Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 22, 1951

"Official Interpretation" Needed? - No. 2

Ervin Driskill

(This is the second article in answer to the subject: "WHY THE BIBLE NEEDS AN AUTHORITATIVE INTERPRETER.")

PARAGRAPH 4: "This claim of divinely appointed and final authority in matters of revealed truth sounds arrogant to many people." You certainly can say this again, yes! It is arrogant; it is worse than that. It is blasphemous for men to claim authority equal with the Son of God (when he has all authority on heaven and on earth . . . Matt. 28:18) and Catholics do more than this, they change His word thus setting aside His authority completely.

PARAGRAPH 5: "The Bible can not explain itself. It cannot protest against or correct the misinterpretation of fallible human minds . . . in such a situation, who can be sure of the content, of the meaning, and the import of God's message?" No! "The Bible cannot explain itself" because Catholics will not permit it to do so. If Catholics believed the Bible and allowed it to say what it means and then what it says, the Catholic Church and all of its man made practices would vanish. That is why it cannot interpret itself, to you; you will not allow it to do so. Any book is subject to misinterpretation to those who first have a theory (as Catholics) and then interpret it to fit their theory. God can speak as plain as any man; he has spoken plainly but Catholics make God's word what it doesn't say. I would be most happy to prove this to unbiased minds publicly, if Catholics would deny it but they know public discussions will injure their cause. They do not want their doctrine arrayed before the public, along with the truth; there's so much difference people will see it. The Catholics have certainly misused the Bible and, made it misleading; a source of doubt; disunity and confusion. You ask, "who is right and who is wrong—etc.?" I shall be glad for Catholics to answer this in public discussion.

PARAGRAPH 6: "Christ left for us a teaching Church divinely protected from error and specifically commissioned to speak with authority, when other voices speak only with confusion." Your claim of "Christ leaving a teaching church divinely protected from error" is not true; it is simply an assumption, on your part, (as is true of much of your teaching). The church is a divine body because Christ, her head, is divine but the word of God nowhere infers the church is "protected from error." If Catholics believed the Bible they would know that whole congregations did err in apostolic days. Catholics simply have a theory and they teach it and ignore the word of God. You talk of people "speaking only with confusion." You surely must know that all such is not outside the Catholic Church. The Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans etc. . . among you, do not see eye to eye. It is simply a sham to talk of confusion being only outside of the Roman Catholic Church. What brought about the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches if Catholics have always agreed and been protected from error? It seems the "legs of the lame are unequal."

Surely the apostles were to speak with authority because they were inspired men. The days of inspiration are over; we can understand what the apostles wrote (Bibles) as well as we could understand the words of inspired men, if such were present today. So, it was the apostles who spoke by the inspiration of God (they did so because there was no written New Testament then) and not the church who spoke unerringly. If the Catholic Church spoke unerringly there would not have been so many changes in Catholic teaching and you know such is true. Really, you people haven't a leg to stand on, in these matters.

PARAGRAPH 7: "Is Christianity a religion to be found in a book by an author whose voice is forever silent? Or is it a religion of authority, living, alert, ever ready to speak clearly and forcefully to proclaim God's truth ... to interpret it and to safeguard it from being tampered with, distorted and diluted . . . and authority which is unerring because through it, Jesus Christ perpetuates Himself in the world as the unerring Teacher of His beloved people." Yes! Christianity is found in "the book" not "a book." It is found in the Bible, God's word. The apostles may be dead but their "voice is not forever silent." "Abel being dead yet speaketh" . . . Heb. 11:4. It is a religion of authority . . . John 16:13; 14:26. The apostles spoke with authority and the Bible is a record of what was spoken; it is indeed "the book" of authority, They spoke what the Lord wanted spoken (His word) and he said "his words were spirit and life" . . . John 6:63; and Heb. 4:12. God's word is living (not dead) and active and the Bible is a record of His word. The Bible is not a dead message but a living, alert, message. Catholics are, of all people, in no position to speak disparagingly of others "tampering, distorting and diluting" the truth of God's word.

PARAGRAPH 8: You ask: "Whose interpretation shall you believe? Whose opinion shall you follow?" Answer: Follow the Holy Spirit's interpretation and no ones' opinion. Why not let the Bible be its own interpreter? It is the only safe counselor; it is indeed "a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway."