Deposit of Faith

I am trying to read Dei Verbum and to find out does it teach something new and different. Does the Deposit of Faith consist of one, two or three things?

  1. One thing, scripture and tradition merge into one stream
  2. Two things: this is the traditional teaching, that scripture and tradition form the basics of our faith
  3. Three things: in this three-legged stool theory scripture, tradition and authority combine to contribute to the salvation of souls.

Which is correct? What does the Deposit of Faith consist of, and what exactly is it?

Please help, thanks.

The Deposit of Faith is the Faith (doctrine, teaching) handed down to us from the Apostles themselves, from the lips of Jesus.

Scripture and Tradition are the result of that Deposit.

However, the Deposit of Faith, while complete at the death of the Last Apostle, continues to be revealed over time, By Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.

After the death of the last of the twelve it could receive no increment. It was, as the Church calls it, a deposit — “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude, 2) — for which the Church was to “contend” but to which she could add nothing. Thus, whenever there has been question of defining a doctrine, whether at Nicæa, at Trent, or at the Vatican, the sole point of debate has been as to whether the doctrine is found in Scripture or in Apostolic tradition.
…the Vatican Council declared once for all that the meaning of the Church’s dogmas is immutable (De Fide Cath., cap. iv, can. iii). On the other hand it explicitly recognizes that there is a legitimate mode of development, …

Joyce, G. (1912). Revelation. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. newadvent.org/cathen/13001a.htm

AmbroseSJ,

Thank you for your reply.

Initially you seem to support the two item (Scripture and Tradition) theory, but then you seem to favo(u)r the three item theory (Scripture, Tradition and Authority).

You also seem to reject the new one item theory of Dei Verbum.

9. Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end…
10. Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church.
(Dei Verbum, Ch 2, parts of paragraphs 9 and 10).

Vico,

Thank you for replying.

A lot has happened since 1912, Vat II occurred and the CCC was published.

Over time dogmas are defined and we are bound to believe defined dogmas, for instance Mary being mediatrix of all graces is not defined dogma, so we are not obliged to believe it. But considering what dogma is deviates from the focus of my original post.

88 The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to
the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths
contained in divine Revelation or having a necessary connection with them,
in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of
faith
(CCC).

That one is about the full exercise of teaching authority by the Magisterium. The Canon law describes what we must adhere to more fully:

CIC Canon 750

§ 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.

§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

I don’t think you understood my post.

I believe my statement was just another way of saying what you quote from Dei Verbum. :wink:
I said: "Scripture and Tradition are the result of that Deposit. "

When you say: “but then you seem to favo(u)r the three item theory (Scripture, Tradition and Authority).” you must understand that I am referring to Divine Revelation (the Divine Wellspring of Dei Verbum.) IOW, I am saying that Divine Revelation continues today by virtue of the Magisterium continuing to unfold (reveal) the mystery of the Deposit of Faith. :slight_smile:

In his most recent reply to me it seems Vico quotes from the old, obsolete Code of Canon Law (1917). Below I quote the current Canon Law (1983). One can see there is a difference of emphasis. One should not live in the past. As expected the pre-Vat II document supports the two item theory, not the one item view of *Dei Verbum.
*
*§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.
Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemnmagisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christianfaithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.
*

AmbroseSJ,

Thank you for our new reply. I was disappointed with the replies to my original concern, as I felt it was not addressed.

You agree with Dei Verbum, that the deposit of faith is like one stream made up of two tributaries, Scripture and Tradition. It is perhaps another example of the Catholic both/and approach.

You seem to say, with which I agree, that the magisterium is not part of the deposit of faith, but it reveals the mystery of it.

I often feel that apparent differences are resolved by deeper reflection.

So thanks again to you and to all who contributed here to this thread.

The deposit of faith consists on one item made up of two parts, Scripture and Tradition.

Not it is not the 1917 canon law, but the current canon law revised in 1998 with Moto Proprio Ad Tuendem Fidem of St. Pope John Paul II. That document explains why.

“TO PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22:32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions.”

w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_30061998_ad-tuendam-fidem.html

This second paragraph was added to CIC 750 in addition to revision of the original section (now § 1):

§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Vico, Ooops, sorry.

[quote=NoelFitz]The deposit of faith consists on one item made up of two parts, Scripture and Tradition.
[/quote]

To be honest, I don’t really agree with that statement.

To be more clear, I would say (that in my mind) the Deposit of Faith exists independently of Scripture and Tradition. As I said in my initial post, I believe that Scripture and Tradition are the RESULT (or revelation) of the Deposit of Faith. IOW, the Deposit of Faith is something Spiritual whereas it is revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition.

That would explain why we have Doctrinal Development yet the Deposit of Faith never changes. It is our deeper understanding of that Deposit, which promotes the development of doctrine. That understanding is guided and guaranteed (from error or corruption) by Scripture and Tradition in union with the teaching of the Magisterium. IOW, the Church (Scripture and Tradition in union with the Magisterium) is the Ark which holds the Deposit of Faith.

AmbroseSJ

Thank you again for your reply.

Even though in life, for over 30 years, you and Blessed J H Newman were good friends you were separated in death. I saw your grave in Birmingham (no, not in Alabama).

But I like your photos in
idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.ie/2010/07/newman-and-st-john.html

But I do thing SJ sounds more Jesuitical than St John, and is your thinking Jesuitical?

I reflect on your quote From JHN, whose beatification I attended. I certainly agree with part of the claim that “neither party understood either his opponent or himself”. I agree that I lack understanding, as I find myself beyond my depth, being a simple retired chemist

I have a niggling thought about whether you accept* Dei Verbum* or not. But I do not understand it, so I am trying to study it. Did it restate existing teaching, develop ideas or introduce something new? But of course you died before it was written. I presume you are writing from beyond the grave, even though you keep abreast of the Developments of Doctrne.

However I think I need to terminatre this discussion as it is wandering from the original focus and I am lost.

I always thought that IOW meant the Isle of Wight, but my friend Prof Wikipedia, whom I am told not to trust, tells me it can be the International Office of Water, in other words, Idiots on Wheels, Institute for Occult Warfare, etc. As you can see I am confused.

But let us all pray for each other with hope, joy and live.

I tend to agree with AmbroseSJ.

CCC 84 The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. “By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.”

I have spent a significant amount of time reading and studying the documents of Vatican II. My understanding is that no new doctrines were defined. The primary purpose of the Council was to make the Deposit of Faith more accessible to the culture at the time. To me, the Deposit of Faith are the Truths that Jesus taught and the Holy Spirit has revealed. Whether these truths are in Scripture or Tradition or both, I don’t see how it matters, because these two cannot be separated. Truth is truth regardless of how it is retained and expressed.

Thistle,

Congratulation on having more that 23000 posts, I have not reached 1000.

Again there is substantial agreement. The Deposit of Faith is one thing made up of two parts, both from the same wellspring.

But the magisterium is not part of this.

Vox populi, vox Dei.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus(NASB, Gal 3:28).

Davidv,

I thought that doctrines are not defined, dogmas are.

But I agree fully with you, as far as my confusion will allow.

But what is still not agreed is whether the magisterium is part of the Deposit of Faith. I claim no.

You cannot separate the Magisterium. It is the teaching authority of the Church comprising the Bishops who are the Apostles successors.

To try and clarify this point, it must be self-evident that the Magisterium is revealed in the Deposit of Faith, while at the same time protecting it and teaching it.

IOW, (in other words lol) The Deposit of Faith is an objective reality. However, it subsists within the Church, and is the very heart of her doctrine. Therefore while it can be philosophically or theologically described, it does not have any existence outside the Church.

or as davidv stated it: "To me, the Deposit of Faith are the Truths that Jesus taught and the Holy Spirit has revealed. Whether these truths are in Scripture or Tradition or both, I don’t see how it matters, because these two cannot be separated.*** Truth is truth regardless of how it is retained and expressed.*** "

I think none of us disagrees fundamentally with others, so let us close this discussion and thanks to all who contributed.

I think my understanding is a bit clearer now.

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