Is confession to a priest necessary?



Do you really believe Jesus, when telling the apostles that what they bind and loose etc, was for everyone?

This is your quote

“incidentally, the keys were given to peter, but the power to bind and loose was given to all the apostles and some could interpret it to mean all believers. and when we look at this public confession practice in the early church, i think it confirms that all believers are given this power.”

So pretty much we all have the power to make up rules for the Church?

Wow, that would be about the worst leadership instruction anyone could give.

Analogy: Owner of a corporation, before he dies, gives the CEO the “authority” of the company, then tells the employees what ever they do is okay for the company.

Am I totally missing your point? Please help.


both of your analogys dont work. first the autobiography one: at the very end of the Gospel of John he clearly states that he cant record everything. of course that dosnt mean it is inacurate, but it does mean that it is incomplete. that is where Tradition comes in.

for your second analogy i see that as a necessary condition that your boss said “if you have any questions just ask me” that would be equivalent to the Bible saying “Bible alone” which, as has been pointed out it does not.

your scripture quote is nice but all it says is that “all scripture is useful for instruction…” i dont see how you are concluding from that that anything that isnt scripture is not useful. it simply does not follow.

your first justforcatholics quote points out that Jesus gave the authority to bind and loose to all the apostles. however, he did give it to Peter first and this cant be insignificant. he also specifically told Peter that he would build his church on him (there are scripture quotes for all of this which i can look up tomorrow if you would like). though it should be pointed out that even if he did give equal authority to all the apostles, the only churches that have a legitimate claim to apostolic succession are the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

your second justforcatholics quote claims that Jesus never commended Sacred Tradition. true mostly because it hadnt been around long enough to be called “tradition.” however, in one of the epistles (again i can look up the exact quote tomorrow) does say that we should hold fast to the teachings that were handed down to us by the apostles and it specifically says both “orally and through written word.”

again nobody is questioning whether or not the Bible is the “raw truth right from our Heavenly father,” we are just pointing out that there is more to it.

in summery: yes, sola fide was just somthing that Luther made up.


Fish, Please read Hebrews 4:15-16 and Hebrews 10:19 These speak of the access to God through the priesthood of Christ, and that God is our high priest.
Read 1 Timothy 2:5 which talks about Christ being the one mediator between God and man…not an earthly priest
1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins HE is faithful to forgive them and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
Mark 2:7 says that only God can forgive sin
read some of the examples in the Psalms of David going to the throne of God for forgiveness…Ps 32:5 and read Ps 51
there are many, but these jump out at me
I see no where in the Bible where it commands us to go before a priest at church to receive forgiveness.


no, it doesnt explicitly state “go to confession,” but James 4:16 says “confess your sins to one another that… you may be healed”

furthermore, as has been pointed out, Jesus gave the power to bind and loose sins to his apostles. therefore they have that power, and obviously they were meant to exercise that power, otherwise why give it?

furthermore, again as has been pointed out, the early church did practice public confession that later grew into the modern practice of private confession.

also, just because it is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not a part of the Christian faith. i invite you to look at the “sola scriptura” discussion that is going on allongside the confession one. the fact is that sola scriptura is a recent invention, and it is self contredictory.

also i am just realizing that i said “sola fide” at the end of my last post, sorry i meant sola scriptura (although you can say the same thing about sola fide)


If he only apologizes to Jesus are his sins forgiven?


Lets look at this again

(Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

He gave them authority as the Father gave him authority. Therefore, Christ when recognizing repentance pronounced absolution and so the Apostles do the same.


No,1 Tim 2:4-7
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimonygiven at the proper time.

I John 1:8-9 tells us that each Christian is to confess their sins individually and not through a priest. Believers today are able to go directly to God through Christ. We do not need a priest. Every believe Christian is a believer priest.


Please remember that the Bible must be our final authority for faith and practice. If not then where do we go for guidance, man? The teaching magestrium of the church are just men and sinners like us all. Do we trust that they realy know more than God does in His Word? I think not. We must have an infallible guide to direct us and we do, God the Holy Spirit, John 16:13-15
13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 " All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


This passage has nothing to do with confession.

I John 1:8-9 tells us that each Christian is to confess their sins individually and not through a priest. Believers today are able to go directly to God through Christ. We do not need a priest. Every believe Christian is a believer priest.

The priests and bishops are successors of the Apostles. Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to forgive sins. This action is implied in Matthew 16:19 to bind and loose:

And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. - Matthew 16:19.

Binding and loosing include the ability to forgive sins by the Power of God. The priests or bishop is also use as an instrument of God.

Second like the Catholics mention, Jesus breathed on the Apostles.

Consider this passage:

19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. (John 20:19-23)

The Apostles have the power to forgive sins, and Jesus addressed the Apostles alone. Since the Bishops and priests are the successors, this authority has been handed down by the laying on hands.

Another Scriptural verse that Jesus gave the forgiveness of sins to the Apostles and his disciple is in Matt. 9:6-8.

6 But that you may** know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins**, (then said he to the man sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. 7 And he arose, and went into his house. 8 And the** multitude seeing it**, feared, and** glorified God that gave such power to men.

Matthew’s Gospel put God gave power to men. This power is the power to forgive their sins. I can even go back to John the Baptist, who also forgive sins.

1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea. 2 And saying: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: A voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 4 And the same John had his garment of camels’ hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan: 6 And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. — Matthew 3:1-6.


“When we confess our sin [to a priest] we are mortifying the pride of the flesh and delivering it up to shame and death through Christ. Then through the word of absolution we rise as new men utterly dependent on the mercy of God.” (Boenhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship)
As stated earlier, confession is “a remedy against self-deception and self-indulgence.” Our sins hurt not only ourselves, but the community of believers. The priest through the word of absolution forgives our sins and provides penance to help rectify the damage done to our relationships not only with God but with each other. I may claim to hear God’s word, but I also recognize that He speaks through others as well. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest acts *in personna *of Christ. It is Christ, not man who forgives me of my sins.


no it is not, it cannot be. the Bible is a written text and therefore must be interpreted. this fact makes it impossable for it to be the final authority because necessaraly there must be an outside authority (the interpreter) to apply it in all but the most basic cases. this leads us directly to modern protestantism where we have well over 30,000 different groups all disagreeing with eich other while at the same time supposidly using the same “final authority.”

furthermore, you havnt sucessfully shown where the Bible actually confirms that it is the final authority, which if it is, it should.


We are all co-mediators in Christ. Especially when you bring someone closer to God with what you do and say.

Where in that passage does it say to confess your sins to God and you will be forgiven? It says to acknowledge your sins. When you divorce scripture from the culture and tradition it was written in you lose its meaning. It’s like watching a British movie :eek:


I beg to differ…Yes, the Bible IS the final authority. Now, you do bring up a good point, and I have to agree…yeah…there are MANY different groups disagreeing over what is suppose to be the same Bible… and what is teaches, etc…that is unfortunately a very true remark you made…and that has happened because way WAY back in time…God’s PRESERVED words were tampered with…well…I could go into a manuscript evidence lesson, but in this thread I will not…but do the names, Origen, Jerome…Eusebius, among others…come to mind?? They thought they knew alot more than the words of God that has been preserved…and have still been preserved…ie…the Authorzied Version…anyway, Im sorry. getting back to the subject at hand…the final authority…The Bible boldly declares that it is the oly final authority…“Sanctify them throught thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
Rev 22:18-19God delivers a warning about tampering with His words…thus making them the authority.
In Galatians 1:8, we are warned to avoid those who tach doctrines contrary to the written Scriptures.
Ps 119:89 For Ever O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven
1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever
Isaiah 40:8 the word of our God shall stand for ever.
The law of the Lord is perfect, coverting the sould Ps 19:7
and importantly…
2 Peter 1:21 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.
God’s Word is indeed the final authority.


im sorry, but that whole thing about scripture being altered is a red herring. we both know that protestant groups fracture while using the same translations of scriptures. in fact it is happening as we speek on this very thread.

here is an example of it: all the scripture you quoted refered to the Word of God being the final authority. great! the thing is that scriptures are not the only way that the Word is communicated to us. i believe that it comes to us through the Magesterium and Sacred Tradition as well. heres where scripture backs this up:

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15)

your last quote is particularly interesting. “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” so, what authority does your interpritation come from and how does it meet this requirement. heres mine: i am passing on the interpritation given by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. founded by Jesus Christ Himself, intrusted to St. Peter, and guided by the Holy Spirit since Pentacost.


You ask…where do we go for guidance… man? Paul was a man and I think his guidance was superb. How about you?


Good. So when a new issue comes up, we can call Paul for advice? What if I want a clone of myself so that should I need a new heart or liver, I have a compatable one? What if I want to create a robot and fix my brain in it so that I have a cyborg body? Is it ethical to abort a baby that will die before its first birthday? I mean, the child will die anyway.

See, th advantge of a duel approach is that we can adapt as times dictate. You will say that if we study scripture, we would get the correct answer, right? Well, explain how the Klan considers themselves a Christian group. What about the liberal branches of the Episcopals? They are certain of their views. Man will always delude himself. Man will always read what they want into scriptures. Just look at some of the threads on here. The Muslims even use the Bible to say that Jesus was not crucified and that Isaac was not the child Abraham tried to sacrifice!! No, we need more than a handbook for survival. We need bootcamp and survival instructors.

That is a good compairison. Could you survive in the Arctic Circle if all that I gave you was the US ARMY Arctic Survival Manual? No gear, no clothes, just the Book. After all, it is THE AUTHORITY on arctic survival


sorry, i did leave that dangling out there didn’t i? i meant that when we work corporately we are given this “power”. i do not mean that just me by myself can bind and loose. we are made to be in community and the truth is expressed through us when we live in community. this included forgiveness of each other. yes, it happens individually but true forgiveness comes when we all confirm it together.


yes, i think you are missing my point. i am not saying that each, individual believer has the power to make up whatever rules he/she desires. i am saying that you could interpret Jesus’ statement as saying that when all of them work together, they (as a group) have the power of binding and loosing. i would then take it further than scripture to show that (it seems) the early church, through their practice of public confession and corporate forgiveness (as pronounced from up front by the “president” of the congregation as spokesman for them all) seems to think this ability extends farther than just the apostles. it extends to all believers acting in a corporate manner.

i am not saying that each individual does this by themselves.


Yes, the Bible IS the final authority

Please show the exact Book, Chapter, and verse which states “the Bible is the final authority”.


i think you are being nitpicky here. of course the priest/bishop (actually it was just a bishop at first) was present. but they alone did not exercise the right to forgive sins. they simply were the mouthpiece of the congregation of forgiveness. no inconsistencies in my statement.

this occurred later. i would say the early church did agree with me since it is what they practiced at the beginning and it didn’t change for at least 150 years. my interpretation is earlier.

not “all believers” but, in this case, all believers working together. Jesus gave all of them together the power to bind and loose. He didn’t say, “Peter, you have the power to bind and loose. John, you have the power to bind and loose. Bartholomew, you have the power to bind and loose.” no, He gave the keys to Peter and the power to bind and loose to all of them corporately. this means that as they bind and loose TOGETHER, they have the power to do so. then jump to how the early church put this into practice when it comes to confession and it seems the apostles extended this to all believers corporately.

as for why did Jesus choose the twelve? why does God choose anyone? He could have the rocks and the trees cry out if He desired. He chooses us to bless us and to use for His purpose. Maybe because 12 is the maximum number of people that you can influence in a deep way at a time (God would understand group dynamics better than anyone else). it’s not about setting anybody apart from the crowd (in fact, by being chosen as an apostle, you were actually being made the servant… not the leader according to Jesus), it’s about structure and influence.

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