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  #46  
Old May 11, '11, 8:18 am
styrgwillidar styrgwillidar is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Are we really that ignorant?

LIT56RD,

Welcome, my brother in Christ to the forums.

Ignorant- lack of knowledege of facts or material.
Stupid- unable to learn.

Yes. Many Catholics are ignorant of their faith just as Protestants are ignorant about the church, both lead to errors in reading and interpreting scripture. That is as much a fault of individual responsibility as it is the Church's. And this is where the priest was completely wrong, we are not too ignorant to read scripture, we remain ignorant if we don't. But that also requires we understand what scripture is, and what it is not.


But first, why do you accept the Bible as scripture? It's a nice book and all, some parts are pretty boring, some aren't particularly well written. But so are the Koran, or the Torah, or the book of Mormon, or the writings of confuscious, or (insert text forming basis of a religion here). I had a friend who read all the religious writings he could find. He figured God was speaking through them all, he had planned to have all these religions formed so there must be truth in all of them.

If it's the Bible, why do you accept it as the inspired word of God transcribed by men? And which version/translation do you accept? Catholic or Protestant? Do you agree with Martin Luther modifying it? Do you agree with him discarding the books referred to as the apocrypha? Should the letter of James have been eliminated as well, as he at one point desired? How do you know Martin Luther was correct?

The Church settled on what constituted scripture around ~350AD. They discarded a lot of proposed books, or writings being referred to by some of the churches. Apocalypse of Peter, the Gospel of Peter etc. How do you know the Church was correct? What was their criteria for deciding on what constituted scripture?

The writings included as scripture were those that reflected the teachings/doctrine of the early Church. They were chosen based on their consistency and agreement with the Tradition of the Church, it's beliefs, what had been handed down from, and was being taught by the early church. The Bible isn't a textbook, it wasn't written like the Catechism. The Bible is a collection of writings which reinforced the Church's teachings which could be referred to by all, and which the Church decided were written with the inspiration of God.

Why do you accept the Bible as scripture? Are you convinced the Church picked correctly? Why?

When I was re-examining my faith as an adult, I put scripture aside. I did so, because without my faith I had no reason to place the Bible above any other writing by man. There is no reason to quote it unless I had a basis for elevating it. So I studied the history of the early Church, because, at the heart of it all - something did happen in Israel which motivated poor and simple men to spread a message -at risk to themselves, in opposition to the authorities of the time. The teachings, practises and doctrine of those early christians are completely consistent with Catholic teaching and doctrine today. All the writings of the early christians indicate the belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I found 'controversies' that exist today, that the Church examined over a thousand years ago. Infant baptism- ~220AD a council of 66 bishops considered, among other things, a proposal to delay baptism. To delay it until 8 days after birth. It was rejected, infant baptism was the standard practise by early christians. So, those who read the Bible and try to say it precludes infant baptism are obviously in error, at least with what the apostles had handed down. I came to a conclusion from my studies-

Christ came to earth, formed a Church and granted it authority to spread His message.

I accept the Bible as scripture because I first accept the authority of the Catholic Church.

In reading the Bible, I accept that I am a fallible man who can misconstrue the words. I may find helpful guidance in applying it to my life, find meanings that speak to my life situation. But I read it with the understanding of the history behind it and reflection on the history and teachings of the Church.
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  #47  
Old May 11, '11, 8:36 am
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Clarissa51 Clarissa51 is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:19-21

In the Catholic church we have Scripture, Tradition, and the Church Fathers. Protestants have private interpretation.
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  #48  
Old May 11, '11, 10:51 am
LIT56RD LIT56RD is offline
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Originally Posted by Clarissa51 View Post
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:19-21

In the Catholic church we have Scripture, Tradition, and the Church Fathers. Protestants have private interpretation.
And the problem with that is???. Must we always refer to some else to tell us what to believe or not to believe or can we at some point say this is what I believe because of such and such.
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  #49  
Old May 11, '11, 10:54 am
LIT56RD LIT56RD is offline
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Originally Posted by Clarissa51 View Post
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:19-21

In the Catholic church we have Scripture, Tradition, and the Church Fathers. Protestants have private interpretation.
Is it impossible to think that the Holy Spirit may also be influencing the lives and beliefs of ordinary people. Not just those who have chosen to be deacons, priests, bishops and popes.
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  #50  
Old May 11, '11, 11:06 am
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Originally Posted by LIT56RD View Post
That's what I have been saying all along is that I can not have an independent interpretation of the Bible. It always has to go through someone or some other document.

Litcrit: If you were studying something, let's say Math, you did the problem and got your answer --wouldn't you CHECK YOUR ANSWER? To be sure it was correct? If your teacher or the syllabus had a different answer, wouldn't you 'recheck' your answer no matter how 'right' you thought it?

If you were reading about oh say Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, there is a LOT of room for independent interpretation of what the characters represent, what the scenes represent, etc. Some theatres perform it in '16th century attire, some in 20th century' etc. But no one would be fool enough (I hope) to read the play and not bother to read what EXPERTS say about it. . .and if what the experts say is opposed to the 'interpretation' you got, wouldn't you at least wonder how they all 'missed' what you 'got?'

Where in the Bible does it say, "Hey people, I'm self-interpreting!" All you need is you and me, Babe. . .forget about anybody else!
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  #51  
Old May 11, '11, 1:02 pm
FCEGM FCEGM is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LIT56RD View Post
And the problem with that is???. Must we always refer to some else to tell us what to believe or not to believe or can we at some point say this is what I believe because of such and such.
What you are missing is the distinction between reading Scripture for deeper insights and reading it to teach from. There is no reason one cannot read Scripture and interpret for himself how to apply it to his own life, so long as one doesn't contradict the doctrinal teachings of the Church. So, e.g., if you read it and end up denying the Divinity of Jesus or the Virgin Birth you interpreted it falsely. Personal reading of Scripture is greatly encouraged by the Church for the reading of it is meant to bring one to a deeper knowledge of God and His Christ; but knowledge of Him can only truly flourish when we humbly acknowledge that our own insights may be flawed and thus turn to the sure guide we have in His Church to see if we are missing the mark or not.

So the question you must ask yourself is: Does each individual interpreting for himself lead to greater unity or less? Do all believe moral norms deriving from their study of Scripture? The same doctrines expressing their Faith? If not, then what good is it to submit to the Word of God if one doesn't know the truth of one's submission, but must judge himself for himself?

Setting yourself up as the judge, you set yourself up not just as your own judge, but also as judge of whether or not anyone else is correct in submitting to the Word of God. But, if you admit that you are just as prone to error as anyone else, then, you can never be certain that you are teaching or acting according to the Word of God. Is this how Christ, Who is Truth, planned for His Church to function in bringing His Self-revelation to mankind? "I will lead you into some truth (if you can find it) and some error (try to avoid it!)" ?!

I'm wondering how, with such hyper-individualism, one can be obedient to "Obey those who have the rule over you and submit yourself, for they watch for your souls ..." (Heb 13:17). . .?

Those outside of Catholicism have essentially unbound themselves from this Scriptural command. You may temporarily submit to the leaders of whatever congregation you joined, but when you personally disagree with one or more of the teachings there you are free to leave it and find another congregation to join without any question (in your mind or the minds of the leaders of the congregation) of your Christian orthodoxy. IOW, you have no objective standard of authority that is outside of your personal, subjective intepretation of Scripture or understanding of what Christianity supposedly teaches. You are, instead, your own final authority, and owe obedience to no one/nothing outside yourself - you alone have your own key to a door that may or may not lead you to Christ and His Truth. That's the best you can expect.
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  #52  
Old May 11, '11, 1:16 pm
LIT56RD LIT56RD is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

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Originally Posted by FCEGM View Post
What you are missing is the distinction between reading Scripture for deeper insights and reading it to teach from. There is no reason one cannot read Scripture and interpret for himself how to apply it to his own life, so long as one doesn't contradict the doctrinal teachings of the Church. So, e.g., if you read it and end up denying the Divinity of Jesus or the Virgin Birth you interpreted it falsely. Personal reading of Scripture is greatly encouraged by the Church for the reading of it is meant to bring one to a deeper knowledge of God and His Christ; but knowledge of Him can only truly flourish when we humbly acknowledge that our own insights may be flawed and thus turn to the sure guide we have in His Church to see if we are missing the mark or not.

So the question you must ask yourself is: Does each individual interpreting for himself lead to greater unity or less? Do all believe moral norms deriving from their study of Scripture? The same doctrines expressing their Faith? If not, then what good is it to submit to the Word of God if one doesn't know the truth of one's submission, but must judge himself for himself?

Setting yourself up as the judge, you set yourself up not just as your own judge, but also as judge of whether or not anyone else is correct in submitting to the Word of God. But, if you admit that you are just as prone to error as anyone else, then, you can never be certain that you are teaching or acting according to the Word of God. Is this how Christ, Who is Truth, planned for His Church to function in bringing His Self-revelation to mankind? "I will lead you into some truth (if you can find it) and some error (try to avoid it!)" ?!

I'm wondering how, with such hyper-individualism, one can be obedient to "Obey those who have the rule over you and submit yourself, for they watch for your souls ..." (Heb 13:17). . .?

Those outside of Catholicism have essentially unbound themselves from this Scriptural command. You may temporarily submit to the leaders of whatever congregation you joined, but when you personally disagree with one or more of the teachings there you are free to leave it and find another congregation to join without any question (in your mind or the minds of the leaders of the congregation) of your Christian orthodoxy. IOW, you have no objective standard of authority that is outside of your personal, subjective intepretation of Scripture or understanding of what Christianity supposedly teaches. You are, instead, your own final authority, and owe obedience to no one/nothing outside yourself - you alone have your own key to a door that may or may not lead you to Christ and His Truth. That's the best you can expect.
Once again we must run every thought past someone else to see if it follows what they think and not what we believe God has guided us to believe.

You owe obedience to God as your final authority>
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  #53  
Old May 11, '11, 1:31 pm
adrift adrift is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

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Originally Posted by LIT56RD View Post
And the problem with that is???. Must we always refer to some else to tell us what to believe or not to believe or can we at some point say this is what I believe because of such and such.
The problem is you say you adhere to scripture but than don't consult it. You quoted what I said to "prove" your point without context.

So what does Scripture say about your question? Acts 8
Quote:
30And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?
31 Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
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  #54  
Old May 11, '11, 1:32 pm
FCEGM FCEGM is offline
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Originally Posted by LIT56RD View Post
Once again we must run every thought past someone else to see if it follows what they think and not what we believe God has guided us to believe.

You owe obedience to God as your final authority>
Sorry, but that's a non-answer to the questions I posed to you. Are our thoughts never in error? Do we always know what is from God and what isn't? It's easy to claim God is our final authority when we go by our preference for our beliefs in Who He Is or Isn't and what He has revealed of Himself or hasn't; what we are doing, then, is making God into our own image - that's a mighty easy god to believe in and be obedient to.
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  #55  
Old May 11, '11, 1:40 pm
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

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Once again we must run every thought past someone else to see if it follows what they think and not what we believe God has guided us to believe.

You owe obedience to God as your final authority>
We surely do. And where did God Himself (in 1 Timothy chapter 3) tell us to go in order to know truth? He didn't tell us "Go to the Bible and read it by yourself and I'll send you perfect understanding". He certainly didn't tell us that we were never to go to other people and discuss the Bible, either, but were just to stick with 'the Bible alone'.

Do you really mean to tell us that you open up a Bible, start reading and interpreting, and never bother to explore the context or to wonder if other Christians get the same meaning you do?

How would you know you were hearing "God's spirit" directing you and not the evil one, who Scripture tells us can disguise himself as an angel of light?

You're ready to trust some 'voice in your head' but you're not ready to trust the Church which gave you that Bible. . .seems very backward to me!
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  #56  
Old May 11, '11, 1:49 pm
Godfollower Godfollower is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

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Originally Posted by LIT56RD View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarissa51 View Post
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:19-21

In the Catholic church we have Scripture, Tradition, and the Church Fathers. Protestants have private interpretation.
And the problem with that is???. Must we always refer to some else to tell us what to believe or not to believe or can we at some point say this is what I believe because of such and such.
LIT56RD, may I ask: several people have cited the following passages relating to Scriptural interpretation. What is your understanding of their meaning?

Quote:
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza: this is desert. And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet. And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:26-31.

Quote:
For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. For he received from God the Father, honour and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.
2 Peter 1:16-20.

Quote:
Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat? But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth. Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace. And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:11-18.

The Catholic understanding of these passages is that God gave us His Word in the Scriptures, but He also created the Church to help us understand His Word (the Church being full of professionals who spend their lives studying the Scriptures far more than we laymen can do). I would be interested to hear your understanding of them.
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  #57  
Old May 11, '11, 2:44 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

Jesus left a Church through which Christians would become baptised into His Body.

"Simon Bar Jona, you are Kepha / Rock (Peter in Greek) and upon this rock, I shall build My Church."

As meticulous at Judaism had been rewriting the Torah generation to generation, Jesus never said, "You are Kepha, go get papyrus and something to write with, journal down everything I say."

The Church came first, Sacred Scripture was used as a teaching tool within the Church, and Scripture was used in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass, in preparation for receiving Christ in the Eucharist.
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  #58  
Old May 11, '11, 4:48 pm
LIT56RD LIT56RD is offline
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Originally Posted by adrift View Post
The problem is you say you adhere to scripture but than don't consult it. You quoted what I said to "prove" your point without context.

So what does Scripture say about your question? Acts 8
In that verse the eunuch did not know what the readings meant. If I don't understand what something in the Bible means I will ask someone whom I believe I can discuss it with, and after discussing it I will then, with the guidance of the Holy spirit and prayer, discern what the verse means.

I believe that the same verse with in the Bible can speak to people differently, depending upon where they are in their human life and their spiritual life.
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  #59  
Old May 11, '11, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Are we really that ignorant?

Hi, Again Lit.

Maybe, a little reflection on scripture will be of assistance Lit.

>>>Jesus did not accept the opinions of men, as shown in Matthew 16:13-17:
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father."

Did you notice ? His disciples mostly expressed personal opinions, which meant little to Jesus.
The one exception was Simon Peter, the only one who answered with authoritative doctrinal truth.

The point of course is many opinions but one answer from the first Pope that Jesus chose.

Hope this helps!
God Bless
onenow1
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  #60  
Old May 11, '11, 4:58 pm
LIT56RD LIT56RD is offline
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Sorry, but that's a non-answer to the questions I posed to you. Are our thoughts never in error? Yes they can be.Do we always know what is from God and what isn't? No but neither does anyone else. I do not buy into the the fact that the Catholic church can never make a mistake. So which is worse, me making a mistake in my interpretation or blindly following what someone else has interpreted which may be a mistake also.It's easy to claim God is our final authority when we go by our preference for our beliefs in Who He Is or Isn't and what He has revealed of Himself or hasn't; what we are doing, then, is making God into our own image - that's a mighty easy god to believe in and be obedient to.
With intense prayer and guidance from respected Christians who will help me decide what is best for me, (not just tell what I should be doing) I believe that for the most part God and I get alone quite well.
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