Because I don't think enough people read the Bible

I’m up to Maccabees in my current read-through of the Bible.
Quite an exciting book, Maccabees.

True…many think memorization is knowledge. What good is memorization if you are getting it wrong.

Not many Catholics (or anybody else, for that matter) read the bible for centuries after the Catholic Church was established by Christ.

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No it doesn’t. You want Catholics to read Scripture alone without the Church?

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"81)

As a Protestant who regularly attended church, we didn’t…really read the Bible. We just mostly listened to the sermon. That’s basically it…

I think I read the Bible more often after I became Catholic.

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I’m not saying we should read Scripture alone without the Church. What I’m saying is that each Catholic needs to study Scripture and know what it says. Any questions an individual Catholic has must be subject to the Magisterium.

We need to know Scripture so we can defend ourselves and our Faith against Protestants. The only weapons we have in our apologetics with them, that they’ll recognize; is Scripture. As any apologist who’s crossed swords with Protestants knows; it’s a battle of proof texting Scripture verses back and forth and each Catholic has to know Scripture in order to combat Protestant criticisms of our Catholic beliefs and practices.

Ignorance of Scripture made easy prey of many common Catholics by Protestant preachers who could quote Scripture. That’s one of the reasons Protestantism spread so far and so fast in the 16th century.

Yes. By all means, defense against the torch bearing, heretical Protestants. We’re always out to get you guys :slight_smile:

Aaaaaaandddd - if memory serves - you can use scripture as a sword against the wiles of our (shared) enemy, who is always out to devour us both.

Oh - and Mr. OP - my favorite part of Matthew is the Beatitudes.

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Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.
St Jerome

We read scripture to know Christ so that we can be with him.

Well, I’m owning my statement.

We have to know our Scripture, because we English speaking Catholics live in Protestant majority countries with historically strong anti Catholic biases.

Even in the Philippines, an 86% Catholic majority country with a Protestant minority; that my fiancé is from; we face Protestants that tell us we’re wrong for our beliefs and practices.

We’re on the defensive and we have to justify ourselves to well meaning, but wrong; Protestants.

As for what you said about Saint Matthew: I love the Beatitudes. My favorite part of Saint Matthew is the Sermon on the Mount.


In addition to the readings just about the whole Mass is based on scripture. As for the readings It is sometimes said that if someone were to attend Mass every day for three years they’d hear most of the Bible. While not true, especially for the OT, that person would hear a good deal of scripture. Most of the Gospels would be heard.

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From the reports I’ve heard from Protestant converts to Catholicism, this is very true.

Here is what Steve Ray said:


learn it anyway so I like to do a search


let’s search in the whole Bible ask


Jesus in your heart me it’s not their


personal Lord and Savior rotation marks


personal Lord and Savior search ain’t


it’s not there you know we just looked


up two phrases that are not biblical


they are Baptist tradition those are not


biblical phrases they’re not found in


the Bible anywhere Jesus didn’t use


those words the Apostles didn’t use


those words they weren’t used until the


Protestant Reformation and even beyond


mostly American revivalism in the last


200 years


so those phrases that I was using


against you was really Baptist tradition

Most converts from Evangelicalism are very honest about their previous proselytizing of Catholics.

Oh brother. My only point was that we can both use the Bible to defend ourselves against somebody far more sinister than each other.

But, it’s way more fun - if far less dangerous - to have a real flesh and blood villain. Fair enough. Guilty as charged. Hang on for a moment while I find my pitch fork and sign that says “Hey, ho, the Inquisition has to go!”…

As to the OP - my other favorite part of Matt is Jesus genealogy in Chapter 1. In the immortal words of Obi Wan Keno-be:

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy in the galaxy…”

In other words, people just like me :slight_smile:

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You need to put the shoe on the other foot. I lived through the 60’s when it seemed that no one could take 10 steps downtown without a Protestant stopping you and asking, “Are you saved!” It’s not as brazen anymore. But I still see this going on at my place of work.

You paint all Protestants with this brush of “we just mind our own business” attitude. But we see the other side. We are accustomed to arrogant people who want to shove their bible alone, faith alone theology down our throats.

In other words, people just like me :slight_smile:

Do you harangue every Catholic that you see and try to convert them? If not, then no, not people just like you.

You seem like a nice person. But for some reason, you turn a blind eye to the fact that there are virulently anti-Catholic sentiments amongst the Protestants. That’s the world we live in.

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Look, TULIPed: I’m not saying you’re a bad man. I think you’re a moderate voice amongst the Protestants here.

What I’m saying is this: We Catholics are often the targets of well meaning and ignorant Protestants who’re trying to save the souls of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I say ignorant, not from anger or malice; because they often repeat the same old criticisms of Protestant founders who preached an anti Catholic revolution; who don’t know the truth of the Faith and it’s Apostolic and Scriptural roots.

They preach to us from ignorance of the fullness of the Gospel.

As I said: You’re a good man and I don’t believe you’re anti Catholic in your sentiments.

As for the devil: I agree he’s the bigger enemy.

As for engaging in a Scripture battle with him: I don’t. I just hunker down, pray and invoke the Precious Blood, pray the Rosary, pray to Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Benedict.

Btw: Which denomination of Calvinist are you and how does your tradition define saving faith and how to they determine whether or not it’s truly there?

The USCCB has some excellent resources: does as well, plus they have the Dramatized Audio New Testament for those who prefer that form.

Thank you. As I’ve said before Mike - I’ve noticed and appreciated your charity on this board - even if sometimes we stubborn Protestants get your dander up :slight_smile:

I would suggest that perhaps scripture is useful when tempted or otherwise tormented by the enemy. Since we’re talking about Matthew - I find this prayer from Matthew 6 - quite useful - especially as an antidote to fear:

“ 9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

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I think both of these statements are true. Not all protestants take the time to read the Bible or attend their Bible studies. Then as a protestant many times you are taught just certain Bible verses and chapters. I watched a conversation on the Journey Home with Marcus Grodi and another ex protestant pastor and it was an interesting discussion. They were saying that there are many chapters and verses that protestant pastors just do not understand so they just skip over them and avoid them altogether.

My first thought was this also. I agree with the OP that Catholics should be reading Scriptures, but only under the guidance of the Church and we should also be reading catechisms and studying Catholic Tradition.

Yes as a Catholic, I quite agree with this.

Many years ago, my parish’s Scripture study class took a turn towards anti-Protestant apologetics, and I stopped attending after that. It was very much an exercise of “all right, now we’re up to this passage, let’s find out what the Protestants think of it and let’s discuss how they’re heretics”. I can’t think of a more barren and unimaginative way to read the Scriptures.

Now I attend a small ecumenical Bible study group: myself and another as the Catholics, 2 Anglicans, 2 Greek Orthodox, 2 Reformed, as well as others who come and go. It’s quite an unusual composition, but I find it very fruitful as we’re always sharing perspectives, discussing differences, exploring agreements.

We also read each other’s literature: we’ve studied Hans Ur von Balthasar, Vladimir Lossky, Rowan Williams. We’ll next be discussing Karl Barth.

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Amen Brother.

The more we focus on our differences - the angrier we get with each other - the happier our common enemy is. The more we love each other and our shared King - the closer to Him we become. May it always be the latter.


I think the rest of what @Michael16 said is important.

In defending our faith and being ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us and why we are Catholic and why the Church teaches what it does, we need to know Scripture. When speaking with protestants about our faith, the most important thing we can use is Scripture since they do not recognize the Catholic church or anything other than sola Scriptura.

While I think it is very important to use Church teaching in our answers, one the most important things is a correct understanding of Scripture.

Here’s my take regarding bible study.

If you’re talking about a priest, deacon, or other person well-trained in Catholicism leading a bible study, I’m all for it.

Before you spend time in solitary bible reading, though, you really need to know your catechism book, & have all parts explained that cause you difficulty because you either don’t understand the Church thinking behind an issue, or you understand it, but don’t go along with it.

After those two criteria are met, sit down with an esteemed Catholic commentary—all commentaries are not created equally. :worried: With that strong foundation in understanding your Catholic faith, you will intuitively know when to ask for clarification, but most importantly, your faith will grow by leaps and bounds as you immerse yourself in all things Catholic, and you will become joyful and excited—a true example of a heart on fire!

Otherwise, if you start bible study without a strong catechism background, you’re setting yourself up for the opportunity (placing yourself in an occasion for sin) to get a slightly wrong twist in your self-interpretation and that wrong twist can color many other slight to extreme misunderstandings about your faith. (How many Christian splinter groups exist, all with a little different twist in bible interpretion?) Sneak in a snide jibe from a Catholic basher, and the seeds of doubt can grow.

Existing seeds of doubt are fertile ground to allow you to be enticed into leaving Christ in the Eucharist for, at best, a mere symbol in one of the other churches.

Why risk it? Why risk turning away from the Body and Blood of Christ—and all that entails—because you knowingly sit down to interpret the Bible by yourself?

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