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Reading the Bible:


When we read the Bible as with any book it is extremely important to understand the message that the author was trying convey. If we interpret the author’s words incorrectly then our understanding of what was written would not be the same message that the author intended to convey. It is also very important that we understand the customs, traditions, laws, and language usages of the period.  Without this understanding, it is very easy to come to the incorrect meaning of the Bible.

Lastly, it is important to remember that without the Catholic Church we would not even have the Bible.  After all, it was the Catholic Church who put the canon of the Bible together in the year 385.  No other Church was calling councils together to protect and spread the word of God. Without these Catholic Councils, the world today would be without the Bible!  
From studying history it is easy to see that the Bible came from the Catholic Church and it was this Church that Jesus Christ founded to lead us to the means of salvation.  Jesus Christ did not leave his people a “book” and tell each one of us to figure out his salvation according to his own interpretation of the Bible.  If this were true then even the Christian sects which deny the Trinity would be teaching the "truth" as they see it.  Nowhere does the Bible tell us that our own personal interpretation will guide us to the truth.  If the Bible did say this, then every Bible based religion would have to be as valid as the next.

The Bible Alone? (Sola Scriptura)

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The Bible Alone (Sola Scriptura):


During the Protestant Reformation the theology of the "Bible Alone" was created.  Though Sola Scriptura it is believed that the Bible alone is all that is needed to come to Christ.  Through the belief of Sola Scriptura most Protestants believe that they are able to come to an infallible understanding of the Bible by taking a personal interpretation of the scriptures. This personal interpretation may or may not be the correct meaning of the Bible passage as the author intended.

 

The biggest flaw in this theology is that it creates many false and conflicting doctrines; hence the thousands of different churches that have sprung up since the Protestant Reformation.  These different churches all teach different versions of the Truth and there is no unity between them. These same Protestants will often condemn Catholic teachings based on their personal interpretation of certain scripture passages, however by doing so they are contradicting there own doctrine of personal interpretation.

 
The Bible clearly supports the Catholic Church's teaching that it is the Church's role to spread and teach the entire word of God which is contained in both  Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.


Reading the Bible:


When we read the Bible as with any book it is extremely important to understand the message that the author was trying convey. If we interpret the author’s words incorrectly then our understanding of what was written would not be the same message that the author intended to convey. It is also very important that we understand the customs, traditions, laws, and language usages of the period.  Without this understanding, it is very easy to come to the incorrect meaning of the Bible.

Lastly, it is important to remember that without the Catholic Church we would not even have the Bible.  After all, it was the Catholic Church who put the canon of the Bible together in the year 385.  No other Church was calling councils together to protect and spread the word of God.  Without these Catholic Councils, the world today would be without the Bible!  
From studying history it is easy to see that the Bible came from the Catholic Church and it was this Church that Jesus Christ founded to lead us to the means of salvation.  Jesus Christ did not leave his people a “book” and tell each one of us to figure out his salvation according
to his own interpretation of the Bible.  If this were true then even the Christian sects which deny the Trinity would be teaching the "truth" as they see it.  Nowhere does the Bible tell us that our own personal interpretation will guide us to the truth.  If the Bible did say this, then
every Bible based religion would have to be as valid as the next.

Some Bible Verses that confirm what the Catholic Churches teaches regarding the Bible:

“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)  The Bible itself states that it alone does contain everything.  Oral tradition is also important!

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).  Not everyone is always guided by the Holy Spirit when interpreting scripture.

“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?”  (Acts 8:30-31) Why did he need a guide when all he had to do is rely on the Holy Spirit?  Doesn't sound like
Bible Alone theology.


“In these epistles there are certain things difficult to understand, which the unlearned and unstable distort, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures also, to their own destruction.”(2 Peter 3:16)

“ And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

“Hold to the form of sound teaching which thou hast heard from me…….” (2 Tim 1:13)

“...yet in the Church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may also instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” (1Cor 14:19) The true Church is a teaching Church and it does not leave scripture to personal interpretation.

“ and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings All Scripture is inspired by GOD, and useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for instructing in justice; that the man of GOD may be perfect, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Tim 3:15-17)  This
verse does not say that scripture is sufficient for salvation as protestants would have you believe and is actually referring to the Old Testament and not the New Testament since it had not been completed yet.  Also, in light of Sola Fide why should we be  equipped for good works?  According to Sola Fide they are not required for our salvation.


“How then are they to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?” (Rom 10:14-15)  

“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”  (Mark 12:14)  Can everyone’s personal interpretation of scripture be correct?  No.

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God..”  (1 Thes 2:13)

“We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)  How do Protestants know that they are not being influenced by the spirit of error when they take a personal interpretation of scripture?

“Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 1:12).

“I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink;” (3 John  1:13)  What happened to these teachings if they were not written down?  

“ For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Farewell.” (Acts 15:28-29) Why didn’t they just consult the scriptures?

Instead the Apostles, in the First Church Council (the Council of Jerusalem) made the decision without the Bible!

“But Saul (Paul) was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:3) Saul became Paul as a Christian convert so obviously the Church had to exist before the Bible if this verse is true.  Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon, and Romans all after Christ was crucified. The Bible comes out of the Church not the Church from the Bible.

 

“For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church”  (Eph 5:29)  Would Christ nourish his Church with error and conflicting doctrines?  No - truth does not change and God would not allow this.

“ and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  (John 8:32) How can different versions of the truth set you free?  Infallible personal interpretation is not biblical!

“Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.”  (John 17:17)

“ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel -- not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed….”  (Gal 1:6-8)  There is only one Gospel -  no room for infallible personal interpretation here!  The Gospel here is the oral teaching not the Bible.

“ for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy
inspired by the Holy Spirit;”  (1 Thes 1:5-6)

“ For God is not a God of confusion but of peace….. (1 Cor14:33)  Contradicting doctrines create confusion.  

“he (a Bishop) must hold firm to the sure word as taught,  so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:7-9)

“Now in the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, among whom were Barnabas and Simon, called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manahen the fostering brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul." (Acts 13:1) Why teachers if all we need is the Bible and personal interpretation?

“And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.”  (1 Cor 2:13)

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”  (2Cor 13:5)  We can separate ourselves from the Holy Spirit!

“Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work.”  (2 John 1:9-11)  There is only one doctrine not thousands as we have today.

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents.  (Heb 13: 8-9)  "Who spoke to you"?  Doesn't sound like Bible alone here.  We must remember that the Apostles had no Bible at all to refer to.  The "Word of God" was spread through oral tradition by the Apostles!

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”  (John 14:26)  Jesus speaking only to his apostles.

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.”  (John 20:22)  Jesus and his apostles.

“ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”  ( John 20:30-31)  Not everything was written down.

“For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”  (1 Tim 2:7)   Why do we need teachers who are appointed?  This verse makes no sense in light of Sola Scriptura which claims we can infallibly teach ourselves with just a Bible and our own personal interpretation.

“ praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?” (1 Thes 3:10) Why did Paul have to supply anything face to face if they had the scriptures and their own infallible interpretation to refer to?

"And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”  (Matt 28:18-20) Jesus did not tell the Apostles to go and hand out Bibles he told them to go and teach.  Oral tradition!  This verse conflicts with the theology of Sola Scriptura! 

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If you believe that the Bible Alone provides everything that is needed for salvation then please provide the verse that ......…
 

  • Says that God created the world/universe out of nothing,

  • Says that Scripture is the sole authority.

  • Says that salvation is attainable through faith alone.

  • Says that Christ's Church is invisible and can teach conflicting doctrines. 

  • Says that Christ's true Church can be made up of more that one Church each teaching a
    different gospel as it's leaders see fit.

  • Says that unity of faith is not necessary.

  • Tells us how we know that the revelation of Jesus Christ ended with the death of the last
    Apostle.

  • Tells us that the Priesthood ended with the death and resurrection of Christ.

  • Provides a list of the canonical books of the Old Testament.

  • Provides a list of the canonical books of the New Testament.

  • Explains the doctrine of the Trinity.

  • Tells us the name of the "beloved disciple".

  • Gives a list of the "essential" beliefs of Christianity.

  • Contains the name of the author of the Gospel of Matthew.

  • Contains the name of the author of the Gospel of Mark.

  • Contains the name of the author of the Gospel of Luke.

  • Contains the name of the author of the Gospel of John.

  • Contains the name of the author of the Acts of the Apostles.

  • Tells us  that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Trinity.

  • Tells us that Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man from the moment of conception. 

  • Tells us that Jesus Christ is of the same substance of Divinity as God the Father.

 

2 Major Problems with The Bible Alone Theology:


1. Not all Christian Beliefs are found directly in Scripture.
Example: “Trinity” is not in Scripture.  The Catholic Church defined the dogma in 325 at the
Council of Nicea  against the Arian heresy.

2.  The Bible is NOT the sole rule of faith & nowhere in the bible does it say this. The theology of Sola Scriptura is not biblical and is found nowhere in the Bible – It’s a man made tradition!

Question: Since non-Catholics claim that the Holy Spirit is guiding them, how can the Holy Spirit be guiding each of them a different 'truth'?
Answer:  It would seem to me that if all taught the same “truth”, then there would be only one Church, not tens of thousands as we now have.