1 Cor. 4:6...... again


#1

1CO 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

I know that this verse has been brought here a million times. But none of the answers given seem to convincing. What do I say to my protestant friends who bring this verse to me?


#2

I dont get it…

What is the argument?


#3

Forgive me. Perhaps I should give a brief synopsis of the argument.

“that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written”

The claim by my friend is that this proves scripture alone. We are not to go beyond the written word of God.

I obviously do not believe this, but a few pointers on how to respond would be greatly appreciated.


#4

1 Cor. 4:6 - this is one of the most confusing passages in Scripture. Many scholars believe the phrase “don’t go above the line” was inserted by a translator as an instruction to someone in the translation process. Others say Paul is quoting a proverb regarding kids learning to write by tracing letters. By saying don’t go above line, Paul is probably instructing them not to be arrogant. But even if the phrase is taken literally, to what was Paul referring? The Talmud? The Mosaic law? The Old Testament Scriptures? This proves too much for the Protestant because there was no New Testament canon at the time Paul wrote this, and the text says nothing about the Bible being the sole rule and guide of faith.

from scripturecatholic.com/scripture_alone.html#scripture-III

In other words, what Paul is doing is comparing the way that the Corinthians should learn to behave in the same way that children learned to write. It may be more convincing to argue the position from the following point and then introduce the idea that Paul is making this comparison after in order to strengthen the point.

Reading the entire passage in context, we see that in verses 1-5, Paul explains how one ought to properly act. Then, in verse 6 he says that he has applied these rules for behavior to himself and Apollos also, and says that the reason is so that the people may learn not to go beyond what is written and not to puffed up against one another. He is explaining to the Corinthians that they should view he and Apollos as models to follow, as good examples, of how to properly behave. He uses the comparison of teaching a child to write, a process during which one shows for the child an example to be followed.

This understanding of the passage fits in perfectly with the context. If we are to believe that verse 6 refers to the Scriptures, then we must believe that Paul inserts it arbitrarily and completey inappropriately in the middle of a discussion about pride and arrogance. We would have to believe that Paul writes about arrogance in verses 1-5, then switches to Sola Scriptura for just one sentence before returning to the same topic of arrogance from verses 7-13.

What’s more, as Scripturecatholic.com points out, at this time, there are New Testament Scriptures, so if Paul is speaking about Sola Scriptura, then the instruction must mean that we disregard all, except perhaps one Gospel, of the New Testament.


#5

[quote=trumpet152]1CO 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

I know that this verse has been brought here a million times. But none of the answers given seem to convincing. What do I say to my protestant friends who bring this verse to me?
[/quote]

1 Cor. 1:19 “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’”

1 Cor. 1:31 “that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

1 Cor. 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, ‘He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness.’”

1 Cor. 4:4 "I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord."

1 Cor 4:5 "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God."

So the question becomes, WHAT WAS WRITTEN?** Man’s** "wisdom" is not God’s wisdom. So in order to not exceed “what was written,” I must remember that my “wisdom” is not wisdom at all and not look for praise from others or praise myself since anything I’ve done worthy of praise, that praise must come from **God. **


#6

[quote=trumpet152]1CO 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes,** that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written,**
[/quote]

in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

I know that this verse has been brought here a million times. But none of the answers given seem to convincing. What do I say to my protestant friends who bring this verse to me?

Another beautiful example of textual corruption. It seems that when the Protestants fail to win an argument on Scriptural grounds, they simply change the Scriptures! Look at what I bolded in your post and compare it to the rendering of the 1611 KJV…

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

Now, one on one.

“…that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written,”

Gives the impression that one should limit their spiritual scope to scriptures alone.

“…that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written.”

Clearly indicates that they are to understand the nature of man as scripture describes his many limitations. (See Marquette’s quotes.) For what purpose?

“…in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.”

Thal59


#7

[quote=Lazerlike42]from scripturecatholic.com/scripture_alone.html#scripture-III

In other words, what Paul is doing is comparing the way that the Corinthians should learn to behave in the same way that children learned to write. It may be more convincing to argue the position from the following point and then introduce the idea that Paul is making this comparison after in order to strengthen the point.

Reading the entire passage in context, we see that in verses 1-5, Paul explains how one ought to properly act. Then, in verse 6 he says that he has applied these rules for behavior to himself and Apollos also, and says that the reason is so that the people may learn not to go beyond what is written and not to puffed up against one another. He is explaining to the Corinthians that they should view he and Apollos as models to follow, as good examples, of how to properly behave. He uses the comparison of teaching a child to write, a process during which one shows for the child an example to be followed.

This understanding of the passage fits in perfectly with the context. If we are to believe that verse 6 refers to the Scriptures, then we must believe that Paul inserts it arbitrarily and completey inappropriately in the middle of a discussion about pride and arrogance. We would have to believe that Paul writes about arrogance in verses 1-5, then switches to Sola Scriptura for just one sentence before returning to the same topic of arrogance from verses 7-13.

What’s more, as Scripturecatholic.com points out, at this time, there are New Testament Scriptures, so if Paul is speaking about Sola Scriptura, then the instruction must mean that we disregard all, except perhaps one Gospel, of the New Testament.
[/quote]

/nod 1 Corinthians was written in the spring of 57. The only scripture yet, if it was accepted as scripture, would be 1 and 2 Thessalonians James, and Galatians and possibly Matthew, the rest would be the OT (septaugint) .

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#8

[quote=trumpet152]1CO 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

I know that this verse has been brought here a million times. But none of the answers given seem to convincing. What do I say to my protestant friends who bring this verse to me?
[/quote]

You need to realize that many non-Catholic people will just raise the bar and say “I am not convinced…” regardless of what is offered just because it IS Catholic. Whenever I encounter someone like that, I break off talking to them because either A) they are not listening in good faith, or B) they are just not ready to hear, and the Holy Spirit is not finished with them yet. (As He apparently is with you. )

What came first, the New Testament, of the church? I mean, it HAD to be written by some human hands since we KNOW full well that God Himself didn’t pen a single inkdrop of it, right?

Where did those humans come from?

So…in order for there to have been a New Testament at all, the church had to write it didn’t they? They were not commissioned by Christ to do that, were they? No. They just did it. Good idea? Yes! Inspired by the Holy Spirit? Absolutely?

The New Testament itself tells us expressly what the pillar and ground of all Christian truth is doesn’t it now?
1st Timothy 3:15 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 this makes perfect sense since the Bible cannot interpret itself.

Your passage from 1st Cor. 4:6 carries this note in the New American Bible, and I confess that I missed it somehow but it does help a little to make sense of this passage.

2 [6] That you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written: the words “to go” are not in the Greek, but have here been added as the minimum necessary to elicit sense from this difficult passage. It probably means that the Corinthians should avoid the false wisdom of vain speculation, contenting themselves with Paul’s proclamation of the cross, which is the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old Testament (what is written). Inflated with pride: literally, “puffed up,” i.e., arrogant, filled with a sense of self-importance. The term is particularly Pauline, found in the New Testament only in ⇒ 1 Cor 4:6, ⇒ 18-19; ⇒ 5:2; ⇒ 8:1; ⇒ 13:4; ⇒ Col 2:18 (cf the related noun at ⇒ 2 Cor 12:20). It sometimes occurs in conjunction with the theme of “boasting,” as in ⇒ 1 Cor 4:6-7 here.

So then perhaps the Douay-Rheims Challoner has a better rendering with “6 But these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollo, for your sakes; that in us you may learn, that one be not puffed up against the other for another, above that which is written.”

In reading that I have to suspect that St. Paul here is telling them not to “be puffed up” by reading into his & Apollo’s letters things that they are not saying. In other words…(sort of like certain non-Catholics do today. :eek: ), prooftexting with pretexts.

Also bear in mind that at the point that Paul wrote this the entire NT wasn’t even written yet and certainly wasn’t assembled and canonized the way we have it today. So he can’t be talking about the whole of the NT, now can he?

Moreover, this is now the 2nd time that you’ve brought this passage up as if it is really a problem for you to let go of Sola Scriptura, and I have to wonder what’s going on with that?

If your problem is with the Sacred Tradition of the faith and the considerations of the ECF in interpreting what scripture means, then you need to consider a couple of things.

  1. The ECF were much closer to the apostles and hence to Our Lord himself than we are or anyone else since their time.

  2. They were holy men and bishops of the early church, and guys like Ignatius of Antioch were discipled by St. John the apostle himself, so unless you are willing to believe that John failed to teach him correctly I’d say that his writings (to which you now have a good link, BTW) will offer us very good insights into the things that the church believed, thereby affirming the interpretations of the Word of God that we hold today.

Aside from this I am still unsure what it is that you mean by your posts. One verse and a sentence tells us pitiful little about what your real question is. If I’ve answered your concerns, cool. If not, then I beg you to be more specific.
Pax tecum,


#9

[quote=Church Militant]You need to realize that many non-Catholic people will just raise the bar and say “I am not convinced…” regardless of what is offered just because it IS Catholic. Whenever I encounter someone like that, I break off talking to them because either A) they are not listening in good faith, or B) they are just not ready to hear, and the Holy Spirit is not finished with them yet. (As He apparently is with you. )

What came first, the New Testament, of the church? I mean, it HAD to be written by some human hands since we KNOW full well that God Himself didn’t pen a single inkdrop of it, right?

Where did those humans come from?

So…in order for there to have been a New Testament at all, the church had to write it didn’t they? They were not commissioned by Christ to do that, were they? No. They just did it. Good idea? Yes! Inspired by the Holy Spirit? Absolutely?

The New Testament itself tells us expressly what the pillar and ground of all Christian truth is doesn’t it now?
1st Timothy 3:15 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 this makes perfect sense since the Bible cannot interpret itself.

Your passage from 1st Cor. 4:6 carries this note in the New American Bible, and I confess that I missed it somehow but it does help a little to make sense of this passage. So then perhaps the Douay-Rheims Challoner has a better rendering with “6 But these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollo, for your sakes; that in us you may learn, that one be not puffed up against the other for another, above that which is written.”

In reading that I have to suspect that St. Paul here is telling them not to “be puffed up” by reading into his & Apollo’s letters things that they are not saying. In other words…(sort of like certain non-Catholics do today. :eek: ), prooftexting with pretexts.

Also bear in mind that at the point that Paul wrote this the entire NT wasn’t even written yet and certainly wasn’t assembled and canonized the way we have it today. So he can’t be talking about the whole of the NT, now can he?

Moreover, this is now the 2nd time that you’ve brought this passage up as if it is really a problem for you to let go of Sola Scriptura, and I have to wonder what’s going on with that?

If your problem is with the Sacred Tradition of the faith and the considerations of the ECF in interpreting what scripture means, then you need to consider a couple of things.

  1. The ECF were much closer to the apostles and hence to Our Lord himself than we are or anyone else since their time.

  2. They were holy men and bishops of the early church, and guys like Ignatius of Antioch were discipled by St. John the apostle himself, so unless you are willing to believe that John failed to teach him correctly I’d say that his writings (to which you now have a good link, BTW) will offer us very good insights into the things that the church believed, thereby affirming the interpretations of the Word of God that we hold today.

Aside from this I am still unsure what it is that you mean by your posts. One verse and a sentence tells us pitiful little about what your real question is. If I’ve answered your concerns, cool. If not, then I beg you to be more specific.
Pax tecum,
[/quote]

That’s exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks, man.

I have no probelm with the Church. Sola scriptura is a illogical doctrine. I just wish to know more about how to defend it against some arguments that my friends bring up.


#10

Might I offer something else that may be of value. In discussions of Sola Scriptura, I quite often point to the Council of Jerusalem as accounted for in Acts. If the Apostles believed Sola Scriptura, there is absolutely NO WAY they could have possibly made the declarations that they made at that Council based EXCLUSIVELY on the Scriptures that had been written up to that time. Any sScripture whatsoever that would support the declarations made by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem were not written until AFTER the council had taken place. That one is usually a big conversation stopper in my experience.


#11

[quote=joshua_b]Might I offer something else that may be of value. In discussions of Sola Scriptura, I quite often point to the Council of Jerusalem as accounted for in Acts. If the Apostles believed Sola Scriptura, there is absolutely NO WAY they could have possibly made the declarations that they made at that Council based EXCLUSIVELY on the Scriptures that had been written up to that time. Any sScripture whatsoever that would support the declarations made by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem were not written until AFTER the council had taken place. That one is usually a big conversation stopper in my experience.
[/quote]

Excellent point. I never thought of it.

Thanks !


#12

I thought reading I Cor 4 in context, from different translations answered the claim.


#13

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