What is the Bible? What Does it Say?
by Theologian Father William G. Most
Is it in the Bible? That is a very important question. But there are
Two (2) other even more basic questions.
How do we know what a line in the Bible means? Is it all right to just ask any fellow off
the street? Actually there are such differences in understanding the Bible that Saint
Peter himself in his Second Epistle 3:16 Warned about Saint
Paul's Letters: "As also in all his Epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are
certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own
Destruction" (2Pt 3:16 DRV).
We do wish Jesus would provide some help on this matter.
But First, how do we know which Books are part of the
Bible? The Bible does not just say it is
So we need something more basic. Here is a thumbnail sketch.
We start all right with the Gospels. But we cannot right off say they are
Inspired. So we look at them First as just
Ancient Documents. What can we get out of them? Some things for sure:
There was a Man named Jesus.
He said He was sent by
He did enough by Miracles to prove
God had sent Him.
But Miracles need checking: Was there really a
Miracle that Science can check by seeing there could be no natural explanation? Even then we need more. For example,
think of the time Men let a Paralytic down through the Roof before
Jesus. He said: "Your sins are
forgiven". Scribes growled inside themselves: "Only God can forgive
sins". Jesus read their Minds and went on:
"What is easier to say, your sins are forgiven--or--take up your bed?" The idea was
obvious. If He just said Sins are
Forgiven, no one could check that. But when He
adds: Take your bed and go -- anyone can see that. So, He did the
one thing to prove He did the other. Really, since the Scribes charged only God
can Forgive Sins, what
He proved was that He was God.
But we leave that for the moment.
In the crowds He had a special Twelve (12),
and told them to continue His Teaching. But -- and this vital --
He also told them: "He who hears you hears Me". - So
God would Protect their Teaching.
Now finally we are getting somewhere. We see a Group, or Church, in front of us, with a
commission to Teach, from someone God sent,
with a Promise of Divine Protection. Then we had better
Believe what they say. They can answer so many questions for us. But the biggest: Which Books are
Since their Teaching is Divinely Protected,
we can get them to tell us which Books are Inspired - that is which are part of the
Bible. And since God Protects their
Teaching, they can save us countless Foolish
Mistakes on what Scripture means. They know --
He sent them & He said He
would be with them to the End of Time.
Thanks to God for such a Safe Protection!
Saint Athanasius, 4th Century
Bishop of Alexandria
The Bible is the name given to the Collection of Manuscripts
which form the Scriptures of the Christian
Religion. The New Testament was compiled by a
Catholic Ecclesiastical Committee which selected from a large
collection of early Christian Writings; it First
appeared in its present form in the Festal Epistle of Saint Athanasius (367 CE).
By A.D. 400 these books were generally accepted as Catholic
Christian Scripture, although no Official Action was taken by the
Church until 1546 at the Council of Trent, when the
Church enumerated the Books which must be considered "as
Sacred and Canonical". They are the Seventy-Three
(73) Books found in Catholic Editions,
Forty-Six (46) in the Old Testament and Twenty-Seven (27)
in the New Testament.