Dei Verbum

Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Recap on Vatican II Council:
 Vatican II did not define any new dogmas but had
authority and ability to define doctrine
 Bishops are authentic teachers of the faith; under light &
guidance of the Holy Spirit
 When something is divine revealed assent of faith is
 4 constitutions of Councils; others given name of decrees
 Important to approach Vatican II documents with principle
of looking at whole context (content and unity) of texts as
teaching of the Council; and in light of tradition of the
 Don’t take texts in isolation but in context of unity
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
What is Source of Church’s Authority?
Divine Revelation!
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum
 The Word of God is NOT just Sacred Scripture; but also Sacred
 Revelation is a free gift of God out of his love, in order to invite and
receive us into His company
 God reveals Himself by both by word & deeds; word of God
proclaimed the works & the deeds show forth the reality of the words
 Climax of this, though revelation begins by creation and prophets, is
reached in Jesus Christ
 No new revelation is expected & all other understandings is a
developing & deeper understanding of revelation
Sacred Scripture (Word) + Sacred Tradition (Works)
Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum – The Word of God
Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
How does Revelation Occur?
Place of natural revelation through reason (nature) God in world
occurs through witness to “deeds” (signs)
 Some revelation is divine revelation such as the Trinity – not
possible to discover through reason
 Response of revelation is faith as man commits himself to God;
 Obedience of faith (submission of will) to revelation DV5
 Recognize revelation through the power of Holy Spirit implies so
revelation is more profoundly understood
 Divine revelation does not exclude natural revelation (reason)
The response to revelation is faith
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
What is the Source of Divine Revelation?
 Vatican II Dei Verbum takes different approach to Scripture
than Trent or Vatican I
 Vatican II gives deeper insight and fuller revelation to what
is taught in Trent and Vatican I
 Trent holds two sources of Revelation for Catholics
Scripture and Tradition, in response to Protestant Scripture
 Dei Verbum speaks not of two sources but One source,
 God communicates in Scripture and Tradition
Word of God is not just Sacred Scripture but Sacred
Tradition as well
Dei Verbum – The Word of God
Role of Church in Divine Revelation
 The teaching office of Church is tasked to give
authentic teaching which is exercised in name of Jesus
Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit
 The Church teaches what has been entrusted to it; not
superior & does not make proposals for belief, rather
draws on Deposit of Faith
 The teaching authority of the Church is not burden
but gift give to Church by Christ
 God’s Truth is presented in fullness only when three
are present – Sacred Scripture; Sacred Tradition &
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Sacred Tradition as a
Source of Divine
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
What is Sacred Tradition?
 Sacred Scripture is part of Sacred Tradition as it is
revealed word of God & as Catholics we base our belief
on Divine Revelation which Sacred Scripture is part of
 Catholics value Scripture and understand that Sacred
Tradition protects the authentic understanding of
 Sacred Tradition is also the Church’s lived tradition;
morals, liturgy & how Scripture is interpreted down of
the ages
 Dogma & doctrine are part of Sacred Tradition
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Role of Sacred Tradition in Divine Revelation
 Tradition is something that is handed on includes what is
written and whole way of life of Church that serves to make
people of God live in holiness;
 Tradition is all that Church is and believes – God’s revelation
is not just God’s Word, but God’s deeds as well
 Our growth in Tradition occurs through developing
understanding of Divine Revelation under guidance of Holy
Spirit; known as development of doctrine as the Light of faith
allows growth and insight into faith
 As time goes by the Church develops & moves closer to the Truth
 There is ongoing work of deepening knowledge of the Deposit
of Faith
Deposit of Faith is what God revealed to us
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Distinguish between Sacred Tradition and tradition
 Gift of Sacred Tradition is part of Divine Revelation and cannot
change, as it is unchangeable truth
 traditions (note small t) of Church that can be changed, such as
regulations and ways of liturgy as they have changed throughout
 Role of Magisterium as the living teaching office of Church able
to distinguish between Sacred Tradition and traditions; guide by
the Holy Spirit
 Vatican II implemented & made changes but not to Sacred
Tradition – does not have authority
 Magisterium cannot teach against Sacred Scripture or Sacred
Tradition; in other words, cannot teach against Divine
 As Council is faith event guided by the Holy Spirit; role of
Bishops is to discern, govern and teach & response of laity is
assent of faith
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Sacred Scripture as a Source
of Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Sacred Scripture as a Source of Divine Revelation
 Sacred Scripture all texts are written under guidance of Holy
Spirit therefore given sure word of Truth
 Who is author? Answer is God and man - God is true author but
God acted through talents of human author; it is Word of God in
human words; reflects nature of Incarnation
 Vatican Council does not use word “dictation” as it can give
misleading emphasis that God is whispering into author’s ear and
not use of human faculties and powers – would imply no human
freedom; reject “Theory of Dictation”!
 Dei Verbum speaks of authors write in context of their
enviornment to express God’s Word reaffirming that human
authors remain true authors
 God’s word in human form reflects the Mystery of the
Incarnation – Jesus is both fully human & fully divine
Scripture is both human & divine
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Sacred Scripture Sacred Scripture as a Source of Divine Revelation
 What God saying through authors is affirmed in Dei Verbum 11 to be without
error to extent it involved salvation
 Holy Spirit communicates Truth of God for sake of our salvation
 Scripture is Book of Faith, so not necessarily is historically, scientifically or
factually accurate
 Council dropped term “saving truths” as could mislead as some parts of
Scripture not saving but reality is that ALL Scripture is about the saving truth
 Council fathers did not want to restrict Scripture to dogma & morals
which allows greater use of Scripture e.g. personal prayer
 Shift of focus with Vatican II & Dei Verbum with recognition of modern
approaches & Scripture cannot be restrict to faith and morals
 Necessary to use various approaches for clearer interpretation of Scripture
Clearer Understanding of Scripture = Clearer understand & awareness of
what God is revealing & communicating to us
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Some Theories Regarding Authorship
 Theory of Divine Assistance – human authors write with
divine assistance; rejected as creates dual authority – what parts
of Scripture are divine & what parts human!
 Theory is Partial Inspiration - based on literature aspect of
scripture with evidence of person subjective contribution &
other part is called “science” dealing with eternal realities
 Theory of Negative Assistance – humans sole authors & God
does not intervene unless about to make a mistake
All Rejected as reject Principle of Incarnation
 Theory of Instrumental - Holy Spirit employs instruments and
so moves them to assist authors and inspires them t0 write;
theory recognizes Nature & Grace DV11
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum 14 regarding the Old Testament (OT)
 Jesus is the fullness & complete revelation of God (Deposit of
Faith) – no further revelation expected; Church now develops
more understanding & knowledge of Revelation
 OT written before Jesus though imperfect (not fullness of
revelation) show matters of divine teaching & gives expression to
presence of God with treasure of prayer
 Old Testament matters are imperfect as not God’s final word
(Jesus is) but preparing people of God to receive the Messiah
 Main approach to the Old Testament is to approach it in light of
the New Testament - the NT is hidden in the OT & the OT is
revealed in the NT
 Old Testament retains its literally independence; not
either/or – the OT is not only understood in light of NT; but also
can be approached in its own context – particular author writing
at a particular time, place, topic, event
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum 17 regarding New Testament
 Three Stages
The Apostles
4 Gospels
There is a historical character to New Testament &
Gospels faithful to historical facts – Church hold
events in Gospels did occur
 Authors did have freedom in writing what elements
contained in written world
 NT presents us with the Truth about Christ
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Sacred Scripture as a source of Divine Revelation
 Biblical exegesis is the study the study of Sacred Scripture
seeking to understand more the Word of God/Divine Revelation
 Church making it clear that modern elements of biblical
criticism are important to understand text and author, there is a
valid and important place for biblical exegesis, as it helps us gain
insight into intention of author and what God is saying
 Biblical exegesis is not a carte blanche – methods used in study
of Scripture are a tool to be used for a good purpose & using valid
methods can come to invalid criticism & undermined faith such
as Jesus resurrection and the miracles
 Interpretation needs to be in context and unity of Scripture
within living Tradition of the Church and analogy of faith; as
Church guided by the Holy Spirit Principle of Totality DV12
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Guidelines in understanding Sacred Scripture
 Principle of Unity/Totality DV 2 – meaning one piece of Scripture
must be view within whole context of Scripture
 Dogma of Inerrancy – Scripture is without error or deceit in regards
to faith; this does not include historical or scientific facts
 Revelation is Christo-centric – Divine Revelation reaches its
summit/climax in Christ who reveals fully & completely who God is
 Senses of Scripture or methods of how to understand Scripture divided
into Literal & Spiritual;
 Literal refers to factual texts, words, events, history – danger of
Fundamentalism in extreme approaches
 Spiritual refers to understanding Scripture in such ways as allegory
 Divine revelation calls for “obedience of faith” – to encounter God
evokes a response of faith
Scripture contains and communicates what it signifies, we do not
encounter facts or historical events but we encounter the God
who communicates
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
“The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church” presented by the
Pontifical Biblical Commission to Pope John Paul II in 1993
Document covers Catholic approach & understanding regarding Sacred
Deals with various approaches, many of which can cause
misunderstand & misrepresentation of Catholic understand of
Document available on-line & topics accessible with opening page of
Different approach to Scripture(literal & spiritual) have positive
possibilities & hidden dangers
Document gives bearings to Catholic exegesis on methods of Scripture
study such as “Historical-Critical Method” “Fundamentalist Approach”
“Patristic Reading” & “Philosophical Hermeneutics”
“The Study of the Bible is the soul of theology”
Theology – the study of Word of God
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum Today
 Sacred Scripture is heart of life of Church
 Church has always honor Scripture though many Catholics did not
have knowledge of Scripture viewing it as something Protestant
 Catholics are called to immerse themselves into scripture especially
those involved in pastoral ministry
 Prayer should accompany Scripture – invoking the Holy Sprit
 Profound understanding that we are listening to God when we
read – not just learning information or reading about God, but we
are actually encountering God in the Living Word/Scripture
 Dei Verbum compares Word to Eucharist & faithful are feed from
the one table of both Word and Eucharist & recognizes Christ is
present in the Word as he is in the Eucharist DV 21
Word = Eucharist
Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation
 Dei Verbum concerned with Divine Revelation
 Divine Revelation is God’s self communication to us for our
 Divine Revelation is composed of Sacred Tradition &
Sacred Scripture
 The Incarnation is the full & complete Divine Revelation
 Church entrusted to communicate Divine Revelation
(Deposit of Faith) throughout history; does not have
authority to change or alert Faith, only how it
communicates it
 Sacred Scripture brings human/divine together & equal to

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