Exaltation of Scripture.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
– John 1:14
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
– Romans 10:17
Many opponents of Catholicism, particularly from Protestant groups, have a strange habit of exalting Scripture declaring it as the only authority for believers. Whenever reading “the Word of God” they think written pages forgetting that the Word of God existed before any language or text. An odd exclusion of any teaching source besides printed, bound Bibles causes misunderstanding of God’s nature and ignorance of history.
After the death of Christ, the apostles did not carry around Bibles or even scrolls. They preached orally and spread the faith by word-of-mouth.
Moreso, when reading “Scripture” these people assume a fully-competed Old and New Testament. The New Testament is a product of the Church. In the 4th century, all the New Testament Gospels and letters were gathered, decided upon by council and put into the Bible we have now. Moreover, dangerous assumption that the only Word of God is written Scripture contradicts what history tells us about Christians. Throughout early centuries, a majority of Christians were illiterate. Few if any possessed written Bibles. They learned the Gospel in churches, hearing it read aloud and seeing it pictured in stained-glass.
Absurdly, some pastors go so far as to claim God’s only communication with believers is via written Scripture. If this is true, then Christians for centuries have been hopelessly lost in darkness- even the apostles themselves.
God’s Word is a Being, transcendent, beyond paper and letters. His Spirit communicates with believers everywhere. Whether people are illiterate, blind, handicapped, lost in the wilderness or without a Bible, God still speaks. Christ’s sacrifice and the merits thereof bring salvation- not Scripture. Helpful, wondrous and invaluable as it is, Scripture doesn’t teach everything, it can’t deliberate in church councils or suffer martyrdom.
From a Living God, the Living Word, grace, salvation and mercy comes.