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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Catholic Bible

Many people are unaware that there are differences among Bibles. Other people are extremely aware of the differences, and may say something like "Even if a Catholic reads the Bible, it doesn't count because they use a Catholic Bible."

Protestant Bibles contain fewer books in the Old Testament than Catholic Bibles. (They both pale in comparison to the Ethiopian Bible, which contains 81 books.) These Old Testament books are known most commonly as the apocrypha, but more correctly as the deuterocanonical books. The deuterocanonical books were remained in the protestant Bible until 1826, when the British and Foreign Bible Society stopped including them, and the practice spread from there. The original King James Version of the Bible included these books, as you can see here (scroll down a bit).

The Catholic Bible is based on the Greek language Old Testament, which was the most commonly used at the time of Jesus. The Greek version was read in the synagogue, and it is the most heavily quoted in the New Testament. This Greek language version is known as the Septuagint.

The Jewish Encyclopedia calls the Septuagint "the oldest and most important of all the versions" and admits that a major reason why it fell out of favor with Jews was a distrust "accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by the new faith." The Jews eventually adopted a version of the Old Testament text based on a manuscript written by Aaron Ben Moses Ben Asher in the early tenth century.

Some argue that the deuterocanonical books were not considered authoritative by the Jews. I would point out that hanukkah originates from the deuterocanonical books, and is celebrated by Jews today. More relevant for the Christian, Jesus quoted from the deuterocanonical books, showing that he considered them authoritative.

45 comments:

Erika S. said...

Kelly-
I too have pointed out these things to others. I am so glad that you put it on this site.

motherofmany said...

Kelly,

I found this article and the quote within it, and I am confused. I thought Catholics only believed that those who submit to Catholicism are truly saved (though others who believe in Jesus have an 'incomplete' faith). Does Rome also consider Hinduism and Buddhism true paths to God?

Did you realize that mother Teresa stated: "What we are all trying to do by our work, by serving the people, is to come closer to God. If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are, and then by being better we come closer and closer to Him. If we accept Him fully in our lives, then that is conversion. What approach would I use? For me, naturally, it would be a Catholic one, for you it may be Hindu, for someone else, Buddhist, according to one's conscience. What God is in your mind you must accept."

[Desmond Doig, "Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work", William Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., Glascow, 1976, page 136, as quoted by Constance Cumbey, in "A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age Messiah", Pointe Publishers, East Detroit, Michigan, ISBN 0-935897-00-3, page 108] [Emphasis ours]

Swylv said...

I looked over the link that says Jesus quoted ....

Matt. 9:36 - the people were "like sheep without a shepherd" is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.

I did a search with the phrase "sheep without a shepherd" at biblegateway and the following verses have that phrase (note the NIV search produced that wording, not KJV)

Numbers 27:17
Kings 22:17
Chronicles 18:16
Isaiah 13:14 (which this is prophecy)
Mark 6:34

Erika S. said...

Mother of Many-The Catholic Catechism states:

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."320

837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"321

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

The Church and non-Christians

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.


841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:


All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:


Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:


Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

Bethany said...

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

But Muslims reject Jesus Christ. They cannot be Christians.
How can one believe they are saved?

Bethany said...

I just had no idea... I didn't know that the Catholic church believes Muslims worship the same God as we do. I had no idea.

Here is an apologetics website which shows verses from the Koran and also explains why Muslims cannot be worshipping the same God, or have adopted the plan of salvation, which is to believe on the name of the Son of God. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this article:
http://www.carm.org/catholic/muslims.htm

motherofmany said...

If those who have not heard the gospel will still receive eternal life, then wouldn't they be better off not hearing it than to hear it and reject it?

I'm a little confused. Someone said (and I have no idea where that was at now!) that Catholics believe faith in Chirst is necessary for salvation. Then this passage says,

The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Muslims do not believe on Christ for salvation, so if they are also joint heirs, why be Catholic? Why be anything specific, as long as you believe the world was created by God and that makes you an heir to the promise? That is not meant to be snotty, but it is hard to phrase a question about it. I mean, is there anyone who will actually be lost forever?

Kelly said...

Swylv, I'm glad to see that you're still reading here, and even following links for more information. :)

Sometimes, your concise writing style makes it difficult to understand the point that you are trying to make, so let me know if I get this wrong.

You are saying that this quote appears in other parts of the Bible, so it could have been one of those that Jesus was quoting, and not just Judith?

Did you find any of the others like that? I haven't looked them all up myself, so I don't know.

It is could be that he included it because it could have come from Judith, and he wanted to have another one for the list.

It is also possible that the original language shows that it was Judith in particular that Jesus was quoting. I know that my New Testament professor (and I was public school educated, the whole way) said that while they translate they same way in English, you can always tell whether they were quoting the Septuagint or the Masoric in the original language.

Unfortunately, I only lasted a month in Greek, so I can't check myself!

Kelly said...

Amy, I find it a little funny (as in, it makes me smile) that you dislike that the Catholic Church has to settle for hoping for salvation for stillborn babies, but it doesn't bother you that those who, through no fault of their own, never heard the Word of God would be condemned because they are not Christians? This is also a matter of hoping in the mercy of God, and it does not excuse us from evangelism.

The document that will best answer your question is Dominus Iesus, found here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/
congregations/cfaith/documents/
rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_
dominus-iesus_en.html


"If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation.92 However, “all the children of the Church should nevertheless remember that their exalted condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word, and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be more severely judged."

If Mother Teresa meant to imply that being a Hindu or Buddhist was equal to being a Christian, then she was in error. Saints are not immune from error.

However, I think that if you have someone who is a cultural Hindu, and they being working in one of Mother Teresa's homes, then that spurs them to be a better practicing Hindu, then I would agree that it is bringing them closer to God than they were before. After returning to the religion of their youth, maybe they will find it unsatisfying, and then begin to investigate Christianity.

She may have gone on to make that point. Since the book quoting her is called A Planned Deception, it might have been in their best interest to edit her words to make it appear that she was saying one thing, when she meant another.

Bethany, I am not sure that there is an official opinion on whether Muslims worship the same God as we do. I will say that Catholicism, despite its reputation, tends to have very open definitions until proven otherwise. It has only been in the last ten years that the Church decided that Mormon baptism did not meet the qualifications of true baptism, and that former Mormons entering the Church needed to be rebaptized.

I think that for now, the Church is trusting that because the Muslims trace their religion to Abraham, that we worship the same God. A few decades (or centuries, at our pace), we might conclusively decide that they do not.

I think that they currently rank above atheists, buddhists, and hindus, but below Jews and protestants. :)

Elena said...

But Muslims reject Jesus Christ. They cannot be Christians.

The church is not saying that they are Christians. That passage simply says that they are a part of God's salvation plan as indeed is every human being that is ever conceived.

And thank you Kelly for pointing out that the Muslims faith does find it's roots in Abraham through his son Ishmael.

Bethany said...


The church is not saying that they are Christians. That passage simply says that they are a part of God's salvation plan as indeed is every human being that is ever conceived.


I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you mean by that though? Do you mean that they all have the chance to be redeemed or do you mean that they all will be redeemed? Or that they already are? I'm not sure what you mean by it, and I'm not sure what the catechism means either. It's very confusing.

Elena said...

Bethany it means that we all come into this world with the possibliity of being saved. The Catholic Church doesn't teach that some people are deliberately created with no chance of salvation. On the other hand the church does not teach that some are predestined to salvation either. The church is very big on individuals having the free will to accept this gift or not.

Bethany said...

I think that for now, the Church is trusting that because the Muslims trace their religion to Abraham, that we worship the same God. A few decades (or centuries, at our pace), we might conclusively decide that they do not.

Please don't take offense to anything I say below, I mean no offense...

But this is what I don't understand. Shouldn't it be already obvious, by reading the Bible, whether or not they are really worshiping God?

If they are rejecting Jesus, they are also rejecting God, because:

#

John 8:58 - "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'"

1.

Exodus 3:14 - "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’"

#

John 10:30-33 - "I and the Father are one." 31The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" 33The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

#

Col. 2:9 - "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."

#

Matt. 4:10 - "Then Jesus *said to him, 'Begone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."’"

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” (John 14:6-10)

And there are sooooo many more verses which confirm Jesus is God.

I know you guys already know these verses, and from what I have heard, you also agree that Jesus is God, don't you?

But how does this add up with the belief that the Muslims worship the same God as we do? Is our God separate from Jesus? I don't believe he is, from what I read in the Bible.

Please again, understand that this is not written to condemn you but to try to understand better what you believe.

Bethany said...

Bethany it means that we all come into this world with the possibliity of being saved.

That I agree with. ;) Totally agree.

The Catholic Church doesn't teach that some people are deliberately created with no chance of salvation.

But that's not what I'm seeing there...I'm seeing them saying that Muslims worship the same God as ours. How is this possible?

Elena said...

If they are rejecting Jesus, they are also rejecting God, because:


The Jews reject Jesus. Are they then rejecting God too in your view?

Bethany said...

I did misinterpret the first thing I said though. I said that the catechism called Muslims Christians but at the top of that section, it did say "the church and non Christians", and I missed that. So I agree that I made the mistake there.

It's just the idea of Muslims worshiping the same God that I disagree with.

Bethany said...

The Jews reject Jesus. Are they then rejecting God too in your view?

Oh yes!

Bethany said...

The ones, of course, who deny Jesus is God.

Elena said...

But that's not what I'm seeing there...I'm seeing them saying that Muslims worship the same God as ours. How is this possible?

Scott Hahn tells the story of preparing to do an apologetics session with a Muslim. Professor Hahn referred to God as "The Father" and the Muslim admonished him not to blaspheme! It was difficult for Professor Hahn to change his usual way of referring to God in a paternal way, so he asked the Muslim why this was so offensive.

The gentleman gave this story. He had a dog. He loved his dog, but he was going to move and would not be allowed to have his dog with him. So for out of love for his dog, he would kill his dog.

We have to remember that these people have a very different culture and world view. While we would not consider killing a beloved family pet an act of love, that is how they view it.

Likewise, as we have come to see God as Father, their view of God is much more "Old Testament." They see Him more as judge and ruler. They worship the same God, but their understanding of who God is is different than ours.

Does that explain it?

Bethany said...

Please, Elena, tell me that you agree. I thought that this is what you all believed. You told me that you believed Salvation was through faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If it is through Jesus, how can it be any other way, when Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me
And God Himself said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him. "

Bethany said...

Sorry I responded before your last post. I'm going to read it now.

Bethany said...

I understand what you are saying, but God's covenant is not the same as it used to be, and the Bible clearly states that one cannot know God unless they have love, and they cannot know God unless they know Jesus. Isn't this true?
I mean, please do correct me if you know of any Bible verse which contradicts this, but I know of none...I really don't. Even the Old Testament brings mention of Jesus many times, under different names. They have heard of Jesus, and yet reject Him. Isn't that rejecting God in your opinion?

Elena said...

The ones, of course, who deny Jesus is God.

Well isn't that the very essence of Judaism? They don't believe Jesus was the son of God which is why they are still waiting for the Savior!

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

Bethany said...

P.S. I know you're probably busy, so take your time with responses and I will try to slow down for you. I don't want to stress you out with too many comments to respond to when you obviously have a family to tend to (as do I lol) I have to get some work done anyway. I'll try to respond to anything else after a little bit.

Bethany said...

Well isn't that the very essence of Judaism? They don't believe Jesus was the son of God which is why they are still waiting for the Savior!

You don't believe that they are wrong?

Do you really and truly believe that Jesus is really the Savior of the world?

Or do you believe that you only believe it because of how you were brought up, and that if you believed something else you would still be saved?

Sorry, just had to make one more post. I really am going to go now. Please don't be offended with me. You girls are good friends.

Elena said...

I thought that this is what you all believed. You told me that you believed Salvation was through faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I do agree with that. I absolutely believe the words that Jesus spoke. So I have to obey those words to the best of my ability.



If it is through Jesus, how can it be any other way, when Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life.


Well this is why we preach and teach the Gospel isn't it!

I think you are entertwining two different topics.

1. Do the Muslims believe in the same God.

and

2. Are Muslims saved.

They are two entirely different topics.

Elena said...

You don't believe that they are wrong?

I believe they are wrong. That's why I'm not a practicing Jew!

Do you really and truly believe that Jesus is really the Savior of the world?

Absolutely.

Or do you believe that you only believe it because of how you were brought up, and that if you believed something else you would still be saved?

OK, now we are really getting into some meaty theological stuff!

I think that the more I understand the more that is required of me. I believe that if I know who God is, and I know and believe in His Son Jesus Christ, I am required to live my life accordingly.

Erika S. said...

Bethany-
I have just posted on my blog and because I can not believe what C.A.R.M. says about Catholics therefore I can not believe what they say about Muslims.
I also think that since Sept. 11 people are really too hard on all Muslims. The ones involved in the attack were religious zealots with a distorted version of their religion.
I also feel that they do worship the same God but have distorted the rest of it. They believe Jesus was a prophet/ holy man but not the son of God but they do believe God is God. So if you were a born into a Muslim family listened to the Koran read everyday, did your best to live your life by natural law (the Ten Commandments) but were never told about Jesus or the Gospels do you think that that person is not saved by the grace of God also? Only God can see into a person's heart and know when they are trying to please him and do what is right therefore if said Muslim has never heard the Good News I believe God understands.

Erika S. said...

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. St. Paul
Letter to the Philippians 2:12

Erika S. said...

Yes of course I believe that Jesus is they way to salvation but I also believe that if one has not heard about it or understood it then they can not be held responsible. Some people through no fault of their own have been born into Muslim families, and as we know they are not really big into free thought as seen through the way they treat women. Some also take their very young children and basically brain wash them into thinking that Islam is the way and then when they are presented, if they ever are, with the Truth they do not understand it and if you do not understand and accept something you can not really be rejecting it.
Here are some good articles to read about Islam:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0305clas.asp

http://www.catholic.com/library/endless_jihad.asp

http://www.catholic.com/newsletters/kke_060207.asp

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2007/0702fea3.asp

Now these articles while written by Catholics are by no means absolute truth. Nothing is except God and His word so they are for information and thought.

I just have to say this also, no one has it all figured out, the mystery of life after death has been on the minds of people since the beginning of time and we mere people are not God nor do we think like him so we must do the best we can BELIVE, have FAITH in Jesus LOVE one another and God will sort this out in the end.

Erika S. said...

Just wanted to add this also-

I am not a theologian, but I am a Catholic Mom who and will probably spend the rest of my life pondering these questions as others have done before me. I think to get a better understanding I need to read more writings from the early church Fathers and of course the Bible.
I also will never judge a persons salvation, be they Catholic, Mormon, Hindu, or anything else. Because we are not the judge of that God is. That does not in anyway negate the fact that I believe that Jesus is the way to salvation. I can only speak for myself not others. I can only influence the people in my circle of influence, yet I still do not know their hearts or make them believe. God gave us free will so we must all do this on our own. I feel almost impotent because of this realization but that is where Faith comes in. God can do great things!

motherofmany said...

I just have to say this also, no one has it all figured out, the mystery of life after death has been on the minds of people since the beginning of time and we mere people are not God nor do we think like him so we must do the best we can BELIVE, have FAITH in Jesus LOVE one another and God will sort this out in the end.

YET, God did give us the truth about life after death in His Word:

John 14:2,3 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you...I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Matthew 10:33 "Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

1 John 5:12 "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

John 6:54 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Bethany said...

Well this is why we preach and teach the Gospel isn't it!
I think you are entertwining two different topics.
1. Do the Muslims believe in the same God.
and
2. Are Muslims saved.
They are two entirely different topics.


I think that they are already intertwined simply because Jesus is actually God. If the Muslims reject Jesus, they are rejecting God because they are one and the same.

Bethany said...

Erika, you are such a sweet person with a good heart, and I love you... I have to disagree with you on this topic though. Do you believe that the Bible can contradict itself?

Because the verse you posted (Philippians 2:12), if read the way you are implying, would directly contradict a very large portion of the Bible.

I believe that God does not contradict Himself, so if I see a verse that seems to contradict another verse, I must look within the context to see what He is trying to say.

If you'll look carefully at the verse, you will notice that it does not say that works are what saves you. It simply says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling...then goes on to say:
3For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God does the works, He works through us. If Salvation were of works, we would be able to boast, and Paul writes in Romans, and it's written in many, many other places that Salvation is of Grace and NOT of works, lest any man should boast.

(Rom. 5:1) for if it is by works in any way, then it is no longer grace: Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

* Rom. 5:9, "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
* Rom. 10:9-10, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
* Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
* Eph. 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."
* Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
* 1 Tim. 1:16, "And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."

The Bible is clear that our salvation is not something to be earned - that it is not of works. It says it so often...why would God say something so many times if He didn't mean it?

Why would the Bible contradict itself and say it's not of works, then say it is actually of works? That doesn't make sense.

We have to figure out what He meant by reading all of it, all of it together.

The Bible does say in James that faith without works is dead, and I agree with that. A profession of faith is dead without the works that follow, because a person who has truly been reborn has become a "new creature", born again of the Spirit of God, and there WILL be works to show for it. If the works aren't there, you can safely assume this person was most likely not reborn of the Spirit. They will not be bearing fruit. This is not to say they will be perfect, however they will have the fruits of the Spirit- Love ,Joy, Peace, tenderness, patience, longsuffering, etc.

((hugs))

Kelly said...

Would it help if I said that if the Muslims worship the same God, they have an incomplete vision of Him?

Bethany, I think that I or Elena or Erika could give you our opinion of whether or not the muslims worship the same God. But it would just be our opinion. As I said, as far as I have been able to discern, the Church does not have an official opinion on this.

Devout Catholics are on both sides of this issue. Mark Shea, an evangelical convert who is a prominent Catholic apologist, wrote an article for a catholic newspaper a few months back that explained why he thought Muslims worshiped the same God. The newspaper was swamped by letters from devout Catholics who disagreed with him.

Have you gotten around to reading Dominus Iesus yet? I really think that would clear things up quite a bit. Another good quote:

"With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”"

Salvation always comes by means of Christ. If the Muslims are able to attain salvation through God's grace, it will be through Christ.

Kelly

Elena said...

"With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”"

Salvation always comes by means of Christ. If the Muslims are able to attain salvation through God's grace, it will be through Christ.


Well done Kelly.

Bethany said...

Okay Kelly...thanks for the explanation. :0)

Erika S. said...

Bethany-
I agree with Kelly & Elena about Catholic thought on Muslims. I also would suggest that you might want to read what Muslims have to say about it. ( I need to read it too)

About salvation and works-
I am as of yet unsure where I totally stand on that subject. I have always thought that salvation was a gift from God through the death of Christ on the cross that we needed to accept. I also so believe that because of this we must continue to do good works in order to keep that salvation. We can not just start sinning away, never feel guilty and never confess or repent from said sins.

I appreciate the way you approached me. I did not feel threatened at all and will think some more about this subject and post more at a later date.
Thank you.
Erika

motherofmany said...

There is a big difference between a child who is not yet able to think and reason, and an adult who has been born with the ability to know that God is real through the tools he has given us (our conscious, the probablitiy of things being exactly as they need to be to sustain life by accident, 'even the ricks cry out') even if he had never heard of the Bible. Adults are certainly guilt of reasoning away sin instead of admitting it is wrong, where a child is not held accountable for what he cannot understand. Also, show me anywhere in this time where people have had absolutely no chance to hear the gospel.

There are missionaries in every corner of the world now, religious items are contantly in the news and are shown to influence politics, wars are most often fought over religious differences, etc. People have heard and chosen not to accept it. That is a sin. A child has not had the opportunity to hear, reason, research, and make a person choice.

Bethany said...

Erika, I appreciate your thoughtful reply. :)

If we have to work to keep our salvations, then what was Jesus death actually for?
I'm genuinely curious as to your perspective on this, because I am learning new things about Catholic beliefs a lot since being here.

As for whether we should just continue to sin and not feel guilty, no, that is definitely not what I believe, and I can understand why you feel that way. Paul explains it better in Romans (hope you don't mind me pasting the whole chapter here):

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 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. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

*******************

Motherofmany, also the Bible day state that the Gospel has been proclaimed all across the world.

"If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"

Erika S. said...

Mother of Many-
Show me anywhere in this time where people have had absolutely no chance to hear the gospel

I can show you three chances:

North Korea
China
Afghanistan

All of these countries still, or in the recent past made it illegal to teach Christianity.
Ponder for one minute the woman born in Afghanistan, she must remain indoors at all times unless accompanied by a male escort, usually her brother or husband, she has no TV, they are made illegal and just learning about Christ you run the risk of imprisonment or death. I would have to say that these women did not get the chance to hear the good news.
I could go on to state such "stories" about situations in China & North Korea but I will let you do your own research.
There are countries/governments out there that see all Christians. They do not differentiate between the sects. Maybe we should take that into thought when we debate the difference between our religions and focus on the 99.9% that we have in common to help others.

Kelly said...

I would add the jungles of the Amazon. I read a National Geographic article a year or two back that said there are tribes living there who have not had any contact with the civilized world.

There are also some islands near Indonesia that are the same way. I remember them showing footage on the news of the islanders waving spears at the helicopters. They said that they flew over to see if they were still there, but that no one has made contact with them.

Erika S. said...

Bethany-
In my quest to understand salvation from a Catholic perspective better I have found that we Catholics believe God gives us the gift of salvation by grace, by or through justification. That justification begins in one moment in a persons life (they accept Jesus) but continues on their entire life through their FAITH & WORKS not by faith alone or by works alone. Grace is a gift from God as is faith but no where does the Bible state that it is by faith alone but it does say that works are necessary-

James 2:14-26
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[b] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead

Matthew 7:24-27
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'
29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.

31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?"
"The first," they answered.

Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Romans 2:6-8
6God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.


Ephesians 2:8-10
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The above verse does not say by faith alone and I agree that we are not saved through any work that we do because with out the free gift of grace form God in Jesus salvation would not be possible but just because it is made possible and we accept it through faith doesn't mean we are then justified forever from that moment on. We continue through faith to be justified through FAITH & WORKS the rest of our lives.

Please see these links for more info:
Salvation
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13407a.htm

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0502sbs.asp

http://www.catholic.com/library/assurance_of_salvation.asp

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0302fea3.asp

Justification
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htm

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1995/9501vbv.asp

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9109chap.asp

Grace
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06701a.htm

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9412vrs.asp

Works/Merit
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1995/9510fea3.asp

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9901frs.asp


Good books to read about the Catholic Perspective:

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, David Currie

Confessions & City of God, St. Augustine

Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, Scott Hahn

I also want to say that we may need to agree to disagree on this subject and I am fine with that because I respect you and your opinion. I love you as a sister in Christ and think you are a great person who is very thoughtful. I again want to say thank you for the respectful way that you approached me and your interest to understand the Catholic Faith.

motherofmany said...

There is another verse, Romans 10:18 "But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."

As for Muslim women or North Koreans, they have heard about Christianity. That is why they appear on TV procaliming death to the US. They know what we believe because that is what has made us 'infidels'. Even the women in Iraq are shown protesting, and they have knowledge of what they protest, even if it is told to them by men. They have a chance to ask God to show them truth, and He has promised to show anyone who asks (Hebrews 11:6, James 1:5, John 6:44, Romans 9:11-19, Ephesians 1:4-6) That is why none of us can discount anything until we know what it is, because we cannot reject what we do not understand.

In the Old testament, after the entrance into the Promised Land, the people failed to teach their children God's laws, and they were therefore out of favor with God. Yet God knew the hearts of the people BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN BORN. He knew they were not simply lacking instruction but that they would reject it even if taught them because of their love of sin.

Many, many times this has happened in the world. It was not that no one had taught them, but that they let that truth die. Adam and Eve propigated the whole world, but theuir descendants were so evil, God destroyed the world save Noah and his family. After Noah, all the people were descendants of those saved during the flood, and yet they failed to pass on the the truth they had witnessed. All the world was in one spot several times. There is the tower of babel, when God confused their language and scattered them. They had all been in the same place and known the stories (which is why so many religions have the same flood narrative) and yet they let it die. So whether or not each individual person has heard the exact wording of the Bible, the whole world was witness tot he truth of it and did not hold it high enough esteem to keep it and teach it to their children. It is more a rejected or forgotten gospel than one which has not been preached.

Erika S. said...

Mother of Many-
I hate to disagree with your world view but my husband, having been to Iraq has first hand knowledge that all of them do not know about Christ and the lengths that their Gov't/Holy Men go to teach them a distorted view of Christ and Christians. I still say that they have not heard the truth.
As an example of the lies that the people of Iraq are told by their leaders I will tell you this:
They were told that U.S. Marines (my husband is one) kill and eat babies. Do you think that is true? I certainly do not, but some people in Iraq believed it. Therefore if they say that about my husband I am 100% sure they are telling their people a distorted version of Christianity, which they should not believe because it is not the truth.

I also think that a person must be presented with the whole truth in order to believe especially in countries like the ones I mentioned as they have more at stake then just going to a different church. They would be risking their very lives.
I also want to add that I do appreciate your kindness and the civil debate we have been having.
I also have to disagree with this statement:
"That is why none of us can discount anything until we know what it is, because we cannot reject what we do not understand".

I say people reject things mostly out of ignorance and fear not from understanding, as with this Candy's blog, people are rejecting Catholicism out of hand with out real understanding it. I am not saying that you do not understand Catholics and have made up your mind from ignorance or fear but some do and that is why I say true understanding and true knowledge leads to the ability to discern what you personally find to be true, not the "truth" presented to you by people with a hidden agenda.