What do you think of this statement


#1

Apparently some people like it, hearing how they use it regularly when the opportunity presents itself.

Others, however, seem to have a hearty disdain for it.

Those that don’t like it, from my experience, worry that using the phrase “what does it mean to you/me?” will take away from the objective truth of the passage at hand, making it seem more subjective and individualistic.

I see how it could, but being a little open minded, I can see how, since other people are at different levels of knowing the objective truth, and different levels of insight on that same truth, it can be helpful to glean from the thoughts people have.


#2

The question “What does this Bible passage mean to you?” simply encourages people to use the brain that God installed inside their skull and to think and reason for themselves what God is saying to them through His Word.


#3

Your right squeekster it is very important to encourage people to use their brain. Both in Catholic and non-catholic backgrounds there are many people who don’t even look at things for themselves.

I know of a person who I asked “where did the Bible come from” he said I don’t know. So I came back with would you like to find out and we can trace your beliefs historically. “It is not like it just fell out of the sky”, I said. And he just said “let’s pretend it did just fall out of the sky, The Holy Spirit will lead me to all truth”

Unfortunately when we came to disagreements, he stopped wanting to discuss things with me, instead of searching for truth. I think it is important to ask what does that mean to you, and why?

So something I would add to this statement is “What does this Bible passage mean to you, and why?”

They should have a reason for having a perspective on something. No just because “someone told me”, they should look into their beliefs and find out where they came from. Why they believe what they believe.

God Bless
Scylla


#4

[quote=squeekster]The question “What does this Bible passage mean to you?” simply encourages people to use the brain that God installed inside their skull and to think and reason for themselves what God is saying to them through His Word.
[/quote]

Yeah, which I suppose since not everyone has the same background conditioning I’ve had, then it probably won’t come across the same to many people, when I ask that question.

Ironically, from a Catholic POV, it perhaps can only be safely used in the context of an authoratative Magesterium, so that the Scriptures can be interpreted and meanings/application gleaned from the analogy of faith.

Without that, then it is simply, to some extent or another, something like…
“What does this mean to you?”
“I don’t know… to me it means x.”
“No, no way it can be x, it has to be y.”

However, we have to admit that some far off applications have been gleaned from texts, in the name of personal interpretation.


#5

It isn’t as though the Catholic Church has declared authoritative interpretations for every single passage in the Bible. As long as an interpretation is in line with the teachings of the Church, I believe it’s all right. If we weren’t free to interpret the Bible on our own at least a little bit, what would be the point in reading it?


#6

[quote=Kristina P.]It isn’t as though the Catholic Church has declared authoritative interpretations for every single passage in the Bible. As long as an interpretation is in line with the teachings of the Church, I believe it’s all right. If we weren’t free to interpret the Bible on our own at least a little bit, what would be the point in reading it?
[/quote]

Which is a very good point because it has kept us from going crazy with stuff like finding dinosaurs in the Bible, (who cares!), who the nephilim were, (again who cares!) and chasing around after every wind of doctrine just because someone was terribly bored and had their Bible at hand.

I believe that a lot of that stuff is nothing more than satanic distraction that keeps Christians from being about the business of winning souls and fishing for men.

The point is that a great deal of the Bible is pretty clear without much “interpretation” and when needed one simply checks it against what the ECF believed on these things and you have a better assurance of being in line with the teachings of the apostles.

However, I will never figure out how so many n-Cs miss the literalness of the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 and how they stand to do the mental and theological gymnastics to say that it’s symbolic or metaphorical with a straight face when they tell you they base all they believe on the Bible itself…and that’s just one example.

The n-C teachings on those Catholic passages of the NT really make my head hurt… :eek:
Pax vobiscum,


#7

Hehe. That’s okay, most non-Catholics would say they could never figure out how Catholics could take that discourse literally. I was one of those Protestants, and I still have trouble with the idea.
I will say that I’m glad to be done with the theological gymnastics necessary to justify sola fide, sola scriptura, and OSAS.


#8

[quote=Kristina P.]Hehe. That’s okay, most non-Catholics would say they could never figure out how Catholics could take that discourse literally.
[/quote]

Yep, I for one experience a lot of cognitive dissonance reading some of the rationale behind Catholic interpretation (or protestant for that matter). For me it’s a big departure from what I was raised with as well as what I continue to believe. The thing for me is that the Anabaptist traditions I was raised in make sense to me, even if Menno Simmons wasn’t the greatest theologian. They might not is I was raised Catholic but that wasn’t the life God chose for me. It’s also important to point out that not all Catholic believe in all of the church teachings. My best friend is Catholic but doesn’t believe the cup and host are the literal blood and body of Christ.


#9

[quote=Reformed Rob]Ironically, from a Catholic POV, it perhaps can only be safely used in the context of an authoratative Magesterium, so that the Scriptures can be interpreted and meanings/application gleaned from the analogy of faith.
[/quote]

I suppose it’s OK to do that if you must, but if you do that, you can not truthfully answer the question as to what it means to you. The best you can do is say that “the passage means ‘X’ to the Magisterium and I agree”. But again, that isn’t stating what it means to you, is it?


#10

[quote=squeekster]I suppose it’s OK to do that if you must, but if
[/quote]

you do that, you can not truthfully answer the question as to what it means to you. The best you can do is say that “the passage means ‘X’ to the Magisterium and I agree”. But again, that isn’t stating what it means to you, is it?It is possible, however, for a passage to have some non-doctrinal meaning to me personally, and that is the case with quite a few passages. The biggest difference is that my doctrine is not based upon that, but on the three legged stool of the Bible, the Magisterium, and the Living Tradition of the Church.

So then my Biblical doctrine is informed by these three.
Pax tecum,


#11

I thnk there si soemthing else we have to keep in mind…

We are warned in the bible to be wary of someones personal interpritations. With ou the aid of others, you may infact be led by an evil spirit and not the holy spirit. This is why we submitt or teaching to those that are far more experienced in what it is actually saying…

I will never trust my own interpretaion of the bibnle becasue i am told not to trust it BY the bible. So, to ask me what does the bible mean to me is on the same line as saying ‘ahh, you can beleive what ever you want to beleive, god is ok with it’

as a side note, how many NC churches out there can trace there beliefs back to a single persons interpretations. just something to keep in mind when you are told the holy sprirt will lead you in your own personal readings, and then inspire you to what truely is god…

Pesonal interpretation = Bad

Learning the bible in a way that it is NOT based ons omeones personal interpretations = Good

Cheers


#12

Hi! :wave:

I voted for #3.

While there are objective truths in the bible, there are times when God speaks to us, personally and individually, through scripture. For example, when I was going through a terrible bout with depression, literally on the verge of suicide, I picked up the bible and begged for guidance. The Lord lead me to psalm 69 which put into words what my soul was screaming at the time. I wrote down the verses which applied to me and prayed them every day. It was very personal and individual, not a matter of objective truth.

Just to clarify, I’m not speaking of things such as John 6, which is objectively about the Eucharist, but rather times when God speaks individually to our personal circumstances. At these times, of course, our personal understanding of scripture can never contradict the objective truths that God has revealed through His Church.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#13

I like that question very much. Whenever I’m asked that question, it gives me the opportunity to tell a (presumably) willing listener the reason for my faith.

Slam DUNK!!

Let us pray -- that I will remain humble and respectful and speak only the words that the Holy Spirit wishes for me to say on that occassion in the WAY that He wishes for me to say them.

#14

One must understand the objective truth of Scriptural passages, and there is one, before we seek to see how the Word lives in our lives.

We do not have the authority to interpret Scripture *however *we want. We must understand its’ meaning through Apostolic Tradition, the way it was intended, before we can hear God’s Word to us as individuals through Scripture.

It is far too easy to misinterpret Scripture according to our culture and religious understanding rather than the way it was intended, in the age and culture it was written in, and we can, not only misinterpret the meaning, but miss alot of meaning that we don’t have the Wisdom or Education to pick up on. This is why Jesus told His disciples to go out and TEACH, and why St. Paul says to keep Traditions by word or by letter. When we try to reinvent the wheel, we are only making things much more difficult than they were intended to be.

That said, I believe in the Living Word of God and that He speaks to us through Scripture, but only under proper guidence.


#15

“It’s also important to point out that not all Catholic believe in all of the church teachings. My best friend is Catholic but doesn’t believe the cup and host are the literal blood and body of Christ.”

With all due respect, this is not an option in Catholic belief. Dissent is not a minor issue, and I hope for her sake you are misunderstanding her.

As Catholics we believe it is the body and blood in the matter of Bread and Wine. Hence, it has all the material properties of bread and wine, without remaining bread and wine. Hence, we do not believe it becomes literal flesh and literal blood according to physical nature of these substances.

Catholics must believe that acceptance of all the Dogmas of the Faith is necessary for salvation, and connected to this but in another way, beliefs that are not Dogmatically defined, but are still in the context of the Magisterium must be given assent to.

Why be a Catholic if you do not believe in what the Church teaches? Belief is not an option. An essential part of being a Catholic is believing in transubstantiation.

God bless,

Peter Rowe


#16

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Hi! :wave:

I voted for #3.

While there are objective truths in the bible, there are times when God speaks to us, personally and individually, through scripture. For example, when I was going through a terrible bout with depression, literally on the verge of suicide, I picked up the bible and begged for guidance. The Lord lead me to psalm 69 which put into words what my soul was screaming at the time. I wrote down the verses which applied to me and prayed them every day. It was very personal and individual, not a matter of objective truth.

Just to clarify, I’m not speaking of things such as John 6, which is objectively about the Eucharist, but rather times when God speaks individually to our personal circumstances. At these times, of course, our personal understanding of scripture can never contradict the objective truths that God has revealed through His Church.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Wow! I did the same thing when having trouble with a confession I had made a few years ago and the Pslam I was directed to was Psalm 51! I read it over and over and it helped me to realize that God really did forgive me and that I could let it go! The Psalm really spoke to me and I will never forget it!

There is nothing wrong with saying that a particular passage means this or that to you BUT this could be taken to extremes if not careful. For instance, the passage in the bible that talks about taking an eye for an eye doesn’t mean, what to most people would be the obvious - vengence! Without any knowledge of the time that this was written, the societal concerns, the traditions or even the Law at that time, someone could misinterpret this passage - and some have! Most people don’t have this information available to them when reading something that’s hard to understand. The Chruch can give you the information about this passage so you don’t go off thinking that it’s ok to seek vengence when someone does you wrong!

When there is a particular passage that is hard to understand, it is important to search out the meaning that has been believed since the beginning. What have the Apostles taught on the subject, what was their take on that passage? What about other theologians, scholars or the early christians? I want to make sure I’m not taking something out of context - not giving a passage some crazy meaning! That’s where the Church comes in.

She can give you the correct meaning because the scholars, theologians and early christians come from the Catholic Church. She alone has been charged, by Christ Himself, to protect the truth. She has been given the Holy Spirit to protect her from teaching error when it comes to faith and morals.

Read scripture and listen to what they tell you with an open heart but…be careful. St. Peter says there are things in scripture that are hard to understand and no one has the authority interpret those hard to understand scriptures privately. That is to be left to the Chruch, to those who understand fully the meaning of scripture since the scriptures came from her. She can help you understand the correct meaning so that with right thinking you can truly say what they mean to you.


#17

[quote=Shlemele] It’s also important to point out that not all Catholic believe in all of the church teachings. My best friend is Catholic but doesn’t believe the cup and host are the literal blood and body of Christ.
[/quote]

If you have understood you friend correctly, then your friend is NOT Catholic. This befief is what separates Catholics - it is the height and summit of our faith! There is no comprimising on this issue! I feel very sorry for your friend and all those who don’t believe!


#18

…i suppose weather you were asking someone who sees the bible as authoratative reference, or as someone who does not recognize the bible as any kind of authority has a lot to do with the question being appropriate or not…

Peace:thumbsup:


#19

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Hi! :wave:

I voted for #3.

While there are objective truths in the bible, there are times when God speaks to us, personally and individually, through scripture. For example, when I was going through a terrible bout with depression, literally on the verge of suicide, I picked up the bible and begged for guidance. The Lord lead me to psalm 69 which put into words what my soul was screaming at the time. I wrote down the verses which applied to me and prayed them every day. It was very personal and individual, not a matter of objective truth.

Just to clarify, I’m not speaking of things such as John 6, which is objectively about the Eucharist, but rather times when God speaks individually to our personal circumstances. At these times, of course, our personal understanding of scripture can never contradict the objective truths that God has revealed through His Church.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]


#20

[quote=Kristina P.]It isn’t as though the Catholic Church has declared authoritative interpretations for every single passage in the Bible. As long as an interpretation is in line with the teachings of the Church, I believe it’s all right. If we weren’t free to interpret the Bible on our own at least a little bit, what would be the point in reading it?
[/quote]

Exactly, thanks for saying it that way Kristina!

I meant to get a similar thought across by saying “analogy of faith.”

St. Francis de Sales wrote some in “The Catholic Controversy” regarding private interpretation. As a Protestant it was kind of hard to swallow at the time. He quoted I think St. Ambrose who was rebuking a cook for meddling in affairs regarding the Scriptures. I couldn’t find that particular quote of St. Francis, but in looking for it, I found this, and it was funny, perhaps useful to quote. He’s bringing out the manifold diversions of the Reformer’s hermeneutics and interpretations.

An honest man… related to me that he heard a minister of this country, treating of the Nativity of Our Lord, assert that he was not born in a crib, and expounded the text figuratively, saying: “Our Lord also says that he is the vine, yet for all that he is not one; in the same way, although it is said that he is born in a crib, yet born there he is not, but in some honourable place which in comparison with his greatness might be called a crib.” It is a most curious thing to see how this pretended enlightenment causes the Holy Scripture to be profaned.
The Catholic Controversy, p. 132, TAN

Moving along, it seems that people could easily throw that right around at you Catholics and say that, because of the quadriga, fourfold sense of Scripture, then the doors are wide open for off the wall, or subjective interpretations.

For instance, in the Missal for Ordinary Time, August 7, one of the Communion Songs is from Psalm 147
Praise the Lord, Jerusalem, He feeds you with the finest wheat.

Obviously “wheat” referring to the Eucharist, Christ Himself.

Or saying that, in general, prophetic texts about the Church are also texts about Mary.

I know that wreckless private interpretation does not rule the day in the catholic church, I’m just saying that’s how some might perceive it is all. Personally, I believe that the 4-fold sense of Scripture is pretty awesome, and why should we think that God’s very Word is meant to be taken just in a grammatical, surface level way only?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.