Interpretation of the Bible

Status
Not open for further replies.
H

homer

Guest
Why is the interpretation of the Bible only allowed to be done by Popes and Bishops?
The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted SOLELY to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. (From the Catholic Catechism page 35)
 
The priests and Bishops are the authority of the Church. It is was their authority in the early church that gave us the Bible. In much the same way the government hands down laws, they also reserve the right through the court system to be the ultimate interpreter of that law, lest every individual intrepret each law unto himself. Anarchy would ensue. This has been seen in the explosion of different protestant denominations and the splintering of the body of Christ.
 
But:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1: 19, 20)

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)
 
40.png
homer:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1: 19, 20)
Hey, you’re quoting the very verse that Catholics use to show that individual interpretation of the Bible is wrong.

Luther took the monopoly of Bible interpretation away from the pope, and empowered each believer to be his own pope. It is thus surprising, with so many individual Protestants, that there are only 28,000 denominations! 😃
 
40.png
homer:
Why is the interpretation of the Bible only allowed to be done by Popes and Bishops?
The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted SOLELY to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. (From the Catholic Catechism page 35)
The bible being a book (though the word of God) demands for an interpreter when disputes as to meaning arise.
Code:
  As Catholics, we believe that the role of interpretation was entrusted to the Bishops as follows….
  • Jesus taught the apostles
  • The apostles taught, and commissioned specific men (bishops) to teach the gospel after their death.
  • These second generation bishops then taught, and commissioned specific men (bishops) to teach after their death.
  • And so on and so on from generation to generation.
  • This is the concept of apostolic succession.
  • The current Bishops and pope are the spiritual successors of the Apostles (the pope being the successor of Peter).
The understanding that Jesus entrusted this to the apostles is found in Matthew 16 and Matthew 18 where Jesus gives the apostles the authority to bind and loose, and in addition gives Peter alone the keys to the kingdom. It is well testified by historians that both binding and loosing and the keys in 1st century Jewish culture represented teaching and interpretive authority. Reading Matthew 16 and 18 in context it is clear that our Lord was not giving this ‘power’ to all his followers, but to the 12 only.

The understanding that this authority is transferred from one generation to the next via apostolic succession is found in several scriptures.

Firstly in** Acts 1:20-26.** One of the first actions the apostles (specifically Peter) takes is to find a successor for Judas….

*** Acts 1: and `His office let another take.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us – one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."***

…So you see even the first apostles saw a need for succession. And the word above for office in Greek is Episcopate, which could be alternatively translated as Bishopric.

The understanding of further succession from the apostles to the next generations is found in several places. Paul told Timothy, “[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). In this passage he refers to the first four generations of apostolic succession—his own generation, Timothy’s generation, the generation Timothy will teach, and the generation they in turn will teach.
Code:
  See also …

  ***Acts 6:6 - ***apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority has transferred beyond the original twelve apostles as the Church has grown.
***Acts 8:17; 19:6 - ***Luke clearly states that the Holy Spirit is transferred beyond the original apostles by the laying on of hands, which is the sacrament of Holy Orders, or ordination.
***Acts 9:17-19 - ***even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop. This is a powerful proof- text for the necessity of sacramental ordination in order to be a legitimate successor of the apostles.
***Acts 13:3 ***- apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority must come from a Catholic bishop.
***Acts 14:23 - ***the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.
***Acts 15:22-27 - ***preachers of the Word must be sent by the bishops in union with the Church. We must trace this authority to the apostles.

There are plenty more, but I figure this will get you started.

So, because Jesus establish the group of apostles and gave them authority to teach and interpret, and those apostles entrusted that authority to the next generation via the Bishops, and so on to the present day, we Catholics believe that those that Jesus entrusted to teach and interpret should be the ones to do so.
Hope that helps
 
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1: 19, 20).
So “ye” (the readers of 2 Peter) are to take heed to the word of prophecy handed on by “we”. Who’s “we”? Peter, the Apostles and those that share in their teaching ministry? Sounds like the Magisterium of the Church, to me. 😉

*BTW, when referencing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it’s best to identify the bold number to the left of the passage. In this case it’s CCC 85. There are different publications of the Catechism, which mean different paginations.
 
First of all (and somebody correct me if I’m wrong), there’s no rule whatsoever against individuals interpreting the bible. The only problem arises when our interpretation conflicts with Church teaching. At that point we submit to the Church to the appropriate degree depending on the “firmness” of the teaching in question (dogma, doctrine, all the way down to no position).

When two Protestants interpret the bible differently in a key area, which one (if either) is right? They will both claim inspiration by the Holy Spirit, of course. That’s the fundamental problem, which is only solved by yielding to the authority of the Church.
 
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1: 19, 20)

Bear in mind that at time this was written that the “scripture” was the old testament. The new testament canon was undetermined and probably not completely written. This is one of the basic problems with trying to use scripture to show how scripture is to be interpreted. It is why an on-going, authoritative interpreter is needed. The church is not the private interpreter refered to here, but the “more sure word of prophecy”. This passage is after all from the first head of our Church, St. Peter.
 
Homer,

I guess the answer to your question lies heavily on your “church.” Why only the Magisterium of the Catholic Church to interpret? Have you ever noticed why there are so many divisions among your communities? Have you ever wondered why 30k plus protestants with different beliefs and interpretations and often contradict each other?

You quoted very well the scripture that interpretation doesn’t belong to private interpretations. That’s true, that’s why individual interpretations results in numerous contradictions. History shows us the many great heresies of all time, and it is happening in your very own community, the protestants.

God bless,

Pio
 
Because . . .

Jesus didn’t leave us a book. He left us a Church, with the Holy Spirit to guide it FOREVER (Jn 14:16 et al) and he promised to remain with it ALWAYS (Mt 28:20).

The Church wrote the New Testament. The NT was written by the Church, to the Church. Take a look at the introductions of each of the writings. Only a couple of them don’t specify to whom they were written, which means they were written to the Church in general. Others are specifically addressed to local churches or individuals.

How would I know a letter addressed to a slave owner (Philemon) is the “inspired Word of God” unless the Church founded by Christ told me? How could I tell that a long writing (Luke/Acts) addressed to a guy named Theophilus should be considered as Scripture by the whole Church, unless the Church told me? How would I know the meaning of the difficult passages in Scripture (and there are many) unless the Church that wrote it explained them to me?

When she was nearly 400 years old, the Church declared which among many of her own writings were Scripture – i.e., which were the “inspired Word of God.” She canonized them and named them the New Testament. She also canonized the writings she inherited from Jesus and the Apostles, which she named the Old Testament. Then she put the OT and the NT together and named the complete collection of writings ‘ta Biblia’ – the Bible.

There was no Bible as we know it for about 400 years. There were only different writings, written at different locations by different authors for different audiences for different reasons. It was the church that collected these 27 NT writings, from among about 200 others, declared them to be the inspired Word of God, joined them to the Greek OT, and made them into the Bible.

The CHURCH is the “household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” 1 Tm 3:15.

If you want to know the Truth about the meaning of the NT, ask the Church that wrote it.

Pax et bonum, Jay
 
Because Christ commanded Peter to guide, feed, and protect, and love his sheep… and he said the gates of hell would not prevail, and to my knowledge, the gates of hell have not prevailed…

So that authority came straight from God… not a tough question…

Truth is Truth! 👍
 
Some more recomondations, Homer!

Open your Bible and start reading about SOME of the catholic truths:

THE CHURCH:
Mat 16.18-19, 1Tim 3:15, Mat 18:18, Luke 10:16, Mat 18:17, Mat 5:14

THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH:
Luke 13:18-19, John 16:12-13

THE CHURCH AS GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE:
1Pet 2:5, 1Pet 2:9

THE CHURCH AS CHRISTS MYSTICAL BODY:
1Cor 6:15, 1Cor 12:27, Eph 5:31-32

THE POPE:
Luke 22:31-32, John 21,15-17, Mat 16:18-19

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, … "(1Pet 5:8-9)

God Bless!

G.G.
 
40.png
homer:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1: 19, 20)
Does anyone else find it ironic in the extreme that Homer is using his private interpretation of this passage as evidence that the church doesn’t have the right to interpret scripture? Whoooaaaa…I am dizzy. My heads spinning from the circular logic.:whacky:
 
homer said:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)

This is an interesting quote to choose because it is probably better translated as "You search the scriptures… ". In context it says:
Jhn 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen;
Jhn 5:38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent.
Jhn 5:39 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me;
Jhn 5:40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
If you notice, the passage becomes one of condemnation of those who do naught but search the scriptures thinking that Bible reading brings eternal life. The passage is not an injunction to “search the scriptures” as you seem to take it to be.

Justin
 
Homer, Part 1

You appear to have listened to some anti-Catholic groups to have so misunderstood what is true Catholic teaching. Also did you read the CCC and find this or just copy it from another site? I have seen some of your other posts. Had you actually read the CCC then you would have had your answer on “page 4” (of mine anyway). Did you overlook part of the CCC or skip forward to parts that you wanted to see or were told about? Are you studying it or just skimming it?

I urge you to study Catholic teachings. Also go here to ‘see’ more of what the CCC is for: usccb.org/catechism/text/fideidepositum.htm

Pay attention at that link to this statement: “This catechism will thus contain both the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light.”

We can and do add to the CCC. It is a living book.

The Catholic Church has 2,000 years of writings and they build upon each other like an ever growing pyramid. If you do not understand that then you need to study more. Protestant writings are often like a 1 or 2 story house that keeps getting torn down and rebuilt with each “NEW” preacher or interpretation. Imagine a small house next to the great pyramid. The CCC is built on 2,000 years of understanding. You cannot understand the new writings without first understanding the old.

Catholics not only can self-interpret Scripture but are highly encouraged to do so! You skipped over this section in your studies too. Only protestant propaganda says we can’t. Some of our Churches greatest understandings of Scripture came from self-interpretation! What you quote (CCC 100) is that the Church has the right as given by God to teach the truth and stop the false teachings. I can interpret the Bible but I cannot teach my ‘opinions’. If the Church approves my interpretation, it is added to our Faith. If my ‘opinion’ is wrong or without sufficient proof it is not taught as fact or possibly declared wrong. Pay close attention to the subtleness of what I just said. Our Church is the authority Jesus founded to separate the wheat from the chaff.
 
Part 2,

An example of this in action, is “the angel of the Lord” Jesus? The BSF International (protestant) bible study I go to says it is! They teach that it is Jesus and Jesus was in the burning bush talking to Mosses! Now in the New Testament “the angel of the Lord” claims to be Gabriel!

Lk 1:11-19 “11 the angel of the Lord appeared to him…19 And the angel said to him in reply, "I am Gabriel…”

So who is right? BSF protestant bible study or the Bible? The Catholic Church says there is evidence for both sides and has not declared anything yet on this subject I have seen. Silence neither approves or disproves, it only shows that the Church does not make rash and faulty decisions on matters of ‘Faith and Morals’ like BSF may have done. This leaves the Church the option to add the truth later if it can be found. Who finds it? We do with self-interpretation! Either me or a monk or a priest or a nun or you, etc…!

Study all our Church teachings and you will be surprised by the truth in them!

Oh yea, and by the way, where does CCC 100 say what you claim that only Popes and Bishops can interpret Scripture? Is this also the same way you self-interpret Scripture and add stuf to them or take it away? Read to find the truth not to prove your opinions.

I hope you come back to this thread and answer some of my questions.
 
40.png
homer:
Why is the interpretation of the Bible only allowed to be done by Popes and Bishops?
The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted SOLELY to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. (From the Catholic Catechism page 35)
Oh, and homer…if you’re still there, the Church and it’s Magisterium finished interpreting God’s word a couple thousand years ago and Catholics have been living their faith since then. No point in re-interpreting over and over again. Remember, God never changes.
 
Heathen Dawn:
Hey, you’re quoting the very verse that Catholics use to show that individual interpretation of the Bible is wrong.

Luther took the monopoly of Bible interpretation away from the pope, and empowered each believer to be his own pope. It is thus surprising, with so many individual Protestants, that there are only 28,000 denominations! 😃
Actually according to new stats out, there are now over 30 thousand denominations…lots of popes out there!

SV
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top