I - The Bible

Interpretation

    The Bible is the book of sacred writings for God’s People, the Church. It was produced in the Church, by and for the Church, under divine inspiration as an essential part of the total reality of God’s covenant relationship with His People. It is the authentic Word of God for those who belong to God’s chosen assembly of believers, to the Israel of old and to the Church of Christ today and forever.

    The Bible lives in the Church. It comes alive in the Church and has the most profound divine meaning for those who are members of the community which God has established, in which He dwells, and to which, through His Word and His Spirit, He has given Himself for participation, communion and life everlasting. Outside of the total life and experience of the community of faith, which is the Church of Christ, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) no one can truly understand and correctly interpret the Bible.

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Authorship

    The Bible has many different human authors. Some books of the Bible do not indicate in any way who wrote them. Other books bear the names of persons to whom authorship is ascribed. In some cases it is perfectly clear that the indicated author is in fact the person who actually wrote the book with his own hands. In other cases it is as clear that the author of the book had another person do the actual writing of his work in the manner of a secretary. In still other cases it is the Tradition of the Church, and not seldom the opinion of biblical scholars, that the indicated author of a given book of the Bible is not the person (or persons) who wrote it, but the person who originally inspired its writing, whose name is then attached to it as its author.

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Word of God

    The Bible is called the written Word of God. This does not mean that the Bible fell from heaven ready made. Neither does this mean that God dictated the Bible word for word to men who were merely His passive instruments. It means that God has revealed Himself as the true and living God to His People, and that as one aspect of His divine self-revelation God inspired His People to produce scriptures, i.e., writings which constitute the true and genuine expressions of His Truth and His Will for His People and for the whole world.

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Bible

    The Bible is the book of sacred writings of God’s People of the Old and New Testaments.

    The People of God of the Old Testament were the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose name was changed by God to Israel (Gen 32:28). These people are also called the Hebrews. They remain forever as God’s chosen people for from them “according to the flesh” Christ, the Son of God, was born (Rom 9:5). This Son of God is Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah-King of Israel and the Savior of the world (See Mt 1-2, Lk 1-2, Rom 8:3, Gal 4:4, Heb 1-5). The Old Testamental writings of the People of Israel remain forever as the Word of God for all who believe in God and wish to know His divine Truth and to do His divine Will.

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