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St. Jerome translated the Bible from the original languages of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, into Latin.

Latin was the language of educated people in Western Europe for centuries.

His translation made the Bible accessible to many people, for many centuries.  It was many hundreds of years before the National languages, such as English, French, Italian, etc., of Europe developed and were widely used.

In our Catholic understanding the Bible is the Word of God.

There is, of course, the human author.  These authors were inspired by God to write what they did and were guided by the Holy Spirit.

However, they were people of their own culture and time.  They wrote using the literal styles and world view of their times.

The Bible, as we have it now, was written by several authors.  It was also written over a span of hundreds of years.  There are 73 books in the Catholic Cannon of the Bible.

The Bible is about Theology and teaching.  It is not a history book or a science book.

Catholics, and many other Christians, accept the Bible as being the true and faithful Word of God.  However, not everything is to be taken literally.  Some of the Old Testament books and stories have symbolic meaning about very true teachings.

The New Testament tells us that we all need good teachers to help us understand the scriptures.

The Church needs the scriptures to keep calling us to be faithful to God.

The Church also helps to teach and explain the scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Some religions, such as Islam, accept every word of their Holy books, such as the Koran, to have every word willed by God.

Pope Benedict said “The literalism championed by the fundamentalist approach, actually represents a betrayal of both the literal and spiritual sense”.

Christ is the key by which we understand more deeply all the scriptures.

The scripture is indeed, in and through Christ, a lamp unto our feet.

We are certainly encouraged to read and pray the scripture.  It is also very helpful to have a good teacher to help in the understanding more deeply what they proclaim and teach.

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