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Why doesn’t the Catholic Church emphasize reading the Bible?

Full Question

Why doesn’t the Catholic Church emphasize reading the Bible?

Answer

Yours is a common misconception. Catholics meditate on Scripture at every Mass. The readings and responsorial Psalm during the Liturgy of the Word are taken directly from the Bible.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Church forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful . . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. (CCC 133)

The Church even grants indulgences for reading the Bible. The Handbook of Indulgences explains, “A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who read Sacred Scripture with the veneration due God’s word and as a form of spiritual reading. The indulgence will be a plenary one when such reading is for at least one-half hour” (p. 80).











125 comments

  1. donna Reply

    Indulgences are not in Scripture..they are a man-made idea of the Catholic Church. I was a RC for 49 years and when I finally read what the Bible says vs. What the RC church taught I was shocked. I made peace with God through Jesus Christ and became a true Christian. If it is not in Scripture it is heresy. I pray for those in the RC church that they hear truth and repent.

    1. lenos ruzurururu Reply

      specifically can u briefly say abt e wrong teaching of
      rc

    2. Benjamin Hona Reply

      Could you cite from the bible if it is not in the bible it is heresy. Verse please!

      1. Nan Callinan Reply

        2 Peter 2:1-22
        But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

        1. Woodrow Reply

          This passage from II Peter does not contain the statement “If a teaching is not in the Bible, then it’s heresy”, nor does it contain anything resembling that statement.

        2. Richard Reply

          Was this verse from 2 Peter supposed to somehow show that if something isn’t in the Bible, then it’s heresy? I see the term “destructive heresies” used in this passage, but I don’t think the mere use of the word “heresy” communicates the whole idea that if something isn’t in Scripture, then it’s heresy. To try and say that this verse communicates such, when it’s just not there, is simply wishful thinking, or rather more likely reflective of a sort of “reverse exegesis” by which one first has an idea that they want Scripture to say, then goes hunting for a verse or passage which in some way uses language vaguely related to the idea they want Scripture to say. To apply such a process of trying to get Scripture to say what we want it to is dangerous. By doing so, we risk creating “destructive heresies” of our own.

          1. emmayche

            Also please keep in mind that, when Peter wrote this particular letter, “Scripture” was the Jewish Scriptures; there was NO Christian Bible at the time, and not until the Canon of Scripture was defined – by the Catholic Churches in Ecumenical Council – in the 400’s.

        3. Mary76 Reply

          The devil can quote scripture for his purposes.

    3. Steve Reply

      I agree Donna! My wife and I are “recovering” Catholics and like you have seen where the Catholic teachings are WRONG!

      1. Tony Reply

        If you read the book Rome sweet Home by Scott Hahn you will think differently about saying that the teaching of the Catholic are wrong !!

      2. Mary Reply

        (Y) I came out of the RC and the ? pre-vatican 2 where they still speak latin. 😛 I’ve learned sooo much in the past 35 yrs or so. I am now close to being what you would call a Messianic Jew. Always striving to find more truth. May Yahweh bless you with all that HE is. Amen

        1. CP Reply

          https://www.biblegateway.com highly recommended because you can cross reference dozens of translations.
          PS the Gospels were written AFTER Christ died and rose again. He didn’t hire a scribe to write down his words as he said them. How you life your life as a Christian should ALWAYS be based on the core teaching of Jesus Christ. Love one another as I have loved you, and Love your neighbour as yourself. If you are not doing this it doesn matter what bible you use cause you are not obeying Christ primary teaching.

      3. Mary76 Reply

        So many people answering this do not acknowlededge what is said here about the Church and the Bible The Church has four readings from the Bible, which is more than I ever have encountered from any other church. Then there are prayers that are directly from Scripture or a part of Scripture (Glory to God in the highest….) which are developed more thoroughly. Even the hymns are sometimes exclusively scriptural.The responses here are from many ex-Catholics who are sore about something and don’t know what they are talking about. And emmayche, yes, you are right. There was no Christian Scripture in the 1st century AD.

        As for prayers for the dead, this is from the book of Maccabees. Works over grace is from the letter of St, James. Interesting that the Protestant Scripture edited out the books that did not agree with their ideas. But in fact the doctrine of salvation by works is also in Matthew–I was hungry and you gave me food….since when does St. Paul get priority over Jesus? This always baffles me. As for recovering Catholics, do you mean to tell me that everyone born before the 16th century will go to hell? What kind of god do you worthip?

        1. John Hallman Reply

          Mary, if you go to most sound Christian Bible-based churches, you will get an in-depth teaching from the Bible (not just a few minutes of reading) for anywhere from 30-90 minutes. If you can locate a highly trained Biblical pastor, you will understand the context, the derivation of the words in the text, how they are used in the rest of the Bible (the Bible is consistent) and what it means. I would encourage you to do so, as your eyes will be opened to the Word of God. God bless.

    4. Woodrow Reply

      Donna, I’m very glad you came to a living faith in Jesus Christ! I regret you left the Church, however, as my experience brought me into the Catholic Church. I was raised as a Baptist, and accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 4 years old. After being exposed to many, many different denominations and finding no agreement among them on any doctrinal point, I began earnestly seeking truth. Eventually, after studying as much as I could about every denomination I encountered, I started reading Church History and the writings of the Early Church and the Church Fathers. To my surprise, not only did I find that the earliest Christians were Catholics, but Catholic explanations of the Bible made more sense than Baptist and other Protestant interpretations! Since I could give no reasonable account as to why neither my doctrine as a Baptist nor the doctrines of any of the groups I studied matched what the Apostles passed on to the Early Church, I had no other choice but to become a member of the Catholic Church. I was received into the Church in 2004 at the age of 30, and have found that I understand the Bible better now than I ever have before. I would encourage you to continue to compare your both your church’s teachings and the Catholic Church’s teachings with Scripture, and find honest and knowledgeable sources on both sides of this issue whom you can discuss your comparisons with. (Based on my own experiences, I urge you to be wary of whom you speak to about these things. I have found Baptist and other ministers who misrepresent the Catholic Church’s actual teachings, usually out of ignorance, but sometimes intentionally so, and I have found Catholic priests and scholars who have misrepresented non-Catholic teachings, usually out of ignorance, but sometimes intentionally so. Always ask for source documents when someone is telling you what another person or group believes. Indeed, it is always best to learn what another group or individual believes by personally speaking with or reading materials by them than relying on second-hand information. A teacher at the Baptist junior high school I attended gave me a great deal of inaccurate information about Lutherans, Catholics, and Pentecostals, and I was saddened to realize that this teacher cared so little for the truth that he did not verify his facts before presenting them to my class.)

      As a side issue: I cannot agree with your statement “If it is not in Scripture it is heresy”, primarily because the books of the Bible are nowhere listed in Scripture, but also because the Bible itself does not teach sola Scriptura.

      1. MisterBig Bear Reply

        Dealing with your last statement first, we must ask are you reading one of the new Bible translations that the RC church approves of? Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is *no light in them.” That’s as about Sola Scriptura as you can get. God’s word first and foremost. Anything else might be interesting, but if it conflicts with the word, forget it. As this post is in the section regarding the RC church and emphasizing reading the Bible. Why haven’t you asked yourself what has brought about the change from a church that killed Christians for reading the Bible to one that is quite happy for a person to read it now? Has the church changed its principles in this area, or do the modern Bibles now contain enough RC doctrine that they have no problem with it? We know that the church hasn’t changed. As late as John Paul and Benedict, we had encyclicals coming out that promoted punishments sounding like death for those who did not conform to RC church dogma. I and other have recorded these messages, so please don’t tell me they do not exist. So it may also come to you as a surprise that the earliest Christians were not part of the Catholic church as you imply. Indeed the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 foretold of the rise of the church you now claim is part of the earliest Christians . Why did you not heed that warning? That falling away which began in earnest in the middle part of the third century under Constantine, never reached its rise to power until 538AD. This seems to fall far short of the earliest Christians, don’t you think? Believe me the text in Thessalonians is just the start of the biblical prophecies regarding the movement that would fall away from biblical truth and put tradition above the Bible. Why did you not see that? The other possibility is that you are a ghost writer pretending to be a Protestant who has “come home” as the last few popes have put it. Which is it? Either way, I hope you now do some serious study.

        1. Woodrow Reply

          “The other possibility is that you are a ghost writer pretending to be a Protestant who has “come home” as the last few popes have put it.” I’m not sure how to begin addressing cynicism and paranoia on this level, so I won’t, except to say that I was raised as a Fundamental, Independent, King-James-Only, cessationist, First-Degree Separationist, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational, dispensational Baptist.

          “we must ask” Who is we? You and who else?

          “are you reading one of the new Bible translations that the RC church approves of?” Since no textual variants in the biblical manuscripts alter any doctrine, this concern is hardly relevant, but I was raised on the KJV, and, though I’m no longer a KJ-Only-ist, I still use it for Scripture reading and study.

          Isaiah 8:12 does not establish sola Scriptura. Indeed, can you use this text or any other text(s) in Scripture to determine which books are God-breathed Scripture? That is, can you show me anywhere in the Bible that lists the books that are God-breathed Scripture or show me where the Bible provides a list of criteria you can subject a writing to in order to determine whether or not it’s God-breathed Scripture?

          “Why haven’t you asked yourself what has brought about the change from a church that killed Christians for reading the Bible to one that is quite happy for a person to read it now?” Who did the Church kill for reading the Bible? Can you name anyone? I would like evidence to support your claim. (Although, even if it turns out that the Church never killed anyone for reading the Bible, it must be admitted that the Church has been both directly and indirectly the cause of thousands of deaths through, at least, the Inquisitions. I say directly and indirectly because most executions were sentenced and carried out by the State (and Church and State were mixed in mediaeval Europe), but the Office of the Inquistion itself performed some executions. This is shameful, and I regret that it ever happened and am glad that the Church has acknowledged that it sinned in doing this.)

          About II Thessalonians 2: there’s a verse later in that chapter which I wonder if you’ve ever contemplated? Verse 15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Interesting, isn’t it, that Paul tells the Thessalonians to obey the oral traditions he gave them, as well as the written traditions he gave them.

          “As late as John Paul and Benedict, we had encyclicals coming out that promoted punishments sounding like death for those who did not conform to RC church dogma. I and other have recorded these messages, so please don’t tell me they do not exist.” [sic] What you write here rather confuses me. Encyclicals are published and freely available on the internet, so what do you mean “I and other have recorded them”? [sic] What encyclicals and what paragraphs of those encyclicals promote “punishments sounding like death for those who did not conform to RC church dogma”?

          “That falling away which began in earnest in the middle part of the third century under Constantine, never reached its rise to power until 538AD. This seems to fall far short of the earliest Christians, don’t you think?” Can you please explain your thoughts better here? I don’t quite follow you.

      2. Marian Giorlando Cullen Reply

        Excellent response, woodrow. Excellent.

        1. Woodrow Reply

          Thank you. I hope MisterBig Bear carefully considers my questions, and I really would like him to explain what that “falling away” statement means. May God bring him into His Church, and may He have mercy on me, a sinner.

      3. francis mcanarney Reply

        Woodrow, I am a Cradle Catholic and am 60 years old. Great job of doing your research and finding the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the only church that can trace its roots back 2000 years to the death of Jesus Christ. You ought to read “The Faith of Millions”

        1. Woodrow Reply

          Thank you, May God receive the glory. I’ll look into that book.

      4. servant_runner Reply

        Woodrow! Wow!

          1. zeny

            Thank you so much Woodrow for speaking in behalf of the Catholic faithfuls. I hope others will be enlightened too.

      5. Rosario Pranada Ballecer Reply

        I love this post. Actually, by birth I am a Catholic but after my thirty-six years of existence I was decieved and convervted to Reformed Baptist for almost twelve years, but thank God just recently this January 2015 by God’s amazing grace I returned to my old home and embracing again Catholic teachings- The Holy Catholic Apostolic Church founded by truth with our Lord Jesus Christ.

    5. No apologies here. Reply

      Roman Catholics are not bashing whatever denomination that you belong to, so why do you feel it necessary to bash my faith? Does it make you feel better? That’s not very Christian now is it? By the way Catholics are true Christians.

      1. Prince Reply

        The early Christians were not RC, get your facts straight. It was when the emperor of Rome accepted Christ that he highjaced the church and it became RC.

        1. Luigi Vigliotti Reply

          You’re kidding right? What planet do live on? The early Church was Catholic. I’m so sick of these false assertions. Do your homework before making such absurd statements. The so called RC apostasy seems curiously absent from history but I can trace your false man made Protestantism! Stop trolling Catholic sites pretending to speak truth.

        2. alex Reply

          prince,are you a bible scholar,historian,theologian ? i would only listen to you,if you are in that category!

        3. MarMay Reply

          Prince??????? There is only ONE Prince and his name is Jesus Christ! It seems that YOU need to get your facts straight about the early Christians in relation to Roman Catholicism. If I needed someone to tell me about my heart, I’d go to a cardiologist and not a podiatrist…so unless you yourself are a true Roman Catholic in full communion and understanding of the Teachings of Jesus Christ through the ONE Church that He Himself founded, you have no business trying to preach in its behalf!

          1. Helen

            Ah, there is only ONE Holy Father, and his name is God Almighty.

        4. Bob England Reply

          Can you back any of that up? Where are the facts?

      2. Marilyn (in Ohio) Reply

        I must jump in here. Begging your pardon, isn’t your very last sentence inadvertently bashing other Christian faiths? My Christian faith is based on the Bible only – belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, that He died to save me, that He is Lord & Savior. We attend a Baptist church, very Bible oriented. My husband was raised in the Catholic church, Catholic school – told me how they were told not to read the Bible on their own, that the priest would tell them anything they needed to know. My husband converted almost 30 years ago.
        I digress. I’m so sorry that you believe in the church dogma rather than basing your beliefs on the Word of God (unaltered, I might add). “True Christians” as you put it, are the people who put their faith & trust in Jesus Christ. God bless you.

        1. Nate Reply

          Your faith isn’t based on the Bible only. You have “faith” in the Bible and there is nothing in that Bible saying that just because something isn’t mentioned specifically in the Bible it is a false teaching.

          1. Marilyn (in Ohio)

            I never said that. My point was that my faith comes from the Bible, God’s word. I believe that it is God-breathed (inspired by God). I believe that His word is in infallible (the pope’s word is not infallible). It is my guide for living. It shows me God’s comfort, strength, love, patience, promises. It tells me that by accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, confessing my sins (not to a priest) & inviting the Holy Spirit into my heart, I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Good works are important, but they will not save me. I think humans as a whole live their lives going against His word (yes, me included) – that’s why we need to ask Him directly for his forgiveness. That’s why we all need to read the Bible for ourselves, to think for ourselves. Jesus is my faith, not my “religion”. No religion is going to get you to Heaven. To me, much of Catholicism is based on Old Testament rituals. The Old Testament rules, regulations & laws had to be to show God their righteousness & obedience (some were not so good at this!). The Ten Commandments still stands, the stories of the saints, if you will, still stand. Things in the Old point to what is to take place in the New. In the New, Jesus came to change the rituals & laws to offer redemption through Him, not ritual, not good works, not gold & bronze palaces, not riches – just Him.

          2. iam_ladyrara

            🙂 🙂 🙂

        2. Bob England Reply

          Your husband’s personal experience which he remembers from his days in Catholic school is not Church doctrine. The attempted argument is invalid. He’s not an expert on Catholicism simply because he went to a Catholic school, and he’s not the word of authority. It’s his own personal interpretation of events, and his own understanding of Catholicism that you may criticize based on that criteria, and nothing else. If you’re criticizing the Church then your faith cannot be based in the Bible only, but it is based on your own personal interpretation of the Bible. The reason for this is that the Bible upholds Church authority in numerous places. Bible only is a far more recent phenomenon, and the current understanding of it is largely American. As for the “unaltered” comment, it was the Protestants who removed books from the Bible, and had he been allowed to continue, Luther would have sliced and diced the New Testament as well. Beyond that, where did the Church “alter” the Bible, since the suggestion, I might add, is implicit in your statement?

          1. Marilyn (in Ohio)

            Oh boy, this is getting out of hand. My husband may not be an expert on Catholicism, but he lived it! Many of his large family still live it (many have turned away). I have been to many masses myself. No that doesn’t make me an expert either. I can only assume that you are the only true expert – how wonderful! I have leafed through a Catholic version of the Bible (no, I didn’t study it). From what I could see, there are many added “notations” I guess I will call them. Words that the Catholic church has inserted. I can’t say what they all were, but I do know no one is to add or subtract from His word. All the references to Martin Luther – of course the Catholic church is going to make him out to be the bad guy, no matter what he did or didn’t do (I will be reading up on him). He became a “cursed Protestant”. I guess what it boils down to is that I like to think & figure things out for myself, not be told by someone on the other side of the world what I’m supposed to think & do. I’m not tied to church dogma, I’m free to love Christ one on one. I would never pray to Mary (I know, I know – you don’t “pray” to her. Why do you ask her to intercede for you to Christ? That is praying to her, in my book) I look upon Mary as a woman set apart, To be admired for her unfailing faithfulness to God, but she was an ordinary person whom God chose to be a vessel. She had other children, she was not without sin (none of us are without sin, Jesus is the one & only). She worshiped her son as Savior. I do believe the Catholic church & other Christians (yes, I AM a Christian) are in sync on moral issues. I don’t disagree with everything concerning your church, but it makes me sad that many become so comfortable with the ritual that nothing deeper seems to be sought. I think we have to agree to disagree!

          2. Bob England

            It won’t let me reply to you, but I can reply to this. I would have agreed to disagree, except for the manner of the argument and the fact that you maintained it. You initially replied to someone who said “By the way Catholics are true Christians,” by asserting that such a statement is “bashing other Christian faiths” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. The statement was inclusive, not exclusive, and says nothing at all about any other denomination. One might be led to believe that since you’re on a Catholic apologetics website, and jumping to false accusations and the same tired, refuted arguments against Catholicism so fast, that your main purpose here is to argue, since you’re not Catholic. So far, that seems to be about right. Furthermore, your initial argument, at least the one that I replied to, is based solely on testimony of one man who was reporting the pastoral concerns of one priest, assuming that it was even said that he shouldn’t read the Bible without guidance. There is no explanation from the priest, who is not here to defend himself. There is also substantial, written teaching that suggests that we are to read the Scriptures. Think what you want of indulgences, but I have Bibles from that era, and earlier, that offer indulgences for reading the Bible, as is stated on this page, and that extol the virtues of reading the Scriptures, and they include letters from Popes, even from the 19th century, suggesting the same. There is exhortation after exhortation for those who are capable to faithfully read the Sacred Scriptures. What happens in various churches when someone starts creating discord with strange new ideas? I know many churches will eventually ask that person to leave.

            That said, there is a legitimate pastoral concern for a pastor who has a young man in his flock who is reading the Bible without guidance. The fruit of such activity can be witnessed by the thousands upon thousands of atheists on Youtube who left the Christian faith after reading the Bible. See TektonTV, a Christian apologist (not Catholic) on Youtube who has hundreds of videos answering some of the bizarre claims of the atheists there. The truth is, by your standard, you have no reason whatsoever to question any interpretation that I arrive at, because by doing so you’re attempting to provide guidance.

            I’m also sorry you object to the notes in the Catholic Bible, but that is not changing the text. It is the inclusion of an explanation, or explanations, and it is a form of guidance, but nobody is preventing Catholics from buying a bare bones KJV, ESV, etc and reading it. And Protestant Evangelicals are not immune to the use of study notes in a Bible. A quick trip to Family Christian should be all you need to find a good evangelical study Bible with similar notes. The Geneva Bible that came over with the Pilgrims was filled with notes. There’s the ESV Study Bible, the NIV study BIble, an HCSB Study Bible, The MacArthur Study Bible, Scofield notes, etc. They may have one for your own flavor of Christianity, and there is book after book lining the store’s shelves explaining passages and offering guidance to the faithful who shop there.

            As for that “curse”, the one you’re talking about comes straight out of Galatians (1:8), and it is largely aimed at teachers (among the few who could actually read back then) and this would have been true whenever they had been said by any ecclesiastical authority in the past (Bibles were handwritten until the printing press, and would have taken a dedicated scribe a good year to reproduce, making them extremely valuable and out of the reach of the common man). They lead people astray, which is probably why St Paul said it in the first place.

            You have free will to have it your way, just as Adam and Eve had free will. Their way brought plenty of trouble, but they knew better and nobody could tell Eve anything. My Way, by Frank Sinatra, is all about doing your own thing without apology. That’s your right. Nobody is stopping you. I’m just pointing out the flaws in your accusations.

            Catholics do pray to Mary. Prayer is a petition, a request. We believe what the Bible states, that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.Lk 20:38, and so we believe that Mary is alive. To call her an “ordinary person” is somewhat insulting, really. She is the gate that God chose to enter this world Ez 44:2. The Ezekiel passage is just a gate for the Ark (which is so holy that it may not be touched by the wrong hands), and yet God became flesh, born of a woman, born under the Law. The new Adam born of the new Eve. She has been immortalized in Sacred Scripture as the one through whom the Lord entered creation. That’s not a mere vessel or an ordinary person by any stretch of the imagination, especially considering the intimacy of it all. Furthermore, the Bible states that she is the “mother of my Lord” Lk 1:43, and this proclamation by Elizabeth demonstrates reverence and awe.

            Nowhere, does the Bible say that she had other children. This is a glaring omission. Not a single verse, despite the multitude of verses declaring this or that woman with this or that son or daughter. It only says that Jesus had brothers and sisters, and it seems more likely that those brothers had different mothers. There are three unique “Mary”‘s identified in Jn19:25, one of whom, not the Blessed Virgin, is identified as the mother of at least 3 of Jesus’ “brothers”. It’s not so cut and dry as you would like it. It’s quite Catholic to believe that Mary worships her son, even though she has received the honor of being the greatest among creation (ie, not a goddess). Even the saints with the most devotion to the Blessed Virgin will be quick to agree that there is a huge difference between her and her Divine Son, but she is as close to him as a part of creation can be.

            And if you think comfort with ritual led me to go down the road of seeking the answers to these questions for my own self, especially when there are perfectly beautiful Anglican liturgies; a Methodist liturgy which is so similar to our own; Presbyterians who have the Book of Common Prayer; Eastern Orthodox who have a liturgy that is wonderfully hypnotic and pleasing to the mind and heart; then you’re sorely mistaken. I can have all the ritual I want without being Catholic. Heck, every Baptist and Congregational style worship service I have been to seems the same, with introductory music, some introductory prayers, more music, a sermon followed by a prayer, a collection, more music, exit followed by chit chat at the pot luck. One might mistake it for ritual. No, it was the challenge posed by a KJV only fundamentalist group that started me on this road, and as I studied, almost joining their group, I found their arguments to be unconvincing. That was 19 years ago.

          3. Marilyn (in Ohio)

            Bob, you make a very eloquent argument, very well spoken. As you stated, we are all given free will, the gift of choice. You are free to choose your way of worship, as I am mine. I think it’s pretty cool that we have the freedom to even be able to discuss things like this. I know I don’t have all the answers, however I’m sure you don’t either. Only God knows what is truly in our hearts, whether it’s Christ-centered or religion-centered. We aren’t going to change each other’s opinion or beliefs. I really do believe that God never meant for everything to be so complicated, but mere humans have surely messed it up! BTW, I don’t remember who has kept bringing up the name of Martin Luther, but I’ve done a little reading, not in-depth study, but enought for me to think he did the right thing. Not everything mind you – he was pretty anti-semitic, which I’m sure he will answer for, but he did see the Catholic church becoming power & riches oriented. It stands to reason the Catholic church would abhor him as he had the nerve to go against Pope Leo 1 (?). Not approving of taking monies from the not very wealthy to build a gold & bronze filled structure to house a religious leader was the right thing to do. Look at the evangelical so-called giants (NOT Billy Graham) that rake in money, promising things that they can’t possibly fulfill, so that they can live a high lifestyle. Wrong on so many levels – living off the poor, so to speak, for their own self-engrandizment. Pope Leo ( & the ones to follow) are just as guilty (maybe not Francis, not sure yet). I think probably we all should self-examine our own spiritual hearts to make sure the state of their health. I’m not sure that I can continue with the discussions – I seem to butting my head against brick walls & I can’t continue to bloody my brain with futile arguements (maybe discussions would be a better word). No hard feelings or thoughts – wishing you God’s blessings.

      3. Linda Reply

        No sorry Catholics are not true Christians. I was raised a Catholic and I learned a long time ago that when you think you are the only true Christian something is wrong. Only God can judge us but I did learn the Catholic Church only wants you to believe what they believe and if you really read the Bible and learn it you will find alot that was taught was not true according to the Bible. I have learned all Religions are man made and you have to read the Bible and really learn it to understand what is the truth. Any religion that would hide the fact that priests were molesting children to me is so wrong. Not only the priest who did it but the higher ups who hid it.

        Even today the Catholic Church is caving into today’s society.

    6. DC Elmore Reply

      Donna, I’m sorry you have such bad feelings. You are wrong.

      1. Marilyn (in Ohio) Reply

        Donna is quite correct!

    7. Brian Reply

      How can you reconcile what books have been intentionally left out of the Bible? Often, these were left at the whim of rulers for their own gain.

    8. Norma Jordan Del M Reply

      where in the bible does it says that you have to find everything in the bible? non-catholics always used bible like a weapon to destroy Catholics…so how can you explain this John 21:25 ,how can you explain St.Paul, sa 2 Thessalonians 2: 15….”So then, our friends (brothers), stand firm and hold on to those truths which we taught you, both in our preaching (sacred tradition) and in our letter (Sacred Scriptures)……catholic comes from the Greek
      katholikos, the combination of two words: kata- concerning, and holos- whole.
      Thus, concerning the whole. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English
      Etymology, the word catholic comes from a Greek word meaning “regarding the
      whole,” or more simply, “universal” or “general.” Universal comes from two
      Greek words: uni- one, and vertere- turning. In other words, a “one turning”,
      “revolving around one,” or “turned into one”. 1
      The word church comes from
      the Greek ecclesia which means “those called out,” as in those summoned out of
      the world at large to form a distinct society. So the Catholic Church is made up
      of those called out and gathered into the universal visible society founded by
      Christ. as He said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore, and make
      disciples of all nations (all nations, all things, all days. Catholic, we say, means ‘universal.’ ), 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 behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” Jesus used the word church twice in the gospels, both in Matthew. He said, “I
      will build my Church” (Mt 16:18). He didn’t say churches as though he were
      building a subdivision; nor did he imply it would be an invisible church made
      up of competing groups. He was going to build a visible, recognizable church.
      And in Matthew 18:17 Jesus said that if one brother offends another they were
      to take it to “the Church”. Notice the article “the” referring to a specific entity.
      Not “churches” but one visible, recognizable church that can be expected to
      have a recognizable leadership with universal authority. Since the earliest centuries Christians have confessed that
      the Church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” One because there is only one,
      visible, organic, and unified Church; holy because she is called out of the world
      to be the Bride of Christ, righteous and sanctified; catholic because she is
      universal, unified, and covers the whole world; apostolic because Christ founded
      her (Mt. 16:18) through his apostles, and the apostles’ authority are carried on
      through the bishops. Through the centuries, this creed has been the statement
      of the Church. Christians need to stand confident and obedient in heart of
      the Catholic Church. She has been our faithful Mother, steadfastly carrying out
      the mandate of Jesus Christ for 2,000 years. Jesus requires us to listen to His
      Church, the Church to which he gave the authority to bind and to loose (Mt
      16:19; 18:17)—the Catholic Church, which is the pillar and foundation of the
      truth (1 Tim 3:15).
      you said , you once was a Catholic, sad to say you left the true church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ.

    9. alex Reply

      donna,you were not catechized or you were poorly catechized,because if you were,you will defend the cc with your life.me too,i strayed for a while in an evangelical church,born again christian thing.but they teach you the wrong gospel and they only teach hatred towards the cc.i returned to the cc,after finding out that jesus christ established the church,whilst the rests are just by human.no wonder,hundreds of former anti catholic pastors,bible scholars,missionaries ,many of them brainwashed the uncatechized catholics to leave their church and despise her,have now converted to the church,they used to label as mary worshippers,unbiblical,idolators all those MISCONCEPTIONS about the CC.they finally find the truth .google converts to the cc and you will be amazed with result,as those who converted,majority of them are born again chirstians,including pastors.,google ex catholics,you will disheartened to know that those who left are uneducated,has no knowldege or fair knowledge of scriptures and uncatechized,just like me ,when i left the cc for a while.my sister who left as well and became born again christian,is now agnostic!

    10. George McHenry Reply

      Actually, all that the Catholic Church teaches is based in Scripture: teachings; liturgy; prayer; etc. — all have their basis in the Bible.

      Perhaps you would benefit from actually reading the Bible, rather than making silly comments such as “…..and became a true Christian.”

      As to the notion of “Scripture Alone,” one must ask “Where did Scriptures come from?” The answer of course is that they were writings inspired by the Holy Spirit and gathered by the Church! Which Church? The Catholic Church!

      I pray that you will one day repent, turn your life back to Christ and return to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. You are missing the most precious gift of all — the Holy Eucharist — which is clearly explained in John 6. The Bread of Life Discourses are the clear exposition of the Eucharist — unless of course, you believe (as do many protestants and evangelicals) that all of the Sacred Scriptures must be taken literally, except of course for John 6 (which doesn’t fit the protestant paradigm).

    11. MarMay Reply

      No where in the Bible will you find that we should go by the “Bible Alone”. The Bible goes hand-in-hand with Sacred Tradition (2 Thessalonians 2:15). It’s too bad you left the Church that Jesus Christ Himself founded because of something you did not fully understand, and I do not take kindly to anyone attacking what you call “RC”. When you attack the Roman Catholic Church, you attack OUR Savior who founded it Himself and promised that no evil will prevail against it. I will pray for YOU to come to understand the Truth and repent because you are sitting on the fence of heresy.

    12. Thomas Hocker Reply

      ME TWO. I learned mostly from the objectivity of the bible itself= Gods word. This is how I became a Christian.

    13. Barbara Ward Reply

      I pretty much experienced the same thing in my life Donna. I stopped going to church for many years because I didn’t agree with the RC church teachings but hesitated to go to another denomination because had been taught when a child that it was a sin to enter any church other than RC church. Don’t know what they teach nowadays, but I have attended a Bible preaching/teaching Baptist church for the last ten years or so and have learned more in that time than all the other years combined attending Catholic church and catechism classes. RC church was and I am assuming still is a works-based religion. There is nothing we can do to earn our way to salvation except knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

      1. Bob England Reply

        Barbara. Be careful that you’re not turning your salvation into your own work by making it dependent upon your knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Catholic Church teaches that this is by grace alone (Eph 2). It’s a gift. The faith itself is a grace. The desire for works is a grace. It’s all grace. The desire to want to know Jesus as Lord and Savior is a grace. That knowledge and acceptance is a grace. The only thing you have of your own is free will, and that’s also a grace. Grace is gift. You will find this teaching in the Catechism of Trent (hundreds of years ago, probably older than you), and in the current Catechism, several Church documents, etc. As for “faith alone”, the only place you’ll find that in the entire Bible is in James, where it says, “not by faith alone”.

        1. Marilyn (in Ohio) Reply

          Bob, I must have my say on this one. It is by God’s grace alone that we are saved by FAITH in Christ Jesus. I’m going to do some research on this……I think you might be wrong. Get back to you later.

          1. Bob England

            Marilyn. You can check the CCC online. You’re looking for the section on Grace, Justification and Merit. Nothing there is understood by itself, but always with the other parts, so when you get to the merit part, you have to go back to the grace part, and recognize that everything comes from God, and all we have is the assent of free will, and the desire to give that assent, which is also given to us. You can find the CCC at the USCCB website Here: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm

            and the specific section here: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/OEBPS/34-chapter15.xhtml#article42

            I made a point of saying what I said, because there will be some things there that will make you want to recoil and say.. “No. No. It’s still works based. See here, here and here.” – I already know which parts. I truly believe the Catholic position to be less works based than the Protestant evangelical position since it’s not reliant on pushing someone to conversion, but by allowing grace to work. Infants do nothing whatsoever to merit the gift of Baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit that they receive at that time.

        2. Mary Reply

          There are very good arguments for the Catholic Church here, and I hear your earnest. But, can you defend the holding up of Mary, and repetitive prayers to her, and praying to the saints? To intercede for you. And believing on visions of Mary. MARY MARY MARY!!! And references to “our poor baby Jesus”. Jesus is no baby! and he isn’t to be pitied. And he does not NEED our help. Perhaps these “church” are the people. not the building. not the wealth, not the worshiping of a pope. but the Holy Spirit that is dwelling among those who follow Jesus.

          1. Bob England

            Thank you. Yes. Jesus is eternal. Not in the order you asked. I’ll get the easier ones out of the way first.

            1) He came into creation as a vulnerable child, and his childhood is part of the narrative in the Gospel account. We celebrate every aspect of who he is.

            2) I don’t know where we were supposed to pity Jesus. He said to “weep not for me but for your children.” This pitying of Jesus is something I haven’t encountered so I can’t say anything about it.

            3) The Church is people, but the Church is also a visible organization with appointed teachers. That’s readily clear in the Book of Acts. The office of apostleship is a continuing office that needs to be filled by a successor, one chosen by and from the Church leadership – Acts 1. The example of people trying to usurp the authority of the apostles, trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, only to end up running home naked. The first council and the discussions of matters of faith among Church leadership. It’s found elsewhere, too. Paul rightly points out that some are apostles, teachers, etc.

            4) The Pope is not God. I repeat. The Pope is not God. The Pope has been given guidance. Jesus made a promise that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide them. It’s hard to believe that everyone who falls under the banner of “Christian” has been given this guidance because we have so much schism. What Jesus did do was breathe onto the Apostles, giving them the Holy Spirit, and granting them the power to forgive sins and to retain sins. They were actually told that if they retained the sins of another person, they were retained. He also changed the name of Simon bar Jonah to Rock. He actually called him Rock, and he gave him, singled out, the power to bind and loose. This would fall under the concept of delegation of authority. It’s not that the Pope as a person is infallible or sinless, but in his position as Pope, in a very limited context, is considered infallible. In fact, during the first Vatican Council, where Papal infallibility was declared as dogma, they argued strongly against certain papal actions as falling under the banner of infallibility, because there were some less than infallible papal behaviors and thoughts in the past, thus defining it so narrowly that it is hardly ever an issue. This papal infallibility is not a man-centered thing, but based in the trust that Jesus kept his word. The infallibility ultimately belongs to God. The Pope is a vicar, and a vicar has authority, but he’s ultimately acting on behalf of the one who is above him.

            5) Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. The Ark was so sacred that it was kept behind an extremely thick veil. She’s also the new Eve. You can see this in the fact that Jesus is the new Adam. John sets this up in the first chapter. In the beginning… and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and on the 3rd day (equals 7 days) there was a wedding feast at Cana, and the new Eve (forgive my artistic license) came to the new Adam and said “They have run out of wine” – In the earliest church this was always seen in the context of Eve tempting Adam. Eve was taken from a man, but we have creation anew. The new Adam is born of a woman. She’s not God. She’s part of creation, but elevated above the rest of creation.

            6) Mary is also depicted in Revelation 11:19-12:6 (also considered a depiction of Israel) and she is the mother of the Church, of the Body of Christ, of all Christians.

            7) Jesus says not to use vain repetition. Vain has a couple of meanings. One is narcissistic, proud. The other is that the prayers are valueless. It cannot be a prohibition on the repetition of prayers, because Jesus himself repeats a prayer in the garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14).

            8) Prayers to Mary and the Saint: We believe in the Communion of saints, and as part of that we believe in the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. We believe that everyone in this Communion of saints is alive and is part of one of those three parts of the Church. Church militant is here on earth. That’s us. Church suffering is those who are being purified for their entry into heaven. Church Triumphant are those who are in heaven now, and those are declared saints (meaning in this context that there is a degree of certainty that they are in heaven) and they are therefore righteous, either because of their piety, or because of miracles associated with prayers to them. We believe that they can pray to intercede for us, since the prayer of the righteous availeth much. We see in the book of 2nd Maccabees, which isn’t going to be in many American Protestant Bibles because it was considerably cheaper to print free Bibles without them, that Jeremiah (at that time he was already dead) prayed fervently for Israel. We also see in that example that there is some interaction between the living and the dead (Jeremiah obviously not being dead, since he was praying). Because we believe that Mary is the most righteous among all in creation, and that she was protected by her Son from original sin, that her prayers are especially efficacious.

            Was that everything? I did that off the top of my head, so I may have missed something. If so, it’s not intentional.

        3. Barbara Ward Reply

          Bob England: I have read and read again what I commented and your reply to me. I can’t see what it was I said that causes your reply. Where did I say or infer that I thought my salvation was of my own works. All our deeds are like filthy rags to God. We are nothing apart from Him and must live a Spirit filled life. I understand God’s grace is a gift. It is God giving us what we don’t deserve. His mercy is God not giving us the punishments we deserve. His grace and mercy are new to us each day. Once we come to the saving grace of God we want to do good deeds. We are no longer a slave to sin and death.

          1. Barbara Ward

            I am always amazed at how far away from the original topic these forums go with comments. The original thought was whether the RCC encouraged or discouraged personal Bible study. My original reply was that all my years as a member of my local Catholic church, they discouraged any personal Bible study. This was some 40+ years ago. Whether it was only this particular church or the entire Church as a group I don’t have any way of knowing.

          2. Bob England

            Hello, Barbara. I am also impressed by how far a conversation can move from the original topic. In fact, it happened in the very first reply by Donna (to whom you replied in agreement), who was quick to tell the story of her former Catholic days, the tale of her history of ignorance as a poor, lost unsaved Catholic and her final conversion to true Christianity, which in this case is a uniquely American form of evangelicalism.

            To answer your point specifically, you criticized Catholicism as being “works-based” and then you said (I believe aptly so since it’s so true of American Evangelical Christianity), that “There is nothing we can do to earn our way to salvation except knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.”

            Very well stated. So Baptists earn their salvation by using the organ which controls all bodily functions, the brain, to acknowledge Jesus and accept him. So this is what we must do. And if I don’t do it? Well, if we don’t do this work of knowing and accepting, then presumably we are left unsaved and we burn. If we do this one thing, then we are saved. That’s a “work”. Is there no such thing as mental work?

            Catholic dogma is that we have free will, which allows for this assent, but that our will is guided by the Light of Christ, the light of faith (a gift we receive, which we are pre-disposed to receive – also a gift), the light of reason (Jesus is the Logos). “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (not reading) and “By grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works so no one may boast”. These are Catholic dogma.

            So basically, we don’t earn anything through faith. We don’t turn it into a mental exercise. It is given to us, or it is not, and our most laborious work, should we choose to accept it, is to reject the faith. The desire to give assent is already a gift (grace). A few replies up are links to Catholic teaching documents (not unlike the many Protestant teaching documents, sermons and books, but more official) which explain Catholic teaching on grace, justification and merit. It is completely free online, as are exhortations to read teh Bible, and a Catholic version of the Bible is also freely available online (there’s no prohibition against reading your ESV, KJV, NASB, HCSB, NKJV, etc). It’s not the elementary school understanding imparted on kids who are too disinterested to pay attention and who carry it into adulthood. It’s for adults who need to improve upon their 8th grade understanding of the Catholic faith and grow with it as their ability to grasp more difficult concepts increases.

          3. Barbara Ward

            I agree with what you are saying completely and the Baptist church (at least the one I go to) teaches that as well. Apparently I used a poor choice of words or wording to convey my message. Again, the original topic was why the Catholic church (in the past) discouraged individual Bible reading and study. And I was simply agreeing with Donna that I experienced that as well when I was a child in catechism classes.

    14. servant_runner Reply

      can you then explain this passage: “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25

    15. Paulo Reply

      MATTHEW 16:17-19
      (KING JAMES VERSION)
      “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18″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. 19″I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”…

      this will help you to understand indulgences… which is not made by catholic church..

    16. Leo Reply

      And where is it in the bible that you can use mobile phone, browse through the internet, watch television, listen to radio, use the computer and drive cars. Since these can’t be found in the bible, does it mean it is sinful using them?

    17. Donald Montero Reply

      Donna, Donna I propose to you simply two (2) explanations regarding “indulgences” by the Holy Catholic Church. First, as a Catholc I believe when Jesus gave the Apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven and then when on to tell Peter whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosen in heaven leaves me to believe Jesus himself gave Peter all this authority to do what must be done. Secondly, Donna, the Bible as we know it today did not come into exsistence untill almost 200-250 years after Jesus ascended to the Father having instructed the Apostles to go out to all the world. What was missing? They did not have a Bible! The Apostles relied on word of mouth which became known as “traditions” which the Apostle Paul did instruct the faithful to hold fast unto. Let me ask you a bona-fide question: where in the Bible does it say the Bible is the only source for teaching and instruction?

      1. Mike Hartigan Reply

        The Bible endorses itself over and over again as the only authority the body of believers (aka the Church) can place all hope in. The Bible teaches that we hold to traditions, yes. Just so long as those traditions do not contradict scripture. Some traditions are generally widely accepted, though they may not found in the Bible, such as Peter died crucified upside down. In addition, apart from John, all the other disciples died violent deaths. Again, this isn’t found in the Bible but through the many centuries it is widely regarded as true. However, many traditions promoted have no basis in the faith whatsoever. This includes but is not limited to: venerating and praying TO the saints suggesting that they are mediators between God and man. This is a blatantly false teaching as the Bible clearly assures us that, “there is but one mediator between God and man, that is the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)”.
        In order to know what the truth is there must be one reliable source to consult. It can’t be the Bible and traditions together. It can only be one or the other. The Bible is that source.
        What also makes the Bible so unique is that one third of the Bible is prophetic. And so far the Bible’s track record for prophetic accuracy is 100%. There are relatively few prophecies yet to be fulfilled and if the Bible has been precise and reliable up to this point, there is no reason to think the remaining events to occur can’t or won’t happen. No other ‘holy’ book from any other religion can make this claim.
        Lastly, Jesus imparted His authority to all God’s children (Luke 10:19, 20). And not just to a select few (God is not a respecter of persons. Acts 10:34).
        How do we know this? The Bible tells us and so we take it, like any other truth, on faith and watch how it works itself out in our lives.
        Peace.

    18. Diane Hovinga Reply

      I am Catholic and at our church there are always Bible studies going on! Some are about the Old Testament, some are about the New Testament other than the Gospels and some are about the Gospels themselves! We are far from ignorant about Scripture!

  2. marty Reply

    Best way to de-convert someonebis to have them read the horror that the biblebis

    1. seve Reply

      horror that the bible is ????

  3. Romeo Agtarap Reply

    That’s why we catholics MUST NEVER BE LATE IN THE MASS(Liturgy of the Word) Readings(Old and New) and Psalms. AND PAY ATTENTION , NO TEXTING during Mass, No wonder some catholics are easy prey to other denominations due to bible “issue.”

  4. David C Kelder Reply

    Historically, the leaders of the Catholic church took the position that the masses could not understand the scriptures. They were free to read them BUT had to rely on the hierarchy of the church to interpret what the scriptures meant. Then along came Martin Luther.

    1. Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck Reply

      Yes, and that was a sad day. Instead of fixing the problems that no one argued were in the Church, he ‘divorced’ it and the rest is the ugly mess of history.

      1. MarMay Reply

        I was about to echo your reply, Suzanne Graf!!! Sadly, modern-day Protestantism is sooooo far-removed from what Martin Luther intended…I guess he didn’t see the chaos coming!! Heck, you and I can get together for an afternoon tea and start our own church called “The Christian Church of the Saturday Afternoon Tea” so that we can pick and choose what we want and reject anything else that Jesus Christ taught in the ONE, TRUE Church that He Himself established and promised that NO EVIL (and many there have been) will prevail against it! I say, if you truly believe in Jesus Christ, why would you want to go to another church that was founded by mere men? Surely, they must be flawed as well, or they wouldn’t be splitting and multiplying while Jesus’ Church has remained constant for over 2000 years!!!

      2. Susan Hiller Reply

        Wrong. Luther wanted to reform the Church, not leave it. The Roman Church excommunicated him for advocating Scripture above Tradition. The Medieval RC was about raw, naked power, not abut saving souls! And it still is. I was Catholic, so I know of which I speak. Read David H ts book “A Woman Rides the Beast”.

  5. Murungi Reply

    I think the OP was meaning encourage the parishioners to read the Bible for themselves, outside of services. My grandmother did this of her own accord, and when her parish priest found out, he advised her to stop. She didn’t, and it was always a point of contention. She felt a person should know Scripture for themself, and not just take someone else’s word about what the Bible says.

    1. Woodrow Reply

      Your grandmother was right! The Second Vatican Council’s “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” says in paragraph 25: “The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the “excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). “For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for “we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.”

  6. sue Reply

    The “official” answer is a bunch of hooey. I went th catholic school for 12 years and was never encouraged to read the bible. The mass is 95% ritual and 5% readings & priestly interpretation. It wasn’t until my 40’s that I started to read the bible & began a personal relationship with God & Jesus.

  7. David Victor Furman Reply

    Philosophically, the RC church has always been more closely oriented towards so-called traditions than scripture. Christ’s criticism of the Jews is quite applicable to the orientation of the RC church. Mark 7:6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“‘This people honors me with their lips, ​​​​​​​but their heart is far from me; ​​​ 7 ​​​​​​​​in vain do they worship me, ​​​​​​​teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ​​​ 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

    1. Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck Reply

      A falsity for sure. The Catholic Church reads more Scripture at every single mass than any protest-ant church. In addition, mass is celebrated numerous times a day 24/7 around the world. As Scripture (St. Paul) itself says, we should pay attention whether we are told ‘tradition’ or ‘by letter.’ Nowhere in scripture does it say to depend ONLY on Scripture, in fact it says the opposite.

      1. Nan Callinan Reply

        The method of the New Testament authors (and Jesus as well) when dealing with spiritual truth was to appeal to the Scriptures as the final rule of authority. Take the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4 as an example. The Devil tempted Jesus, yet Jesus used the authority of scripture–not tradition and not even His own divine power as the source of authority and refutation. To Jesus, the Scriptures were enough and sufficient. If there is any place in the New Testament where the idea of extra-biblical revelation or tradition could have been used, Jesus’ temptation would have been a great place to present it. But Jesus does no such thing. His practice was to appeal to scripture. Should we do any less having seen his inspired and perfect example?

        1. Woodrow Reply

          “Jesus used the authority of scripture–not tradition and not even His own divine power as the source of authority and refutation.” The Sermon on the Mount contradicts your claim here. “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you…”

          Also, if sola Scriptura is biblical, then please use the texts of Scripture to show me 1) where in the Bible that lists the books that are God-breathed Scripture, or 2) show me where the Bible provides a list of criteria you can subject a writing to in order to determine whether or not it’s God-breathed Scripture.

          Also, let’s not forget…

          II Thessalonians 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

          II Thessalonians 3:6 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”

          II Corinthians 11:2: “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions,* as I delivered them to you.”

          *The King James uses the word ordinances, but it is the Greek word for traditions, the same word, in fact that was used in the two verses I quoted above.

          1. Nan Callinan

            2 Tim. 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” The word “inspired” is literally “God-breathed.” This is an interesting phrase since it implies that the Scriptures are from the mouth of God. There are some good traditions we should hold on to, and some that will corrupt the church.
            As we read the New Testament we find two different kinds of tradition: 1) Divine traditions, coming from God; 2) human traditions, coming from man.
            Paul encouraged the brethren at Thessalonica to “stand fast and hold the traditions”. Was Paul encouraging these brethren to depart from the word of God in order that they might keep some traditions started by man? Obviously not! Paul taught just the opposite. Paul told this church to “hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

  8. Craig Reply

    “If it is not in Scripture it is heresy.”

    That is a man-made concept which is not found in scripture, and is in fact refuted by scripture.

    The foundational premise of your argument is self-contradicting and therefore false.

    Go to confession and beg God for forgiveness before you lose your soul.

  9. gina Reply

    When we are weary, in trouble, discouraged, or facing serious opposition, Jehovah refreshes us by means of his Word. Hence, it is good for Christians to make it a practice to read a portion of the Bible every day. Do you do this? Some find it helpful to memorize certain texts, such as Exodus 34:6, 7 or Proverbs 3:5, 6. Why is this beneficial? Well, if a crisis should occur and you do not have a Bible handy, comforting Scriptural thoughts can immediately strengthen you. Many brothers condemned to jails or prison camps because of standing firm for righteous principles have been greatly refreshed and strengthened by recalling memorized scriptures. Yes, God’s Word can cause “the heart to rejoice” and make “the eyes shine”!—Psalm 19:7-10.

  10. jcbf19 Reply

    I am a Catholic and we are clearly encouraged to read and meditate on the whole of Sacred Scripture. Our people are spiritually immature in the US because of our prosperity and they don’t value living by the faith or heroically according to Scriptural teaching when it comes into conflict with their comfort. And sadly, homiletics per expository preaching of the Word is not necessarily emphasized in our culture in seminary. Yeah, this is a problem, but the teaching of our faith and the example of the saints is to interiorize the word of God by reading the Bible is historical and prominent.

  11. Otto Konopa Reply

    David C.Kelder, The fact is that the vast majority of the people prior to the reformation could not read or write. It was the Catholic Church that worked diligently to change that. And it was Martin Luther who Miss-translated the bible….and openly recognized that he did so. And the Bible that needs to be read with guidance unless you are a scholar of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, and a historian familiar with the “Old Testament”.

  12. aaron Reply

    My question is in that case why does the catechism, written in 2004, say that only the pope and his bishops can accurately interpret scripture. that seems very contradictory.

    1. Woodrow Reply

      It seems you have misunderstood the Catechism. Here are the relevant selections, although I suggest reading the entire section in the Catechism:*

      The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church

      84 The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. “By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practising and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.”

      The Magisterium of the Church

      85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

      86 “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”

      87 Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles: “He who hears you, hears me”, the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

      The dogmas of the faith

      88 The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them.

      89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.

      90 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ. “In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy 234 of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith.”

      The supernatural sense of faith

      91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth.

      92 “The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.”

      93 “By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”

      Growth in understanding the faith

      94 Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:
      – “through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts”; it is in particular “theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth”.
      – “from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience”, the sacred Scriptures “grow with the one who reads them.”
      – “from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth”.

      95 “It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

      109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.

      110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”

      111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.”

      The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.

      112 Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.

      The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.

      113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).

      114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

      131 “and such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life.” Hence “access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful.”

      132 “Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. the ministry of the Word, too – pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place – is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture.”

      133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful… to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

      *Beginning with Chapter 2: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

      1. aaron Reply

        That’s beautiful. Though irrelevant in this case because if the Catechism reads “‘The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.’ This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in the communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome” (pg 32 paragraph 85 under The magisterium of the Church).
        Further, on page 35 paragraph 100 it comes out more concise and bold, “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”
        Jesus contradicts that in John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak.” So it is not a man that interprets Scripture. It is solely entrusted to God’s “Spirit of truth”.

        1. aaron Reply

          My apologies. the first part of my reply was left very open ended by a fragment. I meant to follow up the “if the catechism reads” with concluding that they imply that it is irrelevant for anyone outside of the Pope and his bishops to read the bible because since no one can accurately interpret the contents no one actually knows what it means.

        2. Woodrow Reply

          Yes, it reads “The task”, not “The ability”. The Magisterium relies on the works of lay theologians as well as ordained theologians.

          “it is not a man that interprets Scripture. It is solely entrusted to God’s “Spirit of truth”.” There is no contradiction here. Every person who reads the Bible interprets its meaning according to their knowledge and experience. The Bible says the Spirit will guide the Church (not individuals) into all truth. It does not say that the Spirit interprets Scripture. One of the ways the Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium of the Church into all truth is by helping the Magisterium interpret the Scriptures properly.

          1. aaron

            You’re missing it. The catholic church makes it clear through the paragraphs I’ve shown you that the pope and his bishops “alone” and “solely” can authentically interpret. This thereby means that they’re placing the burden as a whole on those individuals. Our bible, however, tells us that ANY Christian can do so. The catholic church is wrong. Sorry man, I really wish it were different.

          2. Woodrow

            Since I cannot reply to your last comment, aaron, I have to reply to myself 😉

            “The catholic church makes it clear through the paragraphs I’ve shown you that the pope and his bishops “alone” and “solely” can authentically interpret.” No. You are wrong. These paragraphs do not state in any way, shape, or form that *only* the Magisterium can interpret the Bible correctly. These paragraphs state that the task of doing so is entrusted to the Magisterium. This is because the bishops of the Church are responsible to correctly teach and correctly hand on the Faith. They are charged with protecting the faithful from false teaching, and are to correct it when they come across it. Nowhere does the Catechism state and nowhere does the Catholic Church teach that *only* the Magisterium can understand or interpret Scripture correctly. Indeed, in the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” the Magisterium gives these guidelines to lay people who want to understand Scripture:

            11. Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself. In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted.

            Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation. Therefore “all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).

            12. However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.

            To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to “literary forms.” For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another.

            But, since Holy Scripture must be read and interpreted in the sacred spirit in which it was written, no less serious attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture if the meaning of the sacred texts is to be correctly worked out. The living tradition of the whole Church must be taken into account along with the harmony which exists between elements of the faith. It is the task of exegetes to work according to these rules toward a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture, so that through preparatory study the judgment of the Church may mature. For all of what has been said about the way of interpreting Scripture is subject finally to the judgment of the Church, which carries out the divine commission and ministry of guarding and interpreting the word of God.

            *********************************************************************************************************************************************************
            21. The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture. For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life. Consequently these words are perfectly applicable to Sacred Scripture: “For the word of God is living and active” (Heb. 4:12) and “it has power to build you up and give you your heritage among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32; see 1 Thess. 2:13).

            22. Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful. That is why the Church from the very beginning accepted as her own that very ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament which is called the Septuagint; and she has always given a place of honor to other Eastern translations and Latin ones, especially the Latin translation known as the Vulgate. But since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church by her authority and with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in cooperation with the separated brethren as well, all Christians will be able to use them.

            23. The bride of the incarnate Word, the Church taught by the Holy Spirit, is concerned to move ahead toward a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures so that she may increasingly feed her sons with the divine words. Therefore, she also encourages the study of the holy Fathers of both East and West and of sacred liturgies. Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set men’s hearts on fire with the love of God. The sacred synod encourages the sons of the Church and Biblical scholars to continue energetically, following the mind of the Church, with the work they have so well begun, with a constant renewal of vigor.

            24. Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word. For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. By the same word of Scripture the ministry of the word also, that is, pastoral preaching, catechetics and all Christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily must hold the foremost place, is nourished in a healthy way and flourishes in a holy way.

            25. Therefore, all the clergy must hold fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study, especially the priests of Christ and others, such as deacons and catechists who are legitimately active in the ministry of the word. This is to be done so that none of them will become “an empty preacher of the word of God outwardly, who is not a listener to it inwardly” since they must share the abundant wealth of the divine word with the faithful committed to them, especially in the sacred liturgy. The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the “excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). “For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for “we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.”

            It devolves on sacred bishops “who have the apostolic teaching” to give the faithful entrusted to them suitable instruction in the right use of the divine books, especially the New Testament and above all the Gospels. This can be done through translations of the sacred texts, which are to be provided with the necessary and really adequate explanations so that the children of the Church may safely and profitably become conversant with the Sacred Scriptures and be penetrated with their spirit.

            Furthermore, editions of the Sacred Scriptures, provided with suitable footnotes, should be prepared also for the use of non-Christians and adapted to their situation. Both pastors of souls and Christians generally should see to the wise distribution of these in one way or another.

            26. In this way, therefore, through the reading and study of the sacred books “the word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified” (2 Thess. 3:1) and the treasure of revelation, entrusted to the Church, may more and more fill the hearts of men. Just as the life of the Church is strengthened through more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, similarly we may hope for a new stimulus for the life of the Spirit from a growing reverence for the word of God, which “lasts forever” (Is. 40:8; see 1 Peter 1:23-25).

            Let me emphasize:

            “The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges *all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the “excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). “For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”* Therefore, *they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself,* whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere.

            “Our bible, however, tells us that ANY Christian can do so.” Our Bible tells us that we need guidance to correctly understand the Bible, but with that guidance, and Christian can indeed understand the Bible correctly.

      2. aaron Reply

        It appears I’m beginning to encounter the same prob as you. I had to reply to an earlier message because it has done the same to me.
        The problem is that if they alone have the task of authentically interpreting it doesn’t matter what any other paragraph reads. If they are the only ones that can authentically interpret that provides no one with incentive to give merely an effort because we wouldn’t know what it means anyway because we can’t interpret it right.
        About the guidance, yes we need guidance. Now, from where? Jesus and the Word make it clear that guidance comes from “the Spirit of Truth”.
        Btw, I’m not trying to chew you out. I’m wanting to know what you say about these issues because it’s interesting to me. The others I speak with about it, catholic and others, are silenced when I show them the paragraphs I’ve mentioned.

        1. Woodrow Reply

          The Magisterium are not the only ones that can interpret Scripture properly. The Catholic Church does not teach that they are the only ones that can interpret Scripture properly. *You* teach that. *You* maintain that “the task of properly interpreting Scripture has been entrusted to the Magisterium” means exactly the same thing as “only the Magisterium can interpret Scripture properly”. Indeed, basic language and logic skills tell us that these two phrases are not synonyms of each other. Not only do these phrases not mean the same thing, but I have quoted to you from an official source of Catholic dogma that the Catholic Church does not believe or teach that only the Magisterium can interpret Scripture properly. I could tell the employees under me at work that since the task of managing the warehouse has been entrusted to me that I am therefore the only one capable of doing it, but that will not make it true.

          1. aaron

            No sir. You’re pointing that finger at me as though I’m the only one saying it. The reason I have said that is because that’s what the Catholic church writes. Whether it’s the task or the ability doesn’t matter. The task can be entrusted to everyone, but they don’t permit that. *They* maintain that they ALONE can interpret it authentically, then of all things try to explain how others can interpret it. So if they alone have the task of authentically interpreting it, no one else can interpret properly which discourages anyone from doing it.

  13. JoniW Reply

    I was raised catholic and attended catholic school. We had a Bible at home but no one ever read it. After I was married, my sons were in a boy scout troop sponsored by the Methodist church. On Scout Sunday, I attended the church service and my eyes were opened. The sermon was eye opening and have attended since then ( about 20 years). Also went to sunday school and learned alot that was never taught or preached in the catholic church/school.

  14. kimmy Reply

    Marungi, she was so right!!! Jesus told all his followers to read it!! He didn’t just say only higher up in authority….not once !! Satan is the deceiver and twists gods word more in religion than anything else…he uses half truths more than ever…it sounds more truthful than, people won’t question ..he is author of confusion …and it also says he transforms into angel of light!!! So it looks appealing….wow, when I read my catholic bible …it says same in it as is…..in. protesrant…John 3:3-5 still says you must be born again in both versions…yet the meaning is made up in catholic church to mean something t o tally different…they say born again through baby baptism…but first show me even one scripture that mentions baby baptism and I’ll eat my underwear!!! Not one!! It does say “believe, and be baptized ..for such is the remission of sins ..now logically speaking…how does a baby believe when it’s mind isn’t yet even developed to reason with first…second it says believe first in the order of scripture ..than be baptized ..for forgiveness of sins…gee , how does a baby ask forgiveness for something it’s brain is too underdeveloped to even understsnd?? Making sense yet! So it makes sense you have to be old enough to be accountable and understand what sin first is…to know why you need forgiveness to begin with…than ask for it…which baby can’t do , since it also says “confession with mouth is made unto salvation””as speaking is where all power comes from…god spoke this world into existence!! Power of tongue is the power unto salvation …without speaking of free will there is no covering of sins…see how all things in order make significance….god is god of order..not didorder…that would be satan…he distorts gods truth using man made traditions to keep people from gods real truths …just enough to keep them lost in blindness and deception…I rest my case!

    1. jaime pangan Reply

      Non-Catholics they claims are CHRISTIAN. Why you keep saying all we need is the Bible.. Are Protestant Bible are truly WORD of GOD?”All Scripture handed down by the One Holy Catholic and Apostalic Church, the same Bible used for thousands of years, those Scriptures are the inspired word of God.Protestants and cults
      You are proposing a doctrine that did not exist for 1500 years after Christ. YOU need to prove your point, so please show me in the Bible where the Bible says that it is the sole and only authority of faith.
      If you are to use the Bible as the sole authority you have to first know that constitutes the Bible, so please show me in the Bible where the Bible lists which books are inspired Scripture.
      Why does the Bible say that the CHURCH is the foundation and pillar of truth and not the Bible? (1 Tim 3:15)
      What did Christians do for 300 years before the CHURCH finally decided which writings were inspired and which were not?
      In Matthew 18:15-18, if your brother sins against you who has the final call? The Bible or the Church?
      Why does the Bible say to hold fast to the Traditions handed down to you (1 Cor 11:2)?
      Why does the Bible say to hold fast to Tradition whether oral or by letter (1 Thess 2:15) (The Bible is Tradition that was written down)?
      Why does the Bible say to shun those who do not act according to Tradition (2 Thess 3:14)?
      Why does the Bible say that not all teaching is found in the Bible (John 21:25)?
      Why did the Apostles not consult the scriptures at the first Counsel of Jerusalem, and audaciously make a binding rule on all Christians that seemed good to them and the Holy Spirit if they didn’t have authority to do so?
      St. Paul said, “If I delay, you will know how you ought to conduct yourself in the household of God, that is, the CHURCH of the living God, which is the PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF TRUTH” (1Tim 3:15). As you have read, the Church (not the Bible) is the pillar and foundation of truth. That is why the post says that the Bible, though inerrant word of God, is not the SOLE rule of faith. The Church is already there before the compilations of all scriptures were made that is why the letters of St. Paul are address to them (e.g. church in Rome, Corinth, Galatia etc.). The Church which was founded by Christ (Mt. 16:18), therefore, has grown tremendously in other places outside of Jerusalem. What’s my point? The Bible is never used by the Apostles and disciples the way the protestant ministers are using it now. “Sola Scriptura” or “Bible alone” is a teaching made by Martin Luther in circa 1500 and handed down to its protestant followers and offshoots until today. It is man-made because it started only during the time of reformation. It is a tradition of man because it was handed By Martin Luther to his followers and accepted by all protestant denominations and offshoots. Another point is that the Bible is silent on what scriptures are to be included in the Bible. You might be asking where in the Bible that states that the 27 books are the complete lists of the NT. St. John said, “There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book (gospel of St. John). These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn. 20:30-31). If the gospel of St. John is enough so that we may believe in Christ and in that belief we may be saved, why do we need to have other books in the New Testament? How do you know that the “letter to the Hebrews” whose author is UNKNOWN should be included in the list? How do you know if it is really true that Matthew is the real author of the “Gospel of Matthew” when you can’t read it there that he named himself as the author. According to tradition, it is only a certain Bishop Papias of Hirapolis (b. 63 AD) who ascribed the authorship to him. Why Catholics believe these things? Because the Church said so. Since we believe in its head who is Jesus, we believe in his body, the Church (Col. 1: 18). We also believe that since the Church made the canon of scriptures then she is the worthy guardian of it. History proves that the one who made the Canon is the Catholic Church and not King James or his Anglican church or other protestant churches whose existent can be traced back to Martin Luther and other reformers in circa 1500. They came very, very late.

  15. Michael Allanson Reply

    As a young Catholic, I was told not to read the Scriptures as they might confuse me. When I did start reading them, I became confused about Catholic theology but everything else started to make sense.

  16. Roger Feir Reply

    Read and reread and reread the Bible and you’ll find out it’s an eye-opener.

  17. Cj Tariman Reply

    Actually, the Bible emphasizes that we focus on building personal relationship with God and Jesus. But every denomination, mostly religious ones made rituals that put the bible as useless. In fact, the bible is God’s word for us and it is constantly ignored. God did not make rituals or encouraged as to do so, but He encourages us to be in constant relationship with Him and Christ. Glorify Him in our everyday lives through work, school, chores etc. It’s simple yet many people made it complicated by making their own rituals.

    1. Woodrow Reply

      Actually, He did give all kinds of rituals. You’ll find them in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, especially. The Apostles preserved these rituals, but interpreted them through Christ’s Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Promise to return. This is why in Acts chapter 3 we find Peter and John going to the Temple for the ritual prayers at the ritual time for prayer (Acts 3:1), and why the Church kept the prayer times and worshiped at the Temple (Acts 2:42, 46). Rituals do not separate us from a constant relationship with Christ any more than rituals separated the Jews from a constant relationship with Him; the condition of our hearts determines whether or not we are in constant relationship with Him. I used to be an Evangelical, and I found that even in the most Spirit-filled worship services that there were times I was just going through the motions. The service was not the problem; the problem was that my heart was not right with God. Praise the Lord for his goodness, and for His wonderful works to us!

      1. B.M Reply

        Good job on your report!

    2. Nan Callinan Reply

      Cj Tariman you are right in that Jesus is not about religion He is about having a personal relationship with us..
      I believe We overthrow God’s law to observe man’s law!!

  18. Nan Callinan Reply

    Jesus always quoted the Scriptures as the final source of authority. (Matt. 22:29-32) (Mark 7:9-13). He never appealed to his own authority alone. He always showed the people how they had a wrong understanding because of their following the religious teachers traditions, “You err, not knowing the Scriptures. ( 14:23-24) The Lord himself looked to the authority of Scriptures alone, as did His apostles after Him. (2Tim. 3:16) ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” Get it ALL means ALL.

  19. JT Reply

    2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thouroughly equipped for every good work.”

    1. Catholic Christian work-in-progress Reply

      JT, it says PROFITABLE not alone or sufficient.

  20. dante Reply

    Bible is necessary yet you didn’t have to memorize every letter written down there, it is God’s own commands and graces that you must know.

  21. Norma Jordan Del Mundo Reply

    Non-Catholics they claims are CHRISTIAN. Why you keep saying all we need is the Bible.. Are Protestant Bible are truly WORD of GOD?”All Scripture handed down by the One Holy Catholic and Apostalic Church, the same Bible used for thousands of years, those Scriptures are the inspired word of God.Protestants and cults

    You are proposing a doctrine that did not exist for 1500 years after Christ. YOU need to prove your point, so please show me in the Bible where the Bible says that it is the sole and only authority of faith.

    If you are to use the Bible as the sole authority you have to first know that constitutes the Bible, so please show me in the Bible where the Bible lists which books are inspired Scripture.

    Why does the Bible say that the CHURCH is the foundation and pillar of truth and not the Bible? (1 Tim 3:15)

    What did Christians do for 300 years before the CHURCH finally decided which writings were inspired and which were not?

    In Matthew 18:15-18, if your brother sins against you who has the final call? The Bible or the Church?

    Why does the Bible say to hold fast to the Traditions handed down to you (1 Cor 11:2)?

    Why does the Bible say to hold fast to Tradition whether oral or by letter (1 Thess 2:15) (The Bible is Tradition that was written down)?

    Why does the Bible say to shun those who do not act according to Tradition (2 Thess 3:14)?

    Why does the Bible say that not all teaching is found in the Bible (John 21:25)?

    Why did the Apostles not consult the scriptures at the first Counsel of Jerusalem, and audaciously make a binding rule on all Christians that seemed good to them and the Holy Spirit if they didn’t have authority to do so?
    St. Paul said, “If I delay, you will know how you ought to conduct yourself in the household of God, that is, the CHURCH of the living God, which is the PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF TRUTH” (1Tim 3:15). As you have read, the Church (not the Bible) is the pillar and foundation of truth. That is why the post says that the Bible, though inerrant word of God, is not the SOLE rule of faith. The Church is already there before the compilations of all scriptures were made that is why the letters of St. Paul are address to them (e.g. church in Rome, Corinth, Galatia etc.). The Church which was founded by Christ (Mt. 16:18), therefore, has grown tremendously in other places outside of Jerusalem. What’s my point? The Bible is never used by the Apostles and disciples the way the protestant ministers are using it now. “Sola Scriptura” or “Bible alone” is a teaching made by Martin Luther in circa 1500 and handed down to its protestant followers and offshoots until today. It is man-made because it started only during the time of reformation. It is a tradition of man because it was handed By Martin Luther to his followers and accepted by all protestant denominations and offshoots. Another point is that the Bible is silent on what scriptures are to be included in the Bible. You might be asking where in the Bible that states that the 27 books are the complete lists of the NT. St. John said, “There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book (gospel of St. John). These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn. 20:30-31). If the gospel of St. John is enough so that we may believe in Christ and in that belief we may be saved, why do we need to have other books in the New Testament? How do you know that the “letter to the Hebrews” whose author is UNKNOWN should be included in the list? How do you know if it is really true that Matthew is the real author of the “Gospel of Matthew” when you can’t read it there that he named himself as the author. According to tradition, it is only a certain Bishop Papias of Hirapolis (b. 63 AD) who ascribed the authorship to him. Why Catholics believe these things? Because the Church said so. Since we believe in its head who is Jesus, we believe in his body, the Church (Col. 1: 18). We also believe that since the Church made the canon of scriptures then she is the worthy guardian of it. History proves that the one who made the Canon is the Catholic Church and not King James or his Anglican church or other protestant churches whose existent can be traced back to Martin Luther and other reformers in circa 1500. They came very, very late.

      1. B.M Reply

        This is good!

    1. MarMay Reply

      Thank you Norma Jordan Del Mundo! I couldn’t have said it better! Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us sinners!!!!!

  22. yhen Reply

    Im proud to become Roman Catholic i believe all the teaching ..because Jesus Himself give the authority to St Peter..the 1st Pope Of Roman Catholic until now to His successor Pope Francis 267 from the list ,,since founding of Roman Catholic

    1. B.M Reply

      Right on!!

      1. Marilyn (in Ohio) Reply

        I don’t recall that Jesus himself called Peter “pope” – so who bestowed that title on Peter? By the way, Peter was married as there is reference to his mother-in-law – so much for celibacy. Who decided that priests should not marry? Seems to me that ordinary men decided these things. Jesus Christ himself is the church – He is not Catholic, Protestant nor any “religion”. His church is made up of those who believe in Him.

        1. Nan Callinan Reply

          You are right about Peter not being the first Pope.. Jesus is the only head of His Church of believers.

  23. Melvin! Reply

    I was once a Protestant and now I am a Catholic, I will NEVER to back to Protestantism.

  24. Corey Reply

    Matthew 16:19:
    “And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be what has been bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be what has been loosed in heaven.”

    If the Church, and more specifically the holder of the keys, “binds” doctrine, it’s bound.

    There it is, in the Bible. To argue otherwise is heresy.

  25. R Daneel Olivaw Reply

    When my parents bought our family Bible they were actually advised by the local priest not to read it because some times it causes people to loose faith. He said if they did read it they should ask him about any passages they found disturbing so he could tell them what it really means. My mother is 83 and still refuses to read it. For me though I found the priest to be absolutely correct. Reading the Bible was my first step to becoming an ahteist. I recomend it to all practicing Catholics 🙂

    1. aaron Reply

      haha that’s funny! as a matter of fact it had the exact opposite affect on me. The bible was wat prevented me from committing suicide and has caused tremendous spiritual maturity in my life. But catholicism is something i can see driving people away from Jesus considering how much of the doctrine is inconsistent with the bible.

  26. Connie Osteen Reply

    WOODROW, YOU ARE A BOMB !!! I WAS BORN CATHOLIC. ONCE MARRIED TO A BAPTIST PREACHER BUT I DIDN’T LEAVE CATHOLIC. MY EX-HUSBAND TRIED HIS BEST TO TAKE ME OUT OF CATHOLIC BUT I DIDN’T. HE DIVORCED ME BUT I AM STILL WITH CATHOLIC BECAUSE IS THE FIRST CHURCH TO START. SOME CATHOLICS LEFT CATHOLIC BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT CATHOLIC IS THE HARDEST RELIGION TO FOLLOW. LET’S KEEP IN MIND PEOPLE “” THE GOSPEL IS MEANT TO SAVE THE SINNERS, NOT FOR THE SINNERS TO CHANGE THE GOSPEL TO SUIT THEIR SINS AND THEIR LIFE STYLES. BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR THE THREE ( 3 ) TOP THINGS THAT INTERFER WITH OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, MONEY, POWER, AND SEX. I SALUTE YOU WOODROW AND SORRY THAT DONNA AND OTHERS LEFT CATHOLIC. By the way, I am not sure why my ex-husband is still comingto Catholic after all the years we were together and he criticized catholic so much.

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  27. Eden Reply

    A very interesting topic. All I can say is that we are all children of God and everyone should respect each other’s faith and belief. In other words, to each his own and never argue about whose right or wrong and whose going to be saved or not. That is why there is a so called final judgement. Catholics are first Christians and has a huge denominations over 2000 decades. All other religions formed nowadays are copied or based from RC, twitching and eliminating some readings, a non denomination and uses Bible as the church. Most of them are ex-Catholics. It breaks my heart to see these people turned away, and yet saying bad things about Roman Catholicism. In fairness, which do you think is the best religion and true Christian by definition?

  28. david Alf Reply

    The problem with threads….this thread originated with the question Why doesn’t the Catholic Church emphasize reading the Bible?….Eden you are correct…God loves us all. True Christians are commissioned to be proactive as noted in Matthew 24:14 “this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” and Matthew 28: 19-20…Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations,+ baptizing them+ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.+ And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

    The is no best religion. However, true Christians are identified by their heartfelt/whole souled commitment to the scriptures above by preaching the good news of the Kingdom.

  29. Peter Aiello Reply

    The readings at Mass do not provide the context of the reading. Elderly Catholics have told me that they were instructed to not read the Bible for themselves years ago. I got my first Bible in Catholic school around 1950. I used it often, but it was not encouraged. Most Catholics remain ambivalent towards it.

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