Isn’t the Gospel of Matthew in the Douay Bible?

Isn’t the Gospel of Matthew in the Douay Bible? April 24, 2015

Mark Shea tries to show the superiority of Roman Catholics to Protestants by arguing that Protestant opposition to divorce relies not on Scripture alone but also on tradition:

One basic rule of thumb to understand in Catholic/Protestant conversations is that it is not the case that Catholics rely on Sacred Tradition and Protestants don’t. Rather, Catholics (and, by this, I mean “educated Catholics speaking out of the Magisterial teaching of the Church”) rely on Sacred Tradition and know they do, while Protestants rely on (parts) of Sacred Tradition and (usually) don’t know they do.

So, for instance, despite Paul’s prescriptions (directed only at clergy of his day) that a man must be the husband of but one wife, nowhere in the text of Scripture is it made clear that Christian marriage must be monogamous for all (a fact that did not escape Luther or John Milton).

In point of fact, our Lord Jesus Christ may have spoken directly to Mark’s concern in the pages of holy writ:

Matt. 19:4–6. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Jesus also addressed the question of multiple wives and divorce and said it merely a concession to the Israelites but a violation of what God instituted at creation:

Matt. 19:8–9. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

I know Paul wasn’t pope, but maybe he was still an apostle:

1 Cor. 7:2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband./blockquote>

I understand that Mark’s conversion may look better if evangelicals look more foolish than he is. But at least let’s get the Bible straight before we start to wade into the murky world of tradition.

(Image: By Lawrence Kellam (Bibliothèque de Douai) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

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  • CruisingTroll

    As a Protestant, I can say that the Protestant position on divorce is wrong. As it is actually practiced in the US, the Catholic position is also wrong, although their theological position is correct. Mark and Luke both have teachings on divorce, as does Malachi, and various other books.

    Here’s a simple question for you: Can you think of ANYTHING else in the Bible that God hates, for which people spend as much time finding “biblical justification” as divorce?

    How many divorces are there in the Bible? What do they have in common? What followed all of them?

  • Defensor

    I am just going to point out the simple fact that none of the verses you mentioned say anything negative about having more than one wife, or more than one husband. Yes they do seem to imply monogamy, which is easy to see in light of how well we know a good Christian family works, however these verses don’t explicitly state it.

  • Defensor

    It is theologically correct, but the position incorrect? I am confused.

  • CruisingTroll

    IIRC, the Catholic position is very narrow, and does not allow divorce except for an invalid marriage. And it does not allow remarriage. The Catholic Church in America is extraordinarily generous with annulments, i.e. declaring the prior marriage to have not existed at all, even when there are children from the marriage. Thus the theology is correct. The practice is not.

    The Protestant position is wrong both theologically and in practice.

    Biblical Christian Marriage is a covenant. One man. One woman. For life. ANY other teaching is theologically in error. This is what the Church believed for 1,500 years, from the earliest days. Some teachings are in greater error than others…

  • Defensor

    Well I wonder if the issue with too many annulments comes about because of the Church being too liberal with them, or in more modern times increasingly more people are either failing to understand how marriage works, or unable to fulfill the requirements of marriage when they enter into the covenant.

    Either way forgiveness seems to be the better option in these cases IMO.