Today we celebrate the feast of St Jerome.
He translated the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin.
Latin was the language in use common to Western European countries for many centuries.
The Scriptures used in the Christian Church have two parts, the books that came directly from the Jewish people and those that came from the Christian Era.
The ones that came from the Jewish people (the Old Testament) were written mostly in Hebrew and some others in Greek.
Then there are the Christian books written in Hebrew and mostly in Greek.
There are 73 books in the Bible.
In the Catholic Bible, the are 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
It was the Church that determined which books were included in the Bible using the authority given to it by Jesus to teach in His name.
The Scriptures have a human author who wrote from within the culture of the time using images and literary styles of their time.
However, there is also the Divine author.
The human author was inspired by God to write the Word of God.
We can truly say that God is the author of the message of the Scripture.
For Christians, the message of Christ guides us to help interpret the scriptures, all the scriptures.
A proper understanding of the Scriptures needs an understanding of the time and context in which the human author lived.
A simple literal interpretation of Scripture without knowledge of the above is not a good and proper way to understand the message of the Scripture.
Proper understanding needs guidance from those who have studied the Scriptures properly.
However, this does not mean that we should be scared or hesitant in reading the Bible. Far from it.
The Church encourages us to pray and read the Bible regularly.
It is God’s word to guide, teach and inspire us.
It is also wise to have some guidance in using it to avoid fundamentalist and simplistic interpretations.