Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?


Page 174: Acts 9:36-37, 40-41. This passage - in relation to prayers for the dead, which Catholics accept and protestants deny - was suggested to me by my wife, Judy, as I was writing the preceding section. It had never occurred to me; I do not recall ever hearing such an argument made, and I was quite excited at the apologetic possibilities contained in this passage.

Note: Saint Peter prayed to God and God raised Tabitha from the dead.

Acts 9:36-43 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought himhis hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner. 

Note: This miracle was used as a witness to the public at Joppa and many believed in Jesus Christ.


Pages 174-175: I readily grant that the example is unusual, because of the uniqueness of praying to raise someone from the dead (as distinguished from a prayer that aids someone in purgatory), and I agree that the Apostles had extraordinary powers of healing, so that this is not exactly a normative state of affairs, although even great miracles like these have occurred through the years. Nevertheless, it seems indisputable that here St. Peter literally prayed for a dead person, as far as that goes - which Protestants say is not permitted by, and supposedly not recorded in, the Bible.

Note: Saint Peter was simply following through on the command of Jesus Christ to raise the dead.

Matthew 10:5-10 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.


Page 175: Furthermore, we have another familiar example of the same thing: Jesus praying for Lazarus, just before he was raised by the Lord: "Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me. I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me" (John 11:41-42). There is no recorded prayer at the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:35-43). Protestants would no doubt argue in reply that this was the Lord Jesus and an even more unique case; but we are commanded to imitate him (including in prayer; for example, the Lord's Prayer), and it remains an example of prayer for the dead. The Bible informs us that the disciples raised people from the dead (Matt. 11:5; Luke 7:22) and that Jesus told them that they would be able to, and should, do so (Matt. 10:8). So they went out and did it, presumably with the use of prayer for that end. Thus, they prayed for the dead.

Note: The author of Catholic Verses ignores the purpose of raising people from the dead that living people will believe.

John 11:23-27 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Note: Do you believe in Jesus Christ now for eternal life?


Page 177: Furthermore, these acts would probably not have occurred but for the prayers. God has power over life and death and is entirely sovereign, but he involves human beings and incorporates their prayers into his providence. None of these people came back to life until they were prayed for. Thus it is God's will and an entirely scriptural practice to pray for the dead. If it were not God's will for men to pray for such things, he would not have honored the prayer, and the dead person would not have been raised (1 John 5:14-15). Therefore, to rule out this practice is impossible, if we are to be true to the Bible.

Note: The author of Catholic Verses is out of the will of God.

John 6:39-40 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Note: Do you believe in Jesus Christ now for eternal life?


Page 177: That there exists a certain middle ground or intermediate state between salvation in heaven - never to be undone or reversed - and earthly existence, is a fact illustrated precisely by these instances of raising the dead. But under a strict Protestant eschatological interpretation, a person dies and is then immediately judged and granted eternal life in heaven or eternal damnation in hell. This conclusion is often bolstered by citing Hebrews 9:27: "It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment." It is assumed that judgment occurs not merely after death, but instantaneously upon death. But the text does not demand such an interpretation.

Note: Saint Paul never taught purgatory or an intermediate state of limbo.

Philippians 1:19-23 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Note: Jesus Christ is in heaven not in purgatory or an intermediate state of limbo.


Page 178: Therefore, in Scripture there is such a notion as an intermediate state, at least in some cases, however rare. This brings us back to an earlier point: if indeed it is possible for a person to be in this intermediate state and to be brought across the great line between life and death by prayer, then it seems equally plausible and possible by prayer to cause a person to advance in purgatory, following the principle laid down by Jesus when he said that it is easier to say "Your sins are forgiven" than to heal a man physically.

Note: Saint Stephen never believed in purgatory or an intermediate state of limbo.

Acts 7:54-59 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Note: Jesus Christ is in heaven not in purgatory or an intermediate state of limbo.