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Revealing the Hidden

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Vatican II

Through divine revelation, God chose to show forth and communicate Himself and the eternal decisions of His will regarding the salvation of men. That is to say, He chose to share with them those divine treasures which totally transcend the understanding of the human mind….

In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (see Eph 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (see Col 1;15, 1 Tim 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself….

God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certainty from created reality by the light of human reason (see Rom 1:20); but … it is through His revelation that those religious truths which are by their nature accessible to human reason can be known by all men with ease, with solid certitude and with no trace of error, even in this present state of the human race….

In order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, “handing over” to them “the authority to teach in their own place.” This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face (see 1 John 3:2).

From Dei Verbum: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (1968)


Wolfhart Pannenberg

God can be known only if he gives himself to be known…. Only when it knows that it is authorized by God can Christian proclamation make its statements responsibly….

Israel in Old Testament days viewed history as divine action. It spoke of the ‘acts of God’ or of the totality of these acts….

The goal here of [God’s] action is that he be known.

From Systematic Theology Volume 1 (1991)


Alister McGrath

Revelation is not completely apprehended at the beginning, but only at the end of revelatory history.

From Christian Theology: An Introduction (2013)