Skip to comments.What Is the Magisterium and Why Do We Need It?
Posted on 07/27/2006 12:06:07 PM PDT by NYer
All Christians can agree on this, that the Bible is Gods authoritative and inspired word, and ought to govern the faith and life of the Christian community. Whats in accord with Scripture is good. What contradicts Scripture must be rejected.
Opposition in the Name of Fidelity Someone Has to Have the Last Word Speaking with the Authority of Christ
The Protestant reformers, inspired with zeal for Gods word, went one step further. Under the banner of sola scriptura they proclaimed the Bible as the only infallible authority for Christians. That meant that both Tradition and Church authority could be opposed in the name of fidelity to Scripture.
Funny thing, however: from the outset of the Reformation, the movement that agreed on the supreme authority of the Bible disagreed bitterly on what the Bible said. The Protestant church was divided from the beginning. Nearly 500 years later, we see thousands of competing churches claiming the same Bible and sola scriptura heritage.
Thats because the Bible is a collection of written documents. And one of the truths about all written documents, even if they happen to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, is that they can be interpreted differently by different people.
The founding fathers of America knew this. Thats why in addition to providing a Constitution for the United States, they set up a court system to serve as the ongoing, living authority to interpret and apply that written document. If the country was to maintain its unity, someone in every generation would have to be entrusted with the authority to determine what was in accord with the Constitution and what was not. In the USA, thats the responsibility of the Supreme Court.
We can also see this operating in organized sports. Every sport has a rule book. But in baseball for example, bitter arguments arise as to whether a ball is fair or foul, and whether a runner is safe or out. Umpires therefore are an absolute necessity in every game, so that someone has the final say on how the rules are interpreted and applied.
The Lord Jesus Christ is certainly no less wise than the Founding Fathers of the US government and the commissioner of baseball. In establishing His Church, He did not Himself write anything, except in sand (Jn 8:8). Instead, He established the college of the Apostles, gathered around Peter, as a living teaching authority, entrusted with passing on and teaching all that theyd received from Jesus. They did this through oral instruction and eventually some writings. Through the laying on of hands, which we know as the sacrament of Holy Orders, the Apostles in turn entrusted their teaching authority to their successors, called bishops, and imparted to them the same charism of truth that theyd received from the Holy Spirit (CCC 861-862).
These successors discerned which of the many Christian books and letters bearing names of Apostles actually were authentic and deserved to be regarded as sacred Scripture. Thanks to them, the phoney gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene are not read every Sunday in our churches. They also passed on and interpreted apostolic traditions that were not written down in the New Testament books, like the practice of meeting for weekly worship on Sunday, the day of the Lords Resurrection, rather than Saturday, which was the Jewish Sabbath. Finally, they were the ones responsible to authoritatively interpret and apply the sacred Scriptures amidst dispute and controversy, such as the fourth-century controversy over the divinity of Christ.
This teaching role of the successors of the Apostles, gathered around the successor of Peter, is called the "Magisterium, which simply comes from the Latin word for teaching office. The Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God coming to us through Scripture and Tradition. Instead, the Magisterium is clearly under its authority it is the servant of the Word. Its role is to faithfully safeguard the truth about God and His plan for our lives which came to full expression in the teaching and saving work of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. It is not to add to Gods revelation or to subtract from it, only to faithfully interpret and apply it (CCC 85-86).
The Magisterium is supposed to function much like the Supreme Court at its best, or like a good umpire. But there are a few very big differences. Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the official baseball rulebook are documents inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible, on the other hand, is. Neither the Supreme Court nor the World Series umpires have received a promise of special divine assistance. But the successors of the Apostles have. Speaking to Apostles, Jesus said he who hears you, hears Me (Lk 10:16). The Magisterium speaks with the authority of Christ, guided and empowered by the Spirit of Truth.
So ultimately there is no opposition between the Bible and the Magisterium of the Church. In fact they are so interdependent that the New Testament itself calls the Church the pillar and bulwark of the truth (I Tm 3:15). Biblical authority and Church authority you cant have one without the other.
Someone Has to Have the Last Word
Speaking with the Authority of Christ
Been many moons since I was concerned about diagramming sentences...
Actually, the text doesn't allow this interpretation. "God" is in the genitive case, but "pillar" and "ground" are in the nominative:
Although I don't disagree that God is genitive, I'd say it's pretty difficult to determine from the sentence structure where pillar and ground fit in...
If after God there was no comma, but an 'and', an 'or', or even a 'but', I can see where pillar and ground could be nominative...But there is a comma...
You may say that the 'original' doesn't have a comma...But I'd like to point out that without a comma, the sentence wouldn't be much of a sentence...AND, the Douay-Rheims bible, copied from the Vulgate has the exact wording and comma as the KJV...
In conclusion, I'd say the answer lies in the rest of the scripture...And I'd also says it's pretty conclusive that Jesus Christ is the 'ground' (the Chief Cornerstone, the Foundation,) of the church...That makes God the 'pillar' (stulos- a post (style), that is, (figuratively) support: - pillar.)...
You need to learn what private interpretation is...I didn't see any interpretation...It's call believing what you read while comparing scripture with scripture...
What is this, Judaizer propaganda? Yours is an extremely minority opinion, both inside the Catholic Church and outside.
Acts 20:7 is describing a Havdalah (after the Sabbath) meal. If you notice Paul is speaking until midnight which would be the first part of the first day of the week....having begun at sundown. He is expecting to leave the next morning (Sunday) a normal work and travel day. Acts 20:7 This says nothing about a religious service.....it is a meal!
1 Corinthians 16:2
This is a collection for the poor in Jerusalem. See Romans 15:25 and Acts 11:28-30. This is not in any way shape or form a religious service.
See post #20.
What in the world does this have to do with Sunday? The Lord's day was nothing more than the Apostle John being brought forward in vision to Joel 2:31," The Terrible Day of The Lord." Remember, John was in the spirit [Revelation 4:2]....not sitting on the beach at Patmos some Sunday morning!
From The Didache
This is not scripture....it is tradition. That is the main problem with your Magesterium....it is mostly human tradition.
Explain Matthew 28:1 to me, convincing me that our Saviour did not rise on Sabbath afternoon about sundown. I realize that you cannot do this as it destroys your entire theology. You also cannot show me a specific command by Jesus or the Apostles to ignore the Sabbath and celebrate "The Day of the Sun."
Man, you're arrogant.
And they disagreed with... whom? Luther said when they disagree with me that is the same as disagreeing with the Holy Ghost. There are many Luthers.
I agree that He didn't abolish the Ten Commandments and all the moral laws, but I disagree that we are still under bondage of the Mosaic laws. Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and we are only under His law.
Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith.
For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law."
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for "the one who is righteous by faith will live."
But the law does not depend on faith; rather, "the one who does these things will live by them."
Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,"
that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I think that is patently obvious there is now a new law and that law is Christ that we are under.
I don't evade anything. I don't kill Christians for being deceived....would you? Pay special attention to verse 13.
But you are going against the law! The Lord commanded the Israelites to put to death a man who collected sticks on the Sabbath. See Numbers 15:32. What good is the law if you're going to make exceptions to the rule? Which one of you Saturday Sabbath keepers is going to come forward and stone us Sunday worshiping Christians?
Well, I can answer your dilemma for you. It's right in the book of Hosea 2:11
And I will cause all her mirth to cease, her solemnities, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her festival times.
Here we come full circle to what St. Paul was saying that those things were shadows. And... Hosea 2:20
"And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
Now, why don't you explain to me why your Magesterium cannot understand the simple language of Matthew 28:1?
Oh they understand it my friend. Their magesterial ancestors were living it!
Matthew 24:5.....If you are betting on the majority you are betting on the wrong horse! Many shall come and lead many astray!
Can you explain the very clear language of Matthew 28:1?
Our Lord and St. Paul are speaking against the tradition of the Pharisees, and Paul specifically against the notion that non-Jews must accept the law.
I notice you did not include the Magesterium in that grouping. Step in the right direction!
Your job is to tell where I am wrong. You need to quote chapter and verse. If that is not possible for you to do... we cannot lower our discussion to this level. I'm sorry you feel that way.
Where did he tell us to ignore the Sabbath? Where is the Biblical command to honor Sunday?
The Lord commanded the Israelites to put to death a man who collected sticks on the Sabbath. See Numbers 15:32
There is currently not a "Nation of Israel" under the direct Law of God. There was at that time. There will be again, I'm sure. In the meantime I will obey the commandment not to kill..... as should you.
I can answer your dilemma for you. It's right in the book of Hosea 2:11
I guess you don't understand that the Lord has given Israel a bill of divorce here and these actions are intended to be a punishment.
How come no one can tell me why the Magesterium cannot properly interpret the plain language of Matthew 28:1?
Neither the Greek, nor the Vulgate for that matter, has commas (or even spaces for that matter). Punctuation wasn't invented yet.
From your comments you appear to be unfamiliar with the nature of the Greek language. In Greek (also in Latin), nouns are "declined" according to their case: they actually change in form. For instance, "theou" is the genitive form of "theos," God. Likewise, "ekklesia" (church) is a nominative, and so are "stulos" and "hedraio^ma." (pillar and foundation) If they weren't nominatives, but rather genitives agreeing with "theou," they'd have a different word-form.
AND, the Douay-Rheims bible, copied from the Vulgate has the exact wording and comma as the KJV...
Rheims note/commentary on 1 Tim. 3:15:
15 "The pillar and ground of the truth"... Therefore the church of the living God can never uphold error, nor bring in corruptions, superstition, or idolatry.