I’d like to discuss the Catholic meaning of the word “saint”. The common understanding is that a saint is essentially a person of particular holiness that is, I guess, blessed in the eyes of God. One of the requirements for becoming a saint is accomplishing two miracles. It is my belief though that the Catholic understanding of “saint” is in fact completely contradictory to its original meaning in the time of the Apostles.
I submit that the term saint simply meant believer. A saint was anyone who called themselves a Christian. Unfortunately, there is no one verse I can point to to demonstrate this fact because it is never explicitly defined in the Bible. However, a simple search at biblegateway.com for the word saint will reveal that it is used about 50 times in the new testament. Saints were very common in the times of the apostles, not because people were more holy but because back then a saint was anyone who believed in Jesus. Here’s some examples of its usage:
That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
1 Corinthians 1:2
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
Another good example is this section of scripture:
1 Corinthians 6
1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Which is also translated as:
1 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers[a]! 2 Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves?
Even though the term saint isn’t explicitly defined in the Bible, it is quite clear from its usage that the word refers to all believers, not just a special few people.
I ask you then, if the Catholic church has managed to utterly confused such a simple teaching, how is it that it can be trusted in more important matters?