The Seat Of Moses & Infallibility


#1

Do you believe that whoever sat on the seat of Moses possesed the charism of infallibility?

I don’t…for a lot of different reasons but it seems to be a rather popular belief for some of the Catholic posters on the forum.

If you do believe that the seat of Moses was an infallible office can you please state why and also do you know of any well known Catholic apologists (Pacwa, Madrid, Akin, Sungenis, Michuta, etc.) that also believe that it was an infallible office.


#2

Can you give a few examples?


#3

From Pwrlftr:

Do you believe that whoever sat on the seat of Moses possesed the charism of infallibility?

I don’t…for a lot of different reasons but it seems to be a rather popular belief for some of the Catholic posters on the forum.

If you do believe that the seat of Moses was an infallible office can you please state why and also do you know of any well known Catholic apologists (Pacwa, Madrid, Akin, Sungenis, Michuta, etc.) that also believe that it was an infallible office.

I will try to give this my best shot at an answer.

In the New Testament, Jesus clearly and distinctly gives the authority and the charism to act and proclaim infallibly (Matthew).
The Old Testament did not have the development of doctrine that was particular to the NT. There were distinct differences in the purposes of the OT and NT. The OT gave guidelines to the Jews for the purposes that God intended. What I mean by this is that a chosen people were picked by God to be lead by Him in the development of their understanding of who the savior in the future was going to be. Some “group” had to be lead in the understanding of who the Christ was going to be so that He would be recognized when He came. They had to know His characteristics and His message in order to be recognized and to trust Him in their learning even though they could not see Him. They had to be kept separate from the Gentiles so that their learning would not be compromised or polluted by other pagan gods of neighboring tribes or countries. This is the message given in the OT books. It was a preparation for the new and everlasting Covenant. It was their call to be faithful to the Covenant and be the beacon to the nations.

It was not the intent of the OT leaders who sat in the seat of Moses to be infallible. The intent was to be faithful which they had a hard time doing from the readings. It was not time yet. When the people strayed, God saw fit to show the errors of their ways by calling prophets and other leaders and giving judgements as a discipline to the people. The Mosaic Law had instructions to how they were to act in order to become His people. Straying from a Covenant had it’s consequences.

People of the OT had a greater idea of what they were supposed to do than we do today. But, it came time for them to grow up even more and to learn what a new Covenant meant for them. The new Covenant Baptism transformed them into being a “child of God” which was a different concept. Things that were externalized like sacrifices and rule keeping were more internalized by needing to grow in holiness and loving. During this time, Jesus formed His Church and left the temporal part of it under the care of the new seat of Moses which we have today in the Catholic Church.

I hope this helps,
mdcpensive1


#4

A few examples of what?


#5

The Talmud is a product of the seat of Moses. If the seat of Moses is in fact infallible then so is its product, the talmud. Problem is the Talmud teaches among other false things that Jesus is the offspring between Mary and a roman soilder.


#6

I believe he is asking for examples of posts where such an idea has been proposed by a Catholic.

I have never heard anyone make this claim, ever.


#7

I think that the reference in Scripture to the seat of Moses refers to two things:

  1. In the Jewish faith, to the foreshadowing of the seat of infallibility. An example would be when the sinful high priest who condemned Jesus was still able to give a true prophecy, despite his sins, because of his role.

[John]
{11:49} Then one of them, named Caiaphas, since he was the high priest that year, said to them: “You do not understand anything.
{11:50} Nor do you realize that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the entire nation should not perish.”
{11:51} Yet he did not say this from himself, but since he was the high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.

  1. to the infallibility of the Pope, who is the seat of the infallible Sacred Magisterium

#8

What are a few of your reasions.


#9

Sorry Adam. I started this thread and haven’t had much time to participate.

I don’t believe the Pharisees were infallible for several reasons which I will quickly outline:
a.) Misuse of corban rule (taught as doctrine the precepts of man)

b.) Failed to recognize Jesus as the messiah and more than just not recognizing Him a the messiah they fully rejected Jesus.

c.) Fouled up the doctrine of justification which Paul spent a fair amount of time correcting in the NT. While you and I won’t agree on the details of justification either, it’s apparent that neither one of us will agree that what the Pharisees taught was the correct view.

d.) While I don’t have an issue with this example I would imagine Catholics would. The Pharisees did not accept the deutero’s as inspired.

e.) Jesus’ admonition to the people to do what whatever they (they being whoever sat on Moses seat) obviously had some limitations since they were testifying against Jesus being the Messiah.

f.) We find way back in the OT that Moses took his “seat” as a judge with no hint of infallibility attached to the role.

g.) I haven’t heard any well known Catholic apologists make the claim that the seat of Moses had attached to it the charism of infallibility. Maybe I missed something but I’ve yet to see or hear the claim being made in a formal debate.

h.) I am unaware of any Jewish claim that the seat of Moses possesed the charism of infallibility and one would think the Jews would probably know about it. Again, maybe this is a belief among the Jews but I have seen no evidence of it.

That is a thumbnail sketch of why I don’t think the seat of Moses had any charism of infallibility attached to it.


#10

I don’t really know either way, but Jesus said do as they say, not as they do. Why would he tell his disciples to believe what they said if it weren’t true?

The best comparison in the OT, however, is probably the sacred Ephod and Rationale worn by the chief priest. Check out these little tracts by St. Francis de Sales defending papal infallibility (especially the second one) (note–he says “in cathedra” instead of “ex cathedra” but it means the same thing–also note, these were written in the 1600s as apologetics against protestant attacks).

angelfire.com/ms/seanie/papacy/fds_pope13.html
angelfire.com/ms/seanie/papacy/fds_pope14.html


#11

Thanks for your post. I will definitely check the links out.

Since the Pharisees were telling people Jesus was anything but the Messiah, do you agree Jesus statement to do as they say must have had limits?


#12

That’s probably true–especially since Israel of the OT had not had the Spirit of Truth poured out upon them yet (it was done at Pentecost).


#13

The Talmud does not claim to be infalliable. Perhaps if we narrow the definition of Talmud to the Mishna, which is what was given to Moses at Sinai. But even then, the mishna as written may not be the same as the Mishna that was orally given. A system of mneomics and other memory devices were employed so that the oral Torah could be more easily memorized.


#14

There is nothing in Jewish traditoin to support a belief that any of our sages, pharasees or otherwise, were infallible.


#15

Thanks Valke.

I had never heard someone who is Jewish claim that any particular group was infallible.

BTW, do you have any knowledge of the “seat of Moses” that you could share with us?


#16

Fortunately, we don’t have to be infallible because we’re always right :).

I’m not familar with the term until I heard it here.


#17

do a search on spirit of the Lord in the OT, you will see that the Holy Spirit was “upon” them.


#18

I mis-read the catholic position in this thread that catholic apologetists were considering the “seat of Moses” to be infallible. My arguments were to show that the “seat of Moses” is NOT infallible. Note: there are or were some Jewish scholars who place the talmud on level with scripture as canonical scripture.

Rabbinic Authority : The Authority of the Talmudic Sages
by Michael S. Berger

jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=32&letter=T#148

google.com/search?q=authority+talmud+Judaism&hl=en&start=10&sa=N


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.