My response to a Catholic challenge


#21

Fidelis -

By your long list of citations, you did not show that each individual has the right to interpret Scripture and thus you did not answer your friend’s challenge.

Assertion and nothing more. The passages themselves show that Jesus expected his hearers to already know both what the canon was and what its proper interpretation was. He asks them very matter of factly, “haven’t you read…”

At the most, you show that Jesus had authority to interpret Scripture, and this is not in dispute.

No, the passages prove that Jesus expected those who had the Scriptures to be able to read and understand them themselves.

The fact that he referred his listeners to the Scriptures proves nothing: Catholics also cite Scripture and hold it as authoritative (though not in a formally sufficient sense which the Bible does not even claim for itself), but they do not hold that it is open to individual interpretation.

You’ve missed the whole point. Jesus held them accountable for knowing, as individuals, the proper interpretation without an infallible guide.

Jesus and his contemporaries who were fellow Jews operated on the assumption that certain writings were inspired. Aside from the fact that the Pharisees and Saducees (his main Jewish opponents) accepted different canons, the fact of canonicity was not an issue for them, and has no bearing on the main issue, which is interpretation.

Right on. The fact of canonicity was known without an external, infallible group of men to tell them.

The reason the fact that there are scores of disagreeing Protestant denoms is important is because it demonstrates the failure of the perpiscuity of Scripture belief.

We are united in the gospel which is why I accept all of my Protestant brethren as brothers in Christ, while Neo-Catholics consider Traditionalists and sedevacantists to be schismatic and heretical. The irony is thus quite striking - but this is irrelevant. Let’s stay focused on the issue before us.

Give an adequate answer to your friend’s challenge. Then we’ll talk.

I’ve heard lots of smoke and mirrors thus far, but no one has taken up the issue before us as of right now. Why did the Lord Jesus cite Scripture to people expecting them to have already read it, to know that it was Scripture, and to know its correct interpretation? The citations prove that He did so. And if you disagree with that, show me from the text that such is not the case.

Thanks,

BouleTheou


#22

Jimmy -

If you have something to contribue besides silly rhetoric, I’d appreciate it. 1 Timothy 3:15 has nothing to do with Rome.

Thanks,

BouleTheou


#23

cephas -

I will say that maybe I did read sarcasm into each one, and if that is truly the case, then I am sorry and ask your forgiveness.

That is the case. I forgive you.

Thanks,

BouleTheou


#24

[quote=BouleTheou]asteriod -

Jesus’ statements presuppose that they already should have known what Scripture was, what it said, and its proper interpretation. Jesus begins with “have you not read… that which God said in the Scripture” which assumes that they should have known beforehand the canon, the text itself, and its interpretation.

I’m still waiting for someone to actually take up my original post.

BouleTheou
[/quote]

They already have taken up your post, but you don’t see it. Even if one were to concede to you that Jesus expected a previous knowledge of the canon (which was not actually agreed upon by all Jews, but he does presume their relative acceptance of the law and the prophets), that still does not mean that he presupposes they had all arrived at this knowledge due to their own personal authority. In fact, those Jews he was talking to accepted the canon because it was what had been passed onto them by their religious leaders, not because each one of them had run across a set of books on one occassion and suddenly realized they were all divinely inspired. Furthermore, if you have so much confidence in the Jews’ knowledge of the canon, why do you reject the version of the canon which Paul - a devout and learned Jew - cited exclusively (that being the Septuagint)?


#25

Assertion and nothing more. Why did the Lord Jesus cite Scripture to people expecting them to have already read it, to know that it was Scripture, and to know its correct interpretation? The citations prove that He did so. And if you disagree with that, show me from the text that such is not the case.

Actually, you are the one who hasn’t made a logical argument for your assertion that Scripture was cited expecting people to know its correct interpretation. Perhaps if you could state a syllogistic argument for this position, it would be easier to see. As far as I can tell, you’ve simply said “it’s obvious,” but the conclusion is by no means obvious to me. See also:

Thus, our Lord clearly operated on the assumption that each individual was responsible before God for not only knowing what the canon of Scripture was, but also its correct interpretation.

Jesus’ statements presuppose that they already should have known what Scripture was, what it said, and its proper interpretation. Jesus begins with “have you not read… that which God said in the Scripture” which assumes that they should have known beforehand the canon, the text itself, and its interpretation.

It would seem that you have to demonstrate why those assumptions are necessary to ask the question.


#26

The question was:

I challenge you to prove to me that each individual reader of the Bible has the authority, from God, to interpret the Bible for himself so as to come to an understanding of what is true and what is false on all matters of faith and morals.

Am I dense? The question is can each person interpret for himself “so as to come to an understanding of what is true and what is false on all matters of faith and morals?”

In many cases, we clearly can come to such an understanding. In others, the case is more complex. Leaving aside Boule’s distracting commentaries, the cases he cites are either instances where people failed to come to an understanding of what is true and what is false, or they show Jesus using Scripture as well-recognized teaching points. They boil down to a single issue for Boule:

Since Jesus says that these quotations come from “scripture,” the notion must be false that Jesus founded a Church among whose sacred trusts is to guard and to interpret Scripture in a way that enjoys a privilege above that of the ordinary reader.

Boule writes:

The fact that people come up with opposing interpretations says much more about human sin, pride, and blindness than it does for the need of an infallible interpreter.

Bingo! Boule. But a Catholic would say that sin, pride, and blindness are exactly why Jesus commissioned the Apostles by the Holy Spirit for preaching and teaching, and why and he gave us a Church and promised to be with her forever, and why there is a need for an infallible interpreter. That is what Catholics understand he meant by saying that he will “send the Holy Spirit to teach you all things.”

God does speak to each one of us through Sacred Scripture, and the Holy Spirit anoints our hearts as we read Holy Scripture. But a Catholic is not an idiopath. To be “one in the Spirit” for us is to be one with the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.


#27

Your references to tradition condemned and you even missed Col 2:8

Well lets see where tradition is upheld
1 Cor 11:2
2 Thess 2:15
2 Thess 3:6

If you wish to quote the Bible please look in the context of the whole Bible. The point Christ was making is that the Traditions for their own sake are not the point but are the point in the service of God.

Matt


#28

[quote=BouleTheou]Jimmy -

If you have something to contribue besides silly rhetoric, I’d appreciate it. 1 Timothy 3:15 has nothing to do with Rome.

Thanks,

BouleTheou
[/quote]

It has quite a bit to with Rome especially since you can read the early church fathers like Ignatius. Ignatius was the disciple of the apostle John. Here is an excerpt from Ignatius to the Magnesians clearly telling people to follow the bishops.

**CHAP. II.–I REJOICE IN YOUR MESSENGERS.
**[size=2]
Since, then, I have had the privilege of seeing you, through Damas your most worthy bishop[/size], and through your worthy presbyters Bassus and Apollonius, and through my fellow-servant the deacon Sotio, whose friendship may I ever enjoy, inasmuch as he is subject to the bishop as to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ, .
Since, then, I have had the privilege of seeing you, through Damas your most worthy(6) bishop
, and through your worthy(6) presbyters Bassus and Apollonius, and through my fellow-servant the deacon Sotio, whose friendship may I ever enjoy,(7) inasmuch as he, by the grace of God, is subject to the bishop and presbytery, in the law of Jesus Christ, *.

*[size=2]CHAP. III.–HONOUR YOUR YOUTHFUL BISHOP[/size].
[size=2]
Now it becomes you also not to treat your bishop[/size] too familiarly on account of his youth,(1) but to yield him all reverence, having respect to(2) the power of God the Father, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not judging rashly, from the manifest youthful appearance(3) [of their [color=#ffffff]bishop], but as being themselves prudent in God, submitting to him, or rather not to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of us all. It is therefore fitting that you should, after no hypocritical fashion, obey [your [color=#ffffff]bishop], in honour of Him who has wired us [so to do], since he that does not so deceives not [by such conduct] the bishop that is visible, but seeks to mock Him that is invisible. And all such conduct has reference not to man,(10) but to God, who knows all secrets.
Now it becomes you also not to despise the age of your bishop, but to yield him all reverence, according to the will of God the Father, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not having regard to the manifest youth [of their [color=#ffffff]bishop], but to his knowledge in God; inasmuch as “not the ancient are [necessarily] wise, nor do the aged understand prudence; but there is a spirit in men.”(4) For Daniel the wise, at twelve years of age, became possessed of the divine Spirit, and convicted the elders, who in vain carried their grey hairs, of being false accusers, and of lusting after the beauty of another man’s wife.(5) Samuel also, when he was but a little child, reproved Eli, who was ninety years old, for giving honour to his sons rather than to God.(6) In like manner, Jeremiah also received this message from God, “Say not, I am a child.”…

[size=2]
[/size]
continued on next post.


#29

[font=MS Sans Serif]7) Solomon too, and Josiah, [exemplified the same thing.] The former, being made king at twelve years of age, gave that terrible and difficult judgment in the case of the two women concerning their children.(8) The latter, coming to the throne when eight years old(9) cast down the altars and temples [of the idols], and burned down the groves, for they were dedicated to demons, and not to God. And he slew the false priests, as the corrupters and deceivers of men, and not the worshippers of the Deity. Wherefore youth is not to be despised when it is devoted to God. But he is to be despised who is of a wicked mind, although he be old, and full of wicked days.(11) Timothy the Christ-bearer was young, but hear what his teacher writes to him: “Let no man despise try youth, but be thou an example of the believers in word and in conduct.”(12) It is becoming, therefore, that ye also should be obedient to your

bishop, and contradict him in nothing; for it is a fearful thing to contradict any such person. For no one does [by such conduct] deceive him that is visible, but does [in reality] seek to mock Him that is invisible, who, however, cannot be mocked by any one. And every such act has respect not to man, but to God. For God says to Samuel, “They have not mocked thee, but Me.”(13) And Moses declares, “For their murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord God.”(14) No one of those has, [in fact,] remained unpunished, who rose up against their superiors. For Dathan and Abiram did not speak against the law, but against Moses,(15) and were cast down alive into Hades. Korah also,(16) and the two hundred and fifty who conspired with him against Aaron, were destroyed by fire. Absalom, again,(17) who had slain his brother, became suspended on a tree, and had his evil-designing heart thrust through with darts. In like manner was Abeddadan(18) beheaded for the same reason. Uzziah,(19) when he presumed to oppose the priests and the priesthood, was smitten with leprosy. Saul also was dishonoured,(20) because he did not wait for Samuel the high priest. It behoves you, therefore, also to reverence your superiors.

[size=2]CHAP, IV.–SOME WICKEDLY ACT INDEPENDENTLY OF THE BISHOP[/size].
[size=2]
It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop[/size], but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment.
It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality. For it is not the being called so, but the being really so, that renders a man blessed. To those who indeed talk of the bishop, but do all things without him, will He who is the true and first Bishop, and the only High Priest by nature, declare, “Why call ye Me Lord, and do not the things which I say ?”[1] For such persons seem to me not possessed of a good conscience, but to be simply dissemblers and hypocrites.
[/font]


#30

1 Timothy 3:15 has all to do with what the authority is. What is the pillar and ground of truth here on earth? Not the Bible, it is the Church that has the authority instituted by Christ our Lord.


#31

[quote=BouleTheou]Jimmy -

If you have something to contribue besides silly rhetoric, I’d appreciate it. 1 Timothy 3:15 has nothing to do with Rome.

Thanks,

BouleTheou
[/quote]

My points were all valid points and you just dismiss them, calling them “silly rhetoric”?


#32

I actually agree with this part of your statement. Roman Catholicism calls this a well-formed conscience. The question becomes. How do we know what the canon is and what is the correct interpretation? How do you determine what these two are?
What infallible authority instituted by God do you utilize?

Basically sin is the reason that there are _______(fill in the blank) number of Christian Communions in the world. The doctrine that most of them expound cannot be correct because of the inherent contradictions. The sin that causes them to teach what God does not intend means that they simply cannot be the Church of Christ’s founding. The gates of hell through sin and heresy have prevailed against them. (don’t get me wrong—most of these people are sincere and working out their way to truth and merciful Lord willing to salvation) That which Christ founded, Christ promised to let it never fall. The need for an infallible interpreter is what Christ set forth as a need to protect his flock so that He (in the Church that is the Body of Christ–the Church militant) would always be with us. The fact that there are opposing interpretations that cause more and more Communions is evidence that many have fallen away from Truth. Christ’s command dictates the infallible interpreter. The need is from God’s command.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew


#33

BouleTheou,

If I understand your purpose of this thread, it would be to demonstrate that we, as individuals, are not only capable, but expected by God to not only determine what texts belong in the Bible, but also how to determine the correct interpretation of those texts. Assuming I understand your purpose, I have some questions (seeking some practical advice here):

  1. Where should I begin? Specifically, what method do you suggest for me, as an individual, to determine correctly and with certainty, what texts I should consider to be the Word of God, so that I can then undertake the task of determining the correct interpretation? I understand that there were literally thousands of manuscripts and parts of manuscripts out there at the time the New Testament was compiled. Also, how exactly do you recommend I correctly translate those texts, since I do not speak or read Aramaic, Coptic, Syriac, Greek, Hebrew, etc? One additional problem, as I undertand it, is that I am told the original manuscripts for the books that many Christians accept at the Word of God, do not any longer exist. That one is really troubling me!

  2. Okay, once you’ve got me to that point, how shall I go about determining with certainty the correct interpretation of the texts I have now correctly compiled? I foresee some possible problems, since I am not a historian and do not have an extensive knowlege of the customs, traditions, manners of speech etc. of the time, which I assume I must take into consideration as I correctly interpret the texts I have correctly compiled and correctly translated from manuscripts that no longer exist.

  3. Okay, once you’ve got those problems solved for me, and I have my correct interpretations, what shall I say to every other person in the world who proclaims to be a Christian, yet disagrees with my conclusions? Shall I tell them that I have done it right and they have not? I fear they may respond that I am invoking the gift of infallibility! How shall I respond to them? What’s more, what if you and I don’t agree at that point, yet I followed your methods to arrive at my conclusions? Shall I tell you that you are wrong?

Please advise me, as it appears to be a very challenging task that you propose with this thread. :frowning:


#34

Boule Theou,

I am a living example of why your argument falls apart: At the age of 16 I was invited to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I saw from the study of scripture that Jesus was not God, that only 144,000 went to heaven and that the way to salvation was though witnessing “door to door.” I saw from scripture that receiving a blood transfusion was evil. At 23, I started studying the Bible with members of the Chirst of Christ. Fine people they were, and from scripture I saw that Jesus was God and that although I was baptized as an infant, I needed to be rebaptized “for the remisson of sins.” I saw from the study of scripture that musical instruments in church were not pleasing to God. From scripture I saw that although I believed in Jesus, I had to endure to the end or I’d lose my salvation. At age 26 I started studying the Bible with Southern Baptists. I saw from the study of scripture that I needed to be born again by accepting Jesus as my Savior. I saw that I needed to make a “decision for Christ.” After reading scripture I saw that drinking and dancing and card playing were evil, communion was symbolic and not necessary weekly, and wives should remain quiet in church. From the study of scripture, I began to look forward to the rapture. From scripture I saw that no one could take me out of the Father’s hand so I didn’t need to worry about losing my salvation. At age 28, I dabbled in the Charasmatic movement. From scripture I saw that speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit were gifts from the Holy Spirit that I should ask for. From scripture I learned that I could lose my salvation as spoken about in Hebrews 6. At age 32 I became a Lutheran. Now they are huge Sola Scriptura folks - like you, so from studying scripture I learned that communion is very important because, not only is it bread & wine, but it’s also actually the body & blood of Jesus. I also learned from scripture that although Jesus will come back for his church someday, we won’t be raptured into the clouds. From scripture I learned that no one makes a “decision for Christ,” but rather God gives us faith. I learned, from reading scripture that we are born again by the waters of baptism and that seals our salvation. From scripture I learned that babies should be baptized in keeping with the early church’s practice of baptizing “entire households.”

One Bible led me on that very long, confusing road. What would you say to me, Boule Theou?


#35

to whom it may concern??? : any written document meant to play a crucial role in determining how people liv must have a living, continuing authority to guard,guarantee,and officially interpret it. otherwise ,chaos reings as everyone interprets the document according to his personal whim. god would have never have left a written document to be the only rule of faith without a living authority to guard and officially interpret it.:clapping: in summary, the splintering of christianity into over 33,000 denominations:eek: is the direct fruit of the bible alone doctrine. bless you all:amen:


#36

No, your whole argument hinges on this pet interpretation and it fails miserably because if you carry it to its logical conclusion, it proves too much. You are saying that Jesus is telling these non-Christian Pharisees and Saducees that they have the ability to infallibly interpret Scripture for themselves. If this is the case, then Jesus need never have sent the Holy Spirit to guide his Church into all truth (John 14:25-26). And we know he sent the Spirit to guide the Church and not individuals because the result of individual interpretation is the 30,000 Protestant denominations.

Again, you have not answered your friends original question to anyones satisfaction.


#37

When ever I see discussions of this sort I am reminded of Acts 8:27

Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, "Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route."
27 So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Spirit said to Philip, "Go and join up with that chariot."
30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, **“Do you understand what you are reading?” **
31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
32 This was the scripture passage he was reading: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
33 In (his) humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth."
34 Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, "I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?"
35 Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him.

-emphasis added.

The Ethiopian would have been an educated man, in charge of the enitre treasury. Yet he admits “how can I understand what is written [in scripture] unless someone instructs me?”.

The word of God is infallable, but not simple to understand. It can be easily interpreted in a number of ways. The Ethiopian does not say “I can figure this out for myself”, he needs an instructor. As Catholics we believe that Jesus was that instructor while he was on Earth, and he taught the apostles so that they too might teach, but he did not leave them alone he gave them the Holy spirit. He also left a structure in place to ensure that the teaching would not stray, the church the “pillar of truth”, consisting of the apostles (the bishops) with a central authority to settle questions between the bishops (Peter). These apostles in turn taught others and passed their authority along so that the church might endure till the end of time. The church founded by Christ has not strayed in its fundamental teachings for 2,000 years. There is no other demomination of Christianity that can make the same claim.


#38

[quote=BouleTheou]Hey c0ach, it’s me, Patrick… someone stole my name here, so I picked: BouleTheou which is Greek for “plan of God”]
[/quote]

Patrick! That’s inceptive aorist tense! You’re misusing it. :wink: How ya doin’ buddy?

God bless,
c0ach


#39

[quote=BouleTheou]Fidelis -

I’ve heard lots of smoke and mirrors thus far, but no one has taken up the issue before us as of right now. Why did the Lord Jesus cite Scripture to people expecting them to have already read it, to know that it was Scripture, and to know its correct interpretation? The citations prove that He did so. And if you disagree with that, show me from the text that such is not the case.

[/quote]

The people Jesus quoted the scriptures to were normally Jews.

He expected the Jews to have had scripture read to them because under Jewish law and custom they had to attend the synagogues and teaching schools.

He expected them to know it was Scripture because the divinely appointed Jewish authorities TOLD them it was scripture. There were a few little disagreements about what was scripture but Jesus knew this.

He expected them to know interpretation largely on the basis that they would have received interpretation through the temple, early synagogues and teaching schools, and through Jewish traditions.

He did not expect them to know any of these things through personally working it all out and forming their own personal interpretations.

Jesus cited scripture to prove that he, as the Messiah, was authoritative to interpret it correctly and more fully than ever before, and to prove that the scripture pointed to himself, and to show the ways that groups of Jews (and by extension frequently us today) were living contrary to the spirit of what the scripture said. He cited scripture because the Jews knew this to be scripture and correct.

Hope there aren’t many mirrors for you to hear in this. That sounds a very Zen concept, listening to mirrors and smoke.

Blessings. Time to get daughter ready for school.

Asteroid


#40

[quote=Dan-Man916]An article in the April 16, 2001 Newsweek magazine, that documents the rapid growth of separate, competing, and conflicting Protestant denominations in the world, reports the number of denominations as 33,820.

Newsweek’s source for this number is the World Christian Encyclopedia by David Barrett (2001 edition), where it appears on page 10 of Volume 1. (In 1970, a similar statistical study by Barrett gave the number of denominations as 26,350.) The 2001 figure is broken down as 11,830 traditional denominations and 21,990 paradenominations. He divides Christianity into (Roman) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant (Barrett is an Anglican clergyman). So if an organization does not belong in one of the first three categories, it’s Protestant. Barrett has some statistical definitions and breakdowns which must be taken into account.

As for what does this have to do with anything:
the fact that there are so many different denominations means that private interpretations of Scriptures has led to schism after schism after schism within Christianity.
Since the Holy Spirit cannot be the author of this, it must be by man who takes the SCriptures and interprets them for himself.
There cannot be 33,000 versions of the truth.

There can only be One truth.
[/quote]

HI Dan,
Maybe this is why we have so many versions.
1 Samuel 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, " Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the Lord.
1 Samuel8:7 And the Lord said to Samuel, " Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you: For they have not rejected you , but they have rejected Me, That I should not reign over them".
So we have intercessors then,
Isaiah28:-12
But they also have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink,
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment,
for all tables are full of vomit and filth,
No place is clean.

Whom will He teach knowledge?
And whom will He make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept.
precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line.
Here a little , there a little.

For with stammering lips and another tongue,
He will speak to this people.
To whom He said, "This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest"
And " This is the refreshing"
Yet they would not hear.
So this is why we have 31 thousand etc and why not one is right, and this is to whom He will entrust the message, the Holy Spirit.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


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