The Sacred Scriptures

Jude Missa

Many teachings of the Catholic faith came from Sacred Tradition or Oral Tradition, it was passed down through words of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Apostles, to the church fathers and the next generations with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The other one came from Sacred Scriptures, which we all know as the Holy Bible.

What is the Sacred Scriptures or the Holy Bible?

It is a compilation of sacred scriptures that contain events and teachings. The Bible is derived from the Greek and Latin word ‘Biblia’, which means ‘book’. It contains two major sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Who created the Holy Bible?

The Holy Bible was compiled by the Catholic Church. The compilation began in the Council of Rome led by Pope St. Damasus I where he listed the Old Testament Scriptures and St. Athanasius of Alexandria’s list of New Testament Scriptures. During the Council of Rome in 382 A.D., he made the Holy Bible Canonical The original scriptures were written in Greek, when the Pope commissioned St. Jerome to translate into Latin, which resulted in the creation of the Vulgate Bible.

How many books of the Old Testament in the Holy Bible?

There are 46 Books.

Why is it called the Old Testament?

The term ‘Old Testament’ was coined by St. Melito, the bishop of Sardis. He refers to it as the Old Covenant because God’s faithful followed the Jewish Law.

How many books of the New Testament in the Holy Bible?

There are 27 books.

Why is it called the New Testament?

Christians are guided by Christ’s teachings and examples because He is the new covenant. After our Lord’s ascension, the New Testament was written from the Gospels of the four Evangelist and the apostles which can be found in their Acts and Epistles (letters).

Why are there many versions of the Holy Bible?

There are different versions and some are for vernacular languages, but the popular version is the English which is the most used language in the world. Catholics must use the version that was approved by the church. During the Protestant reformation, made their own versions of the Bible, such as the King James Bible. There are individuals who use mistranslations to demonstrate their beliefs that contradict Catholic teachings.

What is the difference between the Catholic Bible from the Protestants?

There are 73 books in the Catholic Bible, 46 from the Old Testament and 27 from the New Testament. While the Protestant Bible has 66 books, 39 from the Old Testament and 27 from the New Testament.

Why do Protestants only have 39 Old Testament Books?

Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, eliminated seven books from the Old Testament because of his belief in their lack of historical accuracy and theological value. These books are called ‘Apocrypha’ or ‘Deuterocanonical’. The main reason for his removal of these seven books is that they contradict his beliefs. Such as the Book of Maccabees, which contains prayers for the dead, which he did not believe in. He also considered removing the Epistle of St. James because it contradicts his belief in ‘Faith Alone’ but his followers opposed it.

“For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead”

[James 2:17-26]

Protestant Bibles are usually modified with the translation of the verses. Thus, changing the original form it was written. This is the reason why some Protestant Bibles are thinner than Catholics.

Is the Holy Bible divided into Chapters and Verses during its compilation?

No. The scriptures were divided into Chapters during the 13th century by Cardinal Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Robert Estienne, a Protestant layman, divided it into verses during the 16th century.

Is the Sacred Tradition connected to the Holy Bible?

Yes. One example is Purgatory. Although its name cannot be found, a reference to it was written. From Isaias 4:4, 1 Corinthians 3:15, and Revelation 21:27.

Which version of the Bible should we use?

We should use the versions of the Bible that were approved by the Catholic Church.

How do we know if the version of the Bible is for Catholics?

You can search it on the internet or you can simply open the Bible and search for the books that were removed by the Protestants such as Tobit and Maccabees. The presence of these books indicates that it is likely Catholic. But we recommended using the Douay-Rheims because it is widely used by the clergy, including in the readings of the Holy Mass.

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