torsdag 22 september 2016

Biblical Inerrancy - Because Catholic (in Answer to Trent Horn)


Though including a reflection related to YEC, this goes beyond and deals with Biblical Inerrancy in general.

Trent Horn* has a thing or two to say:

However, the genealogies in the Bible cannot be used to date the age of the universe because they were not meant to be exact chronicles of history. In some cases generations were omitted in order to make a symbolic point. In other cases the ages themselves may be symbolic and not literal [the chapters not accessible in preview]. The genealogies in Scripture were primarily focused (sic!) on showing how different people were related to each other, not how long ago they lived.

In contrast with Ussher's exactness, the Catholic Church does not teach that either the Earth or the physical universe is of any particular age. The First Vatican Council only requires Catholics to believe that "the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing.


(From kindle edition, no pagination)

Not quite, Trent Horn, not quite.

First of all, the Catholic Church has per its Latin and Byzantine Rites probably at least two official - diverging - dates for how old Earth was when Christ was born.

In the Rite of St Pius V, the Christmas proclamation states "in the year five thousand one hundred ninety nine after the beginning when God created Heaven and Earth". The Byzantine rite, whether in that context or other, whether liturgically or just historically, whether among Uniates or just among Schismatics, says Earth was in fact 5508 years old at the first Christmas.

Only in Modern Rite is this replaced with "unknown ages". This does not even happen at Liturgic Deformation by "Paul VI", it happens even later, in 1994.

Second, you get Biblical usage somewhat wrong.

Yes, in the genealogy of St Matthew, the husband, son and grandson of Athaliah (the one bad woman who was too bad to mention in it) are omitted. The reason can be termed "symbolic", but the reason is not simply making it 14 in order to concur with the Hebrew gematria of David. That would have been cheating. It does become, after omission, 14 generations from king David to Babylonian captivity, but there is another reason for the omission. These generations are passed over by damnatio memoriae.

Precisely as in Hebrew Bible the generations go Sem, Arphaxad, Sale, while in LXX they go Sem, Arphaxad, Kainan, Sale. Hebrews were familiar with the convention of omitting bad people in genealogies. Greeks weren't. Hebrew and Greek LXX version of genealogy in Genesis 11 differ like Matthew and Luke as regards omitting or including sinners (said three generations omitted by St Matthew, said Kainan included by St Luke).

And if an age seems for any reason symbolic (like 365 years for Henoch and 777 years for Lamech, in each case the Sethite, not the Cainite ones), this in no way precludes there is a literal information. God can have arranged events (including lifespans) to concur with symbolic reasons. Indeed, since date for Christmas depends on calculated date for Annunciation, and Annunciation date on Good Friday date, the dating of Christmas in Patristics depends on counting on God regularly doing so in the lives of holy people, namely letting death date coincide with either birth or conception date.

Third, you cited what the Holy Council of the Vatican had to say about Creation (in contrast with Atheism, Pantheism etc), but not what it had to say on authority of the Bible or what Trent had to say on it.

Since your name is Trent, that is somewhat of a drastic oversight.

Vatican first:

Anathema 1:5 is cited correctly:

If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, were produced, according to their whole substance, out of nothing by God; or holds that God did not create by his will free from all necessity, but as necessarily as he necessarily loves himself; or denies that the world was created for the glory of God: let him be anathema.

But how about 2:4?

If anyone does not receive as sacred and canonical the complete books of Sacred Scripture with all their parts, as the holy Council of Trent listed them, or denies that they were divinely inspired : let him be anathema.

Or 4:2, 4:3?

If anyone says that human studies are to be treated with such a degree of liberty that their assertions may be maintained as true even when they are opposed to divine revelation, and that they may not be forbidden by the Church: let him be anathema.

If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.


Or before anathemas, in the explanatory part:

Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, as declared by the sacred Council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the apostles by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us [16].

The complete books of the old and the new Testament with all their parts, as they are listed in the decree of the said Council and as they are found in the old Latin Vulgate edition, are to be received as sacred and canonical.

These books the Church holds to be sacred and canonical not because she subsequently approved them by her authority after they had been composed by unaided human skill, nor simply because they contain revelation without error, but because, being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and were as such committed to the Church.


Or Trent, Session IV - Celebrated on the eighth day of April, 1546 under Pope Paul III:

Following, then, the examples of the orthodox Fathers, it receives and venerates with a feeling of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and New Testaments, since one God is the author of both; also the traditions, whether they relate to faith or to morals, as having been dictated either orally by Christ or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church in unbroken succession.

It has thought it proper, moreover, to insert in this decree a list of the sacred books, lest a doubt might arise in the mind of someone as to which are the books received by this council.


[follows here a list]

If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema.

Will there be a second edition without this blunder?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Emmeram
22.IX.2016

* Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties Hardcover – June 30, 2016
by Trent Horn (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Sayings-Catholic-Answering-Difficulties/dp/1941663745/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

tisdag 6 september 2016

Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually


1) Makarios · 2) Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually · 3) Protestants - Not - Getting Around Matthew 28 Last Three Verses: John Calvin's Attempt

I was looking at an article from Christian Courier, in which St Onesiphorus is said not to have been prayed for after death for reasons much more spurious than Tradition about when he was martyred.

I was a bit curious, and found another article, wherein Wayne Jackson exposes a perfectly Catholic view of "OSAS" not being true for all Christians individually:

Christian Courier : Take Heed Lest You Fall
https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/845-take-heed-lest-you-fall


Condensing the article to its headings and for each all given Bible references, after intro:

It is possible to fall
Lk. 8:13, Jn. 15:1-6

Some did fall
Acts 1:25, Jn. 17:12, Jn. 6:66, 2 Tim. 2:16-18, Heb. 6:4-6, Eph. 2:8-9; cf. Acts 19:1-7, Rev. 2:4-5; 1:20, 2 Thes. 2:1-12; cf. 1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1ff

It is possible to prevent falling
1 Cor. 10:12; Heb. 3:12; Col. 2:8, 2 Pet. 1:5-11, Jude 20-21

One can be restored from apostasy
Acts 8:20-22, Jas. 5:19-20

Why Saints Depart from the Faith

Some fall because of persecution
Mt. 13:21, Lk. 14:28, 2 Tim. 3:12, Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7

Some fall when they become heir to natural disaster
Gen. 3:16ff; Rom. 5:12; 8:20ff, cf. Acts 27; 2 Cor. 11:25-27

(Texts perhaps and commenting text certainly only about the circumstance there are such)

Many apostatize out of neglect
Heb. 2:3, 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18, Heb. 10:24-25, 1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 2:4, 2 Tim. 2:15; Psa. 1:2; 1 Thes. 5:17, Jn. 15:1ff; Rom. 7:4

Cares, riches, and pleasure are the downfall of others
Mt. 13:22; Lk. 8:14, cf. Prov. 30:8, see Mt. 6:25-34, Lk. 12:16-21, 1 Tim. 6:10, Rom. 12:2, 2 Pet. 2:20-22, cf. Philm. 24; Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:10

Some are seduced from the faith by false teaching
1 Jn. 4:1, 1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1ff, Lk 8:18, Acts 17:11, Mt. 22:29, Acts 20:30, 1 Tim. 6:5; cf. 2 Pet. 2:1ff, Eph. 4:4, Col. 1:18

Some have an unrealistic view of conversion
1 Pet. 4:17, 1 Pet. 2:2, 2 Pet. 3:18, cf. Eph. 4:13ff, cf. Mt. 26:70; Rom. 7:15ff; Gal. 2:11-14

Some fall due to the lack of Christian association
Mt. 10:34ff; Phil. 5:7-8, Eph. 5:11, 1 Cor. 15:33,

Some apostatize due to harsh treatment at the hands of crude brethren
Rom. 16:17; Tit. 3:10; 2 Tim. 4:1ff; etc., compare Diotrephes, 3 Jn. 9-10, Gal. 6:1

Some never learn to receive considerate correction
Prov. 17:10, Prov. 3:11-12, Heb. 12:11

Some never learn to deal with church difficulties
Matthew 13, 2 Cor. 11:26

Some fall because of misplaced confidence
Prov. 25:19, Heb. 13:5

Conclusion
1 Cor. 10:12

Reference
Jackson, Wayne. "Take Heed Lest You Fall." ChristianCourier.com. Access date: September 6, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/845-take-heed-lest-you-fall


Now, there are however some Bible verses on which the OSAS doctrine has been ... shall we say, embroidered.

This gives us occasion to look at the introduction:

Both Old and New Testaments speak of potential and actual apostasy among the people of God. To the northern kingdom of Israel, Hosea, on behalf of Jehovah, exclaimed:

“And my people are bent on backsliding from me: though they call them to him that is on high, none at all will exalt him” (Hos. 11:7).

Moses had warned Israel of the possibility of their forgetting the Lord and the wonderful signs He had performed in the wilderness (Dt. 8:11-14; 4:9).

The noble prophet Ezekiel declared:

“When the righteous man turns away from this righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done shall he die” (18:26).

The Old Testament record is literally filled with examples of apostasy on the part of God’s covenant people. In First Corinthians 10, Paul catalogs a number of these instances.


The people of the Old Covenant was not indefectible. But the people of the New Covenant, that is the Catholic Church, is. When I say Wojtyla is Antipope, I am not saying the Catholic Church has, as a whole, apostatised. There must be a remnant up to the consummation of all time (confer Matthew 28!). While the Old Covenant was, with the people of Israel, conditional (Deuteronomy 28), the New is an Eternal and Indefectible Covenant. And therefore the covenant people, the Catholic Church is also ... Once Saved, Always Saved ... as far as the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. As far as it is the people around the successors of the Eleven to whom Christ said:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

19 *Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.


And here are the comments from Haydock Bible Commentary, 1859:

Ver. 18.
All power is given to me.
The Arians object that the power which Christ had, is said to be given him by another. The Catholics answer, that Christ, as man, received this power from God. 2ndly. It may also be said, that the eternal Son, though he be equal, and be the same God with the Father, yet he proceeds and receives all from the Father. (Witham)

See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's Church. He received from his Father, all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John xx. 21.) to teach and disciple, matheteuein, not one, but all nations, and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, (not for three or four hundred years only) but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church go astray? having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. (St. John xiv. 6.) (Challoner)

Some hence infer that Jesus Christ, according to his human nature, was sovereign Lord of the whole world; but more properly this may be taken of his spiritual power, such as regards the salvation of souls. For Jesus Christ says to Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. This spiritual power, Jesus Christ communicated in part to his apostles and their successors in the ministry, as to his vicars: As my Father hath sent me, so I send you. Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven: behold here the power both in heaven and earth. (Estius)

Ver. 19.
Teach all nations. In St. Mark we read, going into the whole world, preach to every creature, that is capable of it; not only to the Jews, but to all nations throughout the whole world, baptizing them, &c. The Anabaptists pretend to shew from this place, that none are to be baptized, unless they be first taught and instructed. This is true, as to persons who are already come to an age, in which they are capable of being instructed before their baptism. But according to the tradition and constant doctrine of the Catholic Church, received also by the pretended Reformed Churches, new born children are to be baptized before they are capable of instruction: nor can they enter into the kingdom of heaven without baptism.

In the name of the Father, &c.
We are made Christians in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: we profess to believe, and hope for our salvation, by believing, hoping, serving, and adoring the same three divine Persons, from whence the Fathers prove the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be one God, and equal in all perfections. (Witham)

Had Christ only said, Lo! I am with you all days; it might, in that case, be limited to the natural lives of the apostles; but as He moreover adds, even to the consummation of the world, it must necessarily be extended to their successors in the ministry, till the end of time. (Estius)

By these words Go, teach,
he gives them the power of teaching not only what relates to faith, but also what is necessarily connected with piety and a holy conversation. For we see added a further explanation, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; which words, beyond all doubt, must be referred to the precepts of a holy life. How egregiously then must those men be deceived, who infer from the words teach all nations, that faith alone will suffice. What follows, baptizing them, shews another part of the pastoral functions, which consists in the administration of the sacraments. Hence also all heretics are refuted, who pretend to affirm that all ecclesiastical ministry consists in barely delivering the word. (Estius, in different location)

Ver. 20.
Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world,
embraces two points necessary for the Church; viz. integrity of doctrine, and sanctity of life; for, if either of these should be wanting to the Church, it might then be justly said, that she had been left and abandoned by Christ, her Spouse. (Estius)

Jesus Christ will make good his promise: 1. by always dwelling in the hearts of the faithful; 2. by his sacramental presence in the holy Eucharist; 3. by his providential care, and constant protection to his holy Catholic Church. These last six lines of St. Matthew's gospel, says the bright luminary of France, Bossuet, most clearly demonstrate the infallibility and indefectibility of the one, holy, Catholic Church, which all are commanded to hear and obey.


These points would sufficiently clarify what the OSAS verses really mean.

And for a fuller understanding of these verses, do look at the

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
A Catholic Bible commentary compiled by the late Rev. Fr. George Leo Haydock, following the Douay-Rheims Bible.
http://haydock1859.tripod.com/index.html


to which I refer you.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Onesiphorus
6.IX.2016

Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?

1) Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus, 2) Answering an Attack Against Prayers for the Dead, 3) Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?, 4) Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

The text provides some kind of circumstantial evidence he might have.

Nevertheless, other evidence suggests he hadn't died yet.

6 Septembris In Palaestina sancti Zachariae Prophetae, qui, de Chaldaea senex in patriam reversus, ibique defunctus, juxta Aggaeum Prophetam conditus jacet.

In Hellesponto sancti Onesiphori, Apostolorum discipuli, cujus meminit sanctus Paulus ad Timotheum scribens. Ipse autem Onesiphorus ibidem, una cum sancto Porphyrio, jussu Hadriani Proconsulis acriter verberatus et a ferocibus raptatus equis, spiritum Deo reddidit. ...


Iussi Hadriani Proconsulis? Does that mean some other Hadrian, or does that mean Emperor Hadrian while he was yet only a proconsul?

In the latter case, Onesiphorus cannot have been dead before Saint Paul. Hadrian (/ˈheɪdriən/; Latin: Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus;[note 1][2][note 2] 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138.

He cannot have been proconsul until he was born, and he was born after Saint Paul.

Catholic Online : St. Onesiphorus
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4910


Facts

Feastday:
September 6

Death:
81

Martyr with Porphyrius. Onesiphorus was mentioned in St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy. According to tradition, they went to Spain in the footsteps of St. Paul and then suffered martyrdom on the Hellespont, under Emperor Domitian. They were tied to wild horses and torn to pieces. Porphyrius was said to be a member of Onesiphorus' household.


On the other hand, an Emperor born in 76 can hardly have been proconsul in 81 either. So, no argument from Hadrian's life.

On the "first hand again"*, 81 is also after St Paul's death. So, when St Paul prayed, St Onesiphorus was not yet dead.

However, he could have been missing, even suspected already dead. And St Paul could have used a prayer which would be equally appropriate if preparing for his Christian death, perhaps even as a martyr - which is what he became.

That said, the argument from II Maccabees is still sufficient even for those not accepting it as canonic. Author was not a Sadducee. And he showed that non-Sadducee Jews were praying for the dead. So did Israelites of North Kingdom - if you read Tobit. There even one deed associated with indulgences for the dead is named, namely offering meals to the poor who pray for the dead (only righteous poor being welcome, in the eyes of the older Tobias).

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Onesiphorus**
6.IX.2016

* How do you say when you counter something you said with "on the other hand"? I have used "on the third hand", but there is no such thing on a human body. One could imagine using "on the OTHER hand" with extra emphasis on other too ...? ** Greeks celebrate him tomorrow - or thirteen days later.

måndag 22 augusti 2016

Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

1) Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus, 2) Answering an Attack Against Prayers for the Dead, 3) Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?, 4) Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

It didn't take long before the standard Roman Catholic answer appeared.* According to many Roman Catholics, Luther removed the Apocrypha because it disagreed with his theology. For instance, 2 Maccabees 12:46 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] teaches such things like Purgatory, and since Luther didn't believe in Purgatory, he removed it. The second part of this Roman Catholic argument is that Luther was cornered into rejecting 2 Maccabees while debating John Eck on Purgatory. It has become standard now to mention Gary Michuta's argumentation on this from his book, Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger for historical support on: Eck vs. Luther= remove 2 Maccabees.

That awful Luther just couldn't stand Roman doctrines, so he rejected all the Apocryphal books. But wait a minute... there are a few other Apocryphal books that go along with 2 Maccabees! I don't think I've ever heard a Roman Catholic explain which Roman Catholic doctrines the other books teach and why Luther rejected them.


The fact is, since about 2000 years or more (back then about 1500 years or more) there were two lists of canonic OT books.

It is certain one of them does NOT contain 2 Maccabees. It is somewhat disputed whether the other contains only 2 or even 3 or 4 Maccabees (Roman Catholic OT's end at 2 Macc, Roumanian Orthodox ones at 4 Macc, a k a Josif after Flavius Josephus, considered its author, a k a appendix to OT).

Now, it is also certain that Luther was not SUCH an unprincipled bungler that he would have stayed with the larger list while unilaterally rejecting one item in it. So, if he wanted to keep 2 Maccabees out, he had to stick with the shorter list.

One problem : up to then it was only Jews, rejecting Christ, who were known to have chosen the shorter one.

This was so in editions of Biblia Hebraica, but also so in the Hebrew text from which St Jerome translated the OT books (except certain ones, including 2 Maccabees) in the Vulgate.

Luther's solution was to fiddle with Patristics. St Jerome is known to have expressed a personal preference for including only the Hebrew books, not ones he had to go to LXX for. Hey presto, Luther had Patristic support! Or ... not. St Jerome did express this personal preference, but it should be noted that originally his Vulgate project was mainly there for debate with Jews, who back then used to point out where LXX diverged from their version. St Jerome's expressed preference COULD be read in the light of this purpose. However, even if he had a fleeting thought on 2 Maccabees not being divinely inspired, he did not stick to it, like Luther at Reformation, he rather obeyed the preference of all the bishops - expressed by his correspondent St Augustine.

So, even if no other "Apocryphon" had expressed (indirectly) Purgatory, or Indulgences, if Luther WAS to reject 2 Maccabees, which did so, he had to reject the rest.

In fact, the admonitions of Tobit also do express Indulgences.

The acts of the angel Raphael in Tobit would to many men around 1500 have looked like magic, superstition. And the book had encouraged considering St Raphael as one of the three archangels, with Gabriel and Michael.

In Daniel, chapter 3 is also "an addition" in so far as LXX and Vulgate and other RC versions are longer, including the song of praise of the three young men in the furnace.

Parts of that song would either qualify as "animism" or as "adressing angelic beings". Neither of which were high priorities on the Renaissance based, proto-"Enlightenment" and Humanist side of Reformation. Luther's mentor (who remained Catholic), Erasmus of Rotterdam, had lampooned "that sort of thing" in Epistulae Obscurorum Virirorum. Exactly as with how St Raphael made the exorcism and the healing of the eyes.

OTHER sects have had OTHER reasons to reject the seven books in question.

Judith (as well as a place in Judges) give parallels to "blessed art thou among women" in Luke. If we judge Luke by these two parallels, the angel was declaring the Blessed Virgin had won a major victory for Israel or defeated a major enemy of Israel. Since she had neither killed a man by a pole through his head like Sisera was killed, nor by cutting off his head, like Holophernes was killed, one can understand why She went "what do these words even mean" until they were repeated and she understood the parallel and gave a parallel song of praise - the Magnificat. She had never even once sinned, she had - even before becoming Mother of God - defeated the old serpent. I suppose there were already commentaries on Jael and Judith's victories saying how Holophernes and Sisera embody the serpent and were therefore struck in the head. If so, these would certainly have helped her to realise it was none less than the Devil she had defeated, since her fight was not against flesh and blood (see Ephesians 6:12).

If Luther did not mind this very Mariological implication of Judith, some modern "rejecters of Apocrypha" (which aren't such, the word means sth different and a different set of books, even for OT) very much DO mind this.

Baruch on the other hand, well, for some Renaissance men chapter 3 mentioning giants and God speaking to stars who answer might have been "too much", but to Jews about 1400 years before Luther, the thing which would have been "too much" was rather 3:[36] This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of him. [37] He found out all the way of knowledge, and gave it to Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved. [38] Afterwards he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.

Was seen upon Earth? Conversed with men?

Sounds like Jesus with the Apostles and with others, even if this does not quite fit the past tense. But the rabbis would have been very aware that such a description about events that in Baruch's day were past could also imply a prophecy about what in Baruch's day was still future. I e the days of Christ. I suppose this goes along with diverging interpretations of the three angels hosted by Abraham. To a Christian this could easily be a reference for Baruch 3:38, the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity appearing like angels. To a Jew after rejecting Christ, such thoughts were a no no. The angels were JUST angels, JUST creatures. And if God indeed conversed with Job, Moses, Elijah, they did not see Him on earth.

That would be why Jews chose the shorter list of OT books, while Christians at least of Greek language choose the longer one, in the shape of the LXX. Not sure whether Peschitta has or lacks these books, I think it has them. Or thought. Checked, wrong. At least according to list on http://www.peshitta.org/. It ends - very much like Hebrew Bibles - with 2 Chronicles.

They had their reason, Luther had his, for Peschitta I think it was simply translated from the shorter version, so there was no active choice.

But there is a thing to note here. Even if Luther does reject 2 Maccabees as to divine inspiration, he does not reject its historicity. So, it is certain, historically speaking, even if it were not in the word of God, that a priest did sacrifice for purging dead people of their sins, and it is certain, historically speaking, even if this opinion were not in fact a doctrine in the word of God, that someone (whoever wrote 2 Maccabees) actually approved of this.

This means something like a doctrine of purgatory (some Greeks would prefer "retroactive efficacy of prayer") was around before Jesus came. This in turn means something if nowhere in the New Testament we see Jesus actively rejecting it. And it gives us a clue about the most probable reading of "salute the household of Onesiphoros".

Now we deal with the defense:

Contrary to Michuta's caricature of Luther pre-Leipzig, the reason why Luther could quote Sirach and Tobit is because Luther was heavily schooled with the Glossa ordinaria. When commenting on the apocryphal books, this work prefixes this introduction to them: Here begins the book of Tobit which is not in the canon; here begins the book of Judith which is not in the canon' and so forth for Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and Maccabees etc. The schooling Luther received informed his opinion on the canon. Even the Occamist influence in Luther's life would probably informed him similarly. Michuta himself notes Occam held to the allowance of reading the apocrypha, but that the books were not canonical (p. 218).

It wouldn't be odd to find Luther familiar with or fluent in the apocrypha, but that doesn't mean he believed it was canonical scripture.

...

I consider Luther fundamentally honest on this issue. He denied the authority of 2 Maccabees to establish doctrine because that was simply how he was trained as a theologian, and he followed a tradition which denied the Dueterocanincals authority to establish doctrine. Luther in fact provides detailed opinions of the Deuterocanonical books in his biblical prefaces. I see no reason to grant that his entire opinion suddenly shifted because of Eck at Leipzig. Luther quoted from the Deuterocanonicals throughout his entire career, in a manner consistent with the views expressed in his Biblical prefaces. Michuta's paradigm has no way to account for this.


Well, supposing Luther was himself that honest, at least he missed the point about Jesus not actively rejecting Purgatory or Indulgences, a doctrine PROVEN to have been around among Jews in his time.

And others were less honest. If Luther had been right, these would in the Lutheran community have been outweighed by the honest ones who were right for honest reasons - but since Luther was wrong, Lutheranism is not a "communio sanctorum" and there is no sharing of merits from better to worse Lutherans as there is with Catholics.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL**
Immaculate Heart of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
22.VIII.2016

* Quotes from : Beggars all ... : Why Luther Removed 2 Maccabees from the Bible
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-luther-removed-2-maccabees-from.html


** Yes, they are open after vacation, again!

torsdag 18 augusti 2016

Never Covered in Sunday School?


Here is a quote I like:

Furthermore, there are many things kids need to learn about the Bible that are never covered in most Sunday schools: How were the books in the Bible selected? Why were books left out of the Bible? How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors? How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote? What about the supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible?

All of these questions are favorites for skeptics to weigh in on. But your kids won’t know what to make of their claims if you’ve assumed they’ll learn all this at church. They almost certainly won’t.


The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society
July 12, 2016 | by Natasha Crain | 19 Comments
http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-5-worst-beliefs-a-christian-parent-can-have-in-an-imploding-society/


How were the books in the Bible selected?
5 of them were so to speak given by the founder of the Jewish Church, Moses. Perhaps also the case with Job. Most of the rest (if you count the Christian way in OT) were added by the Jewish Church over time, presumably by its recognised prophets and its priests. 27 were then added on top of that by the Christian Church. Which, of the competing OT redacvtions, took a longer than the Jewish one.

Why were books left out of the Bible?
Because no one claimed they were inspired by God or because their backing of the claim was insufficient.

Note that this means clearly collective because cumulative works like the four books of Kings were inspired, because written in God's service by priests who knew they were handling prophecy, unless a final redaction of the former two were left to the prophet Samuel. Like that of Genesis to Moses.

It also means a book claimed to be written by an undoubted Saint, Henoch (the Sethite one, not the Cainite one), may have insufficient backing for that claim.

How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors?
Through the Jewish Church of the Old Testament and its heir the Christian Church of the New and Eternal Testament.

How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote?
Through basic procedures of safe copying and the intention of the Church to apply them, but in excluding errors by inadvertence, by Her claiming God helped to do so.

What about the supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible?
Have been debunked and are debunked by apologists.


The last part is so true. I came across LOTS of sceptics at a boarding school, they basically ruined my life in the process, BUT I am thankful for having had to refer to the Christian Church and having had pointed out to me, that means the Roman Catholics, against whom I had one or two prejudices.

I had the choice of getting rid of my faith or my prejudices. Unexpectedly to some, it were the anti-Catholic prejudices which went away.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bibl. Audoux
St Agapitus of Praeneste, Martyr
18.VIII.2016

måndag 11 april 2016

Defense of Christ's institution of Hierarchy and Petrine Office, and of St Peter's successors being in Rome

Defending first three Roman claims (on the list) against Francis Turretin and his guest poster Keith Mathison:

  • 1. Rome claims that the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy was instituted by Christ.
  • 2. Rome claims that Christ appointed Peter to be the visible head of the whole Church and gave him jurisdictional primacy.
  • 3. Rome claims that the bishops of Rome are the successors of Peter.


[There are more, and I hope to make more posts defending the Roman claims]/

In the following I will be making several quotes from his post, which I link to here:

Solo Scriptura, Sola Scriptura, and Apostolic Succession: A Response to Bryan Cross and Neal Judisch
(by Keith Mathison) [Guest post on the blog Thoughts of Francis Turretin]
http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2011/02/solo-scriptura-sola-scriptura-and.html


"1. Did Christ institute the Roman Ecclesiastical Hierarchy?

No. If the claim that Christ instituted the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy were true, we might actually expect to read of Christ instituting the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy in the documents of the New Testament written by the Apostles. There is certainly precedent for this expectation in the Old Testament. There we see Moses setting forth the details of the old covenant priesthood and the priestly succession."


He did. You are missing it.

He chose seventy. He chose twelve over the seventy. He chose one among and over the twelve.

He also promised to them power of teaching in his name, power of forgiving sins on behalf of heaven, and to be with them every day, that is indefectibly, which only makes sense if they have successors. This we gather from Gospel. In epistles we see HOW they set about for getting successors (Titus and Timothy) and in Acts at least twice how this worked out (election of successors in Acts 1, cheirotonia for previously not consecrated a bit later).

"God did not leave all of this to chance and hope the Israelites would figure it out on their own."


Correct.

"Nor did this Old Testament hierarchy emerge out of a process of 'development.'"


Definitely correct.

"Furthermore, Moses did not hand down the instructions through any kind of proto-gnostic secret tradition. The priestly hierarchy was an institution of such importance that it was given publicly."


What I have referred to above WAS given publicly.

Tradition as in oral tradition, about details of the arrangement not found verbatim in NT texts (there were no doubt such about Aaronite priesthood as well, since Samarian priesthood would have been and was deficient, not just in being schismatic but also in relying on Torah alone, rather than accepting an offered introduction to the tradition of the Kohanim, and also because parts of Christ's teachings seem to allude to a practise of punishing sleepy priests).

"As important as the new covenant ecclesiastical hierarchy is supposed to be according to Rome, we might expect to see Jesus set forth similar instructions were the claim true. Do we see any evidence of this in the New Testament?"


Yes.

"No. What we see is Jesus choosing twelve apostles and sending them out to proclaim the gospel to the Jews and then later to the Samaritans and Gentiles (Acts 1:8). We don’t see him placing each of his Apostles, or anyone else for that matter, as a residential bishop over one local church (or diocese)."


He arranged for Jerusalem to be the first diocese and at first run by all twelve together.

Also, we do not see him arranging for Matthias replacing Judas, we see only that it was arranged - and that the Apostles had no doubt that they were doing Christ's will. I e, we see traces of an arrangement given publically between Christ and Apostles, but not mentioned in canonic Gospels.

This is miles from "gnostic tradition", since gnostics claim to have traditions that have been kept secret. Oral tradition backing up, in public, the written word, that is not gnostic.

And the Catholic tradition is quite public today. If it were gnostic, it would either still be a secret, or have been "revealed" at a certain date in the past, like 1717 when freemasons "revealed" to have had as secret tradition of not caring very much for the confession ("up to then" => confessional obligation = confession of each country, from then => confessional obligation = only natural religion, other confessions being optional).

BUT there is no date whatsoever in which Catholic Church can be said to have in any way "revealed" from secret to open the now open supplementary parts of what Catholic hierarchy means, those Keith Mathison is claiming not to find in NT.

A situation which is very explicable if the present tradition about Catholic priesthood is simply the early tradition continued, but less so if one were to misinterpret the Catholic claim as being a claim of "proto-gnostic" tradition.

"For some time after the ascension, all of the Apostles remain in Jerusalem, building up the church."


As he had told them. "First in Jerusalem, then in Judaea ..."

"There was a plurality of apostolic leadership in the Jerusalem church."


There were twelve apostles exercising a joint leadership, if "leadership" is an appropriate word. Or rather rule. And first of them was St Peter.

As we see on Pentecost day, in dealings with Temple authorities, in dealings with Ananias and Sapphira, in St Peter not being absent either from Samaria (Acts 8), nor from Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15).

"When some of the Apostles finally begin moving outward from Jerusalem, they act more as church planters and travelling missionaries."


That is exactly how local bishops start out in Catholic tradition today.

A Catholic see usually starts as an "Apostolic vicariate".

"They do not each settle down in one city as a residential bishop."


No, but whenever they leave a city, they leave a residential bishop in it.

"James, who remained in Jerusalem, is the closest thing to a residential bishop at this point"


James was indeed residential bishop of Jerusalem as soon as St Peter left for Antioch (later Rome).

"but even he is still accompanied there by most of the other Apostles (e.g., Acts 9:27)."


But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and told them how he had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken to him; and how in Damascus he had dealt confidently in the name of Jesus.

  • 1) this can have been before Apostles broke up (I speak under correction, but I think the council at Jerusalem which was clearly after breakup was a later chapter : in chapter 8, apostles are still in Jerusalem and Samaria gets the Church through them planting a bishop and conferring themselves first sacrament of confirmation);
  • 2) supposing this were not so, Apostles can have been visiting;
  • 3) supposing this is so, Peter may or may not have been absent for a visit voyage, but later in the chapter 9 he is doing such a voyage.


"Among those who eventually travel outward, Peter and Paul are the most significant in the Book of Acts. Paul’s missionary journeys are well known, but Peter travelled as well. Of the places we know Peter visited on his missionary journeys, we can list Antioch (Gal. 2:11), Samaria (Acts 8:14), Lydda (Acts 9:32), Joppa (Acts 9:36–39), and Caesarea (Acts 10)."


Galatians mentions St Peter when he has taken residence in Antioch. After Jerusalem.

Acts 8 mentions how he came to give a confirmation and presumably also a bishop to Samaria, after which he returned to Jerusalem.

Acts 9 and 10, I am not sure.

"If the Roman claim were true, we would also expect to find abundant evidence of the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy in the years immediately following the ascension"


We do. Jerusalem has:

  • St Peter
  • other of the Twelve
  • the seventy under them (not mentioned in Acts, up to St James the lesser)
  • the deacons (seven originally, St Stephen dies proto-martyr)
  • ordinary laymen under them who were encouraged but not obliged to community of property.


This is Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy in a nutshell, it differs only in geography from later one. Rome has in later years a hierarchy of cardinals precisely calqued on that of Jerusalem:

  • the Pope after St Peter
  • bishop cardinals after the twelve (or the eleven other than Peter)
  • priest cardinals after the seventy
  • deacon cardinals after the deacons.


"and in the first decades of the post-apostolic church."


Yes.

"If Christ instituted it and if the Apostles were obedient to Christ we would expect to find some evidence of it."


Indeed. We do.

"We would expect to find evidence that each local church had a bishop, and that this bishop was assisted by subordinate presbyters and deacons."


If you can find anything in NT that contradicts it, you simply cannot read.

Except this: the title of the local bishop was not necessarily bishop. Apostle, Evangelist, Angel, perhaps even Presbyter, we are not told the title of Timothy and Titus.

"However, when we examine the evidence we do not find this."


You mean you don't find it.

We do.

"What we find is summed up in Titus 1:5, where Paul instructs Titus to 'appoint elders (plural) in every town.'"


Titus was the unitary bishop and had plural presbyters (the word you retranslate as "elders") under him. Corresponds perfectly to the RC hierarchic model. Nothing in the text contradicts it.

"We see this in Paul’s first missionary journey, when he and Barnabas 'appointed elders for them in every church' (Acts 14:23). The evidence, biblical and non-biblical, points consistently to a plurality of leaders in each of the first churches."


So, they appointed both the unitary bishop and the presbyters under him and the bishop was in that passage counted as a presbyter - because, like presbyters, he was a sacerdos. It is also possible in some places only a presbyter was appointed, leaving it to providence and later decisions when and if there should be a bishop. Byzantion as a village got only a presbyter from St Andrew, and bishops did not come to reside there until later, in the time of Constantine, when the village was expanded to Constantinople.

Again, no qualms to a RC.

"The transition from a collegial form of church government toward the monepiscopal form of church government occurred at different rates in different geographical locations."


You have no dates to offer for such a supposed transition. You are taking it from thin air.

"The historical evidence indicates"


Meaning you arbitrarily first presume a transition without evidence, and then take each clear show of monoepiscopacy (or each show of it which is clear to you) as evidence it had occurred.

"that monepiscopacy developed most rapidly in Asia Minor and more slowly in European cities such as Corinth and Rome."


Most rapidly in Asia Minor.

You are right that Apocalypse has St John writing to monoepiscopal authority of seven Churches. From God. (That is, by the way, where a first century counterpart of "episcopus ordinarius" is mentioned as "angel").

You are wrong in saying this reflect a development had taken place.

As for Rome, obviously the both Imperial and at last also Papal city would gather more bishops than those residing over Her. St Paul came to assist St Peter.

"The numerous house churches scattered throughout Rome, for example, were led by presbyters until the latter half of the second century."


House Churches argue that Luther was wrong to attack the institution of chaplains having smaller chapels outside the parish Church. These presbyters being of course very early examples of chaplains.

"The ecclesiastical hierarchy as it exists today in the Roman Catholic Church evolved over time."


Minor parts or aspects of it. Cardinals, as mentioned, were a reflection of how Church looked in Jerusalem. Chaplains, as mentioned, were presbyters residing over house Churches.

But one particular Cardinal being the Cardinal of St Sabina, and one particular see changing local residence from Geneva to Annecy (the last bishop locally tied to Geneva, residing mostly in Annecy, in exile from his city, being the patron of this blog), those merely local and temporal applications of it, yes, that did evolve over time.

So did the habit of calling certain mere presbyters Monsignore, as if they were bishops or abbots.

So did in a way the institution of abbot. But St Peter was kind of abbot in Jerusalem, since community of property made Jerusalem a kind of monastery. A bit like later Iona, also a monastery with lay members who were married.

"There is nothing that lends any credence to the claim that it was directly instituted by Christ or the Apostles in the first century."


There is, but you miss it as you would miss a barn at one yard's shooting range. And that goes for ALL Protestants, not just for yourself.

"2. Did Christ appoint Peter to be the visible head of the whole Church and give him jurisdictional primacy?

No. The only Person spoken of in Scripture as the Head of the Church is Jesus (Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 1:18). Peter is never spoken of as the head of the Church, either before or after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. The Church is the body of Christ. It is not the body of Peter; it is not the body of the Pope; and it is not the body of the Pope and Christ. The Church is not polycephalous. It does not have more than one head. Christ, as the one Head of the Church, continues to exercise His headship even after His ascension."


And this Jesus also speaks of himself as "the good shepherd" and tells Peter to "feed my sheep".

He also speaks of himself as holding the keys of David (Apocalypse) and as promising them to Peter (et TIBI dabo claves regni coelorum - not vobis, but tibi, Matthew 16:19).

He also calls both Himself or His Words a rock (Matthew 7:24) and of Peter as rock (Matthew 16:18).

In other words in more than one way he speaks of St Peter as of Himself.

"Christ appointed twelve Apostles, one of whom was Peter (Matt. 10:1–2)."


Yes, and later in Matthew 16 raises one of them above the rest.

"The apostles as a group were given the highest office in the Church (1 Cor. 12:28)."


Not disputed, Scriptural reference if given.

"No one apostle is singled out as having a higher office than the rest."


Disputed, and no Scriptural reference is offered. Unless you mean in that verse, which is not obliged to mention everything. We give one reference or more for opposite view.

"They were all sent (John 20:21); they were all commanded to preach and baptize (Matt. 28:29); and they were all promised an equal standing at the judgment: “you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). Peter’s throne is not distinguished from the rest."


One of the thrones would be the throne of Judah. Right, Judah is one of the twelve tribes?

And Christ Himself is ALSO sitting "on the throne of Judah". So, whoever is the Apostle who sits on the throne of Judah is over the other ones.

It is not mentioned there, but elsewhere that St Peter was distinguished from other Apostles, so we must presume if one throne is sat in by an Apostle and judges the tribe of Judah, it is the Apostle Peter.

(Unless one would argue it is "tribe of Joseph"?)

"After Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon all equally, Peter is sent by the other Apostles to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14) in the same way that Barnabas (Acts 11:22) and then Silas and Judas (Acts 15:22) are later said to be sent."


One can take tasks even if they are prompted by inferiors. And St John was himself just a member of, thus inferior to, the Apostolic college as a whole. A kind of zeugma may be there.

Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.

Reconstruction:

  • 1) Peter leaves decision to college;
  • 2) college decides its head cannot be lacking and Peter accepts;
  • 3) college also sends John (who is thus just sent and not sending);
  • 4) Peter and John arrive in Samaria.

    And:

  • 5) Confirming Samarian neophytes, they ordain and consecrate Philip before he goes of to the Candace, and also St Lazarus, who became first local bishop of Samaria, even if he did not stay there (Marseilles and Larnaka dispute where he died).


"There is no hint that he alone is in charge of things in some unique sense."


Should be modified to:

There is more than just a hint that if he is uniquely above the rest, then he is not always insisting on that and leaving nothing to others.

"Further evidence that this claim of Rome is false is found in an examination of the first church council. The very first major problem in the church is not resolved by an appeal to Peter as we would expect had Christ given Peter jurisdictional primacy (recall the very definition of “jurisdiction”). It is resolved instead by a council in Jerusalem. In other words, a council, not Peter, is assumed to have jurisdiction. In the council itself, James, rather than Peter, exercises the necessary leadership (Acts 15). It is James who declares the definitive judgment, saying: “Therefore my judgment is…” (v. 19). The final decision of the council is described as a consensus of the apostles and elders (v. 22). In the entire account of the Jerusalem Council, neither Peter nor anyone else present shows any awareness of Petrine jurisdictional primacy."


[Replacing my own original words with a quote from Catholic Encyclopedia to answer this:]

"Peter returned occasionally to the original Christian Church of Jerusalem, the guidance of which was entrusted to St. James, the relative of Jesus, after the departure of the Prince of the Apostles (A.D. 42-44). The last mention of St. Peter in the Acts (15:1-29; cf. Galatians 2:1-10) occurs in the report of the Council of the Apostles on the occasion of such a passing visit. In consequence of the trouble caused by extreme Jewish Christians to Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, the Church of this city sent these two Apostles with other envoys to Jerusalem to secure a definitive decision concerning the obligations of the converted pagans (see JUDAIZERS). In addition to James, Peter and John were then (about A.D. 50-51) in Jerusalem. In the discussion and decision of this important question, Peter naturally exercised a decisive influence. When a great divergence of views had manifested itself in the assembly, Peter spoke the deciding word. Long before, in accordance with God's testimony, he had announced the Gospels to the heathen (conversion of Cornelius and his household); why, therefore, attempt to place the Jewish yoke on the necks of converted pagans? After Paul and Barnabas had related how God had wrought among the Gentiles by them, James, the chief representative of the Jewish Christians, adopted Peter's view and in agreement therewith made proposals which were expressed in an encyclical to the converted pagans."


So : no leader as such is presented by text, St Peter gives decisive suggestion, St James agrees (after presumably having disagreed before hearing St Peter was for it), then an encyclical is redacted (we are not told by whom).

"Paul’s description of Peter’s ministry gives no indication that he was aware that Peter had been appointed head of the entire Church. Peter’s ministry, according to Paul, is to the Jews, while his own is to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7–8)."


A temporary arrangement and one indicating that Peter was above Paul, since Jew was prior to Gentile in the Faith (Jew as by now Christian Jew, no longer those having rejected Christ in the meantime).

"Paul also feels no qualms about publicly rebuking Peter to his face when his conduct is hypocritical (Gal. 2:11)."


Which means that Papacy is not pharaonic. A Pope is not above criticism from inferiors.

"Even Peter himself shows no recognition of universal headship or jurisdictional primacy. He recognizes that he is on the same level with the other elders (1 Pet. 5:1)."


The ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also an ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ: as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come:

For one thing, a Pope is a bishop and a bishop is like the simple presbyter a sacerdos. In Bible, like in Germanic languages and French (the word priest!), presbyter is used for sacerdos.

For another, he adds to "consenior" (presumably "sympresbyteros" in Greek?), namely:

  • and a witness to the sufferings of Christ;
  • and a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed.


He was in Gethsemane and on the Mount Tabor.

"Today, Rome appeals to Matthew 16:18 and a few other passages to back up her claim,"


Notice how this non-Catholic author too omits Matthew 16:19. Even if it is only the next verse.

"but it is worth noting that appeals to Matthew 16 in support of Petrine supremacy first appear in the middle of the third century in the disputes between Cyprian and Stephen."


If you mean appeals in the full sense as appeals in controversy that is possible.

But this line of argument does two things:

  • appeals to Tradition OVER Scripture (an implication from Scripture is accepted only if Tradition uses it so);
  • appeals to absence of Tradition being noted EARLIER on a point against PRESENCE of it being noted later on same point.


A most hypocritical line of reasoning, a Pilpul worthy of those whom Christ called vipers.

"Appeals to this text did not begin earlier because the idea of Petrine supremacy itself was a late development."


Pure guesswork. And the kind of guesswork which has been used to attack Gospels, the Apostolic authorship, the canonicity of certain books and so on. A slippery slope that I will NOT volunteer to walk.

This is unfortunately what passes for "sound theology" in Lund, presumaly elsewhere too in Protestant Universities. Guess why I avoided studying Theology in Lund?

"It is only when Rome begins her attempts to assert universal jurisdiction that Scripture is mined for potential proof texts such as Matthew 16."


Ah, mining Scripture for proof texts is a bad thing, suddenly. When it is done in support of what later at least claims to be Tradition, it is grasping at straws. ONLY when it is used in attack against what clearly ALREADY is Tradition, only then is it bold scholarship.

I am very much reminded of Belloc's attitude to heretics here. Seeing such a thing from Keith Mathison, I may have some residual charity, but it is not really perturbing me. Caritas non perturbat me, as Belloc put it in a fine poem.

A young Protestant not fully aware of this may still save his soul, especially if later converting, but Keith Mathison seems to have taken a turn towards perdition.

"3. Are the bishops of Rome the successors of Peter?

No. Had the idea of Petrine Roman succession originated with Christ and not with the church of a much later generation, one would have expected to see an unbroken line of succession from Peter in Rome forward through a series of bishops. Instead, the historical evidence clearly indicates that the monepiscopacy did not develop in Rome until the second half of the second century. If Peter had appointed a successor, the papacy would not have had to await the latter half of the second century before gradually beginning to come into existence."


Every circumstance apparently counts as historic evidence through measly eyes of scepticism ... against the one circumstance which is glaring, the tradition they are arguing against. Caritas non perturbat me (Belloc's version of "ye vipers").

It is PURE guesswork in the teeth of evidence to say monoepiscopacy developed only later.

And it is not even that, but sheer denialism of evidence offered, namely that there was an unbroken line of bishops.

If anything, St Peter might have hesitated whether St Linus or St Clemens was to be his successor, and that hesitation was obviously resolved by them taking turns.

"The claim of Roman bishops to be successors of Peter ignores the well-established historical fact that there was no single monarchical bishop in Rome for well over 100 years after the death of Peter."


Well established by what?

By the Bible? No. By Tradition? No. By modern scholarship reconstructing what really happened in flat denial of narrative evidence offered!

"The house churches in Rome were originally led by a plurality of presbyter/bishops."


That there were house churches is indeed part of the Roman case : for both cardinals (as clergy other than Peter/Pope in Rome) and chaplains (as priests tied to a private house rather than to a public parish).

"The papacy gradually evolved out of the need for a single person to act as a go-between for the churches of Rome and churches outside of the city."


What do you mean, "evolved"? On your view, in year 66 there was no Pope, in year 166 there was (I suppose, and Pope meaning here in relation "urbi" ratgher than "orbi", as I know you consider papacy properly speaking an even later development), does "evolved" mean you can fix no date for transition? Well, how do you prove it? I am not just saying "no date" as in "no exact year", but even "no date" as in "no exact circumstance whatsoever". You are not offering to split hairs on whether "transition" was (taking references from our chronology, which I know you consider wrong, but nevertheless at some point it starts being right):

  • between Peter and Linus
  • under Linus
  • between Linus and Anacletus
  • under Anacletus
  • between Anacletus and Clement
  • under Clement
  • later than Clement, namely .... (insert name for transition where elected came out or Pope on Papal list during whose carreer you consider a man came to be monoepiscopal ecclesiastical ruler of Rome ... sorry, seems to be a date like 164, from another passage in your paper).


And no precise reconstruction of how around 164 AD the transition was made, only an assumption it was made. Due to an assumption the thing purportedly "transited to" did not exist prior to then?

"There was no consciousness that this individual was in succession from Peter. The lists that were later compiled, first by Hegesippus and then by Irenaeus, were based on later memories of those men who had been tasked with external affairs. Irenaeus read the monepiscopacy that existed in his day back into the earlier history of Rome where it did not exist."


If that is so, why stop at this?

Why not think Papias read a tradition of the book starting "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" as being by the Apostle Matthew which had "evolved" in his day back into a past in which the authorship of "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" was not yet Matthean or indeed any other fixed authorship? Perhaps originally functioning as an ill-redacted wiki (note, certain books probably did partly function as a kind of wikis until final redaction, but as very well redacted ones : Genesis 4, Genesis 5, Judges, Four books of Kings (or "book of Samuel" and "book of Kings"), Two books of Chronicles (or one book). But these wikis were adding new events as they happened, under a management which would not have allowed spurious events or sayings to crreep in, we are here dealing with a very great obscurity about what the Gospels started out as, if we consider they started as wikis to which anyone (sufficiently influential) could add real or supposed or forged memories about sayings or miracles of the Lord, but no one was there to get rid of what was spurious. By throwing out the tradition about papacy as "a later author read back into what existed earlier what only existed later in his own time", you are helping Modernists and Jews and Moslems and Atheists to throw out the tradition about authorships of Gospels as "a later author read back into earlier times what only existed later in his own".

Conveniently, for both theories, the Presbyterian as well as the Antichristian one, we have no authors earlier than Papias listing Gospels or (possibly even) than Hegesippus and Irenaeus listing Papal Succession after Peter and Paul.

But equally convenient for us Catholics, against that (and if you are Presbyterian, I suppose you are with Catholics about Gospels), neither are there authors earlier than Papias saying "'The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham' was" [redacted as a wiki where any one was free to add, but the deletion of spurious material was insufficient]. And we do not have earlier authors saying in so many words "Linus was just one presbyter among the others, even after Peter died". These positions are per se thinkable BUT substantiated by nothing in the positive earlier narrative evidence and contradicted by a lot in the somewhat later one.

Note, if you are ready to accept such easy development of disfigured tradition as this, how do you account for oral tradition between Adam and Moses or between Adam and Abraham about earliest parts of Genesis? The generations between Fall and Flood would seem to correspond with the kind of overlap and non-overlap between Gospels and Papias, martyrdom of Sts Peter and Paul and Hegesippus and Irenaeus telling us what happened next. On your view, the early tradition would have needed to be a written one to function.

"Even later, when there were monarchical bishops in Rome attempting to establish the primacy of the church at Rome, the basis for such notions initially rested not on claims of succession from Peter, but on the claim that Rome had the relics of Peter and Paul. But even if this claim concerning the relics were true, why should that claim elevate the Church of Rome above any other churches? If any earthly city has a right to claims of primacy, it would be Jerusalem. While Rome claims the honor of being the city where Peter and Paul were martyred and buried, Jerusalem is the location of the Last Supper, the crucifixion of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the first preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles, the first church council, and the home base of Peter, James, and John (the “pillars” of the church). Jerusalem was the center from which the Gospel of Christ spread (Acts 1:8)."


You are pitting one wording of a claim against other versions of it.

And you are being deliberately non-imaginative about what the version you use actually meant.

If early Popes (not sure if you mean like Clement or like two centuries later, but either way) were saying "our episcopacy rules the others, beccause we have the relics of Sts Peter and Paul", this obviously could NOT have meant "because we have the holiest relics", since as pointed out, Jerusalem has holier ones. It obviously does mean "we have the successors of Sts Peter and Paul, since it is here they died, since all of you others also admit we have their relics, since it is here you make pilgrimages when making pilgrimages to their relics". Only, the version "our episcopacy rules the others, beccause we have the relics of Sts Peter and Paul" is a shorter way of stating it.

As for supremacy of Jerusalem, for one thing, its chief Apostle Peter WAS later going, first to Antioch, then to Rome : second, Jerusalem has a less unbroken continuity, since during Jewish war the Church of Jerusalem went to Pella and only came back after the war, and also since Church of Jerusalem, between about then and the time of St Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine, had no access to the chief relics, namely Calvary and Empty Tomb, since these were covered by the Venus Temple which blasphemers had put there.

"Why Rome, why not Jerusalem" in Church is like asking "why Rome, not Troy, in Roman Empire" ... well, Aeneas had to leave Troy, you know. And Peter had left Jerusalem before successors of St James the Lesser had to do so too.


But if you have no narrative evidence for the absense of monarchic episcopacy in Rome between 64 and 164 and its slow development between then and 200, I am not sure you are not even guilty of circulus vitiosus in probando.

Look at this passage:

"Textual and archaeological evidence indicates that in the first two centuries of Christianity’s existence in Rome, there were a good number of house churches spread throughout the city, primarily in Trastavere and along the Via Appia, and the number of these churches increased as the number of Christians grew. Christians represented the lower and poorer strata in Roman society and had small houses, which could only accommodate so many - thus the need for a good number of dispersed house churches. There was no single centralized location, no central cathedral, where all Roman Christians met for worship under the oversight of a single bishop. Individual presbyter/bishops presided over these various house churches."


Here it seems, you are arguing from evidence of house Churches, via absence of archaeological evidence (and thus in a well excavated city archaeoilogical presumable evidence of absence) of a central Cathedral, and from absence of Cathedral to absence of monarchic bishop.

But now look at this sentence:

"The absence of a monarchical bishop in Rome for over 100 years after the death of Peter and its slow gradual development in the latter half of the second century indicates that the early house churches of Rome had no consciousness that such a succession ever existed or was ever intended."


Here you are arguing from your thesis of "absence of a monarchical bishop" to your interpretation of the evidence on house Churches.

Which way is it? Where do you "break the circle"?

Just a minor point (on this discussion, major perhaps elsewhere) before ending my part I of this rebuttal. If from absence of Cathedral you argue absence of unified leadership, and hence of a unitary bishop in AD 100, I can comprehend why Protestant Creationists argue that Cro Magnon and Neanderthals had to be post-Babel. From small settlements is argued the obedience was scattered to very small scale units, which agrees with situation of humanity after Babel and agrees with what Protestant scholars presume about Roman situation in a "pre-episcopal" Babel. For my part, I cannot see any valid reason why Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon could not have been parts of a much larger political unit, comprising all humanity before Babel (if Neanderthals were pre-Flood, as mitochondria seem to suggest, their "stone age" condition might be remnants of some pre-Flood Gulag), and precisely so, I cannot see that archaeological presence of House Churches but lack of Cathedral in Rome 100 AD argue a lack of bishop.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Pope St Leo I, "the Great"
11.IV.2016

tisdag 5 april 2016

Sorry for Delay

I had nearly promised an article on this blog for today, but hope to get it done tomorrow, dear Faithful Catholics and especially dear St Francis of Sales, pray for me that I do!

Update:

Sorry for prolonged delay, but yesterday I was in another library (where I had less time but could listen to videos) and I was busy among other things that time to prepare these posts on other blogs:

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... against "A Scientist's Critique of Ben Stein's Expelled"
http://assortedretorts.blogspot.com/2016/04/against-scientists-critique-of-ben.html


HGL's F.B. writings : Several Debates From a Status of Mine - on Homosexual Agenda, on Robb Thurston, on Josh Weed
http://hglsfbwritings.blogspot.com/2016/04/several-debates-from-status-of-mine-on.html


We'll see if I get better time later today!/HGL

Update:

Here is more that took my attention as well:

Silent Historians Argument Revisited : 1) Ten Extra-Biblical Writers or Sources on Reign of Tiberius · 2) Two of These Quoted

Final Update:

After a weekend with some textile improvements, some calm, but little access to internet (I did two articles), I finally delivered at least a part I of the promised article, next one on this blog:

Defense of Christ's institution of Hierarchy and Petrine Office, and of St Peter's successors being in Rome
http://greatbishopofgeneva.blogspot.com/


And here are the two articles from weekend:

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Selinsgrove or Selin's Grove? 1776, anyway! (Link) (or not? other link)
http://filolohika.blogspot.com/2016/04/selinsgrove-or-selins-grove-1776-anyway.html


and in French:

New blog on the kid : Réponse une année en retard à l'homélie pascale d'un prétendu évêque de Paris
http://nov9blogg9.blogspot.com/2016/04/reponse-une-annee-en-retard-lhomelie.html