Wednesday, 4 May 2011


Would the theory of private interpretation of the New Testament have been possible for the year 400 A. D.?
No, because, as already stated, no New Testament as such was in existence.
COMMENT: If our non-Catholic brethren today had no Bibles, how could they even imagine following the "Bible- only privately interpreted" theory; but before 400 A. D., New Testaments were altogether unavailable.
Would the private interpretation theory have been possible between 400 A. D. and 1440 A. D., when printing was invented?
No, the cost of individual Bibles written by hand was prohibitive; moreover, due to the scarcity of books, and other reasons, the ability to read was limited to a small minority. The Church used art, drama and other means to convey Biblical messages.
COMMENT: To have proposed the "Bible-only" theory during the above period would obviously have been impracticable and irrational
Who copied and conserved the Bible during the interval between 400 A. D. and 1440 A. D.?
The Catholic monks; in many cases these spent their entire lives to give the world personally-penned copies of the Scriptures, before printing was invented.
COMMENT: In spite of this, the Catholic Church is accused of having tried to destroy the Bible; had she desired to do this, she had 1500 years within which to do so.
Who gave the Reformers the authority to change over from the one Faith, one Fold and one Shepherd program, to that of the "Bible-only theory"?
St. Paul seems to answer the above when he said: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8 - Protestant version {KJV} ).
COMMENT: If in 300 years, (from 1517 to 1817) one-third of Christianity (Protestantism) was split into at least 300 sects, how many sects would three-thirds of Christianity have produced in 1900 years? (Answer is: at least 5700. A 1953 American study soberly informed its readers that there were at least 33,800 distinct Protestant churches, sects or ecclesial communities. The same study said there was one Catholic Church which had at least 23 different rites all acknowledging the Pope as Vicar of Christ on Earth.)
Since Luther, what consequences have followed from the use of the "Bible-only" theory and its personal interpretation?
Just what St. Paul foretold when he said:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." 2 Timothy 4:3 (Protestant edition).
According to the World Almanac for 1953 there are in the United States 20 different organizations of Methodists, 22 kinds of Baptists, 10 branches of Presbyterians, 13 organizations of Mennonites, 18 of Lutherans and hundreds of other denominations.
COMMENT: The "Bible-only" theory may indeed cater to the self-exaltation of the individual, but it certainly does not conduce to the acquisition of Divine truth.
In Christ's system, what important part has the Bible? The Bible is one precious source of religious truth; other sources are historical records (better known as Sacred Tradition) and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit expressed through the Magesterium (Teaching Authority) of the Church.
COMMENT: Elimination of any one of the three elements in the equation of Christ's true Church would be fatal to its claims to be such.
Now that the New Testament is complete and available, what insolvable problem remains?
The impossibility of the Bible to explain itself and the consequent multiplicity of errors which individuals make by their theory of private interpretation. Hence it is indisputable that the Bible must have an authorized interpreter.
2 Peter 1:20:- Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 3:16:- As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Acts 8:30:- And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, [Isaiah] and said, understandest thou what thou readest? 31. And he said, How can I except some men should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
COMMENT: Only by going on the supposition that falsehood is as acceptable to God as is truth, can the "Bible- only" theory be defended.
Who is the official expounder of the Scriptures?
The Holy Spirit, acting through and within the Church which Christ founded more than nineteen centuries ago; the Bible teaches through whom in the Church come the official interpretations of; God's law and God's word.
Luke 10:16:- He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. [Christ spoke these words to his Apostles. To them and their legitimate and continuous historical successors this mandate applies. Thus the true Church of Christ must be ‘Apostolic’, with a genuine historical link traceable through all the Christian centuries to these self-same Apostles.] Matt. 16:18:- And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mal. 2:7:- For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
COMMENT: Formerly at least, it was commonly held that when individuals read their Bibles carefully and prayerfully, the Holy Spirit would guide each individual to a knowledge of the truth. This is much more than the Catholic Church claims for even the Pope himself. Only after extended consultation and study, with much fervent prayer, does he rarely and solemnly make such a decision.
What are the effects of the Catholic use of the Bible?
Regardless of what persons may think about the Catholic Church, they must admit that her system gets results in the way of unity of rule and unity of faith; otherwise stated, one Faith, one Fold and one Shepherd.
COMMENT: If many millions of non-Catholics in all nations, by reading their Bible carefully and prayerfully, had exactly the same faith, reached the same conclusions, then this theory might deserve the serious consideration of intelligent, well-disposed persons-but not otherwise.
Why are these so many non-Catholic Churches?
Because there is so much different interpretation of the Bible; there is so much different interpretation of the Bible because there is so much wrong interpretation; there is so much wrong interpretation because the system of interpreting is radically wrong. You cannot have one Fold and one Shepherd, one Faith and one Baptism, by allowing every man and every woman to distort and pervert the Scriptures to suit his or her own pet theories.
COMMENT: To say that Bible reading is an intensely Christian practice, is to enunciate a beautiful truth; to say that Bible reading is the sole source of religious faith, is to make a sadly erroneous statement.
Without Divine aid, could the Catholic Church have maintained her one Faith, one Fold, and one Shepherd?
Not any more than the non-Catholic sects have done; they are a proof of what happens when, without Divine aid, groups strive to do the humanly impossible.
COMMENT: Catholics love, venerate, and use the Bible; but they also know that the Bible alone is not Christ's system but only a precious book, a means, an aid by which the Church carries on her mission to "preach the Gospel to every living creature" and to keep on preaching it "to the end of time."
Were there any printed Bibles before Luther?
When printing was invented about 1440, one of the first, if not the earliest printed book, was an edition of the Catholic Bible printed by John Gutenberg. It is reliably maintained that 626 editions of the Catholic Bible, or portions thereof, had come from the press through the agency of the Church, in countries where her influence prevailed, before Luther's German version appeared in 1534. Of these, many were in various European languages. Hence Luther's "discovery" of the supposedly unknown Bible at Erfurt in 1503 is one of those strange, wild calumnies with which anti-Catholic literature abounds.
COMMENT: Today parts of the Bible are read in the vernacular from every Catholic altar every Sunday. [Even more daily vernacular Bible reading is heard from Catholic altars in these days of the twenty-first century.] The Church grants a spiritual premium or indulgence to those who read the Bible; every Catholic family has, or is supposed to have, a Bible in the home. Millions of Catholic Bibles are sold annually.
During the Middle Ages, did the Catholic Church manifest hostility to the Bible as her adversaries claim? Under stress of special circumstances, various regulations were made by the Church to protect the people from being spiritually poisoned by the corrupted and distorted translations of the Bible; hence opposition to the Waldensians, Albigensians, Wycliffe and Tyndale. [Sadly, the situation of English-speaking Catholics was most distressing. The two last-named, Wycliffe and Tyndale filled their English translations of the Bible with calamitous footnotes, which, had they been accepted, would have mislead the newly literate Middle Classes into grossly distorted views of gospel truth. It was against these nastily footnoted Bible translations that English Catholic Bishops took such a strong objection. Neglectfully, they failed to provide authentic translations in the English vernacular to take the place of these heretical deceptions. In this they did NOT follow the example of their continental Catholic colleagues.]
COMMENT: Individual churchmen may at times have gone too far in their zeal, not to belittle the Bible, but to protect it. There is no human agency in which authority is always exercised blamelessly. ********