Questions for a “Bible Only” Christian (partII)

This blog post is a continuation of asking myself how a “Bible only” Christian would answer certain questions about his faith if all he relied on was the Bible to find the answers. Again, as a Catholic, I rely on the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church. The Church that was entrusted with the oral teachings (tradition) of Jesus and the apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly. The “Bible Only” Christian would turn strictly to the Bible for his authority. So, with that said, I will now continue looking at the Bible and try to shed light on the authority of the interpretation of Scripture.

Question # 1

As a “Bible alone” Christian, do you interpret the Bible?

The correct answer is: Yes.
If I was being honest with myself, this would also be my answer if I were truly a “Bible Only” Christian. Doesn’t everyone interpret the Bible when they read it? In order to try and understand what the meaning, the thoughts, and the ideas the author was trying to convey, it must be interpreted. Wether it be the written word or spoken word, it needs to be interpreted. So, yes, when we read the Bible, we all interpret it.

Question #2

So, if the answer to question #1 is yes, as a “Bible alone” Christian , is your interpretation infallible?

The correct answer is: No.
Not just “Bible Only” Christians, but for most Protestant Christians, this would seem to be a very tough one to answer. If I were them, I probable would not say yes, because most Protestants have been taught that no man (i.e., the Pope) is infallible. But, if I say no, I know that I would be opening the door to having to admit that my interpretation of any passage of the Bible could be wrong. So, as a “Bible Only” Christian, what should my answer be? Well, at this question, I would not answer directly, but would try to change the subject. If I were honest though, I would answer , “No.” But that would lead to me trying to talk myself around that admission, instead of trying to figure out how do I know truth, if there is no authority that can infallibly decide what is true.

Question #3

As a “Bible Only” Christian, If the answer to #2 is no, then will you admit that your interpretations of the Bible could be wrong in one or more places?

The correct answer is: Yes.
How would I answer this question if I were in their shoes? Again, if my answer to #2 was no, then I would have to admit that I could be wrong in my interpretation of any number of passages in the Bible. I could always state that the Holy Spirit guided me to the correct interpretation of a certain passage. But, if the Holy Spirit cannot contradict himself, then why are their so many different interpretations of that same passage? If I look around, I see so many different “Bible Only” Christian denominations that might differ in their interpretation of a certain passage, but they would all claim the Holy Spirit led them to interpret it correctly. It just doesn’t make logical sense. So, if I answer “yes” to this question, then I would have to admit there has to be an authority outside of the Bible and myself to interpret Scripture correctly.

Question #4

As a “Bible Only” Christian who interprets the Bible, does anyone have the authority to tell you that your interpretations of the Bible are wrong?th[6]

The correct answer is: Yes
As a “Bible Only” Christian, if I answer “yes,” then I would be saying that there is a final authority outside myself when it comes to interpreting the Bible. I would have to ask myself, did God set up some authoritative guide that we could rely upon to help us understand His Word? If I say “no,” then I would be agreeing with the fact that each individual on his own has the authority to interpret, which leads to chaos! So, do I have the ultimate authority to read and interpret Scripture to decide for myself what is true and what is false doctrine, without regard to any authority outside of myself?

Question #5

As a “Bible Only” Christian, if the answer to #4 is yes, then who has the authority?

The correct answer is: The Church Jesus established and gave His authority to speak for Him until He comes back again, The Catholic Church.

As a “Bible Only” Christian, or for most Protestants, this question would point out that I claim to believe that everyone has been given the sole authority to decide for himself what is true and what is false when it comes to the Bible. But, the question I would then have to ask myself is, “Where in the Bible does it say that each and every person has such authority?” If I am honest with myself, the Bible is pretty clear that the church has such authority. But, which church. There are so many Christian churches claiming to have such authority. What about my own church I attend? It seems that each Pastor claims his interpretation of the Bible is correct and ultimately decides for himself and his congregation what the church teaches – he is, in essence, a church unto himself. For me, a “Bible Only” Christian attending my local Protestant church, if I agree that the church has the authority, then I would only be giving lip service. If I hold to my Bible alone theology, then when it comes right down to it, my church has no binding authority over me as an individual when it comes to teaching on faith and morals. So, what am I to believe? I would have to conclude that my theology is incorrect.
Until next time, God bless.

8 thoughts on “Questions for a “Bible Only” Christian (partII)

  1. Christ is the head of every man and man is the head of woman. Christ is also the head of the church which is his body. The body of Christ does not consist of brick and mortar or the fallible religion of man. Thankfully the Bible preserves the words of Apostles and this knowledge enables the Spirit of God to illuminate our heart.

    Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
    Eph 4:12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
    Eph 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    • Jesus never wrote a word, but gave oral instructions to the Apostles. He founded his Church on Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Mathew 16:18-19).” Peter was the first Pope. His office has been handed on for 2000 years until today.
      The first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42) long before there was a New Testament. From the very beginning, the fullness of Christian teaching was found in the Church as the living embodiment of Christ, not in a book. St. John wrote, “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:24-25).” The New Testament wasn’t put together until the year 383 AD. by the authority of the Catholic Church.
      Jesus told his disciples: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

      • Enabled by the Holy Spirit I have daily access before the Throne of Grace and I do not acknowledge any man who tries to steal my Fathers name with blasphemous Titles or who claims authority which belongs only to the Son which was bestowed upon Christ my Lord from God. On this earth my Heavenly Father has taught me mysteries through His Holy Word which the Apostles of Christ have long ago written.

        Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book

      • Thank you for your comments.
        Everyone reads and interprets Scripture for themselves. The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us personally through the written Word of God. But the authority of the Church gives us some guard rails to keep us from straying to far away from the truth of any particular Scripture verse. The Church looks at the “whole” of the Bible when interpreting a verse of Scripture, where as you and I might tend to cherry pick a verse and make it fit what I personally would like it to mean.

  2. When you lay it all out like that, it is a powerful reminder of how blindingly obvious the whole situation really is, and a testimony to the self-will of men. That so many can wilfully ignore the plain fact that Christ wrote nothing, and formed a living Church, to which He gave authority to teach, forgive sins, and (amongst other things) write and canonise Scripture, never ceases to amaze me.

    This is certainly not evidence of lack of intelligence or capability to understand the plain fact that the Church precedes, forms and validates the Bible (as well as receives in the case of the OT), but, as I said, strong testimony to the desire people have to confirm themselves in their own way of seeing things.

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