Who is Your Infallibe Teacher?

OK…we have heard it before…the Catholic Church is wrong. The Catholic Church misinterprets the Bible because it relies on one man, the Pope…etc, etc.

Fine…let us say that …hypothetically…the Catholic Church is wrong!

What makes any of these original founders of any of the Protestant denominations infallible in how they interpreted the Scripture?

Are these men not just merely being elevated to the status of “Pope”???

If we cannot trust the people of the Catholic Church to interpret Scripture, what makes some random guy ever more capable?

If Scripture were meant to be the SOLE source of Christian understanding, then why is it not more clear. You figure once the Reformation came that there would have been no need for interpretation after Luther. Right?


I like to read some incite into this.

The short answer, sadly, is that many modern-day non-Apostolic Christians don’t believe that any infallible teachers or authorities exist in the present day. As if all authoritative teaching froze and died at the death of the Apostle John, and we’ve been left to flounder by ourselves ever since, in direct contradiction of Christ’s promise to be with us until the end of the world.

Since Jesus clearly GAVE His authority to His Apostles (‘just as the Father sent Me, so am I sending you’), and the Apostles are clearly no longer with us, I don’t understand why they think this.

Are we so sophisticated now, and so able to guide ourselves in matters of the sacred, in matters of scripture (where even scripture itself, in the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian, makes plain as day that we CANNOT understand it by ourselves without someone authoritative to explain it to us), that the myriad of fragmented and contradictory denominations are all the ‘work of the Holy Spirit’?

The short answer, sadly, is that many modern-day non-Apostolic Christians don’t believe that any infallible teachers or authorities exist in the present day.

**Yes, they do.

They believe that they, themselves, are infallible.

They simply substituted the “infallible me” for the infallible Pope.

After all, if they don’t believe that they are infallible, why do they believe what they do?

(Except for certain Episcopalians, where infallibility rests with the previous rector.)**

Quite the contrary, I am all too aware of my own fallibility. There is nothing in my faith which precludes looking to others of faith both past and present for assistance and insight in reading the scriptures, particularly if some interpretation seems novel or different from what I hear around me. I always seek to approach God and His teaching with humility, forming understanding but not becoming calcified to teaching which is based on derivation upon derivation or unwilling to accept insight from others.

It is for this reason that I try to ask more questions than I state opinions.

Protestants do not believe in the infallibility of their leaders because every man is a law unto himself.:frowning:

Well and humbly stated.
However - After you have looked “to others of faith both past and present for assistance and insight in reading the scriptures”, what is your final authority for deciding a proper interpretation?


I realize what you are getting at, which is that ultimately I must decide what interpretation I believe to be correct and live that out accordingly. However, at some stage everyone must make a personal decision on their interpretation of scripture, even Catholics. In order to be Catholic, you must accept the interpretation of scripture that invests the authority to interpret scripture to the Church and the means through which interpretive authority is passed from generation to generation within the Church. Once you’ve made the decision to accept that interpretation, then all of the other teachings of the Church follow as a consequence, but they don’t follow unless you agree with the interpretation that gives the Catholic Church the ultimate authority in interpreting scripture.

So yes, ultimately the decision falls to me to choose what I believe, as it falls on all people.

Actually I would disagree with your statement that:
"everyone must make a personal decision on their interpretation of scripture"
For myself, I made a personal decision to Follow Christ and be His disciple. To do this I needed to be sure that I had valid and authoritative teachers. My research demonstrated that the Catholic Church is the Only Church with a valid and unbroken claim to True Apostolic Teaching. It’s validity even extends to the determination, assembly, dissemination, protection, and translation of the Bible we all accept today (with some variation in the OT).
So my decision was not a personal decision on interpretation of Scripture, but rather a personal determination of the validity of “The Church”, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.


I assume you used the Bible as well? I do not think anyone can refute that they “everyone must make a personal decision on their interpretation of scripture”. I would simply add “and history” at the end.
A personal decision occurs.


I understand what you’re saying, but ultimately what you’re saying is still that you are the final arbiter of what you believe. After doing your research, you passed your own judgment on whether the RCC’s claims about itself were true.

So in professing belief in the teachings of the RCC, you are likewise declaring yourself the “final authority” on whether it’s claims about itself are true.

This is very true. It’s that free will thing - -:wink:

However, in your case, each time you have an issue you must research and determine a “correct” interpretation. I have the full faith and security of the teachings of the Church.


I know this is a old thread, but as I was reviewing it this thought occurred to me and I wished to address it with a_mirror_dimly or any other protestant/NCC who wishes to respond.

In reference to the bolded statement, would such research include reading from Catholic Sources? In other words would you give the same weight to a catholic author’s interpretation that you give to a non-catholic author?



Of course.

Just out of interest, why is ‘infallible’ so important?

You’re a born polititian. We applaud your ability to avoid answering a question. :thumbsup:


God left the Church to teach. Who in that Church is your infallible teacher?

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