By Nick John
In my YouTube video for Fire of the Spirit, I quickly talked about five apologetic verses that Catholics need to know. These five verses are biblical quotes that prove what the Catholic Church teaches. Because of the briefness of the YouTube clip, this blog will go into a bit more depth each of the topic addressed.
In my video I looked at Luke 1:48. I used this verse to prove that it is right for us to honor (not worship, that is for God alone) the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was very holy. The Ark had three things in it; some manna (the bread that feed the Israelites in the desert), Aaron's staff, and pieces of the original Ten Commandments. Now the Blessed Virgin Mary carried Jesus Christ in her womb for 9 months. Which is more important Jesus or the Ark of the Covenant? Obviously Jesus is. Then, remembering the honor that the Ark received, what type of honor should the Mother of God get?
Martin Luther used a verse from Romans to help uphold his “reformation”. He quoted that “For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (RSV Rom. 3:28). What Luther was trying to say is that we are saved by faith alone. This is not what the Bible says. The only place that the Bible says “faith alone” is “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (RSV James 2:24). What Paul is trying to say is that “Because the gift of faith is supernatural, no previous good works can deserve it… James tells us that after a man has received the gift of faith he is expected to live up to it” (Rumble 37). James 1:22, or James 2:24, are a quick way to show that the “faith alone” interpretation of Romans is not correct.
In the second epistle of Peter, chapter 2 verses 19-20, he talks about how some scripture is hard to understand. It is not logically possible to base our Christian faith on the Bible alone. If we were supposed to base our faith on the Bible alone (sola scriptura), then we should be able to biblically prove it through the Bible alone. There are many problems with this interpretation though. One problem is that fact that sola scriptura would not be possible biblically (see my blog post on this topic here). Another thing is that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about using the books as a teaching authority. Yes Paul says that “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (RSV Tim. 3:16). The problem is what was scripture? The New Testament was not put together yet! When Paul wrote to Timothy, there were books in the New Testament that were not written yet. If you follow this link and look at the chart you will see which ones are after second Timothy. Also, the compilation of the New Testament books, as we know it now, “…must wait till 397(AD) for the Council of Carthage, before we find the complete collection of New Testament books settled as we have it today (excluding versions that, following Martin Luther, removed certain books)” (Graham 31).
Second Thessalonians 2:15 tells us that we need to rely on tradition. This also goes with the above paragraph about private interpretation. As pointed out above, sola scriptura is not a solid argument. Therefore, without private interpretation, we also need tradition. Also the early Church Fathers would have had a better understanding of scripture since they were in communication with the Apostles.
Timothy 3:15 explains that the church should be one and universal. In Matthew it states that “If your brother sins against you…tell it to the church” (RSV Matt. 18:15). Now, as Steve Ray points out in is talk “Finding the Fullness of Faith”; if there is a Baptist and a Lutheran who need to go to “the church” (as the Bible says) to which church do they go to? It would not be logical for the Lutheran if they go to the Baptist’s church leaders. The Lutheran does not believe in the Baptist’s sect, or else he would be Baptist himself. Nevertheless, for the same reason, it would not be understandable for the Baptist to submit to the Lutheran’s church elders. Even if one were to go to the other’s elders, if it was ruled against him, he would just go and disregard their authority (Finding the Fullness of Faith). So Paul’s verse about the church elders having the authority to rule and govern does not make sense unless there was one church that has the authority structure that the Catholic Church has.
In conclusion, the Catholic Church is shown to have a biblical base for its beliefs. The five verses that I chose are a very few of the countless verses that uphold the Catholic Church. With the many different Bible verses to choose from, it may be hard to memorize many of them for when you’re challenged about your faith. But these five verses can be used to cover a lot of what the Catholic Church teaches. Merry Christmas!
Feel free to comment below… Maybe you could post some of your favorite apologetic verses?
“Finding the Fullness of Faith”. Steve’s Ray’s conversion talk.
Revised Standard Version. Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1946. Print.
Graham, G. Henry. Where We Got the Bible. Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, 1977. Print.
Rumble, Leslie. Radio Replies. Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, 1977. Print.
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