"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Bible's Place

        The Bible is the inspired Word of God.  The Mass is solidly based upon the Scriptures.  This may be news to some: The Bible is basically a Catholic book.  The Bible as we know of it today did not exist in the beginning until the Church put together the books to give us the Bible in 397.  So it came from the Church and not the other way around.  And of course, there were no Bible Christians in those early centuries. 
        Jesus and the Bible itself never mentioned that we should depend upon the Bible alone.  The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles were handed down orally, forming the Tradition.  The Gospels are basically traditions that happened to have been committed to writing.  Remember that back then there were no printing presses to make many copies of any book available.  On top of that, most people were illiterate.  Even today, almost 20% of the world's population does not know how to read.
        In the Catholic Church, there are the Tradition, Scriptures, and Magisterium.  Scriptures back up Tradition, and Magisterium, being the teaching authority of the Church, makes sure that Scriptures are not subject to erroneous interpretation.  These three are like the three legs of a table, providing perfect balance, safeguarding God's revelations.
        A footnote:  A Jewish professor once said, "If you are interpreting the Scriptures for yourself, you're writing them." (I learned this from the story by Vivian Dudro in the book CHOSEN).

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