“Know the Church” = “Know the Bible”
In the Middle Ages, people rarely owned a Bible because all books were exorbitantly expensive and few persons could even read. A monk needed approximately ten months to copy a Bible by hand. The cost would have been about $5,000 then— $200,000 today"
The printing press was not invented until A.D. 1440.
In the first four centuries after the birth of Christ, there was no “Bible”. Not until after A.D. 390 did the Church decide to discern what writings deserved to be called “The Revealed Word of God” and to list officially those writings as “The Bible”. Jesus himself told the apostle Peter, “What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Thus the apostolic Church has that binding authority to determine what the Word of God is.
However, years before the Church defined what was in "The Bible" and what was not, the Church first officially defined its faith by way of the “Creed” formula of Nicea, A.D. 325, and refined it at Constantinople, A.D. 381. Without the faith of the Church as the rule and guide, the Bible did not come into being.
As that Creed puts it: Credo … et Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam— “and I believe the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”
Without the Church’s faith as the rule and guide, one cannot have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.
Therefore: the Catechism of the Catholic Church! It expresses the faith and teaching of the Church, and forms us to have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.
What has happened to Christianity ever since the printing press and the common availability of the Bible? Protestantism splintering, splintering, splintering and still splintering! Splintering over how to understand the Bible APART FROM the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!
Then you eventually end up with rejection of the Bible itself.
- Episcopalianism's OFFICIAL rejection of Biblical sexual morality (e.g., gay "bishop" Gene Robinson);
- Episcopalian "bishops" (e.g., Spong) rejecting the Biblical affirmation of Christ's death as atonement for sin and rejecting his bodily resurrection.
If you do without the teaching (i.e., catechizing) Church, you will eventually do without the Bible itself.
The "Bible Only" approach opens the way to a "Dump the Bible" approach.
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There is an online article entitled “To Tell You the Whole Truth about the Church and the Holy Bible: How the Bible Was Written”.