Catholic FAQ


Help support Catholic Answers!

Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Apr 10, '12, 4:04 am
Tinkinen Tinkinen is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 33
Default Pillar and foundation of the truth

What should you answer to someone who claims that the church is not the pillar and foundation of the truth according to 1 Tim 3:15? Instead, they associate that phrase with the following verse like this: "The pillar and foundation of the truth and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness". The reason is, of course, to deny the authority of the Church.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Apr 10, '12, 5:03 am
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

I would require of them a clearer explanation of what they mean. I don't see in verse 16 what you (they) express above. It makes no sense.

In a more general sense though - NT Scripture describes a church (ekklesia) that is highly unified and structurally authoritative. In addition to 1 Tim 3:15 there are many other verses that point to the Church being God's authoritative body on earth.
I usually begin with what I see as the most clear example of a) instruction and b) implementation of authoritative Church in the NT.
Mt 18:15-18 has Jesus telling the faithful to "Tell it to the Church" when there controversy. The Protestant might respond that this refers to "Sin" in verse 15 - to which you can ask them if teaching a false gospel is or is not a sin. The obvious answer is that it is indeed a sin to preach a false gospel - so Mt 18:15 would apply to doctrinal matters as well as personal sin.
The protestant will then often say that the "church" referred to in Mt 18 is the "local visible body" and not some universal body. But this is shot down in Acts 15
Acts 15 is the example of the universal Church acting Authoritatively. Members of one local body/group created friction with another local body/group. Not even the great Apostle Paul could bring about a resolution. So the matter was taken before the Apostles and elders in council - in short they "Told it to the Church", and the Church ruled on the matter, not just for the couple of local bodies involved but for ALL of the local bodies that made up the one ekklesia - Church.

Couple these very powerful passages with the many admonitions and encouragements from Christ and others:
UNITY
John 17:20-21
20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


Rom 15:5-6
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 1:10
I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

2 Cor 13:11
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Php 1:27
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

1 Pet 3:8
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
After presenting all of these things that point to a unified, universal, authoritative Church built on a councilior model - something that is clearly seen in BOTH of the ancient Christian Churches (RC and EO), ask your "bible believing" friend to show you from Scripture equally strong evidence for the Protestant model of local independence, invisible body, private interpretation of Scripture etc....
I have yet to find a protestant who can do so. At most they try to say that I am not interpreting correctly...and given a very few verses that are easily shown to be in perfect agreement with the universal authoritative view....but mostly I am met with silence for the Bible simply does not support the protestant model of Church structure.

As regards the reference to controversy...We can (and do) still have plenty of that within the Church.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Apr 10, '12, 6:31 am
MarcoPolo's Avatar
MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
Forum Master
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Posts: 13,228
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Tell them the original Greek text uses the term Church (ekklēsia).
__________________
.
The Catholic Voyager
God the Father and Reconciliation (MP3)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:01 am
Tinkinen Tinkinen is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 33
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
I would require of them a clearer explanation of what they mean. I don't see in verse 16 what you (they) express above. It makes no sense.
1 Tim 3:15 says: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." and 1 Tim 3:16 "And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh -- --" (Douay-Rheims). The point was that the original Greek does not have punctuation, so supposedly you could not know if "the pillar and ground of the truth" belonged to the preceding or the following verse. I don't know if both alternatives are grammatical in ancient Greek.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
The protestant will then often say that the "church" referred to in Mt 18 is the "local visible body" and not some universal body. But this is shot down in Acts 15
Acts 15 is the example of the universal Church acting Authoritatively. Members of one local body/group created friction with another local body/group. Not even the great Apostle Paul could bring about a resolution. So the matter was taken before the Apostles and elders in council - in short they "Told it to the Church", and the Church ruled on the matter, not just for the couple of local bodies involved but for ALL of the local bodies that made up the one ekklesia - Church.
I once did exactly this. The reply was that Matt 18 refers to a process of excommunication, and in Acts 15 they were not exactly excommunicating anyone (which, by the way, could only be done by the local church, never by an external authority). Also, decisions like Acts 15 would not be binding if they were "contrary to gospel". At that time, the other party did not want to discuss it any further.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:07 am
Kathryn Ann's Avatar
Kathryn Ann Kathryn Ann is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2009
Posts: 1,452
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

I would show them this link. Very helpful to several of my friends seeking to understand Church history.
How Old is Your Church (Link from EWTN)
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb4.htm
The scripture speaks for itself. "The Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth." This I often call the divine continuity of The Church which Christ Himself, (not mere man) founded, handing the Keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter. Praise God!
Blessings,
Kathryn Ann
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:41 am
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkinen View Post
1 Tim 3:15 says: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." and 1 Tim 3:16 "And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh -- --" (Douay-Rheims). The point was that the original Greek does not have punctuation, so supposedly you could not know if "the pillar and ground of the truth" belonged to the preceding or the following verse. I don't know if both alternatives are grammatical in ancient Greek.
I would respond that, as Catholics, we are not particularly interested in how verses are broken up and certainly pulling verses out of context is a bad idea. That, it can be reasonably assumed that those who devised the chapter and verse system did so with a reasonable eye toward clarity and continuity.
Then I would ask the person to take these verses, 14-16 and provide a better punctuation, or division that that already given in most translations.

To help them I could offer this from J.P Green's Literal Translation - and I will even remove all of the punctuation:
i write these things to you hoping to come to you shortly but if i delay that you may know how to behave in the house of God which is the assembly of the living God the pillar and foundation of the truth and confessedly great is the mystery of godliness God was manifested in flesh was justified in Spirit was seen by angels was proclaimed among nations was believed on in the world was taken up in glory.
Then offer to sit down with him with any set of scripture translations and/or Greek and see if these verses can reasonably be put together in any way other than what is the long accepted fashion.
If you can have access to on line versions - here is a good site where, if you look up using the King James Version, you can access the Greek and Greek definitions of the words etc...
And the best part is that it is not a Catholic site, so your non-catholic friend should be satisfied that it does not have a "Catholic slant"...

Quote:
I once did exactly this. The reply was that Matt 18 refers to a process of excommunication, and in Acts 15 they were not exactly excommunicating anyone (which, by the way, could only be done by the local church, never by an external authority).
This is not uncommon. The person wishes to place limits on Mt 18 that ares simply not there.
1) Mt 18 does contain the aspect of excommunication as an action to be taken in case of an obstinate refusal to "listen to the Church". But that only serves to bolster the idea of the visible church having authority.
2) The only reason that Acts didn't get to the excommunication aspect is because the Judaizers at the council Listened to The Church as they were instructed to do by Christ in Mt 18.
3) Excommunications are NEVER done by an external authority. Since the Church is One, Holy, Universal (Catholic) and Apostolic, the larger Church only serves to act in concert with the local body in matters of excommunication.
Quote:
Also, decisions like Acts 15 would not be binding if they were "contrary to gospel". At that time, the other party did not want to discuss it any further.
I'm not surprised they did not want to discuss it further. Since by bringing in the "contrary to the Gospel" argument they have trapped themselves.
The Gospel contains Christ giving authority to the Church. The Authority to "Bind and Loose"..."whatever"....
The protestant can dance around the issue but in truth, neither the NT or early Church history (read 1500 years of Church history!!) supports the Protestant model.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:45 am
MarcoPolo's Avatar
MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
Forum Master
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Posts: 13,228
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkinen View Post
1 Tim 3:15 says: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." and 1 Tim 3:16 "And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh -- --" (Douay-Rheims). The point was that the original Greek does not have punctuation, so supposedly you could not know if "the pillar and ground of the truth" belonged to the preceding or the following verse. I don't know if both alternatives are grammatical in ancient Greek.
Biblical translators overwhelming deny your friend's translation.
http://bible.cc/1_timothy/3-15.htm

But if the text really was ambiguous, and the overwhelming consensus among translators was wrong, on what basis does your friend arbitrarily pick one version if the translation is unclear? Maybe it's best not to discuss with them, because it seems they have an ulterior motive, a confirmation bias against the Church.
__________________
.
The Catholic Voyager
God the Father and Reconciliation (MP3)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Apr 10, '12, 10:08 am
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
Biblical translators overwhelming deny your friend's translation.
http://bible.cc/1_timothy/3-15.htm

But if the text really was ambiguous, and the overwhelming consensus among translators was wrong, on what basis does your friend arbitrarily pick one version if the translation is unclear? Maybe it's best not to discuss with them, because it seems they have an ulterior motive, a confirmation bias against the Church.


I agree - this strikes me as similar to the LDS argument that errors have crept into the bible over the centuries - so that now, if something disagrees with them, they can just claim that it is an error or mistranslation or whatever...

All we can really do is to present the Truth as laid out in Scripture - After that it's up to the Holy Spirit.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Apr 10, '12, 11:28 am
MarcoPolo's Avatar
MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
Forum Master
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Posts: 13,228
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
I agree - this strikes me as similar to the LDS argument that errors have crept into the bible over the centuries - so that now, if something disagrees with them, they can just claim that it is an error or mistranslation or whatever...
I remember the days when I'd go back and forth with people for days on end. No more!
__________________
.
The Catholic Voyager
God the Father and Reconciliation (MP3)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Apr 10, '12, 11:49 am
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
I remember the days when I'd go back and forth with people for days on end. No more!
heehee...Understood. I'm not as smart as you are - I still will occasionally do this...
But as I expressed earlier...Once I lay out the many interlocking verses and passages that point to Christ's desire for unity and a visible, authoritative Church - along with the fact that Both of the ancient Christian Churches are built on the visible and authoritative Church model ...I challenge the other side to provide from Scripture an equally compelling and clearly made case for the protestant model.
Silence nearly always follows.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Apr 10, '12, 3:14 pm
ChrisCath's Avatar
ChrisCath ChrisCath is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

I've been playing around with this line of thinking as a quick way to get to the point:

Colossians 1:24 - His body is the Church

Ephesians 1:22-23 - His body is the Church

To deny His Church is to deny his body.

Ephesians 5:25-26 - Christ died for His Church

Denying His Church nullifies His death and resurrection.

OF course, it still may be necessary to refer to the verses on Authority, and the Church.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Apr 10, '12, 4:29 pm
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCath View Post
I've been playing around with this line of thinking as a quick way to get to the point:

Colossians 1:24 - His body is the Church

Ephesians 1:22-23 - His body is the Church

To deny His Church is to deny his body.

Ephesians 5:25-26 - Christ died for His Church

Denying His Church nullifies His death and resurrection.

OF course, it still may be necessary to refer to the verses on Authority, and the Church.
These arguments are never about the fact of the Church/body of Christ but rather about the structure of the Church. The Protestant model, by rejecting "Authoritative Church" in favor of a non-authoritative "invisible" one.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Apr 12, '12, 2:53 pm
ChrisCath's Avatar
ChrisCath ChrisCath is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
These arguments are never about the fact of the Church/body of Christ but rather about the structure of the Church. The Protestant model, by rejecting "Authoritative Church" in favor of a non-authoritative "invisible" one.
I run into some who describe themselves as "spiritual/religious, but do not believe in church."

I find that I have to convince them of the necessity and importance of "church" (and "authority") before getting them to understand and accept the "catholic church."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Apr 12, '12, 6:03 pm
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH JRKH is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 14, 2007
Posts: 21,534
Religion: Catholic Revert
Default Re: Pillar and foundation of the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCath View Post
I run into some who describe themselves as "spiritual/religious, but do not believe in church."

I find that I have to convince them of the necessity and importance of "church" (and "authority") before getting them to understand and accept the "catholic church."
Yes - I know what you mean.
The ones that I generally meet are about the "invisible church" or the "community of the saved" etc....Very unbiblical....

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8026Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: 3DOCTORS
4816CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: 77stanthony77
4286Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: lsbar
4027OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: fencersmother
3810SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3358Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3183Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: CountrySteve
3145Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
2959For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Kellyreneeomara
2679Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 2:26 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.