Thursday, September 06, 2007

Authority to teach infallibly

While interacting here (and I would encourage anyone to read it b/c it's interesting on its own merits), a comment related to the Roman Catholic claim to infallible teaching and interpreting authority came up.
For background, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says this in section 841:

-The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

But a probably Sedevacantist commenter said:

Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 12, March 16, 1517: “Our aim is to crush the Turks and other infidels standing firm in the eastern and southern regions. They treat the way of true light and salvation with complete contempt and totally unyielding blindness; they attack the life-giving cross on which our Saviour willed to accept death so that by dying He might destroy death, and by the ineffable mystery of His most holy life He might restore life; and they make themselves hateful enemies of God and most bitter persecutors of the Christian religion.”

So I fretted - what is a Protestant to do? Two Roman Catholic statements, coming from the Magisterial, authoritative RC teaching authority, but two different sets of doctrine. What's a guy to do?
The very civil and polite Theo responded, saying that

-Unless the statements you ask about were made "ex cathedra" it is possible that neither statement is totally correct.

This of course is a very unsatisfying answer for our critics who are already convinced that our teachings regarding the Church leading in all truth and our simultaneous teachings that even the most high official can make errors demonstrates mere sophistry. Add to that that even in cases of dogmatic statements, we do not rule out that their understanding can be clarified and corrected as we continue to learn more about God's infinite kingdom, and I can see how critics must simply want to jump all over it.

The bottom line is that what you seem to demand that we should mean by infallible pronouncements of the Magesterium is something like "everything every church council or official ever says is infallible and must be taken by Catholics as the absolute truth, or they are being false to their teaching. Whereas we understand such pronouncements to be very limited in occurrence, and even then not subject to private interpretation, just as Scripture itself is not subject to private interpretation.

I respond:

...this whole "I want infallible statements!" is not coming from ME. It's the standard laid down by RC apologists, who criticise Sola Scriptura by saying that it does not solve the problem of fallible individual interpretation.

So then I mention the difference that is obvious between 5th Lateran Council and the CCC. Anyone can see the difference.
And now I'm getting "well, it's not clear which one is infallible". How then does that help the person who takes the claims of these RC apologists seriously? If RCC can provide infallible interpretations, why don't you ever know if it did or not?
That alone is enough to disqualify such statements as special pleading and silly, to say nothing of the fact that an infallible teaching authority simply pushes the fallibility question back one step.

Though this is not on a subject crucial to individuals' salvation, it is very illustrative of the modus operandi of RC apologists.

36 comments:

Leo said...

Pope Leo X was speaking ex cathedra at the Fifth Lateran Council, that statement cannot be contradicted by any professing Catholic.

CCC is not infallible, catechisms are not ex cathedra, when faced with something like this what does the Catholic do?

St. Vincent of Lerins (CA. 400-CA. 450), Confessor Of The Church:
"What then should a catholic do if some part of the Church were to separate itself from communion with the universal Faith? What other choice can he make but to prefer to the gangrenous and corrupted member the whole of the body that is sound? And if some new contagion were to try to poison no longer a small part of the Church, but all of the Church at the same time, then he will take the greatest care to attach himself to antiquity which, obviously, can no longer be seduced by any lying novelty." (Commonitorium)

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic, as the very force and meaning of the word shows, which comprehends everything almost universally. And we shall observe this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is plain that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent if in antiquity itself we eagerly follow the definitions and beliefs all, or certainly nearly all, priests and doctors alike.” -St. Vincent of Lerins, What Must Be Belived By Catholics. (From The Commonitory)

orthodox said...

While I suspect there are contradictions hiding in RC infallible statements, it might help to actually quote "infallible" statements. Neither the CCC nor anything outside the canons of an ecumenical council are considered infallible by Roman Catholics.

It would also be an exageration to ask "why don't you ever know if it did or not?". Obviously Catholics do know in many instances if they are, such as canons of ecumenical councils.

Saying that "the fact that an infallible teaching authority simply pushes the fallibility question back one step." isn't really a valid argument either. Scripture as an infallible teaching authority pushes the question a step back compared to no scripture, but presumably you feel better informed having it than not.

And if there is in some instances doubt about the boundaries of infallibility, how is it worse than RC Sproul's fallible list of infallible books? If the fallibility of the list invalidates the whole concept of having infallible books, then you have no scripture.

If the point is you merely wish to avoid the criticisms of RC apologists about sola scriptura's fallible interpretation, it seems you would have to show that infallible statements can never solve a problem. Showing they sometimes haven't, wouldn't show that it never can.

There might be the kernel of a valid commentary somewhere here, but unfortunately its lost among the invalid arguments.

Rhology said...

Hi Leo,

Yes, what you said about the CCC agrees with what all other RCs with whom I've spoken have said - the CCC is not infallible.
May I ask how you know the statement by Pope Leo at the 5th Lateran Council was ex cathedra?


Orthodox,

Welcome back!

nor anything outside the canons of an ecumenical council are considered infallible by Roman Catholics.

I highly doubt that that's the case, for RCs. I could be wrong, though. The far-better question is: How do RCs know when ANYthing is ex cathedra?

Obviously Catholics do know in many instances if they are, such as canons of ecumenical councils.

Those are not always so cut and dry. Besides, ecum councils have also made statements that would NOT be considered infallible. Also, whether a council is ecum or not is a matter of a posteriori cogitation; not the most reliable of bases for my money.

Scripture as an infallible teaching authority pushes the question a step back compared to no scripture, but presumably you feel better informed having it than not.

Pushes it back a step from what?
The problem proposed is that, though Scr is infallible (well, for some RCs it is, for many it's not, but I guess officially it still is), the reader is fallible, so there's a problem. The RC (and EO) try to solve this by positing an infallible interpreter, not taking into acct the fact that the infall interper's communications are still read and digested by the fallible priest and layman. The problem is pushed back one step.
I guess I'm not following what you mean.

And if there is in some instances doubt about the boundaries of infallibility, how is it worse than RC Sproul's fallible list of infallible books?

1) A Canon of Scr actually exists and can be appealed to.
2) As opposed to the non-existent RC canon of infallible RC teachings.
3) I'd be interested, for the moment, in discovering whether the RCC has even a fallible complete list of all its infallible teachings.
4) Since they have neither an infallible nor a fallible list of those teachings, this invalidates their alleged epistemic advantage in having an Authority that can tell you what teachings come from God and which don't, b/c apparently the RCC can't tell me that.

If the fallibility of the list invalidates the whole concept of having infallible books, then you have no scripture.

I'm responding to an oft-cited criticism from the RC side. My argument against RCC's infallibility would take other forms.

it seems you would have to show that infallible statements can never solve a problem. Showing they sometimes haven't, wouldn't show that it never can.

1) True, they can solve certain problems.
2) But without an infallible canon of infallible teachings, they can't solve the same 'problem' that the Protestant has and that they always accuse the Prot of having.

Peace,
Rhology

orthodox said...

R: Welcome back!

O: Thankyou!

R: How do RCs know when ANYthing is ex cathedra?

O: I think the only way they can know it is tradition. Which from my point of view makes ex-cathedra oddly un-necessary. Not to mention that RCs seem not to have figured this out yet.

R: Besides, ecum councils have also made statements that would NOT be considered infallible.

O: If they are statements from the actual canons then in theory they must be considered infallible, although I can think of some that RCs seem to be trying to wriggle out of.

R: Also, whether a council is ecum or not is a matter of a posteriori cogitation; not the most reliable of bases for my money.

O: But that is no different to the canon of scripture.

O: Scripture as an infallible teaching authority pushes the question a step back compared to no scripture, but presumably you feel better informed having it than not.

R: Pushes it back a step from what?

O: From having no scripture. From going outside, looking at the trees, and trying to figure out who God is. Alternatively, from having no new testament, trying to figure it all out from the old testament. The additional clarification of Jesus and the apostles interpretation adds to your knowledge. It doesn't merely add one more layer of interpretation to push back the problem.

R: The RC (and EO) try to solve this by positing an infallible interpreter, not taking into acct the fact that the infall interper's communications are still read and digested by the fallible priest and layman. The problem is pushed back one step.

O: No, for two reasons. Firstly because the body of Christ is a live being that you can have back and forth interaction with. Secondly because over time all the major points of misinterpretation are clarified

What you're saying is really no different to saying that you don't need the clarification of the apostle Paul for interpreting the OT. Can you work out the apostle's interpretation easily in all cases? I think not.

R: 1) A Canon of Scr actually exists and can be appealed to.

O: If by a Canon of Scr you mean a list that all those claiming the name of Christ agree on, then such a thing has never ever existed in either old or new testaments.

So how do you appeal to it? Basicly, you appeal to the canon that those in your church agree on. That is your only basis. Of course there are times in history when even those within a particular church didn't agree.

R: 2) As opposed to the non-existent RC canon of infallible RC teachings.

O: Protestants are keen to point out that Rome didn't list a canon of scripture till Trent. But they do this to try and claim nobody needed Trent to make a list. Not to show that Rome should have made a list earlier.

So if protestants want to claim that the Church doesn't need to make lists, why complain if Rome didn't make a list of infallible teachings?

R: 3) I'd be interested, for the moment, in discovering whether the RCC has even a fallible complete list of all its infallible teachings.

O: Well if it's fallible then it isn't necessarily complete. I think the CCC is supposed to be a kind of list, but it is fallible.

R: 1) True, they can solve certain problems.
2) But without an infallible canon of infallible teachings, they can't solve the same 'problem' that the Protestant has and that they always accuse the Prot of having.

O: I think he point is the Protestant always has the problem that the RC sees himself as only sometimes having. Every protestant question falls back to whether you have the right canon and whether you have the right interpretation. In many cases Rome certainly has an unambiguous belief about many questions.

John Morales said...

This discourse on the minutiae of pontifical authority might benefit from some exegesis.

The Church holds it is based on the authority handed down from St. Peter to his successors, and in fact only applies to doctrines of faith or morals.

It makes sense if you grant the Catholic Church's claim of direct continuance from the apostles themselves.

John Morales said...

Matthew 16:17-19 is very clear.

Lucian said...

Rhob-ster,

a) where does Your Bible interdict cannibalism?

b) and what about the Orthodox schismatics' position: that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15); that he who neglects to hear the Church shall be treated as an heathen man and a publican (Matthew 18:17); that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (Matthew 18:16); and that where two or three are gathered together in Jesus' name, there He is the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). [Not to mention that completely counter-Scriptural Council in Acts, which *clearly* counterdicted the *clear* words of the O.T. Scriptures].

If Sola Scriptura is the truth, then why did Paul write no less than 14 epistles [half of the N.T.], contradicting people who relied on the Clear Text of the Holy Scriptures? -- why didn't he just say (as Protestants often do, when it comes to such cases) that it is a "non-essential" ?

Lucian said...

Glad to see You finally reading the Second Commandment and getting rid of that idolatrous picture of Yours and Your wives -- who did You even think the two of You were?? Liber and Libera? Isis and Horus? Huh?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Glad to see You finally reading the Second Commandment and getting rid of that idolatrous picture of Yours and Your wives...

Lucian, I dont know you so I'll just ask.

Are you kidding or are you unbelievably rude and ignorant? I hope you were kidding.

Rhology said...

D-Mc,

I'm pretty sure he's kidding. He does have quite an offbeat sense of humor, it would appear.

Lucian said...

Are you kidding or are you unbelievably rude and ignorant? I hope you were kidding.

Hope dies last, now, doesn't it?

My first post was by no means a joke.

And my second wasn't "just a joke" either.

Rhology said...

Let the record show that I am fallible, and that I am sometimes too generous.

Lucian said...

So, ... are You plannin' on answering these two questions anytime soon, or not?

1) Where does the Bible interdict cannibalism? -- come on, that's an easy one, ... isn't it? -- and if You think the question is stupid, then just give me a stupid answer.

2) If S.S. is true, how do You then explain the very existence of Paul's 14 letters? Let alone his constant admonition for his hearers / readers to follow in his footsteps and hearken to his interpretation? (Whereas all he should've done would've been to just hand them a copy of the Bible ... and if that wasn't possible, at least to tell them what the Scr. say, and then let each man interpret for himself).

P.S.: Glad to see You finally embrace Your iconoclastic teaching to the bitter end, and get rid of that idolatrous little picture ...

Rhology said...

Patience is a virtue, Lucian. Sorry I probably can't get to it today. Maybe I can.

Rhology said...

howdy all,

Contrary to what I just told Lucian, I'll leave the atheists on the backburner and comment here.

Orthodox said:
Thankyou!

You're welcome!

I think the only way they can know it is tradition.

But that's highly vague and highly subject to the charge of special-pleading and private, individual interpretation. If my private interping is off-limits, then dang it, let's have it off limits. As it is, these 'infallible' pronouncements become putty in the indiv RC's hands.

If they are statements from the actual canons then in theory they must be considered infallible,

Yes, in theory.

But that is no different to the canon of scripture.

Yeah, I think it's OK to say that.
Only thing is, we have a basis in the OT for that process working for the recognition of Scr. None for councils or papal proclamations or issuings-forth from "The Church".

Firstly because the body of Christ is a live being that you can have back and forth interaction with.

Which is made up of fallible individuals. The SS-er can say this too.

Secondly because over time all the major points of misinterpretation are clarified

That is manifestly untrue. A great example is that no RC can tell me for sure whether Papal pronouncement X is ex cathedra.

What you're saying is really no different to saying that you don't need the clarification of the apostle Paul for interpreting the OT.

That's silly - why would I argue against the need for Scr? I'm a Sola Scripturist, for crying out loud.
There is no biblical precedent for infallibility of any PERSON, and even those who claim it can't give me an answer for HOW they know the papal pronouncements are ex cathedra.

If by a Canon of Scr you mean a list that all those claiming the name of Christ agree on, then such a thing has never ever existed in either old or new testaments.

Everyone in my church is pretty much in-line with the OT and NT Canons, so...

Basicly, you appeal to the canon that those in your church agree on. That is your only basis.

No, there are many arguments for the Canon that I hold to. We've gone over some of them in the past.

Of course there are times in history when even those within a particular church didn't agree.

Which is yet another example of the incoherence of the Papal Infallibility schema.

So if protestants want to claim that the Church doesn't need to make lists, why complain if Rome didn't make a list of infallible teachings?

You miss the point significantly.
We remind overzealous RCs that the Canon was not in place in the RCC until Trent b/c they, like you, question the ability of God's people to be brought passively and gradually to know the Canon over time. THey say, "No, you need a council!" And then they just hope you don't bring up the fact that there was no such council for 15 centuries.
The list (Canon) is very useful for the Church, so why would I say that?
But the RC says "Your Canon is not infallible," implying that it's therefore invalid, but that does not follow.
Likewise, I simply remind the RC that he has no list, infallible or otherwise, of his own infallible teachings (whereas the Canon of Scr is the list of my own). I'm holding the RC (and the EO, in a different way) to his own demands.


John Morales said:

It makes sense if you grant the Catholic Church's claim of direct continuance from the apostles themselves.

Not so, there are *many* other leaps of logic and historicity that one must make from apostolic succession to the current RC behemoth.

Matthew 16:17-19 is very clear.

Of what? As you said, we might benefit from some exegesis (but props to you for knowing what "exegesis" means; a few atheists I've recently talked to used it incorrectly).


Lucian,

Man, I give you the benefit of the doubt and you burn me! You're a riot.

where does Your Bible interdict cannibalism?

1) "My" Bible? What does that mean?
2) Interesting question, though.
3) Thou shalt not murder.
4) But if the person is already dead, then one might legitimately ask if eating human flesh is healthful. (Not so much biblical, that response.)
5) One might legitimately argue that such would be a bizarre and pointless desecration of the human body, which would be condemned implicitly by Scr.
6) Romans 14 and 1 Cor 8 - if anyone EVER found out about it, and the chances are quite good, you'd be causing your brothers to stumble by eating a, ahem, certain kind of meat.

that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15

I believe it. It's in Scr, remember?

that he who neglects to hear the Church shall be treated as an heathen man and a publican (Matthew 18:17);

The local church, in context, yes. My church practices church discipline when necessary. (As opposed to the RCC.)

[Not to mention that completely counter-Scriptural Council in Acts, which *clearly* counterdicted the *clear* words of the O.T. Scriptures].

You suffer from a severe misunderstanding of the OT, my friend.
What were the OT dietary laws? Ceremonial in nature. Fulfilled in Christ. Christ Himself, after delivering a discourse that demolishes the EO and RC epistemologies in Mark 7:1-13, goes on in the next psg to state specifically that all foods are clean.

If Sola Scriptura is the truth, then why did Paul write no less than 14 epistles [half of the N.T.], contradicting people who relied on the Clear Text of the Holy Scriptures? -- why didn't he just say (as Protestants often do, when it comes to such cases) that it is a "non-essential" ?

Who are you referring to, who relied on the "Clear Text of the Holy Scriptures"?
That what is a non-essential?

Let alone his constant admonition for his hearers / readers to follow in his footsteps and hearken to his interpretation?

He was an apostle (an office given for a time), writing God-breathed Scr. Why would I *not* listen to him?

(Whereas all he should've done would've been to just hand them a copy of the Bible ... and if that wasn't possible, at least to tell them what the Scr. say, and then let each man interpret for himself).

1) He was WRITING part of the Bible.
2) Hebrews explicitly says (as does Jesus) that the OT was but a shadow of the things to be fulfilled in the New Covenant.

Glad to see You finally reading the Second Commandment and getting rid of that idolatrous picture of Yours and Your wives

1) My wiVES? Um, OK. I'm gonna go with D-MC here and say you're being stupid and rude.
2) Why would a picture be idolatrous? Images = idolatry when, say, one goes into a CHURCH, which is a RELIGIOUS SETTING, BOWS DOWN to the image, LIGHTS CANDLES to the image, BURNS INCENSE, PRAYS to the image, KISSES the image, PROSTRATES HIMSELF before the image, believes that they sometimes cry, believes that they can heal, and all that malarkey.
Given that I do none of those things, why would a picture of my wife and me be idolatrous?

Peace,
Rhology

Lucian said...

1) to 4) are non-answers.
5) and 6) are non-Scriptural: the Bible speaks of completely different things there. (One's cultural norms or biases don't count as Scripture).

The local church, in context

So, it's cool for one local Church to contadict another, then? ... both pretending to faithfully follow in the Apostle's footsteps.
goes on in the next psg to state specifically that all foods are clean.
Good for Him! Sola Scriptura! --> Where is this clearly stated in the Bible? -- In the best case, He either contradicted Himself, ... or just said "well, ... I take it back, ... You know, ... what I said to Your fore-fathers and all that".
1) He was WRITING part of the Bible.

Really??? ... I think he'll be surprised to hear You say that? (Unless, of course, he wrote THE Scriptures THAT Timothy's granny read to him while a young child).
Hebrews explicitly says ...
Good for Hebrews! Sola Scriptura, remember...?
1) My wiVES?

"Your wive's" ... sorry `bout that ...
idolatry when, say, one goes into a CHURCH, which is a RELIGIOUS SETTING, BOWS DOWN to the image, LIGHTS CANDLES to the image, BURNS INCENSE, PRAYS to the image,

Kinda like the golden Tabernacle & Temple Cherubim, You mean? (You know, ... where the Priests brought all the incence, sacrifices, stuff, ... etc ... and A LOT of prayers and prostrations there, believe me!).

Lucian said...

Oh yes, and least I forget: we follow the traditons of the Holy Apostles, whether handed unto us by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thessalonians 2:15) ... not the Pharisaic Traditions .. though some of them were good-enough even for St. Paul himself: You know, ... the whole stuff `bout Janne and Jambre; citation from I Enoch; Jubilees (the whole Melkisedek king-priestly stuff in Hebrews; etc...).

Don't you know that we shall judge the angels?

Proto-Protestants in Paul's congregation: "Sure not, old dude, where did'Ya see THAT in the Bible? Sola Scriptura !!!".

Rhology said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhology said...

Hi,

#s 5 and 6 are indeed Scr commands, but which in the Scriptural discussion, deal with norms of culture and conscience, which are not one and the same.

-local church
No, it's not "cool" for one ch to contradict another, but what recourse is there? The Scr, loving persuasion, that's it. There is no Scr basis for doing anythg more than no longer considering an apostate church as a Christian church. What do you suggest?

-I just explained the ceremonial law and Christ's fulfillment of it to you, and His naming of all foods as clean. Why are they clean? B/c believers' hearts are clean by FAITH and the ceremonial law is no longer to be practiced for purity in worship. And if you claim that Christ contradicted the Scriptures, you sink your own ship as well, which is common behavior among EOs and RCs but puzzles me.

-You think Paul didn't know he was writing Scriptures?
Why then did Peter refer to Paul's letters in 2 Peter 3:16 as Scripture?

-It would be "wife's". Just FYI.

-The ancient Hebrews did not, in their Temple worship, do anythg like what modern EO-dox do to their images. Why do you think they did? The fact that images were present doesn't mean anythg. Big deal - my church has a cross in the sanctuary.
They were praying to GOD, not to the image. Not sacrificing to the image. Not prostrating to the image. Not lighting candles to the image. Not addressing the image.
You know, we've gone over this recently; I have no confidence that you'll act any different than last time. But you can change my mind and answer the question you refused to answer last time:

Scenario: an Israelite has been calling up a dead believing ancestor and has been caught and brought before Moses for judgment.
His defense: "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead"

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?

-The way we know which traditions are holy and unholy is to judge them by Scr, as CHrist said in Mark 7:1-13.

The rest of your comment comes from your strange imagination.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

I would add that Lucian's great ignorance of the way the OT relates to the NT is a strong theme in his commenting here. Here's another example. Makes me wonder if his priest knows, if there's any way for the priest to know (given that EO-dox aren't known for their in-depth Bible studies), if the priest would care, and if Lucian has told him. Either way, I don't expect Lucian to inform us.

Lucian said...

His naming of all foods as clean "clearly" contradcits with the "clear" meaning of Scripture. The Scr. say: this is clean, and this is unclean: BE DISGUSTED and REPELL yourselves from them that are unclean, and let these be as an ABOMINAION to you (Leviticus 11:11-13). -- my point: either Christ's "eisegesis" is right [but You told me You're glad YOU don't have to "resort" to "that sort of thing" to defend YOUR position --> when we spoke about the Virgin Birth, remember?], ... or S.S. is right: He clearly didn't offer them the "clear", but the hidden meaning of Scripture.

[LITTLE PARANTHESIS OPENED]:
For instance, when I was young (4-6 yrs of age) I read Christ's words: "Don't You know that our God is a God of the living, not One of the dead?", coming in response to the question about the ressurection. It was clear for me at least -then and there- His interpretation was something extremely deep that cut straight to the heart of it all, and which mocked the literalism of the Pharisaic interpretation, ... but -at the same time- it was something that couldn't be logically deduced in any way whatsoever. -- There was no way that someone might just on eday look at THAT and come up with THIS -- it just wasn't. -- ... It's just like You hear about atoms, live a family life, and have trifoil in Your back-garden ... but there's just NO WAY that You're gonna wake up one morning and exclaim: Evrika! God is a Trinity!.
[LITTLE PARANTHESIS CLOSED].

Your entire third paragraph is an INTERPRETATION of Scripture -- NOT the text itself -- IF I would choose the algortihm for "rightly dividing the word of truth" as proposed by S.S., I would only end up straight in the jam I described. --> A recourse to reduction to the absurd doesn't make ME a stupid man who disbelieves Christ ... just like it doesn't make a Math-teacher a stupid man who thinks -for example- that one can draw more than just one parallel to a given line through an exterior point.

I don't resort to S.S., so I don't face the challenges You logically have to face, as a direct result of Your belief. (Neither do my Priests, BTW).

Why then did Peter refer to Paul's letters in 2 Peter 3:16 as Scripture?

Though we celebrate them on the same day, it doesn't mean that these two are one ("Fight Club" style).

The ancient Hebrews did not, in their Temple worship, do anythg like what modern EO-dox do to their images. Why do you think they did? The fact that images were present doesn't mean anythg.

Of course it doesn't! It doesn't mean anything! Nothing means anything anymore!

Rhob,

what does God tell Moses? Does He say to him: "do these things as 'mere symbols'" ? Doesn't He rather say to him: "because between these two Cherubim shall I show Myself unto You" ? (Exodus 30:6). And, tell me, ... what do You think Moses' corporal position would've been at the time God was showing Himself to him between the two golden Cherubs ? My guess is, it probably looked something like that which we see described in: Genesis 18:1-2; Genesis 19:1; Exodus 3:6; Exodus 33:20-23; 1 Kings 19:11-13; Daniel 8:18; Daniel 10:9; Daniel 10:15. My guess is, they just fell on their faces and worshipped the Lord of Hosts ... in front of the O.T. icons of the hosts of the Lord, ... when the Glory of the Lord (which is Jesus) filled the Tabernacle and the Temple.

The rest of your comment comes from your strange imagination.

So, it's "Just My Imagination, just my imagination", then, as the song goes, right?

It's "just my imagination" that Paul mentions by name Jane and Jambre ? -- what was his sola-scriptural source for that ?

It's "just my imagination" that Paul makes twice refference to Enoch? Once when he says: "the woman shall cover her head because of the angels" -- this particular verse never made any real sense to me ... that is, until I heard of the Enochic tradition; the other one, when he says: "Don't you know that we will judge the angels ?" -- FROM WHERE IN THE WORLD did he get THAT ideea ?

It's "just my imagination" that the Book of Jubiless describes the Messiah of Israel as a king-priest forever reigining over his people, and that it compares him to the archetypal Melkisedek ?

Is it "just my imagination" that Paul speaks of those "sawn assunder" for the faith, and of those who scorned death, while "expecting a better ressurection" ?

WHERE do You find in Scripture ANYTHING about those martyrs "sawn assunder" for the faith ? And, even worse, WHERE do You see ANYONE dieing with the hope of ressurection? --> Apart from "The Martyrdom of Isaiah", or the LXX 'addition' at the end of Job, or the beautifulk hymn of the righteous in Wisdom 1-5, or 2nd Maccabees 7 , that is ...

Lucian's great ignorance of the way the OT relates to the NT
is shown here, at the end:
mystificator.blogspot.com/2007/08/elijah-revisited-transfiguration-of-our.html

Rhology said...

Lucian,

You seem to be saying that, if we take only Scripture, Christ contradicts Scripture. That's rich. Seriously, does your priest know what you write?
If that's the case, I'd like to know how your tradition solves the "problem".

You seem to be saying that Scripture cannot be understood on a logical basis. I guess that means you believe that it can only be apprehended on a spiritual level.
It's true that it can be and must be taken on a spiritual level, but God designed it to be comprehensible to the mind also in many ways. Just b/c you don't apply yourself to understand and are a member of a church that can't/doesn't do so doesn't mean it's not the case.

My 3rd paragraph is exegesis of the Scr. You're welcome to give it a go - please explain how the Epistle to the Hebrews fits together with the OT in a way that is substantively different than what I said.
While you're at it, make sure to cite your EO tradition that backs up what you're saying. I wouldn't want you to provide me a private individual interpretation.

Again, just b/c God showed Himself between cherubs or whatever, what does that have to do with anythg? Did Moses BOW DOWN to the *image*, LIGHT CANDLES to the *image*, BURN INCENSE, PRAY to the image, KISS the *image*, PROSTRATE HIMSELF before the image, believe that it sometimes cries...?

Paul was WRITING inspired Scripture - why would I care whether he cites non-OT stuff?
Is SS impossible b/c I don't understand exhaustively all the reasons why God said what He said in the Scr?

Peace,
Rhology

Lucian said...

Who said Orthodox worship the images? -- true, they are as holy as can be (and we have a great sense of the holy, and of the sacred). But who said we do any of these things?

I'm consciously Orthodox since I'm 3 yrs old, and my grandmother was a simple peasant woman -- just like other friends or relatives of ours in that village ... and, needless to say, neither I (as a 3-to-7 yrs old todler), nor my "untaught and un-illumined" granny (or her friends, neighbours or relatives) ever confounded persons with images. We did not think that images become persons, etc. -- we knew what pictures, icons, or portraits were ... we weren't THAT stupid ... NOONE is THAT stupid.

We use icons in our payer, stand and/or kneel in front of them while we pray [though not face-in-the-gound,-Old-Testament-style], and believe that the Grace of God works through them: Moses and the Tabernacle (and Temple) Priests also used the golden Cherubs, bowed down in front of them because the Shekinah was unbearable for mortal eyes to watch, said their prayers there, even met God there ... (What do You think that the Temple and Tabernacle were, if not prayer-and-worship places?). ... AND, YES, RHOB, THEY EVEN LIT THEIR CANDLES THERE: what do You think the Menorah was? As for incence & candles as being part of Temple worship, that's all over the O.T.

They didn't KISS their icons, though ... but they didn't call God their Father either (in prayers) ... subtle difference, You see, between God as Creator (Genesis), and Him as Father (the Gospels).

Scripture, interpreted literally and/or literalistically, through the logic faculties of the human mind, makes some pretty dam' good Jews outta us, Rhob .... BUT IT DEFINITELY does NOT makes us Christians: why do You think Christianity was a mystery-religion in the first few centuries, and continued to be so even under subsequent spread, legalization, recognition, etc.? Why do You think it still remains so, even until this very day?

Paul himself never saw himself as writing Scripture. So much, so clear. The fact that Peter mentions "his writings, together with the other scriptures" is Peter's problem, not Paul's. As far as Paul was concerned, the Scriptures were the ones Timothy, as a young child, had heard read by his grandmother. -- and believe me, HIS writings were NOT among them !

So, ... what was the religion of Paul, when he offered his readers the sections from his writings that I've presented to You? S.S.?

why would I care whether he cites non-OT stuff?

For the sake of sanity of reason.

My 3rd paragraph is exegesis of the Scr.

So was my reasoning that the Mother Of God remained a virgin in the moments following her Birth of the Son of God (actually, forever: Ezekiel 44:2 "it shall be shut, it shall not be opened, {see the repetition} and no man shall enter it because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut {and here it is again, FOR THE THIRD TIME}"). -- that, however, didn't seem to impress You very much. -- because, though "it's Scripture!", it's not >'SOLA' Scripture< ... and that's precisely my whole point: take S.S., put it in Paul, and forget half of the N.T. ... put it in Jesus, and forget Christianty alltogether! (Christ didn't Sola-Scriptura His way out of the O.T. ... but anything that He said regarding Himself was FROM the Scriptures, ... but not "JUST" literally understood [i.e., not "SOLA"] -- otherwise, we'll all be Jews now).

Seriously, Rhob, IF NOT EVEN YOU, WHO ARE A CHRISTIAN, accept my "clear" little reasoning that the Mother of God was ever-Virgin, becasue the citation I gave You does NOT *literally* speak of her, THEN HOW ON EARTH do *You* expect form a Jew to believe Isaiah 7:14 is about Christ, when it isn't *literally* about Him, but about the one born to Isaiah's prophetess in the following chapter?
Or that "out of Egypt I shall call My Son" is about Christ, when it is *literally* spoken about the people of Israel (and about the Exodus-story) in the context?
How does "*SOLA* Scriptura" fit into all of this?

orthodox said...

R: But that's highly vague and highly subject to the charge of special-pleading and private, individual interpretation. If my private interping is off-limits, then dang it, let's have it off limits. As it is, these 'infallible' pronouncements become putty in the indiv RC's hands.

O: Well, the people of the OT must have faced these problems about whether the latest prophet wanna-be was really infallible.

The problem I see with implementing papal infallibility is that it is a new development and thus nobody has any precedent for making it work and there is no precedent in history for understanding how it works.

R: Yeah, I think it's OK to say that.
Only thing is, we have a basis in the OT for that process working for the recognition of Scr. None for councils or papal proclamations or issuings-forth from "The Church".

O: Hmm, do we actually have a basis in the OT, or do we really have the basis in the extra-biblical Jewish tradition? I can't think of anything actually in the OT scriptures that comments on the acceptance of new scriptures.

And even if we granted that, the picture we see in the OT people of God was a visible people who collectively as a body interpreted these scriptures according to a common understanding.

And the Jews did have a council: the Sanhedrin. If there was a particular canon laid up in the temple, which protestants claim there was (although in reality there is no evidence what was in it), then the Sanhedrin would have had the authority to say what was allowed in or not.

O: Firstly because the body of Christ is a live being that you can have back and forth interaction with.

R: Which is made up of fallible individuals. The SS-er can say this too.

O: Nobody in SS-land has a commitment to teach the consensus of the faith. And nobody in SS-land can even be trusted to faithfully carry on their own tradition. Look at the Triabloguers, who openly admit to denying Nicene trinitarianism, contrary to the founding fathers of their denomination.

Contrast this to the Orthodox mind where everybody has a commitment to passing on the Tradition. You can't compare a fallible orthodox to a fallible SS-er. A fallible SS-er is truely speaking their own mind only. A fallible Orthodox is trying to pass on the community mind.

O: Secondly because over time all the major points of misinterpretation are clarified

R: That is manifestly untrue. A great example is that no RC can tell me for sure whether Papal pronouncement X is ex cathedra.

O: Whether pronouncement X is ex-cathedra wouldn't be considered a major point of theology in the RC mind.

O: What you're saying is really no different to saying that you don't need the clarification of the apostle Paul for interpreting the OT.

R: That's silly - why would I argue against the need for Scr? I'm a Sola Scripturist, for crying out loud.

O: You're missing the point. Further clarification of previous infallible statements can be useful. Thus we have Paul interpreting the OT.

O: If by a Canon of Scr you mean a list that all those claiming the name of Christ agree on, then such a thing has never ever existed in either old or new testaments.

R: Everyone in my church is pretty much in-line with the OT and NT Canons, so...

O: Ahh yeah, so....? So what? Birds of a feather, flock together. But how do you know you are right?

O: Basicly, you appeal to the canon that those in your church agree on. That is your only basis.

R: No, there are many arguments for the Canon that I hold to. We've gone over some of them in the past.

O: It would be instructive to see you debate with someone from one of the churches that does not accept Revelation as scripture. You'd put forward your arguments, they'd put forward their arguments, and then you'd be at an impasse.

R: We remind overzealous RCs that the Canon was not in place in the RCC until Trent b/c they, like you, question the ability of God's people to be brought passively and gradually to know the Canon over time.

O: You completely misunderstand Orthodoxy if you suggest that we don't believe God's people are led into truth that way. And I think you also misunderstand what Catholics would claim too.

R: THey say, "No, you need a council!"

O: No, what they say is that you need a council when some group challenges the faith and a council needs to clarify it.

R: And then they just hope you don't bring up the fact that there was no such council for 15 centuries.

O: If you haven't noticed, this doesn't bother them at all. Why should it?

R: But the RC says "Your Canon is not infallible," implying that it's therefore invalid, but that does not follow.

O: But the RC recognizes Tradition as a source of infallibility also, from whence people got the canon before Trent. Now you can claim if you wish that this Tradition was somewhat vaguer than Trent, but by the same token it was infinitely more substantive than any explanation protestants can tell us about the authority for discovering the canon.

R: Likewise, I simply remind the RC that he has no list, infallible or otherwise, of his own infallible teachings (whereas the Canon of Scr is the list of my own). I'm holding the RC (and the EO, in a different way) to his own demands.

O: But the RC does have lists. And even if those lists are incomplete or fuzzy around the edges, they are a source of authority and truth that trumps no source at all.

You won't understand the RC mind until you can grasp the Orthodox mind, because you are focused on the scholastic questions of papal infallibility and infallible lists, and you don't grasp the other part of the mind of the church, the part that since the very beginning has never been obsessed with this question.

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: "the ability of God's people to be brought passively and gradually to know the Canon over time."

ORTHODOX: I note also the epistemological problem in pointing to God's people as a source of knowledge about the canon, but without any theory on how to identify those people, or a concrete identification of where and when God's people identified this canon.

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Who said Orthodox worship the images?

The distinction between latria and dulia totally unbiblical and untenable. In dulia-ing, you latria.

no one ever confounded persons with images.

But the images themselves are proscribed biblically as far as religious activity goes.
Nothing wrong with images. Just don't bow down to them. Don't light candles to them in church. Don't pray to them. Don't use them for calling up the dead.

NOONE is THAT stupid.

It's not a question of stupidity. It's a question of submission to Scr authority.

THEY EVEN LIT THEIR CANDLES THERE: what do You think the Menorah was?

They lit them TO GOD, not to the icons.

but they didn't call God their Father either (in prayers)

Irrelevant.
And they did: Psalm 68:5, 89:26, 103:13.

Scripture, interpreted literally and/or literalistically, through the logic faculties of the human mind, makes some pretty dam' good Jews outta us, Rhob

Only if you leave out the Epistle to the Hebrews and alot of what CHrist said.
If you can't interp Scr correctly, that's no one's problem but yours.

Why do You think it still remains so, even until this very day?

B/c God is infinite in His very essence; His self-revelation to mere men can only go so far. But He has made it sufficiently clear that His revelation in the Scr is sufficient. And that all other traditions are to be judged by Scr.

Paul himself never saw himself as writing Scripture.

Peter saw himself as.
And he saw Paul as.
This might be helpful.

what was the religion of Paul, when he offered his readers the sections from his writings that I've presented to You? S.S.?

Nobody claims that the apostles followed SS. There must be a Scriptura for Sola Scriptura to exist.
And yet Christians tested the apostles' claims by the OT Scr anyway. And were commended for understanding that their msg lined up with the OT (contrary to your bizarre assertions).

Ezek 44:2 = Mary

Ezek 43:18-27

18And he said to me, "Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: These are the ordinances for the altar: On the day when it is erected for offering burnt offerings upon it and(AL) for throwing blood against it, 19you shall give to(AM) the Levitical priests(AN) of the family of Zadok, who draw near to me to minister to me, declares the Lord GOD,(AO) a bull from the herd for a sin offering. 20And(AP) you shall take some of its blood and put it on(AQ) the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the ledge and upon(AR) the rim all around.(AS) Thus you shall purify the altar and make atonement for it. 21You shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and(AT) it shall be burned in the appointed place belonging to the temple, outside the sacred area. 22And on the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering; and the altar shall be purified, as it was purified with the bull. 23When you have finished(AU) purifying it, you shall offer a bull from the herd without blemish and(AV) a ram from the flock without blemish. 24You shall present them before the LORD, and the priests(AW) shall sprinkle salt on them and offer them up as a burnt offering to the LORD. 25(AX) For seven days you shall provide daily a male goat for a sin offering; also, a bull from the herd and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be provided. 26Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, and so consecrate it.[g] 27And when they have completed these days, then(AY) from the eighth day onward the priests shall offer on the altar your burnt offerings and your(AZ) peace offerings, and(BA) I will accept you, declares the Lord GOD."

Ezek 44:1-8

1Then he brought me(A) back to the outer gate of the sanctuary,(B) which faces east. And it was shut. 2And the LORD said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for(C) the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut. 3Only(D) the prince may sit in it(E) to eat bread before the LORD. He(F) shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."
4Then he brought me by way of(G) the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold,(H) the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And(I) I fell on my face. 5And the LORD said to me,(J) "Son of man, mark well,(K) see with your eyes,(L) and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the LORD and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. 6And say to(M) the rebellious house,[a] to the(N) house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: O house of Israel,(O) enough of all your abominations, 7in(P) admitting foreigners,(Q) uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary,(R) profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You[b] have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8And(S) you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.


Ah, but this is Mary. Sure it is.

accept my "clear" little reasoning that the Mother of God was ever-Virgin

By citing Ezek out of context and ignoring the impressive counter-evidence?

HOW ON EARTH do *You* expect form a Jew to believe Isaiah 7:14 is about Christ, when it isn't *literally* about Him, but about the one born to Isaiah's prophetess in the following chapter?

For one thing, Is 7:14 actually applies to Jesus.
Any Jew who knows the Scr should be aware of types and antitypes.
And Hebrews explains even more clearly.
And why would what a Jew thinks about the Scr matter?

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

Orthodox,

Well, the people of the OT must have faced these problems about whether the latest prophet wanna-be was really infallible.

Yes, but they had a way to know the diff.
Deut 13 and 18.
And you're right about papal infall. I'd add that the Scr knows nothing of it.
Why not also understand that not only is papal infall wrong for those reasons, but also the idea of church as infallible?


I can't think of anything actually in the OT scriptures that comments on the acceptance of new scriptures.

The self-attestations of the OT are more numerous than in the NT.
And the NT gives evidence that the OT was held as God-breathed, God speaking.

OT people of God was a visible people who collectively as a body interpreted these scriptures

The covenant community was visible, yes. Like the local church of the NT.
But there were only some in that community who were really believers, who really knew God. Like the universal, invisible church of the NT.
There's no reason to attempt to follow the SCr interps of unbelievers, who can't understand the Scr (1 Cor 2:14-15).

And the Jews did have a council: the Sanhedrin.

But it wasn't infallible, obviously.
And it got lots of things wrong. So the parallel to the NT church as infall interper falls down.
I know, it hurts. This is the only way to answer the White Question for you, and it's rubbish. You have to posit a totally new way of knowing what God's speaking is for the NT than what was in the OT.

Nobody in SS-land has a commitment to teach the consensus of the faith.

Sorry, this is nonsense; I don't even know what it means.

And nobody in SS-land can even be trusted to faithfully carry on their own tradition

Um, my church does a fine job of holding to the Baptist Faith & Msg.
Lots of Presbys hold just fine to the WCF.
Lots of Reformed Baptists hold just fine to the LBCF.
The problem is not too little tradition, but too much, especially in this conversation.

Look at the Triabloguers, who openly admit to denying Nicene trinitarianism, contrary to the founding fathers of their denomination.

As if a commitment to Nicene theology is more important than holding to what the Scr says. Any SS-ist will say that.

the Orthodox mind where everybody has a commitment to passing on the Tradition. Y

Except you pick and choose, when challenged, which tradition is Tradition. This is so ad hoc as to be meaningless.

A fallible Orthodox is trying to pass on the community mind.

The mind of a bunch of fallible people. Sounds great.
Ever heard this? "Meeting = none of us is as dumb as all of us."

Whether pronouncement X is ex-cathedra wouldn't be considered a major point of theology in the RC mind.

If it isn't, it should be.
And I think it is, you're just making strange claims.

Further clarification of previous infallible statements can be useful. Thus we have Paul interpreting the OT.

Fair enough.
But the RC claim is often that the infall teaching authority is enough.

But how do you know you are right?

The fact that my arguments have so far not met a successful challenge.

It would be instructive to see you debate with someone from one of the churches that does not accept Revelation as scripture.

Just as it would be to see you do the same.

O: Revelation is in the Canon... I think.
X: You think? You don't know for sure?
O: Well, it's traditionally held-to as canonical, but our canon is open.
X: So you can't be sure.
O: I can - the Church believes it to be canonical.
X: No, your church is not the true church. Mine is.
O: No, mine is. We have a history.
X: So do we.
O: We go back to the apostles.
X: So do we.
O: No you don't. here's my list.
X: Here's mine.
O: that's not Sacred Tradition.
X: Yes it is. My Church says it is and says your list is not.
O: Well, my Church says your list is not Tradition, even though it's tradition, and my list is Tradition.
X: How do you know it's Sacred Tradition?
O: My church says so and it's been traditionally held to.
X: But your church is the wrong one and so your claims to tradition are invalid.
O: But my church says it is and YOURS is wrong.
X: But your church isn't the true church. So your Tradition is just tradition, whereas my tradition is Tradition.

Etc.

You'd put forward your arguments, they'd put forward their arguments, and then you'd be at an impasse.

My position doesn't depend on whether others accept the rightness of the arguments, but on the arguments themselves.
Speaking of impasse, BTW, look where you are.

If you haven't noticed, this doesn't bother them at all. Why should it?

B/c they claim I need a council to know what the Canon is. Try to keep track of the argument.
My position doesn't depend on whether others accept the rightness of the arguments, but on the arguments themselves.

But the RC recognizes Tradition as a source of infallibility also

But, like your position, has no way to infallibly know whether that tradition is infallible or not. And no way to tell me the difference.

But the RC does have lists. And even if those lists are incomplete or fuzzy around the edges, they are a source of authority and truth that trumps no source at all.

I have lists too, that are fallible. Big whoop. They claim an epistemic advantage where none exists.
I'd add that the evidence favors my side. Infallibility is needed to surmount the problem.

you don't grasp the other part of the mind of the church

Ah, that vague and undefined entity to which you appeal whenever you can't answer a question about your internal inconsistencies and inability to defend your position biblically.
Vastly inspiring of confidence.

I note also the epistemological problem in pointing to God's people as a source of knowledge about the canon, but without any theory on how to identify those people, or a concrete identification of where and when God's people identified this canon.

I can place them - the early church.
If you quibble over WHICH group, then you have many problems.
1) You can't tell me which group was the One True Ch either. If you can, I can.
2) You base your authoritative tradition on what 'the early church' said, but there were many groups in the early church, as you have admitted.
3) If there were many denoms, that fits more closely your criticism of modern Prot-ism and so we're closer to the early ch on that count than you claim you are.
4) You have the exact same problem but get out of it by a naked appeal to the modern EOC to answer the question.

Peace,
Rhology

Jes�s Ram�rez Gaudi said...

Rhology, if the tomb of St Paul were to be found, and a collection of his letters found within including all the NT letters AND ONE OTHER, what would the status of this letter be, assuming it is wholly consonant with the teaching of the NT letters? Would it be a case of "Gee, that's interesting, but the ship sailed with the KJV" or would there be an argument for inclusion in the canon? Canons are born, they are clearly altered over time, so what would be the deal about, say, the inclusion of a genuine Letter to the Laocedocians (forgive the spelling) should it be discovered and verified?

Just a thought, thanks.

Rhology said...

Fine question. I'm not sure - it would be worth considering as canonical, I'd imagine, as long as it could be verified as probably written by an apostle or his amanuensis.

But one thing is certain - whether an "infallible interpreter" declared it canonical or non-canonical wouldn't make any difference one way or the other. We gotta keep our eye on the ball.

Peace,
Rhology

Lucian said...

The distinction between latria and dulia totally unbiblical and untenable.

Who said anything about doulia and latria?

It's not a question of stupidity.

Yes, friend, it actually is. When OD Theologians ultra-philosophically and hyper-biblically explain the oh-so-wondrous distinction between doulia and latria, the Prot looks straight into their eyes and ask them in a dismissive voice: "and do ya people believe that the untaught and unlearned masses ACTUALLY believe and/or understand all this hocus-pocus? I mean, we ALL KNOW that they're actually all a bunch of pagan weirdos [C-tine, Sun-worship, and all that], and youse guys are just makin' all sorts of excuses out for them ".

Only if you leave out the Epistle to the Hebrews and alot of what Christ said.

Neither the Epistle to the Hebrews (8:5, 9:23-24, 10:1), nor any of Paul's Epistles (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10:11; Galatians 4:24), nor Christ interpreted the Scriptures literally. -- though, of course, they didn't deny the obvious literal interpretations thereof.

If you can't interp Scr correctly, that's no one's problem but yours.

I can interpret the Scr. correctly, but I recognize there being a difference between interpretation and plain meaning.

Nobody claims that the apostles followed SS.

If they did no such thing, and they also admonestate us to follow in their path (2 Thessalonians 2:15), then why on earth (a) do Prots contradict their teaching by their beliefs in the SS [thus positively choosing to stray away form their straight and narrow path]; OR: (b) why don't the Prots simply continue, or go on, to write further Scriptures. (I'm making an argument for continuity here, and one for clarity, or sanity, of reason).

And yet Christians tested the apostles' claims by the OT Scr anyway.

So, if they already had their Bibles, and all, why the need for further Scriptures? If it was all so clear and obvious, why then the need for further interpretations?

Any Jew who knows the Scr should be aware of types and antitypes.

And yet, You're still denying the typological interpretation of the passage in Ezekiel as reffering to Mary. (But then, You're not a Jew either).

And why would what a Jew thinks about the Scr matter?

Because the Scriptures were given to THEM. So, if not even they, who have been reading and studying them for 1500-to-500 yrs. didn't get them right, then ... ?

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Who said anything about doulia and latria?

I did when you tried to defend yourself, saying that EOx don't "worship" your images. EOx appeal to the unbiblical and therefore 100% arbitrary distinction between doulia and latria to justify your actions.

I mean, we ALL KNOW that they're actually all a bunch of pagan weirdos

This is just silly hyperbole.

nor Christ interpreted the Scriptures literally

What does "literally" mean to you?
B/c I might agree with you, depending. I hold that the best way to interp Scr is the grammatico-historical method (GHM).

I recognize there being a difference between interpretation and plain meaning.

Yes and no. But "plain meaning" is a matter of interpretation, which is one reason why it cracks me up when EOx and RCs say stuff like "Well, that's just your interp! Me, I have the authoritative word of the infallible church to tell ME what the psg of Scr means!" You still have to interp what the infall interper said, and on and on it goes.

If they did no such thing

I said this: It's b/c you need a Scriptura for Sola Scriptura to be in effect. They were preaching and writing the Word of God at the time. Now that they're not doing so, the Scr is the infallible and sufficient Word of God.

why don't the Prots simply continue, or go on, to write further Scriptures?

B/c God is not breathing out Scr anymore. Why would we write more Scr?

if they already had their Bibles, and all, why the need for further Scriptures?

For the 5th time, it's b/c the Old Covenant was but a type and a shadow of what was to come - Jesus Christ, Who brought in the New Covenant.
I'd ask you to read Hebrews, but you've demonstrated such a paucity of understanding that I have no idea where you'd go with it. But I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of €uros that your priest understands it better than you - why don't you ask him to go over it in Bible study or catechism class or sthg?

If it was all so clear and obvious, why then the need for further interpretations?

Who's claiming a need for "further interpretations"? I'm talking about further Scripture.

You're still denying the typological interpretation of the passage in Ezekiel as reffering to Mary.

Based on the context which has nothing to do with your wild interpretation, yes.

Because the Scriptures were given to THEM.

The Old Testament Scr were given to them, yes. They rejected their Messiah, however - a partial hardening has come over the Jewish heart until the fulness of Gentiles comes in. I don't care much what a follower of Judaism after the time of Christ tells me about the Scr, really.

So, if not even they, who have been reading and studying them for 1500-to-500 yrs. didn't get them right, then ... ?

Then... what? What you're implying sinks your ship as well as mine. (Not that I grant it's a valid argument, but if it were...)
Surely you don't imagine that Jews think that Reformed people are substantially less correct than EOdox, are you? We both believe that Jesus was their Messiah, which they reject.

Peace,
Rhology

Lucian said...

What does "literally" mean to you? B/c I might agree with you, depending. I hold that the best way to interp Scr is the grammatico-historical method (GHM).

Yes, ... let's take for instance the 4 rivers of the Paradise of Eden. In the literal interpretation, they are the four earthly rivers of Tigris, Euphrates, Pison and Gihon. -- In this interpretation we agree with both Jews and Protestants.

On a more spiritual level, exemplified by the Exegetical School of Alexandria, the four rivers of Paradise are -let's say- the four cardinal virtues, which water our hearts ("The Kingdom of God is in you"). -- Some or many of the Jews and Protestants may agree with us on this. (Though, that again, some or many will NOT).

And yet, on a still DEEPER, and, this time, Christological level, exemplified now by the Exegetical School at Antioch, the four rivers of the Paradise are the Four Gospels, which, -again-, water our hearts through the Holy Spirit that enbreathes them (John 7:38). -- The Jews wholly disbelieve us at this point, while some or many Prots may still be here at the same wave-length as us. (Though, that again, some or many will NOT).

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which is one reason why it cracks me up when EOx and RCs say stuff like "Well, that's just your interp! Me, I have the authoritative word of the infallible church to tell ME what the psg of Scr means!" You still have to interp what the infall interper said, and on and on it goes.

About *literal* interpretation: some times, there are more possible, but NOT necesarilly Orthodox interpretations on a given passage: let's take the famous "and God became flesh" passage. We could either interpret it LITERALLY to mean that the Divine Substance was transformed into flesh (like certain heretics did) ... or we could interpret them ALSO LITERALLY, BUT this time in an Orthodox meaning: namely that God assumed flesh, rather than being transformed into such.

ALSO, "God became flesh" can mean [given that we chose the Orth. interpretation thereof in the above paragraph] that He assumed ONLY flesh, while leaving other human components, such as spirit, soul, mind, and logos out of His Divine Humanity ... this IS a LITERAL interpretation -- BUT it's heretical. The rival LITERAL interpretation (this time an Orth. one) is that the word "flesh" here is spoken loosely about the ENTIRE human nature, taken as a whole -- BOTH interpretations are LITERAL ones [each one very tempting, each one literaly p[ossible], ... BUT only the Orth. one we hold as true. (The same goes for the pair of rival LITERAL interpretations from the above paragraph).

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As regards to the spiritual, allegorical, mystical interpretation: The Gnostics also interpreted the N.T. in this way (and so did also the fathers, BTW). But they interpreted it heretically: they said, -for instance-, that the 30 yrs. of Christ represent the 30 Aeons; that the age of 12 yrs, when He was taken into the Temple represent the Dodecad; etc. -- and other such abberations. The saintly Bishops rejected such utter absurdities and oddities because they weren't part of the "treasury once and for all delivered to the Saints". They weren't part of ANY sort of Apostolic Tradition WHATSOEVER.

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So, NOT ANY literal interpretation is good; NEITHER is ANY metaphorical interpretation good.


[I have no ideea whether You'll agree with me at all on any of this, or to what extent, etc. -- all I've done here basically was expressing the Orth. opinion in the clearest way possible, so that You might understand where I'm coming from -- i.e., I don't "expect" You to aprove on any of the matters written above].

Rhology said...

Thanks for that. It inspired me to write a post at Beggars All.

Peace,
Rhology

orthodox said...

R: EOx appeal to the unbiblical and therefore 100% arbitrary distinction between doulia and latria to justify your actions.

O: Um... is it biblical to honour your brothers and sisters in Christ, BUT with an honour that falls short of the worship you give to God?

I don't understand this complaint at all.

Rhology said...

Yes, it's biblical. So what?

We're talking about dead people and the images that are used to "pray" to them and, what's worse, venerate them. One goes into a CHURCH, which is a RELIGIOUS SETTING, BOWS DOWN to the image, LIGHTS CANDLES to the image, BURNS INCENSE, PRAYS to the image, KISSES the image, PROSTRATES HIMSELF before the image, believes that they sometimes cry, believes that they can heal, and all that.

And then justifies it: "It's just dulia!"
Biblically,
1) talking to dead people is forbidden.
2) praying to anyone other than God is forbidden.
3) rendering any religious devotion-type stuff is forbidden. Especially when the things I mentioned are performed. And since latria and dulia in the OT are interchangeably proscribed by the Lord Himself, it must be condemned.

See, that's what's called judging tradition by Scripture. One would expect an intellectually honest person to come right out and say that he chooses to forsake the biblical injunctions in favor of his traditions. That would at least be consistent, but of course not with the words of Jesus in Mark 7:1-13.

Peace,
Rhology

Lucian said...

Your own words condemn You.

So, ... anything else You might wanna add? :D Come on! Don't let Matthew 12:36 scare You!