Church Authority to Interpret the Bible
Many say that the Bible alone is all we need to know God’s Truth. But just look at all of the questions that
divide Christians today because of differing views over what the Bible teaches: Should infants be baptized?, can I lose my salvation?, or what about the many moral issues that we face?
Our Lord said that a house divided cannot stand, and He never intended for His followers to interpret the Bible privately (2 Pet. 1:20). Jesus left us a visible Church whose leaders have authority to teach and govern God’s people.
In Matthew 18, Jesus said that insurmountable debates should be taken to the Church for resolution.1 For those that understand this and still refuse to listen to the Church, Jesus has a stern warning. Of course, to follow Jesus’ teaching on this necessarily requires a single Church that is organized and consistent.
For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been fulfilling this role in order that the Body of Christ might experience the harmony of being truly unified in heart and mind. Small wonder St. Augustine said, “I would not believe in the Gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not influence me to do so.” 2
1 – Mt. 18:15-18
2 – Against the letter of Mani, 5,6, 397 A.D.