Scripture is NOT the source of Church teachings


#1

From studying history, the Catechism, Popes writings etc., it seems to me that not a single teaching of the Catholic Church comes from scripture.

Summary.
Jesus is the fulfillment of revelation. In Him God has said EVERYTHING.
Therefore Moses, David, the Prophets, etc. were only to forshadow what was made complete in Jesus.
Thus the Church does not claim that the in the bible God has said everything, but in Jesus God has said everything.

Jesus taught EVERYTHING to His apostles.
The apostles did not learn the Gospel from scripture, but directly from God, from Jesus Himself.
Mr 4:34 “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”
John 15:15 “for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
[size=3]
[/size]
[size=3]Since Jesus revealed EVERYTHING to His apostles and sent the Holy Spirit to teach (explain) this revelation to the apostles
[/size]
[size=3]then the apostles knew everything in regards to salvation.[/size]

[size=3]Therefore,
[/size]
[size=3]There is no teaching of scripture in the Old testament, and there is no teaching of scripture in the New Testament that adds to what the apostles learned from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.[/size]

The apostles could not have learned any additional teachings when the New Testament was written, because that would have made Jesus a liar. If Jesus taught them everything, then there is no other doctrine they could learn from scripture.

The apostles handed down this full and living Gospel to their successors, the bishops of the Church.
The Catechism teaches.

                         [size=2]This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes."[/size]

Therefore since everything Jesus taught the apostles was handed down in Tradition TO EVERY GENERATION and this Tradition contains all the Church believes, then no teaching was “lost”, none was forgotten"

Therefore all doctrines that God has revealed have come through Jesus, who taught all to His apostles, who handed them all down in Tradition.

My personal conclusion is from this is that not a single teaching of the Catholic Church, and not a single teaching of the Gospel, which is the source of all saving truth, comes from the bible.

Later when the New Testament was written, certain parts of these teachings were written down in the form of salvation history. But, the Church knew every single teaching before a single word of the New Testament was written down.

Thus, to learn the Gospel, we must first learn these teachings the apostles handed down in Tradition, since these teachings are the word of God.

Since everything the Church believes is handed down in Tradition, then we must interpret scripture to conform to the Word of God handed down in this Tradition.

The apostles, and their successors, handed down this Tradition by their example, ways of worship etc, and by using words. They taught by organizing the Gospel they taught by teaching the articles of the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and prayer.
Thus, the Catechisms, are simply a summary of the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.

Thus, the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is that Catholics learned their teachings directly from Jesus, from God himself.

Protestants try to learn their teachings from salvation history, (Scripture), which is NOT the original source of the Gospel nor the fullness of revelation. That is why they fail so often.


#2

left something in by mistake

you also left a lot out by mistake.

Start by opening up - ask Jesus to show you and then allow him to teach you. and go over to Scott Hahn’s site.


#3

Yes, the NT came well after the Church was already Catechizing and Evangelizing. Everything taught by the Apostles and the Church is supported by the Scriptures because nothing can ever be opposing between Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.


#4

I don’t think that everything taught by the apostles and the Church is supported by scripture. First, the Church never teaches such a thing.
That is a Protestant idea.
Even the those Church fathers who believed that all teachings are implicit in scripture, never said that belief was part of apostolic Tradition. It was only their own opinion.

Second there are clear teachings in Tradition that cannot be found in scripture. An obvious teaching the criteria for determining the canon of scripture.

Another one is that the **Holy Spirit **causes the bread and wine to be changed into the body and blood of Jesus at the consecration. This teaching that the bread and wine becomes Jesus **by the power of the Holy Spirit **is found in the mass and in the writings of the Church fathers, but not in scripture.

The Gospel the apostles taught and preached and handed down in Tradition is far more extensive than scripture.

I don’t think the Church uses scripture to support teachings. From what I have read, the Church uses scripture as a “witness” to the teachings, to “nourish” the teachings and to “illuminate” the teachings. In other words, the Church uses scripture to help us learn and understand and remember the teachings.

I think it is a Protestant idea, a tradition of men, that all teachings of Jesus can be found in scripture. There is no such teaching of the Church or of scripture itself.

Of course, since God is the author of both, then Church teachings which have come from Jesus, through the apostles, will never contradict scripture, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit.


#5

Since the apostles learned everything directly from Jesus and the Holy Spirit and NOT from scripture, then we can say the “Catholic faith comes to us from the apostles”. That is one of the prayers of the mass.

The Catholic faith does not come to us from scripture, though parts of many teachings can be found in scripture.

The Catholic faith, which comes to us from the apostles, when they preached the Gospel, means that the Gospel they preached and taught is the Catholic faith. The Gospel Jesus taught was the Catholic faith. When the Pope says everyone is to proclaim the Gospel, he means everyone is to profess the Catholic faith, by words and of course by example.

Since the primary duty of priests and bishops is the proclamation of the Gospel to all, this means their primary duty is the teaching and preaching of the Catholic faith to all.

Thus, everyone proclaims the Gospel when they teach the Catholic faith.

I think all this is an excellent way to explain the Catholic faith to Protestants.

When we explain that the Church learned the entire Gospel directly from Jesus, directly from God himself, they begin to understand how the Church teachings seem so much more extensive than scripture. As long as they think that the Church derives all her teachings from scripture, then those who don’t investigate the Catholic faith with study, often think the Catholic Church is wacko for having so much that does not come from scripture.
Then we get frustrated trying to show it is contained in scripture.
But, they are right. Catholic Church teachings DON’T come from scripture. The come directly from Jesus, the fullness of revelation. He taught everything directly to the apostles who handed down everything the same way Jesus did, by Tradition. They did this by teaching how to worship, by their examples, and by organizing what they learned from Jesus and teaching this Gospel in the form of the creed, sacraments, commandments and prayer.

But, though the Catholic Church teachings don’t come from scripture, we can show how most are implicitly contained in scripture.

We can also point out that since this Gospel the apostles taught (the Catholic faith) contains all the teachings God has revealed, and since the bible does NOT claim to present a summary of this Gospel the apostles taught anywhere in the entire Bible, then it is impossible for anyone to learn this Gospel the apostles taught (the Catholic faith) by studing the bible. That is why Protestant denominations can’t agree on what they teach. They all teach different Gospels. There is not a single teaching that all Protestant denominations can agree upon.

Thus, the Gospel the apostles taught is the Catholic faith.
That part that they wrote is salvation history, or scripture.
We cannot separate the two. We cannot have basic teachings which are separated from the historical context of scripture. They both work together.

Both the Gospel handed down in Tradition and the Gospel they wrote combine to form one Gospel, the Word of God, which is taught by the Church Jesus founded.


#6

Scripture is NOT the source of Church teachings.

Correct! That’s why Rome can make up a lot
of stuff and claim it’s from God. :rolleyes:

Does “filioque” ring a bell?

reen12


#7

I’m not sure what Protestants think the Church has to gain by “making stuff up” that would be out of line with Scripture.

The “Big Bad Catholic Church,” it seems, would have little reason to create arbitrary teachings that were in contradiction with the Bible. Especially theological teachings that could stir conflict - why would the Church just “invent” the Filioque idea just for kicks, when clearly it didn’t sit well with many people?

Perhaps she was reflecting Truth? And reflected that Truth even in the face of much external attack?

Or no, I suppose the Church thinks it’s fun to just randomly think things up that have no basis in any reason or Scripture just to confuse people.

That must be it. :shrug:

I’m not sure what the big problem with the Filioque is anyway… It makes perfect sense Theologically and Scripturally.


#8

:rolleyes:

From where do you get your authority to make stuff up, reen12?

The Holy Spirit is sent into the world by the Son as well as the Father (see John 15:26 and Acts 2:33). The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of the Son (Galatians 4:6) and not just the Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20). This was orthodox belief well before the Nicene Councils, and it was Orthodox belief as well (until Muslim conquerors pressured Eastern Orthodox leaders to re-enter schism with the Church).

– Mark L. Chance.


#9

I believe this is known as Catholic respect for the Bible :smiley: - Jesus (that Jewish guy 2K years ago) seemed to think it was, well,…important. Silly Jesus.

Maybe that’s why He quoted Papal encyclicals, & not that silly Jewish book :). ##


#10

"Scripture is NOT the source of Church teachings."

Correct! That’s why Rome can make up a lot
of stuff and claim it’s from God. :rolleyes:

Does “filioque” ring a bell?

reen12

Again, this is a perfect example of how non-Catholics actually think that Christianity (the Catholic religion) somehow came from scripture.

We have to go over and over the fact that Jesus is the fullness of revelation. The bible itself says about Jesus:
“All things have been delivered to me by my Father…” Mt 11:27
In Jesus "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Col 2:3
In Christ “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2:9)

Notice that no where does the bible say that in Moses, or Paul or Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”

And in no other writer or prophet of the bible does it sayd, [size=3]“the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily”.[/size]

This can only be said about Jesus.

Thus, while Protestants start off with the bible, Catholics start off with Jesus.
In Protestantism the bible is the center of their faith.
In Catholicism Jesus is the center of the faith.

Thus, we see the problem from the beginning. a) Scripture does not say the bible is the fullness of revelation.
b) Scripture does not say in the bible are "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”
c) Scripture does not say in the bible “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Thus, in Protestantism their sole authority is only what God wrote through men as salvation history, the bible.
For Catholics their authority is God Himself.

In the next stage man learns from God.

For CathoLics, Jesus taught the apostles EVERYTHING.
Mr 4:34 “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”
John 15:15 “for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”


#11

Notice two things.
a) The apostles did not teach themselves, but they were taught directly by God.
b) God taught them EVERYTHING.

In Protestantism
a) The leaders teach themselves by studying the bible. This necessarily means error.
b) The bible does not claim to have everything, and neither do Protestant church leaders claim to be taught everything.
c.) Thus Protestantism cannot help having error and being incomplete.

So even the holiest and smartest Protestants start with a disadvantage.

That is why in Protestantism, they are constantly trying to teach themselves the basic truths.
It is a learning religion.

In the Catholic Church, God has already taught the all the truth, everything. Thus, it is a teaching religion.
[size=3]The Popes constantly teach these truths, to guide the Church and to preserve the Gospel, and to apply the Gospel to todays world. [/size]

The apostles next were commanded by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel and “he who believes and is baptized will be saved”

Thus salvation comes from believing the Gospel.
Since this Gospel comes from Jesus, it is “the source of all saving truth and moral discipline” CCC
The apostles appointed bishops to succeed them and hand down this Gospel, (the Catholic faith) and in this manner the fullness of revelation is handed down through the Church.

Only this Gospel contains EVERYTHING God has revealed for our salvation. Jesus, as God, TAUGHT, did not write, but TAUGHT the apostles EVERYTHING. The apostles had to follow the example of Jesus and thus they TAUGHT this Gospel (the Catholic faith) to their successors, the bishops of the Church.

Protestants can’t find this Gospel in the bible, because the bible does NOT claim to present this Gospel that the apostles taught and preached. The bible claims to present salvation history. The four Gospels do not claim to be the Gospel the apostles taught and preached, they only claim to be narratives of the life of Jesus, which include some of his teachings. The rest of the New Testament claims to present early Church history and
letters written to correct problems.

Protestants go to the bible alone to learn the Gospel to be saved. The problem is that there is not a single chapter in the bible, not a single paragraph, that claims to present this Gospel that the apostles taught and preached.
But, Jesus said salvation comes from believing this Gospel.

Thus, they have to fill in, to make up teachings, to complete what is lacking in the bible in order to formulate their own Gospel. So these different Gospels result in over 30,000 different denominations.

This is the basic reason that Protestantism doesn’t work.
It simply cannot find the Gospel, the “source of all saving truth and moral discipline”, that Jesus said we must believe to be saved, in the bible.


#12

That’s rather a superstitous attitude. The scriptures were accepted by the Church as canonical, but that doesn’t mean that everything they contain was necessarily accepted by the whole Church, or even by a majority of the Church. They could reflect their authors’ pet hobby horses.
However they won’t do this too dramatically. If there were widely at variance with the consensus then they would have been rejected. They tell us very substantially what the Early Church believed, but we should always remember that no source is without bias.


#13

I like the ideas the OP is bringing forward! Got to say this is the first time I’ve seen this done. Seeing the title of this thread I was thinking “Oh no, another Protestant bashing the Church”, but coming inside and reading it, I see that the OP is presenting this idea not as a weakness of the Church, but as a strength of the Church, which it really is.

The author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit, we know this. And Protestants like to make a big deal about this. But the OP here has a good suggestion - that the Bible is just a summary work or assistive guide to the truth that the Holy Spirit already revealed through Jesus and that’s being propogated through the Church (the way He really wanted to reveal it, riting it down and making people read it) - and not the be all and end all in itself.

Another thing to note. Although the Jewish people did not have a perfect Tradition like the Catholic Church does, this still does not mean the Old Testament becomes the only source for Catholics to obtain the truths revealed by God in the years before Christ - because everything He revealed was re-taught and brought to perfection by Christ. So like the NT, the OT also stands as an assistive text.


#14

But, the problem is…the gospel implies justification by faith alone. This is clear from scripture. So, if the CC is not teaching this, maybe they need to go back to scripture alone to get this truth down before they branch out and away from it.


#15

Jesus is the source of the Catholic Church.
He said to His apostles,
"I have chosen you, you did not chose me"
It is a work of God.

In Protestantism men to chose to follow Jesus
Men are the source of Protestant denominations.
It is a work of men.

Jesus taught the leaders of His Church.
Mr 4:34 “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”
John 15:15 “for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

God does the teaching. He teaches EVERYTHING
It is a work of God.

Protestants have to teach themselves the bible, which is their only authority. They can only learn salvation history.
Men teach themselves. They cannot learn everything.
It is a work of men.

The apostles learned from Jesus how to worship.
That is why all the early Christians worship in the mass. Thus, God taught the Church how to worship.
It is a work of God.

Protestants go to the bible to learn how to worship.
But, the bible, no where, describes how to conduct a worship service. Thus, each denomination makes up their own way of worship.
It is a work of men.

In all this I am trying to clarify issues of scripture and Tradition and authority. I am not trying to condemn Protestism. After all, what ever is good in Protestantism comes from God.

By showing that the Catholic Church comes from God directly, and not from guesswork on bible verses I hope to clear up thinking so we can clearly see the differnces and not get caught up in simply throwing verses at one another, verses which cannot give the complete Gospel.

Jesus alone is the source of everything. Not the bible
Jesus alone taught everything to man. Not the bible.
Jesus commanded the leaders of His Church, the apostles to proclaim and teach this Gospel, which contains EVERYTHING God taught about salvation.
Jesus said salvation comes from believing the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.
**The bible does NOT claim to present a summary of this Gospel the apostles taught and preached. **

Jesus did not say salvation comes from believing the Gospels that were written, which are the narratives of the life of Jesus.
Jesus said salvation comes from believing the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.

The apostles handed down everything they learned from Jesus to their successors, the bishops of the Catholic Church. These bishops were Catholic, because that was the Gospel the apostles taught them. These bishops learned everything they knew, from the apostles. What they learned was the Gospel the apostles taught, the Catholic faith.

The Church continues to proclaim this Gospel today, the entire Catholic faith.


#16

Scott Hahn would certainly agree that Church teaching came first, and then the Bible.

Every word of the Bible is true, but this does not make it the source of Christian doctrine. The source of Christian doctrine is Jesus Christ - the Scriptures are one of its products. :thumbsup:


#17

But, the problem is…the gospel implies justification by faith alone. This is clear from scripture. So, if the CC is not teaching this, maybe they need to go back to scripture alone to get this truth down before they branch out and away from it.


#18

Only if you ignore huge sections of it, including the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), which calls us to works of obedience, and Matthew 25, which calls us to works of mercy.

There is only one verse in Scripture that contains both the words “faith” and “alone” - it’s James 2:17, which says, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” :wink:


#19

This is based on a drawing out of that phrase from the full context…

James 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can **that faith **save him?

That whole passage is discussing dead faith and living faith (which is a gift of God - the former being a counterfeit). We are justified ON THE BASIS OF faith alone…but by a certain kind of faith…faith THAT works. This is very clear from James 2. The CC will not see this.

Works are the inevitable fruit of living faith - faith which is the gift of God and not a counterfeit faith.


#20

So, in other words, “faith alone” saves, under the condition that when what we’re calling “faith” is really faith (meaning belief) plus obedience, plus works of mercy.

But belief alone, without obedience and without mercy cannot save, and the Scriptures are absolutely clear about that.


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.