Split: Catholic vs Non-Catholic scripture interpretation

I can tell you the following with tremendous confidence: If you genuinely believe in the statement you just made, then you have yet to open your Bible.

For one thing, the Bible does not have authority to declare anything.

Please clarify. It appears that Jesus and the apostles would disagree with you. Read my post here:

Yes, you reject Catholic Tradition…but do you realize you have a “Tradition” too…only it is not catholic?

I reject the Catholic understanding of tradition, that is, it is on the same level as Scripture.

I would suggest the following for reading and study:


I will get to this a little later today, but I will go ahead and address the quoted portion you provided below.

‘Tradition’ becomes whatever one agrees with in the history of the Church, such as the Nicene Creed or Chalcedonian Christology…What makes it ‘authoritative’ for Mohler is that it agrees with his interpretation of Scripture. If he encounters something in the tradition that seems extra-biblical or opposed to Scripture he rejects it. For that reason, tradition does not authoritatively guide his interpretation. His interpretation picks out what counts as tradition, and then this tradition informs his interpretation.

This would make sense if I had the same understanding of “tradition” as a Catholic. I do not view any “tradition” as authoritative. Scriptures verify the tradition. Traditions, even if they agree with Scriptures, are never authoritative.

And you see the Trinity in these verses because a Church council has laid the “Tradition” to see understand these verses as the Trinity.

I do not see the trinity because there was a council that decided it. Are you under the impression that the deity of Christ was denied up until the fourth century?

Are you familiar with the heresy of Arius?

Of course I am, as I was a Unitarian upon conversion.

This is a classic protestant verse, and completely ignores the prior verses, which I provide.

Here it is again with verse 14:


14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Now, can you explain it again, with verse 14 to 16? Does it actually say Bible alone?

I never suggested that this one passage generated the understanding of sola scriptura. I suggest reading the 15th and 16th posts on this thread.

I suggest that you start a separate thread on this one.

Speaking of Revelations, Luther actually wanted to take out that book.

Greetings tstot and welcome to CAF!

Please tell us what your understanding is of the purpose of the council of Nicea if not as pablope has suggested above.


…wow… you do have finite understanding of Tradition! …you seem bent (fully sold) on what Scriptures do not Teach (sola Scriptura) while, simultaneously, in full rejection of what Scriptures do Teach:

10 And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because** they receive not the love of the truth**, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: 11 That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. 12 But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth: 13 Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 14 Therefore, brethren,** stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.** 15 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope in grace, 16 Exhort your hearts, and confirm you in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-16)

…as you have suggested, maybe it’s time for you to break out a new filter when searching Scriptures!

Maran atha!


[INDENT]"In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”

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.”“The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer.”

“Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”

“and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”

The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.

Catechism of the Catholic Church



We have to be very careful about what we mean when we use the term “Tradition,” or else the conversation will go all over the place, we will talk past each other, and there will be no meaningful dialogue. Take these two selections from the Catholic Church’s catechism as a starting point:[INDENT]"[Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."

The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

[/INDENT]The Catholic Church’s use of “Tradition” means the entirety of God’s revelation transmitted to the church, particularly to the successors of the Apostles, the bishops, who are the pastors and teachings of Christ’s flock.(1 - see below). Scripture is not in competition with Tradition; rather, the New Testament is part of this Tradition. You can look at this theologically or even historically as well: The New Testament proceeds the Tradition, and in fact relies on Tradition. The early Christian community recognized the canon of Scripture through a living Tradition passed on in the apostolic churches. Scripture is unique in that is the inspired, written Word of God. Tradition, though it is not written (generally speaking), is nevertheless not any less from God. The same officers who recognized, declared, and maintained the canon of Scripture – the bishops – are the same officers of the church who recognize, declare, and maintain what is authentically part of the one Apostolic Tradition, the deposit of faith “once for all delivered” to the church. It is Christ’s Holy Spirit who leads “into all truth,” and it is Christ’s Holy Spirit who guarantees that the church, founded on the rock Peter, will not be led astray: “Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not prevail” (Matthew 16:18).

Now a Catholic will agree with you that “traditions” are not on the same level as Scripture. A Catholic would agree that Scripture verifies tradition, but the Catholic would be more precise and say the entire Word of God – which is not restricted to the written documents only – or, “Tradition” with a capital T – verifies the many traditions, customs, and practices within the church.

By “Tradition” the Catholic Church does not mean this or that tradition or even a collection of any or all traditions. These can and do manifest the one Tradition – the entirety of God’s Word delivered and preached by the Apostles under the prompting of the Holy Spirit. But these traditions, like fasting days, or liturgical customs, or priestly celibacy, the creation of cardinals and other institutions, etc., must be tested by the overall Tradition that is the transmission of all that Christ and the Apostles preached:[INDENT]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.”

/INDENT Irenaeus of Lyons says in the late 2nd century:

“It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about” (*Against Heresies *3:3:1 [A.D. 189]).

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, on his way to be martyred in the early 110s:

“It is necessary, therefore—and such is your practice that you do nothing without the bishop, and that you be subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, in whom we shall be found, if we live in him. It is necessary also that the deacons, the dispensers of the mysteries [sacraments] of Jesus Christ, be in every way pleasing to all men. For they are not the deacons of food and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They must therefore guard against blame as against fire”

…the problem I find is that those who are estranged from the Church (which includes 1500 years of Church History) cannot/will not accept anything past their group’s/sect’s “tradition” and “doctrines.” They ascribe to some twilight zone reformulation of events when dealing with the Church which was Founded by Christ and built and maintained by the Holy Spirit, through the Apostles and their Successors.

Interestingly enough though, as the Jehovah Witnesses, any historical account that they can find which they perceive as a failure of the Catholic Church they embrace it and promulgate it as “pure oxygen;” while, simultaneously, rejecting anything that supports the Church and that demonstrates the tragedy of Protestantism (myriads of splintering of the Mystical Body of Christ).

Maran atha!


You have tremendous belief in your desire to see it in scripture. Why did the Gnostics not see it? Why did the Arians not see it? Why did the Subordinationists not see it? Why did the Adoptionists or Modalists not see it? Why did the Manichaens not see it? Why did the Nestorians not see it? FF>> Why do today’s Oneness Pentecostals not see it? Why do Mormons not see it? Why do the JWs not see it? They all had/have the exact same scriptures that you do! How can you possibly win an argument with them, since the trinity is clearly not explicit in scripture? You cannot go to a protestant council, since there cannot be one. You are at loggerheads!

You must go way back in history to the Council of Nicaea, in which the Church (the same as in Acts 15), by the power of the Holy Spirit, solemnly declared the doctrine of the trinity.

Honestly, team loyalty aside, let’s seek the truth here. You believe in the trinity because those who handed their faith on to you taught you about the trinity. Trace their teaching all the way back and it stops at the door of the Catholic Church, where they got it from.

You can argue this, but it begins to look silly. Love or hate the Catholic Church, please allow her to have her due.

Luther’s Commentary on the Revelation of St. John… Highlighting is mine.

About this Book of the Revelation of John, I leave everyone free to hold his own opinions. I would not have anyone bound to my opinion or judgment. I say what I feel. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic.

First and foremost, the apostles do not deal with visions, but prophesy in clear and plain words, as do Peter and Paul, and Christ in the gospel. For it befits the apostolic office to speak clearly of Christ and his deeds, without images and visions. Moreover there is no prophet in the Old Testament, to say nothing of the New, who deals so exclusively with visions and images. For myself, I think it approximates the Fourth Book of Esdras; I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it.

Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly [Revelation 22]—indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important—and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep.

Many of the fathers also rejected this book a long time ago; although St. Jerome, to be sure, refers to it in exalted terms and says that it is above all praise and that there are as many mysteries in it as words. Still, Jerome cannot prove this at all, and his praise at numerous places is too generous.

Finally, let everyone think of it as his own spirit leads him. My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it. But to teach Christ, this is the thing which an apostle is bound above all else to do; as Christ says in Acts 1:8], “You shall be my witnesses.” Therefore I stick to the books which present Christ to me clearly and purely.

Luther is clear here that he is expressing his own opinion, and doe not consider his opinion binding on anyone, much less the canon. He states his conserns about the book, and references the Fathers of the Church. There is nothing unCatholic or unreasonable about his comments.


=tstor;13940083]I can tell you the following with tremendous confidence: If you genuinely believe in the statement you just made, then you have yet to open your Bible.

Pablope and I often disagree on things, but this statement is clearly false regarding him in particular, or Catholics in general. Tradition and scripture should not be held as opposed to each other. The teaching authority of the Church should not be held in opposition to the practice of using scripture as the final norm.

This would make sense if I had the same understanding of “tradition” as a Catholic. I do not view any “tradition” as authoritative. Scriptures verify the tradition. Traditions, even if they agree with Scriptures, are never authoritative.

Of course they are. What tradition is not is equal to scripture. There are numerous norms, but only scripture is the final norm.
Every communion has Tradition. Even the communion that says “we have no creed but scripture” has established a Tradition, and it is authoritative for them.

I do not see the trinity because there was a council that decided it. Are you under the impression that the deity of Christ was denied up until the fourth century?

While I agree that the Trinity is more than implicit in scripture, there is no reason to deny the impact of the great ecumenical councils on our understanding of the faith. They have, without doubt, shaped our understanding of the faith, particularly the Trinity and the Person of Christ. This is the way the scriptural teaching role of the Church is practiced.


[quote=tstor]I do not see the trinity because there was a council that decided it. Are you under the impression that the deity of Christ was denied up until the fourth century?

When I see a comment like this I think two things:

A: You are unfamiliar with Church History.

B: You are blithely unaware of how your own prejudices and preconceived notions affect your interpretation of Scripture.

Hi, Jon!
…but the problem is his determination to exclude the book–even if only in his own mind and theology. He has determined that it is not prophetic and Inspired on the grounds that St. Peter and St. Paul did not note visions… really?:

1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. (2 Corinthians 12:1-4)

He quote the excessive “self-importance” of the book and how it demands that nothing be removed or added–so, of course, he determines what and how the Holy Spirit Inspires. His arrogance blinds him and he throws out the Word of God because he is self-inspired to do so… Apocalyptic and profound Revelation is rejected removing Christ’s Revelations from Christ’s Church (Apocalypse):

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (1:17-18)

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. (3:14)

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
king of kings and lord of lords. (19:11, 16)

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (21:22-27)

3b The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” (22:3b-4, 12-13, 16-20)

…yeah… man’s opinionated thought trumps God’s Revelation… yeah right! ! :banghead::banghead::banghead:

Your hero spins the tail and you blindly follow…

May the Holy Spirit enlighten you and bring you to Salvation.

Maran atha!


Just a couple of thoughts

  • if you feel the need to beat your head against the wall three times (figuratively speaking) over the personal opinions of a man dead 470 years, suit yourself. His opinion of Revelation isn’t even part of the typical Lutheran view.
  • I have a whole lot of posts here at CAF. I’ve never referred to Luther as my hero, here or any where else. In fact, I find his view of the Deutero-canon and NT antilegomena not deferential enough to the history of the Church universal. So, I’m not sure where you got that information that Luther was my hero, or that I blindly follow

May His Spirit be with you, as well


Hi, Jon!
…maybe I misunderstood your post; you highlighted Luther’s “explanation” as to his personal position… I took that as a defense for what he expounded as valid reasons for relegating Scriptures to vanity and futility… since people only defend that which they cherish, I espoused the defense to “hero worship.”

…the banging of the head is an antithesis–meant to demonstrate Luther’s fallacy in making himself the judge and executioner of Sacred Script; and yes, while it was his personal opinion, the chaos he introduced has reign for over half a millennia as people continue to fold back on Luther and the idea that anyone can interpret God’s Word as he/she “feels.”

…and while it is great to have access to Church History, seeking to undermine what subsequently been Canonized by citing contrary positions that were expressed prior to the implementation of the Canon is quite trivial–specially when the acclaimed “scholar” goes to the extent of adding to Scriptures under the guise that* he fully understood the mind of the Writer *and that he added that which the Writer truly meant to express.

…so, yeah right, Luther knew better than the Holy Spirit and St. Paul! :banghead::banghead::banghead:

Maran atha!


A great many christians in the Protestant traditions hold that no one is bound to accept any scriptural intrepretation from anyone, but that the individual christian is free to interpret and hold scripture as they see it.

Obviously if this were true, then what is the point of having ministers expound scriptural meanings? Because each person has the right to be their own minister of intrepretation. And then there arises one major defect in this private interpretation, and that is, thousands of churches who hold certain beliefs in an absolute way from their interpretations that do not agree with each other causing thousands of churches to be born. Yet it is known that truth is one and that on the last night Jesus was on earth, he prayed that his disciples be one. Most certainly the church that Christ left on earth would not be contradicting itself with interpretations.

An interesting idea is … what would the effect be if all the bibles in the world were no longer available? Would faith among christians disappear too? And as centuries came and went without the bible, would the christian faith go into extinction? Or without the bible would christians pass down to others the thoughts and words of our Saviour just as they did in the early local churches teaching by word of mouth. Early christians did not have private bibles at that time for many reasons. The bible was read in the local church at the service they held on Sundays. And this is where they were fed on the word of God … from the church’s treasury of understanding.

People grow up, from an infant to a senior citizen. Are they the same person? Yes but different in experience, knowledge, ability. The church too grows up. Although the church is the same entity as it was from the beginning it is different today in that it has grown considerably. It had problems of all sorts from persons struggling to understand their faith. And in order to clearify, the church then defined truths more acurately. And so we have truths defined such as the divinity of Jesus, Trinity, grace and so on. These truths were there all along, but when confusion took over, the church then presented it’s understanding to defining what these truths meant.

Hi tstor, my prayers go out to you.
After thinking about your post I wanted to offer you a procedural analog from mathematics.
I think the situation is much alike a numbers problem: 2398739876 x 6498746000
I certainly hope you have never solved this exact problem previously! I do not explicitly state the answer my calculator provides, but knowing the procedure for solving multiplication problems even without a calculator, I can state “explicitly” that there is an answer for this problem. Once solved, the answer “becomes explicit.” Truthfully, it was already there.
If God’s word is infinite truth, do statements that do the work of God by virtue of stating the truth, i.e., revealing what is hidden, violate any rule of their foundation, Scripture itself?
The point of dispute between many separated brethren seems to be that because Catholics know the Bible was compiled out of a catholic tradition, that I, a Catholic, make myself exclusive owner and author, and authoritative commentator on it. I convey this with sadness (and possibly madness) because though I believe in the Magisterium’s authority, I know also on that account that Jesus spoke what the Father commanded him.
If someone replies that we don’t know exactly what Jesus said; their only answer is what else do we have besides the tradition of and in and from the Bible to guide us on our journey home?
Take the holy tradition of the Rosary. Does not Jesus say to be persistent in prayer? And does not the argument arise because some do not feel empowered to use this catholic tradition because they do no feel Catholic. It has been resolved that anyone with faith is catholic in a certain sense of the word. Once the truth of this assertion dawns, there is plenty of light even at dusk.

I believe 1800 bishops were invited to Nicea by Constantine, and varying accounts show approximately 300 attended. I believe only 2 rejected the concept of the Trinity. Why did so many bishops vote in favor of accepting the Trinity if the concept wasn’t already well known from the Scriptures and the early teaching? Maybe a few (Arius) didn’t accept the idea. It wouldn’t be the first or the last time someone was wrong. I don’t think that means nobody for 3 centuries could figure out the concept of the trinity. Was the term itself first created at Nicea?

The concept of the Trinity is all throughout the Bible:
All 3 were present at creation
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16** For in him all things were created**: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him"
Genesis1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image…

Jesus declares to be God
Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

3 distinct entities work together
John 14:15 “If you love me (Jesus), keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth."

All 3 have a role in salvation
Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

The examples could go on and on, but I do think the triune nature of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are very clear in the Bible.

Do you think the Scriptures can support Arianism?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses do a fine job of this.

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