I’m hosting weekly apologetics gatherings with some guys around town. So far, we have only met twice, but I thought I’d work up a bit of a summary of the verses we’ve covered so far. These are verses a Catholic should have underlined in their Bible. Catholics should also have a few notes in the margin near these verses. Not only does this refresh your own recollection when you open your Bible, you will have a ready resource at your fingertips should anyone ask you why you believe what you believe or why you do what you do.

We have started with some pretty basic concepts. We started with verses that show that Christ’s plan was to leave a Church behind, so the Apostles and all subsequent generations could rely on an identifiable institution with regard to their Christian faith. With a discussion of the Church, we also covered the papacy, authority, infallibility and we have begun the sacraments.

So pull out your Bible (your 73 book Catholic translation) and underline and notate the following verses.

1. The Church as an institution, not simply individuals with personal relationships with Jesus.

a. Matthew 16:13-20
b. Matthew 18:17-18
c. Matthew 28:18-20
d. Mark 16:15
e. Luke 10:16
f. 1 Timothy 3:15
g. John 17:17-23

2. Authority of the Church.

a. The Pope & Infallibility.

i. Matt 16:18-19
ii. Isaiah 22:22
iii. Rev. 3:7
iv. Luke 22:32
v. Matthew 28:20
vi. John 21:15-17
vii. John 14:16, 26
viii. John 16:12

b. The Apostles.

i. Matt 18:18
ii. Luke 10:16
iii. Mark 16:15

Before I move to the first sacrament we have discussed, I thought I’d point out that these are merely the verses we discussed. The discussion is not included in this blog because much of what we discussed was simply the product of reading the verse and commenting on what comes to mind as we read it. The fact is, we cannot explain our faith by using another person’s words or interpretation. We have to be able to read Scripture and then discuss it based on the experiences we have had in our lives. These experiences are certainly homilies at Mass, religion classes we had as a youth, speakers at conferences, Bible studies and retreats. But they are also our private prayer, discussions with our family members, spiritual reading, quiet contemplation and the challenges we have come to know in our lives.

The fact is, people don’t care how much we know unless they know how much we care. If we can speak from our hearts when we try to share the beauty and truth of our faith, we are speaking in human terms (Romans 6:19). If we simply repeat something we have learned from Steve Ray, Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, Patrick Coffin, Dr. David Anders or any other great Catholic apologist, we may find ourselves merely talking at another person. But if we can learn from these great apologists (and others) then reflect on how our personal life can demonstrate these facts, we will find ourselves speaking with the other person.

When we discussed baptism, we focused on the following:

  • John 3:1-15
  • Matt 28:19
  • Mark 16:16
  • Acts 2:38
  • Col 2:11-12
  • 1 Peter 3:21
  • John 4:14 & 7:37-39.
  • Ezekiel 36:25-27 & 37:12-14
  • Luke 2:21-24 (This one is an excellent proof that Jesus took on the faith of his parents when he was an infant. This is one reason why we baptize infants in the Catholic Church. I obtained this argument by way of Steve Ray).
  • Luke 23:40-43

We also looked at the Catechism of the Catholic Church on baptism, specifically the following paraghraphs:

  • Generally 1999-2023
  • 1213
  • 1215
  • 1257- 1259

There are certainly many more Bible passages which help explain the Scriptural proof of the Catholic Church, but these should get you started. I recommend that you spend time with your Bible, looking at these verses as well as the the paragraphs that come before and after these verses, as this will put the message into context. Jot down a few notes on a small sticky note and paste it right into your Bible. I found the sticky notes to be of significant value when I recently purchased a new Bible. My old Bible was falling apart, so I purchased a new Bible with the idea that I’d simply transfer my notes from my former Bible to my new one. I had gotten as far as Exodus when I came to realize just how substantial a task this was going to be. Each time I turned the page and found a sticky note that I could simply pull out and stick in my new Bible it was a cause for celebration. Sticky notes also give you the convenience of not having to scratch out misspellings and other errors in your notes. You can just throw the errant sticker away and write a new one.

Cheers.