Okay Catholics, time to play “Hard Ball!”

The following is a question that I find Christians understandably avoiding, but I am more than merely curious about the Catholic response. I need a Catholic answer.

Catholicism is an admittedly dogmatic faith, and this leads to many serious problems. As I am not very dogmatic (more Hebrew actually), this attribute of Catholicism is seriously blocking me from becoming Catholic despite being a very serious proponent of Jesus and even conceptually an apostle of God .

An excerpt from Luke;

These are the recorded words of Jesus himself, not an apostle and thus cannot be merely written off as a misunderstanding. Dogma requires that such a statement never be removed or replaced and would constitute a serious apostate.

Every English translation uses those same words of “hate” and “cannot” thus attempting to infer that Jesus meant something else, will not fly. Regardless, I personally know what Jesus meant so how anyone translates it is irrelevant to me.

According to that quote from Jesus himself, if any man does not hate his direct family and his own life, he CANNOT be a disciple (and thus IS not).

Does the Pope, do the Cardinals, the Bishops, and all others purporting to be disciples of Jesus within the Church hate their families and their own lives?

Is this a prerequisite, requirement of office and discipleship maintained throughout Catholicism? By what means is it verified?

If not, by what cause of belief are these people to be followed and where can I find a disciple of Jesus?

I’m glad that you already know what it is that Jesus meant so that we can keep this short and sweet. The passage is referring to allowing other things (people) to come between you and Christ. Please look back at Matt 10:37. Now look at Lk 9:59-62. If you are planning to rebut this with the argument that Christ is calling people to actually hate their mother and father, brothers, sisters, etc… you truly do not understand anything about Jesus Christ.

This is an issue of dogma, as I pointed out, not an issue of practical concept.

You are saying that Jesus meant something other than what he literally said. Whether this is true or not, is not the issue. The issue is that in an environment of dogma, used throughout Catholicism, such statements cannot be altered into what someone thought he must have meant if there is any substantial difference at all.

“Hate” != dis-permit blocking.

Is that how you view Catholicism? As being dogmatic to a degree where there is no room for anything other than literal concepts? Catholics are not literalists in every sense. When a Catholic says that it is raining cats and dogs, he isn’t saying that the streets are littered with the carcasses of felines and K9s which plummeted to their deaths from the clouds above. Neither do we read every word of the Bible and declare that the only interpretation is the literal meaning. I think that you have us confused with some other religion.

So you are saying that “hate” in this short verse is a metaphor???

Metaphors do not apply to this issue, nor parable.

This was a direct qualification for discipleship in short plain language. To exchange the language would require authority.

If the people in question do not qualify as disciples, by what authority do they gain the right to alter the language and presume an alternate meaning? By what authority are they to be titled “Father”?

Do you actually believe that Christ commanded us to have intense loathing toward our families?
If not, then you’re arguing that Catholicism is required to take a stupidly literalistic approach, foisting upon the words of Christ a meaning that Christ Himself would never have given them.

You say that an “environment of dogma” is “used throughout Catholicism”.
What does the word “dogma” mean to you, James S. Saint?
To me it means “basic doctrine, such that to reject it is to reject the Faith”.
I have seen people who use the word “dogma” as though it meant “false assertion, delivered in an arrogant manner”.
If this is what “dogma” means to you, then we have a basic disconnect.
We’re not talking about the same thing even though we use the same words.

I’ll make one more point, then wait for your reply. We read Scripture in modern English.
The earliest transcripts of the Gospel were written in Greek and Latin, later (much later) translated for us.
Christ himself would probably have been speaking Aramaic when He made this statement, that being (as I understand it) the common language of first-century Jews in Isreal.
Translation is not so simple as just repeating the literal meaning of each word.

What authority do you, James S. Saint, claim, that you demand that the Catholic Church accept your interpretation, not even of Scripture, but of our approach to interpretation of Scripture? Do you speak Aramaic? Ancient Hebrew? Greek? Latin? Have you studied the techniques of translation? Because our interpretation of this passage rests on the word of men who do have those qualifications, and have studied the words of Christ with the help of that knowledge.
Why should we accept your version of our beliefs over the word of Mother Church and her two thousand years of experience?

And the phrase “raining cats and dogs” is a metaphor. That doesn’t mean there is no rain.

That is the point, this verse requires no “interpreting”, thus I am not interpreting. I am merely quoting exactly as it is written. So again, by what authority has the Catholic chosen a practical interpretation of a word that has no need of interpretation?

By this, you are saying that their authority comes from merely their efforts to study. This would imply, that any man who makes such similar efforts has the authority to rewrite the Bible into anything more practical.

Hello.In reading Sacred Scripture one must realize one is reading a translation of a translation etc.Our Lord and the Apostles did not speak the Kings English,(DR.Bible,KJV.etc)but rather were translated from Aramic,Greek etc.If you look up the Greek(Lukes writings)the word actually means “Love Less”.We must love our Lord above everyone and everything else.Also be careful about taking scripture out of context not taking it as a whole.Respectfully,Rocky.

Are you proposing that I deny what is written so very clearly in Scripture because I personally don’t see how it fits?

But he DID. It is you who are arguing against Jesus’ direct words, not me.

That is what I mean by “dogma”.

The Church, it seems (and I am still reserving opinion), has usurped the pre-established authority of Jesus himself such as to establish their own more practical dogma.

Is your response that the word “hate” has been misinterpreted?

Thank you Rocky,

I did examine the context and found no need to include it in the clip, but if you see that it changes the meaning, by all means, help us out.

You have said that the real word actually meant “Love Less[than]”. Can I ask for confirmation on that?

You’re quoting the modern English translation, not the original, actual words uttered by Christ in (probably) Aramaic. So your interpretation, as much as anyone else’s,* is *an interpretation.
To be “merely quoting exactly” you would have to be quoting in the same language Christ used. On top of that, you’re demanding that our Church use an interpretation that you yourself clearly do not believe.

“By this, you are saying that their authority comes from merely their efforts to study.”

I am saying no such thing. My point was that you lack these qualifications, not that these are the only resources Mother Church has.

What do you mean by “rewrite the Bible”?

You appear to be proposing that I be required to believe that Christ demanded we loathe our families. It seems reasonable for me to insist that you tell us whether you believe this.

(sigh) No. I am not arguing against Christ’s direct words.
I am arguing against what seems to me to be a nonsensical misinterpretation of His meaning…and against your demand that Mother Church accept that interpretation.

Okay, that’s a reasonable definition.

No. Mother Church has not usurped Christ’s authority. Mother Church has been given authority by Christ, to preserve and teach Holy Scripture.

Well, yes, that’s what I’m saying. You have misinterpreted the use of the word “hate” in the English translations – and demanded that my Church accept the misinterpretation.

I don’t know where you get this “demand” idea. I have not demanded anything. I am not the apologist here. I am asking a question and seeking its validity.

I believe that you really are. Check you words. I am not interpreting.

I am not interpreting but rather merely using the word as defined. You are the one explaining that the word has a different meaning than how it is defined to suit your opinion and without authoritative support for your interpretation distinct from the obvious.

According to that particular passage, if your leaders do not hate there families and their own lives, Jesus himself said that they are NOT his disciples and thus he has NOT given them anything.

I am asking for the reasoning that would testify contrary to the apparent and obvious (not mis-interpretation).

Those of you who believe that the word “hate” has been misrepresented in the English translation of the Aramaic, please provide authoritative reference for this, otherwise, I have to take it as merely the opinions of those who desire to believe something yet have no actual authority to believe it.

First,Thank you for making me dig:D.The Greek word used in this passage is miseo,it is a verb and is used to mean love less.In context to what Our Lord Jesus was telling us about following Him,If your parents wanted you to take over the family bussiness,become a lawyer,doctor or whatever but our Lord calls you to be a Priest,Religious etc.or your parents wants you to marry and give them many grandchildren but our Lord is calling you to celibacy,you should love our Lord enough,to give up your desires,plans and ambitions to do what HE calls you to do.Peace,Rocky.

Thank you again. :slight_smile:

But now can you please provide your reference, not merely for the meaning of “miseo”, but for the fact that it was the actual word used in Greek and most probably the intention involved?

…as I said, “Hard Ball” :wink:

I only read a few responses, so I’m sorry if this has been answered already. Jesus is using a Semitism - that is, a figure of speech found in the Semitic languages. Specifically, there is no comparative in ancient Hebrew/Aramaic, which He was speaking. We see this love/hate phrasing used elsewhere (e.g., Romans 9’s quotation of “Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated”).

So Christ is saying “love Me more than family or life itself,” but there’s not a “love me more” in the language, and the way that this is expressed instead is to say “hate x.” The idea is that your love for the other thing (family, your own life, etc.) is diminished so much by comparison, it’s as is it is hate.

So yeah, it’s a strange figure of speech, but it wouldn’t make any sense for Him to be speaking of literally hating family. Remember that Catholics understand the Bible in the context of the passage. If Jesus (or whomever) is speaking literally, we take it literally. If He’s not, we don’t.

There’s a tendency amongst many non-religious to view the Bible as simply a set of rules or moral axioms. The resulting tendency is a view of the text that reads it like legislation or a court opinion, where you parse every phrase, match it up with standard dictionary definitions, and see what you get. But that’s not the way that Catholics, or just about any other Christian, view the Bible.

The reference’s I use are The Douay-Rheims Challoner edition Bible,The NAB,The KJV with the Strongs concordence with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon.Please read Luke 14:15-35.This gives a complete scope of our Lord’s meaning.

It seems to me, that with the VERY scholarly people involved in translating the Bible, such a conspicuous phrase would merit and receive the necessary expansion into “love me more than” or “love less” by at least one of the translators. Especially the newer, very liberal translations that even paraphrase almost everything.

Genesis has many cases of words being phrased so as to carry their expected meanings rather than exact word for word transliterations.

Any reasoning as to why this particular, relevant, and very condemning passage would be so poorly treated by so many scholarly men?

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