Sola Scriptura-a Catholic perspective


All Christians revere the Bible and consider it to be an authoritative text. The Catholic Church teaches that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and is free from error. But Protestants say that the Bible is the only inspired Word of God, and yet the Bible never claims that.
Protestants and Catholics interpret Scripture differently. Protestantism asserts that “Scripture Alone” is the authority for Christians, and that the individual believer is competent, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to interpret the meaning of the Bible, Catholics believe that the New Testament establishes certain institutions to guide us in the interpretation of Scripture. They are Tradition and the Church.

Catholics freely acknowledge that we live within an interpretive community, and that we measure our interpretations against those of the saints, and against the authoritative body established by Christ, which we call the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church.

Protestants also operate within an interpretive community. The meaning of any particular passage is actually dependent on the tradition of interpretation of your denomination. Within Protestant communities, traditions arise and are taken for granted. The Bible does not say that we must accept Jesus Christ into our heart as our personal Lord and Savior. Yet many Protestants say we must. (By the way, Catholics do, too, though many don’t realize it. We accept Jesus into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior every time the priest lifts up the host and says “This is the Lamb of God who takes a way the sins of the world” and the entire congregations exclaims “Amen” in agreement.
Altar calls, the Sinner’s prayer, and many others would round out the examples.

We do not, and should not disparage how Protestants worship in any way. In fact, most Catholics know that “Catholic” is not a denomination, it’s the original description of “Christian”, and all other self-named Christians are members of the Catholic Church, whether they like it or not, whether they profess it or not.  Being Christian automatically makes you part of the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church.

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6 thoughts on “Sola Scriptura-a Catholic perspective

  1. Both Protestants and Catholics seem to mess up a really major point made in John 6. What REALLY is Jesus’ point that He is making? Is it that His body is miraculously transformed as the Catholics and perhaps some Protestant Lutherans imply? Or is it more like the usual Protestant stance which STILL maintains something unknown and still mystical happens when a believer partakes the bread and wine? I JUST WISH ALL BELIEVERS WOULD READ JOHN 6 ALL THE WAY TO THE VERY END! If only both branches of believers would READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF CHAPTER 6, then there might be a lot less ink spilled uselessly! Jesus had a habit of preaching at first with earthly references to familiar things. Then He usually became offensive to drive away those who don’t really care to believe. Then He FINALLY stated His absolute truth and in this case, IN PLAIN LANGUAGE: It’s not physical bread, its’ not His physical body, it’s not any magic or transmutation–All these words were designed by Him to filter out those who would never receive His actual message–IT’S HIS TEACHINGS WHICH ARRIVE AT OUR HEARTS VIA WORDS. It’s just words! for those among us who read the entire chapter 6:

    John 6:60 When Jesus’ followers heard this, many of them said, “This teaching is hard (ie, eating His “body”). Who can accept it?”
    61 Jesus already knew that his followers were complaining about this. So he said, “Is this teaching a problem for you? 62 Then what will you think when you see the Son of Man going up to where he came from? 63 It is the Spirit that gives life. The physical body is of no value for that. But the teachings I have told you are from the Spirit, so they (ie His words, not bread, not body, not trans-anything) give life. 64 But some of you don’t believe (in His WORDS!).” Jesus knew the people who did not believe. He knew this from the beginning. And he knew the one who would hand him over to his enemies. 65 Jesus said, “That is why I said, ‘Anyone the Father does not help to come to me cannot come.’”
    66 After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left and stopped following him.
    67 Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave too?”
    68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, where would we go? You have the WORDS THAT GIVE ETERNAL LIFE. 69 We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God.”

    Shouldn’t every reader READ all the way to the end before spilling any more ink on this topic? Jesus had a habit of teaching in this manner, much to the frustration of disciples!

  2. The question I have is this. What made Jesus wonder if his apostles would leave as well? Is it because the teaching was too hard? The thing that strikes me is this. You’re right about Jesus’ teaching method. He would give a teaching, then try to explain it, then he would state it directly. And in John 6, he say “Amen, Amen I say to you (which means “This is not a metaphor, it’s the plain truth), unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

    You also must try to understand how the Passover meal relates to what Jesus is saying. At Passover, it wasn’t enough for them to find an unblemished lamb and slaughter it. They had to paint the lentels with the blood and eat the roasted lamb. Otherwise, they’d have been in the same boat as the Egyptians. In this case, Jesus is saying that it’s not enough that you believe in Jesus as God, you must assimilate Him into yourself.

  3. “Amen, amen … my flesh is real food and my blood is true drink.” His words, here, CONTINUE TO BE METAPHOR or ILLUSTRATIVE! Only when we read ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF CHAPTER 6 does Jesus EXPLAIN WITHOUT ANY FURTHER METAPHOR OR MYSTERY. His “Eternal Life” “in His Spirit” is mere WORDS… His WORDS which include important things like, “Be merciful, as your Father in Heaven is merciful,” and, “Treat others better than you,” and all of His other teachings, as well. THOSE are the words of eternal life, not anything physical like physical bread, or even bread that we believe has been changed, even though it’s a nice miraculous feeling, but it doesn’t make someone be merciful, does it?

    I find I need the hear about His healings of people in distress, and how He felt compassion for the poor people. When I hear what He did for people, I feel love for Him and I want to be like Him in every way. But when I try to make myself believe incredible things, as if it were a requirement in order to be saved, then the burden becomes unbearable. Who can just “force” themselves to believe something? But acting like Jesus and showing mercy to those who need it most, not only takes my eyes off of my self, and puts my focus on others, instead, it produces a wonderful feeling of “I’m so alive”, as if it were “something eternal” bursting inside of my heart toward those who need God’s love shown to them even more than I do.

    Some say, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,” but is that the end of it? Didn’t He say, “Many on that day will say to me, Lord, when did we see you thirsty,, etc.” IOW, Many in Heaven will be surprised they are there because showing mercy, in response to God’s mercy, becomes LIFE, welling up inside of them, and makes them feel good to have passed God’s LIFE that was in Jesus ONWARD and OUTWARD to others. All the focus on one’s self and one’s sins and one’s guilt is replaced with a focus on the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters and mothers. Outward love replaces inward guilt.

    Something like that….

  4. No, it’s not illustrative. Whenever Jesus says “Amen, Amen, I say to you…”, this is sometimes translated as “Listen, I’m telling you the truth…”, which means he is speaking directly, not metaphorically. When he says “The kingdom of Heaven is like…”, THAT’s metaphoric.

    Actually, you’re missing the point, in the rest of your post. We must examine ourselves (inwardly) in order to figure out where we are wrong. I do a daily examination of conscience to find out places where I can do more to help my fellow man. I ask things like “Did I cut someone off in traffic?”, did I do anything disrespectful? and so on. I also ask myself honestly if I failed to do something when I had the opportunity. But in doing that, aren’t we actually focussing outwardly? To doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy? I agree with you, we should be doing things to help the poor, etc. But examining ourselves takes that to the next level. You can donate money to the poor but never actually think about their plight. This is what Catholics mean by faith and works. Another of the Protestant Solas…

  5. Do not be concerned with what rogilien you ascribe to. There is no rogilien that will get anyone saved. There is NOTHING anyone can do to become saved no not sacraments; water baptism, confession, eucharist NOTHING! Salvation is completely the work of God, not of ourselves. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast. “-Ephesians 2:8-9″According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,-Ephesians 1:4-5″In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” -Ephesians 1:11Prayer continues through the night, till the moment you arise, and persists throughout the day.!As the song says: “Early in the morning, my soul shall rise to thee”God’s people are immersed in prayer and the Bible throughout the day. The Bible is the only authority for truth. If any doctrine taught by any congregation or denomination does not agree with the truth found in the Bible, it is false and should be disregarded. False gospels are taught as truth all through so-called “christian” rogiliens, yet they are merely man-made doctrines doctrines of men.””Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” -Mark 7:7-9″This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.” -Matthew 15:9References :

  6. You’re right, having a particular religion does not save you. Having faith in God, and obeying His commandments, does.

    But you’re wrong about the sacraments-Christ instituted them in the Bible, for a purpose. But it’s God’s grace that saves you, it’s even God’s grace that you do works that focus on the less fortunate.

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