Confession: is it biblical?

Hey, I should start by saying I am not a catholic. I was not raised in church, but I came to know God when I was 12. A year ago I met someone I know God wants in my life, but he is Roman Catholic and I am not. I found myself mostly in Baptist churches, although I do not consider myself a baptist, if that makes sense… Anywho, we both know that we have to consolidate our faith if this is going to work, which has been really easy to do until we started talking about the “requirements” of forgiveness. This is a pretty big issue; being that it is kinda the whole point of Christ’s death and all! :slight_smile: I have a pretty good understanding of how confession “works,” however, I do not see it anywhere in the bible that we are required (post-resurrection) to speak to a priest before our sins are forgiven. No one I have spoken to can point me in the right direction, so here I am…Can someone point me to where/how confession came about in a post-resurrection sense.

I am told that I have to accept that Peter, being the first Pope, was given power to make rulings on Earth that Christ will uphold in Heaven (matt 16:??) : that I can accept; however, from my memory, there is nothing regarding confession in his writings in 1, 2, 3 Peter, etc (I am in the process of re-reading though). Are there other documents that catholics believe he wrote that I don’t know about?? And as far as memory serves, there is no mention that Peter “passed on” this power from Christ to the next pope.

I am not denying the benefits of confession or the good that comes out of it, and I have no problem going (though I haven’t yet, if I’m honest); I question it’s requirement for the forgiveness of sin.

Can someone help me find some answers or point me to someone who can?? Thank you!!!

Here is a short tract that gives Scripture and some early Church Fathers quotes. Catholic Answers website is very handy for information. catholic.com/tracts/confession

The exact biblical basis for confession is when Jesus told to Peter “whatever you tie up on earth will be tied up in heaven and whatever you untie in earth will be untied in heaven” by tying and untying Jesus is giving priests and the church the authority to forgive sins through confession. Prior to that Jesus said to peter you are peter and over this rock I will build my church, so right there he is establishing his church, then Jesus gives peter the keys of heaven and grants on his church the power to forgive by saying that whatever he forgives on earth will be forgiven in heaven.

Also, as a note I am a Spanish speaker and my bible is Spanish so I am not 100% sure if the English bible uses the words tie and untie, those are the words used in Spanish “atar” y “desatar” but not filly sure English uses those exact two words but despite that, is still that same passage of you are Peter and over this rock I will build my church and gives him the keys of heaven and gives him the power to forgive sins in earth.

One thing to point out regarding the CAF Confession tract, is that you will notice there are also quotes from the Early Church Fathers. Since you are not Catholic, you should know that the Church follows Scripture in teaching that the “Church is the pillar and foundation of truth” (James), and that we are to “hold fast to the Traditions of the apostles, whether written or spoken”. In other words, the Church does not believe that truth is ONLY found in the bible, but rather the truth is found in the Traditions of Scripture and the Apostles. So, the quotes provided include quotes from both Scripture and letters from the earliest bishops of the Church, those who were the successors of the original Apostles. It is important to NOT simply dismiss the teachings of those early bishops because their words are not in the bible. Yours in christ, God bless!

The most explicit biblical text on confession is found in Johhn 20:19-23 where it says:

[quote=John 20:19-23]19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
[/quote]

Try reading this. I hope I did this right I’ve never attached a link before. But if you go to the top of this page and click on the larg “Catholic Answers” at the top of the page you will see it.

catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-confession-in-scripture-0

:thumbsup:

=maxm2820;11855755]Hey, I should start by saying I am not a catholic. I was not raised in church, but I came to know God when I was 12. A year ago I met someone I know God wants in my life, but he is Roman Catholic and I am not. I found myself mostly in Baptist churches, although I do not consider myself a baptist, if that makes sense… Anywho, we both know that we have to consolidate our faith if this is going to work, which has been really easy to do until we started talking about the “requirements” of forgiveness. This is a pretty big issue; being that it is kinda the whole point of Christ’s death and all! :slight_smile: I have a pretty good understanding of how confession “works,” however, I do not see it anywhere in the bible that we are required (post-resurrection) to speak to a priest before our sins are forgiven. No one I have spoken to can point me in the right direction, so here I am…Can someone point me to where/how confession came about in a post-resurrection sense.

I am told that I have to accept that Peter, being the first Pope, was given power to make rulings on Earth that Christ will uphold in Heaven (matt 16:??) : that I can accept; however, from my memory, there is nothing regarding confession in his writings in 1, 2, 3 Peter, etc (I am in the process of re-reading though). Are there other documents that catholics believe he wrote that I don’t know about?? And as far as memory serves, there is no mention that Peter “passed on” this power from Christ to the next pope.

I am not denying the benefits of confession or the good that comes out of it, and I have no problem going (though I haven’t yet, if I’m honest); I question it’s requirement for the forgiveness of sin.

Can someone help me find some answers or point me to someone who can?? Thank you!!!

Well dear friend God:

1John.1 Verses 8 to 10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

1John.5 Verses 16 to 17 "If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

John.20 Verses 20 to 23" When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." [THIS MEANS WITH GODS OWN POWER AND AUTHORITY: SEE MT 10: 1-8] NOT SHOUTING; EMPHASIS ONLY :)And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them,** “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”**

Also if you look in the book of Leviticas chapters 4,5,6 you WILL find that Jesus didn’t invent the idea. It was OT practice too.

Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering." … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty."

Lev.4: 20,26, 31 “Thus shall he do with the bull; as he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. …] And all its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings; so the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin, and he shall be forgiven. …And all its fat he shall remove, as the fat is removed from the peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a pleasing odor to the LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.

Christ only completed, and perfected the practice in the New Covenant. Amen!:thumbsup:

Welcome to CAF!

I could post the actual scripture quotes, but it is far better for us to look them up, as it gets us into our bibles.

As to confession, let’s go back to the Old Testament and look in Nehemiah 9:2. There, the Israelites stood in public and confessed their sins. So, confession of sins was well established 400-500 years prior to Christ.

You have correctly pointed out Matthew 16:19, where Jesus gave Peter the power to bind and loose “whatever”, which most certainly includes sin - as that is the very reason that Christ took flesh. Jesus gave no power that did not have something to do with sin.

Later, in Matthew 18:18, He gave that same power of binding and loosing to the Apostles themselves. Page forward to Acts 5:1-11. There, you see Peter holding bound the sins of Ananias and Sapphira - the sin of lying to the Holy Spirit. Still, those two had the chance, under Peter’s questioning, to repent and be forgiven, but they maintained their lie to the end and paid with their lives.

Look at John 20:21-23. Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, thus giving them great power. Having done so, He then specifically gave the Apostles power over sin.

From 1 John 5:16-17, we know that some sins are deadly, and some are not. Some can be prayed for. How is the Apostle with power over sin supposed to forgive the sin if that sin is not confessed?

James 5:16 admonishes us to confess our sins to one another.

We see Paul writing that he was an ambassador for Christ, with a ministry of reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5:18… Take note of that word. Paul urged the Christians to be reconciled with God in 2 Corinthians 5:20. Now, these were men and women who were already believers and who had been baptized. Even after those rites of initiation, they had need to be reconciled with God. Why? Sin after their belief and baptism.

What did Paul do with those sins? He forgave them, by the power he had received from Christ. But how? Look at 2 Corinthians 2:10*. We see Paul had forgiven sins, but that he had done so in the person of Christ, or in persona Christi, exactly as Catholic and Orthodox priests have done for almost 2,000 years. Note also that Paul did not divulge the nature of those sins he forgave - evidence of the seal of the confessional, which cannot be violated.

  • For the correct translation of this verse, please see the King James Version, or the Douay-Rheims. The wording has been altered in many newer bibles, and I wonder about that.

Oh, the “reconciliation” that Paul spoke of? Confession in the Catholic Church is known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Confession. Very biblical.

There is no explicit requirement in the Bible for you to confess your sins to a priest before your sins can be forgiven nor is that even Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church teaches that even your most serious sins are forgiven apart from going to Confession to a priest the moment you manifest perfect contrition, a sorrow for sins that is motivated by love of God. However, what do you do if you cannot manifest perfect contrition or if you are unsure that you have manifested perfect contrition? Jesus wanted to help even those who cannot manifest perfect contrition and he wanted to give the unsure an assurance of his forgiveness so he gave the apostles the power to forgive sins in his name.

Even though confession of sins to a priest is not mandated in the Bible, the Bible does command us to obey our leaders and submit to them (Hebrews 13:17) and those leaders have decided that, whenever possible, we ought to confess our serious sins to a priest who has, through apostolic succession, received authority from Jesus Christ to forgive sins in his name, even the sins of those who can only manage imperfect contrition.

I think the closest thing to a Biblical mandate for the confession of sins to a priest is James 5:14-18, where the sick Christian is directed to call for the elders (priests) of the Church, that they might anoint him in the Name and pray for him…and if he has committed sins, they shall be for given him. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:30, suggests that among early Christians there was a strong correlation between sin and sickness.

So you guys are awesome! I didn’t expect such a fast and specific answer! Thank you! and thank you for all of the bible verses! So, here is another question, if I may. It’s pretty obvious that what I was taught about a priest being able to forgive sins was wrong and that it’s all over the bible!..(on a side note, how could I have missed it and misunderstood it for so long?? :slight_smile: )… but what about Peter “passing on” this powers to others? If Christ gave Peter the power to absolve sin (and much more), but what did he say about others doing it? What if it just ended with him and the other disciples?

The wonderful aspect of the Catholic Church is that she relies on all of the scriptures, and not merely a selected few verses. Not only that, but she has always had those seven books of Old Testament scripture that mostly are gone from protestant bibles. As you can see from Acts 1, Judas was replaced with Matthias, as Judas occupied an “office” that was created by Christ. As well, further in Acts (and in Paul’s letters), you see presbyters (priests) as well as Bishops being appointed to expand the fast-growing Church. The laying on of hands was how this apostolic authority was passed on. When Paul wrote his letters about reconciliation and the forgiving of sins, many of the twelve were likely already dead. So, this power had to be passed on as new Bishops and Priests were appointed.

The most reasonable answer is that if it was necessary then, why wouldn’t it be necessary today? We know from Scripture that it is not wrong in principle. Christ said of himself, even though he was human, “the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Mt. 9:6). Later, he gave the same power to the Apostles: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (Jn. 20:21). We know the Apostles appointed successors (e.g. Acts 1 or 2 Timothy 1:6), and it would be natural that they shared in the same power since they shared in the same mission.

There very thing you need to understand is apostolic succession. That is where the Church Fathers are very helpful because these are the men who, many where those successors of the Apostles, and we have so many of their writings, which comes to the surprise of many non-Catholics because protestants are often known for not being acquainted with them. Here is an excellent short tract that will help you understand apostolic succession that has some great quotes from the Church Fathers, even Clement of Rome who was a successor of the apostle Peter! catholic.com/tracts/apostolic-succession

I always thought of this growing up where one sinner repented and the other did not.

Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals hanging there abused him: ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He answered him, ‘In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’

God Bless you and welcome to this forum:)

I definitely encourage you to accept the faith of the Church! But also remind you to take your time. We certainly do not doubt that you have faith from God that will teach/encourage/strengthen your friend who God has brought you together with! I know you did not imply this, just like to express it;)

You have received lots of good answers, so I will only give you my prayer. May God bless you both to do His will and help those in need, and grow in the knowledge of what is pleasing to our Lord.

Peace
Michae

If you want a deeper understanding of confession, I would recomment this…amazon.com/Lord-Have-Mercy-Healing-Confession/dp/0385501706/ref=sr_1_1/186-3621080-8158101?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396642275&sr=1-1&keywords=lord+have+mercy+scott+hahn

=Todd977;11856544]There is no explicit requirement in the Bible for you to confess your sins to a priest before your sins can be forgiven nor is that even Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church teaches that even your most serious sins are forgiven apart from going to Confession to a priest the moment you manifest perfect contrition, a sorrow for sins that is motivated by love of God. However, what do you do if you cannot manifest perfect contrition or if you are unsure that you have manifested perfect contrition? Jesus wanted to help even those who cannot manifest perfect contrition and he wanted to give the unsure an assurance of his forgiveness so he gave the apostles the power to forgive sins in his name.

Even though confession of sins to a priest is not mandated in the Bible, the Bible does command us to obey our leaders and submit to them (Hebrews 13:17) and those leaders have decided that, whenever possible, we ought to confess our serious sins to a priest who has, through apostolic succession, received authority from Jesus Christ to forgive sins in his name, even the sins of those who can only manage imperfect contrition.

I think the closest thing to a Biblical mandate for the confession of sins to a priest is James 5:14-18, where the sick Christian is directed to call for the elders (priests) of the Church, that they might anoint him in the Name and pray for him…and if he has committed sins, they shall be for given him. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:30, suggests that among early Christians there was a strong correlation between sin and sickness.

Firstly dear friend,
I have SERIOUS reservations that you are indeed a INFORMERD Catholic. Certainly the advice you Pontificate is NOT:o

Please read in your bible, 1 John 1: 8-10; 1 Jn. 5: 16-17 & John 20:19-23

Christ telles His Apostles "WHOSE SINS YOU FORGIVE ARE FORGIVEN & AND THOSE SINS YOU DO NOT FORGIVE ARE NOT FORGIVEN.
Catholic Sacramental Confession is the Normal way Christ WILL forgive sins [AND THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW WITH CERTITUDE THAT ONES SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN]. Perfect Contrition is not a substitute or replacement for Sacramental Confession to a Catholic Priest! It is at best a bandaid approach for cases where one cannot get to a priest for Confession AND the problem with it is ONLY GOD knows if it meets HIS criteria for BEING PERFECT:shrug:

The James passage you quote is the Sacrament of the Finasl Annointing / The “Last rites”
WHICH NORMALLY INCLUDE SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION.

God Bless you, and PLEASE be careful about the advise you share.:thumbsup:

Patrick

Apostolic Succession too

maxm2820. Looks like the Confession part is well addressed.

Here is the beginnings of your “Apostolic Succession” question portion (that you posed later).

St. Paul was taught in the faith (some by Divine infusion, some by getting his questions affirmed such as the Council of Jerusalem on the Circumcision issue–see Acts 15:2).

Listen to St. Paul as he addresses St. Timothy . . . .

2nd TIMOTHY2:1-2 1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

1 generation of teaching - St. Paul was taught.
2nd generation of teaching - St. Timothy was taught.
3rd generation of teaching - St. Timothy was to pass this on to “faithful men”.
4th generation of teaching - These “faithful men” will “teach others also”.

2nd Timothy 2:2 = 4 generations of authoritative teaching discussed in one verse.

This is an example of “Apostolic Succession”.

Do these people who are “entrusted” have authority?

Fortunately the book of Hebrews intimates the answer to us.

HEBREWS 13:17 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.

God bless.

Cathoholic

Again, you all are awesome! I love the answers you all have given and thank you for keeping the from the protestant bible! I am still working on figuring this all out! At the moment I am in school (if I didn’t say that earlier) and end of semester is always hectic! I take time when I can, but the nursing program doesn’t give me all that much time! :slight_smile: It’s hard to change what has been taught to me since I was 12, but God will not leave me and will keep pushing me toward Him and his truth! Thank you again!!! I cannot tell you how much it means to me! Expect more questions after the semester ends!! :smiley:

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