Monday, April 6, 2015

We interpret Scripture according to the Tradition upon which Scripture is based.

In Ineffabilus Deus, Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the Immaculate Conception (the idea that Mary was born without original sin), the Pope referred to sanctions issued by previous Popes, forbidding interpreting scripture or the fathers in a way other than clearly asserting the Immaculate Conception.
1  He then commissions a study by numbers scholars to get their opinion on the Immaculate Conception.
2    Of course, they are forbidden from giving him any other answer then the one he wants them to give.  There are a rot of problems with this approach, but one of them is that people’s opinions are inherently personal and ultimately can’t be outsourced.  

Blogger De Maria said...
Hi Dan,

I understand your frustration. Have you ever read in Scripture:

Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Do you think he bought that pearl in order to deface it? I don't. I think he wanted to keep it as beautiful as the day he found it.
 What does the Scripture say concerning the Gospel?
Romans 6:17
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

This, then, is the Catholic logic. We interpret Scripture according to the Tradition upon which Scripture is based. The CCC says it like this:
113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church").

You see, Jesus Christ did not write even one letter of Scripture. First, He established a Church (Matt 16:18), He appointed men in authority over this Church (Matt 16:19; 18:18). And then He commissioned that Church and those men to teach His commands in the whole world. In so doing, He established Tradition.

The Church then preached in the whole world and began to write the Scriptures as certain members of the Church were inspired by the Holy Spirit:
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Pope is not trying to hinder progress. He wants to make sure that the doctrine is explained in a manner which does not contradict the revelation of our Lord.

Protestants frequently accuse us of eseigesis. And they are not far wrong. We don't discover anything new in Scripture. Before we read Scripture, we already know what it will say. Because we live the Traditions of the Church. The Traditions from which Scripture was written.

Whereas Protestants have abandoned both anchors. They no longer have the authority of the Church nor the foundation of Tradition. So, when the read the Scriptures, each Protestant can come to his own contradictory conclusion about what that Scripture means.

I hope that makes more sense.


De Maria

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