Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God.’88 113 But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the

Catholic Church already moved me.8~ IV. The Canon of Scripture


120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned

which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.9° This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament ~ if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.9’ The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 2 Samuel, I and 2 Kings, and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, To bit, Judith, Esther, i and 2 IvIaccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecciesiastes, the
Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea,Joel, Amos, Obadiah,Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.

The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St Paul to the Romans, i and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, i and 2 Thessalonians, and 2
Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters ofJames, i and 2 Peter, I, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).

The Old Testament

121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scrip-


ture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent

value,92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked. 122 Indeed, ‘the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately


so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the


coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.’93 ‘Even though they con

tain matters imperfect and provisional’,94 the books of the Old 708 Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s saving love: these writings ‘are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful