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Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ
Integrated Catholic Life ^ | January 23, 2013 | Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

Posted on 01/23/2013 1:43:57 PM PST by NYer

Photography © by Andy Coan

Photography © by Andy Coan

There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all – Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments. While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty – the Catholic Church has never tolerated any such “either/or.” Both Scripture and Sacraments are precious gifts from the Lord, gifts we desperately need.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ!” insisted St. Jerome, a father and Doctor of the Catholic Church from the 5th century AD. Because of this, every liturgical service of the Catholic Church is full of Scripture. Take Sunday Mass for instance. First there are significant chunks of Scripture read aloud, just as we see in Nehemiah 8 or in Luke 4 when Jesus serves as lector at the synagogue of Capernaum. But don’t forget the prayers and acclamations that are full of Scripture like the Sanctus (a combo of Isaiah 6 and Psalm 118:26), the Our Father (Mat 6:9), and the Gloria (Luke 2:14). Ironically, many “Bible churches” that accuse Catholics of being non-scriptural don’t actually read any Scripture aloud in their Sunday service at all!

So is hearing Scripture on Sunday enough? Not by a long-shot. Scripture, says the Second Vatican Council (Dei Verbum 21), is “food for the soul.” Who eats just once a week? To survive and thrive, you need daily nourishment. You can have a steady diet of Scripture by attending Mass daily, participating in the liturgy of the hours, or reading Scripture in daily prayer. Actually, all three make an unbeatable combination.

Frequently, though, when Catholics start reading the bible, they quickly run into trouble – usually in the first chapters of Leviticus! Yes, sometimes it is hard to know where to begin, to fit it all together, and to interpret correctly some rather obscure passages, words, and names. My father, who first attached the Bible at age 63, discovered the book of Malachi. Thinking the name was pronounced “ma-LA-chee”, he rejoiced that there was an Italian among the prophets.

There are great Catholic bible studies on books, tapes, videos, and the web (see www.dritaly.com for suggestions and links). Some are book-by-book commentaries. Others are big-picture overviews of salvation history so that you can fit each book, character, and theme into the overall story of God’s dealings with his people. Most are conveniently designed so that busy people with no background in the Bible can learn a lot without a huge time commitment.

Many of us spend 16 or more years of our life preparing for our secular career, then take continuing ed courses on nights and weekends. In contrast, how much have we invested in our education in the Word of God, essential for our heavenly career?

The study of the Bible, is for one purpose, however. So that, praying with Scripture, we may be better able to hear what God is saying to us here and now. The writers of Sacred Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit. But it is equally true that the Scriptures themselves are inspired. The Holy Spirit has been “breathed into them” and resides within their words as in a temple. When we approach the Scriptures prayerfully, aided by the same Spirit who dwells in them, reading Scripture becomes an experience of being filled and empowered by God’s Spirit, and we are changed.

Sometimes the Words of Scripture are encouraging. Like when this Sunday’s second reading (1 Corinthians 12) tells us that no matter how insignificant we may feel, we each have an essential role to play as members of the Body of Christ. But other times Scripture holds a mirror up to our face and we don’t like what we see. In Sunday’s first reading, Nehemiah 8, the people wept at the reading of the word, because it made them realize their sin. The Word is truth, and sometime the truth is painful. But so is antiseptic on a wound. Scripture challenges us only to heal us and call us to growth. No pain, no gain.

Editor’s Note: Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sunday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15; First Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21. This series for reflections on the coming Sunday Readings usually appears each Wednesday.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: bible; scripture

1 posted on 01/23/2013 1:44:01 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 01/23/2013 1:45:46 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer
Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ

Fortes in Fide: Church Militant Prayer Book

3 posted on 01/23/2013 1:49:20 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper (SOS)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

4 posted on 01/23/2013 2:00:51 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper (SOS)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

**So is hearing Scripture on Sunday enough? Not by a long-shot.**

That’s why it is so important to belong to a Bible Study group that studies a book of the Bible or a Faith Sharing group that studies the readings for the next Sunday.

Bible bump!


5 posted on 01/23/2013 2:05:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Scripture Study Bible - RSV Large Print Edition


"We are compelled to concede to the Papists
that they have the Word of God,
that we received it from them,
and that without them
we should have no knowledge of it at all."

~ Martin Luther



Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ
Apostolic Authority and the Selection of the Gospels (Ecumenical)
The Bible - 73 or 66 Books? (Ecumenical Thread)
How Rediscovering the “Plot” of Sacred Scripture is Essential to Evangelization
The Word of God is a Person Not Merely a Text
Are Catholics into the Bible?
Are the Gospels Historical?
What is Biblical Prophecy? What Biblical Prophecy is NOT, and What It Really IS
Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel
The Pilgrims' Regress - The Geneva Bible And The "Apocrypha"

The "Inconvenient Tale" of the Original King James Bible
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Essays for Lent: The Bible
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How we should read the Bible
St. Jerome and the Vulgate (completing the FIRST Bible in the year 404) [Catholic Caucus]
In Bible Times
Deuterocanonical References in the New Testament

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EWTN Live - March 23 - A Journey Through the Bible
"Our Father's Plan" - EWTN series with Dr. Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins on the Bible timeline
The Daunting Journey From Faith to Faith [Anglicanism to Catholicism]
Reflections on the Soon to Be Released New American Bible (Revised Edition)[Catholic Caucus]
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Is the Bible the Only Revelation from God? (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: ON READING THE BIBLE [Catholic Caucus]

Because I Love the Bible
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Lectionary Statistics - How much of the Bible is included in the Lectionary for Mass? (Popquiz!)
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The Accuracy of Scripture
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The Dos and Don’ts of Reading the Bible [Ecumenical]
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The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Books of the Catholic Bible: The Complete Scriptures [Ecumenical]

Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]
The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
U.S. among most Bible-literate nations: poll
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6 posted on 01/23/2013 2:08:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Berlin_Freeper
THANK YOU! That is a timely reminder of contemporary reality. It is frightening just how ignorant people are of their Creator, who loved them into existence. I am reminded of the conversion story of Roy Schoeman, a Jew, who encountered God in an extraordinary way, while vacationing on Cape Cod, MA. He writes:

I felt myself in the immediate presence of God. I was aware of His infinite exaltedness, and of His infinite and personal love for me.
Read the Whole Story

7 posted on 01/23/2013 2:10:59 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer; Salvation

Au contraire mes soeurs, merci!


8 posted on 01/23/2013 2:29:32 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper (SOS)
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To: Salvation

I have been participating in a Catholic Bible Study for about 6 years now and it has been such a grace.


9 posted on 01/23/2013 3:03:24 PM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
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To: All
There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all – Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments. While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty – the Catholic Church has never tolerated any such “either/or.” Both Scripture and Sacraments are precious gifts from the Lord, gifts we desperately need.

A mythperception, maybe? Consider that the Catholic liturgical reading cycle for the Old Testament ends after two years. During those two years, the daily mass only covers 3378 verses (13.5%) of the Old Testament. The New Testament reading cycle ends after three years. In three years' time the daily mass covers 5689 verses (71.5%) of the New Testament. Taking into account both cycles, only 9067 verses out of a possible 33001 verses (the entire Bible) are mentioned in the chart, i.e. only 27.5% of the entire Bible is ever read during the daily mass. I wonder how the myth got started?

...while fewer believers know much about the Bible, one-third of Americans continue to believe that it is literally true, something organizers of the Synod on the Word of God called a dangerous form of fundamentalism that is “winning more and more adherents…even among Catholics.” Such literalism, the synod’s preparatory document said, “demands an unshakable adherence to rigid doctrinal points of view and imposes, as the only source of teaching for Christian life and salvation, a reading of the Bible which rejects all questioning and any kind of critical research”....
....The flip side of this embarrassment is the presumption among many Catholics that they “get” the Bible at Mass, along with everything else they need for their spiritual lives. The postconciliar revolution in liturgy greatly expanded the readings, with a three-year cycle in the vernacular that for the first time included Old Testament passages. Given that exposure, many think they do not need anything else. As Mr. McMahon put it, “The majority still say you go to Mass, you get your ticket punched, and that’s it for the week.
-- from the thread A Literate Church: The state of Catholic Bible study today

According to a study released in September by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, evangelical Protestants are a whopping eight times more likely than Catholics to read the Bible on a weekly basis. Of course, the survey only looked at private Bible reading; it did not take into account the Scripture passages Catholics take in at every Mass. Still, we tip our hats to our separated brothers and sisters in Christ for their zeal for the Word of God.
-- "Get Cracking, Catholics!", National Catholic Register, Publication dated November 18 2006

10 posted on 01/23/2013 3:03:42 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: NYer
There are great Catholic bible studies on books, tapes, videos, and the web (see www.dritaly.com for suggestions and links). Some are book-by-book commentaries. Others are big-picture overviews of salvation history so that you can fit each book, character, and theme into the overall story of God’s dealings with his people. Most are conveniently designed so that busy people with no background in the Bible can learn a lot without a huge time commitment.

Something incredible that I am reading right now and highly recommend - ST THOMAS AQUINAS COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN

11 posted on 01/23/2013 3:08:55 PM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
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To: Alex Murphy; Salvation
Consider that the Catholic liturgical reading cycle for the Old Testament ends after two years

To which Catholic Church do you refer?

12 posted on 01/23/2013 3:14:13 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer; Salvation
To which Catholic Church do you refer?

One of the 2,942, or so I am told.

13 posted on 01/23/2013 3:34:30 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: Alex Murphy; Salvation
Thanks for the link but it brings me to a post on the 30,000+ protestant denominations. I have posted the following before but, just in case you missed it, there are only 22 Catholic Churches, ALL in communion with Rome.


The Catholic Church

Although it is not widely known in our Western world, the Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches. According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective. Because of the particularities of history, there is only one Western Catholic Church, while there are 21 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Western Church, known officially as the Latin Church, is the largest of the Catholic Churches. It is immediately subject to the Roman Pontiff as Patriarch of the West. The Eastern Catholic Churches are each led by a Patriarch, Major Archbishop, or Metropolitan, who governs their Church together with a synod of bishops. Through the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Roman Pontiff works to assure the health and well-being of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

While this diversity within the one Catholic Church can appear confusing at first, it in no way compromises the Church's unity. In a certain sense, it is a reflection of the mystery of the Trinity. Just as God is three Persons, yet one God, so the Church is 22 Churches, yet one Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this nicely:

"From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them... Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions. The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity" (CCC no. 814).

Although there are 22 Churches, there are only eight "Rites" that are used among them. A Rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same Rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.

To learn more about the "two lungs" of the Catholic Church, visit this link:

CATHOLIC RITES AND CHURCHES

The Vatican II Council declared that "all should realize it is of supreme importance to understand, venerate, preserve, and foster the exceedingly rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern churches, in order faithfully to preserve the fullness of Christian tradition" (Unitatis Redintegrato, 15).


Now, to repeat my question, to which Catholic Church are you referring in your previous post?

14 posted on 01/23/2013 3:56:47 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; ...
+

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15 posted on 01/23/2013 5:00:00 PM PST by narses
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To: NYer; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; ...
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Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

16 posted on 01/23/2013 5:00:18 PM PST by narses
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To: NYer; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

17 posted on 01/23/2013 5:01:23 PM PST by narses
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To: Alex Murphy

Ah, it’s a competition. Nah, you can have that.

Having experienced both, I prefer the quality and depth of the Mass which includes Holy Scripture over a quantity of verses and a long lecture.

And I wouldn’t know how to measure any amount of scripture against receiving Christ in Holy Eucharist.

Like the author says, it’s not an either or but both Sacraments and Scripture. Those who do not have the former lack a great deal; I’m not so sure it can be made up with the latter.


18 posted on 01/23/2013 6:55:03 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: NYer

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ!” insisted St. Jerome, a father and Doctor of the Catholic Church from the 5th century AD.

He was right. Every Christian(Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox alike) should read the Bible. For that matter, I believe every one should so they’ll believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and come to him for salvation.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:30-31&version=NKJV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2010:9&version=GNV


19 posted on 01/23/2013 8:00:09 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Alex Murphy; NYer

Where did you get that number?


20 posted on 01/23/2013 8:53:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Where did you get that number?

ROTFL!

21 posted on 01/24/2013 6:44:49 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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