If every Bible in the world was destroyed, where would you turn?

This thread is a spin-off, of sorts, from another thread concerning the “Bible Alone” as the final authority in matters of Christian faith.

It occurs to me that the Catholic Church possessed the fullness of truth before a word of the New Testament had been written and for 400 years before it had a canonized collection of inspired writings. It follows then that the Scriptures were not the source of the faith of the Church but rather a reflection of the faith it already possessed. So I contend that the Catholic Church would continue to possess the fullness of truth even if every Bible in the world was destroyed.

For our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters who rely on the Bible as their sole authority, what would you do if that sole authority were to disappear from the face of the earth? Where would you turn?

Thanks.

Steve

Did you ever see the movie, “The Book of Eli?”

I would hope that if all the written or digital copies of Scripture disappeared, there would be a lone savant somewhere that had it memorized :slight_smile:

Seriously, I would trust the Holy Spirit to work this out.

My response would be that the Holy Spirit has already worked it out in that the lone servant who has it memorized is the Catholic Church who produced it to begin with.

And, while you were trusting the Holy Spirit to work it out, where would you turn in the meantime when disputes about your beliefs arise?

There would still be our Catechism and the Book of Concord. And of course your Catechism, too. Since heaven and earth will pass away before God’s word does, I think it might be a moot point.

Memorize a few verses that are really important to you.

They will stay in your heart and give you strength.

The more you memorize, the better.

:slight_smile:

Seek out the copies of the individual manuscripts that compose the Bible. :cool:

The fullness of Truth is a Person: Jesus Christ. He is Truth personified. Now He is the Word of God, the Bible is the word of God. Given your very unlikely scenario I’d immediately sit and write as much as I could remember. I would imagine every single Christian would do the same and we’d hopefully all compare notes with the Jewish scholars as well, and try to reconstruct it the best we could. Also, as others have said, we have hymns, prayers, other books that contain a large amount of scripture.

However, I’m quite capable of sharing the gospel without a physical copy of the Bible. I’d guess you are too?

The point is, if one holds the Bible as their sole authority in matters of faith, they would have no recourse to that authority if the Bible was no longer around. Obviously this is a hypothetical situation I have created in order to make a point. I am trying to draw a distinction between the Catholic Church, who possessed the fullness of truth before the New Testament was even written, and therefore is not dependent upon it for that truth, with those who hold the Bible as their sole authority.

For every bible to be destroyed I assume that every thing that quotes the bible would also have to be destroyed so that the bible could not be rewritten from the quotations. In which case tradition is still preserved but not as well. I would turn to God for authority. No turning necessary I am already looking at Him.

Good thing this is a scenario we’ll never have to worry about!

But Tradition is not dependent upon the Bible. The Bible is dependent upon the Tradition from whence it came. This is my whole point. The Church did not acquire new Truth after the Bible had been canonized, it already had it. Those who depend on the Bible as their sole source of truth are missing this essential feature of Christ’s Church; Sacred Tradition.

Just for clarification; God is the Authority, not the Bible. The Bible is God’s word. Because it is God’s word, “(it) is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Agreed. No one is disputing the value of Sacred Scripture. So where would you turn if you didn’t have a Bible? I would turn to my Church. What would you do?

I already answered that.

Seek out the copies of the individual manuscripts that compose the Bible.

The fullness of Truth is a Person: Jesus Christ. He is Truth personified. Now He is the Word of God, the Bible is the word of God. Given your very unlikely scenario I’d immediately sit and write as much as I could remember. I would imagine every single Christian would do the same and we’d hopefully all compare notes with the Jewish scholars as well, and try to reconstruct it the best we could. Also, as others have said, we have hymns, prayers, other books that contain a large amount of scripture.

However, I’m quite capable of sharing the gospel without a physical copy of the Bible. I’d guess you are too?

=SteveVH;11490570]This thread is a spin-off, of sorts, from another thread concerning the “Bible Alone” as the final authority in matters of Christian faith.

It occurs to me that the Catholic Church possessed the fullness of truth before a word of the New Testament had been written and for 400 years before it had a canonized collection of inspired writings. It follows then that the Scriptures were not the source of the faith of the Church but rather a reflection of the faith it already possessed. So I contend that the Catholic Church would continue to possess the fullness of truth even if every Bible in the world was destroyed.

They may have had it, Steve, but they still had to have councils to know what they had.
Which answers the question…

For our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters who rely on the Bible as their sole authority, what would you do if that sole authority were to disappear from the face of the earth? Where would you turn?

As Lutherans , we have the writings of the early Church - the creeds, councils and ECF’s - and as Stilldreamn mentioned, the confessional documents of the Lutheran communion.

Jon

I might run with this. If we no longer have the word, we could still have the sacraments. Hence:

1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

John 20:22-23 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Matthew 26: 26-28 26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Jon

That’s like asking: “If God were destroyed by Satan, would you still follow Him?”

No, I wouldn’t. I serve God because He is God.

If God were to allow the Bible to be completely destroyed, then I wouldn’t worry about following it still. Just like I’m sure many Catholics wouldn’t keep trying to follow the authority of the Catholic Church if evidence proved that God has rejected and abandoned it’s leadership.

Instead, it is by faith that you follow the Catholic Church, despite all of the accusations against it. By faith Evangelical Christians follow the Bible, despite all the historical evidence scholars come up with to disprove it. A big part of that faith is built upon the history of the Bible, and how it has withstood the test of time. Take away that particular evidence of faith, and many would look for other ways to connect with God.

By dependant do you mean that the church copied manuscripts. If by dependant you mean they were preserved by the church I agree.

If you turned around you’d see me in the pew behind you.
:slight_smile:

Not really. Your answer is that you would reconstruct the Bible. I actually hate hypothetical scenarios, and am questioning my wisdom in using this one try to make my argument. Obviously, if the Bible disappeared, that would imply the early manuscripts as well.

My point is really that the truth which was handed down by the Apostles is taught and brought forward through the centuries by a living Church. For the first four centuries the Church did this without a canonized Bible. This truth was handed down orally, with divine protection promised by Christ, and found in the Church’s liturgies and creeds, in its acts of charity and every aspect of its life. The Church did what the Apostles did and said what the Apostles said and taught what the Apostles taught. And this has continued, uninterrupted, until today. Our holy Book, the Bible, is only that part of this Sacred Tradition that has been committed to writing and its purpose was for use in our liturgy. It was never meant as the source of our faith.

Very few, if any of us stumbled upon a Bible one day and said “Halleluiah, I’ve found the truth!”. We receive our faith from those before us. Sadly, many non-Catholic Christians are now so far removed from the early Church that liturgy and sacraments are meaningless terms to them. They have the Bible, and that is pretty much all they have. That, and their own private judgment as to the meaning therein. They are separated from the truth that lies within the Church itself; the reality and beauty of meeting Christ in the sacraments; the profound meaning behind every gesture in the liturgy. The words of the Gospel permeated the life of the Church before they were even written.

My point is that there is a living authority and authentic interpreter of Scripture and it is the one who proclaimed it to be Scripture to begin with. It had the truth before we had the Scriptures.

Those who hold the Bible as the sole authority in reality are holding themselves as the sole authority and authentic interpreter of Scripture. Thus my question. What would you do without a Bible?

:stuck_out_tongue: So do I.

BTW, I know that those of you from the RC faith get sick of us saying this, but the whole idea that we deny an oral teaching of the gospel isn’t what any protestant that I know believes. We do, however, affirm that because we have actual written records we are capable of comparing teaching to what was written.

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