The Magisterium equal to Scripture in authority???


If Catholics proclaim that EVERYTHING about the Roman Catholic church is Biblical, then why do they need anything at all that has the same authority in their church as the Holy Scriptures do??


Because the Bible came FROM the Church. The Bible only has Authority because the CC declared it so. It follows that if the Church had the Authority to say which Books were to be included in Sacred Scripture, and which were to be excluded, it has the Authority to proclaim other things.

The Authority given by Christ, who came to establish a Church, not write a Bible.


Authority or power? Do these two always go hand in hand? Should they?


Hmm. How can this be?? Didn’t Jesus preach freely of what pleases his father?? How could this be governed by the RCC? According to you, the church has authority over what Jesus said in Scripture among many other things.


Good point. Is it that many of the RCC’s teachings and practices are NOT squared or spoken of in Scripture and it needed to create something they could call equal in authority to Scripture to justify them like the Assumption etc?


Not quite Nella. The Catholic Church authoritatively wrote the NT under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the Catholic Church established the canon of Scripture. Scripture itself declares in 1 Tim 3:15 that “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, [is] the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

Scripture doesn’t even claim for itself what it claims for the Church. Scripture is best interpreted and understood within the liturgical environment of the Church. Likewise, the Church is the most qualified to decide what scripture is telling us. The Church is the body of Christ and is the living voice of the Savior. Scripture and the Church are not in conflict and we need both.


The Church (what you call the “RCC”) was here before the Sacred Scriptures were. The Church has the authority, given to it through Jesus Christ on Peter the Rock, to decide what is dogma (what we need to believe to be saved), and what isn’t. Peter is the foundation of the Church via his confession that Jesus was the true Son of the Living God, and he established a chair in which his successor would sit to exercise that same Petrine authority to this day.


Name one teaching we have which is not found in Scripture.


Scripture supports the teaching on the Asumption and every other teaching of the Church. Scripture is not always explicit in these things but the support is there. The Church gave definition to the meaning and truth of the Trinity, the hypostatic union, and many other things that are not directly or explicitly mentioned or defined in scripture.


The two go together. Authority is meaningless if there is no power associated with it. Moreover, scripture speaks of power in association with grace. Grace flows to the Church and to us as members.

Secular, political, and economic power are different from the power within the Church even though the Church has at times historically exercised power in these areas as well.


Because the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

1 Timothy 3:15
if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

The Church needs this authority because so many people misuse and misinterpret scripture to their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16
He [Paul] writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

What the Church is doing is telling the world with the authority given to it by God, “this is what the scriptures mean” .

Scriptures by themselves can be interpreted many different ways, but God is truth, and there is only one God, and there is only one truth.
The Church uses it authority to teach this one truth.


The selling of indulgences to make shorter the time a loved one’s soul in Purgatory.

The perpetual virginity of Mary.

That Mary is the purest realization of the faith (as stated in the Catechism of the RCC).

That Mary never had a grave.

That Jesus never had biological brothers and sisters.

That the mass is an actual time revisited sacrifice of Christ back to the father.

That salvation is had by works and faith.

That clergy cannot marry and have to remain celebate.

That Mary was born without sin.

That Mary never sinned.

That Mary is anything more than a saint.

That Mary is the “queen of Heaven” (I don’t even like to say that).

need more???


Vatican II explicitly stated (Lumen Gentium 2.10) that the Magisterium is not equal to the Word of God in authority. Of course, the Word of God is found both in Scripture and in the organic process of Tradition (the handing down of apostolic teaching in the Church). So there is something equal (in some sense) to Scripture, but that is not the Magisterium.

As for why the Church “needs” something of equal authority with Scripture, I don’t think everything that exists exists because it is needed. Creation is gratuitous. A case could certainly be made that the transmission of Tradition in the Church is necessary as a complement to Scripture, because without it Scripture could not be adequately interpreted and its rich implicit meanings would remain inaccessible. But I don’t think that’s the point. The point is, from the RC point of view, that Christians have historically believed that the Church preserves the apostolic teaching in her proclamation and not simply in the written record of Scripture. God gave both these gifts to the Church; whether or not either of them was necessary is not really the point.



I think this is pretty close to heresy, depending on what you mean by 'authority." The Church has always confessed that the Scriptures are a gift to her from God and not something she herself created; and therefore that the authority of Scripture comes from divine inspiration, which the Church recognizes but obviously does not create or control.

Remember that it’s a maxim of traditional Catholic theology that the primary author of Sacred Scripture is God. God does not need the Church’s go-ahead to inspire something.



Have you checked out this site, it is a bible cheat sheet for Catholic teachings

It is very clear to me by looking at your list, that you have a long ways to go to understand what the Church teaches. But maybe if you go back and re-read the bible using this cheat sheet, you will come to find the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church, and will lose all of your false notions of the church.



If you want to start a thread on any one of your points that will work. You can also research previous threads on these topics and see how the evidence is given and discussed. Likewise, you can research the library on this site(i.e. and find answers to your questions.

Catholic doctrines when properly expressed and understood can easily be supported by scripture.


I disagree. Surely you would acknowledge that Jesus had authority, yet at his crucifiction he utilized no power. Was his authority meaningless?

Let’s look to the beatitudes. Do members of the categories listed within the beatititudes receive the flow of grace as you understand it? I.e., are the poor, meek, hungry, persecuted all recipients of grace? Would you associate power with the meek, hungry and persecuted? By definition, I would not.

The church, under the watchful eye of Emperor Constantine (interested in consensus, not division) “approved” the texts of the bible, picking and choosing what the bishops believed to be the truth. The bible is an interesting mix of agreement and contradiction with Roman Catholic teachings. Of course they will disagree about the contradition part; after nearly 2000 years in power, the church has developed at least a semi-plausible explanation for each of its doctrines and can iron out those rough spots with enough apologetic elbow grease…

Ultimately, everyone’s concern is authority. The catholics scream “church” and “tradition”; the Protestants scream “scripture” for their source of authority. Everyone wants to function from a base of power.

I look back to the beatitudes and sayings like “the first shall be last and the last first”. Almost all of these things assume or require that one be powerless. Power is removed from the “Authority Equation”. Remember the passage about Elijah on the mountain waiting for the Lord to pass by? The Lord was not in the powerful wind, the fire or the earthquake, but in a whisper.

What did the prophets who had no bible or “magesterium” (whatever that means…) utilize for their authority?


Nella -
I would be very interested in your input in another thread I have created. I am seeking to understand those who do not share my beliefs.

I am not asking for a debate in the thread; I would like to just listen to what your position and belief is on the subject.


Sorry for interrupting, carry on …


Scripture says plenty about the power of grace in our lives. The Sermon on the Mount does not deny anything of what I said or what I am talking about. The meek and the humble etc. have been given power over committing sin. Temporal earthly power is not what I am talking about. I am speaking of spiritual power.

Likewise, Jesus had power on the cross. He may not have exercised his power in the ways that you seem to require but that is of no consequence. Let’s see what He did do by way of the cross.

–Jesus layed down his life. It was not taken from him.
–Jesus fulfilled the scriptures.
–Jesus undid what Adam wrought.
–Jesus provided redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, and atonement for our sins.
–Jesus gave his mother the disciple who loved him to be his son and gave the disciple Mary to be his mother. By extension He did the same for us.
–Jesus tore the temple curtain in two when he gave up his spirit.
–Jesus fulfilled the transformation of the Passover meal into the memorial sacrifice of the New Covenant through his sacrifice on the cross. We now recieve his precious body and blood in the Eucharist.
–Jesus forgave the good thief and promised that he would be with Him[Jesus] in paradise.
–Jesus died and preached to the spirits in prison thus opening the gates of heaven from the cross.
–Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day.
–Jesus death on the cross is a powerful victory.

Jesus was anything but powerless while on the cross. He chose to lay down his life.


This is an utter fiction from start to finish.

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