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Defenders of the Catholic Faith

Catholic Answers Live is a daily, two-hour radio program dedicated to Catholic apologetics and evangelization. According to listener surveys, it is a runaway favorite on Catholic stations across America. 

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The Church


Jesus Christ Founded the Catholic Church on AD 33 Mt. 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

(Mt. 28-19) Jesus states - Go ye therefore, and TEACHall nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

(Mk. 16-15) Jesus states - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and PREACHthe gospel to every creature.

(Mk 16-20) -And they went forth, and PREACHED everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

The church is "the light of the world." He then noted that "a city set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matt. 5:14). This means his Church is a visible organization. It must have characteristics that clearly identify it and that distinguish it from other churches. Jesus promised, "I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return.

Church is a " city set on a mountain that cannot be hidden" ( Matt. 5:14) Church is not spiritual or invisible. Church in Greek is Ekklesia mentioned in the bible more than hundred times.

Protestants thinks that the church is spiritual and invisible composed of some sort of amorphous collection of true believers form every denomination is completely unbiblical. Jesus established only one church, NOT for a group of squabbling rival denominations.

In Matt 18:17-18, Jesus is clearly telling us that the Church is the final authority on questions of faith or discipline. Jesus says to take the wayward brother to the Church for reproval. Now, God would not command us to do the impossible. This means that God would have provided us with the information necessary to understand what "Church" He was talking about. Since Jesus uses "Church" only one other time (in Matt 16:18), it is obvious that this Church must mean the one He built upon St. Peter.

The Scriptural, patristic and historical records demonstrate that this Church could only be the Catholic Church. There was no other Church around at the time these words were penned. Moreover, only the Catholic Church can demonstrate a continuity and consistency in doctrine and morals which would be necessary if we are to make any sense out of Jesus' words in Matt 18:17-18.

Where does the Baptist take his Pentecostal brother? Where does the Lutheran take his Methodist sister? Jesus' words demand that there be one, authoritative institution to resolve the doctrinal or disciplinary issue. If not, then Jesus' words would mean little. We would never have any consistency on doctrine and morals, the very ingredients that are necessary to our salvation. God is one and His Church is one. A kingdom divided against itself will not stand. That is why the Catholic Church has been around for 2,000 years, and the Protestant sects continue to splinter by the thousands each year.

This verse is a tough pill for Protestants to swallow. They want to argue that the Bible is the only and final authority. However, not only does the Bible never say that, the Bible tells us the Church is the final authority. So, if they want to be faithful to the Bible, then they have to follow the Church. Of course, this forces them to determine what "Church" this is. And if they are truly honest with themselves, they know there is no other recourse than joining the Catholic Church.

We need the Church in order to be saved.  Jesus Christ gave us the Church as the exclusive means by which we become united to Him through the sacraments, which allow us to grow in holiness, and give us the best chance for salvation.  Those outside the Church are, objectively speaking, in a spiritually deficient condition, although they can still be saved by Christ.  But the Church gives us the totality of the means of salvation through Christ and His Eucharistic sacrifice, which the Church celebrates from the rising of the sun to its setting.  

The Church is the sacrament of salvation.  Regularly receiving the sacraments that Christ instituted is the way that Jesus has set the whole thing up.  Confession is the normative way that God forgives sins.  The Eucharist is the greatest gift God has given to us this side of heaven - because it is Jesus Christ Himself.  It is only in the Church where we eat His body and drink His blood as Jesus commanded us. 

You cannot receive these sacraments outside the Church where there is no valid priesthood.  The Catholic Church is the bride of Christ, and we are adopted sons of the Father in Christ through His bride, the Church.  You are right to say this is also a matter of faith.  The Church is supernatural, not just a human institution.  That is why the Church is an article of faith.  Pray to Mary, the Mother of the Church, to give you the wisdom you need to truly comprehend its magnificence and necessity.

A quick retort to a defender of sola Scriptura

Eric: John, stop and think for a moment, are Roman Catholics Christians?  They are if they have trusted in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins, and had a born again experience.  However, if they believe that the are saved by God's grace and their works, then they are not saved -- even if they believe their works are done by God's grace -- since they then deny the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice.  Being a Christian does not mean being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholicism is not faithful to Scripture. Attached are Scripture verses and explanations that prove the Catholic Church is no longer representing Christianity, but apostasy.

J. Salza: Eric, you have no business quoting from the Bible to disprove the Catholic faith when it was the Catholic Church who gave you the Bible.  This is the brash arrogance of Protestant Christians, who are ignorant of history and twist the Scriptures to their own destruction. I call it “spoiled brat Christianity.” You despise the very Mother who gave you the Scriptures. The Bible is indeed the Word of God, but you only know that because the Catholic Church told you so.  How do you know what books should be in the Bible when the Bible doesn't tell you?  You only know it because the Catholic Church definitively declared the Bible canon at the end of the fourth century.

If the Bible canon is necessary for our salvation, but Christ did not reveal it to His apostles, then Christ must have established an authority that would guarantee the early Christians' determination of the Bible canon after He ascended into heaven.  This authority is the Holy Catholic Church.

There was no Bible as you know it for 400 years after Christ's death, and it wasn't even distributed for 1500 years after His death.  If the Bible is the only way to get us to heaven, then what happened to those millions of poor souls who never had a Bible during the 1500 year period?  Eric, you need to get familiar with basic history.  Jesus Christ established a Church to proclaim the good news.  He never intended on having the Bible be the sole infallible guide for the Christian faith.  This is why the Catholic Church is one, and your Protestant denominations are 30,000.

The Catholic Church wrote, translated, copied, and preserved God's written word throughout the ages.  That is the only reason you even have a Bible. Quit trying to interpret the Scriptures without the Church, because it is the Bible in the Church, the Church before the Bible, the Bible and the Church (both or neither).



The Bible 


# The Bible is a Catholic book because the Catholic Church decided which books to include in the Bible in the Synod's of Hippo (393 AD) and confirmed it at Carthage (397 A.D).


The Canon recognized by the Catholic Church for the past fifteen centuries (73 books) was specified in the Council of Laodicea in 367 A.D.


# The non-Catholic scholar Peter Flint, who translated the Dead Sea Scrolls, tells us that there was no Bible until the 300's when the Catholic Church infallibly decided on what books belong there. Before that there were hundreds of letters and the Septuagint.


# Even the word Bible is not in the Bible. It came from the Greek word biblos which means the inner bark of the papyrus, paper-reed, from which paper was originally made, in Egypt. The Latin form "Biblia" spelled with a capital letter, came to mean "the Book of Books," "The Book" by way of pre-eminence, the inspired Book, etc. The Holy Scriptures were first called the Bible by St. Chrysostom, the Catholic Archbishop of Constantinople, in the 4th century .


# "What do you mean by the Canon of Scripture?"
The Canon of Scripture simply means the authentic collection of those writings declared to have been inspired by God. They are called canonical, whereas those writings that were rejected as uncanonical were called apocryphal, which means not of Divine origin, not inspired.

# The Bible alone theory is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches us and shows us that the Church came First before the Bible. After all, what books did Jesus write? None! Jesus deliberately chose NOT to write. Instead He chose to establish a Church to teach in His name!


# How did the early Christians each own a Bible if the printing press wasn't developed until the 1500's? Even after the printing press was developed how many Christian could afford to own a Bible? 

# The apostles did not read from the New Testament, which was yet to be written, instead they taught by "word of mouth" and by tradition, as shown in the following verses:

(2 Thes. 2-15) - Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

(2 Tim. 2-2) - And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.


# Why does JESUS state the final authority is the church in Matthew 18:15-17? !bible Matthew 18:15-17

 Matt 18:15  But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

  Matt 18:16  And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 
  Matt 18:17  And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. 


# Where in the Bible does it state that the "Bible" is the only authority for Christians?


# For more than 1,400 years the Church taught the members by Tradition because the bible was printed only around 1440's by Johannes Gutenberg.  


Bible Timeline

33AD (Catholic Church founded)  -> 397AD (Bible Canonized by the Catholic church) -> 1440AD (First Bible printed)

1440 - 33AD = 1400 + years of oral tradition

The first mass produced printed book was the Bible, a version based on the Latin edition from about 380 AD.. The Bible was printed at Mainz, Germany by Johannes Gutenberg from 1452 -1455.

# Bible states that we must look to the Church for the proper interpretation. After all, the Bible cannot interpret itself, can it? Let look at some verses that show us that private interpretation is frowned upon.

(2 Peter 1-20) - Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

(2 Peter 3-16) -As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

(Acts 8-30) - And Philip ran thither to him, and read him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some men should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.


# Catholics never outlawed the reading of the bible. They outlawed certain editions of the bible that were translated incorrectly by reformers. 


# Catholic and Protestant Bibles both include 27 books in the New Testament. 

Protestant Bibles have only 39 books in the Old Testament, however, while Catholic Bibles have 46

The seven books included in Catholic Bibles are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. Catholic Bibles also include sections in the Books of Esther and Daniel which are not found in Protestant Bibles. These books are called the deuterocanonical books. The Catholic Church considers these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. 


# Martin Luther, on his own and without any authority, ripped seven books out of the Old Testament and claimed they were not Sacred Scripture (hence being put in an appendix).


# Martin Luther also wanted to rip out of the Bible several New Testament books too -- such as James, Hebrews, and Revelations.


# One of the reasons that Luther ripped out books of the Old Testament is because some of those books helped to explain some Catholic doctrines. The reason why he wanted to rip out of the Bible the Book of St. James is because it contradicted his personal and heretical view about justification. said justification was byfaith alone. NOWHERE does the Bible say that, so Luther added the word to Romans 3:28 in his German Translation.


# In fact the ONLY place in the New Testament where the words "faith alone" appear is in the Book of St. James where James says that we are "not saved by faith alone" (James 2:24). This was the reason Luther wanted to get rid of the book of James. This man was not just arrogant but evil in his desire to conform the Bible to his personal, and heretical, opinions. James 2:24 Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith

# In addition Martin Luther add to the Bible words that do not exist in the Greek extant manuscripts. When Martin Luther was confronted about why he was messing with the Bible, he replied, "Because my will is good enough." This was one arrogant person.




Apostolic Succession


# The Catholic church has the Apostolic Succession that can be traced more than 2,000 years ago started by Peter as the first Pope click here to see the list of the Popes 


# By the Apostolic succession is meant that priests and bishops have received the Apostolic authority through an unbroken line of Popes from St. Peter to the current Pope.


# Therefore present-day bishops, as the successors of previous bishops, going back to the apostles more than 2,000 years ago, have this power by virtue of this unbroken chain.


# The doctrine that the authority and the mission given by Jesus to the Apostles have descended in a direct and unbroken line of bishops to the bishops of today



The Early Christians


# The tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, taught by Jesus Christ to his Apostles and they preached to their students that became the Early Church Fathers of the Church, preserved what they have learned and this is how the Church founded.


# If it were not for the Catholic Christian Crusaders, Christianity in Europe and the rest of the world would have been wiped out by the invading islamist. 


# Who are the Early Church Fathers? They are the students of the original Disciples of Jesus Christ.
One of the many early church fathers was Ignatius of Antioch, he was a student of John, and John was a disciple of Jesus. Jesus taught John. Therefore what John learned from Jesus also passed on to Ignatius, and Ignatius mentioned Catholic in his letter to Smyrneans. St. Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Smyrneans, paragraph 8, of 107 A.D.,

# "Where the Bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."

# For sure the word was in use before the time of this writing.


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