What are the main differences between Bible Christians and Catholics?

doctrine wise, work from majors to minor doctrine, thanks

Could you define Bible Christians? And what do you mean by “Work from majors to minor doctrine”? Are talking about works needed for salvation?

My answer would be that there is no difference. Catholics are the original Bible Christians (And that those who claim to be ‘‘Bible Christians’’ today are working with an incomplete text).

‘‘Bible Christians’’ are not a single denomination, so private interpretation that usually falls in line with typical Protestant theology is the norm.

In short “Bible Christians” use the bible as there sole source of faith - still many adhere to a particular denomination which has it’s own statement of faith.

Catholic Christians look to our Church as an authoritative guide to our Christian faith - we are rich in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition

One major difference is that Catholics can be defined. We have a magisterium, and a Catechism. We have defined beliefs (doctrines). You are Catholic, or you are not.

So-called “Bible Christians” can be pretty much whomever they please as long as they’re waving a bible around and quoting it according to their own interpretation.

That might seem a bit mean, but really, they are no one groups of Christians. Some would likely not call themselves “Protestant” even, although that title will not bring up any solid definitions either.

I would say, that the ones I know ,do not consider Tradition as amounting to anything in spite of what the New Testament says about Tradition. Just Jesus me and what my Bible tells me. Church as we Catholics understand it doesn’t count for them.:shrug:
Peace, Carlan

While I agree with pablope that we need to deinfe some terms here. I’d say that the so -called “Bible Christians” are those who hold to some form and defintion of Sola Scriptura (of which there are several to many definitions) and private interpretation.
They deny the concept of an Authoritative Church for the teaching and interpretation of the Bible even though the bible speaks clearly to such authority and not to private interpretation.

From here you may get a long list of doctrinal differences on everything from the Bible canon itself to the Real presence to Baptism to assurance of salvation to works to…
But the long and the short of the difference is authority. Who has the authority to interpret and teach and resolve the doctrinal issues that have been coming up, more or less continuously, since the matter of circumcision was at Antioch and the Council of Jerusalem.


Well that’s not an easy task, while there is one Catholic Church and you can go to the Catechism of Catholic Church and find out what Catholics believe. On the flip side there are many different types of Bible Christians ranging from those who believe in Sola Scriptura (the idea that Scripture is the final authority but not the only one) to Solo Scriptura (the idea that only Scripture is an authority and nothing else matters, this is what most people think of when they hear Sola Scriptura) so if you want a comparison it will be quite difficult.

There are some places you can go for some comparison which are the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Three forms of unity, the Augsburg Confession, or the Baptist Faith and Message to get a overview of the difference.For those Christians who use Solo Scriptura you will have to ask them what they believe so you can get an overview

Well the answer is quite simple really

Catholics practice what the bible teaches

lets look at some examples to prove the unbiblical teachings of “bible” alone christians.

example: transubstantiation:

the bible states clearly in John 6:53-56: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you … he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him”, note Christ did not tone down this statement when people abandoned him over it.

Likewise it is written in 1 Corinthians 11:27 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord”

Thus we see despite clear unambiguous statements in the bible saying otherwise “bible” christians conveniently decide to ignore scripture which doesn;t agree with them. That and they only have mere opinion, ignoring these biblical statements on sacred tradition for example.

1 corinthians 11:2 ,Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

2 thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

and lets not mention that nowhere in the bible does it say that only through the bible alone can all teaching and truth be found :wink:

As a general rule (close to 100% of the time, but not quite), people who call themselves Bible Christians will also affirm the Solas. SS, Sola Fide, and Sola Gratia are probably the most notable. You could create about a dozen new threads on just those three doctrines and the ways in which they make Bible Christians different from Catholics.

I’d say those are the most major ones.

Eensy bit defensive, are you?

lets look at some examples to prove the unbiblical teachings of “bible” alone christians.

example: transubstantiation:

Might be a good idea to start a little more broad and affirm the RP.

Thus we see despite clear unambiguous statements in the bible saying otherwise “bible” christians conveniently decide to ignore scripture which doesn;t agree with them.

That’s not really how it works.

That and they only have mere opinion, ignoring these biblical statements on sacred tradition for example.

Again, that’s not really how it is and that’s not what really happens.

and lets not mention that nowhere in the bible does it say that only through the bible alone can all teaching and truth be found :wink:

Yes, absolutely, let’s not do that. :rolleyes:

Definitions smefinishions! Bah. Half my frineds go to giant happy-clappy self help groups which pass themselves off as Churches, complete with the Saturday evening “Mosh pit for Christ” teen worship experience. Buckhead Church. NorthPoint Church. Bah. Half of them took a step backwards when they left the Southern Baptists if you ask me.

I’ll take a stab at the question.

Very over simplified but the first two are the pillars of most Bible Christians…

Sola Scriptura - the belief that the bible and not the Church is the sole authority on matters of religious truth. From this flows the idea of personal interpretation of scripture and self determination of matters of morality. Catholics believe that the leadership of the visible Catholic Church, as successors to the Apostles, have been given singular authority by Jesus Christ to intepret Scripture (and Tradition) and to teach on matters of faith and morals based o that intepretation. With Catholic belief in the authority of the church comes priests, bishops, the Pope, Magesterium, etc, which Bible Christans don’t believe.

**Sola Fide **- salvation by faith alone, that a one time act of faith in Jesus Christ is all that is required for entry into Heaven. Catholics believe (oversimplified, I know!!!) that our cooperation plays a role, that we must also be obedient, that even if we say we love Jesus, if we don’t act according to his commandments we don’t get a ticket in.

Those two are the biggies for Bible Christians as I know them here in the deep south - Jesus, the Bible and I’m saved by faith. That’s all that really matters to most Bible Christians. To most Bible Christians, everything else listed below are, for the most part symbolic, and as such, are not required for entry into Heaven.

Eucharist - communion is symbolic for Bible Christians. Catholics believe that when consecrated by a validly ordained priest, the bread and wine become the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus and therefor, are a powerful means of holiness for those who recieve it in the proper state.

Sacraments - Catholics believe that Jesus gave us ways to receive grace (friendship with God - sanctifying grace) through ordinary substances used in ordinary ways by ordinary people. Catholics believe that the sacraments are how God chose to distribute his grace throughout the Body of Christ, the Church. Bible Christians generally have nothing to do with the idea of sacraments - ordinary people or things being used to recieve grace - AKA a change in status relative to friendship with God.

Confession - commanded and required by God but Bible Christians believe you can confess in the privacy of your own heart and that God only forgives people directly. Catholics believe that the normal and ordinary way which God created for man to recieve his forgiveness and healing is through his validly ordained priests.

Baptism - Protestants are all over the chart but most Bible Christians believe that it is symbolic, that it is only a public gesture to the community that one who is already saved makes to show his or her faith in Jesus, that it does not wash away sin. Catholics believe that it washes away sin and brings the newly baptized into friendship with God (a state of sanctifying grace) and makes one a member of the Body of Christ.

Mary - Bible Christians, for the most part, believe that Mary was the mother of Jesus and that’s about it. She had little to no role to play in salvation history and as such, she must not be regarded differently from any other human being. Catholics believe that Mary is a co-redemtrix and mediatrix of all grace - in short that she was designed and chosen by God to bring the Word of God into the world and therefor is the absolute perfection of humanity (I’m out of my league here… help me out somebody, will ya?), that all grace comes to man through Mary.

Purgatory - Catholics yes, Bible Christians no.

Then we get into stuff that really doesn’t have to do with salvation all that much, such as how the world will end.

You might want to read “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating.


Well…Sola Scriptura (of whatever interpretation they use) is the one that jumps right out at me.

I’ve heard it said that that is the foundation of virtually every other error they espouse and there’s certainly some truth to that.

From that:

*]Sola Fide
*]OSAS/Eternal Security of the believer
*]Pre-tribulation Rapture
*]Baptism by immersion only
*]Believer’s baptism
*]Symbolic communion
*]No sacraments

These are all that come to mind just now.

Defensive?:confused: I simply don;t like obscuring what i see as vital facts in politically correct niceties. I prefer to make the point as truthfully as I see it.

As to your assertion that i should start “broad” I made my point right in the beginning (that the difference is that catholics actually follow the bible) and in that the sola scriptura protestants are un-biblical in their theology and practices. I note that you have simply denied my statements instead of engaging in a proper refutation. I proposed specific examples with biblical quotations, what have you proposed? only your unsubstantiated opinion.

Incidentally your assertion that opinion is “not really how it is” can by logic be proven false. Especially considering it was the personal opinion of every founder of every protestant community that resulted in their existence. It was Luthers opinions which opened the floodgates for every man and his dog to found their own “church” each with its own version of the truth, each apparently true. Considering there is one God and one Christ there can only be one truth, you can;t have some “spiritual” communion amongst all the christian groups when one believes in gay marriage and the other condemns it as an abomination, one believes the eucharist is merely symbolic, another believe it substantially changes into the body, blood, soul and divinity of christ. Thus its pretty obvious that opinion has a massive role to play in protestantism as these variations only exist because of the opinions of the leaders of the various protestant organisations and because of their varying interpretations of scripture. Also of course by handily ignoring scripture that contradicts their teaching. Likewise considering they reject sacred magisterium and sacred tradition all they have left is their varying opinions on scripture, which considering the roughly 37 000 protestant denominations clearly doesn;t work (afterall if scripture by itself holds the truth and you only need the scripture, then that truth should be evident enough for it to be the same everywhere, that its not supports the orthodox stance of sacred tradition and sacred magisterium positions which are also supported biblically)

As to my final statement, logic precludes sola scriptura from being true using its own theology because if sola scriptura were true then it should say so in the bible, and since it doesn;t, then logically since the bible is the sole source of truth (for “bible” protestants) according to their theology sola scriptura is false because its not taught in the bible. Nicely hypocritical and a contradiction in their beliefs is it not?:rolleyes:

If “Thus we see despite clear unambiguous statements in the bible saying otherwise “bible” christians conveniently decide to ignore scripture which doesn;t agree with them.” is not really how it works, thenplease tells us how it does work.

Again, that’s not really how it is and that’s not what really happens.

If “*That and they only have mere opinion, ignoring these biblical statements on sacred tradition for example. *” then please explain how it is and how it really happens.


Bible Christians are Catholics.


if only the self defined group realised that.

I would not completely agree with that.

While it is true that we believe the Bible and that our faith is grounded on Scripture (what else can we be since we gave the world the Bible), at the same time we do not limit ourselves to the Bible for we do have Holy Tradition.

Bible Christians by common understanding refer only to those who know of no other authority than the Bible, something that the Bible does not even claim for itself…

Of course we have sacred tradition, but the intention behind the statement “catholics are bible christians” is that we follow everything that is taught in the bible, which of course includes sacred tradition.

Now everyone knows that certain protestants using the term have led to the general meaning that it refers purely to sola scriptura. But from a Catholic perspective we are true bible christians because we follow everything it teaches instead of conveniently ignoring things “like sola scriptura” that are unscriptural.

Afterall why should we be limited by the flawed definition of a group of protestants who are unbiblical to begin with.:wink:

That, is a very good point! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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