ArticlesMarcus Grodi

The Verses I Never Saw As a Protestant Pastor

Marcus Grodi
June 7, 2011 79 Comments

One of the more commonly shared experiences of Protestant converts to the Catholic Church is the discovery of verses “we never saw.” Even after years of studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible, sometimes from cover to cover, all of a sudden a verse “we never saw” appears as if by magic and becomes an “Aha!” mind-opening, life- altering messenger of spiritual “doom”! Sometimes it’s just recognizing an alternate, clearer meaning of a familiar verse, but often, as with some of the verses mentioned below, it literally seems as if some Catholic had snuck in during the night and somehow put that verse there in the text!

The list of these surprise verses is endless, depending especially on a convert’s former religious tradition, but the following are a few key verses that turned my heart toward home.

1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Ever since my adult re-awakening (read “born-again experience”) at age 21, this Proverb has been my “life verse.” It rang true as a guide for all aspects of my life and ministry, but then during my nine years as a Presbyterian minister, I became desperately frustrated by the confusion of Protestantism. I loved Jesus and believed that the Word of God was the one trustworthy, infallible rule of faith. But so did lots of the non- Presbyterian ministers and laymen I knew: Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Congregationalists, etc., etc., etc . . . The problem was that we all came up with different conclusions, sometimes radically different, from the same verses. How does one “trust in the Lord with all your heart”? How can you make sure your not “leaning on your own understanding”? We all had different opinions and lists of requirements. A verse I had always trusted suddenly became nebulous, immeasurable, and unreachable.

2. I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 3: 14-15

Scott Hahn pulled this one on me. “So, Marc, what is the pillar and foundation of truth?” I answered, “The Bible, of course.” “Oh yeah? But what does the Bible say?” “What do you mean?” When he told me to look up this verse, I suspected nothing. I had taught and preached through First Timothy many times. But when I read this verse, it was as if it had suddenly appeared from nowhere, and my jaw dropped. The Church!? Not the Bible? This alone sent my mind and essentially my whole life reeling; the question of which Church was one I was not ready to broach.

3. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Verses 16-17 were the texts I and others had always turned to buttress our belief in sola Scriptura, so to this I quickly turned my attention. Among many things, three important things became very clear, for the first time: (1) when Paul used the term “scripture” in this verse, he could only have meant what we call the Old Testament. The New Testament canon would not be established for another 300 years! (2) “All” scripture does not mean “only” scripture nor specifically what we have in our modern bibles. And (3), the emphasis in the context of this verse (vereses 14-15) is the trustworthiness of the oral tradition Timothy had received from his mother and others—not sola Scriptura!

4. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:15

This was another “too-hot-to-handle” verse Scott threw in my lap. The traditions (Dare I say, traditions) that these early Christian were to hold fast to were not just the written letters and Gospels that would eventually make up the New Testament, but the oral tradition. And even more significant, the context of Paul’s letters indicates that his normal, preferred way of passing along “what he had received” was orally; his written letters were an accidental, sometimes unplanned add-on, dealing with immediate problems—leaving unsaid so much of what they had learned through oral teaching.

5. Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Philip’pi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13-19

There is so much to discuss in this verse, so much I never saw. I always knew that Catholics used this to argue Petrine authority but I wasn’t convinced. To the naively ignorant, the English words “Peter” and “rock” are so different that it’s obvious that Jesus was referring to the faith Simon Peter received as a gift from the Father. For the more informed seminary educated Bible students, like myself, I knew that behind the English was the Greek, where one discovered that Peter is the translation of petros, meaning little pebble, and rock is the translation of petra, large boulder. Again an obvious disconnect, so so for years I believed and taught specifically against Petrine authority. Then, through the reading of Karl Keating’s wonderful book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, I realized the implications of something I knew all along: behind the Greek was the Aramaic which Jesus originally spoke, in which the word for Peter and rock are identical—kepha. Once I saw that Jesus had said essentially “You are kepha and on this kepha I will build my Church,” I knew I was in trouble.

6. ” ‘And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.’ “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’ ” – Revelation 14:13

For years, as a Calvinist preacher, I recited this verse in every funeral graveside service. I believed and taught sola fide and discounting any place for works in the process of our salvation. But then, after my last funeral service as a minister, a family member of the deceased cornered me. He asked, with a tremble in his voice, “What did you mean that Bill’s deeds follow him?” I don’t remember my response, but this was the first time I became aware of what I had been saying. This began a long study on what the New Testament and then the Early Church Fathers taught about the mysterious but necessary synergistic connection between our faith and our works.

7. But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?” – Romans 10:14-15

I had always used these verses to defend the central importance of preaching and why I, therefore, had given up my engineering career for seminary and the great privilege of becoming a preacher of the Gospel! And I was never bothered by the last phrase about the need of being “sent,” because I could point to my ordination where a cackle of local ministers, elders, deacons, and laymen laid their hands on my sweaty head to send me forth in the Name of Jesus. But then, first through my reading of the history and writings of the Early Church Fathers and second through my re-reading of the scriptural context of Paul’s letters, I realized that Paul emphasized the necessity of being “sent” because the occasion of his letters was to combat the negative, heretical influences of self-appointed false teachers. I had never thought of myself as a false teacher, but by what authority did those people send me forth? Who sent them? In this I realized the importance of Apostolic [those who have been sent] succession.

8. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” – John 15:4 and 6:56

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. The book of the Bible I most preached on was the Gospel of John and my most preached on section John 15, the analogy of the vine and the branches. I bombarded my congregations with the need to “abide” or “remain” in Christ. But what does this mean? I always had an answer, but when I saw “for the first time” the only verse where Jesus himself defines clearly what we must do to abide in Him, I was floored. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” This led me to study a boatload of verses in John 6 “I had never seen before,” and in the end, when it came accepting Jesus at His word on the Eucharist, I had only one answer: “Where else can we go? Only you have the words of life.”

9. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” – Colossians 1:24

I don’t know if I purposely avoided this or just blindly missed it, but for the first 40- years of my life I never saw this verse. And to be honest, when I finally saw it, I still didn’t know what to do with it. Nothing in my Lutheran, Congregationalist, or Presbyterian backgrounds helped me understand how I or anyone could rejoice in suffering, and especially why anything was needed to complete the suffering of Christ: nothing was lacking! Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection were sufficient and complete! To say anything less was to attack the omnipotent completeness of God’s sovereign grace. But then again, this was the apostle Paul speaking in inerrant, infallible Scripture. And we were to imitate him as he imitated Jesus. It took a reading of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on the meaning of suffering to open my eyes to the beautiful mystery of redemptive suffering.

10. And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.’ ” – Luke 1:46-49

Finally the hardest hurdle for so many Protestant converts to get over: our Blessed Mother Mary. For most of my life, the only place Mary came into the picture was at Christmas—and dare I say, as a statue! But I never referred to her as “blessed.” Yet Scripture says all generations will call her blessed. Why wasn’t I? This led me to see other verses for the first time, including John 17 where from the cross Jesus giave his mother into the keeping of John, rather than any supposed siblings, and by grace I began, in imitation of my Lord and Savior and eternal brother Jesus, to recognize her, too, as my loving Mother.

  • Teresa Grodi

    Wonderful article!!! I am endlessly thankful to all the converts to the Catholic faith who share their “verses that I never saw”. I’ve especially liked learning about them on your Deep in Scripture page! Thank you for posting this!

  • Jm

    Great verses- anybody have any others to share?

    • rakowskidp

      Yes, I have another one:

      Matthew 18:15-17 – “If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

      “Tell the church” – which one? No matter what answer I desire, I can find a “church” to give it to me. *The* church has authority – not churchES. There can only be one, and it’s not just a spiritual union of all true believers, which is what I believed as an evangelical.

    • RA SS

      Church= Ephesius 1:22; Ephesius 3:10; Ephesius 4:11; Ephesius 5:25-27
      Recognize the real Jesus in Holy Eucharist Luke 24:30 read from 13 to 35 Emmaus disciples.
      Intercession and also hell= Luke 16:19-31 a dead rich man, in hell, interceding for his brothers; asking, begging, to Abraham for help.
      Perpetual virginity of blessed Mary: Ezek. 44:2
      Mary mother of God: Luke 1:39-45 read vers. 43
      Enmity between snake offspring and Woman offspring: Genesis 3:15We all are offspring of Blessed virgin Mary: Rev. 12:17

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Claiming that Ezekiel 44:2 speaks of the supposed perpetual virginity of Mary has got to rate as one of the most bizarre attempts by the catholic church to read a concept into the Scriptures that I personally have EVER ran across in all my years of theological studies; it is quite possibly THE worst example of eisegesis on record! -I mean, really, catholics; seriously???

    • RA SS

      Jesus compare Himself with bronze snake, may also mean that Hi ask us to do the Crucifix John 3:14

      • Dominga Carpio

        Crucifix is biblical. Jesus our savior died nailed on the cross. simple and clear. So I have a crucifix in my house to remind me of what Jesus said,”No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” John 15: 13-14.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          If the Saviour lived in your heart, you wouldn’t need to be reminded. Do you need to be reminded to love your mother, your wife, or your children?

          • R Wilcome

            Perhaps you dont need to be reminded of such things, but I do. I need reminders to love, to be faithful, to act in charity, to be like Christ. I’m a good dad and husband, but my sin makes me imperfect, short tempered, or unwilling to listen. In times of sorrow or trouble, our church and our scripture point us back to Christ who dwells in us. God always reminds us to love, and he uses His holy church, scripture, and the blessed sacraments to keep us on our path. I have crosses, scripture, and crucifixes throughout my house to point to Christ, and the blessings they provide are wonderful.

  • Teresa Grodi

    What really changed my understanding of Matthew 16: 16-18 was reading Isaiah 22: 20-25: “20 “In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honor for the house of his father. 24 All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots–all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars. 25 “In that day,” declares the LORD Almighty, “the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.” The LORD has spoken.”

    This is the verse in which the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of David is chosen. This verse describes his power and office. He is not the KING, but he is second in command and given the keys of the Kingdom. I would be hard pressed to believe that the Jewish disciples, knowing Scripture by heart from their youth, would EVER think that Jesus was making reference to Peter’s faith, rather than Peter himself.

    • Matthew Tan Kim Huat

      O! Blessed Nite of the Lord God, Abba Father Almighty! Perhaps, you may want to reinforce yr thought with Matthew 18:18 and revelation 3:7 on the doctrinal empowerment of the Davidic keys of opening and shutting teachings.

      • Teresa Grodi

        “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Thank you very much, Matthew. God bless!

  • chnetwork

    Great Reference Teresa – Thanks!

  • Beuatiful, thank you for posting.

  • Edward Hara

    Romans 2: 5 – 10. What do you mean that works have nothing to do with our salvation??? According to these verses, along with Matthew 25: 26-43 and John 5: 28-29, the Sacred Scriptures teach that at the Last Judgment, Jesus will examine us to see if our works merit Heaven. How many times did I read these verses and not see them, expecting that my “faith alone” would be sufficient for the Lord to say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

    • Simple Truth

      Ephesians 2:8 is clear on how we are saved:

      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

      • Edward Hara

        That is true. Salvation is a gift from God that no one can earn. But salvation is not eternal life. That is a Protestant heresy. Salvation is being delivered from Original Sin, entered into union with Christ, and joined to the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ.

        Eternal life is the REWARD of living out your salvation and not abandoning Christ and returning to a life of sin. Eternal life is called “the inheritance” (Eph. 1: 14) All we have now, according to this verse is the “downpayment” or promissory note of eternal life until we reach the Judgment and are declared to have been faithful to the end. Those who keep the faith will inherit the inheritance of eternal life. Those who reject Christ and those who throw away their gift of salvation will be cast away.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          “The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.(Romans 6:23)-“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me, and I GIVE unto them ETERNAL life, and they will NEVER perish”(John 10:27)…We could play”musical verses”all day IrishEddieOhara, but I think we both know that the first rule of Biblical hermeneutics is all things in context.You catholics have the unforunate habit of wrenching verses out of their contexts and building contrived doctrines and bogus dogmas upon these disconnected verses.That’s why you actually believe that salvation and eternal life are not in sync with one another; catholics actually treat salvation and eternal life as separate doctrines! WOW!!! There is absolutely NO Scriptural basis for such a dichotomy, but roman catholic hermeneutics attempts mightily to make it so.It’s no wonder that, although your church can define what constitutes a”mortal”sin that will presumably land the perpetrators of said sins in Hell, no one can know whether vile, gross evildoers like Hitler, Stalin, Jeffrey Dahmer actually there! (Well, Hitler WAS a catholic, so…)-I mean, if those individuals are not there, neither sin nor Hell have any meaning whatsoever, we ALL can believe whatever, and what exactly DID the Saviour die for? As far as that goes, exactly WHO did He save, and for what? Thus is the confusion perpetrated by roman catholicism. WOW, AGAIN!

          • MarcAlcan

            and I GIVE unto them ETERNAL life, and they will NEVER perish

            Great that you have a fair grasp of scripture.
            But you forget John 6 where Jesus ties the gift of eternal life to eating His Body and drinking His Blood.
            I wonder if you do that.

        • MarcAlcan

          But salvation is not eternal life

          Here you are wrong. Salvation IS to have eternal life. That is what we are saved for : eternal life with God.

          • Edward Hara

            Nope. Eternal life is called “the inheritance” in the Sacred Scriptures. An inheritance is the covenant blessing which is given to those covenant children who are faithful to the covenant family.

            When we make covenant with God to enter His family, we make oath/sanctions. This is always done when a covenant is cut. There are promises of blessings for covenant faithfulness and curse for covenant breaking. The blessing of covenant faithfulness is eternal life. The curse is eternal hell.

            You can see this in Eph. 1: 13-14 where it is said that we have the “earnest of our inheritance.” What does that mean? An earnest is a downpayment of the whole, with the rest to follow if certain conditions are met. Our earnest is the Holy Spirit, who is LIFE!

            Therefore, while we do have eternal life, we only have a downpayment of it in the form of the Holy Spirit. The full amount, the complete blessing of eternal life comes after the Judgment and after we have been judged to have been faithful covenant children.

            Salvation is being saved from something. What we have been saved from is membership in the world and its culture of death. That is salvation. It is being made part of the family of God, the congregation, or Church, but as I said, there is an inheritance yet to come — eternal life.

            Run a word check on the words “inherit” and “inheritance” and see how they are connected to eternal life. You will be surprised.

            • MarcAlcan

              Nope. Eternal life is called “the inheritance” in the Sacred Scriptures. An inheritance is the covenant blessing which is given to those covenant children who are faithful to the covenant family.

              Yes that is true as well. But if you are not saved, if there is no salvation for you, do you think you will have eternal life?

              Salvation is being saved from something

              Exactly. Being saved from death. Ergo to be saved is to have eternal life.

              • Edward Hara

                No, it is not. You don’t have a clue, do you? The Bible teaches us in analogies. One of them is the analogy of family and the family inheritance.

                When you are “saved,” you are adopted into God’s family by His grace. But you don’t have the full inheritance yet, just the downpayment (earnest Eph. 1: 13-14).

                Now, just like a family inheritance, you can throw away your inheritance by turning your back on the family and leaving. That is why sin is so deadly and should be avoided at all costs! It can steal your soul.

                The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a good example to use. The Prodigal is a son, that is, he is member of the family. But he chooses to leave the family and go into the far country of sin. He repents, returns, and receives his position in the family again.

                But what if he had not returned? Would he have received the inheritance his father had yet for him (the father didn’t give the boy everything he owned). No! He would have died among the pigs. Which is what happens to a Christian who turns from God to the pigsty of sin and abandons the family.

                And that one who does such loses eternal life.

                Don’t believe in that Prottie fantasy called “once saved – always saved.” It’s a damnable lie from the pit of hell.

                • MarcAlcan

                  When you are “saved,” you are adopted into God’s family by His grace.

                  What exactly are you saved from?
                  And what happens to you if you are not saved?

                  BTW, I have never believed in OSAS.

                • UsedToBeBaptist

                  This is a great article by Marcus Grodi. And great supporting arguments from the commenters. I plan to refer to this information often. Thank you for taking the time to put this together in one place.

      • Jeffrey Job

        The Bible Answer Man says, “a text without a context is a pretext.”
        It has been my experience that Protestants cut and paste verses to fit their beliefs all the time. Read the verse below.
        For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.

        Very often St Paul uses the word works not to refer to a faith filled response to the grace of Christ but to the works of the Jewish ceremonial laws like circumcision or unclean foods etcetera.

        Yet another reason amateurs shouldn’t be directing their own interpretations of Scripture.
        What do you do with this verse: “ they twist these, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” St Peter wrote this specifically referring to Paul’s writings.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      No…Our works will be examined to see if we merit REWARDS, NOT HEAVEN. Our Saviour told the disciples to…”rejoice that your names ARE written in Heaven”…(Luke 10:20.)-(See also John 6:28-29.)

      • Edward Hara

        That is NOT what those verses I posted say. You should go read them instead of spitting out a kneejerk Protestant reaction. They clearly state that Jesus will judge all mankind and “to those who have DONE GOOD, eternal life.” (Romans 2: 7)

        Argue with Jesus about what He said in His Word. I will continue to do good works because He commanded me to do them.

  • Iamcenturion

    Thanks for this article.  I had the same aha moments when I became an Orthodox Christian.  All of the sudden, the Bible made a whole lot more sense! 

    Another verse that popped out was Acts 8:30-31 in which the Ethiopian eunuch asks for an explanation of scripture.  There is was in black and white – an example against self-interpretation.  

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Here’s an even better safeguard both against what you term”self-lnterpretation”AND being spoon-fed contrived, bogus pseudo – interpretations: Proverbs 3:5-6:”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding:in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”(KJV)—Works for me, and has done so for almost 40 years. I can ALWAYS trust Almighty God to guide me straight and true – ALWAYS!!!

  • RA SS

    Jesus compare Himself with bronze snake, may also mean that Hi ask us to do the Crucifix John 3:14
    Church= Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:25-27
    Recognize the real Jesus in Holy Eucharist Luke 24:30 read from 13 to 35 Emmaus disciples.
    Intercession and also hell= Luke 16:19-31 a dead rich man, in hell, interceding for his brothers; asking, begging, to Abraham for help.
    Perpetual virginity of blessed Mary: Ezek. 44:2
    Mary mother of God: Luke 1:39-45 read verse. 43
    Enmity between snake offspring and Woman offspring: Genesis 3:15We all are offspring of Blessed virgin Mary: Rev. 12:17

    • SimpleTruth

      John 3:14 says the Son of Man, not the crucifix is to be lifted up. Remember we are to worship God in spirit and the crucifix is not a spirit.

      God reveals himself to his Church but Christ, not the pope is the head of the Church. Also, the Church respects the will of God revealed in Scriptures.

      Luke 24 is meant to be a memorial. Christ said it clearly: “Do this in memory of me.” He made one sacrifice for all and it’s done. Never to be repeated.

      Those in hell can no longer intercede. They can ask and beg all they want but no one listens to them. That’s part of their punishment – eternal separation from God and his people.

      Ezek 44:2 is not about perpetual virginity and it’s not about Mary. Mary’s virginity only lasted until Jesus’ birth. She had a husband and they had other children together.

      Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus but not the mother of God because God does not have a mother. God created Mary and a creature cannot be the creator’s mother.

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  • Sherry Harvey

    I am a convert to the church for 11 years now, but always learning and your article certainly has shown me scripture in a different light. Thank you for writing this. Honestly, I joined the church because it was just in my heart to do it. Though having been an evangelical for many many years, it was not scripture that brought me there, but rather an aching in my heart to be home and since I was a small child, I had this yearning to be here. It was saying the rosary that clinched the deal — I was made aware of the presence of our Mother while praying it; the room I was praying in suddenly filled with the essence of the same exact incense used during Holy Hour, even though I had no incense in my home. So my conversion went on for years, and Mary brought me in. Scripture continously confirms I was right to come. I look forward to more writings like this one.

    • Mark Dunmire

      Sherry, this is a wonderful response! I’ve found that the Rosary has so much more power than it is accredited. The Blessed Mother is a fantastic intercessor for our souls and is a prime example of how we should act as Christians. One of a few that were “full of grace” or without sin.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Sorry,Mark, but I am one of those to whom you’Il have to specifically show FROM SCRIPTURE who other than Jesus Himself was sinless.Knew no sin, did no sin, and IN HIM was NO SIN was said of NO ONE but Jesus, period.So…waiting.

        • MarcAlcan

          Sorry,Mark, but I am one of those to whom you’Il have to specifically show FROM SCRIPTURE who other than Jesus Himself was sinless.Knew no sin, did no sin, and IN HIM was NO SIN was said of NO ONE but Jesus, period.So…waiting.

          In Luke’s Gospel , Mary was addressed as Full of Grace.
          Everyone agrees that we are saved by grace.
          Now, even before the conception of Jesus, Mary was already declared as FULL of grace – hence no longer in need of any grace because she was already FULL of it. To be FULL of grace is an incredible thing for this means that there is no nook or cranny in one’s soul where God’s will is not being followed.

          This state of Mary in and of itself is a gift from God. This was how God WILLED it to be.

      • MarcAlcan

        One of a few that were “full of grace” or without sin.

        I don’t think this is correct. Except for Jesus, Mary is the only one without sin and full of grace.

  • Lagniappe

    Please consider St Peter’s second epistle, last chapter, verses 14-18. These are very illuminating in view of your clear bias toward understanding the above texts — your theological and exegetical have some content, but not context, However, the final verdict cannot possibly be the Roman Catholic Church — for, as we see it today and for the past millennial, did not exist as the be all/end all. I have selected the Douay Version to be fair for the vss still resonate with what I believe you (not personally but corporately) do quite often (apply as per Peter’s warning – vs 16-17). Vs 18 is the proper response.

    How strange to know (or within the last years or so, find these verses as a new revelation (really illumination) and make all the Catholic doctrine/dogma/bulls, and encyclicals profitable to the followers of Peter’s barque.
    Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent
    that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace
    And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our
    most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written
    to you
    As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in
    which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and
    unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own
    You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed,
    lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own
    But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
    Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity.

    The sage words of St. Peter in his Second Epistle – 3:14-18:

  • Lori Sanders Romes

    my aha moment came when I read in Corinthians about people being sick or dying from taking Communion unworthily…if its a symbol how can it make people sick or die? The other one was the two men walking on the road to Emmaus and it said in Luke…”He was known to them in the breaking of bread”….they didn’t recognize Him until then….then Communion was more than just bread.

    • Simple Truth

      The taking of the bread and drinking of the wine are to commemorate what Christ had done for us. If you take communion not believing that Christ died for you, then you desecrate the purpose of the memorial service. That’s what is meant by taking communion unworthily. But a memorial service is just that – a memorial. It’s not a repetition of the actual sacrifice made by Christ because that has been done and will never be done again.

      • Edward Hara

        You have no idea of what you speak. If this is so, why did the very first Christians state that it is the very Body and Blood of Christ in their sermons and homilies. Why was this the only way they celebrated it for 1500 years until the heretics of the Protestant Rebellion changed the idea of what communion is?

        You also utterly fail to recognize what the “once and done” sacrifice has reference to. It comes from Hebrews, especially chapter 10. You need to study Hebrews and realize that the sacrifice that is being spoken of is the sacrifice of Christ AS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST!!! That sacrifice is Yom Kippur, and it was made for the family of mankind, the new family under Christ’s Kingship. It has nothing to do with personal sins. Yom Kippur is a corporate sacrifice for the congregation of God.

        Your ignorance of these things is exactly why the Catholic Church, in Her divinely given wisdom, prohibited the uneducated from reading the Bible and developing all the erroneous ideas we see in the world today.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I’m sorry”IrishEddieOhara”, but I must be brutally frank with you:I can only assume that its a common failing among catholics as a whole, but you are absolutely no good at Biblical exposition, ATALL.Whatever your area of expertise is in life, Biblical theology is not it.Do us and yourself a favor, please:DON’T try to interpret Scripture, because you don’t know what you’re doing.

          • MarcAlcan

            Actually, it is the Protestants who are terrible at Biblical exposition. And that is only to be expected considering your founder brutally chopped up scripture. And this is to be seen in the exegesis of most protestants to this day.
            It is no wonder that you get stumped by verses you cannot reconcile with other verses.

          • Edward Hara

            Well, first of all, I was a Catholic hating Protestant bigot for 25 years, a student of the Bible in espousing all my Protestant heresies, so I think that in 25 years I have learned a little about the Bible. And it was the Bible, and a correct understanding of the covenant of God, that led me Home to Rome.

            Now, as for your current charge, why don’t you just show me where I am wrong instead of claiming that I am wrong. Show me the error you think I have made and let’s discuss it — from Scripture!

            • Jose Plascencia

              With all due respect I have to tell you that if you were a protestant for 25 years you should know better and be more sympathetic with those who dissent. By your own admission you were a “Catholic hating Protestant bigot” please do not become a “Protestant hating Catholic bigot”

              • papakevin

                If there is anything as bad as a Catholic hater, it is a Protestant hater.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I find it interesting, IrishEddieOhara, that YOU refer to Protestants as heretics, but your Church, your Pope, and your Catechism refers to them as”separated brethren”.Hmm…You’re not a hater, are you Eddie?

          • MarcAlcan

            A separated brethren can be a heretic.
            Technically a heretic is one who denies the faith. But most protestants don’t know any better. So I suppose the heretic label can only be applied to the instigators of the Protestant deformation.

          • Edward Hara

            No, I’m a realist. Heretic is the same word that our great Bishop of the faith, Bishop Nicholas, used to describe Arias. So did all the Early Fathers.

            What? Can’t stand a little truth?

            • Laurence Charles Ringo

              It’s Arius, and he was a heretic.So was one of your popes (His name escapes me at the moment. )—And..?What’s your point?

      • MarcAlcan

        But a memorial service is just that – a memorial. It’s not a repetition of the actual sacrifice made by Christ because that has been done and will never be done again.

        You have a lack of understanding of the word “remembrance” in Hebrew. It literally means “to make present”. So when Christ was instituting the Eucharist, He was basically saying “make this present”. And what is He asking to make present? His own sacrifice.

  • raymond langdon

    I am a life long Catholic and believe it not , I have naver met a Protestant whom know their Bible. I have discused the Faith with prechers and the laty if they can be called such.

    • SearchingForAnswers

      Maybe you have not met them in person but there are many protestants who are brilliant with the Bible. In fact the protestants are more familiar with their Bibles than most Catholics because they do not have a magisterium that interprets for them.

  • SearchingForAnswers

    I am a catholic but I realized there are huge problems with my religion. I know the church does not claim that Mary is a goddess but the teaching that she can intercede for us to God for the forgiveness of our sins is just too much to take. I think the Bible’s teaching is clear that only Jesus has been given authority to intercede to the Father for the forgiveness of sins. I believe the church needs to do something to correct this. Another problem I see is the teaching about purgatory. I believe this teaching runs counter to the teaching of the Bible that in Christ all our inequities are washed away and nothing remains that need cleansing in a place called purgatory. Again, I believe the church needs to remove this from its doctrines. Finally, I believe priests should be allowed to marry if they so desire and the church should not prevent them. In the Bible, Paul did not marry but the others including Peter did have families. Celibacy in the Bible is not made mandatory so why should be it be different in the church? I believe this practice is the cause of many church problems today where priests attempt to molest children and engage in illicit affairs with women. I believe the church needs to remove this requirement of celibacy. Afterall Jesus never required it on his apostles. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

    • lidiapurple .

      Gosh I can’t believe no one has bothered to reply to you.
      My friend, you are a Catholic, perhaps, but a very confused one. You have been very influenced by a protestant, right? Because it sounds like you want to change the Catholic Church into a protestant one.
      First and foremost, the Church cannot change anything on your laundry list of demands, except for the practice of married priests. This is not an unchangeable teaching like all the other things you listed. This is a practice that is subject to change and in fact, there are many Catholic priests in the Eastern Rite who do marry.
      I suggest you learn about those things that you find difficult to accept about your church. catholicdotcom is a good source. just type in Mary as intercessor, confession.. etc
      I will also be happy to dialog with you, but not in this com box

    • Edward Hara

      Sir (or Ma’am) please get the book THE DANCE OF ISAIAH by Patrick Seamus O’Hara. He is a convert to the Catholic faith after decades of hating and opposing the Church. His book will show you how to understand the Catholic faith and teachings by using the covenant of God as a key. You can find it on Amazon. God bless.

    • Teresa G

      Hello, SearchingForAnswers! Thank you for your comment and I hope you are still searching!! Have you taken a look at the Coming Home Network forums? You can ask questions and have discussions in that manner. Here is one featured forum discussion regarding purgatory:,9901.0.html It may be helpful in your understanding of our Catholic Faith.

      At present, as you are well aware, the Church takes its priests from those who have discerned a call to the celibate vocation (remember, we believe that God calls each person to a vocation — either serving Him married or serving Him unmarried). As a married woman and someone who has work for priests, I personally understand this decision. I cannot imagine my husband giving himself entirely to us, and entirely in service to the Body of Christ. I am not qualified to give you answers, but you may read the reasoning and musings of two married Catholic priests (currently, there are about 100 married Catholic priests in the USA, all of whom converts to the Catholic Church, previously ordained). This decision was made between the man, the local bishop, and — very importantly — the man’s wife. and

      I hope these things help you in your search! There are so many resources on this website, I have also benefitted greatly in my understanding of the Catholic Faith from Lighthouse Catholic Media. You can visit their website, or many churches have a kiosk of CDs and books in the back of the church. God bless!

  • bob blochowiak

    I am a revert being away from the Church for 40+ years, married a non-Catholic and was introduced to the evangelical world thru her. Needless to say my wife is not a happy camper with my return and we do get into some lively discussions. The primary draw back to the Church was and is the Eucharist which is another story for another day. I too read scripture that I hadn’t ever read before, if that makes any sense. When I attempt to share what I have discovered with my wife I’m told that I’m reading out of context. All that being said I read in wonderment the scripture I have read over for so many years. I think in part the missing of select scriptures was brought about by preaching around them. When ever John 6 was ever preached on it was taught that when Jesus said must eat my flesh really meant to read the word, to feed on the word and not EAT his body. Scriptures like this are always disputed as I am reading out of context when I share them with my wife. To say the least coming back to the Church has been a challenge which drives deeper into scripture and into the Catholic Church. The opposition causes me to dig even ever deeper to find out as much as I can about scripture and the Catholic Church. One reason I left the Church in the first place was because I just didn’t know enough about my faith to defend it, but that is changing. I know I’m rattling but I like to talk about my coming home, even with the the opposition it has been an enjoyable coming home. I pray daily that my wife will see what I see and join me, hope all this made sense_I’m done!

  • brother bricker

    Some efforts more often than not are aimed not at educating
    Catholics in their faith but at converting Protestants. Honestly, wouldn’t
    it be better to spend our precious resources of time and effort on saving those
    who do not even have contact with Christ’s teachings? One out of every 3 adults
    is un-churched; almost 100 million people do not attend church in the US alone.
    My affiliation doesn’t have a program to distance ourselves from our other
    brothers and sisters in Christ.

    • TM

      Great thoughts, brother bricker! St. Paul said there are many parts to the Body of Christ. The beauty of the unity and universality of the Catholic Church is that, while an individual Catholic Christian may be called to a particular ministry, he or she still remains within the unity of the Church. Mr. Grodi is a former ordained Protestant pastor. If you read the information about the Coming Home Network, you’ll see that this is primarily an organization that walks along side other pastors who are having the same concerns and taking the same journey as Mr. Grodi did so many years ago. After reading many of their stories, it seems as though it is a very lonely road with very few people to understand the things you are feeling and discovering. There are tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of missionary Catholics who tend to the unchurched, those who do not know Jesus. The Catholic Church, again being united and universal, is able to reach every corner of the world with the Gospel. Many of these Catholic missionaries have consecrated their entire lives to this mission as religious brothers, sisters, or priests (like the order of Missionaries of Charity – Mother Teresa’s, or Heart’s Home, or take a look at Wikipedia’s list: While they are all doing the work God has called them to do, just like that Coming Home Network, they/we are all united as one in the Catholic Church. This is a very beautiful aspect of the Catholic Church. I’m sure if you sifted through some of the conversion stories on this website, you would see that the men and women feel very blessed by their particular Christian background, and would not view their coming to the Catholic Church as distancing themselves from other Christians at all. I am not a convert, but their stories have been an inspiration to me.

  • brother bricker

    Wow friends, I just looked through the comments on this page and sense a lot of hate and anger. I pray that there is a lot of growth and coming closer to God as well.

  • MarcAlcan

    Well, it may suit your condescending arrogance

    Condescending arrogance? Said by someone who wrote: DON’T try to interpret Scripture, because you don’t know what you’re doing

    Pluck the beam from your eye please.

    neither you nor your church is in charge of the judgment and salvation of humanity

    And only the stupid will ever say that the Church ever claimed so.

    may suit you and those of your ilk to filter your version of ecclesiastical history through the lens of Catholicism

    You mean the way you filter yours through the faulty lens of Protestantism?

    Thank God Luther was’nt murdered by your”church”like Huss and Wycliffe

    You mean the way the Protestant murdered the Catholic martyrs? And the way Protestants persecuted the Anabaptists? Or are you not aware of that?

    I have studied the history of the roman catholic church for almost 25 years

    You mean you’ve read the lies that have been told about the Catholic Church. Big deal. Every Protestant ignorant of true Church history has heard one version or another.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      I am aware of everything that I post on these websites, MarcAlcan. I’ve not only studied ecclesiastical history, both Christian and secular, but the philosophies of same; what’s more, when I cite catholic history, it’s history written by honest catholic historians, as well as secular one who, as they say, have no dog in the fight. One of the best accounts of Christian history I have ever read was a book entitled”The Faith”, and the individual who wrote it was a secular historian. It’s not like the”warts and all”of ecclesiastical history is hidden under a rock somewhere, MarcAlcan; seriously, dude? Every vile, heinous, atrocious deed and action perpretrated by our perspective religions, both Catholic AND Protestant is on full historical display, so… Your accusations of…”lies that have been told about the Catholic Church”…frankly smacks of hysteria, and lets me know that further communication would be fruitless, so…I stand by all I’ve posted, and can ably defend my contentions, MarcAlcan. So…God bless you, and PEACE IN CHRIST!

      • MarcAlcan

        I’ve not only studied ecclesiastical history, both Christian and secular, but the philosophies of same

        Well then, how come your posts are full of misconceptions and ignorance?

        It’s not like the”warts and all”of ecclesiastical history is hidden under a rock somewhere,

        Indeed. That is why the painful ignorance of a lot of protestants about this is perplexing.

        Every vile, heinous, atrocious deed and action perpretrated by our perspective religions, both Catholic AND Protestant is on full historical display

        And yet you had the temerity to hurl invectives when you are equally deserving of it (even more so). Perhaps you were counting that we don’t know about the atrocities of the Protestants? Otherwise, why would you be attacking the Church for her persecutions when your persecutions are much more heinous?

        …”lies that have been told about the Catholic Church”…frankly smacks of hysteria

        No. It was your post that smacks of hysteria.

        Here’s an example: I cannot thank Almighty God enough for raising up Martin Luther and his predecessors and successors. You must be very happy about the fact that he severed so many from the Church Christ and is the instigator of the ever increasing different denominations. Hardly the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit unites, the devil divides.

        lets me know that further communication would be fruitless

        Is this your excuse to enable you to slink away from a discussion after having run out of a sound and sensible rebuttal?

  • MarcAlcan

    your arrogant, condescending, nonsensical drivel be more on display, sir?

    In contrast to your arrogant and nonsensical (and might I add ignorant) drivel which is on display?

    you actually believe that you are in charge of Almighty God

    No, but every Protestant seems to think they are. I mean, God already established His Church and yet every Tom Dick and Harry of a Protestant still think they can establish theirs. So who’s really arrogant?

    He saw fit, that no one would in fact be delivered from sin’s power and enslavement until the bogus, contrived, man-centered institution known as the roman catholic church was constructed

    Funny you saying that. Since God instituted the Church, you must have an issue with God. So take it up with Him.
    The Protestants remind me of Korah and his ilk in the book of numbers.

  • Teresa Grodi

    In Bible study the other night, I came across another verse that reminded me of 1 Tim 3:15. “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.” Esphesians 2:19-20.

    Wow! The *foundation* of the household of God are the apostles and prophets!

  • brother bricker

    I have long held the view that if the Pope at the time of Luther had had the foresight of the Pope at the time of St. Francis that today Lutherans would be an order of the Universal Church just as Franciscans are.

    • I have heard my father muse precisely that. : ) May we all grow in charity and humility! – JonMarc Grodi

    • OnlyOne001

      This could indeed be, Brother Bricker. I would like to think it possible. On the other side, however, Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has pointed out that Luther’s condemnation was based on a list of some 50 distinct heretical positions taken by Luther. (Link: ) If he had departed so far, so soon, and so stubbornly from the Catholic faith, it would be difficult for anyone to imagine that he and his followers could ever have been reconciled to the Church. Nevertheless, God’s grace sometimes does work miracles. In this case, sadly, whatever grace there may have been seems to have been spurned by all sides until the present day, where there is more willingness to work towards reunion.

      • brother bricker

        While Armstrong’s comments are interesting I found them to be also disparaging and denigrating and his use of such highfalutin words makes it hard to get his message. I doubt that they will help in the reconciliation process much if that was the hope. I wish he had used more quotes from the actual Hold Scriptures rather than RC dogma. I fear what he thinks of Calvin’s teachings which I follow, coming from the Reformed branch of the Church.

        • OnlyOne001

          What Armstrong outlines is simply a matter of historical record, Brother Bricker. Like you, I am very much into reconciliation, if that can be accomplished. If there was a way to reconcile those differences 500 years ago, we would not have to be dealing with them today. But such are human foibles, and I believe we can fairly say that there was fault on all sides.

          Now you say, “I wish he had used more quotes from the actual Holy Scriptures rather than RC dogma.” You must remember that Catholics are not Protestants and cannot be held to the same standards. Armstrong usually does use a lot of Scripture. After all, Catholic doctrine comes in great part from Scripture, the remainder from ancient Christian Tradition, just as Jewish doctrine before it came from both Scripture and Tradition. In this instance, however, Armstrong’s object was to show that Luther had departed from Catholic doctrine, so he used a doctrinal basis rather than a scriptural basis for his exposition.

          In another place, you complain of the harshness of tone of several of the commenters. I agree. Such an attitude, regardless of which side it comes from, is not Christian and has no place among us who claim to follow Jesus. Fortunately, there are good people posting here, too, from a variety of points of view, making it possible to dialogue as you and I are doing. That is the grace of God working in and among us, don’t you think?

          • brother bricker

            I appreciate your comments my friend. Blessings on this Lord’s day. Several devoted souls from my family have converted from the Reformed branch, which our family has been a part of since the 1600’s, to the Orthodox where scripture and tradition intertwine even more intensely than the Roman See. Through their roots they knew the Holy Spirit through the Liturgy and found that even more deliberate in Orthodoxy and a doctrine closer to the early churches of the Apostles.

        • brother bricker

          Several devoted souls from my family have converted from the Reformed branch, which our family has been a part of since the 1600’s, to the
          Orthodox where scripture and tradition intertwine even more intensely than the Roman See. Through their roots they knew the Holy Spirit through the Liturgy and found that even more deliberate in Orthodoxy and a doctrine closer to the early churches of the Apostles.

  • Anne-Marie

    I think purgatory is referred to by Christ in the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor:Matt 18:21-35. There are 2 slaves who both belong to the Master, When mercy is shown to the first, he does not imitate the Master and forgive his fellow slave.Because of this, the slave is taken to be tortured until he pays back his full amount. (Sounds like there is a dungeon sentence for some who though forgiven and belonging to the Master, failed in their Christianity by not imitating Jesus’s kindness and will not be able to be in His presence for awhile.)

  • Anne-Marie

    I also like Acts 5:15, where Peter’s very shadow heals people. This is not said of any other apostle. If Jesus is the Light, and one stands for the Light, between the Light and those sick persons, the shadow created by that person(Peter) heals with the authority of the Light(Jesus). Peter is standing in the place of Jesus. Also, it was Peter’s boat(ark) that Jesus chose to preach from. And in Greek: the “Feed my sheep/Tend my sheep” discussion on the seashore after the resurrection – the verb also means to “rule”.

  • This is so helpful. Thank you.

  • Amy

    Since you are reposting this article on your website you really should remove the horrible arguments that took place 3 years ago. They are insulting to all Christians.