Rome, The Infallible Interpreter?
The Roman Catholic Church claims that only she can correctly interpret the Scriptures. We Protestants, of course, “protest” such a claim. But before we even make our Scriptural case for Sola Scripture, a few questions come to mind. Such as, if only Rome can correctly interpret the Bible, who was providing the interpretations as the Epistles were being read aloud in the early church, and why is no mention of this need made by Paul and the others?(Along those lines, who interpreted the letter for Philemon?) Besides, “Because we say so,” why ought we accept Rome’s claim as the sole interpreter? And here’s an even better question posed over at Green Baggins . . .
I do want to ask formally this question: if the RCC has a monopoly on the interpretation of the Bible, how come they have not come out with an inerrant commentary on the Bible? They keep telling us that “our own private interpretations” are wrong when they run foul of the RCC. However, they don’t tell us what every verse in fact means. I would think this would be a rather high priority, seeing as how we are dealing with direct revelation from God. I want to know what God said to me in His Word. How can the Roman Catholic find that out? Would it not be vitally important that we have God’s Word all figured out by the church as to its meaning? If a RC apologist responds by saying that it is all interpreted in the Tradition, I would say that they are operating with a definition of Tradition that doesn’t really work. Tradition is basically what the current RCC teaches. Besides, very few verses have ever been definitely interpreted by the RCC as to their meaning. Where is the definitive interpretation of the Bible? In the Protestant tradition, we really don’t have to worry about that. We have and can learn from all the writers of the past, while not having to agree with any one or group of them, unless, say, we take a vow upholding a particular confessional standard.
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Labels: Doctrine of Scripture