God speaks to mankind through human words. The Sacred Scriptures (also called the Bible, or the Word of God) are a collection of books written over hundreds of years. God himself is the author of the Sacred Scriptures, inspiring human authors under the influence of the Holy Spirit to write the books.
The Scriptures ultimately reveal just one Word – the Word of God himself, Jesus Christ. Saint Augustine of Hippo reminds us: “You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 102).
The Scriptures, since they are inspired by the Holy Spirit, teach the truth. That is not to say that there are not some seeming contradictions in the Bible. These contradictions must be read in the light of the whole. Taken together, the whole of the Scriptures reveal God speaking to mankind in every situation.
The canon of the Sacred Scriptures (the precise number of books and their identity) was finally established at the Council of Trent in 1556. They are made up of 73 books, 46 from the Old Testament and 27 from the New: