The claim that reading the Bible saves you is false. If that were true how then can you those who cannot read be saved? Through images, orally preachings… so yes reading the Bible cannot save you, and the Bible is not easily read. Remember the words of St. Peter.
2 Peter Chapter 15-16
15And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
How about those who cannot read, or the early Christians who heard the Gospel from their ears when the Apostles spoke?
You have to take into account of those who lack the ability to read.
How does one know the God? They heard the word of God from the Liturgy in the Ancient Christian Mass during the great persecution of Christians.
I am very realistic here. For those who can read the Bible great, but there are passages in the Bible I myself cannot understand and have to ask someone who is more trained in Scripture like a priest to guide me. I am like the Ethopian, who ask Philipp, “How can I understand it unless someone guides me?”
First, let’s get this right from the start. We are saved by God’s grace, not by simply reading the bible. Still, what did Jesus tell us to do? To be both hearers and doers of the Word. We hear the Gospel by, among other things, reading the Bible and learning about God’s love. I firmly believe that if you had a tribe of people somewhere the Church had not yet arrived, who were somehow able to obtain copies of just the Bible, that these people have in their hands all that is materially sufficient for salvation. If they were to read and follow the Word set forth in the Scriptures, they would be saved even if a Catholic priest never set forth on their lands.
It’s not the mere act of reading that saves them though - although I accept that it can be a starting point. Even then there usually has to be a good pre-existing reason for someone to want to read it - usually they’re already looking and their hearts are open to God’s revelation.
Then they have to accept what they’ve read, believe in Jesus, repent their sins, amend their lives, be baptised, sin no more …
and given that even 150 years ago a good 2/3 of the world’s population was still totally illiterate, I’d say relatively incredibly few people would have been brought into Christianity MERELY by reading the Bible uncombined with any other means.
I was watching a documentary on Mary. There is this Byzantine Catholic Church in Ethopia, whose Bible is all images based on Scriptural accounts of the Gospels, as well as OT writings. There are many means to spread the Word of God.
I have stated them early.
Orally (word of mouth).
Imaginary (for those who cannot read)
This words well here. In Iraq, the language is a barrier but we have pamplets what uses images to communicate with the locals to get certain informations. It is the same way, a missionary spread the Gospels.
Reading the Bible doesn’t save you. Some hard core Evangelicals due claim it does.
My suggestion to you is that you read the Bible. My suggestion to everyone is that they read the Scriptures. Lord knows that I need to read the Bible more than I do. The Word of God is as sharp as a two edged sword and, through the convicting grace of the Holy Spirit, can lead you to salvation.
Manny, I advise you to look over the logic of this reductio ad absurdum.
p= reading the Bible saves you
q= people who cannot read cannot be saved.
If reading the Bible saves you, then people who cannot read cannot be saved.
But, not “people who cannot read cannot be saved.” (Equivalent to: people who cannot read can be saved.)
Therefore, not, “reading the Bible saves you.” (Equivalent to: reading the Bible does not save you.)
If p then q.
Therefore not p.
But, there is a slight problem with this-- it is not that case that, “if reading the Bible saves you,” that only those who read it can be saved. To be more precise, “if reading the Bible saves you,” then, “people who cannot read cannot be saved by reading the Bible.” Now, this is obviously much reduced in scope. Perhaps they can be saved in other ways. Perhaps people who hear the Bible preached can be saved. The truth of the proposition, ‘reading the Bible saves you,’ does not contradict the truth of the proposition, ‘listening to the gospel saves you,’ or indeed, the truth of the proposition, ‘baptism saves you,’ and, ‘God saves you.’
The exclusive sense of your proposition is only the case if we word the proposition tihs way: if and only if reading the Bible saves you. This would exclude other routes of salvation as well. But, as long as we examine the proposition, “reading the Bible saves you”-- although honestly, most people would modify it with a modality like this: “reading the Bible can save you” then there is no reason to reject it on this reason. Why? Again, because the proposition as such, “reading the Bible saves you” does not exclude the truth of other things saving you. Any Protestant would recognize at least this much in addition: “faith saves you.” As a Catholic I do agree as well with that, and these in addition: “baptism saves you,” and, “God saves you.”
Apologists on these boards have a favorite saying: it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Make sure you have the both/and mindset Manny! God bless! Keep the faith!
And quite honestly rr1213, I agree with you. This is entirely consistent with the Catholic Church’s teaching both in the CCC and in the Second Vatican Council. I think the problem with trying to reject the proposition, “the Bible saves you,” is that there are too many ways we can interact with this proposition. That truth is clearly subordinate to the truth that, “God saves you,” but indeed not contradictory. If we try to deny it then we might as well deny all intermediate causes-- when James tells us that (James 5:19-20):
My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back. he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Then for the sinner who has been brought from his error, it might possibly be true that many different things saved him. Let us suppose, to maximize our example, that the sinner was saved from his error, by someone who gave the sinner a Bible verse to show him his error. For instance, he did not care for the widows and orphans as James advocates, and for the poor and needy as Jesus advocates (i.e., Matt 25). Headed as he is to eternal perdition, a good Christian points the epistle of James and the 25th chapter of Matthew to this Christian.
In this case the sinner has been saved 1. By God. 2. By his brother. 3. By reading the Bible. 4. By his faith. etc., etc., etc.