Private Intrepretation answer please


#1

Need help with Evangelicals who claim the can intrepret the Bible infallibly. They are wonderful people but they are really stuck on this. Can anyone help me?


#2

Remind them that there are 33,000 denominations of Christianity, all claiming to interpret the Bible infallibly.If they are correct in their claim of infallible guidance, why are they at odds with one another?


#3

Obviously, if they can interpret the bible infallibly, so can you!


#4

[quote=chrisg93]Need help with Evangelicals who claim the can intrepret the Bible infallibly. They are wonderful people but they are really stuck on this. Can anyone help me?
[/quote]

Ask them to prove it. Separate them and ask them to interpret some obscure Bible verses for you, such as 1 Cor 7:14. If their interpretations contradict one another in the slightest, then they have proven themselves fallible.


#5

CatholicCorno: Actually, as a former Protestant I can say that there are NOT 30 000 denominations all claiming to interpret the Bible infallibily. In my experience, most Protestants do not claim this ability…just certain fundamentalist groups.

(As well, it is true that Protestantism is very splintered, and that is a good argument to use in favor of Catholicism, but not all of these denominations disagree with each other. Many of them form larger ‘families’ or communions of conferences of denominations with similar views…and many of them have virtually the same doctrine, just come from a different tradition or arised from different circumstances…so it is better to classify Protestants into certain divisions that share a common theology and/or heritage, rather than individual denominations. Examples: Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Liberal Mainstream Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism, Adventism, etc).


#6

[quote=chrisg93]Need help with Evangelicals who claim the can intrepret the Bible infallibly. They are wonderful people but they are really stuck on this. Can anyone help me?
[/quote]

Tell them to take a number. The Catholic Church already beat them to this claim.

You might point out that the original authorities, or authors, of the New Testament, were fathers of the Catholic Church. If they consider the Bible divinely inspired then they are affirming the authority of the Catholic Church.

BTW, I can interpret the Bible infallibly, too, as well as anyone who is not too sure of himself. It’s like this: in my mind I am completely right at any given time because if I am unsure about something I will state it as a tentative truth, and if I ever become convinced I am wrong I will change my mind.

Alan


#7

[quote=twf]CatholicCorno: Actually, as a former Protestant I can say that there are NOT 30 000 denominations all claiming to interpret the Bible infallibily. In my experience, most Protestants do not claim this ability…just certain fundamentalist groups.

(As well, it is true that Protestantism is very splintered, and that is a good argument to use in favor of Catholicism, but not all of these denominations disagree with each other. Many of them form larger ‘families’ or communions of conferences of denominations with similar views…and many of them have virtually the same doctrine, just come from a different tradition or arised from different circumstances…so it is better to classify Protestants into certain divisions that share a common theology and/or heritage, rather than individual denominations. Examples: Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Liberal Mainstream Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism, Adventism, etc).
[/quote]

Hi twf,
My comment is a little off target from a general perspective but to the point from another. It is to the point from the Law of Liberty Romans 14. I interpret this chapter as accepting individuality, be loving, do not hinder another’s faith but build one another up. I know this is against Catholism, but it is so in tune with our knowledge of God who is love. Look to Romans10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Now surely if someone does this the bible does not lie.Probably at a considerable distance are people who are soaked up in the traditional Catholic church. Here I believe is a part of God’s saving Grace. Saved from Romans 10:9 to anywhere as long as you retain Romans10:9. As Romans 14 states, " Who are you to judge anothers servant.To his own master he stands or falls.Indeed he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand."Therefore if one group claims infallibiltiy, let them claim it, mingle with them if their faith is based on Jesus sent by God who was born, lived, died and was resurrected to stand at the right hand of the father. No one has the whole truth, not even those that claim it, but to each we have a part,so through tender discussion we may increase our love and faith.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#8

But they are terribly anti-Catholic. They are wonderfully, courageously pro-life. They take pregnant women into their homes. They give to the poor. They are foster parents. They lead exemplary lives, but they are horribly anti-Catholic. The Catholic Church is Satan himself dressed up like priests.

  • But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1Jo 2:20*

They take this passage as they have the power of the Holy Spirit to infallibly intrepret the Bible and I cannot possibly reason with them.


#9

to chrisg93: You’ve made the fundamental (no pun intended) observation of evangelicals.

Yes, they do oddly believe that they possess this faculty, while sternly rejecting the idea as absurd that Pope can do so. Go figure.

I’m inclined to say “why bother” but I suppose they deserve an answer. The Church teaches as doctrine that the Pope is preserrved from error when speaking on matters of faith and morals, when exercising his prerogatives as the leader of the Church on earth.


#10

[quote=chrisg93]But they are terribly anti-Catholic. They are wonderfully, courageously pro-life. They take pregnant women into their homes. They give to the poor. They are foster parents. They lead exemplary lives, but they are horribly anti-Catholic. The Catholic Church is Satan himself dressed up like priests.

But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1Jo 2:20

They take this passage as they have the power of the Holy Spirit to infallibly intrepret the Bible and I cannot possibly reason with them.
[/quote]

Dear chrisg93,

Wow. I would think that if they really “know all things” in context of today’s English, then they are more than just infallible interpreters. They must also be gods themselves, omniscient knowers of all things. I bet they don’t even know for sure what color shirt I have on; therefore I’d bet they don’t really “know all things” and therefore a different interpretation of this phrase must be needed.

Can you get any specifics about what it is that priests do or say that troubles them so? Is it just that priests fall short of the superior and uniquely informed Scriptural knowledge, or are there specific practices they consider evil? I suspect there are many, but I’d rather hear that from you than to assume.

Alan


#11

Do they really say, “infallibly?” In my experience, people are SO anti-Catholic, and therefore anti-infallibility that they say there is no such thing as infallibility.

Tread lightly until you have clarified the issue. It is likely that they do not understand what the issue is and are making unexamined claims, possibly using a shred or two of Scripture in support.


#12

[quote=chrisg93]Need help with Evangelicals who claim the can intrepret the Bible infallibly.
[/quote]

How do they interpret the following verses from Acts:8?

27 So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, 8 that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and join up with that chariot.” 30 9 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.


#13

Hi Erich,
They said he needed teaching because he was not yet baptised. They said once you get baptised into their “true Church” you can intrepret the Bible infallibly.

They have a wagon full of answers to every objection. All spurious, of course. I need something definitive. They despise the Church Fathers, especially St. Augustine.


#14

Originally I was a Methodist. They merged with a minor denomination and I automatically became a United Methodist.

Then in college I found Christ (or did He find me). And I was an evangelical for a few years before I got a little bit charismatic.

I don’t think I ever thought my interpretation of the Bible was infallible. There are many groups who quote the Bible and interpret the Bible differently.

Todd Easton: You are right. I don’t know of any denomination without some people who will have some argument. Even Roman Catholics.

I am in RCIA this year. For example, at my last RCIA meeting my small group instructor said we bow to the tabernacle. I told them it was bow to the alter and I was pretty sure about it. My RCIA classes are really good, but I am supplementing them with outside reading and listening to tapes (for example Fulton Sheen).


#15

[quote=chrisg93]Need help with Evangelicals who claim the can intrepret the Bible infallibly. They are wonderful people but they are really stuck on this. Can anyone help me?
[/quote]

If you want to read through my long-winded answer to this type of question, you’ll find it in posts 37 through 60 of this thread…

forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=249396#post249396

Since they are claiming to be infallible, the latter part of my explanation (on the structure of the Church and the Sacraments) will apply more than the arguments defending the idea of infallibility. As others have pointed out; while infallible interpretation is invariably a subconscious assumption behind sola Scriptura, the idea of a truly infallible interpreter of Scripture (besides the Holy Spirit) is usually denied by Protestants.


#16

Excellent article

web.archive.org/web/20040216022624/http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ406.HTM


#17

If you ask them how one can be sure of being born again they’ll likely reference the verse “Confess with thy lips and believe in thine heard that Jesus if Lord, and you will be saved” or make some similar argument.

On further discussion it may turn out that they also believe that, when we are saved, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who will enlighten each of us so we can each interpret scripture.

Then point out that you do, in fact, confess with your lips and believe with all your heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And yet you have a different understanding of scripture than they do.

So either the Holy Spirit does not indwell each Christian in the manner they suggest, or else the “confess with thy lips” does not provide the assurance they believe. In either case they are proven to not be infallible interpreters.

The third option is that the Holy Spirit brings a message of confusion. I don’t think they’d go for that any more than I would.

Don’t expect to convince them, all you can do is plant seeds.


#18

Protestants always ask for Bible verses. Try these for Private Interpretation. Will they respect Peter, Paul and Luke?
Bible Private Interpretation

***There are many Bible verses which tell us that individual interpretation of the Bible simply cannot be done without divine assistance…

Luke 24:45, “Then He opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.”
*So it took Jesus Christ to open the minds of the Apostles so that they could teach others in the truth.
Do you believe likewise that Jesus Christ opened the minds of each of the leaders of all those 28,000 protestant churches? If so, why is there so much disagreement between them?

Acts 8:27-40, the eunuch was trying to read Isaiah when Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” But he said, "Why, how can I, unless someone shows me?"
Since Philip had been filled by the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4, he was able to explain the truth of Isaiah to the eunuch.**

***2Pet 1:20, St. Peter said, ******“This then you must understand first of all, that NO PROPHECY OF SCRIPTURE IS MADE BY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION.” ***I do not see how Peter could have said it any plainer than he did here. Why do Protestants ignore verses such as this one?

***2Pet 3:16-17, St. Peter said, ******"…In these Epistles there are certain things difficult to understand, WHICH THE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE DISTORT, JUST AS THEY DO THE REST OF THE SCRIPTURES ALSO, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, SINCE YOU KNOW THIS BEFOREHAND, BE ON YOUR GUARD LEST, CARRIED AWAY BY THE ERROR OF THE FOOLISH, YOU FALL AWAY FROM YOUR STEADFASTNESS."
*****Here is a very clear warning that it is easy to fall into error by private interpretation of Scripture. **



Who would you prefer to believe…
A group of learned men with impeccable qualifications, and the Holy Spirit to guide them?
Or some individuals interpretation of the Bible, who has questionable qualifications, and who does not have the truth of the Holy Spirit to guide him?***


#19

Edwin: You are only partially right. No individual, nor a certain group of individuals will have all the answers; however, the Sacred Writers, when penning Scriptures, had no doubt as to what was truth and what wasn’t. Paul makes it very clear how important sound doctrine is. They KNEW what sound doctrine was (or at least could know, if they asked) because there was an infallible Church guided by the Spirit through the apostles. When a major dispute came up, the Church called a council, and it’s deliberations were binding on all the faithful around the world. (See Acts 15). Paul had no uncertainty when it came to the Faith. We are not just a group of individuals claiming infallibility…we are the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Can such a Church be led into heresy? No! Otherwise the gates of Hades would have prevailed against it, as it would no longer be the Pillar and Foundation of Truth. The Spirit would lead the Church into ALL truth. (Jn 16:13). It is not our personal interpretations that are infallible, it is the constant teachings of Christ’s Church and her official declarations, led by the successors of the apostles (the bishops) and under the guidance of their chief, the successor of Peter…this is how the New Testament Church was guided. By Peter and the apostles. Their ministry was passed on to the bishops (as St. Clement or Rome already attests in the late first century in his epistle to the Corinthians, and to which Paul alludes to in 2 Tim. 2:1-2). (Actually we already see this in action in Scripture. For example, Matthias is chosen to replace Judas…and then we see that Timothy and Titus both have considerable apostolic authority, yet they were not from among the original apostles, but were ordained by the laying on of hands).

Here are some verses that emphasize the importance of sound doctrine (we have to have a way of knowing, as the NT Christians did):
1 Tim. 1:10
1 Tim. 6:3
2 Tim. 4:3
2 Tim. 1:3
Titus 1:9
Titus 2:1

God bless you.


#20

2 Peter 1:20 “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

2 Peter 3:15-16 In regard to Paul’s 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."


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