Hi I haven't been around much this weekend until today with family here from out of town.
What I meant by the bible being a Tradition of the church is that for the first 400 years of Christianity there was no bible canon. It was a tradition of the early Christians to read from the torah and other literature and eventually some of the letters such as those of Paul were deemed to be worthy enough to make it into the canon (thus making them equal to the OT).
So the bible is a direct product of the Catholic Church. It is one of its Traditions.
Then I think I didn't explain myself about Catholics being ignorant about the bible. I apologize to Mike. I really wasn't mad at you. It's just that when you type you can't show your facial expressions or tone of voice.
I think Catholics don't realize that those stories IS learning about the bible. Catholics have never focussed on this verse or that verse. But the bible didn't originally have verses or chapters. That was an addition I believe from the 13th century!!! And just try to imagine skipping from chapter to chapter when there were only scrolls LOL.
Plus the early Christians had NO bibles to read from. All they had was the Tradition of listening to whatever was being read during their services. This is not even to speak of the Jewish Tradition which goes back even further. Rabis didn't hold services at synagogues and jump from chapter to chapter or they would spend over an hour scrolling. Can you just imagine? The way people learned the scriptures for 5000 years was by listening to parts of it being read at the services. And if you weren't listening, well then you didn't learn. Period.
The entire Mass is taken directly from the bible. Every part of it. What the Catholic church has traditionally focussed on was bringing the bible to life. That's why it's called the "Living Mass". That's why the colorful windows which depict bible stories. For most of human history, 90% of the population was illiterate. So the only way they could learn what was in the bible was by LISTENING to it and the pictures helped jog their memories. That's how people were taught the bible.
True Mass was in Latin prior to Vatican II, but people forget that in Catechism a Catholic was taught the meaning of the Mass which is taken right from the Bible.
I think the misconception is that there are different ways to study the bible. And people are impressed with a person who can jump back and forth and find this scripture or that. But people forget that that is a relatively new approach to the bible (only less than 200 years old for the common laity). That's not a historical or Traditional way to learn what is in it.
After Vatican II, the Catholic Church realized that its people needed a more in depth approach to studying the bible. So then more modern bible studies began to be offered. But the Church has always cherished the scriptures and I'm sure no Catholic can claim that they didn't learn to love the bible from the Catholic Church. In fact, even protestants have the Church to thank for that. Without the Traditional role of the Church to canonize, preserve, protect, copy, translate, the bible, it would not have survived to this day.
Now, whether what is in it is truly inspired is a subject for debate. But that's not what I am talking about here.