Understanding Roman Catholicism
Interpreting God's Word
Are Catholics able to interpret God's Word for themselves?
"The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." Pg. 30, #100
Can only the pope and the leadership of the Catholic church properly interpret God's Word? Let's go to the Bible and see how God feels about this teaching. When Paul and Silas preached in Berea, the people:
"... received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11
In other words, they interpreted the Scriptures for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit.
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?" Mark 12:24
Why did Jesus chastise the Sadducees for not knowing the Scriptures if it was impossible for them to interpret them?
And why did Peter, Catholicism's first " pope," declare the following?
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Peter 1:20
Why does Paul instruct us to study the Bible if we can't interpret it?
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
Jesus admonished the Jews to:
"Search the scriptures..." John 5:39
Why would He do that, if He knew they couldn't interpret them?
Who does the interpreting?
The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit, not a group of men, will interpret Scripture for God's children and will help them to understand all things:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..." John 16:13
The Apostle Paul recognized that the Holy Spirit was the One who taught him:
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Corinthians 2:13
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." 1 Corinthians 2:12
Why are Christians commanded to memorize the Scriptures if they can' t understand them?
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
"Keep my commandments, and live... write them upon the table of thine heart." Proverbs 7:2-3
The following verses of Scripture should alarm anyone who believes they need a church to interpret the Bible for them:
"These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie , and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." 1 John 2:26-27
Could God's position be any plainer?
Why is the Catholic church so determined to interpret the Scriptures for you? Is it because they want to control you and keep you in bondage to Catholicism?
Are they afraid that if you read the Scriptures for yourself, you might discover that Catholic doctrines are contrary to God's Word?
Do you really believe that all non-Catholics are groping around in spiritual blindness, needing the Catholic church to interpret the Bible for them?
You must settle these things in your own mind, but your most important decision is:
"Who will interpret Scripture for you... the Holy Spirit of God or the Roman Catholic church?"
Your answer to that question will determine who you will obey and eventually where you will spend eternity:
"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. " Psalm 119:97-99
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Understanding Roman Catholicism © 1995 by Rick Jones