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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Bible is Not Self-Interpretive

2 Peter 1:20: First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.

2 Peter 3:16: . . . speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. (regarding Paul’s letters)

Acts 8:30-31: So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come and sit with him.

These three passages make it evident that the Bible cannot explain itself. It is the inspired book of the Church and the Church is its authorized interpreter. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible and it is that same Spirit which safeguards the teaching of the Church regarding the truths of faith and morals. Private interpretation is not absolutely dependable and must be supported by the interpretation given by the Church. Peter argued such about the Old Testament as well as Paul’s letters. Philip explains the Christian understanding of the messiah in Isaiah as referring to our Lord. As representatives of the Church, ministers of the Gospel appointed by Christ, they were authorized to fulfill this role.

For more such reading, contact me about getting my book, DEFENDING THE CATHOLIC FAITH.