I was speaking with another Catholic friend of mine about editions of the Bible, and he asked about several Protestant translations. I responded by saying that they were not approved by the Catholic Church, and that he should stick to one that was (with the Douay-Rheims and Knox translations as two of several examples). Here was his response:
“We are the Church, we are to do anything that improves our relationship with Jesus Christ, other faiths are Apostolic as well (Vatican II), and personally now, I think Evangelicals have more truth than Catholics because they’re all about the Word instead of being slowed down with misunderstanding the Sacraments.”
How do I effectively respond to this? Thank you!
P.S If this is not under the right category, my apologies!
How can other faiths be apostolic, when did Calvin and Luther and others become apostles? How can they know more truth when their bible is 7 books lighter? How come the founders of these “evangelical” and other Christian communities are still in their graves, while the founder of the Catholic faith tomd is empty? Your friend makes a lot of suppositions it’s up to him to prove it.
The Church doesn’t misunderstand the Sacraments, the Church dispenses the sacraments to those who wish to seek a greater relationship with the Lord.
Ask him which “all about the Word” church he’d like to attend. Would he like to be part of a church that baptizes infants or not? Because there are those who both “find” their answers in the Bible. What about communion? Symbolic or Real Presence? Again, both out there, both “reasoned” from the Bible. Sounds to me like someone’s having his ears tickled and is not relying on the Truth that can be found within the True Church.
If your friend is open to honest discussion on these matters perhaps this is a great opportunity for sum apologetics.
Age with him to sit down and discuss one issue at a time to be agreed in advance and giving both of you time to study that topic.
A first roc would be the Canon of Scripture and the authority of the Church to establish it. Similarly the authority or lack there of for Luther or the British parliament to remove sections dayroom a Canon of Scripture that had been established 1000 years earlier.
My understanding of the churches teaching is that there is no 1 translation that had total authority.
There are many translations which have the approval of the Church but that approval is controversial in many cases.
Honest translation is first and foremost an academic exercise. Where translators avoid deliberately putting their own bias onto the translation we get the best translations.
Similarly the source texts used will also affect the quality of translation.
Within that the usefulness of a Catholic Bible lies in the clarity of the Cannon with no canonical books lated among"Apocrypha"
Another advantage of Bibles with an imprimatur is that you don’t get Bibles that deliberately change the text to distort Bible readings that disagree with the dogma of the group doing the translation such as Jn1:1 in the New World Translation which is distorted to deny the divinity of Christ.
If you add a commentary into your Bible the situation changes dramatically. A commentary by nature will always be based on a specific theological source. A Catholic should always stay with a respected Catholic commentary. The controversies around those are myriad
Thank you all so far; I did respond to him with the following:
“The Protestants do not have Apostolic Succession: they were founded by heretics who rejected the Church and therefore separated themselves from the Body of Christ.
If you consult Scripture you will also see that Jesus gave the power to his Apostles to be the Shepherds of the Church on Earth, the chief among whom was Peter. He gave them the power of binding and loosing on Earth as well as in Heaven.”
I’m protestant. The problem I would have is the translations you mention, flat out “lean on bias” in key situations. Adds a few words here or there. Nothing earth shattering, but enough to give flavor to some points that aren’t in the texts.
And personally, I have issues with verses that mysteriously appear, 1400 years after the fact, when the church fathers, and the older texts we have on record didn’t have them. The Church fathers would have truly quoted some of those awesome “trinity” verses if they had had them in their translations.
I see nothing of concern with “your” translations to shake the world, but if someone wants to dig into the study more, in some places it’s working against the grain.
NASB is well respected as the best word for word translation. Even Catholic scholars admit to that. (Some if not all…) I can’t imagine seeing the harm in reading that one.
Your P.O.V. as RCC would be… it’s the Church’s responsibility to interpret the Word. There are those gifted and appointed by God to teach the rest of us. Eph 4:11-17. We are to learn more through works of service OR APPLICATION of the Word, than from study of the word.
Trust the church to lead you, and trust the GOD to reveal to you and verify the Church. Which you’d want to reword that last bit I’m sure.
The Church has worded the Bible how they feel the casual reader needs to read it to get the message. AND nothing they have “tweaked” makes anything a lie, so, what is your friend’s problem?
If your friend has read the New Testament, especially any of the New Testament epistles, he should know that they are not a catechism, a compendium of all the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith written for an uninformed audience. Rather, it was written for a particular audience, for Christians who had already received instruction in what the author of Hebrews (Heb 6:1) calls “the elementary doctrines of Christ.” It should not be too hard for him to see that without a “foundation” in the elementary doctrines of Christ, a person cannot interpret the New Testament properly.
I would propose to your friend that only the Catholic Church teaches all those elementary doctrines of Christ. Consequently, only in the Catholic Church can the proper interpretation of the New Testament be found.
In addition, only through the Catholic Church can we know what books and parts of books belong in the Bible and only through the Catholic Church can those books be properly translated into modern languages. Evangelicals may be enthusiastic but they lack the “foundation” to do any of those things properly.