Skip to comments.Scripture, Tradition, and Rome Part 2
Posted on 01/03/2014 12:22:14 PM PST by redleghunter
As we established yesterday, the official Catholic position on Scripture is that Scripture does not and cannot speak for itself. It must be interpreted by the Church's teaching authority, and in light of "living tradition." De facto this says that Scripture has no inherent authority, but like all spiritual truth, it derives its authority from the Church. Only what the Church says is deemed the true Word of God, the "Sacred Scripture . . . written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records."
This position obviously emasculates Scripture. That is why the Catholic stance against sola Scriptura has always posed a major problem for Roman Catholic apologists. On one hand faced with the task of defending Catholic doctrine, and on the other hand desiring to affirm what Scripture says about itself, they find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. They cannot affirm the authority of Scripture apart from the caveat that tradition is necessary to explain the Bible's true meaning. Quite plainly, that makes tradition a superior authority. Moreover, in effect it renders Scripture superfluous, for if Catholic tr adition inerrantly encompasses and explains all the truth of Scripture, then the Bible is simply redundant. Understandably, sola Scriptura has therefore always been a highly effective argument for defenders of the Reformation.
(Excerpt) Read more at gty.org ...
The Watch Tower insists that its publications are needed to properly interpret the Bible.
Of course, they’ve been consistently wrong about when Christ will come again.
So, while I would never compare the Caholic Church to the Jehovh’s witnesses in any shape, form, or fashion, I do have to wonder what, in principle, is the difference between the two stances?
With all respect, and I’m not trying to stir something up (just have never understood this), if Scripture is truly sufficient without any authoritative interpretation), then why the diversity of beliefs with the various groups who all claim to rely upon Scripture alone? I’ve had people tell me that the differences are all peripheral, but I can’t picture that important doctrinal points, like soteriology and eschatology, can possibly be peripheral.
For example, I understand that Southern and most Independent Fundamental Baptists are Calvinist in their Soteriology, but Free Will Baptists (and others?) are Arminian. I’ve read here in FR what some Calvinists think about Arminian beliefs, so I can’t imagine that the two are compatible at all. That’s not a peripheral belief, is it? (One’s salvation shouldn’t be peripheral)
But if the Holy Spirit illuminates each believer so that he can interpret Scripture on his own, how can both of the two views above be guided by the Holy Spirit? (Seems, at best, that one would be and the other wouldn’t)
Is one orthodox and the other a heretic? But says who?
So how does that work?
I’m not trying to stir something up (and I’m sure somebody will be by with his YOPIOS pic), but just want to know how you all can reconcile that belief with the diversity of beliefs that are out there with people who say Scripture, interpreted by the individual, is the sole authority?
Christ gave the power to bind and loose to Peter and the Apostles, who passed that power on to their successors. This is the essential difference.
But not to add or subtract from Scripture.
There are seven segments to this sewries of which thisa is the third. I am using them in a progressive lesson for my Bible group to provide fellow Christians with firm and unassailable responses to the current attack of these doctrines by Romanists.
That’s exactly right.
Hank Hanegraaff moderated a debate on Calvinism vs. Arminianism once where he touched on this very issue. He said these were important issues...but not “unto salvation” (???) and then said that good scholars differed and it was an “in-house” debate.
I kinda chuckled at that. Basically, his definition of “good scholars” was “good PROTESTANT scholars” and “in house” meant within the house of Protestantism. Calvin thought one thing, Arminius and others something else.
But then why restrict yourself to that limited pool? Why not throw Chrysostom and Aquinas in there as well?
This is not a question of “Rome says this tradition, but we stay pure of any tradition”. This is a question of “Rome says this tradition...and we say some other tradition that got cooked up in the last 500 years.”
Ah....but that's the very issue now isn't it?!
See, because I am quite convinced the Reformers SUBTRACTED from Scripture when they started saying "this is my body"....didn't mean what it had always been taken to mean.
Don't want to get into the weeds with that argument. But what I'd like to know is...why, if Scripture is self-sufficient, am I NOT ALLOWED to believe in the Real Presence when I read it in the plain sense of Scripture? I have made a very close study of it and I am convinced that the Reformers were dead wrong on this point.
I think believers in Sola Scriptura assuage themselves with the idea that their opponents are institutional automatons, instead of people who read the Scriptures just like them and simply came to the opposite conclusion.
If you *really* believe in Sola Scriptura, you must, perforce, admit my right to believe in the Real Presence from the Scriptures.
Its rather simple really. There are many who claim Sola Scriptura but stray from it. Show me the differences between denominations, sects, individuals or whatever and I can show how they stray from Sola Scriptura. They either dont use ALL of scripture, take passages out of context, or use some other authority such as Luther, Calvin, so called church fathers, or some other source for their justification for a belief.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.
Do you have to believe in sola Scriptura to be saved?
You don't use any sources? At all? You have never read and been convinced by any person's explanation of a Scriptural passage? You've never heard something explained by someone else? You don't listen to any preachers on Sunday?
It's just you and you alone, reading the Bible, staying blissfully "pure" of any outside influence?
People that worship the Bible.. AND
People that worship the church......
Pretty much makes GOD a doofus.....
Could be a Donkey Rodeo.... with clowns and everything...
If you *really* believe in Sola Scriptura, you must, perforce, admit my right to believe in the Real Presence from the Scriptures.
Well, you have the right to believe anything you want. And I think close study of the issue is all to the good. My thought, though, is that it is not Church tradition that should guide the study, but theHoly Spirit.
Not saying that you're wrong, just that I think that you are. Could be me that is wrong. But be that as it may, IMO, the important thing is to accept Christ as Savior and be baptised. This latter not as a condition of salvation, but in obedience to our Lord's command.
Every, and I mean every, other theological point is secondary to requirement to repent of your sin and accept Christ as Savior. If not, how can an illeterate be saved? By accepting Church tradition?
Suppose he is led away from truth by an apostate or heretical priest, such as those who gave "lberation theology"?
Actually it should be both!
All that "Church tradition" is, is the accumulated wisdom of many Christians who have been inspired by the Holy Spirit from the beginning of the Church until now.
Like say your pastor said X. And everyone else said Y. You'd wonder if your pastor was a bit off, right? But if your pastor and every other pastor said X, then you'd feel pretty good about believing X because you'd be in good company with people you trust.
When you see tradition as not so much a dogma passed down from on high, but as really just a bunch of Holy-Spirit-inspired people all saying X together....then it makes sense why people should not be too eager to go out on a limb and say Y.
Only Christ was perfect in wisdom, the rest of us will make mistakes and have disagreements with each other on this or that.
It's the same as politics. Catholics say we must all agree on religious issues or else our views don't matter. For instance, since the Catholics follow the pope and all Catholics agree with him, then they say that makes them the only true form of Christianity, since all Protestants don't agree with everything every other Protestant believes. If you believe that then you would have to dismiss the political views of members of this site since we don't agree on anything. Some of us believe in Free Trade, some hate that belief. Some of us believe in the income tax over a retail tax, and some here hate the income tax. But generally we are on one side and liberals are on the other, even though none of us are in perfect agreement with anyone else here.
Thanks for the reply. It seems the most important "ology" you posted is soteriology. I know of no differences in the Calvinist and Arminian postions of saved by Grace through faith. There may be differences on free will vs. election but I believe you get enough of that here. Boils down to both groups take the face value of the gospel of Grace. Arminians and Calvinists break bread together. Whether free will or election, both agree, well we don't know who the elect are only God does.
Which brings us to what authority the apostles told us we can rely on and that is the God inspired Scriptures:
2 Timothy 3:
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystrawhat persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We should remember at this point in time Paul and other apostles had some epistles in circulation, but the scriptures in which Paul tells Timothy "Holy Scriptures" would be what is now the OT. We also have the Bereans in Acts 17 searching the scriptures (again we can be pretty certain only the OT scriptures available at this point) diligently to see if Paul's inspired message of the Gospel to them is true. In the same passage in Acts 17 the statement is made that the Bereans seemed more "fair minded" than the Thessalonians. This becomes important as we look at Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, which admonishes them for not following the words of Paul, believing in stories of others claiming to be apostles; therefore Paul had to put in writing what they needed to know, thus the epistles to them.
Please I understand "stir the pot" is what happens at FR and makes it a great place to come. You were polite and reasoned and I hope I addressed what you asked. Maybe I just don't see a big difference in Arminian doctrine as a Calvinist might see, but ask them, they are not calling each other heretics. They may disagree on finer points but they both ascribe and believe in the Gospel as stated by Jesus Christ in Luke 24 and explained in detail in 1 Corinthians 15.
Now on issues of eschatology, I don't even think there are any protestants or evangelicals who would call each other heretics or will not break bread with over eschatology. There may be one exception in that full prederists believe the second coming of Christ is past (happened in 70 AD) and the resurrection is something ongoing and there is no literal judgment day. Most protestants and evangelicals would say such a position is in error. Other than this group (very small) good Christians can be in disagreement over eschatology because we all believe Jesus Christ is coming again as evidenced in Acts 1, Revelation 1 and many other refs, and He will judge the living and the dead. amillennials, millennials, pre-trib, post-trib no trib, all know at some point that the Gospels and epistles tell us Jesus is coming again to put an end to this temporal world. Evangelicals do not see a reason for division over the timeline that is clearly in God's Hands. All believe to watch and be ready and be found worthy of His return.
Now, I am glad you did not use the tactic some use here. I don't need explain David Koresh, Jim Jones, JWs, Mormons and all other cult groups given those groups live not by scriptures as the authority but their cult leader or group provides their marching orders.
Finally, being a guy who has been on both sides of the Tiber I understand your points and frankly we (prots and RCs) will probably never resolve them corporately. Tradition and history is very important to your Church, I respect that. What I cannot see is how one bishop (Lord of the Rings here) forged a ring to rule them (other bishops) all. As I see the scriptures and even the post apostolic early church, I don't see that one ring rules them all. And, I state here, I too am not trying to stir the pot:) Thanks again Mark...
No we dont. Jesus refuted the fleshly presence.
John 6:63 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Matthew 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
Surely you dont actually physically eat the scroll or book do you?
Ezek 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this scroll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that scroll. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
1 Corinthians 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
By that question you indicate to me that you have no concept of what Sola Scriptura really means.
Ill give you an example. The RCC teaches the assumption of Mary. Can you find anywhere in scripture that any of the apostles taught that?
No, any more than he can by simply reading the Bible. It's the child-like acceptance of the Lord that is at the heart of salvation. Love, not theology.
Suppose he is led away from truth by an apostate or heretical priest, such as those who gave "lberation theology"?
People will not be judged for something that was not their fault. "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin." - John 15:22
Scripture, Tradition, and Rome, Part 1
The tendency to venerate tradition is very strong in religion. The world is filled with religions that have been following set traditions for hundreds--even thousands--of years. Cultures come and go, but religious tradition shows an amazing continuity.
In fact, many ancient religions--including Druidism, Native American religions, and several of the oriental cults--eschewed written records of their faith, preferring to pass down their legends and rituals and dogmas via word-of-mouth. Such religions usually treat their body of traditions as a de facto authority equal to other religions' sacred writings.
Even among the world's religions that revere sacred writings, however, tradition and Scripture are often blended. This is true in Hinduism, for example, where the ancient Vedas are the Scriptures, and traditions handed down by gurus round out the faith of most followers. Tradition in effect becomes a lens through which the written word is interpreted. Tradition therefore stands as the highest of all authorities, because it renders the only authoritative interpretation of the sacred writings.
This tendency to view tradition as supreme authority is not unique to pagan religions. Traditional Judaism, for example, follows the Scripture-plus-tradition paradigm. The familiar books of the Old Testament alone are viewed as Scripture, but true orthodoxy is actually defined by a collection of ancient rabbinical traditions known as the Talmud. In effect, the traditions of the Talmud carry an authority equal to or greater than that of the inspired Scriptures.
Teaching as Doctrines the Precepts of Men
This is no recent development within Judaism. The Jews of Jesus' day also placed tradition on an equal footing with Scripture. Rather, in effect, they made tradition superior to Scripture, because Scripture was interpreted by tradition and therefore made subject to it.
Whenever tradition is elevated to such a high level of authority, it inevitably becomes detrimental to the authority of Scripture. Jesus made this very point when he confronted the Jewish leaders. He showed that in many cases their traditions actually nullified Scripture. He therefore rebuked them in the harshest terms:
"Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death'; but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God),' you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that" (Mk. 7:6-13).
It was inexcusable that tradition would be elevated to the level of Scripture in Judaism, because when God gave the law to Moses, it was in written form for a reason: to make it permanent and inviolable. The Lord made very plain that the truth He was revealing was not to be tampered with, augmented, or diminished in any way. His Word was the final authority in all matters:"You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (Deut. 4:2).
They were to observe His commandments assiduously, and neither supplement nor abrogate them by any other kind of "authority": "Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it" (Deut. 12:32).
So the revealed Word of God, and nothing else, was the supreme and sole authority in Judaism. This alone was the standard of truth delivered to them by God Himself. Moses was instructed to write down the very words God gave him (Exod. 34:27), and that written record of God's Word became the basis for God's covenant with the nation (Exod. 24:4,7). The written Word was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Deut. 31:9), symbolizing its supreme authority in the lives and the worship of the Jews forever. God even told Moses' successor, Joshua:
Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it (Josh. 1:7-8).
Of course, other books of inspired Scripture beside those written by Moses were later added to the Jewish canon--but this was a prerogative reserved by God alone. Sola Scriptura was therefore established in principle with the giving of the law. No tradition passed down by word of mouth, no rabbinical opinion, and no priestly innovation was to be accorded authority equal to the revealed Word of God as recorded in Scripture.
Solomon understood this principle: "Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar" (Prov. 30:5-6).
The Scriptures therefore were to be the one standard by which everyone who claimed to speak for God was tested: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20, KJV).
In short, tradition had no legitimate place of authority in the worship of Jehovah.
Everything was to be tested by the Word of God as recorded in the Scriptures. That's why Jesus' rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees was so harsh. Their very faith in Rabbinical tradition was in and of itself a serious transgression of the covenant and commandments of God (cf. Matt. 15:3).
The Rise and Ruin of Catholic Tradition
Unfortunately, Christianity has often followed the same tragic road as paganism and Judaism in its tendency to elevate tradition to a position of authority equal to or greater than Scripture. The Catholic Church in particular has its own body of tradition that functions exactly like the Jewish Talmud: it is the standard by which Scripture is to be interpreted. In effect, tradition supplants the voice of Scripture itself.
How did this happen? The earliest Church Fathers placed a strong emphasis on the authority of Scripture over verbal tradition. Fierce debates raged in the early church over such crucial matters as the deity of Christ, His two natures, the Trinity, and the doctrine of original sin. Early church councils settled those questions by appealing to Scripture as the highest of all authorities. The councils themselves did not merely issue ex cathedra decrees, but they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly. The authority was in the appeal to Scripture, not in the councils per se.
Unfortunately, the question of Scriptural authority itself was not always clearly delineated in the early church, and as the church grew in power and influence, church leaders began to assert an authority that had no basis in Scripture. The church as an institution became in many people's eyes the fountain of authority and the arbiter on all matters of truth. Appeals began to be made more often to tradition than to Scripture. As a result, extrabiblical doctrines were canonized and a body of truth that found no support in Scripture began to be asserted as infallibly true.
Roman Catholic doctrine is shot through with legends and dogmas and superstitions that have no biblical basis whatsoever. The stations of the cross, the veneration of saints and angels, the Marian doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and the notion that Mary is co-mediatrix with Christ--none of those doctrines can be substantiated by Scripture. They are the product of Roman Catholic tradition.
Officially, the Catholic Church is very straightforward about her blending of Scripture and tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)acknowledges that the Roman Catholic Church "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence" (CCC 82, emphasis added).
Tradition, according to Roman Catholicism, is therefore as much "the Word of God" as Scripture. According to the Catechism, Tradition and Scripture "are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal" (CCC 80). The "sacred deposit of faith"--this admixture of Scripture and tradition--was supposedly entrusted by the apostles to their successors (CCC 84), and "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. . . . This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome" (CCC 85).
The Catechism is quick to deny that this makes the Church's teaching authority (called the magisterium) in any way superior to the Word of God itself (CCC 86). But it then goes on to warn the faithful that they must "read the Scripture within 'the living tradition of the whole Church'" (CCC 113). The Catechism at this point quotes "a saying of the Fathers[:] Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word" (CCC 113).
So in effect, tradition is not only made equal to Scripture; but it becomes the true Scripture, written not in documents, but mystically within the Church herself. And when the Church speaks, Her voice is heard as if it were the voice of God, giving the only true meaning to the words of the "documents and records. "Thus tradition utterly supplants and supersedes Scripture.
Bind and loose what??? Give us an example where something was bound and loosed...
In order to make such an assertion you would have to point out what 'traditions' were created in the Protestant/Evangelical "mixing bowl." Hank H. was correct. The Gospel of Grace as presented in the NT by the apostles is embraced by Arminians and Calvinists. A wise man once said to me "the Calvinists are a bit too confident and the Arminians are worry warts...we do well to listen to them both.":) That about sums it up.
CynicalBear, you tell me first that all a man needs is to search the Scriptures with the Holy Spirit. Then when I say I’ve done so, and I happen to agree with the Church’s 1500 year old constant teaching on this, you pull the rug out from under me and tell me I can’t possibly be right.
Seems to me you want complete freedom to disagree with the Catholic Church while denying me my freedom to agree with it.
Unless you have an infallible Holy Ghost detector in your pocket CynicalBear there’s no way on earth you can tell me I’m wrong. I think Chesley has been much more fair on the issue...at least leaving the door open to the possibility.
The scripture didnt leave any doors open for error.
Well let's go to neutral ground for a mere moment without going in the weeds. I have seen Roman Catholics cite the Didache to show church traditions in practice.
Didache on the Lord's Supper
Didache 9:1 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give ye thanks thus.
Didache 9:2 First, as regards the cup: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of Thy son David, which Thou madest known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
Didache 9:3 Then as regarding the broken bread: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
Didache 9:4 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
Didache 9:5 But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord hath said: Give not that which is holy to the dogs.
Didache 10:1 And after ye are satisfied thus give ye thanks:
Didache 10:2 We give Thee thanks, Holy Father, for Thy holy name, which Thou hast made to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which Thou hast made known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
Didache 10:3 Thou, Almighty Master, didst create all things for Thy name's sake, and didst give food and drink unto men for enjoyment, that they might render thanks to Thee; but didst bestow upon us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Thy Son.
Didache 10:4 Before all things we give Thee thanks that Thou art powerful; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
Roman Catholics usually pick up on the word "Eucharist" and say "ah ha see just like we have today!" Which, when we look at the Greek word 'eucharistia' it means "Thanksgiving." No more no less. Today to some churces it may mean something more than originally used. How the doctrine of transubstantiation came from what is in the NT and in the Didache is unknown.
Wow, a very good and insightful question. Being serious here. I believe you find God's complete Truth in the scriptures and His plan of salvation. This what I believe:
2 Timothy 3:
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So as not to dodge you direct question...From the above passage I believe all Truth we need to know about salvation, God's Glory and how to live holy lives acceptable to Him are in His Written Word.
Let me please ask a counter question...What not contained in scriptures is necessary for all Truth we need to know about salvation, God's Glory and how to live holy lives acceptable to Him?
I pray that more Catholics and those now on these threads promoting the Hebrew roots cult hear Gods words and renounce the traditions of men.
Post #14 case in point.
Hey hosepipe nice day we’re having? Sun came up today and such. If you want to start a separate thread “hosepipe’s personal revelations” you are free to do so, you know that.
What exactly is "X" and what is "Y"? Is there a "Z"? Are there potential multiple answers to Luke 24, Romans 10, and 1 Corinthians 15? When the apostles said "A" to be saved, was their message incomplete? Is there some confusion on the definition of the Gospel?
No doubt there are false prot and evangelical pastors out there. But I don't think you would say all of your priests speak dogma and truth with all purity and infallibility all the time either right? I mean none of those pedophile and pederast priests were representing mother church while dispensing sacraments right?
When you read these verses that say 'eat my flesh' and 'my flesh is food indeed' and my body is bread, it's easy to see a connection between Jesus' flesh and bread...
But when one sees in the same context in the same chapter that eating and drinking these things which are connected to Jesus that you will never thirst nor hunger again, it's time to look at these verses more closely...And search for other scriptures that might unlock and unfold what you've clearly missed...
YOu then discover that nowhere in the scriptures are you told that unknown to the senses that bread and wine is literally meat and blood...Nowhere are you told that someone must or will or can take on this feat and turn Jesus' flesh into blood and wine...Nowhere are you told that God will do this for you...And nowhere is anyone instructed to do it...
So you continue to search the scriptures...
When some guy comes up and says, 'hey I can do this thing that you want that the scriptures are silent about, and when it's over, nothing has changed, it's time to seriously question the guy that makes the claim...
And then when you see the scripture that says pay no mind to what you put into your mouth, like the bread some guy told you was really Jesus' flesh, it goes out into the sewer in a few minutes anyway...
Then, it's time to get back into the scriptures to find what you missed...
Which came first—the Church or the Bible’s New Testament? I think it’s fair to say that the Church (now the Roman Catholic Church) selected what went into the New Testament, and for some 1500 years, the Bible’s New Testament stored what the Church selected. To my knowledge, the Church has not deselected any of those early choices. Yet, those who say they believe in the dominance of scripture over Church (or “man”) have both deselected and emphasized various passages and seem to deny the Church’s role in selecting and storing them.
If, then, one accepts the notion of sola scriptura, isn’t he putting the horse behind the cart? And (you knew this would come up) WHOSE sola scriptura?
Who wrote the NT? Did the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms come before the church and did they (the OT scriptures) testify to Christ? Did the bi-pedal NT beings (the apostles) write down what they seen, heard and spoke so generations who would be blessed by believing and not seeing could know? So who came first Christ or the church? His Word or the apostles?
Your argument would be most valid for someone in the church prior to the bi-pedal NT beings inking it down.
I also believe that the Bible contains all that is necessary for salvation but not the only thing. I also believe that people can be saved who never even heard of the Bible, including Jewish people who only accept just parts.
Outstanding post, I think McArthur is spot on here. It is rare to see the connection made between Judaism's Talmudic tradtions and the RCC's traditions. Neither are scripture.
Would you please post your scriptural basis for that belief?
Therein lays the problem. When someone believes something other than scripture is the authority why would there be a drive to search the scriptures?
Do these Jewish people believe in the shed Blood of Christ for the remission of sins?
Matthew 27:52 The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. [some translations say ‘saints’]
Those were faithful followers of God from the Old Testament who trusted in the coming Messiah as it had been prophesied.
>> I also include the apostles, martyrs and those who died before the Bible was canonized<<
Canonization had nor has anything to do with it. All the assemblies had the teachings of the apostles with many already having the written text. Peter said Pauls writings were already considered scripture.
2 Peter 3:15 As also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given him, 16 as in all his letters, speaking concerning these matters, in which some things are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES. 17 You then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being let away with the delusion of the lawless.
To claim they never even heard of the Bible, denies what scripture teaches in that all that is contained in the Bible was already know by them.
>>including Jewish people who only accept just parts<<
If they dont accept Jesus as their savior and trust in Him alone they will not be saved.
The question that the debate over sola scripture vs. tradition is whether church tradition ever contradicts or sets in opposition to what the Scriptures say.
If the answer is ‘yes’ than which shall I lean upon? Scripture or Tradition? Further, what can tradition provide to me that that the Scriptures do not?
If the answer is ‘no’ then it must be asked, What purpose does tradition serve? Certainly the reasons for Scriptures existence is stated in many ways, one being that ‘all these things written aforetime were written for our instruction, etc’.
In short, One cannot serve two masters, either tradition will be the final arbiter of faith or the Bible will be.
Fair enough. But then what do you make of the verse John 16:13? Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (KJV)
I have heard four different interpretations of this:
(Now I realize that you won't agree with my commentary on choice 4...and I'm not trying to slam you)
So the question, again, is: what about John 16:13?
Context is critical, wouldn't you say?
[Act 15:6-11 KJV] 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
And that changes how we all have been given the Holy Spirit just as the apostles had and that there was no distinction made how?
Would you say that none of John 16 applies to all true believers?
“With all respect, and Im not trying to stir something up (just have never understood this), if Scripture is truly sufficient without any authoritative interpretation), then why the diversity of beliefs with the various groups who all claim to rely upon Scripture alone? “
It only reveals your lack of knowledge on the church fathers, and their “diversity of beliefs” as compared to modern Romanism. Take a look at this, for example:
Cyril of Jerusalem on Sola Scriptura:
Have thou ever in your mind this seal, which for the present has been lightly touched in my discourse, by way of summary, but shall be stated, should the Lord permit, to the best of my power with the proof from the Scriptures. For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning , but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures. (Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. Lecture 4, Ch. 17)
How about these?
Augustine on irresistible grace, final perseverance, limited atonement, and whatever else I missed which he touches on here:
But of such as these [the Elect] none perishes, because of all that the Father has given Him, He will lose none. John 6:39 Whoever, therefore, is of these does not perish at all; nor was any who perishes ever of these. For which reason it is said, They went out from among us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us. John 2:19. (Augustine, Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints)
I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God; and I call that the end by which is finished that life wherein alone there is peril of falling. (Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints)
And, moreover, who will be so foolish and blasphemous as to say that God cannot change the evil wills of men, whichever, whenever, and wheresoever He chooses, and direct them to what is good? But when He does this He does it of mercy; when He does it not, it is of justice that He does it not for He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. And when the apostle said this, he was illustrating the grace of God, in connection with which he had just spoken of the twins in the womb of Rebecca, who being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. And in reference to this matter he quotes another prophetic testimony: Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. But perceiving how what he had said might affect those who could not penetrate by their understanding the depth of this grace: What shall we say then? he says: Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For it seems unjust that, in the absence of any merit or demerit, from good or evil works, God should love the one and hate the other. Now, if the apostle had wished us to understand that there were future good works of the one, and evil works of the other, which of course God foreknew, he would never have said, not of works, but, of future works, and in that way would have solved the difficulty, or rather there would then have been no difficulty to solve. As it is, however, after answering, God forbid; that is, God forbid that there should be unrighteousness with God; he goes on to prove that there is no unrighteousness in Gods doing this, and says: For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 98. Predestination to Eternal Life is Wholly of Gods Free Grace.)
But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction. Finally, after saying, If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, He immediately added, But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, he adds, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 15:17-19)
John Chrysostom on Sola Fide
By what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. See he calls the faith also a law delighting to keep to the names, and so allay the seeming novelty. But what is the law of faith? It is, being saved by grace. Here he shows Gods power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only. (Homily 7 on Romans III)
For this is [the righteousness] of God when we are justified not by works, (in which case it were necessary that not a spot even should be found,) but by grace, in which case all sin is done away. And this at the same time that it suffers us not to be lifted up, (seeing the whole is the free gift of God,) teaches us also the greatness of that which is given. For that which was before was a righteousness of the Law and of works, but this is the righteousness of God. (John Chrysostom, Homily 11 on Second Corinthians, 2 Cor 5:21)
Theodoret, Bishop of Syria, on the same:
The salvation of man depends upon the divine philanthropy alone. For we do not gather it as the wages of our righteousness, but it is the gift of the divine goodness. (On the 3rd chap, of Zephaniah.)
Clemens Romanus, on the same:
Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. Romans 9:5 From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, Your seed shall be as the stars of heaven. All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Letter to the Corinthians)
Ignatius on predestination and final perseverence:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia, deservedly most happy, being blessed in the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the beginning of time, that it should be always for an enduring and unchangeable glory, being united and elected through the true passion by the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ, our God: Abundant happiness through Jesus Christ, and His undefiled grace. (Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians, Ch. 0)
Seeing, then, all things have an end, these two things are simultaneously set before us death and life; and every one shall go unto his own place. For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it, [so is it also here.] The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His passion, His life is not in us. (Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, Ch. 5)
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that wills all things (Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans. Ch. 0)
I give you these instructions, beloved, assured that you also hold the same opinions [as I do]. But I guard you beforehand from those beasts in the shape of men, whom you must not only not receive, but, if it be possible, not even meet with; only you must pray to God for them, if by any means they may be brought to repentance, which, however, will be very difficult. Yet Jesus Christ, who is our true life, has the power of [effecting] this. (Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Ch. 4)
Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible. (Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Trallians, Ch. 11)
You make the assumption that Roman Catholicism has always existed, in the same way, in the same form, with the same beliefs, with the same tradition. That simply isn’t true. So the question is, why would we assume that there is ANY infallible interpreter of scripture? Better to stick with the scripture which, by the way, never actually changes, unlike your doctrines.
Error. Hm...strange. I'm a believer searching the Scriptures and seeking the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Doesn't that guarantee I'll come to the right conclusions?