Bible study with Protestant what chapters and verses should I use


I know! Right? I try to imitate Spock’s endeavor to think logically and appreciate Socrates’ love of discovering why people believe.

Dude! So was I. My wife and I were members of an Evangelical Presbyterian Church for several years, though I admit I’ve forgotten more about tulips than many of my Catholic friends will ever know!

Well said :slight_smile:

So, the first thought that comes to mind is Leviticus:

“‘If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life. If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him.’”
(Leviticus 24:17-20)

I mean, Jesus’ audience would understand an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or a hand for a hand. They’d get the figure of speech carring the meaning that the punishment must fit he crime.

When he tells them they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, the only idiom to which they might be familiar, I believe is this:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
(Psalm 27:1-2)

In other words, perhaps the more biblically literate among them were arguing something like, “What is he saying? Only those who kill him will live forever?”

I’d enjoy discussing scripture with you, but don’t want to be rude by abducting this discussion. Would you like to start a discussion topic about John 6 and Hebrews 10? I’m asking not with the aim of convincing you. I’m only interested, as Socrates said, in convincing myself.



I would go to the core of Christian teaching:

Matthew 22
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

and then cross-reference Mark 12:
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

You can then discuss if the two passages differ in meaning, which I doubt neither of you will have done before.

You both should try to get something out of this. This is how I would do it.


So, the thing about many Protestants (though certainly not all) is they have a different idea about the chain of cause and effect. Catholicism, it seems to me, teaches that sanctification is a cause of receiving eternal life. Many Protestants teach that receiving eternal life is a cause of sanctification. In other words, first you’re saved, then you’re sanctified. To them, living like Christ and obeying his commands has nothing to do with getting into heaven, but it does contribute to the kind of rewards one receives there.

I mean, to say Jesus teaches us to become sanctified is something they agree with, but it won’t be sufficient to change their minds. Make sense?


Very well said Jezra. We follow the teachings of Christ regardless to which institutions we are affiliated.


Given this sounds like an initial bible study between the two and not likely last much more than an hour, getting to that point might be somewhat ambitious.

I was raised Methodist. The message I was taught was, “If you are good, you go to heaven and the best way to achieve that is to love your neighbour.” I certainly wasn’t told entry into heaven is automatic because I am christened/confirmed.

As for terms like sanctification, the average Protestant wouldn’t have a clue what you are talking about. A major part of the Reformation was to simplify things for the uneducated masses, hence the Common Prayer Book, and that has persisted.

(OP might like to take note.)


Yeah, yeah! I agree many don’t get the meaning of sanctification. BTW, I’m attending a Methodist Church with my wife, who isn’t a Catholic. :slight_smile:


Mr. Spockrates (see what I did there?) - I think it’s a great idea to start another thread to be respectful to the OP, although might I propose a different topic than transubstantiation? Not that it’s not important - it’s hugely important and I think we’re all in violent agreement about its importance. It would be kind of like us starting a thread on human beings need for an oxygen rich environment. Let’s do something that Catholics and Protestants can wrestle with together. I propose Romans 9:17 - really the whole chapter. Catholics and Protestants (especially Reformed ones) agree on God’s sovereignty, but I think the philosophical concept is a difficult one, no? Let’s wrestle together as a team with that maybe? I’m open to others as well. I’m pretty new here - you want to fire it up?

On to how Protestants view sanctification…

DISCLAIMER: I think this is a great forum. I love and respect Catholics (many in my family are Catholics, and they love Jesus and so do I so they are my brothers and sisters). I like ecumenism. If I see a question on how Protestants view something, I’ll try and answer it. No debates on theology, unless we’re working together on something. I respect the heck out of you guys. I think you take sin way more seriously than we do and we need to learn from that - but I digress.

Reformed doctrine starts from a view of total - and I mean total - reliance on Christ. Everything we do - sans Christ - are as “dirty rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Calvinists would call it total depravity. We know that we are called to be sanctified (Romans 6) - but, thanks to our sinful nature, we are depraved, so how do we do this? Reformed doctrine would say that once one enters into a relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit begins a new work in us (2 Corinthians 5:16-18). The actor - the only actor - with regard to sanctification is the Holy Spirit. Thus, any “good work” becomes “good”, not because of anything we do, rather that Christ has done it through us. We are entirely powerless without Christ. Said another way, Christ takes a dirty rag and sanctifies it - makes it clean. He does the washing. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.”


My apologies. I was busy yesterday.

For sure! Whatever topic you like, I’d be happy to participate! Go ahead and start one and copy and paste the link, or let me know the sub forum name and topic title.


a resource you may want to use is the list of scripture references in the back of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (big green book version). You can search the list for the verse you want then go to the paragraph that refers to that verse, as an aid. The CCC is not an exhaustive reference on the Bible, you should be aware.


So, how did it go?


I agree with this sentiment. To choose a story or a verse in the Bible where there is a lot contentious dispute between Protestant and Catholics is undoubtably a mistake.

First, since the protestant friend decided to make the challenge, he’s already baited.

Trying to mend fences has a lot to be said for it


I ended up ending it because he was turning it into a debate when I just wanted to appreciate the word of god he’s so annoying I had to block him but not before suggesting that he should read the church fathers particularly Eusebius


Sounds like you get an A for making the effort and did the right thing by avoiding an argument. Well done!


But if you’re looking to get your feet wet practicing apologetics, this site has a few good people you can have thoughtful discussions with:

If you need help responding, please don’t hesitate to post a topic, here, so someone may assist you. :slight_smile:


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