Vatican II Scripture Citations

I read the 16 documents of Vatican II for Lent 2024 and tabulated the 1,284 citations of Sacred Scripture in these documents. Data is here (Google Sheet).

The charts below show the count of citations by book and section of the Bible, as well as count weighted by the number of verses in each book or section to give a sense of how much of a book or section was cited.

Clearly the New Testament is cited far and away more than the Old Testament. Most citations are from St. Paul's letters and the Gospels, with disproportionate weighted citations also from the Catholic letters and Acts.

The top 5 books by total count are:

Book Count
John 133
Matthew 125
Romans 119
Ephesians 109
Acts 106

The top 5 books by weighted count (citations per 100 verses) are:

Book Weighted Count
Ephesians 70
Colossians 51
1 Peter 38
Romans 27
Philippians 27

These individual verses were cited 5 or more times:

Verse Count Text (ESV)
Mark 16:15 11 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."
Mark 16:16 7 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Ephesians 4:13 6 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
Ephesians 4:16 6 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love
Luke 4:18 6 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed
1 Timothy 2:4 5 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth
2 Corinthians 8:9 5 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Acts 1:8 5 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Colossians 1:24 5 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church
John 20:21 5 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Matthew 20:28 5 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many
Romans 1:16 5 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 5:5 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us

Having recently read Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger I was curious to see how the Council uses the Deuterocanonical Books. Vatican II cites the Deuterocanon with a similar weighted frequency as the Protocanon, including the books of Wisdom (5), Sirach (4), Tobit (1), 2 Maccabees (1), and Baruch (1). The books of Judith, Esther, and 1 Maccabees were not cited, nor were 19 books of the Protocanon.

Deuterocanon Count Weighted Count
OT Protocanon 78 3.4
OT Deuterocanon 12 2.8
NT 1,194 150.1

Created: 2024-03-09-Sat
Updated: 2024-03-09-Sat