Catholic Scripture: Divine Revelation And Literary Forms

3361 words - 13 pages

Scripture Assignment 2003Qu 1) Explain how the bible is the written record of Divine Revelation, (include an explanation of oral and written stages, and the meaning of "inspiration").The bible in it's entirety is considered by Christians (and in part to Jews and Muslims) to be the written record of divine revelation- God revealing himself to mankind. This written record reveals the history of what God has said and done, from his messages to the people of the Old Testament, through records of Christ's life, to the apostles of the New Testament.Whilst most of the bible was created in written form, many of the bible books (or parts) existed in oral form, long before they were written down. Bible critics study the history, sources, forms, composition, and editing of the bible- all of which make a valuable contribution to the understanding of these texts. However, regardless of the origins and contexts of these writings, the bible and the long process by which it has been produced (including oral traditions, partial texts, early drafts and re-writing) is considered to be "divine"- written "under the guidance of God himself". (Alexander, 1986) This concept is known as "divine inspiration".Reference to the divine inspiration of the bible is made in both the Old and New Testaments. Psalm 119 expresses this idea in the Old Testament:Wonderful are your decrees;therefore I guard them with all my life.The revealing of your words gives lightGiving the simple understanding. (Psalm 119:129-130)In the New Testament, Paul's letters to Timothy make direct reference to the divine inspiration of the scriptures. "All scripture is inspired by God" (2 Tim 3: 16-17). Paul's advice to Timothy also makes reference to the holy scriptures he has known from his infancy "which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 3: 15).The argument that the scriptures may be just an interpretation of man's experiences with God (rather than divinely inspired by God) is addressed in the letters of Peter. In 2 Peter 1, the writer states that the prophecies of scripture are not interpretations of man, as "prophecy never had it's originin the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21)In the Catholic Church, the Vatican gives legitimacy to the long help notion of the divine revelation of the bible. In 1870, Vatican I cited the writer Trent (1546) in Dei Filius, DS 3006:...truth and rule are contained in the written books...; which have come down to us, having been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the dictation of the Holy Spirit. (cited in Brown, et al, 1990)Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation states the Catholic belief that the sacred scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments of the bible in their entirety are...sacred and canonical, because, having been written under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been...

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