To read the Bible and discover the Word of God

Source: District of Asia

"To know Jesus Christ, the incarnate Wisdom, is to know enough; to know everything, and not to know Him is to know nothing." These famous words of Saint Louis de Montfort emphasize the central importance of Jesus Christ in the Bible. From the protoevangelium, as described by Tertullian, to the Apocalypse, all the books of the Bible revolve around Jesus Christ. In other words, starting from Genesis, which narrates the historical event of the fall of Adam and Eve, their condemnation, and then, almost immediately, the magnificent promise of a Redeemer to fallen humanity, everything speaks of Our Lord, the Savior.

As a famous orator once stated, "Jesus Christ, being the centre and foundation of religion, must occupy a place in the annals of the world that no conqueror, philosopher, or legislator could attain... the history of Jesus Christ is divided into three periods spread over four thousand years: the prophetic times, the evangelical times, and the apostolic times. In the first, Jesus Christ is awaited and prepared for; in the second, He lives and dies among us; in the third, He establishes His Church through the Apostles who lived with Him, received His teachings, and inherited His powers." This succinctly summarizes the entire Bible. Jesus Himself affirmed that the Old Testament is replete with references to Him: "Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). The Apostles consistently refer to the Bible as their Master. For example, Saint Peter said, "All the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days [the era of the Messiah]." However, above all others, Saint Paul, this converted rabbi who eagerly immersed himself in the study of the holy Scriptures and Jewish traditions, proved better than anyone that Jesus Christ is truly the soul of the Old Testament: "Christ is the culmination of the law" (Romans 1:4).

Among all the Fathers, Saint Ambrose expressed a soaring thought: "The cup of Wisdom is in your hands. This cup is twofold; it is the Old and New Testaments. Drink the Word in both Testaments. Scripture is drunk and devoured when the essence of the eternal Word descends into the veins of the spirit and into the essence of the soul." And what better encouragement than that of Saint Paul: "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). He adds, for his dear Timothy: "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." The Bible is a sweet consolation for the heart and a skillful instructor for our minds.

Indeed, the popes have taught that precautions should be taken when reading the Book par excellence, which is nothing less than the Word of God Himself. A precaution is not a prohibition but merely a limitation; and when the Protestants had lost some of their deleterious and violent influence, the Church softened its restrictions. Thus, Pope Leo XIII, in his brilliant encyclical "Providentissimus Deus," like all the encyclicals he wrote, clearly stated that the Church "has always made the salutary springs of the divine Scripture flow towards her children."

Nevertheless, the New Testament, especially, should be the object of our considerations. "Everything it teaches is truth, everything it commands is goodness, everything it promises is happiness." Frequenting this holy book would bring us the instinct of faith so necessary to cherish the sense of Christ, as Saint Paul, the Apostle, said.

But it is evident that one cannot penetrate these divine mysteries without the assurance that they are attested. Therefore, it is to a translation authorized by the Church that one must necessarily refer.