Having knowledge in names is inevitable especially in our time. In traveling, it is important to know the name of our destination, otherwise, we may probably lose our way. Also, we must not call a rose as gumamela, or a gumamela as rose. It could be misleading to believe the adage “a rose by any name is sweet still“ because there is a right term intended for all things, persons, places or events.
Obtaining a good name is a serious matter to consider. There are persons who were even forced to do extreme measures just to attain a good reputation. They even spend most of their wealth to clear and defend their name in the society. This kind of concern can be found in the Bible. In the writings of King Solomon in Proverbs chapter 22, verse 1, it says:
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
And in Ecclesiastes 7:1,
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
In the religious world, we need to be more conscious and concern regarding the usage of names, titles or terms. We feel sorry for persons who don’t pay attention on this matter. Studying this important subject may consume time, but neglecting it may cause us to suffer disparaging consequences. Let us read Proverbs 14:12.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
We encourage you, dear friends and foes, to dedicate your patience and time in examining some issues about faith. Our subject will be particular in comparing titles such as Church of God and Catholic Apostolic Roman Church.
Church of God or Catholic Apostolic Roman Church?
The term Catholic Apostolic Roman Church was not familiar to early Christians. It was also never used and mentioned by the apostles in preaching the true congregation established by God. They used the term Church of God, instead.
To prove that, let us have a rundown of verses that contain the term Church of God.
(Act 20:28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
(1Co 1:2) Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
(1Co 10:32) Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
(1Co 11:22) What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
(1Co 15:9) For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
(2Co 1:1) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
(Gal 1:13) For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
(1Th 2:14) For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
(2Th 1:4) So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
(1Ti 3:5) (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
(1Ti 3:15) But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
There are eleven (11) verses in the Bible containing the term Church of God. On the other hand, we cannot read even a single verse; neither apostles nor early Christians used the name Catholic Apostolic Roman Church. We can check that with the aid of available digital Bible searchers.
If their doctrines are truly apostolic, or if they are really obeying the will of God written in the Bible, why didn’t they use the title taught by the apostles which was written eleven times in the scriptures? Instead, they used titles unknown by the Bible.
An Attempt To Prove The Claim Biblically
An anonymous arguer named Parabanog, a Catholic member, voiced out his belief by drawing a verse from the Scriptures. He is one of the active advocates of Mr. Abe Arganiosa, a priest riding on issues against Bro. Eli just to gain popularity. Parabanog is aware that he cannot prove the authenticity of his church’s name by merely reading verses from Tagalog or any versions of the Bible; thus, he referred to the Greek Interlinear Bible to support such claim. Let us read the verse he used, in the Book of Acts written by St. Luke to Theophilus, in chapter 9 verse 31 of the scripture it says,
Acts 9:31 Greek Interlinear Bible
ho men oun ekklesia kata holos ho ioudaia, kai galilaia, kai samareia echo eirene oikodomeo kai poreuomai ho phobos ho kurios kai ho paraklesis ho agios pneuma plethuno
According to Parabanog, the word catholic was derived from two Greek words kata and holos. In Latin, it is catholicus borrowed from Greek word katholikos. The Greek adjective comes from the word katholou which means “generally”, “universally” based on kata (down) and holos (whole). Take note, katholikos is a Greek adjective according to Parabanog.
Parabanog wrote: “EKKLESIA KATA HOLOS. Sabi sa dictionary yung salitang catholic, galing sa dalawang salitang griyego: kata holos. Today’s Good Word comes to us from Latin catholicus “universal”, borrowed from the Greek katholikos. The Greek adjective comes from the word katholou “generally, universally”, based on kata “down, according to” + holos “whole”.
If we will follow Parabanog’s explanation, it is very clear that the word catholic is not a translation of kata holos but rather a coined word. Having comparisons among other translations of the Bible, we can see that the term “throughout” or “throughout all” is used instead of “universally” or “generally”.
(Las Sagradas Escrituras Version) Las Iglesias entonces tenían paz por toda Judea, Galilea y Samaria, y eran edificadas, andando en el temor del Señor; y con consuelo del Espíritu Santo eran multiplicadas.
(Latin Vulgate) ecclesia quidem per totam Iudaeam et Galilaeam et Samariam habebat pacem et aedificabatur ambulans in timore Domini et consolatione Sancti Spiritus replebatur
(BIBLIA) Sa gayo’y nagkaroon ng kapayapaan ang iglesia sa buong Judea at Galilea at Samaria palibhasa’y pinagtibay; at, sa paglakad na may takot sa Panginoon at may kaaliwan ng Espiritu Santo, ay nagsisidami.
(MKJV) Then, indeed, the churches had rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and having been built up. And having gone on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were increased.
(ASV) So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.
(KJV) Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
(ISV) So the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace. As it continued to be built up and to live in the fear of the Lord, it kept increasing in numbers through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
Even in Spanish and Latin rendition, it was never translated as catholica nor catholicus as like what Parabanog claims. Thus, the accurate and correct translation for ekklesia kata holos is not Catholic Church but “church through out” or “church through out all”.
Another thing to notice, kata holos or throughout all is not an adjective, making it misleading to translate it as catholic. The word “throughout” is a preposition, usually used as an adverb. In Acts 9:31, words “throughout all” didn’t modify the word church but they indicate unto where the peace was being enjoyed.
“So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace…” – ASV
In addition to that, it could be an anachronism if we believe that the church is universal during the first century A.D. As the word catholic implies, it could not be applicable during St. Paul’s time. The Catholic Church was not developed until several hundreds years have passed after the New Testament was written. There are countries that were not yet reached by the time St. Luke wrote Acts 9:31. Even in our present time, there are nations that do not have catholic churches still, especially in some parts of the Middle East.
If the right term for ekklesia kata holos is Catholic Church, why did their authorities not publish versions of the Bible where we can be able to read their coined term? Even Catholic translators did not and may never attempt to translate it to Catholic Church. Although, we know that their church, being wealthy and powerful, is capable of producing billions of versions of the Scriptures where they can correct Acts 9:31. The Catholic Church was also known for burning versions of the Bible to deviate from the Biblical doctrines which are against their personal desires. They even intentionally burned believers who pursued to translate the Bibles in understandable languages .
Thus, the title Catholic Apostolic Roman Church is not Biblical. It is just a mere eisegesis of someone who claims to be wise and prudent.
When did the term Catholic Apostolic Roman Church originated?
Now, we have proven that the name Catholic Apostolic Roman Church is not Biblical. Apostles never preached it and early Christians never mentioned it. Never, not even once. What we must believe and use is the name attributed to the owner – Church of God.
So, when did the name Catholic Apostolic Roman Church originated? According to “Discourses on the Apostles’ Creed” by Rev. Clement H. Crock, page 191 says,
It is very evident that the name Catholic Apostolic Roman Church was not known by first century Christians and never been taught by apostles for it was only officially used almost 1,700 years after Christ’s death. It was just formed upon the decisions of bishops at the Vatican Council.
Thus, we can safely believe that it neither originated from Christ nor apostles, for it has been used more than a millennium after the New Testament was written. It is a man-made belief.
In our discussion, we have provided evidences and arguments that refute the claim Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as being Biblical. The name was not used by Christ, apostles and early Christians. The Greek term kata holos must not be translated as catholic. It was not also used to describe the church in Acts 9:31 for kata holos is not an adjective. Anachronism will surely be committed for the “term universal church in first century A.D.” could be in the wrong historical period.
Thus, it is safe and better to believe and use the name Church of God instead of a name foreign to the Bible.
We rest our case.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!