18 Catholic Doctrines Absent from Biblical Texts

SharePinEmailThere are many different denominations of Christianity, each with its own interpretation of the Bible. However, some aspects of these denominations have no basis in the Bible. Here we’ll examine Catholic doctrines that are not supported in the Bible. Calling Priests Father Let’s start with one of the most obvious differences between Catholicism and many…

There are many different denominations of Christianity, each with its own interpretation of the Bible. However, some aspects of these denominations have no basis in the Bible. Here we’ll examine Catholic doctrines that are not supported in the Bible.

Calling Priests Father

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Let’s start with one of the most obvious differences between Catholicism and many other Christian denominations. Catholics call priests “fathers” as a sign of respect, but this religious title does not come from the Bible. The early Christians did not call church leaders “fathers”. The practice became more common hundreds of years later.  

Transubstantiation

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One major area that separates Catholicism from other denominations is transubstantiation. This refers to the bread and wine used during mass keeping their outward appearance, but changing completely to become the body and blood of Jesus. Although the Eucharist is established in the Bible, the specific Catholic explanation is not supported. 

Purgatory

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Catholics take the concept of heaven and hell from the Bible a little further with a place called purgatory. This is a place where sinners go to ask God to be pardoned. Purgatory allows a person’s soul to be cleansed to be able to enter paradise.

Papal Infallibility

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Another distinct teaching within Catholicism is papal infallibility. Catholics believe that the pope is the voice of Christ on earth, so he is preserved from any errors on matters of morals or faith. Although Matthew does describe Jesus giving Peter the keys to heaven, the overall concept of papal infallibility is not explicitly in the Bible. 

Justification

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The Catholic doctrine of justification is based on faith resolving itself out of love, rather than faith alone. While many denominations have the righteousness of God universally justified by faith, Catholics believe in original righteousness, where man can change through faith and is prevented from being wholly involved in sin. 

The Immaculate Conception

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Catholics believe that Jesus’ mother Mary was preserved from original sin in the concept of “immaculate conception.” Mary is “blessed among women” and “full of grace” in the Bible, but immaculate conception only became proclaimed dogma in 1854. 

A Devotion to Mary

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Mary plays an important role in the Catholic church as the mother of Jesus and a spiritual being in her own right. Some devotions include the Rosary and Hail Mary, but there are also other practices such as the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal. 

Mary as a Mediator

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In the Bible, Jesus is described as the only mediator between us and God, but Catholics believe that Mary can also act as a mediator. Catholics pray to Mary to intercede with God on their behalf or to directly intervene as the Mother of Jesus. 

The Assumption of Mary

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This Catholic doctrine states that Mary was taken into heaven body and soul. Although there is a description in Revelation of a woman with a crown of 12 stars on her head, Catholics take this as a symbolic description of Mary. 

The Communion of Saints

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The communion of saints is a Catholic belief that all of the Church including the living and dead are as one. All faithful followers of Christ, past, present, and future are one community. This means that you can plead your case to a saint to intercede on your behalf. 

The Seven Sacraments

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Catholics recognize the seven sacraments instituted by Jesus. This includes baptism, Eucharist, penance or confession, confirmation, anointing of the sick, matrimony, and holy orders. While these are mentioned in the Bible, Catholicism sets them in stone. 

Original Sin

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Catholic theology includes the doctrine of original sin, which is developed from an interpretation of Genesis. The fall of Adam prompted a belief that human nature can be redeemed by Jesus to absolve our inherent sin through baptism. 

The Seven Deadly Sins

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While many may have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, these do not feature in the Bible, yet still play a role in the Catholic Church. The sins of pride, lust, envy, anger, sloth, gluttony, and covetousness are considered transgressions against divine law in Catholicism. 

The Cathedral Command Structure

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Catholics have a vertical constitution of the Cathedral which includes the Ordained Company. It defines roles and leadership that don’t feature in other denominations and are not covered in the Bible. 

Halos

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Halos are depicted in Catholicism with reverence. They feature in artwork showing depictions of Jesus, Mary, and other Biblical figures. This makes the frescos, sculptures, and other artwork in Catholicism very distinct compared to other denominations. 

But the halo has no basis in the Bible. Many believe it to have pagan origins since natives used a crown of feathers or flowers to represent a relationship with the sun god. 

The Rosary

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Catholics use Rosary Beads to pray. These beads were invented in 1090 AD and were made popular in 1208 AD by St Dominic. There are “decades” of prayers including Hail Mary, The Lord’s Prayer, and Glory Be. Each prayer is repeated according to the placement of the beads on the Rosary.  This repetition of prayers is not featured in the Bible, but it is a key component of Catholic worship. 

Baptism with a Little Water

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In the Bible, Matthew describes Jesus being baptized with a full immersion into the River Jordan. In Catholic practices, baptism involves just a sprinkling of holy water at the font. The priest typically places just a few drops of water during the baptism rather than fully submerging the child or person. 

Catholics Within the Christian Community

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Catholics account for approximately half of the total Christians in the world. According to research, the Catholic Church was 48% Christian in 1910, increasing to 50% by 2010. 

While there are some key differences between the denominations and Bible interpretations, the massive Catholic population has influenced other denominations. There are also some very compelling similarities between Catholicism and other Christian denominations. So, even if you don’t fully agree with Catholic doctrine, remember to practice love for your fellow Christians. 

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