Tag Archives: Scripture

COC #40: COC “Proof” for Sola Scriptura: Acts 17:11

(3) As a proof for “Bible-only” Christianity, the Protestant Church of Christ presents the Bereans from Acts 17:11 as an example of proper Christians who ranked Sacred Scripture over the Church’s oral teachings. The passage is presented as a proof-text, which reads:  

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11 NIV).

The Protestant Church of Christ refers to its own commentary about Acts 17:11, not the actual text, to argue for “Bible-only” Christianity. The commentary is that the Bereans were noble because they examined the Scriptures, and therefore, somehow, presumably, they must have been “Bible-only” Christians. Your group understands this verse as a lesson that teaches how Christians should always weigh teachings against Scripture, and if any teaching is not validated by one’s private interpretation of the Bible then that teaching is false, thereby establishing a higher rank of authority for Scripture than the Apostles’ teachings (and of course, places one’s private interpretation of the Scriptures over the Scriptures themselves). But that is not what the passage reveals, and it becomes clear when we back up and examine its context. 

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COC #39: COC “Proof” for Sola Scriptura: “Scripture OR Tradition”

(2) As a proof for “Bible-only” Christianity, the Protestant Church of Christ refers to New Testament passages that include any negative portrayal of “tradition” in order to suggest an “either/or” (Scripture/Tradition) dichotomy of authority.

The Protestant Church of Christ perceives Catholic Sacred Tradition as an unbiblical rival to Sacred Scripture. Therefore, you (its members) begin not with openness to any established tradition, but rather, a scriptural quest for proof that traditions (foreign to your own) are suspicious invention of fallen men.

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COC #36: COC Perspicuity Proof: 2 Timothy 3:16 with 1 Timothy 5:18

• 2 Timothy 3:16 with 1 Timothy 5:18 read:

All scripture is inspired by God . . . , [and] . . . for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

The Protestant Church of Christ combines these two passages, and presents them as meaning, “The Protestant Old Testament and the now-formed New Testament are all Scripture, and therefore, all that should be in the Bible is what we have in our own Bibles.” This meaning is, of course, circular (the Bible establishes the Bible), but it also implies St. Paul somehow knew that some (not all) of his own letters would become Scripture, and that he knew all of the other writings that are now in the New Testament—even writings that had not yet been written—would become Scripture. And since St. Paul, here, is quoting from both the Old Testament and what would become part of the New Testament, your apologists conclude that the nascent Church would resemble modern “Bible-only” communities.

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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.

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COC #33: COC Perspicuity Proof: 2 Peter 3:15-16

• 2 Peter 3:15-16 reads: 

So also our beloved Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

Let us not be unstable, but rather, admit St. Peter was not establishing any sacred Table of Contents. St. Peter was the Pope. He was Catholic, so it is intellectually dishonest for a person to use St. Peter’s Letter as any sort of proof for the Catholic Church’s non-involvement with the canon’s formation. But your group does not acknowledge this historical fact, hopes its hearers are equally ignorant, and proceeds to interpret the passage to their own destruction. Your group twiststhe passage from what it reads to an interpretation that means, “All of St. Paul’s letters are inspired.” And since your already-established Bible contains letters written by St. Paul, your group convinces itself that a large portion of the New Testament is authenticated by the use of St. Peter’s Letter.

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COC #31: On Rule of Faith

Catholics admit that Jesus established an authoritative Church, that the Church wrote and compiled the New Testament writings, that she added them to the Old Testament, and then called the entire library of Sacred Scripture the Bible. Catholics admit that the word of God is not only present in the Sacred Scriptures, but is also present in that same Sacred Tradition—oral teachings and authoritative leadership—He established. The subject of this admittance is what is called the Christian Rule of Faith. 

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COC #30: The Church of Christ Is Guided by the Word of God

Non-Catholic Christians,

The Protestant Church of Christ holds in its collective mind a conviction that the Catholic Church either intentionally violates Scripture or is oblivious to it. She does not and is not. Any Catholic dogmatic—not individualistic—violation your group perceives is rooted in its own poor understanding of the Scriptures and Christianity. So, as you read this chapter, please continue to ask yourself the kind of question I have raised several times throughout this book: Why do you believe your interpretation of the Bible is more credible than the Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Bible?  

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