Skip to comments.SCRIPTURE ALONE ("SOLA SCRIPTURA")
Posted on 01/24/2007 8:41:04 AM PST by Joseph DeMaistre
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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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