In the Book of Acts, the Bible records for us approximately 30 years of the early beginnings of the church and in spite of early persecution of the church by Roman Emperors such as Nero (54-68 AD) and Domitian (81-96 AD), Christianity had spread and established itself throughout the Roman Empire.
Because of it’s location in Rome, the church had slowly gained prominence and when the Roman Emperor Constantine I (306-337 AD) legalized the Christian faith with the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, the church in Rome began to pick up steam.
As the church in Rome allied itself with the Roman government, the church continued to grow in it’s influence and authority so much so that as early as the 3rd century, the leaders of the church in Rome were claiming for themselves control over the other churches throughout the Roman Empire when it came to the matter of doctrine.
By the end of the 6th century, the church in Rome was exercising jurisdiction over the other churches.
And thus began the Roman Catholic Church.
The word Catholic is derived through the Latin, from the Greek and means “general” or “universal”.
The Church in Rome’s claim to legal jurisdiction and overall supremacy was resisted by other church leaders and could never be enforced in the eastern portion of the Empire which was based in Constantinople.
This dissension finally led to a major split in 1054 AD when the East and West Churches split.
The Eastern Church became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church also known as the Greek Orthodox Church.
The next major split began in the sixteenth century when in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, a Catholic monk by the name of Martin Luther (1483-1546), protesting numerous teachings of the Church, nailed his famous ninety-five theses on the castle Church door.
The ninety-five theses were quickly translated into German, printed and widely copied due in part to a new invention called – the printing press.
Within two weeks the ninety-five theses were distributed throughout Germany and within two months throughout most of Europe.
The movement Martin Luther started became known as the Reformation and he called his breakaway movement the “evangelical church” from the
[Greek: evangelion] or Gospel which of course means “good news.”
Today, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the most powerful and influential institutions on earth. It holds sway, in one way or another, over literally hundreds of millions of people all over the globe. For example:
- Almost 90 percent of Brazil is Catholic, with more than 135 million adherents.
- More than 95 percent of Mexico is Catholic, with almost 90 million adherents.
- About 30 percent of the S. is Catholic, with more than 60 million adherents.
- About 85 percent of the Philippines is Catholic, with some 60 million adherents.
- About 98 percent of Italy is Catholic, with more than 56 million adherents.1
Approximately 1 in 6 people worldwide are Catholic.
Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia and means “to give a rational defense of the Christian faith.” Webster’s second edition defines apologetics this way, “that branch of theology having to do with the defense and proofs of Christianity.”
Titus 1:9 exhorts as in the context of qualified elders to “hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” NKJV
1 Peter 3:15 says “and always be ready to give a defense [apologia] to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” NKJV
- The same verse in the NASB reads “with gentleness and reverence.”
- The NIV says “with gentleness and respect.”
- The word meekness or gentleness [Greek: prautes] means mild, gentle or humble.
- While the word fear, respect or reverence [Greek: phobos] means alarm or fright but it also means “in reverential awe of God.”
- In other words, 1 Peter 3:15 could be translated “with humbleness and in reverential awe of God.”
This class is an apologetics course designed first and foremost to help you understand what the Bible teaches. Secondly, to be able to reach those in the Catholic faith with the message of Gods salvation as defined by the Final Court of Appeal – the Bible.
Let me first start by saying that although Roman Catholicism is guilty of faulty interpretations of Scripture, they fall short of the definition of a cult and would technically be considered a World Religion.
Although there is no universal agreed-upon definition of a cult per say, there are three different dimensions that make up a cult:
Roman Catholicism is essentially considered Christian, there are nonetheless aberrant teachings on doctrine that go against Scripture and are serious enough that aspects of orthodoxy are undermined, thus warranting the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth-century and continued today as separated Protestantism from Catholicism.
With that said, I do believe that there are sincere Catholics who are Christians and who hold to the Biblical view of salvation by faith and grace alone in spite of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches not because of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches.
Agreements between Catholics and Evangelicals
There are many doctrines that the Evangelical Bible believing Church and the Roman Catholic Church agree upon.
- Socially, the Church has placed a high value on the sanctity of human life, marriage and correctly opposing homosexual activism.
- Spiritually, it has a good understanding of the seriousness of sin and its consequences in light of eternal judgment.
- Biblically, it defends the inerrancy of Scripture and since Vatican II (1962–1965), it has increasingly encouraged its members to read the Bible and apply it regularly to their lives.
- Theologically, the Roman Catholic Church upholds that concept of the Trinity, that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, rose from the grave bodily, ascended into heaven and will return in glory to judge mankind. They believe that there is a future resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked and that the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God.
Disagreements between Catholics and Evangelicals
But, what we’re here to discuss tonight is 4 major areas where Roman Catholicism parts ways doctrinally with Evangelical Christianity.
You’ll be able to remember where we differ doctrinally from Roman Catholicism by the acronym M. A. S. S.
- Sola Scriptura verses Tradition
- Sin, Sacraments and Salvation
So, what exactly is a Roman Catholic Mass?
Roman Catholicism teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Himself is actually re-presented to the faithful and its benefits are applied to them.
Because of this sacrificing of Jesus in every Mass, God’s wrath against sin is presently appeased. Though not a re-crucifixion on the cross, it is a literal re-sacrificing of Christ.2
Here we find Rome’s doctrine of transubstantiation – that the bread and wine each literally become the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, meaning that Christ is upon the alter as the sacrificial victim, to be offered up as a living sacrifice to propitiate God’s wrath against sin.3
Transubstantiation is a Latin term – transubstaniato that literally means “change of substance” and was incorporated into the creed of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 AD.4
Once the Mass is examined in detail, a summary of what is believed and taught by the Roman Catholic Church is as follows:
- It’s a re-sacrifice of Christ’s work on the cross applied to believers.
- Christ’s work of redemption is carried out.
- Provides forgiveness of sins.
- Offered to help purify those in purgatory.
- Cleanses from past sins, preserves from future sins – even mortal sins.
- And provides grace for salvation upon the Church.
Biblically, we see that in John 6:35, 36 and again in verses 51-55 that when Jesus tells His disciples that “[He] is the bread of life,” He is speaking metaphorically to receive Him, to ingest His teachings and digest them, to live upon them because:
“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4
Jesus’ statement that we are eating His body was not to be taken literal in the same way that He told His disciples that He is the vine and His followers are the branches (John 15:5) or that He was an actual lamb when John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) or a literal sheep gate in (John 10:7).
These of course are simple truths that use metaphorical language to convey “relationship” with our God.
The Bible often uses ingestive language when speaking of our relationship with God. For example:
- Psalm 34:9 says “Learn to savor how good the LORD is”
- In Psalm 63:2, David speaking in the wilderness of Judah says, “for you my soul thirsts”
- Psalm 119:103 says “How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
- In 1 Peter 2:2, 3 we read, “long for pure spiritual milk…for you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
As for the “literal re-sacrificing of Christ,” Scripture teaches that Jesus’ death on the cross was a once for all atonement for sin.
- Hebrews 10:12, 14 says “But this one [Jesus] offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God…For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.” (emphasis added)
- Hebrews 10:18 says “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.” (emphasis added)
- Hebrews 7:27 says “He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day…he did that once for all when he offered himself.” (emphasis added)
- Hebrews 9:12 says “but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (emphasis added)
The first letter in the acronym of M. A. S. S. is ‘M’, or [the exaltation of] Mary otherwise known as Mariology.
Mariology is defined as the study of theology “which treats the life, role and virtues of the Blessed mother of God” and which “demonstrates…her position as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces.”5
And thus significant areas of Roman Catholic practice and doctrine are related to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The Catholic Church draws a very fine line between worship that is offered to God and that which is offered to Mary.
The specific terms are as follows:
- Latria – Adoration that is Gods alone.
- Dulia – Veneration that is offered to the saints.
- Hyperdulia – A special veneration offered only to Mary.
The problem with this is that the distinction between the three is virtually impossible to maintain in practice.
In fact, Catholic writings often confuse and blur the lines when using adoration, veneration, and worship when referring to Mary and God.
The most common way that Catholics venerate Mary today is by saying the Rosary.
- The Rosary is prayed counted on a bead chain arranged in groups of ten smaller beads separated by a larger bead. There are five sets of these called decades.
- On each large bead the “Lords Prayer” is prayed and on the smaller beads, Catholics pray, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art though among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Let’s discuss some of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church when it comes to Mary:
- Mary’s Immaculate Conception – The doctrine that Mary was born without original sin, in order to be an appropriate habitation for Christ, and was therefore sinless throughout her life.
- The doctrine was originally defined in 1854.
- Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) declared that “the most blessed virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God…was reserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”6
- Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) stated that Mary was “immune from all sin, personal or inherited.”7
Biblically, Mary deemed herself to be a sinner when she made a purification offering, one burnt offering and one sin offering, to the priest after Jesus birth (Luke 2:22-24) and rejoiced in “God my savior” (Luke 1:47).
Remember, guided by the Holy Spirit, Paul and John exclude any possibility of an immaculate conception [without sin] as seen in the following verses.
- Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and are deprived [fall short] of the glory of God.” (emphasis added)
- Romans 5:12 says that “through one person sin entered the world…and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all” (emphasis added)
- 1 John 1:8 says that “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
- In Revelation 15:4, we read the words ascribed to God, “For you alone are holy.”
- Ask your Catholic friend why Mary, who is in heaven at this time, is not mentioned as “Holy.” The Bible says that “[God] alone is holy.”
But, we have good news! Jesus was sinless according to the Bible, even the Catholic Bible.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (emphasis added)
- Hebrews 4:15, speaking of Jesus as our High Priest says He is “without sin.”
- Mary’s perpetual virginity – The doctrine that asserts that Mary had no children after Jesus and indeed never engaged in sexual relations with her husband, Joseph.
- Catholic theologian Lugwig Ott says that “Mary gave birth in miraculous fashion without opening the womb and injury to the hymen, and consequently also without pain.”8
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”
- Catholic arguments that Mary remained a virgin and never had sexual relations with Joseph range from her womb being a “shrine” of the Holy spirit, that it would be beneath her dignity and would imply that she was not satisfied with merely being the mother of Jesus to implying that it was “becoming” of Jesus to be the only-begotten son of his mother as He was the only-begotten son of the Father.
Biblically, we read in Matthew 1:25 that Joseph kept her a virgin only “until she bore a son.” Jesus had at least seven brothers and sisters according to Matthew 13:55-56:
- “Is he [Jesus] not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all [not both] with us?”
Catholics will claim that these were “cousins” but the normal Greek word for “cousin,” anepsios, is not used in these verses, but the word for “brother,” adelphos is used in Matthew 13:55-56.
In Psalm 69:8 which is a Messianic prophecy, we read “I have become an outcast to my kin, a stranger to my mother’s children.”
Even the Catholic NAB Bible Study Notes equate this verse with the New Testament passion accounts.
- Co-Redemptrix – According to the Roman Catholic Church, in this role Mary cooperates with Jesus Christ in the salvation of sinners.
- Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) stated that “Nobody can approach Christ except through the mother.”
- Pope Pius XI (1922–1939) stated that “With Jesus, Mary has redeemed the human race.”
- Vatican II (1962-1965 – General Council of the Church) declared – “That taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving role, but by her manifold acts of intercession continued to win for us gifts of eternal salvation.”
- As for her earthly sufferings, the Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that she “endured them for our salvation.”
- And in the same Catholic Encyclopedia it states, “In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, made atonement for the sins of men and…merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”
Biblically, only Jesus is the Savior of humanity and the Bible makes it clear that only God can be the Savior in the true sense of the word.
God Himself in Isaiah 43:11 said, “It is I, I the LORD; there is no savior but me.”
And again in Isaiah 60:16, “You shall know that I, the LORD, am your savior”
The mere fact that the New Testament portrays Jesus as the Savior over and over again attests to His divinity.
- Luke 2:11 – an angel says, “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.”
- Acts 13:23 – Paul says concerning David, “From this man’s descendents God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.”
- Titus 2:13 – And Paul writing to Titus says, “as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ”
- Mediatrix and Queen of Heaven – As Mediatrix, Mary dispenses all God’s blessings, mercy and grace to the spiritually needy according to the Roman Catholic Church.
- Catholic theologian Lugwig Ott points out that the role of “Mediatrix” connotes:
“Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her cooperation in the Incarnation.”
“Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven.”
- Canonized Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (1696-1787) tells us in his writings that:
“all graces are dispensed by Mary, and all who are saved are saved only by the means of this divine Mother.”
- Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) wrote in his Apostolic Constitution:
“Since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard.”
- Catholic apologist Karl Keating writes in Catholics and Fundamentalism:
“There is one mediator between Christ and men, the Holy Mother Mary, Mary is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to Jesus but by Mary.”
Biblically, there are no verses that tell us that Mary intercedes for us in Heaven. But, Jesus is mentioned numerous times as interceding for believers.
- 1 Timothy 2:5 says “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Jesus Christ”
- Hebrews 4:14-16 says “since we have a great high priest…Jesus, the Son of God…For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.”
In Jesus, we have a High Priest who is sympathetic and whose priesthood is perfect so “let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
- Hebrews 7:25 says “Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (emphasis added)
- In John 14:14 Jesus said, “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
- See also Romans 10:12,13; 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 12:8,9
It’s true that God in His infinite mercy blessed Mary by giving her baby Jesus, to raise as a child, to see Him grow into a man and see Him as the Savior of the world.
Luke 11:27 records for us that as Jesus spoke to a crowd, “a woman… called out and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’” [Jesus] replied, “Rather, [or “On the contrary” NASB] blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
By Jesus own words, “On the contrary”, he indicates that more blessed are those who hear and keep God’s word.
Jesus acted very similarly when in Matthew 12:46-50, Mary and His brothers were trying to see Him and Jesus said, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Even though Jesus respected and honored His mother, He never exalted her.
It’s unfortunate that Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven when the five times the term is used in the Bible (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17, 18, 19 and 25), it’s referring to idol worship.
The Believer’s Commentary notes that “After Christendom became the state religion of the Roman Empire, hordes of unconverted heathens flooded into the churches, bringing in their pagan ideas. The application of this pagan title “queen of heaven” to the virgin mother of our Lord, while no doubt thought to be a great honor, would be totally rejected by the lowly “maidservant of the Lord” (Luke 1:38).
Moving on to the second letter in the acronym of M. A. S. S. is the letter ‘A’ – for the Apocrypha.
When someone says the canon of Scripture, what do they mean?
Canon comes from a Greek word Kanon and means “measuring rod” and over time came to mean the books that were “measured” and recognized as God’s inspired Word.
Today, when someone says canon of Scripture, they mean that body of Scripture that is accepted as authoritative.
It’s important to note that canonicity is determined by God. A book is not inspired because man made it canonical, it’s canonical because God inspired it and man discovered it.
In other words, “It is God who regulated the canon; man merely recognized the divine authority God gave to it.”9
Evangelicals consider the 66 books of the Bible, 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament, as authoritative or the canon of Scripture. We also believe that the canon is closed, meaning that the Scriptures were given to us and they are sufficient in and of themselves as seen by the following verses.
- In 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Paul tells Timothy, “and that from infancy you have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
inspired by God [Greek: theopneustos] literally means breathed out by God or simply God-breathed.
- In Jude 3, he writes, “I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones.”
Notice the “definite article” (e.g., the) in front of the word faith. It means the “one and only faith.”
The word once [Greek: hapax] means “one (or a single) time.” This is something that never has to be repeated again or cannot be changed.
The words handed down or delivered in the NKJV [Greek: paradidomi] refers to an act that was completed in the past with no continuing action. In other words, the verb tense that is used here refers to a once-and-for-all completed action.
Tests for Canonicity are as follows:10
- Was the book written or backed by a prophet or apostle of God?
- Is the book authoritative?
- Does the book tell the truth about God and doctrine as it is already known by previous revelation?
- Does the book give evidence of having the power of God?
- Was the book accepted by the people of God?
Roman Catholics will argue that the apocryphal books or as they actually refer to them, the deuterocanonical (literally, “second canon”) – belong in the canon of Scripture.
These books do not have a secondary status among Catholics.
Apocrypha literally Greek for “out of the writings” or “secret or hidden”, were written between BC 200 and 100 AD.
They were apparently appended to the Septuagint (an ancient translation of the Old Testament into Greek) around the fourth century since we know of no Septuagint manuscripts that contain the Apocrypha before that time.
They were added by the Church to Jerome’s (340–420 AD) Vulgate (translation of the Bible from Greek into Latin) after he died.
The Apocrypha consists of:
- Wisdom of Solomon
- Song of the Three Children
- Bel and the Dragon
- The Prayer of Manasseh
- 1 and 2 Maccabees
- Additions to Esther
According to Dr. Ron Rhodes:
- “The Roman Catholic Church decided these apocryphal books belonged in the Bible sometime following the Protestant Reformation. In fact, the Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1563) canonized these books as a result of the Protestant Reformation, under circumstances that are highly suspect.”11
As Dr. Wayne Grudem, Research professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary stated:
- “It is significant that the Council of Trent was the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the teachings of Martin Luther and the rapidly spreading Protestant Reformation, and the books of the Apocrypha contain support for the Catholic teaching of prayers for the dead and justification by faith plus works, not by faith alone.”12
So, why do Evangelicals reject the additional apocryphal books that are included in the Roman Catholic Bible?
- Apocryphal books do not claim to be inspired.
- Unlike the New Testament books, which claim to be inspired, the apocryphal books never make that claim.
- No apocryphal books were written by an apostle or true prophet of God.
- No apocryphal book was confirmed by divine miracles.
- No apocryphal book has predictive prophecy – something that can be confirmed as divine inspiration.
- New Testament writers never quoted the Apocrypha.
- Although Jesus and the Apostles quote or cite from the Old Testament nearly 300 times, they never quoted from the Apocryphal books.
- Many Church Fathers denied the Apocrypha.
- Even though there were certain early church fathers that spoke approvingly of the Apocrypha, most notably Origin, Jerome, Athanasius and Cyril of Jerusalem, they denied their inspiration and canonicity.
- There are historical errors in the Apocrypha.13
- By themselves, [the books of] Judith and Ecclesiasticus have some two dozen historical or other errors.14
- For example, the Book of Judith speaks of Nebuchadnezzar reigning in Nineveh. But it’s a historical fact that this was never the case. Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon.
- The Apocrypha claims that Tobit was alive when the Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 BC and also when Jeroboam revolted against Judah in 931 BC, which would make him at least 209 years old; yet according to the account, he died when he was 158 years.
- There are unbiblical doctrines in the Apocrypha.
- Prayers for the dead – II Macc. 12:41-46
- Doctrine of the Mass – II Macc. 12:42 (Compare to Heb. 7:27)
- The worship of angels – Tobit 12:12 (Compare to Col. 2:18)
- Doctrine of Purgatory – II Macc. 12:42,45 (Compare to Heb. 9:27)
- Invocation/intercession of the saints – II Macc. 14:14; Baruch 3:4 (Compare to Matt. 6:9)
- Salvation through alms giving – Tobit 3:9; 4:11 (Compare to Romans 3:20)
- It was not officially declared as authoritative until 1546.
- As we had seen earlier, it was 1,500 years after they had been written that they were then declared to be authoritative as a response to Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation.
It’s worth noting that in II Maccabees, the book where so much of Roman Catholic Doctrine is derived (e.g. Prayers for the dead, Doctrine of the Mass, Doctrine of Purgatory, Invocation/intercession of the saints), the author concedes that it’s an abridgement of another man’s work (2:23) and that he expresses concern as to whether he’s done a good job or not (15:38).
If this was indeed an inspired book, these issues would not even be in here.
Moving on to the third letter in the acronym of M. A. S. S. is the first letter ‘S’ – for Sola Scriptura verses Tradition.
- Sola Scriptura versus Tradition
One of the more serious issues in Roman Catholicism is its unwillingness to accept biblical authority alone as the final determiner of Christian doctrine and practice (emphasis added).15
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Scripture and tradition are the two sources or foundations of revelation that the Church rests upon for their authority for faith and practice.
- The Scriptures being the Bible plus the 12 Apocryphal books discussed earlier.
- And the Authoritative Church tradition that includes the decrees of various councils (e.g. Vatican I (1869-1870), Vatican II (1962-1965), etc.) as well as the certain sayings of the Pope.
The bottom line is that in the Roman Catholic Church, the Bible and Catholic tradition are held in equal authority.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:
- “Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when the Pope is speaking ex cathedra, Latin for “from the chair”, he is considered to be absolutely infallible when speaking on behalf of Church doctrine pertaining to faith and morals.
This is not a literal “chair”, but refers to his official position and speaks not only of the infallibility of the Pope when speaking from this position but also when interpreting the Scriptures.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
- “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”
- “The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra – that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and therefore such definitions are irreformable of themselves and not in virtue of consent of the Church.”16
Irreformable means incapable of being reformed and thus they stand irreversible to this day as truths that are equal in authority to Scripture.
Roman Catholicism maintains that to deny the Popes infallibility is to risk loss of salvation and that no Pope or ecumenical council has ever contradicted another.
- Never has any Pope officially contradicted what an earlier Pope officially taught about faith or morals. The same may be said about the ecumenical councils, which also teach infallibly. No ecumenical council has ever contradicted the teaching of an earlier ecumenical council on faith or morals.17
Here are some examples of Popes contradicting one another: 18
- Pope Hadrian II (867-872) declared civil marriages valid, while Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) declared them invalid.
- Pope Eugenius IV (1431-1477) condemned Joan of Arc to be burned as a witch, while Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) declared her a saint.
- Pope Clement XIV (1769-1774) suppressed the order of the Jesuits on July 21, 1773; Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) restored them on August 7, 1814.
- Popes have even contradicted one another on the recommendation or condemnation of Bible reading.
If Popes are considered infallible concerning faith and morals, how could the following errors have been made? 19
- If Pope Liberius (353-366) condemned Athanasius, the orthodox defender of Christ’s deity, how could he possibly be considered the recipient of divine guidance?
- Why was Pope Honorius I (625-638) condemned as a heretic by the Sixth General Council in 681 and by several subsequent Popes?
- How did Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) produce an error-ridden 1590 edition of the Vulgate?
- How did Pope Paul V (1605-1621) and Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) condemn the true scientific theories of Galileo?
Evangelicals believe that sola scriptura, Latin for “Scripture alone” is the one foundation that the authority for faith and practice rests upon.
We believe that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal for determining the validity of any and all theology, doctrine and moral issues.
We believe that no matter how old or sacred a tradition is, if it contradicts Scripture, it is to be rejected because God would not contradict Himself.
Let’s look at some verses that will help us set the precedent when it comes to sola scriptura or Scripture alone.
- Colossians 2: 8-10 states “See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ. For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in Him, who is the head of every principality and power.” (emphasis added)
How are you captivated? — Through an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition.
- Matthew 15:1-9 says, “Then the Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash [their] hands when they eat a meal.’ He said to them in reply, ‘And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition…You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’’” (emphasis added)
Roman Catholic tradition ultimately exerts final authority over Scripture as evidenced by many of the Church teachings that are considered authoritative Catholic doctrine but cannot be found in the Bible.
Another reason that Evangelicals reject the Roman Catholics traditions as authoritative is because to say that tradition is needed to supplement Scripture, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, is to say that Scripture is not sufficient in and of itself for all theology, doctrine and moral issues.
As we have already discussed, this is exactly opposite of what the Bible teaches as Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15-17:
- “and that from infancy you have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent [or complete], equipped for every good work.”
The word “competent” [Greek: artios] means “complete, perfect, capable, fully furnished, and proficient in the sense of being able to meet all demands.”
In other words, if the Bible is complete, perfect and fully furnished, as it teaches, what other revelation can be revealed?
In John 10:35, Jesus said, “scripture cannot be set aside” or the NKJV says “the Scripture cannot be broken.”
Jesus never said, “Tradition cannot be broken.”
In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.”
Jesus never said, “Tradition will by no means pass from the law”
In Matthew 22:29 Jesus rebuked the Sadducees, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God.”
In Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 Jesus rebuked the devil 3 times by responding, “It is written…”
It was the traditions of men that the Pharisees and the teachers of the law elevated above the written commandments of God and Jesus had to consistently rebuke these teachings.
As our supreme example, evangelicals follow Jesus’ lead and believe that Scripture alone is sufficient and is the final authority and source of divine revelation not tradition and not the ex cathedra pronouncements of men.
And finally, let’s move on to the fourth letter in the acronym of M. A. S. S. again, the letter ‘S’ – for Sin, Sacraments and Salvation.
- Sin, Sacraments and Salvation
Roman Catholicism teaches that there are two types of sin that can be committed:
- Venial sins – In Roman Catholic theology, venial sins are lesser sins that can be pardoned. The word venial actually comes from the Latin which means “pardon” or “easily forgiven.”
In Dogmatic Theology for the Laity we read:
“We commit a venial sin (one which can be forgiven outside confession) whenever we transgress a commandment of God in a matter which is not so serious, or without full knowledge, or without full consent of the will…for example, deliberate distraction at prayer, petty thievery, idleness, white lies, lack of love and generosity in small things, etc.”
These sins can be forgiven by God if he or she confesses them in prayer and sincerely repents.
- Mortal sins – These types of sins are mortal or deadly in nature and in a sense, utterly deplete the soul of God’s sanctifying grace.
In Dogmatic Theology for the Laity we read:
“We commit mortal sin when we transgress a commandment of God in a serious matter, with full knowledge, and free consent of the will. Serious matter is, for example, unbelief, hatred of our neighbor, adultery, serious theft, murder, etc.”
The Catholic Concise Encyclopedia says:
“The result of mortal sin is the loss of sanctifying grace, the loss of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, remorse, and the punitive effect of eternal separation from God.”
And thus, mortal sins are deadly and if a Roman Catholic should die in a state of having committed a mortal sin, that person will end up in hell.
But what does the Bible say about venial and mortal sins? Nothing, there is not a single reference in the Bible to venial or mortal sins.
Since the Bible makes no distinction between venial and mortal sins we should not make a distinction; but the Bible does teach that all sin leads to spiritual death, not just one category of sin (mortal sin).
- Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and are deprived [fall short] of the glory of God.”
With this verse in mind, all sin, even the smallest makes us legally guilty before a Sinless and Holy God and is worthy of eternal punishment.
- Paul points this out in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death”
To us as Christians, Jesus Christ paid it all and we can be washed, sanctified and justified through faith in Jesus Christ just as the Corinthians did who were guilty of committing all kinds of “mortal sins.”
- Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers…will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9
Sacraments and Salvation:
The seven sacraments of Roman Catholicism are:
- Baptism as an infant, removes original sin. It confers initial justification [declared righteous before God] and a new birth [regeneration] and is “necessary for salvation.”
- Confirmation – Bestows the Holy Spirit, leading to “an increase of sanctifying grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
- Penance – Consists of contrition, confession and then Removes the penalty of sins committed after baptism and confirmation. This involves confession to a Priest who then administers absolution.
- Holy Eucharist (The most important of the seven sacraments) – comprises Christ’s being “re-sacrificed,” or re-presented, through which the benefits of Calvary are continually applied anew to the believer. This occurs at the Mass, wherein the bread and wine literally become Christ through the alleged miracle termed transubstantiation.20
- Matrimony – In accordance with the Catholic Church, grace is given to help remain in the bonds of marriage.
- Holy orders – This applies a “special grace” and a “spiritual power” upon bishops, deacons, and priests and ordains one for all eternity.
- Anointing of the sick – This sacrament is for the sick or the very close to death individual that is being commended to the Lord so that He can relieve and save them.
In Roman Catholic theology, these sacraments are actually said to be containers of grace and this grace is infused in the believer when they participate in the sacraments.
This infusion of grace, as taught traditionally by the Roman Catholic Church, is needed for salvation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
- “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.”
The Council of Trent (1545-1563) said:
- “If anyone says that the sacraments…are not necessary for salvation…let him be anathema.”
The Council of Trent also said:
- “If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, let him be anathema.”
Again, the Council of Trent:
- “If anyone says that the faith which justifies is nothing else but trust in the divine mercy which pardons sins because of Christ, or that it is trust alone by which we are justified, let him be anathema.”
Anathema means “cursed, banished, exiled or excommunicated.”
The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma asserts:
- “The sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for the salvation of mankind…for the attainment of eternal salvation…without their use salvation cannot be attained.”
Roman Catholicism also teaches and believes that virtually no one can be saved outside the Roman Catholic Church:
- Pope Innocent III (1161-1216) said in AD 1208, “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Church…outside which we believe that no one is saved.”
- Pope Boniface VIII (1235-1303) said in AD 1302 that, “Now, therefore, we declare, say, define, and pronounce that for every human creature it is altogether necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff.”
- Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) said in AD 1854, “It must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.”
And as recently as Vatican II (1962-1965), the Roman Catholic Church stated:
- “This holy Council … [b]asing itself on Scripture and Tradition … teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation…. [Christ] himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16, John 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it” (Lumen Gentium 14).
All we have to do is turn to our Bibles, the final court of appeal to see that close to 200 times in the New Testament, salvation is said to be by faith alone – with no works in sight.
- John 3:15 tells us that “everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
- In case we missed it, Jesus says it again in John 3:16, “everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
- John 5:24 says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” (emphasis added)
- In John 11:25 Jesus says, “I am the resurrection, and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (emphasis added)
- John 12:46 says, “I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” (emphasis added)
- Luke 23: 39-43 – Jesus tells the thief on the cross next to Him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
This thief did not have time to do one sacrament. All he did was believe on Jesus and Jesus promised him paradise based solely on his saving faith in Jesus Christ.
The New Testament repeatedly states that salvation is a free gift from God; salvation is by grace and grace alone entirely apart from the law or any works.
Works have their place but the following distinction is vitally important:
- Salvation is not faith plus works but having a saving faith that produces works.
A saving faith will produce works but salvation is a free gift of God. We are “saved by grace through faith…it is not of works.”
- Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not of works, so no one may boast.”
- Titus 3:5 says, “not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy he saved us”
- Romans 3:20 tells us that “no human being will be justified [declared righteous before God] in his sight by observing the law”
- Romans 4:4 says that “A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due.”
In other words, if salvation by works was attainable by men, then salvation would not be a gift from God but would be a wage that is due for those works.
- Romans 11:6 says that “But if by grace, it is no longer because of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”
- Galatians 2:16 tells us that “We…who know that a person is not justified [declared righteous before God] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (emphasis added)
Biblical salvation is entirely by God’s grace through faith and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” – John 6:28, 29 (emphasis added)
Dr. Norman Geisler summarizes that, “Evangelicals, in contrast to Catholics, believe we are saved by grace alone, based on the work of Christ alone, received through faith alone, and grounded on the authority of Scripture alone.”
One Final Consideration – Who is the Rock Upon Which Jesus Founded His Church?
I would like for us to consider one more important Roman Catholic position and that is that Peter was the first bishop, or pope of Rome and that Jesus built His church on Peter based on Matthew 16:13-20. Also used are John 21:15-17 and Luke 22:31-32 but Matthew 16:18 is the main one used.
Looking at Matthew 16:13, we see that while in the region of Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus asked His disciples this important question of “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” to which they replied who others thought Jesus was.
Jesus then asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” (verse 15). Peter answered: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (verse 16).
Jesus then commends and confirms Peter’s answer and pronounces, “And I say to you, you are Peter [Greek: petros], and upon this rock [Greek: petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (verse 18).
Roman Catholicism will argue that the church was built on the apostleship of Peter as footnotes on Matthew 16:13-20 of the NAB confirm, “Jesus’ response…attributes the confession to a divine revelation granted to Peter alone and makes him the rock on which Jesus will build his church…”
Roman Catholics believe that Peter took up residence in Rome from about 42 AD to about 67 AD when he was martyred by the Roman Emperor Nero around the same time as the apostle Paul.
Dr. Norman Geisler, in his book Is Rome The True Church? points out four very important key links in Roman Catholic teachings regarding Peter:
- The Primacy of Peter as foremost among the apostles.
- The infallibility of Peter in making official pronouncements regarding doctrine and morals.
- This infallibility is passed down to Peter’s successors through apostolic succession.
- The present pope is the successor of Peter.
Of course when these three Roman Catholic dogmas are applied, it can be basically stated that “the Roman Catholic church is the only true church on the basis that Jesus gave Peter all authority and infallibility while making official pronouncements regarding doctrine and morals and through apostolic succession, the Pope is in that line of Peter and is thus infallible.”
Both Catholics and Christians would agree that Peter did exercise leadership abilities in the early church. That’s not a problem – but, it’s a huge leap from starting with Peter having a leadership role in the early church to ending up with the Roman Catholic Church being the “only true church” and that the Pope as Peter’s successor is infallible.
Most scholars outside the Catholic Church deny the claim that Jesus Christ instituted the Catholic Church through the apostle Peter. Here are six prominent reasons why:
- There are no records that indicate that Peter was ever the Bishop of Rome as claimed by the Catholic Church.
- Irenaeus (130–202 AD), a disciple of Polycarp who was himself a disciple of the apostle John, was a Bishop at present day Lyon in France (178–200 AD) and provided a list of the first twelve bishops of Rome.
Peter’s name does not appear as the first Bishop and indeed is not even on the list at all.
Irenaeus says that the first Bishop of Rome was a man named Linus.
- Eusebius (275-339 AD), called the “Father of Church History,” never mentions the apostle Peter as a Bishop in Rome.
- Augustine (354-430 AD), the great teacher of the Catholic faith denied that Matthew 16:18 referred to Peter as the Rock on which Christ built His church.
Augustine wrote, “The Rock [Petra] was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself also built. For other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
- The apostle Paul, writing to the Church in Rome, greets more than two dozen people by name at the end of his letter (Romans 16:3-16) but doesn’t greet Peter.
That would be a strange omission if Peter was indeed living in Rome and was the Bishop there.
- Protestant scholars also hold that Linus was the first Bishop of Rome based in the apostle Peter’s own writings in the Apostolic Constitutions 7:46.
“Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these: … Of the church of Rome, Linus the son of Claudia was the first, ordained by Paul; and Clemens, after Linus’ death, the second, ordained by me Peter.”
Several key factors stick out which strengthen the Evangelical position that Peter is not the rock the Jesus built His church upon.
First, in this passage, Peter is referred to in the second person twice, “you”; however, the statement “this rock” is in this third person.
Second, the text does not bestow unique authority to Peter alone since in Matthew 18:18, all the apostles are given the same power to bind and lose as well.
Third, nowhere else in Scripture is Peter singled out as the rock foundation of the church. On the other hand, Jesus Christ is called the “chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20) even by Peter himself (1 Peter 2:7).
And finally, according to the Vines Expository Dictionary:
- “Petra denotes a mass of rock, as distinct from petros, a detached stone or boulder, or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved.”21
Dr. John MacArthur further elaborates:
- “Peter is from petros, a masculine form of the Greek word for small stone, whereas rock is from petra, a different form of the same word, referring to a rocky mountain or peak.” 22
In other words, the church of Jesus Christ is built upon the rock (petra), the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8) who is Jesus Christ and not a man or an organization.
It’s feasible that Jesus might have even been stating that Peter was part of the apostolic rocklike foundation that the church was built upon.
For example, even Paul stated in Ephesians 2:20 that the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles [plural] and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone”
But to place Jesus’ church squarely on the shoulders of Peter, a sinful, fallible human being just is supported by Scripture.
When we look at the totality of Scripture and by applying the basic interpretive principle that Scripture interprets Scripture, we read that:
- The Father was “well pleased” with Jesus (Matt. 3:17)
- We are to listen to Jesus (Matt. 17:5; Acts 3: 22, 23)
- Jesus is the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5)
- Jesus is the perfect sacrifice (Heb. 9:27, 28)
- Our Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
- Jesus was “without sin” and was the author of eternal salvation (Heb. 4:15, 5:8, 9)
- Jesus is also the “head of the church…the savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23).
- Jesus speaks infallibly (Matt. 24:35; John 5:46; 7:16)
- Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)
The entire New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus Christ is the only foundation and head of the church.
I would say that every one of us knows someone who is a Roman Catholic or have family members in the Roman Catholic faith.
Our goal when talking to them is to share the love of Jesus Christ and that salvation comes through Him and by Him because Acts 4:12 says, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
This means salvation doesn’t some through the Church, nor through the papal system, nor through the mass, nor baptism or good works but only in faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not of works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
The Bible tells us that Christians are to handle the Word of God correctly or rightly and “not handle it deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Peter 3:16).
The point is that as Christians, we are to handle the Word of God and interpret it correctly.
This is why when we listen to “evangelists, pastor and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11), we are to examine what they say because the Bible says to “Test everything; retain what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Even Paul commended the “fair-minded” Berean’s because they “examined the Scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
If what is taught by Rome and it’s papal system doesn’t match up to what the Bible teaches – we have a problem. The bottom line is either they are right or what the Bible teaches is right.
Again, we need to examine or compare what is taught, in any religious system, to the objective truth of the Bible. All things stand or fall based on what God has already said in His word.
Resources used for this teaching and recommended reading material:
- Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics, Ron Rhodes, Harvest House Publishers, ISBN 0736902082
- Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Harvest House Publishers, ISBN 0736910778
- Correcting the Cults, Norman L. Geisler and Ron Rhodes, Baker Books, ISBN 080106550X
- Roman Catholicism, DVD Video and accompanying text by Charlie H. Campbell – www.AlwaysBeReady.com
- The Facts on Roman Catholicism, John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Harvest House Publishers, ISBN 0890819955
- The School of Biblical Evangelism, by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, ISBN 0882709682
- The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, Alfred Marshall, Zondervan Publishing House, ISBN 0310950708
- Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries, Dugan Publishers, Inc.
- Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, ISBN 0840775598
- Is Rome the True Church? By Norman Geisler and Joshua Betancourt, Crossway Books, ISBN-13: 9781433502316
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email Robby Beum at firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the New American Bible (NAB) 1991 Version since it’s recognized and approved by the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). This is important because while talking to a Catholic, they might point out that “that’s what your protestant Bible says” but you can show them that even the Catholic NAB Bible contradicts the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
- All bullet points from John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 2004), p. 9.
- John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, pg. 64-
- John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, p. 65.
- John A. Hardon, Pocket Catholic Dictionary (New York: Image Books, 1985), 438-439 as cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics by Ron Rhodes and Marian Bodine, p. 175.
- Robert C. Broderick, ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia, revised and updated (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987), p. 370 as cited in Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism. p. 87.
- Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures, 259.
- Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures, 259.
- Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1998), p. 99 as cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures, 260.
- Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1968), p. 29 as cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons by Ron Rhodes and Marian Bodine, p. 403.
- Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 2000), p. 41.
- Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics, 41.
- Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p. 59 cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 32.
- Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics, 36.
- John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Roman Catholicism (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), p. 110.
- John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Roman Catholicism (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), pg.4-5.
- John A. Harden, Pocket Catholic Dictionary (New York: Image Books, 1985), 194 cited in Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 87.
- Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 219 as cited in Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, 103.
- Henry T. Hudson, Papal Power (Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England: Evangelical Press, 1981), p. 112 and as cited in Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, 107-108.
- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies: The Image of Christ in the Mirror of Heresy and Orthodoxy from the Apostles to the Present (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1990), 66,186,190,207; Kung, Infallible?, 30; Carson, 83, 84-85 as cited in Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism, 107.
- John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), p. 58.
- Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985), p. 537)
- John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1988), p. 28