orthodox Approach The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium. They also believe that the Church has authority to establish or restrict interpretation of Scriptures because, in part, they selected which books were to be in the biblical canon Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople

15 Catholic Understanding Oral Tradition By the apostles who handed on By their preaching By By their apostles example and other men By associated the institutions with the they apostles established who, By under what they inspiration had received of the Holy Spirit, Whether committed from the message lips of Christ of salvation From his to writing. way of life From the prompting of the Holy Spirit Written Tradition In order that the full and living Gospel might be preserved, the apostles passed it on to their successors (bishops). This is known as Apostolic Succession This living transmission, accomplished through the Holy Spirit, is known as Tradition. Through Tradition, the Church in her doctrine, life and worship perpetuates and transmits to every generation what she believes. Divine Revelation Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. CCC. 80

16 Catholic Understanding Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written (Dei Verbum, 12) Pay attention to the content & unity of the whole Bible Read within the context of the living tradition of the Church Be aware of the analogy of faith. (the coherence & connection between the truths of the Faith) (CCC )

17 Inspiration St. Paul tells us that, All Scripture is inspired by God. (2Tim 3:16) Inspired can also be translated as: God-breathed (Theo-pneustos) This means that God is the primary author of the Bible. He did use human authors in this task as well, but He did not simply assist them or approve what they wrote. God is the Principal author of the Bible while human writers are instrumental authors.

18 Inerrancy The principle of biblical inerrancy flows from it s divine authorship. God cannot lie. He cannot make mistakes. Since the Bible is divinely inspired, it must be without error in everything the divine and human authors hold to be true. Inerrancy is our guarantee that the words and deeds of God found in the Bible are true, declaring in one voice the wonders of His saving love.

19 Economy: How God Reveals Himself to Us

20 Economy: How God Reveals Himself to Us In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them. Dei Verbum 21

21 Economy: How God Reveals Himself to Us

22 Economy: Covenant Love The major covenants of the Bible are The Creation Covenant (Adam and Eve)- Couple The Noahic Covenant- Family The Abrahamic Covenant- Tribe The Mosaic Covenant- Nation The Davidic Covenant- Kingdom The New and Everlasting Covenant- Church Even when man disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon him to the power of death Again and again you offered a covenant to man (Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer IV)

23 COVENANT

24 Promise of a New Covenant I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people. Jer. 31:33

25 A Promise Fulfilled This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. Luke 22:20

26 Biblical Typology It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built, and then, that of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. This catechesis unveils what lay hidden under the letter of the Old Testament: the mystery of Christ. It is called "typological" because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the "figures" (types) which announce him in the deeds, words, and symbols of the first covenant. By this re-reading in the Spirit of Truth, starting from Christ, the figures are unveiled. Thus the flood and Noah's ark prefigured salvation by Baptism, as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea. Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ, and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist, "the true bread from heaven. (CCC 1094)

27 Biblical Typology The New Testament is hidden in the Old The Old Testament is revealed in the New

28 Biblical Typology Examples from the New Testament The New Manna (John 6:30-35; Numbers 11) The Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5:6-8; John 1:29) Baptism (1 Pet. 3:18-22; Genesis 6-9) The Only Son (John 3:16; Genesis 22) The Spiritual Rock (1 Cor. 10:1-5; Ex. 17) Melchizedek (Heb. 7; Genesis 14:17-20)

29 Biblical Typology Three Readings on Sunday 1 st Reading from Old Testament 2 nd Reading from one of the letters 3 rd Reading from one of the Gospels

30 Time Out to Process What points in the presentation thus far resonate with you?

31 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to Him in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27)

32

33 Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32)

34 The Spiritual Senses of Scripture Three spiritual senses of Scripture The Allegorical Sense reveals the spiritual and prophetic meaning of biblical history. What is concealed in mystery is later revealed in history (Passover/Eucharist). The Tropological or Moral Sense reveals how the Bible should shape our moral choices. Faith without works are dead. (Jas 2:14) The Anagogical Sense points upward to heavenly glory. It reveals how countless events in the Bible prefigure our final union with God in heaven.

35 Praying Scripture: Receiving the Word of God For me, the Gospel is the Body of Christ; for me, the holy Scriptures are his teaching. And when he says: whoever does not eat my flesh and drink my blood (Jn 6:53), even though these words can also be understood of the Eucharistic Mystery, Christ s body and blood are really the word of Scripture, God s teaching. When we approach the Eucharistic Mystery, if a crumb falls to the ground we are troubled. Yet when we are listening to the word of God, and God s Word and Christ s flesh and blood are being poured into our ears yet we pay no heed, what great peril should we not feel? (St. Jerome, Quoted in Verbum Domini, 56)

36 Praying Scripture: Meeting Jesus in the Bible I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of "Lectio divina": "the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart" (cf. "Dei Verbum," n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church -- I am convinced of it -- a new spiritual springtime.

37 Praying Scripture: Lectio Divina 1. Read: What do the verses from the Bible say that all should understand? 2. Meditate: What do the verses say to me today? How do they apply to my life? 3. Pray: What can I say to God in response to these verses from the Bible? 4. Contemplate: What change is the Lord asking of me in these verses?

38 Praying Scripture: Guided Meditations St. Ignatius of Loyola

39 Praying Scripture: The Annunciation In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you! But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (Luke 1:26-30)

40 Questions for Reflection and Discussion 1) What is distinctive about how Catholics read the Bible? 2) What is typology and why is it important for understanding Christ? 3) How are divine inspiration and infallibility related to one another? 4) What is your favorite passage in the Holy Bible and why?

41 Further Learning and Study The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:8). For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself... And let them remember that 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.

42 Further Learning and Study The Scriptures grow with the one who reads them. (St. Gregory the Great) How you can deepen your relationship with Christ through Sacred Scripture? Make the commitment to read the Bible every day for at least 15 minutes Read your Catechism in conjunction with your Bible Refer to a good Catholic Biblical Commentary Read and meditate on each day s Mass readings using a guide such as Magnificat or Word Among Us Join a Bible study group or class at your parish or the Spiritual Life Center

43 Further Learning and Study What Bible translation should I use? Revised Standard Version (RSV-CE) The top choice for many Catholic Bible scholars. It s a Church-approved translation and is literal but still very readable. New American Bible Revised Edition (NAB-RE) This is the translation used during the Mass, although it does contain some questionably translated passages and some even worse footnotes. But if you want to sync your reading to the liturgy, this is your best choice. Douay-Rheims Version (DR) This was the standard Bible for English-speaking Catholics from 1609 until the twentieth century. It s a trusted version but some readers find it turgid, similar to the King James Version.

44 Further Learning and Study How do I use my Catechism in Conjunction with my Bible? The Didache Bible (Ignatius Press)- Provides commentary based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church Cross reference the Bible passage you are reading with the analytical index at the back of the Catechism or refer to the biblical references in the footnotes of your CCC Read paragraph numbers in your Catechism to understand the Church s understanding of Sacred Scripture Use a Catholic study Bible, such as the Ignatius Study Bible, that contains direct references to the Catechism

45 Resources for Further Learning and Study The most profound interpretation of Scripture comes precisely from those who let themselves be shaped by the word of God through listening, reading and assiduous meditation (Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 48) Dei Verbum, the Vatican II Document on Divine Revelation (available for free at Verbum Domini (The Word of the Lord), Pope Benedict s document on Sacred Scripture (available for free at The Book Bible Basics for Catholics by Dr. John Bergsma (available at Catholic bookstores) Praying Scripture for a Change by Dr Tim Gray (An Intro to Lectio Divina), available through Ascension Press A free reading guide to the Bible and Catechism available through The Coming Home Network (

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