Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Catholics and the Bible

Catholics have a weird relationship with the Bible.  The whole Church is based around the Bible.  The Mass is based on Scripture, not to mention that several Scripture passages are read during the first part of the liturgy.  Dogma itself (according to Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict) is nothing more than an interpretation of Scripture.  Yet, we're often afraid to open the Bible and read it.  Why is that?  What makes us think that we're going to understand a single thing about the Church without some understanding of the Bible?  Or is it that we're afraid if we do read the Bible we'll misinterpret it?  Or maybe there is some fear that we will somehow be immediately convinced that the Catholic Church is a lie and we'll need to leave.

I think that most Catholics I know are at least somewhat familiar with Scripture.  They couldn't tell you where to find most of the verses that they recognize, but they've heard it.  The biggest thing that I hear is "I'm not smart enough to read Scripture."  What does that mean??  So you don't understand it the first time through.  I guarantee you won't understand it all the second or third time through either.  Reading the Bible isn't about knowing it all, it's about learning and growing in the Word of God.  I don't think that Catholics are really too dumb to read the Scripture.  I think that they're just uncomfortable with something that's unfamiliar.  The only way that we're going to get better is to open the Bible and start reading.  


  1. I stumbled across your blog from a random Google search :-) I'm a Catholic who just decided to pick up the Bible and read it through. I'm just starting Numbers, so I am really early in! But I realized how ridiculous it is that I've been Catholic since birth, and yet I have barely read any of the Bible. It helps that I'm using a study bible chock full of footnotes to clarify what I'm reading :-)