By Gynnath Ford
The Faith of Millions, The Credentials of the Catholic Religion, by John A. O’Brian, Ph.D, L.L.D., states: “A competent guide for the Christian religion should possess these three qualifications:
1. It must be within the reach of every inquirer after the truth.
2. It must be clear and intelligible to all.
3. It must present all the truths of the Christian religion.
Now the Bible alone possesses none of these; (The Church; The Interpreter of the Bible, Chapter 11, page 152).
Although the Catholic religion does not believe that the Bible alone is a safe guide, she does teach that the translations which she has given to the people are inspired of God and contain the words of the living God, The Faith of Millions, page 143. She believes also that the Bible is infallible. The difference in her teaching lies in this statement: “The plain fact is that an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile. Infallibility never gets from the printed pages to the one place it is needed: the mind of the reader. The myriad divisions within Protestantism offer ample evidence of the truth of this statement” (The Faith of Millions, page 138).
All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Douay Version, a Catholic translation.
THE BIBLE IS INFALLIBLE
The Douay Version, translated by Catholics, speaks of its own perfection or infallibility. “For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost.” “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth…” (The Second Epistle of St. Peter the Apostle 1:21, The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to St. John 16:13).
IT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD
These writers who were inspired by the Holy Ghost give us this confidence:
“…according to revelation, the mystery has been made known to me, as I have written above in a few words; As you reading, may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit…” (The Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians 3:3,4).
The scripture above clearly states:
1. The mystery was revealed to the apostles.
2. The apostle Paul wrote it down.
3. When you read you can understand it.
It is agreed that Paul wrote things “hard to be understood” (The Second Epistle of St. Peter the Apostle 3:15,16). It is likewise true that many popes of the Roman Catholic Church have written things that are hard to be understood. The fact remains that this same Paul said, “As you reading, may understand…”
IT PRESENTS ALL NECESSARY TRUTH
The Bible does not contain all that Jesus said or did (The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to St. John 21:25). Yet it contains all that is necessary to have eternal life.
“Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his desciples, which are not written in this book. but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name” (The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to St. John 20:30,31).
The Bible contains enough to make us perfect and to furnish us to every good work.
“All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work” (The Second Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy 3:16,17).
DOES THE BIBLE NEED AN INFALLIBLE INTERPRETER?
If yes, then the following statements must also be true.
1. God has given us a revelation which still has to be revealed. But God revealed the mystery unto Paul. Paul said that we could read and have his understanding, the understanding of an apostle of God. The Pope claims to have no greater understanding. Did Peter ever give Paul understanding? No, because they had the same God-given power to understand! If we can obtain the understanding of an apostle by reading the words of Paul, then we need no infallible interpreter!
2. God who made the mind of man cannot so address man in words which man can understand. This would be a reflection upon the power of God if this were true.
3. We cannot understand what the Spirit said approximately 1900 years ago but we can understand what He says today through the inspired Pope. Do you believe the Spirit of God can speak in a more understandable way today than He did through the writers of the New Testament years ago? Can the perfect Spirit of God improve?
THE INFALLIBLE APOSTLES
We agree with the Roman Catholic Church that the apostles were infallible. When they wrote they recorded the words of the Spirit which “searcheth… the deep things of God” (The First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians 2:10). These words received the approval of God’s Spirit and His holy apostles. The question is: Why do we need an infallible interpreter, the Pope, the alleged successor of Peter, to interpret what Peter infallibly wrote for us? Surely, we can see that if we can understand what the present day Pope says, we can understand what Peter, allegedly the first Pope, said. If we can understand what Peter said, then we can understand the Bible. If we can understand the Bible, it really is a safe guide for mankind.
WHO IS RIGHT?
If the Bible is a safe guide, the Catholic Church has erred from the truth. Does this mean that men must accept the myriad divisions which are mentioned by Dr. O’Brian in the opening quotations of this article? Certainly not! There is a people who are as strongly opposed to division and Protestantism as is the Roman Catholic Church. This people believes in the one true church which Christ purchased with His blood. They plead for a return to the divine pattern as laid down by Christ and His apostles in the infallible writings of the Holy Scriptures. Their desire is to go back beyond Catholicism to the true church which is built upon Jesus Chrust and promoted by his teachings as given in the Bible alone. It is our fervent prayer that you will investigate the plea of the church of Jesus Christ in your community. The Catholic Church says, “Investigate.” Good! Investigate the church of Christ!