Category: Exegesis

Fundamental difference in how we read the Bible

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.

Protestants, on the other hand, discover the Word of God every time the open the Bible. That’s why they come up with so many innovations. That’s why they come up with so many errors.

The Curse of the Law

What is the “curse of the law” to which St. Paul refers?

Galatians 3:10

King James Version (KJV)

 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:13

King James Version (KJV)

 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

You can read the opposite of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 27:

15Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

16Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

17Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

18Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

19Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

20Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

21Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

22Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

23Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.

24Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

25Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

26Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

This is what St. Paul is talking about.  And this is why the law identifies sins:

Romans 3:20

King James Version (KJV)

 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

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.