COC #35: COC Perspicuity Proof: 2 Timothy 3:16 with 2 Peter 1:21 (NIV)

• 2 Timothy 3:16 with 2 Peter 1:21 (New International Version) read: 

All scripture is inspired by God . . . , [and] . . . prophets . . . spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

I will explain St. Paul’s passage more in depth later in this chapter when I illustrate how he does not support the Protestant Church of Christ’s belief in “Bible-only” Christianity. But for now, I will show you how your group wrongly uses this passage as a proof for its theory that the New Testament is self-authenticating and independent of Catholic inspiration and authority.

As these passages relate to this topic, your group draws on its interpretation (not the words) of the texts, which is that God alone orchestrated and performed the Bible’s deliverance to the world. When Catholics assert that the Catholic Church gave the world the Bible, your members normally recoil by saying something to the effect of, “God gave us the Bible.” But the Catholic Church of Christ agrees with your group (or rather, your group agrees with the Catholic Church); God gave the world the Bible! The Catholic Church, however, does not rely on an unreflective and simplistic dismissal—a denial of the fact that God gave the world the Bible by using the Catholic Church as its deliverer. (I am primarily addressing the New Testament’s origin and compilation.) Absolutely, all scripture is inspired by God, . . . carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16 Revised Standard Version; 2 Peter 1:21 NIV), but the Catholic Church recognizes the fact that God chose specific men who were moved by the Holy Spirit and who spoke from God (2 Peter 1:21 RSV). The holy men of God who spoke (Douay-Rheims) were real, were in communion with a specific primitive ecclesial structure, and that structure was the house of Godthe Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15 RSV). Do you believe your community is the pillar and ground of truth, or do you believe the Protestant canon of Scripture is the pillar and ground of truth? Can you deny your principle—that the Bible is your purported “sole authority”—and appeal to the house of God for religious truth? Does the language of the inspired text not suggest it is the Catholic Church who was, and is, the agent whom God chose, and chooses, to deliver His word?

The house of God is real, and it is Catholic. Is it not the Catholic Church who calls herself the house of God? Is it not the Catholic house of God that, as proved by her own writing in this very verse, appeals to a body of inspired men and not the “Bible only”? Does your community follow this pattern?

Did Jesus’ Incarnation not involve a woman? Are you also so suspicious of Mary’s Catholic characteristics that you cannot admit she was the deliverer of the Deliverer—the Mother of God—or that she was even real! Would it be honest to argue that God did not choose a specific woman as the ark who would tent Jesus and deliver the Word Incarnate? Was the Holy Spirit who would come upon her and overshadow her (Luke 1:35) a different spirit than He who carried along the holy men of God? But your group denies the fact that the holy men to whom God entrusted to present His God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) Holy Writ were Catholic—but rather, were either unimportant vessels who are not worthy of the honor the God-breathed texts ascribe to them, or were latent and pre-existent Protestant Church of Christ sympathizers. Put differently, the denial of the Catholic Church’s intrinsic involvement with God’s gift of Christian Scripture is as vapid as suggesting that Jesus was not sent forth . . . , born of a woman (Galatians 4:4 RSV).All Catholic generations call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), and all Catholic generations know where Sacred Scripture came from as well. The few generations of Restorationist Christians who have walked the earth have never called Mary blessed (is she not “just a good woman” to you?), so it would be quite out of character if your group were to thank the Church for her motherhood in delivering the written word of God.