Quoting the Bible


You know, a thought occurred to me. While it is good to know the Bible I don’t think it is going to get you anywhere quoting it with someone who has a different interpretation than you do unless you have the historical facts behind those quotations. Otherwise they’re just meaningless words and people are going to take them however they want. One thing I would advise Christians both Protestant and Catholic but I’m guessing mainly protestants, apologies to the ones who are not like this (I’m thinking of a very specific group), but I would advise against quoting bible verses to atheists since they don’t believe in the Bible anyway. I think you have to do other things with them like use things like philosophy logic reason Etc. I think there are many brilliant people that can quote scripture word for word but none-the-less have deficiencies in philosophical arguments. Likewise I think the people who consider themselves to be the most logical are often the least logical. I remember someone quoting the film Zeitgeist to prove their points. It seems kind of odd to me that they would believe a video on YouTube but not the Bible. Seems like a bit of double standard It’s kind of like using Richard Dawkins as a source against religion. Now, I don’t mean to be mean to anyone but it is important to know scripture but at the same time if you don’t know the history of that scripture what good is it going to do you? It’s all well and good to say “the Bible says” but why does the Bible say? Where did the Bible come from? By the way I’m a little sick of The Stereotype that Catholics don’t read the Bible I read the Bible, I am Catholic and I know a lot of people here on CAF, also read the Bible, both Catholic and Protestant as well as the Orthodox, Church of the East, etc, don’t want to leave everyone out. I would really like to have a discussion on this topic of sacred scripture. Like for instance those of us that believe in the Bible what role is it supposed to play in your life? For those of you that don’t, why don’t you?


If I am discussing the Bible it would be an error not to quote it, but to quote it in context and then move to the philosophy to prove the point. I think the true crux of the matter is that you need to establish a relationship before trying to witness to someone. We make that mistake a lot. We simply begin to witness and evangelize before ever showing that we truly care. There is a group I belong to that put it this way:

Make a friend
Be a friend
Bring that friend to Christ

Establish a connection with that person, trust goes a long way. If you have a friendship, if they care for you, they’ll listen to what you have to say and you will also listen to what they have to say. Then can come in the whole 'let’s convince them through logic/reason/philosophy/quoting." It’s about relationship… bringing them to know Jesus the person.


When Jesus was using parables, He used ideas and situations to which people could relate. I may or may not quote Scripture. I do not have it memorized in terms of Chapter and verse. Many of us know the stories.
Some people have been so inundated by Scripture that they really don’t want to hear it anymore. They don’t want to be “judged by hypocrites.”
It is interesting how when we are led by the Holy Spirit that God will help us in our understanding of Scripture. Just as Christ used the situations of His day to get His point across, we can use the situation of our day the same end. I may not use the Scriptures as written, but I may see “Scripture” in a picture or daily life and so be able to convey the Gospel message in that way. I’m not going to being talking about sheep or pastoral scenes. Instead I’ll be directing a person to the nearest Urban ministry where he can get help with food or clothing.
In other words, I will paraphrase for the audience. Use words and situations that people understand. Instead of looking for a lost sheep, it’s looking for the family pet.


I believe in the Bible and read it too.
For me, Scripture plays the role of advisor. When i need guidance, scripture is a great source of wisdom to pull from (provided you are somewhat familiar with it). Jesus used this tactic as well when He was tempted in the desert.


This is true, but following that same notion, even the Devil quotes the Bible. I try to do a lot of apologetics work so I regular cross-reference the Bible. I think the problem with just pulling quotes out of the Bible for people like me, is that other people like to pull quotes out of the Bible, and you just sling Bible verses back and forth. What Patrick Madrid calls “Scriptural Badminton”. Jesus is God, though. So I imagine he can use scripture in ways we can’t imagine (partially, because he already has). I love the Bible, and I am someone that loves to quote scripture to re-assure myself, and sometimes I will quote scripture to someone to comfort them. Normally, when I do that, I try to quote something that is pretty clear in scripture and that Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics don’t disagree with. Sometimes, Scripture can be hurtful when it tells you a truth you don’t want to hear. That’s how you know God’s a real friend. He tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. (On that note, one of my favourite verses is Proverbs 12:1)


I like Pat Madrid’s book Where is that in the Bible? It was among the books that my brother had and showed how the same 6 word sentence could be interpreted 6 different ways depending on the emphasis of a single word.
Jesus is the Word of God and the words of Scripture are meant to lead us to Him.


Sometimes one does reach an impasse but it can be helpful when dialoging with “bible christians” to confront them with verses they ignore, or never noticed. It can also help to delve into some of that historical context. Most Bible Christians have no idea where there denominational underpiinings originated so it can be enlightening.

Yes. One gets further with philosophy and science.

This is also a good reason to trade quotes with “bible christians” because then they at least realize that Catholics do read and know their scriptures.


The extent to which I use scripture is always going to be dependent on the situation and the person to whom I am speaking.
About 6 weeks ago, a Baptist asked me what is meant when Catholics pray the Hail Mary. He was attentive as I referenced scripture including the Annunciation, Visitation, and Mary’s intercession at the wedding feast of Cana. I naturally brought up Mary’s role as Our Mother through Christ’s words from the cross on Calvary. His questions during my explanation were respectful as he came to the understanding of “through Mary to Jesus.” Notice that those were his words and not mine. Did he convert to Catholicism? No, that wasn’t expected. He did ask the expected question at the end of our discussion as to whether or not Catholics pray directly to God. I assured him that we do.
I do live in the Bible Belt where people it is not unusual for people to talk about their Faith and how God is working in their life. I will reference Scripture if it is part of the natural flow of the conversation, and to encourage, not to win points in an argument.
As another person stated, the best way to bring a person to Christ is to first develop a relationship with him/her. We preach best with our lives.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.