257. The Word cannot be understood but by means of doctrine from the Word.
The doctrine of the church must be from the Word (n. 3464, 5402, 6832, 10763, 10765). The Word without doctrine is not understood (n. 9025, 9409, 9424, 9430, 10324, 10431, 10582). True doctrine is a lamp to those who read the Word (n. 10400). Genuine doctrine must be formed by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord (n. 2510, 2516, 2519, 9424, 10105). The Word is understood by means of doctrine formed by one who is enlightened (n. 10324). They who are in enlightenment form doctrine for themselves from the Word (n. 9382, 10659). The difference between those who teach and learn from the doctrine of the church, and those who teach and learn only from the sense of the letter, their quality (n. 9025). They who are in the sense of the letter without doctrine, come into no understanding of Divine truths (n. 9409, 9410, 10582). They fall into many errors (n. 10431). They who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, when they arrive at adult age, and can see from their own understanding, do not simply abide in the doctrinals of their own church, but examine from the Word whether they are truths (n. 5402, 5432, 6047). Otherwise every man's truth would be derived from others, and from his native soil, whether he was born a Jew or a Greek (n. 6047). Nevertheless such things as are become of faith from the literal sense of the Word, ought not to be extinguished till after a full view (n. 9039).
The true doctrine of the church is the doctrine of charity and faith (n. 2417, 4766, 10763, 10764). The doctrine of faith does not make the church, but the life of faith, which is charity (n. 809, 1798, 1799, 1834, 4468, 4672, 4766, 5826, 6637). Doctrinals are nothing unless one lives according to them (n. 1515, 2049, 2116). In the churches at this day the doctrine of faith is taught, and not the doctrine of charity, the latter being degraded into a science which is called moral theology (n. 2417). The church would be one, if men were acknowledged as members of the church from life, thus from charity (n. 1285, 1316, 2982, 3267, 3445, 3451, 3452). How much superior the doctrine of charity is to that of faith separate from charity (n. 4844). They who do not know anything concerning charity, are in ignorance concerning heavenly things (n. 2435). Into how many errors they fall who only hold the doctrine of faith, and not that of charity at the same time (n. 2338, 2417, 3146, 3325, 3412, 3413, 3416, 3773, 4672, 4730, 4783, 4925, 5351, 7623-7627, 7752-7762, 7790, 8094, 8313, 8530, 8765, 9186, 9224, 10555). They who are only in the doctrine of faith, and not in the life of faith, which is charity, were formerly called uncircumcised, or Philistines (n. 3412, 3413, 8093). The ancients held the doctrine of love to the Lord, and of charity towards the neighbor, and made the doctrine of faith subservient thereto (n. 2417, 3419, 4844, 4955).
Doctrine made by one enlightened may be afterwards confirmed by means of rational things, and thus it is more fully understood, and is corroborated (n. 2553, 2719, 2720, 3052, 3310, 6047). See more on this subject (at n. 51 above). They who are in faith separate from charity would have the doctrinals of the church implicitly believed without any rational intuition (n. 3394).
It is not the part of a wise man to confirm a dogma, but to see whether it is true before he confirms it, as is the case with those who are in enlightenment (n. 1017, 4741, 7012, 7680, 7950). The light of confirmation is natural light, and not spiritual, and may exist even with the evil (n. 8780). All things, even falsities, can be confirmed so as to appear like truths (n. 2480, 2490, 5033, 6865, 8521).