Denzinger EN 3500

The Author and Historical Truth of the Fourth Gospel *

[Response of the Biblical Commission, May 29, 1907]

3398 Dz 2110 Question I: Whether from the constant, universal, and solemn tradition of the Church coming down from the second century, inasmuch as it is taken chiefly a) from the testimonies and allusions of the Holy Fathers, ecclesiastical writers, even heretics, which, since they must derive from the disciples and first successors of the apostles, are necessarily closely connected with the very origin of the work itself; b) from the acceptance always and everywhere of the name of the author of the fourth Gospel in the Canon and in the catalogues of the Sacred Scriptures; c) from the oldest manuscripts, codices, and versions in various languages of the same Books; d) from the public liturgical practice obtaining in the whole world from the beginnings of the Church; prescinding from theological proof, it is demonstrated by such strong historical proof that John the Apostle and no other is to be recognized as the author of the fourth Gospel, that the reasons adduced by critics in opposition by no means weaken this tradition?
--Answer: In the affirmative.

3399 Dz 2111 Question II: Whether the internal reasons also, which are taken from the text of the fourth Gospel, considered separately, from the testimony of the author and the manifest relationship of the Gospel itself with the First Epistle of the Apostle John, are to be considered as confirming the tradition which undoubtedly attributes the fourth Gospel to the same Apostle?--And whether the difficulties which are assumed from a comparison of the Gospel with the other three, the diversity of the times, purposes, and audiences, for whom and against whom the author wrote, being kept in view, can be reasonably solved, just as the most Holy Fathers and exegetes have shown in different places?
--Answer: In the affirmative to both parts.

3400 Dz 2112 Question III: Whether, not withstanding the practice which flourished constantly in the whole Church from the earliest times, of arguing from the fourth Gospel as from a truly historical document, in consideration, nevertheless, of the peculiar nature of the same Gospel, and of the manifest intention of the author to illustrate and to prove the divinity of Christ from the very deeds and words of the Lord, it can be said that the deeds related in the fourth Gospel are totally or partially so invented that they are allegories or doctrinal symbols; but that the words of the Lord are not properly and truly the words of the Lord himself, but theological compositions of the writer, although placed in the mouth of the Lord?
--Answer: In the negative.

The Authority of the Decisions of the Biblical Commission *

[From Motu prop Rio, "Praestantia Scripturae," Nov. 18, 1907]

3503 Dz 2113 . . . After long discussions and most conscientious deliberations, certain excellent decisions have been published by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, very useful for the true advancement of Biblical studies and for directing the same by a definite norm. Yet we notice that there are not lacking those who have not received and do not receive such decisions with the obedience which is proper, even though they are approved by the Pontiff.

Therefore, we see that it must be declared and ordered as We do now declare and expressly order, that all are bound by the duty of conscience to submit to the decisions of the Biblical Pontifical Commission, both those which have thus far been published and those which will hereafter be proclaimed, just as to the decrees of the Sacred Congregations which pertain to doctrine and have been approved by the Pontiff; and that all who impugn such decisions as these by word or in writing cannot avoid the charge of disobedience, or on this account be free of grave sin; and this besides the scandal by which they offend, and the other matters for which they can be responsible before God, especially because of other pronouncements in these matters made rashly and erroneously.

Dz 2114 In addition to this, intending to repress the daily increasing boldness of spirit of many Modernists, who by sophisms and artifices of every kind endeavor to destroy the force and the efficacy not only of the Decree, "Lamentabili sane exitu," which was published at Our command by the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition on the third of July of the current year [see n. 2071 ff.], but also of Our Encyclical Letter, "Pascendi Dominici gregis," given on the eighth of September of this same year [see n. 2071 ff.] by Our Apostolic authority, We repeat and confirm not only that Decree of the Sacred Supreme Congregation, but also that Encyclical Letter of Ours, adding the penalty of excommunication against all who contradict them; and We declare and decree this: if anyone, which may God forbid, proceeds to such a point of boldness that he defends any of the propositions, opinions, and doctrines disproved in either document mentioned above, he is ipso facto afflicted by the censure imposed in the chapter Docentes of the Constitution of the Apostolic See, first among those excommunications latae sententiae which are reserved simply to the Roman Pontiff. This excommunication, however, is to be understood with no change in the punishments, which those who have committed anything against the above mentioned documents may incur, if at any time their propositions, opinions, or doctrines are heretical; which indeed has happened more than once in the case of the adversaries of both these documents, but especially when they defend the errors of modernism, that is, the refuge of all heresies.

The Nature and Authorship of the Book of Isaias *

[Response of the Biblical Commission, June 28th, 1908]

3505 Dz 2115 Question I: Whether it can be taught that the prophecies which are read in the book of Isaias, and here and there in the Scriptures, are not prophecies in the true sense of the word, but either accounts composed after the event or, if it is necessary that they be acknowledged as being foretold before the event, that the prophet foretold them not from any natural revelation of God who knows the future, but by a kind of happy sagacity and natural acumen of the mind from things that have already happened?
--Reply: In the negative.

3506 Dz 2116 Question II: Whether the opinion which prevails that Isaias and the other prophets uttered only prophecies which were to take place in the near future, or after no great space of time, can be reconciled with those prophecies, especially the Messianic and eschatological, which were certainly pronounced by these same prophets a long time in advance, and also with the common opinion of the Holy Fathers who assert with one accord that the prophets foretold those things also which were to be fulfilled after many ages?
--Reply: In the negative.

3507 Dz 2117 Question III: Whether it can be admitted that the prophets, not only as reformers of human depravity, and heralds of the divine Word for the benefit of those who heed it, but also as foretellers of future events, must have continually addressed themselves, not to future listeners but to contemporary ones, on an equal footing with themselves, and in a manner to make possible a clear understanding; that as a consequence the second part of book of Isaias (chapter Is 40 Is 66), in which the prophet living among them addresses and consoles not the Jews on an equal footing with Isaias, but the lamenting in Babylonian exile, cannot have had Isaias himself, who was already dead, as its author, but should be assigned to some unknown prophet living among the exiles?
--Reply: In the negative.

3508 Dz 2118 Question IV: Whether the philological argument taken from the language and style to impugn the identity of the author of the book of Isaias, is to be considered of such importance as to force a serious person, skilled in the art of criticism and in the Hebrew language, to recognize in the same book a plurality of authors?
--Reply: In the negative.

3509 Dz 2119 Question V: Whether solid arguments stand out, even taken collectively, to induce the conviction that the Book of Isaias is not to be attributed to Isaias himself alone, but to two, or even to several authors.
--Reply: In the negative.

The Relationship Between Philosophy and Theology *

[From the Encyclical, "Communium rerum,'' April 21, 1909]

Dz 2120 . . . (Therefore) the task of philosophy is chiefly to set forth prominently the "reasonable service" (Rm 12,1) of our faith, and the duty which follows from that of joining faith to divine authority which proposes the most profound mysteries which, proven by many evidences of truth, "are become exceedingly credible" (Ps 92,5). Far different from this is the task of theology, which relies on divine revelation and makes more solid in the faith those who confess that they rejoice in the honor of the Christian name; for no Christian should dispute how what the Catholic Church believes in heart, and confesses in words is not so; but always unhesitatingly holding to the same faith, but loving and living according to it, humbly seek the reason, insofar as he can, how it is so. If he can understand, let him give thanks to God; if he cannot let him not push his horns to the struggle (Cf. 1M 7,46), but let him submit his head to veneration.

The Historical Character of the Earlier Chapters of Genesis *

[Response of the Biblical Commission, June 30th, 1909]

3512 Dz 2121 Question I: Whether the various exegetical systems which have been proposed to exclude the literal historical sense of the three first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and have been defended by the pretense of science, are sustained by a solid foundation?
--Reply: In the negative.

3513 Dz 2122 Question II: Whether, when the nature and historical form of the Book of Genesis does not oppose, because of the peculiar connections of the three first chapters with each other and with the following chapters, because of the manifold testimony of the Old and of the New Testaments; because of the almost unanimous opinion of the Holy Fathers, and because of the traditional sense which, transmitted from the Israelite people, the Church always held, it can be taught that the three aforesaid chapters of Genesis do not contain the stories of events which really happened, that is, which correspond with objective reality and historical truth; but are either accounts celebrated in fable drawn from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and adapted by a holy writer to monotheistic doctrine, after expurgating any error of polytheism; or allegories and symbols, devoid of a basis of objective reality, set forth under the guise of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or, finally, legends, historical in part and fictitious in part, composed freely for the instruction and edification of souls?

--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3514 Dz 2123 Question 111: Whether in particular the literal and historical sense can be called into question, where it is a matter of facts related in the same chapters, which pertain to the foundations of the Christian religion; for example, among others, the creation of all things wrought by God in the beginning of time; the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man; the oneness of the human race; the original happiness of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given to man by God to prove his obedience; the transgression of the divine command through the devil's persuasion under the guise of a serpent; the casting of our first parents out of that first state of innocence; and also the promise of a future restorer?

--Reply: In the negative.

3515 Dz 2124 Question IV: Whether in interpreting those passages of these chapters, which the Fathers and Doctors have understood differently, but concerning which they have not taught anything certain and definite, it is permitted, while preserving the judgment of the Church and keeping the analogy of faith, to follow and defend that opinion which everyone has wisely approved?

--Reply: In the affirmative.

3516 Dz 2125 Question V: Whether all and everything, namely, words and phrases which occur in the aforementioned chapters, are always and necessarily to be accepted in a special sense, so that there may be no deviation from this, even when the expressions themselves manifestly appear to have been taken improperly, or metaphorically or anthropomorphically, and either reason prohibits holding the proper sense, or necessity forces its abandonment?

--Reply: In the negative.

3517 Dz 2126 Question VI: Whether, presupposing the literal and historical sense, the allegorical and prophetical interpretation of some passages of the same chapters, with the example of the Holy Fathers and the Church herself showing the way, can be wisely and profitably applied?

--Reply: In the affirmative.

3518 Dz 2127 Question VII: Whether, since in writing the first chapter of Genesis it was not the mind of the sacred author to teach in a scientific manner the detailed constitution of visible things and the complete order of creation, but rather to give to his people a popular notion, according as the common speech of the times went, accommodated to the understanding and capacity of men, the propriety of scientific language is to be investigated exactly and always in the interpretation of these?

--Reply: In the negative.

3519 Dz 2128 Question VIII: Whether in that designation and distinction of six days, with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word (dies) can be assumed either in its proper sense as a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among exegetes?

--Reply: In the affirmative.

The Authors and the Time of the Composition of the Psalms *

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, May 1, 1910]

3521 Dz 2129 Question 1: Whether the designations Psalms of David, Hymns of David, Davidian Psalter, used in the ancient collections and in the Councils themselves to designate the Book of 150 psalms of the Old Testament, just as also the opinion of many Fathers and Doctors who held that absolutely all the psalms of the Psalter are to be ascribed to David alone, have such force that David ought to be held as the only author of the entire Psalter?

--Reply: In the negative.

3522 Dz 2130 Question 11: Whether from a comparison of the Hebraic with the Alexandrian Greek text and with other old versions it can rightly be argued that the titles of the psalms prefixed to the Hebraic text are more ancient than the so-called version of the seventy men; and therefore have derived, if not directly from the authors themselves of the psalms, at least from an old Judaic tradition?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3523 Dz 2131 Question III: Whether the aforesaid titles of the psalms, witnesses of the Judaic tradition, since there is not serious argument against their authenticity, can prudently be called into doubt?
--Reply: In the negative.

3524 Dz 2132 Question IV: Whether, if the by no means infrequent testimonies of Holy Scripture about the natural skill of David, illustrated by the grace of the Holy Spirit in composing the religious hymns, are considered, the institutions established by him on the liturgical singing of the psalms, the attributing of the psalms to him both in the Old Testament and the New, and in the inscriptions themselves which were prefixed to the psalms from antiquity, besides the consensus of opinion of the Jews, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church, it can be prudently denied that David is the chief author of the hymns of the Psalter; or on the other hand affirmed that only a few hymns of the Psalter are to be attributed to him? Reply:
--In the negative to both parts.

3525 Dz 2133 Question V: Whether in appearance the Davidian origin can be denied to those psalms which are cited in the Old and New Testament distinctly under the name of David, among which to be considered before the rest come: psalm 2, Quare fremuerunt gentes; psalm 15, Conserva me, Domine; psalm 17 Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea; psalm 31, Beati, Quorum remissae sunt iniquitates; psalm 68, Salvum me fac, Deus; psalm 109, Dixit Dominus Domino meo?
--Reply: In the negative.

3526 Dz 2134 Question Vl: Whether the opinion of those can be admitted who hold that among the psalms of the psalter some, whether of David or of other authors, which for liturgical and musical reasons, the listlessness of the amanuenses, or for other unknown reasons, have been divided into several groups or joined into one; and likewise that there are other psalms, such as Miserere mei, Deus, which, that they may be made to fit in better with historic circumstances or the solemnities of the Jewish people, have been lightly revised and modified by the subtraction or addition of one or two verses, although preserving the inspiration of the entire sacred text?
--Reply: In the affirmative to both parts.

3527 Dz 2135 Question Vll: Whether the opinion can probably be sustained of those among more recent writers who, relying on internal indications only, or on an inaccurate interpretation of the sacred text, tried to show that not a few psalms were composed after the times of Esdras and Nehemias, even in the late period of the Machabees.
--Reply: In the negative.

3528 Dz 2136 Question VIII: Whether because of the many testimonies of the Sacred Books of the New Testament, and the unanimous consent of the Fathers, together also with the indications of the writers of the Judaic nation, more psalms should be recognized as prophetic and messianic, which have predicted the coming of the future Liberator, the kingdom, the priesthood, the passion, the death, and resurrection; and therefore their opinion ought to be completely rejected, who pervert the prophetic and messianic nature of the psalms and restrict the same oracles on Christ only to pronouncing the future lot of the elect people?--Reply: In the affirmative for both parts.

The Age for Admitting to First Eucharistic Communion *

[From the Decree, "Quem singular)," of the Congregation on the Sacraments, August 8, 1910]

3530 Dz 2137 I. The age of discretion both for confession and for Holy Communion is that at which the child begins to reason, that is, at about the seventh year, more or less. The obligation of satisfying both precepts of confession and communion begins from that time [see n. 437].

3531 Dz 2138 II. For first confession and for first communion a full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary. But the child will be obliged afterwards to learn gradually the whole catechism in accord with his intelligence.

3532 Dz 2139 III. The knowledge of religion which is required in a child, that he may prepare himself fittingly for his first communion, is that by which in accord with his capacity he perceives the mysteries of faith necessary by a necessity of means, and by which he distinguishes Eucharistic bread from the common and corporeal, in order that he may approach the most blessed Eucharist with that devotion which his age carries.

3533 Dz 2140 IV. The obligation of the precept of confession and communion which rests upon a child, falls especially upon those who should have care of him, that is, upon parents, confessor, teachers, and pastor. But to the father, or to those who take his place, and to the confessor, it pertains, according to the Roman Catechism, to admit the child to first communion.

Dz 2141 V. Once or several times a year let the pastors take care to announce and to hold general communion for children, and to admit to it not only new communicants but also others who by the consent of their parents or confessor, as has been mentioned above, have already partaken for the first time from the holy altar. Let some days for instruction and preparation be set aside in advance.

3534 Dz 2142 VI. Those who have charge over children must make every effort to see that these same children after first communion approach the holy table often, and, if it can be done, daily, just as Jesus Christ and Mother Church desire [see n. 1981 ff.]; and that they do this with that devotion of mind which is appropriate to such an age. Let those who have this responsibility remember besides the very serious obligation by which they are bound, see to it that the children themselves continue to be present at the public instructions in catechism, or otherwise in some manner supply the same with religious instruction.

3535 Dz 2143 VII. The custom of never admitting children to confession, or of never absolving them when they have arrived at the use of reason, is to be disapproved entirely. Therefore, the local ordinaries will see to it, even by applying the remedy of the law, that this custom is entirely abandoned.

3536 Dz 2144 VIII. The abuse of not administering Viaticum and extreme unction to children past the age of reason, and of burying them according to the rite of infants is entirely an abuse. Let the local ordinaries deal severely with those who do not abandon such a custom.

The Oath Against the Errors of Modernism *

[From Motu proprio, "Sacrorum antistitum,', September 1, 1910]

3537 Dz 2145 I . . . firmly embrace and accept all and everything that has been defined, affirmed, and declared by the unerring magisterium of the Church, especially those chief doctrines which are directly opposed to the errors of this time.

3538 And first, I profess that God, the beginning and end of all things, can be certainly known and thus can also be demon strafed by the natural light of reason "by the things that are made" (cf. Rm 1,20), that is, by the visible works of creation, as the cause by the effects.

3539 Secondly, I admit and recognize the external arguments of revelation, that is, divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies, as very certain signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion; and I hold that these same arguments have been especially accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even of these times.

3540 Thirdly, likewise, with a firm faith I believe that the Church, guardian and mistress of the revealed word, was instituted proximately and directly by the true and historical Christ Himself, while he sojourned among us, and that the same was built upon Peter, the chief of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors until the end of time.

3541 Fourthly, I accept sincerely the doctrine of faith transmitted from the apostles through the orthodox fathers, always in the same sense and interpretation, even to us; and so I reject the heretical invention of the evolution of dogmas, passing from one meaning to another, different from that which the Church first had; and likewise I reject all error whereby a philosophic fiction is substituted for the divine deposit, given over to the Spouse of Christ and to be guarded faithfully by her, or a creation of the human conscience formed gradually by the efforts of men and to be perfected by indefinite progress in the future.

3542 Fifthly, I hold most certainly and profess sincerely that faith is not a blind religious feeling bursting forth from the recesses of the subconscious, unformed morally under the pressure of the heart and the impulse of the will, but the true assent of the intellect to the truth received extrinsically ex auditu, whereby we believe that what has been said, attested, and revealed by the personal God, our Creator and Lord, to be true on account of the authority of God the highest truth.

3543 Dz 2146 I also subject myself with the reverence which is proper, and I adhere with my whole soul to all the condemnations, declarations, and prescriptions which are contained in the Encyclical letter, "Pascendi" [see n. 2071 ff.] and in the Decree, "Lamentabili" [see n. 2001 f.], especially on that which is called the history of dogma.

3544 In the same manner I disapprove the error of those who affirm that the faith proposed by the Church can be in conflict with history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, cannot be reconciled with the more authentic origins of the Catholic religion.

3545 --I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that the more erudite Christian puts on a dual personality, one of the believer, the other of the historian, as if it were permitted the historian to hold what is in contradiction to the faith of the believer; or to establish premises from which it follows that dogmas are either false or doubtful, provided they are not directly denied.

3546 --I disapprove likewise that method of studying and interpreting Sacred Scripture, which disregards the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, and adheres to the fictions of the rationalists, and no less freely than boldly adopts textual criticism as the only and supreme rule.

3547 --Besides I reject the opinion of those who hold that to present the historical and theological disciplines the teacher or the writer on these subjects must first divest himself of previously conceived opinion either on the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition, or on the aid promised by God for the perpetual preservation of every revealed truth; then that the writings of the individual Fathers are to be interpreted only by the principles of science, setting aside all divine authority, and by that freedom of judgment with which any profane document is customarily

Dz 2147
investigated. Finally, in short, I profess to be utterly free of the error according to which the modernists hold that there is nothing divine in the sacred tradition; or, what is far worse, admit this in the pantheistic sense, so that nothing remains but the bare and simple fact to be assimilated with the common facts of history, namely, of men by their industry, skill, and genius continuing through subsequent ages the school inaugurated by Christ and His disciples. So I retain most firmly the faith of the Fathers, and shall retain it until the final breath of life, regarding the certain gift of truth, which is, was, and will be always in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles,* not so that what may seem better and more fitting according to each one's period of culture may be held, but so that the absolute and immutable truth preached * by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed otherwise, may never be understood otherwise.

All these things I promise that I shall faithfully, completely, and sincerely keep and inviolably watch, never deviating from them in word and writing either while teaching or in any other pursuit. So I promise, so I swear, so may God, etc.

Certain Errors of the Orientals *

[From the letter, "Ex quo,,' to the Archbishops Apostolic Delegates in Byzantium, in Greece, in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, in Persia, in Syria, and in the Oriental Indies, December 26, 1910]

3553 2147a No less rashly than falsely does one approach this opinion, that the dogma concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son by no means is taken from the very words of the Gospel, or is sanctioned by the faith of the ancient Fathers;

3554 --most imprudently, likewise, is doubt raised as to whether the sacred dogmas on purgatory and on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary were acknowledged by the holy men of earlier years;

3555 --. . . regarding the constitution of the Church . . . first of all an error, long since condemned by Our predecessor, Innocent X, is being renewed [cf. n. 1091], in which it is argued that St. Paul is held as a brother entirely equal to St. Peter;--then, with no less falsity, one is invited to believe that the Catholic Church was not in the earliest days a sovereignty of one person, that is a monarchy; or that the primacy of the Catholic Church does not rest on valid arguments.

3556 --But . . . the Catholic doctrine on the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist is not left untouched when it is taught inflexibly that the opinion can be accepted which maintains that among the Greeks the words of consecration do not produce an effect unless preceded by that prayer which they call epiclesis, *although, on the other hand, it is well known that to the Church there belongs no right whatsoever to innovate anything touching on the substance of the sacraments; and no less inharmonious with this is the view that confirmation conferred by any, priest at all is to be held valid.

These opinions are noted as "grave errors."

The Author, the Time of Composition, and Historical Truth of the Gospel According to Matthew *

[Response of the Biblical Commission, June 19, 1911]

3561 Dz 2148 I. Whether after noting the universal and constant agreement of the Church from the earliest times, which is clearly shown by the eloquent testimonies of the Fathers, the inscriptions of the manuscripts of the Gospels, even the most ancient versions of the Sacred Scriptures, and the catalogues handed down by the Holy Fathers, the ecclesiastical writers, the Highest Pontiffs, and the Councils, and finally the liturgical practice of the Eastern and Western Church, it can and should be affirmed with certainty that Matthew, the Apostle of Christ, is in fact the author of the vulgate Gospel under his name?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3562 Dz 2149 II. Whether the opinion should be considered as sufficiently supported by the assent of tradition, which holds that Matthew preceded the other evangelists in his writing, and that he composed the first Gospel in the native language then employed by the Jews of Palestine, to whom that work was directed?
--Reply: In the affirmative to both parts.

3563 Dz 2150 III. Whether the redaction of this original text can be placed beyond the time of the overthrow of Jerusalem, so that the prophecies which are read there about this same overthrow were written after the event; or whether what is customarily alleged to be the testimony of Irenaeus [Adv. haer., lib. 3, cap. I, n. 2] of uncertain and controversial interpretation, is to be considered of such weight that it forces us to reject the opinion of those who think, more in accord with tradition, that the same redaction was composed even before Paul's arrival in the City?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3564 Dz 2151 IV. Whether that opinion of certain moderns can even with some probability be sustained, according to which Matthew did not properly or strictly compose the Gospel such as has been handed down to us, but only some collection of the words or conversations of Christ, which another anonymous author has made use of as sources, whom they make the redactor of the Gospel itself.
--Reply: In the negative.

3565 Dz 2152 V. Whether from the fact that the Fathers and all ecclesiastical writers, indeed the Church herself from her own incunabula used, as canonical, only the Greek text of the Gospel known under the name of Matthew, not even excepting those who taught expressly that Matthew the Apostle wrote in his native language, it can be proved with certainty that the Greek Gospel is identical as to substance with that Gospel written in his native language by the same Apostle?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3566 Dz 2153 VI. Whether from the fact that the author of the first Gospel pursues especially the dogmatic and apologetic aim, namely, of demonstrating to the Jews that Jesus is the Messias foretold by the prophets, and descended from the lineage of David, and from the fact that when arranging the deeds and words which he narrates and sets forth anew, he does not always hold to the chronological order, it may be deduced that these matters are not to be accepted as true; or, also, whether it can be affirmed that the accounts of the accomplishments and discourses of Christ, which are read in the Gospel itself, have undergone a kind of alteration and adaptation under the influence of the prophets of the Old Testament, and the status of the more mature Church, and so are by no means in conformity with historical truth?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3567 Dz 2154 VII. Whether in particular the opinions of those persons should be rightly considered as devoid of solid foundation, who call into question the historical authenticity of the two first chapters, in which the genealogy and infancy of Christ are related; as also of certain opinions on dogmatic matters of great moment, as are those which have to do with the primacy of Peter (Mt 16,17-19), the form of baptizing, together with the universal mission of preaching handed over to the apostles (Mt 28,19-20), the apostles' profession of faith in the divinity of Christ (Mt 14,33), and other such matters which occurred in Matthew announced in a special way?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

Denzinger EN 3500