Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/702

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SCRIPTURE


636


SCRIPTURE


Acts, xxviii, 23), or the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke, xxiv, 44). The Apostle St. Peter extends the designation Scripture also to ras \oiiras 7pa0dj (II Pet., iii, 16), denoting the Pauhne Epistles; St. Paul (I Tim., v, IS) seems to refer by the same expression to both Deut., xx\', 4, and Luke, x, 7.

It is disputed whether the word 7pa0i^ in the singu- lar is ever used of the Old Testament as a whole. Lightfoot (Gal., iii, 22) expresses the opinion that the singular ypa.4>^ in the New Testament always means a particular passage of Scripture. But in Rom., iv, 3, he modifies his view, appealing to Dr. Vaughan's statement of the case. He beheves that the usage of St. John may admit a doubt, though he does not think so, personally; but St. Paul's practice is absolute and uniform. Mr. Hort says (I Pet., ii, 6) that in St. John and St. Paul v ypa<p-n is capable of being under- stood as approximating to the collective sense (cf. Westcott. '-Hebr.", pp. 474 sqq.; Deissmann, "Bi- belstudien", pp. 108 sqq., Eng. tr., pp. 112 sqq.; War- field, "Pres. and Reform. Review", X, July, 1899, pp. 472 sqq.). Here arises the question whether the expression of St. Peter (II Pet., iii, 16) t&s XotTrds 7po0ds refers to a collection of St. Paul's Epistles. Spitta contends that the term al ypa(pal is used in a general non-technical meaning, denoting only WTit- ings of St. Paul's associates (Spitta, "Der zweite Brief des Petrus und der Brief des Judas", 1885, p. 294). Zahn refers the term to writings of a reUgious character which could claim respect in Christian circles either on account of their authors or on account of their use in public worship (Einleitung, pp. 98 sqq., 108). But Mr. F. H. Chase adheres to the principle that the phrase at ypa4>aL used absolutely points to a definite and recognized collection of -RTitings, i. e., Scriptm-es. The accompanying words ko/, tAj Xoiirds, and the verb <rTpe^\ov<nv in the contex-t confirm Mr. Chase in his conviction (cf. Diet, of the Bible, III, p. 810b).

II. Nature of Scripture. A. According to the Jews. — Whether the terms ypa<pv, ypacpai, and their svnonvmous expressions to ^i^Xiov (II Esdr., viii, 8), TO. pi^Xla (Dan., ix, 2), Ke<pa\is /3i/3Xfou (Ps. xx.\ix, 8), 71 iepa /SiiSXoj (II Mach., viii, 23), rh ^t^Xla ra &yia (I Mach., xii, 9), rd Iepa ypdn/jMra (II Tim., iii, 15) re- fer to particular wTitings or to a collection of books, they at least show the existence of a number of wTit- ten documents the authority of which was generally accepted as supreme. The nature of this authority may be inferred from a number of other passages. According to Deut., xxxi, 9-13, Mo.ses wrote the Book of the Law (of the Lord), and delivered it to the priests that they might keep it and read it to the people; see also Ex., x^'ii, 14; Deut., xvii, 18-19; xxvii, 1; xxviii, 1; 58-61; xxix, 20; xxx, 10; xxxi, 26; I Kings, x, 25;

III Kings, ii, 3; IV Kings, xxii, 8. It is clear from

IV Kings, xxiii, 1-3, that towards the end of the Jew- ish kingdf)m the Book of the Law of the Lord was held in the highf.st honour as containing the precepts of the Ivord Himself. That this wjis also the case after the Captivity, may be inferred from II Esdr., viii, 1-9, 13, 14, IS; the book here mentioned contained the in- junctions concerning the Feast of Tabernacles found in Lev., xxiii, 34 sq.; Deut., xvi, 13 sq., and is there- fore identical with the pre-ExiUc Sacred Books. Ac- cording to I Mach., i, 57-59, Antiochus commanded the Books of the Law of the Lord to be burned and their retainers to be slain. We learn from II Mach., ii, 13, that at the time of Xchemias there existed a col- lection of books containing historical, prophetical, and p.salmodic writings; since the collection is rep- resentf'd as uniform, and since the pcjrtions were con- sidered as certainly of Divine authoritj% we may infer that this characteristic was ascribed to all, at least in some degree. Coming down to the time of Christ, we find that Flavins Josephus attributes to the twenty- two protocanonical books of the Old Testament Di-


vine authority, maintaining that they had been writ- ten under Divine inspiration and that they contain God's teachings (Contra Appion., I, vi-viii). The Hellenist Philo too is acquainted with the three parts of the sacred Jewisli books to which he ascribes an irrefragable authority, because they contain God's oracles expressed through the instrumentality of the sacred ^Titers ("De vita contempl.", Antwerp edi- tion, p. 615; "De vit. Mosis", pp. 469, 658sq.; "De monarchia", p. 564).

B. According to Christian Teaching. — This con- cept of Scripture is fully upheld by the Christian teaching. Jesus Christ Himself appeals to the au- thority of Scripture, "Search the scriptures" (John, V, 39) ; He maintains that "one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled" (Alatt., v, 18); He regards it as a principle that " the Scripture cannot be broken" (John, x, 35); He presents the word of Scripture as the word of the eternal Father (John v, 33-41), as the word of a writer inspired by the Holy Ghost (Matt., xxii, 43), as the word of God (Matt., xix, 4-5; xxii, 31); He declares that "all things must needs be fulfilled which are WTitten in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke, xxiv, 44). The Apostles fully endorsed, and handed down to posterity, this view of the Scriptures. The Apostles knew that "prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost" (II Pet., i, 21) ; they regarded "all scripture, inspired of God" as "profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to in- struct in justice" (II Tim., iii, 16). They considered the words of Scripture as the words of Gfod speaking in the inspired writer or by the mouth of the inspired writer (Hebr., iv, 7; Acts, i, 15-16; iv, 25). Finally, they appealed to Scripture as to an irresistible au- thority (Rom., passim), they supposed that parts of Scripture have a typical sense such as only God can employ (John, xix, 36; Hebr., i, 5; vii, 3 sqq.), and they derived most important conclusions even from a few words or certain grammatical forms of Scripture (Gal., iii, 16; Hebr., xii, 26-27). It is not surprising, then, that the earliest Christian writers speak in the same strain of the Scriptures. St. Clement of Rome (I Cor., xlv) tells his readers to search the Scriptures for the truthful expressions of the Holy Ghost. St. Ire- nseus (Adv. hffr., II, xxxviii, 2) considers the Scriptures as uttered by the Word of God and His Spirit. Ori- gen testifies that it is granted by both Jews and Chris- tians that the Bible was written under (the influence of) the Holy Ghost (Contra Cels., V, x); again, he considers it as proven by Christ's dwelling in the flesh that the Law and the Prophets were written by a heavenly charisma, and that the writings believed to be the words of God are not men's work (De princ., iv, vi). St. Clement of Alexandria receives the voice of God who has given the Scriptures, as a reliable proof (Strom., ii).

C. According to Errl(si(is({c(d Docuincnis. — Not to multiply patristic tcstiinoiiy for llic Divine authority of Scripture, we may add the otlicial doctrine of the Church on the nature of Sacnnl Scri))ture. The fifth ttM-umenical council condemned Theodore of Mop- suestia for his opjjosition against the Divine authority of the books of Solomon, the Book of Job, and the Canticle of Canticles. Since the fourth century the teaching of the Church concerning the nature of the Bible is practically summed up in the dogmatic for- mula that God is t he author of Sacred Scripture. Ac- cording to thefirstchapterof the Council of Carthage (a. d. 398), bishops before being consecrated must ex- press their belief in this formula, and this profession of faith is exacted <tf them even to-day. In the thir- teenth century. Innocent III imposed this formula on the Waldensians; Clement IV exacted its acceptance from Michael Pala'ologus, and the emperor actually accepted it in his letter to the Second Council of