September has been recognized as the Month of the Bible , since it is during this period that the Catholic Church summons the population to revive their commitment to the Divine Word. Throughout the entire month of September, the Church commemorates the month of the Holy Bible and attaches particular interest to the Word of God found in the Holy Scriptures. Find out much more below.
September month of the Bible
Throughout this month, in all Christian groups, activities take place that enable us to approach the Word of God better and more profitably.
Proposals to listen to the Word
1.- Reading the liturgical biblical texts every day is an extraordinary help to delve into the Word of God. Thus we join the whole Church that prays to the Father reflecting on the same texts. We also get used to a permanent reading of the Bible, in which the texts are linked and what we have read today is followed by tomorrow. The daily review of the texts constitutes a “safe access” to hear God who speaks to us in the Bible.
2.- Have you ever been able to read a complete gospel “without any pause”? It is extremely interesting to reveal the script of the life of Jesus that each evangelist has written. Numerous details and associations between the writings that each evangelist employs are exposed when one reads without pausing. This month is suitable to offer God this commitment.
We recommend reading the Gospel of Mark. It is not very extensive, in a few hours it can be read, and it is the first of the synoptics, the others (Matthew and Luke) follow it in the general picture. Therefore it is a very good starting point to access the message of Jesus.
3.- Another alternative to practice this month (and perhaps start an unavoidable and constructive habit) is the prayer with the psalms. They gather the prayer of the people of God throughout almost a thousand years of marches of the people of Israel. We are approached by the voice of the people who implore with faith, and the word of God, which indicates this way of imploring us to approach and hear their teachings.
Within the psalms we can find an enormous source of inspiration for prayer. There are psalms that tell us about joy, inconveniences and conflicts, illusion, decay, affliction, liberation and justice, creation, the very Word of the Lord (Psalm 118, the most extension of all). Practicing prayer with the Psalms is an “eternally open door” to approach the God of Life.
4.- The pleading reading of the Word, done in society, places us in tune with the divine will. The exercise of it is essential for the development in faith. The vigor of the community encourages us to find in the texts the strength of the Spirit. We all have to learn together and we become prosperous with the contribution of each one. There are numerous methods of pleading reading. Abbreviating as much as possible, it can be said that the following four steps are the most common:
The supplicant reading always converges in a challenge to live. The Word of God challenges us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and change our lives. Praying reading, exercised in community, is a “mirror-door” that questions us and helps us understand how to live and put his Word into practice in our time.
From the Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio (Latin: Faith and Reason) Chapter V. N’55 (partial) published by Pope John Paul II on September 14, 1998, and which deals with the links between faith and reason.
There are even fewer dangerous outbreaks of fideism, which does not admit the relevance of rational knowledge and philosophical meditation for the understanding of faith and, even more so, for the very probability of believing in the Lord.
A manifestation of this fideistic propensity spread today is “biblicism”, which seeks to make the reading of Sacred Scripture or its interpretation the exclusive point of reference for truth. Thus, it happens that the word of God is recognized only with Sacred Scripture, thus leaving meaningless the doctrine of the Church clearly corroborated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.
The Constitution Dei Verbum, after evoking that the word of God is present both in sacred writings and in Tradition, clearly states: «Tradition and Scripture make up the sacred arsenal of the word of God, entrusted to the Church. Loyal to this arsenal, the entire Christian people, together with their pastors, always persist in the apostolic doctrine».
Sacred Scripture, therefore, is not only a point of reference for the Church. In fact, the “supreme rule of their faith” comes from the alliance that the Spirit has placed between Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church in such a correspondence that the three cannot survive autonomously.
Furthermore, the risk of using a single methodology to arrive at the truth of Sacred Scripture should not be underestimated, abandoning the need for a more extensive interpretation that makes it possible to understand, together with the entire Church, the full meaning of the texts. .
All those who have dedicated themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures must always keep in mind that the various hermeneutical methodologies are based on a particular philosophical conception. Therefore, it is necessary to examine it sensibly before applying it to sacred texts.”
Finally, we Catholics through the month of September must dedicate it to beginning the understanding and dissemination of biblical writings, since one who believes himself to be a Christian would have to know the history of redemption and the Word of God, interpreted genuinely and faithfully. by the Magisterium of the Church.
The Bible, for all Christian confessions, includes Revelation and is, like all sacred texts, the source of understanding and life commitment in allusion to faith. On an annual basis, the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church and Evangelical Churches commemorate the Month of the Bible.
Each confession will commemorate the month with intensity according to its history and tradition. First of all, the Roman Catholic Church remembers Saint Jerome, (whom we celebrate on September 30), who translated the Latin Bible into the Vulgate. His name comes from “vulgo” which means “common and ordinary people”. Until that date the Bible was restricted only to ecclesiastics and since then, with this translation, the Word of God was available to everyone.
Then the Orthodox recalls that it was in the Greek language that the Holy Gospels and the other texts of the New Testament were written, and finally the Evangelical Churches celebrating the edition, on September 26, 1569, of the initial translation of the Biblical Texts into Spanish, which was carried out by Casiodoro de Reina and became known as the “Bear Bible” since the bear was represented on its cover.
Few people know that this Bible, despite being the result of the work of an active Protestant, included all the writings of the Latin Vulgate Bible of Saint Jerome, alluded to at the beginning, which is the official writing of the Bible for the entire church. Roman catholic.
The term Bible has originated, through Latin, from the Greek expression τα βιβλ?α τα ?για (ta biblea ta haguia; the sacred texts), recorded for the first time in I Maccabees 12:9, having a βιβλ?α as plural of βιβλ?ον (bible, ́papyrus ́ or ́roll ́, also used for ́book ́). It is considered that this name originates as a diminutive of the appellation of the city of Byblos (Β?βλος), relevant papyrus trading square of antiquity.
This word was used by the Hellenized Hebrews (who lived in Greek-speaking cities) long before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to refer to the Tanakh or Old Testament. Many years later it began to be used by Christians to mention the group of books that make up the Old Testament as well as the Gospels and the apostolic letters, that is, the New Testament.
By that time it was already usual to employ the first two words of the phrase, τα βιβλ?α, by way of title. Accepted as a title, and having been stripped of the article τα, it came into use in Latin as biblia sacra (the sacred texts) and thence was transferred to the other languages.
The Bible is a collection of writings that were initially independent documents (called “books”), written at first in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek for a long period of time and then grouped together to form the Tanakh (Old Testament of the Christians) and later the New Testament.
The two testaments constitute the Christian Bible. The Bible itself was written over nearly 1,000 years (900 BC – 100 AD). The oldest writings are found in the Book of Judges (“Song of Deborah”) and in the Pentateuch, which date back to the time of the two kingdoms (10th to 8th centuries BC). The oldest complete book, that of Hosea, is also from the same period.
The Roman Catholic precept of the Bible that is known today was approved for the first time at the Council of Hippo in the year 393 of our time, by the Catholic Church.
Such precept of 73 texts (46 as part of the so-called Old Testament, which include 7 books currently called Deuterocanonical, Tobias, Judith, I Maccabees, II Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus and Baruch, and 27 to the New Testament) was corroborated in the Synod of Rome in the year 380, and validated in the Council of Carthage in the year 397, and later again revalidated by decree in the fourth session of the Council of Trent on April 8, 1546.
Spanish Versions of the Catholic Bible
These come from the translation made by St. Jerome into Latin, the official language of the Church for about 15 centuries. The initial attempt was undertaken by the court of King Alfonso X, El Sabio, in 1280, and was called the Alfonsina Bible; In 1430, the Grand Master of the Calatrava order, Don Luis de Guzmán, sponsored Mosé Arragel to carry out another translation, known as the Alba Bible.
In 1944, the so-called Nácar-Colunga was published, made public by the Library of Christian Authors, which is not based on the translation of the Vulgate as a source but uses the originals. The Jerusalem Bible emerged in 1967, also based on the original writings.
The initial edition of the Latin American Bible, with the particular language of the region, is published for the first time in 2001. In the year 2005, after 33 years of work, the Bible of Navarra appeared, to carry it out they supported in the original writers in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
Why is September the month dedicated to the Holy Bible?
The initial apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis “The Joy of the Gospel” is composed of precious material to commemorate the prayer meeting around the Word of God.
Why do we celebrate the Bible in September?
For those of us who are Catholic Christians, September is the month of the Bible since September 30 is the day of Saint Jerome, the man who dedicated his existence to the analysis and translation of the Bible into Latin. Saint Jerome, born in Dalmatia in the year 340 and died in Bethlehem on September 30, 420, was the one who translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin.
The Latin translation of the Bible carried out by St. Jerome, was called the Vulgate (from vulgata editio, “edition for the people”), and came to be until the publication of the Neovulgata in 1979, the official biblical text of the Roman Catholic Church.
In this month, the Catholic Church summons the population to revitalize their commitment to the Divine Word.
The New Evangelization demands this understanding of the Word from us in order to face the new challenges. In a truth that changes continuously and it is necessary to cultivate in it the seed of the Gospel, so that the message of Jesus becomes a legitimate, understandable, hopeful and important interpretation for the existence of men and women today.
What is wanted is that, throughout this month, in all Christian communities or family groups, some activities are carried out that allow us to better approach and make better use of the Word of God.
The word of God is formed as spiritual food for the existence of every Christian. The announcements, metaphors and experiences that are contained in the Bible enable us to understand and know the immense work of redemption of Jesus Christ.
What did Pope Francis say about the Bible?
“We Christians must have only one objective in our existence of faith and that is to place the Bible at the heart of our Christian life so that it guides us, but also so that it is like the spring of our spiritual existence, so that she is the one that shows us the path to follow, but particularly because as Saint Jerome pointed out: whoever ignores the scripture ignores the person of Jesus».
What does the Catechism say?
The Bible is nourishing for spiritual life, and all Christians must have easy access to Sacred Scripture (Cat. 131). It is the spirit of theology, the sermon and catechesis (Cat. 132). The Church advises the “routine” (frequent, daily) reading of Sacred Scripture. To ignore her is to ignore Jesus. In contrast, those who enjoy it, obtain the thought of Christ (Cat. 133. Comp. 24)
Let us wait for the Holy Spirit to make some of these elements reach our minds and hearts, and help us to approach the most widely read book in the history of humanity, in which the Divine Father emerges to converse with his sons (Cat. 103), and whose writings are closest to the original. And through him to know, adore and accompany Jesus, which is inherent to the Christian.
Saint John Paul II also bequeathed us some beautiful phrases about this commemoration of the Bible in September:
“Throughout the month of September, we Catholics must dedicate it to promoting the understanding and dissemination of biblical writings with greater energy, since whoever calls himself a Christian will have to understand the history of redemption and the Word of God, interpreted genuinely and faithfully. by the Magisterium of the Church.”
Methods for Reading the Bible and Getting the Best Out of It
Here are some methods to read and understand the divine word through prayerful reading.
It is a commemoration of the Word that dates back to ancient times and its method is attributed to the monk Orígenes and can be celebrated as a group, as a family or individually. Lectio Divina or prayerful reading of the Bible is about the study of the Word in intimate conversation with God.
Biblical Text Reading
Reread, in search of complex terms and illusory reconstruction of the events as they are outlined letter by letter.
It is composed of the examination of the message of Redemption that the writing offers and the teaching for life contained therein.
It is the answer that you give to God after having heard his Word, the proposal of your life and the request for his commiseration, always in accordance with the message read.
It is the matter of internalizing the message, it is questioning what God wants from me with this message of Redemption, what is my commitment going to be? If Lectio Divina is done at home, it is advisable to free yourself from distractions and create an atmosphere of holiness; do it in front of a crucifix, with a lighted candle and starting with a penitential ritual and the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
Recommendations for Reading the Bible
- Pray to the Holy Spirit for his light and knowledge.
- Read humbly, not trying to have everything already understood.
- Interpret according to the Church. Modesty demands that you question and study.
- Reading the Bible frequently to sip more from the fountain.
- The reading is done in order to love and submit more to God and adore others more.
- Do not believe to find in the Bible natural science but a spiritual warning.
Check in your parish what program is developed throughout this month and join the commemorations, spiritual retreats, study functions, etc. that they give you, do not waste any of the abundance that you can receive thanks to the study of the Bible within the Church that wrote it.
The power and energy of the divine word is so immense that it constitutes nourishment and vigor for the Church, integrity of faith for her children, nourishment of the soul, crystalline and perennial source of spiritual life.