By Sean Martin
Is the Bible the sole authority and teaching of our Catholic religion?
God chose to reveal Himself to all humanity in two modes, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. These two modes make up the one single Word of God or Deposit of Faith (Catechism of the Catholic Church 74-83). St. Paul taught the importance of abiding by both modes of the Word of God. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
In the first letter to Timothy, St. Paul teaches that the Church is the foundation of truth. “But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). The task of interpreting the Word of God, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, belongs to the Magisterium of the Church, the pope and the bishops in union with him (CCC 84-95). Therefore, we look ultimately to the pope and the bishops in union with him for guidance and proper understanding of our Faith.
Why does the Catholic Church have so many rules on interpreting the bible?
The Church asks the interpreter of Scriptures to take into consideration what the human authors intended and what God wanted to reveal to humanity. The interpreter of Scriptures ought to consider the culture, literary genres, modes of speaking and narrating at the time that the particular biblical writing was written. The reader or interpreter of Scriptures should read and interpret being mindful that it was authored by the Holy Spirit, there are seventy three books that make up the one book called the Bible, how the Church practices the faith, what has been taught before us, and the consistency of the truths of the faith (CCC 109-114).
Should the bible be taken literally?
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