Skip to comments.SCRIPTURE ALONE ("SOLA SCRIPTURA")
Posted on 01/24/2007 8:41:04 AM PST by Joseph DeMaistre
Scripture I. Scripture Alone Disproves "Scripture Alone"
Gen. to Rev. - Scripture never says that Scripture is the sole infallible authority for God's Word. Scripture also mandates the use of tradition. This fact alone disproves sola Scriptura.
Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15 - those that preached the Gospel to all creation but did not write the Gospel were not less obedient to Jesus, or their teachings less important.
Matt. 28:20 - "observe ALL I have commanded," but, as we see in John 20:30; 21:25, not ALL Jesus taught is in Scripture. So there must be things outside of Scripture that we must observe. This disproves "Bible alone" theology.
Mark 16:15 - Jesus commands the apostles to "preach," not write, and only three apostles wrote. The others who did not write were not less faithful to Jesus, because Jesus gave them no directive to write. There is no evidence in the Bible or elsewhere that Jesus intended the Bible to be sole authority of the Christian faith.
Luke 1:1-4 - Luke acknowledges that the faithful have already received the teachings of Christ, and is writing his Gospel only so that they "realize the certainty of the teachings you have received." Luke writes to verify the oral tradition they already received.
John 20:30; 21:25 - Jesus did many other things not written in the Scriptures. These have been preserved through the oral apostolic tradition and they are equally a part of the Deposit of Faith.
Acts 8:30-31; Heb. 5:12 - these verses show that we need help in interpreting the Scriptures. We cannot interpret them infallibly on our own. We need divinely appointed leadership within the Church to teach us.
Acts 15:1-14 Peter resolves the Churchs first doctrinal issue regarding circumcision without referring to Scriptures.
Acts 17:28 Paul quotes the writings of the pagan poets when he taught at the Aeropagus. Thus, Paul appeals to sources outside of Scripture to teach about God.
1 Cor. 5:9-11 - this verse shows that a prior letter written to Corinth is equally authoritative but not part of the New Testament canon. Paul is again appealing to a source outside of Scripture to teach the Corinthians. This disproves Scripture alone.
1 Cor. 11:2 - Paul commends the faithful to obey apostolic tradition, and not Scripture alone.
Phil. 4:9 - Paul says that what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do. There is nothing ever about obeying Scripture alone.
Col. 4:16 - this verse shows that a prior letter written to Laodicea is equally authoritative but not part of the New Testament canon. Paul once again appeals to a source outside of the Bible to teach about the Word of God.
1 Thess. 2:13 Paul says, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us.. How can the Bible be teaching first century Christians that only the Bible is their infallible source of teaching if, at the same time, oral revelation was being given to them as well? Protestants cant claim that there is one authority (Bible) while allowing two sources of authority (Bible and oral revelation).
1 Thess. 3:10 - Paul wants to see the Thessalonians face to face and supply what is lacking. His letter is not enough.
2 Thess. 2:14 - Paul says that God has called us "through our Gospel." What is the fullness of the Gospel?
2 Thess. 2:15 - the fullness of the Gospel is the apostolic tradition which includes either teaching by word of mouth or by letter. Scripture does not say "letter alone." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Christian faith through its rich traditions of Scripture, oral tradition and teaching authority (or Magisterium).
2 Thess 3:6 - Paul instructs us to obey apostolic tradition. There is no instruction in the Scriptures about obeying the Bible alone (the word "Bible" is not even in the Bible).
1 Tim. 3:14-15 - Paul prefers to speak and not write, and is writing only in the event that he is delayed and cannot be with Timothy.
2 Tim. 2:2 - Paul says apostolic tradition is passed on to future generations, but he says nothing about all apostolic traditions being eventually committed to the Bible.
2 Tim. 3:14 - continue in what you have learned and believed knowing from whom you learned it. Again, this refers to tradition which is found outside of the Bible.
James 4:5 - James even appeals to Scripture outside of the Old Testament canon ("He yearns jealously over the spirit which He has made...")
2 Peter 1:20 - interpreting Scripture is not a matter of one's own private interpretation. Therefore, it must be a matter of "public" interpretation of the Church. The Divine Word needs a Divine Interpreter. Private judgment leads to divisions, and this is why there are 30,000 different Protestant denominations.
2 Peter 3:15-16 - Peter says Paul's letters are inspired, but not all his letters are in the New Testament canon. See, for example, 1 Cor. 5:9-10; Col. 4:16. Also, Peter's use of the word "ignorant" means unschooled, which presupposes the requirement of oral apostolic instruction that comes from the Church.
2 Peter 3:16 - the Scriptures are difficult to understand and can be distorted by the ignorant to their destruction. God did not guarantee the Holy Spirit would lead each of us to infallibly interpret the Scriptures. But this is what Protestants must argue in order to support their doctrine of sola Scriptura. History and countless divisions in Protestantism disprove it.
1 John 4:1 - again, God instructs us to test all things, test all spirits. Notwithstanding what many Protestants argue, God's Word is not always obvious.
1 Sam. 3:1-9 - for example, the Lord speaks to Samuel, but Samuel doesn't recognize it is God. The Word of God is not self-attesting.
1 Kings 13:1-32 - in this story, we see that a man can't discern between God's word (the commandment "don't eat") and a prophet's erroneous word (that God had rescinded his commandment "don't eat"). The words of the Bible, in spite of what many Protestants must argue, are not always clear and understandable. This is why there are 30,000 different Protestant churches and one Holy Catholic Church.
Gen. to Rev. - Protestants must admit that knowing what books belong in the Bible is necessary for our salvation. However, because the Bible has no "inspired contents page," you must look outside the Bible to see how its books were selected. This destroys the sola Scriptura theory. The canon of Scripture is a Revelation from God which is necessary for our salvation, and which comes from outside the Bible. Instead, this Revelation was given by God to the Catholic Church, the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
II. "All Scripture is Inspired"- 2 Tim. 3:16-17
2 Tim. 3:14 - Protestants usually use 2 Tim. 3:16-17 to prove that the Bible is the sole authority of God's word. But examining these texts disproves their claim. Here, Paul appeals to apostolic tradition right before the Protestants' often quoted verse 2 Tim. 3:16-17. Thus, there is an appeal to tradition before there is an appeal to the Scriptures, and Protestants generally ignore this fact.
2 Tim. 3:15 - Paul then appeals to the sacred writings of Scripture referring to the Old Testament Scriptures with which Timothy was raised (not the New Testament which was not even compiled at the time of Paul's teaching). This verse also proves that one can come to faith in Jesus Christ without the New Testament.
2 Tim. 3:16 - this verse says that Scripture is "profitable" for every good work, but not exclusive. The word "profitable" is "ophelimos" in Greek. "Ophelimos" only means useful, which underscores that Scripture is not mandatory or exclusive. Protestants unbiblically argue that profitable means exclusive.
2 Tim. 3:16 - further, the verse "all Scripture" uses the words "pasa graphe" which actually means every (not all) Scripture. This means every passage of Scripture is useful. Thus, the erroneous Protestant reading of "pasa graphe" would mean every single passage of Scripture is exclusive. This would mean Christians could not only use "sola Matthew," or "sola Mark," but could rely on one single verse from a Gospel as the exclusive authority of God's word. This, of course, is not true and even Protestants would agree. Also, "pasa graphe" cannot mean "all of Scripture" because there was no New Testament canon to which Paul could have been referring, unless Protestants argue that the New Testament is not being included by Paul.
2 Tim. 3:16 - also, these inspired Old Testament Scriptures Paul is referring to included the deuterocanonical books which the Protestants removed from the Bible 1,500 years later.
2 Tim. 3:17 - Paul's reference to the "man of God" who may be complete refers to a clergyman, not a layman. It is an instruction to a bishop of the Church. So, although Protestants use it to prove their case, the passage is not even relevant to most of the faithful.
2 Tim. 3:17 - further, Paul's use of the word "complete" for every good work is "artios" which simply means the clergy is "suitable" or "fit." Also, artios does not describe the Scriptures, it describes the clergyman. So, Protestants cannot use this verse to argue the Scriptures are complete.
James 1:4 - steadfastness also makes a man "perfect (teleioi) and complete (holoklepoi), lacking nothing." This verse is important because "teleioi"and "holoklepoi" are much stronger words than "artios," but Protestants do not argue that steadfastness is all one needs to be a Christian.
Titus 3:8 - good deeds are also "profitable" to men. For Protestants especially, profitable cannot mean "exclusive" here.
2 Tim 2:21- purity is also profitable for "any good work" ("pan ergon agathon"). This wording is the same as 2 Tim. 3:17, which shows that the Scriptures are not exclusive, and that other things (good deeds and purity) are also profitable to men.
Col. 4:12 - prayer also makes men "fully assured." No where does Scripture say the Christian faith is based solely on a book.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 - Finally, if these verses really mean that Paul was teaching sola Scriptura to the early Church, then why in 1 Thess. 2:13 does Paul teach that he is giving Revelation from God orally? Either Paul is contradicting his own teaching on sola Scriptura, or Paul was not teaching sola Scriptura in 2 Tim. 3:16-17. This is a critical point which Protestants cannot reconcile with their sola Scriptura position.
III. Other Passages used to Support "Sola Scriptura"
John 5:39 - some non-Catholics use this verse to prove sola Scriptura. But when Jesus said "search the Scriptures," He was rebuking the Jews who did not believe that He was the Messiah. Jesus tells them to search the Scriptures to verify the Messianic prophecies and His oral teaching, and does not say "search the Scriptures alone." Moreover, since the New Testament was not yet written, the passage is not relevant to the Protestant claim of sola Scriptura.
John 10:35 - some Protestants also use this verse "Scripture cannot be broken" to somehow prove sola Scriptura. But this statement refers to the Old Testament Scriptures and has nothing to do with the exclusivity of Scripture and the New Testament.
John 20:31 - Protestants also use this verse to prove sola Scriptura. Indeed, Scripture assists in learning to believe in Jesus, but this passage does not say Scripture is exclusive, or even necessary, to be saved by Jesus.
Acts 17:11-12 - here we see the verse "they searched the Scriptures." This refers to the Bereans who used the Old Testament to confirm the oral teachings about the Messiah. The verses do not say the Bereans searched the Scriptures alone (which is what Protestants are attempting to prove when quoting this passage). Moreover, the Bereans accepted the oral teaching from Paul as God's word before searching the Scriptures, which disproves the Berean's use of sola Scriptura.
Acts 17:11-12 - Also, the Bereans, being more "noble" or "fair minded," meant that they were more reasonable and less violent than the Thessalonians in Acts. 17:5-9. Their greater fairmindedness was not because of their use of Scripture, which Paul directed his listeners to do as was his custom (Acts 17:3).
1 Cor. 4:6 - this is one of the most confusing passages in Scripture. Many scholars believe the phrase "don't go above the line" was inserted by a translator as an instruction to someone in the translation process. Others say Paul is quoting a proverb regarding kids learning to write by tracing letters. By saying don't go above line, Paul is probably instructing them not to be arrogant. But even if the phrase is taken literally, to what was Paul referring? The Talmud? The Mosaic law? The Old Testament Scriptures? This proves too much for the Protestant because there was no New Testament canon at the time Paul wrote this, and the text says nothing about the Bible being the sole rule and guide of faith.
Rev. 1:11,19 - Non-Catholics sometimes refer to Jesus' commands to John to write as support for the theory that the Bible is the only source of Christian faith. Yes, Jesus commands John to write because John was in exile in Patmos and could not preach the Word (which was Jesus' usual command). Further, such a commandment would be limited to the book that John wrote, the Book of Revelation, and would have nothing to do with the other Scriptures.
Rev. 22:18-19 - some Protestants argue against Catholic tradition by citing this verse, "don't add to the prophecies in this book." But this commandment only refers to the book of Revelation, not the entire Bible which came 300 years later.
Deut 4:2; 12:32 - moreover, God commands the same thing here but this did not preclude Christians from accepting the Old Testament books after Deuteronomy or the New Testament.
Tradition / Church Fathers I. Scripture Must be Interpreted in Light of Church Tradition
Those, therefore, who desert the preaching of the Church, call in question the knowledge of the holy presbyters, not taking into consideration of how much greater consequence is a religious man, even in a private station, than a blasphemous and impudent sophist. Now, such are all the heretics, and those who imagine that they have hit upon something more beyond the truth, so that by following those things already mentioned, proceeding on their way variously, in harmoniously, and foolishly, not keeping always to the same opinions with regard to the same things, as blind men are led by the blind, they shall deservedly fall into the ditch of ignorance lying in their path, ever seeking and never finding out the truth. It behooves us, therefore, to avoid their doctrines, and to take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but to flee to the Church, and be brought up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord's Scriptures." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5,20:2 (A.D. 180).
"Since this is the case, in order that the truth may be adjudged to belong to us, "as many as walk according to the rule," which the church has handed down from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God, the reason of our position is clear, when it determines that heretics ought not to be allowed to challenge an appeal to the Scriptures, since we, without the Scriptures, prove that they have nothing to do with the Scriptures. For as they are heretics, they cannot be true Christians, because it is not from Christ that they get that which they pursue of their own mere choice, and from the pursuit incur and admit the name of heretics. Thus, not being Christians, they have acquired no right to the Christian Scriptures; and it may be very fairly said to them, "Who are you? When and whence did you come?" Tertullian, Prescription against the Heretics, 37 (A.D. 200).
"Now the cause, in all the points previously enumerated, of the false opinions, and of the impious statements or ignorant assertions about God, appears to be nothing else than the not understanding the Scripture according to its spiritual meaning, but the interpretation of it agreeably to the mere letter. And therefore, to those who believe that the sacred books are not the compositions of men, but that they were composed by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, agreeably to the will of the Father of all things through Jesus Christ, and that they have come down to us, we must point out the ways (of interpreting them) which appear (correct) to us, who cling to the standard of the heavenly Church of Jesus Christ according to the succession of the apostles." Origen, First Principles, 4,1:9 (A.D. 230).
"The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying, 'He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.'" Cyprian, Unity of the Church, 6 (A.D. 256).
"But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures....Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which ye now receive, and write them and the table of your heart." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 5:12 (A.D. 350).
"[T]hey who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. For the ship exhibits a type of Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand." Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, Homily 13:1 (A.D. 355).
"But beyond these [Scriptural] sayings, let us look at the very tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers kept." Athanasius, Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis, 1:28 (A.D. 360).
"This then I consider the sense of this passage, and that, a very ecclesiasitcal sense." Athanasius, Discourse Against the Arians, 1:44 (A.D. 362).
"It is the church which perfect truth perfects. The church of believers is great, and its bosom most ample; it embraces the fullness of the two Testaments." Ephraem, Against Heresies (ante A.D. 373).
"Now I accept no newer creed written for me by other men, nor do I venture to propound the outcome of my own intelligence, lest I make the words of true religion merely human words; but what I have been taught by the holy Fathers, that I announce to all who question me. In my Church the creed written by the holy Fathers in synod at Nicea is in use." Basil, To the Church of Antioch, Epistle 140:2 (A.D. 373).
"For they [heretics] do not teach as the church does; their message does no accord with the truth." Epiphanius, Panarion, 47 (A.D. 377).
"[S]eeing, I say, that the Church teaches this in plain language, that the Only-begotten is essentially God, very God of the essence of the very God, how ought one who opposes her decisions to overthrow the preconceived opinion... And let no one interrupt me, by saying that what we confess should also be confirmed by constructive reasoning: for it is enough for proof of our statement, that the tradition has come down to us from our Fathers, handled on, like some inheritance, by succession from the apostles and the saints who came after them." Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 4:6 (c. A.D. 384).
"Wherefore all other generations are strangers to truth; all the generations of heretics hold not the truth: the church alone, with pious affection, is in possession of the truth." Ambrose, Commentary of Psalm 118,19 (A.D. 388).
"They teach what they themselves have learnt from their predecessors. They have received those rites which they explain from the Church's tradition. They preach only 'the dogmas of the Church'" John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction (A.D. 389).
"But when proper words make Scripture ambiguous, we must see in the first place that there is nothing wrong in our punctuation or pronunciation. Accordingly, if, when attention is given to the passage, it shall appear to be uncertain in what way it ought to be punctuated or pronounced, let the reader consult the rule of faith which he has gathered from the plainer passages of Scripture, and from the authority of the Church, and of which I treated at sufficient length when I was speaking in the first book about things." Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 3,2:2 (A.D. 397).
" 'So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by Epistle of ours.' Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther." John Chrysostom, Homily on 2nd Thessalonians, 4:2 (A.D. 404).
"My resolution is, to read the ancients, to try everything, to hold fast what is good, and not to recede from the faith of the Catholic Church." Jerome, To Minervius & Alexander, Epistle 119 (A.D. 406).
"But those reasons which I have here given, I have either gathered from the authority of the church, according to the tradition of our forefathers, or from the testimony of the divine Scriptures, or from the nature itself of numbers and of similitudes. No sober person will decide against reason, no Christian against the Scriptures, no peaceable person against the church." Augustine, On the Trinity, 4,6:10 (A.D. 416).
"But it will be said, If the words, the sentiments, the promises of Scripture, are appealed to by the Devil and his disciples, of whom some are false apostles, some false prophets and false teachers, and all without exception heretics, what are Catholics and the sons of Mother Church to do? How are they to distinguish truth from falsehood in the sacred Scriptures? They must be very careful to pursue that course which, in the beginning of this Commonitory, we said that holy and learned men had commended to us, that is to say, they must interpret the sacred Canon according to the traditions of the Universal Church and in keeping with the rules of Catholic doctrine, in which Catholic and Universal Church, moreover, they must follow universality, antiquity, consent." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory of the Antinquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 70 (A.D. 434).
"[H]old fast the faith in simplicity of mind; establishing the tradition of the church as a foundation, in the inmost recesses of thy heart, hold the doctrines which are well-pleasing unto God." Cyril of Alexandria, Festal Letters, Homily 8 (A.D. 442).
II. Scripture is not Subject to Private Interpretation
True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4,33:8 (inter A.D. 180-199).
"But if there be any (heresies) which are bold enough to plant themselves in the midst of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men - a man, moreover, who continued steadfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter. In exactly the same way the other churches likewise exhibit (their several worthies), whom, as having been appointed to their episcopal places by apostles, they regard as transmitters of the apostolic seed. Let the heretics contrive something of the same kind Tertullian, On Prescription against the Heretics, 32 (c. A.D. 200).
To this test, therefore will they be submitted for proof by those churches, who, although they derive not their founder from apostles or apostolic men (as being of much later date, for they are in fact being founded daily), yet, since they agree in the same faith, they are accounted as not less apostolic because they are akin in doctrine. Then let all the heresies, when challenged to these two tests by our apostolic church, offer their proof of how they deem themselves to be apostolic. But in truth they neither are so, nor are they able to prove themselves to be what they are not. Nor are they admitted to peaceful relations and communion by such churches as are in any way connected with apostles, inasmuch as they are in no sense themselves apostolic because of their diversity as to the mysteries of the faith." Tertullian, On Prescription against the Heretics, 32 (c. A.D. 200).
"For those are slothful who, having it in their power to provide themselves with proper proofs for the divine Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, select only what contributes to their own pleasures. And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teachings, in order to establish the heresy." Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 7:16 (post A.D. 202).
"When heretics show us the canonical Scriptures, in which every Christian believes and trusts, they seem to be saying: 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms [the word of truth] ' (Matt 24.6). But we must not believe them, nor leave the original tradition of the Church, nor believe otherwise than we have been taught by the succession in the Church of God." Origen, Homilies on Matthew, Homily 46, PG 13:1667 (ante A.D. 254).
"A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines: also there is need of a wakeful soul, since there are many that make spoil through philosophy and vain deceit. The Greeks on the one hand draw men away by their smooth tongue, for honey droppeth from a harlot's lips: whereas they of the Circumcision deceive those who come to them by means of the Divine Scriptures, which they miserably misinterpret though studying them from childhood to all age, and growing old in ignorance. But the children of heretics, by their good words and smooth tongue, deceive the hearts of the innocent, disguising with the name of Christ as it were with honey the poisoned arrows of their impious doctrines: concerning all of whom together the Lord saith, Take heed lest any man mislead you. This is the reason for the teaching of the Creed and for expositions upon it." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 4:2 (A.D. 350).
"And, O wretched heretic! You turn the weapons granted to the Church against the Synagogue, against belief in the Church's preaching, and distort against the common salvation of all the sure meaning of a saving doctrine." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 12:36 (inter A.D. 356-359).
"But since they allege the divine oracles and force on them a misinterpretation, according to their private sense, it becomes necessary to meet them just so far as to vindicate these passages, and to show that they bear an orthodox sense, and that our opponents are in error." Athanasius, Discourse Against the Arians, I:37 (A.D. 362).
"To refuse to follow the Fathers, not holding their declaration of more authority than one's own opinion, is conduct worthy of blame, as being brimful of self-sufficiency." Basil, EpistleTo the Canonicae, 52:1 (A.D. 370).
"While (the sects) mutually refute and condemn each other, it has happened to truth as to Gideon; that is, while they fight against each other, and fall under wounds mutually inflicted, they crown her. All the heretics acknowledge that there is a true Scripture. Had they all falsely believed that none existed, some one might reply that such Scripture was unknown to them. But now that have themselves taken away the force of such plea, from the fact that they have mutilated the very Scriptures. For they have corrupted the sacred copies; and words which ought to have but one interpretation, they have wrested to strange significations. Whilst, when one of them attempts this, and cuts off a member of his own body, the rest demand and claim back the severed limb...It is the church which perfect truth perfects. The church of believers is great, and its bosom most ample; it embraces the fulness (or, the whole) of the two Testaments." Ephraem, Adv. Haeres (ante A.D. 373).
"Who knows not that what separates the Church from heresy is this term, 'product of creation, ' applied to the Son? Accordingly, the doctrinal difference being universally acknowledged, what would be the reasonable course for a man to take who endeavors to show that his opinions are more true than ours?" Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 4:6 (inter A.D. 380-384).
"For heresies, and certain tenets of perversity, ensnaring souls and hurling them into the deep, have not sprung up except when good Scriptures are not rightly understood, and when that in them which is not rightly understood is rashly and boldly asserted. And so, dearly beloved, ought we very cautiously to hear those things for the understanding of which we are but little ones, and that, too, with pious heart and with trembling, as it is written, holding this rule of soundness, that we rejoice as in food in that which we have been able to understand, according to the faith with which we are imbued " Augustine, On the Gospel of John, Homily XVIII:1 (A.D. 416).
"If you produce from the divine scriptures something that we all share, we shall have to listen. But those words which are not found in the scriptures are under no circumstance accepted by us, especially since the Lord warns us, saying, In vain they worship me, teaching human commandments and precepts' (Mt 5:19)" Maximinus (Arch-Arian Heretic), Debate with Maximinus, 1 (c. A.D. 428).
"Therefore, as I said above, if you had been a follower and assertor of Sabellianism or Arianism or any heresy you please, you might shelter yourself under the example of your parents, the teaching of your instructors, the company of those about you, the faith of your creed. I ask, O you heretic, nothing unfair, and nothing hard. As you have been brought up in the Catholic faith, do that which you would do for a wrong belief. Hold fast to the teaching of your parents. Hold fast the faith of the Church: hold fast the truth of the Creed: hold fast the salvation of baptism." John Cassian, Incarnation of the Lord, 6:5 (c. A.D. 429).
"I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory of the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 2:4 (A.D. 434).
"But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view, if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined to keep and guard it. Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practiced negligently should thenceforward be practiced with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils, this, and nothing else, has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory of the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 23:59 (A.D. 434).
"[A]ll heresies, that they evermore delight in profane novelties, scorn the decisions of antiquity, and ...make shipwreck of the faith. On the other hand, it is the sure characteristic of Catholics to keep that which has been committed to their trust by the holy Fathers..." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory of the Anitquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 24:63 (A.D. 434).
"His (Nestorius) first attempt at innovation was, that the holy Virgin, who bore the Word of God, who took flesh of her, ought not to be confessed to be the mother of God, but only the mother of Christ; though of old, yea from the first, the preachers of the orthodox faith taught, agreeably to the apostolic tradition, that the mother of God. And now let me produce his blasphemous artifice and observation unknown to any one before him." Theodoret of Cyrus, Compendium of Heretics' Fables, 12 (c.A.D. 453).
III. The Catholic Church Determined the Canon of Scripture
"For the blessed apostle Paul himself, following the rule of his predecessor John, writes only by name to seven Churches in the following order--to the Corinthians afirst...there is a second to the Corinthians and to the Thessalonians, yet one Church is recognized as being spread over the entire world...Howbeit to Philemon one, to Titus one, and to Timothy two were put in writing...to be in honour however with the Catholic Church for the ordering of ecclesiastical discipline...one to the Laodicenes, another to the Alexandrians, both forged in Paul's name to suit the heresy of Marcion, and several others, which cannot be received into the Catholic Church; for it is not fitting that gall be mixed with honey. The Epistle of Jude no doubt, and the couple bearing the name of John, are accepted by the Catholic Church...But of Arsinous, called also Valentinus, or of Militiades we receive nothing at all." The fragment of Muratori (A.D. 177).
"The same authority of the apostolic churches will afford evidence to the other Gospels also, which we possess equally through their means, and according to their usage--I mean the Gospels of John and Matthew--whilst that which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter's whose interpreter Mark was. For even Luke's form of the Gospel men usually ascribe to Paul." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:5 (A.D. 212).
"In his [Origen] first book on Matthew's Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark, who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a son, saying, 'The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son.' And the third by Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John." Origen, Commentary on Matthew, fragment in Eusebius Church History, 6:25,3 (A.D. 244).
"Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testaments, and what those of the New." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 4:33 (A.D. 350).
"Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book, likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus one book. Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book,with Ginoth, that is, with his lamentations, Ezechiel one book,Daniel one book, Osee one book, Micheas one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book, Jonas one book, Nahum one book, Habacuc one book, Sophonias one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book. Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books. Likewise the order of the writings of the New and eternal Testament, which only the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book. The Epistles of Paul [the apostle] in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one. Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book. Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven. Of Peter the Apostle two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealut, the Apostle one epistle." Pope Damasus (regn. A.D. 366-384), Decree of the Council of Rome, The Canon of Scripture (A.D. 382).
"Besides the canonical Scriptures, nothing shall be read, in the church under the title of divine writings.'. The canonical books are:---Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings, the two books of Paraleipomena (Chronicles), Job, the Psalms of David, the five books of Solomon, the twelve books of the (Minor) Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees. The books of the New Testament are:---the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of S. Paul, one Epistle of S. Paul to the Hebrews, two Epistles of S. Peter, three Epistles of S. John, the Epistle of S. James, the Epistle of S. Jude, the Revelation of S. John. Concerning the confirmation of this canon, the transmarine Church shall be consulted." Council of Hippo, Canon 36 (A.D. 393).
"I beseech you to bear patiently, if I also write, by way of remembrance, of matters with which you are acquainted, influenced by the need and advantage of the Church. In proceeding to make mention of these things [the canon], I shall adopt, to comment my undertaking, the pattern of Luke...to reduce into order for themselves the books termed apocryphal, and to mix them up with the divinely inspired Scripture, concerning which we have been fully persuaded, as they who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, delivered to the fathers; it seemed good to me also, having been urged thereto by true brethren, and having learned from the beginning, to set before you the books included in the Canon..." Athanasius, Festal Letters, 39 (A.D. 397).
"[It has been decided] that nothing except the Canonical Scriptures should be read in the church under the name of the Divine Scriptures. But the Canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon, twelve books of the Prophets, Isaias, Jeremias, Daniel, Ezechiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees. Moreover, of the New Testament: Four books of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles one book, thirteen epistles of Paul the Apostle, one of the same to the Hebrews, two of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude, the Apocalypse of John." Council of Carthage III, Canon 47 (A.D. 397).
"The authority of our books [Scriptures], which is confirmed by agreement of so many nations, supported by a succession of apostles, bishops, and councils, is against you." Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichean, 13:5 (c. A.D. 400).
"If any one shall say, or shall believe, that other Scriptures, besides those which the Catholic Church has received, are to be esteemed of authority, or to be venerated, let him be anathema." Council of Toledo, Canon 12 (A.D. 400).
"A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the desiderata of which you wished to be informed verbally: of Moses five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Josue, of Judges one book, of Kings four books, also Ruth, of the Prophets sixteen books, of Solomon five books, the Psalms. Likewise of the histories, Job one book, of Tobias one book, Esther one, Judith one, of the Machabees two, of Esdras two, Paralipomenon two books. Likewise of the New Testament: of the Gospels four books, of Paul the Apostle fourteen epistles, of John three, epistles of Peter two, an epistle of Jude, an epistle of James, the Acts of the Apostles, the Apocalypse of John." Pope Innocent (regn. A.D. 401-417), Epistle to Exsuperius Bishop of Toulose, 6:7,13 (A.D. 405).
"Item, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in the church under the name of divine Scripture. But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis...The Revelation of John...for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in the church." Council of Carthage, African Code, Canon 24 (A.D. 419).
"The book of the Apocalypse which John the wise wrote, and which has been honoured by the approval of the Fathers." Cyril of Alexandria, Worship and Adoration in Spirit and in Truth, 5 (A.D. 425).
"Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is to be exercised, is contained in the following books:--Five books of Moses, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one book of Joshua the son of Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth, which seems rather to belong to the beginning of Kings; next, four books of Kings, and two of Chronicles --these last not following one another, but running parallel, so to speak, and going over the same ground. The books now mentioned are history, which contains a connected narrative of the times, and follows the order of the events. There are other books which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected neither with the order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as Job, and Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Ezra, which last look more like a sequel to the continuous regular history which terminates with the books of Kings and Chronicles. Next are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David; and three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus, are ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach. Still they are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they have attained recognition as being authoritative.
The remainder are the books which are strictly called the Prophets: twelve separate books of the prophets which are connected with one another, and having never been disjoined, are reckoned as one book; the names of these prophets are as follows:--Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; then there are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel. The authority of the Old Testament is contained within the limits of these forty-four books. That of the New Testament, again, is contained within the following:--Four books of the Gospel, according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke, according to John; fourteen epistles of the Apostle Paul--one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews: two of Peter; three of John; one of Jude; and one of James; one book of the Acts of the Apostles; and one of the Revelation of John." Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 2:8,12 (A.D. 426).
Strange how the RCCers go silent when confronted with irrefutable Scripture.
I'm still awaiting an answer to my "praying to dead people" post.
Perhaps they are searching for answers from the other side, and the other side has gone silent on them.
Maybe they've got to put together a quick "tradition", and they're working up all the supporting documentation to show that it's been that way since Peter was hit with that rock.
At times like these they can often be found at their "traditional" retreat in the Caucasus Mountains, or at the Caucusus Threads, or somewhere around there.
What a great word -- "fungible."
Yes, but it should only be used "vicariously".
I like fungibles fried with butter and a little garlic. 8~)
Oh yes, butter and garlic fungibles, especially when eaten vicariously.
All of those citations you gave me are from letters of Paul (written before the Gospels were), or one from John.
The "Scripture" that they were referring to, and that Jesus was referring to, was the Old Testament. There was no New Testament to be Scripture when Paul wrote his letters. In fact, there were only a few of his own letters. Nowhere does Paul ever refer to his OWN WRITINGS as Scripture. He is not so arrogant. The ALL Paul is referring to is ALL of the Jewish Bible, the only Scriptures that existed at the time he wrote.
What the Scriptures were to First Century Jews is obvious enough: the Jewish Scriptures.
That we Christians have put together a book of Christian writings, called it the New Testament, and call it Scripture is good, but it's not what the writers IN the New Testament are referring to. THEY weren't referencing their own letters and calling them "Scripture". Jesus certainly wasn't referencing the letters of Paul.
Now, who was it, precisely, who identified what the New Testament canon would be, and thereby defined what the new Scriptures would be? Who had the authority to decide what WAS new Scripture, to be added to the old Scripture, and authoritative in itself?
Beyond that, it is very clear in the Old Testament itself, and from the content of what Jesus actually cited to when he specifically referred to "Scripture", that the hierarchy of authority within Judaism between the Torah (the HIGHEST authority in Scripture) and the Prophets (second highest authority) was followed by the apostles and Jesus himself. Jesus refers to "the Law and the Prophets", which is to say, the Jewish expression for the Torah and the Prophetic books. If JESUS was following the conventional Jewish hierarchy of Scriptural authority, how in the dickens can any of US say that it's "unacceptable and ungodly" to view different Scripture with different authority.
That's a made up rule, asserted with authority that you do not have.
But I am going to do it carefully.
Remember when Jesus says that God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living, in the context of the God of Abraham and of Isaac?
Apparently Isaac and Abraham are still living, somewhere, and are not dead at all. That's the point.
Remember Jesus' parable of the man who dies and speaks to Abraham? Is Jesus making up a story?
Anyway, a proper, more fleshed out response will follow in time. The short answer is that the holy dead are not dead.
Yes, and a little bit in Revelation (although that is trickier because a vision).
Acts is part of the hemeneutic. In truth, it was probably once all one piece with the rest of Luke anyway.
You had a short answer, just above, given as a placeholder until I can get to the place where my Bible is and give a proper answer.
Don't bother to fight with the short answer. Wait for the longer one. Obviously if one is going to cite specific scripture, chapter and verse, one has to have the book in front of him, which I do not this weekend.
But you'll get your answer. Silence here is the silence of being able to unanswer on your terms - which is to say, with specific Scriptural references - because I am not in a place where I have access to my books at this moment, not because I am dumbfounded and quivering in shock and awe. If you want a bookish response, you have to give your interlocutors time to get their books.
In regards to tradition, I was running through some word studies today and revisited Matt 15 which speaks to the issue where tradition makes God's commandment of no effect.
In regards to the dead and death,..I've found Scripture to make far better sense when describing dead or death as having a meaning of "a state of existence involving separation" as opposed to the 20th century philosophical perspective of death as a state of non-existence.
Then when considering man is made in body, soul, and spirit in rebirth, but in body and soul prior to salvation, the issue of death focuses more upon the separatio of soul from the body, or possibly spirit from soul and body.
In other contexts it might be the separation of man from God or possibly our spirit from God (this latter interpretation might not be consistent due to God having create spirit life in us).
Insofar as God being a God of the Living and not of the dead, this also nicely explains how we as men with an old sin nature, might fail to properly understand Scripture if we interpret it without being in fellowship with God through faith in Christ.
For example, God doesn't need us to perform His plan or His Will. If we are separate from Him, He is a God of the Living and His Word is only clearly understood through faith in Him, by the enabling work of God the Holy Spirit in us. He isn't sanctifying us when we fall out of fellowship with Him, so until we rreturn to Him by His protocols as provided in 1stJohn 1:9, He still isn't sanctifying us.
This doesn't mean He is less in control, but merely that serving the dead to Him, has no utility or good, i.e. it might be considered PONEROS, good for nothingness, a type of evil, alien to His nature.
In regards to Isaac and Abraham, they were indeed in paradise, and now that the perfect sacrifice has been made, reside in heaven with Him, indeed alive in the spirit and with some type of transitional body recognizable by others.
Hope this helps.
Ditto Mark 7
So... it seems that you don't consider the New Testament as Scripture. If you did, then you'd realize that the Holy Spirit DID KNOW that the writings were Scripture, and that the words of Paul, SCRIPTURE, are applicable regardless whether he knew them to be or not, and are, therefore, applicable. However, I do not believe that Paul did not know he was penning Scripture, given the number of times he directed folks to heed his commands, examples, and doctrines. In any case, it makes no matter whether he did or not. Unless you don't accept his writings as Scripture.
Sounds great... doesn't mean you should pray to them.
Very interesting postulate. Indeed, Paul mentions the concept if being "dead to sin", and being "made alive in Christ". Do you have more indepth Scriptural support to offer?
I picked up that particular interpretive translation a few years ago, I believe from some studies in Hebrew on the meanings of nephesh and association with life.
I haven't stumbled back over them, but they seem to be consistent. i.e. in our scarred thinking, we too easily associate death with simply not being around anymore, whereas it is much more appropriate, IMHO, of simply asserting a state of separation.
Accordingly, once we are reborn, we are actually given a newly created spirit life, only possible by the Creator, God Himself.
This changes the perspective from perceiving postsalvation sin from a manifestation that one doesn't have eternal life, or that one really isn't yet a believer, thereby removing the enticement of works based salvation or visa versa slavation without any real volition being involved, or confusing the volition of man with the predestination of God.
Accordingly, the thrust of postsalvation life prior to the first death is to remain in fellowship with God, which only happens thrugh faith in Christ.
Passages such as "Let the dead bury the dead" also take on meaning. It also reveals a considerable depth in the mechanics or processes which transpired on the Cross. The spiritual death, the separation of soul and spirit, the separation of the body from spirit, and separation of body and soul. This also leads to which person of the Godhead was active in each step and the significance of that same person in our walk with Him.
When spaking to loved ones regarding a death in the family, the emphasis then becomes upon loving our fellow man as ourselves, recognizing the separation of a loved one from us here on Earth is indeed painful, but absent the body, the believer has essentially been promoted to be face to face with the Lord in a more glorious place.
It also nicely explains the perspective that we are saved by faith alone and faith without works is indeed dead, but not to imply without eternal life, rather dead from the flesh or body or physical domain.
Mike Nifong would be jealous of this evidence.
No ---it is not arrogance if it is true. And it was true and Paul knew it to be true.
Since II Timothy was one of Paul's last epistles, he would have been fully cognizant of the fact that his previous epistles and the writings of Matthew, Luke, James that were already down on papyrus, were also holy scriptures, and that there were more to come.
Being that Timothy was probably around 20 years old when Paul wrote his 2nd letter to the youthful Timothy circa 67 AD, Timothy would have been young enough to have learned to read from many of the NT scriptures, including James' Epistle written about the time of his birth circa 47 AD. Matthew's Gospel may have been circulating when he was 5 years old, along with Paul's epistles to the Thessalonians and Galatians. At the age of 10 he would have been reading Paul's letter to the Romans, and the Corinthians.
Furthermore, note what Paul says to Timothy: "that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures", not "when" but "from". In other words he began to read them from childhood and had continued in that practice as a young man. As the scriptures of Paul and the others grew, so Timothy grew into adulthood.
It is interesting that as the youthful NT scriptures were growing from the pens of James, Paul, Matthew, Luke --- so the youthful Timothy was growing as well. His life was probably a chronicle of the NT scriptures themselves. He probably lived long enough to add the last book of John to his canon of scripture.
Thus if Catholics really want to know who put together the first canon of scripture, they need look no farther than Timothy who knew the scriptures from a child, knew therefore what was and what was not scripture, and collected the NT scriptures as they were written, adding the new ones to the old ones. He would have been about 50 years old when he collected John's last book that closed the canon of the holy scriptures.
Great summary P-M.
FWIW, IIRC, body's were buried in caves that had high concentrations of lime. The family would return a year later to collect the bones and put them in a small box. If you went back much later the bones would also be gone.
Then I guess we should assume that they were assumed.
I hadn't thought of it that way, but I guess that's a good assumption. I assume we should have feasts and masses for all these others who we think were assumed.
Thus their doctrine of Sola Assumption, I assume.
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
And I am aware that we are to become dead to sin, being made alive in Christ,
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
However, it appears that our new birth gives us the hope of eternal life to come. I don't see where we are given eternal life immediately. I'd be interested in getting your Scriptural support for the concept of this separate Spiritual man.
Make no bones about it.
At least by calling it "The Assumption" they named it correctly.
Give them an "A" for truth in advertising!
"but I guess that's a good assumption. I assume we should have feasts"
Just the other day K assumed I was coming home early and being wrong, instead of a feast she raised holy he--. I guess that's a kind of assumption.
That was a "Thanks a Lot", "GO AHEAD (With Raised Eyebrows! )", Nothing" and "Fine" all in one. She didn't even go for the old " But I had a client come in with a big retainer" routine that usually counts for something.
I had to look this up.
What is commonly called the Gelasian decree on books which are to be received and not received takes its name from Pope Gelasius (492-496). It gives a list of biblical books as they appeared in the Vulgate, with the Apocrypha interspersed among the others. In some manuscripts, indeed, it is attributed to Pope Damasus, as though it had been promulgated by him at the Council of Rome in 382. But actually it appears to have been a private compilation drawn up somewhere in Italy in the early sixth century.Even so, which church? What the councils of Hippo and Carthage meant when they referred to two books of Esdras, is found in the Septuagint, not the Vulgate. Augustine, for example, who was a participant at Carthage, defined the two books of Esdras, and he defined them differently.
(The Canon of Scripture [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1988], p. 97)
Are we to believe that Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, and many fathers, and others in the Glossa, THE official Biblical commentary in the Middle Ages used for training of theologians; through Cardinal Ximenes' with his Polyglot edition of the Bible, sanctioned by Pope Leo X and published with Leo's approval, to Cardinal Cajetan, were delibertately teaching what they knew to be contrary to the Magisterium, or that they were ignorant of the position of the church? Or is it more reasonable to believe that they were, as some such as Pope Gregroy stated explicitly two hundred years after the council of Carthage with regard to I Maccabees, merely stating the position of the Church of their day?
Cardinal Martini, one of the most prolific Cardinals at the Vatican reasoned that contraception should be okay in certain circumstances. A thousand years from now, if someone reads his interview in the light you read Cardinal Cajetan's, the future historian would draw the conclusion that the Church, in 2006, declared infallibly that contraception is okay. It doesn't work that way.
Only by assuming the very thing in question can one liken the views of Cardinal Martini in relation to official church teaching to the writings and sanctions of the aforesaid scholars and Popes.
We're given eternal life upon rebirth. Our first hope has been realized. We continue with a second hope involving our sanctification and rewards in heaven yet to be given until the bema seat. We also have a continuing hope in the ressurrected body.
BTW in regards to the spirit, the man, ANTHROPOS, created by God was created in body, soul and spirit. Accordingly, what God has made is not evil but for good. In our body, soul and spirit we are created for good works.
We still have a scarred soul and a scarred body as in the sin of the flesh and the old sin nature, but our spirit has been made anew. Those not yet reborn, do not yet have eternal life, but have been condemned already. In God's magnificient omniscience, He has condemned man bfore we are saved. Sin is no longer an issue in regards to eternal life for the believer, although the rewards prepared for us from eternity past which are still awaiting us in heaven are contingent their reward based upon our good works through faith in Him. Sin is merely a stumbling block for the sinner, which upon confession and returning to Him, places a situation where God, the Holy SPirit may continue to sanctify our soul.
Consider how the first Adam was created and the fall in the Garden.
(Note it wasn't Eve that caused the first sin, but Adam, this is important spiritually.)
Temptation isn't sin, rather the volition of man rebelling from God combined with the temptation produces sin. it isn't what goes into a man that defiles him, it is what comes forth from his heart that defiles him, including those thoughts in his soul emanated from the heart.
When Adam was in the garden, he was warned not to eat from the tree of good and evil lest he would surely die. Some importance lies here in the nature of good and evil. Good performed independent of God is parlayed into evil by the Adversary. Anything independent of God is a type of sin. Very good people might go out and raise funds, build hospitals for the most tragic victims of flesh wounds, give the care and service away with charity and grace, never anticipating anything from the patient in return for their good work, yet if they do these things independent of God, they simply provide the Adversary a mechanism to produce a counterfeit paradise for people with volition to place false hope.
Note that when Adam rebelled from God in volition , sevral things happened. Adam remained alive in the body as is evidenced by him hiding and putting on some type of clothing. Adam also continued to have a mind with conscience and a heart, because he was conscience of the sin, committed acts to hide, and conversed with the Lord from His heart. The mind and heart are components of the soul, not the spirit. Accordingly, even after the sin, Adam continued to live in his body, and his soul, but in his dieing, he would surely die. In the separation of his spirit from God, and separation of his spirit from the rest of his anthropology, Adam had nothing to recompense God for his decision to remove himself from God.
Note also, that even with a new spiritual species in Abraham, where God found his faith to be counted as righteousness, the spirit given him was based upon the righteousness of faith, the same as in Rom 3:22-26,..even so given for Old Testament believers, they still did not go to heaven upon death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the body, until the Perfect Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Instead, all OT believers, upon the first death, were taken to Abraham's bosom also known as Paradise, still though a compartment of Hades.
At the death of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus on the Cross, we have a marvelous testimony of good Dr. Luke.
In Luke 23:43, we understand our Lord telling the thief on the cross, He would see him that day in Paradise.
In this situation the soul of Christ Jesus would later descend to Hades to the compartment known as Abraham's Bosom or Paradise and meet the thief there.
There was then darkness and an eclipse of the sun for several hours and the curtain in the temple was rent from top to bottom. Matthew also records an earthquake, which is significant because quakes are assiociated with divine judgment throughout much Scripture.
The three hours on the Cross was a period in which all the sins of man in eternity past and future were imputed to outr Lord and Savior on the Cross. God the Father judged those sins and His perfect Justice demanded recompense for the separation of man from God. Since our Lord and Savior was perfect in body soul and spirit, His sacrifice wasn't for any sin of His, but rather for the sin of all mankind, namely that separation of perfect human spirit from perfect Divine Spirit. Our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus was the second Adam, the only man in human history after Adam to be so composed and consequently the only possible sacrifice for all of humanity.
On the Cross after the judgment, our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus cried out, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?". This is significant for many reasons, one of which is that it reveals to us that the human spirit of our Lord Christ Jesus had been separated from the Father while our Savior was on the Cross. This was a spiritual death. Note that our Lord and Savior still had his spirit which was later given up before he hung his hed foward.
Please note that this death was the most violent form of death imaginable, because violence, by its very definition is a force in opposition to volition. Our Lord and Savior wanted in His will to remain obedient to the Father in all things, to remain ine with Him, yet regardless that will of the Son, the Father sacrificed His Son for all humanity.
We all to often confuse the worldly trappings of physical or mental violence with the true meaning of violence. For example rape is a violent crime mainly because it violates the volition of the victim with a sexual act. The physical bruising might also correspond to the act, but rape victims are frequently much more scarred by the mental and spiritual act of violence than the physical act. Likewise on the Cross, the spiritual death of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus was the most violent form of death possible. (This also provides enormous insight for the believer to consider how violent the seemingly slight action of Adam was to God without his recognition of that violence.)
Next on the Cross, our Lord and Savior is reported by multiple witnesses to have been offered vinegar on a sponge while still alive physically. Note, he had already been separated from God in the spirit, our Lord still had his soul and his human spirit, because he still spoke and reasoned and gave up the spirit after he declared "It is Finished!"(John 19:30). Then our Lord gave up the spirit to the Father. (Matt 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:23-30) In summary, Our Lord's body went to the grave, His spirit went to the Father, and His soul descended to hades for three days.
Some other intersting medical aspects of the body on the cross indicate that most people so executed, will naturally tend to die of asphysixiation, because the crucified person must physically lift their body up with their thighs/legs, to allow the abdomen to breathe. This in turn presses the feet against their wounds, which as time wears on, become more swollen and senstive to pressure. The muscles build up lactic acid making the process even more painful and aching all over the body. In these situations the weight of the head, tends to fall naturally to the side of the body, not foward, which requires an additional muscular effort.
Upon physical death (somatic death) the blood stops circulating in the veins and arteries. The white and red blood corpuscles begin to separate by density and the blood tends to accumulate in and around the lower organs. As the white serum and red serum seperates, we might be able to observe from John's vivid account of the soldier who thrust the lance into His side, releasing blood and water. A natural death on the cross tends for the body to tilt the head to one side, and rather than the blood accumulating in the sides, would tend to accumulate in the lower extremities. This is an indicator, by rationalism and empirical observation, that at the time of our Lord's last recorded stements on the Cross, that He released his spirit, but then still had a soul, thinking to push forward His head rather than allowing it to tilt to the side.
Upon his physical bodily death, his soul separated from the body and descended to Hades into Abraham's Bosom. His body was taken to the grave, and He had already given His spirit to the Father.
Note also the doctrines of Kenosis and hypostatic union. Our Lord Christ Jesus was indeed God the Son but also the incarnation and very human. There are also other passages which relate our Lord's sacrifice was of His soul, his self. His spirit, was indeed a human spirit. Man though is not merely one of the three portions of body, soul, and spirit, but rather the full composition as God had originally created of Body, Soul, and Spirit.
Back to your original question, the siginficance of God being a God of the Living, note how the understanding of body, soul and spirit while in fellowship with God has a different meaning than body, soul, and spirit of those out of fellowship or of unbelievers. It really serves no constructive purpose to speak of the dead body, soul or spirit or even describe their situation except from the perspective of a Holy perspective. Accordingly our guidelines fro Scripture are indeed Holy and need not even delve into the unholy perspective other than noting it is folly.
I'll attempt to discuss this point in the following fashion, but it is difficult without slipping out of fellowship.
People such as Wiccans or masons might study witchcraft and recognize the existence of deceiving spirits (although they might not realize the deception). One rationalistic argument of the trichotomous anthropology vs the dichotomous anthropology asserts unbeleivers have no living human spirit. Some concern then arises if the unbeliever does indeed perceive spiritually, if they are without human spirit. One answer might be that their perception is still dead to Perfect Truth spiritually. Another possible consequence is that the unbeleiver's perception of spiritual phenomenon is confused with bodily and soulish forms of perception, such as rationalism and empiricism. For example, one might hear a voice in their head mentally, discernible from spiritual perception. Faith is a form of spiritual perception supernaturally provided each believer.
The belief in God through faith in Christ is the only mechanism by which God in His Perfect Holiness is able to grace us with eternal life, reborn in the human spirit, by His immutable nature.
One quick comment regarding John 19:30.
Our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus was Judged by the Father on the Cross. Even after the Judgment, which is made manifest by Christ's painfull exclamation in Mark 16:34 (Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? ..translated My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?) our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus became separated spiritually from God the Father, yet still retained his body, soul and spirit.
Likewise, when we sin today, we do not give up our spirit, but we might be out of fellowship with Him. In the case of our Lord, He remained faithful in all things even unto death. We today still have the eternal life when God gives it to us, but while out of felloship, He is not free to grace us with further sanctification until we return to Him due to His immutable nature of Prefect Holiness demanding Perfect Justice when faced with any unreighteosuness.
Martin Chemnitz, a Lutheran theologian of some note wrote of something he referred to as sedes doctrina, i.e., doctrine must have a seat, a Scriptural seat. In my view, this really is not very easy to argue against. The argument that is advanced against it is an argument from authority, which is weak at best, and fallacy at worst.
So, sola Scriptura and sedes Doctrina seem to me to be mutually inclusive. Though, I think the Reformers would not have stood behind the idea that each person can interpret Scripture outside the 'mind of the church', whatever that means, since 500 years prior to the Reformers, the Church had already been split. IOW, Calvin wouldn't have accepted any interpretation of Scripture that involved a truly synergistic movement within his doctrine of Grace.
I read something the other day that posed the question, was Paul's question on the looming dissension of who belonged to Paul, and who belonged to Peter and who belonged to Apollo a foreshadowing of the 16th century split. I actually had wondered that myself.
Anyway, from a History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson:
"Erasmus, like all the reformers without exception, began by ignoring the existence of a privileged clerical class. He regarded himself as a layman, and made no distinction between men in orders, like Colet, and lay friends like Sir Thomas More."
"This downgrading of the clerical role was linked to the belief that there could be no intermediaries between the Christian soul and the Scriptures. All wanted the Bible to be as widely available as possible and in vernacular translations. Access to the Bible, whether in the original or in any other tongue had never been a problem in the East (Me: no wonder Luther said that the better part of Christendom were the Greeks). In the West, the clergy had begun top assert an exclusive interpretive, indeed custodial right to the Bible as early as the ninth century; and from about 1080 there had been frequent instances of the Pope, councils and bishops forbidding not only vernacular translations but any reading at all, by laymen, of the Bible taken as a whole. In some ways this was the most scandalous aspect of the medieval Latin Church. From the Waldensians onwards, attempts to scrutinize the Bible became proof presumptive of heresy -a man or woman might burn for it alone- and, conversely, the heterodox were increasingly convinced that the Bible was incompatible with papal and clerical claims."
Moreover, according to Johnson these men (Erasmus and the Reformers) were in the tradition of Tertullian and Pelagius "who regarded it as normal and desirable that educated laymen should play their full part in the direction of the Church and declined absolutely to endorse an exclusive role for the clergy." Obviously, Pelagius wasn't wrong about everything!!! :)
Interestingly, Johnson refers to Tertullian as the first Protestant because he so vehemently rejected the advent of a clerical class. I think he saw that in the end this class would advance, in effect -regardless of the obligatory 'the Spirit goeth where it will' disclaimer- the conscription of the Holy Spirit.
If you read that piece on Plebs in the Church that I sent you, you can see the effects of this.
You know, an anti-clericalism used to run deep within the marrow of the central and southern Italian peasant, and I think that's because of a good historical memory, one that witnessed a transfer of dominance and power from patrone to priest. Italians used to (and I think still do) address their priests as Don. There are a few priests in my family: Don Mario, Don Vincenzo (rest in peace), and to the best of my knowledge, Don was also the title that you used to address a patrone, a man of property or influence. It does have sacerdotal implications when used for a priest, but I don't believe it can be said to be the equivalent of father.
More on Trent and Counter-Reformation to follow, but will leave you with these words of the council General and Augustinian, Seripando characterizing its first session: 'irresolution, ignorance, incredible stupidity.'
As regarding the state of the dead, I have found the four separate published, peer-reviewed, controlled, long-term studies, in fouyr separate hospitals, of patients revived from clinical death to be the most compelling evidence.
All four studies showed statistically identical results in the frequency of such experiences (about 20% of people have them), and all four studies reported comparable and identifiably sequenced experiences by each patient.
This is very strong empirical evidence, from the very threshhold of death, of a very large number of patients, which has been tested through four separate comparable tests with statistically the same results. That is very powerful positive scientific evidence for the existence of consciousness after death. For some (about a fifth of the people). For four-fifths of people, there were no memories, whether or not there were experiences.
Ok, I have to stop or I'll get fired.
Amen! Thanks for the fascinating history.
I read something the other day that posed the question, was Paul's question on the looming dissension of who belonged to Paul, and who belonged to Peter and who belonged to Apollo a foreshadowing of the 16th century split. I actually had wondered that myself.
Interesting. The parallels are certainly there.
Johnson refers to Tertullian as the first Protestant because he so vehemently rejected the advent of a clerical class.
I've only lately been reading Tertullian. Fascinating man.
"...The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry..."
The New Testament is Scripture.
But the reason it is Scripture is because our tradition says it is so.
When Paul was writing his letters, the Holy Spirit no doubt knew that this would be Scripture, but Paul himself certainly didn't know what would appear in all of the Gospels. He wasn't an eyewitness to Jesus' life, and the Gospels hadn't been written yet.
Within Scripture, there is always the problem of the later-in-time. After all, Deuteronomy and Leviticus give the explicit rules for divorce, right there in the Torah. Jesus says divorce was NEVER God's law, and that the rules of divorce are a tradition of Moses (even though they are in the Scripture). Jesus does this quite a bit in Matthew, saying 'Scripture says...but I say...'.
An example is the matter of unclean foods. Scripture certainly DOES list a whole list of unclean foods.
Later, Jesus says that NO FOOD makes you unclean.
So, EITHER the older Scripture, in the Torah, of the food rules is another case of Jewish TRADITION being recorded in the Scriptures and departing from God's actual Law (like Jesus says divorce is), OR the Scripture really WAS inspired by God to say those foods were impure, but God later overturns the rule of old scripture and puts a new rule down.
Unfortunately, this plays havoc with Jesus' assertion, in Matthew, that 'not a jot nor a tittle of the law shall be changed'. Either Jesus then changes the law in spite of himself...OR he is changing something in the Scripture that ISN'T really law, and is identifying parts of what is traditionally viewed as "Scripture" which should no longer be treated as Scripture. Example: the Mosaic law of divorce. Jesus said that wasn't God's rule from the beginning. He says what the right rule is. So, did Jesus CHANGE Scripture (contrary to what he said he wasn't doing), or is that part of traditional "Scripture" not really Scripture after all? Ditto for the food and purity rules.
More to your point, The Old Testament gives one rule, and Jesus gives a different rule. If, as I expect you would assert, BOTH are Scripture, and it's wrong to sequence Scripture, then who's right, Moses or Jesus?
I have to answer Jesus, because he's God incarnate, according to Scripture, and that settles all dispute.
The Holy Spirit knew, when he was inspiring Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that people would read words that said "And Jesus said..." and believe that. That's why the Holy Spirit took such care to make sure that there are four separate, parallel recountings of Jesus' ministry in the Bible, to give the testimony from four different viewpoints, and hammer home the authenticity of Jesus' words. The Holy Spirit intended for the Bible, where it reads, "And Jesus said..." to be taken literally that Jesus, Son of God and the Word Incarnate, said that. On the strength of THAT how could anyone hold up a piece of the Torah against Jesus and say that the Torah was right and Jesus wrong?
It is nonsensical.
The Holy Spirit was the Author of the whole thing, and the Author wrote HIMSELF into the story in the Gospels, and put words in the mouth of God, via the pens of the inspired writers.
How, then, can Jesus not be taken most literally when he says thus and so?
It makes no sense to do otherwise!
Jesus says clearly what one must DO, and what one must BELIEVE. Paul SEEMS TO SAY at one point that all that matters is what you believe, but James says the opposite, the whole Old Testament says the opposite, and most importantly of all, JESUS says the opposite. Certainly, whatever the Holy Spirit was intending to do through the pen of Paul, it was NOT to try and contradict, countermand or limit Jesus!
Paul has to be read in light of Jesus, obviously.
It can't be the other way around.
It would make no sense at all for God to enter into the story and teach in person, and for a later person to enter into the story and countermand God. Paul never explicitly does this, of course. Paul is a good man. But Paul's words are sometimes taken literally in a way that they cannot be. Faith alone, without anything else, 'faith without works', might SEEM to be what Paul teaches somewhere, but that can't be read that way. It can't be what it means. It contradicts James' "Faith without works is dead", and it contradicts Jesus' whole life and teachings. Jesus isn't all about "believe this, believe that". He's very much a "DO this and DO that" kind of guy.
Paul has to be understood to mean that faith is what is needed, but the one who has faith will inevitably DO those things that faith requires be done, to the extent he can.
And the one thing lacking in Jesus is a focus on Scripture. Jesus certainly talks about Scripture, to a degree. Almost all of his actual citations to Scripture are from the Law and the Prophets. And in many cases, he corrects scripture. The Son of Man is also the God of the Scriptures, and what came before him, notably the Torah, is actually IMPERFECT if read alone, because the Bible itself contains the traditions of men IN the Scriptures. To get the Torah right, you have to read Jesus, who corrects and amends certain things about the Torah.
And then Jesus doesn't leave a book himself. He leaves some practices, a summary of the law in the two great commandments, and a group of men commissioned to do the work.
When you said this: "So... it seems that you don't consider the New Testament as Scripture. If you did, then you'd realize that the Holy Spirit DID KNOW that the writings were Scripture," you were addressing me and my belief directly. Now I will address yours directly. It seems that you consider your non-Scriptural tradition of what is "Scripture" to itself be divinely inspired, so that you can confidently say that the New Testament IS Scripture. The New Testament does not define itself as Scripture. It doesn't define itself at all. Somebody had to compile that list of documents, accepting some and rejecting others, to determine what "Scripture" was. The Bible doesn't say how to do that, or who is to do it. To the extent you are certain that the early Church got it right, through all of those vicissitudes, is the extent to which you are admitting, however unwittingly, that the Holy Spirit has made authoritative decisions and revelations OUTSIDE OF Scripture. To the extent you are unwilling to make that allowance, then how do you know what "Scripture" IS? Scripture doesn't say.
But within Scripture itself, there are different people speaking and saying different things, and who is speak
Would you look at that! Right off the bat you say something that is provably wrong.
He wasn't an eyewitness to Jesus' life
Speculation, your honor. We have no way of knowing if Paul was an eyewitness to Jesus' life.
Given his position in the Jewish order, and the "smallness" of both Judea and Jerusalem, and the big splash being made by the Lord, your theory is likely incorrect.
and the Gospels hadn't been written yet.
The gospels may (or may not) have been written during the time Paul wrote. We don't know for certain.
Jesus says divorce was NEVER God's law
WRONG!!! Jesus permitted divorce under specific circumstnaces.
Later, Jesus says that NO FOOD makes you unclean. So, EITHER the older Scripture, in the Torah, of the food rules is another case of Jewish TRADITION being recorded in the Scriptures and departing from God's actual Law (like Jesus says divorce is), OR the Scripture really WAS inspired by God to say those foods were impure, but God later overturns the rule of old scripture and puts a new rule down.
Jesus kept the Law perfectly during His life. Once it was fulfilled and the New Covenant established, the non-moral laws of the Old Covenant were in force. The only thing that didn't change were the fundamental moral laws that man has always been subject to.
I could go on, but the wife requires my attention. Save it to say... I disagree. You've got much to do to support you position beyond the logic of men and with the Word of God!
If we're going to bring up New York,...let's let Hillary bury the dead. ;^(
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