Friday, January 11, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics don't rely on the Bible alone...

...is to balance against human weakness. 

Imagine if America's founding fathers had written the Constitution and allowed every American to interpret it individually. Who can argue that the Supreme Court is necessary to be the final word on what is and is not constitutional?

Even the ancient Jews who had the Torah didn't use it alone. They used their scriptures and their tradition in union to ensure no one incorrectly interpreted Scripture and no one created tradition opposed to the Torah.

Catholics do the same thing by relying on the Bible but protect against false interpretations by remembering what the earliest Christians believed (tradition) and by reserving binding decisions to a particular group (called the Magisterium or “teaching office”). These three entities balance and protect each other from our human desire for seeking our own advantage.

While the Holy Spirit is responsible for interpreting Scripture for us, our fallen nature still can get in the way. Without tradition or the Magisterium then who makes decisions on what Scripture means? I do. What happens when you and I disagree? We go and form our own churches.

This is yet another reason why Catholics don't rely on the bible alone.

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