Non Catholic differences in Biblical interpretation

Throughout my studies I have come across many Bible verses that are heavily debated between Catholics and Protestants. However, I am having troubles finding information on debates or differences on verses between Protestant denominations. I remember Steve Ray saying we look at the Bible with Catholic Glasses on. I am trying to understand what it is like to look through Protestant glasses. I figured with the claim that there are over 30,000 different denominations shouldn’t the internet be overflowing with Protestants debating the Bible?
It is easy to find how Catholics and Protestants differ on the Bible. Can anyone help me out with some verses that are interpreted differently within the Protestant community as well?


Matthew 19:26

Might help to know what verses you’re referring to specifically? I mean if you remove Catholic from the equation the net still has thousands of hits on people debating bible verses (namely Protestants).

You put four Christians in a room and end up with five interpretations of Scripture. No one branch of the Church says ‘This is how we read that text.’ Read scholars, read sermons, read historical debates. Scripture is alive and always being read/interpreted in different ways.

That is what makes the Bible wonderfully exciting!

That is kind of my question, I am looking for verses. I google protestant vs protestant debates and it comes back with a bunch of Catholic debates. Can you recommend some other search terminology I could use.

Use a search modifier removing any Catholic results like -Catholic in Google. For example searching same sex marriage scripture -Catholic brings up many results such as this article from the NYTimes.

You aren’t finding anything because it doesn’t work that way. Look under individuals, schools of thought, sermons, exegetical works.

Thanks for your help that worked

Hi Matthew,
I get the feeling you are looking at this in the wrong way.
First, if you come to your search looking for 30,000 denominations, that won’t work, because the figure is an academic one, not an actual one. That same paradigm also lists 240 something Catholic Churches.

So, I recommend you look at the issue by identifying basic groups of non-Catholic Christians. Most fall into Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Anabaptist, etc.
So, begin your search by comparing these basic theological groupings. For example, “how do Baptists view the words of Christ at the Last Supper (the words of institution) compared to how Lutherans see them?”

Then, seek out official or theological description from those groups (don’t look at New Advent for this information).

Hope that helps.


But Jon, won’t that take him into a theological discussion rather than an exegetical discussion?

You could start with Calvinism.

Perhaps. I guess if he wants to get into exegesis, he will need to explore exactly how a communion practices. That could be a huge topic.


You’ll probably want to look into the Calvinism vs. Arminian debate, along with the various debates pertaining to the Order of Salvation, or Ordo Salutis. The two are very closely related.

Here’s a Wiki article on Ordo salutis, it’s kind of basic but there’s a ton of links and as far as I know it’s basically accurate.

These are some search results on Christian Forums (for all Christians, including sub-forums where only Catholics can go) that have something to do with Calvinism and Arminianism.

And if you want some more information on the history of the Calvinist-Arminian controversy, here are a few links.

Mainline Protestants here and now have a variety of points of view on the topic, and they don’t necessarily match up perfectly with their denominations’ perspective during or right after the Synod. (Methodists and the Reformed have been the most consistent, as far as I know). Speaking for the not-mainline crowd, it seems to me that unless you’re talking about Wesleyans, just about all other non-mainline Protestants fall into a broadly reformed tradition. As for the Synod of Dort (focusing on those few people in this group who know anything about it), I’d say most of them kind of agree with the conclusion but they don’t agree as much with the decision to condemn it and to a certain extent break fellowship with the Arminians. Expelling them from Holland (however briefly) and other persecutions associated with the decision are most certainly frowned upon.

For me personally, I’ve looked into the Articles of Remonstrance, the Five Points of Calvinism, and the historical narrative of the controversy pretty carefully. There were two things that surprised me in this process- one is that both Calvin and Arminius made some key changes to the form of their arguments throughout the controversy, and my impression was that Dort may have caused everyone to dig their heels in and prevent any further progress from being made. The second surprise was when I read the Articles of Remonstrance for the first time. They really aren’t that long, but as I’m reading through them, I couldn’t help but think if it didn’t say what it was, I would probably think this was standard Calvinist fare. I really had to look carefully in order to detect what the differences and points of controversy were, and even after I worked on understanding it more fully, I still had the impression that the differences were surprisingly technical and small. This is not the impression that you typically get when Calvinists and Arminians argue with each other, but that’s because both sides to an awful job of presenting the other side accurately and much of their time is spent on debating underlying philosophical points that don’t show up explicitly in any of the key documents, although they are implicit and they are important.

Does that give you something to work with? There’s probably some other directions you could go with the Order of Salvation thing, but this is part of that and it’s a really big one.

Whoa guys take it easy on me. I’ve only been studying deeper for about a year now. Don’t totally understand some of the stuff you guys are saying.
The only reason I asked is I am trying to learn all sides. My son was pulled away from me by anti-catholic fundamentalists who have made it their mission to make sure all Catholics know they are going to Hell. The big issue is we were friends with these people for 12 years and somehow they were able hold their tongues, I guess I wasn’t worthy of being told I was going to Hell, while they prayed with us, all the while they were turning my son against my Faith. I am able to dialogue somewhat with him, but they have trained him well in a lot of the false anti-catholic beliefs of what the Catholic church teaches, basically to always keep me on the defense. He has even used the good ole change the subject to a different topic he hates about the church when I am starting to make sense. I have found through our emails that a lot of the differences are more in how certain words are defined. Like faith, justification, salvation, tradition, etc. He tends to ignore the things I say on how the Catholic church defines things, and tends to respond to me with an overload of Bible verses. So basically I was hoping to find how other denominations tend to differ on defining certain things in the Bible so it will give me an insight on how he might tend to define things. This way I might be able to start putting things in his terms.

Thanks for your help,

Matthew 19:26

Thanks I like that Christian forum might be the best place to start.

Matthew 19:26

This brings to mind, how can one be a Protestant Apologist? Just sayin.

Seems like plenty have found it fairly easy to do so. Sites like CARM and Creation seem to be able to produce apologetics material pretty regularly.

CARM? Seriously?

You can’t because there’s no such thing as a " Protestant "

If your looks for a good example of a ‘protestant’ disagreement, Lutherans and Anglicans defiantly have a different view of 1 Corinthians 11:24 than Baptists and other reformed churches.

You are right, there are not really that many different glasses. The major difference is that Protestant interpretations are all looking through glasses that are separated from the Sacred Tradition and with doctrines that have been spawned during the Reformation. I remember taking my first class in biblical hermeneutics at a protestant seminary. At that time, I did not understand how drastically these factors influenced interpretaton. The principles taught seemed so sensible…

Here is a sample:

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