Debate: Does the Magisterium have authority over the Bible, or does the Bible have authority over the Magisterium?

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This is a non-denominational exchange of ideas intended to bring about a greater understanding of the Bible.
All views are welcome.

Matthew 16:18-19 reads:

  • And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

The Roman Catholic Magisterium has used these scriptures to proclaim for itself spiritual authority over interpretation of the Bible. The debate question is: Does the Magisterium have authority over the Bible, or does the Bible have authority over the Magisterium?

No personal attacks, such as impugning another editor as a Nazi or anti-Christ are allowed, and the offending posting can be removed in its entirety by any user.

The Roman church has authority over scripture

Contentions over Bible authority vs Church authority: What the Bible says about it

I'll address the primary issue I addressed on the purgatory debate page—

  • "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Greek rock], and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
  • "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
  • "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
  • "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."
  • "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. [...]

(Texts from the King James Version: Matthew 16:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 13:17; James 2:24; 1 Peter 2:13-17; 2 Peter 1:19–2:2; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 17-19)
[Ed. note: James 2:4, 2 Peter 2:1-2, 1 John 2:18-19, & Jude 17-19 were removed as off topic to the subject of authority of the Magisterium.]

On a rock Jesus built his church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Therefore, according to the Bible itself, it is impossible that the church could ever teach what is not the truth. This is simply the doctrine of the Bible about the church, and it is simply the same as the Catholic doctrine about the church. Therefore according to the Bible the doctrine of the church is the truth taught by the Holy Ghost.
Nowhere does the Bible teach that the leaders and members of the church will all live impeccable lives free of all sin. Bad example, like that of Judas, does not invalidate the truth of the doctrine of the church.

I stand with the Bible just as every professing Bible-believer should. It's the Word of God. Amen. Period. The end. [1]

Question from RobSmith

You cite 1 Peter 2:13 "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man"; are ordinances of the Magisterium from man or God?

Answer from IndependentSkeptic ( 01:01, 3 August 2020 (EDT) )

Your question is a Loaded question. I consulted Dataclarifier. I believe we have an answer (two actually, if you wish to be exact):
(1) If a person believes the institution/ordinance of the church's magisterium has divine authority from God because Jesus built his church on rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, because the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth, as the Bible says—then the Bible-believer is obligated to submit to its every doctrine and dogma as the truth.
(2) If a person believes the institution/ordinance of the church's magisterium has only the earthly authority of men, being by now an established governing authority on earth, and there is "no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God", and if the magisterium of the church is the institution/ordinance of men—then the Bible-believer is obligated to submit to the institution/ordinance of the magisterium of the church in its every doctrine and dogma.

  • if the ordinances of the Magisterium are from God the Bible commands that you submit;
  • if the ordinances of the Magisterium are from man the Bible commands that you submit;
  • if the Bible as the infallible Word of God says there is no power/authority but of God: the powers/authorities that be are ordained of God: whosoever therefore resisteth the power/authority, resisteth the ordinance of God: therefore they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (and the Bible does say it)—then Bible-believers who resist the ordinances of the established power/authority of the magisterium of the church shall receive to themselves damnation.
The Bible also commands: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."[2]

So—we propose a counter-question: Is the Bible the Word of God? Will you obey the Word of God?
We'll leave it at that for you to answer. We're just asking the simple question. We don't intend to stay and debate it since this is our final post on leaving Conservapedia. For us the answer seems obvious, so we won't be checking back for your response. We hope you have an answer, for the benefit of people who read this page. Peace be with you. --IndependentSkeptic (talk) 01:01, 3 August 2020 (EDT)

Refutation: 1 Peter 1:13 and 2 Peter 1:20 do not support Roman Catholic Magisterium
Yes, we can see how 1 Peter 2:13-17 can be understood to refer to a theocratic form of government, combining both civil and spiritual authority (i.e., no separation of church and state), as Israel once was under Saul, David, Solomon, and their successors. But we also have this bitter pill to swallow - the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar recorded in the Book of Daniel:
  • This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.[3]
Given this scripture, papal primacy is nothing to boast of.[4] When Jesus said Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, there actually was a separation of civil authority from religious authority, between the Roman occupying force and the Pharisees. At Jesus' ascension, let's look at Acts 1:2-6:
after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
There is much here, but lets glean a few specifics: the Apostles who witnessed his Resurrection, etc., were still of a "carnal mind", looking for restoration of the Kingdom as it was under David, forgetting that Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world. They had not received the Holy Spirit yet.
So yes, I do believe the Bible in its entirety - that the "basest of men" can refer to the Apostolic succession. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 03:10, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
And a brief comment: the question, "are ordinances of the Magisterium from man or God?" is no more of a loaded question than when Jesus asked, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?, of which we'll have more to say (Luke 4:2-8) as we move into a discussion of the Holy Spirit. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 14:06, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
And a final comment on the circular reasoning of your response: the initial defense of Magisterium reads,
  • no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation; yet your response is
  • If a person believes from man....
  • If a person believes from God....
And the prophecy we are speaking of is, Who is the Rock in Matthew 16:18, Christ or Peter? Christ was promised by prophecy in scripture, Peter was not.
It should be noted, the defense of Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18, Thou art Peter..., using 1 Peter 1:20 no scripture is of private interpretation, is the same author who in the next breath encourages private interpretation: "If a person believes A", or "If a person believes B" to arrive at the same conclusion. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 15:14, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
Answer: It is totally irrelevant exactly when there actually was a visible separation of civil authority from religious authority in history and when there actually was a visibly coordinated cooperation of civil authority obediently submitted to orthodox catholic Christian religious authority in history. The Church has always had the religious authority ordained and established by God (for there is no authority except from God) and whoever resists the authority resists what God has ordained, and those who resist shall incur judgment ("damnation" KJV), because: Jesus Himself said on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth, through which the mystery of God hidden from the foundation of the world is revealed, the one body of Christ (not many), the church of the living God which he purchased with His own blood, the temple of God in the Spirit, with us forever, leading into all the truth, obeying the command to be obedient to the leaders who watch over our souls, the church in which God appointed the elders as guardians to take heed to themselves and to feed the flock of the Lord, and keep the traditions delivered to them whether by word of mouth or by letter (whether oral or written), who have the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever they loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, but those that went out were antichrists who despised authority and separated themselves and set up divisions, worldly persons devoid of the Spirit, antichrists who went out and taught another gospel and another Christ that it might be made manifest that they were not of us.
Every Bible-believing Christian who has read the Bible and is familiar with its text recognizes these passages immediately. The Bible itself commands us to obey the leaders who watch over our souls (Heb. 13:17), to submit to every institution of men for the Lord's sake and to submit to the elders (1 Peter 2:13-17; 5:5-6), because their established authority in the church is ordained and established by God (Rom. 13:1-2). This is not private interpretation. If the authority is of God, we are commanded to submit and obey. If the authority is of men, we are commanded to submit and obey. In either case, we are commanded to submit and obey. It's what the Bible says, clearly, plainly and simply, according to the Word of the Lord.
--Dataclarifier (talk) 03:40, 7 August 2020 (EDT)
For the benefit of readers who need to check for themselves as the Beroeans did in Acts 17:10-12, the above chapter-and-verse passages are: Romans 13:1-2; Matthew 16:18; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:21-22; John 14:16-17; John 16:13; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28 (again); 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:18; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 8; Jude 19; John 2:18-19 (again); Galatians 1:6-7; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Hebrews 13:17 (again); 1 Peter 2:13-17; 1 Peter 5:5-6; Romans 13:1-2 (again); 1 Peter 5:5-6 (again). Compare John 8:43; John 8:47.
Let me point out that in Ephesians 2:19-20 the household of God (which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth 1 Timothy 3:15) is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone (supporting the whole foundation); and that the new Jerusalem has twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (but the Lamb is not one of the twelve foundations, Revelation 20:16); and that the living stone is joined by living stones built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:4-5). There is no contradiction in Jesus saying to Peter (= "rock"), "you are a rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".
Since scripture cannot contradict scripture, "and the scripture cannot be broken", because God "cannot deny himself", there is no contradiction in the Bible saying Jesus is the rock foundation supporting Peter and the apostles and prophets as the twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem and that Peter is the rock on which he built his church as He Himself said according to the Greek grammar of what he said which points to Peter not Jesus. The foundation of the church is firm as rock, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 7:24.
--Dataclarifier (talk) 05:50, 7 August 2020 (EDT)
The Greek of the New Testament indisputably shows that Peter is the rock, not Jesus: πέτρος Greek Petros as an appellative: thou art a rock, Aram. כֵּיפָא kepa. The form ὁ πέτρος is likewise common among classical writers, and that not merely in the sense of a stone, as everywhere in Homer in contradistinction to πέτρα Greek petra (see Duncan, p. 937, ed. Rost, and Buttmann, Lexil. II. p. 179), but also as meaning a rock (Plat. Ax. p. 371 E: Σισύφου πέτρος; Soph. Phil. 272, O. C. 19, 1591; Pind. Nem. iv. 46, x. 126). Jesus declares Peter to be a rock on account of that strong and stedfast faith in himself to which, under the influence of a special revelation from God, he had just given expression. According to John 1:43, however, Jesus conferred the Grecized form of the name Cephas Kepas Aram. כֵּיפָא kepa rock upon him at their very first interview (according to Mark 3:16, somewhat later); but our passage Matthew 16:18 is not to be understood as simply recording the giving of the name, or the giving of it for the second time. It is rather intended to be taken as a record of the declaration made by Jesus, to the effect that Simon was in reality all that the name, conferred upon him, implied. Consequently our passage is in no way inconsistent with that of John 1:43 just referred to, which could only have been the case if the words used had been σὺ κληθήσῃ Πέτρος.
καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ The Greek emphasis is on ΤΑΎΤῌ ταύτῃ, which points to Peter (not to Jesus, as Augustine would have us suppose), and to be understood thus: on no other than on this rock. —retrieved from
--Dataclarifier (talk) 05:56, 7 August 2020 (EDT)
In 1 Corinthians 3:10 Paul says that he is the one who laid the foundation: "According to the commission of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it." But in the next verse he says, "For no other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus." This is true! But a literalist would see in these two verses an absolute contradiction. Consider this: no man can lay the foundation of the church Jesus built; only God can lay the foundation, and Jesus is God and man. But Revelation says there are "twelve foundations", not "one". A literalist would see in these two statements an absolute contradiction in the Bible: how can there be twelve when there is only one? The twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem are not laid by man (human beings) but are laid only by God and man. A literalist would see in the one foundation and the twelve foundations a contradiction. The foundation of the apostles and prophets is laid by God the Spirit: "because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:21. The rock of salvation laid a foundation of rock that is twelve foundations chosen. The first was Peter, "a rock". One of them was "a devil" John 6:70-71. But this did not invalidate the word of the Lord. Afterward, the Eleven, led by Peter, chose another, guided by God: Matthias. The apostolic office was empty but then a successor was chosen by lot, just as the apostolic office of Peter vacated by death is filled by lots cast by the elders of the church from that day to this. The foundation of the twelve foundations of the church was built by the foundation (the same foundation that Paul laid, which is Christ Jesus), and laid by Him on a foundation of a rock-Petros, the first of twelve foundations He laid, and was built up into a house of living stones by the living stone as a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. There is no contradiction. --Dataclarifier (talk) 07:45, 7 August 2020 (EDT)
The Apostle chosen by men was rejected; the Apostle chosen by God - Paul, became the twelfth Apostle - proving once again that God did not pass His divine sovereignty, that He reserves to Himself, to men. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 11:58, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Matthias was not rejected. Acts 1:23-26 "and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles". At least 25 apostles are mentioned in the Bible. How Many Apostles are Mentioned in the Bible? ( --Dataclarifier (talk) 13:21, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
It was entirely a work of men, not of God. This is clear from the text. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 13:59, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
"And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
The college of cardinals makes the same prayer in their discernment of voting for who will be the next pope: "Thou, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which of these men thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship."
It was a work of God, in answer to their prayer. --Dataclarifier (talk) 16:10, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Well, I guess Paul was just lucky number 13 then, huh? RobSTrump 2Q2Q 16:50, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Question: When Jethro suggested to Moses to divide the people into captains of 10, captains of 50 and captains of 100, was that ordained by God, too? RobSTrump 2Q2Q 16:55, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Yes. Jethro was a prophet of God, the priest of Midian, and Moses' father-in-law. "Honor thy father and thy mother" Exodus 18:17-23 "If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so..." v.23. God commanded him so, for he did it. --Dataclarifier (talk) 03:25, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Wow. It was the Midianites who sold Joesph into slavery in Egypt, now on the reverse journey out of Egypt suddenly God is speaking through the mouth of a Midianite priest after which God commands
  • Numbers 31:1-2, 7 - And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people....And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 11:14, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Scripture does not say Jethro was among those slain. Moreover Jethro's descendants were included among the righteous people of Israel. Jethro's word is still true as the counsel of God.
Balaam was a prophet of God who spoke true prophecy: Numbers 24. He was killed as a wicked prophet. His words are true.
Moses was a murderer before he was called by God. He authored holy scripture. His words are true.
Saul of Tarsus was a murderous persecutor of Christians and blasphemer, by his own admission. He authored holy scripture. His words are true.
David sinned with Bathsheba and that brought a permanent curse on Israel: "never shall the sword depart". But David is a prophet of God. Acts 2:29-36. His Psalms are true.
Caiaphas the high priest who condemned Jesus to death with the consent of the Sanhedrin supporting his judgment was a prophet. John 11:49-52. His word was true. --Dataclarifier (talk) 16:20, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
You're actually veering closer to the truth with your comments on Moses and David, however God did not tell Moses to murder the Egyptian anymore than he told David or Abraham to sin with Bathsheba and Hagar. Moral of the story: God has entrusted his flock to fallible men and has never transferred his sovereignty to them. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 17:13, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Even being fallible, fallen sinners and corrupt murderers, their doctrine is true. What God says through them is the truth. That is the same guarantee of the truth of the interpretations of scripture and apostolic tradition by the interpretation of the Magisterium of the Church the one holy universal and apostolic body of Christ, the household of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail, guided forever into the truth by the Holy Spirit of truth, as promised infallibly by Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. --Dataclarifier (talk) 17:53, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Well, I think God using two murderers, Moses and David, to author significant portions of his Word says more about God's grace and forgiveness. Perhaps that's why he used them. No one is disputing the veracity of the truth they wrote. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 18:02, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Second question: When Sarah suggested to Abraham that perhaps God meant to fulfill his promise to Abraham by taking her handmaid Hagar, was that ordained by God? RobSTrump 2Q2Q 16:58, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Yes (or it would not have happened). God told Abraham to do what his wife said. Genesis 10:9; 21:12. --Dataclarifier (talk) 03:25, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
  • Genesis 17:19 - God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.
You appear to be using God to justify sin. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 11:17, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
It all happened according to the predetermined counsel and purpose and plan of God (or it would not have happened). That included the sin of putting Christ to death. Acts 2:23.
  • born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man (Ishmael), but of God.
Third question: Did God command David to build the Temple? RobSTrump 2Q2Q 17:01, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
By Nathan the prophet God told David that his son "shall" build him a temple ("shall" is a command: "thou shalt..."). And David made all the preparations (1 Chronicles 28:11-10 "all this he made clear by the writing of the Lord concerning it" v.19). By Gad the prophet God told David to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan/Araunah. He continued to offer sacrifices there. And it was there the temple was built. 2 Samuel 7:4, 12-13; 24:18, 25; 1 Chronicles 28:6, 20; 2 Chronicles 3:1 --Dataclarifier (talk) 03:25, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
  • 2 Samuel 7:4-7 - 4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges[a] of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
Would you build me a house? God is saying, that's awfully presumptuous of you, and it is equally presumptuous of the claims extrapolated out of Matthew 16:18-19 by other men.
Your use of scripture appears to bear out the meaning of 2 Corinthians 3:6,
  • The letter killeth, the spirit gives life.
All these actions were a bit presumptuous on the part of godly men, Moses, Abraham, and David. They were decisions made by men, acting in the flesh without the spirit of God. All had serious longterm consequences as the result of sin. Now we understand a bit more what Paul means by apt to teach, rightly dividing the word of truth. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 11:14, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
I suppose under your teaching of scripture you could justify Moses striking the rock twice or David's sin with Bathsheba, as well. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 11:26, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
Look at the scriptures on the authority of the church (above section: Contentions over Bible authority vs Church authority: What the Bible says about it).
Rhetorical question to consider: What church has been completely free of immoral sinners among its leaders, or free of immoral sinners within their congregations, or free of accusations of hypocrisy and scandals? --Dataclarifier (talk) 16:20, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
All the churches, Orthodox, Catholic, multiple Protestant denominations, Independents, non-denominational, say the Bible is the Word of God. They differ profoundly on interpretation and doctrine. Scripture warns that wrong interpretation of the scriptures is "unto destruction" 2 Peter 3:15-18.
Rhetorical question to consider: Which church "holding to the Bible as the Word of God" has the correct interpretation of the Bible free of error in interpretation? How can we know we are not being led astray? What infallible sign does the Bible give that points to the one church guaranteed to have the true interpretation of the Bible free of error, free of the danger of destruction? --Dataclarifier (talk) 17:18, 9 August 2020 (EDT)

Proofs that condemnations of Catholic doctrine are false

Read Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church, by the Right Rev. Henry G. Graham
and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Reverend Graham says in his Introduction:

“IF all were true that is alleged against the Catholic Church in her treatment of Holy Scripture, then the proper title of these papers should be [not] ‘How we got', but 'How we have not got the Bible'. The common and received opinion about the matter among non-Catholics in Britain, for the most part, has been that Rome hates the Bible-that she has done all she could to destroy it—that in all countries where she has held sway she has kept the Bible from the hands of the people—has taken it and burned it whenever she found anyone reading it. Or if she cannot altogether prevent its publication or its perusal, at least she renders it as nearly useless as possible by sealing it up in a dead language which the majority of people can neither read nor understand. And all this she does, (so we are told), because she knows that her doctrines are absolutely opposed to and contradicted by the letter of God's written Word—she holds ­and propagates dogmas and traditions which could not stand one moment's examination if exposed to the searching light of Holy Scripture. [...]
“The Protestant account of pre-reformation Catholicism has been largely a falsification of history. All the faults and sins that could possibly be raked up or invented against Rome, or against particular bishops or priests, were presented to the people of this unhappy land, and all her best acts misconstrued, misjudged, misrepresented, and nothing of good told in her favour. She has been painted as all black and hideous, and no beauty could be seen in her. Consequently people came to believe the tradition as a matter of course, and accepted it as history [...]
“But nowadays many are enquiring—Is it really so? Are we sure of our facts? Are we not building up mountains of abuse and calumny on a false suppositon? Just as all have come to know that the sun, as a matter of fact, does not rise or set but stands still, that there never was a Pope Joan but his name was John, that monasteries and convents are homes of learning and sanctity and charity, and that no Catholic ever pays or ever could pay a single farthing to get his sins remitted—and all this through the spread of knowledge and education and enlightenment and study—so also I venture to think that people will now be rightly considered ignorant and blameworthy, and at the least behind the times, if they do not learn that the notion I have alluded to above about the Catholic Church and the Bible is false and nonsensical—historically false and inherently nonsensical. By a calm consideration of the facts of history and a mind open to conviction on genuine evidence, they will be driven by sheer force of honesty to the conclusion that the Catholic Church, so far from being the monster of iniquity that she is painted, has in very truth been the parent, the author and maker under God, of the Bible; that she has guarded it and defended it all through the ages, and preserved it from error or destruction; that she has ever held it in highest veneration and esteem, and has grounded her doctrines upon it; that she alone has the right to call it her book; that she alone possesses the true Bible and the whole Bible, and that copies of the Scriptures existing outside of her pale, are partly incorrect and partly defective, and that whatever in them is true, is true because derived from her who alone possesses the Book in its fulness and its truth. If they were Catholics, they would love God's Holy Word more and more; they would understand it better; they would adore the Divine Providence that took such a wise and sure means of preserving and perpetuating it; and they would profoundly admire the Catholic Church for her ceaseless vigilance, untiring zeal, and unswerving fidelity to the commission entrusted to her by Almighty God.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church represents the actual doctrine of the Church. Condemnations of the doctrine are examples of straw man arguments, based on misrepresentation and specious reasoning, which are all demonstrably falsehoods of error. People who have read it have come to believe the actual truth of the doctrine is perfectly biblical. They have found the Catholic Church in all its forms to be the most biblical Church on earth.

Keep in mind that what people say about Catholic doctrine is not necessarily true.
Keep in mind that the scandal of bad and sinful behavior does not invalidate doctrine.
Keep in mind that hypocrites are found in every Christian denomination. Their bad example has never proved that Christianity itself is false.

Read What happened to the Book of the Law in the time of Josiah?
Text: 2 King 2:8: - I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD.
Excerpted: "King Josiah ruled Judah over a period in which the re-discovery of YHWH overall was in vogue. For the past 57 years, two very wicked kings had ruled - Manesseh and his son Amon.
"Of Mannesseh, it is said:
and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, ... And he burned his son as an offering* and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
"The wickedest king of Israel presided over a huge decline in the worship of God. In such a regime, especially if new altars were being built in the Temple, it would not at all be surprising if the Book of the Law was "filed away" and forgotten.
The book of the law could not have been found in the house of the Lord without it not having been lost in the house of the Lord first. This describes what has happened to the Roman Catholic church. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 12:54, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
The Bible has never been lost in the Catholic Church throughout its entire history. As pointed out by the Right Rev. Henry G. Graham Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church (reference link above), she has preserved and protected it and taught from it always by the ministry of her magisterium. It is properly her own as an integral and inseparable and indispensable part of the whole deposit of the Christian Faith to keep intact and whole and guard from the distortions of heretics, and misinterpretations of misguided persons "ignorant and unstable" 2 Peter 3:16 --Dataclarifier (talk) 18:13, 9 August 2020 (EDT)

"By their fruits ye shall know them": The Fruits of Catholicism

"By their fruits ye shall know them". All of the excellent and praiseworthy benefits of Western Civilization are the fruit of the tree of the Catholic Church and the doctrine of her magisterium leading into all the truth.
See Commentary: History Shows Contributions of the Catholic Church to Western Civilization —major contributions to Science, Astronomy, Medicine, establishment of Universities, Hospitals and care centers for the elderly, women and children and orphans, charitable institutions for the poor (all unknown in the pagan world), Christian missionaries sent to pagan lands, converting them from ignorance to knowledge of Jesus Christ, and preserving the Bible.
In addition, the Catholic Church has produced by the grace of God men and women eminent for their holiness and goodness and devotion to Jesus Christ, as the direct fruit of her doctrines and sacraments. Even non-Christians have admired their example, and praised even many of her popes and bishops as saintly examples of Christian goodness to follow. They have even died as martyrs of the Lord for their faith in Jesus Christ. --Dataclarifier (talk) 19:02, 9 August 2020 (EDT)
10 Influential Saints and Their Legends --Dataclarifier (talk) 19:55, 9 August 2020 (EDT)

Give God the glory; the Magisterium sounds just like the Democrats - taking credit for things they have nothing to do with, while shifting the blame for their screw-ups to others. RobSTrump 2Q2Q 21:08, 9 August 2020 (EDT)

Scripture has authority over the Roman church


Conservapedia's Magisterium article says of the Magisterium,

According to the Catholic Church the only correct and valid understanding of the revealed Christian doctrine of salvation and the Bible can only be obtained by taking account of both Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition as interpreted by the authentic catholic Christian Living Magisterium under the promised guidance of God the Holy Spirit.

The Magisterium is a living being or institution that purports to talk for God.

Matthew 15:8-9

Jesus summed up the problems with the Roman Catholic Magisterium with these words:

  • ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’[5]

Upon this rock I will build my church

  • Exodus 33:13 - Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way
  • John 14:6 - I am the way
  • Exodus 33:21 - And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock.
  • Romans 5:2 - Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand
  • 1 Corinthians 10:4 - And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Even Peter says that rock was Christ.

  • 1 Peter 2:6-8 - For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word (ESV)

The church is built upon Christ, the Rock, not Peter.

  • Psalm 89:26 - He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Matthew 16:18 has no relationship to papal primacy

Borrowed from Peter Being "the rock" does not necessarily mean the first Pope

From Barnes' Notes on The Bible:

Another interpretation is, that the word "rock" refers to Peter himself.

This is the obvious meaning of the passage; and had it not been that the Church of Rome has abused it, and applied it to what was never intended, no other interpretation would have been sought for. "Thou art a rock. Thou hast shown thyself firm, and suitable for the work of laying the foundation of the church. Upon thee will I build it. Thou shalt be highly honored; thou shalt be first in making known the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles." This was accomplished. See Acts 2:14-36, where he first preached to the Jews, and Acts 10, where he preached the gospel to Cornelius and his neighbors, who were Gentiles. Peter had thus the honor of laying the foundation of the church among the Jews and Gentiles; and this is the plain meaning of this passage. See also Galatians 2:9. But Christ did not mean, as the Roman Catholics say he did, to exalt Peter to supreme authority above all the other apostles, or to say that he was the only one upon whom he would rear his church. See Acts 15, where the advice of James, and not that of Peter, was followed. See also Galatians 2:11, where Paul withstood Peter to his face, because he was to be blamed - a thing which could not have happened if Christ (as the Roman Catholics say) meant that Peter was absolute and infallible. More than all, it is not said here, or anywhere else in the Bible, that Peter would have infallible successors who would be the vicegerents of Christ and the head of the church. The whole meaning of the passage is this: "I will make you the honored instrument of making known my gospel first to Jews and Gentiles, and I will make you a firm and distinguished preacher in building my church."

The question of papal primacy and Apostolic tradition

Borrowed from Authority Forever debate:

1. Meaning of: "And I tell you, you are Peter (Petros = rock/stone), and on this rock I will build my CHURCH, and the powers of death / the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16:18-19

Please see:

2. The historical evidence for papal primacy is insufficient. The historical evidence is against papal primacy.


"The word “Pope” means “Papa,” “Father.” At first it was applied to all Western Bishops. About AD. 500 it began to be restricted to the Bishop of Rome, and soon, in common use, came to mean Universal Bishop. The Roman Catholic list of Popes includes the Bishops of Rome from the 1st century onward. But for 500 years Bishops of Rome were NOT Popes.

The idea that the Bishop of Rome should have Authority over the Whole Church was a slow growth process, bitterly contested at every step, and has never at any time been Universally Recognized, not even prior to the Protestant Reformation.

WBSG Note: Jesus tells us in the Bible to “call no man your father on earth.” We know that He wasn’t speaking about your flesh parent because the fifth commandment says: “Honor thy father and thy mother…” [Ex 20:12]. So what other father could He mean except Pope (The word “Pope” means “Papa,” “Father.”). Also notice the capitalization below in the word Father (this indicates the presence of the definite article in the Greek language):

Matt 23:9 (Jesus speaking) 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (KJV)

The Roman Catholic tradition that Peter was the First Pope is Fiction pure and simple. There is no New Testament hint, and no historical evidence whatever, that Peter was at any time Bishop of Rome. Nor did he ever claim for himself such Authority as the Popes have claimed for themselves. It seems that Peter had a divine foreboding that his “Successors” would be mainly concerned with “Lording it over Gods flock, rather than showing themselves Examples to the flock” (I Peter 5:3)....

Beginning of Rome’s Domineering Policy:

  • Anicetus, Bishop of Rome (154-168), tried to influence Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, to change the date of Easter observance; but Polycarp refused to yield... (Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John)...
  • Victor 1 (190-202), threatened to excommunicate the Eastern Churches for celebrating Easter on the 14th of Nisan. Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, replied that he was not afraid of Victors threats, and asserted his independent authority. Iranaeus, of Lyons, though a Western Bishop, and in sympathy with the Western viewpoint on Easter Observance, that is, the week-day rather than the month-day, rebuked Victor for trying to Dictate to Eastern Churches."[1]

Philippians 2:12

  • Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

The individual believer does not need the sacraments, authority, leadership, guidance, direction, absolution, or consent of the church to work out your own salvation.

See also


  1. Retrieved from Authority Forever debate --Dataclarifier (talk) 12:34, 2 August 2020 (EDT)
  2. See Matthew 16:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:15; Romans 13:1-2; Hebrews 13:17
  3. Daniel 4:17
  4. "Boasting" is a subject Paul covers extensively in Romans and is relevant to this Debate. You cannot boast of the law and of being a child of God because you were baptized as an infant anymore than a Jew can boast of the law and being a child of God because they were circumcized as an infant. Certain elements of repentance and faith are necessary. Paul goes on in Romans, "God is not a respecter of persons", which applies to Peter, the Apostolic succession, and the Magisterium.
    In this series of Debates, to respond to all questions of faith and scripture by citing the authority of Magisterium, is boasting.