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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts 57 it is in particular theological research which deepens knowledge of revealed truth 58 from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which believers experience 59 the sacred Scriptures grow with the one who reads them 60 from the preaching of those who have received along with their right of succession in the episcopate the sure charism of truth 61 95 It is clear therefore that in the supremely wise arrangement of God sacred Tradition Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others Working together each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls 62 IN BRIEF 96 What Christ entrusted to the apostles they in turn handed on by their preaching and writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to all generations until Christ returns in glory 97 Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God DV 10 in which as in a mirror the pilgrim Church contemplates God the source of all her riches 98 The Church in her doctrine life and worship perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is all that she believes DV 1 99 Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith the People of God as a whole never ceases to welcome to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine Revelation 100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books 90 This complete list is called the canon of Scripture It includes 46 books for the Old Testament 45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one and 27 for the New 91 The Old Testament Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth and Samuel and Kings and Chronicles Ezra and Nehemiah Tobit Judith Esther and Maccabees Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes the Song of Songs the Wisdom of Solomon Sirach Ecclesiasticus Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Baruch Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zachariah and Malachi The New Testament the Gospels according to Matthew Mark Luke and John the Acts of the Apostles the Letters of St Paul to the Romans and Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians and Thessalonians and Timothy Titus Philemon the Letter to the Hebrews the Letters of James and Peter 1 and John and Jude and Revelation the Apocalypse The Old Testament 121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value 92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked 122 Indeed the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ redeemer of all men 93 Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional 94 the books of the OldTestament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God s saving love these writings are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers in them too the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way 95 123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void Marcionism The New Testament 124 The Word of God which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament 96 which hand on the ultimate truth of God s Revelation Their central object is Jesus Christ God s incarnate Son his acts teachings Passion and glorification and his Church s beginnings under the Spirit s guidance 97 125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word our Saviour 98 126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels 1 The life and teaching of Jesus The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms faithfully hand on what Jesus the Son of God while he lived among men really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day when he was taken up 99 2 The oral tradition For after the ascension of the Lord the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done but with that fuller understanding which they instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth now enjoyed 100 3 The written Gospels The sacred authors in writing the four Gospels selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on either orally or already in written form others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches the while sustaining the form of preaching but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus 101 127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church as is evident both in the veneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on the saints at all times There is no doctrine which could be better more precious and more splendid than the text of the Gospel Behold and retain what our Lord and Master Christ has taught by his words and accomplished by his deeds 102 But above all it s the gospels that occupy my mind when I m at prayer my poor soul has so many needs and yet this is the one thing needful I m always finding fresh lights there hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto 103 The unity of the Old and New Testaments 128 The Church as early as apostolic times 104 and then constantly in her Tradition has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology which discerns in God s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son 129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself 105 Besides the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament 106 As an old saying put it the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New 107 130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfilment of the divine plan when God will be everything to everyone 108 Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodus from Egypt for example lose their own value in God s plan from the mere fact that they were intermediate stages V SACRED SCRIPTURE IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH 131 And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour and the children of the Church as strength for their faith food for the soul

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    OF SACRED SCRIPTURE 101 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 63 102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture God speaks only one single Word his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely 64 You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables for he is not subject to time 65 103 For this reason the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord s Body She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life taken from the one table of God s Word and Christ s Body 66 104 In Sacred Scripture the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Church II INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE 105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit 69 For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that 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 70 106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books To compose the sacred books God chose certain men who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their own faculties and powers so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more 71 107 The inspired books teach the truth Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly faithfully and without error teach that truth which God for the sake of our salvation wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures 72 108 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 which is incarnate and living 73 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

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it 78 112 1 Be especially attentive to the content and unity of the whole Scripture Different as the books which compose it may be Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God s plan of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart open since his Passover 79 The phrase heart of Christ can refer to Sacred Scripture which makes known his heart dosed before the Passion as the Scripture was obscure But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion since those who from then on have understood it consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted 80 113 2 Read the Scripture within the living Tradition of the whole Church According to a saying of the Fathers Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church s heart rather than in documents and records for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God s Word and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church 81 114 3 Be attentive to the analogy of faith 82 By analogy of faith we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation The senses of Scripture 115 According to an ancient tradition one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture the literal and the spiritual the latter being subdivided into the allegorical moral and anagogical senses The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church 116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis following the rules of sound interpretation All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal 83 117 The spiritual sense Thanks to the unity of God s plan not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs 1 The allegorical sense We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ s victory and also of Christian Baptism 84 2 The moral sense The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly As St Paul says they were written for our instruction 85 3 The anagogical sense Greek anagoge leading We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance leading us toward our true homeland thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem 86 118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses The Letter speaks of deeds Allegory to faith The Moral how to act Anagogy our destiny 87 119 It is the task of exegetes to work according to these rules towards a better understanding and explanation

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    anagogical senses The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church 116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis following the rules of sound interpretation All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal 83 117 The spiritual sense Thanks to the unity of God s plan not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs 1 The allegorical sense We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ s victory and also of Christian Baptism 84 2 The moral sense The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly As St Paul says they were written for our instruction 85 3 The anagogical sense Greek anagoge leading We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance leading us toward our true homeland thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem 86 118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses The Letter speaks of deeds Allegory to faith The Moral how to act Anagogy our destiny 87 119 It is the task of exegetes to work according to these rules towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement For of course all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    God and of sound wisdom on human life as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers in them too the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way 95 123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void Marcionism The New Testament 124 The Word of God which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament 96 which hand on the ultimate truth of God s Revelation Their central object is Jesus Christ God s incarnate Son his acts teachings Passion and glorification and his Church s beginnings under the Spirit s guidance 97 125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word our Saviour 98 126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels 1 The life and teaching of Jesus The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms faithfully hand on what Jesus the Son of God while he lived among men really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day when he was taken up 99 2 The oral tradition For after the ascension of the Lord the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done but with that fuller understanding which they instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth now enjoyed 100 3 The written Gospels The sacred authors in writing the four Gospels selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on either orally or already in written form others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches the while sustaining the form of preaching but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus 101 127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church as is evident both in the veneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on the saints at all times There is no doctrine which could be better more precious and more splendid than the text of the Gospel Behold and retain what our Lord and Master Christ has taught by his words and accomplished by his deeds 102 But above all it s the gospels that occupy my mind when I m at prayer my poor soul has so many needs and yet this is the one thing needful I m always finding fresh lights there hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto 103 The unity of the Old and New Testaments 128 The Church as early as apostolic times 104 and then constantly in her Tradition has illuminated

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    eNewsletters Site Tour Web Widgets Feeds Contact Us Advertise Subscribe Login Donate Resources Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church The Old Testament 121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value 92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked 122 Indeed the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ redeemer of all men 93 Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional 94 the books of the OldTestament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God s saving love these writings are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers in them too the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way 95 123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void Marcionism

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