Catholic teachings and practices that I personally believe contradict the Bible

In an effort to not run afoul of Eric’s strongly worded warning I’m responding to utah rose in a new thread…

Hi utah rose,
I’m glad you’re able to contribute to the this thread. I fully agree with Galatians 1: 8-9 that even angels should not be able to make us deviate from the true gospel. Regarding your statement, I believe that Catholics accept both the Bible and Sacred Tradition as sources of truth, not just the Bible alone. Are you saying that Catholics should reject those teachings found only in Sacred Tradition?

Some Catholic teachings and practices that I personally believe contradict the Bible are these:

The Trinity - Regarding the Trinity, JND Kelly said “There is in them [the Apostolic Fathers], of course, no trinitarian doctrine and no awareness of a trinitarian problem”. (JND Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, revised edition, (New York: Harper, 1978), 95.)

Also, William J. Hill said “Thus the New Testament itself is far from any doctrine of the Trinity or of a triune God who is three co-equal Persons of One Nature”. William J. Hill, The Three-Personed God (Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1982), 27.

I believe that references to partaking of the flesh and blood of Jesus are figurative and meant only for us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement.

Unmarried bishops - violates 1 Timothy 3:2

No prophets and apostles - violates Ephesians 2:20

infant baptism - in the Bible baptism always follows belief. Infants are too young to believe.

baptism by sprinkling - The very word comes from the greek word meaning “to immerse”.

In an effort to not run afoul of Eric’s strongly worded warning I’m responding to DCNBILL in a new thread.

  1. There are no original texts of scripture in existence. There are only copies of copies of copies of original texts available. An excellent book describing the state of ancient New Testament texts is “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman.

  2. The LDS church does not claim to possess a Bible translation that is 100% free of errors.

  3. Cannot the Eastern Orthodox church make the same claim as the Catholic church, that it is the source of the Bible?

I don’t care about the original controversy, however this one can be easily refuted regardless of what Bart Ehrman says.

After the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, this criticism of the Bible -as used by Christians Catholic and non Catholic alike- is harder to maintain, unless skeptics want us to believe that the scribes during the Middle Ages left the Old Testament intact and changed the New Testament as they pleased. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Whenever I see quotes like these (which I assume come from Fairmormon), I always want to see the surrounding context, because they often don’t mean what the person using the quote wants them to mean.

I have JND Kelly’s book somewhere, I’ll have to dig it up. I found Hill’s book online, and as I suspected, there is more to the story:

In the same paragraph as the one where your quote is found-“Nonetheless the tripartite formulas do emerge in the New Testament as a whole, witnessing to an acceptance early on in the Church”. After stating that the baptismal formula found in the Bible does not say anything about the equality of the three, nor about their distinction (which would obviously also apply to LDS), he says, “…the very literary structure, as well as the content, of Romans and Galatians, and somewhat less clearly First Corinthians, is markedly trinitarian.” Later on he says, “The least that can be said then is that the New Testament provides the data or the raw materials from which the doctrine of the Trinity was developed with some continuity.”

To Catholics, none of this is surprising. We don’t view the Bible as a Catechism, nor as a systematic theology where everything is merely spelled out. Instead, when Catholics look at the Bible as a whole, we see the basics of the Trinity: there is one God, and there are three distinct Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are God. Formal definitions of the doctrine came later (in the face of heresies that denied the deity of Christ, among other issues), by the same Spirit that inspired the authors of the Biblical texts, in our belief.

I believe that references to partaking of the flesh and blood of Jesus are figurative and meant only for us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement.

Thank you for your belief. Catholics believe that the Eucharist does indeed remind us of Christ’s sacrifice and atonement, however we also believe that His body and blood are really present in the Eucharist. This belief is readily apparent not only in the New Testament, but also in the writings of ancient Christians all over the world (Jerusalem, Constantinople, Rome, Armenia, Ethiopia, etc). To me, there is no hint of the LDS understanding of the Eucharist in any ancient Christian writings.

If you would like to learn more, please read:

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” by Brant Pitre

Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church by Scott Hahn

Unmarried bishops - violates 1 Timothy 3:2

Using the same logic, the LDS violates 1 Timothy 3:12, which states that deacons are to be the husbands of one wife. Since young boys 12 years old are ordained deacons in the LDS faith, they certainly are not husbands. Also, it is interesting to think about the implications of your interpretation during the days when plural marriage was in effect. Were polygamous bishops violating 1 Timothy 3:2 as well? I don’t find this argument logical at all coming from the LDS perspective.

This verse makes much more sense if we understand that if a bishop is married, he should be the husband of one wife. It does not necessitate it.

No prophets and apostles - violates Ephesians 2:20

Ephesians 2:20 states that we are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Catholics believe that. Firstly, we believe in the teachings of the ancient apostles and prophets. The foundation that they laid is carried on today. That foundation was never lost. Further, Catholics believe that the authority of the apostles has been passed on for 2000 years, and resides in the bishops (Acts 1:20). As well, we believe that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is present in our leaders, who can receive Divine assistance in carrying out their calling, and the Spirit is intimately involved in the workings of the Church and the people of it. We have plenty of examples of prophets and prophetesses that received Heavenly visions, visitations, performed miracles, etc (heck even today on the news I’m hearing that some people are claiming that Pope Francis performed some sort of “half-miracle”).

The last two I’ll address later on.

Regarding infant baptism - This is obviously using only the LDS understanding of baptism, not the catholic (universal) understanding.

Once again a simple search would have been well used before making the claim the baptism means “to immerse”.
From Wikipida - The English word “baptism” is derived indirectly through Latin from the neuter Greek concept noun baptisma (Greek βάπτισμα, “washing-ism”),[d][26] which is a neologism in the New Testament derived from the masculine Greek noun baptismos (βαπτισμός), a term for ritual washing in Greek language texts of Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period, such as the Septuagint.[27][28] Both of these nouns are nouns derived from the verb baptizo (βαπτίζω, “I wash” transitive verb) which is used in Jewish texts for ritual washing, and in the New Testament both for ritual washing and also for the apparently new rite of baptisma. The Greek verb bapto (βάπτω), “dip”, from which the verb baptizo is derived, is in turn hypothetically traced to a reconstructed Indo-European root *gʷabh-, “dip”.[29][30][31] The Greek words are used in a great variety of meanings

Both threads re-titled.
You’re not allowed to start threads with the user names in them.
No biggie.

Are you saying that a person must be immersed in order to be baptized?

What if people are living in areas where water is scarce and cannot be immersed?
What if a person is on their death bed and cannot physically be immersed or does not have the time before dying?

Would you deny someone baptism based on this technicality?

How did Peter baptize thousands in Jerusalem? Archaeologists state that there was not enough water in that region for baptism by immersion.

Of course it can.

But as the two Churches were one until 1054, what would be your point?


In fact you’re almost quoting his “copies of copies of copies” statement word for word. That’s exactly how Ehrman phrases it in his book “Misquoting Jesus”.

However, this cannot possibly be true. The P52 its self is dated within 25-35 years of its being penned. So what you must assume for this quote to be correct, is that the scribe who wrote 25-35 years after John had no access to the earliest copies. This is highly illogical.

The reason it is illogical is that even if a copy of a copy of a copy existed, that doesn’t mean that the scribes weren’t also pulling from the first copy. It’s not as if a scribe would copy a text, and then throw out the original copy; that would be stupid. Instead the NT was copied, and the originals were preserved and copied, while copies of copies were being made as well; both in the East and the West.

Take a look at what Tertullian says on the topic:

Come now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read
-Chapter 36, “Perscription against heretics.”

Keep in mind that Tertullian, among other ECF’s quoted extensively from these texts. So not only does Tertullian challenge others to go see the authentic original writings for themselves; he would have been extremely familiar with them. And others would have still been copying them.

Also, Textual Criticism has made your claim baseless.


I think the only question worth answering before getting into all of these that you erroneously hold, is

Why do you use a New Testament that was compiled by “an apostate” church?

The New Testament wasn’t even done being written till 90Ad -at the earliest, and the books weren’t compiled into a volume until the fourth century, long after the supposed “great apostasy”. Not to mention Mormons use the KJV from the 17th century.

Every single doctrinal objection here gazelam you are either wrong on, or have a mistaken understanding of what Catholicism teaches.

*]Unmarried bishops
*]No prophets and apostles
*]infant baptism
*]baptism by sprinkling

Let’s look at Baptism by “sprinkling”.

You said:

The very word comes from the greek word meaning “to immerse”.

Does it mean anything else gazelam?

Because if it doesn’t WHY would the Rabbis translate baptizimois for ancient Israelite sprinkling rites such as being sprinkled on the third and seventh day after touching a dead person in the Greek Septuagint?

The Church has always practiced three forms of baptism: sprinkling, pouring and immersion.

To contradict scripture, scripture would need to say something along the lines of “thou shalt not sprinkle”. Scripture does not say this (best not to follow the man-made doctrine of the 16th century, sola scriptura)

Ezekiel speaks of the coming of sacramental baptism, by sprinkling, where one is cleansed from original sin and God’s Spirit is put within us.

Ezekiel 36:25-27

25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

Sounds pretty scriptural to me. :thumbsup:

Belief in the a symbolic Lord’s Supper. Another man-made thought coming out of the reformation (but not all reformers held to this either).

Scripture IS explicitly clear on this.

What is contradictory to scripture is to say it is “figurative”.

Chapter and verse please for where scripture says the Lord’s Supper is figurative.

For the first time in scripture, Jesus let’s the disciples leave him without correcting them. The left him because they took him LITERALLY. The Jews took him LITERALLY and wanted to kill him. “For this is a hard saying, who can take it”. Those are not the words of some symbolism. Those are the words of someone who took him literally.

Jesus says those who hear you, hear me.

We can read of St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of St. John. His words are very Catholic on the Eucharist those (St. Ignatius) who hear you (St. John), hear me (Jesus ]

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110).

I’ll believe Scripture and The Church, including St. Ignatius who was taught by St. John …

Who himself was taught by Jesus for 3 years.

One of my favorite youtube videos: Brand Pitre explains why the Early Jewish converts so readily believed in the Eucharist.


Do you assert that the book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible?

The Book of Mormon has several passages that refer to the Trinity. It is Joseph Smith that later changed teaching on the matter.

This is taken from the introduction of the Book of Mormon.

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” - Joseph Smith

And too further the first point about Trinitarian God. The Book of Mormon itself teaches more of a Trinitarian God than the one LDS believe. In fact, the LDS church today contradicts teachings within the Book of Mormon. But I digress, this thread isn’t about LDS contradicting itself.

I agree sticking to the topic is better; I had originally wanted to put a laundry list of Mormon beliefs out there that contradict the Bible and Christian teaching but thought better of it.

It is interesting to discuss Mormon beliefs/teachings that contradict the Book of Mormon.

Try this article from Wiki that I posted on another thread.

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