I was wondering does the Bible have equal authority to the Church or is the Church over the Bible? I was talking with my Orthodox friends and they said they only approve of the Bible because the Church calls it Canon
The bible could not have been assembled into canon without the Church. And likewise the bible cannot be properly understood, in its full meaning regarding the nature and will of God for man, without the Church interpreting it. That is the role/authority given to the Church, to recognize and accurately proclaim the Word of God, while that Word, itself, is His revelation to us, superior in its own right by that fact but empty unless understood. So He accomplishes both: the transmission of His Word to the Church and the understanding of His Word by the Church.
So the Bible by itself is just an inspired when used in Protestant hands but when it is with the Church it has equal authority to the Church because it shows the works of Jesus?
This is from Vatican II (Dei Verbum);
'Tradition and scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the word of God, which is entrusted to church… But the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This magisterium is not superior to the word of God, but is rather its servant.'
Ok so the Church is meant to give the correct understanding of the Word of God but does that have to be the Bible?
but does that have to be the Bible?
Are you asking whether everything the Church teaches must be in the Bible?
If so, no. As the Catechism noted, Church teaching comes from Scripture AND Tradition (oral teachings passed on by the apostles). Also, it is not necessary that Church teachings be contained explicitly in the Bible (or Tradition); they are often present implicitly.
Yes, the Bible and Sacred Tradition make up the word of God, you need both!
What do you mean by “the Church”?
If you mean the pope and bishops (persons), then you equivocate with the word “authority,” because the authority of a person is not the same kind of authority as that of a document, even an inspired one.
If you mean magisterial teaching (not persons, but what certain persons teach), it has a lower status than scripture because, while infallible, it is not inspired; although it is necessary for certitude about scripture.
Magisterial teaching is not to be confused with sacred tradition, which, like scripture, is the word of God (see CCC 74 ff).
What came first, the Church (Christ is the Church and we are the members) or the Bible (written Word of God)?
The members of the Church who wrote the Bible came first!
My understanding is the the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod does not have a canon.
Most people never really consider the question.
Yes I am referring to the Pope and Bishops. I am trying to fight the Protestant mentality that the Bible is the ultimate authority
The Church was there for at least twenty years before Paul wrote the first words of the New Testament in 51 AD.
And yet they don’t necessarily agree with each other on what their “authority” teaches them, each one of their theologies coming from their own-or someone’s-private interpretation of scripture, which is why we need a living authority to do so, as the Eunuch needed Philip to do in Acts 8.
The Old Testament came before the Church. The New Testament came after the Church. Both are the written word of God.
The Catholic canon of Scripture, what we know as the Bible, contains the word of God written both before and after the Church came into being. If we look at it honestly, we have to admit that the majority of the written word of God came before the Church was established.
I don’t think it possible to say, “The Church wrote the Bible” or that “The Bible came after the Church.” To say these things ignores the Old Testament. Those statements rightly apply only to the New Testament. It is the Jews who wrote the Old Testament. The Old Testament is not a product of the Church.
Though the Church did decide what parts of the Old Testament to put in as we can see the book of Enoch is not in the Bible but it was used by Jews during the time of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Study Vatican II’s *Dei Verbum *(Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation) at:
Vatican II, Dei Verbum 10:
“It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”
Thank you for that-couldn’t of said it better. In fact, I didn’t!