Monday, 11 May 2009

God's Word Alone ♥ Not Scripture Alone

When I was younger, I've had someone dear tell me that I shouldn't believe in the Sacred Heart of Jesus because it was not mentioned in the Bible. She was (and still is) a Protestant, and I believe had good intentions to 'enlighten' me. I was perhaps too young or perhaps too ignorant to do anything but keep quiet and shrug. I didn't know the answer. But I remember running to my dad for the answer the moment I got home. He calmed my panic, by gently telling me that not all of God's teachings were contained in the Bible.

Some years later, I found a more detailed explanation that affirmed my faith as a Catholic. I wish to share it with you. 

As Catholics, we believe in God's Word Alone, not in the Bible or Scripture Alone. It would be rather strange to believe in the Bible alone because nowhere is it mentioned in the Bible that we should believe in just the Bible and nothing else. On the contrary, there are many passages in the Bible that indicate clearly that Scripture is not the only source of God's Word.

John 21: 25
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.

Matthew 16: 17-19
Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So now I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

Some of our Protestant brothers and sisters reject the supremacy of the pope because the pope they say, is just a man, and is more often than not is weak and subject to sin just like anybody else. However God can do the greatest with the least and this is seen when Jesus chooses Peter to build his church on. He chooses the very Peter who often speaks without thinking and even denies Jesus three times after shortly promising to follow Jesus to the death.

But Jesus says, ‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church’. He said Church, not churches. There should only be one united universal Church – the Catholic Church.

John 14: 25–26
I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

The Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church and reminds the Church of all that Jesus has said and this is remembered in the form of oral tradition preached and passed down.

1 Timothy 3: 15
If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Notice that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. It didn’t say that the Bible is the pillar and foundation of the truth. This in no way means that what’s written in the Bible is not true; the Bible after all is God’s Word. However, not all of God’s word is contained in the Bible. The Bible is not the only source for God’s word.

2 Timothy 2: 2
You have heard everything that I teach in public; hand it on to reliable people so that they in turn will be able to teach others.

It says, ‘You have heard…’ not ‘You have read’.

Titus 1:5
The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organized there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you.

Titus is asked to appoint elders not to sit down and write scripture.

If we are asked by our protestant brothers and sisters to believe in the Bible alone, can they tell us what the early Christians believed in 300 years before the 27 books of the New Testament were compiled?

And why to they accept those 27 books and others, why do they accept the decision of Catholics made at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage, if they believe that Catholics are so flawed in our beliefs and doctrines?

Luke 10: 16
‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me, reject the one who sent me.’

Take note of the word, ‘listen’. Catholics believe in the Bible as well as in oral tradition remembered and practiced by the Church. This is because not all of God’s Word is found in the Bible alone, because not all of it is written down.

Acts 8: 31
‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side.

The eunuch doesn’t understand the passage of scripture he has been reading as asks Philip for guidance. The Church helps her members to interpret scripture guided by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 10: 17
So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ

2 Thessalonians 2: 15
Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

1 Peter 1: 25
But the word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.


“Sky and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35

No comments:

Post a Comment