Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This is the second part of answering the question of “How God Speaks To Us?” In the first part we addressed Sacred Tradition. Today we will explore the Sacred Scripture or the Bible. To refresh our memories I want to remind us of “How God speaks To Us?”
As from the first, God speaks to His Church through the Bible and through Sacred Tradition. To make sure we understand Him, He guides the Church’s teaching authority – the magisterium – so it always interprets the Bible and Tradition accurately. This is the gift of infallibility. Like the three legs on a stool, the Bible, Tradition, and the magisterium are all necessary for the stability of the Church and to guarantee sound doctrine.
Scripture (CCC101-141), by which we mean the Old and New Testaments, was inspired by God. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The Holy Spirit guided the biblical authors to write what he wanted them to write. “The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures”(CCC107, citing Dei Verbum11).
Some Christians claim, “The Bible is all I need,” but this notion is not taught in the Bible itself. In fact, the Bible teaches the contrary idea. In 2 Peter 1:20-21, 3:15-16 we read “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” and “Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” The “Bible alone” theory was not believed by anyone in the early Church.
It is new, having arisen only in the 1500’s during the Protestant Reformation. The theory is a “tradition of men” that nullifies the Word of God, distorts the true role of the Bible, and undermines the authority of the Church Jesus established. Although popular with many “Bible Christian” churches, the “Bible alone” theory simply does not work in practice. Historical experience disproves it. Each year we see additional splintering among “Bible-believing” religions.
Today there are tens of thousands of competing denominations, each insisting its interpretation of the Bible is the correct one. The resulting divisions have caused untold confusion among millions of sincere but misled Christians. Just open up the Yellow Pages of your telephone book and see how many different denominations are listed, each claiming to go by the “Bible alone,” but no two of them agreeing on exactly what the Bible means. We know this for sure” The Holy Spirit cannot be the author of this confusion. God cannot lead people to contradictory beliefs because his truth is one. The conclusion? The “Bible alone” theory must be false. (Pillar of fire-Pillar of truth, Catholic Answers.)