The Church is Steward of Revelation

When I was a Protestant I was regularly frustrated by the fact that publishing houses and other non-ecclesial bodies had effectively assumed stewardship of the Bible. Publishers own copyrights on various translations, and Bible societies do the same. I was bothered by this: by what authority did they do this? And why did no denomination—not even my own, which I believed to be deeply concerned with the preservation and distribution of Scripture—take it in hand to produce a translation? It seemed to me that denominations rightly ought to have an interest in doing so, and that for publishers to have assumed that responsibility reduced God’s Word to just another commodity.

So I was pleased when as a Catholic I learned that the Church views stewardship of revelation as integral to Her mission. Hence the Catechism says in passing, “…the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted…” (§82). And the Fathers of Vatican II wrote:

Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. [Dei Verbum §10, emphasis added]

And really, this only makes sense. Doesn’t it? To whom else would God commit His revelation?

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Posted in Dei Verbum, Lumen Gentium, Magisterium, Revelation, Scripture, Vatican II

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