Hello. I’m a first-time poster, so I hope this post is proper and conforms with the ettiquette of this forum, etc. I am a relatively recent convert to Christianity, am not currently a Roman Catholic, but am very interested in sincerely learning more about the bases for Catholicism, wheter or not I am ever able to accept its doctrines.
My question is this, and I hope you’ll take it in the constructive and sincere attitude with which I ask it. If I understand right, the general Catholic view frowns on the “private” interpretation of the biblical texts. But how does one arrive at the truth of Catholicism as a threshold matter without engaging in such private interpretation? Many of the arguments for Catholicism that I have seen have relied, in part, on arguments based on biblical passasges. These are often interesting arguments, but they cannot (it seems to me) be accepted or rejected without “privately” evaluating them. In other words, in order to justify Catholicism for one who is not already a Catholic, that justification must rest, at some level, on private interpretations of scripture. But if that’s right, then it seems to me that the truth of Catholicism (if it is true) must rest, for each and every one of us, on the correctness of our private interpretations of scripture that led us to become Catholics (if we have become Catholics). We can only get to the point of accepting the validity of the Catholic Church by thinking and reasoning as individuals based on the historical evidence, including the Bible, yet this seems to be in tension with the idea that we cannot or should not engage in “private” interpretation.
Can Catholics see where I’m coming from on this? I’d appreciate any thoughts that Catholics in particular might have, and if I’m posting in the right place, etc., I hope you won’t mind if I have additional questions here in the future.