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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

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dei verbum

Dei Verbum

Divine Revelation

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 required
  • 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 Church
  • Don’t take texts in isolation but in context of unity
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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

What is Source of Church’s Authority?

  • Pope?
  • Bishops?
  • Scripture?
  • Council?
  • Magisterium?
  • Tradition?


Divine Revelation!

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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

Dei Verbum

  • The Word of God is NOT just Sacred Scripture; but also Sacred Tradition
  • 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

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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

Dei Verbum – The Word of God

Divine Revelation

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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

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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 only
  • Dei Verbum speaks not of two sources but One source, God
  • 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
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 & Magisterium
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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

Sacred Tradition as a Source of Divine Revelation

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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 Scripture
  • 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
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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

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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 time
  • 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 Revelation!
  • 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
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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

Sacred Scripture as a Source of Divine Revelation

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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

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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

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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
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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
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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation

Dei Verbum 17 regarding New Testament

  • Three Stages
      • Jesus
      • 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
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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
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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

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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 Scripture
  • Deals with various approaches, many of which can cause misunderstand & misrepresentation of Catholic understand of Scripture
  • Document available on-line & topics accessible with opening page of contents
  • 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

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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

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Dei Verbum – Divine Revelation


  • Dei Verbum concerned with Divine Revelation
  • Divine Revelation is God’s self communication to us for our salvation
  • 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 Eucharist