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I have heard that, although Catholics use the Bible, their faith is not solely based upon it. I have heard it said that for Catholics, tradition precedes the Bible, and that is why there are some practices and doctrines that the Church has that cannot be found in the Bible. The alleged reasoning behind this is that tradition predates the Bible and it's the tradition that influenced the making of the Bible. I'm not sure about this though. Is it true that the Catholic Church has some beliefs that override the Bible, or are not based upon it? I'm sorry if this sounds stupid, but I don't really have a clue.

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Highly related: What is the difference between Magisterial teaching and Sacred Tradition in Roman Catholicism?. In fact, the answer there probably answers your question. –  Ryan Frame Dec 6 '13 at 18:17
And welcome to Christianity SE! –  Ryan Frame Dec 6 '13 at 18:18
Is any Christian faith purely based on the Bible? Nope. –  Dan Dec 6 '13 at 21:02
Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your question (which was good), it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Dec 7 '13 at 0:08

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Is the Catholic faith purely based on the Bible? No. Is it largely based on the the Bible, and is the Bible the most sacred text in the Catholic faith? Yes.

There are lots of important parts of Catholic theology that are extrabiblical traditions, and generally not believed by Protestant congregations who consider themselves "purely" based on the Bible. Protestants are not "purely" based on the Bible, either. It is entirely possible both churches would be purely based on the Bible, but the Bible doesn't answer every question people like to ask.

Here is one belief that deviates from the Bible in both churches: the virginity of Mary after giving birth to Jesus. If someone believes anything on that subject, they have exceeded the scope of the Bible.

Certainly the Bible says that Mary was a virgin when she conceived, through the time when she gave birth to Jesus (see Matthew 1:23-25). The Bible does not talk about her sex life after that. In Protestant churches, many people believe Mary would have had a normal sex life with her husband Joseph, even going on to bear more children. Evidence: Jesus has siblings. In the Catholic church, the official belief is that Mary was eternally a virgin -- that is, throughout her entire life, she never had sex. Jesus' siblings are explained away by other extrabiblical traditions: perhaps Joseph was a widower, and had children from another wife; perhaps the translation is incorrect, and the words for "brother" or "sister" should truly be translated as "cousin".

Both beliefs are based on things outside of the Bible. Because the Bible doesn't say one way or another.

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Does the bible say that Mary was a virgin? That is a point of contention: "That may especially be likely with the change from "virgin" to "young woman" in Isaiah, which has drawn a great deal of media attention, Jeffrey told the National Catholic Reporter." nbcnews.com/id/42215497/#.UqIa2tJDtqw –  The Freemason Dec 6 '13 at 19:08
Matthew 1:23-25 say pretty clearly that Mary was both a virgin when she got pregnant, and a virgin throughout her pregnancy. "23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." KJV –  philipthegreat Dec 6 '13 at 19:17
I thought it relevant to the discussion. Many Protestant churches advertise themselves as "Bible-based". To me, that's meant to create contrast, like when an advertiser selling Egg Nog writes "Does not contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup" on the package. –  philipthegreat Dec 6 '13 at 22:26
It's not reasonable to say that the Bible says nothing about Mary's continued virginity. Given that it does clearly state that Jesus had brothers and sisters, and given that the Bible gives no reason for her continued virginity, Occam's Razor means that the best explanation is she had sex with Joseph. –  curiousdannii Dec 7 '13 at 0:32
@FMShyanguya I don't understand your point. She was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus and slept with Joseph later. This is the most straightforward interpretation. –  curiousdannii Jul 24 '14 at 6:19

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