Because I don't think enough people read the Bible

Here’s a link to the Gospel of Matthew.Matthew 1 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE) Read, discuss if you’d like.

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Do you mean to say not enough Catholics read the Bible? Because I know plenty of Baptists out there who can quote chapter and verses from memory at the snap of a finger.

Yes, I do agree, to get a better understanding of our Faith, more Catholics need to read the Bible.

Admittedly it was Protestants who were reading the Bible far more than Catholics were. But remember, the Bible is all the Protestants have. They have nothing else. Oh, and their Bible is a version that has the deuterocanonical books removed.

We Catholics have Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the lives of the saints to look to. Oh, and did I mention the Catechism too?

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You are coming across as very condescending, I just wanted people to read the Bible, By the way, I live in South Carolina, not all Baptists read the Bible, I would know, I talk to them almost every day… You do realise I am Catholic?

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In general:

Catholics know less about more of the bible.
Non-Catholics know more about less of the bible.

Whether or not we actually do, we are taught that the scriptures are a seamless garment. We are forced into proof texting verses, as those who disagree with us have latched onto a favortite verse and “some” act as if that is the entire content of their bible.

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Also show me historical evidence that refutes my claim that historically Protestants have read the Bible more than Catholics do.

I said I agreed with you that WE do need to read the Bible more. BUT, the Bible isn’t the only what we have, and historically that is why we haven’t read it as much as Protestants have.

Adam, your thread title seems to be a lightning rod for trouble; so far, not a single reply has anything to do with your original post. Maybe you should change the title to Let’s Read the Gospel of Matthew.

It’s interesting how it begins with the genealogy of Jesus. I have never been a big genealogy buff, so I tend to skip right to the birth of Jesus.

Obviously Matthew thought the genealogy of Jesus is important. Why is that?

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Here’s the thing:

I do agree that Protestants seem to read and know more of their shortened Bibles than we do with our complete Bibles. It needs rectification.

That being said: Saint Matthew is my favorite Gospel.

It does irritate me that we have to proof text verses; as if that’s all there is to the Faith with Protestants. I wish it was different; but there you have it.

The truth of the Faith is the practicing of the Faith. Not the trivia of who said what and how that supposedly proves X.

Now, I mean this with love but this is what I think about Protestants and their knowledge of Sacred Scripture: They’re people who know the Word, but don’t understand the Word.

Gospel of Matthew, anybody?

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Let’s start with the footnote in the link: “The genealogy is given to show that Jesus had the descent required for Messiahship, i.e., from Abraham and, in particular, from David the King.”

Which makes sense in a way. But – this line of descent comes down through Joseph, and so isn’t Jesus’ physical line of descent.

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This is a nice idea, Adam. I had just decided a few weeks ago I want to re-read the Bible. I had gone through the whole Old & New Testaments many years ago, but didn’t put much time into footnotes or background from other sources. Now I am taking my time (only a part of a chapter per day) and when I’m done I’m done. But this time I started with the New Testament and am on Matthew 8.

I am using the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) on the USCCB website. I hope you don’t mind if I put the link here in case anyone is interested in using this version:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm

I’m not trying to drum up competition with BibleGateway. I use it myself quite a bit but I think it is interesting to use several versions to compare footnotes. We had a Bible study at our church one year where we each brought our own Bibles and there were several different versions. We read footnotes and it was interesting how different ones filled in questions we might have had. I’m sure there is a lot of information on the internet about the different versions, and I read a little about the NABRE on Wikipedia.

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There’s a footnote further down in Adam’s link that comments on verse 16:

Joseph’s, not Mary’s, descent is given here, as the Jews did not usually reckon descent through the mother. Joseph was the legal and presumed father, and it was this fact that conferred rights of inheritance, in this case, the fulfilment of the Messianic promises.

It seems to me a long time ago I read conjecture about Mary also being from the tribe of Judah. Didn’t the 12 tribes stay pretty much to themselves in those times to keep their identities? (Even though there were some exceptions of non-Jewish women in Christ’s lineage.)

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I think a lot of people read the Bible. And a lot of people quote from the Bible. But not enough people practice the good things from the Bible.

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Matthew is usually identified with a Man, because he begins with the human genealogy of Jesus. (Bull, Lion and Eagle are the other options from Ezekiel’s vision)

Recalling ancestors is a way to place people socially. Jesus is descended from Abraham, whose descendants are as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand grains on the shore. Jesus’ ancestors were welcomed to the promised land at the time of Joshua by Rahab. Ruth is another non-Jew whose ancestors were brought into the lineage of not just Jesus, but of David as well.

Jesus is human, whose ancestors included gentiles as well as Jews. Among all the righteous Jews, there are women who were raped, prostitutes, and beggars. These are all included in he human background of Jesus.

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Mine is the opposite concern. I think that, because of the Protestant influence in this country, too many people are reading the Bible before first understanding the Word of God as it it passed down in the Sacred Traditions of the Church.

First, Catholics should understand what happens in Baptism. So that, when they encounter the words which say, “justification by faith apart from works”, they don’t fall into the infamous trap that Luther fell into. Namely:

2 Peter 3:15 And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, 16 speaking of these things[a] as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.

V. Final Exhortation and Doxology[b]
17 Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.

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Certainly every individual who reads the Bible should pray for wisdom in hearing and reading it. But the Bible is of critical importance to every Catholic. The Bible is read at every mass. And don’t overlook the beginning of the Bible Book and Chapter you (De_Maria) quoted:

1 This is now the second letter that I have written to you, beloved, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. (2 Peter 3: 1-2, RSVCE).

Peter himself wrote this letter to Christ’s followers for good purposes. The predictions of the holy prophets are in the Bible, and the commandment of the Lord through apostles is in the Bible.

The Catholic Church has changed attitude over time about its members reading the Bible. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a short article here about it:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/understanding-the-bible/study-materials/articles/changes-in-catholic-attitudes-toward-bible-readings.cfm

To quote one paragraph:

Identifying the reading and interpreting of the Bible as “Protestant” even affected the study of Scripture. Until the twentieth Century, it was only Protestants who actively embraced Scripture study. That changed after 1943 when Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu . This not only allowed Catholics to study Scripture, it encouraged them to do so. And with Catholics studying Scripture and teaching other Catholics about what they were studying, familiarity with Scripture grew.

May the Holy Spirit lead and inform us as we read the Word of God.

On the contrary, the Church has not changed its mind. The Catholic Church has always taught the Word of God in Sacred Tradition AND Scripture and continues to do so.

113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church").

The Church did not succumb to the error of Scripture alone. And this remains a danger for un-churched Catholics of which many are lost to Protestantism every day, because Protestants well know, that the Scriptures say many things which can be twisted to their erroneous presuppositions.

Therefore, I stand by what I said.

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I’m sorry if I misunderstood your argument but I don’t think anyone here, any Catholic anyway, is suggesting we read the Bible and drop everything else about Catholic teaching.

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True. That’s why I was only addressing the title. I’m sure reading the Bible on this forum, will have enough Catholic input to keep the discussion on track.

My point is that reading the Bible, alone, is not a panacea for understanding the Christian faith.

Acts 8:30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.

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Wise words.

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The overall structure and balance is appealing to me and a reason Matthew is the one I possibly (possibly because I read them all frequently so it’s hard to say which I read the most or which is my favorite) read the most. A tidy seven books or acts if you will. The genealogy and infancy beginning, followed by the five narratives/discourses, ending with the passion and ressurection. The sense of balance too. The discourses all ending with “when Jesus finished these sayings/instructions/parables.” The first and fifth discourses taking place as Jesus sat on a mountain. The woes near the end of the book just before the last discourse as counterpoint to the blessings near the beginning of the book in the first discourse.

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