Why Catholics See the Bible Differently than Protestants

Why Catholics See the Bible Differently than Protestants

(For full article go to: http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/04/02/why-catholics-see-the-bible-differently-than-protestants/31544)

Catholic circles, the joke goes that if you want to quote from the Bible, find a good Protestant to help you. There is some truth to that. Catholics generally don’t know their Bible as well as Protestants, especially evangelicals, whose worship and private devotion are centered on Scripture. Catholics rely on the Bible, of course, but they also turn to rituals to enact the full meaning of Scripture.  Why do Catholics engage the Bible differently than Protestants?

In the beginning of Christianity, the Word of God was primarily heard. One way of considering how Catholics approach the Bible is by tracing the historical movements from hearing the Bible to seeing, singing, reading, praying, and living the word of God.

Like their Jewish ancestors, the first Christians told stories around a meal.

Christianity is a story — good news, in fact — and like any good story, it is told from one generation to the next. Like their Jewish ancestors, the first Christians told stories around a meal. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus changed the ancient storyline. As they told the familiar story of Israel from this Easter perspective, the early church began to write it down, allowing the story to be shared more broadly and consistently.

By the end of the second century, the core books — the four Gospels, and the letters attributed to Paul, Peter, and John — were fixed in the canon of what we call the New Testament. By 400 A.D., there was consensus around all 27 books of the New Testament.

Without the printing press, the books of the Jewish and Christian scriptures had to be painstakingly copied by hand. Bibles were rare and expensive. Deacons, priests, and bishops were entrusted with proclaiming the scriptures, in Latin throughout the Roman or Western Church, and then preaching about them, sometimes in local language. These clerics mediated the good news to ordinary Christians, most of whom could not read. So did parents, who told familiar Bible stories to their children. Tales of saints, exemplars of Christian living, became popular. Embellishment added to their allure. Gregorian chant developed as a helpful way to remember scripture through hearing.

(article continues here: http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/04/02/why-catholics-see-the-bible-differently-than-protestants/31544)