Why aren't Bibles in Catholic churches?

What do you mean the bible isn’t available at Catholic Churches? You mean not in the pews or in the vestibule?

I have never seen Bibles available in the pews at any Catholic churches I have attended. I have seen Catholic Bibles in the Adoration chapels.

I haven’t seen them either. I’m wondering if that’s what the OP is asking?

We don’t need bibles for mass but may could have some in the vestibule for people to borrow?

Well…that is because, in the mass, the Bible comes alive…there are the references in the Bible…the Gloria from Revelations…the enactment of the Last Supper in the Eucharist…and so many more…

catholic-resources.org/Bible/Biblical-Mass-Texts.htm

Scroll down to the third section. Nearly every word spoken at Mas is from Scripture.

I am going to confuse everyone by defending the Catholic Church on this one.

Not every church has Bibles available in the pews. I think some would be SHOCKED at the idea because it is BYOB (Bring your own Bible) and every hell-fearing soul should have his own, at all times,on or by his person. Bibles in the pew is for the backslider, lazy-bones church, not the hell-fire-revival true Bible thumper who would be humiliated at the very IDEA that he had failed to bring his Sword to meeting.

I have seen plenty of churches without Bibles and plenty with. I fail to see any correlation between that and any other factor someone would associate it with it.

On my first meeting with a priest he gave me a Catholic Bible. He asked me if I had one, and I said no, and so he said, here. It was readily available.

The underlying implication is that the Catholic Church is unbiblical, which issue you should discuss with him, not surface appearances. There are many mainline denominational churches that have Bibles in the pews, many of them untouched for years…

Not an issue.

Another very good resource is Dr. Edward Sri’s A Biblical Walk Through the Mass which is one the best things I have ever encountered in Christianity.

So essentially you’re saying that to some individuals or communities it’s a litmus test of Christianity, right?

I have to agree with you.

Further, I think you are correct in that it seems to be an allegation that Catholicism is unbiblical and if so then he should ask about any beliefs/teachings he thinks might not be and allow our Catholic friend here to respond.

He likely intends to infer that we Catholics are not “a Bible church”…

That’s a bit of a red herring, since my former confessor would give me a Bible verse to read as penance. There were Bibles available at every pew in that church (still are, I do believe). Was certainly Catholic.

Catholics know this, but protestants do not.

Yup. I’m sure they’d be very surprised. That’s an excellent page.
We use it with the teens.

At the risk of derailing the thread, the OP might ask the questioner if G_D is the founder of his church, the CEO of his church, or his King.

If the answer is “the founder”, then that opens the path to discussing scriptural interpretation and showing that the Catholic Church is indeed biblical, sometimes more biblical than the local “bible-based” churches.

It’s when the person says “the CEO” that you run into problems. Many, many Protestant churches (in particular the independent ones), doctrine is determined by the church board. They are the ones who do the hiring and firing of pastors, based on their agreement with the pastor’s theology. So they are “bible-based”, but only insofar as they are able to cherry-pick from Scripture. You also have to beware of those churches who apparently count G_D not only as the CEO (the head of their church) but as the founder. It’s way too possible with the American view of corporate structure to view the theology as something the board votes on, and you have to wonder how many of these church boards have a picture of “Our Founder” hanging somewhere, where He has been voted off the church board and is now treated as an “Emeritus” leader, brought around at Christmas and Easter but otherwise kept out of sight in case He says anything embarrassing.

In the Catholic Church, He is our KING. He is not elected; He is eternally just; and His word is Law, not open for changing by some mortal committee. So many of the questions my friends have of the RCC come down to their thinking of their own churches in terms of American democracy, and Catholics holding to the knowledge of what it means to be a subject of a King. So we genuflect before our King in the Tabernacle. We listen to His heralds (the lectors) read His Word to His people, and we exalt in His Presence among us.

So that’s another reason why most Catholic churches don’t have the Bible in the pews: because G_D wants us to listen and pay attention to HIM, not flipping through a book to find something interesting to read.

There are Bibles in every one of the pews of my parish. I have never been to a parish that did not have the missalette available for everyone to follow the readings.

I did just peruse an article where a Protestant minister took the stance that since the Word was meant to be heard, that people should put their bibles down in church.

Yeah. As with many issues, this goes into miscommunication. To differentiate themselves from Catholics, Protestants tend to overemphasize the Bible over against church authority in talking to Catholics, while Catholics overemphasize the Church’s role in interpreting the Bible over against reading it. Few Protestants will say they are so Solo Scriptura that they never read a commentary or ask a pastor what something means, and few Catholics will read “Jesus stepped into a boat” and tell you they can’t understand what that means unless a priest tells them it means “Jesus stepped into a boat.” Then they can understand it means “Jesus stepped into a boat”. No, Catholics go ahead and read ‘Jesus stepped into a boat’ without thinking that requires a lot of interpretation because it is not clear.

I have read a lot of Catholic apologetics where someone says the Catholic Church is NOT a Bible Church, but a church of people that God has put in place. To many Protestants this sounds like the Catholic Church has thrown out the Bible. The Protestant will nod his head when the Catholic says the Catholic is not a Bible church. It is just as he thought. The accusations are accurate in his mind. To him the Catholic is saying that while Catholics give lip service to Scripture, what is really important is other things. The phrase ‘man-made traditions’ will come to mind.

Protestants and Catholics need to engage in long, careful dialog to be sure we understand each other. The OP’s questioner has a concern and love for the Word of God. He wants everyone to enjoy the treasures. This is good. This is something that he shares with the Catholic. The OP would wisely approach this question not as a source of division but one of reconciliation, not as a wedge issue but as something that works towards unity.

Addendum:

I should have added that not all Protestant churches adhere to Sola Scriptura.

Also, I think there is a fear Protestants have that if you put something on par with Scripture, for example, Tradition, you are diminishing the status of Scripture. If I were Catholic I would say something like 'we do not wish at all to diminish the status of Scripture, as we value it extremely highly, yet Tradition must take its rightful place beside it. Not to supplant it but to complement it."

Scriptura that they never read a commentary or ask a pastor what something means, and few Catholics will read “Jesus stepped into a boat” and tell you they can’t understand what that means unless a priest tells them it means “Jesus stepped into a boat.” Then they can understand it means “Jesus stepped into a boat”. No, Catholics go ahead and read ‘Jesus stepped into a boat’ without thinking that requires a lot of interpretation because it is not clear.Indeed. I have often wondered why some folks seems to want to have an interpretation of every single verse of scripture like that when to me it’s a no brainer. It has been my experience that a great many false and twisted interpretations come out of that mind set.

I have read a lot of Catholic apologetics where someone says the Catholic Church is NOT a Bible Church, but a church of people that God has put in place. To many Protestants this sounds like the Catholic Church has thrown out the Bible. The Protestant will nod his head when the Catholic says the Catholic is not a Bible church. It is just as he thought. The accusations are accurate in his mind. To him the Catholic is saying that while Catholics give lip service to Scripture, what is really important is other things. The phrase ‘man-made traditions’ will come to mind.

Very much a poorly stated Catholic apologetic and a gross oversimplification. This is something that truly needs a proper (and probably lengthy) dialog to insure that the truth is conveyed.

The correct beginning point would better be, “The Protestant will nod his head when the Catholic says the Catholic is not a Bible (ONLY) church.” and even then it will require much instruction to insure that “The phrase ‘man-made traditions’ will come to mind.” does not become the n-Cs final misunderstanding.

Protestants and Catholics need to engage in long, careful dialog to be sure we understand each other. The OP’s questioner has a concern and love for the Word of God. He wants everyone to enjoy the treasures. This is good. This is something that he shares with the Catholic. The OP would wisely approach this question not as a source of division but one of reconciliation, not as a wedge issue but as something that works towards unity.

One hopes they are an attentive and discerning partner in the dialog.

Very true and very well said.

:smiley: Why don’t you convert? You’d be really good at this.:slight_smile:

Mass is a solemn worship service not a bible study.

Another good point, but not much of an answer that would help a n-C to better understand.

Not at all! Does loving God the Father mean that you diminish His Son? Likewise with the Holy Spirit.

Remember that it was the Apostolic Tradition which produced the scriptures in the first place! The bible did not just fall out of the clouds. Members of the Church had to first write those letters, then the Church had to assemble and test them. Only much later was there a “bible” as we know it.

See what sola scriptura has done? It has caused the bible to be elevated to a near deity. Seriously, you can see it clearly if you look for it. With no other tangible presence of Christ, the bible is all that the human senses can perceive of God’s presence.

Consider that the only two - the only two - Churches that trace to the Apostles both have Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Teaching Authority of the Apostles. Catholic and Orthodox. No others.

Sadly the rest are European recipes.

I prefer them being read rather than sung. Just my opinion.

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