24 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
Graced by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles did what Jesus commanded
them. They did this orally, in writing, by the heroic sanctity of their lives,
and by ensuring that there would be successors for this mission. The
first communication of the Gospel was by preaching and witness. The
Apostles proclaimed Jesus, his Kingdom, and the graces of salvation.
They called for the obedience of faith (hearing and obeying God’s Word),
The Church accepts and venerates the Bible as inspired. The Bible
is composed of the forty-six books of the Old Testament and the
twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Together these books
make up the Scriptures. The unity of the Old and New Testaments
flows from the revealed unity of God’s loving plan to save us.
The books of the Old Testament include the Pentateuch, histori-
cal books, the books of the Prophets, and the Wisdom books.
The New Testament contains the four Gospels, the Acts of the
Apostles, and letters from St. Paul and other Apostles and con-
cludes with the Book of Revelation.
of the Bible, which is a term that refers to the books
the Bible contains, was fixed within the first centuries of the
Church. These books that make up both the Old and New
Testaments were identified by the Church as having been
divinely inspired. At times, people challenged the divinely
inspired character of some of the books in the Bible. In 1546, the
Council of Trent declared that all the books in both the Old and
New Testament were inspired in their entirety. This declaration
was subsequently confirmed by both the First Vatican Council
(1869-1870) and the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Those
books whose divinely inspired character was challenged appear
in non-Catholic Bibles identified as either the “Deuterocanonical
Books” or the “Apocrypha.”