"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible and Catholicism
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following, "As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, 'does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.'"
Dei Verbum, paragraph 9, as quoted in Paragraph 82 of the Catechism. Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constituion on Divine Revelation) promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965.
Roman Catholicism freely admits that it holds to Roman Catholic Church traditions that, in its view, are equal in authority to the Scriptures.
But that view does not square with Scripture. On Paul's Second Missionary Journey, he and Silas entered the Jewish synagogue in the town of Berea (Acts 17:10). Of these Jewish people and the sympathetic Gentiles also attending, Luke, the author of the document, stated the following, "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). So God takes great approval in the most common person in the pew who studies his Bible to see if what he is being taught squares with Scripture.
This series of articles will seek to demonstrate that only the Bible is inspired, and that only the Bible is worthy of authority. The Bible trumps any and every church tradition that cannot be proven from Scripture. The Bible trumps tradition. Tradition never trumps the Bible.
Why bother? Why bother posting a series of articles that question the validity of certain doctrines held by the Roman Catholic Church? The answer is a Biblical one. Jude, evidently along with James, a half-brother of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Gal. 1:19), wrote this: "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
I take Jude's exhortation and example seriously. I believe I am obliged to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Another motivation I have is this. I have encountered Christians who used to be part of the Catholic Church, but for one reason or another, had second thoughts. I have an acquaintance who, several years ago, was a lay preacher in a church. I was stunned to find out that he was formerly a Roman Catholic. I asked him what made him change. His answer was simple, yet profound, "I started reading the Bible."
If you find yourself having second thoughts about some of the things you are being taught in the Catholic Church, then this series of articles is meant for you. Just so you know, I firmly believe that the Bible, not church tradition, is our sole authority as Christians. Everything I say in these articles is based on the Bible. No church tradition, regardless of whether it be Roman Catholic tradition, Greek Orthodox tradition, or any strain of Protestant tradition, is authoritative unless it is based solely on the Bible. If a belief cannot be found in the Bible, it cannot be authoritative. And just a reminder. One does not have to belong to the church headquartered in the Vatican to be part of the true, universal, catholic church.
Let us begin our quest.