The Pope's Growing Evangelical Flock

Under Pope Francis’ leadership, the Catholic Church is looking more, well, Protestant.

That’s especially true when it comes to prayer and the Bible.
Catholics seem to be responding: ABS research found 67 percent of Catholic Bible readers wanted to read the Bible more often, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. A third of Catholics (33%) actually did read the Bible more than the previous year. The ABS also found:

Reads like typical non Catholic hype to me:D

Agreed, Just because Catholics read the Bible through the “eyes” of the church and just because we don’t pull a verse out, here and there, to make it mean what we want it to, doesn’t mean we are on the verge of becoming protestant. Popes have recommended reading Sacred Scriptures many times. Just not interpreting them for ourselves. As for praying, you won’t ever find a more beautiful way of praying than what the Catholic Church has for us. I’m afraid the protestants have it all backwards. They need to learn from the Catholic Church when it comes to Scripture and prayer!! God Bless, Memaw

I read the Bible every day – I have “The One Year Bible - Catholic Edition” – each day it includes readings from the Old Testament – St. Paul’s Epistles - reading from the Psalms – so in a year I have read the complete Bible – I usually read it before I turn out the light at night.

The Protestant method of interpretation is not accurately described as pulling a verse out here and there to make it mean what you want to. People who do actual interpretation immediately recognize that as a complete waste of time.

These are the actual steps. One, begin by reading the Bible, as a discipline, in your own language.

Two, learn at least one ancient language. Actually, “learn” is a misleading word, since you aren’t learning to speak or understand a language with any degree of fluency. The proper term would probably be “acquire competency in an ancient language or two, sufficient for you to know your way around basic lexical tools and commentaries that are normally above the layman’s linguistic level of comprehension.”

Three. Learn to navigate these different tools. Lexicons, certain commentaries, you’ll learn all about them when you’re learning your ancient languages.

Four. Interpret, yes for yourself, you acquired these skills yourself and you’re using all these tools yourself, who else do you think you’d be interpreting for? And while you’re doing that, also study the wider body of Christian scholarship and see what sorts of conclusions, schools of thought, and families of ideas have developed and grown over time. Sometimes you’ll reach a conclusion that seems plausible, then you’ll find out that this conclusion has already been formed, studied, and discarded for reasons that are very good and extremely well explained. So that can be helpful.

Translation is the first step of interpretation. Although, obviously, an interest in reading the Bible and knowing what it says is something of a prerequisite. I mean really, who’s going to go to all the trouble of learning ancient Greek and Hebrew in order to translate a book that they don’t read as a first step to making interpretations that they don’t believe they’re supposed to make? “Not most Catholics” would be a reasonable and fair statement.

Maybe this changes a little bit of that. Perhaps with more Catholics reading the Bible as a discipline…

while placing interpretive authority in the hands of the Catholic Church…

for those seven passages, exactly seven passages out of the whole Bible, for which the Catholic Church has chosen to render an official infallible interpretation…

perhaps more Catholics will also be interested in learning ancient languages so that they can translate and properly interpret the Bible. While, of course, submitting to the authority of the Catholic Church on exactly seven passages of Scripture for which it has supplied interpretations that all Catholics must agree with.

But that still leaves tens of thousands of other passages that you can do something with.

B N Barrett: I knew people who did all of these things for some years (though with not much emphasis on the original languages except for one man). I’m so glad I saw that happening!
Used2BeSherryG: it caused “Catholic” hype! It was the Catholics accusing us of turning Protestant!

Since the Catholic church canonized the Bible in the 300’s AD, we have been including Bible reading in every single celebration of the Mass for almost 2000 years. Catholic have the Bible, but we also have the Apostolic succession, the Traditions, the sacraments, in other words, the fullness of the faith that the Lord intended. Scripture alone just can’t cut it and we are sorry that is really all our separated brothers and sisters have. We pray that we may all be one just as our heavenly Father intended and as Jesus prayed in John 17 vs 17 -26 . God bless all of you and bring you closer to him in His church.

Look around at the 30,000+ denominations. Private interpretation has lead to nothing but confusion. How is your interpretation more valid than mine? Answer: it’s not. As a former Southern Baptist of 30+ years I can tell you that I don’t know any Baptists who can speak or read Greek or Hebrew save maybe a pastor or two.

As for your contention that the Catholic Church holds only seven passages of scripture as infallible, please provide a link as this is news to me. The Catholic Church canonized scripture and according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."69

"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70

106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71

107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72

The Pope is very Refreshing, will be interesting to see how the Future will unfold with this Pope. He will challenge a lot of long term held practices I would say.

In the end we are to Love Christ and God

Regards Tony

Such as?

Michael - Well picked up :blush:

Sorry better to Reword like - Give Food for Thought :thumbsup:

Divorce would be one

Regards Tony

Ok. Less than 10% of those are considered distinct denominations for reasons that are sectarian in nature, but I do see that you assume 100% of them are that way. I looked, I saw, we reached different conclusions. Mine is more solidly grounded in reality, yours is careless, offhand criticism that doesn’t stand up well to examination and criticism.

Private interpretation has lead to nothing but confusion.

Such a short statement, so much to clarify and potentially correct…

Ok, first of all, “private interpretation” is a phrase that’s used in the Bible, where the inspired writing of Scripture is distinguished from something that is written by strictly human authorship. The point of the distinction is to state that men were carried along by the Holy Spirit in writing the Bible, and none of them produced it all on their own (or, resulting from private interpretation).

This is often misread and mis-applied, as if the passage in question is affirming Magisterial teaching authority and banning Protestants from interpreting anything outside the context of full union with Rome. All of this because the words “private interpretation” come up in some sort of negative context. If you choose to actually read the passage in question, however, you’ll notice that it pertains to details concerning the writing-down of Scripture, and it doesn’t make any comment whatsoever about the way in which people ought to be reading and/or interpreting it. Whoever reads it ought to remember that the men who wrote it did so through divine inspiration rather than just writing things down on their own- but beyond that, the all-too-predictable progression from “These writings were not a product of private interpretation” to “Why can’t Protestants understand that this condemns their despicable practice of private interpretation?” is quite the misadventure in not-carefully-reading-Scripture and it comes up embarrassingly often, I mean really I am truly embarrassed on your behalf and I’m not even playing for your team.

Second, the interpretive efforts of Protestants in general and Evangelicals in particular have led to a pattern of consensus that is consistently moving in a positive direction, even if you are ignoring the positive because you prefer to look at the negative.

How is your interpretation more valid than mine?

You personally? Well, I achieved competency in ancient Greek, and this opens up a wide variety of interpretive tools that you most likely aren’t able to use. That’s how. Remember, translation is the first step of interpretation. Without the ability to use basic lexical tools, what pray tell is your first step? Wait, let me guess, assuming that your church affiliation, absent any real interpretive ability, automatically makes your interpretations awesome?

Answer: it’s not. As a former Southern Baptist of 30+ years I can tell you that I don’t know any Baptists who can speak or read Greek or Hebrew save maybe a pastor or two.

Sounds like you didn’t go to a school where they teach ancient languages. It also sounds like you must not have been attending church with anyone who learned an ancient language while they were going to school. Why was that? Did all of you go to state schools? Community college? No continuing education beyond high school? What’s the deal with that?

Just so you know- if there are any Christian schools near to where you live, it is common practice for them to allow people of a certain age to audit classes for free. I remember one older member of my church (his wife played the organ and piano while they were both still alive) did this after he retired, he didn’t pay any money and he didn’t get any course credit but he attended individual classes for a couple of years and learned as much about ancient Greek and Hebrew as he wanted to. The main reason he wanted to do it? So he could finally be competent in making the first key step of interpretation, which is to translate.

I don’t know exactly how old you are, but it’s something you can keep in your back pocket. There probably is some specific age restriction on this sweet deal, and you’ll probably want to find out what that is.

As for your contention that the Catholic Church holds only seven passages of scripture as infallible, please provide a link as this is news to me. The Catholic Church canonized scripture and according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

I read what you posted, and I didn’t see how any of that was relevant to the assertions I made. As for the link, here it is.

I will make a couple of additional comments. One- if memory serves, I think Jimmy Akin had a very similar article in a magazine formerly known as This Rock. It used to be available in the archives but it doesn’t seem to be there anymore, that was the article I really wanted but I’m going with this one instead.

Last thing I’ll say about this- one of the things you’ll immediately read from that page is that the Catholic Church has rejected thousands of different interpretations of Scripture. There have been almost innumerable things that it has said “No” to, and in a definitive way at that, such that all Catholics are compelled to also say “No.” But there are only seven examples of “positive interpretation,” especially in the sense that it is definitive positive interpretation, such that all Catholics must agree to these particular things about this particular passage at a minimum (while not entirely discounting the additional discussion concerning the passage that may be possible outside of what is strictly defined).

These are the seven, and they are all outlined at Trent.

I just read the article and don’t see anything controversial in it. It is common sense to me that all Christians should read their Bible more regularly. It is spiritual nourishment just like our human bodies need food and water to be healthy.

Praying to God in a personal way is important, too. The Lord wants to hear prayers from our heart and not just rote prayers, although those have a time and place, also.

I think Catholics benefit in this sense from ‘Adoration’, where they can go and be in a peaceful place and pray and meditate on the Lord. For other Christians, it may be our “quiet time” spent in prayer and Bible reading.

I have learned many valuable things from Catholics on CAF and Catholicism in general that have strengthened me in my spiritual walk. If I can help others in some way, I am glad to do it.

I think Pope Francis is like a doctor who sees the whole picture and is pointing Catholics who may not already do so to more prayer and Bible study, which is a healthy approach to Christian spiritual health, no matter what Christian faith tradition we belong to.

In the same way, he is showing some Protestants like me that having a genuine and godly leader who respects other Christian faith traditions and leads by example is a good and valuable thing for Christendom as a whole and makes me open up and want to heed more of what he has to say.

Nice post, good advice.

The world needs unity, may we achieve it by practicing it!

Regards Tony

Just a quick comment.

Catholics reading our own book is a good thing. No one should make fun of that…particularly Catholics. The more we read scripture the more knowledgeable we are. After all, Pope Damasus I, gave us the first bible. He defined the canon. And if one goes to mass faithfully every Sunday, they will hear the complete bible read to them every 3 years. :slight_smile:

Here’s the 1st time in history we see the official OT and NT canon defined by name of each book. This canon hasn’t changed since.

The Decree of Pope St. Damasus I, Council of Rome. 382 A.D

Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here**:** Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon * two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book, likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus * one book.

Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book, with Ginoth, that is, with his Lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book, Micheas one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book, Jonas one book, Nahum one book, Habacuc one book, Sophonias one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book. Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books *, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books.
Likewise the order of the writings of ***the New and Eternal Testament, which only the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one. Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book. Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven. Of Peter the Apostle two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealut, the Apostle one epistle.

From Jurgens “Faith of the Fathers”, scroll to pg 406 for this quote

73 books

When you see an OT book name above that reads differently from what is expected, see the translation of that name here

For example “Osee” = Hosea

As St Jerome said, “ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

Protestants otoh, have scripture “lite”. Luther removed 7 OT books from the canon. Therefore Protestants have 66 books in their bibles, not 73 books as the official bible has.

Hi Tommy…

Been very busy as grandma and working…

Do you know of the Liturgy of the Hours?

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