Is the Bible insufficient?


#1

Hi All
I read in someones reply to a post that tradition fill’s in where the Bible is void. Does the Catholic church feel that the Bible is insufficient or has voids in it’s writings? Thanks for you input.
jsussvsus.


#2

[quote=jsussvsus]Hi All
I read in someones reply to a post that tradition fill’s in where the Bible is void. Does the Catholic church feel that the Bible is insufficient or has voids in it’s writings? Thanks for you input.
jsussvsus.
[/quote]

I wouldn’t say the Bible is “insufficient”, for it is sufficient for exactly the purpose which the Lord had in mind when inspiring it - that is, to nourish, teach, encourage, and communicate Truth to His Church. I’d also say the Bible was never meant to interpreted apart from the Church He founded, apart from Apostolic Tradition. That can lead to all sorts of problems - people can justify anything under the sun by twisting and distorting God’s word.

That doesn’t mean the bible has “voids” exactly, it means that if one is reading the Bible in some sort of vacuum - apart from the light of Apostolic Tradition, He isn’t reading it right, and is mighty apt to misinterpret it.

Nope - the Bible is sufficient for exactly the Lord’s purpose, which doesn’t include being “sola” (alone) in any way, shape, or form.

Here’s a link to the Church’s Catechism discussing how the Church views Sacred Scripture: ARTICLE 3, SACRED SCRIPTURE

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#3

Well ,cloning and stem cell research for instance:ehh: Where is that in the Bible???THe Apostles and the succesors put the Bible into canon and Jesus gave them the Authority and the protection(especially the Petrine Charism)to rightly interperate scripture as well as bind and loose.Cloning,embryonic stem cell,and the like have been condemned by the magesterium(rightly)yet scriptures are silent.


#4

But what about modern day prophets? How can everything humans have written, done, and learned after the bible was canonized be completely disregarded? Why is it that humans are no longer inspired by God? Or at least they are not recognized by the church to be so inspired.


#5

[quote=tem2]But what about modern day prophets? How can everything humans have written, done, and learned after the bible was canonized be completely disregarded? Why is it that humans are no longer inspired by God? Or at least they are not recognized by the church to be so inspired.
[/quote]

CHRIST IS THE SOURCE OF THE CHURCH’S AUTHORITY

“In response to the question who speaks for the Church, the *Catechism of the Catholic Church *devotes a large section entitled ‘The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church’ (sec 874). It tells us that Christ himself is the source of the Church’s authority.” (Wuerl p 102)

The duties of the bishops are “teaching, sanctifying and governing. In each of these areas, the bishop in the local church or diocese, together with the Pope for the whole universal Church, speaks for the Church.” (Wuerl p 102)

"In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility (sec 889). Christ chose men as apostles whom he would anoint in the Holy Spirit and guide as they taught and led his Church. They in turn chose successors through the laying on of hands and the imparting of the Spirit to continue this work. It is the Spirit, poured out in the Sacrament of holy orders, who is the ultimate source of the bishops’ fidelity to the truth." (Wuerl p 102)

This is to say that the bishops and the Bishop of Rome (Pope) are the only ones who have authority and can maintain fidelity to truth. No one else can claim to have authority from the Holy Spirit. This is the way Christ set up authority in His Church. The death of the last Apostle ended the time of new public revelation.

T****he whole point of the second epistle of Peter is to stress the divine teaching authority of the apostles. Peter is a long argument against false teachers, whom Peter compares to false prophets (2 Pet. 2:1)*. In the Old Testament it is only false prophets who prophesy what their own minds prompt them to say (Jer. 23:15, Ezek. 13:3).* The genuine prophet only speaks from the Lord** (Jer. 1:4–10). **The false teachers therefore teach stories that they have made up out of their own minds **(2 Pet. 2:3), and Peter condemns them throughout the second chapter.

[font=Arial]He does so only after he first establishes his own foundation for speaking with authority. The false teachers might promote cleverly invented stories but not the apostles. Instead they were eyewitnesses of Christ’s life and work (2 Pet. 1:16). Peter speaks with authority because, like Moses and Elijah, he had heard the voice from heaven when he was with Christ on the holy mountain (2 Pet. 1:18). Peter understands his presence at the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–13) as the time when he inherited the prophetic authority of Moses and Elijah. Just before this transmission of authority Christ commissioned Peter to be the rock on which the Church would be built (Matt. 16:17–19). As a result, Peter claims an even higher authority and a more certain word than the prophets themselves (2 Pet. 1:19).

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#6

[quote=tem2]But what about modern day prophets? How can everything humans have written, done, and learned after the bible was canonized be completely disregarded? .
[/quote]

Who said anything about completely disregarding them?

[quote=tem2]Why is it that humans are no longer inspired by God? Or at least they are not recognized by the church to be so inspired.
[/quote]

They may be inspired, but not in the same direct way as the inspiration of the authors of Sacred Scripture. Why not? The short answer is because the Church, which has been given the authority to bind and loose on heaven and earth says so :).

But as to why the Church says so… well, we see that the Church has recognized that their is to be no more public Revelation after the death of the last apostle - such as that given by the Christ and the Apostles in Sacred Scripture - since all public revelation was given in the person of Christ. He is THE Word, can’t add anything more to Him, He is infinite, He is the summation and fulfillment of the OT prophesies and Scriptures, and anything of Truth was given in Him who IS TRUTH PERSONIFIED.

Everything we understand now, teach now, etc. is understood in light of that particular Apostolic deposit of faith - both written and oral and delivered to us through the Magisterium of the Church Christ founded. We can grow in understanding of it, and we can apply that truth to different new situations that pop up over the centuries, but we can’t add anything new to the Revelation already given.

The Church recognizes some instances of private revelation, but it is of a different nature that the public revelation of the Scriptures, and is not binding on the faithful. Here’s an rticle with info on that topic - the difference between public and private revelation: Revelation: Public and Private.Here’s a short excerpt:

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#7

[quote=jsussvsus]Hi All
I read in someones reply to a post that tradition fill’s in where the Bible is void. Does the Catholic church feel that the Bible is insufficient or has voids in it’s writings? Thanks for you input.
jsussvsus.
[/quote]

There are certainly historical and scientific "voids’ within scripture.

Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us what books are inspired and belong within it’s pages, hence an external source (the Catholic Church) did as it should have and, relying on the Holy Spirit, sorted them out and gave us the Canon that we have today.

More relevent still though is the fact that since God used the church to give us the NT and to decide what was & wasn’t Canon it becomes clear that the church that authored and protected the Word of God has the authority to interpret same and that the non-canonical writings of the ECF (Sacred Tradition) give us a great deal of insight into what was believed by the early church. That allows us a safeguard as to the surety of proper interpretation.

The lack of this among Sola Scriptura believers is why there are so many variant interpretations and so much confusion outside of the Catholic Church. I often wonder how n-Cs can preach about submission to church authority when they themselves are out from under the authority that was established by Christ. I’ve heard a great many n-C preachers (Bill Gothard, Juan Carlos Ortiz, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer especially) expound this and had to wonder.
Pax tecum,


#8

Without the Church, the Bible IS INSUFFICIENT. That is why there are so many Protestant denominations.


#9

[quote=trailblazer]Without the Church, the Bible IS INSUFFICIENT. That is why there are so many Protestant denominations.
[/quote]


Maybe this is the reaosn why we have so many denominations…they make up what is insufficient in the bible. :stuck_out_tongue: So if it takes, 35,000 denominations to make complete the Word of God, man, are we in trouble!

Anyhoo, John did say in his gospel that all the words and actions of Jesus Himself could not be contained in the bible. There would not be enough books in the world to write them into.

So, it is with the keys given to Peter that the CC was able to open the mysteries of the Faith that would lead us into the full knowledge and kingdom of God. Thank you, Jesus!

Blessings,
Shoshana


#10

Is it formally sufficient? Or is it materially sufficient? Your question needs to be refined a little. You can’t get the right answer unless you ask the right question.

Others have well stated how the unanswered questions in Scripture leave us with a kind of void. E.g., stem cell research – even contraception.
So clearly, Scripture is *formally *insufficient. However, it can be maintained that everything we need to know is contained in the Bible, even if hidden/embedded in a way that does not make the point obvious at first blush; this is where theology steps in, and where the Catholic Church relies on the promised charism of the Holy Spirit to guide us “into all the truth.” For example, the way we reason to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a case in point. This doctrine in NO WAY jumps off the pages of Scripture at you, yet Scriptural underpinnings support the ultimate maturation of the concept.


#11

[quote=jsussvsus]Hi All
I read in someones reply to a post that tradition fill’s in where the Bible is void. Does the Catholic church feel that the Bible is insufficient or has voids in it’s writings? Thanks for you input.
jsussvsus.
[/quote]

Scripture itself testifies to the importance of Tradition:

1Cor 11:2 I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions.

2Thess 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions…

2 John 1:12 Although I have much to write to you, I do not intend to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and to speak fact to face so that our joy may be complete.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is all that is needed. In fact, it was tradition that chose what writings were divinely inspired.

The Bible does not have a divinely inspired table of contents. Nor is it self interpreting. Tradition helps us understand Scripture. Peter wrote that Paul’s letters are hard to understand:

2 Peter 3:15-16 (RSV)…So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

Notice that Peter says “the ignorant” fail to understand Scripture. 2 Tim 2:15 says to “study to show yourself approved.” Studying involves more than memorizing bible verses. It includes understanding how the early church interpreted Scripture. This doesn’t mean that everyone must be an early church scholar but we should be open to their interpretations. The Catechism provides much insight into the thoughts of the early church fathers. There are also good commentaries available.

Tradition works with Scripture. For interpreting Scripture it is useful to understand how the early church fathers interpreted Scripture. They lived much nearer to the Apostles and writers of Scripture. Some were even students of the Apostles. Without their input we fall into the error of interpreting Scripture through the lense of our own time and culture. Our ways of thinking (paradigms) prevent us from understanding things that were obvious to the original recipients of Scripture. G.K. Chesterton called tradition the “democracy of the dead.” People long ago thought that something was a good idea, and we should consider their opinions before forging a new way.


#12

[quote=mercygate]Is it formally sufficient? Or is it materially sufficient? Your question needs to be refined a little. You can’t get the right answer unless you ask the right question.

Others have well stated how the unanswered questions in Scripture leave us with a kind of void. E.g., stem cell research – even contraception.
So clearly, Scripture is *formally *insufficient. However, it can be maintained that everything we need to know is contained in the Bible, even if hidden/embedded in a way that does not make the point obvious at first blush; this is where theology steps in, and where the Catholic Church relies on the promised charism of the Holy Spirit to guide us “into all the truth.” For example, the way we reason to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a case in point. This doctrine in NO WAY jumps off the pages of Scripture at you, yet Scriptural underpinnings support the ultimate maturation of the concept.
[/quote]

mercygate,

Perhaps I misunderstand, but I disagree. If I have all of the building materials to build a house, I am materially sufficient to build the house. This, however, is no guarentee that I will be able to build it - I still need manpower, tools, know-how, etc. So I am formally lacking, where I am materially sufficient. Am I mis-understanding, or did you misspeak? It would seem that the bible is materially sufficient, but formally insufficient as it lacks the “know-how” to read the “blue prints”…which is where the Church comes in!

Peace and prayers,
RyanL


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