Teachings of the Church v. The Bible

Just a simple question…do the Teachings of the Roman Catholic Church have more credence than the information contained in the Bible? Or, do the Teachings of the RCC take precedence over the Bible? :tiphat:

What do you think? :confused: [/FONT]

When I was a Catholic, I seem to remember a heavy dose of Church Teachings at Mass instead of Bible. So, it seems to me that more emphasis is placed on the Teachings than on the Bible itself, or, is one the same as the other? :confused:

The two are never in conflict when both are properly understood.

No, the teachings of the church do not take precedence over the bible. Here’s a few of the Father’s opinions:

St. Athanasius (c.296-373):

The holy and inspired Scriptures are fully sufficient for the proclamation of the truth.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c.310-386):

For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless you receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.

(Catechetical Lectures, IV:17, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers [Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983 reprint], Second Series, Vol. VII, p. 23.)

St. Gregory of Nyssa (330-395):

…we are not entitled to such license, namely, of affirming whatever we please. For we make Sacred Scripture the rule and the norm of every doctrine. Upon that we are obliged to fix our eyes, and we approve only whatever can be brought into harmony with the intent of these writings.

(On the Soul and the Resurrection, quoted in Jaroslav Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971], p. 50.)

St. Gregory of Nyssa:

Let the inspired Scriptures then be our umpire, and the vote of truth will be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words.

(On the Holy Trinity, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. V, p. 327.)


St. Augustine of Hippo:

What more can I teach you, than what we read in the Apostle? For Holy Scripture sets a rule to our teaching, that we dare not “be wise more than it behooves to be wise,” but be wise, as he says, “unto soberness, according as unto each God has allotted the measure of faith.”

(On the Good of Widowhood, 2, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. III, p. 442. The quotation is from Romans 12:3.)

St. John Chrysostom (c.347-407):

Let us not therefore carry about the notions of the many, but examine into the facts. For how is it not absurd that in respect to money, indeed, we do not trust to others, but refer to [our own] calculation; but in calculating upon [theological] facts we are lightly drawn aside by the notions of others; and that too, though we possess an exact balance, and square and rule for all things, the declaration of the divine laws? Wherefore I exhort and entreat you all, disregard what this man and that man thinks about these things, and inquire from the Scriptures all these things; and having learned what are the true riches, let us pursue after them that we may obtain also the eternal good things…

(Homily 13 on 2 Corinthians, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. XII, p. 346.)

St. John Chrysostom:

Regarding the things I say, I should supply even the proofs, so I will not seem to rely on my own opinions, but rather, prove them with Scripture, so that the matter will remain certain and steadfast.

(Homily 8 On Repentance and the Church, in The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 96, p. 118.)

St. John Chrysostom:

They say that we are to understand the things concerning Paradise not as they are written but in a different way. But when Scripture wants to teach us something like that, it interprets itself and does not permit the hearer to err. I therefore beg and entreat that we close our eyes to all things and follow the canon of Holy Scripture exactly.

(Homily 13 on Genesis.)

There is much more scripture in the Mass than in a typical Evangelical worship service. A number of former Evangelicals have pointed this out.

The teachings of the Catholic Church are the same as the teachings of the Bible. There is no conflict.

I just read your post to my cousin who is an ex evangelical minister who converted to Catholicism.

His response was “When I was protestant I was always given the heavy dose of information that the Catholic Mass had nothing to do with the bible…but when I started investigating I found out that the Mass IS THE BIBLE…”

WIth that in mind could you use some specific examples of which teachings are not biblical? Remember please be specific…

Lastly, did the bible (the actual book) fall out of the sky from heaven? If not where did it come from?

Just today I read a story a friend of my friend posted on the Internet. A Bishop came to their university to give them a talk and at one point he said something like this: “Even if all copies of the Bible were to disappear all of a sudden, it would not matter, because the truth of the Bible would still be present in the Church.” The ‘funny’ part in the story was the dead silence and then strange noises coming from the evangelical section of the audience but that’s not why I’m saying this. I’m posting it here because I think this pretty much answers your question.

You ask an either-or question and my answer is neither - they are complementary.

Sounds like something a bishop would say. Let’s see. If the church disappeared it wouldn’t make any difference, because the bible would still be here. Right?

Steel since you are an older Catholic ( I am assuming baby boomer or older) you might possibly not be familiar with the Novus Ordo mass

Sounds like something a bishop would say. Let’s see. If the church disappeared it wouldn’t make any difference, because the bible would still be here. Right?

Oh yes, and that’s good. Bishops should say more of such things.

It actually would since Bible is only a part of Sacred Tradition, which is both written and oral. We would end up with everybody being protestant, trying to decipher the Truth from a book, as if it was the only rule of faith.

Of course this is an IF question which actually doesn’t make sense since we the Church will not disappear in the first place.

Very true. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. I get so mad at the church sometimes, but I get over it. It’s just that I want to understand everything. Sometimes I get impatient, but I remain faithful.

Don’t be angry. The best thing is to pray and God will help you understand when the right time comes. :thumbsup:

Peace with you brother,

When you attended Mass, you also got at least 3 bible readings at each mass and probably a fourth one from the Psalms. When you left the Lord’s banquet table where Jesus is really present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, you appear to have gone to a Christian tradition that didn’t even begin until the early 1800s in America with the Stone/Campbell Restoration Movement. Stone and the Campbells left the Presbyterian tradition, became preachers and at first independently gathered followers teaching that Baptism was necessary for the remission of sin, which is different from what many protestant traditions taught at that time. Stone and the Campbells later met and merged their followers into what they called the Church of Christ, which since then has further split into the Disciples of Christ and the denomination known as The Christian Churches as well.

While all three traditions claim to be the one true church established by Christ, none of them can trace their history beyond a little over 200 years. The Church you left traces its history back to Jesus Himself, and that is found in Scripture.

The various Churches of Christ and its offshoots all claim that the Bible alone is the only source for Christians to use. While that may sound logical now, the average Catholic or even the followers of the heriticial movements claiming to be Christian didn’t even have much access to a Bible for the first 1500 years of the Church’s existance, (until the invention of the printing press, which made copies of the Bible more affordable than the hand lettered copies previously available). And even then printed Bibles were still too expensive for most Christians to own. So for more than the first 1,500 years of Christian history the Apostles and their successor bishops taught the faith as passed on to them by Jesus Himself, and used Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition to tell the Good News of Jesus the Christ throughout the whole world.

While all Christian churches claim to use the Bible, the Catholic Church produced it and protected it from from harm or change throughout the centuries to this day. During the protestant reformation, the “protestors” deleted some parts of the Bible and it is widely believed that Martin Luther, a former Catholic priest even added at least one word to it to make it suit his personal beliefs.

Don’t ever let anyone, especially someone from a 200 year old protestant tradition, (that came out from another protestant tradition), that Catholics don’t love, protect, believe in and follow Sacred Scripture. The Bible however is not the only record of the divine revelation of Jesus nor is it the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth” as some denominations claim. (Take a look at 1st Timothy 3:15 and you will see the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth” is the Church established by Christ, not the Bible provided by that Church. Then be reminded that according to the last verse in the Gosple of John, (the apostle who claimed to love the Lord more than any of the others), not everything done by Jesus can be found in scripture and John said, “There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them”. (NAB, John 21:25)

I strongly recommend a good book on the history of the early Church, titled The Four Witnesses, by Rod Bennett. It will open your eyes to the early Church as it truly was. It’s inexpensive at www.Half.Com.

In conclusion, it goes without saying, your place at the Lord’s Table is saved for you and we’d love to welcome you home when the Holy Spirit leads you back.

Peace Be With You

Thank you brother. See I can take advice. Sometimes I come across fairly strong, but actually I’m just a big teddy bear. I just have strong convictions and I can’t help but to express them.

No, the question is whether Protestantism, and in particular, the Church of Christ, is in accord with Scripture.

Since the Church wrote the Bible, I would have to say that the teachings and the bible are not really distinct. Both come from Apostolic Tradition, handed down from Christ to the Apostles to the Church.

Were you paying attention?

I also grew up in the faith and I know for a fact that I heard the Bible in at least 3 different readings at Mass every time I went. How’d you miss that?

Look at today’s readings…

2nd Timothy 2:15 Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

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