Wrested Scriptures

The Catholic Church

  Matt. 12:32
  Matt. 16:18
  Matt. 26:26
  Luke 10:16
  Luke 22:32
  John 21:16
  John 6:53
  John 20:23
  1 Cor. 3:13
  1 Cor. 7:1
  James 5:14
British Israel
of Christ


Carbon Dating

& Inaccuracies

Suggested Strategy

  1. The crucial question of authority must be settled. If the R.C. is agreeable, passages traditionally used by his church (and considered in this handbook) might be examined. In stressing the necessity of individual interpretation of the written Word the following might be helpful:
    1. Show that Jesus Christ appealed to the reason of his hearers in stating his case from the Scriptures:
      1. "Have ye not read . . . " (Matt. 19:4).
      2. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets . . ." (Luke 16:31)
      3. "Is it not written in your law . . ." (John 10:34).
    2. The Apostle Paul likewise appealed to his readers' individual judgment of the Word:
      1. "These were [Jews at Berea] more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11). This passage reveals God's attitude toward those who examine the Scriptures.
      2. "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say" (1 Cor. 10:15).
      3. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:21)
      4. ". . . the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect [complete], throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
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  2. It is sometimes helpful to show that support for the Roman position on Papal infallibility often rests on a petitio principii fallacy.1
    1. The R.C. says: "I am absolutely certain that I am right in my religious views because I believe what the Pope says, and he is absolutely certain not to say what is wrong." But how can one be absolutely certain not to believe wrong? It is not possible to answer this question without arguing in a circle, i.e., stating one's own infallibility.
    2. The R.C. may also say: "The Church is infallible because the scriptures testify that this is so and the Scriptures testify this because the Church infallibly declares that such is their meaning." It is sometimes argued another way by the R.C.: "The Pope always speaks infallibly except when he makes a mistake. When he makes a mistake he is not speaking 'ex cathedra'." Both these arguments by a R.C. are tautological. The fallacy in the argument is evident from a mathematical parallel: A=B because I say that B=A. I know that B=A because A=B.
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  3. R.C. apologists 2 make appeals to the size and duration of the Roman Church as proof of its divine founding and guidance through the authority invested in the bishops. It is relevant to show that there is no necessary connection between size and duration of a religious organization and the truth of its claims. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13-14). Judaism and Buddhism are both older than Roman Catholicism but this does not necessarily mean that their religious claims are true.
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  4. Roman Catholic literature often points to the divisions within Protestantism (or even within the Christadelphian body) as proof of the inadequacy of the exercise of private judgment on religious questions. The Roman faith is presented by contrast as a haven of rest where uniformity of practice and loyalty of allegiance prevail. But this claim is inaccurate. Consider the following examples:
    1. During the Great Schism of the West (1378 - 1417) there were three rival Popes, each claiming to be the real Pope, and each excommunicating the others. 3
    2. Until recently the Uniat Church in Galicia was an integral part of the Roman Communion yet followed Eastern Orthodox rites and had a married priesthood. 4
    3. The unity of the Roman Church is only superficially impressive. Conformity has often been achieved by scandalously unscriptural means. 5
    4. The predictions of the coming apostacy within the early ecclesia (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 1 Tim. 4:1-3) conflict with the Romanist claim of "unity" and a "haven of rest". By the time John wrote his first epistle it was necessary for the believer to "try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
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  5. Very devout R.C.'s may be reticent to speak about their beliefs (especially in countries where illiteracy is high) through fear of excommunication. Heresy is considered a mortal sin for which the punishment is excommunication and relegation to the fires of hell for eternity. The bulls "In Caena Comini" or the annual cursings were renewed by the bull "Apostolicae Sedis" 1868. In this bull all who deny the Pope's universal authority and all who harbour the least doubt on any point which has been decreed by a Pope, are ipso facto excommunicated. This explains, in part, the difficulty in reaching some Roman Catholics. They fear to incur the mortal sin of heresy and consequent excommunication, if they listen, or if they entertain the slightest question as to any one of the decrees of the Pope.


  1. A "petitio principii" is the logical fallacy of arguing in a circle and "begging the question". Return
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  2. "Apologists", as used here, does not refer to Roman Catholics who regretfully acknowledge but rather to those who defend by argument. Return
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  3. See, for example, William Shaw Kerr, A Handbook on the Papacy, (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1962), chpt. 51. Return
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  4. Alexander Stewart, Roman Dogma and Scripture Truth, (London: The Inter-Varsity fellowship, 1951) p. 17. Return
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  5. The Council of Ephesus is an example. Bethune Baker, in Early History of Church Doctrine, writes: "Dioscorus was attended by a strong body of Egyptians, bishops and monks, who all behaved with scandalous violence. The signatures of many other bishops were extorted by threats and physical force; it seems certain from the evidence, even when allowance is made for some exaggeration, that the result was only reached by insolent intimidation which proceeded to personal violence." p. 284. Return