Christ Jesus - Fullness of All Revelation
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
God's Final and Complete Word (65-66)
In the last days, God "has spoken to us by a Son" (Heb 1:1-2). In his own unsurpassable Word, God has said everything. There will be no other word. "In giving us his Son, he spoke everything to us. He has no more to say" (St. John of the Cross).
Because this plan of salvation will never pass away, there will be no new public revelation (Second Vatican Council). However, much in Christian revelation is not yet completely explicit.
Private Revelations (67)
"Private revelations" (discerned and welcomed by the Church) do not complete Christ's definitive Revelation. Rather, they help believers in a certain historical period to live Christ's revelation more fully. The Church rejects those revelations (associated with non-Christian religions and recent sects) which claim to surpass or correct Christ's revelation.
Intact and Transmitted (74-75)
God wants everyone to be saved through Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:4), who must be proclaimed to all nations. Therefore, God has kept this revelation intact to be transmitted to all ages (Second Vatican Council).
Christ commanded his disciples to preach the Gospel (Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15).
Two Forms (76)
The Gospel was transmitted in two ways:
- Orally - By their preaching, good example, and establishing institutions, the apostles passed on what they heard from Christ or were taught by the Spirit.
- In writing - The apostles and others (under the Spirit's inspiration) put this message into writing.
The Bishops and Tradition (77-79)
The apostles established bishops as their successors with the authority to teach. This apostolic preaching, especially as expressed in the inspired books, must be preserved through a continuous line of apostolic succession.
This living transmission is called Tradition. It is distinct from, yet closely united with, Sacred Scripture.
God's revelation will always remain active and present in the Church because God still speaks to the Church, and the Spirit still leads believers into full truth.
Same Source and Goal (80)
Both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which are bound closely together) flow from a common source and have the same goal. They make present the mystery of Christ who always remains with the Church.
Two Modes - Scripture and Tradition (81-82)
Sacred Scripture is God's speech written under the breath of the Holy Spirit. Tradition transmits, in its entirety, the Word of God to the apostles' successors.
The Church does not derive her certainty about revealed truths from Scripture alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be equally honored.
What the Apostles Learned (83)
This Tradition comes from what the apostles learned from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The first generation Church had no written New Testament and the New Testament itself shows the process of a living Tradition. This Tradition must be distinguished from various types of traditions (liturgical, theological, etc.) which grew up in local churches and is subject to Church Magisterium.