On private interpretation

 2 Peter 1:20 … no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation

On the GreenBaggins blog,  he asks,

“I do want to ask formally this question: if the RCC has a monopoly on the interpretation of the Bible, how come they have not come out with an inerrant commentary on the Bible? “

My answer is this:

The New Testament is the inerrant commentary on the Doctrines of Jesus Christ.

Here’s the thing, you look at salvation history differently than do we. You put an emphasis on Scripture because you, apparently, think that Jesus Christ wrote the Bible and therefore, you set aside the Church and follow your own interpretation. Or someone’s whom you prefer (2 Tim 4:3).

We understand that Jesus established an infallible Church, and commanded her to teach His Doctrines. The Church then wrote the New Testament based upon those Doctrines. Therefore, in order to understand Scripture, we look to the Teaching of the infallible Church which Jesus established. Because we understand that this is what the New Testament is expounding.

We are more concerned with the infallible interpretation of the Word of God because that includes Sacred Tradition and Scripture.  And because the Holy Spirit will guide the Church into all truth, there will be no definitive interpretation until God says so. In the meantime, the Church will continue to get a deeper and fuller understanding of the Deposit of faith passed down by Jesus Christ through the Church.

That is why, Catholics approach the Word of God (that includes the Bible) in a manner fundamentally different than Protestants. We approach the Word of God in the manner which Scripture recommends. We learn the Word of God from our teachers (Heb 13:7). We learn the Word of God in Sacred Tradition and in the Sacred Writings (2Thess 2:15). When we do focus upon the Scriptures, we don’t neglect the spiritual meaning of the Word (2 Cor 3:6).

And most importantly, as Catholics, we understand that we are fallible. We also believe that God has established an infallible Teacher of His Wisdom (Eph 3:10). Therefore, we don’t go around re-interpreting what the Church has already explained. Since it is the Church which is called the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15), when it comes to Scripture, we believe the Church.

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