Former Protestants: Do some Protestants worship the Bible as an Idol?


#1

For Ex-Protestants, have any of you encounter Protestant worship the Bible as if it were an icon worthy of Worship? :shrug:


#2

They certainly do. Fundamentalists often fall into bibliolatry. They worship the book more then the do Jesus.


#3

I’ve never seen it, but I’ve listened to some radio programs where the preacher certainly gives that impression. He’d probably be horrified, but his sermons sound like biblioidolotry


#4

I’ve never seen anything that approached Bible worship, though I was convinced that some folks - very few, fortunately - worshipped their pastors (or at least thought that their pastors had the ability to interpret scripture infallibly and were beyond questioning).


#5

No, of course not.


#6

I’ve certainly come across a few (though not many), who had a tendency to equate worship of God with worship of the bible. Mind you, I’ve come across a few Catholics who do the same with the cathechism and some who ‘worship Canon Law more than they do Jesus’.


#7

I agree that this is an “of course not” question.

However, you have to admit that many come here and say that by the way things look, Catholics worship Mary/statues because they kneel down and pray in front of them.

I know for me as a Protestant, it was common to see people kneeling, heads bowed, holding up a bible, head on the bible etc. I know they were in deep prayer to God, but the argument can be made that it appears as if they were worshipping the Bible, if people want to say we worship Mary because we kneel down in front of a statue of her.

And usually this claim is because Catholics get sick and tired of being judged by those who are not looking at our hearts but our bowed heads.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#8

Indeed - and that is rooted in what idolatry is… it is putting some thing or some body above God. For instance, the injunction in Exodus is NOT against all images… if you read the whole thing it is against images that are used in place of or above God.

Similarly - when the Bible is given the status equivalent to God - as if no person could be saved except for the Bible (which NEVER saved anyone!) - than they are placing the book above the Lord. The book itself - in all its words - never claims it is the be-all and end-all of God’ s communication with mankind (inspiration, if you will). We are clearly told, in fact, IN scripture, that we would be sent the Comforter - the Paraclete - to protect and guide us. Do we dare discount that promise? Yet placing the Bible and what it says - especially literally - as the sole arbiter does just that. The Bible itself tells us that the CHURCH - not itself - is the pillar and ground of truth. And those words were written before there ever was a Bible.

Certainly - there are folks who place the Bible above God, especially in the person of the Holy Spirit. Hence, bibliolatry does exist. To be sure.


#9

Depends. I used to. It stems from interpretation of John 1. I haven’t met anyone who did, then again, I’m only just old enough to be on here.


#10

Maybe from watching some televangelists ---- but in real life, No


#11

Well, when Protestants proclaim “My Bible says” instead of “Jesus says” I have to wonder. :hmmm:

There are people who equate the word of God, Holy Scripture, with the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ. They actually believe they are one and the same thing. I think those folks are definitely in danger of being Bible worshipers.


#12

Yes, because to many Protestants, the Bible = Jesus.

My husband and I posed the question on a Protestant forum–is the Word of God the same as Jesus?

At least half of the people said that the Bible IS Jesus, because both are the Word of God. Never mind that we tried to explain the Greek meaning of “Word” (John 1), and this was different from the Scriptures, or “Word of God.”

No, the Bible = Jesus because the Bible said it, I believe it, and that settles it.

I was taught growing up that the Bible is a living organism, not just a book. There are Bible verses that seem to support that.


#13

No. However, it was held in very high esteem.

I remember getting really upset with a kid in Sunday School one time, who deliberately threw his Bible on the floor. I felt that he was being extremely disrespectful.

I still get upset when I see Bibles with broken spines, or if there are pages falling out of them due to neglect and abuse.


#14

Do you mean “worship the Bible in a manner Catholics should consider idolatrous” or “worship the Bible in a manner that they consider idolatrous when Catholics engage in it WRT other things”?

They definitely do the latter. My first reaction was that they do not do the former. But conceivably they do. I suppose that many fundamentalists basically hold to the same view of the Bible that traditional Muslims have of the Qur’an–that it is an uncreated expression of God. Would you consider that idolatrous by Catholic standards? I’m not 100% sure where I stand on that myself, but I’m inclined to think that even if it’s excessive, it is not idolatrous.

If you are talking about the Bible as a physical object, then obviously there is nothing wrong with venerating it–Catholics do that!

Edwin


#15

I think Catholics see Evangelical Christians as “worshipping” their bibles the way Evangelicals see Catholics as “worshipping” Mary.

Tear a bible in half and the Evangelical winces in pain, because he places admiration and respect upon the Written Word of God.

Break a statue of Mary and a Catholic winces in pain, because he places admiration and respect upon the Mother of God.

If we as Catholics do not appreciate being mislabeled by Evangelical’s in our devotions and the respecting the holy Saints of The Church, then we as Catholics should be the first to stand up and recognize the profound respect that our Evangelical brothers have for the Written Word and praise them for it, not falsely accuse them of idolizing Sacred Scripture.


#16

In a word–no.

However, Protestants, particularly Evangelicals, act as though Jesus lived taught, died and was raised in the pages of a book rather than in the real world. They tend to get hung up on the words on the page, and lose sight of the message. They tend to forget that Jesus left us a living breathing Church, run by living breathing people rather than a book. In other words for them Jesus lived in the Bible rather than in the actual world. All we need to know about Jesus is in the words written on the page. We can ignore the living experience, and living memory, of the real live flesh and blood person of Jesus as preserved by the Church.

But do they worship the Bible as an idol? No.


#17

Indeed, if the conclusions you have reached with regard to protestants, that they place the Bible above Jesus, were true, then they would be guilt of the grossest forms of bibliolatry. And while I think some come perilously close to this, I don’t really think it is true any more than that Catholics worship Mary and place her above Jesus.


#18

I think it’s certainly true that no Protestant church would ever teach its members to put the Bible ahead of Jesus Himself; however I have seen some individual Protestants do this.

Here on this very Forum, a Protestant said something to the effect that it didn’t matter what Jesus said in Aramaic; the Greek could be translated as something else; therefore the something else (which Jesus could not have said in Aramaic, since it was linguistically impossible) was true, and whatever Jesus had actually said was an interesting bit of historical trivia (or words to that effect) but not relevant, *because the Bible says … * :stuck_out_tongue:

I also saw a documentary on Discovery TV where the commentator said something to the effect that when the Bible was put into English, “the word became flesh, and dwelt among us,” meaning that the Bible came to be with the English-speaking people, and implying rather strongly that this caused the English-speaking peoples to become the chosen of God. :rolleyes:


#19

I would imagine that the point that this person was trying to make is that most of the New Testament was inspired by God to be written in Greek. Thus, the inspired meaning is to be taken from the Greek words, not the Aramaic words, except in those few instances where the Aramaic itself was preserved in the Greek translation. Nothing strange there.


#20

It’s hard to say.

Some definitely come close.


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