The Inspired Scriptures are All-Sufficient?


#1

Greetings all,
I want to first thank the owners of this forum for providing this format. Let it be know that my intentions are not to cause harm , but to seek after the truth. It has been my experiance in studying with members of the Roman Catholic church , that the scriptures are ‘dead’ and no longer relevant. I do not propose to place that belief on anyone here. When I read in the current Catechism the following words , I question the role of scripture in the Catholic church of today and the role it had in ancient times. The Catechism states ;

“The Sacred Sriptures contain the Word of God and because they are inspired they are truly the Word of God”
( pg. 37 - 135 ,DV 24)

"God is the author of Sacred Scipture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth. ( pg. 37 -136 , cf. DV 11)

In writing from prison in Rome Paul penned these words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness :That the man of God may be perfect, thoughly furnished unto all good works” ( 2 Tim.3:16-17).
Peter stated it this way,
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” ( 2 Peter 1:3).

Consider what these writers did not say: (1) They did not state they were given a few things; (2) They did not state they were given some things (3) They did not state they were given all things plus something else. What they stated was this: The Scriptures are profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (reprove us when we deviate), for correction (able to retrieve us from error), for instruction in rightousness (guide us in the way of right doing), and by God’s matchless power we have all we need to equip us in this life.

We have present with us, in the form of the Bible, the fullness of saving truth. That, of necessity, means we have no need for a Catechism , manual, confessional ,discipline, or creed book in any way. God has given us all we need. Any creed containing more than the Bible should be rejected because it contains too much; any creed containing less than the Bible should be rejected because it contains too little; any creed containing something differant from the Bible should be rejected because it is different; and any creed that is just like the Bible is not not needed.
There are many doctrines of Rome that are not taught in the scriptures. If as the Catechism states the sriptures are without error and contain God’s saving truth , and I beleive they do , then change in doctrine needs to occur for the church of Rome. This is a short list of things I would like to discuss in this format;
(1) The origin of the Roman Catholic Church
(2) Peter being elected Pope
(3) The Priesthood

Again , I want to thank the owners and moderators. I know your task in this format is tedeous. I appreciate the opportunity to study with you.
Robert Shadwick


#2

Actually, what’s “tedious” is seeing the same tired “objections” over and over again, presented as if they were brand new, with no apparent prior attempt to research them on this forum or elsewhere.

Perhaps you’d like to begin by explaining why it is that Protestants (defined broadly as post-Reformation non-Catholic, non-“Orthodox” western Christians) insist that everything has to be spelled out explicitly in the Bible. Does the concepts of entailment, presupposition, or implication mean anything to you?

Case in point: The Trinity. Do you accept the doctrine of the Holy Trinity? If so, why do you accept it? Does the Bible contain the word “Trinity” anywhere in its pages? If not, then why do you accept the doctrine?


#3

First off, welcome to the forums!:slight_smile:

Consider what these writers did not say: (1) They did not state they were given a few things; (2) They did not state they were given some things (3) They did not state they were given all things plus something else. What they stated was this: The Scriptures are profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (reprove us when we deviate), for correction (able to retrieve us from error), for instruction in rightousness (guide us in the way of right doing), and by God’s matchless power we have all we need to equip us in this life.

They said profitable. They did not say sufficient. See here:

“I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).

“Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us” (2 Tim. 1:13-14).

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess. 2:15)

“You, then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2).

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

“‘Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12).

So, let me ask you this: how do you know that the books in the Bible are inspired? How do you know which books belong in the Bible? Where in Scripture does it tell me this? How do I know whose interpretation is correct?

Let’s say I wrote a few nice consistent and morally sound books and at the end I wrote “this is the Word of God.” Simply from the text alone, how would you know that it wasn’t?

There are many doctrines of Rome that are not taught in the scriptures. If as the Catechism states the sriptures are without error and contain God’s saving truth , and I beleive they do , then change in doctrine needs to occur for the church of Rome. This is a short list of things I would like to discuss in this format;
(1) The origin of the Roman Catholic Church
(2) Peter being elected Pope
(3) The Priesthood

Or, your personal interpretation of Scripture needs to change.

  1. and 2) Matt. 16:18
  2. John 21:15-17
  3. Priests (presbuteroi) are also known as “presbyters” or “elders.” In fact, the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word presbuteros. They have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:14–15).

For a nice quick overview of the Church. Check this tract. It’s pretty helpful, short and to the point. Hope that helps:)
catholic.com/library/pillar.asp


#4

Robert,

I’m not Catholic, but I still want to respond to a few things. Your argument for sola scriptura doesn’t seem sound to me.

First, you quoted three sources–two from the catechism and one from the Bible–to show that the Bible is the word of God. That, by itself, is not enough to establish that only the Bible is the word of God, and none of the sources you quoted exclude Tradition from carrying the same authority as the Bible.

Second, you made three observations about what the above authors did not say. Your point here seemed to be that since they did not say those things, then they were excluding those things as true. That, to me, seems like a glaring case of an argument from silence.

Third, using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to argue for the sufficiency of scripture is problematic unless you can make the case that 2 Timothy was the last book written. If 2 Timothy 3:16-17 indicates that whatever scriptures exist are sufficient, and if there were other things written after 2 Timothy, then those other things were not necessary. But if there were scriptures written after 2 Timothy, then 2 Timothy cannot mean that the scriptures then in existence were sufficient or that they could not be added to.

Sam


#5

Consider what these writers did not say: (1) They did not state they were given a few things; (2) They did not state they were given some things (3) They did not state they were given all things plus something else. What they stated was this: The Scriptures are profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (reprove us when we deviate), for correction (able to retrieve us from error), for instruction in rightousness (guide us in the way of right doing), and by God’s matchless power we have all we need to equip us in this life.

Since this is the core of your objection, let me address this.

Notice further what these writers (or anyone else in the Scriptures)do not say: That Scripture is sufficient, that it is all we need as Christians to guide us to all righteousness. Being “profitable” is not the same as "sufficient.’ If you accept 2 Tim 3:16-17 as a statement that the Scriptures are sufficient, you have to deal with passages like the following:

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Does this imply all we need to do is suffer trial and don’t need anything else?

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. Ephesians 4:11-15

Again, does this mean that all we need to attain spiritual maturity and fullness in Christ is to have all these various ministries and offices in the Church? Of course not, because if we take these two passages at face value and acted on them, building an entire doctrine and world-view upon them, we would severely be wrenching them out of context. Same with 1 Tim 3:16-17 and the concept of Sola Scriptura.

As the above poster noted, this objection is pretty old hat for us here. I suspect then you are asking this question out of good will not knowing the Catholic response. If so, I suggest you read the two articles linked below.

Scripture and Tradition
catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp

The Practical Problems With Sola Scriptura
cin.org/users/james/files/practicl.htm


#6

The Inspired Scriptures are All-Sufficient to prove that the Catholic Church was instituted by Christ Jesus and teaches His Truth today.

Had to finish your thought there for ya!

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary lead into the fullness of the faith!


#7

[quote=Robert Shadwick] It has been my experiance in studying with members of the Roman Catholic church , that the scriptures are ‘dead’ and no longer relevant. I do not propose to place that belief on anyone here.

Greetings to you also,
I am a little confused by your statement. Are you saying that the Catholics you know believe that the scripture is dead?

When I read in the current Catechism the following words , I question the role of scripture in the Catholic church of today and the role it had in ancient times. The Catechism states ;

“The Sacred Sriptures contain the Word of God and because they are inspired they are truly the Word of God”
( pg. 37 - 135 ,DV 24)

"God is the author of Sacred Scipture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth. ( pg. 37 -136 , cf. DV 11)

Again, I am confused. Do these quotes bother you, or do you find them acceptable? I don’t see anything false or worrisome in these statements even for a Protestant.

In writing from prison in Rome Paul penned these words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness :That the man of God may be perfect, thoughly furnished unto all good works” ( 2 Tim.3:16-17).

BUt he did not say scripture is the only thing given by inspiration of God and is profitable for… Technically, if you read the statement in 2 Timothy to mean that you can only have the bible for doctrine, reproof, correction of instruction; then you couldn’t even have a sermon or anything but bible reading in church. Also, what was scripture at that time period? It certainly wasn’t the new Testament. That was still being written. He is talking about the Greek version of the Old Testament.

Consider what these writers did not say: (1) They did not state they were given a few things; (2) They did not state they were given some things (3) They did not state they were given all things plus something else. What they stated was this: The Scriptures are profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (reprove us when we deviate), for correction (able to retrieve us from error), for instruction in rightousness (guide us in the way of right doing), and by God’s matchless power we have all we need to equip us in this life.

We have present with us, in the form of the Bible, the fullness of saving truth. That, of necessity, means we have no need for a Catechism , manual, confessional ,discipline, or creed book in any way. God has given us all we need. Any creed containing more than the Bible should be rejected because it contains too much; any creed containing less than the Bible should be rejected because it contains too little; any creed containing something differant from the Bible should be rejected because it is different; and any creed that is just like the Bible is not not needed.
There are many doctrines of Rome that are not taught in the scriptures. If as the Catechism states the sriptures are without error and contain God’s saving truth , and I beleive they do , then change in doctrine needs to occur for the church of Rome. This is a short list of things I would like to discuss in this format;
(1) The origin of the Roman Catholic Church
(2) Peter being elected Pope
(3) The Priesthood

Please post different topics on different threads. It will help you get a more complete answer. Jumping around from sola scriptura to the pope to priesthood can be difficult to keep up with in one thread.
[/quote]


#8

…someone enlighten me please… where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the only source of revelation…

it doesn’t…


#9

Robert,

Is it your belief that you “must” read Scripture to be saved?


#10

[quote=Titanites]Robert,

Is it your belief that you “must” read Scripture to be saved?
[/quote]

Must suck if you are illiterate :frowning:


#11

[quote=bogeyjlg]Must suck if you are illiterate :frowning:
[/quote]

That’s why Jesus established a teaching church.


#12

[quote=Robert Shadwick] “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness :That the man of God may be perfect, thoughly furnished unto all good works” ( 2 Tim.3:16-17).

[/quote]

Notice that it says **ALL **scripture… not **ONLY scripture… :wink: **


#13

originally posted by Robert Shadwick
It has been my experiance in studying with members of the Roman Catholic church , that the scriptures are ‘dead’ and no longer relevant.

Specifically, what “members of the Roman Catholic ©hurch” have you been studying with?
No Catholic of my aquaintance would ever even suggest such a thing.


#14

They are definitely extremely relevant. I will say, that one could describe them as dead when comparing them to the living Magesterium. A book is dead in the sense that it can’t explain itself or apply itself to various situations. The Bible is an object. I think when people say the Scriptures are “dead” that’s what they mean, not that they no longer matter, as the OP is suggesting.


#15

[quote=Pentecost2005]Case in point: The Trinity. Do you accept the doctrine of the Holy Trinity? If so, why do you accept it? Does the Bible contain the word “Trinity” anywhere in its pages? If not, then why do you accept the doctrine?
[/quote]

Where does Roman Catholic Church appear?


#16

[quote=Robert Shadwick]In writing from prison in Rome Paul penned these words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness :That the man of God may be perfect, thoughly furnished unto all good works” ( 2 Tim.3:16-17).

[/quote]

I don’t think anyone disagrees that scripture is profitable. But the problem arises in the multitude of scriptural interpretations. As Jesus says:

Matt 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church”

The church has the final say and provides the correct interpretation of scripture. If your interpretation conflicts with church teaching, then you are the one in need of correction.


#17

Thank you all for your prompt responses. Special thanks to “Genesis3:15” for welcoming me to the forum and for giving me direct answer to my three questions. I would ask that everyone please be patient with me on this topic. While you have discussed this to the point of it being “tired” to you , I have not had the oppotunity to discuss it with you. And I am quite sure that someone else will at a later date want to discuss it as well. Thanks also for the additional resources reffered to me. I hope to be able to first answer the questions raised here. If I do not answer your question directly , again I beg your patience , it is not intentional.

 First in response to my question concerning the origin of the Roman Catholic church I was refered to the scripture (by the way this shows authority on the part of scripture) Matt.16:18 which reads; 
    "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter ,and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".

    We should take a closer look at the statement "upon this rock". "Rock" here is Petra (feminine gender in the greek) and refers to the foundation upon which Jesus built his church. "Petros"(masculine gender), which means "a stone", is one thing , and "Petra", which means a "ledge of a rock", is another. Jesus did not say nor mean to say that his church would be built upon "a stone", but upon a solid "ledge of rock". In 1 Cor. 3:11 Paul refers to Jesus as the foundation. The context of Matt.16:18 refers to the truth that Peter had just confessed (verse 16) ,which was the diety of Jesus. The truth that Jesus is the Son of God is the most fundamental and basic of all truths pertaining to mans redemption.
     I was also refered to John 21:15-17. Notice here first that Jesus calls Peter by his original jewish name Simon, and not Petros. The words "feed my lambs", means "reconize your obligation as a teacher and shephard to care for my own". In 1 Peter 5:1 Peter refers to himself as a "fellow-elder" ,and in verse 4  Jesus is refered to as the chief shepherd.  This answers my second question more so than the first, but there is application to both. Concerning the first question , It is my belief that the first day of the church of Christ can be read about in Acts 2.
         Concerning "Priest" and "Elders". 

The Bible teaches that all who have obeyed the gospel are a"holy" and “royal priesthood” capable of offering “up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God though Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5,9). The offering is thru Jesus Christ and not a pope or bishop. Christians are to be in submissive obedience to Christ (Heb. 5:8-9).
I believe I was also asked concerning Biblical Hermeneutics. The Bible teaches by command, by approved example, and by implication. We can discuss this further in another post. And yes I believe in the “Trinity”. I know the word is not used but the doctrine is taught. Well, I hope I did not ramble on too much. Am looking forward to your response.
The churches of Christ salute you
Robert


#18

Robert,

As someone has already suggested, you should start separate threads for individual topics.


#19

[quote=sonseeker]Where does Roman Catholic Church appear?
[/quote]

That’s the whole point. Not everything is spelled out in the Bible The Bible does talk about one Churc however. Jesus founds it and Paul calls it the pillar and foundation of truth. Likewise, the Church is called the Catholic Church by St. Ignatius of Antioch (he was the bishop of Antioch) in 110 AD. He was a friend of St. John the Apostle.


#20

Dear Robert,

"We should take a closer look at the statement “upon this rock”. “Rock” here is Petra (feminine gender in the greek) and refers to the foundation upon which Jesus built his church. “Petros”(masculine gender), which means “a stone”, is one thing , and “Petra”, which means a “ledge of a rock”, is another. "

Jesus would have spoken Aramaic. To tranlate Kepha, the aramaic “rock,” into Greek “petra” would have been giving Peter a girl’s name! You don’t put feminine endings on masculine nouns, same ruels are in latin, if you are familiar with that. Besides, why bother to change his name, and give him keys, if it ment nothing?


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