Thursday, April 26, 2012

Response to Russell's "DID THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GIVE US THE BIBLE?"





Yes.


The Catholic Church gave us the Bible, therefore you should submit to our Church.” Quite a statement… but is this really true?
Yes.
Some Questions
Before answering him, we should start off by asking the Catholic a couple of important questions. First, we should ask, “What do you mean by saying the Catholic Church ‘gave us the Bible’?”
That the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and canonized the every book in the New and Old Testament.  By "canonized", I mean that it is the Catholic Church which sifted through all the Old and New Testament books which purported to be inspired writings and selected from those the 73 book Bible we have today.
Is he suggesting that the Catholic Church wrote the Bible?
If so, this certainly cannot be the case, since the Old Testament was written long before the Catholic Church existed. 
But there were many books which the Jews held to be canonical which the Catholic Church rejected.  And many others which the Jews rejected because they were used by Jesus, namely the Deuterocanonicals or Protestant Apocrypha.

Neither can they claim to have written the New Testament, since that was written by the apostles and their close associates. And the apostles knew nothing of those teachings which are uniquely Catholic.
The Catholic Church was instituted by Jesus Christ.  The Apostles were the founding members of the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is, in fact, Jesus "corporation".  The Body of Christ.  And in His Corporation, Jesus established a Chairman of the Board, St. Peter.  And also, It's Officers, the Apostles.
What Catholics generally mean when they say that their Church gave us the Bible is that the Catholic Church, through certain councils, was responsible for revealing to us the “canon” of the Bible, i.e., which books are inspired by God and actually belong in the Bible.
If this is indeed what they mean, then we need to ask him our second question: “When did this happen?” And they will usually say that the canon was finally settled at the Council of Hippo (393 A.D.) and the Council of Carthage (397 A.D.), and it was later restated / reaffirmed at the Council of Trent (1546 A.D.).  
Correct.
Local, Not Ecumenical
Point #1 - The Councils of Hippo and Carthage were local or “provincial” councils (synods), and they could not “finally settle” the canon or any other issue that affected all the churches…..So, according to this, the church existed for over 1500 years without an infallibly-pronounced canon. Why is this, if “infallible certainty” is so important?
File:McVey wide skyscraper.jpgThe Catholic Church does not fix things that are not broken.  Until the time of the Protestant Revolution, there were no serious challenges to the canon of Holy Scripture within the Catholic Church.  Therefore, the local councils sufficed.  Martin Luther, a Catholic Priest, changed that.  Because She took Martin Luther's challenge to Her authority very seriously, the Council of Trent was convened not only to settle the matter of the Canon of Scripture, but other doctrines as well.  The subject of Justification for instance.
Wrong Canon
Point #2 - To make matters worse for Catholics, the canon given by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage does not match the canon which was given by the Council of Trent.....The problem is that both canons contain a book called 1 Esdras, but the earlier 1 Esdras is different from the one at the Council of Trent….So, what if the Catholic says, “Ok, so the Catholic church gave us the Bible (i.e., the correct canon) at Trent instead of Carthage and Hippo, so what?” But, taking 1500 years to recognize the canon is not very reassuring, especially for a Church who insists on the need for infallible certainty. It certainly seems that Catholic “Tradition” failed to protect the early canon from error in this case….</b>
First, you yourself proved that the first set was not "infallibly defined" since it didn't meet the requirements for infallible definition in an ecumenical council.  They were local councils.  You proved that in this very message.
Second, before a doctrine is infallibly defined it is not an error or sin to accept or believe something which is not prohibited by the Church.
Third, if it is problematic that the Church took 1500 years to eliminate 1 book from the canon, how does that help you?  It took 1500 years for your religion to be established.  Because certainly, orthodox Christians were using the 73 books of the Bible for the prior 1500 years and there is no sign in those 1500 years of any Protestants.  Not one.
The Apocrypha
Point #3 – The Protestant Bible contains 66 Books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New). The Bible that the Catholic Church claims to have given us contains 7 more Old Testament books than the Protestant Bible (and some additional verses in the books of Daniel and Esther).
These 7 extra books Catholics call the “Deuterocanonical” books. Protestants usually refer to them as the “Apocrypha,” and they do not consider them to be inspired, but Catholics do. But there are some problems with these books that we will deal with only briefly:

1) These books were not accepted by the Jews, and it was the Jews who knew the canon best because they were the ones who wrote the Old Testament.</b>
They were accepted by the Jews.  It is the Jews who wrote them.  We have no Old Testament Scriptures which were not originally from the Jews.  After Christ, however, the Jews rejected the Septuagint version of the Old Testament because it is from that version that Jesus taught.
2) Some of these books contain historical and geographical errors. Do we really want to accept the “inspiration” of a book which is not even reliable in worldly matters?
There are no errors in the Deuterocanonicals.  The problem is that Protestants don't discern the difference between metaphor, parable and literal word.
3) Some of the books teach doctrines which contradict the rest of the Scriptures.
They teach things which contradict Luther's teaching.  That is why Luther rejected them.  He also rejected the Epistle of St. James and Hebrews on the same basis.
4) There are a number of people throughout church history who denied the inspiration of the Apocrypha. One is Jerome, the very person who translated the Vulgate Bible (which the Catholic Church embraces). 
But didn't you say that they are included in the Vulgate?  So, he must have changed his mind.  Otherwise, why did he include them.
Here's your other problem.  You are relying upon St. Jerome's authority.  Yet, St. Jerome is a priest (Bishop, in fact) of the Catholic Church, holding all the beliefs which that entails.  He believed in the authority of the Church and of his position in it.  The Eucharist, the Marian doctrines, Purgatory etc. etc.  Do you also hold these beliefs based upon his authority?  And how about the fact that later, he recanted his rejection of the Deuterocanonicals, repenting of his sin, and including them in his version of the Scriptures?  Do you still accept his authority?
Catholic Cardinal Cajetan, who opposed Martin Luther and his teachings, also believed that the Apocrypha should not be used to confirm matters of faith, but only for edification. 
Is that before or after the Council of Trent?  Please provide a quote by Cardinal Cajetan concerning the "Apocrypha" after the Council of Trent defined the Canon.
We could also mention Pope Gregory the Great, Athanasius (the bishop of Alexandria) and many others who believed that (at least some of) the Apocryphal books were not canonical.
Did they live before or after the decision of the Council of Trent was pronounced?
And that is the gist of the Protestant problem.  You don't recognize the authority of the Church which Jesus Christ built.  But they would have submitted to the authority of the Catholic Church.  Whereas, you don't.
Teachings Not Biblical
All the Doctrines of the Catholic Church are in Scripture implied or explicit.  It is Protestant doctrine which contradicts Scripture.  That is easy to prove.  
Do Protestants reject Tradition?  What does Scripture say? 2 Thess 2:15  That pretty much demolishes the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
How about Sola Fide?  What does Scripture say? James 2:24 Not by faith only.

Point #4 - If the Catholic Church really did give us the Bible, then why do so many of its teachings either contradict the Scriptures, or cannot be found within its pages (e.g., doctrines like confession to a priest,
The Church can't remit or retain sin unless the sins are confessed to a Priest (John 20:23).
Mary’s sinless birth and life, 
Mary is described as "kecharitomene", ever full of grace.  Where one is full of grace, there is no sin (Luke 1:28).
Mary’s Assumption into Heaven,
Rev 12:1
indulgences, 
Matt 19:21;  I'd like to ask a question here, was Jesus suggesting that the Rich Man should buy his way into heaven?
Purgatory,
Rev 2:10
the Treasury of Merit,
Matt 6:19
the office of pope,
Matt 16:18
 praying to saints,
Matt 10:41; Luke 16:24
etc., etc.)? Interestingly, we find none of these in the Bible they claim to have given us.
Read the Scriptures and divide the Word rightly.  You'll find them all there.
Used by God
Point #5 - When it comes to spiritual deception the most dangerous lies are the ones that contain a certain amount of truth mixed in. And that is the case here. The “certain amount of truth mixed in” is that the Catholic Church was used, to some extent, in preserving and copying the Bible. But the Catholic Church did not “give us the Bible.” GOD did.
God didn't hand the Bible to anyone.  He inspired men of the Church to write the New Testament.  And He inspired men of the Church to sift through the volumes of Old Testament religious writings and find the inspired writings amongst them. 
It is HIS Word given to His people… the Old Testament given through the Jewish prophets, and the New Testament given through the Apostles and their close associates. The universal church of the New Testament just recognized the inspired Scriptures… it did not create or establish them. It was simply used by God in identifying the canon.
The men who wrote the New Testament were all members of Christ's Church, the Catholic Church.
But apparently, some Catholics believe that if God uses someone, then we must submit to them.”
I don't know what you mean by that, however, it is one of the great downfalls of Protestantism that they each believe themselves to be the authority over the Word of God.  Whereas, Scripture actually commands us to submit to the Church (Heb 13:17).
But this does not logically or necessarily follow because God can use anybody or anything, good or bad, to accomplish His will.
And He has instructed us that it is the Church through whom He speaks (Eph 3:10).
But this only proves that God is sovereign. God has used a whale (Jonah 1:17), a rooster (Matthew 26:74-75), and even a donkey (Numbers 22:22-34) to do His will, but that doesn’t mean that we are to submit to whales, roosters or donkeys, does it?
God didn't tell us to submit to whales, roosters or donkeys.  But He does command us to submit to the Church (Matt 18:17).
God can also use evil men to prophesy (John 11:49-52), but are we expected to yield to them? Obviously not.
If they are officers of the Church, yes (Matt 23:2-3).  Note how Jesus Christ obeyed them unto death on the Cross (Phil 2:8; John 11:49-52).
 God can even use the devil to accomplish His will (Job 1:6-12; 42:10), but does this mean that we should be obedient to Satan? 
Does Scripture say we should be obedient to Satan?  No.  But perhaps you can show me where.
Does Scripture say we should obey the Church?  Matt 18:17; Heb 13:17  Yes.  It does.  So what excuse do you have for disobeying the Church?
Again, the point is, just because God has USED a person or group in some way to bring about His will, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we must now submit to them. We should only submit to a person or church whose teachings are biblical.
That means you should submit wholeheartedly to the Catholic Church because only Her Teachings are Biblical.  Protestant teachings often contradict the Scriptures.
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This same misguided reasoning would also require us to submit to Judaism, the religion of the Jews (including any of its un-Christian traditions), since God used the Jews to write and preserve three-fourths of the Bible which we have today (the Old Testament). After all, it was to the Jews that the oracles of God were first given (Romans 3:2). In light of this, the Jews would have more right to claim to have “given us the Bible” than the Catholic Church has.
They can and do have a claim for giving us the Old Testament.  Scripture tells us (Romans 3:2).   But now the Catholic Church is the minister of the New Testament (Heb 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Cor 3:6).
So Where Did it Come From?
The New Testament was written by the Catholic Church.  The Old Testament was written by the Jews but had fallen into disarray and the Catholic Church identified the true, inspired books and placed them in the Canon of the Bible.
Many Catholics act as though there was nothing but utter confusion over the canon in the early church and the multitudes were desperate to find someone, an infallible authority, who could “determine” the canon for them. Then the Catholic Church stepped in with their councils and saved the day… or at least that’s what many Catholics would like us to believe. But it was not so.
Have you read the history of the Scriptures?  One simple question ought to dispel your notion that everything was hunky dory before the Church stepped in to fix the problem.  How many purported gospels existed at that time?  I count 40 just going through this article.

Ok, so where did we get the Bible from, if it wasn’t from the Catholic Church?
We got it from the Catholic Church.  Certainly not from the Protestants.
Demanding an answer to questions like “Who gave us the Bible?” is actually misleading.
What you actually mean is that you don't like the answer which history provides and would prefer to obfuscate the matter.  But history is clear, the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament, canonized the Old and New Testament in the Bible and preserved the entire Bible for future generations.
There is no one person or group that is responsible for giving us the Bible. Just as the books of the Old Testament were, little by little, accumulated over the years by God’s people who recognized His Spirit moving in His prophets (and eventually writing it down)… it was the same with the apostles and the New Testament. It was a gradual process with many believers involved over time. And just as the Jews recognized Old Testament Scripture without an infallible authority, it was the same with the early Christians.
Not true.  The fact of the matter is that the Old Testament canon which we see today is the result of Catholic influence.  Even the Jews merely reacted to the fact that the Catholic Church was using the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and in rebellion, began to use the Hebrew texts exclusively.  Before that time, there is no record that the Jews maintained any particular canon.  The concept of a canon was developed by the Catholic Church.
Although the councils did help, to a certain extent, to crystallize the canon in the minds of the early Christians, these councils, for the most part, merely affirmed the books that were already widely accepted. They were simply attempting to make it “official.”
Again, simply look at the bewildering number of  New and Old Testament writings and you will see that it was absolutely necessary for someone to step in and identify those books which were truly inspired.
Even though there were some doubts concerning a few of the books that would eventually end up in the canon, there was, collectively, a general consensus among Christians on most of the books. Only a few of them were actually disputed.
It is said that virtually the whole New Testament could be reproduced simply from the writings of the Ante-Nicene church fathers (those who lived before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.). So, the early church was already familiar with the canon of Scripture at this time.
In all fairness, the Catholic Church (i.e., the Church of Rome) did have a role in preserving and copying the Scriptures, as we mentioned earlier. But this doesn’t mean that “the Bible comes from them.”

Yes, it does.  The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and determined its canon.  Determined the canon of the Old Testament.  And then put them both together in one book.  The Book we call the Bible to day. 
Conclusion
The implications of all this are sobering and far-reaching. When Catholics say that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, they are in effect saying that this Church (along with its “Tradition”) is the final authority, and that we must submit to them.
The New Testament tells you that Jesus established a Church (Matt 16:18) and that you should submit to that Church (Matt 18:17).  If you claim to obey Scripture, you should at least attempt to identify that Church in order to begin to obey it in accordance with the Word of God.
As for me, I am convinced that Church is the Catholic Church.

They are implying that the Bible gets its authority from that Church
No.  The Church is teaching that:
1.  Christ established the Church.
2.  Christ ordered that Church to teach His all which He commands.
3.  The Church wrote the New Testament to help in the passing down of Christ commands.
4.  The Church also used the Old Testament which Jesus used, the Septuagint, to prove the prophecies of Jesus.
5.  The Church gets its authority from God and that authority is confirmed in the Word of God, the New Testament.
and only they have the authority to properly interpret it.
The authority to infallibly interpret it.  Many can properly interpret it.  But they also can make errors in interpretation. Whereas the Church is described as the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3:15).  Therefore the Church will not err in interpreting the Word of God.
But this is certainly not true. The universal church recognized the inspired writings. However, the Scriptures are not “church-
breathed,” but God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
That verse doesn't say that God breathed out the Bible. It means, as Scripture explains, that God inspired Holy Men to preach and then write the Bible. See 2 Pet 1:20-21).

Simply recognizing something (the canon) is not the same thing as being responsible for its existence.
In fact, it is.
First, there was nothing simple about it.
Second, if the Catholic Church had not identified the canon, it probably would be lost to history today.
The Bible no more owes its existence to the Catholic Church than gravity owes its existence to Sir Isaac Newton.
Show me the book of the New Testament that was written directly by God without a member of the Catholic Church having to put pen to paper?  If you can't, then you will have to admit that it was the Catholic Church which brought the New Testament into existence.
The idea of the Catholic Church giving the Bible to the world is yet another boastful (but empty) claim coming from the Catholic side. One has to wonder… how many of the Catholic Church’s claims need to be exposed as false, before the “lay Catholic” in the pew will see the light? How many exaggerated claims from his leaders must he endure before he breaks free of the Catholic Church’s shackles? Hopefully, very few.
It is Protestants who need to break free from the errors which have been passed down by Luther and the Reformers.  These errors have not only proliferated but multiplied until the Protestant religion can be identified directly with the many headed beast of the Apocalypse.  Thanks be to God that many have begun to see these errors and chosen to swim the Tiber in the direction of the Vatican.
Sincerely,
De Maria

56 comments:

  1. Hello De Maria,

    (Part 1)

    For anyone interested, the article, in its entirety, can be found here:

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2012/02/did-catholic-church-give-us-bible.html

    Just a few notes on your comments…

    Concerning the Council of Trent taking 1500 years to provide an infallible decision, you said:

    “The Catholic Church does not fix things that are not broken.”

    But, by their own admission, the canon was indeed “broken,” since Trent had to “fix” it by removing one of its books.

    You had said:

    “… if it is problematic that the Church took 1500 years to eliminate 1 book from the canon, how does that help you?”

    It helps to prove that the claims of the Catholic Church are greatly inflated. It demonstrates that “Tradition” did not provide the “much needed” (from the Catholic perspective) infallible canon. It proves that its canon was wrong for 1100 years or so (from the Catholic perspective). It tells us that Trent condemned with anathema the earlier canon, instead of AFFIRMING those much-touted Councils of Hippo and Carthage. But it’s not so much how it “helps” me, but how much it damages the integrity of the Catholic Church.

    You said:

    “Because certainly, orthodox Christians were using the 73 books of the Bible for the prior 1500 years and there is no sign in those 1500 years of any Protestant. Not one.”

    We don’t deny that the Deuterocanonical books were being USED, but we’re saying that they were not considered EQUAL to Scripture, as the link to the William Webster article that I included demonstrates:

    http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/sippocanon.html

    You mentioned that the Septuagint version of the Old Testament was the one that Jesus used. That’s true, but this does not prove that the Apocryphal books are inspired, since there were books in the Septuagint that the Catholic Church also rejects. So, the use of the Septuagint doesn’t prove the inspiration of all the books in it.

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    1. Hello Russell,

      Concerning Part 1, I've given you the benefit of the doubt about the Church supposedly removing one book in the Council of Trent. I trusted your scholarship.

      However, I just read the Decrees of the Council of Trent concerning the Canon of Scripture.

      You can find them here.

      And, this is what it says:
      ….But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the

      old Latin vulgate edition;

      and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand, in what order, and in what manner, the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the Confession of faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church…..


      That means that the Council of Trent simply rubber stamped the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, which was the official Catholic Bible from the time of St. Jerome, which was the 4th Century.

      Therefore, you might as well redo your whole article as nothing in it was accurate.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  2. (Part 2)

    I had mentioned that there were historical and geographical errors in at least some of the apocryphal books, and you said:

    “There are no errors in the Deuterocanonicals. The problem is that Protestants don’t discern the difference between metaphor, parable and literal word.”

    Ok, so what is “metaphorical” about calling Nebuchadnezzar the king of Assyria (Judith 1:1, 7) when he was actually the king of Babylon?

    What is “parabolic” about saying the Jews would serve their time in Babylon for “7 generations” (Baruch 6:2), when it was actually 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10)? A generation in the Bible (O.T. or N.T.) is never referred to as only 10 years. The deporting of the Jews to Babylon was for a very specific amount of time, for a very specific reason (2 Chronicles 36:21).

    Also, the online version of the Jerusalem Bible (1966) says in its “Introduction to the Books of Tobit, Judith and Esther (page 602):

    “The book of Judith in particular shows a bland indifference to history and geography.”

    And also:

    “We may add that the itinerary of the army of Holofernes, 2:21-28, is a geographical impossibility.” (Ibid.)

    Found here:

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/Bible-1966v01-00601

    The Little Rock Catholic Study Bible, in its introduction to the book of Judith, says:

    “Within the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (1:1, 2:1), it telescopes five centuries of historical and geographical information with IMAGINARY details… the geographical details, such as the narrow defile into Bethulia… are FANCIFUL. The simple conclusion from these and other details is that the work is a historical FICTION…” (Liturgical Press, copyright 2011, Collegeville, Minnesota, p. 809) [Emphasis added]

    You said that Jerome believed in the Apocrypha because he listed those books in the Vulgate. But he included (at least some of) these books in the Vulgate because of pressure from the pope, not because he believed that they were inspired or because he changed his mind about it.

    Concerning Jerome changing his mind, this is just a fable. See here:

    http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/10/did-jerome-change-his-mind-on-apocrypha.html

    I had mentioned several people who denied the inspiration of the Apocrypha, and you pointed out that they either lived before Trent or, if they lived during or after Trent, they made no comments against the decision of that council.

    Of course people like Cardinal Cajetan would not buck the authority of an “infallible” pronouncement, since he didn’t want to be anathematized. He just kept quiet after that. But the people’s fear of the Church doesn’t prove the inspiration of those books. Again, go back and read the William Webster article that I linked to.

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    1. Russell, you said:
      (Part 2)

Ok, so what is “metaphorical” about calling Nebuchadnezzar the king of Assyria (Judith 1:1, 7) when he was actually the king of Babylon?

      Suppose you read a book about a young woman named "America Thebeautiful" who fought against an evil army sent by Saddam Hussein, King of the Nazis? What would you say was contained in that book, history or fiction?

      The book of Judith is a book about a beautiful lady Jew (i.e. that's what the name Judith means) who killed an evil general sent by the greatest enemy of the Jews, Nebuchadnezzar, who is depicted not as the king of Babylonia, but as the king of the greatest Jewish foe, Assyria. Every Jew of the time knew who was Nebuchadnezzar and who was king of Assyria. They would have known right away that this introduction signaled the start of a parable. Not a historical book.

      Now, let me ask you, why did the Jews include this book, which they knew very well contained fiction, in their Septuagint version of Scripture? I believe it is because those Jews considered it an inspired work. Is there any other explanation? Remember, the Septuagint is the version of Scripture which Jesus used.

      What is “parabolic” about saying the Jews would serve their time in Babylon for “7 generations” (Baruch 6:2), when it was actually 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10)? A generation in the Bible (O.T. or N.T.) is never referred to as only 10 years. The deporting of the Jews to Babylon was for a very specific amount of time, for a very specific reason (2 Chronicles 36:21).

      There is no "definition of Biblical terms" written even by the Catholic Church. What makes you think your "rules" carry any weight? If the author of Judith wants to say 7 generations, who is to say he can't?

      Also, the online version of the Jerusalem Bible (1966) says in its “Introduction to the Books of Tobit, Judith and Esther (page 602): 

“The book of Judith in particular shows a bland indifference to history and geography.”….

      What does the Jerusalem Bible's commentary have to do with anything? I follow the Catholic Church. And the Catholic Church says these books are inspired.

      You said that Jerome believed in the Apocrypha because he listed those books in the Vulgate. But he included (at least some of) these books in the Vulgate because of pressure from the pope, not because he believed that they were inspired or because he changed his mind about it. 

Concerning Jerome changing his mind, this is just a fable. See here:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/10/did-jerome-change-his-mind-on-apocrypha.html

      Lol! "Beggars all"? Ok, Now, lets say, just for argument sake, that they are correct. And that St. Jerome never changed his mind about the deutero-canonicals. And he only included the deutero-canonicals out of obedience. Tell me, what is wrong with that? What does Scripture say about obedience to those who rule over you (Heb 13:17)?

      Anyway, I understand St. Jerome's explanation the way Mark Shea explained it. Not the way Beggars all twisted it. Let me highlight it:

      But for himself, he acknowledged the authority of the Church in defining the canon. When Pope Damasus and the Councils of Carthage and Hippo included the deuterocanon in Scripture, that was good enough for St. Jerome. He "followed the judgment of the churches.

      ….Of course people like Cardinal Cajetan would not buck the authority of an “infallible” pronouncement, since he didn’t want to be anathematized. He just kept quiet after that. But the people’s fear of the Church doesn’t prove the inspiration of those books.

      Cardinal Cajetan did not act in fear of the Church, but out of respect for Her God given authority.

      Again, go back and read the William Webster article that I linked to.

      I've read it before. It doesn't improve with age. Its still poor scholarship and bad logic.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  3. (Part 3)

    You said:

    “All the Doctrines of the Catholic Church are in Scripture implied or explicit. It is Protestant doctrine which contradicts Scripture. That is easy to prove. Do Protestants reject Tradition? 2 Thess 2:15 That pretty much demolishes the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.”

    Sorry, DeMaria. Not by a long shot. See my article on Sacred Tradition where we’ve already dealt with this verse here:

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

    You said:

    “How about Sola Fide? What does Scripture say? James 2:24 Not by faith only.”

    Once again, this verse does not work in disproving Sola Fide. I have four articles on my blog specifically dealing with “Faith Alone,” and I suggest reviewing these to clear up the confusion. The first can be found here:

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2010/01/faith-alone-part-1.html

    You said:

    “Mary is described as ‘kecharitomene’, ever full of grace. Where one is full of grace, there is no sin (Luke 1:28).”

    See my article here:

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2011/05/was-mary-without-sin.html

    You also gave a couple of verses in an attempt to support the practice of praying to saints. But see my article here:

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2011/02/praying-to-saints.html

    You also provided verses to defend the concepts of Purgatory, the Treasury of Merit and the office of the pope. I would say that these are no proof at all. I could show other verses to counter these arguments. Now, I know that you would say that I have no authority to interpret the verses that I would use against these topics. You believe that the downfall of Protestantism is “they each believe themselves to be the authority over the Word of God. Whereas, Scripture actually commands us to submit to the Church (Heb 13:17).”

    Ok, so we need to submit to the church. But by whose authority do YOU say this? If you say Scripture verses are simple enough to understand, then we would agree. This has been our point all along. We can indeed go directly to Scripture without needing any “special authority.”

    If you say by the authority of the Catholic Church, then who gave YOU authority to be their spokesman? If their teachings are simple enough to understand without “special authority,” then why can’t we say the same thing about Scripture?

    Ok… I intended to be brief, but failed… Sorry about that. Anyway, De Maria, I will be away from the computer for a week or so, but feel free to respond when you’re ready.

    In His Name,
    Russell

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    Replies
    1. (Part 3)

Russell, you said:

…. But see my article(s) here:….

      I'll have to pay you a visit, if I haven't already.

      You also provided verses to defend the concepts of Purgatory, the Treasury of Merit and the office of the pope. I would say that these are no proof at all.

      Why am I not surprised?

      I could show other verses to counter these arguments…..

If you say by the authority of the Catholic Church, then who gave YOU authority to be their spokesman?….

      By virtue of my Confirmation.

      If their teachings are simple enough to understand without “special authority,” then why can’t we say the same thing about Scripture?

      I'm not certain what point you are making here. I never claimed to be infallible. The Church is the infallible teacher of the Word of God in Scripture and Tradition.

      As far as why my interpretations of Scripture carry more weight than yours, it is because I interpret Scripture in accordance with the Traditions of the Church.

      Ok… I intended to be brief, but failed…

      Its not as though I've got that many comments on my blog. You could have written a dissertation, that would have been fine with me.

      Sorry about that.

      No problem.

      Anyway, De Maria, I will be away from the computer for a week or so, but feel free to respond when you’re ready.

      By that time, hopefully I will have visited your blog and debunked those articles you referenced here.

      

In His Name,
Russell

      Amen! Take care,

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  4. Hello De Maria,

    You said:

    “Concerning Part 1, I've given you the benefit of the doubt about the Church supposedly removing one book in the Council of Trent. I trusted your scholarship.

    However, I just read the Decrees of the Council of Trent concerning the Canon of Scripture.”

    And you went on to stress that the Council of Trent stuck to the Old Latin Vulgate Edition and this supposedly voided my whole article and you concluded that “nothing in it was accurate.”

    First of all, in the article, I had stressed that same fact… that Trent embraced the Old Latin Vulgate Edition. But the problem is that the New Catholic Encyclopedia clearly tells us that Trent had to remove one book, proving that the previous canon was wrong.

    Second, the fact that Trent removed a book from the canon is not the premise for the whole article, but even if I had to concede that particular point (which I just demonstrated that I don’t) that would still not negate the whole article, since I made many other valid points.

    I mentioned that the introduction to the books of Tobit, Judith and Esther in the Jerusalem Bible describes Judith in particular as indifferent to history and geography, and you said:

    “What does the Jerusalem Bible's commentary have to do with anything? I follow the Catholic Church. And the Catholic Church says these books are inspired.”

    But this same Catholic Church also gives its seals of approval (the “imprimatur” and the “nihil obstat”) to the contents of this Catholic version of the Bible. Now, no one is saying that the comments are inspired, but the comments must have SOME weight, else they wouldn’t add them. One wouldn’t think that a Catholic would want to just sweep “imprimatur-authorized” comments under the rug.

    In your response to my Part 3 above, I had asked who gave you the authority to be a spokesman for the Catholic Church, and you said that your authority was by virtue of your Confirmation.

    So, are you saying that any Catholic who goes through the sacrament of confirmation is a spokesperson for the Catholic Church?

    You said:

    “As far as why my interpretations of Scripture carry more weight than yours, it is because I interpret Scripture in accordance with the Traditions of the Church.”

    That sounds really nice, DeMaria, but this is totally circular reasoning. It is the Catholic Church’s traditional interpretation of passages that is in question here in the first place. You’re simply assuming that which you need to prove. But how do you know the Traditions of the Catholic Church are right? No doubt, you would quote certain Scripture verses in response. Ok, but what if someone disagrees with your interpretation of these verses? On what basis can you say that they’re wrong and you’re right?

    You MAY possibly say that a certain interpretation is correct because “it lines up with other verses of the Bible, or with scriptural principles,” or because “it is reasonable or is supported by common sense in its proper context”… but you CAN’T say that the Catholic interpretation is right “just because it agrees with the Catholic Church.” OF COURSE a true “Catholic” interpretation is going to agree with Catholic teaching. But again, your logic is simply circular.

    Whenever you downplay someone’s interpretation on the basis of his “lack of authority,” you shoot yourself in the foot, since you (and every other Catholic) must also interpret your “infallible interpreter.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Russell, Welcome back.

      

You said:


      And you went on to stress that the Council of Trent stuck to the Old Latin Vulgate Edition and this supposedly voided my whole article and you concluded that “nothing in it was accurate.”

First of all, in the article, I had stressed that same fact… that Trent embraced the Old Latin Vulgate Edition. But the problem is that the New Catholic Encyclopedia clearly tells us that Trent had to remove one book, proving that the previous canon was wrong.

      Your response is illogical for several reasons.
      1st and foremost. What authority does any Catholic place in the "New Catholic Encycllopedia"?
      2nd, when was the Vulgate written? When was Trent convened?
      3rd, when were the the councils of Carthage and Hippo convened? When was the Vulgate written? When was Trent convened?

      Vulgate completed AD 400
      Council of Carthage AD 419
      Council of Hippo AD 393, 394 and 426

      In that time period, the Vulgate was the most used Bible in Christendom.

      4th, did you even read the what the Council of Trent said about Scripture? If you did, show me where the Council of Trent removed any books from any version of the Bible?

      You can't. Because the Council of Trent intentionally avoided condemning any other version of the Bible. The versions of Carthage and Hippo are still considered authentic. The only thing that the Council ruled against was anyone denying the authenticity of the Vulgate. I quote:
      But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.

      Second, the fact that Trent removed a book from the canon is not the premise for the whole article, but even if I had to concede that particular point (which I just demonstrated that I don’t) that would still not negate the whole article, since I made many other valid points.

      You're wrong. That negates your whole article. I just demonstrated why.

      Continued

      Delete
    2. continued

      Russell, you said:
      ”

But this same Catholic Church also gives its seals of approval (the “imprimatur” and the “nihil obstat”) to the contents of this Catholic version of the Bible. Now, no one is saying that the comments are inspired, but the comments must have SOME weight, else they wouldn’t add them. One wouldn’t think that a Catholic would want to just sweep “imprimatur-authorized” comments under the rug.

      Here are the questions you need to answer. What do the "imprimatur" and "nihil obstat" mean?

      Are they issued for statements free of historical error? or for statements free of doctrinal error?

      When the Jerusalem Bible says:
      “The book of Judith in particular shows a bland indifference to history and geography.” Does that claim a lack of inspiration or of error in the Scripture?

      “We may add that the itinerary of the army of Holofernes, 2:21-28, is a geographical impossibility.” (Ibid.) The same with this one. Is that a claim of lack of inspiration or error in the Scripture?

      We know that the book of Judith is a work of fiction. Just like many of Jesus' parables. But that work of fiction was inspired by God nonetheless. If you can show where the Jerusalem Bible claims that the book of Judith is not inspired and yet received an imprimatur or nihil obstat, then you might have something. The error of the Bishop who issued that imprimatur or nihil obstat. Because the Church declares that book free of error and inspired by God.

      In your response to my Part 3 above, I had asked who gave you the authority to be a spokesman for the Catholic Church, and you said that your authority was by virtue of your Confirmation.

So, are you saying that any Catholic who goes through the sacrament of confirmation is a spokesperson for the Catholic Church?

      Yes. From the CCC

      III. THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION
      ....1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace: 
….it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross….

      continued

      Delete
    3. continued

      Russell, you said:

      

That sounds really nice, DeMaria, but this is totally circular reasoning. It is the Catholic Church’s traditional interpretation of passages that is in question here in the first place. You’re simply assuming that which you need to prove. But how do you know the Traditions of the Catholic Church are right? No doubt, you would quote certain Scripture verses in response. Ok, but what if someone disagrees with your interpretation of these verses? On what basis can you say that they’re wrong and you’re right?

      It is always funny to me when a Protestant tells me that my reasoning is circular.
      Here's how I answer a question concerning a verse of Scripture.
      Someone says to me, "How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?" My response, " Tradition shows that this verse is about Baptism."
      Someone says to you, "How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?" Your response, "I say so."

      Its you and your Bible, Russell. Nothing is more circular than that.

      You MAY possibly say that a certain interpretation is correct because “it lines up with other verses of the Bible, or with scriptural principles,” or because “it is reasonable or is supported by common sense in its proper context”… but you CAN’T say that the Catholic interpretation is right “just because it agrees with the Catholic Church.” OF COURSE a true “Catholic” interpretation is going to agree with Catholic teaching. But again, your logic is simply circular.

Whenever you downplay someone’s interpretation on the basis of his “lack of authority,” you shoot yourself in the foot, since you (and every other Catholic) must also interpret your “infallible interpreter.”

      Actually, you've got your logical fallacies confused. You should be accusing me of "arguing from authority". I believe the Catholic Church is infallible, but you don't. Therefore, you demand more proof.

      My logic is not circular. Yours is. Catholic logic is substantiated by Scripture, Tradition, history, science and any other reasonable means available. Whereas, you are a Scripture alone adherent. You accept nothing but "your interpretation of the Scripture."

      Scripture is innerrant. That is true. But your interpretation of Scripture is not. You believe your interpretation is authoritative. I don't. I demand more proof.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Hi DeMaria,

    I will only address a couple of points here.

    You said:

    “1st and foremost. What authority does any Catholic place in the "New Catholic Encycllopedia"?”

    Well, it has long been considered by many as one of the best core references in use today, and as a well-respected and scholarly encyclopedia. Of course, it also carries the Catholic seals, the “Nihil Obstat” (meaning “nothing hinders,” i.e., it carries nothing damaging to faith or morals) and the final “Imprimatur” (meaning “let it be printed”), so I would think that this encyclopedia is pretty significant.

    You may argue that these seals of approval only emphasize DOCTRINAL (rather than geographical / historical, etc.) content. Ok, then I guess, hypothetically, it would be ok for a Catholic source with these seals to contain myths, fiction, half-truths, and even outright lies, as long as they are not about “doctrinal” issues? I would hope not. That’s a pretty low standard for a Christian writing.

    But anyway, retaining or removing a book from the canon sure sounds like a “doctrinal” issue to me. Are you willing to say that the canon of Scripture is NOT a doctrine of the Church?

    Furthermore, you also mentioned that it was an error of the bishop who authorized that statement in the New Catholic Encyclopedia about Trent removing a book from the canon. But DeMaria, I think that we can safely assume that the writer of the encyclopedia article, the censor / proofreader (who gives the “Nihil Obstat”), and the bishop (who gives the “Imprimatur”), all more than likely went through the sacrament of confirmation in the Catholic Church. Again, this is an assumption, but it is most likely. No offense intended, but these three are very probably more capable spokesmen for the Church than you are, yet you claim a very serious error on their part.

    But if it is indeed an error, then this demonstrates that, 1) you were wrong in your understanding about confirmation giving one authority to speak for the Church, and 2) the Catholic Catechism section you mentioned (CCC #1303) is wrong. If you admit to either of these two points, then that encyclopedia article (concerning Trent removing a book) could be true after all. Either way, you have a problem.

    And don’t you think that with a doctrine as important as the canon, that at least SOMEONE would have caught this major “error” before it was printed? Or, if that article was a mistake or a falsehood, don’t you think that there would have been a retraction of the article? But I am not (nor do I know anyone who is) aware of this particular article ever being retracted.

    Concerning the “circular” issue, you said:

    “Someone says to me, ‘How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?’ My response, ‘Tradition shows that this verse is about Baptism.’ Someone says to you, ‘How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?’ Your response, ‘I say so.’”

    But how do you know what Tradition teaches? Aren’t you interpreting Tradition itself? Yes, you are. It is inescapable… we ALL have to interpret our authorities. Catholics need to stop pretending otherwise. Appealing to Scripture and interpreting something from it reasonably and with common sense is not circular.

    We can let the reader decide which side is more reasonable.

    In His Name,
    Russell

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    Replies
    1. Hi Russell,
      Thanks for responding.

I will only address a couple of points here.

      Sure.

      Well, it has long been considered by many as one of the best core references in use today, and as a well-respected and scholarly encyclopedia. Of course, it also carries the Catholic seals, the “Nihil Obstat” (meaning “nothing hinders,” i.e., it carries nothing damaging to faith or morals) and the final “Imprimatur” (meaning “let it be printed”), so I would think that this encyclopedia is pretty significant.

      You need to ask yourself these questions. Is the statement made by the Catholic Encyclopedia a matter of Catholic doctrine? Or history? Or simple opinion? Nihil Obstats and Imprimaturs are not given for anything except doctrinal statements and they are not a guarantee of infallibility.

      You may argue that these seals of approval only emphasize DOCTRINAL (rather than geographical / historical, etc.) content. Ok, then I guess, hypothetically, it would be ok for a Catholic source with these seals to contain myths, fiction, half-truths, and even outright lies, as long as they are not about “doctrinal” issues? I would hope not. That’s a pretty low standard for a Christian writing.

      The fact is that Catholic Scholarship is held to higher standards than Protestant. However, Nihil Obstats and Imprimiturs are not given for anything except doctrinal statements.

      Furthermore, the question is now moot, since we have read the Council of Trent together and it does not speak of removing any books from the Canon.

      

But anyway, retaining or removing a book from the canon sure sounds like a “doctrinal” issue to me. Are you willing to say that the canon of Scripture is NOT a doctrine of the
      Church?


      The question is moot, Russell.

      First, I have proven from the documents of the Council of Trent that no book was removed.
      Second, I have proved from the documents of Trent that no canon was condemned.
      Third, I have shown that Nihil Obstats and Imprimaturs are given for doctrinal statements only.
      Fourth, I have explained that Nihil Obstats and Imprimaturs are not infallible nor do the pretend to assure the infallibility of the document they approve.

      With that in mind, you tell me, what if the statement which the Catholic Encyclopedia made is considered a doctrinal matter? Are we supposed to hold that over and above the statement of the Church? You tell me.

      cont'd

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    2. cont'd

      Russell said:

      

Furthermore, you also mentioned that it was an error of the bishop who authorized that statement in the New Catholic Encyclopedia about Trent removing a book from the canon. But DeMaria, I think that we can safely assume that the writer of the encyclopedia article, the censor / proofreader (who gives the “Nihil Obstat”), and the bishop (who gives the “Imprimatur”), all more than likely went through the sacrament of confirmation in the Catholic Church. Again, this is an assumption, but it is most likely. No offense intended, but these three are very probably more capable spokesmen for the Church than you are, yet you claim a very serious error on their part.

      True. Here's what you originally said:

      The problem is that both canons contain a book called 1 Esdras, but the earlier 1 Esdras is different from the one at the Council of Trent. How do we know this? According to a chart in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the Septuagint’s 1 Esdras is equivalent to the Vulgate’s 3 Esdras. And it specifically says, “The Council of Trent definitively removed it from the canon.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1967, Volume II, Bible, III, pp. 396-397) [Emphasis added]
      So, Trent declared 3 Esdras in the Vulgate [1 Esdras of the Septuagint] to be uncanonical (not belonging in the Bible), and it was therefore removed from the canon.


      Now, please show me where the Council of Trent "removed it from the Canon" and "declared… it to be uncanonical". Show me. Here's the link to the Council of Trent document.

      If you can't, then you have to admit, grudgingly I'm sure, that the New Catholic Encyclopedia either made a mistake or did not express itself in a very precise manner. You decide. But as for me, errors by other Catholic institutions are of no account. I go by the Teachings of the Church.

      cont'd

      Delete
    3. Russell also said:

      But if it is indeed an error, then this demonstrates that, 1) you were wrong in your understanding about confirmation giving one authority to speak for the Church,

      Huh? Did I say that Confirmation made one infallible?

      and 2) the Catholic Catechism section you mentioned (CCC #1303) is wrong.

      Does that section of the Catechism say that Confirmation confers upon us infallibility?

      If you admit to either of these two points, then that encyclopedia article (concerning Trent removing a book) could be true after all. Either way, you have a problem.

      Why? I'm not here defending any encyclopedia. I'm here explaining the Doctrines of the Catholic Church. 



      And don’t you think that with a doctrine as important as the canon, that at least SOMEONE would have caught this major “error” before it was printed?

      What do you want me to say? I wasn't one of the editors. Besides, the New Catholic Encyclopedia has had trouble with its terminology in other doctrines. For instance, the Unitarians turn to it for support for their rejection of the Trinity.

      I've had to address other problems with their terminology before. Sorry, I didn't keep a list for you to peruse.

      Anyway, enough to say that I'm not here defending their scholarship. In fact, I personally avoid the New Catholic Encyclopedia. You'll find that I generally quote the Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent). And not simply because it is conveniently online. However, I have found errors in their teachings in the past, as well. But, in my opinion, it is more dependable than the New Catholic Encyclopdia.

      Or, if that article was a mistake or a falsehood, don’t you think that there would have been a retraction of the article? But I am not (nor do I know anyone who is) aware of this particular article ever being retracted.

      Probably, no one ever made a fuss. If you're that interested, why don't you write to them.



      Concerning the “circular” issue, you said:

“Someone says to me, ‘How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?’ My response, ‘Tradition shows that this verse is about Baptism.’ Someone says to you, ‘How do you know that the verse is speaking about Baptism?’ Your response, ‘I say so.’”

But how do you know what Tradition teaches? Aren’t you interpreting Tradition itself? Yes, you are. It is inescapable… we ALL have to interpret our authorities. Catholics need to stop pretending otherwise. Appealing to Scripture and interpreting something from it reasonably and with common sense is not circular.

      1. Circular logic is not necessarily false. Therefore, if you rely upon the Scriptures ALONE you will not be always wrong. You will on occasion be right. Even frequently. That doesn't change the fact that it is circular thinking.

      2. The fact that I rely upon many sources, not the Bible ALONE, but also Tradition, history, science, etc. etc. Means that my reasoning is not circular. It doesn't guarantee that I will be correct. But I rely upon more sources than you.

      3. Your claim of reliance upon Scripture ALONE is a misunderstanding on your part. You really rely upon your INTERPRETATION alone. Whereas, I consider the interpretation of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church which came before me.

      We can let the reader decide which side is more reasonable.

      I agree. Thanks for writing back.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
    4. ITS FUN THAT THE THEORY OF RELYING ON ONE`S UNDERSTANDING/interpretation HAS BROUGHT GREAT MISUNDERSTANDING AMONG CHRISTIANS AND AS A RESULT WE HAVE,THOUGH NOT SURE,MORE THAN 33,000 PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS ALL OF THEM TEACHING DIFFERENT THINGS(no prove but it is probable) AND INTERPRETING THE BIBLE THEIR ON WAY .. THAT ANSWERS WHY CHRIST IN HIS ALMIGHTY AND ALL-KNOWING WISDOM GAVE US A TEACHING AUTHORITY-THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH ...THANKS I AGREE WITH DE MARIA AND I THINK IN MY OWN OPINION RUSELL DOESN'T WANT TO AGREE MAY BE BECAUSE OF THE PROTESTANT BIAS(am not judging anyone but just an opinion) ..COME ON. RUSELL THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE HISTORICAL CHURCH-APOSTOLIC..QUESTION COMES CAN WE FOLLOW UP THE PROTESTANT ROOTS TO THE APOSTLES ..THE ANSWER IS NO!! BUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH YES!!..ANYWAY AM NOT JUDGING YOU-DEAR RUSELL- I UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE ABSOLUTELY FREE TO DO WHAT WE THINK IS THE CORRECT THING TO DO.. ANYWAY SEEK THE TRUTH(always one and can not change),KEEP THE FAITH.

      To Jesus with Peter true Mary
      Amos

      Delete
    5. Thanks for your input Amos. I agree completely.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  7. Very interesting exchange of ideas. I am Catholic and was discussing this issue with a Protestant friend at work. I Googled the topic and came across Russell's page which led me here. Thank you both for putting this online for all to read. If we can agree that the Catholic Church was instrumental in compiling and preserving the Scriptures through many centuries then we have to either trust the Catholic Church and the Scriptures or, if we don't don't trust the Church, we must reject the infallibility of Scripture because the Church had so much opportunity to get it's "fingerprints" all over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input, Rex. I apologize for not responding sooner. How I could have missed your comment for three months, I don't know. Its not as though I'm swamped with comments.

      Delete
  8. Great article De Maria, I'm a Catholic and trying to learn more. I've been listing to some great Protestant Converts like Dr Scott Hahn and was inspired by the way he converted to Catholicism. Like other great Catholic Saints (i.e St Augustine and St Paul) he did not like the Catholic way. He thinks we Catholics are doom and all the Catholic teachings were false. But from all his research and studies to prove our believes are false, he found the true meaning of Christianity in the Eucharist.

    God Bless you,
    John B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks John,

      God bless you also,

      De Maria

      Delete
  9. Thank you Russell for enlightening me. The CC will never admit to being anything but right even though there have been many mistakes made. seems there are Catholics that love to think they are right and this is why I have fallen away. They certainly won't offer proof of what they teach.
    C

    ReplyDelete
  10. No, the Roman Catholic Church DID NOT give SHIT to the world. It was God who gave us the Bible (Mark 13:31). If the Catholic church truly supplied the world with the Bible, why do its teachings either contradict it or cannot be found within its pages? If the Roman Catholic Church, being infallible, truly supplied the world with the Bible, why did she not get it right the first time? Why did she wait until 1546 AD at the Council of Trent to add the apocryphal books to the canon of Scripture?

    It also might be good to mention a little about the "Peter Pope Fraud"

    The rock is Christ: (1 cor. 10:4)
    Peter was called "Satan" by the Lord (Matthew 16:23)
    Do you really think that Christ would build His church on "Satan"?
    This proves that Peter would not be a sturdy foundation for the church!
    " For no other foundation can anyone lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."(1 Corinthians 3:11)
    The office of the Pope is totally unbiblical. How come Peter never recognized the eminence of such an office if he was a Pope? How come he never acted like a Pope?
    The first claim for succession of authority from Peter that we have recorded is by Stephen 1 in 250 AD; long after Peter's death...

    The claim that Peter was succeeded is flawed on SO MANY LEVELS:

    The claim is based sole on Catholic tradition. Of coarse, Rome would have us believe that Peter was succeeded by Popes!
    It is completely unscriptural.
    No historical evidence.
    It seems extremely difficult for the Catholic Organization to trace its roots prior to 320 AD. Why is that so?
    Neither can you polytheist Catholics claim that your doctrines are scriptural, because they arouse many centuries after the New Testament was completed in 96 AD.

    The truth is, the Catholic Church came around centuries after the New Testament was completed.

    With Russell being correct, the Catholic religion is wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousDecember 25, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      Hello Anonymous. Please refrain from using vulgar words.

      No, the Roman Catholic Church DID NOT give *&^% to the world. It was God who gave us the Bible (Mark 13:31).

      Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

      That doesn't say anything about "Bible". The Word of God, according to Scripture, is passed on by Teaching:

      Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

      If the Catholic church truly supplied the world with the Bible, why do its teachings either contradict it or cannot be found within its pages?

      I see all of Catholic Teachings in the Bible. But I don't see the doctrine of the Bible alone in the Bible. Can you show it to me?

      If the Roman Catholic Church, being infallible, truly supplied the world with the Bible, why did she not get it right the first time? Why did she wait until 1546 AD at the Council of Trent to add the apocryphal books to the canon of Scripture?

      She didn't. Martin Luther said the apocrypha (what we call the Deuterocanon) were not inspired Scripture and Protestants eventually took them out of the Bible.

      Jesus Christ used the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which contains the Deuterocanon. That is why the Catholic Church has always used that same version of the OT. The proof is that these books are all in the official Catholic Bible, the Latin Vulgate, which was put together by St. Jerome in the 4th century.

      It also might be good to mention a little about the "Peter Pope Fraud"

      The rock is Christ: (1 cor. 10:4)


      And the Rock turned to Simon and gave Him His own name.

      Peter was called "Satan" by the Lord (Matthew 16:23)
      Do you really think that Christ would build His church on "Satan"?


      No. But I do believe that Jesus established His Church upon Simon Bar Jonah, whom He had renamed, Rock.

      John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

      This proves that Peter would not be a sturdy foundation for the church!

      Peter alone could not. But nothing is impossible with God.

      " For no other foundation can anyone lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."(1 Corinthians 3:11)

      This is a different metaphor speaking about the foundation laid by the believer.

      The metaphor which Jesus used is the foundation which He laid.

      The office of the Pope is totally unbiblical. How come Peter never recognized the eminence of such an office if he was a Pope? How come he never acted like a Pope?

      When Ananias held back funds from the Church, he was summoned by St. Peter. When he lied to St. Peter, St. Peter told him that he had lied to the Holy Spirit, because St. Peter is the Rock who represents God upon this earth:

      Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

      The first claim for succession of authority from Peter that we have recorded is by Stephen 1 in 250 AD; long after Peter's death…

      Do you have any objections to that claim? Because, if Pope Stephen I made a new claim in that year, you would expect to hear rebellion throughout the Church.

      cont'd

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    2. cont'd

      Anonymous said:
      The claim that Peter was succeeded is flawed on SO MANY LEVELS:

      The claim is based sole on Catholic tradition.


      That's true. I can't imagine who else would care besides Catholics. What you don't find, however, are any objections to the Tradition of Petrine authority in the Early Church. In fact, Irenaeus, writing in 189 said:

      But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles. Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

      Of coarse, Rome would have us believe that Peter was succeeded by Popes!
      It is completely unscriptural.


      On the contrary, Scirpture proves that Jesus Christ appointed a man to Shepherd His flock (John 21:17). And St. Peter said that the Apostleships were Bishopricks which would be succeeded in every generation:

      Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

      No historical evidence.

      You deny and reject the historical evidence, but it is clearly there.

      Cyprian

      With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source" (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).

      The Lord says to Peter: "I say to you," he says, "that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church" . . . On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4 [A.D. 251]).
      It seems extremely difficult for the Catholic Organization to trace its roots prior to 320 AD. Why is that so?


      Neither can you polytheist Catholics claim that your doctrines are scriptural, because they arouse many centuries after the New Testament was completed in 96 AD.

      Anytime you want, we can go through each Catholic Doctrine and trace it to Scripture. We can also compare your doctrines to Scripture to see if we can find them, therein.

      The truth is, the Catholic Church came around centuries after the New Testament was completed.

      The Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ.

      With Russell being correct, the Catholic religion is wrong!

      Russell is a nice guy. But he's still wrong.

      Delete
  11. De Maria, I CHALLENGE you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. But let's be civil. There's no need for vulgar language.

      Delete
    2. I am coming back with a rebuttal tomorrow! Let me tell you this, I am only a TEENAGER IN HIGHSCHOOL and I HAVE NEVER LOST A DEBATE WITH A PAPIST! Oh, I am not very good with church history but I have a sturdy foundation in the knowledge of the Scriptures. I am not a protestant, I am non- denominational......

      Delete
    3. If you're a Christian, then you ought to be an obedient child. The Scripture says:

      Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

      Therefore, do not come back unless you have the approval of your parents.

      but I have a sturdy foundation in the knowledge of the Scriptures.

      If that is true, then you'll soon be a member of the Catholic Church.

      Delete
    4. Oh, I am not very good with church history

      To be steeped in history is to become Catholic.

      I am not a protestant, I am non- denominational……

      You're religion is a result of the Protestant revolution and you continue to rebel and protest against Catholic Teaching. Therefore, you are a non-denominational Protestant.

      Delete
    5. You had to push the kid away because you would not be able to refute him.You're religion is a result of Constantine and the Edict of Milan. You keep rebelling against scriptural teaching. Of coarse, you will probably start a huge rant about this. Haven't you ever realized that you cannot argue without arguing in a circle!? "A=B because I say that B=A. I know that B=A because A=B." The pope is infallible because he says he is! The Catholic Church is correct because we say he is! Really? All you can do is twist the Scriptures to your own destruction. Oh, and never forget, God is watching you!

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

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  13. If Sola Scriptura cannot be the correct method or determining truth because of the religious division among churches that claim to use this method, then the same logic follows that the Catholic and orthodox church 's method of using tradition is also invalid because they are divided against themselves.

    If the Catholic Church really gave the world the Bible, again I ask, why are teachings of the catholic church CONTRARY to what is taught within Scripture? Neither can the Catholics claim their doctrine biblical, because they arose in the Church many centuries after the New Testament was already completed.
    1. Catholics make statues and bow to them(Exodus 20:4-5)
    2. prays repetitive prayers(Matthew 6:7-8)
    3.Purgatory(1 John 1:7,9 +Hebrews 1:3,Luke 16:26)
    4. Extra Biblical teaching(1 Corinthians 4:6)
    5.Calling priests "father" (Matthew 23:9) Although you Catholics enjoy twisting this passage-Jesus is talking sole about priests.

    Look at the true origin of the Catholic Church on "Gotquestions.Org-What is the origin of the Catholic Church?"
    The burden of proof lies on the Catholics!

    ReplyDelete
  14. AnonymousDecember 26, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Hi, thanks for engaging. I'll respond to your comment in parts in order to address each of your issues.

    If Sola Scriptura cannot be the correct method or determining truth because of the religious division among churches that claim to use this method, then the same logic follows that the Catholic and orthodox church 's method of using tradition is also invalid because they are divided against themselves.

    There's a big difference. Protestants contradict each other on the most basic doctrines. While Catholics and Orthodox agree upon 99% of their doctrines.

    In addition, Catholics and Orthodox agree upon the most important Doctrine of all. The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello, De Maria

    I dare you to contact David at Catholic arrogance.org and challenge him to a debate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can invite him to come here if you want. But I already have a full plate.

      Delete
    2. So many Angry little punks responding to this excellent blog. - Typical !!

      @ "Anonymous" - Lame ! :/

      Why don't YOU get David @ Prod arrogance to go and Debate Dave Armstrong @ Patheos !!

      I DARE YOU & HIM !!

      I'd love to see it happen..... but I know you & him, would be far too gutless to even try !!

      Enjoy your blissfull ignorance ! :/

      Delete
    3. Hi Obsydian,
      (Part 1)

      Yes, I did lose my temper due to feeling attacked by reading De Maria's response to Russell. However, I did recant every disrespectful statement that I made on this blog. I truly am sorry.

      You asked why I would not get David at Catholic Arrogance to debate David Armstrong at Patheos. I did not do so because I do not have an email account. I certainly would have if I could have! I would also like to have some discussions with him. So, I know that I would not be "far too gutless" to try such. You are certainly misjudging who I am as a person! How then could you claim to "know" guys like me? You cannot.

      Notice how you called me names such as "little punk" and "lame". Furthermore, your entire post is based on an arrogant attack on people you do not even know! You are clearly being the hypocrite.







      You can call me names such as "lame" and "little punk", but you are clearly demonstrating that you are the hypocrite.



      Delete
    4. Part 2

      You also made the same type of disrespectful comments to Russell. If anybody is interested in reading the many foolish comments published by Obsydian, then read the comments section of the following article:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2015/09/is-mary-woman-clothed-with-sun.html

      If YOU knew anything at all about theology, then why did you fail to address any of Russell's arguments on HIS blog? Why so much slander? Is it because you are too SCARED of him?

      By the way, your comments such as "I dare you" and "bring it on" are perfect examples of arrogance.

      Jesus said, " By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). So punk, "How hot would you like your fire?"

      Jesse

      Delete
  16. 1. Catholics make statues and bow to them (Exodus 20:4-5)

    The admonition is against making something in order to worship it. However, God instructs Mosesl to make an image of a snake:

    Numbers 21:8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

    Scripture reveals that this is an image of Jesus:

    John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    and God also commanded him to make images of cherubim over the Ark of the Covenant.

    Exodus 37:7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;

    We don't worship the Saints. The images we make of them are like the photographs that we have of our loved ones. We love them because God loved them and therefore we remember them:

    Genesis 12 1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 2. prays repetitive prayers (Matthew 6:7-8)

    "Vain" repetition is condemned. But even Jesus repeated His prayers and commanded us to do so.

    Matthew 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

    Luke 18:1And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

    ReplyDelete
  18. 3.Purgatory(1 John 1:7,9 +Hebrews 1:3,Luke 16:26)

    1 John 1:7King James Version (KJV)

    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.


    This is a reference to the Eucharistic Cup of Jesus blood which cleanses us of sins:

    Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


    This is a reference to the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

    2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
    19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

    This is a reference to the Sacraments, especially to Baptism, which when we receive it in faith, we are cleansed of sins.

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    Luke 16:26King James Version (KJV)

    26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.


    This is a reference to Purgatory. Those in Purgatory can not pass until they are cleansed of sin.

    Purgatory is the place where those who die in an imperfect state of grace are purified by suffering. Scripture says:
    1 Peter 4:1King James Version (KJV)
    Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    And, in several places, Scripture reveals the existence of a spiritual prison where good men go to suffer at the hands of Satan:
    Revelation 2:10
    King James Version (KJV)
    10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
    What is this prison?

    Revelation 20:5King James Version (KJV)

    5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
    Where did the rest of the dead go for a thousand years before they lived again?

    1 Peter 3:19King James Version (KJV)

    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    Where were these spirits to which Jesus preached?

    Protestants have no answer except to deny that it is Purgatory. But that's what we call it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. 4. Extra Biblical teaching(1 Corinthians 4:6)

    1 Corinthians 4:6King James Version (KJV)

    6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.


    It is Catholics who keep to what is written. You will not find Protestant doctrines which contradict Catholic Doctrine in Scripture. For example, you can't find Sola Scriptura in Scripture.

    All Catholic Doctrine is in Scripture, implied or explicit.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 5.Calling priests "father" (Matthew 23:9) Although you Catholics enjoy twisting this passage-Jesus is talking sole about priests.

    Let's look at the verse in context:

    Matthew 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    Jesus says, first, call no man "Rabbi". What is a "Rabbi"?

    It means "teacher". So, according to you, Jesus doesn't want you to call anyone "teacher".

    Then, he says, call no one "master". Did you know that the word, Mister, means "master"? Yes. When you say, Mr. Jones, you disobey Jesus Christ because you are callling that man, Master Jones.

    Ah and then we come to "father". Call no one "father" Jesus says. What do you call your "dad"? One guy said to me, "I call him, dad." Well, even if you call him, dad, you are disobeying Jesus Christ because dad means father.

    But lets see what Scripture says:

    1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    St. Paul is here calling himself our father because he says that he has given us birth in the faith of Jesus Christ. And that is what all Catholic Priests do because they give us new birth in the Faith of Jesus Christ, when they administer the Sacraments which give us new life in Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Look at the true origin of the Catholic Church on "Gotquestions.Org-What is the origin of the Catholic Church?"

    Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church. We can confirm this by looking at Scripture and seeing that the Catholic Church is described therein:

    The Church described in Scripture is the Catholic Church.

    First, Jesus Christ appointed a Pastor as head of the entire Church:
    John 21:17
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    I see only a few Churches with such a Pastor. Further, Jesus Christ said that the Pastor over His Church would be infallible:

    Matthew 16:17-19 (King James Version)
    17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


    The list of Churches accept this teaching gets smaller.


    Jesus Christ not only said that the Pastor was infallible but Scripture describes the Church as infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10
    To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The list remains the same, but now, again, I can certainly eliminate all Protestant denominations.


    Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.


    By simple logic of elimination, that leaves only the Catholic Church.

    Read more

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  22. I'm not aware that the Church teaches what you suggest she teaches. The Church knows that what the verse means (she wrote it!).

    I am curious why you would think 2 Tim 3:16 somehow supports your theory that the Scriptures are the ultimate authority. Where does 2 Tim teach that? In every version I've read, 2 Tim 3:16 (in context) teaches that the [OT] Scriptures have equal authority as the Sacred Tradition (teaching authority).

    Also, there is nothing "circular" about the Church's beliefs. The Church pre-dates the Bible; her authority pre-dates NT Scripture. With her authority, she not only gave us the Bible, but is the body that interprets it. What is circular, however, is Protestantism's attempt to swipe an already-created canon, ignore the authority that matter-of-factly created it, then use it to somehow establish a religion that, essentially teaches that "the Bible is what the Bible says it is."

    So, if you are really trying to "answer Catholics" then perhaps you should actually present Catholicism instead of a straw man. That is, after all, how good apologetics is done.

    Patrick the Weiner

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    Replies
    1. AMEN!! Patrick!

      AMEN!!

      God Bless

      mark thimesch

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    2. Hello Patrick,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Concerning the Catholic Church writing the Bible, see here:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2012/02/did-catholic-church-give-us-bible.html

      You asked how 2 Timothy 3:16 supports the idea of Scripture as the Ultimate Authority. In a nutshell, in 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul is describing a time coming when men will not listen to the truth, and deception will be widespread. Paul knows that he is about to be martyred, so he is making sure that he is passing on to Timothy what is most important. He is pointing to the ONE infallible source that will keep Timothy (and everyone else) on the right track… he is pointing to Scripture. And he describes it as able to equip us for “every good work,” therefore sufficient as a Rule of Faith. Contrary to your statement, Paul doesn’t mention anything here about some Catholic concept of “Sacred Tradition” having equal authority with Scripture.

      And there are many other passages throughout the Bible that support the concept of Scripture as the ultimate authority.

      You mentioned several times the “authority” of the Catholic Church, and you said that because the Catholic Church “pre-dates” the New Testament, she therefore has authority; authority to “give” us the Bible, and she has the sole authority to infallibly interpret it. In essence, she always has the final word. I would certainly disagree.

      By the way, a “straw man” argument implies misrepresentation on my part. Patrick, tell me where exactly have I misrepresented the Catholic Church anywhere in the above article? What I said about the Catholic Church using circular reasoning is absolutely true.

      The Protestant concept of “The Bible is what the Bible says it is” is also very true. Look, we both agree that the Bible is infallible. But God has proven the reliability of Scripture over and over, and has created the Bible in a way that it is consistent with itself. We are certain that we can trust it.

      On the other hand, we cannot say that the Catholic Church is consistent with itself, since its doctrines and its “Sacred Tradition” often contradict Scripture. So, the Catholic Church cannot be an infallible entity. The Bible always has the final word because it is God-breathed and can be totally trusted; it (in a sense) has “proven itself.” The Catholic Church can’t say this of herself. Your Church’s “authority” is self-proclaimed and unbiblical.

      In His Name,
      Russell

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    3. Hi Russell,

      Good to hear from you.

      You said:

      Paul knows that he is about to be martyred, so he is making sure that he is passing on to Timothy what is most important. He is pointing to the ONE infallible source that will keep Timothy (and everyone else) on the right track… he is pointing to Scripture.

      In so saying, you disprove Scripture alone. Note how St. Timothy needs to be taught about Scripture by St. Paul. Note also, how St. Paul teaches St. Timothy that Scripture may be used for TEACHING (i.e. teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness,).

      Who is doing the teaching? St. Paul doesn't say, "Pass the Scriptures out that they might read them." No. He says, "they are useful for teaching...." He doesn't say they are "necessary" for teaching.

      And note that he acknowledges that St. Timothy already knows the Scriptures which he was taught from his youth:

      2 Timothy 3:14 But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, 15 and that from infancy you have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

      Unless St. Timothy could read from infancy, he learned the contents of Scripture from his mom and grandma. That is why St. Paul doesn't say, "that which you read from infancy".

      Therefore, Russell, you are merely using the verse, out of context. The context is Teaching of the Word of God. And St. Paul says Scripture is useful for this purpose.

      One more thing, Russell. The letter of 2 Tim is 99.9% about St. Timothy passing on the Word of God by teaching. Protestants focus on this one verse and try to say that St. Paul was teaching Scripture alone. But the context of the entire letter, does not bear that out.

      2 Tim 1: 11 for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.

      2 Tim 2:Timothy’s Conduct. 1 [a]So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

      2 Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: 2 proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

      Therefore, when you read these words,

      2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness,[d] 17 so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

      Why do Protestants pretend that it is about Scripture alone, when it is clearly about passing on the Word of God by Teaching? This is the Teaching of the entire New Testament. Learn the Word of God from your Teachers in the Faith. Not from Scripture alone.

      Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

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    4. Russell,

      The problem with your claim; "The Bible is what the Bible says it is", already has you in a corner, my friend. The Bible DOES NOT give a list of what books are to be considered "infallible", nor does the Bible say "it is the ultimate authority", in fact, it contradicts your statement by many of the authors themselves, including Christ "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector". Notice Christ didn't say: "If he refuses to listen to them, read it from the Scriptures." Considering that Christ is part of the Holy Trinity, I would think that he would would know that such a thing was necessary.

      Considering that the printing press wasn't invented until 1425 and there weren't any KINKOs and WAL-MARTs on every street corner where one could go buy pens and paper on the cheap, the Word had to be relayed somehow. We also can't forget, most people during that time were illiterate. So how is it that the "Bible" could be THE ultimate and ruling authority when so many couldn't read it in order to discover God's Word and His meaning? And what about the blind? How did they read the Bible? Considering "braille" wasn't invented until the early 19th century, then there is no way the blind could have been able to read the Bible and discover its Truth. I guess that means they had to be TOLD what it contained and what it taught - Sacred Tradition. It's called "sacred" because it passes on what Christ, Himself taught the Apostles, not what the Church "invented".

      But that brings up a question now doesn't it? If you're blind or deaf, how can you trust the person who is reading the Scriptures to you? How would you know if that person is being honest and teaching what the Scriptures actually says? You would have to listen and compare multiple sources, wouldn't you? Or should the "hearer" just rely on that warm, fuzzy feeling?

      "The Protestant concept of..." - Which protest-ant concept is that? Not all protest-ant groups are in full agreement regarding the Bible and "sola scriptura", so which protest-ant group are you refering to here? Is it your own?

      If you can "trust" the Bible so much, then why are there so many divisions within protest-antism? Why did you ignore the entire Epistle of Timothy when attempting to dismiss Patrick's claim about "authority? Paul in no way is pointing to Scripture as the "ultimate authority" since most of the New Testament books hadn't even been written yet. And he had no way of knowing who else was going to write. If what you are claiming is true, then that puts the "authority of Scripture" strictly in the Books of the Septuagint, since those where the only scriptures that the Apostles knew, read and learned from, thanks to the assistance of the Living Word of God, Himself - Jesus Christ. Christ never said to write a book covering what He taught and the Apostle John even testifies that "not all" was been written down.

      I suggest you read scripture again and see how the Apostles exercise and express THEIR authority and complain how others do not listen to them. Funny thing, considering none of the Apostles were walking around with a 66 book protest-ant canon under their arms. (continued)

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    5. If your claim that St. Paul is pointing to Scripture as "sufficient as a Rule of Faith", then why doesn't St. Paul mention Faith here? Why also did St. Paul continue to warn in 2 Tim 4:1-4: "(1) I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: (2) preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. (3) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, (4) and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths." Did you catch that? "preach" the Word, not write it down.

      And if St. Paul is already warning about those who will "accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings", what is to prevent those persons from reading Scripture and coming away with their own likings? Funny...even the Sadducee's and Pharisees read the same Scripture but had different beliefs and doctrines.

      St. Paul, while giving an oral teaching to the Thessalonians, demonstrates these very types, those who "accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings." The Thessalonians drove St. Paul away and threatened him when they read the Scriptures for themselves because they couldn't "find" in the Scriptures what St. Paul was teaching. Does that mean that St. Paul is a liar? Funny thing though...the Bereans had no problem accepting St. Paul giving the same teaching, and yet, they were reading the Scriptures too. So what's gives?

      God did not create the Bible, as you claim. Show me in Scripture where it states God wrote and created the Bible. So far, everything I have read and found claims the writings to be "inspired". But even here we have a problem, because not all the books of the Bible claim to be "inspired'" or "God-breathed" as you say. Show me the passage where God said Himself; "I have written The Scriptures". Show me in Scriptures where it uses the word "Bible". Show me any passage in the Scriptures which suggest that God wanted all of his words and teachings written down. If the Bible has the "final" word, then why did so many early Christians fall into Arianism, or several other heretical sects? Couldn't they read the "Bible" for themselves?

      The Catholic Church's authority is NOT self-proclaimed. It was proclaimed by Jesus Christ who handed it down and guaranteed its success. There is an oft misunderstood concept that somehow, the "Roman" Catholic Church claims it invented the Bible. This is not what we claim. We claim that the Catholic Church gave the world the Bible because it was the Catholic Church who determined what books should be in the Bible, since the heresy of Arianism was so profound at the time this canon was established. The Catholic Church is the Visible Body of Christ's Church on earth and it holds the teachings that were handed down directly from the Apostles and their successors. The writings of the early Church Fathers support and strengthen this. (continued)

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    6. You claim that you did not misrepresent the Catholic Church. That's absolute bunk. You haven't provided any documentation whatsoever that supports your claims. Links to websites that "assert" a claim and allege knowledge of documents (that either don't exist or are misquoted out of context) is completely different than providing the actual documents written by someone during the early history of Christianity that demonstrate the Catholic Church invented Her doctrines and based them on other sources that post-dated Christ. This is an old and tired argument that shows a complete lack of historical research, kind of like the "Pope Joan" myth, Spanish Inquisition killing over three hundred thousand (300,000) people (often exaggerated to much higher numbers), The Crusades, Emperor Constantine uniting Church and State, etc, etc, etc., ad nauseum. I wonder when protest-ants will ever research The Protestant Inquisition and see some real truth in numbers there.

      If having the "Bible" as your sole source of authority, it would therefore be rational to conclude that all answers regarding Christian doctrines could be answered by simply reading Scripture, thus producing unity. I don't see much unity among protest-ants unless it be among the anti-Catholic bigots in their united efforts to hate, slander, and spit on the Catholic Church.

      Also, if Scripture is your final authority, then can you show me in Scripture where infants need to be Baptized, or why they can't be Baptized? Can you show me the "Sinners Prayer" Can you show me where Jesus said "All one needs for Salvation is to accept Me into his/her heart"? Can you show me how some believe in "The Rapture" because they claim it's Biblical, yet others say it is a false belief? Can you show me in Scripture the word "Trinity" and how Christ is True God and True man and how his divinity is united to his flesh? Arian had a problem with this but he claims to have read the Scriptures too. Please don't bother with the answer; "Well, I can discern the word 'Trinity" based on what Scripture says" because you can't. All it says is "they are one." One what, exactly? How are they one? What makes them one? Who was the first Christian to use the word "Trinity" in Scripture, much less for the first fifty years of Christianity?

      Instead of parroting the same old anti-Catholic garbage and accusations, I suggest you actually read the early Church Fathers and see what they believed. And by the way...St. Augustine and St. Athanasius are NOT the only early Church Fathers. Maybe even better, you should read the Scriptures all the way through because every Catholic Doctrine is there.

      regards
      Mark

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    7. Hello Mark

      Thank you for your comments.

      Concerning the Catholic Church writing the Bible, see here:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2012/02/did-catholic-church-give-us-bible.html

      You asked how 2 Timothy 3:16 supports the idea of Scripture as the Ultimate Authority. In a nutshell, in 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul is describing a time coming when men will not listen to the truth, and deception will be widespread. Paul knows that he is about to be martyred, so he is making sure that he is passing on to Timothy what is most important. He is pointing to the ONE infallible source that will keep Timothy (and everyone else) on the right track… he is pointing to Scripture. And he describes it as able to equip us for “every good work,” therefore sufficient as a Rule of Faith. Contrary to your statement, Paul doesn’t mention anything here about some Catholic concept of “Sacred Tradition” having equal authority with Scripture.

      And there are many other passages throughout the Bible that support the concept of Scripture as the ultimate authority.

      You mentioned several times the “authority” of the Catholic Church, and you said that because the Catholic Church “pre-dates” the New Testament, she therefore has authority; authority to “give” us the Bible, and she has the sole authority to infallibly interpret it. In essence, she always has the final word. I would certainly disagree.

      By the way, a “straw man” argument implies misrepresentation on my part. Patrick, tell me where exactly have I misrepresented the Catholic Church anywhere in the above article? What I said about the Catholic Church using circular reasoning is absolutely true.

      The Protestant concept of “The Bible is what the Bible says it is” is also very true. Look, we both agree that the Bible is infallible. But God has proven the reliability of Scripture over and over, and has created the Bible in a way that it is consistent with itself. We are certain that we can trust it.

      On the other hand, we cannot say that the Catholic Church is consistent with itself, since its doctrines and its “Sacred Tradition” often contradict Scripture. So, the Catholic Church cannot be an infallible entity. The Bible always has the final word because it is God-breathed and can be totally trusted; it (in a sense) has “proven itself.” The Catholic Church can’t say this of herself. Your Church’s “authority” is self-proclaimed and unbiblical.

      In His Name,
      Russell

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    8. Russell

      You just PROVED everything I posted above in my previous responses by not responding to the issues and just making false claims. The link you provided still circumvents the real issue about the Canon of scripture and itself, lacks a great deal of historical information. Let's take another approach, shall we?
      http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/

      You wrote: "The Bible always has the final word because it is God-breathed and can be totally trusted; it (in a sense) has “proven itself.” - AND THAT is exactly how all heresies have developed.

      The Scriptures ARE reliable, but only from the standpoint of who actually has the knowledge to interpret them correctly. That's already been done but protestants can't accept that because they need to make God in the image they want Him to be.

      YOU SAID: "By the way, a “straw man” argument implies misrepresentation on my part. Patrick, tell me where exactly have I misrepresented the Catholic Church anywhere in the above article? What I said about the Catholic Church using circular reasoning is absolutely true." You are the one who circumvented all my remarks and avoided addressing the heart of the issue. You proved my point once again. All that you have done is make claims against the Church by providing your opinion or a single line of text taken completely out of context to to the entire chapter or book. Whenever anti-Catholic bigots (like yourself) are given Scriptural evidence and historical evidence as to a Catholic Doctrine and Teaching, you simply dismiss it but then demand that Catholics pay attention and heed a single line of text that is always taken out of context to prove your points.

      St. Paul in 2 Tim 3:16-17 in no way says that Scripture is "sufficient", he says it's profitable. There's a BIG DIFFERENCE between those two words and how pro-testants misconstrue them. Being helpful is good but it doesn't make things complete, nor sufficient. Also, why is St. Paul referring to the Scriptures "from your youth" when he is speaking to Timothy? That can't be the written New Testament gospels he is talking about because NONE of the gospels and epistles were written when Timothy was a child. St. Paul is talking about the Old Testament Scriptures here.

      The Catholic Church exists in a doctrinal environment which rejects as a source of infallible authority anything but Scripture.

      http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/

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