Skip to comments.Catholic Fallacies: Private Interpretation
Posted on 03/22/2014 5:42:31 AM PDT by Gamecock
One of the statements that Catholic e-pologists like to throw around against Protestantism is the relativism and disunity of private interpretation. While Protestants look to the scriptures for authority on faith-based issues, Catholics look to the authority of their visible church organization.
"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."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. CCC 85
Based on these claims by Catholics you would assume that a church-approved commentary of the Bible would exist to lead Catholic laypeople, especially Catholic apologists, to the correct interpretation of each biblical passage. Yet nothing even close to such a thing exists. In fact, very few biblical passages have been officially defined by the RCC.
The Church has no official commentary on Scripture. The pope could write one if he wanted, but he hasnt. And with good reason: Scripture study is an ongoing, developing field. To create an official commentary on Scripture would impede the development of this field. Catholic Answers
I guess 2000 years (if you believe the RCCs claim to history) is not quite long enough to figure out the truth. While some Protestants have written commentaries on the entire Bible in their own lifetime, the infallible RCC has been unable to even attempt the same in 2000 years.
As far as I have been able to document, only seven passages of Scripture have had their senses partially (not fully) defined by the extraordinary magisterium. These definitions were made by the Council of Trent Catholic Answers
Off the top of my head, I do not no how many verses there are in the bible, but seven is certainly a very, very small percentage. Catholics keep telling me that the RCC has the fullness of truth - I think it would be more honest to say a very slow development of truth.
Where does that leave the Catholic apologist (e-pologist)?
The liberty of the Scripture interpreter remains extensive. Taking due consideration of the factors that influence proper exegesis, the Catholic Bible interpreter has the liberty to adopt any interpretation of a passage that is not excluded with certainty by other passages of Scripture, by the judgment of the magisterium, by the Church Fathers, or by the analogy of faith. That is a great deal of liberty, as only a few interpretations will be excluded with certainty by any of the four factors circumscribing the interpreters liberty Catholic Answers
Seems to me that much liberty could lead to chaos, and it does. Anyone who has interacted with more than one Catholic e-pologist knows that before long they begin to contradict each other.
But more to the point, how can the interpretation of a biblical passage by any Catholic apologist even be entertained? If their own infallible authority has only been able to define 7 passages of scripture over 2000 years, the apologist/e-pologist cannot have the integrity or the authority to even attempt to interpret scripture on their own. If they do, they fall into their own private interpretation trap so carefully, but foolishly, set for the Protestants.
The Church has no official commentary on Scripture. The pope could write one if he wanted, but he hasnt. And with good reason: Scripture study is an ongoing, developing field. To create an official commentary on Scripture would impede the development of this field. Catholic AnswersWhat are they scared of?
“What are they scared of?”
More to the point, why do care what the RCC teaches about the Bible. I find it quite telling that like secular leftists, there are a few Protestants that obsess over the teachings of the RCC. A mindset that would be upset over the RCC’s teachings on Mary, etc., is the same mindset that would be upset if someone denied climate change.
What do you care that I care?
It's really funny to see this canard, too, since I found out about this commentary well before ever becoming Catholic. In fact, it was in the library at the college I attended along with other Protestant commentaries.
As I understand it, the entire set is being reprinted in English in a leather bound set and the portions related to he NT have usually been in print for the past hundred years. The portion related to the four Gospels, for example, is available as a set for about $150 on Amazon and I've been told they're available for considerably less in paperback.
Given that you can get them for free on the web as a text or .pdf download (along with, I think, all the rest), I doubt there are many sets sold other than to parish libraries, seminaries, and so on.
Even in the Internet age, there truly are none so blind as those who will not see.
Let the dog and pony show about whether it's "official" or only "officially approved of" begin. But whatever you call it, if it's in there, it's acceptable to the Magisterium of the Church as is everything in "Haydock's Notes" on the Douy-Rheims Bible (also available in a number of formats as well as free to download or read on-line).
I don’t care what you believe about the RCC. I am just tired of people saying that they believe in freedom, when in reality, they don’t believe in it at all. Only totalitarians concern themselves with what people think as opposed to what they actually do.
Why would there be an OFFICIAL commentary? Seriously, why would that be needed when we have so many unofficial commentaries that serve us as well as they do?
Also, what kind of commentary: historical, textual, allegorical, for homileys, for children or adults, in what language????
When the Vatican sponsored the production of a definitive Vulgate in the 1930s the final fully collated, and footnoted product was something like 700 volumes long. Can you imagine how long a Bible commentary could be? I would think it would be almost as long. Who going to pay for that nowadays? Isn’t it more realistic to do what the Vatican has already done: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerus/index_eng.html
They are blind. Worst of all - they want to be.
So you are concerned with what I think.
What’s the diffence?
As far as I am concerned Roman Catholics can do what they want. Yet you want to shut me down.
Do you know the history of the Church of Rome? What she has done to innocent people down through the centuries? Look at what’s been swept under the carpet. It’s that lump the size of an elephant in the middle of the room.
BS. Someone I dearly love was briefly in a group that was borderline cultic. It hurt him. Getting him out was all about caring about and criticizing what other people were thinking and teaching. I care that my loved ones don’t get involved with nonsense and is my FREEdom to criticize what I believe will be harmful to them and to others.
The RC/Protestant debate here is not exactly the same thing, but it too is a worthy exercise of freedom. Both sides see this as a struggle that has eternal consequences to precious human souls. Like Paul suggests,, some argue for lower motives, but all in all, as long as somewhere in the mix people get to hear the Gospel, and get to see the error of falsehoods, then it is a benefit to have these discussions, and absolutely one of the best ways to use the freedom God has given us here in this country. We should be enjoying and making full use of it while there’s still light in the sky, because nighttime is coming.
“More to the point, why do care what the RCC teaches about the Bible. “
Bingo! You hit it on the head.
Nonsense. You are attributing motive. You are not God. Back off that wicked claim. We are in pursuit of truth. You can disagree, but you are wrong to venture where only God can go.
The scales fell of my eyes long ago.
Have you repented and do you believe in Jesus alone for your salvation?
I’m not the one who posted a thread attacking another person’s religion.
I can still discuss it though.
And you don’t have to read it.
Them’s the rules of the RF.
No, it’s true.
“You are attributing motive.”
Based upon years of experience and having gotten two anti-Catholics here to admit they were lying in just the last year of so.
“You are not God.”
True - and I don’t have to be. Remember, two anti-Catholics have admitted here on FR that they lied. I know others lie as well. It’s just that simple.
“Back off that wicked claim.”
Nothing wicked about it.
“We are in pursuit of truth.”
“You can disagree, but you are wrong to venture where only God can go.”
The admissions of anti-Catholics themselves prove you wrong.
Naturally, those with heads they refuse to flush will continue to believe the propaganda right along with pretending to believe in "Scripture Alone" only after throwing out portions of the Bible with no Scriptural basis for doing so.
“The scales fell of my eyes long ago.”
I see exactly zero evidence of that.
“Have you repented and do you believe in Jesus alone for your salvation?”
Yes. Repented years ago and still do. Have always believed Jesus is my Savior. Have you repented?
Nobody goes to hell for climate skepticism, idolatry is another matter.
Is this proclamation supposed to assert that since Protestants interpret every word of the Bible they have the winning hand in what to believe? They are innocent of atrocities as opposed to historically horrible Catholic behaviors? Well, we could cite a few Protestant mess ups in some of the various sects. Cromwell, for one. Salem witch trials another. Henry the VIII wasn’t exactly Biblically inspired when he cut off Rome and did his cruelties.
No, this is all a simplistic pointless presentation...to prove what?
Nothing in Catholic teachings about Mary constitute idolatry. Catholic teaching about Mary is explicit that she is NOT God and is not to be worshipped as God. She is venerated as the greatest saint, not worshipped as God.
To post otherwise is to post a clear falsehood about what Catholics teach and believe.
You, yourself, lodge essentially the same objection in regard to, e.g., Joel Osteen!
Why would you think the Vatican should produce a Bible commentary with a single dogmatically-defined interpretation of every verse? It would lock interpreters into a box and end most Biblical scholarship. It's not our teaching model -- which is usually negative, defining orthodoxy's boundaries and allowing freedom within those boundaries -- anyway.
Jesus and Rome or Rome?
“This is a silly thread, admittedly responding to a rather lame argument.”
Catholics have the truth. Christ is the way the truth and the life. And the Catholic Church was founded by Christ on the apostles.
Catholics all over the world need not worry. It’s through the Holy Spirit that we have the Bible and the interpretations that have developed through the Magisterium.
You are aware that there is more to Catholicism than just the (Roman) Latin Catholic Church, aren’t you?
This thread is not about idolatry — it’s about interpretation of the word of God.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus Christ is our intercessor between us and God, not a priest or a pope. We have 33,000 different denominations, or interpretations of God's Word, time to study and let the Holy Spirit teach you. Put in the time to study and the Book will interpret itself.
What about this scripture, is He the only one in Heaven or not? Everybody knows John 3:16 what about 3 verses earlier?
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
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One and Many Churches (origins of the Church)
THE RITES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH -- There are many!
(Cardinal) Newman on Rites and Ceremonies
To all the educated Catholics that read the Catechism etc. What about the illiterate peon in some village in Mexico? Do the finer points of latria and hyperdulia translate as well to that guy? Does the sale of patron saint statues and the rest of the saint commerce also translate as easily to the wretched poor around the world, as easily as it does to educated American Catholics?
And, BTW, this is a hilarious oversimplification, especially if "Protestant" means something bigger than latter-day fluffy American evangelicalism. If Protestants look only to Scripture, why did they write Luther's large & small catechisms? Why the Westminster Confession?
If Catholics look only to the church, why does the catechism say the church "forcefully and specifically exhorts" the faithful to "frequent reading of the divine scriptures" (section 133) and calls Scripture (quoting Vatican II) "strength for [the Catholic's] faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting font of spiritual life" (section 131)?
Check #3, I didn’t bring it up, counsel your co-religionists. His comparison.
In his resignation letter, which Charisma has in full, Ekman explains more of the reasoning behind his conversion to Catholicism:
Scripture is the sole norm and authority for doctrine. Luther's Catechism is an exposition of that scripture. What is believed and why, none of which contradicts its scriptural foundation. Like any catechism, it is a teaching tool.
Jesus prayed that all his followers would be one. Not merely united in their hatred and mistrust of Rome, and disunited in everything else, but one "event as you, Father, and I are one".
James writes that the fervent prayer of a holy man is effectual.
So we know Jesus' prayer was answered. It just wasn't answered by Protestantism.
And the Roman Catholics try keep it in a tidy little box somewhere in Rome.
And the Catholic Church was founded by Christ on the apostles.
Repeat an error enough and people will believe it. For example: if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
Even Hank Hannegraaf appeals to something he calls "the historic Christian faith" to shoot down aberrant interpretations.
**And the Catholic Church was founded by Christ on the apostles.**
Are you saying that you don’t believe Christ’s words — that he ordained the apostles by breathing the Holy Spirit on them and giving them the power to hold or forgive sins? BTW — it’s in the Bible. I thought you guys believed the Bible, don’t you?
Amazing to me~
Yikes, that's a dangerous thing to say in the context of your posts. Whatever you think you are doing, you might do better for yourself to reconsider your heart and motive.
"If you were blind, you wouldn't be guilty," Jesus replied. "But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
An irrelevant and meaningless distinction. What do you think dogma is, if not a "guideline"? I repeat, don't tell me you look only to scripture, and I look only to the church. It an easily disproven falsehood.
It is drawn from scripture, its foundation is scripture, that is what Sola scriptura means, that scripture is the sole authoritative basis for doctrine. We reach doctrine, all that is taught is founded and referenced to the scripture.
And, this message will likely make your head spin around.
Before you react, remember that we should take care with our judgments lest our mouths condemn us.
Actually, once the premise of the article was very solidly smacked down (if I do say so myself) this thread became about anything and everything that might keep readers here from noticing that the had to have been written by either an intellectually lazy but extremely pretentious jerk, or someone deliberately telling a lie but hoping readers are ignorant enough to believe the falsehood it spreads.
Vilating your dogma will get folks burned at the stake. Well, it used to anyway.
What amuses me is the idea that Catholics are not responsible for their interpretation of scripture. They point to the church - but did they forget that they chose membership in the church themselves? LOL! God is not mocked, and there is no avoiding answering for your own decisions, no matter how many layers of indemnification you THINK you have.