The Bible is Catholic

Try explaining to our Fundamentalist brethren about almost any tenet of the Catholic faith and you’re likely to hear in response, “Chapter and verse, please”.  In other words, of course, they want to know exactly where that teaching is found in the Bible because they adhere to what is spelled out and therefore only such teachings are retained by them. However, not every belief in Catholicism is to be found word-for-word in Sacred Scripture.

All teachings of the Church, however, are in harmony with Sacred Scripture.  This essay will look at the trifecta of the Church’s authority: The Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium.

The Holy Trinity is one of the teachings of almost every Fundamentalist community (but not all of them) that is not specifically in the Bible.  Nowhere is the doctrine of the One Godhead as Father, Son and Holy Spirit — co-eternal and co-equal — found in the Bible; but they are “words in harmony with Scripture”, according to the second of the 16 Fundamental Truths of the Assembly of God.  This is important because it is my Assembly of God family and relatives who always love to insist on “chapter and verse”. It seems that they will allow doctrines “not (explicitly) found in the Scriptures” but for Catholics to do this it is perceived as “adding to what is written”. Most of our understanding of the Holy Trinity comes from the extensive writings of the Early Church Fathers such as St. Augustine, St. Athanasius and many others.

The Written Word

Let’s look at where the Bible itself came from.  None of the gospels were written as historical texts or as directives on how to start a church.  Rather, they were written to attest to who Jesus was — “so that you may believe” (Jn. 20:31).  The Acts of the Apostles are a continuation of Luke’s gospel—he tells of the early Church and of Paul’s conversion and missionary travels.  It’s kind of like a journal. Paul’s letters are to those communities where there were issues that needed to be addressed. He wrote personal letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.  Hebrews is a masterful treatise on the eternal sacrifice of Jesus. James wrote  one letter; Peter wrote two letters, John wrote three—plus the Book of Revelation —and Jude wrote one. Other gospels and letters were written but did not make it into the canon of the New Testament.

While many Protestants claim that we “added books” to the Old Testament (The Catholic version has 46 books while the Protestant has 39), all Protestants do agree that we Catholics got it right with the NT because they have the same one we do. The first canon of the NT was promulgated in A.D. 397 at the Council of Orange in Africa. Many Protestants claim that the canon was only put forth at the Council of Trent (held from 1545 -1563); however, this is incorrect.  It was not promulgated then but re-iterated for all time after Martin Luther had decided to take out the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letter of James, the Book of Revelation and the Letter of Jude.  Jude, by the way, makes reference in his letter to the Assumption of Moses and the Book of Enoch—two writings that did not make it into the canon of the New Testament. The New Testament does not come with its own list as to which writings would go into it.

The difference with the Protestant Old Testament and the Catholic one is about which version was used in the time of Jesus.  In his day, Hebrew had fallen out of use as an everyday language; Aramaic had taken its place.  However, with the conquest of Alexander the Great, Greek became the biblical language due to the Hellenistic influence.  The Greek Old Testament (called the Septuagint) contained 46 books but the older Hebrew one (Masoretic text) contained only 39. After the new Christian sect fell out of favor with mainstream Judaism (around A.D. 90) and were driven away, the Jews took the Hebrew version of the Old Testament as their text because the Christians were adept at using the seven “other” books to convert people.

Those seven books, by the way are: Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), the Wisdom of Solomon, First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esdras, additions to the Book of Esther, additions to the Book of Daniel, and the Prayer of Manasseh.  Here we have the attestation of the Jews in their own online encyclopedia as to why, ultimately, the Septuagint was rendered “unwelcome”: “it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by the new faith. A revision in the sense of the canonical Jewish text was necessary”. Further, “The quotations from the Old Testament found in the New are in the main taken from the Septuagint; and even where the citation is indirect the influence of this version is clearly seen”. (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3269-bible-translations). This tells us clearly that Jesus and his apostles used the Greek Septuagint Old Testament and not the Hebrew Masoretic.  I am uncertain as to why Protestants kept to the Hebrew version of the OT and rejected the version clearly used by Jesus.

Oral Transmission of the Word

As for Sacred Tradition (not tradition w/small “t”), it is another way of handing on the faith—the Latin, “Traditio” means “to hand on”.  Almost all of Paul’s letters were composed before any of the gospels were written. Paul tells us in Acts 20:35 when he addresses the people in Aramaic, he states that he was educated “at the feet of Gamaliel” which is quite significant because Gamaliel was a master of the oral law/tradition.

There was no such thing, of course of anyone having his/her own copy of the bible to look things up.  Protestants will cite the passage that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Tim 3:16) but it does not say only scripture. In fact, the Scripture Paul was referring to was the Old Testament for the new had not even been formed. In 2 Thes. 2:15 Paul exhorts his readers to “stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours” (italics mine) — again, no mention of checking facts in the Bible. In 1 Cor. 11:2 Paul praises the church “because you…hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you”.

We know that according to Paul’s own testimony, everything he learned about Jesus and the Church was from Jesus himself —see 1 Cor. 11:23. It is the only way he could quote Jesus as saying “It is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) because this quote is nowhere to be found in any of the gospels.  In fact, Paul’s instruction on the celebration of the Eucharist itself (1 Cor. 11:23-26) pre-dates any of the gospels. Paul then goes still further and tells the young bishop Timothy to entrust to faithful people that which he (Timothy) heard from Paul even by way of “many witnesses” (2 Tim. 2:2).

For a good article explaining still more about Tradition, go to this site:http://www.catholic.com/tracts/scripture-and-tradition

The Right to Interpret

As for the Magisterium, it is the teaching office of the Church.  Even though the Church came first, it still serves Sacred Scripture and tradition.  The Magisterium is guided by the Holy Spirit.  All bishops by their ordination have this special gift of the Holy Spirit so long as they are in communion with the Holy Father. For a better understanding of the Magisterium read my article here. The Magisterium is the interpreter of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition just as the U.S. Supreme Court is the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. If there were no-one to interpret this great document of ours we would demand that there be an official interpreter of it.

As I stated in my first article on the holy order of bishops, I am glad that my salvation does not rely on my own interpretation of Scripture.  If self-interpretation really were of the Holy Spirit, then 100% of the people would necessarily arrive at the same interpretation 100% of the time for “God is not a god of confusion” (1 Cor. 14:33). But God is one…Truth is one. And as I said then…Thank-you, sweet bishops, for all you do!

Editor’s note: This article is part five in a series on the Eight Reasons to Love the Catholic Church. Look for a new reason every Tuesday. 

image: Evangelistar von Speyer, 13th century/Wikimedia Commons

Cynthia Trainque

By

Cynthia Trainque is an author who is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) for the Laity at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA. She has served the church for several years as a worker, writer, and volunteer and is presently an active member of St. Mary's Parish in Ayer, MA. Cynthia is available to come to speak as a guest speaker/teacher on the beauty of the Catholic faith.  She gives talks and also creates/uses PowerPoint presentations. She may be contacted at Catherineofsienamedia@yahoo.com.

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  • Carrie

    That all makes sense. However, every Christian has a relationship with God where they can hear from Him directly as well, not just priests. In my prayer regarding a specific issue and how many churches were preaching it, He told me that Catholicism was “decayed Christianity.” Exact words. Now you don’t have to believe me and you can think I’m a nut for thinking Christians can actually hear from God (although this has saved my life repeatedly), but either way if God Himself views the Catholic Church as full of apostasy, this has to be taken seriously. Rather than just adhering to a “church” based on tradition, pride or self-righteousness, it is much better to approach God directly and be willing to accept the answer and “not lean upon our own understanding” as the bible mandates. Sorry, don’t kill the messenger.

  • Godislove

    That’s funny. God has spoken to me as well and He tells me that Catholicism is the true faith and that the Eucharist is really is body and blood. He literally encourages me to stay faithful to Him, to love Him, and go to daily Mass. So now there is two of us who has heard God, literally. One contradicts the other. Who has the truth? I’m sticking to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church that can be traced to Jesus. All others start years later because of some prideful guy.

  • bringiton

    Carrie, we read about Jesus establishing “His” Church in Chapter 16 of Matthew. It is clearly the Catholic Chuch, as he puts Peter in charge and Peter was the first pope. And Jesus also says that the gates of Hell would not prevail over His Church…so if His Catholic Church has “decayed” then the gates of hell have prevailed, and Jesus is a liar. Do you think Jesus is a liar?

  • lidiapurple .

    Carrie, it seems that you are doing just that, leaning upon your own understanding. Yes, of course, we can speak directly to God. But what happens, as the other Carrie here has said, when 2 Christians get a totally conflicted message from God? What happens when God tells someone to murder another person, as is claimed all the time? What authority do YOU personally have to say God was not speaking to some one else? A Catholic as the security of knowing that the Church Christ established with Peter at the helm has the God given authority to teach, to bind and loose, and to forgive sins in Christ’s name. All you have is the authority of your own convictions, your own understanding.

  • Jerry

    This is why there are 125,000 different Protestant Churches. Each with their own interpretation of the Protestant Bible. In the Catholic Church there is only One True Holy Faith and teachings of the Church.

  • Eugene Randy Day

    Folks, IMO, although there are some nuances to this, we are all Christians, and although we have some differences with application, Catholics and Protistians both agree in the Trninity, If we can’t get along and stay focus, what chance do we have to provide a Christ like example and spread the gospel, as commanded?

  • a mom

    How about the Martyr’s Mirror book testimony?

  • bringiton

    @Eugene…opinions don’t much matter…there can’t be “many” truths. Pontius Pilot was an opinionist. Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life…and He DID leave us A (not plural) Church (Matthew 16) so we would not be confused about truth. The Catholic Church is that Church. Ambiguousness and Jesus are not synonymous. Our world is a mess because people believe in “many” truths!

  • Phoenix_Lion

    It is easy to hear a voice but is it of the Lord? Maybe the voice is a sweat voice like that of an angel of light, that wants you to stay away from receiving Jesus into your body. Can you can explain why you reject His written word on eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood? It is the Eucharist that solidifies to me that the Catholic Church is the one true Church of Christ.

  • Wayne Tedeschi

    I’m sorry Carrie, but if you truly believe that someone told you that, then clearly it was the devil. Jesus would not say something like that. You can tell by the fruits that come from the words. Example – Negative words = devil, Positive words = Jesus. Only a select few over the years, have had direct contact with Jesus, and those few are very close to Him, and they are all Catholic. John 6:48 “I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats My flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is food in deed, and My blood is drink indeed.” Now no one can argue with that!

  • Living Water

    Jerry, since when is the word of the living God Protestant or Catholic?

  • cestusdei

    Mostly propaganda. Look up the Catholic martyrs of England though.

  • cestusdei

    I leaned on my understanding of the Bible and became a Catholic because I realized that MY understanding was insufficient. The same Church that gave you the Bible is the Catholic Church.

  • Living Water

    Actually, Godislove, the prideful “guy” you really mean is Pope Leo X who rejected what Paul wrote in the Book of Romans when Luther appealed to Leo regarding his selling of indulgences to fund the Vatican. The Roman Church taught that an individual could gain favor with God by what were called “good works”. The idea that spending fewer days in purgatory by buying your way out is without biblical foundation and rejects what is written in the gospel, ACTS and Romans. Luther believed that he, as a sinner, was condemned in the eyes of God and that nothing could help him other than the blood of Christ shed at Calvary. Luther, however, wasn’t looking to leave the Catholic church, –it was the Kangaroo court orchestrated by Leo X at the Diet of Worms which threw him out in 1521. Luther was in agreement with the teachings of both St. Paul and St. Augustine to wit: Man could not get near to God by his own doing as man was too sinful as original sin had driven him towards evil. Further, man could do nothing – only God could intervene to set him free from sin and man could not force God to intervene. Thirdly, all sinners should live in hope – if God had sent Jesus into the world then He had to have faith in man. Finally, only through faith alone could you find salvation. Next time you consider who exactly was prideful and arrogant, best if you look at Pope Leo X and his false teaching.

  • Kevin Bailey

    IMO it is not just enough to be Christians. It is necessary that we not only spread something that is good news but is The Good News. Details are important in the message that we share. To your point also though we must be charitable in our approach and communication with our separated brothers and sisters in other Christian denominations. As we are family there is no need to be rude in calling them out. But this information is valuable in helping to show them that indeed the details do matter and form a true right path. I form my opinion in that the details are important from Sacred Scripture (Matthew 7:13-14) and Tradition as for 1500 years it was the way the Christian Church was.

  • Cynthia Trainque, the Author

    But Catholics and Protestants don’t agree on the trinity — certainly not all of them. Mention the trinity to Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses and see where you get….or the church of God in Christ Prophecy…you won’t find an audience with them on the Trinity…or Unitarians or Christadelphians or Church of Christ, Scientists (Christian Scientists) and myriads of others. You will never “provide a Christ like example and spread the gospel, as commanded” with over 40,000 Protestant denominations…where is the unity in that? Christianity is not about believing what you want. Jesus gathers, Satan scatters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Nontrinitarian_denominations

    Then, of course, there are all the binitarian communities. Thus we have Unitarian sects, Binitarian ones and Trinitarian ones — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binitarianism

  • Living Water

    Come now, Cynthia –you’re the author of this article? –and you don’t know that LDS and JW’s are not Christians? Have you ever bothered to learn what Mormons and JW’s actually believe? They are not Christians in the slightest. You need to do your homework. How do you actually expect people to take your authorship seriously?

  • Cynthia Trainque, the Author

    Luther did not “appeal to Leo regarding his selling of indulgences to fund the Vatican”. Read those 95 theses again…Luther only greatly objected to the excesses that the Pope went to on selling them. Read here #38 — “Nevertheless, the remission and participation [in the
    blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in
    no way to be despised, for they are, as I have said, the
    declaration of divine remission.”

    #71 — “He who speaks against the truth of apostolic pardons, let
    him be anathema and accursed!”

    See also 40, 47, 61, 94

    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/ninetyfive.html

    Also…Luther wanted to rid the bible of the Letter of James, calling it an “epistle of straw” because James made it clear that “faith without works is dead”. Luther himself later admitted that he added the word “only” to Romans 3:28 for his own gain.

    “Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?…You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” — James 2:20; 24.

  • JohnnyVoxx

    Since Christ founded his one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church on Peter and the Apostles as evidenced in Matthew 16:18 and 18:18 and since that Church produced, compiled and ordered a Scripture, called the Holy Bible, and since that Bible refers to the Church as the pillar and ground of the Truth. 1 Tim. 3:15.

  • TJ

    Reformed Protestant denominations, and non-denominational Christians that respect God’s word in the Bible, have more in common w/ conservative Catholics than we know. I believe that is why Rome often refers to them as “our separated brethren”. It is a shame that division on minor issues continues with them. The groups mentioned above differ on MAJOR issues. They are not our separated brethren.

    Most of our separated brethren would be Pro-Life, Pro-traditional marriage and even Pro-male ministers only (at least no women should pastor a church). So on matters of importance, such as what is in the Nicene Creed, would be beliefs all believing Christians have in common.

    With our world the way it is, and our country abandoning our Christian roots, it would honor Jesus’ last prayer (for Christian unity) if we tried to all get along more, and refrain from the: who did what, and who is better than the other. Jesus is Lord of all believers, saved sinners, and He is coming back! Will He find us working together, or bickering over small stuff? Let’s try to get along, please, and speaking about the Bible:

    In the USA, I heard on Catholic radio that bishops issued a challenge to all Catholics in their diocese to read the New Testament over the 40 days of Lent, beginning with the 4 Gospels. I started yesterday with a friend, and have already read Matthew Chapters 1-5.

    We told our sphere of influence, family and friends – mostly all Catholic, and they too, are taking the bishop’s challenge, and reading the Bible. God’s word should be read in its fullness, and in context, and the FREE app from the Truth and Life Audio Bible makes it easy to do. I am loving Lent already, and it doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow.

    Reading the New Testament – in its fullness and in context – over the next 40 days will be beneficial to everyone and anyone, even children can do it – with families reading together. Let’s all take the challenge! Peace.

  • Greg

    Whoa…no need for name calling. Cynthia you wrote a very interesting article. I just moved to the south and I have been asked to convert 3 times and told I need to be saved. Now I would like to forward this article on to these friends of mine but when name calling takes place everyone loses. Yes, it’s religion—- probably the top touchiest subject of all

  • iggram

    Carrie, I believe you are hearing a voice all rights but it certainly is not God’s.

  • traderjoel

    Jesus was not a catholic. The Apostle Paul was not a catholic. The first century church was not catholic. Stick to the Bible as compiled by the Holy Spirit. Forget everything else. Forget manmade religion, manmade rules, and especially manmade religious institutions. They put you in bondage. Keep it simple. The Bible is all you need, otherwise you will be led away and your knowledge of God become corrupt:

    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

  • rkaslak .

    St. Ignatius of Antioch was among the Apostolic Fathers, he was the third bishop of Antioch and was the student of John The Apostle. A mere 77 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, when some of the young witnesses would still have been alive, St Ignatius of Antioch said; “ Where Christ is, there is his catholic Church“. I wonder if hundreds of American Televangelists can make the same claim about their sects.

  • Guest

    Can you prove that someone in 77 A.D. said, “Where Christ is, there is his catholic Church”? The catholic church originated hundreds of years after Christ ~ 300 – 400 A.D. Let me say again… the word ‘catholic’ is nowhere found in the actual first century scriptures as compiled by the Holy Spirit (aka. the Bible).

  • catholicexchange

    So, given that you only read the Bible absolutely literally I suspect that you don’t consume pork or shellfish, permit slavery, and stone disobedient children, and reject the Trinity? Also, I assume you have lopped of one hand and plucked out an eye. If not, you interpret the Bible just like us but your Papacy is much smaller.

  • catholicexchange

    The Trinity, Baptist, Rapture, and a myriad of other things are also not found in the Bible. Also, the condemnation of abortion (explicitly stated) is not found in the Bible. Yet, something tells me you believe these things.

  • Rey

    The worst part about the whole thing is that people still come here and comment about finding that in scripture. I liken all this to the Doubting Thomas. Scripture came through the Catholic Church. You need HUMILITY to understand everything! You need the HOLY SPIRIT. Why is it that the Orthodox and Catholics have the same understanding from the Virgin Birth to faith and action? There were a lot of forgeries and it happened when the Old Testament was compromised. Is it not shocking the fact that the attitudes of many Protestant churches are reminiscent of the unbelievers of Christ? There are some that believe Christ isn’t God…. when it is already there! Just not written as such. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for humility people otherwise your pride will rule you!

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com Christian LeBlanc

    The South is a great place to be Catholic, and terrific mission territory.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com Christian LeBlanc

    Every year at my parish we have SolaScrips in RCIA because the Bible led them to the Catholic Church.

  • otter1111
  • traderjoel

    I don’t believe in anything that’s contrary to the Bible. I might sound like the “stereotypical” protestant, but I absolutely do not deviate from the Word.

    Many beliefs in the Catholic church absolutely are unbiblical and crush people’s souls. Vows of poverty (result: burying the talents God’s put in a person). Believing that to get to God you have to go through a priest (result: no personal relationship with Jesus Christ). The forbidding of marriage for people who serve God (result: pedophilia and unnatural sexual relations, and secret fornication). Praying to dead people (result: get deceived and cursed by demon-spirits that appear like the dead saints, believing any doctrine put forth by these demon-spirits). Placing other written works (written by “saints”) at the same level or above the Bible (result: most catholics have little knowledge of Biblical scripture and get lured and deceived by man-made doctrines and doctrines of demons). Naming churches after dead saints (result: exhalting dead saints over Jesus Christ, worshiping them). Calling an earthly man “Holy Father” (result: a man is worshiped in place of Christ, blasphemy).

    ——————————-

    If you don’t want to get deceived, if you don’t want your soul crushed by man-made dead religion, stick to the Bible ONLY and the simplicity that is in Christ. A simple personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Bible is all you need.

  • traderjoel

    Did St. Ignatius of Antioch worship Mary? Pray to dead people? Forbid priests to marry? Install a papacy? Persecute and kill non-conformists?

    The word “Pentacost” is in the Bible. It doesn’t make Pentacostal churches the true church, nor does it mean Pentacostal churches conform to the Bible. Usage of the word ‘catholic’ (which means “on the whole”) in the past does not imply that this person was referring to the catholic church as we know it since its inception between 300 – 400 A.D. The catholic church as we know it (with the papacy, prayer to dead people [necromancy], and other unbiblical beliefs) *did not* exist in the first century.

  • traderjoel

    Galatians 3:24-25: But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    Galatians 5:2: Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

    Colossians 2:13-16: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    —————

    After Christ, people are no longer under the Mosaic law and its ordinances (no pork, no shellfish, etc).

  • catholicexchange

    But it doesn’t say that explicitly. I agree that is the case, but where in the Bible does it say explicitly we are no longer to observe those tenants. See, for example, the Seventh Day Adventists.

    That was my point.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  • catholicexchange

    You’re as unthinking in your application of the Bible as you have said Catholics are. I’m sorry, I’ve heard these arguments all my life and all they tell me is that everyone has a Pope but your’s is a lot smaller and more local.

  • Greg

    Christian,
    Thanks for the words of encouragement but I have a feeling you have been down here for awhile. I guess one could look at it as mission territory. I just happened to hit a pocket of people that truly believe the Pope and Bishops border on evil and how could I possibly “worship” Mary and all those “saints”. I was dumbfounded. I would never attack another’s religion the way they did mine. I’m sure it was taught to them by their parents.

  • BiffBoop

    Actually, the canon of the bible as we know it today – all 73 books – was first promulgated by Pope Damasus at the Council of Rome in 382 A . Jurgens, Rev. William A., “The Faith of the Early Fathers”, p. 406. This was BEFORE the Council of Orange in Africa.

  • Kathryn A. O’Keefe

    John 5:30-40
    Also, 2 Peter 1:20-21 (whether you read just these two verses or the entire passage is irrelevant to the context).
    1 John 1 also calls for fellowship among believers, and further, it should be noted, sets quite clearly that there are declarations made to the general population of believers, made by people who are appointed for it (namely, priests, although the term was not used, the actual description and duties have remained the same over the years), to prevent people from deceiving others or themselves.
    2 Tim. 4:1-4 Emphasizes the need for priests.
    1 Tim. 4:3-5 Again, emphasizes the importance of the priestly office.
    1 John 4:1-6 Deals specifically with getting messages from spirits, and once again, the duties of the priestly office.
    John 20:19-24 Note that this and other verses establishes the duties and authority of the priests, namely, to preach to all people in unison, and to administer the sacraments.

    Although I don’t think that you’re, as you put it, “a nut,” ignoring the Church is an excellent way of allowing for deception to enter more easily into the answers you may receive.

  • Mary Gordon

    The article says there is no mention of checking facts in the Bible. But there’s this:

    Acts 17:Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    And so should we. We should also “contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints,” Jude 1:3

    And three times in Matthew 15, Jesus speaks generally and specifically about worshipping God in vain, because of relying on traditions of men. So, yes, tradition is fine, but it just cannot conflict with the Word of God. “Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven.” Go to Biblegateway dot com, choose a Bible version, and do a word study on “word” and “law” and see what God thinks about what He has written. :)

  • Mary Gordon

    He may have, but traditions of men, Matthew 15, have kept the RCC from truly worshipping God. So, others broke off and started congregations under other names. As long as they repent of their sins and believe Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and the only Way to the Father, what is the problem?

  • Mary Gordon

    But Jesus on the cross said, “It is finished.” How can the church offer God the sacrifice of Jesus? Especially when there is no more sacrifice. Read Hebrews 10. Jesus already did it. Nothing in the Bible about the cross happening all the time. “It is finished.” Respectfully~

  • mary Gordon

    Small c “catholic” meaning “universal”? I’d agree with that.

  • Mary Gordon

    Rapture is in the Latin, Rapare. Look it up at Biblegateway.com, in 1 or 2 Thessalonians. Very short books. :)
    The trinity is in the Bible, Annas and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, lied to God. Acts. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and God was with Him. Acts 10:38. John the Baptist was a Jewish Baptist, not a Southern Baptist. No, Southern Baptists are not mentioned in the Bible. But everything they believe is! :) Can you say that?

  • Mary Gordon

    Propaganda? I’m not familiar with that book, but the facts about the Inquisitions, plural, are not propaganda. Paying for indulgences aren’t, either.

  • Mary Gordon

    Well, it is written that Christ is God. You will like this: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory….” John 1:1 & 14.

  • lidiapurple .

    Greg, when did Cynthia call you a name?

  • Phoenix_Lion

    To Mary Gordon, this article will help you with your question. http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/euchc2.htm

  • lidiapurple .

    If the Bible is all you need, then the Bible should say that explicitly. It doesn’t. Bible alone is a tradition of man. What the Bible does say is that the Church (not scripture) is the pillar and foundation of truth, that Peter is Christ’s ambassador (see the meaning of giving him the keys to he kingdom), that the apostles, not the Bible, have the power to bind and loose and to forgive sins, that apostleship is an office to be handed down to the next generation (apostolic succession). The Church must never contradict Holy Scripture, and she doesn’t. Your own personal, fallible interpretation of what the Church teaches may be that it contradicts, but in those cases your interpretation, not the Church is in error.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com Christian LeBlanc

    Yes I grew up here. I would not be the Catholic I am today without the sincere attentions of my Fundie neghbors and colleagues.

  • otter1111

    I really don’t know what you mean here, traderjoel. I put two links to reference the quote, “Where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” It is in The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about 110 AD. You consider that a flame? I called no one names, nor even provided any other comment.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com Christian LeBlanc

    I can think of 4 former SolaScrips in my town who are now priests. They studied the Bible all the way into the Catholic Church. Likewise a former So. Baptist minister who became Catholic two years ago this Easter. They all point out that the Bible didn’t tell them all they needed was the Bible and Jesus. It told them they also needed his Church.

  • lidiapurple .

    Actually, Guest, yes. We can prove it. The earliest recorded evidence of the use of the term “Catholic Church” is the Letter to the Smyrnaeans that Ignatius of Antioch wrote in about 107 to Christians in Smyrna. Exhorting Christians to remain closely united with their bishop, he wrote: “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” Ignatius is believed to be a student of S John, the last apostle to die.

  • tm9

    The saints are in heaven and are most certainly NOT DEAD. Don’t you believe in eternal life? What kind of bible do you read, anyway?

  • Greg

    No, no, she did not call me any names. I saw the word ignoramus used and didn’t think it had a place in Christian dialogue that’s all.

  • pannw

    So do you take the Body and Blood of Our Lord regularly and accept it as truly His Body and Blood, because that is what He instructed and said of It, as written in The Bible? Or in that instance do you do like so many did then and say it is too hard a saying, that He only meant it metaphorically, ignoring that He never called them back, but let them walk away from their salvation?

    As to having no personal relationship with The Lord because of going through a priest, do you not remember Him giving the authority to His apostles, “Whose sin’s you forgive, they are forgiven them”? Or “What you hold bound on earth will be bound in Heaven” to Peter? Or “As the Father sent Me, So I send you…” “Go and teach all nations…” Have you ever read The Didache (the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) written in around 60A.D.? The Apostles did go and teach. Are you surprised that the Eucharistic prayer isn’t all that much changed or the part about requiring one to be reconciled before being admitted (our need for confession/penance/reconciliation before being ‘worthy’ to receive Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar) to the Eucharist? Or the part about electing bishops for themselves? Are you aware of how a bishop is selected? Do you know that the priests of the diocese supply names from which the Pope chooses one?

    How about the part where they taught, “My child, thou shalt remember, day and night, him who speaks the word of God to thee, and thou shalt honour him as the Lord, for where the Lord’s nature is spoken of, there is he present. ”

    How about St. James Epistle: “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” ?

    What about the fact that it was Saint Peter, with the authority given him by Christ to loose and bind, who first established apostolic succession when he called for a replacement for Judas? Peter understood that the authority given him and the apostles did not end with them, but must be continued until the return of The Lord, as it is to this day in the successor of Peter, the Pope, and the successors of the apostles, the bishops.

    Does it surprise you to learn that the Holy Mother was revered by the first Christians every bit as much as she is by Catholics today? In a letter to Saint John the apostle, St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote, “There are also many of our women here, who are desirous to see Mary of Jesus, and wish day by day to run off from us to you, that they may meet with her, and touch those breasts of hers which nourished the Lord Jesus, and may inquire of her respecting some rather secret matters…She is the lady of our new religion and repentance, and the handmaid among the faithful of all works of piety…as we are informed by those who are worthy of credit, there is in Mary the mother of Jesus an angelic purity of nature allied with the nature of humanity. And such reports as these have greatly excited our emotions, and urge us eagerly to desire a sight of this (if it be lawful so to speak) heavenly prodigy and most sacred marvel.”

    Or should we ignore the knowledge gained by studying the writings of the first Christians because they did not manage to get included in The Bible, even though we are told in the Teaching of the Twelve apostles to always “seek daily the presence of
    the saints, that thou mayest find rest in their words.”

    “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” ~John 21:25

    The Bible is not all you need. There are instructions in it that tell you to do things you are not doing if you are not eating the Flesh and drinking the Blood or Our Lord, and you need His priests to bring that to you. The Bible is the Word of God, written for our knowledge, but The Word was made Flesh and He is found in the Most Holy Eucharist as He promised that He would be with us, even unto the consummation of the world. I pray you come to know Him. Peace.

  • TellstheTruth

    The correct interpretation of Scripture will lead people to the Catholic Church, but the incorrect interpretation leads people to the hundreds of thousands of Protestant churches founded by people who do not interpret the Scriptures correctly.

  • lidiapurple .

    But she was actually quoting St. James.

  • Doug

    So you believe in the Bible. And who formalised the Bible. Oh! It was the Catholic Church. If not for them you would not even have a Bible.

  • Bobby

    Peter the first pope said in Acts 4:12 that ONLY JESUS SAVES – no other name and even if angels from heaven of apparitions of mama mary tell you otherwise, we only pray to Jesus. We only put our hope in him alone (Gal 1:8) How many names do catholics pray to? Modern day popes have NO RIGHT to alter or change what the first pope preached. As a catholic myself, It’s time for us to ask ourselves who we are really loyal to…and being in the “end times”, that time is NOW!

  • eli

    And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16. Peter (Petros) is a name meaning “rock” but the rock Jesus said He built His church on was petra, the feminine noun for rock- a massive rock, a sturdy foundation. The Bible refers to Christ as the petra, the rock. Christ built His church on the rock of Christ himself, not a sinful man. In 1 Peter 2:8, Peter himself refers to Christ as the rock (petra).

  • eli

    Which catholic- catholic meaning universal or Catholic meaning the institution of the Roman Catholic Church?

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