Tuesday, September 12, 2006

be a berean - don't be fooled

When dealing with the issue of Iraq being a just war, watch to see if you can see someone misusing/misquoting scripture to. Also, the point of using this clip is not to get into a discussion for the pros/cons of Iraq or any other political matter, it is only to show the use of scripture by people who claim to affirm Christ.



Did you notice the quick references to the prophets by Bishop Talbert? He made reference to "making swords into plowshares" as having been promoted by three prophets (Joel, Isaiah, and Micah) and uses that as the basis to say that Christ would be opposed to war (specifically this one). Well, I took the liberty of looking up the references that he seemed to be talking about.

"And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war." (Isaiah 2:4)

"Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am a mighty man.'" (Joel 3:10)

"And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war." (Micah 4:3)

Isaiah and Micah both tell their audience to "hammer their swords into plowshares" but Joel says, "Beat your plowshares into swords" which is the exact reverse. This shows that at times God calls for the use of arms, and at others we are to be peaceful. It is as untrue to make the blanket statement that God is opposed to all war as it is to say that He is a war monger who always delights in endless warring.

69 comments:

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I have to say that I feel these videos are biased. For one, they make MacArthur look like the all God fearing saint who is a commander of an army, then the video is panned over to a Methodist Bishop who Macarthur tries to turn the tables on and make him seems like a fool, finally you have the Catholic Priest who is never given a chance to speak because the great Mac Arthur has the floor. Besides, what kind of show is this to base true religous beliefs on or debate them? After all, this is the Larry King show, its not like EWTN, or their show life on the rock, or the coming home network where you see honest people coming from their hearts and not from a pre-written script.

EJ said...

You want to hear what that same Catholic said on Larry King? Click here to listen to Father Michael Manning. Tell me what you think.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I agree with this Priest 100%. What kind of God do you think we have? Do you think he is like ALLAH, that he wants us to kill all the people that don't convert to our faith? Do you think he will damn everyone that hasn't heard the truth of the gospels? What exactly, do you think God is?

EJ said...

Michael -

be careful, you are either on the brink of affirming, or you are entirely affirming universalism.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (emphasis added)

John 3:36
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (emphasis added)

Those are two of the many biblical examples of the exclusivity of Christ. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, “Christians-in-name only,” and pagans who have never heard the gospel will all be condemned to hell because of their unforgiven sin. The only way for one to be saved is through Christ, and they need to forsake their false system of religion and cling to Christ alone. And God has left believers on earth to bring that gospel to those heathens. To preach any different is contrary to all of scripture.

Also, a fellow blogger and Catholic had this to say about Fr. Manning’s comments, “ ummm...yes, he would be what I would call a heretic.” (source)

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Your unbelievable.. Basically I assume that you therefore believe that me as a Catholic am also damned, correct? So you believe that if the world ended today, that out of 6 billion people, there is only about 500 million non-catholic Christians, and 1.3 billion Catholics, that the 500 million christians would be saved, the 1.3 billion catholics along with the rest of the population would go to HELL! Is that what you are basically saying!

Your not a Christian, you can't be if you think that about God. How can you say that you know God and your saved, your spreading his word, ect.. If you believe such things?! Your misinterpreting the bible as usual, and that my friend is a grave sin. But hey, I'm not your judge according to you and many others your already saved, so what have you got to lose by damning others?

I can qoute scriptures to base my point, but all your going to do is return a verse. I hate to break it to you, but this Catholic isn't sure on his salvation, and I am not afraid to say that. Noone know the time or day that God will call us, nor does that person know if they are truly saved, or better yet, who is going to hell!!!

By the way, your link to some blogger who said that priest is a heretic didn't work. Also there is a doctrine in the Catholic Church that was changed during Vatican II that stated this: There is no SALVATION outside the Catholic Church. Now it states that there is no salvation outside the church, but through the prayers of the church there is salvation. I don't want to confuse you, I know as a fundy ind. prot, that can easily happen.

Cheers,

Michael

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Michael,
I was the one who said that what the priest on Larry King was heretical. The priest was saying that if someone knows the Gospel and rejects it they will still be saved. The example he used was a Rabbi. The priest was affirming universalism.

The doctrine of the Catholic Church, which can be found in the teachings of the Fathers, that outside of the Church (the Catholic Church, not any Protestant ecclesial community) there is no salvation was not changed at Vatican II. It was merely stated in a different way. Here is what it says:

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?

Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."


-----------------------------
Basically, it says that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation. Those who know about it and reject it will not be saved. Neither will those who have left the Church.

With the above mentioned cases, we are talking about someone who knows that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation and by their own free will reject it.

Now there is the case of someone who has never heard of the Gospel through no fault of their own. If that person strives to live a good life according to the dictates of their conscience and strives to seek God with a sincere heart, moved by the Grace of God, they MAY achieve eternal salvation.

Then it says that in ways only known to God, He can lead those people to the Faith. (like sending a missionary or an Angel to them) Yet with that in mind we shouldn't say "oh, well if I don't tell someone about the Faith then they might be saved were as if I do tell them and they reject it they will be damned, so I won't tell them."

As Christians, we still have the duty to evangelize to all the nations. It is better to know the Faith and be ignorant of it.

Thinking back on what the priest said, he might have meant this, yet didn't say it as well as he should have and I might have judged him too harshly by calling him a heretic. In which case, I was wrong to do so, yet the priest should work at explaining it better.

Eric's statement:
"pagans who have never heard the gospel will all be condemned to hell because of their unforgiven sin"
is kind of correct and kind of not correct. He is correct if the said pagan has sinned and not lived a proper life according to the dictates of his conscience. Yet if the pagan has tried to live a good life and has not heard the Gospel, then Eric would be wrong to condemn him because he still may be saved. It is not assured, but he may be. It is up to the mercy of God.

I think what Michael was trying to explain to you Eric is the Catholic teaching that I have just stated. The teaching is in the Bible (that's where the Church Fathers got it and that's where the Catholic Church today got it from)!

The thing to keep in mind is that God gives us the choice to accept or reject him. That is the beauty and curse of free will! If we know about Christ and know that he established the Church for our salvation (the Catholic Church, which every other denomination broke from), yet reject him by rejecting his Church, then that holds very grave consequences.

Ultimately what salvation comes down to is God's ultimate mercy and our assent to it. God is the only one who knows who will be saved. He has given us the way to be saved in his Word, the Bible, but ultimatelty the decision is left to Him and Him alone. If we wish to know what the Bible says about salvation, we better make absolutely sure we are interpreting it correctly! Christ gave his Catholic Church the Holy Spirit to assist and guide her to all Truth. He gave the Catholic Church Peter and his successors to act as the Prime Minister of the Church while he is in Heaven with the Father until He comes again in Glory. Everyone knew this up till around 1050 when the Eastern Church split from the One True Church and then up to the 1500's when Luther lead other away from the One True Faith.

It is sad to see how one man is the cause of all those who profess beleif in Christ being lead out of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Eric,
History is not on the side of Protestantism, nor (whether you believe it or not) is the Bible.

As a former Protestant, John Henry Newman said:
"To be deep in history is to cease to be protestant."


I pray that one day you will realize this. Until then you will be in my prayers.

Peace and Blessings,
Danny

St. Michael the Archangel said...

excellent explanation Danny, I see a future Cure de Ars in you!

Danny Garland Jr. said...

I just want back and re-read my post and the line
"As Christians, we still have the duty to evangelize to all the nations. It is better to know the Faith and be ignorant of it."

Should read:
As Christians, we still have the duty to evangelize to all the nations. It is better to know the Faith THAN be ignorant of it.

EJ said...

Michael – I read your comment from 9/17 after church on Sunday and I must tell you that I had a wide ranged emotional reaction. First of all, I had never heard a Catholic be so “bold” in affirming the lack of assurance of salvation as you did, and so that was enlightening, but it grieved me much. I do not know nor can I correctly understand the fear and uncertainty that accompanies this position. Have I (or do I) sometimes question my own salvation? Yes. But I am able to search the scriptures, especially 1st John and Galatians 5:16ff, and test myself to make sure that I am in the faith (2 Cor 13:5) and in Christ and find an answer. The Apostle John wrote his first epistle to believers in Christ “…so that you may know that you have eternal life. “ (1 John 5:13 emphasis added). Oh, the sorrow and grief that I feel for you because you have no security and no comfort that God WILL save you.

The second emotion that I felt was one of hope. Hope because the fact that you expressed your uncertainty in salvation means that you know that you (as well as me and everyone else in the world) deserve damnation in Hell. Hope because it is upon this foundation of knowledge of personal sin, God’s righteousness, makes one’s utter dependence upon Christ comprehendible.

Perhaps the use of Catholic sources outside of the bible is what makes you (and Catholics in general) have no assurance of salvation. It is not my intention to contend with what Catholic tradition teaches. But know that the overwhelming testimony of scripture is that we can know that we have eternal life. We can know that our inheritance is in glory, and not in perdition.

I am convinced that if you or I (or an atheist, for that matter) examine the Bible and seek to know what it says and means, while at the same time refraining from the use Protestant or Catholic theological presuppositions as well as the traditions of the Protestant movement (not binding upon Protestant theology) or the traditions and councils of the Catholic church (which, as I understand it, is binding upon interpretation), you will find that you can know that you are saved. Then the question would need to be this – why does the Catholic church say that you cannot know you’re saved when the written Word indicates that you can know? Again, I understand that in the Catholic system, the interpretation is guided/determined by what the church has stated in the past even if (as it seems to this Bible student) the plain intended meaning of the passage (as indicated by the whole of Scripture and the direct context) is different.

Danny often likes to use the quote, "To be deep in history is to cease to be protestant." If I put as much stock in the traditions and councils of Catholic church history, that would be true. However, I am convinced that if one looks at scripture, and uses that as the singular and final authority for all things pertaining to life and godliness, which I know is contrary to Catholic dogma, you would reject Catholic theology (specifically soteriology and the assurance of salvation, but including many others) because it is contrary to the many extra-biblical traditions of the Catholic church.

So Michael, search the scriptures, you CAN know whether you are saved or not. And Christ wants you to be saved. Don’t resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

“To know and love and believe the Bible above all other influences is to cease to be Catholic.” – Me

Ps – consequently, Catholics shouldn’t disagree with the above statement because of the rejection of sola scriptura.

soli Deo gloria

Danny Garland Jr. said...

consequently, Catholics DO know and love and believe the Bible. And we read the Bible in context as well, unlike most Protestants who quote verses out of context and use them to justify there false position.

Catholics do not fear the Bible. Nothing in the Bible contradicts the Catholic Church's teachings and nothing in the Catholic Church's teachings contradict the Bible.

And you still haven't shown that "Faith Alone" is in the Bible. Your previous response was not sufficient. For you misinterpreted the verse you thought would back up your position.

Also, if you hold such stock in Sola Scripture, where in the Bible does it say which books belong in the Bible? I was unaware that it was written with a table of contents. I'll reread the Epistles of Paul, the Gospels, John, Peter, and Revelation, but I'm pretty sure nowhere in them do they give a list of all the books belonging to the Canon. How did we ever get the Bible if Sola Scriptura is true?!

EJ said...

Which verse are you referring to when you said that I misinterpreted it?

Also, blanket statements like "And we read the Bible in context as well, unlike most Protestants who quote verses out of context and use them to justify there false position." are not helpful to a debate of this nature. It would be much more beneficial and helpful to both of us and to our discussion if you could cite where I have done this or where traditional Protestant thinkers and theologians have done this to whom I would agree with.

Also your comment about the various books and their inclusion in the bible is worthy of a longer response, so I will not do it injustice in this comment. It was dripping with sarcasm, which I can completely appreciate (being fairly sarcastic when it is called for), but I tend to think that being overly sarcastic or belittling a concept (that of a table of contents written by Paul, Peter, etc) that I have never espoused would be beneath your level of argumentation.

I know we do not agree, but belittling each others positions unfairly is not at all what I am about, nor what I want our discussion (which I enjoy) to be like.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ,

I as a Catholic, leave interpreting the bible up to the Pope and holy mother church. As it states in the bible, we are not to interpret it. (2 Peter 1:20, 3:15). We are to listen to those in authority who will not distort it as you have been taught and as you unknowingly continue to do.

Yes, I am unsure of my salvation, now I go to confession weekly as the bible tells us to confess as needed. I recieve the body of Christ in its truest human form as body and blood. I fulfill my sunday obligation. I do my best to stay out of serious sin. I read the bible, and I think of myself as having a strong prayer life. I fast on the designated feast days, and abstain from meat on fridays as a way of penance. Penance is also in the bible, Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the desert. I'm not Jesus tho.

I do all those things, but in Gods eyes they are miniscule. It is up to God if I am saved or not. It is not Martin Luther, Jean Baptist, or any of the other Protestant reformers that can change the text of the bible and make me saved. It is ultimately up to GOD.

Yes, through Baptism we are now children of God, and we lose that original sin that we were born with. But, that does NOT guarantee our salvation, I believe in Christ, but I must also obey the 10 commandments, I must work, live a good life, and follow Christ in his footsteps... as he said "Pick up your cross and follow me" He didn't say, your saved now because of me... do as you want. Rape, kill, pillage, it doesn't matter as long as you believe in me.

Lets not belittle God, lets not misunderstand him, lets not interpret scripture verses that we ourselves don't understand, lets not follow a reformer who said that the devil talked to him while he went to the bathroom. (I read that from his biography, written by a Protestant, so it wasn't biased).

I will be honest with you EJ, I am worried for your salvation. As Danny quoted from my Patron Saint John Neuman. "When you read history and the fathers, you cease to be Protestant."

Read the fathers, read St. Thomas Aquinas, read them with an open heart. Why did St. Thomas Aquinas die a martyrs death? King Henry the 8th started Anglicanism right after that. Look at all the splits EJ, How in the world can you say that your saved when your not even with the Body of Christ?

Your Not with his church, so according to our Teachings, you know of the truth of Christ, you know about the Catholics, and yet you continue to reject the truth, just as many of the 3rd and 4th century heretics did... So according to the church founded by Christ, according to the bible you love to quote, you are the one that is Damned to HELL. You are outside of the church of Christ, if I was you, I would be very scared.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

In Christ,

Michael

EJ said...

One of the accusations often lobbed toward me is regarding misusing text of scripture. So, before I jump to saying that, can you please tell me how 2 Peter 3:15 in reference to personal interpretation of the Bible? Michael, you wrote, -"As it states in the bible, we are not to interpret it. (2 Peter 1:20, 3:15). We are to listen to those in authority who will not distort it as you have been taught and as you unknowingly continue to do." I have looked at this scripture for a few minutes, and I simply am not making the connection, so please show me how it relates so that I may look again and understand better.

Jeff said...

Danny,

1. How do you know who wrote the Declaration of independence?

2. From where do you get this great doctrine of "Free Will" that you espouse? The bible makes clear that our will is limited by our nature. By nature we are children of wrath and the devil and will only do accordingly. But when God creates us anew, we have a new nature and do according to this new nature (yet still imperfectly in this life). However, regardless of our nature, we are still responsible agents.

3. As we would all agree, we will all sin until death (but with less frequency through growth in holiness). If any works are part of the basis for your right standing before God, how will you not be condemned? God does not ask us to give it our best. He demands perfection. In other words, if you add any works with faith for your justification, why did Christ have to die?

4. Could you be un-justified the moment before you die because of sin (yes, according to Catholic theology)? How then, can catholic theology know anything of assurance and at the same time not be guilty of the sin of presumption (as catholicism has stated)?

5. Where is the list of ALL ex cathedra statements from ALL popes?

6. What was Cornelius lacking in ACTS? The gospel. He would not have been saved apart from the gospel of Christ.

7. You offer up much regarding how you hold the Word in high esteem, but how do defy the claim that you, by necessity and of practice, exercise the doctrine of "Sola Ecclesia" (to borrow a phrase)?

Protestants do not just accept the bible in a vacuum. We are students of history as well. To affirm we would need a table of contents is to deny a perfect and singular act of providence in the formation of the canon. Your arguments against sola scriptura are not new or complex. From your writings against Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, I am convinced you don't adequately understand the protestant doctrines. What good protestant material have you read affirming these doctrines? Please don't rely on the Catholic understanding of these doctrines. I hope you will give time to thoroughly understanding these truths.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Hey Jeff before I answer your questions, let me ask you what is the pillar and bulwark of the truth?

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Eric,
The verse you took out of context to say we are saved by Faith Alone was Ephesians 2:8-10.

Then when I should you that it wasn't saying that, you said that well, the Bible doesn't mention the word "Trinity" either...

The Bible, however, implies the Trinity when Jesus tells the Apostles to baptize in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

Sorry, but the Bible still doesn't say we are saved by "Faith Alone" nor does it imply it. The Bible does however say that we are "NOT saved by Faith Alone."

I still don't know how you justify saying we are when it clearly says we are not. To continue holding that position is to say that the Word of God is inerrant. I don't think you believe it is, but your theology says otherwise.

Jeff said...

Danny,

The church is "the pillar and support of the truth."

The church upholds the truth. It is not above the truth, but a servent and supporter of the truth. And when, as in the case of Rome, it refuses to be submissive to the clear Word of God and no longer supports the truth, that church is no longer a true church. Much more could be said here, but gotta go...

Jeff said...

Danny,

Until you realize the true definition of the biblical word for justification we can never rationally argue the doctrine of justification by faith alone. You argue from a false foundation to begin with.

Justification is clearly an event, a judicial decree by God, pronouncing the sinner NOT GUILTY. Please look carefully at how that word is used in the bible. Beyond the bible's clear testimony, consider the books I recommended to you on justification. The meaning of words is so important. It is at this most basic level that Rome and Protestants disagree on many matters.

Also, implicit in my previous post is the fact that we do not require an infallible magesterium or church council to "select" the books of the bible. The church receives the canon. It does not "decide" which are inspired. This may seem like hairsplitting, but the distinction is crucial. Consider reading F.F. Bruce's "The Canon of Scripture"

Jeff said...

What marvelous truth there is in Christ:

Hebrews 10:14

"For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

True faith apprehends Christ's sufficient and finished work. What wonderful truth.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Jeff,
You miss the whole point of justification and God's mercy. Justification is more than a merely legal decree. It is not something that takes place in a courtroom. Justification has to do with divine sonship. Becoming a member of God's family covenant won for us by our elder brother Christ. That is why we can call God, Abba, Father!

Your Protestant theology is tantamount to making us still servants of God (albeit better servants than if we were not justified by baptism) rather than children of God.

In Protestant theology, taught by Luther, Christ merely covers us. He is only an exterior covering sheilding us from God looking down from Heaven.

Well that is where the theology is wrong. At baptism, Christ dwells WITHIN us. The Bible teaches this, that's where Catholic theology comes from. That's right, our theology is from the Bible, not from a mere man (Martin Luther).

Jeff, if you want to understand the Bible and it's teaching on Justification, read it in whole. Don't take verses out of context. Pretty soon you are going to have to explain why the only time in the Bible that Jesus talks about judgment it is based on what we have done.

Protestants ignore that Fact, because it voids there bogus theology invented by a man who was self admittedly tormented by the Devil.

The Devil's greatest feat is Protestantism!

I pray that you will realize this and resist the Devil instead of playing into his games.

Yet, no doubt you will respond with a hardened heart, and perpetuate a futile argument where you refuse to listen to the other side because you know that if you do, you will be convicted by your heart and conscience and will be left with no choice, but to convert to Catholicism. The choice is yours. God has given you the free will to accept or reject him. It's up to you!

(no doubt you know we have free will since you admitted to it in your second question:

"However, regardless of our nature, we are still responsible agents."

First you object to my saying we have free will and then affirm it yourself. At first I thought you were against it!)

Also, if you admit that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth and you are outside of the Church, where does that leave you?

You can believe all the Protestant theology you want, but if you are outside of the Church, then you are left for naught.

Come home Jeff. Christ and His Church are waiting with open arms.

Blessings,
Danny

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I have been looking back at the old councils and church fathers and came across a passage that pertains to this discussion.

This is on scripture being taught in light of the Catholic Church.

"“Those, therefore, who desert the preaching of the Church, call in question the knowledge of the holy presbyters, not taking into consideration of how much greater consequence is a religious man, even in a private station, than a blasphemous and impudent sophist. Now, such are all the heretics, and those who imagine that they have hit upon something more beyond the truth, so that by following those things already mentioned, proceeding on their way variously, in harmoniously, and foolishly, not keeping always to the same opinions with regard to the same things, as blind men are led by the blind, they shall deservedly fall into the ditch of ignorance lying in their path, ever seeking and never finding out the truth. It behooves us, therefore, to avoid their doctrines, and to take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but to flee to the Church, and be brought up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord's Scriptures." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5,20:2 (A.D. 180)"

St. Michael the Archangel said...

As for the Sola Scriptura thing... Here is a list of verses that disprove it completely, and for anyone that reads this and still believes in Sola Scriptura... you need to take your horse blinders off.

Matt. 28:20 - "observe ALL I have commanded," but, as we see in John 20:30; 21:25, not ALL Jesus taught is in Scripture. So there must be things outside of Scripture that we must observe. This disproves "Bible alone" theology

Mark 16:15 - Jesus commands the apostles to "preach," not write, and only three apostles wrote. The others who did not write were not less faithful to Jesus, because Jesus gave them no directive to write. There is no evidence in the Bible or elsewhere that Jesus intended the Bible to be sole authority of the Christian faith

John 20:30; 21:25 - Jesus did many other things not written in the Scriptures. These have been preserved through the oral apostolic tradition and they are equally a part of the Deposit of Faith.

Acts 8:30-31; Heb. 5:12 - these verses show that we need help in interpreting the Scriptures. We cannot interpret them infallibly on our own. We need divinely appointed leadership within the Church to teach us.

1 Cor. 11:2 - Paul commends the faithful to obey apostolic tradition, and not Scripture alone.

Phil. 4:9 - Paul says that what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do. There is nothing ever about obeying Scripture alone.

1 Thess. 2:13 – Paul says, “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us..” How can the Bible be teaching first century Christians that only the Bible is their infallible source of teaching if, at the same time, oral revelation was being given to them as well? Protestants can’t claim that there is one authority (Bible) while allowing two sources of authority (Bible and oral revelation.

2 Thess. 2:15 - the fullness of the Gospel is the apostolic tradition which includes either teaching by word of mouth or by letter. Scripture does not say "letter alone." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Christian faith through its rich traditions of Scripture, oral tradition and teaching authority (or Magisterium)

2 Peter 1:20 - interpreting Scripture is not a matter of one's own private interpretation. Therefore, it must be a matter of "public" interpretation of the Church. The Divine Word needs a Divine Interpreter. Private judgment leads to divisions, and this is why there are 60,000 different Protestant denominations.

2 Peter 3:16 - the Scriptures are difficult to understand and can be distorted by the ignorant to their destruction. God did not guarantee the Holy Spirit would lead each of us to infallibly interpret the Scriptures. But this is what Protestants must argue in order to support their doctrine of sola Scriptura. History and countless divisions in Protestantism disprove it.

Gen. to Rev. - Protestants must admit that knowing what books belong in the Bible is necessary for our salvation. However, because the Bible has no "inspired contents page," you must look outside the Bible to see how its books were selected. This destroys the sola Scriptura theory. The canon of Scripture is a Revelation from God which is necessary for our salvation, and which comes from outside the Bible. Instead, this Revelation was given by God to the Catholic Church, the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).

Anonymous said...

How can a dead man do anything for himself? Spiritually dead is how you are in relation to God until He alone gives you faith through His abounding grace. It is then through this faith alone that we are saved as is so clear in Ephesians 2:8-10. "By grace, through faith." Again, God alone gives the faith which leads us to salvation. So, rationally reading that sentence, even the unsaved will conclude that Christians are saved by grace alone through faith alone. We are not saved by grace through faith and works. To conclude that we could add anything to our salvation that Christ did not already accomplish on the cross goes against the whole of scripture. To be bound to such rules and regulations is exactly what Paul was trying to free people from when he was preaching Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead. There is nothing that we can do to make ourselves look good to God. In Amos 5:20, the LORD says, "I hate, I despise your religious feasts, I cannot stand your assemblies." Having grown up in the Catholic church, with a long, devout Catholic history, I have been trained to practice numerous sacraments in order that I might be acceptable in the sight of God. Wow! Then I come across scripture like Amos. All my works in order to feel good about myself and think that I am somehow good in God's sight are for naught, and are also, in fact, despised. I could say more about this, but will save that for a later time.
I will conclude with this thought: My faith lies completely with God--the One who has called me out of darkness. I can trust that My God cannot and does not lie. He has given His completed Word that we might know Him. What more could there be. God has given us everything we need for salvation: Christ Himself. Salvation is not found in what religion you profess to follow. Salvation is in Christ alone. Christ did not come to preach the holy Catholic church. He came to preach that He--not the church--is the only way. Sadly Christ Himself said, "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13. So, of all the people in the world, only those who are found in Christ will go to Heaven. And you can only be found in Christ by grace through faith....

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Ok, Now I will post a few passages on Oral Tradition:

Mark 13:31 - heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus' Word will not pass away. But Jesus never says anything about His Word being entirely committed to a book. Also, it took 400 years to compile the Bible, and another 1,000 years to invent the printing press. How was the Word of God communicated? Orally, by the bishops of the Church, with the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:14; 16:15 - Jesus commands the apostles to preach (not write) the gospel to the world. Jesus gives no commandment to the apostles to write, and gives them no indication that the oral apostolic word he commanded them to communicate would later die in the fourth century. If Jesus wanted Christianity to be limited to a book (which would be finalized four centuries later), wouldn't He have said a word about it?

Luke 10:16 - He who hears you (not "who reads your writings"), hears me. The oral word passes from Jesus to the apostles to their successors by the gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit. This succession has been preserved in the Holy Catholic Church.

Acts 2:3-4 - the Holy Spirit came to the apostles in the form of "tongues" of fire so that they would "speak" (not just write) the Word.

Acts 15:27 - Judas and Silas, successors to the apostles, were sent to bring God's infallible Word by "word of mouth."

1 Cor. 15:1,11 - faith comes from what is "preached" (not read). For non-Catholics to argue that oral tradition once existed but exists no longer, they must prove this from Scripture. But no where does Scripture say oral tradition died with the apostles. To the contrary, Scripture says the oral word abides forever.

2 John 1:12; 3 John 13 - John prefers to speak and not to write. Throughout history, the Word of God was always transferred orally and Jesus did not change this. To do so would have been a radical departure from the Judaic tradition.

Deut. 31:9-12 - Moses had the law read only every seven years. Was the word of God absent during the seven year interval? Of course not. The Word of God has always been given orally by God's appointed ones, and was never limited to Scripture.

Joel 1:3 - tell your children of the Word of the Lord, and they tell their children, and their children tell another generation.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Learning through Oral Apostolic Tradition:

Matt. 15:3 - Jesus condemns human traditions that void God's word. Some Protestants use this verse to condemn all tradition. But this verse has nothing to do with the tradition we must obey that was handed down to us from the apostles. (Here, the Pharisees, in their human tradition, gave goods to the temple to avoid taking care of their parents, and this voids God's law of honoring one's father and mother.

Acts 2:42 - the members obeyed apostolic tradition (doctrine, prayers, and the breaking of bread). Their obedience was not to the Scriptures alone. Tradition (in Greek, "paradosis") means "to hand on" teaching.

John 17:20 - Jesus prays for all who believe in Him through the oral word of the apostles. Jesus protects oral apostolic teaching.

2 Thess. 2:15 - in fact, it was this apostolic tradition that allowed the Church to select the Bible canon (apostolicity was determined from tradition). Since all the apostles were deceased at the time the canon was decided, the Church had to rely on the apostolic tradition of their successors. Hence, the Bible is an apostolic tradition of the Catholic Church. This also proves that oral tradition did not cease with the death of the last apostle. Other examples of apostolic tradition include the teachings on the Blessed Trinity, the hypostatic union (Jesus had a divine and human nature in one person), the filioque (that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son), the assumption of Mary, and knowing that the Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew.

-------------------------------

More examples of Jesus' and the Apostles' Reliance on Oral Tradition:

Matt. 2:23 - the prophecy "He shall be a Nazarene" is oral tradition. It is not found in the Old Testament. This demonstrates that the apostles relied upon oral tradition and taught by oral tradition.

Matt 23:2 - Jesus relies on the oral tradition of acknowledging Moses' seat of authority (which passed from Moses to Joshua to the Sanhedrin). This is not recorded in the Old Testament.

Jude 9 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of the Archangel Michael's dispute with satan over Moses' body. This is not found in the Old Testament.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Here is just a little more on the Word of God in Oral Apostolic Tradtion:

'Follow the bishop, all of you, as Jesus Christ follows his Father, and the presbyterium as the Apostles. As for the deacons, respect them as the Law of God. Let no one do anything with reference to the Church without the bishop. Only that Eucharist may be regarded as legitimate which is celebrated with the bishop or his delegate presiding. Where the bishop is, there let the community be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.' Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Symyrnaens 8 (c. A.D. 110)

Through none others know we the disposition of our salvation, than those through whom the gospel came to us, first heralding it, then by the will of God delivering to us the Scriptures, which were to be the foundation and pillar of our faith...But when, the heretics are Scriptures, as if they were wrong, and unauthoritative, and were variable, and the truth could not be extracted from them by those who were ignorant of Tradition...And when we challenge them in turn what that tradition, which is from the Apostles, which is guarded by the succession of elders in the churches, they oppose themselves to Tradition, saying that they are wiser, not only than those elders, but even than the Apostles. The Tradition of the Apostles, manifested 'on the contrary' in the whole world, is open in every Church to all who see the truth...And, since it is a long matter in a work like this to enumerate these successions, we will confute them by pointing to the Tradition of that greatest and most ancient and universally known Church, founded and constituted at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, a tradition which she has had and a faith which she proclaims to all men from those Apostles.' Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3,1-3 (inter A.D. 180/199)

Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church...those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies 26:2 (inter A.D. 180/199).

"In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until now, and handed in truth." Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3,3:3 (inter A.D. 180/199)

'Let them show the origins of their churches, let them unroll the list of their bishops, through a succession coming down from the very beginning that their first bishop had his authority and predecessor someone from among the number of Apostles or apostolic men and, further, that he did not stray from the Apostles. In this way the apostolic churches present their earliest records. The church of Smyrna, for example, records that Polycarp was named by John; the Romans, that Clement was ordained by Peter. In just the same way, the other churches show who were made bishops by the Apostles and who transmitted the apostolic seed to them. Let the heretics invent something like that. ' Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics 32 (c. A.D. 200)

For in the Catholic Church, not to speak of the purest wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual men attain in this life, so as to know it, in the scantiest measure, indeed, because they are but men, still without any uncertainty...The consent of peoples and nations keep me in Church, so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave it in charge to feed his sheep, down to the present episcopate… For my part, I should not believe the gospel except moved by the authority of the Catholic Church. So when those on whose authority I have consented to believe in the gospel tell me not to believe in Manicheus, how can I but consent?" Augustine, Epistle of Manichaeus 5,6 (A.D. 397).

'Moreover that the Apostles handed down much that was unwritten, Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, tells us in these words: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught of us, whether by word or epistle" And to the Corinthians he writes, "Now I praise your brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions as I have delivered them to you.' John Damascus, Orthodox Faith 4,16 (c. A.D. 745).

'He who does not believe according to the tradition of the Catholic Church is an unbeliever.' John Damascus, Letter to the Nestorians (c. A.D. 745).

'If anyone rejects all ecclesiastical tradition either written or not written...let him be anathema.' Council of Nicea II, (A.D. 787).

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Finally, Here is the basis on the most Protestant gripes and complaints. They base most of their problems on the Catholic bible containing, 7 more books than theirs and say that the Jews did not have those 7 books...

Let us see what History indeed has to say about this:

2 Tim. 3:16 - the inspired Scripture that Paul was referring to included the deuterocanonical texts that the Protestants removed. The books Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used.

Sirach and 2 Maccabees – some Protestants argue these books are not inspired because the writers express uncertainty about their abilities. But sacred writers are often humble about their divinely inspired writings. See, for example, 1 Cor. 7:40 – Paul says he “thinks” that he has the Spirit of God.

The Protestants attempt to defend their rejection of the deuterocanonicals on the ground that the early Jews rejected them. However, the Jewish councils that rejected them (e.g., School of Javneh (also called “Jamnia” in 90 - 100 A.D.) were the same councils that rejected the entire New Testatment canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

On my final note for tonight, I think this is alot of posting and reading! I got a headache already..

This is on James 2:24, that we are saved by works, and NOT faith alone!

James 2:24
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

In addition to their belief in the Bible alone ("sola Scriptura"), most Protestants believe that all one has to do is accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior in order to be justified by God (justification is the process by which man, moved by grace, turns toward God and away from sin, and accepts God’s forgiveness and righteousness). Thus, most Protestants believe that one is justified and saved by His faith in Christ alone (called "sola Fide" or Faith alone). But if this is true, then why does James say that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone?

James says this because we are justified, and ultimately saved, through both our faith and works, and not just faith alone. In fact, the only place in the Bible where the phrase "faith alone" appears is in James 2:24 where it says we are justified by works and NOT by faith alone. So the Bible never teaches anywhere that we are justified, saved, or anything else, by faith alone. While on its face the Catholic position seems obvious, the theology of faith and works in the matter of salvation is actually quite complicated, and has been one of the main sources of division between Catholicism and Protestantism. Hence, a couple of points should be made to address the controversy and clarify Catholic teaching.

First, Catholics ultimately believe that we are saved, not by faith or works, but by Jesus Christ and Him alone. Jesus Christ's death and Resurrection is the sole source of our justification (being in a right relationship with God) and salvation (sharing in God's divine life). But as a result of Christ's death and resurrection, we are now able to receive God's grace. Grace is God's own divine life which He infuses into our souls. It is what Adam initially lost for us, and Christ won back for us. This grace initially causes us to seek God and to believe in Him (the "faith" part). Non-Catholics generally stop here.

But God desires us to respond to His grace by putting our faith into action (the "works" part). This is why Jesus always taught about our salvation in the context of what we actually did during our earthly lives, and not how much faith we had ("whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to Me." Matthew 25:40,45). When Jesus teaches about His second coming where He will separate the sheep from the goats, He bases salvation and damnation upon what we actually did ("works"), whether righteous or evil. Matthew 25:31-46. In James 2:14-26, James is similarly instructing us to put our faith into action by performing good works, and not just giving an intellectual assent of faith. James says such "faith apart from works is dead." James 2:17,26.

So we must do more than accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Even the demons believe Jesus is Savior, and yet "they tremble." James 2:19. We must also do good works. Faith is the beginning of a process that leads us toward justification, but faith alone never obtains the grace of justification. Faith and works acting together achieve our justification. Saint Paul says it best when he writes that we need "faith working in love." Galatians 5:6. We are not justified and saved by faith alone.

Secondly, it is important to distinguish between the "works" James taught about in James 2:24 and the "works of the law" Saint Paul taught about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10; and Eph. 2:8-9. Protestants generally confuse James' "good works" from Paul's "works of the law" when they attempt to prove that "works" are irrelevant to justification and salvation. The "works of the law" Paul taught about in Ephesians 2:8-9 and elsewhere referred to the Mosaic law and their legal system that made God obligated to reward them for their works. They would thus “boast” about their works by attributing their works to themselves. Cf. Rom. 4:2; Eph. 2:9. Saint Paul taught that, with the coming of Christ, the Mosaic (moral, legal, and ceremonial) law which made God a debtor to us no longer justified a person. Instead, Paul taught that we are now justified and saved by grace (not legal obligation) through faith (not works of law). Eph. 2:5,8. Hence, we no longer “boast” by attributing our works to ourselves. We attribute them to God who gives everything to us freely by His grace.

Therefore, we are no longer required to fulfill the “works of law,” but to fulfill the “law of Christ” Gal. 6:2. This is why Paul writes that the “doers of the law (of Christ)” will be justified. Rom. 2:13. Of course, the “works of the law” Paul wrote about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10 and Eph. 2:8-9 have nothing to do with the “good works” James is teaching in James 2:24 or the “law” Paul is teaching about in Rom. 2:13 (because they are part of the same Word of God which can never contradict itself).

In summary, based on the Scriptures, the Church has taught for 2,000 years that we are justified and saved by the grace and mercy of Christ through both faith and works, and not faith alone. We are no longer in a legal system of debt where God owes us (creditor/debtor). We are now in a system of grace where God rewards our works when done with faith in Christ (Father/child). This also means that we must continue to exercise our faith and works to the end of our lives in order to be saved. This is why Jesus told us to "endure to the end" to be saved. Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13. This is also why Saint Paul warned us that we could even lose our salvation if we did not persevere. cf. Romans 11:20-23; 1 Corinthians 9:27. This Catholic belief contradicts the novel Protestant notion of "once saved, always saved."

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Anonymous,

Read my post below yours on works, grace, and faith. I am sad to hear that you lost your Catholic Faith, obviously you weren't well versed it in if you left it for such a misguiding misunderstood verse. I believe, you walked through the wide gate, instead of the narrow one. But I'm not your judge... God is.

Anonymous said...

To all of that, all I can say is that I am proven by my works. If I claim to be saved by grace through faith, it is my way of living that you can prove that I am truly saved. That is how Abraham was deemed righteous in God's eyes. His actions proved that his faith was genuine. I am not saved by what I do, I am proven to be saved genuinely through faith by the outworking of my true faith.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Anonymous:

I just looked up your verse, here is the english translation from the original writing:

5:19. As if a man should flee from the face of a lion, and a bear should meet him: or enter into the house, and lean with his hand upon the wall, and a serpent should bite him.
Quomodo si fugiat vir a facie leonis et occurrat ei ursus et ingrediatur domum et innitatur manu sua super parietem et mordeat eum coluber

5:20. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light: and obscurity, and no brightness in it?
Numquid non tenebrae dies Domini et non lux et caligo et non splendor in ea

5:21. I hate, and have rejected your festivities: and I will not receive the odour of your assemblies.
Odi et proieci festivitates vestras et non capiam odorem coetuum vestrorum

5:22. And if you offer me holocausts, and your gifts, I will not receive them: neither will I regard the vows of your fat beasts.
Quod si adtuleritis mihi holocaustomata et munera vestra non suscipiam et vota pinguium vestrorum non respiciam

5:23. Take away from me the tumult of thy songs: and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp.
Aufer a me tumultum carminum tuorum et cantica lyrae tuae non audiam

5:24. But judgment shall be revealed as water, and justice as a mighty torrent.
Et revelabitur quasi aqua iudicium et iustitia quasi torrens fortis

5:25. Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel?*
Numquid hostias et sacrificium obtulistis mihi in deserto quadraginta annis domus Israhel

5:26. But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.*
Et portastis tabernaculum Moloch vestro et imaginem idolorum vestrorum sidus dei vestri quae fecistis vobis

5:27. And I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the God of hosts is his name.
Et migrare vos faciam trans Damascum dixit Dominus Deus exercituum nomen eius

I don't know what bible interpretation you are reading, but if you try to even equate that verse 5:20-21 to the holy sacraments of the church, your bloody nuts. This isn't even about the sacraments, or doing good works. This is a prime example of Protestants and their private interpretations and how it leads to your own confusion. My Gosh, how in the world have you remained a Christian by reading scripture the way you are???

May God help you!

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Anonymous, you clearly didn't read the passages, nor the verses. You misunderstand scripture.

Anonymous said...

and may it be with you.

Anonymous said...

Since you do not know me at all, nor do you sit in my home or reside in my being for matter to know how I read scripture, it is ridiculous for you to assume you know how I read scripture. I merely quoted two verses. One in the old testiment getting at the heart of the matter. And one in the new testament that could not be more clear that Jesus is the only way and that His way is narrow. For you to dare presume you know how I read the whole of scripture is as ridiculous as me saying that I am Big Bird. Now, as a reasonable adult--which I assume you are--I'm sure that you can present your arguments and thoughts on these matters without attacking me personally ("you're bloody nuts"). However, if you are unable to keep your tongue (well fingures doing the talking)in check, then I am disappointed to know that your very witness is a contradiction to what you so strongly adhere.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking back to your proof-texting. The one verse that I would like to correct you on is Heb 5:12. The author of Hebrews writes: "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentence from acts that lead to death and of faith in God...." (Hebrews 5:11-6:1)
We ought to be moving onto maturity and should be able to teach new Christians instead of requiring someone to keep on teaching us. What lazy Christians we would be if we remained infants in the faith.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Anon,
You quoted from Amos, an book in the OT, about God despising the OT rituals, such as animal sacrifice. That has nothing to do with the New Covenant and the Sacraments estblished by Christ.

And Catholics don't work our way into Heaven. Nobody does. We are baptised in Christ, thus receiving God's grace and the Faith and Works we do after that are because of Christ working in us. We have to respond to God's grace. The verse you quoted from Ephesians 2:8-10. "By grace, through faith."

That verse does not say faith alone. It says faith. Don't add words to Scripture! I agree with that verse 100%. We are saved by grace through faith, but not faith alone.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

anonymous,

Why are you afraid to leave your name? Also your qouting of Hebrews is perfect... You see I apply that to your weak arguments.

For example: Before a person can become a rocket scientist, what do they have to learn first? they have to learn the fundamentals of Math, 1+1=2. They have to build on that foundation, and one day after they study all the way from the beggining to the end, they come to find out the truth, they can tell you anything you want to know about a rocket Scientists and what they do.

The same goes for faith, you a assume was raised a Catholic, you were steeped in the faith, but you really didn't know the Catholic faith as you should have. You were built on a good foundation. How can you stand, if the ground beneath your feet rocks constantly with questions ect..? It can't, for some reason or another, either by a friend, or a "believer" knocking at your door and giving you bad interpretations of scripture, you left the very faith, that Christ started. Now it is going to be very hard for you to try and rebuild that lost foundation.

Now you have the foundation of a Heretic, I am NOT judging you. You left the true church of Christ, for WHAT? For a misguided split from the truth you are called to search for. You need to go back to hebrews and nurture yourself on that infants milk, read the church fathers, your missing so much beautiful information, that I don't know how you survive on the weak and undisciplined faith that you have joined in comparrison to the church and the sacraments that are offered. I can hardly go a few days without Holy Communion. I don't know how you can stand to shun our Lord in such a way after you once recieved him as I do.

No fellowship or bible class can come close to the Love I feel during communion.

Like I said in the beggining, I don't know you, your right on that, but from your writings, I can "read" you, I can see by your qouting of Amos, that you really don't understand the bible as you should. That was a terrible verse to qoute, it doesn't even apply to the New Testament, or to the sacraments. And your translation is just as bad. What version are you reading from? NKJV, KJV, NIV?

Just to let you know, the NIV version is the devil, so are the rest in my opinion, but the authors of the NIV, really screwed that bible up.

EJ said...

I have so much to say, but for now…

Michael, you said, “I just looked up your verse, here is the english translation from the original writing:” and then you went on to quote from the Douay-Rheims and the Latin vulgate. I hope you know that the Latin Vulgate is not the orginal language that the O.T. was written in. As a matter of fact, you would be closer (in time, anyway) to the original if you had quoted from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the O.T. that was prevalent in Christ’s day) than using the Latin Vulgate (originally written around the 5th century A.D.). You talk so much about knowing the church fathers, history, and basing your faith on much of that information, but if you are wrong about something as basic as this -- the fact that the Hebrew Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew -- then I am at a loss for how to help you.

Also, it appears that the translation used by “anonymous” is the NIV. The NIV -- not the TNIV -- while not my favorite translation) is a good thought for thought translation. I much prefer the NASB (updated) or the NKJV, KJV, or ESV which are all more literal – word for word – translations.

You also made sweeping assertions that “Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther” are validated by 2 Tim 3;16 because they “were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used.” Once again, it is easy to make this assrtion, and another to prove it.

“The Apocryphal books were included in the Septuagint for historical and religious purposes, but are not recognized by Protestant Christians or Orthodox Jews as canonical (inspired by God). Most reformed teachers will point out that the New Testament writers never quoted from the Apocryphal books, and that the Apocrypha was never considered part of the canonical Jewish scripture. However, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches include the Apocrypha in their Bible (except for the books of Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh).” from http://www.septuagint.net/

So the question is, if you’re using 2 Tim 3:16 as the basis to prove that the deuterocanonical books that are included in the Catholic Bible are inspired, then why not the other ones (Esdras & Prayer of Manasseh)? And as for the bigger question of cannonicity and why the Bible includes the books that it does and not others, I will be dealing with that in an upcoming post. Also… you still have never responded to my article on praying to saints (that you requested), so please read that.

EJ said...

A good visual of how different bibles are translated (word for word, thought for thought, paraphrase, etc) can be found here http://contendersbiblestudy.blogspot.com/2005/12/am-i-pot-or-kettle.html

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ,

I know that I qouted from the Latin Vulgate, which was actually written between the years 373-404. It took St. Jerome that long to translate all the books into Latin, which was the first ever complete bible.

I will address your questions a little later, I am exausted, I just finished writing 9 papers today for class and my brain is fried for the moment!

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Ok, this is going to be super long post, so when you read it, expand your blogger page to full length.

This is an article written by Steve Ray a Convert to the Catholic Church from an Evangelical Protestant.

This article is about the books chosen in the Catholic bible and the 7 kicked from the Protestant one.

----------------------------------

Many myths are believed not because they are true but simply because people want to believe them. But wishful thinking is a poor substitute for truth. It is always preferable to dig deep and discover the facts and not believe things only because you want them to be true.

For instance, it is popular in some Protestant circles to claim that the Jews had a closed canon of Scripture in the first century A.D. and that the early Christians accepted this final Jewish collection of inspired writings as final and binding upon the Church. Generally, the Council of Jabneh (usually referred to in Catholic literature as Jamnia) is assumed as the "proof" for this assertion. At the "Council of Jabneh," you see, the Jewish rabbis supposedly got together—something like an ecumenical council in the Catholic Church—to lay down specific criteria for inspired Scripture and to finally define and close the Old Testament canon.

Is this true? First, we will look at how various authors defend the Protestant exclusion of seven books based on a flawed understanding of the so-called "Council of Jabneh." Second, did the members of this "council" actually discuss the limit of the Old Testament canon, and third, if so, did they have the authority to close the canon? Fourth, did they actually compile a final list of accepted writings, and, fifth—and importantly—if such a decision had been made, would the Christians be bound by that decision? We will conclude with the teaching of the Catholic Church and why we can trust it.

Let’s clarify a few terms. The canon of Scripture refers to the final collection of inspired books included in the Bible. The Catholic Bible contains seven books that do not appear in the Protestant Old Testament. These seven writings are called the deuterocanonicals or the Second Law. Protestants usually call these writings the Apocrypha (meaning hidden), books they consider outside the canon. These seven writings include 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, and Baruch, along with additional passages in Daniel and Esther. Before the time of Christ, these writings were included in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX)—the Greek translation of Jewish Scripture—but they were not included in the Hebrew Masoretic text.



The Jewish Canon


The vast majority of Jews in the first centuries B.C. and A.D. lived outside of Israel. They were called the diaspora, those dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. Many had become Hellenized—that is, they had taken on the Greco-Roman culture, including the Greek language. The Septuagint, containing the deuterocanonical books, was the main Bible used by these Jews of the diaspora.

Most non-Christian Jews of the first century A.D. considered the Church to be a heretical and misinformed Jewish cult, probably similar to the way Christians look at the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses of today. In the first century, several decades after the life of Christ, the majority of early Christians were Gentiles, and they used the Greek Septuagint as their Old Testament, following the example of the Greek-speaking Jews, including Jesus and the apostles (note 1, sidebar, page 25).

When Christians began to use this Greek translation to convert Jews to the faith, the Jews began to detest it (note 2, sidebar, page 25). Does it surprise anyone that they would condemn the canon and translation the Christians used, even if it was originally translated, approved of, and put into circulation by the Jews themselves three hundred and fifty years earlier (c. 250 B.C.)? The early Church, following the Greek Septuagint and the apostles’ extensive use of it (Paul took most of his Old Testament quotations from it), accepted the deuterocanonical books. When the canon was finally closed by the councils of the Catholic Church, these books were included.

The so-called "Council of Jabneh" was a group of Jewish scholars who were granted permission by Rome around the year 90 to meet in Palestine near the Mediterranean Sea in Jabneh (or Jamnia). Here they established a non-authoritative, "reconstituted" Sanhedrin (note 3, sidebar, page 25). Among the things they discussed was the status of several questionable writings in the Jewish Bible. They also rejected the Christian writings and made a new translation of the Greek Septuagint.

Since many Protestant authors have appealed to the "Council of Jabneh" in their case against the deuterocanonical books contained in the Catholic Bible, it will serve us well to look at a few examples.

In his popular book Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences (co-authored by Ralph MacKenzie [Baker Books, 1995]), Norman Geisler, dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary, denies the Catholic canon of the Old Testament, claiming that the Jewish rabbis at Jabneh excluded the deuterocanonical books received by Catholics and that the canon was fixed (meaning finalized) at Jabneh.

Geisler writes, "The Jewish scholars at Jabneh (c. A.D. 90) did not accept the Apocrypha as part of the divinely inspired Jewish canon. Since the New Testament explicitly states that Israel was entrusted with the oracles of God and was the recipient of the covenants and the Law (Rom. 3:2), the Jews should be considered the custodians of the limits of their own canon. And they have always rejected the Apocrypha" (169). And though Geisler seems to deny the authority of the rabbis at Jabneh in one place in his A General Introduction to the Bible (with W. E. Nix [Moody Press, 1996]), he later relays in a chart, "Council of Jabneh (A.D. 90), Old Testament Canon fixed" (286).

Geisler is not alone in his assertion that the Apocrypha was rejected and the final Old Testament canon was fixed at Jabneh. It seems to be a common legend that is used as "proof" to bolster up an ahistorical and incorrect assumption. Before we take a look at the myth, we will demonstrate how it is often appealed to. A couple more quick examples of this false reliance on the "Council of Jabneh" will suffice:

"At the end of the first Christian century, the Jewish rabbis, at the Council of Gamnia [Jamnia], closed the canon of the Hebrew book (those considered authoritative)" (Jimmy Swaggart, Catholicism & Christianity [Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, 1986], 129).

"After Jerusalem’s destruction, Jamnia became the home of the Great Sanhedrin. Around 100, a council of rabbis there established the final canon of the OT" (Ed. Martin, Ralph P., and Peter H. Davids, Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments [InterVarsity Press, 2000, c1997], 185).

Though many are now recognizing that Jabneh did not exclude the deuterocanonical books or authoritatively close the Old Testament canon, there are still plenty of sources that claim and assume that it did.


Did Jabneh have authority?


According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the "council" in Jabneh in 90 was not even an "official" council with binding authority to make such a decision:

"After the fall of Jerusalem (A.D.70), an assembly of religious teachers was established at Jabneh; this body was regarded as to some extent replacing the Sanhedrin, though it did not possess the same representative character or national authority. It appears that one of the subjects discussed among the rabbis was the status of certain biblical books (e.g. Eccles. and Song of Solomon) whose canonicity was still open to question in the 1st century A.D. The suggestion that a particular synod of Jabneh, held c. 100 A.D., finally settling the limits of the Old Testament canon, was made by H. E. Ryle; though it has had a wide currency, there is no evidence to substantiate it" (ed. by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingston [Oxford Univ. Press, 861], emphasis added).

Isn’t it interesting that the Jews did not have a "closed canon" of Scripture during the time of Christ, before 100, or even after Jabneh? Even during the time of Christ there were competing opinions on what books actually belonged in the Jewish Bible. There were various collections in existence. Sadducees and Samaritans accepted only the Pentateuch, the first five books, whereas the Pharisees accepted a fuller canon including Psalms and the prophets. The Masoretic text did not contain the deuterocanonicals, whereas the widely used Greek Septuagint did.

This uncertainty continued well into the second century. The discussion over the books of the canon of the Old Testament continued among the Jews long after Jabneh, which demonstrates that the canon was still under discussion in the third century—well beyond the apostolic period. The challenges to canonicity at Jabneh involved only Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, but the debate over the canon continued past Jabneh, even into the second and third centuries. Even the Hebrew canon accepted by Protestants today was disputed by the Jews for two hundred years after Christ.

Some cautionary points should be noted here:

1. Although Christian authors seem to think in terms of a formal council at Jabneh, there was no such thing. There was a school for studying the Law at Jabneh, and the rabbis there exercised legal functions in the Jewish community.

2. Not only was there no formal council, there is no evidence that any list of books was drawn up at Jabneh.

3. A specific discussion of acceptance at Jabneh is attested only for the books of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. Even so, arguments regarding these books persisted in Judaism centuries after the Jabneh period. There were also subsequent debates about Esther.

4. We know of no books that were excluded at Jabneh. In fact, Sirach, which was read and copied by Jews after the Jabneh period, did not eventually become part of the standard Hebrew Bible (cf. Raymond Edward Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland Edmund Murphy, The Jerome Biblical Commentary [Prentice-Hall, 1996, c. 1968], vol. 2, 522).


Why the Church rejects the Jewish canon


Even if the rabbis at Jabneh did have the authority to make such a canonical determination and had closed the canon, who says they had the authority from God to make such a binding determination? Why should Christians accept their determination? God had publicly turned aside from the Jews as his "prophetic voice" twenty years earlier when Jerusalem was destroyed and razed by fire. God judged them and rejected their old wineskins. The old wine and wineskin (Judaism) was now replaced by new wine (the gospel) and new wineskins (the Church). Why accept the unauthoritative rabbis’ determination rather than the Church’s?

There is a further reason we should not rely on the first-century Jews for their determination of the canon, even if they had made such a determination: The rabbis of Jabneh eventually provided a new translation in Greek to replace their previous translation of the Septuagint. Why? Because the Gentile Christians were using the Septuagint for apologetic and evangelistic purposes—in other words, they were converting the Jews using their own Greek Scriptures!

For example, they were using it to prove the virginal birth of Jesus. In the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 7:14 is rendered, "A young woman shall conceive and bear a son," whereas the Greek Septuagint, quoted by Matthew (1:23), renders it, "A virgin shall be with child and bear a son" (emphasis added). The rabbis who supposedly "determined" the final Protestant canon also authorized a new Greek translation specifically to hinder the gospel. Aquila, the Jewish translator of the new version, denied the Virgin Birth and changed the Greek word from virgin to young woman.

One of the key issues in the first-century Jewish mind regarding the canon was not necessarily inspiration but resisting the Christian evangelization of the Jews and Gentiles. It was an issue of Jew versus the new Christian teaching and the Christians’ use of the Jewish Greek Scripture. It would seem rather strange for a Protestant to choose the truncated canon chosen by the Jewish leaders and by so doing fall on the side of the anti-Christian, disenfranchised Jew in this matter (see note 4, sidebar, page 25).

We do not know much about the deliberations at Jabneh, but we do know that they mentioned the Gospels of the New Testament. They mentioned them specifically in order to reject them. F. F. Bruce writes, "Some disputants also asked whether the Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sira (Ecclesiasticus), and the gilyonim (Aramaic Gospel writings) and other books of the minim (heretics, including Jewish Christians), should be admitted, but here the answer was uncompromisingly negative" (The Books and the Parchments [Fleming H. Revell, 1984], 88).

Many Protestants accept the Jewish opposition to the Catholic canon of Scripture because it supports them in their anti-Catholicism. Catholics, on the other hand, have accepted the determination and canon of the new covenant people of God, those who are the new priesthood (cf. 1 Pet. 2:9), the new wineskin. As we noticed earlier, Geisler comments, "Since the New Testament explicitly states that Israel was entrusted with the oracles of God and was the recipient of the covenants and the Law, the Jews should be considered the custodians of the limits for their own canon" (Roman Catholics and Evangelicals, 169).

Am I supposed to accept the alleged determination of the rabbis as authoritative and binding upon my soul, when the mantle of authority has been passed on to the Church by an act of the Holy Spirit? Does Geisler give his readers this historical information and timeline, reminding them that God had turned aside from the Jewish people and destroyed their temple before their unauthoritative "council" rejected the Gospels and the "whole Christian canon," including the New Testament?

The Jewish people had no closed canon prior to 300, and they "built a wall around it" to keep the Christians out. Why rely upon them? I accept the canon of the apostles and the early Church, which was determined by the bishops of the Church. And, like them, I do not accept the canon of anti-Christian Jewish leaders.

(Several Fathers, such as Jerome, accepted the Jewish Masoretic canon, but it was never an individual Father that made binding decisions for the Church; only the councils could do so.)

The canon of the Old Testament was not closed at Jabneh, nor were the deuterocanonicals excluded from the Old Testament there. Who has the authority from God to determine and close the canon of Scripture? Simply put, the Church. The Jewish hierarchy during the time of Christ claimed authority to bind and loose, which was a clearly understood technical term, but Jesus specifically appointed a new hierarchy over the "new Israel"—the Church—and transferred to this new magisterium the power to bind and loose (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). The Church was thus appointed to speak for God, and the final canon of Scripture would thus fall under its authority.

Protestant author Paul Achtemeier tells us, "Eastern and Roman Catholic tradition generally considered the Old Testament ‘apocryphal’ books to be canonical. It was not until the Protestant Reformation that these books were clearly denied canonical status (in Protestant circles). The Roman church, however, continues to affirm their place in the canon of Scripture" (Harper’s Bible Dictionary, 1st ed. [Harper & Row, c1985], 69).

At the Council of Trent the Church put the matter to rest by listing definitively the accepted books, which included the deuterocanonicals, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms this list (CCC 120). This is the Catholic Bible we have today.

Isn’t it interesting that Martin Luther acknowledged the Catholic Church as the custodian of sacred Scripture (note 5, sidebar, page 25) when he wrote, "We concede—as we must—that so much of what they [the Catholic Church] say is true: that the papacy has God’s word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received holy scriptures, baptism, the sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them?"


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Steve Ray is a convert from Evangelical Protestantism. His books include Crossing the Tiber and Upon This Rock, and he is host of the video series The Footprints of God (Ignatius Press). He writes from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jeff said...

Danny,

You must still do your homework on the word justification. Simply telling me to read the word in the context of the whole is a smoke screen. You make the assumption that I haven't done my homework. Please consider the protestant works I recommended.

Romans 2 says it is the DOERS of the law who will be justified. Are you a DOER of the law? By God's standard you're not. Plain and simple. Paul is expounding law not gospel at this point in Chapter 2. His argument progresses and ultimately ends with no one being justified by the deeds of the law. It's marvelous teaching.

Do you think the law was given to impart life?

Also, I don't recall if you adequately explained how Pope John Paul II kissing the Koran is not a matter of faith and morals. I believe it has everything to do with faith and morals. Please spend some time thinking on this one.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Jeff,
You say that Paul said that noone can do the law? I assume you are quoting Rom 3:10 "No one is righteous no not one."

How do you reconcile that with Paul stating in Phillipians 3:6 in describing himself- "as to righteousness under the law blameless"?

That would mean that Paul is contradicting himself and if his words are the inspired Word of God (which they are) how can that be possible?

Context means everything my friend. No smoke screen here.

Jeff said...

Danny, great question.

There is no problem with Phillipians 3:6. To assert (as it seems you are) that this verse teaches Paul was righteous/blameless before God (and I believe the bible affirms that is the only righteous standing that matters) would be without merit. Paul calls himself the chief of sinners and a persecutor of the church. Surely you would not suggest that Paul was righteous/blameless before God before his conversion. In fact, Jesus tells Paul (Acts 9) he has been persecuting him. So clearly this Philippians verse cannot teach he was blameless or righteous before God. So, even without addressing what it DOES teach, Romans 3 "no one does good" still stands unrefuted.

The verse does state that he was blameless. Obviously, as already mentioned, he was not blameless before God. But according to his outward, pharisaic, legalistic Judaism he was found blameless among men. No one could accuse him. But the story was much different for him on the inside. As we read in Romans 7, the commandment came and he died. See, for Paul, it had never hit the heart,... until the day the law came. And when the law came to the core of his being, he found out what a wretch he truly was.

So Paul's own words (in context) in Romans stand: No one does good, no not one. Do you still wish to assert that you, Danny, do good (in God's sight) or will you come to God pleading for mercy like the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 and be saved?

Romans is a marvelous book. I know I have loved studying it. Thanks for your question. I hope I have been of help.

By the way, I am still interested in hearing how you can defend the idea that PJ II's kissing the koran was not a matter of faith and morals. Sorry to kick that horse to death. I'm not sure anyone can rationally defend that his actions had nothing to do with faith and morals.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Jeff,
Now look up Psalm 14, the psalm which Paul is quoting from in Rom 3:10. Read the whole Psalm. To say that Paul is saying that noone is righteous at all, not one single person on earth, would be making Paul wrench a quote out of context (which is something the best student of the greatest Rabbi would never do. The Jews that Paul spoke to would call him out on it in a heartbeat!).

Also keep in mind that Peter in his epistle has said that Paul is hard to understand and can be easily twisted by people who don't know the real meaning. Are you confident enough to say that you know the correct meaning by your own private interpretation? I'm not. That's why Christ gave the Church the Magisterium to ensure the correct interpretation of Scripture and guard against false interpretation.

And for the record Jeff, I never said I was perfect. I am a sinner like you. But I have God's grace in me by virtue of my baptism (as do you assuming you have been baptized) and God's grace moves me to do good works, which really are works crowned by God. <--That's St. Paul. You'll find he talks about it in Romans.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

The Koran is the devil and should be burned... I do not agree with what JPII did... but he is not God, nor was he perfect... he made mistakes just like the rest of us.

EJ said...

I think that we are in agreement that it was a mistake, but that is not the point that I think that Jeff is driving at, though. He is asking how this action done by the Pope could have not been pertaining to faith and morals. Because (I think, anyway) that is where the Pope cannot be wrong, right? I am not a former Catholic like the other Protestant commenters have been, so I am not as sure on some of the finer points of Papal infallibility.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

When the Pope is speaking from the chair of St. Peter is infallible. I don't believe that he was on kissing the Koran from the Chair during this time.

DOC said...

Previously known as Anon...
My point by quoting the OT is this: the God of the OT is the same God that we honor and adore today. If then, when people were not truly worshipping God, but merely following the regulations set about by God, God despised them. He is the same today. He does not delight in tradition and sacraments for the sake of doing them or making yourself feel good or loved. He requires obedience and a sincere heart. (Although simply a sincere heart is not what saves you.) He requires that you by His grace are saved through faith in Christ. Frankly, I don't hang my hat on what a bunch of men have said throughout history. I hang my hat on the inspired and infallible word of God that nothing can be added to in order that it is complete. Men have been wrong throughout all time. I simply stand on the Bible, which itself claims to be without error. And unless you come as a child, you will not understand what the Bible says. When Paul was writing his letters to the churches, he did not send someone along to "translate or interpret" what Paul had written; it was clear. My trust is in God who has preserved His Word through centuries who began a new church--the body of believers who follow Christ alone, not the Catholic church. I do have to say, however, that there really is comfort in doing things for God. YOu know, going to confession, fasting, not eating meat, etc. THen somehow I come to a place where I feel better than the next guy who doesn't do them. I then, hating to admit it, have a lot to boast in--just like Paul "circumcised on the eight day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted loss for the sake of Christ. MOre than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...." Paul had even more to boast in--he was in the right place, the right people group, he knew the law entirely, and was zealous for god, and he even followed the letter of the law. Wow. But then he counts all that garbage in comparison to knowing Christ alone. And so that we are clear, Paul was not blameless in the eyes of God when he claims to be blameless; his blamelessness was in the eyes of those around him—the religious. And what’s funny about comparing ourselves to those around us is that we don’t notice the grievousness of our own being and actions. However, when we compare ourselves to almighty God, we see that we are vile sinners deserving of hell for eternity. That is why there is such a turnaround in Paul’s life when he meets Jesus. He finally saw himself for who he was in the eyes of God—detestable. That is the only explanation for his total life change. And so it is with me. Having the Holy Spirit living within me, I see who I would be without God dwelling in my being.

As far as my identity goes, I am no less forthcoming about my name than St. Michael the Archangel. Unless of course somehow, Michael the archangel is emailing from heaven, I am sure that that is not your true name. Your name could, however, be Michael, and mine could be Anne or Andrew, and I simply leave it at Anon. However, a name does make this a little more personal, so I think from this point on, I will be known as DOC.

PS.
I also do not what to be equated with the fool who wrote that John MacArthur is part of the Godhead.

doc said...

Danny,
Just to make you aware, baptism is not how you receive God's grace. That is something conjured up by the Catholic Church to make people feel good about themselves if they would but do this one work--baptism. If it is at baptism that we receive God's grace, God himself would not have been baptized in the person of Jesus. Baptism is an act done in the Bible as a believer already. Those who were baptized did so in order to be identified with Christ--that it was through his death and resurrection they would be born again. They did not receive any addtional grace or merit in doing so. All grace to be given them was given them at the moment they believed and in faith trusted in Christ's work on their behalf. No work from me is required for salvation.
DOC

Jeff said...

Danny,

According to the law, all are unrighteous before God. Psalm 14 does not contradict this at all.

You mentioned that you are not sure on your interpretation of scripture. What about God's plan of salvation in Christ is that complicated? I believe the scriptures are amazingly clear on this matter.

Eph. 2:8&9 and the many passages just like these couldn't be more plain.

But we do know from the bible that the natural can't understand the spiritual. That is, until you are born again, the things we are saying about salvation will not make sense to you.

You must be born again. And that is God's initiative. Not a priest or yours. Continue to read the Word.

Jeff said...

Danny,

I am still interested in hearing from you about how the Pope's kissing the Koran is not a matter of faith and morals, according to Catholicism.

I would agree he's human, but correct me if I'm wrong. I don't recall the Pope issuing an apology or affirming he made a grave mistake. I am just incredulous as to how his actions don't seem to cause you great concern. If he can err on such a huge matter as this, what else....

Michael commented and said what he did was wrong. And you would agree as well. But again, the question is how can this not be a matter of faith and morals?

EJ said...

Again, regarding this issue of Paul in Philippians 3 saying that he was blameless and his "contradicting" of himself. Look further down the passage to see that Paul did not have a righteousness of his own, but a righteousness from Christ, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith," (Phil 3:9 emphasis added)

Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone!

Jeff said...

Danny,

Please consider the following from the Catholic Catechism:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]

I hope you can see from the last sentence how truly divergent the Catholic Church is from Christianity. Christianity and Islam do not worship and adore the same God. No amount of mental gymnastics can reconcile that teaching of the RCC with Christianity.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Jeff,

Actually we do, as much as I "hate" or dislike the Muslim people, when it comes down to it they and we do worship the same God, they worship God the father, they believe that Jesus was just a Prophet as do the Jews, they believe that Muhammed was the last prophet sent by God. Granted this faith started about 700 years after Christianity, and it was taken from both religions, and a few things added. The Koran has most of the old testament in it and some of the new. They also have a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, and they hold her high in their books. So in a way they are connected to us. Its just that they are a Heresy of the true Faith ie: The Catholic one, Kathlicos meaning "universal", they can be defined as Heretics, as can anyone who is outside of the church of Christ ie: the Catholic one. I would like to say that your not a heretic.. but that would ultimately be a lie. You still call yourself a Protestant... Protest - ant.. your still protesting the full truth of Christ ie: the Catholic one.

Think of this for a minute... a Muslim who has not heard the truth yet, and only knows his faith. Practices it as best he can and when you both die... guess what? He might get to heaven before you do.. isn't that a humbling thought? How in the world could that happen you say? He didn't know the fullness of the truth and yet tried to find it all his life, and you as a protestant had the history and the faith and yet you denied Christ, you in your inner pride refused to open your eyes to the fullness of truth of Christ and the CHURCH that he left in his stead... and for that... well only God can judge you, not I.

Peace out.

The real St. Mike

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Refer to here for more information on how salvation without knowing Christ is possible:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? [Cf. Cyprian, Ep. 73.21: PL 3, 1169; De unit.: PL 4, 509-536] Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: [161, 1257]

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.[LG 14; cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5]

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation. [LG 16; cf. DS 3866-3872]

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." [AG 7; cf. Heb 11:6; 1 Cor 9:16] [1260]

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Doc,

As for the name thing, I am named Michael. I was named after St. Michael the Archangel.. hence my blogger name. Feel free to call me Michael if that suits ya better.

Danka,

The Real St. Michael

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Also... I don't think that St. Michael uses email, but to be honest, I haven't tried to send him one either. But I do know for a fact, that if you call on him, he will help ya, the prayer that pope Leo XIII gave to the church through a locution he had has helped me so many times in my personal battles with the devil. I have had some wack experiences in my life, (mainly due to my own pride) and I got the shiznit scared out of me as well. But like I said, St. Michael I consider my biggest protector next to my guardian angel and my Patron saint (who is an incorruptible)!

Ok.. I think that is way too much personal info on me for one night.

doc said...

there is one intercessor between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. I find no authority given in the Bible to pray to anyone other than God himself. Sure, we can pray for one another, but we have no scriptural basis to pray to anyone other than God. Only God can supply ALL of our needs. I need patience, I call oN God. I need good recall on a test from all the studying I have done, I call on God. The list could go on, but for the sake of redundancy, I will stop. Being God, however, it is up to Him how He answers my prayers. Ultimately, all that matters is that the chief goal of God is that He gets all the glory. Elevating anyone to a position in which you can actually pray to them for help is equating them with power that only God can have. There is only one God, and He will not share His glory. I really hate to keep on attacking your religion that you hold so dear, but it is false, and I will not sit by and listen (read) to you be so led astray by one of the world's largest false religions. Read and consider Scripture alone. In it, alone, you will find the one true God who offers one way that man may be saved--Jesus Christ. Exclusive, yes it is, if it were not, Christ would not have had to die on the cross and rise again. If any man does not know Jesus Christ--the only Gospel--he will be damned to Hell for all eternity. God offers one chance to seek and find Him here on Earth, and once life is over, that's it. God is loving in this as well as just. He could not be a loving God without also being a just God. Consider this analogy: a man kills someone, but he feels really sorry that he did it. Well, in court, he is tried, and found guilty, and because he did this crime (no matter how sorry he feels), he deserves justice, and the victim's family deserves love. If the judge let this criminal go free, there would be no justice, and, therefore, no reason to obey the law. Anyone would do anything as long as they knew they would have a get-out-of-jail free card at the end. But, as it is in reality, criminals go to jail, and sinners who do not know Jesus, go to hell. Jesus himself was so blunt, so that it would be clear that He was the only way to the father.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Doc...

So you are yet again denying God? It is very clear in the bible about praying to God through the intercession of saints:

As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them!

In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding.

Another charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).

The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something "good and pleasing to God," not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed" (Deut. 18:10–15).

God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, "Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now." The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf.

"Of course one should pray directly to Jesus!" But that does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately, the "go-directly-to-Jesus" objection boomerangs back on the one who makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian on earth to pray for us.

Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44).

Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth.

Also, God answers in particular the prayers of the righteous. James declares: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit" (Jas. 5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious.

The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. Thus in Psalms 103, we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20-21). And in Psalms 148 we pray, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!" (Ps. 148:1-2).

Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3-4).

And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

Doc... though you may be an unbeliever and you choose not to use those things that might help you best, I know from fact and past experience that praying to the saints does work, and it works in a healthy and God loving way. I have said novenas and have had my prayers answered in very powerful ways, things that you would sicount as superstition. How very sad it is that you cannot enjoy the blessing that God has given us, how sad it is Doc...

There are countless historical facts of St. Michael the Archangel appearing during WWII and other wars in answer to peoples prayers and of them somehow being spared in a battle they should have died in.

Go back into the WWII archives and look up St. Padre Pio, there are official records with the army air corp that recorded in their records of seeing a (monk) at several thousand feet in the air with his hands spead in the sign of Christ, and their planes turned around automatically and their bombs fell harmlesly to the ground, he was protecting his city San Giovanni Rotundo from being bombed.

How about the Miracle of the sun that happened at the Miracle of Our lady of Fatima, it was witnessed by over 50,000 people including dignitaries and officials from the govt and it was caught on photo.

You honestly miss out on so very much, what a pity. Thank God that I was born and raised a Catholic, I have so many wonderful things in my faith. Can you explain something to me, tell me how the bodies of Catholic saints, can be incorrupt? When there wasn't embalming techiniques hundreds of years ago? How about the Shroud of Turin, The 500 year old sack that contains the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe? How about the Eucharistic Miracles. there was one on the 19th this week, a miracle that has been taking place since the 300 ad when a Catholic was martyred and his blood has been liquifying on his feast day for over 1700 years! How about the Stigmata, Padre pio had it for about 25 years and they did everything they could to make it heal, the doctors watched it closely, and it never healed no matter what they did to it, and when he died, it dissapeared from his body! I don't recall ever hearing of a Protestant having a stigmata, nor do I ever hear of any miracles in the protestant faith, nor any incorrunptibles, or anything at all of that nature.

Before you call me lost, look in a mirror, you are a lamb without a shepperd. Oh ya, research a little more before you discount the scriptures.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Jeff,
I never said I wasn't sure of my interpretattion. As long as I interpret the Bible with the Church, I'm quite sure of it. You however are interpreting the Bible alone with your fallible interpretation and it's wrong!

As for Psalm 14, notice that it talks about the evil doers and then the David's people (the generation of the righteous). Obviously the generation of the righteous are different from the evildoers.

But wait, he said there is no one that does good! Id he contradicting himself? NO!

David wrote the Psalm because the people in his kingdom opposed him. Not everyone as exampled by the people who are righteous.

It's like going to a party where you expect 100 people to be there and when you show up there is only 3 people. If someone asks you who was there you reply "oh, nobody."
Obviously somebody was there. You were there. It's just a figure of speech.

Paul quotes from the Psalm so his listeners who were Jewish and who knew the psalms would recall what was going on. Paul was comparing himself to David. Like David, Paul's own people opposed him. Paul didn't have to quote the whole psalm for them to bring it to mind. It would be the same thing as if I said "O, say can you see." You would recall the Star Spangled Banner.

If Paul really meant that absolutely not one single person was righteous by quoting this psalm, then the people he was talking to would have called him out on it in a second!

But Paul never prooftexts.

Doc,
You say that Paul is straightforward and easy to understand. Well, my friend you just contradicted the Bible, because in Peter's Epistles he says that Paul is hard to understand and some people (such as yourself) use his sayings that they don't uinderstand and twist them for their own meaning.


You know one thing I've realized about people who say we are saved by faith alone is that they don't really believe that all we have to do is have faith and we are saved. Otherwise they wouldn't attack Catholics, since we believe we are saved by Faith as well. Not faith alone, but by faith. For the Catholics it would be like going to a store and buying something that cost a dollar and giving the clerk a dollar and a five dollar bill and having the clerk say no, you can't have it know.

What the Sola Fide people really believe is that only if you believe in the DOCTRINE OF FAITH ALONE will you be saved. It really has nothing to do with faith in God. Otherwise they would have no problem whatsoever with Catholics.

Funny, though, I don't recall anywhere in the Bible it saying that unless we believe in the DOTRINE OF FAITH ALONE, we will be saved.

Silly me.

EJ said...

If the real and official position of the Catholic church is that people can be saved apaprt from faith in Christ...then Roman Catholicism is apostate in the most basic of ways. There is no way to read the Bible and see that there is any way to to be accepted by God apart from the forgiveness that His Son purchased with His own blood. And that forgiveness is only available by true faith in Christ.

It is not that we want others to be damned, it is just that we cannot prostitute the Word of God to make it say what we may want it to say.

May God open your eyes to the true exclusivity that is demanded by scripture.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Where did I say people can be saved apart from faith in Christ?

I never said that nor does the Catholic Church!

EJ said...

I was responding to what St. Michael said in his previous comment. If that is what the church believes as far as salvation, it is apostate. Whether the heathen rejects the Gospel or lives in ignorance of it, their sins are still the same and require the just punishment of a holy and righteous God.

But, as a side note, the Bible clearly says, no one seeks after God, (Romans 3:10) and that man is totally evil, all the things in the hearts of (unregenerate) man is evil always (Genesis 6:5)

Jeff said...

Danny,

So by arguing the way you do with Psalm 14 and Romans 2 and 3 you're saying there are some people who have kept the commandments perfectly (besides Christ)? You couln't be. That would be contrary to Romans 3:23 and the fact that we all sinned in Adam (Romans 5).

Do you believe you are under the law (Romans 3:19)? You must let God's law be your tutor so your mouth may be stopped and you be held accountable to God. verse 20: because by the works of the Law NO [emphasis mine] flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Obviously Paul's use of "NO" is universal. And the whole section utilizing Psalm 14 is universal as well.

Psalm 14:2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.

That some were saved by God in OT times is obvious. God's people are those who have His righteousness imputed to them. They don't have their own righteousness to satisfy the law. So once again, Psalm 14 and Romans 3 stand: All are condemned by the law and no one does good by that perfect measuring stick. That is undeniable. You must believe that is what Paul is arguing.

Phil 3:9 (excerpted)

"not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith"

Maybe Jesus' words will be clearer for you: "There is only One who is good" (Mt. 19:17 excerpted)

Before God and His perfect law, NOONE does good. You will not be righteous before God by a mixture of faith and works. You are only righteous by faith alone in Christ alone. The imputed righteousness of Christ.

By the way, in a comment above, I posted #841 from the Catholic Catechism. It states this:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]

I hope this will help you understand just how different the Catholic Church is from Christianity. To make a statement like the above is clearly the sign of an apostate church. The god of Islam and God of Christianity could not be farther apart.

Please consider these things carefully. I don't believe God brought EJ, Doc and I to you by accident. Listen to His voice in the Word.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Jeff,
Seriously why do you even bother interpreting the Bible, it is plain to see you don't know a thing you are talking about. I shall no longer argue with you. Works of the law mean circumsion and ritual sacrifices.
Maybe if you open your heart to hear God's word you will understand. Until then it will just be you (the blind) leading other protestants (the blind).

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I as well and through with this blog and its occupants... its bad for my health and my hot temper.

Jeff said...

Danny,

I am trying to get to the issues. Your comments "it is plain to see you don't know a thing you are talking about" are not constructive in this forum. To my knowledge, I have not said that you don't know what you're talking about. If I ever did, I apologize. I simply want to deal with the text of scripture.

To assert that "Works of the law mean circumsion and ritual sacrifices" without offering up any scriptural proof is not sufficient. That Paul means ALL works is quite evident all the way through Romans. Even in Romans 7:7,8

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet."

This doesn't even touch the surface of why Paul means ALL works throughout Romans.

Beyond the bible, consider reading the Jonathan Edwards work "Justification by Faith Alone". This provides a good summary of what Paul is arguing. Charles Hodge wrote a wonderful commentary as well.

Also, I'm puzzled as to why you will not engage the 2 issues: #841 of RCC's catechism and JPII kissing the koran (how that can't be a matter of faith and morals). I can't imagine why you wouldn't be happy to answer those. I know that whenever I give you an answer I expect you to have an answer in return. But, nevertheless, I am happy to defend the faith. I hope you will consider answering those 2 issues.

EJ said...

(I posted a few comments on Danny's blog, but in an effort to respect his wishes about not changing the subject from what he was writing about, I have placed the comments regarding the ongoing "cephas" argument here).


Danny - I looked through the e-mail correspondence, and searched for the Hebrew/Aramaic source document reference that you made, but I was unable to find it. Nevertheless, if you did say it before I missed it entirely. That being said, I did take a little bit of time to look at Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10057a.htm) and at a Protestant theological web resource (http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=969#P23_1792) dealing with this issue and (shocking) they come up with two different conclusions based on the same concepts and information. The difference seems to be (again, only having investigated this briefly) the weight and interpretation of comments made by subsequent church fathers, and not on any actual text that we have. So, basically the assertion that Matthew’s gospel was written in Aramaic/Hebrew first and then translated into Greek is only “fact” if you count the tradition as dogma, but there are no actual documents in Aramaic, “we have no trace of [Matthew’s gospel] in Hebrew or Aramaic until the medieval ages (all of which are clearly translations of the Greek, at least as far as most scholars are concerned).” (bible.org source) Erasmus expressed doubt on the Hebrew/Aramaic origin of Matthew, which is then said to be in error because of the testimony of St. Jerome. St. Jerome’s own testimony is then called into question and called ambiguous because it is not “positively known that the writer did not mistake the Gospel according to the Hebrews (written of course in Hebrew) for the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew.” (catholic encyclopedia source)

The actual evidence would lead to the same conclusion, but the weight of Tradition and the implications of it is what seems to drive the Catholic church to it’s conclusions.

“WHen Paul referred to Simon as Cephas, he wasn't talking about his faith or Christ, he was talking about Simon HIMSELF! You don't need tradition for this to be clear. This is very evident using the Bible ALone. Yet you and many other Protestants don't want to admit it, because then you will have no choice, but to become Catholic.”

I have never made the claim that Paul is referencing the faith of Peter when he addresses him by name in his letters.

“you have to acknoweldge (as I've brought up before which you conviently ignored) that Christ's gave Peter the Keys to Heaven. (remember to read Isaiah 22!)”

Re: The issue of the Keys and the power to bind and loose. I have not yet, but I will look further into the cross reference in Isaiah 22. However, the keys to the kingdom (with the ability to bind and lose) were not just given to Peter, but to the rest of the disciples (at least), and most likely to all believers (Matthew 18:18-20). Still, I plan on looking into the Isaiah cross reference, but if (as Matt 18 seems to indicate) Peter is not the only one given the power to bind and loose, then the argument for his primacy and singularity among the apostles is weakened from this text.

re: the “alter Christi” issue – that is a shocking belief, to say the least. I have no more to say at this point because I had no idea that this was what Catholicism claims about the priests.

Finally, your assertion that I (and other Protesetants), ”toss History out the window” is either an ad hominem attack (and false one at that) or it is plain ignorance of how history is incorporated into our theology. It is how we incorporate and understand history and the testimony of the church fathers that we differ.

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