"Duty" to read scripture?


#1

Protestant Dr R C Sproul 1977 “Knowing Scripture” asserts that on the basis of Dt 6:4ff there is a duty to read scripture.

I think I agree with him that every Christian has an obligation to read the Bible, end to end.

To me, it’s simply a matter that each person ought to know what’s in the Bible.

Some branch of Judaism says that each Jew should personally write out a copy of the Torah, once in their lifetime, OR pay someone to do it. – by comparison.


#2

In a sense, we Catholics do ‘read’ the Bible end-to-end, every three years with the cycle of Scripture readings at Mass.


#3

R. C. Who?

What about the 400 years of early Church - no bible!

What about the first 1400 years - only scarce, laboriously hand-copied volumes in Churches?

What about the illiterate?

How are they to read a bible cover to cover?

What if they cannot afford a bible?

EDIT: Having said that, we are in a different age.

Saint Jerome famously states that “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

Thus, the scriptures all reflect on our Savior. But, the New Testament is primary, and that is what Catholics hear at each mass and what they focus on. However, the “New Testament” was instituted by Christ in the upper room. Those are the words He used to denote the Holy Eucharist. This can be seen in the older English language bibles:

Matthew 26:27-28
Knox “Then he took a cup, and offered thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink, all of you, of this; for this is my blood, of the new testament, shed for many, to the remission of sins.”

Douay-Rheims
“And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.”

King James Version
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

That “new Testament” - the Holy Eucharist, is the source and summit of the Catholic faith, above and beyond the scriptures.

All scripture (73 books) is inspired, therefore we are called to read, and we should love reading, as it is part of our love of - our relationship with - God.

p.s. Jesus never taught bible anything. He said, “He who hears you hears Me” Luke 7:16 As to R. C., if scripture is all that you have, it makes sense to be devoted solely to it, even though that is not biblical.


#4

Sadly, nothing like the whole Bible. Someone attending Mass every day – Sundays and weekdays – over the whole three-year Lectionary cycle will hear readings that add up to almost three-quarters of the New Testament, but only about one-seventh (13.5 percent) of the Old Testament (not counting the Psalms). Fr. Felix Just has helpfully compiled the statistics, book by book:
http://catholic-resources.org/Lectionary/Statistics.htm


#5

It’s easy for people to be misead into believing the whole Bible is read in a three year cycle considering knowledgeable authorities, both ordained and lay, repeat the claim in writing and speaking. I’m not sure why this is? Even before I researched it I was skeptical, especially concerning the OT. Some of those books are rarely referenced in the mass readings.


#6


#7

I’d hesitate to use the word “knowledgeable” to describe people making such a gross factual error. It’s more likely, surely, that they just somehow assume that is the case, without bothering to check the facts.


#8

I’d rather promote reading biographies of saints, meditation books, homilies by saints and great priests etc., and, at the same time, leave the Bible to experts.


#9

Not true, not even close…


#10

I think one of our duties -
Is to remember scripture -
so as to apply it !

Dr. R . C Seagull :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

right. I’m reading through Kings, Samuel, and Chronicles and there’s a lot of tedious stuff in there that would never be read at Mass. The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles is like all geneology. We’d never get through somebody stammering out all those Hebrew names.


#12

The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the “excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). “For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”(St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, Prol.: PL 24,17. cf. Benedict XV, encyclical “Spiritus Paraclitus:” EB 475-480; Pius XII, encyclical “Divino Afflante Spiritu:” EB 544.) Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for “we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.” (St. Ambrose, On the Duties of Ministers I, 20,88: PL l6,50)

From Dei verbum: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, promulgated by Paul VI, Nov 18, 1965)
Chapter 6: Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church

We’re earnestly and especially urged, so I’d say the faithful are remiss if they don’t even try to read divine Scriptures as their state in life and other capacities allow.


#13

The two books of Chronicles are, in fact—as you can see from Fr. Just’s table—among the least read in the whole Bible. The two books together add up to over 1,700 verses. Just seventeen verses from 2 Chronicles are included in the Lectionary readings, and not a single verse from 1 Chronicles.


#14

It is important to read and study the Scriptures but we must remember that the Bible was not intended to be put in a hotel drawer for someone to have a come to Jesus moment. It’s intended to be read during the Liturgy.

ZP


#15

We can engage in lectio divina outside the context of the liturgy because we own more than one text per congregation. In the earlier times, people had commit what was said to memory and reflect on it later!

That is why Dei verbum said:
Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for “we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.” (St. Ambrose, On the Duties of Ministers I, 20,88: PL l6,50)


#16

I really don’t understand why so many Catholics (generalization folks) seem to react so negatively to the idea of reading scripture. Reading scripture is not a protestant thing and in no way is anything but good. I see it as a misunderstanding between Catholics/Protestants on what their faith really teaches. Thankfully, we have the CCC as a explanation of what the Bible truly says. Augustine was told to “take it and read!”


#17

I know.

I say this in a general, non-accusatory way…but sometimes it seems that in the way that Protestants are unwilling to show too much reverence for Mary, many Catholics are hesitant to show too much devotion towards the Bible.

Both (Mary and the Word) are needed and necessary in our daily lives, along with Christ. And not just in the liturgy, but in our private devotions.

Just my $0.02.


#18

Yes, it goes both way. I was guilty of being so prideful that I was Baptist and not Catholic. Talk about a transformation!


#19

Yep! Pride definitely swims both ways on the Tiber River. We’re all guilty of that.

I am so glad our Jesus has mercy and forgiveness deep and wide enough to handle the things we come up with. What a mule-headed people we are. :woman_facepalming:


#20

We should read scripture for one primary reason: love of God.


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