(The Claims of Romanism and the Issues They Present)
3) The Scriptures are incomplete and there is further truth available only through the RCC as passed through the oral or “Apostolic Traditions”
The RCC states that, not only are they the only ones capable of determining the true meaning of Scripture, but that, also, they have additional teachings through the oral traditions passed on by the apostles. While this goes hand in hand with the idea of papal authority through the perceived “apostolic succession”, they are not one in the same. The RCC claims that the things which are not written in scripture were passed down from the apostles to the RCC and are continued through the papal succession. While they do not claim this as “new revelation” as those holding to Mysticism, the view of Romanism violates sola scriptura in the same way. Thereby, they deny the sufficiency of scripture alone to equip us for every good work and complete us as Paul instructs in 2 Timothy 3:15-17. As we have already covered this topic in Mysticism, I will avoid repetitive addressing of the issues here.
4) The Latin Vulgate is considered supreme to all other translations of scripture and to the original Greek and Hebrew from which the translations are taken
In what would seem utter foolishness to anyone concerning any type of writing, somehow, the RCC has determined that the Latin Vulgate as translated by Jerome around 385-405 A.D. to be superior to all other texts to even include a previously used collection of Latin translations referred to as “Vetus Latina” or “Old Latin Bible”. Textual critics quickly point out that the translation as accredited to Jerome (though he may not have completed the entire work before his death) often referenced other translations or even translations of translations rather than using the original texts or copies of those text as the foundation for the Vulgate. Most scholars agree that Jerome’s translation focused more on textual flow and beauty than on accuracy. Even the theologians gathering at the Council of Trent in 1546 note the multiple discrepancies within the Vulgate as compared to the original texts. However, the RCC still chose to declare the Vulgate as the final and authoritative rendition of the Scriptures for all purposes. They then ordered that major textual and grammatical corrections should be made quietly in an attempt to avoid discovery of their scandal.
This approach to the scriptures is no different than that of the King James Onlyist movement that we have seen take place in America over the past half century or more (which we will address later). The very violation of common sense and intelligence is appalling to think that people would so ordain a version of the Bible as a primary authority which comes after the original text. As is plainly clear, this is an overstepping of boundaries by the RCC to attempt to establish control on all things Christian. The most notable point in the declaration given concerning the Vulgate by the RCC wasn’t that it was the most accurate or most pure translation of the original texts, but simply that it had been most widely used for several centuries within the RCC. Again, clearly stating the belief that the RCC is supreme over all things concerning the Scriptures.
We must clearly respond by taking the position that the Scriptures are clear and preserved by God as promised (1 Peter 1:23-25; Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33) and that any translation thereof which agrees to the original texts as is used profitably to declare the Gospel to a dying world and used to equip the saints with the truth of God and His word should be accepted. While local churches certainly have the right to set a standard version to be used within the church for preaching and teaching, there is no universally determined authoritative translation in any language of the Scriptures. We should always recognize the oldest and clearest copies of the original texts as the official standard by which all translations are to be compared and never agree to establish any translation as authoritative to the originals.
because you have been born again – not of perishable seed but of imperishable – through the living and enduring word of God. For All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you. – 1 Peter 1:23-25
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. – Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33
- How can we know that the Bible is complete and that there is no “additional revelation” or “further truth” to be added?
- How do we deal with those who proclaim that only one translation of the Bible is correct?