to form a firmer judgment. For, of course, all that has been said
about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to
the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred
commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the
Word of God.”
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority
of the Catholic Church already moved me.
It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned
which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.
This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46
books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamen
tations as one) and 27 for the New.
The Old Testament:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deu-
teronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1
2 Samuel, 1
2 Kings, 1
Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes,
Song of Songs,
Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch,
Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Ha-
bakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah
The New Testament: the Gospels according to
Matthew, Mark, Luke
John, the Acts of the Apostles,
Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1
2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1
2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon,
Letter to the Hebrews,
Letters of James, 1
2 Peter, 1, 2,
The Old Testament
The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred
Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent
for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.
Indeed, “the economy of the Old Testament was deliber-
ately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy
the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”
“Even though they
contain matters imperfect and provisional,”
the books of the Old
Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s
12 § 3.
89 St. Augustine,
Contra epistolam Manichaei,
5, 6: PL 42, 176.
8 § 3.
91 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 179; 1334-1336; 1501-1504.