The truths enunciated by her divine founder were deep in her heart and fresh in her memory; she was busily engaged in imparting these orally to mankind. Christ wrote nothing; neither did He command the apostles to write. He commissioned them to teach His doctrines to all mankind.
"Go ye into the whole world", He said, "and preach the gospel to every creature". The apostles fulfilled the command of Christ by their oral preaching. Peter, Matthew, John, James and Jude, supplemented their preaching by writing.
It is well to remember, however, that the Church was a going concern, a functioning institution, teaching, preaching, administering the sacraments, saving souls, before the New Testament saw the light of day.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: THE MOTHER OF THE BIBLE
The Catholic Church is not the child of the Bible, as many non-Catholics imagine, but its mother. The canon or list of books which make up the Old and New Testaments was determined by Catholic Church. The declaration of the Catholic Church that the books of both the Old and the New Testaments are all inspired by God constitutes the sole authority for the universal belief of both Catholics and Protestants in their inspired character.
The Catholic Church is the mother of the New Testament. It was written in its entirety by Catholics. If she had not scrutinized carefully the writings of her children, rejecting some and approving others as worthy of inclusion in the canon of the New Testament, there would be no New Testament today. If she had not declared the books composing the New Testament to be the inspired word of God, we would not know it.
With the possible exception of St. John, none of the apostles ever saw all the writings which now make up the New Testament. If the Church had not preserved the Bible, shielding it from the attacks of barbarians, copying it in her monasteries throughout the long centuries before the art of printing was invented, the modern world would be without the Bible.
The Catholic Church derives neither her existence nor her teaching authority from the Bible. She had both before the New Testament was born; she secured her being, her teachings, her authority directly from Jesus Christ. That "the Bible alone privately interpreted is the sole rule of faith" is something not found in the Bible itself. It would exclude from Christianity the countless millions who have not been able to read... Read more...