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Bible and Catholic Tradition

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“One generation of Catholic hands on their Catholic faith to the next, as one American family hands on the meaning of being an American to its children.” This is the main idea of Catholic Tradition, the passing down of rituals, faith, and meaning from each generation to the next. The Bible, the most important book in Catholic Tradition, “is the core of our insight into the design of God for his people, the manner in which they are expected to live, and the destiny prepared for them.” Theologians question the Bible’s place in Catholic faith, its authority, and whether or not it is the last word. All are valid questions, but the most challenging question is relating the understanding of the Bible to Catholic Tradition. A Tradition is an idea, in this case, faith, that is handed down throughout the generations. Traditions cannot be changed since they are the shared experience of that generation. The connection between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition “makes present and fruitful in the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own вЂ?always, to close of the age.вЂ™Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This is one of the holiest connections in the Catholic faith. Catholics are finally able to understand the background of the Bible and how it was constructed and formed by holy people.

The Bible is the direct Word of God, which was transmitted through the mouth and hands of people who had a special connection to God. Once an individual had a specific revelation from God, in this case the exact Word, ipsissima verba, they would then commit it to memory and spread the Word orally. These oral traditions would reach an individual who would be able to transcribe the oral tradition into written traditions, the gospels. The four gospels are the cornerstone for the Catholic Tradition. These four gospels with the entirety of the cannon shaped the Bible; however, according to Gerald O’Collins, author of Catholicism, “the Bible should not and cannot be simply identified with revelation.” “Holy Scripture is therefore not the only theological source of the Revelation made by God to His Church. Side by side with Scripture there is tradition, side by side with the written revelation there is the oral revelation.” We are able to find out more about God than what is in the Bible. Our relationship with God is not a one-time fleeting moment. Rather, our relationship with God is ever growing and changing with every passing day. This relationship helps us grow with our understanding about the Sacred Scripture, since our relationship with God grows, so does our understanding. For some individuals this relationship was so strong that they were able to spread the Word of God. God was very selective of who He chose to be His messengers.

To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.

The daunting task of spreading God’s word was given to holy individuals who had had revelations pertaining to His Word. The Word was not written immediately; most of the time it was spread orally. These oral traditions had a tendency to have changed by the time the Word was written. We as a Catholic faith know this not to be true. God chose these people for their ability to spread the true Word of God, and not a



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