A Pope Rejects Maccabees

That’s right. You read correctly. A pope once rejected the book of Maccabees. That pope was Gregory the Great. In his commentary on Job, Book 19, chapter 34, he says that it is not irregular to quote for the church’s edification the books of the Apocrypha, as long as it is understood that they are not canonical. He then immediately retells the story from 1 Macc. 6:42-47 concerning the death of Eleazar Savaran, who killed an elephant, though being killed in the process. Gregory’s exact words are these: “De qua re non inordinate agimus, si ex libris, licet non canonicis, tamen ad aedificationem ecclesiae editis, testimonium proferamus” (emphasis added). The translation already linked renders it: “With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony.” What immediately follows is from Maccabees. So, if Trent is correct in anathematizing all who reject the Apocrypha, then they have retroactively anathematized one of their own popes: Gregory the Great. Here is one case, at least, where the Protestant can say “I follow the Pope,” and the Roman Catholic cannot.

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62 Comments

  1. Bob Suden said,

    January 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Thou art stirring the pot again, Mr. Baggins.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    January 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Isn’t that what Bagginses do, Mr. Suden? ;-)

  3. greenbaggins said,

    January 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I should also mention that in a few days, this blog will cross the 2 million hits mark.

  4. D. T. King said,

    January 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    :)

  5. Jared Nelson said,

    January 31, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ll tell you the response from a Catholic apologist, because I get it all the time when I cite Pope Honorius I’s promotion of Monthelitism: He wasn’t speaking ex cathedra! Therefore, the Pope can spout heresy, endorse sin, or confess Protestant doctrine, or even add another member to the Trinity and it all doesn’t count unless he says the magic words or winks or says “Simon says” or writes in Times New Roman or whatever it is that tells us that it is ex cathedra and counts.

  6. TurretinFan said,

    January 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    From one Roman apologetics web site:

    Now the story had a dramatic change, as the Pope stepped in to settle the matter. In concurrence with the opinion of St. Augustine, and being prompted by the Holy Spirit, Pope St. Damasus I, at the Council of Rome in 382, issued a decree appropriately called, “The Decree of Damasus”, in which he listed the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments. He then asked St. Jerome to use this canon and to write a new Bible translation which included an Old Testament of 46 books, which were all in the Septuagint, and a New Testament of 27 books.
    ROME HAD SPOKEN, THE ISSUE WAS SETTLED.

    The problem is that Pope Gregory I (c. 540 – 12 March 604) was simply forgetful of this two hundred year old tradition of accepting the book as canonical. So, as a mere private theologian, he made a mistake. Never mind that he is one of the few bishops of Rome that is considered a church father.

    He was probably also just amnesic when he denied, in effect, the later novelty of the immaculate conception, as documented here:

    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-many-popes-does-it-take-to-deny.html

    It’s really the only explanation. Gregory I just had a lousy memory for all, or nearly all, of Rome’s distinctive dogmas.

    (or perhaps Gregory I was a Roman bishop who had a lot less doctrinal corruption than the Roman church has today)

    -TurretinFan

  7. Stephen said,

    January 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Jared in response to your post in #5, you are correct. The problem is what constitutes an infallible doctrine? Rome claims there are four conditions a Pope must fulfill in order for a doctrine to be infallible and there are only two doctrines that have been given the mark of being infallible; the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. Does this mean that everything else is open for interpretation of is not binding?

  8. Stephen said,

    January 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I am sorry but I just caught my error in my last entry. The last sentence should read, “Does this mean that everything else is open for interpretation or is not binding.”

  9. bsuden said,

    February 1, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Well Mr. Baggins, I just hope there’s equal time and vinegar when it comes to the proto romanist FedVisioners, (ahem, like Mr. Meyers and Mr. Horne who both signed the JFVS), seein’s it’s the heresy at arm’s length and amongst us, rather than afar off in a furrin place like Idally!

    cordially

  10. Andrew McCallum said,

    February 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Just a clarification on infallibility: The RCC has more ways of declaring something infallible for the Catholic faithful than just through the office of the Pope. Yes, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, it is believed that, by the peculiar virtue of his Apostolic office, his pronouncement is protected from error. But the final definition of papal infallibility is of recent origin and there are as I remember only two times when a pope has made such an ex cathedra pronouncement. But the RCC holds that the bishops speaking collectively under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome as well as the ecumenical councils under the leadership of Rome can also speak infallibly at certain times and under certain conditions. There are all sorts of pronouncements coming from the bishops and the councils, some of which have been promulgated infallibly. It’s all rather confusing for the average Catholic I’m sure, although there are standard works like Ott and Denzinger that are guides to RCC dogma so that that the average Joe Catholic can figure out what has and what has not been defined with a de fide or fides ecclesiastica level of certainty.

    There is no question in the minds of the RCC conservatives that the level of certainty that Trent spoke with on the matter of the “Deuterocanonicals” is of a de fide nature, and thus no good Catholic should question this decision. However, before Trent there was a range of opinion on the Apocrypha and there were RCC theologians as late as the 15th century who essentially took Jerome’s position on the matter. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia states that there were few theologians in the Medieval era who gave unqualified support to the Deuteros.

    For me the most interesting question is why Trent made the determination that she did. Now of course as a Reformed Protestant I have certain thoughts concerning the motives of Trent, but I’m always interested in what our Catholic friends perceive to be Trent’s rationale on making such a pronouncement. Like with so many other theological matters that divide Reformed from Roman Catholic, my suspicion is that Catholics don’t have much reason to hold to the canonicity of their Deuteros other than the fact that an ecumenical council ruled a certain way on the matter. But maybe we will have some of our Catholic friends pop in and comment…..

    Cheers for now….

  11. TurretinFan said,

    February 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Andrew:

    We could add to that the “universal and ordinary magisterium,” which is the third way that something can be “infallibly promulgated” by the RC magisterium in RC theology.

    As for “Catholic friends,” I think I understand that you are pointing out that we don’t have any personal animosity toward them or any hatred of them, as indeed we don’t. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to give them the impression that we consider them our brethren in Christ (which is not to say that they are all necessarily unsaved, but simply that their professions are currently incredible).

    -TurretinFan

  12. ljdibiase said,

    February 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “then they have retroactively anathematized one of their own popes”

    I believe the stock response is that de fide pronouncements only apply going forward. That is, it’s only an article of faith when The Church says it is. In other words, no retroactive anathemas.

  13. Constantine said,

    February 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    “In other words, no retroactive anathemas.”

    But Vatican I laid out the standard of “absolutely manifest teaching of the sacred scriptures, as it has always been understood by the catholic church…”

    But if something, especially de fide pronouncements, had always been understood, how can there be any divergence whether looking forward or back?

    Peace.

  14. louis said,

    February 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Yes, well… ahem… that’s because… ahem… Oh look, it’s snowing!

  15. D. T. King said,

    February 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    In other words, no retroactive anathemas.

    Well, the 6th ecumenical council made no bones about doing that, which “judged that Honorius, who was Pope of Elder Rome, should be together with them [i.e. the previously named heretics] cast out of the Holy Church of God, and be anathematized together with them, because we have found from the letter written by him to Sergius, that in all things he followed his mind and authoritatively confirmed his impious dogmas.” See Mansi xi, 544, 556.

    Moreover, pope Leo II ratified the council’s decisions with the authority of Peter and anathematizing the monothelite leaders it had condemned including Honorius I.

  16. TurretinFan said,

    February 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    The move from having councils that announced things as anathema because they are anathema to having councils that, because they anathematized things, rendered them anathema, is a significant shift.

    If Trent were like the 6th ecumenical council, one would expect them to condemn Gregory, Jerome, Cardinals Cajetan and Ximenez and others who denied the canonicity of the books in question. The fact that they didn’t shows that they are not really the spiritual heirs of the prior council, with respect to the role of councils.

    -TurretinFan

  17. Andrew McCallum said,

    February 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    As for “Catholic friends,” I think I understand that you are pointing out that we don’t have any personal animosity toward them or any hatred of them, as indeed we don’t. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to give them the impression that we consider them our brethren in Christ (which is not to say that they are all necessarily unsaved, but simply that their professions are currently incredible).

    TF,

    Agreed, this is a good clarification. We are not in communion with Roman Catholics.

    ….The fact that they didn’t shows that they are not really the spiritual heirs of the prior council, with respect to the role of councils.

    It interests me that RC’s will often ask the question as to why we accept the pronouncements of one ecumenical council (i.e. Nicea) but reject the work of another (i.e. Trent). They ask this as if the specific proceedings and pronouncements of said councils are of no consequence and all that does matter is that a given ecumenical council had spoken. This ties back to my previous question to the Catholics as to what rationale Trent had utilized in it’s determination of the canonical status of the Deuteros and whether their judgment was sound. But I don’t think that Catholics go through such a thought process. The Church has spoken and her words in this context are irreformable, so that settles it.

  18. ljdibiase said,

    February 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    15. Was that because of some new de fide pronouncement that made Honorius’ views retroactively heretical?

  19. D. T. King said,

    February 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Was that because of some new de fide pronouncement that made Honorius’ views retroactively heretical?

    If one regards the the official, conciliar condemnation of Monothelitism at the Council of Constantinople (680-681) to be de fide, then the answer is yes. It was never condemned as a heresy by an “ecumenical” council before then. It had been condemned by some western synods (Milan, Hatfield, 680), and reports of these synods were delivered at the Council of Constantinople (680-681).

  20. ljdibiase said,

    February 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Well there goes that theory.

  21. Shepherd said,

    February 2, 2011 at 4:28 am

    This very sort of objection against Roman Catholicism (the fact that popes and councils tend to disagree) prompted John Henry Cardinal Newman to create his now-quite-popular “Theory of the Development of Christian Doctrine.” The theory itself has a number of flaws, but I bring it up as an example to say: Roman Catholics have grappled with this and do have some sort of an answer to this sort of thing.

  22. TurretinFan said,

    February 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Yes, they attempt to defend their doctrines that are neither Biblical nor historical with theories that are neither Biblical nor historical. Sir Walter Scott’s proverb speaks well to this condition:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practise to deceive!

    (Marmion, Canto vi, Stanza 17.)

    -TurretinFan

  23. Jim said,

    February 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    It seems that you don’t have a problem believing in the defined teaching that Christ had one will without biblical support. Too bad turretfan has refused to answer this question.

  24. TurretinFan said,

    February 4, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Jim: As you know, it’s “TurretinFan” not “turretfan.” Christ has two wills, not one – because he is both fully God and fully man. While we could prove that to you from Scripture, it seems pointless to do so unless you, like Honorius are a monothelite. And if you are, this is hardly the place.

    -TurretinFan

  25. greenbaggins said,

    February 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

    BOQ This very sort of objection against Roman Catholicism (the fact that popes and councils tend to disagree) prompted John Henry Cardinal Newman to create his now-quite-popular “Theory of the Development of Christian Doctrine.” The theory itself has a number of flaws, but I bring it up as an example to say: Roman Catholics have grappled with this and do have some sort of an answer to this sort of thing.EOQ

    Shepherd, I will answer this, but first, you need to know that we do not allow anonymous commenters on this blog. Is Shepherd your name? Anyway, to an answer:

    If the Roman Catholic is going to appeal to doctrinal development, then he cannot appeal to the historical Magisterium, nor to tradition, since doctrine has developed since then. Take the case in hand at the present moment: Pope Gregory the Great denies the canonicity of Maccabees. This wasn’t done in private. This was done in his published Job commentary, a work that he gave to the church as a whole. So, the published teaching of Gregory the Great can no longer serve as a source for understanding true doctrine if Newman’s doctrinal development be acknowledged. Incidentally, this idea of development is in direct conflict with the dictum of St. Vincent of Lerins: “Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.” If that “everywhere, always and by all” can be modified into its opposite (Maccabees is not canonical develops into Maccabees is canonical), then it is not “everywhere, always and by all,” since at any given point, people may be developing their contradictory opinions. Newman’s doctrine of development, then, is nothing less than a radical faith in the present church only. At any rate, the Roman Catholic cannot appeal to tradition, if that tradition can actually be overturned later on. That would make tradition quite a bit less than infallible. One also wonders, then, if there is any such thing as the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). According to Newman’s doctrine, then, the faith once for all delivered is always changing and developing, and could even develop into the opposite of what once was. I don’t buy it. This is to deny that truth has any relationship whatsoever with the immutable God. If God cannot change, then ultimately, neither can His truth. Of course, our understanding of it can deepen over time (or become more shallow!). But if there is any true development, it has be in a deeper direction, not in a sideways direction.

  26. Jim said,

    February 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Tur. Christ does have two wills. This is what the Catholic faith tells me. Scripture isn’t as clear on it, or at least not as clear as you demand other Catholic de fide teachings be derived from Scripture. Honorious is a separate issue, and I can see why you would want to divert to him. Since you believe that Christ has two wills, show me this from your sole rule with the same standard you demand from Catholic teachings. Why is this not the place? You have challenged Catholic doctrines as being neither biblical or historical. Here is a doctrine of which we both agree. I’m challenging you to defend it biblically.

  27. D. T. King said,

    February 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I would suggest that before someone issues challenges that one first apologize for the false accusation made against TurrentinFan.

  28. TurretinFan said,

    February 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Jim wrote: “I’m challenging you to defend it biblically.”

    I don’t normally accept challenges to defend doctrines that both I and my challenger believe are true.

    I realize that you may not think that Scripture is sufficiently clear on the subject, but that simply places you at odds with those who many centuries ago demonstrated the matter from Scripture.

    But let me put it differently. Are you of the impression that the 6th ecumenical council simply relied on their own authority, rather than alleging that the Scriptures themselves condemn that doctrine? If so, what’s your evidence for that?

    If you are going to challenge me to defend something, let’s pick some point on which we disagree, not a point on which we agree.

    -TurretinFan

  29. Constantine said,

    February 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Greenbaggins @ 25 rightly recognizes the Rule of St. Vincent of Lerins. Unfortunately, that rule is disregarded in the modern RCC.

    But an even stronger example is the Creed of Pius IV which was cited by Archbishop Kenrick – a Council Father – at the first Vatican Council. Kenrick published a paper at the Council that said Catholics are precluded from citing Matthew 16:18 in support of the papacy. The reason he gave was that it violated this creed which is one of only four “authoritative creeds” in the church.

    Here is the section from the creed which is devastating to the modern Catholic notion of ‘tradition':

    “I also admit the Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, to whom it belongeth to judge of the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”

    Unanimous consent is an elusive thing, as we see with Maccabees.

    Peace.

  30. Andrew McCallum said,

    February 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Lane said: Newman’s doctrine of development, then, is nothing less than a radical faith in the present church only

    Lane – That statement just gets right to the heart of why these Reformed/Roman Catholic discussions can be so difficult. Not only is the present RCC the final arbiter of Scripture, she is also the final arbiter of what the Church always has believed. Gregory’s understanding of the canon was just one of so many arguments from the history of the Church against considering the Apocrypha to be canonical. But when it came time for Trent to consider the matter, there seemed to be little to nothing from these debates that they considered. Here’s the way that the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it:

    The Council of Trent did not enter into an examination of the fluctuations in the history of the Canon. Neither did it trouble itself about questions of authorship or character of contents. True to the practical genius of the Latin Church, it based its decision on immemorial tradition as manifested in the decrees of previous councils and popes, and liturgical reading, relying on traditional teaching and usage to determine a question of tradition.

    To me the admission of the first two sentences above is a clear contradiction of the third, but it certainly says something about the way that the RCC looks at such historical judgments.

  31. Jim said,

    February 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    D T King if you are addressing me I don’t have the foggiest notion what it is you are talking about. Perhaps you are not addressing me. You didn’t make that clear. If you are referring to my comment that TF believed in one will, that was a hasty mistake which I was intending to write two instead of one. I know he believes that Christ has two wills, or at least this is what I assumed. James White even admitted that this is the only orthodox view in his debate against Robert Sungenis. As demonstrated in that debate, White was unable, absent an appeal to the Council, to demonstrate why this doctrine is to be held de fide.

    TF, while I see you think that my pressing you on this issue concerning a doctrine we agree upon is of no importance, I continue to think that it is of great significance. The reality is that Scripture never states that Christ has two wills. You are drawing upon logic and philosophy to make this doctrinal conclusion. Yet you condemn the Church from doing the same in regards to her other teachings. It seems to me that since you have basically stated above that the Catholic Church makes up its doctrines without Scriptural support, and moreover you maintain that there is Scriptural support for this teaching, it would be a great and honorable thing for you to show me this biblical support. Simply stating that the Council appealed to Scripture in support for it’s doctrine here doesn’t annul the fact that the Chruch also appeals to Scripture for all its de fide teachings.

    Jim

  32. TurretinFan said,

    February 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Jim:

    What was the topic of the debate you have in mind? Dr. White and Dr. Sungenis have debated each other several times. I seem to recall Dr. White saying something similar to what I said above, namely that if you want a Biblical exposition, see the writings of the orthodox fathers of that day.

    Your assertion that the Scriptures don’t say that Christ had two wills seems to be denied by all the orthodox fathers of that generation (all whose writings we have, that is – which is only a tiny fraction, admittedly).

    But consider this chapter, and the one before it:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iii.xiv.html

    -TurretinFan

  33. D. T. King said,

    February 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    D T King if you are addressing me I don’t have the foggiest notion what it is you are talking about.

    But he does know what I’m talking about as his next comment makes clear.

    that was a hasty mistake…

    You repeated that mistake twice, once on TF’s blog, and then again here with no proof. Now, we’re to understand that you repeated the same mistake twice in haste. I am not surprised. And if you made a mistake, where is your apology?

    The reality is that Scripture never states that Christ has two wills. You are drawing upon logic and philosophy to make this doctrinal conclusion.

    I guess this is made in haste as well, which seems to be the modus operandi of this Roman apologist. What this assertion demonstrates is a self-seeking agenda that is blissfully ignorant of both of Scripture and history. It was a pope from his own communion whose letter was read at the 6th ecumenical council, which was used there to prove that Christ had two wills based upon Scripture. Yet, the Roman apologist really doesn’t care about such matters, because his agenda is what is all important to him. :)

    We happen agree that Christ had two wills because it is taught from the evidence of Holy Scripture, as Agatho argued…

    Pope Agatho: Since, as the truth of the Christian faith holds, the will is natural, where the one nature of the holy and inseparable Trinity is spoken of, it must be consistently understood that there is one natural will, and one natural operation. But when in truth we confess that in the one person of our Lord Jesus Christ the mediator between God and men, there are two natures (that is to say the divine and the human), even after his admirable union, just as we canonically confess the two natures of one and the same person, so too we confess his two natural wills and two natural operations. But that the understanding of this truthful confession may become clear to your Piety’s mind from the God-inspired doctrine of the Old and the New Testament, (for your Clemency is incomparably more able to penetrate the meaning of the sacred Scriptures, than our littleness to set it forth in flowing words), our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who is true and perfect God, and true and perfect man, in his holy Gospels shews forth in some instances human things, in others, divine, and still in others both together, making a manifestation concerning himself in order that he might instruct his faithful to believe and preach that he is both true God and true man. Thus as man he prays to the Father to take away the cup of suffering, because in him our human nature was complete, sin only excepted, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” And in another passage: “Not my will, but thine be done.” If we wish to know the meaning of which testimony as explained by the holy and approved Fathers, and truly to understand what “my will,” what “thine” signify, the blessed Ambrose in his second book to the Emperor Gratian, of blessed memory, teaches us the meaning of this passage in these words, saying: “He then, receives my will, he takes my sorrow, I confidently call it sorrow as I am speaking of the cross, mine is the will, which he calls his, because he bears my sorrow as man, he spoke as a man, and therefore he says: ‘Not as I will but as thou wilt.’” Mine is the sadness which he has received according to my affection. See, most pious of princes, how clearly here this holy Father sets forth that the words our Lord used in his prayer, “Not my will,” pertain to his humanity; through which also he is said, according to the teaching of Blessed Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles, to have “become obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.” Wherefore also it is taught us that he was obedient to his parents, which must piously be understood to refer to his voluntary obedience, not according to his divinity (by which he governs all things), but according to his humanity, by which he spontaneously submitted himself to his parents. St. Luke the Evangelist likewise bears witness to the same thing, telling how the same our Lord Jesus Christ prayed according to his humanity to his Father, and said, “Father, if it be possible let the cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done,”–which passage Athanasius, the Confessor of Christ, and Archbishop of the Church of Alexandria, in his book against Apollinaris the heretic, concerning the Trinity and the Incarnation, also understanding the wills to be two, thus explains: And when he says, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done,” and again, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak;” he shews that there are two wills, the one human which is the will of the flesh, but the other divine. For his human will, out of the weakness of the flesh was fleeing away from the passion, but his divine will was ready for it. What truer explanation could be found? For how is it possible not to acknowledge in him two wills, to wit, a human and a divine, when in him, even after the inseparable union, there are two natures according to the definitions of the synods? For John also, who leaned upon the Lord’s breast, his beloved disciple, shews forth the same self-restraint in these words: “I came down from heaven not to do mine own will but the will of the Father that sent me.” And again: “This is the will of him that sent me, that of all that he gave me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Again he introduces the Lord as disputing with the Jews, and saying among other things: “I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” On the meaning of which divine words blessed Augustine, a most illustrious doctor, thus writes in his book against Maximinus the Arian. He says, “When the Son says to the Father ‘Not what I will, but what thou wilt,’ what doth it profit thee, that thou broughtest thy words into subjection and sayest, It shews truly that his will was subject to his Father, as though we would deny that the will of man should be subject to the will of God? For that the Lord said this in his human nature, anyone will quickly see who studies attentively this place of the Gospel. For therein he says, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.’ Can this possibly be said of the nature of the One Word? But, O man, who thinkest to make the nature of the Holy Ghost to groan, why do you say that the nature of the Only-begotten Word of God cannot be sad? But to prevent anyone arguing in this way, he does not say ‘I am sad;’ (and even if he had so said, it could properly only have been understood of his human nature) but he says ‘My soul is sad,’ which soul he has as man; however in this also which he said, ‘Not what I will’ he shewed that he willed something different from what the Father did, which he could not have done except in his human nature, since he did not introduce our infirmity into his divine nature, but would transfigure human affection. For had he not been made man, the Only Word could in no way have said to the Father, ‘Not what I will.’ For it could never be possible for that immutable nature to will anything different from what the Father willed. If you would but make this distinction, O ye Arians, ye would not be heretics.”
    In this disputation this venerable Father shews that when the Lord says “his own” he means the will of his humanity, and when he says not to do “his own will,” he teaches us not chiefly to seek our own wills but that through obedience we should submit our wills to the Divine Will. From all which it is evident that he had a human will by which he obeyed his Father, and that he had in himself this same human will immaculate from all sin, as true God and man. Which thing St. Ambrose also thus treats of in his explanation of St. Luke the Evangelist. NPNF2: Vol. XIV, The Sixth Ecumenical Council, The Letter of Pope Agatho.

    In simple-simon Roman apologetics, they construct their objections as if nothing can be deduced from Holy Scripture, and therefore that the Reformed must rely on “logic and philosophy to make a doctrinal conclusion.” Now, to be sure, they are impressed with their simple-simon apologetic, but we find it silly.

    Simply stating that the Council appealed to Scripture in support for it’s doctrine here doesn’t annul the fact that the Chruch also appeals to Scripture for all its de fide teachings.

    That simply begs the question that the Roman communion has material support from Scripture for dogmas like the immaculate conception and the bodily assumption of Mary. To elevate such notions to the level of dogma, declaring them to be de fide doesn’t give them scriptural support.

  34. Jim said,

    February 5, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Dtking did you want me to reply? I can’t tell because you talked about me in the third person.

    TF and King,

    I still have not seen a Scriptural passage that Christ has two wills. I’ve seen appeals to the Fathers and Council’s use of philosophy in discussing why Christ had to have two wills. I’ve seen where they have taken particular passages and applied philosophical concepts to nature etc. This is exactly how the Church operates. Sorry King, I don’t believe that Protestants use philosophy and logic all that well. This is just another instance of the late-comers keeping a teaching that the Church has defined in which there simply isn’t the level of biblical support the pseudo-reformers demand for other Catholic teaching.

    Thanks
    Jim

  35. Jim said,

    February 5, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Oh, and uh King, if you don’t want to believe that it was just a mistake that was made in haste, then that is your problem. It isn’t as if TF came back and said, “no, I believe in two wills.” and then I proceed to argue that he believed in one will. That you are going to insist in an apology shows that you do so for other petty motives to which I will not indulge.

    Jim

  36. Jared said,

    February 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Jim-

    If the extent of your understanding of Protestant hermeneutics is proof-texting, I believe you may suffer from a incurious spirit about those whom you oppose, yet you also seem to display an animosity against your opponents who misrepresent your position and seem to have an incurious spirit as to your actual doctrines. I would ask you extend the grace you wish to be extended to you.

    Reformed (and Lutheran) hermeneutics believe in letting Scripture interpret Scripture, and form doctrines from comparing Scripture with Scripture. So you would be quite correct that the Bible does not have a verse that says “Jesus has two wills.” We do have, however, Scripture teaching us that Jesus has a will that is differentiated from God the Father (Matt 26:39). We also have Scripture teaching us that God is one (Deut 6:4), that God has a will that is spoken of as singular (Mark 3:35, etc), that the Father is God (1 Cor 1:3), and that Jesus is God (John 1:1-3, 20:28). Therefore the work is in comparing Scripture to Scripture, seeing that Jesus is God, and therefore possess all that God possesses (his singular will) and that Jesus is man (1 Tim 2:5) and it belongs to the nature of man to have a will. Jesus would then have the will of God and the will of man, two wills. The doctrine then is not based on the whimsy or opinion of a man with a bigger hat than we have, but to the teachings of Scripture compared to Scripture.

  37. TurretinFan said,

    February 5, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Jim:

    You wrote: “I still have not seen a Scriptural passage that Christ has two wills.”

    Then either you’re demanding that the passage say in exact words “Christ has two wills,” or you haven’t followed the link I provided.

    You wrote: “I’ve seen appeals to the Fathers and Council’s use of philosophy in discussing why Christ had to have two wills.”

    Philosophy, broadly speaking, is employed in every area of thinking. The explanations you were given, however, did not rely on philosophers as a rule of faith.

    You wrote: “I’ve seen where they have taken particular passages and applied philosophical concepts to nature etc.”

    I wonder how you propose to distinguish between “concepts” and “philosophical concepts.”

    You wrote: “This is exactly how the Church operates.”

    Thanks for sharing with us how you think your church operates.

    You wrote: “Sorry King, I don’t believe that Protestants use philosophy and logic all that well.”

    I guess you must not be very well read.

    You wrote: “This is just another instance of the late-comers keeping a teaching that the Church has defined in which there simply isn’t the level of biblical support the pseudo-reformers demand for other Catholic teaching.”

    You wish. :) Seriously, though – you wish it were the case that we accept the holdings of the 6th council because it was a council, instead of because it is what Scripture teaches. Have you ever asked us why we reject the teachings of the council you consider the 7th ecumenical council?

    It’s all about the Scriptures.

    -TurretinFan

  38. ljdibiase said,

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

    “You are drawing upon logic… to make this doctrinal conclusion.”

    I reiterate what others have said, you apparently do not understand the Reformed rule of faith:

    “The whole counsel of God… is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture….” (WCF 1.6).

    “Yet you condemn the Church from doing the same in regards to her other teachings.”

    Except that the Roman church does not do “the same.”

  39. dgor said,

    February 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

    I wanted to jump quickly into the fray. On what basis does any Protestant believe in the infallibility of scripture? Since they reject the authority of the RCC it seems odd at best that they rely on the authority of a church council to define which scriptures are placed into the canon of the bible. How can you take the authority of the church to be infallible on one issue, but reject it on the next? seems arbitrary to me.

  40. TurretinFan said,

    February 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

    “On what basis does any Protestant believe in the infallibility of scripture?”

    Scripture itself teaches that the Scriptures are inspired. Infallibility results from inspiration.

    “Since they reject the authority of the RCC it seems odd at best that they rely on the authority of a church council to define which scriptures are placed into the canon of the bible. How can you take the authority of the church to be infallible on one issue, but reject it on the next? seems arbitrary to me.”

    The RCC did not dogmatically define the canon until after the Reformation was already in full force (namely at Trent). Moreover, the Reformed churches do not accept the canon that Trent identified.

    While conciliar documents (of regional councils) are evidence of the acceptance of books among Christians, they have a similar force to the many patristic writings of individual fathers that describe the canon.

    What should be particularly interesting is that one sees Athanasius providing a list of the canon without referencing any council, and prior to any council (that we have records of) issuing any opinions about the council.

    -TurretinFan

  41. dgor said,

    February 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Scripture itself teaches that the Scriptures are inspired. Infallibility results from inspiration.

    All Holy Books of the various world religions claim to be inspired. Scripture cannot make a solid argument for the inspiration of itself. That is obviously absurd and tautological. If one can just claim to be inspired and have the world believe the lofty claim, then I’ll just claim that what I’m writing now is inspired. Therefore, you guys can’t have any retort. Furthermore, when we say “scripture” now, we refer to the canon of the bible. However, what is referred to as “scripture” in the new testament is only the old testament because there was no canon of scripture for a new testament in 60-100 AD. (when much of the new testament literature was being written.) Therefore, when a NT writer was referring to scripture, he could not have meant his own writings were scripture or inspired because they had not yet been deemed scripture at synod of Hippo, Council of Laodicea… because these happened in mid 4th century.

    The RCC did not dogmatically define the canon until after the Reformation was already in full force (namely at Trent). Moreover, the Reformed churches do not accept the canon that Trent identified.

    The church did not identify dogmatically the Immaculate Conception until mid 1800’s either. This shows lack of understanding of how the church works. The church only dogmatically defines an issue when that issue has been widely called into question by a current heresy. Since all of the Protestant reformers believed in the IC, there was no need to define this at the outset of the reformation. However, since Luther did away with the deuterocanonical books, and since Trent was a response to the Reformation, the Church defined the Canon dogmatically to prevent the spread of the heresy within the church and to prevent confusion.

    Most all Catholic doctrines have only been defined officially by a council after a heresy has called them into question. We always believed in Christ’s full humanity and divinity and His shared essence with God, however this was only “defined dogmatically” at the council of Nicea.

    Since oral tradition has been always held as being on par with scripture in the church, there is no need to define every issue in a council, since this would take a never ending slew of councils to do. “Hold fast to the traditions that we have given you either by the epistle or word of mouth.”

    The canon of scripture was always held to in the church as what it is currently after the Synod of Hippo which occurred in mid 4th century.

    DG

  42. TurretinFan said,

    February 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    DG wrote: “The canon of scripture was always held to in the church as what it is currently after the Synod of Hippo which occurred in mid 4th century.”

    Here’s where it might be helpful to read more carefully the post on which your are commenting. Note the evidence showing that Gregory the Great (aka Gregory I) rejected the canonicity of Maccabees. Gregory lived from A.D. 540 to A.D. 604 (mid 6th century to 7th century). So, possibly he wasn’t in the church, or possibly your claim is bogus. Plenty of other examples could be provided. Suffice to say that in the generation immediately preceding Calvin, Cardinals Ximenez and Cajetan both rejected Maccabees as belonging to the canon.

    DG again:

    All Holy Books of the various world religions claim to be inspired. Scripture cannot make a solid argument for the inspiration of itself. That is obviously absurd and tautological. If one can just claim to be inspired and have the world believe the lofty claim, then I’ll just claim that what I’m writing now is inspired. Therefore, you guys can’t have any retort.

    Scripture makes the claim. We believe it. We have reasons for believing it, of course, but we accept the word of God ultimately on faith, not strict proof.

    DG again:

    Furthermore, when we say “scripture” now, we refer to the canon of the bible. However, what is referred to as “scripture” in the new testament is only the old testament because there was no canon of scripture for a new testament in 60-100 AD. (when much of the new testament literature was being written.) Therefore, when a NT writer was referring to scripture, he could not have meant his own writings were scripture or inspired because they had not yet been deemed scripture at synod of Hippo, Council of Laodicea… because these happened in mid 4th century.

    Here’s where reading Scripture would be helpful:

    2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    That’s right. 2 Peter – the same book that tells us:

    2 Peter 1:20-21
    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Moreover, the fathers of the first three centuries referred to the New Testament Scriptures as “Scripture” before the 4th century councils came along. So, no – while those councils recognized the canon, they did not define it for the rest of the church.

    “The church did not identify dogmatically the Immaculate Conception until mid 1800′s either.”

    The dogma was dogmatically defined in 1854.

    “This shows lack of understanding of how the church works.”

    On the contrary, it shows intimate familiarity with the way the RCC works.

    “The church only dogmatically defines an issue when that issue has been widely called into question by a current heresy.”

    That rule is written in letters the depth of a full spear’s length in the living magisterial oak tree. But perhaps my humor is not enough of an answer. Perhaps I should point out that the immaculate conception isn’t something that was always believed – in fact, over a half dozen men who were or became popes taught contrary to the dogma:

    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-many-popes-does-it-take-to-deny.html

    Moreover, it’s not like some new heresy sprung up in the 19th century that required Rome to make that a dogma, nor did a new heresy pop up in the 20th century that required Rome to make the bodily assumption a dogma.

    “Since all of the Protestant reformers believed in the IC, there was no need to define this at the outset of the reformation.”

    LOL – No, they did not.

    “However, since Luther did away with the deuterocanonical books, and since Trent was a response to the Reformation, the Church defined the Canon dogmatically to prevent the spread of the heresy within the church and to prevent confusion.”

    Considering that two Cardinals contemporary with Luther had the same view about them that Luther had, it’s interesting to hear you claim that this was “heresy.”

    “Most all Catholic doctrines have only been defined officially by a council after a heresy has called them into question.”

    Interestingly enough, the dogma you picked was defined by a pope acting alone, not by a council (same for my selection regarding the Assumption).

    “We always believed in Christ’s full humanity and divinity and His shared essence with God, however this was only “defined dogmatically” at the council of Nicea.”

    It’s interesting to hear these comparisons, as though someone would be saved before Nicaea, who did not believe in a fully divine Christ. Nicaea recognized and stated the truth, but they didn’t make something essential to the gospel that wasn’t previously essential. They didn’t define dogma in the sense that Rome talks about today.

    DG wrote:

    Since oral tradition has been always held as being on par with scripture in the church, there is no need to define every issue in a council, since this would take a never ending slew of councils to do. “Hold fast to the traditions that we have given you either by the epistle or word of mouth.”

    The council fathers of Nicaea seem blissfully unaware of this body of authoritative oral tradition that was floating around. They make their case from Scripture, as do their spiritual successors for the next few centuries.

    But, of course, there is wishful thinking that would lead people to try to seriously suggest that “hold fast to the traditions” refers to something beyond the gospel – something like the Bodily Assumption or Immaculate Conception. One thing is for sure: the historical record shows that such wishful thinking is not well grounded. In fact, good luck pointing to any doctrine (not practice but doctrine) that the fathers refer to being passed down orally rather than being placed in Scripture during the first 5 centuries of the church.

    -TurretinFan

  43. dgor said,

    February 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    For all the verbal gymnastics that you guys have gone to in order to defend faith in scripture arbitrarily, I (as I’m sure all unbiased readers are) am completely unconvinced- as I should be. Once again, all holy books claim to be inspired. All of the adherents to other faiths – Hindus, Muslims…. They believe that they too have the gift of faith. You cannot point to scripture to show that scripture is inspired, because if scripture is fallible, then its claims for inspiration are equally as fallible. There must be an extrinsic reason to believe that scripture is inspired. This is why Christ commissioned a church. Blind faith is not even biblical. Christ does not ask that we believe in Him without reason. This is why he performs many miracles in His public ministry. So that others may have reason to believe his claims. He also points to prophecies to convince others of his being the Son of Man. Therefore, one ought not believe in the scriptures without reason since Christ Himself appealed to man’s reason before he asked faith of them. Only a Catholic or Orthodox Christian has any reason to believe in scripture.

    I must concede that perhaps many Catholic Cardinals(before Canon was defined by the church) did not agree that deuterocanonical works should be accepted as inspired and canonical. However, that does not matter. There is room for disagreement in the church on undefined matters. Merely pointing to prior disagreement does not in any way show that the apocrypha were not included in what was orally passed down as safely taught Canon around 400 AD. That is the point at hand. Trent just reaffirmed in much more certain terms what was originally inferred from Synod of Hippo. It just said that there is no room for disagreement on the canon that was “suggested” if you will, at Hippo. It exited the realm of oral tradition and became defined church doctrine. I believe that a major mistake that I have seen in this thread is the confusion of the two.

    I would like to see proof of any teaching of a SITTING pope contrary to the truth of the Immaculate Conception. That claim has falsehood written all over it. The mid 1800s heresy of which I speak is the beginning of the denials of the Immaculate Conception. As I have said and will give evidence of, the original reformers accepted the IC.

    ” It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin” (Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527).

    She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin—something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. (Personal {“Little”} Prayer Book, 1522).”

    (Martin Luther quotes on Immaculate Conception)

    In your own concession at the outset of this post you took my words from me concerning Gregory the Great. To reiterate: He was not speaking Ex Cathedra, he was speaking as a private theologian, he wrote his book prior to being a pope, he was not exercising his teaching capacity. I didn’t think this ought to be repeated. I have already demonstrated that I am quite aware that not 100 percent of the clergy accepted deuterocanonical works until Trent. Until a matter is dogmatically defined, one will not be anathema for disagreeing with the Church. Therefore, even though most clergy accepted the “safely teachable” canon from the Synod of Hippo, some dissented.

    I believe your counter-argument to my points about Nicea completely circumvents my whole thrust. The point is, though the truths of nicea were always held in the church, they were not dogmatically defined until nicea. The only thing to take from this is that doctrines can be said to exist in the church before they are officially set down by a council. Therefore all arguments about IC being invented in 1854, or confession to a priest being created in 13th century have become somewhat futile. Because if we believe this, we must also say that Christ’s divine essence and true humanity were created in the 4th century.

    Answer me this first: When does the bible ever claim to be the sole rule of faith? Sola Scriptura itself, is not scriptural. The bible does not and cannot claim to be the basis for faith and teaching. The bible itself is a product of being handed down via oral tradition. The Old Testament was handed down for thousands of years by the jews. Parts of the New Testament were handed down orally before being written for the first 200 years of Christianity.

    However to answer your last question on oral tradition in first 500 years, I will stick with the concept of the IC because other examples are too numerous to write in a blog.

    This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

    Hippolytus

    He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).

    Ephraim the Syrian

    You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

    Ambrose of Milan

    DG

  44. TurretinFan said,

    February 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    “For all the verbal gymnastics that you guys have gone to in order to defend faith in scripture arbitrarily, I (as I’m sure all unbiased readers are) am completely unconvinced- as I should be.”

    That seems to be nothing more than an expression of your unhappiness about the state of the argument. Your arguments have been answered, but you remain unpersuaded.

    Yet you write: “Once again, all holy books claim to be inspired. All of the adherents to other faiths – Hindus, Muslims…. They believe that they too have the gift of faith. You cannot point to scripture to show that scripture is inspired, because if scripture is fallible, then its claims for inspiration are equally as fallible.”

    This is just, more or less, a repetition of your previous comments. As I already told you, we believe that the Scriptures are the Word of God, and consequently we accept what they say.

    “There must be an extrinsic reason to believe that scripture is inspired.”

    I wonder what you mean by that. Would you also say that if you were in the very presence of Jesus that you would need an extrinsic reason to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be? If not, then why impose on His written Word what you would not impose on His spoken Word?

    “This is why Christ commissioned a church.”

    That can’t be right, since God declared “Search the Scriptures,” and inspired most of the Scriptures, before he ever commissioned a church.

    “Blind faith is not even biblical.”

    Blind faith wasn’t my suggestion. I’m not sure how carefully you are reading (for example, your “verbal gymnastics” comment suggests some manner of confusion on your part), but I encourage you to sit down and slowly and carefully read my previous response to you.

    “Christ does not ask that we believe in Him without reason. This is why he performs many miracles in His public ministry. So that others may have reason to believe his claims. He also points to prophecies to convince others of his being the Son of Man. Therefore, one ought not believe in the scriptures without reason since Christ Himself appealed to man’s reason before he asked faith of them.”

    The miracles of Christ do help to confirm our faith, but they are hardly the justification for the faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Thomas’ faith was confirmed by seeing the risen Christ, but Jesus blesses those who believe without seeing.

    “Only a Catholic or Orthodox Christian has any reason to believe in scripture.”

    Does your chest get bruised when you thump it like that? And, of course, what’s interesting is this – your church doesn’t perform miracles. Your popes and councils can’t heal the sick, much less raise the dead. Yet you think that your church somehow provides better support and confirmation of the Scriptures than the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels do. Amazing!

    DG again:

    I must concede that perhaps many Catholic Cardinals(before Canon was defined by the church) did not agree that deuterocanonical works should be accepted as inspired and canonical. However, that does not matter. There is room for disagreement in the church on undefined matters. Merely pointing to prior disagreement does not in any way show that the apocrypha were not included in what was orally passed down as safely taught Canon around 400 AD. That is the point at hand. Trent just reaffirmed in much more certain terms what was originally inferred from Synod of Hippo. It just said that there is no room for disagreement on the canon that was “suggested” if you will, at Hippo. It exited the realm of oral tradition and became defined church doctrine. I believe that a major mistake that I have seen in this thread is the confusion of the two.

    Oh, I see! So you are trying to claim that it was oral tradition that was passed down to the North Africans.

    Why didn’t it reach Amphilochius, who lived just prior?

    Amphilochius of Iconium (373-394 A.D.) on the OT Canon: Besides this, it is most important that you know this also: not everything is to be considered certain which offers itself as venerable Scripture. For there are those written by false men—as is sometimes done. As regards books, there are several which are intermediate and near to the doctrine of truth, so to speak but there are others, however, which are spurious and extremely dangerous, like false seals and spurious coins, which do indeed have the inscription of the king, but which are counterfeit, and made out of base material. On account of this, then, I shall enumerate for you the individual books inspired by the Holy Spirit, and in order that you may know the thing clearly, I will begin with the books of the Old Testament. The Pentateuch contains Genesis, then Exodus, Leviticus, which is the middle book, after that Numbers and finally Deuteronomy. To these add Joshua and Judges; after these Ruth and the four books of Kings, Paralipomenon equal to one book; following these first and second Esdras. Next I will recall to you five books: the book of Job, crowned by the struggles of various calamities; also the book of Psalms, the musical remedy of the soul; the three books of the Wisdom of Solomon, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, and the Canticle of Canticles. I add to these the twelve prophets, first Hosea, then Amos, and after that Michah, Joel, Abdiah, and Jonah, the type of the three days of the Passion, after these Nahum, Habacuc, then the ninth Sophonias, Haggai and Zachariah and the angel with two names, Malachi. After these, know the other prophets thus far to be four: the great and undaunted Isaiah, Jeremiah, inclined to mercy, and the mystic Ezechiel, and Daniel, most wise in the happenings of the Last Things, and some add Esther to these. Translation by Catherine Kavanaugh, University of Notre Dame in William Webster, Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Vol. 2 (Battle Ground, WA: Christian Resources Inc., 2001), p. 353.

    Greek text: Πλὴν ἀλλʼ ἐκεῖνο προμαθεῖν μάλιστά σοι Προσῆκον· οὐχ ἅπασα βίβλος ἀσφαλὴς ἡ σεμνὸν ὄνομα τῆς γραφῆς κεκτημένη. εἰσὶν γάρ, εἰσὶν ἔσθʼ ὅτε ψευδώνυμοι βίβλοι· τινὲς μὲν ἔμμεσοι καὶ γείτονες, ὡς ἄν τις εἴποι, τῶν ἀληθείας λόγων. αἱ δ’ αὖ νόθοι τε καὶ λίαν ἐπισφαλεῖς ὥσπερ παράσημα καὶ νόθα νομίσματα, ἃ βασιλέως μὲν τὴν ἐπιγραφὴν ἔχει, κίβδηλα δ’ ἐστί, ταῖς ὕλαις δολούμενα. Τούτων χάριν σοι τῶν θεοπνεύστων ἐρῶ βίβλων ἑκάστην· ὡς δ’ ἂν εὐκρινῶς μάθῃς, Τὰς τῆς Παλαιᾶς πρῶτα διαθήκης ἐρῶ. Ἡ Πεντάτευχος τὴν Κτίσιν, εἶτʼ Ἔξοδον, Λευιτικὸν δὲ τὴν μέσην βίβλον ἔχει, μεθʼ ἣν Ἀριθμούς, εἶτα Δευτερονόμιον. Τούτοις Ἰησοῦν προστίθει καὶ τοὺς Κριτάς, Ἔπειτα τὴν Ῥοὺθ βασιλειῶν τε τέσσαρας βίβλους, παραλειπομένων δέ γε ξυνωρίδα. Ἔσδρας ἐπ’ αὐταῖς πρῶτος, εἶθ’ ὁ δεύτερος. ἑξῆς στιχηρὰς πέντε σοι βίβλους ἐρῶ· στεφθέντος ἄθλοις ποικίλων παθῶν Ἰὼβ ψαλμῶν τε βίβλον, ἐμμελὲς ψυχῶν ἄκος, τρεῖς δ’ αὖ Σολομῶντος τοῦ σοφοῦ, παροιμίας, ἐκκλησιαστὴν ᾆσμά τε τῶν ᾀσμάτων. ταύταις προφήτας προστίθει τοὺς δώδεκα, Ὠσηὲ πρῶτον, εἶτʼ Ἀμὼς τὸν δεύτερον, Μιχαίαν, Ἰωήλ, Ἀβδίαν καὶ τὸν τύπον Ἰωνᾶν αὐτοῦ τοῦ τριημέρου πάθους, Ναοὺμ μετʼ αὐτούς, Ἀββακούμ, εἶτʼ εἴνατον Σοφονίαν, Ἀγγαῖόν τε καὶ Ζαχαρίαν διώνυμόν τε ἄγγελον Μαλαχίαν. Μεθʼ οὓς προφήτας μάνθανε τοὺς τέσσαρας, παρρησιαστὴν τὸν μέγαν Ἠσαίαν Ἱερεμίαν τε συμπαθῆ, καὶ μυστικὸν Ἰεζεκιήλ, ἔσχατον δὲ Δανιήλ, τὸν αὐτὸν ἔργοις καὶ λόγοις σοφώτατον. τούτοις προσεγκρίνουσι τὴν Ἐσθήρ τινες. Iambi ad Seleucum, PG 37:1594-1595. (This is found among the corpus of Gregory of Nazianzus in Migne).

    Or what about Gregory of Nazianzus?

    Gregory of Nazianzus (329/330-389) on the OT Canon: Let not your mind be deceived about extraneous books (for many false ascriptions are making the rounds), but you should hold to this legitimate number from me, dear reader. Receive the number and names of the holy books. First the twelve historical books in order: first is Genesis, then Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and the testament of the law repeated again; Joshua, Judges and Ruth the Moabitess follow these; after this the famous deeds of Kings holds the ninth and tenth place; the Chronicles comes in the eleventh place, and Ezra is last. There are also five poetic books, first of which is Job, the one next to it is King David’s, and three of Solomon, namely Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and his Song. After these come five books of the holy prophets, of which twelve are contained in one volume: Hosea, Amos, and Micah the third, then Joel, next Jonah, Obadiah, Nahum also, Habakkuk also, and Zephaniah, Haggai, next Zechariah, Malachai, these are in the first book; the second contains Isaiah. After these is Jeremiah, called from his mother’s womb, then Ezekiel, strength of the Lord, and Daniel last. These twenty-two books of the Old Testament are counted according to the twenty-two letters of the Jews. Translation by Dr. Michael Woodward, Associate Library Director, Archbishop Vehr Tehological Library in William Webster, Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Vol. 2 (Battle Ground, WA: Christian Resources Inc., 2001), pp. 351-352. Cf. also William Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 42.

    Greek text: Ὄφρα δὲ μὴ ξείνῃσι νόον κλέπτοιο βίβλοισι, (Πολλαὶ γὰρ τελέθουσι παρέγγραπτοι κακότητες), Δέχνυσο τοῦτον ἐμεῖο τὸν ἔγκριτον, ὦ φίλʼ, ἀριθμόν. Ἱστορικαὶ μὲν ἔασι βίβλοι δυοκαίδεκα πᾶσαι Τῆς ἀρχαιοτέρης Ἑβραϊκῆς σοφίης. 473 Πρωτίστη, Γένεσις, εἶτʼ Ἔξοδος, Λευιτικόν τε. Ἔπειτʼ Ἀριθμοί. Εἶτα Δεύτερος Νόμος. Ἔπειτʼ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ Κριταί. Ῥοὺθ ὀγδόη. Ἡ δ’ ἐνάτη δεκάτη τε βίβλοι, Πράξεις βασιλήων, Καὶ Παραλειπόμεναι. Ἔσχατον Ἔσδραν ἔχεις. Αἱ δὲ στιχηραὶ πέντε, ὧν πρῶτός γ’ Ἰώβ· Ἔπειτα Δαυΐδ· εἶτα τρεῖς Σολομωντίαι· Ἐκκλησιαστὴς, Ἄσμα καὶ Παροιμίαι. Καὶ πένθ’ ὁμοίως Πνεύματος προφητικοῦ. Μίαν μέν εἰσιν ἐς γραφὴν οἱ δώδεκα· Ὠσηὲ κ’ Ἀμὼς, καὶ Μιχαίας ὁ τρίτος· Ἔπειτʼ Ἰωὴλ, εἶτʼ Ἰωνᾶς, Ἀβδίας, Ναούμ τε, Ἀββακούμ τε, καὶ Σοφονίας, Ἀγγαῖος, εἶτα Ζαχαρίας, Μαλαχίας. Μία μὲν οἵδε. Δευτέρα δ’ Ἡσαΐας. Ἔπειθʼ ὁ κληθεὶς Ἱερεμίας ἐκ βρέφους. Εἶτʼ Ἰεζεκιὴλ, καὶ Δανιήλου χάρις. Ἀρχαίας μὲν ἔθηκα δύω καὶ εἴκοσι βίβλους, Τοῖς τῶν Ἑβραίων γράμμασιν ἀντιθέτους. Carmina dogmatica, Liber I, Section I, Carmen XII, PG 37:471-474.

    But who cares, right? I mean if Cardinals believed otherwise in the 16th century, why shouldn’t church fathers believe otherwise in the mid-fourth century?

    DG again:

    I would like to see proof of any teaching of a SITTING pope contrary to the truth of the Immaculate Conception. That claim has falsehood written all over it. The mid 1800s heresy of which I speak is the beginning of the denials of the Immaculate Conception. As I have said and will give evidence of, the original reformers accepted the IC.

    a) I’ve already given you examples of over a half-dozen men who were popes who taught contrary to the IC. If you want to imagine that their teachings were different after they got their seat as bishops, feel free to indulge yourself in that fantasy. Moreover, while a couple of the examples I gave are dated to prior to their elevation to bishop of Rome, I can’t recall that being the case for the quotations from Gregory the Great, Leo the Great, and Gelasius. Perhaps you will correct me on that.

    b) Do you really think that the middle of the 1800’s is when people first started to deny the Immaculate Conception? (especially given the list I’ve already provided)

    DG again:

    ”It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin” (Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527).

    She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin—something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. (Personal {“Little”} Prayer Book, 1522).”

    (Martin Luther quotes on Immaculate Conception)

    My friend James Swan provided a series of excellent posts on this. Rather than reproducing them all here, I simply direct you to where you may find the responses:

    http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/search?q=1527

    DG wrote:

    In your own concession at the outset of this post you took my words from me concerning Gregory the Great. To reiterate: He was not speaking Ex Cathedra, he was speaking as a private theologian, he wrote his book prior to being a pope, he was not exercising his teaching capacity. I didn’t think this ought to be repeated. I have already demonstrated that I am quite aware that not 100 percent of the clergy accepted deuterocanonical works until Trent. Until a matter is dogmatically defined, one will not be anathema for disagreeing with the Church. Therefore, even though most clergy accepted the “safely teachable” canon from the Synod of Hippo, some dissented.

    The dogma of papal infallibility hadn’t been invented yet, so of course Gregory I wasn’t writing ex cathedra.

    Moreover, assuming he wrote the item quoted above before becoming Bishop of Rome, what of it? Do you have some reason to think he thought otherwise after becoming bishop?

    What value is your comment regarding percentages? Do you really claim to have survey data on the opinions of – let’s say – all the 9th century bishops?

    You continued:

    I believe your counter-argument to my points about Nicea completely circumvents my whole thrust. The point is, though the truths of nicea were always held in the church, they were not dogmatically defined until nicea. The only thing to take from this is that doctrines can be said to exist in the church before they are officially set down by a council. Therefore all arguments about IC being invented in 1854, or confession to a priest being created in 13th century have become somewhat futile. Because if we believe this, we must also say that Christ’s divine essence and true humanity were created in the 4th century.

    a) Denying Christ’s divinity was always a heresy (from the very beginning) – that’s why Nicaea opposed it. They didn’t oppose it because of their own definition.

    b) But – of course – you can’t say that about any of the distinctively Roman dogmas, because then all the church from the time of the apostles to Augustine would be heretics, for they did not believe in the immaculate conception and bodily assumption of Mary. None of them held to papal infallibility, and many of them (we’ve seen several examples above) rejected the deuterocanonicals. If those things were always heresy, you wouldn’t have any early church fathers. So, you have to let the fathers believe whatever they want before your church defines things, and then force everyone else to comply with your church’s decisions afterward. That’s not the Nicaean model.

    b) I don’t claim that the IC was invented in the mid-19th century. I know it was invented long before then. It was only made dogma in the mid-19th century. You seem to be providing responses to arguments I haven’t been making. This too leads me to encourage you to go back and more carefully read my responses to you.

    c) You’re also missing the point that if major fathers are blissfully unaware of something you claim is “oral tradition,” your claims is probably false. Unless you are going to adopt a Gnostic-esque view of secret oral tradition, you can’t ignore the half dozen men who became popes and who denied the IC. You can’t ignore Gregory the Great denying that Maccabees is canonical. You can disagree with them, but your historical claims are shot to pieces by their contrary testimony.

    You wrote:

    Answer me this first: When does the bible ever claim to be the sole rule of faith? Sola Scriptura itself, is not scriptural. The bible does not and cannot claim to be the basis for faith and teaching. The bible itself is a product of being handed down via oral tradition. The Old Testament was handed down for thousands of years by the jews. Parts of the New Testament were handed down orally before being written for the first 200 years of Christianity.

    a) The Old Testament was handed down (the books of Moses anyways) for over a thousand years among the Jews from Moses to Christ.

    b) Jesus’ oral teaching to the apostles obviously preceded their reporting of that teaching writing. I’m not sure what you think this proves, particularly since Jesus himself recognized the authority of Scripture in his oral teaching.

    c) A full Biblical defense of Sola Scriptura is beyond the scope of this comment box, but I think that David King did an excellent job of it in Volume 1 of Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith.

    d) A very short answer to your request is that Scripture teaches its own authority and sufficiency. If you want to argue that the Scripture doesn’t specifically add “and nothing else has this same authority,” so be it. But, of course, the burden is the person who is bringing forth this new authority. Thus, if someone claims to be a prophet, we’ll test them the way that prophets have been tested since the days of Moses – by Scripture.

    DG again: “However to answer your last question on oral tradition in first 500 years, I will stick with the concept of the IC because other examples are too numerous to write in a blog.”

    ok…

    This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

    “Immaculate” can refer to Mary’s virginity. I also question the date you’ve assigned to this work. That date is based on assuming that the work is Origen’s composition, but I don’t think that scholars today would say that it is.

    Hippolytus

    He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).

    LOL – Jesus is the one formed of incorruptible wood. The “Mary” there is just someone’s wishful thinking.

    Ephraim the Syrian

    You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

    There are no stains upon Jesus’ mother. Of course, that’s true since she’s now in glory. Perhaps Ephraim thought that was always true – but he doesn’t say so here.

    Ambrose of Milan

    This name is left hanging because you (or whoever you copied from) mistakenly thought that the name of the author was below the quotation, rather than above it. C’est la vie.

    The quotation would have been this:

    “Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.”
    Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).

    But, of course, grace cleansing us from sin is not the dogma of the Immaculate conception (it’s the opposite – you can’t be cleansed of what you don’t have). Notice in that quotation the use of “undefiled” with respect to Virgin, and then the subsequent discussion of sin.

    -TurretinFan

  45. dgor said,

    February 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Sorry for the one day pause to my argument. I have been busy with school. However, after careful scrutiny of your arguments and quotes, something highly important jumped out at me: Most protestants use the word ‘Apocrypha’ with a capital A. This is deceiving because in all of your quotes of the early church fathers, when they are speaking of apocrypha, they mean it with a lowercase a. To elaborate, the connotation that Apocrypha carries today is the books in the Catholic bible that are not in the Protestant bible. Namely:Tobit Judith Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Baruch First and Second Maccabees and Additions to Esther and Daniel. However, when early church fathers speak of apocrypha, they are not referring to these books as apocrypha, since these books were already accepted at Hippo. Instead they refer to the word apocrypha in its original Greek meaning of hidden or esoteric. There are a great many books that fall into this ‘esoteric,’ denotative, ‘lowercase a’ category which claim to contain hidden knowledge for man’s salvation (Gospel of Thomas, Nicodemus, 1,2 Esdras…) These clearly contradict other biblical teaching and were thus rejected from being called inspired at Hippo. These are the books that the early fathers are referring to when they speak of apocrypha, because they use the word apocrypha in its denotative sense. It is a little word trick that you use when you say that the fathers reject the capital A Apocrypha, because they accepted the capital A apocrypha at Hippo. Since these were in the canon already, it is obvious that they would not be referring to these books as apocryphal and stating that they had no place in the canon. In short, what the early church fathers called apocrypha and what you call Apocrypha are two completely different things. Whereas the early fathers overwhelmingly accepted Tobit Judith Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Baruch First and Second Maccabees and Additions to Esther and Daniel, and did not and would NOT have classified them as apocryphal, you have named all the books that you reject Apocrypha and have managed to call two completely separate concepts by the same name and assign new and unintended meaning to church father writing. They would have rejected the gospel of Thomas and Esras 1,2 (books such as these were what were called apocrypha); most certainly not Maccabees or Baruch. In fact, Jesus quotes from deuterocanonical books (books that you call Apocrypha, but which Catholics accept) numerous times:

    Matt. 6:19-20 – Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 – lay up your treasure.
    Matt.. 7:12 – Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 – what you hate, do not do to others.
    Matt. 7:16,20 – Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 – the fruit discloses the cultivation.
    Matt. 9:36 – the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 – sheep without a shepherd.
    Matt. 11:25 – Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 – Lord of heaven and earth.
    Matt. 12:42 – Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.
    Matt. 16:18 – Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.
    Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 – Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.
    Matt. 24:15 – the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.
    Matt. 24:16 – let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.
    Matt. 27:43 – if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.
    Mark 4:5,16-17 – Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.
    Mark 9:48 – description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.

    If these books were good enough for Christ, why not for Martin Luther and his crowds of anti-papists? Perhaps he didn’t like them because they inconveniently contradicted his newly crafted ideology? We know he added the word ‘alone’ to the bible in Romans. Why put it past him to detract from the bible?

    ‘This is just, more or less, a repetition of your previous comments. As I already told you, we believe that the Scriptures are the Word of God, and consequently we accept what they say.’

    Once again, you in no way answered my objection that using the bible to say that the bible is inspired is circular reasoning and is thus not logically sound. Instead you repeat the very conclusion which I am questioning. A conclusion is not an argument. I am aware that you believe in the bible. I’d like to hear sound premises which lead to the conclusion that it is inspired. Muslims believe that the Quran is the ‘word of God.’ Obviously we don’t agree. You say we ‘just have faith.’ This shows a misunderstanding of faith. Faith (precluding natural law which is written on all men’s hearts) must be steeped in reason. Since belief in the bible is not part of the natural law, you must have some reason to believe in the bible, because the nature of the human mind is to reason to some perceived end which can be called the good.

    Therefore my objection stands- so please give sufficient reason as to how you believe in the bible and not the church who gave us the bible.

    ‘I wonder what you mean by that. Would you also say that if you were in the very presence of Jesus that you would need an extrinsic reason to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be? If not, then why impose on His written Word what you would not impose on His spoken Word?’

    You beg the question when you refer to the bible as Jesus’ written word since one facet of our debate is that it is not reasonable to believe that the bible is Jesus’ written word prima facie.
    If I were in the presence of Christ now, I would not need any more reason for faith since mine is already developed through reason. If I lived during Christ’s earthly ministry, then yes, I would need some signs such as the transfiguration on the mount, the miracles, the resurrection, to convince myself of a supernatural belief- just as the apostles did. It is only after all the signs and fulfillment of the prophecies that Christ scolds Thomas for needing to see to believe. Therefore, your comparison of standards for belief is unreasonable and quite a poor analogy.

    “A very short answer to your request is that Scripture teaches its own authority and sufficiency. If you want to argue that the Scripture doesn’t specifically add “and nothing else has this same authority,” so be it. But, of course, the burden is the person who is bringing forth this new authority. Thus, if someone claims to be a prophet, we’ll test them the way that prophets have been tested since the days of Moses – by Scripture”

    Something CANNOT TEACH ITS OWN AUTHORITY. WE MUST HAVE AN EXTRINSIC REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IT HAS AUTHORITY TO TEACH ITS OWN AUTHORITY! “”””””””””””””””””Once again, you in no way answered my objection that using the bible to say that the bible is inspired is circular reasoning and is thus not logically sound. Instead you repeat the very conclusion which I am questioning. A conclusion is not an argument. I am aware that you believe in the bible. I’d like to hear sound premises which lead to the conclusion that it is inspired. Because as you point out, the burden of proof is on the person making a positive claim.
    Therefore my objection stands- so please give sufficient reason as to how you believe in the bible.”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    “b) Jesus’ oral teaching to the apostles obviously preceded their reporting of that teaching writing. I’m not sure what you think this proves, particularly since Jesus himself recognized the authority of Scripture in his oral teaching.”

    This proves that Sola Scriptura is ascriptural since if something went against scripture it would be sinful or in error. Christ did not have his apostles follow him with a pen and record his words. Therefore He must have known that his words would be passed down orally. Passing something down via oral tradition is by definition a contradiction of sola scriptura. Therefore, Christ either was sinful, taught error, or believed in oral tradition. The first two are obviously absurd, therefore, the last must be true.

    Paul incites people to use oral tradition on numerous occasions in his epistles. Sola Scriptura is never alluded to once in the bible. Therefore, oral tradition is more scriptural than sola scriptura.

  46. bsuden said,

    February 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Yo dgor, that’s quite a ramble.
    Whatever.

    Yet little a or big A, the early church did not approve or accept the apocrypha like the rest of Scripture, for one, because they are not found in the Hebrew canon.

    Neither ultimately can you prove first principles or axioms. Ultimately the belief in Scripture is from the Holy Spirit. So WCF 1:5. Many things in or about Scripture point to its inspiration, but in the end it is spiritual. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Heb.11:1. That’s why it’s called faith. While we have reasons for our faith, ultimately it’s based on revelation, not reason.

    As re. oral traditions, you might save your breath. We are still waiting for the infallible church and its self appointed and ahem, fallible magisterium over at CTC to come up with a canonical list of the same, which ought to be easy enough if Rome is or they are what they claim to be. (Newsflash: We’re not holding our breath.)

    Yet Scripture says that the Holy Spirit – not oral tradition – shall teach the apostles all things, and bring their remembrance, whatsoever Christ said unto them. John 14:26.

    Who are you going to believe? Christ, in his word, or those who claim to speak for him and “incite” their opinions of scripture in its place?

    Um, uh …. to ask is to answer.

    cordially

  47. louis said,

    February 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    “Jesus quotes from deuterocanonical books.”

    False. Those supposed quotations have long been discredited. Some of your citations, for example, clearly refer to the Old Testament. Mark 9:48 obviously refers to Isaiah 66:24.

  48. louis said,

    February 25, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Matthew 12:42 refers to 1 Kings 10;

    Matthew 9:36 refers to Ezek. 34:5-6, not to mention a dozen or more other OT passages;

    “What you hate, do not do to others” was a well-known Rabbinic saying. The Lord hardly needs to be quoting Tobit there;

    Matthew 24:15 — It is bizarre that you would say this was from Macc. when Christ himself in that very verse refers to it as “spoken of by the prophet Daniel.”

    One could go on, but you get the point.

  49. dgor said,

    February 26, 2011 at 2:33 am

    ‘Yet little a or big A, the early church did not approve or accept the apocrypha like the rest of Scripture, for one, because they are not found in the Hebrew canon’

    Actually at the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, deuterocanonical books were indeed found written in Hebrew. A stunning blow to Lutherites everywhere.

    ‘Neither ultimately can you prove first principles or axioms. Ultimately the belief in Scripture is from the Holy Spirit. So WCF 1:5. Many things in or about Scripture point to its inspiration, but in the end it is spiritual. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Heb.11:1. That’s why it’s called faith.

    First principles are so obvious in the order of the universe that they need no proof. People who deny noncontradiction have been thoroughly lobotomized.
    Unfortunately, belief in the veracity of a book is not a first principle or anything that should be accepted on its face by any stretch of the imagination. Even after seeing a man perform miracles, it still takes a great leap of faith to accept the Resurrection. Since we have good reason to believe that Christ is God pre-Resurrection, (fulfilled prophesies, miracles…) then we can muster our faith to believe in the Resurrection. As we see in John 6, if you cannot believe a simple miracle, you will not accept the Resurrection. Faith is a belief in things not seen. This does not mean faith is blind.

    While we have reasons for our faith, ultimately it’s based on revelation, not reason.’
    Even using the word “revelation” is silly without good reason to believe in what you are calling revealed. The irony is that you are desperately fighting to prove that the Catholic church is fallible to prove your version of Christianity is true. But as soon as you prove that the church is fallible, you will have proved that ‘biblical’ Christianity cannot be true since the Church gives the world the bible and if they are fallible then the bible cannot be believed to be inspired. The inspiration of the bible is based on the claims of the infallible church.

    You guys believe in Christ because you believe in the bible. Catholics, however, believe in the Bible because they believe in Christ and he anointed a church which gave the world the bible as per Matt: 16.

    Please reread Matt: 16. Christ gives Peter the Papacy and the doctrine of infallibility is tacitly born here. Then come back and start hollering about petros and petra and all that so that I can retort.

    “Yet Scripture says that the Holy Spirit – not oral tradition – shall teach the apostles all things, and bring their remembrance, whatsoever Christ said unto them. John 14:26″

    Exactly! Note how scripture does not say that scripture shall teach the apostles all things. The Holy Spirit comes to the apostles at Pentecost , and thus we know that they were guided by the Holy Spirit. If writing scripture were all that the Spirit desired for the apostles, why would they not be emboldened to go find a dark room and write lengthy books? Instead they take to the road and preach and spread the good news- not by leaflet, but by word of mouth. The apostles with the guidance of the Holy Spirit founded a church- this is the very church that you reject.

    In short, I will believe in Christ. I believe in Christ when he says that “I give you the keys to the Kingdom, what you bind will be bound and what you loose will be loosed.” I believe in Him when he says to “feed His sheep.” I believe Him when He admonishes the Apostles to cast out demons, and forgive sins. I believe Christ when He says “My flesh is real food.” I believe Him when He says “this is My body.” The question is, do you guys believe Him? It seems that all you believe of Him come from interpretations of the Pauline epistles.

    In Christ,
    DG

  50. TurretinFan said,

    March 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    “Sorry for the one day pause to my argument. I have been busy with school.”

    Take your time. I certainly take mine.

    “However, after careful scrutiny of your arguments and quotes, something highly important jumped out at me: Most protestants use the word ‘Apocrypha’ with a capital A.”

    Yes, that’s correct.

    “This is deceiving because in all of your quotes of the early church fathers, when they are speaking of apocrypha, they mean it with a lowercase a.”

    Some of the fathers simply say that the book is not canonical. We use the label “apocrypha” for non-canonical books, and “Apocrypha” usually for the group of books that Rome calls “deuterocanonical.”

    “To elaborate, the connotation that Apocrypha carries today is the books in the Catholic bible that are not in the Protestant bible. Namely:Tobit Judith Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Baruch First and Second Maccabees and Additions to Esther and Daniel.”

    Yes. Also, some additional books are also frequently included in the apocrypha, such as Psalm 151, 3rd and 4th Maccabees, and what are called “3rd and 4th Esdras” in the Latin tradition or Esdras A and G in the Greek tradition (1st and 2nd Esdras in the KJV).

    “However, when early church fathers speak of apocrypha, they are not referring to these books as apocrypha, since these books were already accepted at Hippo.”

    The first part of your sentence may be correct, in that we shouldn’t automatically assume that “apocrypha” refers to the Apocrypha, since it sometimes refers to the New Testament apocrypha, such as the Gnostic gospels. The latter part about Hippo is nearly completely irrelevant outside of North Africa from the 5th century to the 6th century, and is certainly totally irrelevant before the 5th century (since Hippo didn’t meet until about the turn of the 5th century).

    Moreover, as noted above, Gregory the Great obviously rejected Maccabees after Hippo, so despite some people later adopting the canon of Hippo, it is clear that it was not universally accepted.

    “Instead they refer to the word apocrypha in its original Greek meaning of hidden or esoteric. There are a great many books that fall into this ‘esoteric,’ denotative, ‘lowercase a’ category which claim to contain hidden knowledge for man’s salvation (Gospel of Thomas, Nicodemus, 1,2 Esdras…)”

    a) In general, right – see above.

    b) Actually Hippo accepted Esdras A and B (1st, 2nd and 3rd Esdras according to the Latin enumeration). We (Reformed) accept Esdras B (1st and 2nd Esdras) and reject Esdras A (3rd Esdras) as Old Testament apocrypha, although we can see evidence that the North Africans (particularly Augustine) accepted it.

    c) What the KJV labels 1 & 2 Esdras would not typically be what the ECFs had in mind regarding the term “apocrypha” (the few who used that term), and – as noted above – it appears that Hippo accepted as “2nd Esdras” what the KJV calls “1 Esdras” and what came to be known in the Latin Bible as 3rd Esdras.

    “These clearly contradict other biblical teaching and were thus rejected from being called inspired at Hippo.”

    There are a lot of reasons that the apocrypha were rejected, not simply contradiction. But there were reasons. Hippo didn’t just write down some oral tradition that Paul had given the Thessalonians.

    “These are the books that the early fathers are referring to when they speak of apocrypha, because they use the word apocrypha in its denotative sense.”

    Yes, they may typically refer to the New Testament apocrypha (if I recall correctly, it’s not like there is an abundance of usages of that term). I haven’t done a statistical study to confirm this, but it sounds about right as far as typical usage goes. The typical usage would decide the denotative sense, not vice versa.

    “It is a little word trick that you use when you say that the fathers reject the capital A Apocrypha, because they accepted the capital A apocrypha at Hippo.”

    a) That seems like a false accusation (like your initial claim that “This is deceiving”). We haven’t quoted a father saying “apocrypha” and told you it means “Apocrypha.”

    b) You put far too much weight on Hippo, as though it were a universal council. It was not. It was a regional council.

    c) They only accepted part of the “Apocrypha” at Hippo. They didn’t accept 3rd and 4th Maccabbees, for example.

    “Since these were in the canon already, it is obvious that they would not be referring to these books as apocryphal and stating that they had no place in the canon.”

    I’ve mostly addressed this above. Some of the fathers I’ve quoted to you came before Hippo. None of the one’s I’ve quoted to you use the word “apocrypha,” and Gregory clearly rejects Hippo’s judgment (whether or not he even had heard of it), although he comes after Hippo.

    “In short, what the early church fathers called apocrypha and what you call Apocrypha are two completely different things.”

    Which is irrelevant to the point we’re making, as noted above.

    “Whereas the early fathers overwhelmingly accepted Tobit Judith Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Baruch First and Second Maccabees and Additions to Esther and Daniel, and did not and would NOT have classified them as apocryphal, you have named all the books that you reject Apocrypha and have managed to call two completely separate concepts by the same name and assign new and unintended meaning to church father writing.”

    a) Again, this is a false accusation. Look above. Did we quote any father using the word “apocrypha” and then told you it means “Apocrypha”? No.

    b) We have given you concrete examples of fathers who did not view those other books as canonical. You can make statistical claims, but you and I both know you don’t have any polls of 4th century fathers to determine what they accepted and did not accept.

    I could add to the list above another father who recognizes that the canon of the Old Testament was 22 Hebrew books (one for each letter of the alphabet):

    There are, then, of the Old Testament, twenty-two books in number; for, as I have heard, it is handed down that this is the number of the letters among the Hebrews; their respective order and names being as follows. The first is Genesis, then Exodus, next Leviticus, after that Numbers, and then Deuteronomy. Following these there is Joshua, the son of Nun, then Judges, then Ruth. And again, after these four books of Kings, the first and second being reckoned as one book, and so likewise the third and fourth as one book. And again, the first and second of the Chronicles are reckoned as one book. Again Ezra, the first and second are similarly one book. After these there is the book of Psalms, then the Proverbs, next Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Job follows, then the Prophets, the twelve being reckoned as one book. Then Isaiah, one book, then Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations, and the epistle, one book; afterwards, Ezekiel and Daniel, each one book. Thus far constitutes the Old Testament.

    Athanasius (293-373), 39th Festal Letter (dated to A.D. 367)

    You’ll notice that while Athanasius accepts apocryphal additions to Jeremiah (aka “Baruch” and “the epistle”), he rejects the apocryphal books of Judith, Tobit, and Maccabees. Perhaps you don’t think it’s enough for him to simply leave them out. Well, later on in the same letter, you’ll find this:

    7. But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read; nor is there in any place a mention of apocryphal writings. But they are an invention of heretics, who write them when they choose, bestowing upon them their approbation, and assigning to them a date, that so, using them as ancient writings, they may find occasion to lead astray the simple.

    (source)

    Now notice that this is the first time I’ve quoted a father using the term “apocrypha,” and here he is using that book for other books that Judith and Tobit. Moreover, notice that he has erroneously left out Esther from the Hebrew canon, and placed it among the non-inspired works.

    Nevertheless, despite using the word “apocrypha” in a way that is just as you said, Athanasius still manages to reject the books of the Apocrypha (although presumably not the additions to the canonical books).

    “They would have rejected the gospel of Thomas and Esras 1,2 (books such as these were what were called apocrypha); most certainly not Maccabees or Baruch.”

    Baruch was viewed as a part of Jeremiah. We have evidence of the rejection of Maccabees by a number of prominent fathers already, including Athanasius (before Hippo) and Gregory the Great (after Hippo).

    “In fact, Jesus quotes from deuterocanonical books (books that you call Apocrypha, but which Catholics accept) numerous times:”

    This is a common myth circulated by the same folks who told you that we quote fathers saying “apocrypha” and claim it means “Apocrypha.” Let’s examine the evidence:

    “Matt. 6:19-20 – Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 – lay up your treasure.”

    There may be a similarity of expression in that “lay up” and “treasure” (and even “rust”) are present, but in Sirach 29 the “treasure” is literal treasure, whereas in Matthew 6 there is a contrast between carnal and spiritual treasure. Compare:

    Sir 29:9-13
    Help the poor for the commandment’s sake, and turn him not away because of his poverty. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost. Lay up thy treasure according to the commandments of the most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold. Shut up alms in thy storehouses: and it shall deliver thee from all affliction. It shall fight for thee against thine enemies better than a mighty shield and strong spear.

    Compare:

    Matthew 6:19-21
    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    It’s neither a quotation nor a clear allusion.

    “Matt.. 7:12 – Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 – what you hate, do not do to others.”

    First off, of course, this is definitely not a quotation, since, as you acknowledge, it is a sort of opposite approach to the question.

    Tobit 4:15 Do that to no man which thou hatest: drink not wine to make thee drunken: neither let drunkenness go with thee in thy journey.

    Second, the source of Jesus’ words is explained – it is a summary of the law and the prophets:

    Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    “Matt. 7:16,20 – Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 – the fruit discloses the cultivation.”

    Again, not a quotation. Is it a similar theme? Certainly.

    “Matt. 9:36 – the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 – sheep without a shepherd.”

    The shepherd-less sheep imagery isn’t being quoted from Judith, and the imagery has multiple canonical examples:

    Numbers 27:17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

    1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

    2 Chronicles 18:16 Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.

    “Matt. 11:25 – Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 – Lord of heaven and earth.”

    Lord of heaven and earth is similarly a widespread theme.

    Psalm 115:15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
    Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
    Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
    Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

    (also see Judith 9:12 “I pray thee, I pray thee, O God of my father, and God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of the heavens and earth, Creator of the waters, king of every creature, hear thou my prayer:”)

    “Matt. 12:42 – Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.”

    No. He refers to the actual wisdom of Solomon, not the book given the name “the wisdom of Solomon.”

    “Matt. 16:18 – Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.”

    Matthew 16:18 uses the expression the “gates of hell” which is the same as in the passage you identified:

    Wisdom 16:13 For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again.

    But the “power of … death” is only in Wisdom 16. While I agree that actually the same concept is being discussed in both cases (the “gates of hell shall not prevail” refers to the resurrection, not the conquering of anti-Christian forces), it’s amusing to see how often we see the passage used in the wrong way (especially by our Roman friends).

    “Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 – Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.”

    Uh – no.

    Matthew 22:23-28
    The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, “Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

    That’s a question from the Sadducees. But notice, it is not the same as the woman of Tobit 3:

    Tobit 3:8 Because that she had been married to seven husbands, whom Asmodeus the evil spirit had killed, before they had lain with her. Dost thou not know, said they, that thou hast strangled thine husbands? thou hast had already seven husbands, neither wast thou named after any of them.

    And interestingly, the woman of Tobit 7 (no need to decide if it is the same one) was married to an eighth husband:

    Tobit 7:9-14
    So he communicated the matter with Raguel: and Raguel said to Tobias, Eat and drink, and make merry: for it is meet that thou shouldest marry my daughter: nevertheless I will declare unto thee the truth. I have given my daughter in marriage to seven men, who died that night they came in unto her: nevertheless for the present be merry. But Tobias said, I will eat nothing here, till we agree and swear one to another. Raguel said, Then take her from henceforth according to the manner, for thou art her cousin, and she is thine, and the merciful God give you good success in all things. Then he called his daughter Sara, and she came to her father, and he took her by the hand, and gave her to be wife to Tobias, saying, Behold, take her after the law of Moses, and lead her away to thy father. And he blessed them; and called Edna his wife, and took paper, and did write an instrument of covenants, and sealed it.

    “Matt. 24:15 – the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.”

    Uh – no.

    Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

    Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    “Matt. 24:16 – let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.”

    No, again.

    Matthew 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

    1 Maccabees 2:27-28 And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me. So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city.

    If you’re looking for an Old Testament reference, perhaps a better one would be:

    Isaiah 30:17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

    “Matt. 27:43 – if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.”

    Again, these are unbelievers speaking, but let’s see:

    Matthew 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

    Wis 2:18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.

    But actually the canonical reference is this:

    Psalm 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

    “Mark 4:5,16-17 – Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.”

    There is a similar metaphor used, but it is not the same metaphor or the same words or used to make the same point.

    Sirach 40:15 The children of the ungodly shall not bring forth many branches: but are as unclean roots upon a hard rock.

    “Mark 9:48 – description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.”

    Judith 16:17 Woe to the nations that rise up against my kindred! the Lord Almighty will take vengeance of them in the day of judgment, in putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they shall feel them, and weep for ever.

    A better, and canonical, comparison would be this:

    Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

    “If these books were good enough for Christ, why not for Martin Luther and his crowds of anti-papists?”

    a) They weren’t good enough for Christ. He never quotes from them or uses them. Moreover, when he lists the martyrs, he says from “Abel to Zacharias” which suggests that 2 Chronicles (not 2nd Maccabees) was the last book in his Old Testament canon.

    b) If everyone who rejects those books are anti-papists, I guess Gregory the Great was an “anti-papist.”

    “Perhaps he didn’t like them because they inconveniently contradicted his newly crafted ideology?”

    a) What ad hominem reason will you assign to the fathers and Cardinals that I’ve identified? Were they also doctrinal innovators whose doctrine was opposed by the deuterocanonicals?

    b) Actually, for the most part, the deuterocanonicals fully support our position against yours. Wisdom 14, for example, is a powerful denunciation of your idolatrous practices.

    “We know he added the word ‘alone’ to the bible in Romans. Why put it past him to detract from the bible?”

    That’s yet another story that’s told by the same folks who claim was change the meaning of “anathema” in the fathers and who claim that Christ quoted the deuterocanonicals. But Luther’s translation into German wasn’t the first to supply the helping word “alone” in that passage. What do you do with all the translators before him who supplied that word?

    You wrote:

    Once again, you in no way answered my objection that using the bible to say that the bible is inspired is circular reasoning and is thus not logically sound. Instead you repeat the very conclusion which I am questioning. A conclusion is not an argument. I am aware that you believe in the bible. I’d like to hear sound premises which lead to the conclusion that it is inspired. Muslims believe that the Quran is the ‘word of God.’ Obviously we don’t agree. You say we ‘just have faith.’ This shows a misunderstanding of faith. Faith (precluding natural law which is written on all men’s hearts) must be steeped in reason. Since belief in the bible is not part of the natural law, you must have some reason to believe in the bible, because the nature of the human mind is to reason to some perceived end which can be called the good.

    a) You asked why I believe that the Bible is inspired. The answer is that I accept the Scripture’s own self-testimony. I’m moved to accept the Scripture’s testimony on account of the Holy Spirit bearing witness to my spirit. There are also other reasons that also confirm my conclusion.

    b) Asking me for a deductive proof of inspiration is different from asking me why I accept it. I didn’t claim to accept it based on deductive proof from some outside source.

    c) If you want a deductive proof, you won’t get one, unless you first accept some premises. However, any conclusion that can be drawn from those premises must flow from them, and thus, in some sense, be contained in them. So, if you accept that the Bible is God’s Word, you will believe it when it claims inspiration.

    “Therefore my objection stands- so please give sufficient reason as to how you believe in the bible and not the church who gave us the bible.”

    Again, you seem confused between me offering you a proof that will persuade you (you posing here is a radical skeptic) and me explaining to you what persuades me to accept the Bible as God’s word. My faith is not irrational, but it also not sight – it is not simply the logical conclusion of extrinsic arguments .

    I had asked:

    I wonder what you mean by that. Would you also say that if you were in the very presence of Jesus that you would need an extrinsic reason to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be? If not, then why impose on His written Word what you would not impose on His spoken Word?

    You responded:

    You beg the question when you refer to the bible as Jesus’ written word since one facet of our debate is that it is not reasonable to believe that the bible is Jesus’ written word prima facie.

    That’s not an example of begging the question. The question isn’t whether the Bible is the Word of God (unless you really are a skeptic). You just wish to allege that I haven’t a sufficient ground for believing it. You’d like to make a skeptic out of me – even though you agree with my statement that the Bible is God’s word. Your disagreement over whether I have a good reason to believe the statement doesn’t convert my true statement into an example of begging the question.

    You wrote: “If I were in the presence of Christ now, I would not need any more reason for faith since mine is already developed through reason.”

    But the question is whether you would only accept the spoken words of Christ based on something extrinsic. Would only believe what Christ says in person if your church confirmed it?

    “If I lived during Christ’s earthly ministry, then yes, I would need some signs such as the transfiguration on the mount, the miracles, the resurrection, to convince myself of a supernatural belief- just as the apostles did.”

    a) Those signs are all recorded in Scripture.
    b) As you know, miracles don’t deductively prove anything.

    “It is only after all the signs and fulfillment of the prophecies that Christ scolds Thomas for needing to see to believe. Therefore, your comparison of standards for belief is unreasonable and quite a poor analogy.”

    Really? Jesus compares Thomas to the people who will not see and yet will believe. Seems like a pretty good analogy.

    I had written: “A very short answer to your request is that Scripture teaches its own authority and sufficiency. If you want to argue that the Scripture doesn’t specifically add “and nothing else has this same authority,” so be it. But, of course, the burden is the person who is bringing forth this new authority. Thus, if someone claims to be a prophet, we’ll test them the way that prophets have been tested since the days of Moses – by Scripture”

    You wrote: “Something CANNOT TEACH ITS OWN AUTHORITY. WE MUST HAVE AN EXTRINSIC REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IT HAS AUTHORITY TO TEACH ITS OWN AUTHORITY! “””””””””””””””””””

    Scripture does, in fact, teach its own authority. When the prophets say “Thus saith the Lord,” they are claiming divine authority. What you seem to be saying is that such a claim is not proof of the validity of the claim — but we don’t claim it is.

    Plus, as noted above, you are suggesting that the authority of God himself is not sufficient. You seem not to have problem with that, saying that you would have demanded miracles before you would believe God himself.

    “Once again, you in no way answered my objection that using the bible to say that the bible is inspired is circular reasoning and is thus not logically sound.”

    I didn’t deny that it would be circular reasoning to try to convert it into a deductive argument. On the other hand, I didn’t offer it as a deductive argument.

    “Instead you repeat the very conclusion which I am questioning.”

    You don’t really question the authority of Scripture. You just try to claim that I can’t know what I know.

    “A conclusion is not an argument.”

    So true.

    “I am aware that you believe in the bible.”

    Good.

    “I’d like to hear sound premises which lead to the conclusion that it is inspired.”

    Premise 1. The Bible is true.
    Premise 2. The Bible says it is inspired.
    Conclusion The Bible is inspired.

    What good does that do you? Presumably it does you no good.

    But, of course, your demand for a deductive argument is just pedantic.

    “Because as you point out, the burden of proof is on the person making a positive claim.”

    There isn’t really a burden of proof of agreed-to propositions. Moreover, I may very well simply acknowledge that certain things can be evidenced by not proven.

    “Therefore my objection stands- so please give sufficient reason as to how you believe in the bible.””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Answered above.

    I had written: “b) Jesus’ oral teaching to the apostles obviously preceded their reporting of that teaching writing. I’m not sure what you think this proves, particularly since Jesus himself recognized the authority of Scripture in his oral teaching.”

    You responded: “This proves that Sola Scriptura is ascriptural since if something went against scripture it would be sinful or in error.”

    That doesn’t follow.

    You continued: “Christ did not have his apostles follow him with a pen and record his words.”

    a) Oh? And you know that how?
    b) Who cares? We don’t claim he did.

    You continued: “Therefore He must have known that his words would be passed down orally.”

    He knew his words would be passed down in writing. That’s why the Holy Spirit inspired the evangelists to pass down his words that way.

    You wrote: “Passing something down via oral tradition is by definition a contradiction of sola scriptura.”

    No, it isn’t.

    You wrote: “Therefore, Christ either was sinful, taught error, or believed in oral tradition. The first two are obviously absurd, therefore, the last must be true.”

    From multiple false premises, you’ve arrived at a false conclusion. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

    You wrote:

    Paul incites people to use oral tradition on numerous occasions in his epistles. Sola Scriptura is never alluded to once in the bible. Therefore, oral tradition is more scriptural than sola scriptura.

    Numerous! Wherein said number is … uh … well, maybe two or three — all in the same book — none of which actually say “oral”?

    2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

    One of my friends wrote: ‘Yet little a or big A, the early church did not approve or accept the apocrypha like the rest of Scripture, for one, because they are not found in the Hebrew canon’

    You replied: “Actually at the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, deuterocanonical books were indeed found written in Hebrew. A stunning blow to Lutherites everywhere.”

    I suppose you mean that there were some fragments of some deuterocanonical books found in Aramaic. And, of course, what little this is supposed to prove is not clear. Is it supposed to prove that they were originally in Aramaic not Greek? It certainly doesn’t prove that they were part of the Hebrew canon.

    My friend wrote: ‘Neither ultimately can you prove first principles or axioms. Ultimately the belief in Scripture is from the Holy Spirit. So WCF 1:5. Many things in or about Scripture point to its inspiration, but in the end it is spiritual. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Heb.11:1. That’s why it’s called faith.’

    You replied: “First principles are so obvious in the order of the universe that they need no proof. People who deny noncontradiction have been thoroughly lobotomized.”

    People who deny the inspiration of Scripture are spiritually blind.

    You continued: “Unfortunately, belief in the veracity of a book is not a first principle or anything that should be accepted on its face by any stretch of the imagination.”

    What standard are you applying here? Or to put it differently, who told you this? Accepting the Word of God as the Word of God is proper, even when it is not based on deductive proof.

    You continued:

    Even after seeing a man perform miracles, it still takes a great leap of faith to accept the Resurrection. Since we have good reason to believe that Christ is God pre-Resurrection, (fulfilled prophesies, miracles…) then we can muster our faith to believe in the Resurrection. As we see in John 6, if you cannot believe a simple miracle, you will not accept the Resurrection. Faith is a belief in things not seen. This does not mean faith is blind.

    Faith is the evidence of things that are not seen. But more importantly, these admissions on your part undermine your demands for us to provide deductive proof. You’re just claiming that our correct belief that the Scriptures are the Word of God involves a greater leap than yours. No one (here) has said that faith must be blind.

    My friend wrote: ‘While we have reasons for our faith, ultimately it’s based on revelation, not reason.’

    You responded:

    Even using the word “revelation” is silly without good reason to believe in what you are calling revealed. The irony is that you are desperately fighting to prove that the Catholic church is fallible to prove your version of Christianity is true. But as soon as you prove that the church is fallible, you will have proved that ‘biblical’ Christianity cannot be true since the Church gives the world the bible and if they are fallible then the bible cannot be believed to be inspired. The inspiration of the bible is based on the claims of the infallible church.

    a) Who gave Gregory the Great his Bible?

    b) That the Roman church is fallible can be seen from the mistakes it makes.

    c) Even if we had received our Bible from the Roman church (although we did not), the fallibility of that church wouldn’t mean that all of its claims are false. Thus, it would not follow that the inspiration of the Bible would be false.

    d) In fact we know that the Bible is inspired because the Bible says that it is inspired and we believe what the Bible says. You may not like that we can believe what the Bible says without buying into the Roman pyramid of lies, but it is what it is. The sooner you realize that people can and do believe the Bible even while viewing the Roman bishop as anti-Christ, the better.

    You wrote: “You guys believe in Christ because you believe in the bible. Catholics, however, believe in the Bible because they believe in Christ and he anointed a church which gave the world the bible as per Matt: 16.”

    Actually, those in your church are choosing to follow the Roman church rather than Christ – and refusing to believe the Bible when it contradicts what the Roman church says. No man can serve two masters.

    And, of course, we believe the Bible because we regard it as the Word of God.

    Finally, Christ himself indicated that those who believed the Bible would believe in Him. So, in that regard we gladly accept your characterization of us. Recall that Christ related this dialogue:

    Luke 16:29-31
    Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    Your argument, you see, is one that is from the pit of hell – the argument that men need to see miracles to believe — that the Scriptures are not enough. Christ’s words placed in Abraham’s mouth tell us the opposite: that Scripture is enough.

    You wrote: “Please reread Matt: 16. Christ gives Peter the Papacy and the doctrine of infallibility is tacitly born here.”

    LOL

    There is no mention of the papacy in Matthew 16. If there were, the apostles must have been incredibly dull, because they were still trying to figure out who the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is in Matthew 18:

    Matthew 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

    No, Matthew 16 tells us about Christ the Rock and Peter’s confession of faith in Him, upon which the Church is built. Scripture tells us explicitly who the head cornerstone is:

    Psalm 118:22-23 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

    Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

    Daniel 2:34-35
    Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

    Matthew 21:42-44
    Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

    Mark 12:10-11
    And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

    Luke 20:17-18
    And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

    Acts 4:10-12
    Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    1 Peter 2:6-8
    Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

    You wrote: “Then come back and start hollering about petros and petra and all that so that I can retort.”

    You refer to the fact that the inspired text says: 18 κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος (Petros), καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ (petra) οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς

    And while in Greek there may be a difference between those words, the real killer is the word ταύτῃ (taute). Instead of saying “and upon you …” Christ says to Peter “upon this rock.” But we seem to be getting rather far away from Gregory and Maccabees.

    But at least we can hear what Gregory said about Matthew 16:18:

    “Moses is placed on a rock, to behold the form of God, because if any one maintains not the firmness of the Faith, he discerns not the Divine presence. Of which firmness the Lord says; Upon this rock I will build My Church.” (Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, Book 35, Section 13)

    My friend wrote: “Yet Scripture says that the Holy Spirit – not oral tradition – shall teach the apostles all things, and bring their remembrance, whatsoever Christ said unto them. John 14:26″

    You replied: “Exactly! Note how scripture does not say that scripture shall teach the apostles all things. The Holy Spirit comes to the apostles at Pentecost , and thus we know that they were guided by the Holy Spirit. If writing scripture were all that the Spirit desired for the apostles, why would they not be emboldened to go find a dark room and write lengthy books? Instead they take to the road and preach and spread the good news- not by leaflet, but by word of mouth. The apostles with the guidance of the Holy Spirit founded a church- this is the very church that you reject.”

    Because prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

    But yes, the Scriptures were given for specific purposes:

    John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

    If your church is one that the Holy Spirit founded, why does it oppose the doctrines contained in the Sacred Scriptures? If your church is one that the Holy Spirit, why doesn’t your church maintain the apostolic faith pure?

    The problem is that your church claims those things, but it lies.

    You concluded:

    In short, I will believe in Christ. I believe in Christ when he says that “I give you the keys to the Kingdom, what you bind will be bound and what you loose will be loosed.” I believe in Him when he says to “feed His sheep.” I believe Him when He admonishes the Apostles to cast out demons, and forgive sins. I believe Christ when He says “My flesh is real food.” I believe Him when He says “this is My body.” The question is, do you guys believe Him? It seems that all you believe of Him come from interpretations of the Pauline epistles.

    I think that only shows how little you understand of what He taught or what we teach. It is sad, but what can we do!

    -TurretinFan

  51. bsuden said,

    March 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    TF
    I was going to get around to replying to this, but not only did you beat me to it, mine was more on the order of dismissing “Romanist (or EO) apologists straight out of central casting” that “recycle the most tired, cliched objections [hear,hear]” to the Reformed position, as well as demonstrate a profound ignorance of Scripture, all the while they pretty much cherrypick it in complete disregard to context.
    IOW the conversation has been going on here since at least ’09 and if somebody can’t bother to get up to speed, we can’t bother either.
    Oh well.

  52. dgor said,

    March 15, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Your original data (your papal quote): ” In his commentary on Job, Book 19, chapter 34, he says that it is not irregular to quote for the church’s edification the books of the Apocrypha, as long as it is understood that they are not canonical. He then immediately retells the story from 1 Macc. 6:42-47 concerning the death of Eleazar Savaran, who killed an elephant, though being killed in the process” does not even explicitly state that Gregory the Great was speaking of the deuterocanonical works. He never says that Maccabees is to be rejected. You only cite the proximity of his explanation of use of apocryphal works with his reference to Maccabees. This is not convincing or explicit at all.

    Was he speaking in his teaching authority as pope or as a private theologian?

    LOL ROFL, this is pretty elementary school:
    Premise 1. The Bible is true.————!!Not a premise, but a conclusion!!(you can’t make a syllogism out of 2 conclusions and a premise.)
    Premise 2. The Bible says it is inspired.
    Conclusion The Bible is inspired.

    Premise 1: the koran says it’s true
    Premise 2: The koran says it’s inspired
    Conclusion: the koran is inspired.

    Does that do anything for you?

    c) Even if we had received our Bible from the Roman church (although we did not), the fallibility of that church wouldn’t mean that all of its claims are false. Thus, it would not follow that the inspiration of the Bible would be false.

    Ha- Right that doesn’t mean all of its claims are false. However it DOES mean that not all of its claims are necessarily true. Since we believe that scripture must be true only because the infallible church gives them to us, if the church was fallible, then the scripture would not necessarily be true.

    You wrote: “Passing something down via oral tradition is by definition a contradiction of sola scriptura.”

    No, it isn’t. ———–YES IT IS. only scripture vs not only scripture…

    I don’t really know how to follow up on your last post, since most of my points still stand. You merely writing a quick “it’s not true” after an argument of mine isn’t an argument, just an unsupported conclusion. Unfortunately, in the intellectual realm, we must use premises to form conclusions.

    In typical fundy fashion, in order to prove your points, you have merely heaped a whole pile of ambiguous bible verses into your posts in hopes of getting a quick and emboldened sigh of relief from your pals. None of the verses that you posted even come close to proving the points that you invoke them to prove. It’s just a heaping disorganized mess that I don’t care to address.

    We should move on to the next argument since these arguments are proving fruitless…None of us seems to be convinced, even though you ought to be because you still have not answered me as to the basis for your belief in the bible. You have had to resort to the “it’s just my faith” cop-out. However, God commands us to spread the good news and unfortunately telling atheists, “it’s just my faith” cannot and will not convert them (get them to speak the magic words–“I believe in Christ as my Lord and savior.”) We must be able to articulate reasons for our beliefs. You have arbitrary faith. You just lucked into having faith in the right book arbitrarily.

    Here’s something to try and wrap your mind around… If the bible is the sole basis for faith, and God is all knowing, how come Christ came 1500 years before the invention of the printing press? The bible could not be the sole basis for faith because 99 percent of the people in the world did not own a bible since they had to be hand-written and they would have been inordinately expensive. Bible Xianity could not have existed yet since a personal and biblical relationship with Christ could not have existed. Therefore, Christ, would either not know that He needed a church to guard the teachings of truth (impossible), or He would have carved out a nearly impossible task for those who believed in Him. –Some teaching authority must have existed or else people would be ignorant of Christ.

    The other question is: For one reason or another, a church DID arise very early on after the death of Christ. There are only historical records of this ONE Catholic church.( Obviously the early Christians knew what Christ intended in Matt 16 because the Church DID begin to exist. Where were all the bible churches?) If the early Christians believed in the church of Rome why don’t you? If you say that they did not all believe in the church of Rome, then where is evidence of another church existing? What was that church’s belief and doctrine? How can you believe in a church that only began after the first 1500 years of Christianity? Seems real silly.

    Show me one early church that mirrored a modern fundamentalist church. Just one. I guess that’s impossible anyway since rock’n’roll music and overhead projectors didn’t exist back then.

  53. dgor said,

    March 15, 2011 at 2:22 am

    The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger,[4] on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, “Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John.”

  54. dgor said,

    March 15, 2011 at 2:29 am

    The Didache

    “You shall not waver with regard to your decisions [Sir. 1:28]. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to receive but withdraws them when it comes to giving [Sir. 4:31]” (Didache 4:5 [A.D. 70]).

    The Letter of Barnabas

    “Since, therefore, [Christ] was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, ‘Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves’ [Is. 3:9], saying, ‘Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us’ [Wis. 2:12.]” (Letter of Barnabas 6:7 [A.D. 74]).

    Clement of Rome

    “By the word of his might [God] established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. ‘Who shall say to him, “What have you done?” or who shall resist the power of his strength?’ [Wis. 12:12]” (Letter to the Corinthians 27:5 [ca. A.D. 80]).

    Polycarp of Smyrna

    “Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood [1 Pet. 2:17].
    . . . When you can do good, defer it not, because ‘alms delivers from death’ [Tob. 4:10, 12:9]. Be all of you subject to one another [1 Pet. 5:5], having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles [1 Pet. 2:12], and the Lord may not be b.asphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is b.asphemed [Is. 52:5]!” (Letter to the Philadelphians 10 [A.D. 135]).

    Irenaeus

    “Those . . . who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts and do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt toward others and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat [Matt. 23:6] and work evil deeds in secret, saying ‘No man sees us,’ shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance, nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust perverted your heart’ [Dan. 13:56]. You that have grown old in wicked days, now your sins which you have committed before have come to light, for you have pronounced false judgments and have been accustomed to condemn the innocent and to let the guilty go free, although the Lord says, ‘You shall not slay the innocent and the righteous’ [Dan. 13:52, citing Ex. 23:7]” (Against Heresies 4:26:3 [A.D. 189]; Daniel 13 is not in the Protestant Bible).

    “Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left on the earth, should both be under the rule of the saints and to minister to this [new] Jerusalem and that [his] kingdom shall be in it, saying, ‘Look around Jerusalem toward the east and behold the joy which comes to you from God himself. Behold, your sons whom you have sent forth shall come: They shall come in a band from the east to the west. . . . God shall go before with you in the light of his splendor, with the mercy and righteousness which proceed from him’ [Bar. 4:36—5:9]” (ibid., 5:35:1; Baruch was often considered part of Jeremiah, as it is here).

    Hippolytus

    “What is narrated here [in the story of Susannah] happened at a later time, although it is placed at the front of the book [of Daniel], for it was a custom with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their writings. . . . [W]e ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest anyone be overtaken in any transgression and risk the loss of his soul, knowing as we do that God is the judge of all and the Word himself is the eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah” (Commentary on Daniel [A.D. 204]; the story of Susannah [Dan. 13] is not in the Protestant Bible).

    Cyprian of Carthage

    “In Genesis [it says], ‘And God tested Abraham and said to him, “Take your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the high land and offer him there as a burnt offering . . .”’ [Gen. 22:1–2]. . . . Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon [it says], ‘Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality . . .’ [Wis. 3:4]. Of this same thing in the Maccabees [it says], ‘Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness’ [1 Macc. 2:52; see Jas. 2:21–23]” (Treatises 7:3:15 [A.D. 248]).

    “So Daniel, too, when he was required to worship the idol Bel, which the people and the king then worshipped, in asserting the honor of his God, broke forth with full faith and freedom, saying, ‘I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who created the heaven and the earth’ [Dan. 14:5]” (Letters 55:5 [A.D. 253]; Daniel 14 is not in the Protestant Bible).

    Council of Rome

    “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; Joshua [Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books [that is, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books; Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book, Ecclesiastes, one book, [and] Canticle of Canticles [Song of Songs], one book; likewise Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book . . . . Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book; Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books” (Decree of Pope Damasus [A.D. 382]).

    Council of Hippo

    “[It has been decided] that besides the canonical scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the canonical scriptures are
    as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, and a portion of the Psalms], the twelve books of the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . .” (Canon 36 [A.D. 393]).

    Council of Carthage III

    “[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, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon, twelve books of the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees . . .” (Canon 47 [A.D. 397]).

    Augustine

    “The whole canon of the scriptures, however, in which we say that consideration is to be applied, is contained in these books: the five of Moses . . . and one book of Joshua [Son of] Nave, one of Judges; one little book which is called Ruth . . . then the four of Kingdoms, and the two of Paralipomenon . . . . [T]here are also others too, of a different order . . . such as Job and Tobit and Esther and Judith and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Esdras . . . . Then there are the prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David, and three of Solomon. . . . But as to those two books, one of which is entitled Wisdom and the other of which is entitled Ecclesiasticus and which are called ‘of Solomon’ because of a certain similarity to his books, it is held most certainly that they were written by Jesus Sirach. They must, however, be accounted among the prophetic books, because of the authority which is deservedly accredited to them” (Christian Instruction 2:8:13 [A.D. 397]).

    “We read in the books of the Maccabees [2 Macc. 12:43] that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the Catholic Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at his altar the commendation of the dead has its place” (The Care to be Had for the Dead 1:3 [A.D. 421]).

    The Apostolic Constitutions

    “Now women also prophesied. Of old, Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron [Ex. 15:20], and after her, Deborah [Judges. 4:4], and after these Huldah [2 Kgs. 22:14] and Judith [Judith 8], the former under Josiah and the latter under Darius” (Apostolic Constitutions 8:2 [A.D. 400]).

    Jerome

    “What sin have I committed if I follow the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating [in my preface to the book of Daniel] the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susannah [Dan. 13], the Song of the Three Children [Dan. 3:29–68, RSV-CE], and the story of Bel and the Dragon [Dan. 14], which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they are wont to make against us. If I did not reply to their views in my preface, in the interest of brevity, lest it seem that I was composing not a preface, but a book, I believe I added promptly the remark, for I said, ‘This is not the time to discuss such matters’” (Against Rufinius 11:33 [A.D. 401]).

    Pope Innocent I

    “A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the things of which you desired to be informed verbally: of Moses, five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Joshua, of Judges, one book, of Kings, four books, and also Ruth, of the prophets, sixteen books, of Solomon, five books, the Psalms. Likewise of the histories, Job, one book, of Tobit, one book, Esther, one, Judith, one, of the Maccabees, two, of Esdras, two, Paralipomenon, two books . . .” (Letters 7 [A.D. 408]).

  55. TurretinFan said,

    March 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

    dgor:

    Will you at least concede that your claim that Jesus quotes the Apocrypha was false? I realize you didn’t create the list yourself, but cut and pasted it from somewhere else. Nevertheless, will you concede that Jesus did not quote any of the books that you call Deuterocanonical?

    -TurretinFan

  56. TurretinFan said,

    March 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Here’s the context for the item referred to in the opening post:

    33. And so with the eyes of the heart stretched out roundabouts, watching must be enforced by us on every side. Hence it is rightly said by Solomon also, Keep thy heart with all watching, for out of it are the issues of life. [Prov. 4, 23] For going to say watching, he put first all, without question that each one might scan himself diligently on this side and on that side, and as long as he is in this life know that he is set in pitched battle against spiritual enemies, lest the reward which he is making up by one set of actions, he should lose by another set, lest on this side he bar the door against the enemy, but on another side open an entrance. For if against plotting enemies a city be encompassed by a great rampart, be girt with strong walls, on every side defended by a sleepless watch, yet a single opening only be left therein undefended through neglect, from this quarter surely the enemy enters in, who seemed to be every way shut out. For that Pharisee who went up into the Temple to pray, with what fortifying he had begirt the city of his soul, let us hear. I fast twice in the week, he says, I give tithes of all that I possess. [Luke 18, 12] He that set out with I thank Thee, did, surely, employ extraordinary defences. But let us see where he left an opening undefended for a plotting enemy; Because I am not as this publican. See how he opened the city of his heart to plotting enemies through self-exalting, which city he fruitlessly shut close by fasting and almsgiving. Vainly is all the rest defended, when one spot by which an entrance lies open to the enemy is not defended. He rightly gave thanks, but wrongly exalted himself above the publican. The city of his heart by being lifted up he betrayed, which by living abstemiously, and by giving alms, he guarded. The greedy appetite was subdued by abstinence, the gluttony of the belly was destroyed, a grasping inclination was got the better of, by bountifulness covetousness was kept down. With what great pains do we suppose this to have been done? But, alas! what a series of painful efforts being struck by one bad point fell to the ground! What great excellencies were killed by the sword of one sin! Whence it is needful with great diligence both always to be doing good things, and to keep ourselves heedfully in the thought of the heart from the very good things themselves, lest, if they uplift the mind, they be not good, which are enlisted not to the Creator, but to pride.

    34. With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed. Whom, then, does this one represent, whom his own victory bore down, but those persons who overcome bad habits, but by being lifted up are brought down under the very things they bring under? For it is as if he died under the enemy he lays low, who is lifted up by the sin that he subdues. Accordingly it deserves above every thing to be considered, that good points cannot avail, if bad ones that creep in unawares are not guarded against. All that is done perishes, if it be not heedfully preserved in humility. Hence too it is well said of the first parent himself; And the Lord put the man into the Paradise of pleasure, to work and to keep it. [Gen. 2, 15] For he ‘worketh,’ who does in act the good that is enjoined. But what he has wrought he keepeth not, whom that creepeth upon which is forbidden. Therefore let blessed Job, because he had covered himself on every side with good practice, say, With righteousness I was clothed, and arrayed myself as with a garment. Where it is forthwith added,

    And my judgment a diadem.

    Will you concede that it is pretty clear that “With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony,” refers to the immediately following testimony taken from 1 Maccabees, to wit:

    1 Maccabees 6:43-46
    Eleazar also, surnamed Savaran, perceiving that one of the beasts, armed with royal harness, was higher than all the rest, and supposing that the king was upon him, put himself in jeopardy, to the end he might deliver his people, and get him a perpetual name: wherefore he ran upon him courageously through the midst of the battle, slaying on the right hand and on the left, so that they were divided from him on both sides. Which done, he crept under the elephant, and thrust him under, and slew him: whereupon the elephant fell down upon him, and there he died.

    Will you concede that?

    -TurretinFan

  57. TurretinFan said,

    March 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Next, will you concede that the question you asked about his status at the time (“Was he speaking in his teaching authority as pope or as a private theologian?”) is irrelevant to the question of what he believed? In other words, will you concede that he did not view Maccabees as canonical?

    Moreover, there was no teaching of papal infallibility in his day, so the question is really a moot question. Can you acknowledge that?

    Furthermore, it is not as though he changed his views once he became bishop of Rome, so the complaint that he originally wrote X before he became bishop of Rome is just a red herring. Won’t you concede that as well?

    -TurretinFan

  58. TurretinFan said,

    March 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I’ll await your comments on the above, which seem pretty clear, before proceeding to address the remainder of the numerous points you have raised.

  59. TurretinFan said,

    April 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Still waiting, dgor. Please don’t tell me you’re just a drive-by commenter!

  60. June 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    [...] Church does not acknowledge Shepherd to be canonical. We have already cited before the evidence of Gregory the Great, who believed that Maccabees was not canonical. Similarly, Athanasius and Cyprian believed that 3 [...]

  61. peacebyjesus said,

    August 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I came across this page from a link somewhere, and want to say that it is one of the best postings I have read on this issue. I would like to add a few comments at this late date.

    Re Something cannot teach its own authority. we must have an extrinsic reason to believe that it has authority to teach its own authority,

    This is true, and both writings and men became established as being of God due to their qualities and attestation along before men in a church of Rome claimed you need her assuredly infallible magisterium to define both.

    How did Abraham become established as a man of God, if not because God manifestly supernaturally affirmed his faith and character, and likewise Moses, who himself affirmed Abraham’s faith, and provided it in a transcendent and testable medium, wholly inspired of God. While Rome essentially claims to be as Moses, yet she lacks his qualities and attestation, regardless of her claims otherwise.

    Like men of God, these writings of God essentially became established due to their enduring Divine qualities and attestation, including conformity to what previously was established as being from God. (And as Scripture provides for writings being recognized as from God, so it provides for a canon.)

    And as written and established, these writings became the standard . for obedience and testing truth claims, as is abundantly evident , It was fitting that before Moses wrote them, the first written words of God were the 10 commandments, by the finger of God. No additional writings could be contrary to that, though they could be complimentary in explaining and expanding upon them.

    By the time of Christ most of what we hold as inspired writings were established as Scripture, and it was upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power that He and the apostles established their truth claims. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)

    And here it is of note that not only was an assuredly infallible magisterium, such as Rome supposes herself to be, not necessary for the recognition and preservation of Truth, but under the Roman model in which the stewards of Divine revelation and inheritors of the promises of God (which she claims to be) are the infallible authorities on what it consists of and means, and all she rejects are to be rejected, then the church itself is rendered invalid. For the magisterium of this steward (Mt. 23:2; Rm. 3:2; 9:4) rejected the Lord and the church.

    Their question to the Christ and by extension, to John the Baptist whose baptism Christ invoked in response, is like that of Rome’s, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? ” (Mark 11:28)

    The question is, why would good men follow a holy man in the desert who ate insects and an itinerant Preacher who were rejected by the magisterium, except that wholly inspired Scripture is superior and the magisterium is not assuredly infallible. Thus God often raised up men (not all being imperfect) from without it to reprove it, and thus faith was preserved. And thus the church began and thus it continues as the body of Christ, having at least the essential unity of the Spirit (Christ in them and they in Him; cf. Jn. 17:23) via a shared conversion and relationship with Christ.

  62. peacebyjesus said,

    August 6, 2013 at 9:37 am

    As for Rome and extrinsic warrant to submit to her as she requires, this is critically lacking in response to her claims. Details on this and even examples of her basic contrariness is too much to list here in detail, but the fact is that while we find convincing warrant that God/Christ is real, and the 66 books we believe in are of Him and warrant implicit faith and obedience, and progressively so as we obey, yet, while Rome requires even this degree of submission, we neither see her warranting this nor supported by Scripture, and Rome as critically contrary to warranting it.

    And indeed, while RC teaching allows for finding warrant for submitting to Rome via extrinsic proofs, using “private judgment,” that of human reasoning, in order to make a fallible decision to submit to a (supposedly) infallible church, yet this manner of examination in order to determine veracity and warrant for what is taught is disparaged once they do submit.

    “…that he can give his assent with the full approval of his reason is absolutely certain. Once he does so [enters the Roman church], he has no further use for his reason. He enters the Church, an edifice illumined by the superior light of revelation and faith. He can leave reason, like a lantern, at the door.”

    “The intolerance of the Church toward error, the natural position of one who is the custodian of truth, her only reasonable attitude makes her forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question. This places the Catholic in a position whereby he must stand aloof from all manner of doctrinal teaching other than that delivered by his Church through her accredited ministers.”

    “The reason of this stand of his is that, for him, there can be no two sides to a question which for him is settled; for him, there is no seeking after the truth: he possesses it in its fulness, as far as God and religion are concerned. His Church gives him all there is to be had; all else is counterfeit… (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapter XXIII; 1904)

    “…mark well: having once found the true Church, private judgment of this kind ceases;…“All that we do [as must be patent enough now] is to submit our judgment and conform our beliefs to the authority Almighty God has set up on earth to teach us; this, and nothing else.” (Henry G. Graham, “What Faith Really Means”, 1914 )]

    For the RC, assurance of truth does not rest upon Scriptural warrant, and this is rejected as providing assurance, for while warrant from history and Scripture may be invoked as supporting here, the only interpretation that has authority for an RC is that which Rome gives. Thus real assurance rests upon the premise of Rome’s assured infallibility, and thus Rome is as God as warranting implicit submission. And having infallibly decreed she is infallible whenever she speaks according to her scope and subject-based criteria, thus this renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, and the RC is to submits to this.

    While the appeal to this, that of the church being alone as the supreme authority, sola eccclesia, is that it enables doctrinal unity, that unity is cultic, versus the more difficult doctrinal unity by 2Cor. 4:2 means, and thus cults show the greatest degree of unity.

    And for the RC, most teachings are not from the infallible magisterium, and despite the imagination of RCAs, he is still left interpreting both what level a magisterial teaching falls under, and thus what level of submission is required, and to varying degrees what they mean.


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