Many non-Catholic Christians have at times asked what is meant when one speaks of the fullness of Christian teachings in Catholicism and how can the Catholic faith claim to possess this fullness. For those who know the history and lineage of the Holy Bible, it is recognized the Bible’s origin is the Catholic Church. The many versions today and the alterations that are contained in those versions range from a subtle difference to a major redefining of what was intended in the original volumes dependant on the founder of the particular system of beliefs that took it for his or her own use while promoting their own assumptions of what it teaches. But the common factor among the majority of protestant denominations is the assumption that any person can read verses from scripture and determine what it means to them personally. Those verses that conflict with either the individual’s personal interpretation or the system of beliefs of their denomination are routinely disregarded as though holding no significance and this is a common practice.
The reason the Catholic faith is referred to as the fullness of the teachings of Christ or of Christianity is because in Catholicism, no verse is disregarded. The bible can, when kept in its entirety offer its own confirmation as to the accurate interpretation from one verse as compared to another. No verse in scripture is to be considered insignificant or to be disregarded, but all to be recognized as the “Inspired Word of God”. The practice of reading one verse or passage and self interpreting it while disregarding other verses or passages that conflict with ones self interpretation is misguided as scripture does not conflict with itself. When a person concludes through their own interpretation that a particular verse means one thing but opposes or conflicts with something else in scripture, it is a flawed interpretation. This is not to say there are parts of scripture that can speak to us personally but scripture in its entirety brings forth the intended teachings of Christ, not the intended opinions or desired wishes of others. By discovering we have interpreted a verse that does conflict with another verse, we should immediately go back and reconsider what the first verse is intending to tell us.
In Catholicism, all scripture is valid and to selectively choose to interpret some verses to support what seems more flexible or suitable to us and disregard those that conflict with our opinions, is to diminish the very intent and validity of all scripture, as there is nothing to validate our own choice in passages or verses with our personal interpretations as more valid than that of the verses we disregard.
An example of the many losses Christians suffer due to the disregard of parts of scripture in Protestantism as apposed to the true relationship one can embrace in understanding Christ's teachings in their fullness, one can reflect on the existence today of over thirty thousand non-Catholic denominations, all teaching or proclaiming various differences in their systems of belief. Yet according to scripture we are told; “God is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship (solidarity) of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians CH1: vs9-10). As the source of the Holy Bible and the one Church founded by Christ to teach and guide the faithful until the consumation of the world, it stands to reason that the fullness of Christianity can be found within her.
Let us consider the totality of scripture and its origin that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit in truth and not misled by false direction.