Friday, July 18, 2014

Was Anyone Saved Before Gutenburg? A Question for Protestants.

I thought I'd end the week with a question for my Protestant brothers and sisters, something for them to think over this weekend. From Matthew Kelly's indispensable book Rediscover Catholicism (get your FREE copy HERE):
Today, our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters place an enormous emphasis on reading and studying the Bible. And while I am in favor of both, it is critical that we do not lose sight of the fact that hundreds of millions of people came to know Christ without ever owning or studying the Bible. Many modern Christians make it sound like it is impossible to receive salvation without a Bible. If that were the case, what happened to the people who lived before the Bible was printed? (pg 228-229)
 We can easily forget what life was like for the vast majority of Christian history, before public libraries, before cheap paperbacks, before e-books, before the internet, before the printing press was invented, before mass literacy was achieved. For most of Christian history the overwhelming majority of people couldn't read. Those who could read couldn't afford to purchase a hand-copied manuscript of the Bible (books being among the most expensive things people could buy). How then were these souls saved? It is with this in mind, what Kelly calls "the gap in most Protestants' understanding of Christian history", that the doctrine of sola scriptura becomes an absurdity. It is with this in mind, that one can understand why no one, before Gutenberg printed the first Bible in the 1440's, ever based Christianity on "the Bible and the Bible alone." With this in mind, we can better understand why Christianity is not "a religion of a book" but is a religion of the Word, the Word made flesh, the Word who speaks through the Apostle's and their successors in the Church He founded nearly 2,000 years ago. It is through the preaching, teaching, passion plays, and art that the Catholic Church taught the Bible to all those faithful men and women who lived, worshiped, and died before Luther and his revolution. It is through the hard work of the Catholic Church that the Bible was assembled, the books of the Bible decided upon, and that the Bible was preserved for so many centuries.

So the next time you, my dear separated brothers and sisters, open your Bible, remember you owe everything you take for granted to the Catholic Church.

Catholic Church
St. Peter's Basilica

This post links to RAnn's Sunday Snippets, A Catholic Carnival


  1. hello thanks 4 your opinion-- but-- the scriptures were available way back in time-- when Jesus was on the earth--and yes there was a religious organazation that assemble and codified the written scriptures-- but you don't need the written scriptures -- to get acts 1;4 or acts 19;1-6 -- baptised in the Holy Spirit-- and non catholics and -- catholics -- do have the same problem-- they are living w/o the baptism of the Holy Spirit-- and depending on what the religious -- is telling them -- is -- and for catholics it the thousand rules on how not to have a "mortal sin" and what to do about it--
    and for non catholics -- it is the same thing -- how to live holy and spiritual -- with out the power o the Holy Spirit-- becasue -- for many the Gifts of the Spirit -- stoped after the last apostle died-- and as john Mccarthy said-- the charasmetic spirit ual stull o now a conterfit -- from the devil

    1. By trying to read the Scriptures outside of the People of God who authored them and to who they are addressed (the children of Israel and the Church) has led you to completely misunderstand what it means to be "baptized in the Holy Spirit." Catholics, and many non-Catholic Christians, are baptized in SPIRIT and water when they are .... Baptized. Yes, my friend, baptism is what first brings the Spirit upon us.