Sunday, March 29, 2009

Was "Alone" alone previous to the 16th Century?


To coincide with my aomin post, here's a Roman Catholic scholar on the historicity of using the word "alone" in Romans 3:28 :

"In 3:28 Luther introduced an adverb not found in the Greek ('only through faith' or 'through faith alone'); the vocabulary of sola fides had existed in the Latin church writers before Luther, but his addition in Rom heightened the theological contrast with James 2:24: 'A person is justified by deeds/works, not by faith alone.' "- Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to The New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997) p.567, footnote 22.

27 comments:

Lvka said...

Depends what You mean by 'alone': alone from what? Are we speaking about a faith alone from the fruits it bears? If so, we're then contradicting Paul himself. Or are we speaking of faith in Christ alone from OT rituals? If so, we agree with both the Gospels and Paul.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Raymond Brown. Need we say anymore?

James Swan said...

Raymond Brown. Need we say anymore?

Brown was only the Auburn Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary, the first person to have been president of all three major biblical societies: The Catholic Biblical Association, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Society for New Testament Studies. From 1972 to 1978 he was the only American on the Roman Pontifical Biblical Commission, an appointment that Pope Paul VI said is only given to outstanding scholars.

Matthew Bellisario said...

So what? Anyone who knows the history of Catholic Biblical scholarship over the past 40 years accepts that his works are liberal to moderate in character.

Turretinfan said...

You weren't seriously expecting Mr. Bellisario to respect someone because they are a scholar, were you?

Matthew Bellisario said...

No Turretin it is you I have no respect for.

Eric said...

Good enough for Pope Paul VI, but not for Matthew?

Matthew, which of Raymond Brown's works do you take exception with?

David Waltz said...

This is such “old news”. On previous occasions, I have pointed out that Joseph A. Fitzmyer in his commentary on Romans (1993), noted: “Robert Bellarmine listed eight earlier authors who used sola” (Origen, Hilary, Basil, Ambrosiaster, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Bernard, and Theophylact). And that: “To these eight Lyonnet added two others” (Theodoret and Thomas Aquinas). He then goes on to add three more authors to the above lists: Theodore of Mopsuetia, Marius Victorinus and Augustine (see pages 360, 361).


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. TF, based on a previous discussion of ours, I suspect you might be interested in reading my latest THREAD.

Richard Froggatt said...

<>In 3:28 Luther introduced an adverb not found in the Greek

<>the vocabulary of sola fides had existed in the Latin church WRITERS

<>his addition in Rom heightened the theological contrast with James 2:24

James Swan said...

This is such “old news”. On previous occasions, I have pointed out that Joseph A. Fitzmyer

David, it's such "old news" because I posted Fitzmeyer's section on this years ago, and the blog entry I posted it in gets more hits than any of my other ones- you can find the post linked on my sidebar, where it's been for a few years now.

Unfortunately, many Roman Catholics don't get it, so I'll keep pointing it out. To be deep in history, is for Roman Catholics to give up some of their worst arguments.

Turretinfan said...

"No Turretin it is you I have no respect for."

Why should I be an exception? But you hide it so well. You're a real tribute to your religion.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

As you are to yours Turretin. Keep casting stones in your glass house.

James Swan said...

As you are to yours Turretin. Keep casting stones in your glass house.

Matthew, you seem reasonable every so often, like when you wrote this:

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2009/02/apologetics-is-catholic-scholarship.html

...but then you revert back to "angry catholic" mode. Tur8's actually a nice guy. I suggest trying to actually talk to him, and prove you're better than the typical RC apologists. Live up to the standards you put forth in your blog post.

Matthew Bellisario said...

So James, you only find me reasonable when I agree with you or one of your friends? Just because someone disagrees with you or one of your friends on these blogs does not make them unreasonable. I have not found Turretin Fan to be a "nice guy". It think many on the net agree with me. That does not make us all unreasonable.

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

Bellisario, let's get off the issue of "me." It's not about me - and with me, it's never about me (if it were, a better trite expression to use would be "pot calling the kettle black" since the glass house analogy doesn't really fit the situation).

After all, as always, it's not me you are disagreeing with though it is with me that you are acting disagreeable.

Bellisario, on this particular issue you've decided to disagree with Raymond Brown, a scholar from your own church. This book of his received endorsements from other scholars within your church including Joseph A. Fitzmeyer and Daniel J. Harrington - both of them Jesuits.

Are they all in the "need we say anymore [sic]" category? Perhaps they are, from you, the judge of your own church's scholars.

But we need not stick in the category of scholarship. This book has received your church's blessing.

Patrick J. Sheridan has given the book Imprimatur and Myles M. Bourke has given it Nihil Obstat.

Are those just meaningless stamps of approval about which we need say nothing more?

How much of your own church are you prepared to wave off with your own form of individualism?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"P.S. TF, based on a previous discussion of ours, I suspect you might be interested in reading my latest THREAD."

Yes, I did enjoy reading that, thanks!

Andrew said...

Matthew Bellisario,
I don't think Brown's liberalism enters into the equation here. The point being made, I think, is that Luther did not arbitrarily add the word alone to Romans 3:28. Luther himself knew that others (including a few Saints of the RCC) had inserted it and it was, as pointed out in Mr. Swan's aomin entry, to be found in some Roman Catholic translations previous to Luther's. This nullifies the assertion so often made that Luther was just trying to advance his own theological agenda by innovating in his translation. Mr. Brown simply states some historical facts. If his historical data is somehow innacurate please tell us all how.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin, says, After all, as always, it's not me you are disagreeing with though it is with me that you are acting disagreeable."

I am not acting disagreeable with you because I am not debating anything with you. As you can see I have not addressed you in regards to anything on this blog subject, and I do not intend to do so. If I do engage in any further discussion on this blog regarding any real subject matter, it will not be directed to you.

Turretinfan said...

Wise move, Bellisario!

Now, if only you can explain to Andrew why it is that a scholar being "liberal to moderate" would change his perception of the historical facts.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

Hello James,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>David, it's such "old news" because I posted Fitzmeyer's section on this years ago, and the blog entry I posted it in gets more hits than any of my other ones- you can find the post linked on my sidebar, where it's been for a few years now.>>

Me: Ooops…my bad. Thanks for pointing this out. I read Fitzmyer’s commentary years ago, but was not aware that you had already posted this information on your blog.

>>Unfortunately, many Roman Catholics don't get it, so I'll keep pointing it out. To be deep in history, is for Roman Catholics to give up some of their worst arguments.>>

Me: True, but it certainly seems that some ‘important’ Catholics have; note the following excerpt from “ANNEX TO THE OFFICIAL COMMON STATEMENT” -

C) Justification takes place "by grace alone“ (JD 15 and 16), by faith alone, the person is justified „apart from works“ (Rom 3:28, cf. JD 25). "Grace creates faith not only when faith begins in a person but as long as faith lasts“ (Thomas Aquinas, S. Th.II/II 4, 4 ad 3).The working of God’s grace does not exclude human action: God effects everything, the willing and the achievement, therefore, we are called to strive (cf. Phil 2:12 ff). "As soon as the Holy Spirit has initiated his work of regeneration and renewal in us through the Word and the holy sacraments, it is certain that we can and must cooperate by the power of the Holy Spirit...“ (The Formula of Concord, FC SD II,64f; BSLK 897,37ff).

[http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-annex_en.html]


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi TF,

You said:

>>Yes, I did enjoy reading that, thanks!>>

Do you agree with my assessment?


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

If I recall correctly, your conclusion was that the line you found was the closest item to date for the "stand or fall" alleged Luther quotation.

I can see how the alleged quotation could have been developed based that line - or even more generally on Luther's presentation.

I would be unsurprised for the actual chain to be:

1. Person X saying, "Luther held that sola fide was the thing upon which the Reformation stands or falls."

2. Person Y saying, "As Luther would say, 'sola fide is the thing upon which the Reformation stands or falls.'"

3. Person Z saying, "Luther said: ...

Or something to that effect.

The lines you identified would then inform the claim of person X.

This explanation requires a few generations, though - generations we don't actually observe.

Turretinfan said...

Perhaps the "Person X" is Turretin (link).

-TurretinFan

James Swan said...

So James, you only find me reasonable when I agree with you or one of your friends?

Matthew, you typically venture over here shooting at everything, and hitting nothing... even with this post..you shot at Brown, but missed "the vocabulary of sola fides had existed in the Latin church writers before Luther".

I can appreciate your zeal for your church. I think though, if you would first put your guns away before you come over here, you might actually find out both myself, and Tfan aren't out to get you.

Alcaff said...

just another typical double standard applied by a typical catholic apologist

Andrew said...

I was really hoping that Mr. Bellisario would answer my question.