Pope Benedict: Bible Cannot Be Taken Literally

This fellow's a classic Calvinist.  And it's easy to blow holes in his "treatise" below: (my comments in bold below)

Hard on the heels of the recent Vatican statement declaring that the Jews have no scriptural claim to the Promised Land comes another papal shocker.

It is contained in the pope’s most recent “apostolic exhortation,” Verbum Domini (“The Word of the Lord”), issued on November 11.

In this lengthy “exhortation,” the pope “has issued a lofty and impassioned plea for everyone in the church to rediscover the Bible” (cna/ewtn News, November 11). But it’s more than an “impassioned plea” from this pope to his parishioners. It’s a direct attack on all who believe the inerrancy of the literal Scriptures as inspired by God! (Yes it is. Good for the Pope.)

In direct relation to the study of the Bible, Pope Benedict has “criticized ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘literalist’ interpretations and urged renewed appreciation for the symbolic and spiritual interpretation techniques used by the ancient fathers of the church” (ibid., emphasis mine).

In a most outlandish pontification, Benedict declared, “An authentic interpretation of the Bible must always be in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church.” (Again, bravo Pope Benedict. The Church gave us the Bible - but the Protestants will protest this until the End Times – unless they honestly study the early Church and the Patristic Fathers)

This latest declaration by the pope tracks right back to his double endorsement of the claim that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church. (I’ll say it again – Bravo Pope Benedict. What the Pope needs to do – a next step – is to let all Cardinals, bishops and parish priests know the same, and that if they choose to preach otherwise, there will be consequences)

At the time that the pope made that startling claim, Fox News, among other sources, reported, “For the second time in a week, Pope Benedict xvi has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, reasserting the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church and saying other Christian communities were either defective or not true churches” (July 10, 2007). (Can I get another “Bravo” here?)

Thus, having declared all Christian denominations other than Roman Catholicism illegitimate (and they are) having endorsed recently a Vatican statement that the Jews have no valid scriptural claim to the Promised Land, the pope now has reasserted the medieval stance that only the interpretation of Scripture by the Roman Catholic Church has authenticity.  (Indeed he has, particularly since the Catholic Church – the True and Only Church of Christ – gave us the Bible, in its final form)

That is a blatant papal lie that the very Scriptures themselves oppose! (Baloney. The scriptures do not oppose this – how could they, when the Church finalized the Bible?)

Your Bible clearly declares, first and foremost, that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). (Could one argue that every Protestant pastor and scholar is simply giving his/her own “private interpretation”? Indeed they are. Which is why Christ set up His Holy Roman Catholic Church as the sole interpreter – to control heresy, apostasy, and so forth.  Perfectly Logical, as God and His Son are the only Perfect Logicians)

It further declares that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). (Yes it is) There’s no instruction here to resort first to any “symbolic and spiritual interpretation techniques used by the ancient fathers of the church”! (There doesn’t need to be. And the ancient/early Church knew this, because everyone knew the Catholic Church finalized the Bible)

Those “interpretation techniques” as applied over the centuries have led to many contradictory interpretations of Scripture, even within Roman Catholicism. (And in Protestant, even Calvinistic circles – agreed. Which is why Christ gave us His Holy Catholic Church as the final, ultimate interpreter).But Jesus Christ plainly said “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). (Again, the Church believes this, as it finalized the Bible) The Bible does not contradict itself! (The Church never said it did. But Protestants do, when they stand pat on Sola Scriptura – they ignore the Book of James – they “interpret” the verses differently to fit their belief in Sola Scriptura, which really gives Man – not God, nor any authoritarian body – the “power” to interpret Sacred Scripture any way they wish, to meet their needs. They accuse The Catholic Church of being Protestant, in a way.  Madness!)

It is not for the pope, it is not for any of his priests, it is not for man at all to interpret the Scriptures based on any particular religious ideology!  (Then who interprets? The Pastor? John Calvin?? Charles Spurgeon??? Who????  Again, why Christ chose Peter to interpret. Peter and His Church. Christ’s Church. The ONLY TRUE CHRISTIAN CHURCH)

There’s only one power that can unlock the plain, straightforward meaning of Scripture. That is the power of the mind of God alone, exerting His influence directly on the mind of an individual by the power of His Holy Spirit. (Here is the critical flaw in Protestant theology. Who to say they have the power of the Holy Spirit? That’s right – the individual. The flawed human. Based on their interpretation of Sacred Scripture. It’s like the whole altar call “thing” – “I’m saved because I chose Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour on this date. I guess God has no choice in who’s saved, and who is not. Man does.)

Jesus Christ Himself, the Word of God personified, declared that when the Holy Spirit comes into the mind of an individual, it reveals all things. (True) He called it “the Spirit of truth, [which] the world cannot receive, because it seeth [it] not, neither knoweth [it]” (John 14:17). (True)

Christ called the Holy Spirit the “Comforter” (John 16:7). It is a revelatory Spirit, the Spirit of truth—actually a portion of God’s own supreme intellect embedded in the mind of a converted Christian. Christ declared that when it is given by the Father to a servant of God, it “will guide you into all truth … and [it] will shew you things to come” (verse 13).  (True. But God also gave us the Catholic Church to make certain the flawed sons and daughters of Adam and Eve didn’t interpret Scripture for themselves. God, of course, knew we would. Which is why He left us with a centre of authority. St. Peter’s Chair. His Holy Roman Catholic Church. Absolutes. Protestants can’t deal with this. Never could. Never will. They are modernists. Relativists, really.)

cna/ewtn News describes “The heart of Verbum Domini” as comprising “a long and often technical discussion of ‘hermeneutics,’ or the proper method for interpreting the sacred texts.”

The reality is that Jesus Christ, the very Author of the Word of God, gave us the proper method for understanding the Bible. (There was no Bible in the time of Christ) We read of the direct experience of His original disciples, from which the original apostles were ordained who in turn formed the very foundation of the one true Church. (The Roman Catholic Church) Of their experience with the resurrected Jesus Christ, they intoned, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

It is thus the living Jesus Christ, the true Head of His one true Church, who opens up the Word of God to us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit! (And man – fallen man – who has the power to decide if he or she is, indeed, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Which is why we have so many interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures – a direct result, dangerous modernistic fallout thanks to the protestant revolt)

Yes it takes dedicated study to grow in understanding the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15; Isaiah 28:10, 13). But, in reality, the Bible interprets itself!

Why do men insist on trying to interpret the Bible? (Does he not say man can interpret the Bible himself, based on “the power of the Holy Spirit”, in this sentence above: ‘There’s only one power that can unlock the plain, straightforward meaning of Scripture. That is the power of the mind of God alone, exerting His influence directly on the mind of an individual by the power of His Holy Spirit.’ Is this not contradictory? It is. It is void of logic. Men insist on interpreting the Bible themselves because the reformation was a rejection of authority – the Authority of Christ True Church – the Holy Roman Catholic Church)

A quarter of a century ago, Herbert Armstrong gave the answer (Plain Truth, November 1983):

The Scriptures are profitable for the purpose of reproving and correcting us. (Yep) But we resent being reproved and corrected. (Yep) How many people do you know who are even willing to be corrected where they are in error—to be reproved for the wrong things they do? (Yep)

People do not like to be reproved and corrected. They love praise and flattery. But reproof and correction they surely hate. (Yep)

That’s why it is so hard for so many people to understand the Bible and to agree on just what it says. (which is why Christ gave is the Holy Roman Catholic Church) The Bible is God’s great spiritual mirror. It shows up every flaw in our thinking and reveals every spot on our characters. It pictures us as we really are—as God sees us, not as we like to think we are or to have other men look upon us. (Indeed)

That’s the plain and simple truth. 

Using the Scriptures to underpin his argument, Herbert Armstrong further stated:

“For the word of God,” we read in Hebrews 4:12, “is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword”—it cuts deep, both ways—“and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Yes, it opens up and lays bare the inner man.

Too often men have applied some different meaning to the scriptures that reproved them. They have passed right over some scriptures that corrected and rebuked them. Instead they studied diligently to find some other scripture into which they could read a meaning that would justify their course of action.

That is how men began, centuries ago, to interpret the Bible. And so God’s Word has become perverted, twisted, wrested, distorted. And almost every false and counterfeit meaning imaginable is read into it instead of seeing the natural meaning—the plain, simple meaning God intended. (But Man has this right, based on the author’s statement here: ‘There’s only one power that can unlock the plain, straightforward meaning of Scripture. That is the power of the mind of God alone, exerting His influence directly on the mind of an individual by the power of His Holy Spirit.’)

Today we have hundreds of interpretations of the Bible. (Thanks to the protestant revolt) But you never hear of hundreds of interpretations of a biology textbook. Why? Because biology textbooks do not rebuke and correct men. (So why didn’t we just stay with the old Douay Rheims? Was the King James Version simply men re-interpreting the Bible themselves?)

Instead of acknowledging the truth, repenting of the sin, having it legally justified by the blood of Christ, men seek to justify their own acts by perverting the sacred and holy Word of God.  (Again, isn’t this what happened when the protestants discarded the Douay Rheims? How can they argue this??)

As Melanie Phillips recently mused (this smug word shows us exactly why we should never engage in anything ecumenical with protestants), the Vatican today, under this pope, may be taking “a giant step backwards into a darker age”—an age when the Vatican dictated that the Roman Catholic Church alone was the sole authority for interpretation of the Bible! (Let’s hope the Church does take this gigantic leap back to the true teachings of the Church of Christ the King. It also proves ecumenism is a tremendous danger to the Church)

Could it be that this pope is in reality seeking to hide what inerrant Scripture reveals as to the true nature of the religious body he leads, its true beginnings, and its prophesied end? (Nope) Hide the truth by insisting on the application of the interpretation techniques imposed by the “ancient fathers of the church” and thus interpreting, or rather wresting, the Scriptures to suit the whim and the will of the Vatican? (2 Peter 3:16). (How is it the Catholic Church is using Scripture to ‘suit the whim and the will of the Vatican’, but not the Calvinists? The Methodists?? The Lutherans??? The Pentecostals???? The Evangelicals?????)

You need to allow the Bible to interpret itself on this burning question and all others. (The Bible is a book. It cannot interpret itself. Man must interpret it. The real question is: Who has the authority? Christ gave us His Answer in Matthew 16:13-23)

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Re: Pope Benedict: Bible Cannot Be Taken Literally - by ruralpeace - 11-17-2010, 04:28 PM

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