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Reflections: Scripture (Athr.of Holy Script.)

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Holy Scripture:

Author of Holy Scripture

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Author of Holy Scripture



Author of Holy Scripture

"In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe" (Heb. 1:1-2)

"Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the Holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." (St. Peter, 2 Pt. 1:20-21)

"We believe also that the one author of the New and the Old Testament, of the Law, and of the Prophets and the Apostles is the omnipotent God and Lord. " (Council of Lyons II, 1274 A.D.)

"But though there were four Evangelists, yet what they wrote is not so much four Gospels, as one true harmony of four books. For as two verses having the same substance, [but use] different words and different meter, yet contain one and the same matter, so the books of the Evangelists, though four in number, yet contain one Gospel, teaching one doctrine of the Catholic faith." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

"Just as the one true God is the Creator of both temporal and eternal good things, so too is He the Author of both Testaments, because the New is prefigured in the Old, and the Old is unveiled in the New." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 420 A.D.)

"The authors of the sacred books wrote what God inspired them to do and they chose the manner of expression, that is the style or form of expressing the thoughts." (St. Justin)

"It is not Moses who speaks in it but God. It is not the Patriarchs and prophets who speak in it but God. It is not the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who speak; it is God. And it is evident that God possesses all knowledge and possesses it without error" (Lapide)

"Though each seems to have followed an order of narration of his own, yet we do not find any one of the them writing as if in ignorance of his predecessor, or that he left out some things which he did not know, which another was to supply; but as each had inspiration, he gave accordingly the cooperation of his own not unnecessary labor." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But who was the writer, it is very superfluous to inquire; since at any rate the Holy Spirit is confidently believed to have been the Author [of Scripture]. He then Himself wrote them, Who dictated the things that should be written. He did Himself write them Who both was present as the Inspirer in that saint's work, and by the mouth of the writer has consigned to us His acts as patterns for our imitation." (Pope St. Gregory I, Doctor of the Church)

"If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950)

"Divinely inspired Scripture, as the Divine Apostle calls it, is the Holy Spirit's writing. Its purpose is usefulness to men. 'All Scripture,' he says, 'is inspired of God and useful.'" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, circa 380 A.D.)

"You will not find a page in [St. Jerome's] writings which does not show clearly that he, in common with the whole Catholic Church, firmly and consistently held that the Sacred Books - written as they were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - have God for their Author, and as such were delivered to the Church. Thus he asserts that the Books of the Bible were composed at the inspiration, or suggestion, or even at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; even that they were written and edited by Him. Yet he never questions but that the individual authors of these Books worked in full freedom under the Divine afflatus, each of them in accordance with his individual nature and character. Thus he is not merely content to affirm as a general principle - what indeed pertains to all the sacred writers - that they followed the Spirit of God as they wrote, in such sort that God is the principal cause of all that Scripture means and says; but he also accurately describes what pertains to each individual writer. In each case Jerome shows us how, in composition, in language, in style and mode of expression, each of them uses his own gifts and powers; hence he is able to portray and describe for us their individual character, almost their very features; this is especially so in his treatment of the Prophets and of St. Paul. This partnership of God and man in the production of a work in common Jerome illustrates by the case of a workman who uses instruments for the production of his work; for he says that whatsoever the sacred authors say 'Is the word of God, and not their own; and what the Lord says by their mouths He says, as it were, by means of an instrument.'" (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920 A.D.)

"Furthermore, this supernatural revelation, according to the faith of the universal Church, as declared by the holy synod of Trent, is contained 'in the written books and in the unwritten traditions which have been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself; or, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit have been handed down by the apostles themselves, and have thus come to us'. And, indeed, these books of the Old and New Testament, whole with all their parts, just as they were enumerated in the decree of the same Council, are contained in the older Vulgate Latin edition, and are to be accepted as sacred and canonical. But the Church holds these books as sacred and canonical, not because, having been put together by human industry alone, they were then approved by its authority; nor because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and, as such, they have been handed down to the Church itself" (Vatican Council I, 1870 A.D.)

But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it - this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the [First] Council of the Vatican. These are the words of the last: 'The Books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council (Trent) and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author.' Hence, because the Holy Ghost employed men as His instruments, we cannot therefore say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write - He was so present to them - that the things which He ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth. Otherwise, it could not be said that He was the Author of the entire Scripture. Such has always been the persuasion of the Fathers. 'Therefore,' says St. Augustine, 'since they wrote the things which He showed and uttered to them, it cannot be pretended that He is not the writer; for His members executed what their Head dictated.' And St. Gregory the Great thus pronounces: 'Most superfluous it is to inquire who wrote these things - we loyally believe the Holy Ghost to be the Author of the book. He wrote it Who dictated it for writing; He wrote it Who inspired its execution. (Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus)

"This supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, 'being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author and as such have been delivered to the Church.' This belief has been perpetually held and professed by the Church in regard to the Books of both Testaments; and there are well-known documents of the gravest kind, coming down to us from the earliest times, which proclaim that God, Who spoke first by the Prophets, then by His own mouth, and lastly by the Apostles, composed also the Canonical Scriptures, and that these are His own oracles and words - a Letter, written by our heavenly Father, and transmitted by the sacred writers to the human race in its pilgrimage so far from its heavenly country. If, then, such and so great is the excellence and the dignity of the Scriptures, that God Himself has composed them, and that they treat of God's marvelous mysteries, counsels and works, it follows that the branch of sacred Theology which is concerned with the defense and elucidation of these divine Books must be excellent and useful in the highest degree." (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893)

"Seeing that the same God is the author both of the sacred books and of the doctrine committed to the Church, it is clearly impossible that any teaching can, by legitimate means, be extracted from the former which shall in any respect be at variance with the latter. Hence it follows that all interpretation is foolish or false which either makes the sacred writers disagree with one another, or is opposed to the doctrine of the Church." (Pope Leo XIII)

"The sacred and holy ecumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit, with the same three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, keeping this constantly in view, that with the abolishing of errors, the purity itself of the Gospel is preserved in the Church, which promised before through the Prophets in the Holy Scriptures our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded 'to be preached' by His apostles 'to every creature' as the source of every saving truth and of instruction in morals [Matt. 28:19 ff., Mark 16:15], and [the Synod] clearly perceiving that this truth and instruction are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions, which have been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the apostles themselves, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, have come down even to us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, [the Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and holds in veneration with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament, since one God is the author or both, and also the traditions themselves, those that appertain both to faith and to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

"Inasmuch as in the Law and in the Gospel the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord God whole-heartedly, and then there is another like it, to love one's neighbor as oneself, it is shown that the Law and the Gospel have one and the same Author. The precepts of the perfect life, since they are the same in both Testaments, point out the same God, who certainly has prescribed particular precepts adapted to each, while for the more prominent and greatest commandments, without which it is not possible to be saved, He recommends the same in both." (St. Irenaeus, 2nd century A.D.) 

"Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because 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. In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted." (Second Vatican Council)

"It had indeed been enough that one Evangelist should have written all; but whereas four speak all things as with one mouth, and that neither from the same place nor at the same time, nor having met and discoursed together, these things are the greatest test of truth. It is also a mark of truth, that in some small matters they seem to disagree. For had their agreement been complete throughout, adversaries might have supposed that it was by a human collusion that this was brought about. Indeed in essentials which pertain to direction of life, and preaching the faith, they do not differ in the least thing. And if in their accounts of miracles, one tells it in one way, another in another, let not this disturb you; but think that if one had told all, the other three would have been a needless superfluity; had they all written different things, there would have been no room for proof of their harmony. And if their account different in times or modes, this does not hinder the truth of the facts themselves which they relate, as shall be shown" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Canon of Scripture | The Gospels Contain Only a Taste of Jesus' Teaching | History / Holy Scripture | Holy Scripture is Truthful / Free From Error | Importance of Scripture | Misinterpretation of Scripture | Modernists / Scripture | Praise / Benefits of Scripture | Private Interpretation / Twisting Scripture | Proper Interpretation of Scripture | Those Who Reject Scripture | Written / Oral Tradition

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