How Has God Revealed Himself? *


In the generations after our first parents disobeyed God, breaking their relationship with him (see Gn 3), their descendants' knowledge of their Creator seems to have become faded and even distorted. We find in the Book of Genesis, however, that God chooses to reveal himself to a series of individuals and their families, to begin the restoration of his relationship with humanity. His revelation to Abraham (see 12:1-9) begins a series of events that leads to the formation of the Jewish people, and eventually to the birth of God's Son, Jesus Christ, to a Jewish woman.


As 'the Word (who) became flesh" (Jn 1:14), Jesus Christ most perfectly reveals God the Father; the entire divine revelation is perfectly summed up in him. He is not only the Son of God, but also God the Son: equal in essence and glory with his Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit--the Spirit sent by the Father and breathed on the apostles by the Son--is also a divine Person, and fully God (see Jn 14:9-11, 16-17; 20:22).


Catholics believe that this revelation of the triune God--who is three Persons in one essence (or being)--is communicated in the holy Scriptures and through the Church, which authoritatively and infallibly interprets the Bible according to unbroken apostolic Tradition (see 1 Tm 3:15; 2 Thes 2:15). It is true that individuals can come to know God , even if they have never heard the gospel ("good news") of Jesus Christ, on the basis of nature and what it reveals of the Creator, and through the laws of their conscience (see Ps 19:2-3; Rom 1:19-21; 2:12-16). Various non-Catholic, Christian communions also teach a great deal that is true about God. However, the fullness of the Christian revelation is entrusted to the Catholic Church, the guardian of the apostolic deposit from the beginning.


This Christian message, most fully proclaimed by the Catholic Church, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church into all truth, revels God's nature and character, his love for us, his mercy, and his holiness and commandments. Revelation is God's message to us about himself and about how he wants us to live. It teaches us what is right and wrong, good and evil. It is passed on through the generation by the Church through words and deeds that testify to its truth. (See also: Trinity and Revelation)


Other related scriptures: Jn 1:1-5, 14; 14:26; Jn 15:26; Jn 16:13; Acts 2:42; 20:28; Jude 3.


Catechism of the Catholic Church: 31-141; 175; 198-267; 737; 768; 839-845; 1718; 2812.


*Quoted from The New Catholic Answer Bible: A-2. Wichita, Kansas, Fireside Catholic Publishing, 2005.


Additional insights at: