Sunday, October 11, 2020

Would Jesus Have Us Submit To The Roman Catholic Magisterium In Order To Properly Understand Scripture?

        The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church says the following in regards to the role of who interprets Scripture: 

        "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." (CCC # 100)

        "The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates." (CCC # 890)

        The reasoning comprising the above quoted excerpts runs contrary to how Jesus Christ Himself addressed people and false teaching. He made individuals interpret Scripture for themselves and held them accountable when they applied them wrongly.

        Jesus Christ expected an expert in the Law to properly interpret Scripture for himself (Luke 10:26). He asked His challenger, "What is written in the law?"

        Jesus held the Pharisees accountable for their misinterpretation of the Scriptures in regards to working on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:3-5). He asked them, "Have you not read in the Law?"

        Jesus expected the Pharisees to interpret the Scriptures for themselves when He answered them on the matter of marriage and divorce (Matthew 19:5). He asked them, "Have you not read...?"

        Christ answered the Sadducees on marriage and the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 22:22-32). He told them that they neither understood Scripture nor the power of God. He asked them, "Have you not read?"

        After telling the Parable of the Tenants, Jesus asked those who had listened to Him, "Did you never read in the Scriptures?" (Matthew 21:42) 

        If Jesus Christ restricted private interpretation of Scripture to an elitist church hierarchy, then His questions would have been meaningless. He never pointed anyone to an office to be infallibly taught biblical doctrine. He made people interpret Scripture for themselves rather than simply spoon-feeding them divine truth.

        The Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-12 subjugated angels and apostles themselves to a standard of divine revelation as he said "even if we" in condemning false gospels. We clearly must resort to the use of our own reasoning faculties in order to test the messages of ministers. The substance of teaching has greater weight than the one who teaches.

       Christ defeated the devil by appealing to Scripture three times, "It is written" (Matthew 4:1-11). Why not emulate His perfect moral example in spiritual discernment? If a child like Timothy could understand Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15), then why cannot the same be true of us?

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