CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT APPROACHES TO THE BIBLE


                  

             Differences Between Catholic and Protestant Approaches to the Bible

One of the stronger misconceptions Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant believers have is their prespective on how the other Christian groups view and approach the Bible. These misconceptions are especially common among many Protestants who are still depending of Reformation teachings or later sectarian explanations of Catholicism.

The recent lifting of the excommunication of Martin Luther and “reaffirmation” of Sola Scriptura, or only the Bible, puts present Catholic teachings in agreement with most Protestant teachings on this matter. 

Of course, how individual priests apply this teaching will be widely varied.  As most Protestants also know, how Protestant ministers and pastors apply this teaching is equally varied.  At least we can update our own understandings of Sola Scriptura.

This article below, with links to other related articles, is a penetrating and fact filled look by a Catholic author.       Fr. Orthohippo

September 26, 2011Defenders of the Catholic Faith : Hosted by Stephen K. Ray ·

“Bible Christians”
(a misnomer, since Catholics are the real and original Bible Christians), based on their recently devised “Reformation” principle of sola Scriptura, study the Bible with the following premises:

1. There is no binding authority but the Bible alone;
2. There is no official binding interpretation or interpreter; each person ultimately is their own pope;
3. The Bible is perspicuous (i.e., easy to understand) and it can be interpreted and understood by anyone.
4. An individual can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves.

Catholics have a different set of premises that direct their study of the Bible.

1. The authority of the Apostles and the Church preceded the Bible and the Sacred Tradition of the Church is an equally infallible authority (2 Thes 2:15; CCC 80 83). The Bible is part of the Apostolic Tradition.
2. The authoritative interpretation of the Bible is the prerogative of the Catholic Church (1 Tim 3:15; Mt 18:17; CCC 85?88).
3. The Bible is not always easy to understand (2 Pet 3:15?16) and needs to understood within its historical and contextual framework and interpreted within the community to which it belongs.
4. Individuals can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves—but within the framework of the Church’s authoritative teaching and not based on their own “private interpretation” (2 Pet 1:20?21).

These basic differences place the Catholic and Protestant worlds apart even though they are opening the pages of the same book and accepting it as an authoritative revelation from God. The Catholic position is biblical, and has been espoused from the first days of the Church. The Protestant position is unbiblical (assumed from their newly devised tradition) and is of recent origin. The Catholic is in full continuity with historical Christianity; Protestants are in discontinuity.

My article “Bible Study: Playground or Minefield? Why We Need the Church”

My article: “How to Start a Parish Bible Study”

http://www.catholic-convert.com/2011/09/26/differences-between-catholic-and-protestant-approaches-to-the-bible/

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in Anglican, authority, catholic, christian education, history, orthodox, Protestantism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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