Do Protestants have a higher view of the Scriptures than Catholics?

Do Protestants have a higher view of Scripture than Catholics. And do Catholics have a higher view of the church than Protestants?

No and yes if by ‘higher’ you mean fuller, more complete, and more knowledgable and are speaking of the ‘abstract’ and/or perfect Catholic/ Protestant. Obviously there are given Protestants out there who are more knowledgable about Scripture or even the Church than some Catholics, and vice versa.

Now, if you mean that Protestants put more ‘weight’ onto the Scripture than onto the Church, again, no and yes. Not all Protestants are Sola Scriptura, and of the ones who are, their definition of Church is usually (not always) the ‘invisible’ one and they hold it to a high standard.

Now, if you mean do some Protestants think they know more about Scripture than Catholics, and this makes them ‘better’ Christians. . .yes.
And if you mean some Catholics think that because they are part of the Church that they are better Christians than Protestants. . .yes.

But of course, some Protestants think they know more Scripture than Catholics but still think Catholics are ‘equal’ Christians.
And some Catholics think that because they are part of the Catholic Church that they are glad, but that Protestants are just as much Christians and individual Protestants are as Christian or more so than individual Catholics.

So. . .what was the question again?

Are we taking individuals or official statements/creeds?
Officially, depends on which Protestant group.
Next question, in general yes I believe so.
The answer before me is better.

Higher or lower? :shrug:

They are at least different views for the most part. It is tough to answer though because Protestantism is so broad containing numerous traditions. For instance I would say that how a high-Church Anglican would view the Church and how a Southern Baptist views the Church is different. Likewise the same with Scripture with these two examples.

Generalizing Protestantism is never easy :wink:

God bless you

Catholics, historic Protestants, and Orthodox Christians believe the Bible to be the Word of God. Do Protestants have a higher view of the Scriptures than Catholics. And do Catholics have a higher view of the Church than Protestants? It’s an authority issue, correct?

Generalizing Protestantism is never easy!!! However, you cannot throw out the baby with the bath water. In defining Protestantism, I am sticking to the central issues of the Protestant Reformation, especially in regards to the principle and understanding of sola scriptura. And of course there were disagreements with the Reformers, since the Bible is the Word of God, and we all know in part. I think modern day Protestantism needs to recover a higher view of the church, but not as high as Catholic view of the church.

The historic creeds were before the great schism and the Reformation. The Reformation confessions were based on Scripture alone. Modern day Protestantism needs to be more creedal and confessional as defined within the Scirptures.

Just for clarity’s sake If you want to stick to Reformation thought and Sola Scriptura we should make sure that we all read the same thing when we see Sola Scriptura. This article is pretty accurate in how I see the Reformation doctrine of Sola Scriptura was believed.

The modern Solo Scriptura which has sprung up in American Evangelicism was not the Sola Scriptura of the Reformation.

Now to your question. There are a lot of ways that this can be answered. Here is one possibility which may not have occurred to anyone. If Catholics are correct in their understanding of Scripture and Protestants are wrong, who is holding a higher view? Catholics who believe Scripture is exactly what it is, or Protestants who attribute things to them that they don’t teach? Likewise with the Church. If Protestants are correct in their understanding of the Church, who has the higher view of Church? The person with an incorrect view or the person with the correct view?

God bless you

no I don’t think Protestants have a higher view of Scriptures…the difference is that they interpret it themselves, and Catholics look to the Church for interpretation.

Interpretation is everything. Maybe we have to ask ourselves in how God the Holy Spirit illuminates the Scriptures, through the Catholic Church authoritatively or to chosen individuals outside the Catholic Church. BTW… Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox share many of the core doctrines found in the Scirptures and share the historic creeds as one.

Here is what Vatican II said about Protestants and Scripture (UR 21):

  1. A love and reverence of Sacred Scripture which might be described as devotion, leads our brethren to a constant meditative study of the sacred text. For the Gospel “is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and then to the Greek”.(39)

While invoking the Holy Spirit, they seek in these very Scriptures God as it were speaking to them in Christ, Whom the prophets foretold, Who is the Word of God made flesh for us. They contemplate in the Scriptures the life of Christ and what the Divine Master taught and did for our salvation, especially the mysteries of His death and resurrection.

Ultimately, life is found in the person of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures is revelation about the person and work of Christ… to the glory of God. When Jesus made this statement, He was referring to the Old Testament which is very interesting. The OT points to Jesus Christ. Protestants don’t worship the Scriptures, but rather we worship the One whom the Scriptures testify to. The gospel as referred to above is the good news of God about His Son, Jesus Christ… the 2nd person of the godhead.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,John 5:39

well they share the creeds cause these churches came out of the Catholic Church


what I believe, is that the Holy Spirit leads the entire Church, and so leads the Catholic Church authoritatively…(we are meant to submit to the Church, not be each on our own…Christ prayed that we would all be one). However, the Holy Spirit also brings the individual Christians to believe in this truth He gave to the Church :slight_smile: He speaks to our hearts so that we might believe. But He leads the Church regarding doctrine.

I believe we have so much in common, more than both Christian communities want to really admit. Granted, both communities have their liberal circles which can border heresy, or at least unorthodoxy. But when we discuss Orthodoxy within our Chrisitan communities, we have so much in common. The major single issue which divides Catholics and historic Protestants is the doctrine of justification which is defined by our mutually exculisve source of final authority. Do you see it the same way?

“if ever there were a safe truth, it is this: no higher view of Scripture and its authority exists in all of Protestantism than that which is to be found in the Catholic Church. It was never the lack of a sufficiently high view of Scirpture that produced the ‘necessity’ of the Reformation. This can be amply shown from the Catholilc Church’s (1) official teaching, (2) history of Bible translation, (3) practice of Bible-readiing at mass, (4) uncompromising Biblical interpretation, and (5) sttrict adherence to the Bible’s moral teachings” (Phillip Blosser, Not By Faith Alone, ed. Robert Sungenis, p. 37-38).

If one means “knowledgeable” in the sense that someone some can recite Keats or quote a Stephen King novel then fine. However, faulty hermeneutics calls into question just what a “higher view” means. Sola Scriptura has diluted the exegetical clarity established by the historical interpretation of the Church.

It can hardly be said that a Calvinist and an Arminian are holding “higher views” as engage in a theological smackdown.

Maybe Protestants simply have a higher view of Scripture since it is sufficient and complete revelation for the Protestant. I never could understand how the Catholic Church can have a growing ongoing source of revelation in sacred tradition and not consider new sacred tradition being new revelation from above. How can the Magisterium add to the Faith that was once for all delivered to the Saints as revealed in Scripture? It is a self-serving position to make a claim that the Church cannot error, or is protected from error in the areas that is claimed that it cannot error.

Are you saying Catholic Bishops and Catholic Theologians don’t disagree on passages of Scriptures and interpertation? I’m sure there is a wide range of allowable views on the doctrine of predestination and many other areas in Scripture. Heck, Augustine is still considered a Catholic Saint, and many Catholics today do not believe like Augustine in the areas of predestination and his view of free will.

I would say definitely, at least in the case of evangelical Protestants, yes on both.

I have met quite a few on here that actually make an idol out of the Scripture, and believe and confess that the Holy Writings are identical to Jesus Himself.

Catholics consider that the revelation of God to the Church exists in two equal strands, Sacred Writing and Sacred Tradition. For that reason, we are accused by Evangelicals of giving too much veneration to the Church.

Now that’s a good and honest post. For those who can make Scripture an idol of the heart, check this verse out. Jesus is referring to the Old Testment pointing to Himself too since the NT was not written yet.

John 5:39
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me

Protestants defintely need to understand what Jesus stated above and need a much higher view of the church.

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