One of the statements that Catholic e-pologists like to throw around against Protestantism is the relativism and disunity of private interpretation. While Protestants look to the scriptures for authority on faith-based issues, Catholics look to the authority of their visible church organization.
“"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” CCC 85
Based on these claims by Catholics you would assume that a church-approved commentary of the Bible would exist to lead Catholic laypeople, especially Catholic apologists, to the correct interpretation of each biblical passage. Yet nothing even close to such a thing exists. In fact, very few biblical passages have been officially defined by the RCC.
“The Church has no official commentary on Scripture. The pope could write one if he wanted, but he hasn’t. And with good reason: Scripture study is an ongoing, developing field. To create an official commentary on Scripture would impede the development of this field.” Catholic Answers
I guess 2000 years (if you believe the RCC’s claim to history) is not quite long enough to figure out the truth. While some Protestants have written commentaries on the entire Bible in their own lifetime, the “infallible” RCC has been unable to even attempt the same in 2000 years.
“As far as I have been able to document, only seven passages of Scripture have had their senses partially (not fully) defined by the extraordinary magisterium. These definitions were made by the Council of Trent…” Catholic Answers
Off the top of my head, I do not no how many verses there are in the bible, but seven is certainly a very, very small percentage. Catholics keep telling me that the RCC has the “fullness of truth” - I think it would be more honest to say “a very slow development of truth”.
Where does that leave the Catholic apologist (e-pologist)?
“The liberty of the Scripture interpreter remains extensive. Taking due consideration of the factors that influence proper exegesis, the Catholic Bible interpreter has the liberty to adopt any interpretation of a passage that is not excluded with certainty by other passages of Scripture, by the judgment of the magisterium, by the Church Fathers, or by the analogy of faith. That is a great deal of liberty, as only a few interpretations will be excluded with certainty by any of the four factors circumscribing the interpreter’s liberty” Catholic Answers
Seems to me that much liberty could lead to chaos, and it does. Anyone who has interacted with more than one Catholic e-pologist knows that before long they begin to contradict each other.
But more to the point, how can the interpretation of a biblical passage by any Catholic apologist even be entertained? If their own infallible authority has only been able to define 7 passages of scripture over 2000 years, the apologist/e-pologist cannot have the integrity or the authority to even attempt to interpret scripture on their own. If they do, they fall into their own “private interpretation” trap so carefully, but foolishly, set for the Protestants.