The God pill

infowarrior1

Crow
Protestant
Rob Banks said:
Speaking of Bible translations and how they can be misleading,

What is the Catholic position on lay people reading and interpreting the Bible?

I know that during the Protestant Reformation, one of the major issues was whether or not lay people should be reading the Bible (as opposed to having it interpreted by priests and scholars).

The old Catholic position seemed to be (correct me if I'm wrong) that lay people should not be reading or interpreting the Bible for themselves, but now virtually all Catholics encourage Bible reading. Even praying the Rosary requires you to read and meditate on certain Bible passages.

Matthew 4:4
4But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3
He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart

https://www.gotquestions.org/sword-of-the-Spirit.html


To deal with error and sin. The word of God is crucial. Our LORD's mastery of the word enabled him to deal with all the temptations of the devil. And like any sword it requires much training and guidance of the holy spirit.(Ephesians 6:13-17)

It is an essential part of the Christian Arsenal.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
OK, so we need the word of God.

But should we be reading and interpreting it ourselves or should that be the job of priests and scholars?

The Catholic Church in the middle ages (during the time of the Protestant Reformation) discouraged lay people from reading and interpreting the Bible (as far as I know). I'm pretty sure at some point it was even forbidden for lay people to read the Bible. I'm sure the Church leaders were not idiots and this was done for a reason.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Most people were illiterate in those days. There may be some truth to this but I tend to view it as an overblown critique used by Protestants. In recent days we are very much encouraged to run the bible, and to learn within a framework of the Catholic theology.

Churches were adorned with Stainglass windows and statues not just to glorify God but to teach the illiterate these stories.
 

Bolly

 
Banned
Other Christian
monsquid said:
Is attending church necessary to accept Jesus for a newcomer? Or is it enough just to self study and pray.

No. Start with the Book of John. Believe the Gospel.

Acts 16
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

In regards to Baptism in this scripture. Baptism is an outward profession of your faith; not dependent on your salvation. Salvation comes from believing the Gospel. The death burial and resurrection of Christ.

Romans 10:13
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 

infowarrior1

Crow
Protestant
Rob Banks said:
OK, so we need the word of God.

But should we be reading and interpreting it ourselves or should that be the job of priests and scholars?

The Catholic Church in the middle ages (during the time of the Protestant Reformation) discouraged lay people from reading and interpreting the Bible (as far as I know). I'm pretty sure at some point it was even forbidden for lay people to read the Bible. I'm sure the Church leaders were not idiots and this was done for a reason.

NoMoreTo's response. Plus I think it is due to the lack of faith in the power of God's word to edify the masses and to do the work that I quoted from Hebrews.

The very nature of God's word is supernatural and does its work.

I think the men of the Reformation addressed this. That whilst it is risky and may help to give rise to heresies. The benefits will far outweigh the downsides as individuals knowing the Word of God have the necessary tools to deal with sin and error.

Jesus' and the Apostles didn't have Priests to interpret the Scriptures for them. But the Holy Spirit moved them.
 

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Catechumen
Gold Member
I'm going to post this here as I don't know the best thread for it.

A few days ago I had an extremely strange set of experiences.

I've written before on the forum that as I've found God again, there have been occurrences that have been taken place. This falls into that category.

I pray every day and mark it down in a habit journal. Last Thursday I went to take a nap and had the thought in my head that I hadn't prayed that day. As I was in a hypnagogic between waking consciousness and dreaming I heard a voice in my head that seemed outside of myself say "Don't bother why pray?" I decided to ask "Who are you?" and I got a reply "Asmod" something to that effect.

So I think this is nothing and fall asleep.

Later that evening I go for a walk. I've been working from home so I walk or jog a few miles to get out of the house.

Ahead I see a woman walking a black dog. I continue to walk and then head to the mailbox to pick up my mail. I run into this woman and she seems startled. Then her dog looks up at me and it's eyes are glowing green in an uncanny way. The dog didn't seem vicious just not normal.

Then the next day I get a text from an old hookup I haven't spoken to in ages, pretty much asking to hang out and most likely guaranteeing sex on demand if I wanted it.

I think all these events are related and somehow show that their are demonic influences (albeit weak) trying to pull me away from the right path.

For the record I'm rational, normal, and was completely sober when this happened. I believe the uptick in these events is directly correlated to getting closer to God.
 
monsquid said:
Is attending church necessary to accept Jesus for a newcomer? Or is it enough just to self study and pray.

The New Testament epistles were written not just to people, but to churches. The assumption throughout is that Christians will congregate to worship God and help one another in the faith. For the majority of us, the Christian life will always be something communal.

No reason not to do all of the above - accept Jesus, go to church, study, and pray.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
A friend of mine, who was agnostic, just texted me that he had a revelation last night, and has accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

Praise be to God for opening his heart.
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
Emperor Constantine said:
monsquid said:
Is attending church necessary to accept Jesus for a newcomer? Or is it enough just to self study and pray.

The New Testament epistles were written not just to people, but to churches. The assumption throughout is that Christians will congregate to worship God and help one another in the faith. For the majority of us, the Christian life will always be something communal.

No reason not to do all of the above - accept Jesus, go to church, study, and pray.

Additionally, for the Catholic tradition specifically, the Mass is seen as the highest form of worship that we can offer on Earth, for it involves the renewal of and celebration of Christ's sacrifice at Easter. It is to follow his request at the Last Supper: "Whenever you do this, do it in memory of Me." By Christ's word, he is present at the Mass: "Wherever two or more of you gather in My name, I am there amongst you."

Leaving aside that it is one of the focal points of Catholic if not Christian worship, the Catholic tradition also holds that grace upon grace is granted in a Mass attended devoutly. Per St. John Paul II, "The Church believes that she will be heard, for she prays in union with Christ her Head and Spouse, who takes up this plea of His Bride and joins it to His own redemptive sacrifice."

Self study and prayer is certainly a part of Christian life, daily certainly, but the Mass is a special grace, and should become part of that life when you are able to attend it.
 

Athanasius

Pelican
Protestant
We do not have the original copies of the Scriptures. Nor do we have the original copy of any ancient historical writing that I know of. Many of them are far removed from their original source. Cause for concern? No.

This is a complex topic, but here is a good presentation by James White on it for those interested.

 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I just ordered a Bible online that was recommended to me by an SSPX priest. It arrived today, and on the title page it says "translated from Latin vulgate."

All the people names and place names are spelled differently. For example, Joshua is "Josue" and Noah is "Noe." The Canaanites are "Chanaanites."

It is quite distracting.

Is there a good reason to use this particular translation other than the fact that it was translated from Latin (and is therefore supposedly better)?
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
Rob Banks said:
I just ordered a Bible online that was recommended to me by an SSPX priest. It arrived today, and on the title page it says "translated from Latin vulgate."

All the people names and place names are spelled differently. For example, Joshua is "Josue" and Noah is "Noe." The Canaanites are "Chanaanites."

It is quite distracting.

Is there a good reason to use this particular translation other than the fact that it was translated from Latin (and is therefore supposedly better)?

Here's where we talk a little about Biblical translations, for which Emperor Constantine (the user here, not the Roman) can tell you more, though ironically it was Constantine who was in power around the time the Bible was first assembled; Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to render Christianity the state religion of Rome, most popularly said to have done so after having a dream of God who commanded him to put the cross on his battle standards, saying 'in this sign you shall triumph'.

The 'Latin Vulgate' is the shorthand for St. Jerome's revision/assembly of the Catholic Church/Latin Bible in around the year 382. The saint was originally commissioned to just revise the old Roman gospels that held the Scriptures, but took it upon himself to translate the entire Bible into Latin instead. For this, amongst a lot of other things, he's regarded as a Doctor of the Church in the same way that St. Therese of Lisieux is recognised for her expounding of theology.

Either way, the point of the Latin Vulgate is that the Catholic Church accepted it over the better part of about a thousand years as the definitive Bible - 'vulgate' translates back in Latin as 'common use' or 'in common'. The Council of Trent of 1545 affirmed Jerome's translation as the official Latin Bible, and that's how it stayed until at least 1979, when the Church came up with a new translation. Your SSPX priest will not be giving you that one, mainly because SSPX more or less believes a good deal of what the Church did when modernising in 1960 (Vatican II) was wrong. But we need not say more than that.

When the Bible you have says it was translated from the Latin Vulgate, it means it is a translation from Latin to English of Jerome's Bible. One of these translations, the one I am slowly posting over in another thread, is the Douay-Rheims translation which is said to be a pretty close translation from Latin to English, though I doubt a SSPX priest would give you a Bible that played fast and loose with Latin translations in any event.

The rationale for the close-as-literally-possible translation from Latin to English, as St. Thomas More put it, was that Latin was a more precise language than English of the time (remembering the Saint lived in the time of Early Modern English, which was still in flux and still had to settle on meanings for written words), and accordingly the best way to translate Jerome's Vulgate was word-for-word, so as little meaning was lost in the translation as possible. Different Bible translators put different stamps on their translations, as E. Constantine here can likely tell you.

Either way: don't worry, you are reading a Bible that likely has not been translated for a modern, narcissistic audience. In this respect the only people who fear earlier translations of the Bible tend to be feminists and Jews, for reasons that will likely be apparent when you start reading it.
 

darknavigator

Robin
Catholic
Rob Banks said:
Speaking of Bible translations and how they can be misleading,

What is the Catholic position on lay people reading and interpreting the Bible?

I know that during the Protestant Reformation, one of the major issues was whether or not lay people should be reading the Bible (as opposed to having it interpreted by priests and scholars).

The old Catholic position seemed to be (correct me if I'm wrong) that lay people should not be reading or interpreting the Bible for themselves, but now virtually all Catholics encourage Bible reading. Even praying the Rosary requires you to read and meditate on certain Bible passages.

The Catholic Church have no problem with lay people reading the Bible.

The Catholic Church have a problem with lay people interpreting the Bible.

Catholic scripture readings (the lectionary) are grouped into a three year cycle (Year A, Year B, Year C).

If a Catholic went to Mass every day (which many do) in three years he would have heard most most of the Bible.
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
Also, I realised I forgot to try and answer the actual question, namely, "Is there a good reason to use this particular translation other than the fact that it was translated from Latin (and is therefore supposedly better)?"

The short answer from my perspective, and my perspective alone, is to hazard in effect that a vast cultural if not psychological taint has crept into Western culture which renders most books published in the last fifty years or so at best suspect of being focused on anything but the self. That would include translations of older texts. I therefore distrust modern translations of the Bible because our current generation, just as with the Baby Boomers behind it, has such an unquenchable belief in the self over everything else I doubt it can even unconsciously resist putting its own mark unneeded and possibly errantly on the Bible.

I could launch into what's just about a standard three paragraphs about institutional narcissism in the West, across all its institutions, commencing right around the point where the Baby Boomers first came of age in the sixties. I could also talk about how the Vatican of the first half of the twentieth century became enraptured with modernism and -- I have a hunch -- also needed to rapidly throw away and distance itself from its past as a strong secular power on the Italian peninsula in the face of the Italian unification.

But I won't. All I will say is this, and it at best is a caution, just a thought to bear in mind for anyone reading a modern translation, or updating, or contextualisation of the Bible:

Just because we came along a few hundred years after the men who considered the Bible does not, a priori, mean that we have anything meaningful to add to their observations.

Quite the opposite: children frequently screw up what they do, mainly because their parents have decades more experience than them and often know far better what works and what doesn't. More than any other time in history, our culture is ruled by the passions and clinging to youth. To childhood.

Let me take an analogy: 2 + 2 = 4.
One morning you realise 2 x 2 = 4 as well.

But here's the thing. Just because you turned the cross in that equation 45 degrees to the right because it looked nicer to your eye that way, it does not mean you actually added anything meaningful to the equation. You have not been given a special insight from God or anyone. Indeed you've arguably added nothing, you have engaged in curiositas.

Worse still is if by so altering the equation and concluding you did no harm by doing so, you make other people think that they can substitute, say, a minus sign in there and it still comes out as four, because they deem it looks better that way.

Or worse still that you got that insight that 2 x 2 = 4 from a man who for centuries resolutely argued that 2 + 2 could never equal 4, and that the equation was wrong, spiteful, and was in hell up to its hips in faeces, for meaningful advice on what the equation meant. You can claim you go to him seeking context and wisdom for your reading of Euclid, but you do not know the man's motives in assisting you and you likely never will. Indeed the man's motives at best will be to convince you more to his point of view than accede to yours.

All of that being said:

I am guilty of being overly legalistic in my faith as well. I have fallen into the same trap as the Pharisees from time to time, straining out the essence of the law in favour of the wording. In this respect, the best answer is always to trust in God, pray constantly for guidance, and respond to both the teaching you receive and your conscience when sitting in God's presence. I am not qualified beyond that to tell you whether one Bible is safe or not. I remain with the Douay-Rheims out of my own wariness. Even Tanquerey's book The Spiritual Life, written a good 75 years before Vatican II, at the end of the 19th century, points out very early on in the piece that all the precepts and practices we receive from the saints, the Scriptures, and traditions come to us from given points in time for given readers, and thus must be considered systematically. In this matter, again, trust in God and pray for guidance about which Bible to read; or indeed ask your priest why this Bible and no other.
 
Rob Banks said:
All the people names and place names are spelled differently. For example, Joshua is "Josue" and Noah is "Noe." The Canaanites are "Chanaanites."

It is quite distracting.

You'll get used to it very quickly, assuming you read some aloud each day. For the names of the prophets, you can just say them the way you normally would, and the spelling ceases to seem strange after a while. If you can do the mental gymnastics necessary to pronounce rough, cough, dough, and bough, Noe vs. Noah is small potatoes. The key is reading out loud.

The Latinized form of many Old Testament names is also frequently way easier to read at first glance than the Hebrew forms (Compare Jeremiah 39:3 in the Douay Rheims and the KJV if you're curious)
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
Rob Banks said:
I just ordered a Bible online that was recommended to me by an SSPX priest. It arrived today, and on the title page it says "translated from Latin vulgate."

All the people names and place names are spelled differently. For example, Joshua is "Josue" and Noah is "Noe." The Canaanites are "Chanaanites."

It is quite distracting.

Is there a good reason to use this particular translation other than the fact that it was translated from Latin (and is therefore supposedly better)?

The closer you get to the original, the further you get away from modern flaky happy clappy versions. The Schofield variants are known for substituting words like Judeans for Jews, etc. Next thing you know you have Christian groups celebrating passover along with the christian holidays - nutty stuff.

Are you talking about The Jerusalem Bible?
 
infowarrior1 said:
@Emperor Constantine

So is there any original manuscripts left apart from the Masoretic?

For now I can only trust Christ's word that his words shall not pass away.

And God didnt permit the Jews from erasing all traces of Jesus' Messiahship.

The earliest complete Hebrew Bible is from the 11th century, but the Aleppo Codex is a few decades earlier. It's missing, however, the Pentateuch.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have a few books and fragments, but a lot of them are "extracanonical literature," like the Books of Enoch. It's worth noting, too, that where the DSS vary from the Masoretic Text, they much more closely follow the Samaritan Pentateuch, which is a different textual tradition.

The Septuagint (LXX) is, of course, much earlier, though it has some elements that were not present in the Hebrew text (e.g. the story of Bel in the Book of Daniel).
 
Emperor Constantine said:
In the case of the New Testament, definitely not. They used a Byzantine text like the one the Vulgate was translated from, not one of the butchered critical texts which most of the 21st century translations are done from.

Most modern translations more closely follow the Alexandria text type, which is the earliest complete text we have. Westcott and Hort's famous Greek NT stemmed significantly from the codicies of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, which is what the modern Nestle-Aland (the critical edition in Greek) follows.

The earlier fragments, which are almost all 2nd/3rd century, much more closely resemble the Alexandrian text than the Byzantine text.
 
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