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Were the Bereans "Bible alone"?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Dec 6, 2018 at 4:02 PM.

  1. Michie

    Michie Perch Perkins. Catholic reporter. ;) Supporter

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    *You are in the Catholic forum*

    Since we are in Thessaloniki today, just a few miles from Berea (which I have visited a number of times), I thought I'd share my argument which turns the PROTEST-ant idea of "Sola Scriptura" on its head. You know, many Protestants appeal to the Bereans as proof of their false doctrine. Regarding the Bereans, it just ain't so.

    St. Paul traveled through Thessaloniki and Berea in modern-day Greece (Macedonia). The account is recorded in Acts 17:1-15. Many Protestants consider the Bereans as proto-Protestants holding to a "Bible alone" theology. But they are sadly mistaken.

    Here is my article "Why the Bereans Rejected Sola Scriptura" https://www.catholicconvert.com/documents/Bereans-and-Sola-Scriptura.pdf which was published in THIS ROCK Magazine a while ago.

    When you read this article you will discover that the Bereans were actually Catholic in their view of Scripture, tradition and authority.

    Since it was the Thessalonians who were more like the "Bible-alone" folks, I think all the Fudamentalist churches that call themselves "Berean Bible Church" should change their name to "Thessalonian Bible Church." :)

    Were the Bereans “Bible Alone”? | Defenders of the Catholic Faith | Hosted by Stephen K. Ray
     
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  2. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do Catholics believe that there is no new revelation outside of/after the 1st Century?
     
  3. Michie

    Michie Perch Perkins. Catholic reporter. ;) Supporter

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    There is private revelation that is personal to the person or the time they lived in. Some that have been recognized by the Church but they can add or subtract nothing to the orginal deposit of faith. The Christian Faith cannot accept revelations that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment.

    You can read more here:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Revelation of God

     
  4. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member

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    Basically yes. There will be no new books of the Bible. The canon is closed. God might talk to you or me but that content will not be put in the Bible.
     
  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I looked up Berea and found that the ones whom Paul preached to were the inhabitants of the place called Berea which was in Northern Greece. The reference in Acts does not mention whether there were any Jewish synagogues there, or whether the inhabitants were actually pagan Greeks who believed Paul's preaching, got a copy of the Old Testament Scriptures (which was the only "Bible" available to them at that time. If they had access to the OT, then there must have been Jews who got converted to Christianity as well. Those were the Scriptures that they searched to confirm that Paul was preaching the truth to them. Paul and his ministry team may have had copies of the OT with them and made them available for study.

    All this happened before the end of the First Century A.D. well before the Church became established as the RCC. This would mean that the Bereans' only source to confirm Paul's preaching were the OT Scriptures. There existed no "Christian" tradition available for research in those days and in that part of Greece.

    It seemed that there were successive movements that called themselves "Bereans", including a Scottish Protestant group who followed a guy called John Barclay.

    So, I guess it all depends on which Berean movement you are referring to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 5:24 PM
  6. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. The Son is his Father's definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

    Does this mean that Catholics don't see the writings of the Apostles as revealing revelation?
     
  7. Michie

    Michie Perch Perkins. Catholic reporter. ;) Supporter

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    Catechism of the Catholic Church - Sacred Scripture
     
  8. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, this answers my question.
    God Bless
     
  9. Tomm

    Tomm Christian Supporter

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    Was it really possible for anyone to live a Christian life with Bible Alone in ancient times???

    Who could afford a Bible at that time?
    Also, how many could read?
     
  10. Michie

    Michie Perch Perkins. Catholic reporter. ;) Supporter

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    Good point. One must look at the culture of the time. I'm sorry I am so short on my replies tonight but I'm looking after family right now. I'm in and out today depending on circumstances here.
     
  11. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    We see that the writings of the Apostles as true Scripture, but the Apostles personally learned from Jesus
     
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  12. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Just because it was the First Century it doesn't mean that people couldn't read or write. They would have people in the church who could read and write and who could read the OT Scriptures to the people. Many people could read and write Greek, because of Alexander the Great introducing Koine Greek throughout his empire, and it was a widespread language throughout the Roman Empire. It was the educated Romans who could read and write Latin. Paul's letters were to be read to the churches.

    I think that Paul's emphasis on prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14 may have included preaching and sharing God's word to the people. Perhaps the modern take on the gift of Prophecy may limit Paul's definition of it. A popular definition of prophecy is "inspired preaching". Many good church sermons where the voice of God speaks through could have a prophetic nature to them. I have had the experience of sitting in a church of 400 people and it seemed the preacher was speaking right to me, and yet he had never met me. That was as prophetic as anything else.
     
  13. Tomm

    Tomm Christian Supporter

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    The following is quoted from an article in a Protestant website. It is about an estimation of literacy rate at the time of Jesus.
    "Thus, it is no exaggeration to say that the total literacy rate in the Land of Israel at that time (of Jews only, of course), was probably less than 3%." [Source]

    So did they just read the Bible by themselves?

    So you said they'd have people reading the OT Scriptures to people. Didn't everyone read the OT Scriptures themselves??
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 10:29 PM
  14. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member

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    When the Church started 'Bible Alone' would have meant the Old Testament alone. A synagogue could afford the scrolls of the Bible, so they could read the text to the people, but nobody had their own Bibles, aside from some very rich people. And some few could read. So the 'Bible Alone' thing doesn't work until after Gutenberg, and then not very well until there were places where there were universal education. So it really didn't work until about 100 years ago, and even then only in some countries.
     
  15. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    If you see the time that Jesus announced his calling in his visit to His local synagogue, you will see that the scroll was handed to Him to read to the people. It was normal practice to have Scriptural readings in synagogues.

    The two disciples who went to Emmaus and Jesus took them through the Scriptures explaining how they spoke of Him, must have been able to read them. He would have used the Greek Septuagint, because that was the popular version of the Scriptures at that time. The Hebrew texts would have been housed in the Temple or the Synagogues.

    The king who discovered a scroll of the Law in the temple and realised that no one knew the details of the Law, shows that no one had personal copies of the Law and the Prophets at that time in Israel's history. A revival happened when he had the Law read to the people to remind them of God's standards of holy living and worship.
     
  16. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Indeed and the Bereans who searched the OT every day to see if what Paul was preaching was true. They must have been able to read.
     
  17. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member

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    Unlikely that more than a few in that congregation could read. Some could. Point is the idea of everyone having their own Bible and reading it by themselves is an anachronism. A communal Bible read aloud communally is what they had. And they used that communal Bible properly, to see if the new thing Paul preached might be true. Those in Thessalonika did differently, saying since it wasn't in their Bible is wasn't true. Those were the Bible Only folks. They shut the door to truth not explicit in their book. The Bereans are rightly commended for being different than that. They were Bible but not Bible Only.
     
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