Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Papacy built on pious fiction and forgery, part 1

J. Gresham Machen said, in his 1915 lecture "History and Faith," that "The student of the New Testament should be primarily an historian."

And in fact, thanks to the last few centuries' worth of historical criticism, and a couple of “historical Jesus” quests, both the life of Jesus and the history of the New Testament have undergone a thorough historical examination, and in the process, have only had their historical reliability enhanced.

On the other hand, what we've been told about the early papacy has fallen away like chaff. Instead of boasts about the papacy being "instituted by Christ" and "immediately and directly" given to Peter and "perpetual successors," now, Joseph Ratzinger has stepped back and said that the papacy "goes back to the Lord and was developed faithfully in the nascent church." (Ratzinger, "Called to Communion," page 72.)

How was it "faithfully developed"?

In the first place, some Catholics will say that it is no contradiction that this "immediate" and "perpetual" power nevertheless had to "develop." But I am writing to individuals who, able to read and think, will easily be able to see the disjunction at this point.

Eamon Duffy, who was President of Magdalene College at Cambridge, and a church historian, wrote the following summary ("Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes")

Irenaeus thought that the Church had been 'founded and organised at Rome by the two glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul,' and that its faith had been reliably passed down to posterity by an unbroken succession of bishops, the first of them chosen and consecrated by the Apostles themselves. He named the bishops who had succeeded the Apostles, in the process providing us with the earliest surviving list of the popes -- Linus, Anacletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, and so on down to Irenaeus' contemporary and friend Eleutherius, Bishop of Rome from AD 174 to 189.

All the essential claims of the modern papacy, it might seem, are contained in this Gospel saying about the Rock, and in Irenaeus' account of the apostolic pedigree of the early bishops of Rome. Yet matters are not so simple. The popes trace their commission from Christ through Peter, yet for Irenaeus the authority of the Church at Rome came from its foundation by two Apostles, not one, Peter and Paul, not Peter alone. The tradition that Peter and Paul had been put to death at the hands of Nero in Rome about the year ad 64 was universally accepted in the second century, and by the end of that century pilgrims to Rome were being shown the 'trophies' of the Apostles, their tombs or cenotaphs, Peter's on the Vatical Hill, and Paul's on the Via Ostiensis, outside the walls on the road to the coast. Yet on all of this the New Testament is silent. Later legend would fill out the details of Peter's life and death in Rome -- his struggles with the magician and father of heresy, Simon Magus, his miracles, his attempted escape from persecution in Rome, a flight from which he was turned back by a reproachful vision by Christ (the 'Quo Vadis' legend), and finally his crucifixion upside down in the Vatican Circus at the time of the Emperor Nero. These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early Church -- Origen, Ambrose, Augustine. But they are pious romance, not history, and the fact is that we have no reliable accounts either of Peter's later life or the manner or place of his death. Neither Peter nor Paul founded the Church at Rome, for there were Christians in the city before either of the Apostles set foot there. Nor can we assume, as Irenaeus did, that the Apostles established there a succession of bishops to carry on their work in the city, for all the indications are that there was no single bishop at Rome for almost a century after the deaths of the Apostles. In fact, wherever we turn, the solid outlines of the Petrine succession at Rome seem to blur and dissolve. (Duffy, pg 2.)
In a world where history affirms the life of Christ, the testimony of his resurrection, and in which the New Testament has been affirmed as reliable history, and the movements of Paul and the events in his life pinned down to the very year they happened, this same study of history has washed away the underpinnings of the historical papacy.

In fact, the city of Rome was very geographically diverse, and throughout the first half of the second century, the Roman church was led by a network of presbyters in a network of house churches.
These presbyters fought among themselves as to who was greatest. I've quoted Hermas from "The Shepherd of Hermas as saying, "They had a certain jealousy of one another over questions of preeminence and about some kind of distinction. But they are all fools to be jealous of one another regarding preeminence.”

Roger Collins relates, "The sheer size of Rome would have made it hard for Christians to create a single organizational structure or congregate in one part of the city. Because the earliest Christian groups grew out of the Jewish community, their presence in Rome probably mirrored that of the Jews, with particular concentrations in certain neighborhoods, notably Trastavere. As the new faith began making converts, probably mostly amongst immigrants and across a growing range of social classes, the dispersal of Christians throughout the city intensified. Because of the persecution of Christians by Nero around ad 64, it became prudent to live and meet in small groups, and avoid congregating in public in large numbers. Because they worshiped in rooms dedicated to the purpose in private houses and kept their meetings very discreet creating a clerical hierarchy exercising authority over the different Christian groups in the city proved a slow process." (Roger Collins, "Keepers of the Keys of Heaven, pg. 13)
Indications of this can be found in text produced by Christian writers in Rome in the late first and second centuries. The author of the Epistle of Clement may have been the man of this name later described as the person responsible for drafting communications sent on behalf of the Christians of Rome to other churches. But by the time of Tertullian and Irenaeus, Clement was listed as the second or third bishop of Rome.

This difference of perspective on Clement is telling. The late-second-century authors were probably reporting a tradition that had grown up in Rome in which leading figures amongst the elders of their day were retrospectively turned into bishops, to produce a continuous list of holders of the office stretching back to Peter. Why this happened can be explained, but it would be helpful to ask which of the people named by Irenaeus and Tertullian should be regarded as the first real bishop of the city. Most scholars now agree that the answer would be Anicetus, who comes in tenth on both lists, and whose episcopate likely covered the years 155 to 166.

Not everyone is convinced that what has been called a monarchic bishop, with unquestioned authority over all the Christian clergy in the city, was to be found in Rome even as early as this, and Fabian (236-250) has been proposed as the first bishop of Rome in the full sense. (Collins, 13-14)
As I've mentioned, committed Roman Catholics will simply dismiss this historical work as "modernist" or worse, and with the wave of a hand, they will assert, in Newmanesque fashion, that the burden of proof lies with the modern historian to "prove" that there was not simply an unbroken succession from Peter onward. But what I've given you are mere summary treatments of histories that are much more detailed, much more widely respected, and rarely ever contradicted. This is becoming the accepted historical account of the early papacy. Catholics should be asked to make some case about what is actually lacking in this historical research that is to be doubted. (Especially given the clarity that now exists regarding the life of Christ and the testimony of the earliest church.)

Robert Eno, S.S. (Order of Sulpicians, whose mission is to teach Catholic seminarians), in his 1990 work, "The Rise of the Papacy," suggests that:

Such a view is becoming increasingly widespread. The evidence here, as with most subjects of this period, is fragmentary, and the issue can be debated in both ways. But the evidence available seems to point predominantly if not decisively in the direction of a collective leadership. Dogmatic a priori theses should not force us into presuming or requiring something that the evidence leans against. (pg. 26)
This historical information is evidence in addition to Scriptural "proofs" (Matthew 16, Luke 22, and John 21) that Roman Catholics provide as "evidence" for the papacy, as described by Robert Reymond, in his “A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith,” pg 818:

Rome’s exegesis of Matthew 16 and its historically developed claim to authoritative primacy in the Christian world simply cannot be demonstrated and sustained from Scripture itself. This claim is surely one of the great hoaxes foisted upon professing Christendom, upon which false base rests the whole papal sacerdotal system.

41 comments:

Eliyahu said...

All of Xtianity is a fabrication so you are like the pot calling the kettle black. Until 135CE when Jews were banned from Jerusalem a Jew presided over the Netzarim. Which should make you wonder why you are all so hell-bent on the term Judaizing. The Torah which Ribi Yehoshua taught his students to keep has no problem with non-Jews converting and keeping the Torah. That is the Original Testament not the Null Testament with it's myriad of redactions. Protestants are no more than a derivative of Romanism. Find out for yourself at www.netzarim.co.il

John Bugay said...

Eli, in my next post I was going to write about the integrity of the New Testament -- its value as history, the integrity of the earliest Christian writers. It's well known that pseudepigraphic literature was widespread in those days. But the Christian writers were both aware of such things and vigilant to protect Christian writings from such things.

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

- In 44 he was imprisoned in Jerusalem (Acts 12)
- In 52 he was at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15)
- In 53 Paul joined him at Antioch (Galatians 2)
- In 58 Paul wrote to the Romans, but does not mention him. In Romans 1:11, he wants to impart special gifts, and in Romans 1:15 he is ready to preach there. He sends greetings to twenty-seven persons, but none to Peter.
- In 61 Paul is conveyed a prisoner to Rome, and certain brethren go to meet him, but not Peter.
- At Rome Paul writes to the Galatians, and mentions Peter, but not as being there or having been pontiff there for twenty years.
- The Episteles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were all written from Rome, but while others are mentioned as sending messages, or being associated with Paul, Peter is never once mentioned.
- From Rome also Paul's last letter is written (the Second Epistle to Timothy). He says, "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me" (2 Timothy 4:16). If peter were bishop of Rome he enjoyed an immunity not accorded from Paul, and he is guilty of having forsaken the great apostle.
- And finally, in this very Epistle, written from Rome immediately before his martyrdom, Paul says "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11). This is conclusive.
- So Paul had written to Rome, he had been in Rome, and at the end he writes from Rome, and not only never once mentiones Peter, but also declares "Only Luke is with me." Peter is simply not there.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"As I've mentioned, committed Roman Catholics will simply dismiss this historical work as "modernist" or worse, and with the wave of a hand, they will assert, in Newmanesque fashion, that the burden of proof lies with the modern historian to "prove" that there was not simply an unbroken succession from Peter onward. But what I've given you are mere summary treatments of histories that are much more detailed, much more widely respected, and rarely ever contradicted."

Here's an article today on CNN about the issues of "modernism" in the Catholic Church:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/24/how-church-shopping-is-polarizing-the-country/?hpt=Sbin

scotju said...

Ryan, please read the Church Fathers. All who talk of Peter say he was in Rome for about the last 25 years of his life. That Peter is not mentioned by Paul proves nothing except that Paul didn't mention Peter.

Nick said...

The real danger here is putting one's trust in scholars above that of the Fathers. Your refutation comes essentially from the accounts of secular history, throwing St Irenaeus under a bus in favor of the men who told their professors the right things to get their degree.

All this does for you is remove the witness of St Irenaeus and other Fathers from any sort of testimony to your cause or even Christianity in general.

And, worse yet, it's this method that has been at the heart of the Modernist movement to reject anything Christian that doesn't appear to have enough "secular historical" backing. This is why Christianity is being watered down more and more every day.

The Protestant methodology is clear: Tear down the Fathers and thus tear down Rome.
What the Protestants don't realize is that they're ultimately cutting off the very branches that support them.

Dr Machen's claim can be interpreted two ways:
"The student of the New Testament should be primarily an SECULAR historian."

or

"The student of the New Testament should be primarily an CHRISTIAN historian."

The former is more in line with Protestantism, while the latter is more in line with Catholicism and the Deposit of Faith.

Rhology said...

Tear down the Fathers

Nah, just think they were who they were, and not who they weren't.

John Bugay said...

Your refutation comes essentially from the accounts of secular history, throwing St Irenaeus under a bus in favor of the men who told their professors the right things to get their degree.

Nick, on what ground do you impugn the scholarly credentials of someone like Eamon Duffy, former President of Magdalene College, and, among other things, a member of the Pontifical Historical Commission?

Here's his bio:

http://www.divinity.cam.ac.uk/faculty/duffy.html

His phone number is available. You should call him and give him a piece of your mind.


* * *

The real danger here is putting one's trust in scholars above that of the Fathers. ... All this does for you is remove the witness of St Irenaeus and other Fathers from any sort of testimony to your cause or even Christianity in general.

No it doesn't. As Rhology says, it gives us the ability to understand the early church in a far better way.

And, worse yet, it's this method that has been at the heart of the Modernist movement to reject anything Christian that doesn't appear to have enough "secular historical" backing. This is why Christianity is being watered down more and more every day.


Note the confluence in this account:

http://blog.bible.org/primetimejesus/content/resurrection-probably-reported-same-year-it-happened

Bauckham builds on research by evangelical writer Larry Hurtado and atheist historian Gerd Ludemann, both of whom have argued that belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus must have emerged within two or three years of the death of Jesus (whether or not one believes it actually happened).

This is something that I have talked about elsewhere: this sort of thing is happening all over the place. I have a quote from Harvey Cox to the effect that "The Jesus Seminar" has affirmed all kinds of positive facts about the life and death of Christ. It didn't make them believers, but 100 years ago, Bertrand Russell was arguing that Jesus never even existed.

What people are rejecting is the spooky, quasi-magical Catholicism that, say, sticks pins in Eucharistic hosts to watch them bleed.


The Protestant methodology is clear: Tear down the Fathers and thus tear down Rome. What the Protestants don't realize is that they're ultimately cutting off the very branches that support them.

We owe no fealty to this Roman lie.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Nick, on what ground do you impugn the scholarly credentials of someone like Eamon Duffy, former President of Magdalene College, and, among other things, a member of the Pontifical Historical Commission?

It is only slightly ironic that the these Pontifical commissions can dismissed and ignored by lay-Catholic apologists in the United States. I thought one of the benefits of converting to Rome was the masterful oversight the Magisterium provided on these difficult matters of faith. It's as if some Catholics don't believe the Magisterium is up to the task of identifying and appointing scholars to appropriately study and analyze their faith.

John Bugay said...

Dr Machen's claim can be interpreted two ways...

Machen wrote a work in 1923 called "Liberalism and Christianity," in which he identified, in a very precise and scholarly way, what kinds of pains the theological liberals of the 19th century were causing. They were varied and they were many.

What conservative Protestants did (eventually) was to take Machen's warning to heart, and to develop a defense against this type of liberalism which decided to take it on, point-for-point, and challenge their wild assumptions and theories, right at their heart.

I mentioned the life of Christ above: Both conservative scholarship and an atheist historian have agreed that "belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus must have emerged within two or three years of the death of Jesus."

That kind of agreement was the result of a serious and sustained effort on the part of Protestant historians (a) to be faithful to the facts of history, and (b) to be faithful to Christ.

The same thing happened with regard to the letters of Paul.

Between Acts and Paul's Letters and touch-points with secular history, even the most liberal of scholars had to admit that at least four of Paul's letters were without a doubt Paul's. But they tried to cast a shadow on the other Pauline letters. They were dating Paul's letters far into the second century.

Nobody does that now. The conservative commentators interact on a point-by-point basis with the historical accounts of the individual letters, and among scholars of all persuasions now (even the Catholic ones), you're seeing dates inch further and further into the era of the lives of the Apostles.

Paul's letter to the Ephesians, for example, (aside from the Pastoral Epistles), was thought to be a far later creation, and Raymond Brown estimated that "80% of scholarship holds that Paul did not write Ephesians."

But Harold Hoehner, whom I've cited here, in his commentary, did an exhaustive study, and found that it was more likely that of approximately 300 serious commentators on Paul, the number was less than 50%.

In addition to that, Hoehner himself argues for 60+ pages that Paul himself is the author of Ephesians.

The result is not a slam-dunk. But the scholarship of Hoehner and O'Brien and others (a) respected as worthy scholarship in the "modernist" world that you disdain and (b) true to the "deposit of faith". Without having to buy into Rome's unverifiable, unhistorical, and even spurious dogmas about Mary and about the papacy itself, for example. And a Southern Baptist scholar like Thomas Schreiner can say, "I'm a person who believes that all 13 of the letters attributed to Paul were actually written by him." And he says this with a straight face in the academic world, without having to make any excuses for his belief in that world. It's not like he's saying "we believe in the Assumption of Mary." That's totally unverified, and its foundations are in spurious, forged literature. That one is a clear case of "the emperor has no clothes."

My Christianity is not watered down in any way. Not in my churcn, and not in the secular academy. In fact, with Paul, it is affirmed: "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

We are fully on board with Machen and his arguments with the liberalism that he had to deal with in his day.

Nick said...

Rhology,

You're conceding my point. To you the Fathers are seen more as secular historical documents and less about genuine Christian testimony.


John,

When a scholar is going to radically discredit a great Saint, effectively calling him deceived, I take offense. To say "Nor can we assume, as Irenaeus did, that the Apostles established there a succession of bishops" is a mockery of all the Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) works who have appealed to Irenaeus in this regard. It's not much different than the various liberals these days who say Jesus or His Apostles "assumed" or made up various key points of theology.


Matthew,

Many (if not all) of the Pontifical Commissions have been stripped of doctrinal authority and are mere forums of opinions. They are largely dominated by liberals, in the same way most universities across America are dominated by liberals.

And while there might be more and more conservative historians out there, the large majority, especially those in positions of power, are liberal. John's quote of Raymond Brown is a prime example of the 'influence' liberals have in overturning and smearing key points of Christian teaching.

The difference between the conservative Protestant approach and the (true) Catholic approach is that the former treats everything outside of Scripture as merely a historical document, while Catholics give the Fathers an authority and reliability less than Scripture but significantly above secular history.

John Bugay said...

Nick: When a scholar is going to radically discredit a great Saint, effectively calling him deceived, I take offense.

Irenaeus was clearly wrong when he said that Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome.

He also was quite firm that Jesus lived to be 50 years old.

We also have very thorough analysis describing where his "list" came from.

You may take offense, but your emotion is really out of place. These are clearly factual errors. You would do better to look at the facts on the ground and understand them than just responding with emotion to what is clearly a legitimate analysis of what Irenaeus said.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Nick writes:

Many (if not all) of the Pontifical Commissions have been stripped of doctrinal authority and are mere forums of opinions.

So when, for example, Bishops and Cardinals are appointed to these commissions, their documents are really just "mere" "opinions." Do these "opinions" carry more or less weight than your "opinions"?

And that's not how then Cardinal Ratzinger described The Pontifical Biblical Commission (emphasis mine):

The Pontifical Biblical Commission in its new form after the Second Vatican Council, is not an organ of the teaching office, but rather a commission of scholars who, in their scientific and ecclesial responsibility as believing exegetes, take positions on important problems of Scriptural interpretation and know that for this task they enjoy the confidence of the teaching office.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pbcinter.htm

They are largely dominated by liberals, in the same way most universities across America are dominated by liberals.

And what's stopping the Magisterium from appointing conservative theologians to these Pontifical Commissions? Nothing? Could it be the Magisterium is liberal too? Why should we take the word of lay-Catholics like you, whose only qualifications are ownership of a keyboard and an internet connection, over the word of scholars and bishops who are known and read by the Magisterium?

Rhology said...

seen more as secular historical documents and less about genuine Christian testimony.

On the contrary. They are genuine Christian (well, for those of them that were Christians) testimony, and we subject all of it as we subject anything else to the authority of Scripture. It cracks me up that you, who by many other appearances are a more thoughtful Romapologist than many or even most, still can't grasp this most basic of points. What does that say about the intellectual ingenuity or honesty of Romapologists at large?
Yep, not much.


When a scholar is going to radically discredit a great Saint, effectively calling him deceived, I take offense.

You RCs do that ALL THE TIME. We present you quote after quote after quote from guys you identify as CFs that present sola fide, sola Scriptura, and ripping modern RC dogma, and what do you do? Yep, discount them. It's pathetic, really.

Ryan said...

"Ryan, please read the Church Fathers."

scotju, please reread the biblical facts. Did Peter not stand with Paul? Was Peter forgotten when Paul mentioned Luke? You'd like to sweep away all the observation of Henry T. Hudson (who noted those facts in his "Papal Power" - that didn't translate from my repost) as arguments from silence, but as strong as they are (come on, would Paul neglect to write or meet a fellow apostle when he talks so much about others?) but you're conveniently ignoring the last several points are simple Pauline assertions that have big ramifications.

Lvka said...

Hi, Mat!

I just wanted to inform you of the existence of this article.


John,

you're seeing the world through a pair of very colored glasses. (And I don't mean the ones from your profile-picture). Your whole take on "historical research" supposedly strengthening the case for Christianity while simultaneously undermining the case for Catholicism is fundamentally flawed: the truth is, it's a both/and case for each of the two: yet you systematically refuse to see or accept this for some mysterious reason...


These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early Church but they are pious romance, not history

The same thing can be said (and *HAS* been said) about the NT, by those of a skeptical bent...

Lvka said...

Another thing "the NT" is "silent about" is Paul's death by decapitation at the order of Nero: want to discredit this as well? :-\

Ryan said...

"Another thing "the NT" is "silent about" is Paul's death by decapitation at the order of Nero: want to discredit this as well? :-\"

Did Peter fail to stand with Paul at his first answer? Was Luke the only one with Paul? Hello?

Lvka said...

Yes, Luke was Paul's faithful companion: -- So unless You're willing to imply that Paul and Luke were the only Christians in Rome, I suggest You stop interpreting the text in such a tortured fashion.

Edward Reiss said...

Lvka,

"I just wanted to inform you of the existence of this article."

The "article" consists of a mere assertion that the prots are wrong. Now, as an EO Christian I know you are used to argument from assertion, but I don't buy this as any kind of refutation of anything at all.

Now, to the main topic. I find the evidence about St. Peter's presence in Rome interesting but not compelling. It is possible that St. Peter visited St. Paul and St. Paul didn't record it. Saying that St. peter was not in Rome, though, does not amount to reading the evidence in "a tortured fashion". It is true that later writers stated St. peter was there, but the absence of St. Paul mentioning him does raise significant issues. Stomping feet and covering your ears makes it look like you donlt have an answer other than "shut up!" Maybe a more evidentiary approach from the EO/RC side would be better?

What is also interesting is that EOs and RCs are fond of pointing to any gaps in history as "proof" e.g. Lutheranism is wrong. But when there is an historical gap in their own claims we get a lot of emotion and complaints about relying on secular scholarship.

So, go ahead and prove the historical continuity of the Roman See. If you cannot it either means history is not according to "Tradition" or we need to look for more evidence. Yelling only makes it look like the nerve was struck.

Ryan said...

"Yes, Luke was Paul's faithful companion: -- So unless You're willing to imply that Paul and Luke were the only Christians in Rome, I suggest You stop interpreting the text in such a tortured fashion."

Not the only Christian - the only fellow minister:

"Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry."

How else would you construe "only"? And why are you ignoring the other question?

"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me."

If Peter was in Rome, how would this NOT apply to him? Hello?

Lvka said...

I didn't yell.. and I had no idea your name is "Mat" as well..


Manasseh: 55 yr reign, fierce persecutions; Communism: 45 to 75 yr reign, fierce persecutions. -- yet somehow only in the first case did the [OT] Church vanish.. hmmm..


And again: why don't you apply the same reasoning for all other Roman Christians? Why weren't THEY there?
(For the same reason they weren't in other places with him either: they weren't his companions: Luke was).

Lvka said...

The priests and deacons of Rome were also "ministers". -- but Mark used to travel with him & Barnabas.

Was Rome devoid of pastors and deacons also? Were Paul and Luke the only clergy there? Were they the only Christians there? -- Why do you keep asking such absurd and self-defeating questions?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Hi, Mat!

I just wanted to inform you of the existence of this article.


Hi Lvka,

I just wanted to inform you that you had your chance to interact with me on that topic in the Wycliffe thread. You failed to meet the (low) standards for that interaction and the consequence--that I would no longer discuss this with you in public and delete future posts on the topic--is still in effect. It was bad enough that you sent me private e-mail trying to argue about it again. Yet here you are, raising the issue again, trying to take advantage of a thread over which I have no authority to moderate. So instead of doing what I can't and deleting your post, I'll just do the next best thing and ignore future discussion with you on the issue.

Lvka said...

It's OK, I didn't "force" you to re-engage the topic with me.. I just thought it would've been sorta back-stabbing and cowardly to NOT inform you about it, that's all.. :-|

Ryan said...

Lol. So Paul wouldn't have considered Peter a fellow minister? "Only Luke is with me" - was Peter sitting on his hands?

And why are you still ignoring the point that Paul said everyone deserted him when he first came to Rome? Did Peter desert Paul? Straight answer, no more stalling.

John Bugay said...

Lvka -- it was "backstabbing and cowardly" for you to bring it up here. Please desist to do that here or I'll start deleting your posts that bring up that topic.

Ben M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhology said...

Ben M,

That’s a curious statement indeed, Rhology, given all the talk around here about “context”

That’s a curious statement indeed, Ben M, since I've read the context.



But trying to make the Fathers (or any of the early Christians) into anything resembling Protestants is, beyound question, a hopeless cause. See, for starters, this

But trying to make the Fathers (or any of the early Christians) into anything resembling RCs is, beyound (sic) question, a hopeless cause. See, for starters, this, this, this, and especially this, where I put it all together.



ST. LEO THE GREAT

Reigned 440-61. That's not "early".

Lvka said...

So Paul wouldn't have considered Peter a fellow minister?

The dozens of priests and deacons in Rome were also fellow ministers -- so why didn't he mention them either? Were Paul and Luke the only clergy in Rome?


Paul said everyone deserted him when he first came to Rome? Did Peter desert Paul?

Did Luke desert Paul?

Nick said...

John,

You said: "Irenaeus was clearly wrong when he said that Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome."

According to who? Liberal scholars (who want to discredit the Christian faith and Bible as much as possible) or traditional minded (faithful) Catholic scholars and historical appeals to Irenaeus by Catholic documents?

I could toss liberal Protestant Scholars at you who discredit the Bible and claim "factual errors" on your part.


Matthew,

As I said, those commissions once had power in influencing/clarifying doctrinal issues. The've been downgraded to mere forums of opinions.
As far as opinions go, it's not to be seen as "me versus them" in the sense of a layman going after a bunch of scholars, but rather me upholding the traditional Catholic view of things. For example, Popes have repeatedly written against the error called Modernism, where scholars set themself up to discredit Christianity and the Bible on "scientific" grounds. Despite these repeated condemnations (at times very detailed), liberal Catholic scholars have the audacity to make all sorts of outrageous claims to discredit the Faith.

One of my favorite quotes from St Pius X in a major decree against Modernism says this:
"24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves."

In other words, the liberals are so sneaky that they discredit any given doctrine in any way they can while still "believing" in the doctrine so as to attempt to avoid guilt. The Raymond Brown quote above is a beautiful example of this, where he attempted to smear and discredit the traditional Christian notion that St Paul wrote Ephesians, and he did so with the overall goal of smearing the Bible as likely tampered with.

As for your comments about entrenched liberalism, my best analogy is that of the entrenched liberalism across America's University system, including Protestant institutions. They have so many connections and safeguards that it isn't easy an problem to fix.


Rhology,

I've yet to see any Protestant around here appeal to any given Church Father as "one of their own". Apart from highly selective citations, taking any given Father's thought as a whole is anything but "Protestant". Historically, St Augustine has been championed as a major Protestant forerunner (e.g. he's the ONLY person named between the Apostles and Luther in my NIV Student Bible), but that's been discredited and debunked so often that it's largely been abandoned.

Rhology said...

Nick,

Why are these "liberal Catholic scholars" Catholic? If they're scholars and they write and get read by churchmen and aren't roundly refuted by the RCC, then why shouldn't I put a lot more faith in them than in you, anonymous blogger layman? Who the heck are you, exactly?


the liberals are so sneaky that they discredit any given doctrine in any way they can while still "believing" in the doctrine so as to attempt to avoid guilt

And isn't the Magisterium shrewd enough to figger that out? Why not do sthg about it? Why does the task fall to you? Who the heck are you, again?


The Raymond Brown quote above is a beautiful example of this

"St. Anthony Messenger Press Publisher Jeremy Harrington, O.F.M., said, "Raymond Brown reached scholars, religious educators and clergy with his academic books, but in his zeal he wanted to reach more: the people in the pew who hungered for a greater understanding of the Bible. We were honored that a scholar of his stature would write for a popular audience.

"Brown once commented that Catholic Update and St. Anthony Messenger reached hundreds of thousands, more than his books. He also reached that wider audience through Scripture From Scratch and the paperback books that he wrote for St. Anthony Messenger Press. He was a joy to work with. Some authors resist any suggestions, but Brown was open to ideas and editing. He was a gracious man and a brilliant scholar who knew the fruits of his labor were for everyone."

Brown, a Sulpician priest, was Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He was twice appointed a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and by Pope John Paul II in 1996. He wrote extensively on the Bible. In addition to his books, he was a frequent contributor to Catholic Update, St. Anthony Messenger magazine and Scripture From Scratch (all publications of St. Anthony Messenger Press)." (Source)

And then...on the other side...there's Nick. Ah yes, Nick, who has been appointed a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission...zero times. Is an INfrequent contributor to Catholic Update. Is NOT a priest. Is NOT a professor of Biblical Studies, at any university or seminary. Has written...zero books.
Hmm, whom to believe?


I've yet to see any Protestant around here appeal to any given Church Father as "one of their own"

Ah true. FAR better to express fantastically incorrect views about a CF than to hold a realistic view that actually fits the evidence! How silly of me!
You didn't read the "put it all together" post, did you? Please do, and don't come back till you do.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Nick writes:

As I said, those commissions once had power in influencing/clarifying doctrinal issues. The've been downgraded to mere forums of opinions.

I know what you said. How does repeating what you said refute the fact that your characterization of these commissions as "mere forums of opinions" is false? For example, Ratzinger himself says that the Pontifical Biblical Commission is not a mere forum of opinion. Whatever we are to make of his remarks, the commission certainly has more authority than someone like you.

As far as opinions go, it's not to be seen as "me versus them" in the sense of a layman going after a bunch of scholars, but rather me upholding the traditional Catholic view of things.

So you're more truly Catholic than those bishops and cardinals appointed to these commissions. You know better than the Magisterium that created and appointed members to these commissions. You understand the "traditional Catholic view of things" better than the Pope and his bishops.

For example, Popes have repeatedly written against the error called Modernism, where scholars set themself up to discredit Christianity and the Bible on "scientific" grounds. Despite these repeated condemnations (at times very detailed), liberal Catholic scholars have the audacity to make all sorts of outrageous claims to discredit the Faith.

If they were discrediting the faith, they would be deposed. They're not, and their scholarship is routinely consulted by countless numbers of Catholics.

In other words, the liberals are so sneaky that they discredit any given doctrine in any way they can while still "believing" in the doctrine so as to attempt to avoid guilt.

I'm deeply grateful the Magisterium appointed The One True Catholic Nick to expose all these undercover heretics. When will you be contacting Benedict XVI and informing him of these usurpers of the faith who have infiltrated even to the college of bishops? I hope, even believe, you will be personally awarded The Grand Cross for all your tireless efforts.

John Bugay said...

You said: "Irenaeus was clearly wrong when he said that Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome."

According to who? Liberal scholars (who want to discredit the Christian faith and Bible as much as possible) or traditional minded (faithful) Catholic scholars and historical appeals to Irenaeus by Catholic documents?

I could toss liberal Protestant Scholars at you who discredit the Bible and claim "factual errors" on your part.


Nick -- Ryan has given a pretty good timeline. Did you not read it?

Aside from that, just do the math.

Acts 2, probably 33 ad or earlier, Jews visiting from Rome hear the message of Peter and believe.

Acts 18:2-3, Aquila and Priscilla, among these Christians in Rome, are expelled from Rome in the "Edict of Claudius," likely in 49 ad, an event that's attested both in Acts and in secular history.

We know with certainty that Paul wrote the letter to the Romans within a year of 57 ad. Peter was not there. Paul was greeting dozens of people; Peter was there. In a letter full of protocol, not to greet Peter, if he was there, would have been (a) a serious breach of protocol, and (b) rank insubordination.

All of this is sufficient to discount Irenaeus's claim that "Peter and Paul founded and organized" the church at Rome. It was founded and organized without them. And we have figured this out without the assistance of a "liberal scholar."


On top of this, Rhology is correct in everything he says to you. You have absolutely ZERO credentials, and yet, you are bad-mouthing members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the Pontifical Historical Commission, Priests who teach in Catholic seminaries.

Why in the world should we give any credence at all to the name-calling that you do.

And by the way -- throw out all the "Liberal Protestant Scholars" you want. We are able to deal with anything they say, on a point-by-point basis, and it will be legitimate, and not an exercise in name-calling, as you have done here.

John Bugay said...

Matthew, LOL. I posted my response before I saw what you had written.

Lvka said...

Acts 2, probably 33 ad or earlier, Jews visiting from Rome hear the message of Peter and believe.


...so the Roman Church WAS founded by St Peter...


(And St Paul, of course, wrote his famous Letter to the Romans: you know, the one Protestants love SO much...)


And yet Iraeneus is stupid (along with all other Christians that ever lived before 1,500 AD) for believing (on written Scripture as well as oral Traditrion) that the Church of Rome was founded by Peter and Paul... hmmm...

Nick said...

Matthew,

The issue isn't whether they have "more authority" than me; it's whether their claims align with the Church's official teachings.

I noticed how you avoided my quote of St Pius' X *condemnation* against those who "constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful". If the lists of Popes we have is said to be forged/bogus, that *directly* follows the Apostolic Succession of Popes from Rome is "historically false or doubtful". If Duffy and others are saying Irenaeus' list is bogus hitorically while affirming on the dogmatic level the teaching of Peterine succession, they're falling directly into that condemnation.

So all your "you know better than" claims are bogus, for I'm appealing to an authority above the forums.


Sadly, you don't seem to be aware of the problem of liberalism ravaging virtually all Protestant denominations. You can pick up books or google situations all the time of liberal "scholars" smearing the inerrancy of Scripture, Our Lord's Divinity, etc, etc. If you did, you'd know how numerous they are, how entrenched they are, and the amount of energy/time it would take to root them out.


John,

You said: "Ryan has given a pretty good timeline. Did you not read it?
Aside from that, just do the math."

That Peter and Paul were in Rome and established a succession is well testified to in the Fathers and Councils. If your beef is that they weren't the 'first Christians' in Rome, that's a non issue. Your timeline (and Ryan's) contains some pretty obvious flaws, the greatest is that of the fact if Peter came to Rome after Paul composed his Epistles, of course he wouldn't be mentioned as "with Paul" in his writings. Other than that, Peter could have been keeping a low profile and/or in another section of the city. 1 Pt 5:13 is also a frequent Biblical reference of Peter being in and writing from Rome (as "Babylon" was a code word for Rome, as Revelation repeatedly asserts).

Lvka said...

Peter spent seven years in Antioch, so the Babylon in 1 Peter is the actual city.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Nick writes:

The issue isn't whether they have "more authority" than me; it's whether their claims align with the Church's official teachings.

Apparently they do, since they're still free to teach what they do on those commissions, still widely read by Catholics everywhere, still holding positions as bishops and cardinals.

Unless you're saying the Magisterium can't police its own members and has no control over what the commissions produce or who is appointed to them. But that would be admitting Catholicism has no real advantage in sorting out and identifying doctrinal errors. Catholics have to pick and choose and privately interpret the documents of various authoritative Catholics over and against other various authoritative Catholics. It's almost as if the Magisterium is a blueprint for anarchy.

I noticed how you avoided my quote of St Pius' X *condemnation*

Which pairs nicely with the quote from Ratzinger you avoided on how the Pontifical Biblical Commission is not mere opinion.

against those who "constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful".

Avoided? What was there to "avoid"? If the current Magisterium thought these commissions, including their bishops and cardinals, had denied the faith as you seem to think they have, they would have been deposed.

More than likely your private, individual interpretation of the Magisterium on this matter is wrong.

So all your "you know better than" claims are bogus, for I'm appealing to an authority above the forums.

You mean you are privately interpreting an authority on a blog. Meanwhile, the Magisterium continues to allow these "sneaky" liberals to direct scholarship within the Roman Catholic denomination.

Sadly, you don't seem to be aware of the problem of liberalism ravaging virtually all Protestant denominations. You can pick up books or google situations all the time of liberal "scholars" smearing the inerrancy of Scripture, Our Lord's Divinity, etc, etc. If you did, you'd know how numerous they are, how entrenched they are, and the amount of energy/time it would take to root them out.

I think you should put down the crystal ball and try a reasonable comparison. Rooting out Protestant liberalism is difficult because liberals have split from conservative authority structures. That's the nature of living in a religiously free society.

But for Catholics, it's just a matter of bringing some discipline on these "heretics" who are denying, in your eyes, fundamentals of the faith.

And if you are going to say that Protestantism is the same as Catholicism in this area, you've just jettisoned a prime reason to convert to Catholicism--to have an authority structure that's supposed to protect the Church from all these kinds of errors and heresies in the first place.

Ben M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.