Scripture

                     Sacred Scripture is one of the several names denoting the inspired writings which
                     make up the Old and New Testament.

                                          I. USE OF THE WORD

                     The corresponding Latin word scriptura occurs in some passages of the Vulgate
                     in the general sense of "writing"; e.g., Ex., xxxii, 16: "the writing also of God was
                     graven in the tables"; again, II Par., xxxvi, 22: "who [Cyrus] commanded it to be
                     proclaimed through all his kingdom, and by writing also". In other passages of
                     the Vulgate the word denotes a private (Tob., viii, 24) or public (Esdr., ii, 62;
                     Neh., vii, 64) written document, a catalogue or index (Ps. lxxxvi, 6), or finally
                     portions of Scripture, such as the canticle of Ezechias (Is., xxxviii, 5), and the
                     sayings of the wise men (Ecclus., xliv, 5). The writer of II Par., xxx, 5, 18, refers
                     to prescriptions of the Law by the formula "as it is written", which is rendered by
                     the Septuagint translators kata ten graphen; para ten graphen, "according to
                     Scripture". The same expression is found in I Esdr., iii, 4, and II Esdr., viii, 15;
                     here we have the beginning of the later form of appeal to the authority of the
                     inspired books gegraptai (Matt., iv, 4, 6, 10; xxi, 13; etc.), or kathos gegraptai
                     (Rom., i, 11; ii, 24, etc.), "it is written", "as it is written".

                     As the verb graphein was thus employed to denote passages of the sacred
                     writings, so the corresponding noun he graphe gradually came to signify what is
                     pre-eminently the writing, or the inspired writing. This use of the word may be
                     seen in John, vii, 38; x, 35; Acts, viii, 32; Rom., iv, 3; ix, 17; Gal., iii, 8; iv, 30; II
                     Tim., iii, 16; James, ii, 8; I Pet., ii, 6; II Pet., i, 20; the plural form of the noun, ai
                     graphai, is used in the same sense in Matt., xxi, 42; xxii, 29; xxvi, 54; Mark, xii,
                     24; xiv, 49; Luke, xxiv, 27, 45; John, v, 39; Acts, xvii, 2, 17; xviii, 24, 28; I Cor.,
                     xv, 3, 4. In a similar sense are employed the expressions graphai hagiai (Rom., i,
                     2), ai graphai ton propheton (Matt., xxvi, 56), graphai prophetikai (Rom., xvi, 26).
                     The word has a somewhat modified sense in Christ's question, "and have you not
                     read this scripture" (Mark, xii, 10). In the language of Christ and the Apostles the
                     expression "scripture" or "scriptures" denotes the sacred books of the Jews. The
                     New Testament uses the expressions in this sense about fifty times; but they
                     occur more frequently in the Fourth Gospel and the Epistles than in the synoptic
                     Gospels. At times, the contents of Scripture are indicated more accurately as
                     comprising the Law and the Prophets (Rom., iii, 21; 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 tas loipas graphas (II Pet., iii, 16),
                     denoting the Pauline Epistles; St. Paul (I Tim., v, 18) seems to refer by the same
                     expression to both Deut., xxv, 4, and Luke, x, 7.

                     It is disputed whether the word graphe in the singular is ever used of the Old
                     Testament as a whole. Lightfoot (Gal., iii, 22) expresses the opinion that the
                     singular graphe 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 believes 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 he
                     graphe is capable of being understood as approximating to the collective sense
                     (cf. Westcott. "Hebr.", pp. 474 sqq.; Deissmann, "Bibelstudien", pp. 108 sqq.,
                     Eng. tr., pp. 112 sqq., Warfield, "Pres. and Reform. Review", X, July, 1899, pp.
                     472 sqq.). Here arises the question whether the expression of St. Peter (II, Pet.,
                     iii, 16) tas loipas graphas refers to a collection of St. Paul's Epistles. Spitta
                     contends that the term graphai is used in a general non-technical meaning,
                     denoting only writings 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 religious 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 ai
                     graphai used absolutely points to a definite and recognized collection of writings,
                     i.e., Scriptures. The accompanying words, kai, tas loipas, and the verb
                     streblousin in the context confirm Mr. Chase in his conviction (cf. Dict. of the
                     Bible, III, p. 810b).

                                        II. NATURE OF SCRIPTURE

                     A. According to the Jews

                     Whether the terms graphe, graphai, and their synonymous expressions to
                     biblion (II Esdr., viii, 8), ta biblia (Dan., ix, 2), kephalis bibliou (Ps., xxxix, 8), he
                     iera biblos (II Mach., viii, 23), ta biblia ta hagia (I Mach., xii, 9), ta iera grammata
                     (II Tim., iii, 15) refer to particular writings or to a collection of books, they at least
                     show the existence of a number of written 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, Moses 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., xvii, 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
                     Jewish kingdom the Book of the Law of the Lord was held in the highest honour
                     as containing the precepts of the Lord Himself. That this was also the case after
                     the Captivity, may be inferred from II Esdr., viii, 1-9, 13,14, 18; the book here
                     mentioned contained the injuctions concerning the Feast of Tabernacles found in
                     Lev., xxiii, 34 sq.; Deut., xvi, 13 sq., and is therefore identical with the pre-Exilic
                     Sacred Books. According to I Mach., i, 57-59, Antiochus commanded the Books
                     of the Law of the Lord to be burned and their retainers to slain. We learn from II
                     Mach., ii, 13, that at the time of Nehemias there existed a collection of books
                     containing historical, prophetical, and psalmodic writings; since the collection is
                     represented as unifrom, and since the portions were considered as certainly of
                     Divine authority, 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 Flavius
                     Josephus attributes to the twenty-two protocanonical books of the Old Testament
                     Divine authority, maintaining that they had been written 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 Jewish books to which
                     he ascribes an irrefragable authority, because they contain God's oracles
                     expressed through the instrumentality of the sacred writers ("De vit. Mosis", pp.
                     469, 658 sq.; "De monarchia", p. 564).

                     B. According to Christian Living This concept of Scripture is fully upheld by
                     the Christian teaching. Jesus Christ Himself appeals to the authority 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" (Matt., 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
                     written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning
                     me (Luke, xxiv, 44). 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 instruct in justice" (II Tim., iii, 16). They considered the
                     words of Scripture as the words of God speaking in the inspired writer or by the
                     mouth of the inspired writer (Heb., iv, 7; Acts, i, 15-16; iv, 25). Finally, they
                     appealed to Scripture as to an irresistible authority (Rom., passim), they
                     supposed that parts of Scripture have a typical sense such as only God can
                     employ (John, xix, 36; Heb., 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; Heb., 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. Irenaeus (Adv. haer., II, xxxviii, 2) considers the Scriptures as
                     uttered by the Word of God and His Spirit. Origen testifies that it is granted by
                     both Jews and Christians 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 Ecclesiastical Documents

                     Not to multiply patristic testimony for the Divine authority of Scripture, we may
                     add the official doctrine of the Church on the nature of Sacred Scripture. The fifth
                     ecumenical council condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia for his opposition
                     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
                     formula that God is the author of Sacred Scripture. According to the first chapter
                     of the Council of Carthage (A.D. 398), bishops before being consecrated must
                     express their belief in this formula, and this profession of faith is exacted of them
                     even today. In the thirteenth century, Innocent III imposed this formula on the
                     Waldensians; Clement IV exacted its acceptance from Michael Palaeologus, and
                     the emperor actually accepted it in his letter to the Second Council of Lyons
                     (1272). The same formula was repeated in the fifteenth century by Eugenius IV in
                     his Decree for the Jacobites, in the sixteenth century by the Council of Trent
                     (Sess. IV, decr. de can. Script.), and in the nineteenth century by the Vatican
                     Council. What is implied in this Divine authorship of Sacred Scripture, and how it
                     is to be explained, has been set forth in the article INSPIRATION.

                                    III. COLLECTION OF SACRED BOOKS

                     What has been said implies that Scripture does not refer to any single book, but
                     comprises a number of books written at different times and by different writers
                     working under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Hence the question, how could
                     such a collection be made, and how was it made in point of fact?

                     A. Question of Right

                     The main difficulty as to the first question (quoestio juris) arises from the fact that
                     a book must be Divinely inspired in order to lay claim to the dignity of being
                     regarded as Scripture. Various methods have been suggested for ascertaining
                     the fact of inspiration. It has been claimed that so-called internal criteria are
                     sufficient to lead us to the knowledge of this fact. But on closer investigation they
                     prove inadequate.

                          Miracles and prophecies require a Divine intervention in order that they
                          may happen, not in order that they may be recorded; hence a work
                          relating miracles or prophecies is not necessarily inspired.
                          The so-called ethico-aesthetic criterium is inadequate. It fails to establish
                          that certain portions of Scripture are inspired writings, e.g., the
                          genealogical tables, and the summary accounts of the kings of Juda,
                          while it favours the inspiration of several post-Apostolic works, e.g., of the
                          "Imitation of Christ", and of the "Epistles" of St. Ignatius Martyr.
                          The same must be said of the psychological criterium, or the effect which
                          the perusal of Scripture produces in the heart of the reader. Such
                          emotions are subjective, and vary in different readers. The Epistle of St.
                          James appeared strawlike to Luther, divine to Calvin.
                          These internal criteria are inadequate even if they be taken collectively.
                          Wrong keys are unable to open a lock whether they be used singly or
                          collectively.

                     Other students of this subject have endeavored to establish Apostolic authorship
                     as a criterium of inspiration. But this answer does not give us a criterium for the
                     inspiration of the Old Testament books, nor does it touch the inspiration of the
                     Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke, neither of whom was an Apostle. Besides, the
                     Apostles were endowed with the gift of infallibility in their teaching, and in their
                     writing as far as it formed part of their teaching; but infallibility in writing does not
                     imply inspiration. Certain writings of the Roman pontiff may be infallible, but they
                     are not inspired; God is not their author. Nor can the criterium of inspiration be
                     placed in the testimony of history. For inspiration is a supernatural fact, known
                     only to God and probably to the inspired writer. Hence human testimony
                     concerning inspiration is based, at best, on the testimony of one person who is,
                     naturally speaking, an interested party in the matter concerning which he
                     testifies. The history of the the false prophets of former times as well as of our
                     own day teaches us the futility of such testimony. It is true that miracles and
                     prophecy may, at times, confirm such human testimony as to the inspiration of a
                     work. But, in the first place, not all inspired writers have been prophets or
                     workers of miracles; in the second place, in order that prophecies or miracles
                     may serve as proof of inspiration, it must be clear that the miracles were
                     performed, and the prophecies were uttered, to establish the fact in question; in
                     the third place, if this condition be verified, the testimony for inspiration is no
                     longer merely human, but it has become Divine. No one will doubt the sufficiency
                     of Divine testimony to establish the fact of inspiration; on the other hand, no one
                     can deny the need of such testimony in order that we may distinguish with
                     certainty between an inspired and a non-inspired book.

                     B. Question of Fact

                     It is a rather difficult problem to state with certainty, how and when the several
                     books of the Old and the New Testament were received as sacred by the
                     religious community. Deut., xxxi, 9, 24 sqq., informs us that Moses delivered the
                     Book of the Law to the Levites and the ancients of Israel to be deposited "in the
                     side of the ark of the covenant"; according to Deut., xvii, 18, the king had to
                     procure for himself a copy of at least a part of the book, so as to "read it all the
                     days of his life". Josue (xxiv, 26) added his portion to the law-book of Israel, and
                     this may be regarded as the second step in the collection of the Old Testament
                     writings. According to Is., xxxiv, 16, and Jer., xxxvi, 4, the prophets Isaias and
                     Jeremias collected their respective prophetic utterances. The words of II Par.,
                     xxix, 30, lead us to suppose that in the days of King Ezechias there either
                     existed or originated a collection of the Psalms of David and of Asaph. From
                     Prov., xxv, 1, one may infer that about the same time there was made a
                     collection of the Solomonic writings, which may have been added to the
                     collection of psalms. In the second century B.C. the Minor Prophets had been
                     collected into one work (Ecclus., xlix, 12) which is cited in Acts, vii, 42, as "the
                     books of the prophets". The expressions found in Dan., ix, 2, and I Mach., xii, 9,
                     suggest that even these smaller collections had been gathered into a larger body
                     of sacred books. Such a larger collection is certainly implied in the words II
                     Mach., ii, 13, and the prologue of Ecclesiasticus. Since these two passages
                     mention the main divisions of the Old-Testament canon, this latter must have
                     been completed, at least with regard to the earlier books, during the course of
                     the second century B.C.

                     It is generally granted that the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ acknowledged as
                     canonical or included in their collection of sacred writings all the so-called
                     protocanonical books of the Old Testament. Christ and the Apostles endorsed
                     this faith of the Jews, so that we have Divine authority for their Scriptural
                     character. As there are solid reasons for maintaining that some of the
                     New-Testament writers made use of the Septuagint version which contained the
                     deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, these latter too are in so far
                     attested as part of Sacred Scripture. Again, II Pet., iii, 15-16, ranks all the
                     Epistles of St. Paul with the "other scriptures", and I Tim., v, 18, seems to quote
                     Luke, x, 7, and to place it on a level with Deut., xxv, 4. But these arguments for
                     the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, of the
                     Pauline Epistles, and of the Gospel of St. Luke do not exclude all reasonable
                     doubt. Only the Church, the infallible bearer of tradition, can furnish us invincible
                     certainty as to the number of the Divinely inspired books of both the Old and the
                     New Testament. See CANON OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

                                       IV. DIVISION OF SCRIPTURE

                     A. Old and New Testaments

                     As the two dispensations of grace separated from each other by the advent of
                     Jesus are called the Old and the New Testament (Matt., xxvi, 28; II Cor., iii, 14),
                     so were the inspired writings belonging to either economy of grace from the
                     earliest times called books of the Old or of the New Testament, or simply the Old
                     or the New Testament. This name of the two great divisions of the inspired
                     writings has been practically common among Latin Christians from the time of
                     Tertullian, though Tertullian himself frequently employs the name "Instrumentum"
                     or legally authentic document; Cassiodorus uses the title "Sacred Pandects", or
                     sacred digest of law.

                     B. Protocanonical and Deuterocanonical

                     The word "canon" denoted at first the material rule, or instrument, employed in
                     various trades; in a metaphorical sense it signified the form of perfection that had
                     to be attained in the various arts or trades. In this metaphorical sense some of
                     the early Fathers urged the canon of truth, the canon of tradition, the canon of
                     faith, the canon of the Church against the erroneous tenets of the early heretics
                     (St. Clem., "I Cor.", vii; Clem. of Alex., "Strom.", xvi; Orig., "De princip.", IV, ix;
                     etc.). St. Irenaeus employed another metaphor, calling the Fourth Gospel the
                     canon of truth (Adv. haer., III, xi); St. Isidore of Pelusium applies the name to all
                     the inspired writings (Epist., iv, 14). About the time of St. Augustine (Contra
                     Crescent., II, xxxix) and St. Jerome (Prolog. gal.), the word "canon" began to
                     denote the collection of Sacred Scriptures; among later writers it is used
                     practically in the sense of catalogue of inspired books. In the sixteenth century,
                     Sixtus Senensis, O.P., distinguished between protocanonical and
                     deuterocanonical books. This distinction does not indicate a difference of
                     authority, but only a difference of time at which the books were recognized by the
                     whole Church as Divinely inspired. Deuterocanonical, therefore, are those books
                     concerning the inspiration of which some Churches doubted more or less
                     seriously for a time, but which were accepted by the whole Church as really
                     inspired, after the question had been thoroughly investigated. As to the Old
                     Testament, the Books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I, II,
                     Machabees, and alos Esther, x, 4- xvi, 24, Daniel, iii, 24-90, xiii, 1-xiv, 42, are in
                     this sense deuterocanonical; the same must be said of the following New-
                     Testament books and portions: Hebrews, James, II Peter, II, III John, Jude,
                     Apocalypse, Mark, xiii, 9-20, Luke, xxii, 43-44, John, vii, 53-viii, 11. Protestant
                     writers often call the deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament the
                     Apocrypha.

                     C. Tripartite Division of Testaments The prologue of Ecclesiasticus shows
                     that the Old-Testament books were divided into three parts, the Law, the
                     Prophets, and the Writings (the Hagiographa). The same division is mentioned in
                     Luke, xxiv, 44, and has been kept by the later Jews. The Law or the Torah
                     comprises only the Pentateuch. The second part contains two sections: the
                     former Prophets (Josue, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), and the latter Prophets
                     (Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the Minor Prophets, called the Twelve, and
                     counted as one book). The third division embraces three kinds of books: first
                     poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs, Job); secondly, the five Megilloth or Rolls
                     (Canticle of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther); thirdly, the
                     three remaining books (Daniel, Esdras, Paralipomenon). Hence, adding the five
                     books of the first division to the eight of the second, and the eleven of the third,
                     the entire Canon of the Jewish Scriptures embraces twenty-four books. Another
                     arrangement connects Ruth with the Book of Judges, and Lamentations with
                     Jeremias, and thus reduces the number of the books in the Canon to twenty-two.
                     The division of the New-Testament books into the Gospel and the Apostle
                     (Evangelium et Apostolus, Evangelia et Apostoli, Evangelica et Apostolica)
                     began in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers (St. Ignatius, "Ad Philad.", v;
                     "Epist. ad Diogn., xi) and was commonly adopted about the end of the second
                     century (St. Iren., "Adv. haer.", I, iii; Tert., "De praescr.", xxxiv; St. Clem. of
                     Alex., "Strom.", VII, iii; etc.); but the more recent Fathers did not adhere to it. It
                     has been found more convenient to divide both the Old Testament and the New
                     into four, or still better into three parts. The four parts distinguish between legal,
                     historical, didactic or doctrinal, and prophetic books, while the tripartite division
                     adds the legal books (the Pentateuch and the Gospels) to the historical, and
                     retains the other two classes, i.e., the didactic and the prophetic books.

                     D. Arrangement of Books

                     The catalogue of the Council of Trent arranges the inspired books partly in a
                     topological, partly in a chronological order. In the Old Testament, we have first all
                     the historical books, excepting the two books of the Machabees which were
                     supposed to have been written last of all. These historical books are arranged
                     according to the order of time of which they treat; the books of Tobias, Judith,
                     and Ester, however, occupy the last place because they relate personal history.
                     The body of didactic works occupies the second place in the Canon, being
                     arranged in the order of time at which the writers are supposed to have lived. The
                     third place is assigned to the Prophets, first the four Major and then the twelve
                     Minor Prophets, according to their respective chronological order. The Council
                     follows a similar method in the arrangement of the New- Testament books. The
                     first place is given to the historical books, i.e., the Gospels and the Book of
                     Acts; the Gospels follow the order of their reputed composition. The second
                     place is occupied by the didactic books, the Pauline Epistles preceding the
                     Catholic. The former are enumerated according to the order of dignity of the
                     addresses and according to the importance of the matter treated. Hence results
                     the series: Romans; I, II Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians;
                     Colossians; I, II, Thessalonians; I, II Timothy; Titus; Philemon; the Epistle to the
                     Hebrews occupies the last place on account of its late reception into the canon.
                     In its disposition of the Catholic Epistles the Council follows the so- called
                     western order: I, II Peter; I, II, III John; James; Jude; our Vulgate edition follows
                     the oriental order (James; I, II, III, John; Jude) which seems to be based on Gal.,
                     ii, 9. The Apocalypse occupies in the New Testament the place corresponding to
                     that of the Prophets in the Old Testament.

                     E. Liturgical Division

                     The needs of liturgy occasioned a division of the inspired books into smaller
                     parts. At the time of the Apostles it was a received custom to read in the
                     synagogue service of the sabbath-day a portion of the Pentateuch (Acts, xv, 21)
                     and a part of the Prophets (Luke, iv, 16; Acts, xiii, 15, 27). Hence the Pentateuch
                     has been divided into fifty-four "parashas" according to the number of sabbaths in
                     the intercalary lunar year. To each parasha corresponds a division of the
                     prophetic writings, called haphtara. The Talmud speaks of more minute divisions,
                     pesukim, which almost resemble our verses. The Church transferred to the
                     Christian Sunday the Jewish custom of reading part of the Scriptures in the
                     assemblies of the faithful, but soon added to, or replaced, the Jewish lessons by
                     parts of the New Testament (St. Just., "I Apol.", lxvii; Tert., "De praescr.", xxxvi,
                     etc.). Since the particular churches differed in the selection of the Sunday
                     readings, this custom did not occasion any generally received division in the
                     books of the New Testament. Besides, from the end of the fifth century, these
                     Sunday lessons were no longer taken in order, but the sections were chosen as
                     they fitted in with the ecclesiastical feasts and seasons.

                     F. Divisions to facilitate reference

                     For the convenience of readers and students the text had to be divided more
                     uniformly than we have hitherto seen. Such divisions are traced back to Tatian, in
                     the second century. Ammonius, in the third, divided the Gospel text into 1162
                     kephalaia in order to facilitate a Gospel harmony. Eusebius, Euthalius, and
                     others carried on this work of division in the following centuries, so that in the fifth
                     or sixth the Gospels were divided into 318 parts (tituli), the Epistles into 254
                     (capitula), and the Apocalypse into 96 (24 sermones, 72 capitula). Cassiodorus
                     relates that the Old Testament text was divided into various parts (De inst. div.
                     lit., I, ii). But all these various partitions were too imperfect and too uneven for
                     practical use, especially when in the thirteenth century concordances (see
                     CONCORDANCES) began to be constructed. About this time, Card. Stephen
                     Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died 1228, divided all the books of
                     Scripture uniformly into chapters, a division which found its way almost
                     immediately into the codices of the Vulgate version and even into some codices
                     of the original texts, and passed into all the printed editions after the invention of
                     printing. As the chapters were too long for ready reference, Cardinal Hugh of St.
                     Cher divided them into smaller sections which he indicated by the capital letters
                     A, B, etc. Robert Stephens, probably imitating R. Nathan (1437) divided the
                     chapters into verses, and published his complete division into chapters and
                     verses first in the Vulgate text (1548), and later on also in the Greek original of
                     the New Testament (1551).

                                             V. SCRIPTURE

                     Since Scripture is the written word of God, its contents are Divinely guaranteed
                     truths, revealed either in the strict or the wider sense of the word. Again, since
                     the inspiration of a writing cannot be known without Divine testimony, God must
                     have revealed which are the books that constitute Sacred Scripture. Moreover,
                     theologians teach that Christian Revelation was complete in the Apostles, and
                     that its deposit was entrusted to the Apostles to guard and to promulgate. Hence
                     the apostolic deposit of Revelation contained no merely Sacred Scripture in the
                     abstract, but also the knowledge as to its constituent books. Scripture, then, is
                     an Apostolic deposit entrusted to the Church, and to the Church belongs its
                     lawful administration. This position of Sacred Scripture in the Church implies the
                     following consequences:

                     (1) The Apostles promulgated both the Old and New Testament as a document
                     received from God. It is antecedently probable that God should not cast his
                     written Word upon men as a mere windfall, coming from no known authority, but
                     that he should entrust its publication to the care of those whom he was sending
                     to preach the Gospel to all nations, and with whom he had promised to be for all
                     days, even to the consummation of the world. In conformity woth this principle,
                     St. Jerome (De script. eccl.) says of the Gospel of St. Mark: "When Peter had
                     heard it, he both approved of it and ordered it to be read in the churches". The
                     Fathers testify to the promulgation of Scripture by the Apostles where they treat
                     of the transmission of the inspired writings.

                     (2) The transmission of the inspired writings consists in the delivery of Scripture
                     by the Apostles to their successors with the right, the duty, and the power to
                     continue its promulgation, to preserve its integrity and identity, to explain its
                     meaning, to use it in proving and illustrating Catholic teaching, to oppose and
                     condemn any attack upon its doctrine, or any abuse of its meaning. We may
                     infer all this from the character of the inspired writings and the nature of the
                     Apostolate; but it is also attested by some of the weightiest writers of the early
                     Church. St. Irenaeus insists upon these points against the Gnostics, who
                     appealed to Scripture as to private historical documents. He excludes this
                     Gnostic view, first by insisting on the mission of the Apostles and upon the
                     succession in the Apostolate, especially as seen in the Church of Rome (Haer.,
                     III, 3-4); secondly, by showing that the preaching of the Apostles continued by
                     their successors contains a supernatural guarantee of infallibility through the
                     indwelling of the Holy Ghost (Haer., III, 24); thirdly, by combining the Apostolic
                     succession and the supernatural guarantee of the Holy Ghost (Haer., IV, 26). It
                     seems plain that, if Scripture cannot be regarded as a private historical document
                     on account of the official mission of the Apostles, on account of the official
                     succession in the Apostolate of their successors, on account of the assistance
                     of the Holy Ghost promised to the Apostles and their successors, the
                     promulgation of Scripture, the preservation of its integrity and identity, and the
                     explanation of its meaning must belong to the Apostles and their legitimate
                     successors. The same principles are advocated by the great Alexandrian doctor,
                     Origen (De princ., Praef.). "That alone", he says, "is to be believed to be the truth
                     which in nothing differs from the ecclesiastical and and Apostolical tradition". In
                     another passage (in Matth. tr. XXIX, n. 46-47), he rejects the contention urged by
                     the heretics "as often as they bring forward canonical Scriptures in which every
                     Christian agrees and believes", that "in the houses is the word of truth"; "for from
                     it (the Church) alone the sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words
                     unto the ends of the world". That the African Church agrees with the Alexandrian,
                     is clear from the words of Tertullian (De praescript., nn, 15, 19). He protests
                     against the admission of heretics "to any discussion whatever touching the
                     Scriptures". "This question should be first proposed, which is now the only one to
                     be discussed, `To whom belongs the faith itself: whose are the Scriptures'?. .
                     .For the true Scriptures and the true expositions and all the true Christian
                     traditions will be wherever both the true Christian rule and faith shall be shown to
                     be". St. Augustine endorses the same position when he says: "I should not
                     believe the Gospel except on the authority of the Catholic Church" (Con. epist.
                     Manichaei, fundam., n. 6).

                     (3) By virtue of its official and permanent promulgation, Scripture is a public
                     document, the Divine authority of which is evident to all the members of the
                     Church.

                     (4) The Church necessarily possesses a text of Scripture, which is internally
                     authentic, or substantially identical with the original. Any form or version of the
                     text, the internal authenticity of which the Church has approved either by its
                     universal and constant use, or by a formal declaration, enjoys the character of
                     external or public authenticity, i.e., its conformity with the original must not
                     merely be presumed juridically, but must be admitted as certain on account of
                     the infallibility of the Church.

                     (5) The authentic text, legitimately promulgated, is a source and rule of faith,
                     though it remains only a means or instrument in the hands of the teaching body
                     of the Church, which alone has the right of authoritatively interpreting Scripture.

                     (6) The administration and custody of Scripture is not entrusted directly to the
                     whole Church, but to its teaching body, though Scripture itself is the common
                     property of the members of the whole Church. While the private handling of
                     Scripture is opposed to the fact that it is common property, its administrators are
                     bound to communicate its contents to all the members of the Church.

                     (7) Though Scripture is the property of the Church alone, those outside her pale
                     may use it as a means of discovering or entering the Church. But Tertullian
                     shows that they have no right to apply Scripture to their own purposes or to turn
                     it against the Church. He also teaches Catholics how to contest the right of
                     heretics to appeal to Scripture at all (by a kind of demurrer), before arguing with
                     them on single points of Scriptural doctrine.

                     (8) The rights of the teaching body of the Church include also that of issuing and
                     enforcing decrees for promoting the right use, or preventing the abuse of
                     Scripture. Not to mention the definition of the Canon (see CANON), the Council
                     of Trent issued two decrees concerning the Vulgate (see VULGATE), and a
                     decree concerning the interpretation of Scripture (see EXEGESIS,
                     HERMENEUTICS), and this last enactment was repeated in a more stringent
                     form by the Vatican Council (sess. III, Conc. Trid., sess. IV). The various
                     decisions of the Biblical Commission derive their binding force from this same
                     right of the teaching body of the Church. (Cf. Stapleton, Princ. Fid. Demonstr.,
                     X-XI; Wilhelm and Scannell, "Manual of Catholic Theology", London, 1890, I, 61
                     sqq.; Scheeben, "Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik", Freiburg, 1873, I, 126
                     sqq.).

                     VI. ATTITUDE OF THE CHURCH TOWARDS THE READING OF THE BIBLE IN
                                           THE VERNACULAR

                     The attitude of the Church as to the reading of the Bible in the vernacular may be
                     inferred from the Church's practice and legislation. It has been the practice of the
                     Church to provide newly-converted nations, as soon as possible, with vernacular
                     versions of the Scriptures; hence the early Latin and oriental translations, the
                     versions existing among the Armenians, the Slavonians, the Goths, the Italians,
                     the French, and the partial renderings into English. As to the legislation of the
                     Church on this subject, we may divide its history into three large periods:

                     (1) During the course of the first millennium of her existence, the Church did not
                     promulgate any law concerning the reading of Scripture in the vernacular. The
                     faithful were rather encouraged to read the Sacred Books according to their
                     spiritual needs (cf. St. Irenaeus, "Adv. haer.", III, iv).

                     (2) The next five hundred years show only local regulations concerning the use of
                     the Bible in the vernacular. On 2 January, 1080, Gregory VII wrote to the Duke of
                     Bohemia that he could not allow the publication of the Scriptures in the language
                     of the country. The letter was written chiefly to refuse the petition of the
                     Bohemians for permission to conduct Divine service in the Slavic language. The
                     pontiff feared that the reading of the Bible in the vernacular would lead to
                     irreverence and wrong interpretation of the inspired text (St. Gregory VII, "Epist.",
                     vii, xi). The second document belongs to the time of the Waldensian and
                     Albigensian heresies. The Bishop of Metz had written to Innocent III that there
                     existed in his diocese a perfect frenzy for the Bible in the vernacular. In 1199 the
                     pope replied that in general the desire to read the Scriptures was praiseworthy,
                     but that the practice was dangerous for the simple and unlearned ("Epist., II, cxli;
                     Hurter, "Gesch. des. Papstes Innocent III", Hamburg, 1842, IV, 501 sqq.). After
                     the death of Innocent III, the Synod of Toulouse directed in 1229 its fourteenth
                     canon against the misuse of Sacred Scripture on the part of the Cathari:
                     "prohibemus, ne libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti laicis permittatur habere"
                     (Hefele, "Concilgesch", Freiburg, 1863, V, 875). In 1233 the Synod of Tarragona
                     issued a similar prohibition in its second canon, but both these laws are intended
                     only for the countries subject to the jurisdiction of the respective synods (Hefele,
                     ibid., 918). The Third Synod of Oxford, in 1408, owing to the disorders of the
                     Lollards, who in addition to their crimes of violence and anarchy had introduced
                     virulent interpolations into the vernacular sacred text, issued a law in virtue of
                     which only the versions approved by the local ordinary or the provincial council
                     were allowed to be read by the laity (Hefele, op. cit., VI, 817).

                     (3) It is only in the beginning of the last five hundred years that we meet with a
                     general law of the Church concerning the reading of the Bible in the vernacular.
                     On 24 March, 1564, Pius IV promulgated in his Constitution, "Dominici gregis",
                     the Index of Prohibited Books. According to the third rule, the Old Testament
                     may be read in the vernacular by pious and learned men, according to the
                     judgment of the bishop, as a help to the better understanding of the Vulgate. The
                     fourth rule places in the hands of the bishop or the inquisitor the power of
                     allowing the reading of the New Testament in the vernacular to laymen who
                     according to the judgment of their confessor or their pastor can profit by this
                     practice. Sixtus V reserved this power to himself or the Sacred Congregation of
                     the Index, and Clement VIII added this restriction to the fourth rule of the Index,
                     by way of appendix. Benedict XIV required that the vernacular version read by
                     laymen should be either approved by the Holy See or provided with notes taken
                     from the writings of the Fathers or of learned and pious authors. It then became
                     an open question whether this order of Benedict XIV was intended to supersede
                     the former legislation or to further restrict it. This doubt was not removed by the
                     next three documents: the condemnation of certain errors of the Jansenist
                     Quesnel as to the necessity of reading the Bible, by the Bull "Unigenitus" issued
                     by Clement XI on 8 Sept., 1713 (cf. Denzinger, "Enchir.", nn. 1294-1300); the
                     condemnation of the same teaching maintained in the Synod of Pistoia, by the
                     Bull "Auctorem fidei" issued on 28 Aug., 1794, by Pius VI; the warning against
                     allowing the laity indiscriminately to read the Scriptures in the vernacular,
                     addressed to the Bishop of Mohileff by Pius VII, on 3 Sept., 1816. But the
                     Decree issued by the Sacred Congregation of the Index on 7 Jan., 1836, seems
                     to render it clear that henceforth the laity may read vernacular versions of the
                     Scriptures, if they be either approved by the Holy See, or provided with notes
                     taken from the writings of the Fathers or of learned Catholic authors. The same
                     regulation was repeated by Gregory XVI in his Encyclical of 8 May, 1844. In
                     general, the Church has always allowed the reading of the Bible in the vernacular,
                     if it was desirable for the spiritual needs of her children; she has forbidden it only
                     when it was almost certain to cause serious spiritual harm.

                                    VII. OTHER SCRIPTURAL QUESTIONS

                     The history of the preservation and the propagation of the Scripture-text is told in
                     the articles MANUSCRIPTS OF THE BIBLE; CODEX ALEXANDRINUS (etc.);
                     VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE; EDITIONS OF THE BIBLE; CRITICISM (TEXTUAL);
                     the interpretation of Scripture is dealt with in the articles HERMENEUTICS;
                     EXEGESIS; COMMENTARIES ON THE BIBLE; and CRITICISM (BIBLICAL).
                     Additional information on the foregoing questions is contained in the articles
                     INTRODUCTION; TESTAMENT, THE OLD; TESTAMENT, THE NEW. The history
                     of our English Version is treated in the article VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE.

                     A list of Catholic literature on Scriptural subjects has been published in the American Ecclesiastical
                     Review, xxxi (August, 1904), 194-201; this list is fairly complete up to the date of its publication.
                     See also the works cited throughout the course of this article. Most of the questions connected with
                     Scripture are treated in special articles throughout the course of the ENCYCLOPEDIA, for instance,
                     in addition to those mentioned above, JEROME; CANON OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES;
                     CONCORDANCES OF THE BIBLE; INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE; TESTAMENT, etc. Each of these
                     articles has an abundant literary guide to its own special aspect of the Scriptures.

                     A.J. MAAS
                     Transcribed by Robert B. Olson
                     Offered to Almighty God for Timothy and Kris Gray, and for a holy love and
                     understanding of Sacred Scripture for all members of Our Blessed Lord's
                     Church.

                                       The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII
                                    Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company
                                    Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
                                  Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor
                                 Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

The Catholic Encyclopedia:  newadvent.org