The Holy Catholic Bible Origin, Inspiration and History Origin of the Holy Catholic Bible: No book in the history of the world has wielded as much influence on civilization as the Holy Catholic Bible. It is unique in that it had God as its Author, while human beings composed all other books. The word: Bible is derived from the Greek word biblion meaning: the book, the plural is ta biblia: the books. In the Greek language, this word is a neuter, but later on the word biblia was taken for a feminine singular, the book. The Holy Catholic Bible is truly indeed the Book of Books. Inspiration for the Holy Catholic Bible: The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Sacred Books contained in the Holy Catholic Bible; therefore they have God as their true author. This does not mean that He dictated what they were to write, but rather they were inspired to write down in their own words and in the manner & style of the day, what He wanted them to write. He guided them to the extent that they wrote faithfully what they had been taught. This inspiration covers not only matters of faith and morals, but extends as well to the facts of history, as related to the entire Holy Catholic Bible. History of the Holy Catholic Bible: No original manuscripts of the Holy Catholic Bible have come down to us, due to the perishable material upon which they were originally written and to the fact that the Roman emperors decreed the destruction of the manuscripts, during the Christian persecutions in the first centuries of the Catholic Church. While none of the original manuscripts are known to exist today, some very ancient transcriptions have survived. 1. Ancient Manuscripts of the Holy Catholic Bible: The oldest known Hebrew manuscript is a copy of the Book of Isaiah, written in Hebrew in the second century AD. It was found in a cave near Jerico in AD1947. Also from the second century AD, is the oldest known Greek fragment that is in the John Ryland Library in Manchester, England. 2. The Septuagint Translation of the Old Testament: In 233BC, Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, established the Alexandria Cannon of the Old Testament. The Greek Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, was begun in 250BC and completed in 100BC. It was made for Greek speaking Jews in Egypt. The Latin title: Septuagint, comes from an account of how seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, to translate the Torah or Pentateuch from Hebrew into Greek. Although the translators were kept in separate chambers to do their work, each one produced an identical version of the text in only seventy-two days. Jesus Christ and His twelve Apostles used this translation in their teachings. 3. The Holy Catholic Bible in the First Two Centuries after Jesus Christ: In the early days of the Catholic Church, the Scriptures were read at divine services in Greek. An early translation from Greek to Latin was needed for the many Christians, living in the West, who could not understand Greek. Such translations, put together, made up the first Holy Catholic Bible written in Latin. Since it was prepared by so many different people of such varying educational backgrounds, the translations were uneven and inaccurate. By the second century AD, there were a number of Latin translations; the most widely circulated version being the Old Latin or Italia. 4. The Vulgate Translation of the Holy Catholic Bible: In AD375, because of the many versions of the Italia, Pope Damasus asked St. Jerome to correct the New Testament. St. Jerome began his work with the four Gospels, and then corrected the other sacred books, but much more hastily. In AD384, he completed his work in Rome. After Pope Damasus’ death, St. Jerome went to the Holy Land to continue his work. He spent thirty-four-years there, translating the Alexandria Canon of the Old Testament into Latin from books written in Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew and Old Latin. This work extended over a period of fifteen-years and was a prodigious task. By the ninth century AD, his version of the Holy Catholic Bible was universally accepted. It was given the official title: Latin Vulgate, meaning: disseminated language or people’s Bible. In AD1546, at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church designated the Latin Vulgate as the official translation of the Holy Catholic Bible. Thus the Alexandria Canon of the Old Testament has always been a part of the many translations of the Holy Catholic Bible. 5. The First Printed Holy Catholic Bible: In the fifteenth century AD, the invention and development of a practical printing process, by Johannes Gutenberg, did more to revolutionize and modernize the world than any other invention. Prior to this, all manuscripts had to be copied by hand and only wealthy people could afford to own one. It did away with the professional copyist and eliminated the many human errors made during copying. By AD1450, Gutenberg had developed the art of printing to the point that he was ready to print his very first book, the Latin Vulgate version of the Holy Catholic Bible. It took him two-years to print just two-hundred copies. 1. 6. The English Douay-Rheims Translation of the Holy Catholic Bible: The first complete and printed English translation of the of the Latin Vulgate appeared at the turn of the sixteenth century AD, known as the English Douay-Rheims version, which was produced in France by English Biblical Scholars who had fled the persecutions of Catholic Christians in England by King Henry VIII, after he set himself up as the head of the Church of England or Anglican Church. In AD1582, the New Testament was published in Rheims, France and, in AD1610, the Old Testament was published in Douay, France. It is the official English translation of the Holy Catholic Bible. 7. The Protestant Bibles: In AD1522, Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, using the Jerusalem Cannon of the Old Testament, containing Thirty-nine Sacred Books, which was written in AD90 by Jewish Biblical Scholars living in Jerusalem. It differs from the Alexandria Cannon or Septuagint in that it completely eliminates the Sacred Books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Barach, 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. Also, it eliminates parts of the Sacred Books of Esther & Daniel. In AD1604, King James I of England appointed fifty-four scholars to make a revised translation from earlier English translations. In AD1611, after seven-years of effort, the King James Version of the Protestant Bible was published. It is also based on the Jerusalem Cannon of the Old Testament, translated into in English and it changed many of the names of the Sacred Books contained in the official version of the Holy Catholic Bible. Why were the Sacred Books of the Holy Catholic Bible Written? The Sacred Books of the Holy Catholic Bible were written in order to keep alive the many stories that were passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Thus this oral tradition yielded a written Word of God as a revelation of God, a source of spiritual inspiration for future generations and a resource for developing liturgical practices to be used in Catholic Church services. Who Wrote the Sacred Books of the Holy Catholic Bible? The Sacred Books of the Holy Catholic Bible were written by several different authors who used of their own unique writing style, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When Were the Sacred Books of the Holy Catholic Bible Written? I. The Sacred Books of the Old Testament or Hebrew Testament: These Sacred Books record the stories of the loving relationship between God and His chosen people. They were written several centuries after the recorded events actually occurred. The Old Testament is Divided into Seven Distinct Time Periods: 1. 3760BC - 2000BC: Time of God’s creation of the Universe - Time of the Three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 2. 2000BC - 1280BC: Time of the Three Patriarchs - Time of Moses, when he was in the service of the Pharaoh of Egypt. 3. 1280BC - 1240BC: Time of Moses - Time of the Exodus, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. 4. 1240BC - 1050BC: Time of the Exodus - Time when Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land. 5. 1050BC - 610BC: Time of Promised Land - Time when Kingdom of Israel split in two: North: Israel and South: Judah. 6. 610BC - 540BC: Time of Two-Kingdoms - Time of Exile: 70-year Babylonian Captivity of Kingdom of Judah. 7. 540BC 0BC: Time of the Exile - Time of the restoration of Kingdom of Judah and the re-building of Temple. II. The Sacred Books of the New Testament or Christian Testament: These Books tell the story of the ancestry, birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Our Lord and Savior and His relationship with His twelve Apostles and His disciples. They were written during the period of time from AD49 to AD110. Canons of the Sacred Books Contained in the Holy Catholic Bible: I. Canons of the Sacred Books Contained in the Old Testament: 1. The Alexandria Canon of the Old Testament: In 233BC, seventy Jewish Biblical Scholars, who lived and worked in Alexandria, Egypt, established the Alexandria Cannon of the Old Testament, which contain Forty-six Sacred Books. 2. The Greek Septuagint Canon of the Old Testament: A Greek translation of the Alexandria Cannon of the Old Testament, was begun in 250BC and completed in about 100BC. It has always been a part of the Holy Catholic Bible. 3. The Jerusalem Cannon of the Old Testament: In AD90, Jewish Biblical Scholars who lived and worked in Jerusalem established a new Cannon, which contains only Thirty-nine Sacred Books. That is because they chose to eliminate Seven Sacred Books from the Greek Septuagint: Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Barach and 1 & 2 Maccabees. Also, they eliminated parts of the Sacred Books of Esther and Daniel. This is the Canon that Martin Luther chose to use in his translation of the Old Testament into German, therefore it has always been a part of all Protestant Bibles. 2. II. Canon of Sacred Books in the New Testament: In AD393, at the Council of Hippo, a formal & official decree established the Canon of the New Testament, containing Twenty-seven Sacred Books. III. The Official Version of the Holy Catholic Bible: In AD1546, at the Council of Trent, a formal & official decree stipulated that the one & only official version of the Holy Catholic Bible was to contain the Alexandria Canon of the Old Testament Sacred Books, along with the Canon of the New Testament Sacred Books. Old Testament Sacred Books are divided into Four Categories: I. Pentateuch Sacred Books: The first five Old Testament Sacred Books, which is the Jewish Torah. 1. Book of Genesis: Deals with the pre-history story of the Hebrew and Israelite people. 2. Book of Exodus: Tells the story of Moses, the Twelve Tribes of Israel and their Exodus from Egypt. 3. Book of Leviticus or First Law: Contains laws concerning the religious rituals of the priests of the Tribe of Levi. 4. Book of Numbers: Gives the census of the Israelite warriors in the Sinai Desert. 5. Book of Deuteronomy or Second Law: Adds to laws given by God directly to Moses in the Book of Leviticus. II. Historical Sacred Books: These books take up the story of the Israelite people after their Exodus from Egypt. 1. Book of Joshua: Tells the story of the Israelite people entering into the Promised Land, after Moses’ death. 2. Book of Judges: Deals with the problems that occurred during the rule of Judges, after Joshua’s death. 3. Book of Ruth: Tells the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, who was married to Boaz of Bethlehem. 4. First Book of Samuel: The Israelites request a Kingdom of Israel, so prophet Samuel anointed Saul as their first King. 5. Second Book of Samuel: King David rules the Kingdom of Israel, followed by his son, King Solomon. 6. First Book of Kings: After King Solomon’s death , the Kingdom was split in two by his sons, Jeroboam and Rehoboam. 7. Second Book of Kings: King Jeroboam I ruled Northern Kingdom: Israel; King Rehoboam ruled South Kingdom: Judah.. 8. First Book of Chronicles: Contains the genealogical tables and the history of King David. 9. Second Book of Chronicles: Covers the reign of King Solomon to the end of the One Holy Kingdom. 10. Book of Ezra: Story of Jewish people after returning from 70-year Babylonian Captivity in Persian Empire. 11. Book of Nehemiah: Story of how Nehemiah helped Judaism maintain its identity during the Restoration. 12. Book of Tobit: Story of Tobit, a devout and wealthy Israelite, who is deported to Nineveh. 13. Book of Judith: During a grave crisis, God delivered the Jewish people from danger, thru Judith’s plea. 14. Book of Esther: The story of the plot of Haman, the Agagite, to kill all Jews living in the Persian Empire. 15. First Book of Maccabees: Records God’s salvation of Israel thru the efforts of Judas Maccabee. 16. Second Book of Maccabees: Records theological interpretations of Jewish history of the period. III. Wisdom Sacred Books: Also known as the Writings, are customarily used to solve life’s pressing problems. 1. Book of Job: Job’s sad story is written in an artistic style that places it up there with the literary masterpieces. 2. Book of Psalms or Psalter: A collection of religious songs, traditionally listed as one-hundred-fifty total. 3. Book of Proverbs: Teaches wisdom, which covers a wide range of human and divine activity. 4. Book of Ecclesiastes: Treats earthly wisdom rising to the higher level of true spiritual wisdom. 5. Book of the Song of Songs: Poetically portrays the mutual love of the Lord God and His people. 6. Book of Wisdom: Covers the value of divine wisdom; glorious Exodus events; and God’s mercy. 7. Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus): A Church Book, used to present moral teachings to catechumens. IV. Prophetic Books: Also known as the Writings, they are customarily used to solve life’s pressing problems. 1. Book of Isaiah: A collection of poems composed chiefly by Isaiah, the greatest of all of God’s prophets. 2. Book of Jeremiah: Combines biography, history and prophecy to portray a nation in crisis. 3. Book of Lamentations: Five laments showing how Israel’s faith in Yahweh could survive ruin. 4. Book of Baruch: Portrays the spirit of repentance that prompted God to end the seventy-year Exile of the Jews. 5. Book of Ezekial: Ezekial became a prophet in Babylon and is called the father of Judaism. 6. Book of Daniel: Story of Daniel in Babylon, written to strengthen and comfort the Jews in Exile there. 7. Book of Hosea: Hosea was first to describe the relationship between Yahweh and Israel in marriage terms. 8. Book of Joel: Joel describes a vision of Israel restored and forever secure from her en 3. 9. Book of Amos: Amos knew that human sins may retard, but can’t frustrate God’s salvation plan. 10. Book of Obadiah: The Kingdom is the Lord’s. Israel and Judah will again form one nation. 11. Book of Jonah: This mythical story, offers a very sublime lesson: Humans sin and God forgives. 12. Book of Micah: An attack on rich exploiters, bad merchants, venal judges and corrupt priests. 13. Book of Nahum: Shows Yahweh as avenger, but also merciful, a citadel in the days of distress. 14. Book of Habakkuk: Habakkuk asks God about His governing of the world. God replies, “Exile.” 15. Book of Zephaniah: Zephaniah announced the impending judgment, the day of the Lord. 16. Book of Haggai: Haggai exhorted lethargic Jews to complete their re-building of the Temple. 17. Book of Zechariah: Records Zechariah’s eight symbolic visions about re-building of the Temple. 18. Book of Malachi: Criticism of abuses and religious indifference by Jews led the way to reforms. New Testament Sacred Books are divided into Five Categories: I. Four Gospels: 1. Mathew; 2. Mark; 3. Luke; 4. John. (They symbolize the four-corners of the Earth.) II. Acts of the Apostles: Luke’s biblical history continues. It tells how salvation was extended to the Gentiles. III. Letters of Paul: These Fourteen-letters, which were directed to local churches, are traditionally attributed to Paul. 1. Letter to the Romans: Tells the good news of God’s righteousness, which saves all who truly believe. 2. First Letter to the Corinthians: Insight into the life of an early Christian community. 3. Second Letter to the Corinthians: Deals with the crises that arose in the Corinthian Church. 4. Letter to the Galatians: Gives a correct understanding of faith to the converts from paganism. 5. Letter to the Ephesians: Tells of God’s salvation plan through His Son Jesus Christ, as head of His Church. 6. Letter to the Philippians: Deals with the unity and humility in the Philippi Christian community. 7. Letter to the Colossians: Affirms a spiritual renewal through the contact with Jesus Christ in Baptism. 8. First Letter to the Thessalonians: Tells of God’s grace freely given, which is all-powerful in its effects. 9. Second Letter to the Thessalonians: Deals with a problem threatening the community of faith in Thessalonica. 10. First Letter to Timothy: This letter instructs Timothy on his duty to restrain from any false teaching. 11. Second Letter to Timothy: This letter recommends that Timothy should rely only on the power of the scriptures. 12. Letter to Titus: This letter instructs Titus on the character of the assistants whom he is to choose to help him. 13. Letter to Philemon: Deals with an accepted institution of antiquity: Human Slavery. 14. Letter to the Hebrews: Tells of the Old Testament promise fulfilled by Jesus Christ’s priesthood. IV. Catholic Letters: These Seven-Letters were addressed more generally to the entire Universal Church. 1. Letter of James: A salvation concept involving conversion, Baptism and the forgiveness of sin. 2. First Letter of Peter: Encourages Gentile Christians to be faithful to their belief in Jesus Christ. 3. Second Letter of Peter: Appeals to tradition against the threat of doctrinal error and moral laxity. 4. First Letter of John: Combats the false ideas about Jesus Christ and deepens spiritual awareness. 5. Second Letter of John: A Presbyter encourages mutual love as a way to demonstrate true Christianity. 6. Third Letter of John: A Presbyter commends Gaius for his hospitality and seeks future help from him. 7. Letter of Jude: Apparent warnings to all Christians against the dangers of listening to false teachers. V. The Revelation to John (Apocalypse): Contains an account of John’s apocalyptic visions in symbolic form. God’s Salvation Plan: 1. One Holy Couple: Adam and Eve living in paradise in the Garden of Eden. 2. One Holy Family: Noah & his wife, his 3-Sons: Shem, Ham & Japheth and their wives. 3. One Holy Tribe: Abraham & Sarah; Isaac & Rebecca; Jacob, Leah, Rachael and the twelve sons of Jacob, aka Israel. 4. One Holy Nation: Moses and the Israelites, as they wandered for forty-years in the Sinai Desert, after their Exodus from Egypt. 5. One Holy Kingdom: Kings David & Solomon who ruled from the capitol city of the Royal Kingdom of Israel, Jerusalem. 6. One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Jesus Christ gave the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter and, upon this Rock, He founded His Church. He promised Peter that the powers of Hell wou 4.