Formation of Gospels and Vatican II


“For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed. The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form, others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus. Whether they relied on their own memory and recollections or on the testimony of those who “from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word,” their purpose in writing was that we might know the “truth” concerning the things of which we have been informed (Cf. Lk 1: 4).” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, 19).

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