Long Response Part 3: Catholicity of the Bible and Teaching Authority

After all, the Bible is a Catholic book.

I don’t even know what this means. Does he mean it was written by the Roman Church?  That would be indefensible. Does he mean little-c “catholic”, but his finger reflexively held down the Shift key? Does he genuinely not know the diff between little-c “catholic” and big-C “Catholic”? Or does he simply not care? And since he told us earlier that he intended “to approach you both on your Sola Scriptura level”, does he think that making such crucial distinctions is unimportant?

As I stated earlier, most Protestants I know either do not know or do not realize how the Bible came to be. The Bible came out of the Church, the Church did not come out of the Bible. And although the Church did not author the Bible, she did recognize and define what books (Old and New Testaments) were the inspired written Word of God and thus set the Canon: 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Only the Church, the New Testament Israel, was given such authority – not even the Jews and most certainly not Luther or Calvin or anyone else for that matter.

On the matter of the “c” versus “C.” This unfortunate distinction must be made so that the Church can remain “the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid”  (Matthew 5:14). She is to remain the beacon of hope in a sea of anti-Christs and false teachers.

you and Vox make the assumption that the Church teaches that individuals cannot interpret Scripture on their own.

Actually, that’s what lozeerose just finished telling us himself. And what CatholicNick was telling us before that.

Whether I was unclear or Rhology misunderstood, what I am stating (I cannot speak for Catholic Nick but I believe he would concur) is that proper, complete, and definitive interpretation is not given to any individual person, sans the pope under special circumstances, but rather the Church, to which Christ left such authority.

This authority does not prevent any person from interpreting and understanding Scripture, as the Church recognizes that much of Scripture can be interpreted in varying ways. What the teaching authority of the Church does is free us from error by defining infallibly what it is that God has revealed. All revelation is contained in the Word of God but not all revelation has been made explicitly so. As I have stated in the past (see below), can know that our understanding is orthodox by comparing it to what the Church teaches, i.e., if a person comes to believe that the Godhead is not comprised of Three Divine Persons with One Divine Nature then they and we can know that their understanding is false.

What it prohibits is the acceptance of interpretations that are contrary to Church teaching.

Which means precisely what we said.

And, as noted above, is the statement of an unthinking drone, who refuses to put the Scripture above his church.

What this means is that Church gives us boundaries so that we may stay on the path towards Christ.

On the drone piece, the more we exchange blog posts, the more evident it becomes that when placed up against a wall Rhology resorts to childish retorts to draw attention from his error and play on either my emotional response or to that of other anti-Catholics. Rhology is making the same mistake the Pharisees did – trying to mold God and His Word into what they want rather than what God wants.

Scripture cannot be placed above the Church just as the Church cannot be placed above Scripture. The Church is the guardian of the Truth as revealed by God to men and protected from men by God. This Truth includes both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. As such, the Church defined the Canon of Scripture and “stand[s] firm…hold[ing on] to the traditions which [we] were taught by [the Apostles], either by word of mouth or by letter” (2Thessalonians 2:15).

Rhology wishes for me to place Scripture above my Church but this is impossible. My Church, the Catholic Church, is the Church of Christ and was established by Him, is His Mystical Body, His Bride and was given by Him His authority to teach, interpret and define revealed doctrine. This, the over 2,000-year-old Church is held in conjunction with Scripture. It does not outrank Scripture just as Scripture does not outrank the Church. Both are united in One Truth.

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