The Bible and NOT the Catholic Church is the Final Authority (Edited Title)


There has been a long-going discussion with a Catholic member who is under the impression that the bible and not the Catholic Church is the final authority. Several of us have tried to explain Catholic teaching to this member but after a few hundred posts, it is clear that our Apologetic’s skill are not up to the challenge, so I ask others who can, to please explain Catholic Church teaching on this matter.

"Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in sacred scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."

*"Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without ERROR that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation. *

Therefore, “all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for REPROVING, for CORRECTING, for INSTRUCTION IN JUSTICE; that all the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17, Greek text.)"

The very documents of Vatican II clearly promulgate the validility, the authorship, and the authority of Holy Scripture as the final Word of God and Christ.

“Study to prove yourself approved.”


I think the question has to be put more clearly. What does it mean to say that scripture and not the Church is the final authority? As it stands the statement doesn’t make sense.


Well you can start HERE and read all of the posts made by ponyman to understand his position.


Here is another one of his post which might clarify his position further …


But I just don’t have the time to do that. Maybe we should just talk about authority. What is the “final authority”?

  1. God. Obvious.

  2. God’s entire revelation to humanity? Pretty obvious as well. Where is that entire revelation found?

  3. Those who have been given by God keys to the kingdom, the power to bind and loose heaven? Sounds like authority to me.

So, ponyman, if you’re out there, what authority do you want to talk about?


Here’s more …

… There’s 350+ posts like this denying the infallibility of the Church, the infallibility of the Pope, denying that that Church assembled the Bible in the late 4th century, etc.

I’ve tried as best as I could to explain church teaching on this matter but apparently my Apologetic’s skills are lacking.


Anybody who denies the authority and infallibility of the Church by referring to documents of the Magisterium is sure one confused individual! More than that, the Nazi reference is a dead giveaway of an agenda that is not centered on seeking the truth. :rolleyes:

Let’s hope he joins the thread in his honor. :slight_smile:


Thank you Mike. Here are more from this gentleman who claims to be Catholic …

… I was always under the impression that the Catholic Church DID produce the bible in the late fourth century and had the authority to do so.


More …


Why is it that no one is addressing the documents which I presented from Vatican II regarding the authority of Scripture? Could it be that they validate my claims that Christ and Holy Scripture are the ultimate authority and not the Church’s hierarchy.

No, that is not the reason. Firstly, those quotes are taken out of context from the rest of Church documents, something called “cherry-picking” intended to make it seem as though there is nothing else that can be said on the subject. It’s simply not the case that the Church teaches the Bible is the authority upon which the Christian faith is based. Besides, isn’t it a bit odd to be quoting Church documents if the authority isn’t the Church? Why is it you can’t quote the Bible? Could it be because the Bible no where claims to be the authority you claim for it?

Also, authority does not reside within documents but within persons. We don’t look to the Constitution as the final authority, we look to the justices of the US Supreme Court who have been given the authority to interpret it by the President and the Senate to do so.

Finally, Jesus never wrote a word of the NT nor did he ever refer to the Scriptures as the authority upon which he would build his Church. He gave that authority, and the authority to preach and teach (which is largely what the NT consists of–preaching and teaching) to the Apostles. As for the OT, it too was not the ultimate authority, but was interpreted by the Jewish leadership and various schools of Scribes, which is why there was so much disagreement about what it meant and why Jesus chided them for not knowing the truths of the Scriptures, which he had come to fulfill.

I suggest for your reading: Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church for a clearer understanding of what the Bible is (and isn’t) and how we are to understand its place in Sacred Tradition.


If you read the posts by ponyman on the subject of Scripture versus Church authority you will find this is a person with Protestant sensibilities on this subject despite his claims to be a lifelong Roman Catholic and–if I have understood him aright–a one-time seminarian and student of theology. Quite puzzling.


It appears that Ponyman has been banned from CAF. I’ve inquired as to why. I’ll let this group know if I hear anything.

We all get pasionate with our discussions at times–I’m probably the most guilty of this. When I first started posting to the thread “It is prohibited for a Catholic to join Freemasonry” I was way out of line when I told JimmyB that I was going to make him the Honorary Joseph McCarthy of CAF. I apologized to him, and we both kept on posting our ideas.

I think we can all agree on our calling to rescue lost souls is far more important than our arguing over which is the which is more important Christ and Sacred Scripture or Christ and the Holy Church.

Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek. If someone ask you to take them a mile, take them three.

I did not agree with everything that Ponyman said, but I didn’t think it was very Christ-like to ban him.

On a separate note, I’m not able to get back into the thread “It is prohibited for a Catholic to join Freemasonry;” is anybody else having this problem?

Thank you brothers (and sisters :))



That’s really good information and it helps me a lot.

Would you say that Jesus is the authority over everything?

Thank you,


Toward the end, many of his comments were less than charitable and he even admitted that his intent was to flame those that he disagreed with. If the thread was still around, I could offer the exact posts and exactly what he said but it is no longer here.


I am not Catholic, however, my spin on this to Ponyman would be this: Which bible is the final Authority? The Protestant KJV or NIV? When Paul referred to the scripture he was speaking specifically about the LXX. Which as we know contains more books than the Protestant version. Most protestants would say the Bible is the inspired word of God. No one denys this however how do you explain quotations from non biblical sources in the bible such as in Jude and in the Revelation of John? Does this deminish the Bible? Make it less reliable. Or is there insperation outside of the Bible? Is there anything outside of the Bible that is Authoritative? When Paul spoke his words were authoritative outside the LXX and latter became authoritative by the acceptance of the Catholic Church. There became Unity in believe on the Authoritative writings (letters) in the 4th century however universally accepted letters were catagorized by Athenasius. So the Apostles were Authoritative. The questions then becomes were their teachings faithfully transmitted by the Church? A deposit of faith? So if the Bible referrs to things outside it’s scripture as authoritative would that not then be so?


Thank you Sir Knight,

I appreciate your post.

I admit that I was getting a little nervous that I was going to be the next one banned for not agreeing with the Church on the issue of Freemasonry.

One of the great things about letter writing is that it allows the author the time to visit and revisit what he has written. It also forces the same writer to wait for a response (this often acts as a cooling down period). In this age of internet, I have often found myself hitting “submit reply” way too fast and receiving replies from others in a manner much quicker than the US post could ever dream of.

Why did CAF take the thread down?

I can understand the need for censuring on a Catholic website, but I didn’t think that our thread would have warranted that type of response from CAF.

Anyway, hope all is well Sir Knight. Thank you for your reply.




Do you agree that much of what Jesus said is recorded in Holy Scripture?


Do you agree that much of what Jesus said is recorded in Holy Scripture?

Yep, much (but not all) of what Jesus said is recorded in Holy Scripture.


I’d say God is the final authority. Let’s not leave out God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Jesus never wrote, nor commanded any of his followers to write, because There Must Be A Book!!!

However, he did say, upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!

Said at the cliffside of Caesarea Phillipi–a very meaningful and instructional place–with a shining white temple to Pan on the top of the cliff, and the abyss into Hell in the rockface, considered the gates of Hades.

So Christ’s finished work wasn’t done until he built his Church on the Rock - Kepha - Peter – but funny, he said nothing about book writing.

I believe in Divine Revelation…Sacred Tradition which includes the Holy Scriptures. Amen!!!

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