- "Therefore, following in the footsteps of the Council of Trent and of the First Vatican Council, this present council wishes to set forth authentic doctrine on divine revelation and how it is handed on, so that by hearing the message of salvation the whole world may believe, by believing it may hope, and by hoping it may love."
- Principle of continuity.
- Purpose of faith, hope and charity.
Chapter 1 - Revelation itself
- Deeds and words of God have inner unity.
- Deeds manifest and confirms words.
- Words proclaim and clarify mystery of the deeds.
- [Summary of divine revelation of from Adam to Christ, who is the fullness thereof.]
- "Obedience of faith" is necessary for receiving divine revelation.
- God can be known by light of human reason.
- Yet with revelation such truths "can be known by all men with ease, with solid certitude and with no trace of error, even in this present state of the human race."
Chapter 2 - Transmission of Divine Revelation
- Prophets looked forward to Gospel.
- Christ fulfilled it and taught it.
- Then Apostles and the bishops after them were commissioned to teach it.
- "Now what was handed on by the Apostles includes everything which contributes toward the holiness of life and increase in faith of the peoples of God; and so the Church, in her teaching, life and worship, perpetuates and hands on to all generations all that she herself is, all that she believes."
- Everything must be handed on from one generation to the next.
- Tradition can develop through understanding, study, contemplation.
- "Both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence."
- They form one sacred deposit.
- Only the living teaching office of the Church authentically interprets this sacred deposit.
- All three of these together lead to the salvation of souls.
Chapter 3 - Divine Inspiration and Interpretation of Sacred Scripture
- "The books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."
- "The books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation"
- Interpreter must attend to literary form.
- "Serious attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture if the meaning of the sacred texts is to be correctly worked out.
Chapter 4 - Old Testament
- "The plan of salvation foretold by the sacred authors, recounted and explained by them, is found as the true word of God in the books of the Old Testament: these books, therefore, written under divine inspiration, remain permanently valuable."
- "The principal purpose to which the plan of the old covenant was directed was to prepare for the coming of Christ, the redeemer of all and of the messianic kingdom,
- to announce this coming by prophecy (see Luke 24:44; John 5:39; 1 Peter 1:10),
- and to indicate its meaning through various types (see 1 Cor. 10:12)."
- "These same books, then,
- give expression to a lively sense of God,
- contain a store of sublime teachings about God,
- sound wisdom about human life,
- and a wonderful treasury of prayers,
- and in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way.
- Christians should receive them with reverence."
- "God, the inspirer and author of both Testaments, wisely arranged that the New Testament be hidden in the Old and the Old be made manifest in the New."
Chapter 5 - New Testament
- Common knowledge: The Gospels have preeminence among all the Scripture.
- The fourfold Gospel is of apostolic origin.
- Other parts of New Testament strengthen and support this Gospel.
Chapter 6 - Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church
- "All the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture."
- "Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful."
- "She also encourages the study of the holy Fathers of both East and West and of sacred liturgies."
- "This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively
- to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God,
- to enlighten their minds,
- strengthen their wills,
- and set men's hearts on fire with the love of God."
- Prayer must accompany reading so that it becomes a divine conversation.
- Bishops are to give the faithful instruction in reading Scripture, especially the New Testament, and most of all the Gospels.
I had thought that this document contained information on the various senses of Scripture, and how to read it through attending to those senses. That is probably in the Catechism, so I'll have to look at that later. Still, there are many wonderful principles here. The unity of the whole of divine revelation and the primacy of the Gospels. Also the work of teaching the faithful how to read Scripture is emphasized toward the end, something which must be further encouraged. How one is to read the Old Testament is said here briefly: by looking at prophecy and types which point to Christ. That's a fair summary, but how to discern such types would require a more thorough explanation. Hopefully the Catechism will have more..
Here is Dei Verbum: http://bit.ly/4oFnXe