Where does history side?


#1

There have been some very intense debates going on in this forum and they have been very interesting. But one issue that I have seen repeatively over looked is history.

The arguements with which all Protestants rely on DID NOT exists in the early Church. Protestant Christianity and especially Evangelical Protestantism was an innovation of the 16th century in everything except that which is held in common with both branches of the historical Church–Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Michael P, stated,
“That is the good thing about not being Catholic. I don’t have to start with assumptions and read back into history and Scripture. I don’t have to identify with any traditions. I just identify with the invisible body of Christ and the local chuch. Therefore, I can approach this much more unbiasedly than others.”

Not with standing that this is a huge claim, where is the evidence for such a claim? I would say that because I am a Catholic, and have access to history, and belong to the tradition that wrote it, I can approach the topic with a greater understanding and insight because I do not read into it my modern biases and theological innovations. I have the testemony of all those who have come before me–Church Fathers, Creeds, Councils and the Magistarium. The whole cloud of witnesses attest to the validity and authenticity of the Catholic Church.

So, I am asking all those who are not Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox to post historical evidence for your beliefs. Show us way we should buy into your system?

I hope I not being too plunt, but I need to be clear in my request or I feel I won’t get an adequate response.


#2

Could I add onto that for someone to consider if they respond?

In my process of reversion to Catholicism - I was deeply moved by the writings of the Early Fathers, and learning about the first centuries of Christian belief.

Why should I NOT consider these factors important?
Why should I DISREGARD the faith as practiced by the very first christians?


#3

History resides with the Jews and the apostles which Jesus gave the inspiriation to hand down His teachings. Salvation is of the Jews. (These are not my words, but Jesus’) Not one of Jesus teachings goes against the Old Testament, but they shed a broader light on what God the Father (Yahveh) had already revealed.

The books of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews as well as James and the Revelation of Jesus Christ make many things clear. Do you know how many quotations from Ezekiel, Daniel and Joel are contained in that last book alone? You would be amazed and astounded.


#4

The simple fact of the matter is that NONE of the early Christians were evangelical/reformist/Protestant.

St. Ignatius, student of John the Apostle, appointed by Peter himself as 3rd bishop of Antioch, was Catholic. Linus, whose name is found in the book of Acts, was the 3rd Pope. Clement, who is also a person in the book of Acts, was the 4th Pope. He too, was Catholic.
All the councils were Catholic. The first ecumenical council, Nicae, in 325 A.D., was Catholic. The Christian martyrs who were thrown to the lions, were buried in the Roman catacombs. They were, obviously Catholic. All the artifacts, paintings, carvings can be put together to make a primitive Catholic catechism. It goes back to the 2nd century.

Check this out: catacombe.roma.it/index.html

“To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”
(Cardinal Newman, former Protestant)


#5

[quote=redeemed1]History resides with the Jews and the apostles which Jesus gave the inspiriation to hand down His teachings. Salvation is of the Jews. (These are not my words, but Jesus’) Not one of Jesus teachings goes against the Old Testament, but they shed a broader light on what God the Father (Yahveh) had already revealed.

The books of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews as well as James and the Revelation of Jesus Christ make many things clear. Do you know how many quotations from Ezekiel, Daniel and Joel are contained in that last book alone? You would be amazed and astounded.
[/quote]

What does this have to do with the argument at hand. I am just seeking historical proof Protestant belief. Any is welcome.


#6

We must understand that history has two main components, facts and interpretation. Now, facts themselves may be in dispute, but the main issue in history is, “What do the facts MEAN?”

To answer that question, we must look at the facts in context.

In this particular case, we must avoid assuming the ancient Christians lived in the modern world, with television, radio, telephones, newspapers, printing presses, and so on. If they HAD lived in the modern world, with all those means of communication, we might well assume that as soon as a book of the New Testament was written, it was available to and debated by all Christians. That, of course is not true – communication was enormously difficult and the existance of written documents did not supplant word-of-mouth teaching.

We must also realize that not all ancient writers lived at the same time – we can’t assume that a 4th Century writer had the same view as a 2nd Century writer. If we fail to understand this, we get the wrong impression – and mistake the end of a process for the process itself (in this case the formation of the New Testament.)

Finally, we must be careful to not look only where the light is. History, even in the Church, is written by the victors. Most of what we have is orthodox and we see the various heresies only dimly – for example, until the Nag Hammadi Library was found in 1947, almost the only knowledge we had of Gnosticism came from Irelaeus’ “Against the Heresies.” If we don’t remember that, we get a false sense of concord and agreement in a community that was really in conflict and turmoil much of the time.

Bottom line – the “evidence” in question is not in the facts, but in the interpretation of the facts. And that particular interpretation relies on failure to take into account the three main principles I outlined above:

  1. Understand the Ancient world and don’t assume the Ancients had all our modern conveniences.

  2. Understand the time line, and don’t assume that things that were hundreds of years apart are all part of the same neat package.

  3. Remember that much of the picture is blank, and is best filled in by looking at what the other side to a contoversy must have been saying and doing.


#7

I’m probably being grossly unfair, but I would think that the Fundamentalist Christian would take the attitude “History?!? We don’t need no stinking history! – We have the BIBLE!!”

The Bible is itself the product of history, though: first, it was written down from Apostolic Tradition; second, the Church determined its Canon. There is no escaping history.


#8

[quote=aridite]I’m probably being grossly unfair, but I would think that the Fundamentalist Christian would take the attitude “History?!? We don’t need no stinking history! – We have the BIBLE!!”

The Bible is itself the product of history, though: first, it was written down from Apostolic Tradition; second, the Church determined its Canon. There is no escaping history.
[/quote]

That is correct – as I said in another thread, there are three components to the Bible, Concept, Content, and Status.

The Concept – that there would be a New Testament of inspired writings – emerged only slowly. And as it emerged, many Christian writings (both orthodox and heterodox) appeared.

Not until all that was sorted out and the canon proclaimed did the New Testament emerge.


#9

Thanks for your response Vern.

What I am trying to get is actual positive evidence for the existence of Protestant beliefs that are not shared by those who belong to the historical Church–Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

There have been some on this forum that put Catholics to the test by requiring evidence that meets a certain criteria. Well, this is mine.

I am imploring, begging, beseeching any Protestant to provide positive evidence for thier beliefs that are not shared in common with historical Christianity.

Please provide evidence for:

Communion is only symbolic; not salvific.

That baptism is only symbolic; not salvific.

Marian doctrine is a late innovation of the Roman Catholic Church.

That Apostolic Succession was not taught in the early Church.

The essence of Protestantism is to get back to what was lost due to the additions brought about by the “tranditions of men,” but I fail to see that anything they hold to, aside from that which is agreed upon by the historic Church, has any historical merit.

Am I wrong?

God bless


#10

Are there any Protestants out there willing to respond to my request?


#11

[quote=dennisknapp]Thanks for your response Vern.

What I am trying to get is actual positive evidence for the existence of Protestant beliefs that are not shared by those who belong to the historical Church–Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.
[/quote]

You’re not going to get that – what you will get is an interpretation that produces the desired position.

For example, it may be pointed out that the word “Parthenos” (virgin) in the Septaugent is not an exact translation for the Hebrew word meaning “young girl,” and it is this “mistranslation” that led Matthew to assume Mary was a virgin.

Now, that would be a good starting point, IF Matthew was writing in the 21st Century and didn’t undestand the language or culture of the time, or IF the original translators of the Septaugent were not recognized Hebrew scholars, or IF Matthew constructed his Gospel around a list of pre-selected quotes.

As Isaac Asimov said, "Give me leave to pick and choose my facts, and I will undertake to prove anything you like."http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif


#12

Thanks again for your response Vern, but I am still holding out for a Protestant to answer my request.

If they have the purer form of Christianity, there must be a paper trail.

This is all I am asking for.


#13

Just trying to keep this tread going in hopes of getting a reply. If not then I have made my point–

There is no evidence for Protestant beliefs in the early Church aside from that which is shared by the historical Church.

The Protestant position is mute and at best an innovation.

God Bless and Merry Christmas


#14

[quote=dennisknapp]Just trying to keep this tread going in hopes of getting a reply. If not then I have made my point–

There is no evidence for Protestant beliefs in the early Church aside from that which is shared by the historical Church.

The Protestant position is mute and at best an innovation.

God Bless and Merry Christmas
[/quote]

The kind of people you’re looking for will not answer your challenge – they want easy meat. They prefer to find someone who knows neither his religion nor history, so they can bumfoozle him with some playbook “facts.”


#15

It’s a great idea Dennis…and I think the response is very telling.

If Jesus left behind a church with protestant theology - it would have been reflected in the early writings, the early councils, and the early saints.

Instead - what is found is that some modern protestant belief was actually condemned as heresy by the Church that Jesus left behind.


#16

[quote=Lorarose]It’s a great idea Dennis…and I think the response is very telling…
[/quote]

Or rather the lack of response.

[quote=Lorarose]If Jesus left behind a church with protestant theology - it would have been reflected in the early writings, the early councils, and the early saints.

Instead - what is found is that some modern protestant belief was actually condemned as heresy by the Church that Jesus left behind.
[/quote]

Yes – it seems like every so often someone comes running in with his hair on fire to tell us about some earthshaking discovery in scripture – and we (at least those of us who know Church history) yawn and say, "Yes, that’s and it was settled 1700 years ago."http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif


#17

One would think that someone would at least try, there have been 90 views of this tread.

I am still holding out for someone to respond. It is only fair since we respond to thier questions.


#18

[quote=dennisknapp]One would think that someone would at least try, there have been 90 views of this tread.

I am still holding out for someone to respond. It is only fair since we respond to thier questions.
[/quote]

Don’t hold your breath – trolls go for soft targets.


#19

Still no takers? Even Mormons have version of history that supports their claims.


#20

I would love to discuss this Dennis, but as you know I am greatly involved in two other discussion of which I am the only non-catholic. You can understand how difficult it is to answer and struggle with each person’s comments. I have recently made a commentment to myself to only be involved in one at a time. I have already broken that committment. My wife is going to break another committment if I get involved in another thread right now (if you know what I mean):whistle:

I will keep looking to see if there is anyone who would like to get involved. But I have not seen many informed non-catholics browsing this site much. Just mainly “proof-text” throwers who don’t know or care much about history. The type that says, “if the Bible says it, that does it.” Or those who say, “all I need is the Bible and the Holy Spirit and I can figure everything out.” It is sad to say, but this is the majority of people that I deal with.

Michael


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