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34

Part One

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.”

88

But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority

of the Catholic Church already moved me.

89

IV.

T

he

C

anon of

S

cripture

120

It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned

which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.

90

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.

91

The Old Testament:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deu-

teronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1

and

2 Samuel, 1

and

2 Kings, 1

and

2

Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1

and

2 Maccabees,

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes,

the

Song of Songs,

the

Wisdom of

Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch,

Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Ha-

bakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah

and

Malachi.

The New Testament: the Gospels according to

Matthew, Mark, Luke

and

John, the Acts of the Apostles,

the

Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1

and

2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1

and

2

Thessalonians, 1

and

2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon,

the

Letter to the Hebrews,

the

Letters of James, 1

and

2 Peter, 1, 2,

and

3 John,

and

Jude,

and

Revelation

(the Apocalypse).

The Old Testament

121

The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred

Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent

value,

92

for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

122

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.”

93

“Even though they

contain matters imperfect and provisional,”

94

the books of the Old

Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s

88

DV

12 § 3.

89 St. Augustine,

Contra epistolam Manichaei,

5, 6: PL 42, 176.

90 Cf.

DV

8 § 3.

91 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 179; 1334-1336; 1501-1504.

92 Cf.

DV

14.

93

DV

15.

94

DV

15.

113

1117

1093

702, 763

708