Day #14: Dei Verbum 25-26

Today we finish the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.  For all those following along:  Congratulations!  One down, fifteen to go.

Dei Verbum concludes with more or less an exhortation for all to actually read the Bible.  As St. Jerome said and the Council repeats, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  We need to keep reading and make sure that we pray as we do.

Here are the Scripture citations:

Article 25:

Phil. 3:8

Article 26:

2 Thess. 3:1

Is. 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25

And the footnotes:

Article 25:

4. St. Augustine Sermons, 179,1: PL 38,966.

5. St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, Prol.: PL 24,17. cf. Benedict XV, encyclical “Spiritus Paraclitus:” EB 475-480; Pius XII, encyclical “Divino Afflante Spiritu:” EB 544.

6. St. Ambrose, On the Duties of Ministers I, 20,88: PL l6,50.

7. St. Irenaeus, “Against Heretics” IV, 32,1: PG 7, 1071; (Same as 49,2) Harvey, 2, p. 255.


Day #13: Dei Verbum 23-24

Today we near the end of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.

Here we see the emphasis on the importance of Scripture in theology.  Indeed, the Council (taking its lead from Popes Leo XIII and Benedict XV) famously says that “Scripture is the soul of sacred theology.”  We cannot do theology without it being rooted in Scripture.

Here are the footnotes:

Article 23:

1. cf. Pius XII, encyclical “Divino Afflante Spiritu:” EB 551, 553, 567. Pontifical Biblical Commission, Instruction on Proper Teaching of Sacred Scripture in Seminaries and Religious Colleges, May 13, 1950: A.A.S. 42 (1950) pp. 495-505.

2. cf. Pius XII, ibid: EB 569.

Article 24:

3. cf. Leo XIII, encyclical “Providentissmus Deus:” EB 114; Benedict XV, encyclical “Spiritus Paraclitus:” EB 483.

Day #12: Dei Verbum 21-22

Today we begin the final chapter of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church.

The one sentence summary for today is that the Church has always revered Scripture (para. 21) and translations into other languages are a good thing (para. 22).

There are only 3 Scripture citations and no footnotes today:

Article 21:

Heb. 4:12

Acts 20:32

1 Thess. 2:13

Day #11: Dei Verbum 19-20

Following yesterday’s passage, we finish up Chapter V on the New Testament in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.

Getting even more explicit, paragraph 19 nicely summarizes The Historicity of the Gospels, the 1964 document from the Pontifical Biblical Commission which reaffirms that the Gospels are historical and “faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven.”

Paragraph 20 then gives amention to the other New Testament writings, which are also inspired, of course.

Here are the Scripture citations:

Article 19:

Acts 1:1

Luke 1:2-4

Article 20:

Matt. 28:20

John 16:13

And the footnotes:

Article 19:

(Due to the necessities of translation, footnote 2 follows footnote 3 in text of Article 19.)

2. cf. John 14:26; 16:13.

3. John 2:22; 12:16; cf. 14:26; 16:12-13; 7:39.

4. cf. instruction “Holy Mother Church” edited by Pontifical Consilium for Promotion of Bible Studies; A.A.S. 56 (1964) p. 715.

Day #10: Dei Verbum 17-18

Today we will read through the first half of the chapter on the New Testament in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.

Naturally, after the Old Testament comes the New Testament.  Jesus is the fullness of God’s revelation (para. 17).  And the Church reaffirms the apostolic origin of the Gospels (para. 18).

Here are the Scripture citations:

Article 17:

Rom. 1:16

Gal. 4:4

John 1:14

John 12:32

John 6:68

Eph. 3:4-6

And the lone footnote:

Article 18:

1. cf. St. Irenaeus, “Against Heretics” III, 11; 8: PG 7,885, Sagnard Edition, p. 194.

Day #9: Dei Verbum 14-16

Next up in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation is Chapter IV on the Old Testament.  Paragraphs 14-16 cover that whole chapter.

This chapter affirms the importance and relevance of the Old Testament, even after its fulfillment in the New.  The books of the Old Testament remain “permanently valuable” (para. 14).  They show us the “true divine pedagogy” (para. 15).  In other words, they give us insight into how God teaches us.  And finally they “shed light on” and “explain” the New Testament (para. 16).

Here are the links to all of the Scripture citations:

Article 14:

Gen. 15:18

Ex. 24:8

Ps. 21[22]:29; 95[96]:1-3; Is. 2:1-5; Jer. 3:17

Rom. 15:4

Article 15:

Luke 24:44; John 5:39; 1 Peter 1:10

1 Cor. 10:12

Article 16:

Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25

Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:27; Rom. 16:25-26; 2 Cor. 14:16

And here are the footnotes:

Article 15:

1. Pius XI, encyclical ‘Mit Brennender Sorge,” March 14, 1937: A.A.S. 29 (1937) p. 51.

Article 16:

2. St. Augustine, “Quest. in Hept.” 2,73: PL 34,623.

3. St. Irenaeus, “Against Heretics” III, 21,3: PG 7,950; (Same as 25,1: Harvey 2, p. 115). St. Cyril of Jerusalem, “Catech.” 4,35; PG 33,497. Theodore of Mopsuestia, “In Soph.” 1,4-6: PG 66, 452D-453A.

Day #8: Dei Verbum 12-13

Today we finish Chapter III of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation with paragraphs 12 and 13.

In order to not push the boundaries of fair use, I am going to refrain from posting the entire text of those passages and encourage people to follow the link to the document on the Vatican website. (If I continue to post the full text every day, by the end of the year I would have the entirety of the documents on this website.)

Paragraph 12 is an important companion to paragraph 11.  Where paragraph 11 is all about inspiration, paragraph 12 is all about interpretation.

This passage famously observes that Scripture must be interpreted “in the sacred spirit in which it is written.”  And which spirit is that?  The Holy Spirit, of course.  It also mentions a few key things about interpretation:  identifying the actual intention of the authors, and looking at the living tradition of the Church.  If our interpretation goes against the tradition of the Church, that’s a good clue that we are interpreting it incorrectly.

Paragraph 13 makes the analogy I made yesterday about the Word of God in human language as comparable to the Word of God made flesh.

Here are the footnotes from those paragraphs with links to some of the source documents:

Article 12:

6. St. Augustine, “City of God,” XVII, 6, 2: PL 41, 537: CSEL. XL, 2, 228.

7. St. Augustine, “On Christian Doctrine” III, 18, 26; PL 34, 75-76.

8. Pius XII, loc. cit. Denziger 2294 (3829-3830); EB 557-562.

9. cf. Benedict XV, encyclical “Spiritus Paraclitus” Sept. 15, 1920:EB 469. St. Jerome, “In Galatians’ 5, 19-20: PL 26, 417 A.

10. cf. First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 2, “On Revelation:” Denziger 1788 (3007).

Article 13:

11. St. John Chrysostom “In Genesis” 3, 8 (Homily l7, 1): PG 53, 134; “Attemperatio” [in English “Suitable adjustment”] in Greek “synkatabasis.”