The Catholic Church teaches primarily from the New Testament. So, yes, in one respect, the Church does teach from the Bible, if you consider the
Bible to include the New Testament.
In terms of the Old Testament, I would say that most Catholics are less familiar with the Old Testament than the New Testament. In Catholicism, for
the laity, a lot more emphasis is placed on the sacraments, the Mass itself, with less emphasis on studying the Bible.
However, for priests and monks and nuns, and a minority of Catholic laity, they do undergo a very thorough training on the Bible. Some even go so far
as to learn Hebrew, and to study traditional Jewish texts, such as the Talmud, the Mishnah, etc. Some learn Greek and, in the pre-Vatican II years,
Latin was almost universally learned even by Catholic school children.
The very word, Catholic, means universal. It's a religion for the masses, so they have to deliberately make the religion accessible to all. The
basics of the Bible are taught, as a result.
In some respects, there are many aspects to Catholicism that are extra-biblical -- meaning there are traditions that are not Biblically-based. One
example is the Rosary, which is not mentioned in the Bible. I would also state that the use of statues and icons is also extra-biblical, and some
outsiders would even perceive as being idolatrous.
While there are many issues that stand out about Catholicism, perhaps the most incongruent with the Bible is the use of statues and the veneration
given to the Blessed Mother Mary. The Protestants, for example, were very critical of the Church use of statues, and some Protestant sects - such as
the Amish - prohibit statues and even pictures of any kind in their homes and religious buildings to this very day. For Jews and Muslims, these
Catholic practices of using statues go directly against the second commandment's instructions to serve G-d and G-d alone.
The Church believes in intercession by the saints. There are some instances in the Bible that lend credence to this tradition, but they are rather
unique and require extensive explanation which is rather strained.
I was watching a video series on Hasidic Judaism, and they discussed how some Jews will pray for the deceased to intercede on their behalf to G-d.
This is a form of intercession, but again, this is not the norm. Catholics, on the other hand, believe in intercessors of all kinds - saints, the
Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, etc
Some people believe that the whole point of Catholicism is to bring the Gentile nations to be instructed in the 7 Noahide laws. For the most part,
Catholicism has been instrumental in spreading the Hebrew Bible all over the world, moreso than even Judaism could have ever imagined. In faraway
places, Gentiles learn about the Bible, far removed from the land of Israel. In this respect, the Church has succeeded.
You have to remember that the Church was started by a Jewish rabbi, and its earliest followers were all Jewish. It was only later when the gospel was
preached to the Gentile nations - such as Greece and Rome - where we see a breakdown in Jewish norms, culture, and religious tradition. In Rome, when
Constantine adopted Catholicism as the state religion, the pagan temples were altered only slightly so that the Mass could be said in the stead of
pagan religious rituals. As a result, Catholicism has adopted a lot of the flavor of Roman paganism as a result - such as the use of statues,
intercession of saints, worship that from the outside appears to be related to sun worship, etc.
Insofar as Biblical translations, the Hebrew is the original - in the New and the Old Testament. Even the Catholics botched much of the translation
into Latin and later English. I have found that only by going back to original Jewish sources - specifically, the Orthodox Jewish tradition - can you
make any sense of Scripture in its original context. This mistranslations of words in the Bible are remarkably common.
edit on 26-8-2012 by CookieMonster09 because: (no reason given)