Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome

Welcome to Answering Catholic Claims. This blog exists to share Truth with both Catholics and non-Catholics, alike. It is not intended to make fun of, harass, or humiliate Catholics. I just want to give Catholics some food for thought. I want them to consider the claims of the Catholic Church and to compare those claims with the words of Scripture. The purpose of this blog is mainly to confront certain arguments put forth by Catholics on a variety of issues, and to demonstrate that these arguments are weak, invalid, unbiblical, or they contradict Scripture. For the record, I will point out that the Catholic Church does have some truth in some of its teachings, but it falls far short of having the “fullness of truth” that it so often claims to have. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. With that in mind, let us begin to evaluate some of these claims.


FINAL AUTHORITY

The first topic (and one of the most foundational ones) that we will discuss is the issue of authority. Catholics look to a combination of Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium as their final authority, while most Protestants believe in “Sola Scriptura” (the Bible Alone). But what do Catholics think of Sola Scriptura? This concept is very often misunderstood and misrepresented by most Catholics (and some Protestants, as well). When we say “Bible Alone,” we do not mean that we cannot use other sources of information to help us along in our Christian walk. Neither does it mean that the Bible contains every bit of spiritual information that exists. It is not an exhaustive encyclopedia containing every word that God, the Father, or Jesus Christ, the Son, has ever spoken, nor does it tell us of every single event in Church history. Sola Scriptura does not mean that there are no other authorities, or that the writings of the church fathers are useless. It does not mean that all tradition is bad, or that the Holy Spirit cannot deal with our hearts by other means, as well. It also does not mean that something has to be specifically mentioned in the Bible to be true, or that a person can wrecklessly interpret the Bible any way he wants to.

Ok, so what does Sola Scriptura mean then? Here is a simple definition:


It means that the Bible is the only infallible Rule of Faith for the
church today
.


That’s it. It is a simple concept. The Scriptures are therefore the ultimate authority for the Christian, since there is nothing above, or equal to, their authority. All other sources, teachings, tradition, “revelation,” etc., are subject to this ultimate authority. We must test all of these and determine if they line up with God’s Word (I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1; Matthew 15:1-9; Acts 17:11). If any teaching does not line up with the Scriptures, it cannot be binding on the Christian.


CATHOLIC CLAIM – SOLA SCRIPTURA IS A SELF-REFUTING CONCEPT, SINCE IT IS NOT BIBLICAL, THAT IS, IT CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE

Let us now turn to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There we find the apostle Paul telling Timothy:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” [NASB]

This passage, to me, seems to be pretty simple and straightforward, but there are a number of Catholic objections to this verse, as to whether it proves Sola Scriptura, and I will address some of them now.

Objection #1- “Paul says all Scripture, not ONLY Scripture, is inspired. And anyway, he says that it is merely ‘profitable / useful’. ‘Profitable’ does not mean sufficient.”

Answer – It is true that the word “only” is not used in this verse, but the impact of the phrase “for every good work” in the next verse seems to be ignored by those using this type of logic. If Scripture equips us for every good work, then by definition, it is sufficient as a Rule of Faith.

Let me use an analogy. If you were an auto mechanic and your boss gave you a toolbox that equipped you for every mechanic’s job that you could possibly run into, would that toolbox be sufficient? Yes, it would. Do you need another toolbox for foreign cars or pick-up trucks? No, not if the one he gave you equips you for every mechanic’s job.

In the same way, Scripture is our “toolbox” which equips us for every good work. Since this is true, there is no other source needed today TO FUNCTION AS AN INFALIBLE RULE OF FAITH. By definition, Scripture is all that is needed.

Objection #2 – “It is the ‘man of God’ which is described as adequate, not the Scriptures.”

Answer – The “teacher” is always greater than the student. Is that which is infallible and which teaches and equips us, LESS THAN the one that it is teaching? Absolutely not. If the “man of God” becomes adequate through the teaching of Scripture, how much more adequate is the Word of God?

Objection #3 – “Paul is not only speaking of Scripture in this context, but he is also speaking of Sacred Tradition which was handed down to Timothy when he says, ‘You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them’ (verse 14). So, we need Tradition also.”

Answer – First, no external “tradition” is named or identified in the context here. Secondly, can anyone say exactly what it was that Timothy had learned from Paul? To say that Paul was speaking of some “Catholic Tradition” is just begging the question. And even if he WAS speaking of some kind of external traditions, Paul definitely shifts gears in the very next verse (15), and he starts focusing on and speaking specifically of Scripture through to the end of the chapter.

Objection #4 – “Paul could not have meant Sola Scriptura here, since he was speaking of the only Scripture that was available at that time: the Old Testament. If Sola Scriptura applied here, wouldn’t we have to say that the Old Testament is all we need?

Answer – It is probably true that very little of the New Testament was written when Paul wrote 2 Timothy, but verse 16 says “All Scripture”, not all Scripture given to us “up until this point.”

As an example, if a Catholic stated that all official pronouncements of the Catholic Church are true, would anyone think that he was trying to say that only those official pronouncements which were given up to the present were true, but future ones may be false? Of course not. “All official pronouncements” means all official pronouncements, and “All Scripture” means just that… ALL Scripture… not just the Scriptures which happened to be available at the time.

Objection #5 – “There are other things besides Scripture that can make us ‘perfect and entire’, ‘lacking in nothing’, like patience (James 1:4). Or, we can exercise purity to make us ‘ready for any good work’ (2 Timothy 2:21), and good deeds are also said to be ‘profitable’ for us (Titus 3:8). So, Scripture is not the only thing that we need.”

Answer – The context in these verses is NOT the establishing of a Rule of Faith, as 2 Timothy chapter 3 is. But the context in the above verses is about sanctification, or the APPLICATION of that Rule, i.e., actually LIVING by its principles. For example, you can have a Bible sitting on your coffee table gathering dust, but if you don’t APPLY yourself to it, it won’t do you any good. Just as failing to apply the principles of Catholicism will make you a less-than-ideal Catholic. A Rule of Faith is a critically important guide, but it is not expected to do the work for you.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul is giving instructions on what to do when difficult times will come (verse 1), when men (even those in the church) will be boastful, arrogant, unholy, etc. (verses 2-5), opposing the truth (verse 8), and deceiving and being deceived (verse 13). Paul is showing us where to turn in these times of deception and uncertainty… to our Rule of Faith, which will be an anchor to keep us from being tossed about by every wind of doctrine… to the Word of God, that which is inspired (which means “God-breathed”– verse 16). If this Rule of Faith (Scripture) is the only thing that is ever called “God-breathed” in the New Testament, and it gives us doctrine / teaching, corrects us, trains us in the way of righteousness, and equips us for EVERY GOOD WORK, then what else do we need as a Rule of Faith?

Thus, we see that these Catholic arguments do not hold water, and that Sola Scriptura is, indeed, a biblical concept. We will tackle another Catholic claim next time. Comments, questions, and objections are welcome.

In His Name,
Russell

61 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for creating this blog, for we should strive after Truth, no matter how hard or inconvenient. I've studied Protestant-Catholic issues extensively and thus enjoy engaging in these discussions.

    The subject of this post is Authority, specifically Sola Scriptura, so we should focus on this.

    We will begin by examining your definition of SS:

    R: "It means that the Bible is the only infallible Rule of Faith for the
    church today."

    N: Ok, the first question to be asked is: WHERE does the Bible give this definition? - and I would like to especially emphasize "for the Church *TODAY*" for this implies the Bible was *NOT* the "only infallible rule of faith" prior to "TODAY".

    This is significant because if "TODAY" began after the Apostolic age, that means the Apostles nor early Christians practiced SS by definition. And if they didn't practice SS, the Protestant has some serious problems on their plate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. (2 of 2)


    N: You're missing the primary point of James 1:4, etc, which is that "profitable towards" does not automatically mean "sufficient towards." 2 Tim 2:21 refutes the Bible alone is all the Man of God needs to be capable of every good work, because it includes purifying himself. And how is 2 Tim 3:1-14 not about sanctification?

    R: Paul is showing us where to turn in these times of deception and uncertainty… to our Rule of Faith, which will be an anchor to keep us from being tossed about by every wind of doctrine…

    N: No, Paul is not teaching that. Verse 10-14 is about Timothy learning from Paul's life, teachings, and other figures who taught Timothy. Nowhere does Paul suggest the Bible is the final or only refuge for godly living in that chapter. And you mention "every wind of doctrine," which actually comes from Eph4, and says nothing about Scripture.

    R: the Word of God, that which is inspired (which means “God-breathed”– verse 16). If this Rule of Faith (Scripture) is the only thing that is ever called “God-breathed” in the New Testament

    N: Paul plainly calls his oral preaching the "Word of God" (e.g 1 Thes 2:13), and indeed that's how it's often used. Further, nothing in Scripture says something must be "God Breathed" to be inspired.

    In the end, there is simply too much lacking to build SS around 2 Tim 3:16f.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. R: "Objection #1- “Paul says all Scripture, not ONLY Scripture, is inspired. And anyway, he says that it is merely ‘profitable / useful’. ‘Profitable’ does not mean sufficient.”"

    N: I am pleased to see you're brave enough to directly address these objections.

    R: "If Scripture equips us for every good work, then by definition, it is sufficient as a Rule of Faith."

    N: The text says Scripture is *profitable* towards equipping, that's hardly a term of exclusivity. This cannot be misunderstood. For example: Prayer is profitable towards making one a spiritually solid Christian, ready to do God's work, but that in no way suggests prayer is the sole means by which that is accomplished. Further, 2 Tim 2:21 uses the same phrase "every good work", and says man is equipped to do "every good work" by purifying himself.

    R: The “teacher” is always greater than the student. Is that which is infallible and which teaches and equips us, LESS THAN the one that it is teaching? Absolutely not. If the “man of God” becomes adequate through the teaching of Scripture, how much more adequate is the Word of God?

    N: You are overstating the case: The "Man of God" is equipped in the same sense a mechanic is equipped with tools. Are the tools 'greater' than the mechanic? No, but that's because two different categories are being confused. The tools contribute towards making the mechanic himself adequate, that means neither are sufficient in themselves. Further, the "Man of God" is a title of Church authority, it is not speaking of laymen. Thus, Scripture equips someone who is already at a mature Christian point.

    R: First, no external “tradition” is named or identified in the context here. Secondly, can anyone say exactly what it was that Timothy had learned from Paul? To say that Paul was speaking of some “Catholic Tradition” is just begging the question. And even if he WAS speaking of some kind of external traditions, Paul definitely shifts gears in the very next verse (15), and he starts focusing on and speaking specifically of Scripture through to the end of the chapter.

    N: Mentioning specific traditions are not necessary at this point, any more than mentioning specific books of the Bible was necessary at this point. As for Paul "shifting gears," you can hardly call it "shifting gears" in a span of 2 verses (3:16-17). Just reading the context, Paul's teaching from 3:10 onward connect to v14.

    R: It is probably true that very little of the New Testament was written when Paul wrote 2 Timothy, but verse 16 says “All Scripture”, not all Scripture given to us “up until this point.”

    N: The Greek term rendered "all" is more accurately "every" and "Scripture" singular. Thus it can be read "every individual sacred writing is sufficient" (i.e. Jude alone is sufficient), which wont work with SS. So you must demonstrate Paul is saying "all Scripture combined is sufficient" (meaning only and all 66 books together become sufficient). But even at that point you run into a problem, for Paul could not be teaching "all scripture combined is sufficient" when there is no indication the canon was closed.

    R: The context in these verses is NOT the establishing of a Rule of Faith, as 2 Timothy chapter 3 is. But the context in the above verses is about sanctification, or the APPLICATION of that Rule, i.e., actually LIVING by its principles.

    (cont 2 of 2)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Greetings Nick,

    (Part 1 of 2)

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. It is, indeed, important to strive for truth, and biblical discussions are a good way to start toward that end. Sola Scriptura (“Bible Alone”) certainly is an important topic, but I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding out there from both Catholics AND Protestants, alike. So let’s jump right in.

    Concerning the use of my word “today” in my definition of Sola Scriptura, yes, I use it because there was a time in Christian history when Sola Scriptura was not (fully) operative. To use a rather “Catholic” term, I’d describe Sola Scriptura as a “development.” We couldn’t have “the Bible alone” if the inspired apostles were still living here among us.

    As long as there were apostles and prophets who sometimes exercised infallible authority, the Scriptures were not the only thing “God-breathed.” But after the death of the last apostle, and there was no more new revelation, Sola Scriptura “kicked in.”

    You said that “profitable” was hardly a term of exclusivity. That’s true, but this is not the ONLY thing said of Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Let’s not forget that v. 17 says that Scripture equips us for EVERY GOOD WORK. That’s more than just profitable. You mentioned that 2 Timothy 2:21 also uses the phrase “every good work.” But the context of 2 Timothy 2:21 is NOT about a Rule of Faith, but 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is.

    You said that I was overstating the case when I mentioned that the “teacher” (Scripture) was greater than the “student” (us), and you then downplayed the importance of the Scriptures as though they were nothing more than mere tools. Be careful, Nick. We are speaking of Almighty God’s Word here. The Bible is not just a tool, but is also the “Blueprint,” the “Rule of Faith,” a “Lamp to our feet and a light unto our path.” It (the “Teacher”) is infallible / God-breathed, while we (the “students”) are certainly not. And it is able to equip (those of us who are willing) for every good work.

    As far as the “Man of God” concept, are you saying that only the “clergy” can rightly understand, or “maturely” use Scripture?

    Concerning whether Paul was speaking of “tradition” or not in 2 Timothy 3:14, you said, “Mentioning specific traditions are not necessary at this point, any more than mentioning specific books of the Bible was necessary at this point.” Nick, we both know that Scripture is definitely being discussed here. But you are the one making the positive assertion about “tradition” being there in the context, so the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that.

    You said that “All Scripture” is more accurately rendered “Every Scripture,” but the great majority of Bibles use the word “all,” even Catholic Bibles, including the New American Bible, the Douay-Rheims, and the New Jerusalem Bible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. (Part 2 of 2)

    You said:

    “…Paul could not be teaching “all scripture combined is sufficient” when there is no indication the canon was closed.”

    But it is irrelevant whether the canon was closed or not. You may have missed the example I gave in the article:

    “…if a Catholic stated that all official pronouncements of the Catholic Church are true, would anyone think that he was trying to say that ONLY those official pronouncements which were given UP TO THE PRESENT were true, but future ones may be false? Of course not. ‘All official pronouncements’ means all official pronouncements, and ‘All Scripture’ means just that… ALL Scripture… not just the Scriptures which happened to be available at the time.”

    You once again used 2 Timothy 2:21, and how it includes “purifying himself,” this time adding James 1:4 to it, to show that “profitable” does not mean “sufficient.” But again, the context of neither of these is a “Rule of Faith.” By the way, Nick, the Catholic Church boasts that its Rule of Faith is the “three-legged stool,” i.e., Sacred Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium. If “purification” needs to be added to the Protestant Rule of Faith, then it must necessarily also be added to the Catholic Church’s Rule of Faith, as well. Are you ready for a “four-legged stool”?

    You said:

    “And how is 2 Tim 3:1-14 not about sanctification?”

    Sure, there are elements of sanctification in the passage, but this is not the main point; and the flow of the context doesn’t stop at verse 14, either. Again, the context is about how perilous times will come, and how many will deceive and be deceived. He briefly mentions his manner of life and persecutions, and then he tells us where to turn for guidance (e.g., doctrine – v. 16) and truth in these troublesome times, pointing us to the Scriptures.

    You said:

    “Paul plainly calls his oral preaching the “Word of God” (e.g 1 Thes 2:13), and indeed that’s how it’s often used. Further, nothing in Scripture says something must be “God Breathed” to be inspired.”

    Yes, his preaching was considered the Word of God, but do we have any of his sermons today, apart from Scripture? No we don’t. That which is infallibly preserved from Paul is only found in the Bible. And it is Scripture that gives us the word “inspiration” in 2 Timothy 3:16, and the Greek (“theopneustos”) is literally translated “God-breathed.” Is there anything else that we have today that you would consider “inspired” or God-breathed?

    You said:

    “In the end, there is simply too much lacking to build SS around 2 Tim 3:16f.”

    I’m sorry, Nick, but I find that the lack is in the Catholic arguments against Sola Scriptura. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 seems very simple and straightforward to me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for discussing these topics! They are important.

    R: Concerning the use of my word “today” in my definition of Sola Scriptura, yes, I use it because there was a time in Christian history when Sola Scriptura was not (fully) operative. To use a rather “Catholic” term, I’d describe Sola Scriptura as a “development.” We couldn’t have “the Bible alone” if the inspired apostles were still living here among us.

    N: Then, by your own admission, the Apostles and Apostolic Christians did not and couldn't practice SS. This is no small realization. This fact means any text you point to in Scripture couldn't have been a teaching for SS, since SS didn't apply yet: Jesus couldn't have been advocating SS in anything He said, nor could the Apostles be advocating SS before their audiences.

    R: As long as there were apostles and prophets who sometimes exercised infallible authority, the Scriptures were not the only thing “God-breathed.” But after the death of the last apostle, and there was no more new revelation, Sola Scriptura “kicked in.”

    N: As an add-on to the above, you must now explain how you know this; where does Scripture teach that SS would kick in after the Apostles died? If no such instructions are given in Scripture, you've gone beyond Scripture by definition.

    (cont)

    ReplyDelete
  7. R: Let’s not forget that v. 17 says that Scripture equips us for EVERY GOOD WORK. That’s more than just profitable.

    N: You're jumping to conclusions: Verse 17 does *not* say "Scripture equips us for every good work;" it says Scripture is profitable towards "teaching, rebuking, correcting and training" and it is those Four Ends that make the Man of God fully equipped. As for the term "profitable," it's just that, profitable, not sufficient.

    R: ... 2 Timothy 2:21 is NOT about a Rule of Faith...

    N: No, 3:16f is not a rule of faith in itself, it's an appendage to 3:10-15. As for 2:21, it's says it "prepares" one for "every good work." Something that "prepares" you for a task is a rule in some sense.

    R: Concerning whether Paul was speaking of “tradition” or not in 2 Timothy 3:14... you are the one making the positive assertion about “tradition” being there in the context, so the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that.

    N: Paul is not speaking of Scripture until v15, thus v14 is of Timothy's human teachers, not Scripture. That Paul is speaking of oral instruction in v14 is something I don't believe anyone can deny.

    R: You said that “All Scripture” is more accurately rendered “Every Scripture,” but the great majority of Bibles use the word “all,”...

    N: That's not the point: the term "all" can be taken 'collectively' or 'distributively'. It's about the *sense* in which "all" is *meant*, not whether it is *translated* in English as "all" or "every".
    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/robertsons-word-pictures/2-timothy/2-timothy-3-16.html

    R: [“…Paul could not be teaching “all scripture combined is sufficient” when there is no indication the canon was closed.”] But it is irrelevant whether the canon was closed or not. You may have missed the example I gave in the article:

    N: I understand your point, but you've missed mine: Paul couldn't have been speaking of sufficiency for that requires the *completed* canon. Scripture can't be sufficient without all books being complete. Look at it this way, this is how 2: Tim 3:16 would read (if "all" meant "as a whole"): "all 66 books are inspired and sufficient." If only 60 books were written up to that point, then 2 Tim 3:16 would be meaningless.

    R: You once again used 2 Timothy 2:21, and how it includes “purifying himself,” this time adding James 1:4 to it, to show that “profitable” does not mean “sufficient.” But again, the context of neither of these is a “Rule of Faith.”... Are you ready for a “four-legged stool”?

    N: You're mixing a few ideas. I'm not suggesting 3:16 is a rule of faith (only you say that), thus there can't amount to a 4-leg stool. The point is you're squeezing too much out of 3:16 that if were applied consistently would lead to absurdities.


    R: ... the context is about how perilous times will come, and how many will deceive and be deceived. He briefly mentions his manner of life and persecutions, and then he tells us where to turn for guidance (e.g., doctrine – v. 16) and truth in these troublesome times, pointing us to the Scriptures.

    N: I largely agree, though I'd note the mention of Scriptures here is to be read along with this rather than a sharp break in the form of 'turn only to Scripture.'

    R: Yes, his preaching was considered the Word of God, but do we have any of his sermons today, apart from Scripture? No we don’t. That which is infallibly preserved from Paul is only found in the Bible.

    N: Two things: First, you are assuming only Scripture preserved Paul's teaching, that's an unwarranted leap. Second, since his preaching was the Word of God, SS couldn't have been practiced (as you admitted earlier), and this also supports the Catholic system of "Written plus Oral Teaching" (the burden is on you to prove when this stopped).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Nick,

    (Part 1)

    Just as the Old Testament Scriptures came about through a process, which developed over time, so did the New Testament. This was to be expected. The early Christians had to transition from the “types and shadows” of the Old Testament, into New Testament concepts.

    Jesus and the apostles, knowing that they wouldn’t always be here on earth, gave us the PRINCIPLES of Sola Scriptura, in “seed” form, teaching us to use Scripture as the standard for testing DOCTRINE (2 Timothy 3:16-17), testing TRADITION (Matthew 15:1-9), and even for testing APOSTLES (Acts 17:11).

    In light of this, the Apostle Paul (who was soon to be martyred) gave believers a “preview” of Sola Scriptura in 2 Timothy 3, although it was not fully applicable at that time. The early church didn’t practice Sola Scriptura yet, but the concept was being introduced to them. This was after the foundation of prophets and apostles was laid, in anticipation of the “normal” state of the church (i.e., after we had all the books of the Bible, and no more apostles). Again, Sola Scriptura was a development, a transition process.

    You said:

    “…you must now explain how you know this; where does Scripture teach that SS would kick in after the Apostles died? If no such instructions are given in Scripture, you’ve gone beyond Scripture by definition.”

    Nick, this is a common misrepresentation of Sola Scriptura. Simply looking to another source (like history) for information does not violate Sola Scriptura. It is only violated if we consider any other source available to us today as God-breathed.

    As to when and how it “kicked in,” the early Christians had the Old Testament Scriptures and revelation from the apostles (much of it becoming preserved in the New Testament). It is simple deduction to see that after the apostles died, no more new revelation would be available. So, the revelation they had would have to be preserved. No doubt, there was some “oral revelation” preserved, but the simple fact that Paul declared that the Scriptures (acting as an infallible and God-breathed Rule of Faith) equip us for EVERY GOOD WORK, tells me that the process that came to be Sola Scriptura is now the rule. If you have access to another source available today that is God-breathed, then please show it to us.

    You said:

    “R: Let’s not forget that v. 17 says that Scripture equips us for EVERY GOOD WORK. That’s more than just profitable.”

    ”N: You're jumping to conclusions: Verse 17 does *not* say ‘Scripture equips us for every good work;’ it says Scripture is profitable towards ‘teaching, rebuking, correcting and training’ and it is those Four Ends that make the Man of God fully equipped. As for the term ‘profitable,’ it's just that, profitable, not sufficient.”

    Apparently, you inadvertently got the numbers crossed on the actual verses, Nick. You were quoting v. 16 as though it were v. 17. Regardless, this is not “conclusion-jumping” at all; taken together, these verses spell sufficiency. It’s hard to ignore their simple conclusion, and it amazes me to see Catholics try so hard to twist what it’s saying, and nit-pick it to death.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nick,

    (Part 2)

    You said:

    “R: ... 2 Timothy 2:21 is NOT about a Rule of Faith...”

    ”N: No, 3:16f is not a rule of faith in itself, it's an appendage to 3:10-15. As for 2:21, it's says it ‘prepares’ one for ‘every good work.’ Something that ‘prepares’ you for a task is a rule in some sense.”

    Come on, Nick, you’re really stretching it here. You cannot deny that the whole chapter of 2 Timothy 3 is about the need for a Rule of Faith, climaxing with SCRIPTURE as Paul’s answer to the problem of deception and uncertainty; but you’re treating this climax as a mere “appendage.” And not only that, but it’s an appendage to verses that supposedly support some kind of “Catholic Tradition,” which you have not yet proven. And even further, you’re trying to tell me that 2 Timothy 2:21 is MORE of a Rule of Faith than the context of 3:16-17. Ok, then go ahead and add “purification” as the “fourth leg” to the Catholic Rule of Faith, if that is really what it is…

    You said:

    “N: I understand your point, but you've missed mine: Paul couldn't have been speaking of sufficiency for that requires the *completed* canon. Scripture can't be sufficient without all books being complete.”

    Again, you’re missing the “development” aspect. Even if it wasn’t sufficient (as a Rule of Faith) at THAT TIME, Paul was looking ahead to when the canon (Bible books) WOULD be complete, and consequently, sufficient as such.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nick,

    (Part 3)

    You said:

    “I'm not suggesting 3:16 is a rule of faith (only you say that), thus there can't amount to a 4-leg stool. The point is you're squeezing too much out of 3:16 that if were applied consistently would lead to absurdities.”

    But you were treating 2 Timothy 2:21 as a Rule of Faith. So, if you really want to, go ahead and add it to the Catholic Rule of Faith… (but wouldn’t that be absurd?). And Nick, I think the lack of consistently observing the CONTEXTS is what’s giving you trouble. It seems to be Catholic apologists who, of necessity, are doing the “squeezing.”

    You said:

    “N: Two things: First, you are assuming only Scripture preserved Paul's teaching, that's an unwarranted leap...”

    Then please show us any teaching of Paul’s that was infallibly preserved, apart from Scripture.

    And then you said:

    “…Second, since his preaching was the Word of God, SS couldn't have been practiced (as you admitted earlier), and this also supports the Catholic system of "Written plus Oral Teaching" (the burden is on you to prove when this stopped).”

    We already covered this. And yes, Paul’s preaching was the Word of God, and you may even call it “Tradition” if you want to, but I’m reasonably sure that the Catholic Church does not have any kind of record of the content of Paul’s sermons (apart from Scripture). But I believe that any inspired “Oral Teaching” which WAS both infallible and preserved, is preserved in Scripture.

    As far as proof of Sola Scriptura, I already gave you 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and we both know that Scripture is “God-breathed.” Now, if you (and Catholics in general) want to positively assert that there is something ELSE preserved that’s God-breathed and available today, that burden of proof is on you.

    In His Name,
    Russell

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Russell,

    Glad to continue this talk.

    R: Just as the Old Testament Scriptures came about through a process, which developed over time, so did the New Testament.

    N: This isn't really an issue, for it's only a 'problem' if one is espousing SS in either dispensation.

    R: Jesus and the apostles, knowing that they wouldn’t always be here on earth, gave us the PRINCIPLES of Sola Scriptura, in “seed” form, teaching us to use Scripture as the standard for testing DOCTRINE (2 Timothy 3:16-17), testing TRADITION (Matthew 15:1-9), and even for testing APOSTLES (Acts 17:11).

    N: You have moved from Scripture clearly affirming SS to now simply Scripture teaching various principles, and thus 'seed form' at most. This doesn't appear to be helping the SS cause, and in fact is more of a 'retreat'. As for using Scripture as the standard for "testing," those texts are not speaking in such a way. Scripture can be used to test this or that, but there is no point at which people are told to use Scripture as their ultimate standard. If that were the case, then the Apostles could be challenged and even disregarded by any given Jew who disagrees. In Acts 15 when the Apostles ruled circumcision was no longer binding, they didn't 'turn to Scripture' in any SS sense; by your argument, the Apostles could be overturned.

    R: In light of this, the Apostle Paul (who was soon to be martyred) gave believers a “preview” of Sola Scriptura in 2 Timothy 3, although it was not fully applicable at that time.

    N: Two major problems: (1) If this was merely a "preview," then it wasn't even the full blown doctrine, meaning the doctrine cannot even be established from this text alone anymore and must rely on multiple texts. (2) To say it was not fully applicable at the time puts the burden on you to prove when it would kick in, while explaining away the fact Paul was speaking directly to Timothy, right then in that point of history, over private correspondence, telling Timothy how to stay on the right path. To suggest Paul gave Timothy instructions that weren't fully applicable is to leave Timothy hanging rather than help him.

    R: The early church didn’t practice Sola Scriptura yet, but the concept was being introduced to them.

    N: This is a (strong) argument *against* SS, not for it. The fact is, this foundational presupposition on your part has no basis in Scripture, and that's not good.

    R: This was after the foundation of prophets and apostles was laid, in anticipation of the “normal” state of the church (i.e., after we had all the books of the Bible, and no more apostles). Again, Sola Scriptura was a development, a transition process.

    N: From a Biblical and historical perspective, this argument is unsupportable. I'm not saying any of this to be mean, only to point out just how much you're inserting into the doctrine and text of Scripture that really can't be backed up. SS was supposed to be a firm ground for the Church to stand on, yet all that's being presented is a bunch of mental gymnastics rather than clear Apostolic mandate.

    With the assumptions you're being allowed to make, applying the same leverage to my position, I'd say any given Catholic doctrine has a better Scriptural case than what you've presented.

    [Nick originally said] “where does Scripture teach that SS would kick in after the Apostles died? If no such instructions are given in Scripture, you’ve gone beyond Scripture by definition.”

    R: Nick, this is a common misrepresentation of Sola Scriptura. Simply looking to another source (like history) for information does not violate Sola Scriptura. It is only violated if we consider any other source available to us today as God-breathed.

    N: The only binding authority is Scripture, so if Scripture doesn't teach you those things, you're getting your information from non-binding, non-inspired sources, which are insufficient for establishing critical doctrines.

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  12. (3 of 3)

    R: And even further, you’re trying to tell me that 2 Timothy 2:21 is MORE of a Rule of Faith than the context of 3:16-17. Ok, then go ahead and add “purification” as the “fourth leg” to the Catholic Rule of Faith, if that is really what it is…

    N: I'm not saying "more" of a rule of faith, but rather Paul is telling Timothy various requirements for being equipped for his job. I don't interpret these texts as a 'rule of faith' in the Protestant sense, so there is no fourth leg.

    R: Again, you’re missing the “development” aspect. Even if it wasn’t sufficient (as a Rule of Faith) at THAT TIME, Paul was looking ahead to when the canon (Bible books) WOULD be complete, and consequently, sufficient as such.

    N: This "development" talk is without Scriptural warrant; Paul is speaking in the present to Timothy. You're reading the text as 'a time will come when the canon is complete and then 'all scripture' will be sufficient, but not now'. That's not how the passage is structured, nor do you even know when SS would "kick in".


    [old comment by N]: Two things: First, you are assuming only Scripture preserved Paul's teaching, that's an unwarranted leap...”

    R: Then please show us any teaching of Paul’s that was infallibly preserved, apart from Scripture.

    N: You're confusing the issue: it is *you* who must show where Scripture says only Scripture preserved Paul's teaching; *you* can't assume that.

    R: As far as proof of Sola Scriptura, I already gave you 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and we both know that Scripture is “God-breathed.”

    N: If 2 Tim 3:16f is the 'strongest' passage you have for SS, and given the various difficulties I've mentioned against that reading, I'd say the Protestant position is building too much on too shaky of a foundation for Christ to have laid.

    R: Now, if you (and Catholics in general) want to positively assert that there is something ELSE preserved that’s God-breathed and available today, that burden of proof is on you.

    N: A Catholic can assert that other things today are inspired, but that's not what is on trial here. But more importantly, you need to realize that "Catholic=False" does *not* automatically mean "SS=true", just as a JW refuting a Mormon doesn't automatically make the JW true. Even if no Catholics were around, you need to prove to yourself that no other inspired sources exist, and if Scripture doesn't tell you that, then you can't make such a strong claim.

    I'd be happy to have a short, written debate on "Whether Scripture teaches Sola Scriptura" if you want.

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  13. (2 of 3)

    R: As to when and how it “kicked in,” the early Christians had the Old Testament Scriptures and revelation from the apostles (much of it becoming preserved in the New Testament). It is simple deduction to see that after the apostles died, no more new revelation would be available. So, the revelation they had would have to be preserved. No doubt, there was some “oral revelation” preserved, but the simple fact that Paul declared that the Scriptures (acting as an infallible and God-breathed Rule of Faith) equip us for EVERY GOOD WORK, tells me that the process that came to be Sola Scriptura is now the rule.

    N: If you went before an impartial judge who knew all you could appeal to was Scripture, do you think this argument would stand firm? I don't. You cannot argue "simple deduction," because doctrine isn't established like that, Scripture must tell you. The fact that some of the NT wasn't even written by an Apostle hurts your claim as well. Further, that revelation had to be preserved by means of writings alone is another jump to conclusions. Lastly, you can't appeal to 2 Tim 3's "every good work" when these major presumptions are hanging (unproven).

    R: If you have access to another source available today that is God-breathed, then please show it to us.

    N: This argument is actually proof that SS is false, for it makes SS rest on self-defeating principles:
    http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/2010/02/sola-scriptura-is-self-refuting.html

    R: Apparently, you inadvertently got the numbers crossed on the actual verses, Nick. You were quoting v. 16 as though it were v. 17. Regardless, this is not “conclusion-jumping” at all; taken together, these verses spell sufficiency. It’s hard to ignore their simple conclusion, and it amazes me to see Catholics try so hard to twist what it’s saying, and nit-pick it to death. 

    N: I was accurately representing the passage, correcting your original claim.
    The text is to be taken in two chunks:
    (v16) Scripture is *profitable* towards Four Ends;
    (v17) Four Ends fully equip Man of God
    You were incorrectly jumping to conclusions, saying Scripture fully equips Man of God. Consider this example: Water is profitable towards muscle growth, good metabolism, and healthy blood, so that the athlete will be fully quipped for every sport. You're taking this and saying "water fully equips the athlete," which is not only false scientifically, it's misreading the passage. It is a good metabolism, strong muscles, and healthy blood that equip the athlete, and water is "profitable" towards those three factors. Further, it's false to say water is sufficient for muscle growth, good metabolism, and healthy blood.

    Two other problems (among others) which 2 Tim 3:16f faces:
    (1) The text in Greek actually reads 'every individual Scripture' rather than "all Scripture," thus it would be saying any given individual book of Scripture is sufficient, which is something obviously false.
    (2) What "scripture" Paul is focusing on here is unspecified and for it to support SS you would have to prove Paul is speaking of the complete canon.

    R: Come on, Nick, you’re really stretching it here. You cannot deny that the whole chapter of 2 Timothy 3 is about the need for a Rule of Faith, climaxing with SCRIPTURE as Paul’s answer to the problem of deception and uncertainty; but you’re treating this climax as a mere “appendage.” And not only that, but it’s an appendage to verses that supposedly support some kind of “Catholic Tradition,” which you have not yet proven.

    N: I say the passage climaxes at v14-15, with Timothy being informed how to proceed. That you admit SS wasn't even operational at this point is a serious blow against any claim Paul was leaving critical instructions for Tim in the form of Scripture as his ultimate standard.

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  14. Hi Russell,

    Sorry for the long posting.

    I just finished a new, short apologetics article on Sola Scriptura:
    http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/2010/04/sola-scriptura-is-unscriptural.html

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  15. Nick,

    (Part 1 of 2)

    You gave me quite a bit to respond to, and if I fully responded to everything you said, it would become a book! So, I will try to be brief and limit my response.

    It seems you have a hard time viewing the concept of Sola Scriptura (2 Timothy 3:16-17) as one that has “developed” over time. This development is no more a problem (or a “retreat”) for us, than it is for Catholics using their “development of doctrine” concept in attempting to explain how some of its own doctrines came about. It is a fact that Scripture (as well as any “oral” tradition) has developed over the centuries. And it is a fact that certain verses are key in explaining some of this process. It is not necessary for Scripture to spell this out explicitly, word for word, for every single phase, detail, or change in a transition. God gives us enough pieces of the puzzle to be able to see the big picture. But 2 Timothy 3 “fills in the blanks” concerning Scripture’s role as the soon-to-be ultimate Rule of Faith. By the way, Paul WAS NOT just speaking of the “here and now” of the church in this context (3:1, 13).

    Nick, you claimed that Catholics hold Scripture in high regard, yet it seems to me that you are going out of your way to downplay and weaken the authority of, and the need for, the Scriptures. I don’t see how you can do that in light of the overwhelming multitude of verses that proclaim the glory of God’s Word. In the Bible, we see God claiming that His Word is inspired (God-breathed), He holds it equal to (even above) His Name, it is living and powerful, it is TRUTH and light, it judges the thoughts and intent of the heart, it is infallible, it will judge us on the last day, it regenerates, saves and sanctifies, it gives us correct doctrine, and it is what Jesus, Himself, used to fight the temptations of the devil, etc., etc., etc. Nick, do you see a pattern here? 2 Timothy 3 was not formed in a vacuum of Scripture. It would be worse than “mental gymnastics” to apply the term “merely profitable” to Scripture.

    And the very passage, from an apostle, that takes all this truth and wraps it up, presenting it as the ultimate authority in a time of uncertainty and deception…you nit-pick to death by chopping it up, disrupting its natural flow, reading something else into it, and not letting it say what it plainly says. I stand by everything that I said, because it is indeed a scriptural concept, although Catholics refuse to see it. This passage not only implies sufficiency in its immediate context, but this sufficiency lines up with the WHOLE of Scripture.

    You harp on the fact that the word “profitable” is used, instead of “sufficient.” But, this does not negate GRANDER descriptions of Scripture elsewhere. As an example, note that Jesus is called “good” in John 10:11. By your logic, the Son of God would have to be LIMITED TO “merely good” throughout the Bible, in spite of far more sublime descriptions in other verses.

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  16. Nick,

    (Part 2 of 2)

    You mentioned that if Sola Scriptura is true, that “the Apostles could be challenged and even disregarded by any given Jew who disagrees.” But, once again, this is a misrepresentation of Sola Scriptura, because the apostles were still living and receiving revelation. We’ve been over this.

    As to exactly WHEN Sola Scriptura “kicked in,” I can’t tell you an exact date, but precision is irrelevant. Suffice it to say that it was sometime after all the apostles died and after the canon (list of inspired Bible books) was recognized by the church.

    And finally, concerning the issue of burden of proof, it is generally understood that the one who is giving the positive assertion (for example, the one who says, “There is something other than Scripture which is infallible”) is the one who bears the burden. But, I don’t mind bearing the task of offering evidence for the “negative assertion,” as well. Neither side should run from the burden of proof.

    I don’t want to keep rehashing the same things over and over. We can let the reader decide who is rightly dividing the truth:

    2 Timothy 3
    13 – “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
    14 - But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
    15 - And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 - That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

    If “profitable” is the only word you can come up with to summarize this passage (and the role of Scripture, in general), then I think you need to read it more carefully.

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  17. Russell,

    This has been a good discussion, but I'm sure we can agree it's run it's course (at least for now). We have each presented our positions, and anything more would be unnecessarily repeating ourselves.

    These are my final few thoughts on this specific topic:

    (1) I don't buy the notion that 2 Timothy 3:16f 'developed' from originally not being able to mean SS to one day meaning SS. That's just not how exegesis works (i.e. anachronistic). I also deny this is a parallel to the Catholic notion of 'development of doctrine' (which most Protestants don't accept to begin with).

    (2) I as a Catholic hold the Scriptures in the highest regard, and strive to apply Scripture as much as possible to all my work and life. I am in no way downplaying or weakening the authority of the Scriptures, and I believe I appeal to and apply Scripture more thoroughly and widely than most Evangelicals. One can take any random chapter of Scripture, especially from the NT, and I believe I can present an interpretation *equal to* or greater than what any zealous Evangelical can offer (I'm amazed at how few Evangelicals even consider the Synoptic Gospels, especially the Sermon on the Mount, to be applicable to Christian theology and life).

    (3) I understand how my claims about 2 Timothy 3:16f can come as rendering Scripture as worthless. But this is because of the heavy (too heavy, in fact) burden that SS has placed upon the passage, not because of what I've done. When stakes are high like this, it's easy to misconstru such analysis as an attack on Scripture itself.

    (4) You said: "As to exactly WHEN Sola Scriptura “kicked in”...it was sometime after all the apostles died and after the canon was recognized by the church."
    This fact alone is one of the leading reasons why I can't accept SS, for it's anachronistic by definition. SS is supposed to shine light on major theological issues, not have us searching for a light switch before we can even get started. When the Apostles died and especially when the canon was recognized by the Church are no small details. Just reading the Church Fathers, even earliest, shows there were doubts on various books of the (accepted) canon (without lists of the canonical books even showing up until the 3rd-4th centuries), so with that you'd be saying SS didn't 'kick in' until centuries later.

    (5) Regarding the burden of proof: The burden rests on the one making the positive assertion. To say "Scripture is the only and final inspired authority for Christians" is a positive assertion (requiring positive proof) by the Protestant, and cannot be anything otherwise.
    To say "Scripture plus" is a positive assertion from the Catholic, and cannot be anything otherwise.
    What must be kept straight is which assertion is 'on trial' at which point (because disproving one side doesn't necessarily positively affirm the other side), and so when SS is 'on trial', the burden is on the Protestant by definition.

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  18. before touching on other points which came from from the discussion so far, i would love to get clarification on your statement:

    "But after the death of the last apostle, and there was no more new revelation, Sola Scriptura “kicked in.”
    can you clarify,

    since you have already said its not important to be precise when Sola Scriptula kicked in; kindly show us any Early Church writing that shows that after the Apostles Sola Scriptula kick in? as far as the history of SS records it was started during the protestant Reformation so can you kindly show us the early Christians who actually believed this doctrine.
    2. can you please for the record explain why do you read in the passage SS when the passage says nothing about Bible Alone?
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
    all scripture does not mean only scripture. i would love to know why do you read into it that meaning.

    3. i would Love to Know if all the Revelation by Jesus and the Apostles was written down, in the bible and where does the bible tell us that all Oral Teachings were written Down.

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  19. t is true that the word “only” is not used in this verse, but the impact of the phrase “for every good work” in the next verse seems to be ignored by those using this type of logic. If Scripture equips us for every good work, then by definition, it is sufficient as a Rule of Faith.

    i am not getting it, Scripture can equip you for every good work yes but how is that related to the rule of faith, here its about good works not not Faith. the scriptures does not count works and faith as the same thing. so here its only about good works.
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    by your same definition you mean the only thing that makes one perfect is Scripture, but scripture says also that patience can make one perfect James 1:4

    this verse is not saying what you are trying to make it say, it does not say that Scripture is the only rule of Faith.

    Let me use an analogy. If you were an auto mechanic and your boss gave you a toolbox that equipped you for every mechanic’s job that you could possibly run into, would that toolbox be sufficient? Yes, it would. Do you need another toolbox for foreign cars or pick-up trucks? No, not if the one he gave you equips you for every mechanic’s job.

    mechanics in cars does not cover everything that a car needs to be well. and remember that in car there are many things to look at the mechanical function is separate from the electrician who needs to do the wiring, the painter to paint the body etc etc so one does not need only a tools box for it to function well. Yes the bible can equip you well for every Good work but it does not mean outside good works it can do well. it is a good work to unite all Christians, but the tool is actually bringing more chaos when it is being used alone. good works and a rule of faith are a separate thing, unless if you think those are the same things please tell us that they are the same thing

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    Replies
    1. Perfect Mug,

      Hello again. You said that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is only about good works and not faith. When I say “Rule of Faith,” I am speaking of our source of infallible teachings, including teachings on faith, works, living the Christian life, what things are good / bad spiritually, etc. A Rule of Faith is our guide on how to live our lives and how to please God. How to make it to Heaven and how to help others do the same.

      That’s what 2 Timothy 3 is saying, that Scripture is our Rule of Faith (or should be). As a Rule of Faith, it is sufficient to help us make it to Heaven and live the Christian life. It doesn’t use those words, but the idea of sufficiency is there. It should not seem strange that such a Rule of Faith would contain information on faith, as well as works. Mug, I hope that I am making this clear.

      You also mentioned James 1:4 (patience makes one perfect), but please see this article specifically on that topic:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/06/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-5.html

      For more information on Sola Scriptura, see the links I provided for “Anonymous” just below on October 6 at 10:27 a.m.

      Delete
    2. "It is true that the word “only” is not used in this verse, but the impact of the phrase “for every good work” in the next verse seems to be ignored by those using this type of logic. If Scripture equips us for every good work, then by definition, it is sufficient as a Rule of Faith."

      This is your statement, you are saying that if scripture can equip us for every good work then it means it is the rule of Faith and you have placed heavy burden on the phrase. But the verse says it equips us for every good work. And "every good work" does not include all the things necessary for salvation so you cannot use that phrase the way you tried to use it To get around the fact that the verses do not say ONLY scriptures.

      If Scripture equips us for every good work, then by definition, it is sufficient as a Rule of Faith." A rule of faith is suppose to equip us not only in every good work but in Faith(unless if you claim that good works bring salvation) and other things necessary for salvation so your statement there do not hold water, as long as every good work alone is not sufficient for salvation.

      Delete
  20. Hello Anonymous,

    You asked for early church writings validating the fact that Sola Scriptura began after the death of the last apostle. I am not very familiar with the early church fathers, and that is not where I spend my time studying. But the point is, if it can be demonstrated that Sola Scriptura is a biblical concept, then it is pretty much irrelevant what the church fathers said. Their writings are certainly useful, but Scripture trumps the fathers, since it is God-breathed.

    I believe that Sola Scriptura is indeed a biblical idea, mainly because of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as the article above shows. What part of it are you having problems with? It is true that the specific words “Scripture alone” are not in this passage, but the concept is there (again, as the article demonstrates).

    You can also see other articles in this blog defending the doctrine of Sola Scriptura here:

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2011/03/did-apostles-practice-sola-scriptura.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/03/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-1.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/04/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-2.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/05/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-3_10.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/06/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-4.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/06/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-5.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/07/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-6.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/07/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-7.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/08/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-8.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2015/11/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2010/12/sola-scriptura-and-divisions.html

    Hope this gives you a better understanding why we believe it.

    And finally, you asked if all the revelation that was given to us by Jesus and the apostles was written down. If what you mean is everything that they did and said, then no, we do not have all this information. But, by the grace of God, we do have everything that God INTENDED us to have from Jesus and the apostles, as a Rule of Faith, and it is in the form of Scripture. And I guess neither is all of “Oral Tradition” written down, however you may define that. You’re the Catholic (I’m assuming), you tell me if we have all of “Oral Tradition”?



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  21. you have already admitted that Sola Scriptura was not practised by the apostles, then it would make sense to tell us the people who first practised Sola Scriptula, if its from scripture show us if its from other writings show us when Sola Scriptura "kicked in". SS is an idea made up from the bible during the Protestant Reformation. you cannot tell when SS kicked in. and you cannot tell where the bible tells us that SS will kick in after the death of the Last Apostle. you can only make assumptions. it can not be demonstrated that SS is a scriptural belief unless if you read into verses your interpretation like you are doing on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. you actually believe in your interpretation than the Bible itself. the Apostles did not teach SS

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  22. Newman’s argument Part 1

    He wrote: "It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the sacred Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although sacred Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still it is not said to be sufficient. The Apostle [Paul] requires the aid of Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15). Moreover, the Apostle here refers to the scriptures which Timothy was taught in his infancy.

    "Now, a good part of the New Testament was not written in his boyhood: Some of the Catholic epistles were not written even when Paul wrote this, and none of the books of the New Testament were then placed on the canon of the Scripture books. He refers, then, to the scriptures of the Old Testament, and, if the argument from this passage proved anything, it would prove too much, viz., that the scriptures of the New Testament were not necessary for a rule of faith."

    Furthermore, Protestants typically read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context. When read in the context of the surrounding passages, one discovers that Paul’s reference to Scripture is only part of his exhortation that Timothy take as his guide Tradition and Scripture. The two verses immediately before it state: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14–15).

    Paul tells Timothy to continue in what he has learned for two reasons: first, because he knows from whom he has learned it—Paul himself—and second, because he has been educated in the scriptures. The first of these is a direct appeal to apostolic tradition, the oral teaching which the apostle Paul had given Timothy. So Protestants must take 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context to arrive at the theory of sola scriptura. But when the passage is read in context, it becomes clear that it is teaching the importance of apostolic tradition!

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  23. Newman’s argument part 2

    The Bible denies that it is sufficient as the complete rule of faith. Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2). He instructs us to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).

    This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).

    And how was this to be done? By preaching, by oral instruction: "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit "Christ’s word" to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.

    Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. "’But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25). Note that the word has been "preached"—that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be
    supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.

    This is made clear when the apostle Paul tells Timothy: "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Here we see the first few links in the chain of apostolic tradition that has been passed down intact from the apostles to our own day. Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the oral teachings (traditions) that he had received from the apostle. He was to give these to men who would be able to teach others, thus perpetuating the chain. Paul gave this instruction not long before his death (2 Tim. 4:6–8), as a reminder to Timothy of how he should conduct his ministry.


    regards

    Zealous for the Truth which came from the Apostles

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  24. Hello Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I do indeed hope that you are “Zealous for the Truth which came from the apostles.” But I have to ask, what truth from the apostles do you have that HASN’T already come from Scripture? How do you prove that any particular teaching (not already found in Scripture) is actually from the apostles?

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  25. did not intend to argue here, just gave you that for your information its up to you if you have zeal for truth to find out if all Truths were written down.

    however you have to first of all think through that information, was Newman 's argument wrong, that, the verse taken into context actually asks Timothy keep both Scripture and Tradition.

    "How do you prove that any particular teaching (not already found in Scripture) is actually from the apostles?" regarding this question, i would ask you back the question, how do you know that 27 books in the NT came from the Apostles?

    regards

    Zealous for the Truth which came from the Apostles

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Were all truths written down? Maybe they were or maybe they weren’t. But not all of these truths have made it into the canon of Scripture. God intended for some of them to be there and the rest, not to be there. Those that didn’t make it into Scripture may still be true, but they just aren’t part of the canon.

      Concerning keeping both Scripture and Tradition, we have already dealt with that here:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-about-tradition.html

      We have enough information from the early church fathers to understand which books were used and accepted and what criteria was used in recognizing the canon; mainly that a book must be from an apostle or from a close associate of his. That’s how we can know today. But you still have to demonstrate how you know with any kind of certainty that “teaching XYZ,” although NOT in Scripture, came from the apostles.

      Delete
  26. One of the keenest arguments against the "Bible only" position-one that I have appropriated to my own work and have had considerable success with-was given by Newman in Tract 85. This is the way J. M. Cameron summarizes Newman's argument:

    "The argument is directed towards the Protestant critic of Tractarianism and in a simplified form goes like this. You criticize the Tractarians for teaching such doctrines as, for example, the Apostolic Succession of bishops or that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, and your criticism rests on the contention that these doctrines are not plainly and unambiguously contained in Scripture and may not indeed be in the Bible at all.

    "I concede, goes the reply, that these doctrines are not to be found in the letter of Scripture or on its surface. But this is just as true of other doctrines you as an orthodox Protestant believe quite firmly, such doctrines as, let us say, the Godhead of the Holy Spirit or that Holy Scripture contains all that is sufficient for salvation. Neither of these doctrines is contained on the surface of Scripture, and there would even be logical difficulties in supposing that Scripture contained the latter doctrine.
    "It seems to me that you ought in consistency to believe less than you do or more than you do. If you confine yourself to what is contained in Scripture then the content of your belief will be thin and even incoherent and you will have no rationale for giving the Bible this supreme position. What you do, inconsistently, believe (for you are not, thank God, a Unitarian) is a warrant for your going further and adopting as your criterion the tradition of the first few centuries and using this tradition, embodied in the formularies of the Church, as that in the light of which Scripture is to be read and understood. You must either move upwards into Catholicism or downwards into unbelief. There is no midway point of rest."

    extract from Catholic Answers.

    this is for your study, refute Newman 's arguments.

    Zealous for the Truth which came from the Apostles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      This “keenest” argument is not a valid argument at all.

      I would certainly agree with the person who said that Apostolic Succession (at least the Catholic version of it) and the Eucharist are not “plainly and unambiguously contained in Scripture” and are indeed not scriptural concepts at all. They are not found there “in letter” OR “in spirit.”

      As far as the “Godhead of the Holy Spirit” and the fact that “Scripture contains all that is sufficient for salvation,” yes these are absolutely scriptural concepts. Do you deny this? Although they may not be on the “surface” of Scripture, they are definitely scriptural principles. It seems that this is the main premise for your “keenest” of arguments, but anyone denying these things can hardly call himself a Christian!

      Delete
    2. You said "I would certainly agree with the person who said that Apostolic Succession (at least the Catholic version of it) and the Eucharist are not “plainly and unambiguously contained in Scripture” and are indeed not scriptural concepts at all. They are not found there “in letter” OR “in spirit.”

      As far as the “Godhead of the Holy Spirit” and the fact that “Scripture contains all that is sufficient for salvation,” yes these are absolutely scriptural concepts. Do you deny this? Although they may not be on the “surface” of Scripture, they are definitely scriptural principles. It seems that this is the main premise for your “keenest” of arguments, but anyone denying these things can hardly call himself a Christian!

      its obvious you chose what you already believe as scriptural and agreed with it as scriptural, and did the obvious to throw away what you think is not scriptural and you agreed with it as unscriptural. this is a good example of blindly looking at things.

      Delete
  27. wow i had never read Newman 's works,he must have been good. Thank you

    Hie Russell

    it seems you are avoiding to counter Newman 's arguments directly. the questions you have asked are not countering Newman 's position by you want to change the direction of the argument from, "did the Apostles pass on truths which are not written in Bible?" to can you prove if truths are actually from the Apostles? those are different questions you should answer the first one first then ask the second one later.

    thats why i always asked these following questions:

    Was everything that the Jesus and Apostles taught written down? Jesus commanded His disciples to teach ALL that He commanded, so were ALL that Jesus commanded written down? Does the Bible tell us that the Word of God or Teachings from God if they are not written down they cease to be the Word of God.

    and you also need to show us that Word of God was not fruitful whether in deeds or any other way because Scripture(your only infallible source) tells us that every Word coming from God achieves results,

    Isaiah 55:10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
    the QUESTION HERE IS:
    so if every Word of God was not written down(if you believe everything was written DOWN which Jesus and the Apostles Taught then you have to prove it), are you saying that which was not written down, it did not have any other effects on People 's lives who heard it? it just disappeared and became dead?

    can you please answer convincingly showing why you think only the Word of God which is written down is the rule of Faith, were does it say all the other teachings which came from the Jesus and the Apostles which were not written down will cease to be a rule of Faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mug,

      You accused me of “changing the direction of the argument” from:

      “did the Apostles pass on truths which are not written in Bible?” to…

      “can you prove if truths are actually from the Apostles?”

      Ok, let me answer the first one plainly. ANY truths from God that the apostles passed on will coincide with and agree with Scripture. Maybe some of the truths that they passed on were not SPECIFICALLY WORDED the same way as in Scripture, but they will be congruent with its principles and will never contradict Scripture.

      Since YOU are the one saying that some of the truths that God intended to be passed on were NOT written in Scripture, then the burden of proof is on YOU to demonstrate 1) what those things were, and 2) that they were just as inspired as Scripture. That’s why I insist that you prove that these supposed “truths” that you are offering “outside of Scripture” came from the apostles. You DO have the burden of proof here, so this is not a shift of direction, as you accuse.

      Was everything that Jesus and the apostles taught written down? No, but everything that God wanted written down (as Scripture) was indeed written down. If it was never written down, then obviously God never intended for it to be in the canon. Not every single word that He ever spoke, of course, or every single action He did was written, but the ESSENCE of it was recorded in Scripture. We don't HAVE to have every single word He said or every single deed He did to have His full truth. I don’t see why this is a problem.

      You also said:

      “Does the Bible tell us that the Word of God or Teachings from God if they are not written down they cease to be the Word of God.”

      No one has said this. The Word of God never ceases to be the Word of God. We both agree that Scripture contains the Word of God, but Catholics say that this same inspiration also comes in ANOTHER form. And I always say, show it to us. But you can’t.

      As far as Isaiah 55:10-11, this is not a problem at all. Of course God’s Word never returns void. But NO ONE is saying that it does. You keep putting words in my mouth. That’s why I had to warn that I would delete your posts in other discussions. This same warning applies again if you continue to do this.

      Delete
    2. 1. before we go any Further can you prove from the Scriptures your statement below, does the Bible teach that? in accordance to Matthew 28:20 Jesus said to the Apostles teach ALL he does not say only that is of essence, but says ALL. can you clarify.

      Was everything that Jesus and the apostles taught written down? No, but everything that God wanted written down (as Scripture) was indeed written down. If it was never written down, then obviously God never intended for it to be in the canon. Not every single word that He ever spoke, of course, or every single action He did was written, but the ESSENCE of it was recorded in Scripture. We don't HAVE to have every single word He said or every single deed He did to have His full truth. I don’t see why this is a problem.

      You said"If it was never written down, then obviously God never intended for it to be in the canon." thats true, but the question is Did He intend for it not be Authoritative?

      2. you said "No one has said this. The Word of God never ceases to be the Word of God. We both agree that Scripture contains the Word of God, but Catholics say that this same inspiration also comes in ANOTHER form. And I always say, show it to us. But you can’t."

      if it is the Word of God even in the oral form then it has the same inspiration as the Written Word do you agree? YES or NO?

      3. "As far as Isaiah 55:10-11, this is not a problem at all. Of course God’s Word never returns void. But NO ONE is saying that it does. You keep putting words in my mouth. That’s why I had to warn that I would delete your posts in other discussions. This same warning applies again if you continue to do this."

      if you agree that the Word of God does not return VOID, then you have to agree that Word of God which was not written down did have impact on People. The impact that it had on people is what we can Oral Tradition.

      "You keep putting words in my mouth" i will not be putting words into your mouth however, whatever you say has implications, by Denying Oral Tradition what you are really saying is the following:

      1. All that Jesus and the Apostles Taught was written down
      2. the Oral Word of God did not have any effect on the People who heard it, so it returned VOID.
      3. that the Word of God if not written down is not Authoritative.
      so i am not putting any words into your mouth but you just do not realize that, thats what you actually believe when you Deny Oral tradition. those are the assumptions you are really making.

      4. about the onus being on me to prove what are those things which were passed on through Oral Tradition, yes its on me i am not denying however you did not the question clearly as you assume, "Ok, let me answer the first one plainly. ANY truths from God that the apostles passed on will coincide with and agree with Scripture. Maybe some of the truths that they passed on were not SPECIFICALLY WORDED the same way as in Scripture, but they will be congruent with its principles and will never contradict Scripture."

      1. what do you mean by coincide
      2. are the truths of equal authority
      3. if they are of equal Authority why do we measure the Orally Transmitted against the Written, not the Written against the Oral?
      4. can you plainly quote scripture on when plainly answering this one please.

      Delete
    3. Mug,

      You are wasting both your time and my time. You are asking the SAME questions as you did before, and you seem to have an obsession with splitting hairs.

      However, with great reluctance and a feeling that I am wasting our time, I will address some of what you said:

      “1. what do you mean by coincide
      2. are the truths of equal authority
      3. if they are of equal Authority why do we measure the Orally Transmitted against the Written, not the Written against the Oral?
      4. can you plainly quote scripture on when plainly answering this one please.”

      By coincide, I mean simply that it must agree or concur with the principles of Scripture. It must be consistent with Scripture. For example, an atheist cannot say that his ideas coincide with Scripture, since he does not even believe in the God of Scripture. And a person can’t say that he loves someone if he treats them harshly, because this is inconsistent with the definition of biblical love. Or a person cannot say that he is obedient to God if he doesn’t follow Jesus Christ. That’s what I mean by coincide.

      Are the truths of equal authority? My challenge all along has been “what truths”? What are these teachings that have the authority of Scripture, yet are “oral only” in nature? You have never shown them to us. You seem to be saying that you have all that Jesus wanted you to have (Matthew 28:20). Well, where are ALL these things? Don’t leave out a single one!

      You ask, why measure the oral against the written? Because that is exactly what Jesus did (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13).

      Delete
    4. the reason why we are wasting our time is because you are avoiding questions. you tend to deviate from the question.

      "Are the truths of equal authority? My challenge all along has been “what truths”? What are these teachings that have the authority of Scripture, yet are “oral only” in nature? You have never shown them to us. You seem to be saying that you have all that Jesus wanted you to have (Matthew 28:20). Well, where are ALL these things? Don’t leave out a single one!"

      like i said before, you are rushing to ask the question, Where can these truths be found? without answering the question, did Jesus and the apostles leave other truths/teachings besides those in the Bible? thats where your problem is.

      So if you are willing for us to have a fruitful discussion, lets not deviate from the question.

      so i ask again did Jesus and Apostles teach other things which are not written down in the Bible? was everything that Jesus and the Apostles taught written in scripture? YES OR NO.

      if your answer is NO, you have to prove that everything that Jesus had taught was written down.

      however if your answer is YES. then go on to answer the following questions which are follow up questions to the question above.

      1. the Truths/Teachings of the Apostles which were not written down,did they have any effect on the People who heard it.In other words did the people who heard these teachings,live the teachings in their lives, etc etc? or the teachings left them void? YES OR NO
      2. Were these Teachings considered as Word of God by those who heard them?
      3. Were the truths/Teachings of the Apostles which were not written down, not Authoritative? YES OR NO
      4. Did Jesus and the Apostles intend that these teachings which were not written down would not be passed on to other generations? YES or NO
      5. 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard me say among many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be qualified to teach others as well.
      were they any Faithful men who were entrusted to teach others, from what they heard from the Apostles
      6. 2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in the things you have learned and firmly believed, since you know from whom you learned them.
      15. From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
      16. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…
      according to Newman 's argument, it shows that reading in context these verses actually shows that Paul was telling Timothy to abide by Tradition verse 14 (to continue in what he learned knowing from whom he learnt it from) and by Scripture verse 15 and 16.

      i. What do you think Paul meant by "continue in what you have learned knowing from whom you have learnt it from" if Sola Scriptura kick in after the Death of the Last Apostle, continuing was it referencing to SS which had not yet 'kicked in'?
      ii. can you respond to Newman 's Argument, showing that SS is actually taught in that passage if taken into context.

      i will be patiently waiting for you to answer the questions as i asked them, the reason why i continue asking them is simply because you keep on avoiding them and when you try to answer them you give mostly your personal opinions which will not be clear and you do not use scriptures.

      Delete
    5. Mug,

      You said:

      “did Jesus and the apostles leave other truths/teachings besides those in the Bible?”

      I DON’T KNOW what else they infallibly wrote or taught besides what’s in Scripture. And neither do you. Is that a simple enough answer? This was my point all along! But you act as though you not only KNOW everything they taught, but that you also HAVE POSSESSION of it, as well. YOU DON’T! Nobody does.

      But I do know that whatever they DID write (infallibly), or teach orally (infallibly), it HAD to line up with Scripture, else they “infallibly” contradicted themselves.

      This is all I’m going to say about it. I’ve already answered all those things you are asking, maybe not to your liking, but they were answered. But I don’t think that ANYTHING I write will satisfy your sense of controversy and hairsplitting. Your demanding of answers that I already responded to is showing me that you can’t process the simple points I made.

      Apparently, you want me to write an essay or something, all according to YOUR specifications. That’s not going to happen. You don’t own this blog. I’ve been patient with you, but if you want to stay in this discussion, it’s YOUR turn to answer me:

      Do you agree with the above statement, that you DON’T know what infallible truths they taught (besides Scripture)? Yes or no? This is your last chance. If you fail to answer this (with a very simple answer), then I will know that you cannot have a meaningful discussion, and I won’t post any more of your comments.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    7. Any further comments from "Perfect Mugwagwa" will be deleted.

      Delete
  28. another Question that worries me, You said that Sola Scriptura "kicked in" after the Apostles death (though you did not prove it) lets say there was a teaching which was practiced during the Apostles times and unfortunately it was not written down, did the Christian Communities all of a sudden stop that practice saying Sola Scriptura has just kicked in all the other teachings from the Apostles which are not written down are no longer authoritative so we will not follow them

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mug,

    If the practice or teaching lines up with Scripture, they will have kept it. That’s what counts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. was the Practice Authoritative because it came from the Apostles?

      Delete
  30. Hie Russell

    you are being unfair to Mug, i have been following your debates and these questions he has been asking and you are avoiding them demanding him to produce evidence of things which are not related to the questions he is asking. your major assumption that you are using on Mug is that If Mug does not Hold or anyone you know does not hold the truths which were passed on Orally then they do not exist. i do not think that makes sense at all. the premise you are using is flawed according to my understanding. That is why Mug was saying the question you are asking about holding the truths comes after answering Did the Apostles pass on Truths Orally which were not written down in the Bible and are these truths which they passed on Orally Authoritative. After being clear answering those questions and the others he asked i think it will be reasonable to move on to asking the question Where are those truths/where can they be found/ Do you hold them? other than that i think you are being unfair and to the readers it is obvious that you are hiding something.

    Regards

    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello Thomas,

    I strongly suspect that you are not “Thomas” at all, but actually Mug under a different name. You write exactly the same as Mug, misspell the same words as Mug, and you phrase things in the very same way with the same type of run-on sentences as he does. I truly believe that it is YOU Mug and I will not tolerate any harrassing, name-calling, or condescension, as I did before – whether this is Mug or someone else. Be forewarned!

    Now, in the event that I am wrong and you really are NOT Mug, I will try to answer your concerns.

    First of all, concerning my “demanding him to produce evidence of things which are not related to the questions he is asking,” is a false argument. The evidence that I continually asked of him has EVERYTHING to do with the topic of “Tradition” and “Sola Scriptura.” Mug (and most Catholics) insist that there is a body of infallible revelation out there, somewhere, that is not found in Scripture. You Catholics are the ones making this claim, and you make a big deal about it, therefore, it is up to you to prove. So, again, I am simply asking you to show it to me. There is nothing “unrelated to the discussion” about this demand. It follows your claims very naturally. It should not be considered to be shocking or unfair that someone would ask for this evidence at this point.

    You said that my assumption is this: if Mug (or anyone else I know) does not hold these truths which were passed on orally, then they don’t exist.”

    This is partially true, since it COULD exist, even if I have never seen it. My not seeing it does not necessarily prove non-existence. But I know this – that if any Catholic does indeed possess these truths, he would surely (and gladly) show them to us to shut the mouth of every Sola Scriptura believer.

    Once again, I don’t know of any infallible truths that the apostles passed on apart from Scripture. If anyone CLAIMS to have these non-canonical, yet infallible truths, then they simply have to SHOW them to us and be ready to demonstrate that they are indeed infallible. It’s easy to show quotes from a church father, but it’s not so easy to prove its equality with Scripture.

    You are accusing me of “obviously hiding something.” I take offense to that. YOU (Catholics) are the ones who are hiding something (the complete set of infallible “oral” truths), since you CLAIM to have it, but won’t SHOW it.

    If you really are Thomas, and you believe that I am being unfair, then I can respect that… you have the right to express your concerns. But don’t just accuse me of hiding something; you need to prove it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hie Russell

    i was coping some of his words and then modifying them thats why i was sounding like him.

    "This is partially true, since it COULD exist, even if I have never seen it. My not seeing it does not necessarily prove non-existence. But I know this – that if any Catholic does indeed possess these truths, he would surely (and gladly) show them to us to shut the mouth of every Sola Scriptura believer."

    I do not think your argument holds water, they may not be able to show it or even to hold it, but the truth is the Apostles actually pass on such revelation, and this is important to us as Catholics to note. And as long as the Apostles passed on the teachings in oral form which are not written down thats enough to shut the mouth of all Sola Scriptura believers because what the Apostles taught we consider it as inspired and therefore of equal authority.

    thank you.

    regards

    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thomas,

    I will ask you the same question I asked Mug:

    Do you KNOW what infallible truths the apostles taught (apart from Scripture)? Please give me a simple answer.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thomas,

    Thank you for the simple answer.

    Ok, since you know, can you please give us some examples.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hie Russell

    I am busy at moment, but will attend to your request after the Christmas holidays

    ReplyDelete
  36. The First example i will give is on Sunday worship.
    From the ten commandments God says Keep the Sabbath, but most christians keep first of the week as their day of rest on which they set aside some time worship God. There is no where in the bible where we are told to stop keeping the sabbath. They are verses which are quoted by many in the new testament to try to justify Sunday keeping however of them all non shows that we were told to keep Sunday and to stop keeping the Sabbath. Hence it is not written in the Bible that we should keep Sunday as Holy.
    However this teaching we find it fully in Tradition. We have many writings from many Faithful Early Church Fathers who show us that Sunday Keeping was what was received from the Apostles.
    One does not need to be inspired to pass on what he heard or he saw. E.g. were Mark and Luke Apostles? They were not yet they wrote books which you consider as inspired yet all they wrote was what they received.
    On this example of Sunday Worship, you will find that almost all christians were keeping Sunday as the day of rest and this comes from Apostolic tradition. It is an infallible teaching that we cannot change whatsover the circumstance.

    The second example is Apostolic Succession as a measure of the Truth. This is infallibe and though you deny that it is also shown clearly in scripture that truth was passed on through apostolic succession the early church shows us that whenever a new teaching came up it was simply traced to the Apostles by the use of apostolic succession.
    The third example is Priesthood, its infallible that Jesus ordained a new priesthood to offer sacrifices by simply looking at the lives of the early Church they had priests to offer the Eucharist and those who did not serve well were disposed. The first generation of Christians had priests and they were made bishops and priests by the Apostles themselves so this is infallible Tradition.
    The fourth example is that the Eucharist is the True body and Blood of Our Lord, and that it is a sacrifice.
    Fifth and Final the Primacy of Peter though clearly shown in scripture, in tradition its seen in action.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thomas,

    First of all, concerning Sunday worship, there is no verse that specifically says, “You must worship on Sunday now, and not Saturday.” But Scripture is clear that the apostles and the early church gathered together primarily on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). They set a PATTERN for us here, without giving us a specific command.

    So, the church gathering on Sunday is a biblical fact, a clear Scriptural precedent, therefore, it is in the Bible. And since it is in the Bible, you can’t use this as an example, because (notice above) I specifically asked for infallible truths the apostles taught APART FROM Scripture.

    Concerning your second example, “apostolic succession” – your claim is that it is “shown clearly in Scripture,” and therefore, biblical (to you, at least). So, you can’t use this as an example, either, as an infallible teaching that is NOT in Scripture.

    And the same goes for the priesthood, the Eucharist, and Peter’s primacy… Catholics claim that all of these are biblical teachings.

    So, Thomas, you’ve failed to produce any “infallible” teachings that (according to Catholics) are not in Scripture.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Acts 20:7;

    On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Since Paul was ready to leave the next day, he talked to them and kept on speaking until midnight.

    you presuppose that they did not meet everyday for the breaking of the bread? The Apostles still kept the Sabbath so which pattern did they actually set, the 7th day or the 1st day or both?

    1 Corinthians 16:2

    On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

    this was about the collection of money, nothing about meeting for worship or meeting on the first day at all.


    on other examples i was making an assumption that they are not biblical to you. so if you do not find them in the Bible for you they were passed on infallibly Orally by the Apostles thats the point there. However i will take my time to find you more examples.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thomas,

    You said:

    “on other examples i was making an assumption that they are not biblical to you. so if you do not find them in the Bible for you they were passed on infallibly Orally by the Apostles thats the point there.”

    Yes, I agree, these things you mentioned are NOT biblical to me. But my point is that they are not only unbiblical (not in the Bible), they are also anti-biblical (they are AGAINST the principles of Scripture). Therefore, the apostles could NOT have taught these things and they were not passed on “infallibly.”

    ReplyDelete
  40. How is Apostolic Succession against scriptures? How is tracing through a line of Bishops to go back to the Apostles against the scriptures?. Its like when Martin Luther started his teaching called Sola Scriptura we would trace back throughout the bishops back to the Apostles if there is anyone among them whoever received such a teaching from the Apostles? Is that against the principles of the Bible?
    (Protestants can only trace this teaching to the 16th Century this gives me the first hint that this is a false teaching)

    Is a New Testament priesthood against the principles of the Bible?
    The Eucharist as the real body and blood of Christ? How is it opposed to principles of Scriptures?
    And papal primacy how is it opposed to the Principles of Scriptures?

    ReplyDelete
  41. About following a pattern like you said on Sunday worship, this should also apply to apostolic Succession as there is a pattern( though you do not see it) that shows apostolic succession in the Bible:

    1. Acts 1:15-26 the replacing of Judas by Matthias shows us a pattern that Apostles were Bishops and are to be succeeded on death.

    2. 2 Timothy 2:2 They showed us a pattern that those ordained to should pass on to others who pass on to others. So if we want to find out the truth we just trace backwards.

    3. Acts 15 sets a pattern that Church Councils are authoritative

    On the Eucharist and priesthood can you kindly answer the following questions.

    In Genesis 14, Melchizedek was a priest, what did he offer?
    Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek when did he offer a sacrifice similar to that offered by Melchizedek?
    Can you have an order of Priests yet you are only one priest?

    Hebrews 7:12 what does the verse mean by Change of Priesthood if there is no more need of NT priesthood?

    Malachi 1:11 talks of a pure offering to be offered by Priests in gentile nations, what can be pure in this world that can offered to God after the Jewish prieathood is gone?

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  42. Thomas,

    Give us an example of something “infallible” that YOU (Catholics) believe is not in Scripture, then demonstrate that the apostles taught it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Peter being the founder of the church in Rome

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  44. Aquinas,

    And Paul was the founder of many of the churches on the continents of Europe and Asia in his day - so what's your point?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Its infallible that He founded the Church in Rome but its not written in scripture thats the point.

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  46. Aquinas,

    How is it "infallible" that Peter founded the church in Rome?

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  47. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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