Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Canon made simpler

Several friends have recently told me that they've had difficulty following recent interactions on this blog. It's understandable - it's not every day that an American or une française encounters a Hyper-Preterist or talks to an Eastern Orthodox (or anyone) about the Canon of Scripture or our basis for knowing what it is.

There's also Lucian, who's not following me either, given his recent ???????????????????????? comment.

Let me try again really quick:
The pious Jew in 50 BC did indeed know that Isaiah and 2 Chronicles were Scripture, were Canonical. How did they know? God led His people gradually, passively, subtlely over time to understand the Canon. They did not have any Infallible Interpreter to TELL them what the Canon was.

The reason this is relevant is that EO-dox tell me that I need The Church® to tell me what the Canon is and I can't know it w/o their telling me. Thus, as a Protestant, denying that any such infallible interpreter exists, I don't have any justification for the Canon I do accept.

Two immediately relevant problems w/ their answer:
1) The EOC does not have a Canon of Scripture themselves, so how are they in a position to tell me what the Canon of Scripture is?
2) The model we see in the Old Testament provides the paradigm for knowing what the Canon of the NT is - God's subtle, gradual leading of His people as a whole to accept the true Canon, to accept the books He has inspired and to reject as inspired the books He didn't inspire.

Hopefully that is helpful.

43 comments:

orthodox said...

>God led His people gradually, passively, subtlely
>over time to understand the Canon.

Aka, God's people infallibly understood the canon.

>Thus, as a Protestant, denying that any such
>infallible interpreter exists, I don't have any
>justification for the Canon I do accept.

One minute you are claiming that God subtley, gradually and infallibly is leading his people to the truth. The next thing you are claiming that his people can't infallibly tell us the truth. Make up your mind! You're expressing EO doctrine about how God leads his people infallibly, then pretending to deny EO doctrine.

Alan's other problem is he has a very nebulous notion of where exactly God's people are to be found.

A better question for Alan to answer is not how "God's people" know the canon, but how does ALAN known the canon? Because unless Alan claims to have full, complete, individual revelation about the entire canon (which I don't think he is claiming with his "subtle, gradual" claim), then he can't know the canon by asking God's people, because of his very vague notion of who God's people are. He would have to do a global search of all Christian groups, evaluate (somehow, we aren't told how) if they are "God's people", and then (somehow, we aren't told how) resolve the remaining differences among all these groups who he decides are God's people.

>1) The EOC does not have a Canon of Scripture
>themselves, so how are they in a position to tell
>me what the Canon of Scripture is?

I strongly dispute the claim that EOC doesn't have a canon of scripture. But if by some chance we do have disputes, how is that contradicted by God "subtley, gradually" leading his people to the truth?

We don't have a dispute here about how we know the canon. What we have a dispute about is (a) whether we have a dispute and (b) what good the doctrine is without a clear idea of where God's people are.

David Bryan said...

Good stuff, orthodox...

"God led His people gradually, passively, subtlely over time to understand the Canon."

Specifically, how? If you can't answer this, then you still don't know how the 50 BC Jew knew what the canon was, and all you're saying is "It's not the way the Orthodox say it is, but I have no other alternative. It just isn't that way."

Well, was it through an individual interpretation of the Tanakh? Did the Sanhedrin tell him? Was the Levitical priesthood involved in this somehow? Did the Shekhinah come down in the Temple and announce this?

How was it revealed?

"They did not have any Infallible Interpreter to TELL them what the Canon was."

What do you mean by "infallible"? IME, this is "trustworthy enough to lead us to complete salvation." IOW, just like Scripture has been explained by an Evangelical pastor whose name escapes me to be a "possibly incomplete list of infallible books" (you provided me w/that quote, btw), so we'd say that the Church can provide sufficient truth as they are, open canon and all, to lead souls to salvation. Infallible doesn't have to mean "Makes pronouncements possessing all knowledge and with airtight logic, the very wording of which will never change and will always be understood and expressed exactly the same throughout the ages."

Things can develop, but the preservation of saving Truth is always there from the get-go, and never departs. To us, this involves those in the tradition-based "Seat of Moses" within the Old Testament Israel (iow, the Synagogue rulers who had errors in praxis but were still commended by Christ to teach) and the episcopacy of the Orthodox Church, made up as it is of fallible, individual sinners, in the New Covenant.

Lucian said...

Orthodox, David Bryan,

Didn't the Sadducees by any chance held only the Pentateuch as canonical ?
And didn't the Essenes held more than what we find today in Jewish Bibles as canonical ?

As far as I know, the "average Jew" of 50 BC would've had different answers to what might constitute a canonical book ... so, in my opinion, "the white question" is plain weird -- Alan, however, thinks that my point (about the Sadducees and Essenes) is wrong. What's Your take on these issues?

Rhology said...

Getting to O-dox and David Bryan a little later, just wanted to throw this in:

It doesn't matter whether those 3 groups held to disparate Canons (and, again, I don't grant that). How did ANY of them know w/in themselves that those books were inspired?

Lucian said...

I've just asked Professor Meyr Bar-Ilan this question (about the methods used by *EACH* religious fraction to deduce the(ir) Canon in pre-Christian times) and he replied by saying that "Actually we do not know. All – in this aspect – is an hypothesis."

I just thought I'll mention that.

What comes to my mind is that the fact that, although the Prophets were read in the Synagogues, they weren't accepted by the Sadducees; and that, although Enoch wasn't in the Temple, it was accepted by the Essenes.

So it's really hard to say what the decisive factor was for *EACH* of them -- i.e., Temple-keeping and Synagogue-reading didn't seem to be the rules for at least two of the three sects.

David Bryan said...

I'll need to look this up, as I don't have any hard facts, but I remember reading this when I was an Evangelical.

Lucian, I have to be honest, sometimes I don't know where you're coming from or going in your arguments--forgive me if that offends you--but your bringing up the disparate canons w/in BC Judaism is a good point I'd like to see addressed.

Lucian said...

David,

It's good to know that. (Up until now, I just thought Alan was being evasive). It's also good to know at least someone reads my comments.

Rhology said...

ORTHODOX: God's people infallibly understood the canon.

RHOLOGY: OK. But what you're trying to get at is that, since the people of God were infallibly led to the Canon, that automatically and unquestionably extends to all other activities in which "they" might engage, all other judgments "they" might make. That's neither biblically nor historically tenable.

ORTHODOX: Alan's other problem is he has a very nebulous notion of where exactly God's people are to be found.

RHOLOGY: In one sense that's true, b/c the Scripture makes it nebulous. Those who are believers are God's sheep (John 10). They make up the Invisible Church. They and some or many unbelievers come together into local church bodies. And yet I have no infallible info about who the sheep are. I can only look at church members' actions and count them a brother/sister based on their actions and professed belief (ie, justification by works à la James chapter 2) or put them out of the church based on their actions and professed belief.
But in a biblical paradigm, me having a nebulous (according to you) concept of "where" the church is makes no difference at all. It makes a difference to YOU, but I just don't care.

ORTHODOX: Alan can't know the canon by asking God's people, because of his very vague notion of who God's people are.

RHOLOGY: That *is* how I know the Canon, or a major element thereof.

But Alan, that's circular reasoning - you rely on the Bible to tell you who God's people are and then ask them what the Bible is!

Yes, I freely admit that.
But this is also a game of weighing alternatives, and yours is worse off. Namely, you believe the One True Church will always have unity and be infallible b/c Jesus established it and made some promises to that effect. But then you claim that you can't know the Bible w/o knowing the Church. Worse, the Bible doesn't support the paradigm to which you cling. Even yet worse, you claim to be able to name what is and what is not Scr and Tradition and out of the other side of your mouth claim to be subservient to them, but one cannot have both.

ORTHODOX: He would have to do a global search of all Christian groups, evaluate (somehow, we aren't told how) if they are "God's people", and then (somehow, we aren't told how) resolve the remaining differences among all these groups who he decides are God's people.

RHOLOGY: A simpler approach to history is sufficient, I should think, and goes a long way to establishing that you don't have historical support for your position either.
And, back to alternatives, you are no better, indeed worse, off. You claim you DO know where the "Church" is at all times throughout history (or I assume you do since you're excoriating me for not knowing) and yet you still can't give me a finalised Canon. All your high and mighty proclamations of overriding authority and you're still farther behind where I, the loathsome "my own Pope" Protestant, am!


ORTHODOX: I strongly dispute the claim that EOC doesn't have a canon of scripture.

RHOLOGY: Then you are either ignorant or another example that EOC doesn't have the unity it claims to have.

ORTHODOX: But if by some chance we do have disputes, how is that contradicted by God "subtley, gradually" leading his people to the truth?

RHOLOGY: 1st of all, the modern EOC is not the people of God nor among the people of God.
And by "subtlely, gradually," I didn't mean 2000 yrs and counting. Unnecessarily prolonged skepticism about God's revelation is not commendable.
And don't act like it's my fault that EOC doesn't have a finalised Canon. Don't shoot the msgr - you might think about doing sthg about it (that is, if you don't get slapped down by your bishop/Metropolitan for just being an ignorant layman and acting like a Protestant).

ORTHODOX: what good the doctrine is without a clear idea of where God's people are.

RHOLOGY: But I do have a good idea of WHO God's people are, and I've already gone over that.


DAVID BRYAN: Specifically, how (did God lead His people gradually, passively, subtlely over time to understand the Canon?) If you can't answer this, then you still don't know how the 50 BC Jew knew what the canon was,

RHOLOGY: Sorry, I don't see how that conclusion follows.
And I don't know how God did that - apparently He (and my tongue is ½ in my cheek here) led His people gradually, passively, subtlely over time to understand the Canon. It's mysterious, and since it's so deep in history we may never fully know the ins and outs of how it came to be that way.

DAVID BRYAN: all you're saying is "It's not the way the Orthodox say it is, but I have no other alternative. It just isn't that way."

RHOLOGY: The way I know it's not the EO way is b/c the people of God in the OT knew the OT Canon *somehow*, and they as the people of God were never infallible.

But Alan, Moses' seat in Matt 23!

Truthfully, that has always seemed like an incredibly weak argument to me.
There are 2 other ways to understand the "Moses' seat" reference than what you have proposed, neither of which whitewashes the Pharisees' doctrinal errors like you do and each of which makes more sense than your proposal.
1) Jesus is being sarcastic.
2) Moses' seat is the position of teaching in the synagogue from which the Law was read and explained to the people. Naturally Jesus would not object to the OT being taught.

I think #2 makes more sense.

But Jesus only ever criticised the Pharisees for their behavior, not their teachings!

Matthew 23:13-22

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18And you say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

Matthew 23:30-31

...saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Mark 7:5

5And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?"

These look like teachings to me...

DAVID BRYAN: was it through an individual interpretation of the Tanakh?

RHOLOGY: How could it be an individual thing when the people of God *in general* knew what the Canon was?

DAVID BRYAN: Did the Sanhedrin tell him? Was the Levitical priesthood involved in this somehow?

RHOLOGY: Maybe that was part of it, but that demonstrably doesn't mean the Sanhedrin was infallible. And b/c it wasn't infallible, your position breaks down.
Romans 3 tells us that the Jews were "entrusted w/ the very oracles of God" and then neglects to give us any further details. I'll chill w/ that and resist the temptation to "go beyond what is written" (1 Cor 4:6).

DAVID BRYAN: Did the Shekhinah come down in the Temple and announce this?

RHOLOGY: This is obviously a rhetorical question. Shall I give a rhetorical answer?
There's no record of that happening, so I won't conjecture.

DAVID BRYAN: What do you mean by "infallible"? IME, this is "trustworthy enough to lead us to complete salvation."

RHOLOGY: I mean "incapable of erring as a whole", which is what you claim for EOC. You may not make it explicit, but I've interacted w/ you and other EO-dox enough that it always comes down to What The Church® Says.

DAVID BRYAN: just like Scripture has been explained by an Evangelical pastor whose name escapes me to be a "possibly incomplete list of infallible books" (you provided me w/that quote, btw), so we'd say that the Church can provide sufficient truth as they are, open canon and all, to lead souls to salvation.

RHOLOGY: It was RC Sproul, FYI. Good memory! :-)
I think his exact quote (w/o googling it) was: "a fallible collection of infallible books."
I agree w/ his statement insofar that we're talking about God's People, since God's People are fallible. But God is not fallible and He desired to make His Word known, so the Canon itself is infallible.
It might help to think of it this way.

CanonA = the list of books that God has, from eternity past, intended/planned to inspire and reveal as Scripture
CanonB = the list that God's people subsequently received as God revealed CanonA to fallible humanity

CanonA is infallible. CanonB is not b/c humans are fallible. Yet I have perfect confidence in God to make His CanonA (the eternal one) known w/o error to His people in some way.


DAVID BRYAN: Infallible doesn't have to mean "Makes pronouncements possessing all knowledge and with airtight logic, the very wording of which will never change and will always be understood and expressed exactly the same throughout the ages."

RHOLOGY: Then it's up to you to explain how that fits in w/ your idea (that you even recently, like w/in a week or 2 ago, expressed to me personally) that EOC holds to what has been believed "always, everywhere, and by everyone" (St. Vincent of Lérins, I believe? Again, w/o googling, so that could explain it if I mess up the allusion).

LUCIAN: Professor Meyr Bar-Ilan this question (about the methods used by *EACH* religious fraction to deduce the(ir) Canon in pre-Christian times) and he replied by saying that "Actually we do not know. All – in this aspect – is an hypothesis."
LUCIAN: although the Prophets were read in the Synagogues, they weren't accepted by the Sadducees; and that, although Enoch wasn't in the Temple, it was accepted by the Essenes.

RHOLOGY: You crack me up, Lucian. You go thru the trouble to ask a Professor, who tells you it's all hypothetical (I don't agree, BTW) and then you go ahead w/ your argument as if you'd never asked him.
Bottom line - this Professor tells you that you're not supposed to know whether the Sadds or Essenes held diff Canons, but you go ahead and act like you know anyway. That's pretty disingenuous from my side.
And like I said, I don't necessarily grant your different Canons hypothesis.

DAVID BRYAN: Lucian, I have to be honest, sometimes I don't know where you're coming from or going in your arguments--forgive me if that offends you-

RHOLOGY: Man, thank God I'm not the only one!

LUCIAN: It's also good to know at least someone reads my comments.

RHOLOGY: I would add that it's hard to respond to comments w/o reading them. Make that 2 people who read 'em.
Salva has responded to you at length before - that's 3.
What a coincidence - that's how many people read my blog! :-D

Lucian said...

Bottom line - this Professor tells you that you're not supposed to know whether the Sadds or Essenes held diff Canons

err ... no ... I asked him:

Esteemed Professor,

*How* did the various Jewis sects of pre-Christian times (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes) *determine* what was in their respective canons? i.e., what was the *'algorithm'* that they used in establishing that? (I know that each of them had a canon different than the other groups, but what *'mechanism'* did *EACH* group use to 'know' what was to be included or not in their respective canons of Holy Scripture?).

Thank You very much,

Craciun Lucian.


And his magisterial, academical answer back at me was:

Actually we do not know. All – in this aspect – is an hypothesis.

The last to discuss: Sid Leiman


... and we're talkin' here 'bout a man who does this for a living ...

Lucian said...

Make that 2

I wasn't excluding You.

Rhology said...

All, in this aspect, is an hypothesis.

So, given that you seem to accept his word on that, that's exactly my point. You should therefore NOT be making strong claims about the Sadducees having one Canon, the Pharisees and Essenes having another. Your professor contact says it is hypothetical.

Like I said, I don't agree w/ him, but if YOU do then you should find another line of argumentation. (Or you could repent and come over to my church. You are always welcome.)

Lucian said...

Alan,

any eye-sight problems that I should be aware of? (I was writing in bold letters [Galatians 6:11], so ... )

You were making all this fuss about *HOW* they each determined their Canons ... and the fact is that no-one knows *how* ...

Lucian said...

What I DO know, however, is that, for the Jews, nothing can contradict the Torah of Moses: no Prophet, no Writing, nada!

AND, more than that, they even look, until today, how to see refferences to extra-Torah books from the Torah itself ... for instance, they see the Book of Esther prophecysed by Moses in the Torah-verse: "and God hid His Face". This constitutes for them (even until today) "canonicity".

Neither faction rejected the Pentateuch, and, even until this day, They still "demand" (their Rabbis still exercise this "finding"-exercise) for ANY book of the TaNaKh to be "prophecysed", "seen", or "foretold" in The Torah. That's THE ONLY THING that I can say FOR CERTAIN that constitutes some-sort of canonicity test for them until today.

Of ANY other means (whether textual criticism, or anything else) I'm comnpletely unaware of (and so is everybody else) to ever constitute for the Jews litmus tests for canonicity.

Hope this helps a bit.

Rhology said...

**I**, sir, was not making a fuss about HOW the Canon was formed. You might be confusing me w/ one David Bryan.

I am asking how the Jewish man KNEW what the Canon was.
The implication of EOC's position is that it would require an infallible teaching authority to tell that Jewish man in 50 BC what the Canon was.
But there was no such authority.
Therefore, the Canon of Scripture is known by some other way than what EOC teaches.

Already quite a few pretenders to the throne are shot down: RCC, EOC, OOC, LDS, JWs...

As for Jewish litmus tests for canonicity, David Bryan has himself in the past (in interactions w/ me) downplayed the Jewish element of knowing the OT Canon.
I'd point out Romans 3 says that they had the oracles of God.
He'd say that the early Xtians used the LXX which has the DeuteroCanonicals in it, therefore we should consider them canonical.
I'd respond that we don't have any copy of the LXX before the 4th century and that the Jews' Canon is known thru Josephus and several other lines of historical argumentation.

So one of you is wrong in his emphasis in this discussion.
Strangely, though, as you both seem to be fairly well-educated in EO-doxy, it leaves me the observer scratching my head at more evidences of disunity. Or at least careless catechesis.

Lucian said...

Don't worry 'bout me confounding You with anyone else.

I am asking how the Jewish man KNEW what the Canon was.
The implication of EOC's position is that it would require an infallible teaching authority to tell that Jewish man in 50 BC what the Canon was.
But there was no such authority.
Therefore, the Canon of Scripture is known by some other way than what EOC teaches.


By YOUR OWN WORDS the "People of God" determined it PAINFULLY SLOWLY for THEMSELVES. -- please express in clear-cut and wholly unambigous words the difference and distinction between Your position and the one You're trying to deny -- I just can't comprehend You ... You *seem* to battle against Yourself.

--there was no such authority--

... besides the KING [Jewish state], ARCH-PRIEST [Temple] and COUNCIL-OF-ELDERS [Synagogue] ...

Lucian said...

O, yeah, and ...

we're not talking here about differences in canons between different Jewish factions ... whether 'inborn' or diaspora, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, etc.

One thing is when Bryan tells You 'bout the INFLUENCE of the JEWISH ELEMENT on the *CHRISTIAN* CANON ...

...and a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING is when we speak about the INFLUENCE of the JEWISH ELEMENT on the *JEWISH* CANON ... as we do over here ...

Oh, man! (are You even aware of what You're/we're talkin' 'bout o'er here ???)

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: OK. But what you're trying to get at is that, since the people of God were infallibly led to the Canon, that automatically and unquestionably extends to all other activities in which "they" might engage, all other judgments "they" might make. That's neither biblically nor historically tenable.

ORTHODOX: I'd love to see how you can prove that God's people were not led into the truth on other issues. That sounds like you would have to start out assuming what you have to prove.

Whether it is biblically tenable, well you've probably heard at least some of the biblical justification for the Church "being led into all truth". But if you reject these how do you know the Church is led into the truth on the canon? All you have left is a subtle argument about what you think Jesus probably assumed in the 1st century that he assumed his listeners understood the canon. But Jesus and the apostles accepted and assumed their listeners knew about a number of oral traditions (e.g. 1Cor 10:1), and also the Jews had many many many non-biblical traditions that Jesus never commented on adversely, and in fact seem to have followed themselves.

So whatever level of evidence you accept for God's people being led, doesn't seem to lead to your position.

RHOLOGY: In one sense that's true, b/c the Scripture makes it nebulous. Those who are believers are God's sheep (John 10). They make up the Invisible Church.But in a biblical paradigm, me having a nebulous (according to you) concept of "where" the church is makes no difference at all. It makes a difference to YOU, but I just don't care.

ORTHODOX: You say you don't care, but then you can't be telling us we need to look to God's people for the canon unless you have investigated ALL groups who claim to be God's people. Remember, there are groups out there with both smaller and larger canons, and you'd better have a pretty good argument for why you are God's people and they aren't, and John 10 isn't going to make it.

RHOLOGY: But this is also a game of weighing alternatives, and yours is worse off. Namely, you believe the One True Church will always have unity and be infallible b/c Jesus established it and made some promises to that effect. But then you claim that you can't know the Bible w/o knowing the Church.

ORTHODOX: Well hang on now. You also claim to need to know where the church is to know the bible. The difference is I believe the church is visible, you believe it is invisible. Now how is it "worse" to ask a visible church about the bible vs an invisible one?

RHOLOGY: Worse, the Bible doesn't support the paradigm to which you cling.

ORTHODOX: So you claim. But then again, the Bible doesn't support your paradigm of sola scriptura either.

RHOLOGY: Even yet worse, you claim to be able to name what is and what is not Scr and Tradition and out of the other side of your mouth claim to be subservient to them, but one cannot have both.

ORTHODOX: Huh? Did you or did you not claim above that God's people can "name" what is and what is not scripture? Are you subserviant to scripture? I don't get it.

RHOLOGY: A simpler approach to history is sufficient, I should think, and goes a long way to establishing that you don't have historical support for your position either.

ORTHODOX: We aren't told about this "simple" approach to history.

RHOLOGY And, back to alternatives, you are no better, indeed worse, off. You claim you DO know where the "Church" is at all times throughout history (or I assume you do since you're excoriating me for not knowing) and yet you still can't give me a finalised Canon. All your high and mighty proclamations of overriding authority and you're still farther behind where I, the loathsome "my own Pope" Protestant, am!

ORTHODOX: Firstly, I believe the canon listed at the Jerusalem synod, and which has been used for, I don't know, at least a thousand years, is the finalised canon, and the one or two dissenting voices that have been quoted don't change that.

Secondly, if dissenting voices are a problem, we can always discuss Martin Luther and his attitude to James, Revelation and others.

Thirdly, how would you be ahead anyway since you have no final canon? RC Sproul says we have a fallible collection of infallible books. A fallible collection is hardly a "final canon". That is a very non-final sounding canon to me.

RHOLOGY: 1st of all, the modern EOC is not the people of God nor among the people of God.

ORTHODOX: Not even "among" the people of God? Wow, that's a tough statement. Where is the proof? What is the basis?

And have you spent any time among us? I would think that to make such an extreme statement ought to require you to be speaking from some knowledge.

And I'd be curious to know if the early church fathers who are very clearly the same as EO, are also "not the people of God". People like say, John Chrysostom, or Athanasius.

RHOLOGY: And by "subtlely, gradually," I didn't mean 2000 yrs and counting.

ORTHODOX: Ok, so how many years exactly are we talking about? The first one to list the NT canon as far as we know was Athanasius, and he was, I would argue, very clearly the same as Eastern Orthodox. So who are these "people of God" who first found the canon and yet WERE the people of God? Must be the protestants at 1600 years and counting?

RHOLOGY: But I do have a good idea of WHO God's people are, and I've already gone over that.

ORTHODOX: You gave us some vague criteria, that could pretty much apply to Mormons and who knows who else. But you didn't give us anything specific enough that would lead to your canon.

RHOLOGY: The way I know it's not the EO way is b/c the people of God in the OT knew the OT Canon *somehow*, and they as the people of God were never infallible.

ORTHODOX: Firstly, you don't know exactly with what precision the peoplf of God knew the canon. While everyone knew Genesis was the canon, you can't show that everyone knew say Esther was in the canon. There has ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS been some fuzzy edges to the canon, for anyone who wants to look with a microscope. What you are claiming here is, as far as history tells us, pure fantasy.

RHOLOGY: There are 2 other ways to understand the "Moses' seat" reference than what you have proposed, neither of which whitewashes the Pharisees' doctrinal errors like you do and each of which makes more sense than your proposal.
1) Jesus is being sarcastic.
2) Moses' seat is the position of teaching in the synagogue from which the Law was read and explained to the people. Naturally Jesus would not object to the OT being taught.

ORTHODOX: (1) is problematic since Jesus uses it as a basis for saying TO obey the Pharasees. (2) as far as I've been able to tell is pure protestant fantasy, and has no basis in history.

And we're back again to one interpretation vs another, which is no basis for Christian unity. Protestants emphasis the so-thought anti-tradition passages over the pro-tradition passages, because it fits their world view, steeped in the facts surrounding Martin Luther, indulgences etc.

RHOLOGY: The implication of EOC's position is that it would require an infallible teaching authority to tell that Jewish man in 50 BC what the Canon was.
But there was no such authority.

ORTHODOX: You're confusing us with Rome. Orthodoxy requires no "teaching authority" (aka magisterium) to make pronouncement on theological truths such as the canon.

RHOLOGY: He'd say that the early Xtians used the LXX which has the DeuteroCanonicals in it, therefore we should consider them canonical.
I'd respond that we don't have any copy of the LXX before the 4th century and that the Jews' Canon is known thru Josephus and several other lines of historical argumentation.

a) Josephus does NOT list the canon. THERE IS NO LIST.

b) The oldest copy of the Hebrew scriptures is from something like 1000 AD, so if we're comparing apples to apples, this doesn't help you.

c) Josephus seems to transitioni seamlessly from his account of Hebrew canon history to deuterocanonical history.

d) Why anyone ought to care overly, (let alone let it override dozens of Christian souces) about one person in one sect of post Christian post temple Judaism with a polemical agenda is beyond me anyway.

e) This "historical argumentation" won't lead you to an exact Jewish canon. THERE IS NO LIST.

Rhology said...

Hey guys,

My apologies for the delay - I've been BUSY.

LUCIAN: please express in clear-cut and wholly unambigous words the difference and distinction between Your position and the one You're trying to deny
RHOLOGY: I'm trying.
In my position: the people of God (ie, the church) are not infallible
In your position: the people of God (ie, the church) are infallible

LUCIAN: there was no such authority... besides the KING [Jewish state], ARCH-PRIEST [Temple] and COUNCIL-OF-ELDERS [Synagogue] ...
RHOLOGY: But see, you make comments like this one and it makes me think that you really are understanding my point.
For your point to hold any water against my position, however, the king, the high priests, or the Sanhedrin (or some combination thereof) would have had to be infallible. Why? B/c you say that the Canon can't be known w/o an infallible interpreter. I say it can be known w/o an infallible interpreter.
Unfortunately for your point, the priests and Sanhedrin were either Sadducees (who denied the Resurrection) or Pharisees (whom Jesus excoriated for many of their teachings in such places as Matt 15 and Mark 7). Neither of those groups, who are the only 2 candidates, were infallible.
So your point fails.

And you may want to consider dropping out of the discussion if you're really having that much trouble following. I don't mind it, but since you keep complaining that I'm not being clear, maybe you should listen more and respond less.

LUCIAN: influence of Jewish element on the Christian Canon vs. Jewish influence on the Jewish Canon
RHOLOGY: I can't think of another substantive influence other than the Jewish one on the formation of the Jewish Canon.
And the Jewish Canon is all I care about for the Old Testament, since there weren't any Christians around at that time.
And you don't have any evidence of a Christian OT Canon that includes all the DeuteroCanonical books that precedes like the late 4th century AD.

LUCIAN: are You even aware of what You're/we're talkin' 'bout o'er here ???
LUCIAN: I just can't comprehend You
LUCIAN: any eye-sight problems that I should be aware of?
LUCIAN: ???????????????????????????????????
LUCIAN: Do You have a self-contradiction problem that I should be aware of?
LUCIAN: Do You have a historical knowledge problem that I should be aware of?

RHOLOGY: All that to congratulate you on your sub-.500 batting average of providing substantive responses.


ORTHODOX: I'd love to see how you can prove that God's people were not led into the truth on other issues.
RHOLOGY: I would never argue that, and it shows that you are still not following me 100%.
I deny that the Church has been rendered infallible in itself and can never make a mistake.
That doesn't change the fact that God steps in from time to time to lead His church to discover the truth; about the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, sola fide, for example.

ORTHODOX: you've probably heard at least some of the biblical justification for the Church "being led into all truth"
RHOLOGY: I'm familiar w/ the APOSTLES receiving that promise. But that leaves you nowhere.

ORTHODOX: But if you reject these how do you know the Church is led into the truth on the canon?
RHOLOGY: Already gone over that.

ORTHODOX: All you have left is a subtle argument about what you think Jesus probably assumed in the 1st century that he assumed his listeners understood the canon.
RHOLOGY: Then it should be easy to refute. I've been waiting for quite some time - it's not like that hasn't been a linchpin of my argumentation on this topic since the beginning.

ORTHODOX: But Jesus and the apostles accepted and assumed their listeners knew about a number of oral traditions (e.g. 1Cor 10:1)
RHOLOGY: 1 Cor 10:1 Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

I must have missed the "oral traditions" implied in that psg. Forgive me and try harder next time.
But in response to that claim made using, say, 2 Thess 2:15 or 2 Thess 3:6, the standard refutations apply.

1) Paul has just told us what traditions he refers to - the Gospel and his teachings in his letters (1 & 2 Thess, which are WRITTEN).
2) 2 Thess 3:6 explicitly refers back to what traditions he means. They are contained in this letter.
3) You have to assume w/o any evidence that the traditions in word of mouth or in letter are different.
4) You forget that Jesus Christ explicitly tells us how to test every tradition in Mark 7:1-13 and Matthew 15.
5) These serve as only one example of Paul telling someone to refer to traditions, but in at least two other instances he commended people to the Scripture w/ no mention of "traditions". Ie, Acts 20:32, 2 Tim 3:15-4:2.
etc.

ORTHODOX: also the Jews had many many many non-biblical traditions that Jesus never commented on adversely, and in fact seem to have followed themselves.
RHOLOGY: And they had many that He criticised.
And He told them how to test them. Which you don't do.
And I've never claimed that all tradition must be abandoned. EO-dox are clearly fond of that strawman.

ORTHODOX: You say you don't care, but then you can't be telling us we need to look to God's people for the canon unless you have investigated ALL groups who claim to be God's people.
RHOLOGY: Why would I have to do that?
Seems to me like YOU'D have to do that to establish which VISIBLE church is the right one.
And wouldn't you have had to do that when you were looking for which infallible interpreter to which to submit yourself?
And my paradigm is yet subtler, perhaps, than you may think. And that doesn't bother me.
You asked me HOW God led His people. I don't know, I just know He did. That is not my only argument for holding to the Canon I do; it's just one.

ORTHODOX: there are groups out there with both smaller and larger canons, and you'd better have a pretty good argument for why you are God's people and they aren't
RHOLOGY: Wait, that's MY question to YOU.
And I know the people of God in general b/c the Scripture gives guidelines.
It's the group that emerged to believe in what Scripture taught over the course of time, as opposed to Arians, Sabellians, etc.
So, how do you know EOC is the right one? If you refer to "Tradition," please include how you know which tradition is Tradition.


ORTHODOX: You also claim to need to know where the church is to know the bible...Now how is it "worse" to ask a visible church about the bible vs an invisible one?
RHOLOGY: Wrong. Your question is based on a false premise.

ORTHODOX: the Bible doesn't support your paradigm of sola scriptura either.
RHOLOGY: Sure it doesn't. You could start refuting it by providing substantive responses to my 5 points above related to 2 Thess.

ORTHODOX: Did you or did you not claim above that God's people can "name" what is and what is not scripture?
RHOLOGY: I did not. My position is that God's people discover it, which is a far cry from the EO position when it is actually worked out.

ORTHODOX: Are you subserviant to scripture?
RHOLOGY: Yes, that is one of the things that sets us apart.

ORTHODOX: We aren't told about this "simple" approach to history.
RHOLOGY: OK. It's easily derived from the rest of my comments.

ORTHODOX: I believe the canon listed at the Jerusalem synod, and which has been used for, I don't know, at least a thousand years, is the finalised canon
RHOLOGY: But other EO-dox disagree w/ you. So why should I accept YOUR Canon and not other EO-dox' Canon?

ORTHODOX: the one or two dissenting voices that have been quoted don't change that.
RHOLOGY: The Jerusalem Council was not Œcumenical for one thing, so why should I see it as The Final Answer? B/c you say so?
Why don't dissenting voices make a difference? They make a difference to ME. They show me that y'all are not as unified as you claim to be, and they show me that it all --gasp!-- comes down to who has better arguments. But that's MY position, not yours. So you're acting like a Protestant and dissing me for acting like a Protestant at the same time. It's interesting to watch.

ORTHODOX: we can always discuss Martin Luther and his attitude to James, Revelation and others.
RHOLOGY: 1) As if Martin Luther is relevant.
2) As if Martin Luther is my final authority.
3) As if he really did remove them from the Canon.

ORTHODOX: how would you be ahead anyway since you have no final canon? RC Sproul says we have a fallible collection of infallible books. A fallible collection is hardly a "final canon".
RHOLOGY: That's a strange definition of "fallible". And RC Sproul would not regard the Canon as "open" unlike the EOC, some charismatics, and liberal Protestants. That's illustrious company.

ORTHODOX: Not even "among" the people of God? Wow, that's a tough statement. Where is the proof? What is the basis?
RHOLOGY: See who is in the people of God above.

ORTHODOX: And have you spent any time among us?
RHOLOGY: Yes, ask David Bryan.

ORTHODOX: I would think that to make such an extreme statement ought to require you to be speaking from some knowledge.
RHOLOGY: No, it requires simply analysing your theological position and comparing it to the Scr's position on who God's people are.

ORTHODOX: I'd be curious to know if the early church fathers who are very clearly the same as EO, are also "not the people of God". People like say, John Chrysostom, or Athanasius.
RHOLOGY: Their beliefs are not directly in line w/ modern EOC.

ORTHODOX: so how many years exactly are we talking about?
RHOLOGY: ~300-400 apparently did the trick. In your paradigm, you still don't know the Canon, so the idea of you throwing stones is humorous.

ORTHODOX: Must be the protestants at 1600 years and counting?
RHOLOGY: No.
And even if it were, that's faster than both Rome and EOC. There's no "and counting" about it - the Canon is closed.

ORTHODOX: You gave us some vague criteria, that could pretty much apply to Mormons and who knows who else.
RHOLOGY: OK, I've clarified in this post, and Mormons are most certainly not included.

ORTHODOX: you don't know exactly with what precision the peoplf of God knew the canon.
RHOLOGY: Correct. I know how it WASN'T, though. It WASN'T the paradigm that you would impose on the knowledge of the NT.

ORTHODOX: What you are claiming here is, as far as history tells us, pure fantasy.
RHOLOGY: Ah, that must be why nobody knew the Canon in Jesus' time. Oh, wait...

ORTHODOX: RE: Rhology's alternative interps of Moses' seat, (1) is problematic since Jesus uses it as a basis for saying TO obey the Pharasees.(2) as far as I've been able to tell is pure protestant fantasy, and has no basis in history.
RHOLOGY: 1) Not if He was being sarcastic. You just begged the question.
2) It wouldn't be the 1st time or even the 51st time you've been wrong.

ORTHODOX: Protestants emphasis the so-thought anti-tradition passages over the pro-tradition passages, because it fits their world view, steeped in the facts surrounding Martin Luther, indulgences etc.
RHOLOGY: Bald assertion absent argument. I take it all and recognise that tradition is fine and good IF it conforms to the Scripture's judgment. You make Tradition equal to Scripture and thus incur Jesus' explicit judgment.

ORTHODOX: Orthodoxy requires no "teaching authority" (aka magisterium) to make pronouncement on theological truths such as the canon.
RHOLOGY: Oh, OK, so all the hoopla you've made about me not having a Visible People of God to point to who would have been always guided into all truth is just my imagination? You never said or meant any of that?

ORTHODOX: a) Josephus does NOT list the canon. THERE IS NO LIST.
RHOLOGY: He says "22 books" just like other Jewish sources listed 22 books. The 22 in the Prot OT Canon.

ORTHODOX: b) The oldest copy of the Hebrew scriptures is from something like 1000 AD, so if we're comparing apples to apples, this doesn't help you.
RHOLOGY: The Masoretic Text is not my source for the Jewish OT Canon.

ORTHODOX: c) Josephus seems to transitioni seamlessly from his account of Hebrew canon history to deuterocanonical history.
RHOLOGY: And yet there are only 22 laid up in the temple.

ORTHODOX: d) Why anyone ought to care overly, (let alone let it override dozens of Christian souces) about one person in one sect of post Christian post temple Judaism with a polemical agenda is beyond me anyway.
RHOLOGY: Then why bother refuting it?
Or maybe you could go to university and become an archæologist and find some better evidence. Hopefully once you find more evidence that I'm right, you'd convert, but you've never seemed to me to be a person who is very open to truth.

ORTHODOX: e) This "historical argumentation" won't lead you to an exact Jewish canon. THERE IS NO LIST.
RHOLOGY: There is a list in writings other than Josephus'.
And I challenge you to provide a Jewish Canon that fits the one you like. Not EOC's, b/c EOC doesn't have one. But YOURS. This discussion is basically Protestants against Orthodox the lone EO poster on my blog. I wonder if it's lonely being a proto-Protestant in the EOC?
Funny thing is, other EO-dox have always chided me for believing there were "proto-" or "crypto-"Protestants in earlier periods of church history. And I have living proof of that right here on my own blog!

Lucian said...

Alan,

long time, no see. Good to have You back, man! :)

[1]. The O.T. Ecclesia wasn't infallible. But they've infallibly understood the limits of the canon. -- is this what You're tryin' to say ? [If so, then please elaborate -- I fail to grasp the point 'as is'. If NOT, then please correct me].

[2]. It's bad to trust the Pharisees and Sadducees (mainly because they rejected Jesus, and stuff !!!), and because they were fallible also. Except, of course, when they talk about the canon. Then they were not. -- elaborate. [I sincerely mean no "pun" by this -- I'm just unable understand Your logic 'as is'].

[3]. Loaded question: Why do You trust the canon of the Pharisees and Sadducees who rejected Jesus? [my point: when the question of the canon is brought up they cease to mean to You those "who rejected Jesus", and You don't add these words to the sintagm >Pharisees and Sadducees< anymore]. -- either I'm not gettin' somethin', or ...

-----
For your point to hold any water against my position, however, ...

First of all, what's my point ??? (If I've made any "point", it was that about the Sadducees' and Essenes' diverging canon...)

[4]. Secondly, the "people of God" ("congregetion" in the OT of the KJV; "ekklesia" in the LXX) had "such authority" -- an easy-to-see point, which You've flatly denied. You've made a mistake, Alan. (Everybody does). You refuse to believe simple historical facts about the BC Jewish Canon. You're also unaware of the fact that Sadducees and Pharisees EXISTED in 50 BC. I'm not the one having problems in following logic here -- but it's just that what You say doesn't make any sense to me *SO FAR*. (Does it to You?). -- maybr You want to rephrase somethin'?

-----
ALAN,
[5].
the "white question" was this : HOW DID THE JEW IN 50 B.C. ***KNEW*** THAT _ISAIAH_ AND _CHRONICLES_ WAS IN -- and the ***OBVIOUS*** answer is that ***THE JEWS WERE DIVIDED ON THE ISSUE*** OF *BOTH* BOOKS.

The 'white question' is like this: "WHY DO BIRDS CHASE SUBMARINES?". -- it just doesn't make any sense ... AT ALL!

[6]. And WHY ON EARTH do you feel "OBLIGATED" to defend an issue *COMPLETELY and TOTALLY* _IRRELEVANT_ to your faith? (does Protestantism "stand or fail" if the Sadducees rejected the Prophets??? -- to my knowledge, it doesn't). So why all the fuss?

It's obvious the gut who asked the "white" question commited a huge "dodo", and now You're tryin' to make him "scott-clean" ... WHY ?

[7]. If You aren't aware of EASY-to-find-out and well-known info's about Judaism, Christianity, etc. then it's *You* who needs to "take a break, take a Kit-Kat", and ... iddunno ... READ MORE ???

the king, the high priests, or the Sanhedrin (or some combination thereof) would have had to be infallible

[8]. The Priests and Pharisees DID follow Christ !!! (Acts 6:7) ... a great many, even! -- BUT my point was that TOGETHER, the ***entire*** Body, is the one to whom this promise was given -- NOT individual members [2 Peter 1:20], so it's true that 'all are sinners', AND -in the same time- that 'He chose unto Himself a Church which to present blameless, without any spot or wrinkle, etc'.

"We ALL are the BODY of Christ and members each" ... and "the Church is the BODY of Christ" ... and "the BRIDE" of Him also ... [just like "Adam knew his *WIFE* and they became *ONE BODY*", likewise did "the last Adam"] ... and it is to THIS Church-Body that he promissed the gates of HELL HIMSELF will NOT --and I repeat: "NOT"-- prevail against

The Church AS A WHOLE *cannot* err PRECISELY BECAUSE She is NOT alone; ever! God promisswed He will NEVER forsake Her; and because IT IS CHRIST Who is Her Head (and She is His Bride and Body) and Her Spirit is The Holy Spirit. There is no SOLA Eccelsia: Just as there is NO SOLA PATER (because "whoever so says, that >there was a time when He was not, let him be anathema<").

Lucian said...

... an please forgive me my previous indulgence in verbal ejaculation, a la >Orthodox<. :) -- It's just that I'm not into reading (OR writing) entire novels ... that's all.

My last point was 'bout Arians and about Dan Brown's worse fear. ;)

Pharisees also followed our Redeemer: Gamaliel, Saul of Tarsus, Joseph, Nicodemus, etc.

And Presbyters were *exactly* what the Apostles chose to lead the Church -- local Councils of Presbyters, presided by a Bishop.

And the Church is the New Israel. (guess what, the Ekklesia never went away: that's what Romans 11 is all about, remember?).

Lucian said...

Oh, yeah, and ...

Alan, :D

HOW exactly do You 'know' they had it right with the canon -- since they didn't have it right with all that other stuff (customs and unwritten traditions, rejectin' Jesus, etc).

BTW, the Karaites aren't DEAD yet ... so: HOW do You 'know' that THEIR canon is not the 'right' one?

You see, Alan? These meddlin' little Sadducees aren't quite dead yet ... so: HOW do You 'know' that it's the Jewish-Orthodox canon You have to abide to?

I mean, the Karaites are, like, way 'cooler' than the Orthodox Jews, right? :) -- they don't have all that man-made traditions, Corban rules, dietary laws, and stuff. It's JUST the Torah for them ... nothing wrong with that, right? :D

Oh, and ... are You gonna tell me the Samaritans are lackin' some Jewish-pedigree? :) Guess *YOUR* canon is, like, WAY more "Jewish" than *theirs*, huh? :D

-----
Oh, how I've missed You, man! :) -- keepin' all this stuff bottled up inside me, just waitin' to find the right time to 'explode' :) ...

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: I'm trying.
In my position: the people of God (ie, the church) are not infallible
In your position: the people of God (ie, the church) are infallible

ORTHODOX: You told us that God infallibly led his people to the right canon. That's exactly what we believe, and trying to make a difference where there is none is nonsense.

RHOLOGY: And the Jewish Canon is all I care about for the Old Testament, since there weren't any Christians around at that time.

At what time? You say above that 400 years is your cut off time limit for resolving canonical problems. But the entire apocrypha was written in that time before Christ. You don't tell us any reason why we should believe that Christ believed that his listeners had resolved the problem of these books. They are within your cut off time.

>ORTHODOX: I'd love to see how you can prove that God's people were not led into the truth on other issues.
RHOLOGY: I would never argue that, and it shows that you are still not following me 100%.
I deny that the Church has been rendered infallible in itself and can never make a mistake.
That doesn't change the fact that God steps in from time to time to lead His church to discover the truth; about the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, sola fide, for example.

ORTHODOX:
1) We don't say the church is infallible "in itself". It is infallible because of the leading of the Spirit.

2) What is the point in believing God steps in to guide the church when you can't even begin to know when that occurs, other than when someone agrees with you?

3) You haven't answered the question how you prove the Church wasn't led into the truth on all issues.

>RHOLOGY: I'm familiar w/ the APOSTLES receiving
>that promise. But that leaves you nowhere.

Read your bible. It says he was talking to his *disciples*. If the inspired apostle John wanted it restricted to the Twelve, he could have said that. But in John's gospel, "disciples" doesn't mean just the Twelve. Look at Jn 6:66 "After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him." Clearly that isn't the twelve.

In point of fact you have to keep adding to your bible to support your theology.

>ORTHODOX: All you have left is a subtle argument about what you think Jesus probably assumed in the 1st century that he assumed his listeners understood the canon.
RHOLOGY: Then it should be easy to refute. I've been waiting for quite some time - it's not like that hasn't been a linchpin of my argumentation on this topic since the beginning.

ORTHODOX: What is there to refute? Your claim is nowhere found in scripture. That Jesus might assume of his listeners understand Genesis to be scripture, does not prove that Jesus believes all his listeners know that Esther is scripture, or that the canon is closed, or that his listeners know the exact boundaries of scripture. You are making the most blatent logical fallacy if you think this proves a closed and known canon at this time.

Furthermore, if we are going say that reference assumes the audience knows about canonicity, what do we say about all the references to the deuterocanon? You will have to refute them all one by one. Here is a list for you to get started on:

http://st-takla.org/pub_Deuterocanon/Deuterocanon-Apocrypha_El-Asfar_El-Kanoneya_El-Tanya__0-index.html

RHOLOGY: 1 Cor 10:1 Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
I must have missed the "oral traditions" implied in that psg. Forgive me and try harder next time.

ORTHODOX: I'm referring to "For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ."

That a rock followed the Jewish people in the desert is one of their traditions. It is not in scripture.

Another example is 2 Tim. 3:1-8 (the names of the magicians are never mentioned in Scripture)

RHOLOGY: But in response to that claim made using, say, 2 Thess 2:15 or 2 Thess 3:6, the standard refutations apply.

ORTHODOX: Let's look at this list and see how you have to insert yourself into the text, rather than just believing what it says.

RHOLOGY: 1) Paul has just told us what traditions he refers to - the Gospel and his teachings in his letters (1 & 2 Thess, which are WRITTEN).

ORTHODOX: He doesn't say written, he says written AND oral. He doesn't restrict his exhortation to any subset of the teachings. This is you inserting your own beliefs into the text.

RHOLOGY: 2) 2 Thess 3:6 explicitly refers back to what traditions he means. They are contained in this letter.

ORTHODOX: Nowhere does 2Th 3:6 define the extent of Paul's traditions, nor does it say anything remotely like all his traditions being in this letter. If he had it would contradict his previous exhortation to hold to the oral. All it says is that one of his traditions was not to be idle. Pure eisegesis on your part.

RHOLOGY: 3) You have to assume w/o any evidence that the traditions in word of mouth or in letter are different.

ORTHODOX: Wrong. You don't have to a-priori assume whether they are the same or not the same. All you are called to do is OBEY.

>4) You forget that Jesus Christ explicitly tells us
>how to test every tradition in Mark 7:1-13 and
>Matthew 15.

1) There is no mention of testing "every" tradition. He is testing an ungodly tradition. Are you going to test the tradition of the canon in the same fashion?

2) Go ahead and test the Holy Tradition against scripture if you want. But if you come back and say you've found a problem it will be as credible as if someone finds a conflict between Paul and James, or the Gospels and Revelation, or the OT and NT. The first port of call if checking if there is a resolution to the problem before jumping to wild conclusions.

RHOLOGY: 5) These serve as only one example of Paul telling someone to refer to traditions, but in at least two other instances he commended people to the Scripture w/ no mention of "traditions". Ie, Acts 20:32, 2 Tim 3:15-4:2.
etc.

ORTHODOX: No mention of scripture at Acts 20:32. Paul commends people to scripture? So what? In other places he commends people to obey the elders with no mention of scripture. Is that the end of the story, one verse?

Your little 5 point list really had no substance at all.

>ORTHODOX: also the Jews had many many many non-biblical traditions that Jesus never commented on adversely, and in fact seem to have followed themselves.
RHOLOGY: And they had many that He criticised.
And He told them how to test them. Which you don't do.

ORTHODOX: The Church has tested them. You seem to think that we sit around making up traditions, not worrying what God says. In fact all our traditions have been tested under the most stringent conditions of the elders and people of God through the centuries examining everything in light of God's word. It's a much higher standard of test than you and your bible under a tree.

>ORTHODOX: You say you don't care, but then you can't be telling us we need to look to God's people for the canon unless you have investigated ALL groups who claim to be God's people.
RHOLOGY: Why would I have to do that?
Seems to me like YOU'D have to do that to establish which VISIBLE church is the right one.

ORTHODOX: To some extent I have to do that. But since a visible church implies continuity which the gates of hell do not prevail against, there aren't many options. Furthermore, as someone believing the traditions, I know that the early church believed in the catholic faith. It's not going to be some obscure group somewhere, it's going to be ALL God's people united as one.

But why don't YOU have to look everywhere? What if there is some group that is REALLY obeying and REALLY believing more of scripture than you? And how do you even know for sure that you are really believing all of scripture before you know what the scripture is, having checked out all groups?

RHOLOGY: And I've never claimed that all tradition must be abandoned. EO-dox are clearly fond of that strawman.

ORTHODOX: Did your church hold to all the traditions that aren't clearly contradicted by scripture when it split off? Yes or no. You are presenting a straw man because you don't hold to any traditions except the ones you feel like holding to.

RHOLOGY: It's the group that emerged to believe in what Scripture taught over the course of time, as opposed to Arians, Sabellians, etc.

ORTHODOX: What group? Point to the earliest person of group that you consider believed everything scripture scripture taught. Saying it is not Arians doesn't help us.

RHOLOGY: So, how do you know EOC is the right one? If you refer to "Tradition," please include how you know which tradition is Tradition.

ORTHODOX: How do you know what scripture is scripture? You say you know by looking to the group that believed scripture. How can you be any more or less sure than me when you are using the same criteria?

I look to a catholic consensus in the early church, and if there is a split I look to who broke with tradition.

>ORTHODOX: Did you or did you not claim above that God's people can "name" what is and what is not scripture?
RHOLOGY: I did not. My position is that God's people discover it, which is a far cry from the EO position when it is actually worked out.

ORTHODOX: You still won't tell us what the difference is. If God's people "discover" the canon, then surely they can "name" what it is? That is basic common sense. Can you name things that you've discovered?

>ORTHODOX: Are you subserviant to scripture?
RHOLOGY: Yes, that is one of the things that sets us apart.

ORTHODOX: You don't tell us how you come to this conclusion.

>ORTHODOX: We aren't told about this "simple" approach to history.
RHOLOGY: OK. It's easily derived from the rest of my comments.

Ahh, inserting your own theology into history. I wonder if there is a word for that. Eisehistory perhaps.

RHOLOGY: The Jerusalem Council was not Œcumenical for one thing, so why should I see it as The Final Answer? B/c you say so?

ORTHODOX: Œcumenical is merely a word that is often tied up with the Roman/Byzantine empire. Any council that is accepted by the Church is just as authoritative as a council with the label Œcumenical. For any individual Orthodox late after the fact to try and dispute the findings of the council, they would have to show that the council was not accepted. I see no evidence of that and thus it is merely disobedient and schismatic to claim differently. Disobedient people in the church is nothing new.

>they show me that it all --gasp!-- comes down to
>who has better arguments. But that's MY position,
>not yours. So you're acting like a Protestant and
>dissing me for acting like a Protestant at the same
>time. It's interesting to watch.

No it's not just down to who has better arguments. And furthermore, just like the church in the early centuries discussing the canon, a "better argument" is not just about some appeal to vague fragments of surviving ancient history, it is also about the current practices in the Churches of God.

>ORTHODOX: Final canon? RC Sproul says we have a fallible collection of infallible books. A fallible collection is hardly a "final canon".
RHOLOGY: That's a strange definition of "fallible".

ORTHODOX: What is strange about it? You tell me how a list that could be wrong can be considered final.

RHOLOGY: And RC Sproul would not regard the Canon as "open" unlike the EOC, some charismatics, and liberal Protestants. That's illustrious company.

ORTHODOX: Firstly, I fail to see how you can have a closed yet potentially incorrect canon. Does this mean if better evidence comes along you will stick with a knowingly wrong canon? I find your definition of closed as bizarre. Secondly, I fail to see how you believe EOC has an open canon.

>ORTHODOX: Not even "among" the people of God? Wow, that's a tough statement. Where is the proof? What is the basis?
RHOLOGY: See who is in the people of God above.

ORTHODOX: You mean who "believes" scripture? Pray tell what scriptures I don't believe. And do you throw everyone out of the true church who believes something different to you?

>ORTHODOX: And have you spent any time among us?
RHOLOGY: Yes, ask David Bryan.

ORTHODOX: I'm not asking him, I'm asking you.

>ORTHODOX: I would think that to make such an extreme statement ought to require you to be speaking from some knowledge.
RHOLOGY: No, it requires simply analysing your theological position and comparing it to the Scr's position on who God's people are.

ORTHODOX: So God's people are purely discerned by theological position? Where in the bible do you find that?

>ORTHODOX: I'd be curious to know if the early church fathers who are very clearly the same as EO, are also "not the people of God". People like say, John Chrysostom, or Athanasius.
RHOLOGY: Their beliefs are not directly in line w/ modern EOC.

ORTHODOX: Oh do tell. PLEASE PLEASE tell, how Chrysostom or Athanasius are substantially different to modern EOC. This will be very interesting if you bother to provide more than a sound bite.

>ORTHODOX: so how many years exactly are we talking about?
RHOLOGY: ~300-400 apparently did the trick. In your paradigm, you still don't know the Canon, so the idea of you throwing stones is humorous.

Really. For our edification, and to keep you honest, please tell us the earliest list of 66 books that you have. And don't forget, they have to conform to your definition of "believer" which excludes EOC. I would be more specific, except you are too scared to tell us why EOC are not believers.

>ORTHODOX: you don't know exactly with what precision the peoplf of God knew the canon.
RHOLOGY: Correct. I know how it WASN'T, though. It WASN'T the paradigm that you would impose on the knowledge of the NT.

But you won't tell us the difference.

>ORTHODOX: What you are claiming here is, as far as history tells us, pure fantasy.
RHOLOGY: Ah, that must be why nobody knew the Canon in Jesus' time. Oh, wait...

Give us the list of 39 books from Jesus' time. Give us the proof that ANYBODY knew Esther was scripture from Jesus' time.

>ORTHODOX: RE: Rhology's alternative interps of Moses' seat, (1) is problematic since Jesus uses it as a basis for saying TO obey the Pharasees.(2) as far as I've been able to tell is pure protestant fantasy, and has no basis in history.
RHOLOGY: 1) Not if He was being sarcastic. You just begged the question.

“The scribes and the Pharisees vsit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do."

Show us the scholars that claim Jesus was really telling them not to observe what they tell you.

RHOLOGY: 2) It wouldn't be the 1st time or even the 51st time you've been wrong.

ORTHODOX: Nothing in this link of substance. Just more propagation of the protestant fantasy about Moses' seat.

RHOLOGY: You make Tradition equal to Scripture and thus incur Jesus' explicit judgment.

ORTHODOX: Scripture IS Tradition. Both in its lexical definition of Tradition and also according to the apostle Paul in 2 Th. The difference is only between written and oral Traditions that our dispute lies.

>ORTHODOX: Orthodoxy requires no "teaching authority" (aka magisterium) to make pronouncement on theological truths such as the canon.
RHOLOGY: Oh, OK, so all the hoopla you've made about me not having a Visible People of God to point to who would have been always guided into all truth is just my imagination? You never said or meant any of that?

ORTHODOX: At what point did you become confused assuming that "people of God" and "magisterium" are equivalent?

>ORTHODOX: a) Josephus does NOT list the canon. THERE IS NO LIST.
RHOLOGY: He says "22 books" just like other Jewish sources listed 22 books. The 22 in the Prot OT Canon.

Last I checked there were 39 books in the Prot OT canon. Who told you they are the same?

And not all Jewish sources refer to 22 books. Some list other numbers.

As I've pointed out repeatedly, when later on in history we find people trying to clarify exactly which books make up the 22, they all differ.

THERE IS NO LIST.

>ORTHODOX: b) The oldest copy of the Hebrew scriptures is from something like 1000 AD, so if we're comparing apples to apples, this doesn't help you.
RHOLOGY: The Masoretic Text is not my source for the Jewish OT Canon.

ORTHODOX: Yes it is, whether you realise it or not. All your sources for your 39 book canon trace back to that particular sect of Judaism related to the Masoretes.

>ORTHODOX: c) Josephus seems to transitioni seamlessly from his account of Hebrew canon history to deuterocanonical history.
RHOLOGY: And yet there are only 22 laid up in the temple.

ORTHODOX: And yet you have 39 in your bible, naughty boy.

RHOLOGY: Then why bother refuting it?
Or maybe you could go to university and become an archæologist and find some better evidence. Hopefully once you find more evidence that I'm right, you'd convert, but you've never seemed to me to be a person who is very open to truth.

ORTHODOXY: You seem to continually think that the truth is to be found in some archæological dig. The people of God have never worked that way. God is active in his Church today, he doesn't wait for someone to go tramping through archæology to get the truth.

RHOLOGY: There is a list in writings other than Josephus'.

ORTHODOX: Which ALL DIFFER!

RHOLOGY: And I challenge you to provide a Jewish Canon that fits the one you like.

ORTHODOX: I can't, nobody can do that because THERE IS NO LIST. You need to look to the living Church.

RHOLOGY: Funny thing is, other EO-dox have always chided me for believing there were "proto-" or "crypto-"Protestants in earlier periods of church history. And I have living proof of that right here on my own blog!

ORTHODOX: I have no idea what you're on about.

Rhology said...

My point in all this is that:

The OT people of God knew the Canon.
They did not require an infallible interpreter to know.
But EOC tells me that I can't know the Canon of the NT w/o them as infallible interpreter.
I reply that I have the same basis of knowing the Canon as any OT believer.

Keep that in mind as I go thru these comments; I'm not gonna do a point by point b/c I just wrote another blogpost and I'm a bit tired.

If I don't comment on an opposing pt, it's b/c I consider it responded-to by this summary or by previous things I've said.

I trust the Canon of the Jews as a *whole*, not that of the "Pharisees and Sadducees". You have no evidence that those two groups had diff Canons anyway.

The gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church - granted. Infallibility is where?
The church will never be alone - granted. Infallibility is where?
And why do you use the language of "infallibility" while Orthodox says I shouldn't?

I've never heard of Kara-ites or whatever. JUST the Torah is no good - the entire OT is the right Canon.

ORTHODOX: At what time?
RHOLOGY: While the OT was being compiled.

ORTHODOX: You say above that 400 years is your cut off time limit for resolving canonical problems.
RHOLOGY: No I didn't. And that's not the only reason I reject the DeuteroCanonicals as canonical.
But maybe you could tell me why I *should* accept them.
And then you can tell me how YOU know that since you don't have an EOC Canon of Scripture. Thus, tell me why they're canonical while you don't have a Canon. It'll be tough but maybe you can do it.

ORTHODOX: What is the point in believing God steps in to guide the church when you can't even begin to know when that occurs, other than when someone agrees with you?
RHOLOGY: Not agrees w/ ME. Agrees w/ the Scripture.

ORTHODOX: You haven't answered the question how you prove the Church wasn't led into the truth on all issues.
RHOLOGY: This discussion is one proof thereof.
EOC's myriad of unbiblical positions is proof enough, however. Salvation by faith+works, prayer to the dead, veneration of the dead and angels, continually subjecting the Word of God to manmade traditions, etc.

ORTHODOX: It says he was talking to his *disciples*.
RHOLOGY: that promise was given in John 14-15, at the Last Supper. You have to prove somehow that it applies to more than the 12 (who were the only ones present).

ORTHODOX: Your claim is nowhere found in scripture. That Jesus might assume of his listeners understand Genesis to be scripture, does not prove that Jesus believes all his listeners know that Esther is scripture
RHOLOGY: The numerous references to "the Law and the Prophets" and the profuse quoting of the OT and the absence of any questioning of the Canon among other points leave little doubt in my mind.

ORTHODOX: refernces to the DeuteroCanon
RHOLOGY: Skimmed 'em, heard that before. Most are vague allusions, and that doesn't bother me - other parts of Scr directly quote pagan writers and pseudepigraphal writings.
The "thus saith the Lord"s are missing, though. Never spoken of as Scripture. Never referred to as "God speaking" like the OT is in Matt 22, never quoted as authoritative.

ORTHODOX: 1 Cor 10:1
RHOLOGY: Oh OK.

ORTHODOX: (2 thess 2:15) He doesn't say written, he says written AND oral.
RHOLOGY: Yes, and you have to assume that the oral teaching is substantively different than the written.

ORTHODOX: Nowhere does 2Th 3:6 define the extent of Paul's traditions, nor does it say anything remotely like all his traditions being in this letter.
RHOLOGY: Read it and ask yourself how they would know how to know when a brother is "walk(ing) irresponsibly." He defines it in the letter itself.

ORTHODOX: If he had it would contradict his previous exhortation to hold to the oral.
RHOLOGY: Not if I refuse to assume things w/o evidence in desperation just to support my own position. Not if the written and oral teachings are identical. Not if the oral teaching is the Gospel and growing in the faith.

ORTHODOX: There is no mention of testing "every" tradition (in Mark 7)
RHOLOGY: Ah, OK. We'll just NOT test some traditions by what God has already said. How foolish!

ORTHODOX: He is testing an ungodly tradition. Are you going to test the tradition of the canon in the same fashion?
RHOLOGY: But how do you know it's ungodly?
Hmm, this tradition is ungodly. I think I'll test it by Scripture. Huh, whaddayaknow? It's ungodly!

That's not very good reasoning. Are you listening to yourself? We know they're ungodly **BY** testing it. By Scripture.

ORTHODOX: But if you come back and say you've found a problem it will be as credible as if someone finds a conflict between Paul and James, or the Gospels and Revelation, or the OT and NT.
RHOLOGY: Except as I've just demonstrated, the EOC Trad conflicts w/ itself.
I deny that Scripture contradicts itself. You need to prove that. Make sure you explain how God could be so stupid and forgetful as to write down two contradictory statements.

ORTHODOX: No mention of scripture at Acts 20:32.
RHOLOGY: "The Word of His grace."

ORTHODOX: In other places he commends people to obey the elders with no mention of scripture. Is that the end of the story, one verse?
RHOLOGY: This is very evocative of your entire attitude. "Just one verse?" you ask mockingly.
Yes, Orthodox, just one verse. Just one thing God has said is quite enough for me. How about you?
Besides, again, I don't bring the wrong assumptions to the table - just b/c Paul says to obey the elders in other places doesn't mean the elders aren't submissive before Scr. Take BOTH of the psgs and harmonise them. You're very smart - apply your mind to understanding and harmonising God's Word rather than tearing it down and you can go far.

ORTHODOX: You seem to think that we sit around making up traditions, not worrying what God says.
RHOLOGY: I don't think that. I think y'all got lazy and let evil creep in and never challenged it. It's not like my own SoBap Convention is immune to it. I mean, even w/ a pillar of cloud and of fire the ancient Hebrews were also carrying idols along w/ them. Humanity's capacity for evil is amazing.

ORTHODOX: It's a much higher standard of test than you and your bible under a tree.
RHOLOGY: As if that's my standard.

ORTHODOX: But since a visible church implies continuity which the gates of hell do not prevail against, there aren't many options.
RHOLOGY: In point of fact, there are none.

ORTHODOX: What if there is some group that is REALLY obeying and REALLY believing more of scripture than you?
RHOLOGY: I haven't found them. I *DO* know it's not EOC.

ORTHODOX: Did your church hold to all the traditions that aren't clearly contradicted by scripture when it split off?
RHOLOGY: Could you reformulate your question? I don't understand.

ORTHODOX: Point to the earliest person of group that you consider believed everything scripture scripture taught.
RHOLOGY: There is no such person. I was referring to the group of people who emerged from the Arian controversy holding to the Deity of Christ.

ORTHODOX: I look to a catholic consensus in the early church, and if there is a split I look to who broke with tradition.
RHOLOGY: Except the modern EOC defines what is "Tradition" for you. It's a useless test.

ORTHODOX: If God's people "discover" the canon, then surely they can "name" what it is?
RHOLOGY: It's the difference between discovering and determining.

ORTHODOX: You don't tell us how you come to this conclusion.
RHOLOGY: Translation: That's just your interpretation! Please.

ORTHODOX: Any council that is accepted by the Church is just as authoritative as a council with the label Œcumenical.
RHOLOGY: Translation: Yes, you're right - Œcumenical Councils are only known after the fact and we don't know what constitutes one. That doesn't inspire confidence.

ORTHODOX: You tell me how a list that could be wrong can be considered final.
RHOLOGY: God is no longer revealing Scripture, that's how.

ORTHODOX: I fail to see how you can have a closed yet potentially incorrect canon.
RHOLOGY: "Fallible" does not mean "potentially incorrect." The "fallible" refers to the PEOPLE in question, not God's list of inspired books.

ORTHODOX: Secondly, I fail to see how you believe EOC has an open canon.
RHOLOGY: B/c you define Tradition in and out of existence and b/c you don't even know what your Canon is.

ORTHODOX: Pray tell what scriptures I don't believe.
RHOLOGY: Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28, and Romans 5:1.

ORTHODOX: I'm not asking him, I'm asking you.
RHOLOGY: And you've been answered.

ORTHODOX: So God's people are purely discerned by theological position? Where in the bible do you find that?
RHOLOGY: John 10.

ORTHODOX: For our edification, and to keep you honest, please tell us the earliest list of 66 books that you have.
RHOLOGY: Hmm, not sure. Athanasius' 39th Festal Letter gives the NT and the Jewish Canon gives us the OT.

ORTHODOX: I would be more specific, except you are too scared to tell us why EOC are not believers.
RHOLOGY: Galatians 1:8 is why. Oh, I'm so scared!!!!!!

ORTHODOX: Show us the scholars that claim Jesus was really telling them not to observe what they tell you.
RHOLOGY: Don't want to. If you dispute it, just challenge it exegetically.

ORTHODOX: Last I checked there were 39 books in the Prot OT canon. Who told you they are the same?
RHOLOGY: There are many ECFs who list the 22 books that way. Just read one o' thems.

ORTHODOX: And not all Jewish sources refer to 22 books. Some list other numbers.
RHOLOGY: But you have to prove that those other numbers actually contain different content.

ORTHODOX: 22 vs 39
RHOLOGY: How are you even talking about this w/ me? Do you seriously not know how the 39 came from the 22?

ORTHODOX: You need to look to the living Church.
RHOLOGY: Translation: The Church® knows. Trust us!

ORTHODOX: I have no idea what you're on about.
RHOLOGY: You were acting like a Protestant. That's what I mean.

Lucian said...

OK.

Lucian said...

The gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church - granted. Infallibility is where?

In the Church. (Was I not obvious enough in my words? Sorry.) You said You trust the "Jewish" canon. Good enough. So, the Jewish Diaspora isn't Jewish enough for You? Neither are the Samaritans? Are You by any chance imposing post-16th century European concepts like >nationality< on the BC Jewish mindset? Weren't the members of the Diaspora Jews by descent and religion? If so, what do You mean by "Jewish" canon?

Rhology said...

I mean where in the VERSE is infallibility?
I know you consider the church infallible. I'm wondering about your justification for that.

Lucian said...

The gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church.

If You want to argue about something please do so, but be more specific.

Rhology said...

You are making a positive claim, that the verse:

"the gates of Hell will not prevail against (the church)."

contains a confirmation that the church is infallible. Why do you conclude that, based on the *text*?

Lucian said...

faillible = something that fails.

Christ says [I don't want to pursue You agreeing with me on this; I'm just telling the OD interpretation of things]: the Church will not be conquered by anything, not even by the gates of hell himself; i.e., it will not fail.

We link this also with the verses telling of christ as the Head/Groom of the Body/Bride Church, whom [Paul says that] He keeps it pure, unspotted and undefiled: Ephesians 5:22-33, for instance, would be a good example.

Rhology said...

No, fallible = something that **could** err.

And even if it is "could fail", please explain how "failing" necessarily means that the gates of Hell prevailed.

Did the gates of Hell ever prevail against the people of God in the OT?

Eph 5- yes the church WILL INDEED be undefiled. B/c it will be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Your twisting Eph 5 around to move away from the idea of forensic justification results in a very spotted and very defiled EO Church.

Lucian said...

We interpret it to mean it won't err, as we understand Christ to have told us it wouldn't.

[If You want to say something, please say. As You can see, I haven't been holding any of my questions from You; ... so why should You spare me any of Yours?].

I mean, Your string of repeating the same question makes me think You have "something up Your sleeve" OR I'm not perhaps making myself clear enough OR that perhaps I didn't understand Your question, and You're repeating the question becasue I haven't answered it.

Rhology said...

It's true that I have kind of withheld questions in the past, but I'm not this time.

You are claiming infallibility for the EOC. I ask why. You respond w/ "gates of Hell won't prevail," "church is spotless," etc.

I'm just saying that I see the "gates of Hell" psg and don't see infallibility in there. I'm asking you to show me since you yourself have based your position on it. You need to prove the positive claim of infallibility.

Lucian said...

I think I can't do it better than I've already did. (As I said, I meant to present the Church's understanding, not to convince You of its truthfulness). If You don't consider the verse to mean that, then that's fine. (But I must confess then that I don't quite understand what exactly You take it to mean).

Rhology said...

I think the "gates of Hell won't prevail" psg means that the church will never be destroyed.

But it's the invisible church, not the visible one. The history of the people of the New Testament corresponds significantly to the "remnant" motif present in the OT. So there have always been believers in the world, some in the Visible Church, some not.

If we restrict the meaning of this psg to the Visible Church, then clearly the gates of Hell *DID* prevail since there was no Visible Ch group that had anythg close to salvific doctrine *taught officially* for quite some time in the Dark Ages.

Hopefully that helps.

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: But EOC tells me that I can't know the Canon of the NT w/o them as infallible interpreter.

ORTHODOX: You've been lecturing us that you know the canon by looking to what the people of God use. Well that makes the people of God YOUR infallible interpreter, since they are your source of knowledge that cannot be questioned.

RHOLOGY: I reply that I have the same basis of knowing the Canon as any OT believer.

ORTHODOX: i.e. the "T" word, that you don't want to utter.

RHOLOGY: I trust the Canon of the Jews as a *whole*, not that of the "Pharisees and Sadducees". You have no evidence that those two groups had diff Canons anyway.

ORTHODOX: Of course there is evidence they were different. You just choose to reject that evidence.

RHOLOGY: The gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church - granted. Infallibility is where?

ORTHODOX: You tell us that EOC is not a valid church. This raises grave questions about whether hell prevailed against the church, since you can't identify through history where the church was.

RHOLOGY: And why do you use the language of "infallibility" while Orthodox says I shouldn't?

ORTHODOX: ????

RHOLOGY: While the OT was being compiled.

ORTHODOX: But you assume a-priori that it wasn't still being compiled by the 1st century.

RHOLOGY: No I didn't. And that's not the only reason I reject the DeuteroCanonicals as canonical.

ORTHODOX: Really. It seems to me your entire thesis rests on the assumption that unlike throughout the rest of Jewish history, at this time the canon was finalized (yet nothing in scripture says so).

RHOLOGY: But maybe you could tell me why I *should* accept them.

ORTHODOX: The Traditional usage in the church. The exact same criteria the church used in determining the rest of the canon.

RHOLOGY: And then you can tell me how YOU know that since you don't have an EOC Canon of Scripture. Thus, tell me why they're canonical while you don't have a Canon. It'll be tough but maybe you can do it.

ORTHODOX: Again with the claims that EOC doesn't have a canon, which have been addressed already.

And again, you're hiding behind the bushes not telling us who was the first one to define your 66 book canon.

And again, not only do you have no canon, you CAN'T have a canon, all you can have is a fallible list of books, subject to revision at any time.

>ORTHODOX: What is the point in believing God steps in to guide the church when you can't even begin to know when that occurs, other than when someone agrees with you?
RHOLOGY: Not agrees w/ ME. Agrees w/ the Scripture.

ORTHODOX: What scripture? You won't tell us exactly what group in history you want to point to as defining your canon. Not the Tradition following, icon worshipping Chrysostom and Athanasius surely?

>ORTHODOX: You haven't answered the question how you prove the Church wasn't led into the truth on all issues.
RHOLOGY: This discussion is one proof thereof.
EOC's myriad of unbiblical positions is proof enough, however. Salvation by faith+works, prayer to the dead, veneration of the dead and angels, continually subjecting the Word of God to manmade traditions, etc.

ORTHODOX: Strangely more than a millennium of scripture reading bible believing Christians never noticed that they were "unbiblical". But oh no, you know better.

But hang on, those saint praying, tradition followers are the ones who defined your canon. Or were they? Maybe Luther 1600 years after the fact defines your canon?

>ORTHODOX: It says he was talking to his *disciples*.
RHOLOGY: that promise was given in John 14-15, at the Last Supper. You have to prove somehow that it applies to more than the 12 (who were the only ones present).

No, it's in John 16 which normally understood as his journey to Gethsemane.

RHOLOGY: The numerous references to "the Law and the Prophets" and the profuse quoting of the OT and the absence of any questioning of the Canon among other points leave little doubt in my mind.

ORTHODOX: As a Christian you know that the prophets referred to are not the end of prophesy! That there are prophets really means nothing we don't agree on. No questioning of the canon? All that proves is that Jesus chooses to quote passages that all accept and doesn't quote passages that his listeners would question. You know the common view that Jesus only quoted the law to Saducees.

>ORTHODOX: refernces to the DeuteroCanon
RHOLOGY: Skimmed 'em, heard that before. Most are vague allusions, and that doesn't bother me - other parts of Scr directly quote pagan writers and pseudepigraphal writings.
The "thus saith the Lord"s are missing, though. Never spoken of as Scripture. Never referred to as "God speaking" like the OT is in Matt 22, never quoted as authoritative.

Some of them look pretty authoritative to me. But if you want to limit it to "thus saith the Lord" etc etc, you are left with an OT canon of roughly 10 books. Good luck with that.

RHOLOGY: Yes, and you have to assume that the oral teaching is substantively different than the written.

ORTHODOX: Again, why should I assume? You are the only one assuming a-priory that everything oral was written. What I'm saying is just obey both without presuming up front whether they are or are not the same.

>ORTHODOX: Nowhere does 2Th 3:6 define the extent of Paul's traditions, nor does it say anything remotely like all his traditions being in this letter.
RHOLOGY: Read it and ask yourself how they would know how to know when a brother is "walk(ing) irresponsibly." He defines it in the letter itself.

ORTHODOX: He lists some instances of irresponsibility. Nowhere does he claim that all ways of walking irresponsibly are in the letter and not in his previous oral teaching.

RHOLOGY: Not if the oral teaching is the Gospel and growing in the faith.

ORTHODOX: Is idleness etc "the gospel"?

>ORTHODOX: There is no mention of testing "every" tradition (in Mark 7)
RHOLOGY: Ah, OK. We'll just NOT test some traditions by what God has already said. How foolish!

Really. But you won't answer the question will you? Will you test the canon in the same way? WIll you test the NT canon against the previous torah? Would you have tested Paul's oral traditions in the early church against the torah? Good luck justifying Paul's gospel against the torah.

You really need to admit that apostolic traditions cannot be tested against scripture. It's the other traditions you need to test.

RHOLOGY: Except as I've just demonstrated, the EOC Trad conflicts w/ itself.

ORTHODOX: [sigh] There is no conflict between the high position of scripture held by the fathers, and their also high regard for tradition, and current EO teaching. You've failed to show Chrysostom or Athanasius to be different to the EOC. You are left without a people of God to define your canon.

RHOLOGY: I deny that Scripture contradicts itself. You need to prove that. Make sure you explain how God could be so stupid and forgetful as to write down two contradictory statements.

ORTHODOX: And I deny that scriptural tradition contradicts non-scriptural tradition. Why would God tell us to follow both and then contradict himself?

>ORTHODOX: No mention of scripture at Acts 20:32.
RHOLOGY: "The Word of His grace."

Written or oral?

>ORTHODOX: In other places he commends people to obey the elders with no mention of scripture. Is that the end of the story, one verse?
RHOLOGY: This is very evocative of your entire attitude. "Just one verse?" you ask mockingly.
Yes, Orthodox, just one verse. Just one thing God has said is quite enough for me. How about you?

No it's not enough for me. I don't want to obey just ONE of God's words, I want to obey ALL of them. The fullness of truth. The entirety of the Faith. If God says to obey scripture, I do not neglect obeying the elders. If he says to obey the elders I do not neglect obeying the traditions.

RHOLOGY: just b/c Paul says to obey the elders in other places doesn't mean the elders aren't submissive before Scr. Take BOTH of the psgs and harmonise them.

ORTHODOX: Exactly! So to point out a verse that says to obey scripture doesn't help your case at all.

>ORTHODOX: You seem to think that we sit around making up traditions, not worrying what God says.
RHOLOGY: I don't think that. I think y'all got lazy and let evil creep in and never challenged it.

ORTHODOX: But what you complain against, was challenged, considered in light of the Word of God, and rejected. There was no lazyness about it. People died for every last doctrine.

>ORTHODOX: What if there is some group that is REALLY obeying and REALLY believing more of scripture than you?
RHOLOGY: I haven't found them. I *DO* know it's not EOC.

But you won't spell out for us why it is not EOC, and yet it was Chrysostom, Athanasius etc who defined your canon.

>ORTHODOX: Did your church hold to all the traditions that aren't clearly contradicted by scripture when it split off?
RHOLOGY: Could you reformulate your question? I don't understand.

Well, you are a baptist are you? When baptists split off from mother church, did you retain all the traditions of Rome that are not contradicted by scripture?

>ORTHODOX: Point to the earliest person of group that you consider believed everything scripture scripture taught.
RHOLOGY: There is no such person. I was referring to the group of people who emerged from the Arian controversy holding to the Deity of Christ.

ORTHODOX: Where is the people of God defining your canon?

>ORTHODOX: I look to a catholic consensus in the early church, and if there is a split I look to who broke with tradition.
RHOLOGY: Except the modern EOC defines what is "Tradition" for you. It's a useless test.

ORTHODOX: Really. Well the last split was with Rome. If you can point to EOC breaking with tradition since 1054, then you've got a point. If you can't then the test worked.

>ORTHODOX: If God's people "discover" the canon, then surely they can "name" what it is?
RHOLOGY: It's the difference between discovering and determining.

ORTHODOX: No, you claimed that the people of God inform you of the canon, having been led by the spirit. Don't try and pretend there is a difference when there is not.

>ORTHODOX: Any council that is accepted by the Church is just as authoritative as a council with the label Œcumenical.
RHOLOGY: Translation: Yes, you're right - Œcumenical Councils are only known after the fact and we don't know what constitutes one. That doesn't inspire confidence.

ORTHODOX: Really. Yet you are in the same situation. You only know the canon after the fact, after the church has been led into the truth. Had you lived in the 2nd or 3rd century you wouldn't know the canon either.

>ORTHODOX: You tell me how a list that could be wrong can be considered final.
RHOLOGY: God is no longer revealing Scripture, that's how.

???? Do you see Orthodox coming up with brand new scriptures? So by your definition, the Orthodox canon is final, thankyou.

And yet the fact that God is no longer revealing scripture doesn't prove that all the books in your bible are scripture and that future evidence won't make you correct your non-final non-certain canon.

>ORTHODOX: I fail to see how you can have a closed yet potentially incorrect canon.
RHOLOGY: "Fallible" does not mean "potentially incorrect." The "fallible" refers to the PEOPLE in question, not God's list of inspired books.

God's list? Unless you can show me a list in God's handwriting, we are talking about YOUR list, not God's list. And if YOUR list is fallible then YOUR canon is subject to revision and non-final.

>ORTHODOX: Secondly, I fail to see how you believe EOC has an open canon.
RHOLOGY: B/c you define Tradition in and out of existence and b/c you don't even know what your Canon is.

(a) I've told you what our canon is.

(b) You also define your own traditions in and out of existence.

>ORTHODOX: Pray tell what scriptures I don't believe.
RHOLOGY: Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28, and Romans 5:1.

I believe all those. Glad I could correct your misapprehension. Shall I make a list of the ones you don't believe?

>ORTHODOX: I'm not asking him, I'm asking you.
RHOLOGY: And you've been answered.

No you havn't. What time have you spent among us? Just say "NONE" and make it clear will you?

>ORTHODOX: So God's people are purely discerned by theological position? Where in the bible do you find that?
RHOLOGY: John 10.

Hmm John 10. Jesus says to know he is of God by HIS WORKS.

>ORTHODOX: For our edification, and to keep you honest, please tell us the earliest list of 66 books that you have.
RHOLOGY: Hmm, not sure. Athanasius' 39th Festal Letter gives the NT and the Jewish Canon gives us the OT.

1) Give us ONE name. No use saying "Matther gives us Matthew, Luke gives us Luke and Acts". Give us ONE NAME.

2) The Jews HAVE NO LIST. TELL US WHERE YOU GET THE LIST.

3) Athanasius doesn't fit your criteria for being the people of God. You lost.

4) Athanasius has a different OT canon. By your criteria he is not the people of God.

>ORTHODOX: I would be more specific, except you are too scared to tell us why EOC are not believers.
RHOLOGY: Galatians 1:8 is why. Oh, I'm so scared!!!!!!

Oh do tell how our gospel is different.

>ORTHODOX: Show us the scholars that claim Jesus was really telling them not to observe what they tell you.
RHOLOGY: Don't want to. If you dispute it, just challenge it exegetically.

I can't be bothered refuting a position that no scholar in the history of the world has suggested.

>ORTHODOX: Last I checked there were 39 books in the Prot OT canon. Who told you they are the same?
RHOLOGY: There are many ECFs who list the 22 books that way. Just read one o' thems.

Oh, ECFs!!! I thought the JEWS told you the OT canon???

But if we look at the ECFs and their enumeration of the 22 books, many DO NOT LIST THEM THAT WAY.

So it's one ECF against another? This is what it comes down to? How do you pick an ECF?

>ORTHODOX: And not all Jewish sources refer to 22 books. Some list other numbers.
RHOLOGY: But you have to prove that those other numbers actually contain different content.

LOL, nobody knows the content of any of these Jewish lists. How can we compare multiple unknown canons?

orthodox said...

>there was no Visible Ch group that had anythg close
>to salvific doctrine *taught officially* for quite some
>time in the Dark Ages.

Do tell what "salvific doctrine" is, and when these dark ages are.

Rhology said...

Well that makes the people of God YOUR infallible interpreter, since they are your source of knowledge that cannot be questioned.
But they're not infallible in my view.
See, this is the kind of thing I mean when I accuse you of disingenuity. You know better.

the "T" word, that you don't want to utter.
It's not the same concept as the "T" word as you express it.

Of course there is evidence they were different. You just choose to reject that evidence.
Present it, then. It's not like this is the 1st (or 5th) time I've brought this up.

RHOLOGY: The gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church - granted. Infallibility is where?
This raises grave questions about whether hell prevailed against the church, since you can't identify through history where the church was.
You're avoiding the question. I'll ask it again. Infallibility is where?

RHOLOGY: While the OT was being compiled.
ORTHODOX: But you assume a-priori that it wasn't still being compiled by the 1st century.

I've already told you why I concluded that. Jesus and the Apostles quoted from the OT and nobody questioned it, etc. It's already been fleshed out in this discussion.

Really. It seems to me your entire thesis rests on the assumption that unlike throughout the rest of Jewish history, at this time the canon was finalized (yet nothing in scripture says so).
I'm sorry, I can't quite follow you here. Could you restate, please?

The Traditional usage in the church. The exact same criteria the church used in determining the rest of the canon.
But as mentioned before, the only evidence you have that they were in the OT is an LXX copy from the 5th century.
And there are multiple ECFs who say that they were NOT considered of equal weight, as well as Jewish writers. Been over all this.

not only do you have no canon, you CAN'T have a canon, all you can have is a fallible list of books, subject to revision at any time.
What's the argument for that?

Not the Tradition following, icon worshipping Chrysostom and Athanasius surely?
Surely you misspoke - you don't worship icons, do you?

Strangely more than a millennium of scripture reading bible believing Christians never noticed that they were "unbiblical". But oh no, you know better.
You've been refuted on this point more than once at the Triablogue.
But maybe you've learned sthg in a month - where is the survey data from which you derive that conclusion?

Maybe Luther 1600 years after the fact defines your canon?
That wouldn't make sense since Athanasius had stated the NT Canon much earlier. And the Jews had the same OT Canon as me way before that even.

No, it's in John 16 which normally understood as his journey to Gethsemane.
Ah, true, I stand corrected.
Are you saying, however, that more than the Eleven were present w/ Him on the way to Gethsemane? On what basis?

RHOLOGY: The numerous references to "the Law and the Prophets" and the profuse quoting of the OT and the absence of any questioning of the Canon among other points leave little doubt in my mind.
ORTHODOX: Objection.

I don't think you followed me. What I meant was that "the Law and the Prophets" had a fixed meaning known to Jews; it encompassed the entire OT. Alternately stated, it would be "the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings," similar to what the writer of the prologue to Ecclesiasticus said:


0:1 THE knowledge of many and great things hath been shewn us by the law, and the prophets, and others that have followed them: for which things Israel is to be commended for doctrine and wisdom, because not only they that speak must needs be skilful, but strangers also, both speaking and writing, may by their means become most learned.

0:2 My grandfather Jesus, after he had much given himself to a diligent reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books, that were delivered to us from our fathers, had a mind also to write something himself, pertaining to doctrine and wisdom: that such as are desirous to learn, and are made knowing in these things, may be more and more attentive in mind, and be strengthened to live according to the law.

0:3 I entreat you therefore to come with benevolence, and to read with attention, and to pardon us for those things wherein we may seem, while we follow the image of wisdom, to come short in the composition of words; for the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language.



Interestingly, we can note that the writer at least twice set his book apart from the canonical books, among which you would have this book considered. The author didn't agree w/ you. I don't either.

But if you want to limit it to "thus saith the Lord" etc etc, you are left with an OT canon of roughly 10 books.
Not my point. Books in the GROUP of "the Law and the Prophets" are constantly referenced w/ "it is written" and "thus saith the Lord", etc. Not the DCs.
And which ones look authoritative to you?

Again, why should I assume? You are the only one assuming a-priory that everything oral was written.
Ha ha, no, I'm saying you SHOULDN'T assume that, b/c it leads to the error you're disseminating here.
But I AM saying you HAVE to assume that.

What I'm saying is just obey both without presuming up front whether they are or are not the same.
I don't have a problem w/ that; I think you're not following my argument.
Yes, obey the Apostles' proclamation, whether oral or written. Cool, we agree.
And TODAY, how do we hear the Apostles? That's the question. I say the Scriptures is now. You assume that there's ANOTHER body of Apostolic Trad. I'm asking you to demonstrate it.

(2 Thess 3:6) Nowhere does he claim that all ways of walking irresponsibly are in the letter and not in his previous oral teaching.
Again you assume.
And look, I'll be honest; I'm assuming too. But unless you can produce an Apostolic Tradition on that, then why should I believe your position?

But that's cool - we'll play it like you want. Simply produce some oral tradition from the Apostle Paul that defines some other examples of irresponsibility and I'll concede the point.


You really need to admit that apostolic traditions cannot be tested against scripture. It's the other traditions you need to test.
What is your argument for that?

And I deny that scriptural tradition contradicts non-scriptural tradition.
It depends on which tradition. Some is good, some is bad.
Alot of the tradition you hold to, however, is judged ungodly by Scr.


I don't want to obey just ONE of God's words, I want to obey ALL of them. The fullness of truth. The entirety of the Faith. If God says to obey scripture, I do not neglect obeying the elders. If he says to obey the elders I do not neglect obeying the traditions.
As if one of God's words would contradict another of them.
If God says BOTH of those things (which we agree He does), then we have to compare our models of submitting to both. Mine accounts for both. Yours does not submit properly to Scr.

There was no lazyness about it. People died for every last doctrine.
That's no judge of laziness. 3 words - jihadist suicide bombers.

When baptists split off from mother church, did you retain all the traditions of Rome that are not contradicted by scripture?
Why should I?

If you can point to EOC breaking with tradition since 1054, then you've got a point.
Oh, that's easy to do. But then you scream and cry, "That's not REALLY tradition!!!!" It's futile.

RHOLOGY: It's the difference between discovering and determining.
ORTHODOX: No, you claimed that the people of God inform you of the canon, having been led by the spirit. Don't try and pretend there is a difference when there is not.

That's just silly.

You only know the canon after the fact, after the church has been led into the truth. Had you lived in the 2nd or 3rd century you wouldn't know the canon either.
Are you saying I only know the Canon after the books were written?
Oh NO!!!!!!!!!! Come on.


Do you see Orthodox coming up with brand new scriptures?
Maybe - you can't figure out your own Scriptural canon. If the "add the book" group wins out, then yes you've added to Scr. If they don't, then no.
But you do even worse, elevating Tradition to the authority of Scr.

(a) I've told you what our canon is.
(b) You also define your own traditions in and out of existence.


A: Just b/c YOU tell me what the Canon is, other EO-dox disagree. Why would I believe YOU, an anonymous layman?
B: There's quite a difference between judging them by Scr and defining them out of existence just b/c they are inconvenient to you.

I believe all those. Glad I could correct your misapprehension.
Sure you do.

Shall I make a list of the ones you don't believe?
Go ahead. I can't guarantee I'll answer you since you are clearly more verbose than I but I might do some.


John 10. Jesus says to know he is of God by HIS WORKS.
Well, John 10 is a long chapter. I was referring to the part where He discusses His sheep.


1) Give us ONE name. No use saying "Matther gives us Matthew, Luke gives us Luke and Acts". Give us ONE NAME.
Sorry, one name of what?

2) The Jews HAVE NO LIST. TELL US WHERE YOU GET THE LIST.
Been thru that.

3) Athanasius doesn't fit your criteria for being the people of God. You lost.
Whatever. Your ugly rhetoric can be very tiresome.


4) Athanasius has a different OT canon. By your criteria he is not the people of God.
As if I ever said that "to be in 'the people of God,' you have to have the right Canon." This is just desperation and rhetoric.


Oh do tell how our gospel is different.
You have added works to the Gospel of grace, rendering it no longer grace. You need to repent.


So it's one ECF against another? This is what it comes down to? How do you pick an ECF?
Haha, that's the question I've asked you about 20 times now. If you can't be bothered to answer it even once, then I don't think I feel like answering.


Do tell what "salvific doctrine" is, and when these dark ages are.
The Gospel. What else would I mean?
These dark ages are pretty nebulous, but I was referring to somewhere in between Augustine and the Reformation. That's just the conventional usage of the term "Dark Ages."

I just mean when the Gospel was not taught by Visible Official Churches like Rome and EOC.

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: Well that makes the people of God YOUR infallible interpreter, since they are your source of knowledge that cannot be questioned.
But they're not infallible in my view.
See, this is the kind of thing I mean when I accuse you of disingenuity. You know better.

ORTHODOX: What is the functional difference? You claim that the people of God provide you with your infallible rule of faith. If infallibility is built on fallibility, the net result is fallible. You need the people of God to have been infallibly given the canon, or else your religion fails.

RHOLOGY: the "T" word, that you don't want to utter.
It's not the same concept as the "T" word as you express it.

ORTHODOX: If it quacks like a duck....

RHOLOGY: Of course there is evidence they were different. You just choose to reject that evidence.
Present it, then. It's not like this is the 1st (or 5th) time I've brought this up.

ORTHODOX: Haven't we been over this before? Church fathers like Jerome said that the Sadducees had the smaller canon. Jesus' response to the Sadducees' issue of eternal life was from the Pentatuch when there were much better verses in books like Isaiah. Josephus' comments seem to indicate they only followed the "law". It would be hard to believe that anyone who believed a book like Isaiah could not believe in eternal life.

RHOLOGY: You're avoiding the question. I'll ask it again. Infallibility is where?

ORTHODOX: In its clearest form, infallibility is at Mt 18:18 where Jesus says to the disciples "whatever you bind on earth, is bound in heaven".

RHOLOGY: The Traditional usage in the church. The exact same criteria the church used in determining the rest of the canon.
But as mentioned before, the only evidence you have that they were in the OT is an LXX copy from the 5th century.
And there are multiple ECFs who say that they were NOT considered of equal weight, as well as Jewish writers. Been over all this.

ORTHODOX: What has dating of the LXX or the opinion of particular ECFs got to do with anything when my criteria is usage in the Church? That is unless you have already, a-priori got a particular cut off date in mind.

RHOLOGY: not only do you have no canon, you CAN'T have a canon, all you can have is a fallible list of books, subject to revision at any time.
What's the argument for that?

ORTHODOX: ??? How can you have a final list when the list is acknowledged to be fallible and therefore possibly wrong?

RHOLOGY: Not the Tradition following, icon worshipping Chrysostom and Athanasius surely?
Surely you misspoke - you don't worship icons, do you?

ORTHODOX: Of course not, but you seem to think we do. Right?

RHOLOGY: Strangely more than a millennium of scripture reading bible believing Christians never noticed that they were "unbiblical". But oh no, you know better.
You've been refuted on this point more than once at the Triablogue.
But maybe you've learned sthg in a month - where is the survey data from which you derive that conclusion?

ORTHODOX: Yeah right. Two millennia of Orthodox Christians KNEW they were unbiblical, but never mentioned it in the historical record. How come every argument I get here stretches credibility beyond the limit?

RHOLOGY: Maybe Luther 1600 years after the fact defines your canon?
That wouldn't make sense since Athanasius had stated the NT Canon much earlier. And the Jews had the same OT Canon as me way before that even.

ORTHODOX: Keep sight of the criteria here. You claimed that God leads his people into the truth on the canon, and that's how you discover the canon. That means YOU'VE got to be able to identify these people of God. You've got to believe they are the people of God. And they've got to list your canon. Athanasius seems to fail for you on both counts. His beliefs are so close to Eastern Orthodoxy as for our purposes to be indistinguishable, yet you believe EO is a false church. And he doesn't list your canon. It's no good for him to list part of your canon. Joseph Smith lists part of your canon. Marcion lists part of your canon.

The Jews: THERE IS NO LIST. Point me to a Jew who you regard as an authentic member of the people of God and who has a list of 39 books. Tell me who that is.

RHOLOGY: Are you saying, however, that more than the Eleven were present w/ Him on the way to Gethsemane? On what basis?

ORTHODOX: The passage says that the disciples of Jesus are led into all truth. I don't go down any rabbit warrens of speculation of who may or may not have been present, I just believe the promise as given to who it was given.

RHOLOGY: I don't think you followed me. What I meant was that "the Law and the Prophets" had a fixed meaning known to Jews; it encompassed the entire OT. Alternately stated, it would be "the Law, the Prophets,

ORTHODOX: So according to you anyone who refers to the law and the prophets must have a fixed settled canon? Yet Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets. Did he have a finalized canon? Hardly, because he added to the canon.

RHOLOGY: Interestingly, we can note that the writer at least twice set his book apart from the canonical books, among which you would have this book considered. The author didn't agree w/ you. I don't either.

ORTHODOX:

(a) No he didn't. Or if he did, we can exclude Jeremiah on the same basis because he refers to "the prophets".

(b) The author of the translator's preface is about as relevant as citing the KJV translator's preface.

RHOLOGY: But if you want to limit it to "thus saith the Lord" etc etc, you are left with an OT canon of roughly 10 books.
Not my point. Books in the GROUP of "the Law and the Prophets" are constantly referenced w/ "it is written" and "thus saith the Lord", etc. Not the DCs.

ORTHODOX: Who gave you the right to a-priori group the books into those you agree with "canonical" and those you don't: "deuterocanonical", and then extrapolate references to about 10 of the former books to to the rest of your 39, but then not extrapolate them to the other books? This is the classic case of assuming what you have yet to prove as an argument for your position.

THERE IS NO LIST. There is no list saying your 39 are "the prophets" and the other books are not.

RHOLOGY: You assume that there's ANOTHER body of Apostolic Trad. I'm asking you to demonstrate it.

ORTHODOX: The Church passes on all the Apostolic traditions. It can't "demonstrate" Peter writing 2 Peter, nor can it "demonstrate" the other teachings. You have to do what Christians in all ages have done, what Chrysostom said: say "It is a tradition, seek no further".

RHOLOGY: (2 Thess 3:6) Nowhere does he claim that all ways of walking irresponsibly are in the letter and not in his previous oral teaching.
Again you assume.
And look, I'll be honest; I'm assuming too. But unless you can produce an Apostolic Tradition on that, then why should I believe your position?

ORTHODOX: It's good that you admit that it is only assumption. But obviously the main issue is not other "ways of walking irresponsibly", but it is all the other things that Paul taught them which he refers to in 2:15. And yes we do "produce" Apostolic traditions. One of them is the interpretation of Jesus' body and blood in communion.

RHOLOGY: You really need to admit that apostolic traditions cannot be tested against scripture. It's the other traditions you need to test.
What is your argument for that?

ORTHODOX: There are three types of tradition. Holy Tradition, good traditions and bad traditions. Traditions other than Holy Tradition must be tested to see if they are good or bad. That Matthew is scripture is a Holy Tradition, and need not be tested. As Athanasius said, to receive the apostolic traditions as the traditions of men is to err.

RHOLOGY: It depends on which tradition. Some is good, some is bad.
Alot of the tradition you hold to, however, is judged ungodly by Scr.

ORTHODOX: Yeah yeah, which 2000 years of Orthodox Christians never realised. Oh I forgot, they may have been secret protestants.

RHOLOGY: When baptists split off from mother church, did you retain all the traditions of Rome that are not contradicted by scripture?
Why should I?

ORTHODOX: Because they may be apostolic traditions? If you joined the church in 50 AD, wouldn't you hold to the traditions that your elders told you were apostolic?

RHOLOGY: If you can point to EOC breaking with tradition since 1054, then you've got a point.
Oh, that's easy to do. But then you scream and cry, "That's not REALLY tradition!!!!" It's futile.

ORTHODOX: Go on, give it a shot. Make my day. How has Orthodoxy changed since 1054?

RHOLOGY: You only know the canon after the fact, after the church has been led into the truth. Had you lived in the 2nd or 3rd century you wouldn't know the canon either.
Are you saying I only know the Canon after the books were written?
Oh NO!!!!!!!!!! Come on.

ORTHODOX: The NT was written in the 2nd and 3rd centuries??????????

RHOLOGY: Do you see Orthodox coming up with brand new scriptures?
Maybe - you can't figure out your own Scriptural canon. If the "add the book" group wins out, then yes you've added to Scr. If they don't, then no.

ORTHODOX: You've changed your tune again. First you were talking about "God revealing scripture". None of the deuterocanonicals would be new revelation.

RHOLOGY: But you do even worse, elevating Tradition to the authority of Scr.

ORTHODOX: But you've admitted that you know the canon by looking at the tradition of God's people. That elevates tradition to a HIGHER level than scripture.

RHOLOGY: A: Just b/c YOU tell me what the Canon is, other EO-dox disagree. Why would I believe YOU, an anonymous layman?

ORTHODOX: (a) I cited the authoritative church council. (b) If this is a problem, who will YOU cite to prove the canon? You mean your Jewish sources who all disagree??? Oh dear.

RHOLOGY: I believe all those. Glad I could correct your misapprehension.
Sure you do.

ORTHODOX: Yep, sure do.

RHOLOGY: Shall I make a list of the ones you don't believe?
Go ahead. I can't guarantee I'll answer you since you are clearly more verbose than I but I might do some.

ORTHODOX: Let's start with John 20:23. What is the purpose of this verse?

RHOLOGY: 1) Give us ONE name. No use saying "Matther gives us Matthew, Luke gives us Luke and Acts". Give us ONE NAME.
Sorry, one name of what?

ORTHODOX: The name of someone in the early church who is a "true believer" in your estimation AND cites your 66 book canon. Remember, you told me you can look to the people of God to find your canon. There's no point citing someone who lists PART of your canon. I can cite Marcion as someone supporting PART of your canon.

RHOLOGY: So it's one ECF against another? This is what it comes down to? How do you pick an ECF?
Haha, that's the question I've asked you about 20 times now. If you can't be bothered to answer it even once, then I don't think I feel like answering.

ORTHODOX: I've answered many times. The Church is LED into all truth. Where there is a discrepency between church fathers on, e.g. the canon, we look to see where the church was later led. Got it now?

So answer my question: How did you pick which ECF to follow on the Jewish canon?

RHOLOGY: Do tell what "salvific doctrine" is, and when these dark ages are.
The Gospel. What else would I mean?
These dark ages are pretty nebulous, but I was referring to somewhere in between Augustine and the Reformation. That's just the conventional usage of the term "Dark Ages."

ORTHODOX: This period, which was at times a dark age in the West, with Rome overrun by Attila the Hun etc, was in the East, the height of civilization in the history of the world up to this point.

Now since you point to Augustine as a cut off date, please point us to a few pre-Augustine documents that in your estimation "teach the gospel". I want to see what it looks like, so I can check if your claim is correct.

Rhology said...

Hmm, can you point me to the comment where the evidence for the Sadd's smaller canon was brought forth? I honestly don't remember seeing it.

infallibility is at Mt 18:18 where Jesus says to the disciples "whatever you bind on earth, is bound in heaven".

Wow, that's a strong one. I'm overwhelmed. I'm being sarcastic.
Now I see why Lucian said that EO-dox don't do prooftexts.

What has dating of the LXX or the opinion of particular ECFs got to do with anything when my criteria is usage in the Church?

B/c you don't know if those books or which ones of those books were in 1st and 2nd cent codices of the LXX. Which would move you closer to the Jews which is where you need to be to prove your point. As it is, you're out of luck for now.

How can you have a final list when the list is acknowledged to be fallible and therefore possibly wrong?

1) God is not fallible and He's the One Who gives Canon.
2) No book has been added to the Canon for 1900 yrs; historically that makes it highly unlikely another book would be found.
3) There are exegetical reasons for possibly believing the Canon to be closed.

Two millennia of Orthodox Christians KNEW they were unbiblical, but never mentioned it in the historical record.

Translation: I don't have the evidence for what I said; I just assume it.

The Jews: THERE IS NO LIST. Point me to a Jew who you regard as an authentic member of the people of God and who has a list of 39 books. Tell me who that is.

There are quite a few Jewish writers who point to the list of books we hold to today.
So, yes there is a list. Stop w/ this foolishness.

The (John 16) passage says that the disciples of Jesus are led into all truth.

No, it doesn't.
It says that Jesus said TO THE ELEVEN that the HS would lead "you" into all truth.
You're basing your whole apostolic succession thing on this verse and it's so so so tenuous. Once again, I see why you EO-dox "don't do prooftexting".

I just believe the promise as given to who it was given.

Good deal; it was given to the Eleven. Done.

according to you anyone who refers to the law and the prophets must have a fixed settled canon?

"The Law and the Prophets" is a fixed Canon.

Yet Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets.

that's not the only example of Scriptural authors intra-Scripturally referencing others' work (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).

(b) The author of the translator's preface is about as relevant as citing the KJV translator's preface.

So it's not in the actual book? Is that what you're saying?

The Church passes on all the Apostolic traditions.

Assumption, and demonstrably false.

obviously the main issue is not other "ways of walking irresponsibly", but it is all the other things that Paul taught them which he refers to in 2:15.

Assumption on your part as well.
one assumption against another; I guess we'll have to look elsewhere for clearer statements.

Traditions other than Holy Tradition must be tested to see if they are good or bad.

Haha, never thought you'd admit it that way.
I want to know about how you know that Holy Tradition is Holy Tradition. That's where the beef is.

Because they may be apostolic traditions?

I can know whether they are or not by testing them by Scripture.

How has Orthodoxy changed since 1054?

For one thing, you don't have a set Canon of Scripture.

The NT was written in the 2nd and 3rd centuries??????????

Um, no.
Neither did 2nd and 3rd cent people have fax machines and email.

But you've admitted that you know the canon by looking at the tradition of God's people. That elevates tradition to a HIGHER level than scripture.

I've admitted no such thing. As I've explained quite a few times before, Canon is an artifact of revelation. What God inspired, He led His people to accept. That's not "tradition" like you mean it. You may say "if it walks like a duck..."; it doesn't walk like your duck.

I cited the authoritative church council.

Which one? And why should I believe you rather than Kallistos Ware?

Jn 20:23

Same as John 16 - to whom was Jesus talking?
(see how easy this is? It's called "checking the context".)

Where there is a discrepency between church fathers on, e.g. the canon, we look to see where the church was later led. Got it now?

So if two CFs disagree, I should just ask the modern EOC?

please point us to a few pre-Augustine documents that in your estimation "teach the gospel".

Paul's Epistle to the Romans.

orthodox said...

OR:infallibility is at Mt 18:18 where Jesus says to the disciples "whatever you bind on earth, is bound in heaven".
RHOLOGY: Wow, that's a strong one. I'm overwhelmed. I'm being sarcastic.
Now I see why Lucian said that EO-dox don't do prooftexts.

ORTHODOX: Why are you being obtuse? You tell us what the verse means then if you want to be contentious.

RHOLOGY: B/c you don't know if those books or which ones of those books were in 1st and 2nd cent codices of the LXX. Which would move you closer to the Jews which is where you need to be to prove your point. As it is, you're out of luck for now.

ORTHODOX: As I said, and which you ignored "unless you want to cite an arbitrary cut off date".

You've been unable to cite a source for the closing of the OT canon, or that the Jews closed it. Thus it remains speculation on your part at best.

Secondly, you've allowed the people of God a 400 year (at least) grace period for settling the canon. Since the deuteros were written less than that time before the 1st century, even IF the Jews had mostly rejected them, it doesn't follow that they are not in the canon, any more than the widespread early rejection of Revelation means it can't be in the canon.

OR: How can you have a final list when the list is acknowledged to be fallible and therefore possibly wrong?
RH: 1) God is not fallible and He's the One Who gives Canon.

ORTHODOX: Notice the obfuscation. I asked how YOU can have a final list, not how God can have a final list.

RH: 2) No book has been added to the Canon for 1900 yrs; historically that makes it highly unlikely another book would be found.

OR: Notice the obfuscation. You equivocate between when the books of the canon were written and when they are added to a known list. There was no list 1900 years ago with your 66 books, THUS books have been added more recently than that.

Furthermore you STILL havn't cited what Christian you want to cite as the earliest to list 66 books, so I have to say "please document".

Additionally, you assume what you have to prove which is that your list is the correct list. That's the point! If it's a fallible list as you tell us, then it may not be the correct list! That means if you get better information you had BETTER change the list, or be in error.

RH: 3) There are exegetical reasons for possibly believing the Canon to be closed.

ORTHODOX: Notice the obfuscation. We are not talking about whether the canon is closed, we are talking about whether your knowledge of the canon: YOUR LIST is closed. If it could be in error, how can it be closed? Why would something that could have errors not be subject to correction? To close the books would be to say "this must now be infallible".

RH: Translation: I don't have the evidence for what I said; I just assume it.

ORTHODOX: Translation: pink unicorns exist if I say they do.

>OR: The Jews: THERE IS NO LIST. Point me to a Jew who you regard as an authentic member of the people of God and who has a list of 39 books. Tell me who that is.
RHOLOGY: There are quite a few Jewish writers who point to the list of books we hold to today.
So, yes there is a list. Stop w/ this foolishness.

ORTHODOX: And are these Jewish writers part of the authentic people of God????? Remember your claims: you know the canon FROM THE PEOPLE OF GOD, and EO are not those people. You're not going to place unbelieving Jews in the people of God while putting EO outside I hope? Surely not.

>OR: The (John 16) passage says that the disciples of Jesus are led into all truth.
RHOLOGY: No, it doesn't.
It says that Jesus said TO THE ELEVEN that the HS would lead "you" into all truth.
You're basing your whole apostolic succession thing on this verse and it's so so so tenuous. Once again, I see why you EO-dox "don't do prooftexting".

ORTHODOX: (a) This has nothing to do with apostolic succession. It is about whether the church is led into all truth

(b) The text doesn't say "the eleven". That is something you inserted into the text to support heterodox theology.

>OR: I just believe the promise as given to who it was given.
RH: Good deal; it was given to the Eleven. Done.

ORTHODOX: More changing of the scriptures to support your tradition.

RH: The Law and the Prophets" is a fixed Canon.
OR: Yet Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets.

RHOLOGY: that's not the only example of Scriptural authors intra-Scripturally referencing others' work (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).

ORTHODOX: Why are running off at a tangent to avoid the fact you have just been utterly refuted? Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets. Jeremiah didn't have a final canon, seeing as he added to the canon. Therefore your argument is hosed.

OR: (b) The author of the translator's preface is about as relevant as citing the KJV translator's preface.
RH: So it's not in the actual book? Is that what you're saying?

ORTHODOX: No it's not, that should be obvious since it states the same.

OR: The Church passes on all the Apostolic traditions.
RH: Assumption, and demonstrably false.

ORTHODOX: You tell us then: What are the apostolic traditions and who passed them on if not the church?

OR: but it is all the other things that Paul taught them which he refers to in 2:15.
RH: Assumption on your part as well.
one assumption against another; I guess we'll have to look elsewhere for clearer statements.

ORTHODOX: You are assuming the Church's tradition that Paul wrote Thessalonians in the first place. There is no greater leap of assumption to believe other things the Church says about the apostles.

OR: Traditions other than Holy Tradition must be tested to see if they are good or bad.
RH: Haha, never thought you'd admit it that way.
I want to know about how you know that Holy Tradition is Holy Tradition. That's where the beef is.

ORTHODOX: Holy Tradition are those things that the Church teaches are apostolic tradition and handed down from the apostles.

OR: Because they may be apostolic traditions?
RH: I can know whether they are or not by testing them by Scripture.

ORTHODOX: But you told me before that it is pure assumption that Paul didn't pass on extra oral traditions. That being the case why don't you at least hold to the traditions that don't contradict scripture? Or are you changing your tune again?

OR: How has Orthodoxy changed since 1054?
RH: For one thing, you don't have a set Canon of Scripture.

ORTHODOX: So are you saying that Orthodox DID have a set canon of scripture in 1053? Firstly, what was that canon, and secondly cite your source. Or are you going to obfuscate yet again?

OR: The NT was written in the 2nd and 3rd centuries??????????
RH: Um, no.
Neither did 2nd and 3rd cent people have fax machines and email.

ORTHODOX: You are going further and further off the track. You criticized Orthodox because we may not know at the time the authority of a council. But when I point out that you may not be sure of the canonicity of a book living in the 3rd century, you wander off into obfuscation.

OR: But you've admitted that you know the canon by looking at the tradition of God's people. That elevates tradition to a HIGHER level than scripture.
RH: I've admitted no such thing. As I've explained quite a few times before, Canon is an artifact of revelation. What God inspired, He led His people to accept. That's not "tradition" like you mean it. You may say "if it walks like a duck..."; it doesn't walk like your duck.

ORTHODOX: More obfuscation. The issue isn't God's canon which is an artifact of revelation, the issue is how YOU: ALAN knows the canon. For THIS QUESTION you cited the witness of God's people.

Now HOW is following the canon of God's people not "tradition like you mean it"?? This is EXACTLY how we mean it. I keep saying this, but you won't tell us the difference. You waffle about us saying the Church is infallible, but you believe God infallibly led his people to the canon, which is just a more precise way of saying exactly what we believe.

OR: I cited the authoritative church council.
KW: Which one? And why should I believe you rather than Kallistos Ware?

Councils of Jassy (1642) and Jerusalem (1672)

Kallistos Ware: He said NOTHING about them not being part of scripture. All he said is that many think them on a lower level, which is a different question altogether.


OR: Jn 20:23
RH: Same as John 16 - to whom was Jesus talking?
(see how easy this is? It's called "checking the context".)

BZZZZZZZZTTTTTT. You didn't answer the question. I ask it again:

"What is the purpose of this verse?"

RHOLOGY: So if two CFs disagree, I should just ask the modern EOC?

ORTHODOX: Either that or you ask the church some time after it did agree. Just like YOU DO WITH THE CANON, right?

This is so hypocritical.

OR: please point us to a few pre-Augustine documents that in your estimation "teach the gospel".
RH: Paul's Epistle to the Romans.

OR: More obfuscation, you know what I meant. Point me to some non-bible documents that are good enough to reach your standards of preaching the gospel, prior to Augustine.

Rhology said...

You've been unable to cite a source for the closing of the OT canon, or that the Jews closed it. Thus it remains speculation on your part at best.

Why would I care about what the Jews added or took away after Christ's coming?
And if it was so unclear at that time, again, how did Jesus, His apostles, and His enemies all know what the Scripture was?
This is why the White Question and your inability to provide a good answer comes in really handy and is so illustrative.

Secondly, you've allowed the people of God a 400 year (at least) grace period for settling the canon.
Now you're just putting words in my mouth.

Since the deuteros were written less than that time before the 1st century, even IF the Jews had mostly rejected them, it doesn't follow that they are not in the canon, any more than the widespread early rejection of Revelation means it can't be in the canon.

But the deuteros were never accepted by the Jews while they "were entrusted w/ the very oracles of God" (Romans 3:2).
As opposed to Revelation.
And let's look closely at what Orthodox said: "even IF the Jews had mostly rejected them..."
See, he doesn't really care if the Jews rejected them! Historical evidence is unimportant to him over and above What The Church® Says.

I asked how YOU can have a final list, not how God can have a final list.
B/c God is trustworthy to reveal. His weakness is stronger than man's strength.

And are these Jewish writers part of the authentic people of God?
If they themselves were not individually (no way to know or not), they were witnesses of what the people of God held to.
Stop appealing to Christian sources (which you don't have in any contemporary time period anyway) for the Jewish OT Canon.

You're not going to place unbelieving Jews in the people of God while putting EO outside I hope?
Before Christ came, which is the relevant time period, the Jews WERE the people of God. There were no Christians.

(a) This (John 16 psg) has nothing to do with apostolic succession. It is about whether the church is led into all truth

Thank you for the admission.
Up to you to prove now that this psg means "the church is infallible."
Rather than loaded and disputed assumptions, I propose this:
The Eleven were indeed led into all truth by the HS in their inspired, authoritative teaching. They trained people in the truth. Thru them and around them the Scr was written, which leads the Ch into truth.

(b) The text doesn't say "the eleven". That is something you inserted into the text to support heterodox theology.

To support your assertion of an infallible church, show me where in the text anyone other than the Eleven would be present at that time. I've already asked you this and you chose to grandstand.

Yet Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets.
Yes, agreed, see 2 Peter 3:16 and my previously-stated argument. Claim it's "hosed" all you want.

OR: (b) The author of the translator's preface is about as relevant as citing the KJV translator's preface.
RH: So it's not in the actual book? Is that what you're saying?

ORTHODOX: No it's not, that should be obvious since it states the same.


OK, thanks for the clarification.
Does it not tell us anythg that the prologue-writer (grandson of the author, I presume) didn't consider the book to be part of the "Law, the Prophets, and other writings"?


What are the apostolic traditions and who passed them on if not the church?

Apostolic traditions are the Scripture.
The church passed them on, yes. But, look, since the Scr is the only infallible rule of faith presented in the Scr and since it several times commands us to test other teachings by the itself, and since apostolic traditions would be presumably highly authoritative (since they, like the Scr, came from the apostles), the Scr is ApTrad.
And I'm 100% open to any candidates to "Apostolic Tradition" you may want to bring forth. They would have to qualify, though; they must 1) not conflict w/ the Scr and 2) be demonstrably from the apostles.


You are assuming the Church's tradition that Paul wrote Thessalonians in the first place.

Where do you get this stuff? The letter starts off w/ " Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..."


That being the case why don't you at least hold to the traditions that don't contradict scripture?

Holding to tradition is inevitable; it is my lifelong goal and struggle to submit every one to the Scr and be corrected by the Scr.
However, notice:

The tradition of "we are obligated to hold to traditions of churches that claim to be ancient as long as said traditions don't conflict w/ the Scr" is itself a tradition. When we test it by Scr, we discover that the Scr teaches us that we have certain obligations, such as obeying the gov't in most cases and obeying church elders in most cases. But it gives freedom in other things to the individual.

See how easy that was? It just requires thinking a little outside the box that your church has drawn up around you.

Orthodox, the truth is still there for you to take hold of it. As long as you have breath, the opportunity is right in front of you.

So are you saying that Orthodox DID have a set canon of scripture in 1053?

I was saying that in the context of the entire argument; ie that EOC is wrong.
I'll give you credit, however, for staying the same in this: that modern EO-dox still beat and abuse Christians who preach Christ in their home countries just like back in the good old days.


You criticized Orthodox because we may not know at the time the authority of a council. But when I point out that you may not be sure of the canonicity of a book living in the 3rd century

It's funny you should say that; I was reading Polycarp's Ep to the Philippians just today and he referred to Paul's Ep to the Ephesians as "Scripture." Peter did the same in 2 Peter 3:16.
Due to slow communication in those early centuries, it's unreasonable for all churches everywhere to accept a book they'd never even heard of as Scr.


For THIS QUESTION you cited the witness of God's people.

I cited God's leading of His people. The Scr's very existence and God's commitment to self-reveal is quite enough w/o appealing to the need for some ecclesial tradition to know the Canon.

You waffle about us saying the Church is infallible, but you believe God infallibly led his people to the canon, which is just a more precise way of saying exactly what we believe.

When I say I don't mean it like you mean it, I mean that I don't accept traditions that contradict Scripture like you do.

Councils of Jassy (1642) and Jerusalem (1672)
Kallistos Ware: He said NOTHING about them not being part of scripture. All he said is that many think them on a lower level, which is a different question altogether.


That's silly. If a book is breathed out by God, how could it be "lower" than some other book?

OR: Jn 20:23
RH: Same as John 16 - to whom was Jesus talking?
(see how easy this is? It's called "checking the context".)
OR: BZZZZZZZZTTTTTT. You didn't answer the question. I ask it again:
"What is the purpose of this verse?"


You're allergic to context, you know? That's one thing the enemies of the Faith all have in common.
Since you're so transcendentally knowledgeable (helped as you are by all that wonderful Tradition), help me out on this one: To whom was Jesus talking and why do you say that?

Point me to some non-bible documents that are good enough to reach your standards of preaching the gospel, prior to Augustine.

Give me your reasons why I should seek an answer from a document that is:
1) later than the Scriptural book I cited
2) not written by an apostle like Romans was
3) supposed to be judged by Scripture, not the other way around

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: Why would I care about what the Jews added or took away after Christ's coming?

ORTHODOX: So you admit the Jews may have taken away books after Christ's coming?

RHOLOGY: And if it was so unclear at that time, again, how did Jesus, His apostles, and His enemies all know what the Scripture was?

ORTHODOX: You have given us zero evidence that everyone knew the full extent of the canon. Proving they knew Genesis was in the canon is not the same as proving everyone knew of a settled canon.

Again, since Jews were arguing about the canon centuries after Christ, it's quite a-historical to claim that the canon was known to be settled.

RHOLOGY: This is why the White Question and your inability to provide a good answer comes in really handy and is so illustrative.

ORTHODOX: And yet you can't tell us how your answer to the "White question" is different to mine. Both are based on Tradition arising from the Spirit among his people.

RHOLOGY: But the deuteros were never accepted by the Jews while they "were entrusted w/ the very oracles of God" (Romans 3:2).

ORTHOXDOX: Firstly, you assume what you have yet to prove. Since all scholars admit that at a bare minimum, Jesus and the apostles were very familiar with the deuteros and they strongly influenced parts of the NT, you have work to do to prove they weren't accepted.

Secondly, who was entrusted with the deuteros if not the Jews? Was it the Chinese? Nope. The Romans? Nope. It was the Jews.

RHOLOGY: And let's look closely at what Orthodox said: "even IF the Jews had mostly rejected them..."
See, he doesn't really care if the Jews rejected them! Historical evidence is unimportant to him over and above What The Church® Says.

ORTHODOX: Firstly I said *IF* they "mostly" rejected them. Most of the Church rejected Revelation for quite a while don't forget.

Remember, you have given us zero proof that the canon was settled in the 1st C.

Secondly, I find it very odd that you treat a small portion of the Jews® in® Palestine® as an unquestionable infallible authority, but you won't give the Church® the same respect. Very odd.

Thirdly, since you seem to think it is only the authentic people of God, holding correct doctrines (not false traditions) who are the people of God, and given the descriptions of the Jews and Pharasees by Jesus, one has to ask how you can be so sure that whatever Jews you want to quote are in even the most loosest sense successors to authentic people of God. For all we know it was the people of Qumran who avoided Jesus' scathing criticism who were the authentic people of God.

RHOLOGY: I asked how YOU can have a final list, not how God can have a final list.
B/c God is trustworthy to reveal. His weakness is stronger than man's strength.

ORTHODOX: In other words, you have no answer so you trot out irrelevancies. Reveal to WHOM? That there may be a final list somewhere doesn't prove that your list is IT.

RHOLOGY: Stop appealing to Christian sources (which you don't have in any contemporary time period anyway) for the Jewish OT Canon.

ORTHODOX: You're being very weasely again. Show us the list of 39 books and don't refer to any Christian sources to do so. You make very bold claims, but you can in no wise back them up.

RHOLOGY: You're not going to place unbelieving Jews in the people of God while putting EO outside I hope?
Before Christ came, which is the relevant time period, the Jews WERE the people of God. There were no Christians.

ORTHODOX: Yet you have zero sources from this time period, and even your sources afterwards cannot prove your 49 book canon.

RHOLOGY: which leads the Ch into truth.

ORTHODOX: So do you admit the Ch is led into all truth?

RHOLOGY: To support your assertion of an infallible church, show me where in the text anyone other than the Eleven would be present at that time. I've already asked you this and you chose to grandstand.

ORTHODOX: We notice that your position is forced to assume something that is not in the text. All I assume is that the people present had the status of "disciple". Whether it was the Twelve or not, as far as scripture tells us, all we need to know as budding sola scripturaists, is that people of the status of disciple were present.

RHOLOGY: Yet Jeremiah refers to the law and the prophets.
Yes, agreed, see 2 Peter 3:16 and my previously-stated argument. Claim it's "hosed" all you want.

ORTHODOX: What has 2 Peter got to do with anything? You made a claim that a reference to the law and the prophets indicated a finalised canon. I showed you from Jeremiah that this is not so. Consider yourself refuted.

RHOLOGY: Does it not tell us anythg that the prologue-writer (grandson of the author, I presume) didn't consider the book to be part of the "Law, the Prophets, and other writings"?

ORTHODOX: His reference to "other books", can just as much mean other than the present book as it means other than the law and prophets or some formal collection of "other books" which is nowdays known as "the Writings".

RHOLOGY: But, look, since the Scr is the only infallible rule of faith presented in the Scr

ORTHODOX: Infallible vs fallible is not a distinction that scripture itself seems concerned about. Why should I become concerned about it?

RHOLOGY: and since it several times commands us to test other teachings by the itself,

ORTHODOX: It never gives any such command. An observation by Jesus is not a command.

RHOLOGY: And I'm 100% open to any candidates to "Apostolic Tradition" you may want to bring forth

ORTHODOX: The Church has told you the scriptural apostolic tradition, but you inconsistently refuse to accept the rest of it. Why you would accept one category but not the other is not clear.

RHOLOGY: They would have to qualify, though; they must 1) not conflict w/ the Scr and 2) be demonstrably from the apostles.

ORTHODOX: And yet nobody can demonstrate that 2 Peter was written by the apostle.

RHOLOGY: "You are assuming the Church's tradition that Paul wrote Thessalonians in the first place."
Where do you get this stuff? The letter starts off w/ " Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..."

ORTHODOX: And the pseudapigrapha do likewise.

RHOLOGY: The tradition of "we are obligated to hold to traditions of churches that claim to be ancient as long as said traditions don't conflict w/ the Scr" is itself a tradition.

ORTHODOX: It is a tradition that is taught by the apostle Paul.

RHOLOGY: See how easy that was? It just requires thinking a little outside the box that your church has drawn up around you.

ORTHODOX: Where is the merit in thinking outside of the context of the people of God? That is just aiming to be a schismatic.

RHOLOGY: So are you saying that Orthodox DID have a set canon of scripture in 1053?
I was saying that in the context of the entire argument; ie that EOC is wrong.

ORTHODOX: How about you just concede your inability to show the church changing since 1054, instead of skulking off to another issue? Once you conceed that we can extend the challenge back.

RHOLOGY: I'll give you credit, however, for staying the same in this: that modern EO-dox still beat and abuse Christians who preach Christ in their home countries just like back in the good old days.

ORTHODOX: Am I missing something? Is there some reference in here to Orthodox Christians "beating and abusing" people in "the old days"? And since you claim that is something that hasn't changed please document this as being the same today.

Or are you just weaseling again?

>OR: You criticized Orthodox because we may not know at the time the authority of a council. But when I point out that you may not be sure of the canonicity of a book living in the 3rd century
RHOLOGY: It's funny you should say that; I was reading Polycarp's Ep to the Philippians just today and he referred to Paul's Ep to the Ephesians as "Scripture." Peter did the same in 2 Peter 3:16.

ORTHODOX: Which misses the point entirely. Immediately after a council one will find many people agreeing with its authority also. And I can quote church fathers disagreeing with 2 Peter. The point is, the consensus of understanding takes time. If it didn't you'd be quoting a canon list from polycarp's time instead of the icon venerating, saint praying Athanasius.

RHOLOGY: I cited God's leading of His people. The Scr's very existence and God's commitment to self-reveal is quite enough w/o appealing to the need for some ecclesial tradition to know the Canon.

ORTHODOX: You've turned Tradition into a bogyword, but all it means is something passed down. God's revealing of himself is done via a medium that is by its nature passed down. God's commitment to self-reveal is manifested in a medium that is passed down. You're trying to draw a discord between God's commitment to self-reveal and the mechanism he used to do it.

You talk about God's commitment to self reveal as if it is some ephemeral thing, that when you go to look at how to identify what it looks like, it disappears like the mist. You say it exists but when I ask you to show us where it is, what it looks like, and how to identify it, you fall back into grandiose but meaningless statements.

RHOLOGY: "You waffle about us saying the Church is infallible, but you believe God infallibly led his people to the canon, which is just a more precise way of saying exactly what we believe. "
When I say I don't mean it like you mean it, I mean that I don't accept traditions that contradict Scripture like you do.

ORTHODOX: So is this a concession that we mean it the same way AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE?

RHOLOGY: "Councils of Jassy (1642) and Jerusalem (1672)
Kallistos Ware: He said NOTHING about them not being part of scripture. All he said is that many think them on a lower level, which is a different question altogether."
That's silly. If a book is breathed out by God, how could it be "lower" than some other book?

ORTHODOX: But that is what we believe. We hold the gospels on a higher level than the other epistles because they contain the very words of the Lord.

You may claim it is silly, but add up the proportion of sermons in your church on Romans compared to Esther and ask yourself whether your church doesn't act the same. We could also quote Luther on this point.

OR: BZZZZZZZZTTTTTT. You didn't answer the question. I ask it again:
"What is the purpose of this verse?"
RHOLOGY: You're allergic to context, you know? That's one thing the enemies of the Faith all have in common.
Since you're so transcendentally knowledgeable (helped as you are by all that wonderful Tradition), help me out on this one: To whom was Jesus talking and why do you say that?

BBZZZZZZZTTTTTT....

I'm not the one claiming that all the context necessary for understanding scripture is contained in scripture. Scripture was born into an already formed church, often with the intention of explaining to the faithful the original of already understood practices.

How about you just admit that exegesis has failed for you in understanding the purpose of this verse.

RHOLOGY: "Point me to some non-bible documents that are good enough to reach your standards of preaching the gospel, prior to Augustine."

Give me your reasons why I should seek an answer from a document that is:
1) later than the Scriptural book I cited
2) not written by an apostle like Romans was
3) supposed to be judged by Scripture, not the other way around*

ORTHODOX: Who asked you to "seek an answer".

What we were trying to discover, and what you have again tried to weasel out of, is whether ANYBODY in the early church rises to your standards of having preached the gospel, or whether you fall into Mormon-land where the church fell into apostosy in the 1st century.

The trouble is, unlike the Mormons who have a Prophet to tell them what is scripture, this would leave you with no people of God until Luther to be led by God to the correct canon.

Rhology said...

ORTHODOX: So you admit the Jews may have taken away books after Christ's coming?
RHOLOGY: No. Didn't say anythg to that effect.


ORTHODOX: Proving they (the Jews of Christ's day) knew Genesis was in the canon is not the same as proving everyone knew of a settled canon.
RHOLOGY: OK, here we are again at the visibility of how cogent the White Question is.
Jesus and the Apostles didn't just quote Genesis. They quoted from Genesis, the Law, the Psalms, the Prophets, encompassing the oft-stated 3-fold division of Scripture - the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.
And not even their enemies ever questioned whether they were actually quoting Scr or not.


ORTHODOX: since Jews were arguing about the canon centuries after Christ,
RHOLOGY: Where and under what circumstances?
And again, why would I care if unbelieving Jews did so (which I don't necessarily grant absent evidence)?


ORTHODOX: Both are based on Tradition arising from the Spirit among his people.
RHOLOGY: One major difference is that your position necessitates an infallible interpreter. The lack of necessity for such an infall interper for someone to know the OT Canon is exactly what the WQ exposes.


ORTHODOX: Firstly, you assume what you have yet to prove. Since all scholars admit that at a bare minimum, Jesus and the apostles were very familiar with the deuteros and they strongly influenced parts of the NT, you have work to do to prove they weren't accepted.
RHOLOGY: Not gonna go over that here since I'm lazy. The documentation is easily available. Anyone interested can email me.


ORTHODOX: who was entrusted with the deuteros if not the Jews?
RHOLOGY: Now who's assuming what they have yet to prove?
The deuteros were *written* by Jews, I guess, yeah. But so what? Jews wrote lots of things. You're trying to magic the deuteros into the Canon.


ORTHODOX: I find it very odd that you treat a small portion of the Jews® in® Palestine® as an unquestionable infallible authority, but you won't give the Church® the same respect.
RHOLOGY: Where did I ever grant them unquestioned/able infallibility in the same way as The Church® (the discerning reader will note a pattern where I use the satirical ®) claims for herself.


ORTHODOX: since you seem to think it is only the authentic people of God, holding correct doctrines (not false traditions) who are the people of God, and given the descriptions of the Jews and Pharasees by Jesus, one has to ask how you can be so sure that whatever Jews you want to quote are in even the most loosest sense successors to authentic people of God.
RHOLOGY: That's an excellent question and perhaps exposes some sloppy nomenclature on my part.
My position is patterned after Romans 3:1-2 where "the Jews" are the ones who were entrusted w/ the oracles of God.
OTOH, though, the Jews right before Jesus' time were not on the same level of disobedience in large swaths of the population as were the Pharisees and Sadducees. All the 1st believers were Jews. Lots of people from Galilee chanted "Hosanna" at the Triumphal Entry, etc.


ORTHODOX: Reveal to WHOM?
RHOLOGY: To the Jews, as Romans 3 says. Then to the NT people of God in the same way as the OT people of God for the NT.


ORTHODOX: Show us the list of 39 books and don't refer to any Christian sources to do so.
RHOLOGY: I refer you to the James White-Gary Michuta debate on the Apocrypha for a good rundown thereof.
Short answer is that several Jewish sources make reference to a list of 22 OT books, names them, and list them as "laid up in the Temple." They don't include the deuteros.


ORTHODOX: do you admit the Ch is led into all truth?
RHOLOGY: Anyone can take a look at John 16 and the surrounding context and see that it was to the Eleven (ie, the 12 minus Judas) that Jesus said that.
Orthodox has seemed to say that he believes there's good reason to believe there are a bunch of other people w/ them as they walk to Gethsemane that joined them after the Supper. Not counting The Correct Interpretation From The Church®, I don't see how that's tenable, but Orthodox doesn't seem often to care for proper exegesis.
He then points to some kind of "succession" by which the apostles pass on their authority to others to exercise it in the same way as they did. That is an important linchpin of his argument but I'd ask Orthodox to substantiate it biblically. I might not even comment on it much, since I think I know what he'd cite and they're pretty weak in terms of supporting his position.


ORTHODOX: What has 2 Peter got to do with anything? You made a claim that a reference to the law and the prophets indicated a finalised canon.
RHOLOGY: If the Canon is not sure or finalised, then there's no way to know what's Scr and what's not. Peter knew.

RHOLOGY: and since it several times commands us to test other teachings by the itself,
ORTHODOX: It never gives any such command. An observation by Jesus is not a command.
RHOLOGY: Mark 7:1-13, Matt 15:1-10, 2 Cor 13:5, Matt 22:31 and following, 2 Tim 3:15-17.


ORTHODOX: The Church has told you the scriptural apostolic tradition, but you inconsistently refuse to accept the rest of it.
RHOLOGY: "Just accept it b/c The Church® tells you to."
That, ladies and gents, is what I mean when I say Sola Ecclesia.


ORTHODOX: And the pseudapigrapha do likewise.
RHOLOGY: Yet you don't seem to care when some deuteros explicitly say that they are poor copies of another guy's writings, when they make gross historical and anachronistic errors, etc.


ORTHODOX: How about you just concede your inability to show the church changing since 1054, instead of skulking off to another issue?
RHOLOGY: I'll concede it when all my counterexamples are explained away.
Since you don't have a set Canon of Scr and yet you yourself keep telling me you do, it's a dead giveaway. You could just answer the question I've asked many times.


ORTHODOX: Immediately after a council one will find many people agreeing with its authority also.
RHOLOGY: Happened for Arian and iconoclastic councils as well.


ORTHODOX: You're trying to draw a discord between God's commitment to self-reveal and the mechanism he used to do it.
RHOLOGY: Rather I'm showing the most faith in it, whereas you keep needing to make the Church infallible for EVERYthing instead of faithfully used by God to hear His voice in areas pertaining to His self-revelation. And you do so w/o any support in His self-revelation (Scripture).


ORTHODOX: You talk about God's commitment to self reveal as if it is some ephemeral thing, that when you go to look at how to identify what it looks like, it disappears like the mist. You say it exists but when I ask you to show us where it is, what it looks like, and how to identify it, you fall back into grandiose but meaningless statements.
RHOLOGY: It IS ephemeral, and apparently you can't handle the insecurity. James White calls this affliction the "infallible fuzzies."
For all your big talk about loving mystery in the EOC, you can't accept it where it hurts.


ORTHODOX: So is this a concession that we mean it the same way AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE?
RHOLOGY: No.

RHOLOGY: If a book is breathed out by God, how could it be "lower" than some other book?
ORTHODOX: But that is what we believe. We hold the gospels on a higher level than the other epistles because they contain the very words of the Lord.
RHOLOGY: So I ask you a question to explain WHY you believe it, but you just tell me THAT you believe it. Please try again - that's not helpful.


ORTHODOX: add up the proportion of sermons in your church on Romans compared to Esther and ask yourself whether your church doesn't act the same. We could also quote Luther on this point.
RHOLOGY: Ah, so just b/c I preach and read from Romans more than Esther, Esther is less breathed out by God.
I don't see how that follows.


ORTHODOX: How about you just admit that exegesis has failed for you in understanding the purpose of this verse.
RHOLOGY: It's much more evident that you're allergic to context.


ORTHODOX: The trouble is... this would leave you with no people of God until Luther to be led by God to the correct canon.
RHOLOGY: You've been corrected multiple times on this issue, not only by me but also by Jason Engwer.
Remember how I was discussing the "remnant" paradigm? God preserved His people throughout general apostasy in OT times; the church was showing signs of it even while the NT books were still being written, indeed many NT books were written to correct such creeping error; the church stopped teaching the truth about quite a few things, but God's promise remains in effect that Hell will not prevail against His Body: the remnant.