The Berean connection


Would someone like to explain to me why protestants keep trying to reach back into history constantly trying to legitimize themselves? They often use the Bereans as a prime example and connection. The bereans this and the bereans that…We follow the bereans…Blah Blah Blah…

Someone break this down for me…


This is the reference to the Bereans in the Bible.

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
(Acts 17:10-11)

The point is that the Bereans are commended for searching the Scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true, indicating that if it had not been in accordance with Scripture it would not have been accepted.

Also Paul was an Apostle. Yet the Bereans were not condemned for not accepting his authoritative interpretaion of Scripture but checked it for themselves.


No, the Scripture meant nothing until Paul opened their eyes. Paul was saying the OT (which was the only Scripture at the time) testified to a Messiah and that Jesus fit that model (v 1-4). From there, those who believed had to accept the teaching/preaching authority of St Paul and the Apostles.


Granted Paul would have told them about Jesus, but that doesn’t change the fact that they didn’t just accept that he met the Old Testament prophecies without checking for themselves.


Why the Bereans Rejected Sola Scriptura should answer the OP’s question.


The Bereans are the worst possible group for Protestants to appeal to, and I’m amazed that they can’t see this. Let’s look at what they did. First, they had the true gospel preached to them by the apostles themselves. Then they went home and searched the scriptures to see if this gospel was true. And then what happened? Many of them still concluded, based on their own study of scripture, that the gospel of the apostles was not true!

Every single time a Protestant tells us “your Catholic belief X is not in the Bible” we need to remember the Bereans, and how they couldn’t confirmm the truth of the gospel as told to them by the very apostles in their scriptures either.


And many of them (half? most?) got the wrong answer!

Remember, along with those Bereans who came to believe, there were also Greeks who came to believe. Greeks, who had no scripture to study, they also came to believe. It is not clear that the Bereans’ study of scripture helped them at all. What is clear is that their study of scripture did not guarantee that they would recognize the truth directly from the mouths of the apostles.


The article linked to assumes that the Thessalonians searched the Scriptures. Just because Paul reasoned with them from the Scriptures does not mean the Thessalonians checked for themselves. The Bereans were more noble minded because they did not just reject Paul out of hands but checked for themselves. Those who actually confirmed with the Scriptures could see the truth.


Wow, I dont think I really thought about this before :thumbsup:

LOL…Im adding this to my arsenal.

LOL. “I checked the Scripture and I disagree with your interpretation”

The fact is Sola Scriptura takes away from the real issue, authoritative interpretation, and instead shifts the focus on something else.


Where is it stated, or even implied, that any of those who studied the Scripture themselves did not believe?


Are you saying the Thessalonians refused to look at the Scriptures? Then you also have to admit the Thessalonians that believed did so WITHOUT checking the Scriptures at all…:eek:


Where have I ever said that it is necessary to check Scripture
in order to believe?


THERE IS big difference between the PROTESTANTS and the Bereans and that is that the BEREANS first RECEIVED the instruction before they went to scripture… Protestants normally go to SCRIPTURE first and then they try to get the instruction from Scripture themselves, which is basically what Sola Scriptura is all about.

In addition, the Bereans checked whether those instructions or teachings given by Paul contradicted Scripture and when they did not they accepted them… They had to believe Paul’s words regarding Jesus and what had happened to him, as that, at that time, was NOT in scripture yet… the only thing in scripture was the prophecies that this alledged Jesus had fulfilled… Protestant, unlike the Bereans, generally will not accept doctrines unless they ARE CLEARLY in Scripture, even though those doctrines might not contradict scripture itself.

So, quite different the Berean situation from the Protestant situation.

Many blessings,



So what you are saying is the blindly believed?..or are you turning Catholic on us? :wink:


It is stated by the fact that we are told “these Jews”, “they” received the word and examined the scriptures. Not “some of these Jews” but “these Jews”, “they”. But it does not similarly say that “these Jews” or “they” believed, but only that “many” believed. You are really straining at gnats here. Heck, by your argument, where does it say in the bible that all of the Bereans even heard the apostles? Maybe only some Bereans heard the apostles, and all of them believed, along with all of the Greeks who heard the apostles. So again, maybe checking the scriptures had little or no effect on the outcome.


You’re exactly right. The Bereans did not look to the scriptures for their doctrine, but only for confirmation of their received doctrine. John Henry Newman says the same thing (I wish I could remember where!), that one does not look to the bible for doctrine but for confirmation of doctrine.


And this is EXACTLY what the Catholic Church does!!! :thumbsup:


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