A History of the Bible


I’m Catholic
By Pat Miron

Catholics and OUR Catholic Bible

Having more than a “simple understanding” of the Catholic Bible is an essential element of defending and explaining our Catholic Faith.

Some key points:

It is a fact that “The Bible” is a “Catholic Book.” This may come as a shock to some.

Catholics wrote the entire New Testament under Divine Inspiration, collected the Old Testament, selected the 73 Books to be included and Codified the Bible with God’s Blessing in the early Fifth Century.

The Catholic Bible was the ONLY Bible for about 1,500 years. It is from this understanding that the CC Teaches:

2nd. Peter 1: 16-21 “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

Eph.3: 9 to 12 “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church [SINGULAR: THE CATHOLIC Church] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. “

2nd. Tim. 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work

Code of canon Law: Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

All non-catholic bibles use the Catholic Bible as their base, and nearly all of what they have in their bibles can be also found in our bible. Of course some changes were made to support their “new positions,” so always use the Catholic Bible when quoting verses.

The Original Entire Bible [in a single language] was the Latin Vulgate, translated from Greek, Aramaic, and Latin around the year 350 AD by St. Jerome, into the first complete bible in a single language. Latin, the official language of the RCC was selected, and this was the only Complete Bible until about the year 1600.

In reaction to the Protestant Revolution, Led by Luther, and then John Calvin, who were preparing there “own bible version in there common language [language of the people]” of the once Catholic Bible, the Church, was forced to publish its Catholic Version, also in “common language,” so as to prevent, or at least not make it necessary for the “flock of Christ” not to turn to the Protestant Bibles, in search of biblical understanding.

King Henry the Eighth separated from the RCC around 1200 AD, and had his own version of the Anglican Bible, but it never really caught on, as this was before the invention of the printing press. His “State” religion was really only practiced in England where it was forced on the populace.

Prior to this the RCC did not want people to be reading the bible by themselves, fearing that it was too easy to error in self-interpretation. That fear has been validated, and continues to exist today, in the MANY THOUSANDS of protestant Sects with there own understanding of what the bible actually means. Obviously these are NOT God Inspired Understandings. The RCC is the only fully authorized source for a proper translation, because that was and remains God’s Plan.

I strongly urge each of you to GOOGLE http://www.hti.umich.edu/r/rsv and when you pull it up, right click you’re mouse and add an icon to you’re startup page. This is the Bible I most often quote from.

A second site you may wish to add to you’re desktop is a Catholic Commentary called: ”Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary” [1859] This will explain in detail nearly any verse you do not understand. It is a thoroughly Catholic site and can be trusted by you for accuracy. Again GOOGLE it and right click it to add an icon to you’re start up page.

With these tools, you need not memorize the entire bible; you simply can know “what is say’s” and find what you’re seeking by a word or phrase search. However you must still read the bible to be sufficiently aware of it general content.

At minimum you should read the entire New Testament. No hurry, but very important to gain an understanding of biblical content, and the flow of events.

Now here is another tip on using the bible.

Protestants typically do not expect Catholics to be “Bible Savvy” and are often surprised that we even own a bible much less read it. Quite often they are taught that we are not even Christians: DUH!

So just how do Protestants appear to be so knowledgeable about the bible? Truth is, most aren’t. They memorize bits and pieces that that can quote pretty much at will.

In truth how is our Faith spread?

Is it because of us? No, it is actually despite our efforts, but nevertheless through us. Don’t get hung up on what you don’t know. If you’re walking with God, He’ll guide and assist you. That is why a solid prayer and Sacramental life is so very important. Come Holy Spirit Come!

God will use you IF you allow Him, but in His way and His time. It takes effort and a bit of sacrifice, but then what good doesn’t?

Here are some problems that Protestants have with the bible.

For reasons beyond logic, [the answer falls in the realm of the Holy Spirit] a great many Protestants do not use [or seemly even accept the ENTIRE Word of God], John Chapter 6 and James Chapter 2 are examples of this. So are “Once Saved; Always Saved,” and Salvation By Faith Alone which are NOT provable within the Bible.

When they do read these verses, they will often add words or ignore words that conflict with their limited understanding. Mt. 16:18 for example.

At times they will simply not accept what the bible and Jesus clearly say. [In a lateral sense the “very WORDS of God.” Mt. 16:18-20, Mt. 18:18, Jn. 20: 23-24, 1 Jn. 5: 16-17 and John Chapter 6 are all examples of this. Regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Catholic Eucharist.

One of the most important things that I can share with you is always pray to the Holy Spirit for assistance before reading Holy Scripture, ask for guidance, and a open mind and heart, along with RIGHT Understanding. This itself is NOT a guarantee that God will answer your prayer; however if you are sincere in your request, [God READS hearts as well as minds] , and have FAITH, your chances will be much improved that He will.

The KEY thing to remember is: If you don’t know; DON’T Guess; just ask me. I’m here for You!

EARLY HISTORY OF THE BIBLE

The original writings from the Apostles themselves (the autographs) no longer exist.
This is due partly to the perishable material (papyrus) used by the writers, and partly to the fact that the Roman emperors decreed the destruction of the sacred books of the Christians (Edict of Diocletian, A.D. 303).

Before translating the Bible into Latin, St. Jerome had already translated into more common languages enough books to fill a library.

In the year 383, he revised the Latin New Testament text in accordance with some Greek manuscripts. Between the years 390 and 406 he translated the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew, and this completed work is known today as the “Old Latin Vulgate”. The work had been requested by Pope Damasus, and Copies of St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate appeared uncorrupted as late as the 11th century, with some revisions by St. Peter Damian and Lanfranc.

Pope Benedict XV [Not our current Pope Benedict XVI] wrote about St. Jerome’s translation in his 1920 encyclical, Spiritus Paraclitus, “Nor was Jerome content merely to gather up this or that teacher’s words; he gathered from all quarters whatever might prove of use to him in this task. From the outset he had accumulated the best possible copies of the Bible and the best commentators on it,” . . . “he corrected the Latin version of the Old Testament by the Greek; he translated afresh nearly all the books of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin; . . . he discussed Biblical questions with the brethren who came to him, and answered letters on Biblical questions which poured in upon him from all sides; besides all this, he was constantly refuting men who assailed Catholic doctrine and unity.”

The first person known with certainty to apply the term canon to the Sacred Scriptures was St. Athanasius, about 350A.D., although his private estimate of the number of canonical books differed from the books he quoted in his writings. Like him, a few other early fathers doubted some of the deutero-canonical books, but would cite them.

The Council of Carthage (397) was the first Council to publish a list of all the inspired books of the Bible. The Council of Florence repeated the canon of the Bible, and it was restated at the Council of Trent. (No action of the Church causes a book to be inspired. The Church exercises its infallible judgment to certify post factum that a particular book was inspired when it was written. The fact that God is its Author makes a book to be inspired. The Holy Spirit prevents the Church from erring in judging which books are inspired and included in the Bible.)

Versions of the whole or parts of the Bible in the language of the common people first appeared in Germany in the eighth century, in France and Hungary in the twelfth, and Italy, Spain, Holland, Poland and Bohemia in the thirteenth century. (Catholic Encyclopedia.)

In the 1500’s in Italy, there were more than 40 vernacular editions of the Bible. France had 18 vernacular editions before 1547, and Spain began publishing editions in 1478, with full approval of the Spanish Inquisition.

In all, 198 editions of the Bible were in the language of the laity, 626 editions all together, and all before the first Protestant version, and all having the full approval of the Church. (Where We Got the Bible, TAN Publishers)

The area known as England was invaded and settled by Germanic tribes called “Saxons” who aligned with tribes from the area of Denmark called “Angles”. In the 700’s, (St. Bede the Venerable), the area was speaking a Germanic dialect. In the Middle Ages, between 1066-1377, there were different dialects depending on where you went, between the different tribes. The Normans had invaded the area, There was no written vocabulary, so Latin and Greek were most commonly used by the literate.

After 1300, the English population was still much smaller than others like the Italians or Spanish, and it was still unintelligible in a written form. After the 1500’s, England became more important politically.

For centuries before the invention of printing, the only way to duplicate the text of the Bible was to copy it by hand. Copyists could have made mistakes, but, they took more care with Scripture than with any other book. Errors, while they are possible and certainly have occurred in some instances, can not be too easily admitted or accepted as an excuse to disregard these copies. Moreover, God in His Providence has faithfully protected His Bible from any serious corruption.

Even a perfectly written Bible would still need an authoritative explanation of various passages.

Chapter and verse divisions are not found in our oldest manuscripts of the Bible, and there is evidence that the early Hebrew writers did not even separate the words of the text, following a Hebrew tradition that Moses wrote the Law as one continuous word. The division into chapters was a gradual process that began in the Middle Ages. The divisions now used were introduced by Stephen Langton (d. 1228), later archbishop of Canterbury, and are found in the Biblia Parisiensis, used at the University of Paris as early as the 13th century. (English Versions of the Bible, Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P.)

The division of Bible chapters into numbered smaller sections was introduced to facilitate scholarly reference to the individual passages. In 1528, Santes Pagnino, a Dominican, published a Bible where each chapter was divided into verses usually consisting of single sentences.

Robert Estienne, a French printer, less than thirty years later, introduced the figures that divide or “chop up” verses of the Bible. His verse divisions became standard because he also printed a Concordance based on these editions. (New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.) Although at times it divides a passage, the procedure has been sanctified by the Church.

In 1452, the Vulgate was the first book to be printed on the first mechanical press, invented by a Catholic – Johann Gutenberg; that particular edition is commonly known as the Gutenberg Bible. Again, the text was in Latin. (The Gutenberg Bible, Martin Davies.)

By the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s, there were: 104 Latin editions of the Bible – 9 before Martin Luther’s birth, and 27 before his edition. (Where We Got the Bible) About this time though, some Latin editions were defective, owing to the creativity or errors of the various publishers, so the Council of Trent intervened, choosing the “Clementine” edition as the official Latin version, authentic and approved for use in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions. (Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent, TAN Publishers, page 10.) Many translators during the 1500-1900’s chose the Latin Vulgate over the Greek because it was difficult to find a good Greek translation.

In the late 1500’s, there were about 120 Greek versions with 30,000 different readings. For example, one rendition had Isaiah 7:14 using neanis (young woman) instead of parthenos [virgin]. (“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanual”. The gospel of Matthew 1:23 makes reference to this passage, “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son; and they shall call his name Emmanual, which being interpreted is, God with us.”).

The Latin language gradually changed. The Latin used in the Vulgate is from around 400A.D. Gradually, Latin evolved into French, Italian and Spanish. In the treaty of Verdun, (843 A.D.) the text shows the shift of vocabulary – some Latin and some Middle French. The last recorded usage of Latin being preached to the common people was around the year 800, in Italy.

However, Latin remained the universal written language in Europe for many centuries. Up to the 1400’s, it was the only language to be generally used. As late as the 1660’s Isaac Newton, requiring a large audience for his theories, would write his Principlicae Mathematica in Latin for publication, not English (which was still obscure as a written language at the time).

From 1578 to 1593 the English College of Douay was temporarily housed at Rheims. It was during this period that the Vulgate was translated into the new language called English. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth ordered searchers to confiscate every copy of the New Testament newly translated into English by the College of Rheims. Priests were imprisoned for having it, and the sentence of “torture by rack” was given to those who circulated it. The publication of the Old Testament was delayed until the Douay College had returned to England. In 1609, the College of Douay published the Old Testament English translation.

(Although some Catholic critics scoff at the “archaic English” used in this edition put out by these colleges, the preface of The Protestant Revised Version, or King James version (1611) credits the deliberately literal translation, and the coinage of Latin-English words for theological terms.)

Between 1609 and 1749, there were more than 23 different Catholic editions of the Bible produced, about half of which were New Testament editions, the remaining being editions of the Penitential Psalms.

Bishop Richard Challoner (1691-1781), who was previously the vice-president of the Douay College, began in 1749 the first of several revisions of the Bible from the “Old English” style into the newer English then in use. It is his work that, for the first time provided English-speaking Catholics with a portable, inexpensive and readable version of the Bible, in spite of a few inevitable defects. In all, he was responsible for 5 different editions of the New Testament, and 2 editions of the Old.

The other portable editions of the 8th through 16th century were parts or sections of the Bible, like the Penitentail Psalms, and the Pauper’s Bible.

Probably the next most popular Catholic Bible was the “Haydock” revision of the Challoner-Rheims Bible, which actually came about from the suggestion of Thomas Haydock, a printer and schoolmaster. His brother, Rev. George Leo Haydock, published the first edition during the years of 1811-1814, and printings continued well into 1859, after his death. Unique at the time of the Haydock editions was the inclusion of historical and chronological indexes, lists of miracles and parables, some of St. Jerome’s letters added to the Addenda, and massive amounts of notes from the fathers and doctors of the Church. It was the first publication of its kind, and editions were immediately successful with several reprints.

In 1790, the first Catholic Bible was printed in the United States, (a lot of printing for America had been done in Belgium) under the encouragement of its’ first bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore. It was based on Challoner’s second edition of the Bible printed in 1764. In 1805, another version was published in the U.S., based on the Dublin “fifth edition” of Challoner, having been slightly revised under Archbishop John Troy of Dublin. (English Versions of the Bible.)

Various versions and editions of the Douay-Rheims Bible were printed in the United States up until 1947.

As a side note, St. Thomas More, in his Dialogue Concerning Tyndale, wrote against Tyndale’s New Testament. St. Thomas noted “there were wrong and falsely translated above a thousand texts”, and took as examples three words; “priest”, “Church” and “charity”, which Tyndale changed to “senior”, “congregation” and “love”. Possibly minor changes as far as the language is concerned, but these were considered fundamental for the doctrinal positions involved. In other verses Tyndale removed “grace”, “confession”, “penance”, and “contrition”, changing the biblical text to correspond with his abolition of the Mass. Tyndale is also noted as the first to use the word “Jehovah” as a name for God.

Catholic And Protestant Bibles

The Old Testament

The Protestant Old Testament omits several entire books and parts of two other books. To explain how this came about, it is necessary that we go back to the ancient Jewish Scriptures. The

Hebrew Bible contained only the Old Testament and from its Old Testament it excluded seven entire books – namely, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, First and Second Machabees – and parts of Esther (10:14 to 16:14) and Daniel (3:24- 90; 13; 14).

These books which are missing in the Jewish Bible came to the Catholic Church with the Septuagint, a pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament. In the Septuagint Version they are placed among and given equal rank with the other Old Testament books as in our Catholic Bible today. Since the Hebrew is older than the Septuagint Bible, the list of books in the former is called the first canon or collection while the catalog of books in the latter is called the second canon or collection. The seven additional books are found only in the second collection and always associated with it.

Jewish opposition to the additional books of the second collection was due to the circumstances in which the Jews lived and to the spirit of the times. During the last centuries which preceded the coming of Christ the Jews – because of the captivities, persecutions and antagonisms from outside nations became more and more conservative and looked with increasing suspicion on anything that was new. Since the additional books were of comparatively recent origin and since some of them were written in Greek – the language of paganism – they naturally aroused the opposition of the Jews. The fact, too, that the early Christians used the Septuagint in their controversies with the Jews only served to confirm the latter in their opposition to this translation of the Old Testament.

The Protestants of the sixteenth century objected to the additional books because of the doctrinal teachings of these books. The Second Book of Machabees, for example, contains the doctrine of purgatory, of prayers and sacrifices for the dead (12:39-46). The book of Tobias teaches the importance in the eyes of God of good works. The Protestants could not reject some without excluding all of the additional books. Hence, in drawing up their list of Old Testament books they went back to the first collection of Biblical books of the Palestinian Jews. They removed the additional books, which had been in the Bible up till 1517 and placed them at the end of the Bible in a special appendix. In addition, they labelled them as “apocryphal” (spurious, uninspired), a designation which helped to lower them in the estimation of Protestant readers.

The Lutheran and Anglican Bibles still carry these books in the appendix or give them at least a secondary place. But the other Protestant churches reject them entirely. In 1827 the British and Foreign Bible Society decided not to print or handle Bibles that contained the additional books and not to aid financially companies that published Bibles containing them. As a result these books have practically disappeared from Protestant Bibles.

The Catholic Church has always considered these books as inspired and of the same rank as the other Old Testament books. Her attitude is based upon the following facts:

1) The Apostles and New Testament writers quoted principally the Septuagint. In fact, of the three hundred and fifty Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament, about three hundred are taken from the Septuagint.

2) Some of the New Testament writers made use of the additional books themselves, particularly of the Book of Wisdom, which seems to have been St. Paul’s favorite volume. The Epistle of St. James – to take another example – shows an acquaintance with the Book of Ecclesiasticus. If the Apostles and New Testament writers used some of the additional books, did they not thereby approve the entire Septuagint collection?

3) The additional books were accepted in the Church from the beginning. The Epistle of Pope Clement, written before the end of the first century, makes use of Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom, gives an analysis of the book of Judith, and quotes from the additional sections of the book of Esther. The same is true of other early Christian writers.

4) The oldest Christian Bibles in existence (Codex Vaticanus, etc.) contain the additional books intermingled with the rest, just as we find them in the Catholic Bibles today.
5) The oldest Christian lists of Biblical books contain the additional books. In 382 Pope Damasus in a Roman Council issued a formal list of Old and New Testament books and the list contains the same books as we have in our Bibles.

6) Finally, Christian art of the first four centuries – especially that found in the catacombs and cemeteries – furnishes among others the following illustrations from the additional books: Tobias with the fish (Tobias 6), Susanna (Daniel 13), Daniel and the dragon (Daniel 14), the angel with the three children in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:49), Habacuc and Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 14:35).

In conclusion, let us point out that since they follow the synagogue in their rejection of the additional books of the Old Testament, the Protestants should in all logic follow it in its rejection of the New Testament and of Christ Himself.

The Apocryphal Books [meaning those SEVEN books deleted by Luther and the Protestant Community] based on their personal understanding of them not “being God Inspired” [go back and look at 2Tim. 3:16-17], which they claim to accept. The real reason had to do with making it easier to SELL there Theological Views.

The Protestants often designate as “apocryphal” those seven books and those sections which their Bibles omit from the Old Testament. The Catholics object to this title. These books are regarded by the Church as inspired. They formed a part of the Bible of united Christendom before the Protestant revolt, and Christian antiquity was practically unanimous in regarding them as of divine origin.

But what, then, do Catholics mean by “apocryphal” books? The word “apocryphal” is derived from the Greek “apokryphos” and means something hidden or secret. The religious books of ancient pagans were called Apocrypha because they were kept carefully concealed in the temple and shown only to full-fledged members who were wholly initiated into the mysteries of religion. Books forged by magicians were also called Apocrypha because they were thought to contain hidden secrets.

Gradually, however, the word “apocryphal” came to have a very specific meaning. It came to be applied to a class of books, which pretended to possess divine authority and Scriptural rank but which never succeeded in obtaining a place among the books of the Bible. These Books were composed during the last two centuries before Christ or during the early centuries of the Christian era. The authors remained unknown or wrote under a fictitious name. Some of these books contain false and heretical doctrines, others aim at satisfying a foolish curiosity about Biblical personages, others strive to edify. Their value lies in setting forth, by contrast, the superior character of the inspired books and in furnishing to the Biblical scholar interesting information about the customs and conditions of the times.

The apocryphal books are divided into two groups – into the Old and the New Testament apocrypha. a) The Old Testament apocrypha supplement the inspired Old Testament books with fictitious stories about some patriarch or prophet, forged Messianic prophecies, or pious exhortations and precepts. Examples of this group are the Assumption of Moses, Apocalypse of Abraham, Ascension of Isaias, etc. b) The New Testament apocrypha strive to supplement and amplify matters either briefly mentioned in the inspired books or omitted entirely. Their favorite topics are the Infancy of Our Lord and His sojourn on earth after the Resurrection. They contain much that is silly, legendary and dis-edifying. The portrait of Our Lord contradicts in many respects that of the Gospel, and their accounts of Him contain much that is doctrinally unsound and heretical. As many as fifty Gospels, twenty- two Acts, and many Epistles and Apocalypses were known to have belonged to this group at one time.
The New Testament

The Protestant New Testament contains the same books as the Catholic New Testament. Although Luther showed great hostility to St. James’s Epistle because of its doctrine of the necessity of good works and contemptuously called it an “epistle of straw,” he clearly saw that he had no more reason for excluding that book than he had for rejecting the other books of the New Testament. The differences between the Protestant and Catholic New Testament arise from changes in specific passages in various books of the New Testament.

In the passage from I Corinthians 11:27, “Whosoever shall eat this bread OR drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord,” the Authorized Version (AV) of King James replaced “or” by “and.” Inspired by doctrinal and anti-Catholic bias, the editors purposely changed the text in order to remove the argument for communion under one kind. Today all Scriptural scholars agree that “OR drink the chalice” is the correct reading. Modern critical Protestant editions of the Bible – the Revised Version and the Standard Version – have rejected the reading of the Authorized Version and restored the old or Rheims-Douay reading.

A further deliberate change in the interest of the Protestant doctrine on original sin is introduced into several passages. The Reformers, as we know, maintained that human nature was essentially corrupted by the Fall. Man’s intellect is positively darkened and his free will destroyed.

In I Corinthians 7:9 where the Rheims-Douay Version reads: “If they do not contain themselves, let them marry”; the Authorized Version changed the passage to read: “But if they cannot contain, let them marry.” The same Authorized Version changes “do not” to “cannot do” in Galatians 5:17: “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary to one another, so that you do not the things that you would.” The aim of the editors in both instances was to introduce into the Scriptures the false Lutheran doctrine concerning the total depravity of human nature because of original sin. St. Paul is made to affirm that a Christian cannot lead a stainless virtuous life. The critical editions of the bible, however – the Revised and Standard Versions-refused to adopt this reading and returned to the reading of the Rheims-Douay.

To the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13, the Authorized Version adds the doxology or the long ending: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” The Revised Version, however, as well as all critical editions, omit this doxology – and correctly so. The doxology is not a part of the Lord’s Prayer. It is not found in St. Luke’s version of the Our Father.

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, the intimate connection between verses 13 and 14 shows that the original text had no clause between the two verses. The long ending is not found in two of the oldest extant Bibles – namely, the codex Sinaiticus and the codex Vaticanus. In the course of time, however, the doxology began to appear on the margin or was written in the text with red ink, until finally in some later manuscripts it becomes a part of the Bible. According to the almost unanimous opinion of scholars the doxology is an interpolation which worked its way into some Bibles from the early Christian liturgy.

The King James Version (AV) also adopted the Protestant form of the Gloria in excelsis Deo in Luke 2:14. Before considering the intrinsic merits of this reading, let us compare it with the reading in the Revised Version (RV) and Standard Version (SV) and in the Rheims-Douay Version (RD):

AV – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
RV and SV – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom He is well pleased.”

RD – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”

These quotations show that the reading of the Revised and Standard Versions and that of the Catholic Bible are substantially the same. Hence we need consider only the AV reading and the RD reading. The Protestant version of the Angelic hymn consists of three clauses, the Catholic version of two clauses. The Catholic version is better attested because it is found in the oldest and best extant Bibles. Internal reasons likewise favor the RD reading. In the Protestant version we should expect ant “and” before the third clause. The RD version gives us two parallel clauses, each containing three ideas parallel to the other:

In the highest . . . glory . . . to God. On earth. . . peace . . . to men of good will.

Opinions are divergent as to the interpretation of the phrase, “men of good will.” Does “good will” signify a disposition or quality of the soul? If it does, the angel announces his tidings of peace to the well-disposed among men. This view is open to two objections: first, nowhere in the New Testament is the Greek original of “good will” used to signify the state of men’s will in relation to God; second, this interpretation robs the message of its grand, comprehensive mercy. Christ died for all men and sent a message of peace to all men. God by the giving of His Son has shown His mercy to the whole world. The good will of God as it proceeds from God is universal, for He wishes all men to be saved. In every sense, therefore, the message of peace was to all men. Men are called “men of goodwill” in the sense that they are. men enjoying the benevolence of God, the objects of God’s redeeming will, or of His will – to save them all.

Religious Practices

1. I will always be grateful to the Catholic Church for preserving for me the priceless treasures of truth contained in the additional books of the Old Testament.

2. I will imitate Tobias by manifesting outwardly through good works the faith that is within me.

3. I will heed the lesson of II Machabees 13:46 and pray frequently for the dead.

At least THREE different Church Councils have affirmed the Validity and absolute TRUTH of the Catholic Bible as being literally Inspired by God; and therefore it is impossible for it to be in error*

There are a few Basic and Infallible Rules for Bible study which will be covered in a separate, later lesson.

1. Never can one passage contradict another passage. Were this possible; the Bible would be worthless as a Teaching Tool.

2. The Bible is ALWAYS truthful; BUT NOT ALWAYS FACTUAL

3. The Bible is not intended to be an ACCURATE History Book, because the 2,000 years of the Old Testament were taught and passes on verbally. The Message is always correct; and if there is a Moral point that too is always correct.

4. Because of the MANY forms of writing in the Bible only someone TRAINED and conforming to what the CC Teaches may and CAN [guided by God], properly Translate it.

5. As Saint Peter tells us the Bible contains [many] teachings that are VERY HARD to understand w/o instructions.

God Continued Blessings,

Pat Miron

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