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But this answer does not give us a criterium for the inspiration of the Old Testament books, nor does it touch the inspiration of the Gospels of St. Certain writings of the Roman pontiff may be infallible, but they are not inspired; God is not their author.
Nor can the criterium of inspiration be placed in the testimony of history.
But in Rom., iv, 3, he modifies his view, appealing to Dr. In the thirteenth century, Innocent III imposed this formula on the Waldensians ; Clement IV exacted its acceptance from Michael Palaeologus, and the emperor actually accepted it in his letter to the Second Council of Lyons (1272). Script.), and in the nineteenth century by the Vatican Council.
But, in the first place, not all inspired writers have been prophets or workers of miracles ; in the second place, in order that prophecies or miracles may serve as proof of inspiration, it must be clear that the miracles were performed, and the prophecies were uttered, to establish the fact in question; in the third place, if this condition be verified, the testimony for inspiration is no longer merely human, but it has become Divine.
No one will doubt the sufficiency of Divine testimony to establish the fact of inspiration; on the other hand, no one can deny the need of such testimony in order that we may distinguish with certainty between an inspired and a non-inspired book. Question of Fact It is a rather difficult problem to state with certainty, how and when the several books of the Old and the New Testament were received as sacred by the religious community.
What has been said implies that Scripture does not refer to any single book, but comprises a number of books written at different times and by different writers working under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
Hence the question, how could such a collection be made, and how was it made in point of fact? Question of Right The main difficulty as to the first question ( quoestio juris ) arises from the fact that a book must be Divinely inspired in order to lay claim to the dignity of being regarded as Scripture.
Since these two passages mention the main divisions of the Old-Testament canon, this latter must have been completed, at least with regard to the earlier books, during the course of the second century B. It is generally granted that the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ acknowledged as canonical or included in their collection of sacred writings all the so-called protocanonical books of the Old Testament.
Christ and the Apostles endorsed this faith of the Jews, so that we have Divine authority for their Scriptural character.
Various methods have been suggested for ascertaining the fact of inspiration.
It has been claimed that so-called internal criteria are sufficient to lead us to the knowledge of this fact. Other students of this subject have endeavored to establish Apostolic authorship as a criterium of inspiration. Besides, the Apostles were endowed with the gift of infallibility in their teaching, and in their writing as far as it formed part of their teaching; but infallibility in writing does not imply inspiration.
In a similar sense are employed the expressions graphai hagiai ( Romans 1:2 ), ai graphai ton propheton ( Matthew ), graphai prophetikai ( Romans ). Coming down to the time of Christ, we find that Flavius Josephus attributes to the twenty-two protocanonical books of the Old Testament Divine authority, maintaining that they had been written under Divine inspiration and that they contain God's teachings (Contra Appion., I, vi-viii). The Apostles knew that "prophecy came not by the will of man at any time : but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost " ( 2 Peter ); they regarded "all scripture, inspired of God " as "profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice " ( 2 Timothy ).
The word has a somewhat modified sense in Christ's question, "and have you not read this scripture" ( Mark ). The Hellenist Philo too is acquainted with the three parts of the sacred Jewish books to which he ascribes an irrefragable authority, because they contain God's oracles expressed through the instrumentality of the sacred writers ("De vit. They considered the words of Scripture as the words of God speaking in the inspired writer or by the mouth of the inspired writer ( Hebrews 4:7 ; Acts -16 ; ).
Deut., xxxi, 9, 24 sqq., informs us that Moses delivered the Book of the Law to the Levites and the ancients of Israel to be deposited "in the side of the ark of the covenant "; according to Deut., xvii, 18, the king had to procure for himself a copy of at least a part of the book, so as to "read it all the days of his life".