Author Topic: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?  (Read 668 times)

Offline St. Columba

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Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« on: January 14, 2019, 05:42:03 PM »
Fr Ripperger says that swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin, because that particular Bible, by not having all of the books, is an incomplete work, and therefore to swear on it is contrary to the principle of the integral good.

This seems problematic to me. 

First, the Bible is only part of revelation anyway. 
Second, translations of the bible are bound to contain some deviations from the original meaning in the original languages, hence, at least to my mind, swearing on an English Catholic bible would be even worse than swearing on a Protestant Bible in the original languages, from the idea of the priniciple of the integral good.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 05:46:45 PM by St. Columba »
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 05:49:00 PM »
This seems goofy since it seems also acceptable to me to swear on just a New Testament, or a book of the Psalms, or even a Missal (as was the case when LBJ took his oath on Air Force One following Kennedy's assassination, despite not even being Catholic).

But if one wants to bring their own Bible whenever they might expect to go to court, be my guest.
 
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Offline St. Columba

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 06:00:58 PM »
I possibly made a mistake in the OP:  Fr R rejects the idea of swearing on the protestant bible, because, "Protestant bibles often contain error and lack the canonical books proper to the Catholic scriptures" (pg 14 of his book, The principle of the integral good). His argument had more to do with the fact that Protestant Bibles probably have errors.  However, he does seem to be also saying that lack of books alone would make the act of swearing on it sinful.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 06:04:43 PM by St. Columba »
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 07:45:32 PM »
I possibly made a mistake in the OP:  Fr R rejects the idea of swearing on the protestant bible, because, "Protestant bibles often contain error and lack the canonical books proper to the Catholic scriptures" (pg 14 of his book, The principle of the integral good). His argument had more to do with the fact that Protestant Bibles probably have errors.  However, he does seem to be also saying that lack of books alone would make the act of swearing on it sinful.

Your original instinct seems right to me this seems problematic. As HK mentioned, it seems like it would be proper to swear on a New Testament or Psalter; swearing on a KJV, if that's the bible at hand, hardly seems like you're proclaiming Tobit is non-canonical.

Also, I think the matter of Protestant error in Protestant translations is WAY overblown. Especially if you are talking about the KJV and not something like the NIV or some super-modern translation, the errors are minimal, and I think most of the things usually alleged are not *really* errors. But I think this argument makes more sense than the "lacking canonical books" argument.

However, I don't think either really holds water. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if and when I swear on a bible, I don't feel like I'm swearing on the ink and paper under my hand, but on "the Bible" itself, of which the book on which my hand is resting is but a representation.
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 10:00:29 AM »
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if and when I swear on a bible, I don't feel like I'm swearing on the ink and paper under my hand, but on "the Bible" itself, of which the book on which my hand is resting is but a representation.

That's really the crux of the matter here.

When some conservative articles were raising a stink not long ago about some new members of Congress who were taking their oaths on the Koran (because they were Muslim, obviously) instead of the Bible, I just thought to myself, "would you rather they took an oath on something they didn't hold sacred like Christians do?" On that note, I'd also prefer if practical atheists didn't swear on the Bible, either.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 02:33:31 PM »
I haven't read Father's book. What exactly is the principle of the integral good?
 

Offline St. Columba

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 07:56:07 PM »
I haven't read Father's book. What exactly is the principle of the integral good?

Around the 13:00 minute mark he defines it (in part) and gives examples: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudio/Tulsa/Music.mp3

I have some misgivings regarding the principle, as well as how Fr R applies it.  But, I want to give him a fair hearing on this, so I bought the book, and am slowing plowing through it.  He also seems to have St. Thomas is his corner on this one, so I do not want to dismiss the notion prematurely.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 08:00:59 PM by St. Columba »
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 08:46:57 PM »
Fr Ripperger says that swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin, because that particular Bible, by not having all of the books, is an incomplete work, and therefore to swear on it is contrary to the principle of the integral good.

This seems problematic to me. 

First, the Bible is only part of revelation anyway. 
Second, translations of the bible are bound to contain some deviations from the original meaning in the original languages, hence, at least to my mind, swearing on an English Catholic bible would be even worse than swearing on a Protestant Bible in the original languages, from the idea of the priniciple of the integral good.

If I may give my private opinion -

In addition to the fact that this opens up an entire can of unresolved worms (Is it sinful to swear on the Masoretic Bible or the Septuagint Bible? What about the Vulgate, which contains variations and discrepancies from the previous two? What about the Slavonic Bible?), it doesn't matter if the Bible is incomplete - they are still Holy Books and contain Holy Words in them.

I think what matters to God foremost is your intention - and if you intend to swear on the Word of God to tell the Truth, even if it's a flawed translation, your oath is your word.


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Offline Daniel

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 05:58:06 AM »
Well I'd have to read the book in order to judge fairly, but my first reaction is that there must be something wrong with that principle. Because most Catholic philosophers would side with St. Augustine on this: all "things" are good, and all "defects" are evil. But the principle of the integral good, if I now understand it correctly, says something entirely different: it says that all things with defects are totally evil. By this standard even Catholic bible translations are totally evil, since all of them--even the Vulgate--contain at least some error. Additionally, this principle would seem to imply that all material objects are totally evil, since all material objects are defective in one way or another.
 
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Offline Howard Kopsho

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2019, 08:27:40 AM »
Fr Ripperger says that swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin, because that particular Bible, by not having all of the books, is an incomplete work, and therefore to swear on it is contrary to the principle of the integral good.

This seems problematic to me. 

First, the Bible is only part of revelation anyway. 
Second, translations of the bible are bound to contain some deviations from the original meaning in the original languages, hence, at least to my mind, swearing on an English Catholic bible would be even worse than swearing on a Protestant Bible in the original languages, from the idea of the priniciple of the integral good.
Ripperger is a total ass for stating that swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin. There is nothing wrong with Protestant versions of the Bible. I read both the Catholic and Protestant versions of the Bible.
 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2019, 09:23:35 AM »
I think the primary intention of swearing on the Bible is to swear by the God who is revealed in the Bible. So I don't see any "integral" problem with swearing on an incomplete Bible. By the same token, I think swearing on a text of the Creed would have the same authority as swearing on the Bible, although someone might dispute that by saying that sacred scripture has an authority unique to itself.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Swearing on a Protestant Bible is a sin?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2019, 09:51:28 AM »
I think the primary intention of swearing on the Bible is to swear by the God who is revealed in the Bible.
That might be the case, but, if it is, why not just swear on God? Why drag the Bible into it? As I understand it, there are two kinds of oaths: 1.) swearing on God, and 2.) swearing on creatures. I take swearing on the Bible to be an instance of the latter.