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26 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

mate foundation in Jesus Christ helps a person of faith to respond to

Tradition with trust. The theological, liturgical, disciplinary, and devo-

tional traditions of the local churches both contain and can be distin-

guished from this Apostolic Tradition (cf. CCC, Glossary, “Tradition”).


Sacred Scripture is inspired by God and is the Word of God. Therefore,

God is the author of Sacred Scripture, which means he inspired the

The four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament were written

down over time by those Apostles and others associated with

them who worked under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (see

CCC, no. 76, citing DV, no. 7). Among all the books of Scripture, the

Gospels hold a special place of honor because they tell us about

Jesus Christ, his person and message. The Gospels were formed in

three stages:


The life and teachings of Jesus

: The Church affirms that the

Gospels faithfully hand on what Jesus did and taught for our

salvation (cf. CCC, no. 126, citing DV, no. 19).


The oral tradition

: What Jesus said and did, the Apostles

preached to others. They brought to their preaching a deeper

understanding of what they had experienced, having been

instructed by the events of Christ’s life and enlightened by

the Holy Spirit (cf. CCC, no. 126, citing DV, no. 19).


The written Gospels

: “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 situ-

ation of the churches, while sustaining the form of preaching,

but always in such a fashion that they have told us the truth

about Jesus” (CCC, no. 126, citing DV, no. 19).