Rome and the Bible

The Roman Church would have the world believe she loves and reveres the Word of God and looks to it as a source of revelation. In the new Catechism, we read:

“God has said everything in his Word

65 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son." Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.]--Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2nd Ed., (C) 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc., p. 22

This teaching continues, explaining that though there is no new revelation, what has been given is still being discovered. And it explains the Church's position on Tradition. Those issues, however, are subject for another study.

Does the Roman Church truly love the bible and hold it in high esteem? Quite the contrary. Catholic writers, who apparently would prefer a creed or laundry list of what we need to believe and do, stress that Scriptures do not provide a clear and reliable means for learning the teachings of Christ.

The Bible does not pretend to be a formulary of belief, as in a creed or catechism. There is nowhere in the New Testament a clear, methodical statement of the teaching of Christ--Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box, (C) 1913 The Columbus Press, p. 66

The very nature of the Bible ought to prove to any thinking man the impossibility of its being the one safe Method to find out what the Savior taught.--Ibid., p. 67

Luke would disagree, for he wrote:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.--Luke 1:1-4

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,--Acts 1:1

A reading of Romans, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews and other books reveals a clear design. But what would the existence or lack of a systematic design prove? Only that God chose to give us the books of the Bible in the way He did. And who are we to challenge His design?

Those who say they speak for Rome would have us believe that Christ cannot be found in the Bible alone.

Again it has ever been practically impossible for men, generally, to find out Christ from the Bible only.--Bertrand L. Conway, Op. cit., p. 70

Does the Bible support this stand? In his epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.--Romans 10:13-17

But some of those who speak for Rome challenge the veracity of Paul's words:

...The Bible nowhere implies that it is the only source of faith.--Bertrand L. Conway, Op. cit., p. 77

The Bible was not intended to be a textbook of Christian religion.-- John Francis Knoll, Catholic Facts, (C) 1927, Our Sunday Visitor Press, p. 50

The Beloved Apostle John, who walked with Jesus throughout His active ministry and who stood at the foot of the cross when His Master hung there, tells us clearly that men can find Christ in the Bible alone.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.--John 20:30-31

Romish spokesmen tell us the Bible is a dead and lifeless thing – something which must be revived by Rome before it can speak to us.

The Scriptures indeed is a divine book but it is a dead letter, which has to be explained, and cannot exercise the action which the preacher can obtain.--Joseph Bruneay, Our Priesthood, (C) 1911, B. Herder Company, p. 155

. . . A dead and speechless book.--Bertrand L. Conway, Op. cit, (C) 1913, The Columbus Press, p. 67

The simple fact is that the Bible, like all dead letters, calls for a living interpreter.--John A. O'Brien, The Faith of Millions, (C) 1938 Our Sunday Visitor, p.155

Through Luther, although Calvin seems to have been the first to announce Monobiblicism clearly, the Bible became the arm of the Protestant revolt. A dumb and difficult book was substituted for the living voice of the Church, in order that each one should be able to make for himself the religion which suited his feelings. And the Bible open before every literate man and woman to interpret for themselves was the attractive bait to win adherents . . .--A Catholic Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, (C) 1953 Thomas Nelson & Son, p. 11

The Holy Spirit, Who inspired the writers of Scripture, clearly does not agree with the position taken by Rome:

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,--Hebrews 4:12

Does the Roman Catholic Church love and revere the Bible? I think not nearly so much as they would have us believe.

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