Interfaith scripture study, should Catholics participate?

That’s unbelievable! Are you sure it was specifically because you are Catholic, rather than a coincidence? I vaguely remember reading a story from someone, I think, here on CAF. He/she said he was carrying a bible and a smiling woman stopped and asked if it was the “King James Bible.” He said it was Douay Rheims, and the woman replied, “You’re going to hell!” and stalked off. It takes all kinds. :shrug:

Ah, Christian charity. :slight_smile:

Seriously though- it’s not from lack of faith that I would avoid an interfaith Bible study, and I suppose if no other Bible study was available I might consider it, but in my experience protestants can be rather abrasive when it comes to Catholicism. I want to read the Word of God, not defend my faith to people with good intentions but wrong beliefs.

I had never heard of the DR until I became Catholic. I am surprised the woman knrw the DR was a Catholic Bible. I don’t think most Christian stores even carry Catholic Bibles.

Well, I think SDA’s are definitely Christian, but we don’t have to argue about that. The resource is pretty clearly Trinitarian.

What I’m trying to understand is why Catholics would need this resource? I can’t come up with a good reason…can someone else?

Perhaps it offers insights into the Bible?

Aren’t Catholics supposed to be open to truth no matter where it comes from? Didn’t St. Justin Martyr say, of heathens, that whatever they have well said “belongs to us”? Wasn’t the Donatist Tychonius one of the major influences on St. Augustine’s Biblical interpretation?

In recent times, isn’t it quite clear that Protestant Biblical scholarship has been of immense value for Catholics? N. T. Wright is appropriated by Catholics all the time. (I first heard of him, in fact, from Tim Gray, a very devout Catholic and Scott Hahn student, who wanted to do his Ph.D. with Wright, though he never actually did.) Robert Barron’s Catholicism uses Wright’s interpretation of Jesus as its starting point.

Why not just judge everything by its merits?


This is a pretty irrelevant, “trollish” sort of comment. But in case your mind and heart are just a little bit open:

can you explain how the gifts of the Spirit are incompatible with the Sacraments? Are you aware that Catholic theologians write about the gifts of the Spirit all the time?


I find it quite fascinating to see how different faith traditions interpret the Scriptures, especially, for instance, when I go to Jewish sources or services. The ‘Drash’ or teaching on the texts often presents a new lens for me to understand Scripture.

On the other hand, I have heard sermons in churches that are presenting background on texts that are not accurate at all and it makes me wonder where preachers did their studies. Or where they are finding misinformation.

That being said, I generally enjoy hearing different interpretations. I wish Christianity had the tradition where we said, ‘Well according to the House of Hillel, one can interpret the text THIS way. But according to the House of Shammai, one would interpret the text THAT way.’ It’s good to see two sides (or more) without worrying about who’s right and who’s wrong.

But in the end, it’s all about how we choose to interpret those texts.

Actually, medieval Christian interpreters are often more indeterminate than modern ones, especially Protestants. At least when dealing with the “spiritual” interpretation of Scripture.


“By virtue of their valid baptism, and their belief in Christ’s divinity and in the doctrine of the Trinity, Seventh-day Adventists are both ontologically and theologically Christians.”

Unfortunately these people don’t want to hear anything we have to say

I once took part in an SDA Bible study. Prior to my participation I had no intention of converting to SDA. And neither did I following the Bible study have any interest in becoming SDA. And I’m not even a faithful Catholic who is secure in the Catholic faith.

But it nevertheless was of value to me in better understanding the faith of an SDA friend I had at the time.

So I honestly don’t see the faithful Catholic’s fear in participating. Faithful Catholics profess to hold the one and only true faith of Christ and seem quite secure and certain of their faith. So if you believe that and are that secure, the worst that could come out of it would be a better understanding of others with whom in the real world, unless one lives in a vacuum, we walk outside our own personal cocoons among each day.

Maybe it helped you understand the SDA faith better, but obviously it did not help strengthen or form your Catholic faith.

I see inquiry as a positive thing. And I don’t recall Sy Noe saying it did NOT strengthen or form his Catholic faith. Perhaps it’s implied, though.

I know very little about it, so I don’t know. But generally speaking, I’ve seen quite a lot of Catholic-Protestant discussion on the Internet, and … well let’s just say that I’m not gung-ho for even more of it.

Open question: Why do so many readers prefer a public Internet discussion forum over e.g. official dialogue statements available on

Because Sy Noe identifies as a non-practicing Roman Catholic so perhaps attending Catholic Bible studies might have been beneficial to strengthening Sy’s Catholic faith as well as helping to bond with other Catholics. Yes inquiry is a good thing. I attended a Bible prophecy seminar once not knowing it was put on by 7th Day Adventists. You can imagine my shock when the topic turned from prophecy to spewing hatred toward the Catholic Church and the Pope.
in our country we have the right to freedom of religion or no religion at all. Catholics do not follow mainline Protestant thinking so attending a Protestant Bible study might not help us to be more knowledgable about Catholicism. Hope I have made myself a little clearer.

Since I don’t want this to turn into a discussion about me, I’ll only say that is how the CC identifies me and it’s not exactly like I’ve been secluded from Catholics.

Sorry about my role in that Sy Noe.

What do you actually know about “these people”?

Protestants come in many different flavors. Don’t assume that all Protestants are like certain fundamentalists with whom you may have had bad experiences.

Many Protestant organizations invite Catholic speakers (both the graduate Intervarsity group I was part of in grad school and the college I worked for in Indiana for seven years did this). They wouldn’t do that if they weren’t interested in what Catholics had to say.


Oh no worries, ComplineSanFran. I actually was the one who said I participated in a Bible study and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been discussed. :slight_smile:

I was not trying to be uncharitable Sy Noe. I mean people can attend Mormon Bible studies, Jehovah Witness Bible studies, Torah studies. We do have free will. But the OP posed a question and I just tried answering as honestly as I could.

Oh I know 7 Sorrows. I’m not sure if your own personal journey in faith that you have shared on CAF threads has anything to do with it or not. I suspect maybe so. But nevertheless I actually find you one of the more charitable Catholics with whom I’ve encountered here. All’s fine. :thumbsup:

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