Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Visit to Catholic Answers Forum Part #8


Back in July, somebody tried to tell me that St. Irenaeus held to the teaching of Sola Scriptura eek.gif; so I typed up an email to defend St. Ireneaus beliefs and showing he was far from believing in Sola Scriptura. I would like to share this with everyone. I would like to thank Robert Sungenis and all of his collaborators that put together an extensive study on Sola Scriptura, Not by Scripture Alone.


My friend said to me Irenaeus mainly mean Scripture when he used the word tradition by quoting Against Heresies 3:2:2. This is not true. When he used Tradition, he mean the whole deposit of faith in both written and unwritten form. If you read the whole quote, St. Irenaeus means more than Scripture because he said the traditions are preserved by the presbyters (not by Scripture). In addition, Irenaeus made a distinction between Scripture and Traditions in the last sentence.


"But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition."


Here is another quote from him that clearly shows that at times he made a distinction between Scripture and Traditions.


For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?" (Against Heresies 3:4:1)


You can also see in that quote is that Irenaeus believe that it is the Church that carries the entire deposit of the NT teachings from the apostles. You can see it clearer from what he wrote in the first half of the paragraph I just quoted.


"Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth."


Even the title of the chapter is, The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles.


I totally agree that Scripture is the pillar and foundation of faith (as well as other Catholics), but Irenaeus beilieve you must have the correct interpretation of Scripture in order to know its true meaning.


True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]. (ibid. 4:33:8)


The only way- Irenaeus believe- to hold to the true teachings that came from the apostles and get the true meaning of Scripture is if you are in the Church because the presbyters are the successors of the apostles and guards the deposit of faith.


"Those, therefore, who desert the preaching of the Church, call in question othe knowledge of the holy presbyters, not taking into consideration of how much greater consequnce is a religious man, even in a private station, than a blasphemous and impudent sophist...It behooves us to avoid their doctrines, and to take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but flee to the Church, and be brout up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord's Scriptures. For the Church as been planted as a garden in the world: therefore says the Spirit of God, "Thou mayest freely eat from every tree of the garden," that is, Eat ye from every Scripture of the Lord; but ye shall not eat with an uplifted mind, nor touch any heretical discord. (ibid. 5:20:2)


Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church- those who, as I have shown, posess the succession form the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. (ibid. 4:26:2) (the title of this chapter is The reasure hid in the Scriptures is Christ; the true exposition of the Scriptures is to be found in the Church alone)


And then shall every word also seem consistent to him, if he for his part diligentlyread the Scriptures in company with those who are presbyters in the Church, among whom is the apostlic doctrine, as I have pointed out. (ibid. 4:32:1) (the title of this chapter is That one God was the author of both Testaments, is confirmed by the authority of a presbyter who had been taught by the apostles)


These quotes from Irenaeus are very Catholic. He don't show he believe that people should follow Scripture alone or Scripture is the ultimate authority. He believe people should follow Scripture and Church authority because the full deposit of truth is in the Church. Even Phillip Shaff (Protestant in the nineteenth century put together the volume set of the Church Fathers writing) agree with me consernig the Church Fathers


The church view respection the sources of Christian theology and the rule of faith and practice remains as it was in the previous period, except that it is furthe rdeveloped in particulars. The divine Scriptures of Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church (he is not talking about the Roman Catholic Church of course) from the apostles down, as posed to the varying opinions of the heretical sects- together form the one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key to true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse.(History of the Christian Church pg 248-249; I believe it is in volume one)


There is a lot I can go through, but I'll end this with two more beliefs from Irenaeus that are in line with Catholic teaching. If anyone hold to Sola Scriptura and believe Irenaeus (and other Church Fathers) hold to it as well, you must believe Irenaeus got these beliefs from Scripture alone.


Apostolic succuesion and Primacy of Roman Church:

...[we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of succession of bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on acconut of its pre-eminent authority, that is the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolic tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. (ibid. 3:3:2)


Baptism:

“And dipped himself,” says [the Scripture], “seven times in Jordan.” It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: “Unless a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Fragment 34)



From William Webster:

Irenaeus and Apostolic Tradition

"Irenaeus speaks often of tradition in his writings. He constantly referred to an apostolic tradition handed down to the Church which he called the canon of truth or the rule of faith. One of the most frequently quoted passages used to substantiate his belief and teaching of tradition is the following:"

As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it...But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth.

ANF, Vol. I, Irenaeus, Against Heresies I.10.2.

"It is not uncommon in Roman Catholic apologetic literature to see this particular passage quoted as confirmation of their concept of tradition. For example, under the heading of Sacred Tradition is a True Source of Revelation, listed in the Doctrinal Index of his book, The Faith of the Early Fathers, William Jurgens cites it to support this point of view. Roman Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis, in Not By Scripture Alone, also gives the above quote and then makes this comment:"

Obviously, Irenaeus believes not only in Scripture, but in thetradition that originates from the apostles. Moreover, Irenaeus also believes in the perpetuation of that tradition through the unbroken succession of presbyters (bishops and priests) in the Churches. How can Irenaeus be teaching that the oral tradition of the apostles was retired if he believes that the presbyters preserve it by means of successive generations...Catholics and Protestants accept as fact that after the first century God ceased the charism of divine inspiration. Hence Irenaeus is not saying that the preservation and perpetuation of the apostles’ oral tradition was retired, but only that the charism of inspiration had ceased. If anything, Irenaeus is assuring us that responsible and qualified men had systematically preserved the apostles’ orally inspired messages. Thus we have further proof of an unwritten Tradition that existed alongside the written Scripture in the life of the Church.

Not By Scripture Alone, pp. 296–297.

"Clearly, then, Roman Catholics employ the teaching of Irenaeus to support their own doctrine of tradition—doctrine which they claim is handed down orally from the apostles and is independent of Scripture. This position, however, is untenable when the teaching of Irenaeus is interpreted in context. The above quote (by Sungenis) is taken out of context. This quote is preceded by a lengthy statement defining what Irenaeus meant by tradition. That passage reads:"

The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,’ and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess’ to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send ‘spiritual wickednesses,’ and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.

ANF, Vol. I, Irenaeus, Against Heresies I.10.1.

"Note that according to Irenaeus, the Church has received what he callsthis faith from the apostles and their disciples. He then goes on to give the doctrinal content of this faith which are primarily the cardinal truths of the Creed. And this faith, and the content as he has defined it, is equated with what he calls the tradition. He puts it this way:"

The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith...For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world...For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.

ANF, Vol. I, Irenaeus, Against Heresies I.10.1; I.10.2; I.10.1.

"So, tradition, as defined by Irenaeus, is equivalent to the faith handed down from the apostles, which he often refers to as ‘the rule of faith.’ This rule has a very specific content, all of which is contained in Scripture. He makes no mention of other and purely oral doctrines that are essential for the faith.
(Irenaeus gives two other summaries of the faith: To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendor, shall come in glory, the Savior of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed (Ibid., Against Heresies III.4.2).
For to him all things are consistent: he has a full faith in one God Almighty, of whom are all things; and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom are all things, and in the dispensations connected with Him, by means of which the Son of God became man; and a firm belief in the Spirit of God, who furnishes us with a knowledge of the truth, and has set forth the dispensations of the Father and the Son, in virtue of which He dwells with every generation of men, according to the will of the Father (Ibid., Against Heresies 4.33.7).)
Every doctrine of the rule is derived from Scripture. Tradition, therefore, is the rule of faith expressly taught in Scripture. We have already seen that Irenaeus believed that what was initially taught orally by the apostles was later committed to Scripture, and that it was through Scripture that the apostolic tradition was transmitted to the Church. In other words, the apostolic teaching did not remain oral in nature. It was inscripturated. Thus, the content of the apostolic tradition preserved and preached (orally) in the Churches by the presbyters is identical in content with the teaching of Scripture. Tradition is verified by Scripture; they are one and the same. Contrary to Sungenis’ assertion, there is no other body of doctrine, oral in nature and independent of Scripture. The tradition of the Church is simply that teaching which is grounded upon and derived from Scripture. According to Irenaeus, apostolic tradition reaches us by two means: Scripture and the preaching and teaching of the Church, preserved in purity by the succession of her bishops. Did Irenaeus believe this rendered Scripture insufficient? By no means, because oral proclamation of the truth is simply the public proclamation of the teaching of Scripture. It is Scriptural truth presented orally, just as the present day preacher preaches a message derived from Scripture. He is passing on truth orally. He is ‘'traditioning,’ that is, handing on truth. But the actual content of that teaching is the same as that which is found in Scripture."

Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith. Vol. 2 pp 26-29.
William Webster.

76 comments:

David Waltz said...

One cardinal, defining aspect of sola scriptura is that Scripture, and Scripture alone, is the ONLY infallible rule of faith. This creates a huge 'problem' for this thread; note the following:


"There was, however, another aid which he looked upon as of the most certain and most important utility, so far as it extended, and that was the baptismal creed, which he regarded as infallible for leading to the right sense of Scripture upon fundamental points, and according to which he thought all Scripture ought to be interpreted. [I.ix.4] It is evident, therefore, that he regarded the tradition of the Church, to that extent, as divine and infallible." (James Beaven, An Account of the Life and Writings of S. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons and Martyr, 1841, p. 139 – bold emphasis mine.)


For more on Irenaeus:

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/search/label/Irenaeus


Grace and peace,

David

Sam Entile said...

Webster: So, tradition, as defined by Irenaeus, is equivalent to the faith handed down from the apostles, which he often refers to as ‘the rule of faith.’ This rule has a very specific content, all of which is contained in Scripture.

Irenaeus: For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?" (Against Heresies 3:4:1)

Webster's comment does not take into account the totality of Irenaeus' theology. He merely conjects that Irenaeus intended for tradition to equal "specific content" even though the very passage he cited said no such thing. He merely asserted the creed as thought from tradition. There's nothing in the text about specific content coming from Scripture alone in there. Webster added that to Irenaeus' thought. And as many other citations from Against Heresies show, Webster's analysis of Irenaeus is well off the mark.

Algo said...

David,
Is this the passage that James Beaven is describing?

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.x.html

If it is, it looks like he may be referring to paragraph 5 not 4.
And understanding immoveable as infallible.

Algo said...

Sam said:

"Webster's comment does not take into account the totality of Irenaeus' theology. He merely conjects that Irenaeus intended for tradition to equal "specific content" even though the very passage he cited said no such thing. He merely asserted the creed as thought from tradition. There's nothing in the text about specific content coming from Scripture alone in there. Webster added that to Irenaeus' thought. And as many other citations from Against Heresies show, Webster's analysis of Irenaeus is well off the mark."

William Webster said:

It is clear that Irenaeus taught that Scripture is the pillar and ground of the faith. His reference to the apostles lodging the fullness of truth in the hands of the Church is primarily a reference to Scripture. He does assert that the Church possesses the truth which anyone can ascertain by listening to her preaching, and emphasizing that to embrace the teaching of the Church is to embrace the tradition of the truth:

Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?
ANF, Vol. I, Irenaeus, Against Heresies III.4.1.

Irenaeus proposes here a hypothetical situation. The Churches have received the tradition of the truth from the apostles. What, he asks, if they had not left us any writings? Then it would be necessary to follow the teaching, the tradition, of those Churches which have had direct contact with the apostles. The operative phrase here is, ‘what if the apostles had not left us their writings.’ But in point of fact they have left us their writings. And the point he makes is that while the Church does preach and teach orally, the doctrinal content of that preaching and teaching is directly verifiable from the written Scriptures. Irenaeus is not affirming the existence of oral tradition. He is simply presenting a hypothetical situation as a way of combating the Gnostic heretics.
The Bible is the means by which the traditio (tradition), or teaching of the apostles is transmitted from generation to generation and by which true apostolic teaching can be verified and error refuted. Irenaeus actually uses a form of the word ‘tradition’ to convey this idea. The importance of Scripture to Irenaeus as a doctrinal norm can be seen from the fact that, as Ellen Flesseman—van Leer put it:


The entire book of Adversus Haereses is broadly speaking but a demonstration from Scripture that the Church doctrine is right and the gnostic doctrine false...If Irenaeus wants to prove the truth of a doctrine materially, he turns to Scripture, because therein the teaching of the apostles is objectively accessible. Proof from tradition and Scripture serve one and the same end: to identify the teaching of the Church as the original apostolic teaching. The first establishes that the teaching of the Church is the apostolic teaching, and the second, what this apostolic teaching is.
Ellen Flesseman–van Leer, Tradition and Scripture in the Early Church (Assen:Van Gorcum, 1953), p. 130, 144.

Algo said...

Sam said:
He merely conjects that Irenaeus intended for tradition to equal "specific content" even though the very passage he cited said no such thing. He merely asserted the creed as thought from tradition. There's nothing in the text about specific content coming from Scripture alone in there.

Sam,
Please read paragraph 2 of that chapter where Irenaeus does give the "content":

2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.


http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.v.html

Algo said...

David,
the articles in your link are very interesting.
Thank You.

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/search/label/Irenaeus

vwtaylorii said...

Hello Algo,

Overall, this blog post doesn't really address my essay on St. Irenaeue. In fact, my post refute what you quoted. The Catholic Church do affirm that Traditions is the entire deposit of faith either in the written (Scripture) or oral form from the Apostles. St. Irenaeus clearly states that the deposit of faith is preserved by the successors of the Apostles (not Scripture) in ibid. 3:2:2 and 3:4:1. I even gave the title of 3:4:1, "The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles." In fact, if you want to find the true teachings of Christ and true meaning of Scripture, Irenaeus pointed to the Church and Apostolic Succession (which you can read throughout my essay).

Why didn't Irenaeus say Traditions were preserved (3:2:2) or deposited (3:4:1, making an analogy between the Apostle and a rich man depositing money into the bank) in Scripture since you and Webster claim all oral Traditions were written down?

If Irenaeus believe all Traditions have been written down, why does he make a distinction between Scripture and Tradition in the same passages?

Why does he compare the Church with the Garden of Eden and say that you need to be in the Garden (Church) in order to be nourished by the fruit (Scripture) in 5:20:2?

Like I said in my last part of my essay, if you want to go that route, then you have to believe that St. Irenaeus believe his teachings (that are in line with Catholic teachings) came from Scripture as his ultimate and infallible authority. I have pointed out three of them (Baptismal Regeneration, Primacy of Roman Church, and Apostolic Succession).

As far as Webster comments about Oral Traditions are independents from Scripture; he over looked what Sungenis says on pg. 240-241:

"Tradition and Scripture stand as two witnesses verifying one truth. Just as Jesus, only being one witness, calls on the witness of the Father, so Scripture depends on the witness on Tradition."

Sungenis also added a footnote to this sentence from Dei Verbum 9 and 10 (I will only quote part of it):

"Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing from the same divine well spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing... Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up the single deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the Church."

David Waltz said...

Hi Algo,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

==David,
Is this the passage that James Beaven is describing?

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.x.html

If it is, it looks like he may be referring to paragraph 5 not 4.
And understanding immoveable as infallible.==

Beaven was referring to 1.9.4, not 1.9.5; he provides the Greek in footnote #5 on page 139 of the book I quoted above (pdf copy available HERE).

It is the "ὀ τὸν κανόνα τῆς ἀληθείας" (the canon/rule of truth) that needs to remain "ἀκλινῆ" (unchangeable/unwavering/immovable).

In the very next chapter (1.10.1) he defines what is in that ὀ τὸν κανόνα τῆς ἀληθείας, and does so in other places too (e.g. The Proof of Apostolic Preaching).

In 3.24.1 he states that this canon/rule of faith/truth is, "received from the Church", and is preserved, "by the Spirit of God".

He then states, "For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace,; but the Spirit is truth."

And in 4.26.2, "Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church,—those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father."


Grace and peace

David

Joe said...

Hi vwtaylorii.

you said: Why didn't Irenaeus say Traditions were preserved (3:2:2) or deposited (3:4:1, making an analogy between the Apostle and a rich man depositing money into the bank) in Scripture since you and Webster claim all oral Traditions were written down?

me: forgive my slowness, but why would Irenaeus have to say Traditions were preserved if he did believe them (scrip/trad) to be of the same content? also, he did say:

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.

you said: Why does he compare the Church with the Garden of Eden and say that you need to be in the Garden (Church) in order to be nourished by the fruit (Scripture) in 5:20:2?

me: again, not sure how this would contradict the concept of sola scrip. Calvin/Luther also had high remarks of the necessity of being in the Church. why cannot one hold to SS and also hold to the importance of being part of the visible Church?

you said: if you want to go that route, then you have to believe that St. Irenaeus believe his teachings (that are in line with Catholic teachings) came from Scripture as his ultimate and infallible authority. I have pointed out three of them (Baptismal Regeneration, Primacy of Roman Church, and Apostolic Succession).

me: well, as a Lutheran I agree with BR. as far as Primacy and AS...it depends on how you define them I guess. from what I read about Irenaeus, and it honestly is limited, Irenaeus' concept of AS is different than Rome's today. and perhaps the same could be said of Primacy.

lastly, are you under the assumption that the scriptures are not materially sufficient? in a private Facebook discussion group last year I had....there were some RC's that do not believe in MS and others that do, and it was explained to me that the RCC allows both understandings within its sound body of doctrine.

if the bible is materially sufficient...and it is acceptable for RC's to believe this, would that not mean that it would be acceptable for RC's to believe that Irenaeus did think everything was written down in the scriptures?

thanks much.

in Him,

-joe

David Waltz said...

Hi Joe,

I know that your last was response was directed to wtaylorii, but I have done a fair amount of study into this issue, so I hope you do not mind too much if I jump into the conversation.

Since Vatican II, a good deal of reflection on the relationship between Scripture and Tradition (and traditions) has been taking place among Catholic scholars. I suspect many Catholics are unaware to the fact that a number of prominent RCC scholars (including Ratzinger/Benedict XVI) affirm the material sufficiency of Scripture, and that Trent, despite protestations from a number of vocal anti-Catholics, left the question of the material sufficiency open/unresolved.

In THIS THREAD, I provide selections from a few RCC scholars who embrace material sufficiency.


Grace and peace,

David

Joe said...

Hi David.

Thanks for the info. Of course, I do not mind that you jump in. Info is good from any source, especially from those who have looked into the issue.

You comments reflect what my understanding was as well, per some RC friends of mine.

But, since it is acceptable then to hold to material sufficiency (the main tenant of SS, from my perspective)....then would it not be also acceptable to believe that Irenaeus and the early church for that matter...believed that the entire content of the faith was included in scripture??

If so, then this seems to directly refute vwtaylorii position..since it appears that he/she is arguing that everything was not included in scripture and Irenaues did not think everything was included either.

Thanks.

in Him,

-joe

Algo said...

vwtaylorii said:

"The Catholic Church do affirm that Traditions is the entire deposit of faith either in the written (Scripture) or oral form from the Apostles. St. Irenaeus clearly states that the deposit of faith is preserved by the successors of the Apostles (not Scripture) in ibid. 3:2:2 and 3:4:1. "

Yes but he also said :
" which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith."
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103301.htm

Regarding your statement:
"St. Irenaeus clearly states that the deposit of faith is preserved by the successors of the Apostles (not Scripture) in ibid. 3:2:2 and 3:4:1. "

What Irenaeus actually said was:
For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?
This is the hypothetical that Webster points to. Since Irenaeus' words 'how should it be if' are illustrative of a hypothetical.
The fact is that the churches were left with 'writings' and the example he gives in paragraph 2 give us the 'content' of tradition that contains this faith.
"2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.v.html

Algo said...

vwtaylorll said:

"I even gave the title of 3:4:1, "The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles." In fact, if you want to find the true teachings of Christ and true meaning of Scripture, Irenaeus pointed to the Church and Apostolic Succession (which you can read throughout my essay)."

From William Webster:

Irenaeus’ View of Scripture
Irenaeus leaves his readers in no doubt as to his view of Scripture. He referred to them over and over again as perfect and inspired, divine, the scriptures of the Lord, sacred, and authoritative. The Scriptures embody the fullness of truth handed down to the Church from the apostles, and being inspired, are fully authoritative for proof for the doctrinal teaching of the Church. He states:


Since, therefore, the tradition from the apostles does thus exist in the Church, and is permanent among us, let us revert to the Scriptural proof furnished by those apostles who did also write the Gospel, in which they recorded the doctrine regarding God, pointing out that our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, and that no lie is in Him.
Against Heresies s III.5.1.
Irenaeus states further: Our faith is steadfast, unfeigned, and the only true one, having clear proof from these Scriptures...(Ibid., Against Heresies III.21.3).

Irenaeus’ criticism of the Gnostic system was the lack of proof for their teaching:

Moreover, they possess no proof of their system, which has but recently been invented by them...Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures...
Against Heresies II.28.8; I.8.1

It is clear that what Irenaeus meant by proof was documentation from Scripture. This lack of it proved to him that Gnostic teaching was not apostolic. In fact, Irenaeus goes on to say that if a doctrine cannot be proven from Scripture it is purely speculative and cannot be known.
If, therefore, even with respect to creation, there are some things [the knowledge of] which belongs only to God, and others which come within the range of our own knowledge, what ground is there for complaint, if, in regard to those things which we investigate in the Scriptures (which are throughout spiritual), we are able by the grace of God to explain some of them, while we must leave others in the hands of God, and that not only in the present world, but also in that which is to come, so that God should for ever teach, and man should for ever learn the things taught him by God?...If, for instance, any one asks, ‘What was God doing before He made the world?’ we reply that the answer to such a question lies with God Himself. For that this world was formed perfect by God, receiving a beginning in time, the Scriptures teach us; but no Scripture reveals to us what God was employed about before this event. The answer therefore to that question remains with God, and it is not proper for us to aim at bringing forward foolish, rash, and blasphemous suppositions [in reply to it]; so, as by one’s imagining that he has discovered the origin of matter, he should in reality set aside God Himself who made all things. But we shall not be wrong if we affirm the same thing also concerning the substance of matter, that God produced it. For we have learned from the Scriptures that God holds the supremacy over all things. But whence or in what way He produced it, neither has Scripture anywhere declared; nor does it become us to conjecture, so as, in accordance with our own opinions, to form endless conjectures concerning God, but we should leave such knowledge in the hands of God Himself
(Against Heresies II.28.3; II.28.7).

William Webster: Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol. 2 pp 23-24.

Algo said...

David and Joe,

You raise an excellent point regarding "Tradition" as "Materially Sufficient".

James Swan has posted on this topic in the past:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2252

Algo said...

vwtaylorll said:

"I even gave the title of 3:4:1, "The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles." In fact, if you want to find the true teachings of Christ and true meaning of Scripture, Irenaeus pointed to the Church and Apostolic Succession (which you can read throughout my essay)."

From William Webster:

He made it clear that revelation comes only through Scripture, so if Scripture is silent on a subject one cannot pretend to know what it does not reveal. He rejected the legitimacy of speculation on any matter not revealed in Scripture. The importance of this principle is apparent when applied to the subject of tradition. Irenaeus believed that true apostolic tradition cannot be purely oral in nature—it must be verified from the writings of the apostles. This was the point of contention between Irenaeus and his Gnostic opponents. The Gnostics claimed to possess an oral tradition from the apostles which was supplemental to Scripture and immune to the Scriptural proofs demanded by Irenaeus. We will look at this in more detail in a moment. According to Irenaeus, in order for tradition to be demonstrated as truly apostolic it must be documented from Scripture. He further buttresses his case by stating that Scripture is the medium by which the true apostolic teaching has been handed down to the Church. He acknowledged that the apostles initially preached orally, but goes on to say that their teaching was then committed to writing, and it is that writing—the New Testament—that is the medium by which the apostolic tradition or teaching is handed down to the Church. It is those writings which have become the ground and pillar of the faith of the Church:
We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.
Against Heresies III.1.1.
William Webster: Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol. 2 pp 23-24.

Algo said...

vwtaylorll said:

"Why didn't Irenaeus say Traditions were preserved (3:2:2) or deposited (3:4:1, making an analogy between the Apostle and a rich man depositing money into the bank) in Scripture since you and Webster claim all oral Traditions were written down?"

The phrase ‘handed down’ is the verb form of the word ‘tradition.’ What he is saying, then, is that the transmission of apostolic teaching is traditioned by means of Scripture. He writes further that the apostles committed to the Church the fullness of God’s revelation, and therefore, all things pertaining to the truth:

Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life.
Against Heresies III.4.1.

William Webster: Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol. 2 p. 24

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

Hello Joe and thank you for responding,

Joe:forgive my slowness, but why would Irenaeus have to say Traditions were preserved if he did believe them (scrip/trad) to be of the same content? also, he did say:

...

again, not sure how this would contradict the concept of sola scrip. Calvin/Luther also had high remarks of the necessity of being in the Church. why cannot one hold to SS and also hold to the importance of being part of the visible Church?


vw: St. Irenaeus explicitly said in 3:4:1 and 3:2:2 the Bishops (successors of the Apostles) preserved the truth, as well as explicitly saying the apostles deposited the truth to the Church.

I said in my essay that I totally agree with Ireneaus about Scripture is the pillar and foundation of faith. However, Irenaeus pointed to the authority of the Church if you want to know truth which I showed in my essay.

In 5:20:2, 4:26:2, and 4:32:1 (which I quoted), clearly states that you obtain true meaning of Scripture if you are under the authority of the Church. That is why he compared the Church to the Garden of Eden. He clearly states that a person is nourished by the fruit (Scripture) if they are in the Garden (the Church). In 5:20:2, before Ireneaus said be nourished by Scripture, he said flee to the Church.

As I understand Sola Scriptura (mainly from Calvinist), Scripture is the ultimate and only infallible authority, and Traditions and Church authority are inferior to the authority of Scripture. Irenaeus clearly shows he believe you need Scripture and Church working as equal authority, which what the Catholic Church holds. He explicitly states you need to read Scripture with the presbyters because they received the certain gifts of truth from their succession from the Apostles (4:26:2). If Irenaeus holds to SS, then he would have said the presbyters received the gifts of truth from Scripture, not through their succession.

Everything that I have typed so far shows that Irenaeus hold to the same view of Apostolic Succession as defined by the Catholic Church today as you can read here http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=apostolic+succession&xsubmit=Search&s=SS. We believe the Roman Church hold primacy because the Bishops are the successors of St. Peter, which is define here http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=bishop+of+rome&xsubmit=Search&s=SS. That is what Irenaeus holds if you read 3:3:2. These teachings has been defined over the years after Irenaeus because doctrine develop over time (just like the teaching of the Trinity between his time and Council of Nicaea I), but he holds to the same concept that is taught today.

In addition, people who believe in SS, they claim that Catholic teachings are not biblical, and we look to other authorities (not Scripture) to get our beliefs. If that is the case (and I since I am talking to a Lutheran), how did Irenaeus get his belief in AS and Primacy of the Roman Church if these teachings are not in Scripture?

As far as my view on Material Sufficiency, I do hold to this belief; and I believe St. Irenaeus hold to this as well. However, I feel that Algo, Webster, and Protestants I have talked to holds that Irenaeus believe in the Formal Sufficiency of Scripture. Catholics and Lutherans believe in infant baptism, but it is not taught explicitly (formally) in Scripture. However, the concept (material) of infant baptism is in Scripture (Acts 16). If St. Irenaeus believe in formal sufficiency of Scripture, he would put emphasis in being under Church authority to get the true meaning of Scripture.

vwtaylorii said...

Thanks Algo,

However, your comments from William Webster don't cut into the heart of my comment or my essay.

Catholic Church believes Scripture is inspired, divine, and authoritative. I never said anything that is contrary to that. What I am arguing is St. Irenaeus believe you need the authority of the Church and Scripture (not Scripture alone or over Church authority) working as one, which you are avoiding.

I said I agree with Irenaeus when he said Scripture is the pillar and foundation of our faith. The reason why I asked you why St. Ireneaus made an analogy between the Church and Garden of Eden is because he believes that you need to be under Church authority to understand the true meaning of Scripture. But you overlooked this question. If St. Irenaeus

You continually making a claim that Irenaeus saying Scripture when he says tradition; I clearly showed where Irenaeus made a distinction between Tradition and Scripture at times (3:2:2), and you avoided my question pertaining to this.

As for your comment about my reference to 3:2:2 and 3:4:1, you only payed attention to part of 3:4:1 (claiming it is just a hypothetical situation and traditions cannot be carried orally). I quoted all of 3:2:2 and 3:4:1 in my essay. I am going to quote part of them (but you can read all of it on my essay).

Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life... On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth...For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches? (3:4:1)

But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition,...It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition. (3:2:2)

As you can see in both paragraphs, St. Irenaeus pointed to the athority of the Church if you want to seek truth because of their Apostolic Succession and preserving the teachings that the Apostles deposited to them. Reading all of 3:2:2, St. Ireneaus said the Gnostics do not only consent to Scripture, but they don't consent to Tradition. If Webster and you are claiming that tradition means written Scripture, why did Ireneaus made a distinction between them?

As for your comment about the hypothetical in 3:4:1, he is showing the Church carries the full deposit of truth. In the first part of the paragraph, Ireneaus said to seek the Church because the Apostles (like a rich man depositing money in the bank) deposited the truth (oral and written form) in the Church. If the Apostles did leave any writings (Scripture), we look to the Traditions that was handed to the Church. You see the Church carries the full deposit of truth (oral and written form) and another distinction between Scripture and Tradition.

With your comment pertaining to 3:4:2, even though this passage can be found in Scripture, St. Ireneaus believe you need to be under Church authority to get the true meaning of Scripture (like I said repeatedly). In 4:26:2, he said the prebyters carry certain gifts of truth as well (not just Scripture).

How did St. Ireneaus get his beliefs in baptismal regeneration (if you don't believe this teaching), Apostolic Succession, and Roman Primacy if you strongly claim this is not taught in the Holy Writ?

David Waltz said...

Hi Joe,

Thanks much for responding to my musings; you wrote:

==Thanks for the info. Of course, I do not mind that you jump in. Info is good from any source, especially from those who have looked into the issue.==

Excellent, and thanks for the charity.

==You comments reflect what my understanding was as well, per some RC friends of mine.==

I discern a growing consensus among RCs who are well versed on this issue (the Traditionalists, of course, excluded). What I find interesting, is that it seems many non-Catholics are not as 'quick' to acknowledge this growing consensus.

==But, since it is acceptable then to hold to material sufficiency (the main tenant of SS, from my perspective)....then would it not be also acceptable to believe that Irenaeus and the early church for that matter...believed that the entire content of the faith was included in scripture??==

Absolutely, I have no doubt that Irenaeus (and the vast majority of pre-Nicene CFs) rejected any type of purported constitutive apostolic Tradition (e.g. Gnostic claims) that is not contained (at least implicitly) in Scripture.

==If so, then this seems to directly refute vwtaylorii position..since it appears that he/she is arguing that everything was not included in scripture and Irenaues did not think everything was included either.==

I will let vwtaylorii comment on this, for I am not exactly sure what he/she is attempting convey.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again Algo,

Yesterday, you posted:

== David and Joe,

You raise an excellent point regarding "Tradition" as "Materially Sufficient".==

I think you meant Scripture, not "Tradition", as "Materially Sufficient".

==James Swan has posted on this topic in the past:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2252==

That is a pretty old post; I do not know if James still adheres to all that he wrote therein.

In THIS THREAD, I pointed out a number of difficulties with some of his assessments.

However, though I believe that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and number of his colleagues (e.g. Brown, Congar, Dulles, Geiselmann, Guarino, Rahner, Tavard - some are now deceased) have accepted the material sufficiency of Scripture, they have not 'returned', so to speak, to the same position held by Irenaeus. Certainly common elements do exist, but it is virtually impossible for ANY Christian to 'return' to that position—that is, unless, one is willing to reject ANY development of doctrine (which includes competing theories/principles of hermeneutics).


Grace and peace,

David

Algo said...

David,
I read your response to James Swan's AOMin post.
You seem to be missing his point just as Jimmy Akin missed James White's point in the Sola Scriptura Debate vs. Patrick Madrid.
And as many folks at Cath. Answers Forum also misunderstood my argument:


Algo1
Dec 3, '11 4:47 pm

Re: "If anyone teaches/preaches something that is not in scripture"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cat Herder (Post 8649265)
Keep reading. From the Akin article:
This is important for a discussion of sola scriptura because many Protestants attempt to prove their doctrine by asserting the material sufficiency of Scripture. That is a move which does no good because a Catholic can agree with material sufficiency. In order to prove sola scriptura a Protestant must prove the different and much stronger claim [of formal sufficiency, or] that Scripture is so clear that no outside information or authority is needed in order to interpret it.
The outside information is in Sacred Tradition. So all you have asserted is that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture do not contradict themselves. Well, no duh.

I think that I may have confused you with my post. My point was the contrast historically (in the Roman communion) between:

partim-partim
and
material sufficiency

not
material sufficiency
and
formal sufficiency


Just so you know, the claim is that Rome has never authoritatively pronounced to the effect that the Scripture is materially sufficient, that it contains, at minimum in nascent form, the foundation for all Roman dogma. The partim-partim view contends that the Scripture contains some of it and that some of it is found in Sacred Tradition, neither of the two having all of it.


"Catholics, on the other hand, hold that there may be, that there is in fact, and that there must of necessity be certain revealed truths apart from those contained in the Bible"
(Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XV [New York: Encyclopedia Press, Inc, 1913], p. 6, 2nd column).

Peter Stravinskas, S.J. -
"(a study of the debates at the Council of Trent) will demonstrate that no single theory of divine Revelation dominated the catholic landscape prior to Trent and indeed that none really did afterwards, either. Granted, all the Catholic apologists were united in asserting that both Church and Scripture carried weight, but they were far from unanimous in explaining the relationship between the two"
(Not By Scripture Alone, Robert Sungenis, editor).

Karl Keating -
"It is true that Catholics do not think revelation ended with what is in the NT. They believe, though, that it ended with the death of the last apostle. The part of revelation that was not committed to writing - the part that is outside of the NT and is the oral teaching that is the basis of Tradition - that part of revelation Catholics also accept, and in this they follow the apostle Paul's injunction..."
(Catholicism and Fundamentalism, 1988, p 151).

Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI -
"...no one is seriously able to maintain that there is a proof in Scripture for every catholic doctrine"
(Joseph Ratzinger, "The Transmission of Divine Revelation", commenting on article 9 of Dei Verbum. Found in Vorgrimler, ed, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, vol 3, p 195).
continued:

Algo said...

Now contrast what Cardinal Congar claims in the Akin article:

French theologian Yves Congar states, "[W]e can admit sola scriptura in the sense of a material sufficiency of canonical Scripture. This means that Scripture contains, in one way or another, all truths necessary for salvation. This position can claim the support of many Fathers and early theologians. It has been, and still is, held by many modern theologians." . . . [At Trent] it was widely . . . admitted that all the truths necessary to salvation are at least outlined in Scripture. . . . [W]e find fully verified the formula of men like Newman and Kuhn: Totum in Scriptura, totum in Traditione, `All is in Scripture, all is in Tradition.' .. `Written' and `unwritten' indicate not so much two material domains as two modes or states of knowledge" (Tradition and Traditions [New York: Macmillian, 1967], 410-414).

Notice after the bold that Akin presents his own assessment of Trent:
. . [At Trent] it was widely . . . admitted that all the truths necessary to salvation are at least outlined in Scripture. . . . [W]e find fully verified the formula of men like Newman and Kuhn: Totum in Scriptura, totum in Traditione,
The partim-partim view is just ignored.

Algo said...

vwtaylorll said:

"You continually making a claim that Irenaeus saying Scripture when he says tradition; I clearly showed where Irenaeus made a distinction between Tradition and Scripture at times (3:2:2), and you avoided my question pertaining to this."

I DO acknowledge that when Irenaeus uses the word 'tradition' he is referring(at times) to something besides that which is contained in Scripture.
In fact there are 3 basic categories that he implements.
1) The apostolic teaching or doctrine handed down from the apostles to the Church—called the apostolic tradition.

2) Ecclesiastical customs and practices.

3) A patristic consensus of the interpretation of Scripture.

However, (when he is referring to doctrine),tradition is another term for the oral proclamation of the truth of Scripture in preaching, teaching or creedal statements.
It is not an independent source of revelation but a verbal presentation of the one authoritative revelation of God (the holy Scriptures). Thus, the foundation of tradition is the written word of God.

Algo said...

vwtaylorll said:

"If the Apostles did leave any writings (Scripture), we look to the Traditions that was handed to the Church. You see the Church carries the full deposit of truth (oral and written form) and another distinction between Scripture and Tradition."

Are you arguing that the 'contents' of the "full deposit of truth" is contained partly in Scripture and partly in Oral Tradition?

Or are you arguing that Oral Tradition is essentially the Interpretation of Scripture?

If you are arguing for the former, then you are denying 'Material Sufficiency'.

If you are arguing for the latter, then Irenaeus' "hypothetical:
"For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings?

Would make no sense at all since you would be arguing in essence:

"For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? "
Your response:
'Then it would be necessary to follow (the Authoritative Interpretation of Scripture that we don't possess) which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?'
[Bold text mine]

Joe said...

thanks for your comments vwtaylorii.

before getting to deep in your latest comments towards me, I am confused on where you stand as far as material sufficiency.

your latest post said: As far as my view on Material Sufficiency, I do hold to this belief; and I believe St. Irenaeus hold to this as well.

but you asked the question prior: If Irenaeus believe all Traditions have been written down, why does he make a distinction between Scripture and Tradition in the same passages?

I guess I interpreted this question of yours to mean that you do not think Irenaeus thought that everything concerning the faith was written down...ie material sufficiency.

please clarify where I am misunderstanding you here. does Irenaeus (and yourself) think that everything concerning the content of the Christian faith is recorded in scripture?

the only other thing I will comment on in this post now (gotta run anyhow) is your comment of: Catholics and Lutherans believe in infant baptism, but it is not taught explicitly (formally) in Scripture. However, the concept (material) of infant baptism is in Scripture (Acts 16). If St. Irenaeus believe in formal sufficiency of Scripture, he would put emphasis in being under Church authority to get the true meaning of Scripture.

I do believe, as well as other Lutherans & Reformed that IB is found in scripture, and rather clearly. Even if one only finds it implicitly in scripture...it sounds like you misunderstand the concept material sufficiency (or I do). As I understand, a biblical principle does not have to explicitly taught to be materially sufficient. If something is taught either implicitly or explicitly in scripture, it still is in scripture and falls under material sufficiency.

I agree that the bible does not present IB as, "go baptize your infants". Many concepts of theology are not in fact presented this way in scripture. But that does not mean a concept like IB is not taught in scripture, as I believe it clearly is.

The WCOF says: The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture:

I plan on getting to your other comments as well, but this became longer than I wanted and have run out of time.

thanks for the discussion.

in Him,

-joe

Joe said...

vmtaylorii,

okay...have quick time for another post. see that I have not answered your question directed towards me.

you said: In addition, people who believe in SS, they claim that Catholic teachings are not biblical, and we look to other authorities (not Scripture) to get our beliefs. If that is the case (and I since I am talking to a Lutheran), how did Irenaeus get his belief in AS and Primacy of the Roman Church if these teachings are not in Scripture?

Yes, I agree that the RCC does have teachings that are not found in the scriptures, and many other RC's believe this as well. And as I understand, it is perfectly acceptable as a RC to believe this...since it is both acceptable within the RCC to believe that the scripture contains all, and that the scripture does not contain all.

As far as where Irenaeus got his belief in the AS and Primacy, if he did hold to SS...good question. Suppose we have a few options.
1) Irenaeus could have been inconsistent
2) He could have interpreted the scriptures incorrectly
3) He could mean different concepts in the AS and Primacy as Rome does today...which to my understanding he did.

in Him,

-joe

vwtaylorii said...

Algo,

I never said that Oral Tradition is an independent source of revelation, and I dispelled it in my first comment quoting Dei Verbum and pg 240-241. from Not by Scripture Alone. The Catholic Church teaches that they came from ONE SOURCE of revelation, God. That is William Webster and you making that claim.

In the Glossary section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the definition of Tradition is:

The living transmission of the message of the Gospel in the Church. The oral preaching of the Apostles, and the written message of salvation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Bible), are conserved and handed on as the deposit of faith through the apostolic succession of the Church. Both living Tradition and written Scripture have their common source in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ (CCC 75-82)...

As for your question on what I am arguing about, I am arguing that the complete apostolic preaching (complete deposit of truth) is contained in Scripture and Oral Tradition. All the content is in Scripture (Material Sufficiency), Oral Tradition is essential for the interpretation of Scripture to have the complete deposit of truth (formal sufficiency). If Oral Tradition is essential, then you cannot argue for SS.

Material Sufficiency is like building a house. You have all the set of bricks that is sufficient in building a house (materially sufficient), but you need molding and construction workers to put the bricks together (bricks and workers together makes it formally sufficient). Therefore, Scripture contains all the concepts (materials) of doctrine, but it needs to the authority of Oral Tradition to interpret the meaning of Scripture (Scripture and Oral Tradition together is formally sufficient). The belief in Formal Sufficiency of Scripture means that the bricks can put together themselves and don't need outside help. Therefore, Scripture can interpret the concepts by itself and don't need Oral Tradition.

I as I understand, Sola Scriptura is the only infallible and ultimate authority; tradition and church authority are subjected to the authority of Scripture. The Westminister Confession of Faith states All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some places in Scripture that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain into a sufficient understanding (1:7). The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself:... (1:9)

If this is the view of Scripture of SS and WMCOF, then is the principle teaching. If everything in Scripture pertaining to salvation is clear (that even the unlearned can understand) and Scripture can interpret itself, then it does not need any authority (Oral Tradition) for interpretation because the materials can put together themselves.

St. Irenaeus did not argue Formal Sufficiency of Scripture. He argue for Material Sufficiency of Scripture (and we agree with that). He explicitly said that you need the authority of the Church to understand the meaning of Scripture because the bishops and presbyters contains certain gifts of truth through their apostolic succession (4:26:2). "Certain gifts of truth" means that he believe the Church is capable of infallibly interpret Scripture because the Apostles deposited the complete truth in the Church. Therefore, Scripture and Oral Tradition is working as equal authority.

If you hold to Material Sufficiency of Scripture, you believe in Prima Scriptura (not Sola Scriptura), which is a view you find Catholic holding. Scripture is Primary authority because it is the first source of revelation. It does not mean one has more authority over the other. Scripture and Oral Tradition rely on each other.

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

I feel that you did not get an understanding of my last post.

I said that I do think St. Irenaeus believe in Material Sufficiency of Scripture. I said I was arguing against the view of Formal Sufficiency because I feel that is what Algo and William Webster is arguing. Like I told Algo, if you believe in Material Sufficiency of Scripture, you cannot hold to the belief of SS because it supports the view of Formal Sufficiency of Scripture.

Like I said to Algo, Material Sufficiency is like building a house. You have all the set of bricks that is sufficient in building a house (materially sufficient), but you need molding and construction workers to put the bricks together (bricks and workers together makes it formally sufficient). Therefore, Scripture contains all the concepts (materials) of doctrine, but it needs to the authority of Oral Tradition to interpret the meaning of Scripture (Scripture and Oral Tradition together is formally sufficient). The belief in Formal Sufficiency of Scripture means that the bricks can put together themselves and don't need outside help. Therefore, Scripture can interpret the concepts by itself and don't need Oral Tradition.

I as I understand, Sola Scriptura is the only infallible and ultimate authority; tradition and church authority are subjected to the authority of Scripture. The Westminister Confession of Faith states All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some places in Scripture that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain into a sufficient understanding (1:7). The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself:... (1:9)

If this is the view of Scripture in the teaching of SS and stated in WMCOF, then Formal Sufficiency is the principle teaching. If everything in Scripture pertaining to salvation is clear (that even the unlearned can understand) and Scripture can interpret itself, then it does not need any authority (Oral Tradition) for interpretation because the materials can put together themselves.

St. Irenaeus did not argue Formal Sufficiency of Scripture. He argue for Material Sufficiency of Scripture (and we agree with that). He explicitly said that you need the authority of the Church to understand the meaning of Scripture because the bishops and presbyters contains certain gifts of truth through their apostolic succession (4:26:2). "Certain gifts of truth" means that he believe the Church is capable of infallibly interpret Scripture because the Apostles deposited the complete truth in the Church. Therefore, Scripture and Oral Tradition is working as equal authority.

If you hold to Material Sufficiency of Scripture, you believe in Prima Scriptura (not Sola Scriptura), which is a view you find Catholic holding. Scripture is Primary authority because it is the first source of revelation. It does not mean one has more authority over the other. Scripture and Oral Tradition rely on each other.

As for your belief in IB, it may be clear to you, but that doesn't mean it is clear to other people. Some people thinks Scripture clearly don't teach IB.

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

As for your 3 comments about AS and Primacy of the RC:

1) St. Irenaeus was not consistent because you will not see him back off his view on Roman Church holding pre-eminant authority and his view on the bishops are the successors of the Apostles and preserve the full deposit of truth.

3) AS: Paragraph 77 of CCC states In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."

St. Ireneaus says the Church through Apostolic Succession preserves the complete deposit of truth (3:2:2)

Roman Primacy: CCC 882 states The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."

St. Ireneaus said the Roman Church holds pre-eminant authority because fo their succession of St. Peter and we should folow this Church (3:3:2).

Looking at what the Catechism teach and what Ireneaus wrote, he hold to the same concept that the Catholic Church teaches today. I quoted these quotes in my essay if you want to read them.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: if you believe in Material Sufficiency of Scripture, you cannot hold to the belief of SS because it supports the view of Formal Sufficiency of Scripture.

me: what? this is very odd to me. Webster argues that SS includes both formal AND material sufficiency. how can you say that if one believes in MS, they cannot hold to SS? One has to at the very least believe MS to hold to SS. I see the main tenant of SS to be the MS of scripture.

after quoting the WCOF when it spoke of the FS, you said: If this is the view of Scripture in the teaching of SS and stated in WMCOF, then Formal Sufficiency is the principle teaching. If everything in Scripture pertaining to salvation is clear (that even the unlearned can understand) and Scripture can interpret itself, then it does not need any authority (Oral Tradition) for interpretation because the materials can put together themselves.

me: not sure what you mean by FS is the "principle teaching". like I said, SS includes both FS and MS. but yes, I do believe that God's Word is essentially clear. not all parts are clear, but what we need to know for salvation is clear at some point in His Word...and one does not by necessity have to have an infallible interpreter. just like the OT, as RC's agree, did not have an infallible interpreter...and yet were rebuked for not knowing scripture or understanding it by Jesus.

does that mean the Church does not have a role with the scriptures? of course not. Keith Mathison says in "the shape of SS":

"Scrip alone is the source of revelation. Scrip alone is inspired & inherently infallible. Scrip alone is the supreme normative standard. But Scrip does not exist in a vacuum. It was and is given to the Church within the doctrinal context of the apostolic gospel. Scrip alone is the only final standard, but it is a final standard that must be utilized, interpreted and preached but he Church within its Christian context. If Script is not interpreted correctly within its proper context, it ceases to function properly as a standard....No one asserts that a Bible can read itself. Scrip cannot be interpreted or preached apart from the involvement of some human agency, even if that human agency is simply one individual reading the Scrip. But this obvious truth does not invalidate the supreme authority of Scrip. Scrip remains objectively what it is whether anyone reads it, preaches it or hears it. It remains the objective & infallible Word of God always. In order for it to function as a standard, however, some person or persons must take the Scrip, open it, read it, interpret it, and us it as a standard from which the gospel is preached and against which all doctrines are measured."

cont...

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

not sure if you saw my question of clarification to you in a prior post...so I wanted to include it again.

you said: If Irenaeus believe all Traditions have been written down, why does he make a distinction between Scripture and Tradition in the same passages?

but you also say you believe in MS, that everything has been written down. these seem to be 2 contradictory thoughts.

please explain.

thanks,

in Him,

-joe

Joe said...

vwtayorii,

concerning the Primacy issue, even some RC historians think that Irenaeus' remarks have been misinterpreted (taken from Jason Engwer posts at Triablogue, he has good thoughts to consider when discussing Irenaues and AS/Primacy. If I knew how to link his posts, I would).

I do not claim to be an expert on Irenaeus. But there is disagreement on what he meant when he spoke of AS/Primacy, even in the RC world, as shown below.

But, so I know where your coming from...you believe that Script contains everything regarding salvation, and Irenaeus did as well....whereas many, if not most RC's believe otherwise (though perhaps there is a grower number of RC's now embracing MS)?

And you also believe that the Church's role of interpretation/AS/etc...is of the same equal authority as God's written Word (as did Irenaeus)?

"All churches must agree with it [the Roman church] on matters of doctrine because they must agree with the apostolic tradition preserved by the apostolic churches....In any event this is a striking testimony though not, in my view, as decisive as some have argued. The context of Irenaeus' argument does not claim that the Roman Church is literally unique, the one and only in its class; rather, he argues that the Roman church is the outstanding example of its class, the class in question being apostolic sees. While he chose to speak primarily of Rome for brevity's sake, in fact, before finishing, he also referred to Ephesus and Smyrna....The German Catholic scholar, Norbert Brox of Regensburg, has claimed that the argument is framed entirely within a western context. At first I found this argument weak, but after comparing Irenaeus' argument to its expansion as found in Tertullian's De praescriptione haereticorum (36), (cf. next chapter), I find Brox's argument more convincing." (Robert Eno, The Rise Of The Papacy [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1990], pp. 39-40)

"It is indeed understandable how this passage has baffled scholars for centuries! Those who were wont to find in it a verification of the Roman primacy were able to interpret it in that fashion. However, there is so much ambiguity here that one has to be careful of over-reading the evidence....Karl Baus' interpretation [that Irenaeus wasn't referring to a papacy] seems to be the one that is more faithful to the text and does not presume to read into it a meaning which might not be there. Hence, it neither overstates nor understates Irenaeus' position. For him [Irenaeus], it is those churches of apostolic foundation that have the greater claim to authentic teaching and doctrine. Among those, Rome, with its two apostolic founders, certainly holds an important place. However, all of the apostolic churches enjoy what he terms 'preeminent authority' in doctrinal matters." (William La Due, The Chair Of Saint Peter [Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999], p. 28)

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

I thought I clarified your question when I said I was arguing against St. Ireneaus belief in the forma sufficiency of Scripture. I can clarify it more. What I meant about my question is that every single thing about a doctrine has been written down in Scripture. For example, the content of the Holy Trinity is in the Bible, but it doesn't explain how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one.

Yes, I do believe all the material of Scripture is their; and I believe authority of the Church is equal to authority of Scripture because they are guarded by the Holy Spirit when presenting doctrine (as did Irenaeus).

With your latest comment on Sola Scriptura, you have just showed there are differences in this teaching.

Keith Mathison claims that no one asserts the Bible can interpret itself, but WMCOF says that Scripture is the only infallible interpreter (1:9). Which teaching of SS do you follow, Keith Mathison or West Minister?

In addition, Keith Mathison view presents a problem. Keith Mathison claim Scripture is the ultimate authority, but it needs the correct interpretation to function properly as a standard. If Scripture need the right interpretation to function properly, it is relying on an authoritative interpretation. Scripture doesn't rely on anything if it is the ultimate authority. Otherwise, it would not have supreme authority. In addition, Keith Mathison is really making the person the final authority because they have to pick which interpretation is correct.

Mathison and you claim that there are not fallible interpetation. At the same time, you believe that Baptismal Regeneration and Real Presence is in the Bible, while Mathison don't (he probably believe in BR). How do you know which interpretation is correct when Mathison and other Protestants will disagree with you?

You claim that IB is clearly stated in the Bible, but Reformers and other Protestants believe it is clearly not in the Bible. Mathison believe Real Presence is not in the Bible, but you do. How do you know what is clearly stated in the Bible while others believe differently?

This proofs that St. Irenaeus did not hold to SS. He believe that you need the authority of the Church and Scripture working equally (one is not supreme over the other) because the Church contains the full deposit of truth through AS. At the same time, St. Irenaeus believe the Church does have infalliblity because he said the presbyters contains certain gifts of truth through their AS.

As for RP, where in his writings does it show that all Apostolic Sees hold pre-eminanet authority? Where does he say we should agree with all the Apostolic Sees instead of just the Roman See?

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: I thought I clarified your question when I said I was arguing against St. Ireneaus belief in the forma sufficiency of Scripture. What I meant about my question is that every single thing about a doctrine has been written down in Scripture. For example, the content of the Holy Trinity is in the Bible, but it doesn't explain how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one.

Me: okay...sorry for me slowness. I understand your position better now. you just have to understand that most of the RC's I have interaction with do not believe as you do, that is, in the MS.

you said: Yes, I do believe all the material of Scripture is their; and I believe authority of the Church is equal to authority of Scripture because they are guarded by the Holy Spirit when presenting doctrine (as did Irenaeus).

me: okay, again, thanks for the clarification on what you believe and what you think Irenaeus believed.

you said: With your latest comment on Sola Scriptura, you have just showed there are differences in this teaching.

Keith Mathison claims that no one asserts the Bible can interpret itself, but WMCOF says that Scripture is the only infallible interpreter (1:9). Which teaching of SS do you follow, Keith Mathison or West Minister?

me: you misunderstand the WCOF. It assumes, as Keith explains, that a human agency is still used to preach/teach the scriptures...meaning that the WCOF is not teaching that the bible can walk it to a pulpit and start speaking on its own. The WCOF is teaching that the only INFALLIBLE interpreter is scripture itself. Scripture is infallible because it is God's word...and when it interprets itself, (ie...unclear passages by the clear passages), it so so infallibly. The WCOF speaks of the Church's roles as well, synods/councils, etc...and includes handling the oracles of God. So I would say at this point that I hold to both Dr Mathison's view and of the WCOF, as they are the same.

you said: In addition, Keith Mathison view presents a problem. Keith Mathison claim Scripture is the ultimate authority, but it needs the correct interpretation to function properly as a standard. If Scripture need the right interpretation to function properly, it is relying on an authoritative interpretation. Scripture doesn't rely on anything if it is the ultimate authority. Otherwise, it would not have supreme authority. In addition, Keith Mathison is really making the person the final authority because they have to pick which interpretation is correct.

me: disagree. interpretation is necessary in any and every form of communication. whether you read the scriptures or read the interpretation of scriptures from the RCC, or whether you read/listen to what Tradition says, you still have to interpret what you are being taught. if Jesus told you to walk 5 min to the north and then 5 min to the east...you have to interpret what he said and meant. if you either do not understand or willingly reject what he said....does that make Jesus' command any less authoritative????? Or one could pose it this way. If the RCC taught X, but you misinterpret teaching X, and believe teaching Y....would this nullify the true, real, authority of the RCC????

I think you would admit, this is not the case, and refutes your assertion.

cont....

Joe said...

you said: Mathison and you claim that there are not fallible interpetation. At the same time, you believe that Baptismal Regeneration and Real Presence is in the Bible, while Mathison don't (he probably believe in BR). How do you know which interpretation is correct when Mathison and other Protestants will disagree with you?

me: I do believe that BR and RP is in the bible. actually, Dr Mathison believes in RP, but not BR. well, at least, not the identical form of BR that Lutherans or RC's do. the WCOF does say that in a certain sense, baptism is "of regeneration", but that is another topic really.

you said: You claim that IB is clearly stated in the Bible, but Reformers and other Protestants believe it is clearly not in the Bible. Mathison believe Real Presence is not in the Bible, but you do. How do you know what is clearly stated in the Bible while others believe differently?

me: well, Dr Mathison believes in the RP. he has an entire book on it actually. unless he has made recent changes to his theology...he does affirm RP. but I feel the power of your question when as to how I know which interpretation is correct.

short answer to how I know which interpretation is correct, is like I know anything else in life. one weighs truth by many different standards. scriptural evidence, exegesis, history, reason, etc...all play a part in determining truth.

I see my paradigm as the same as those who lived during Jesus day for example. there was no infallible interpreter, which Rome agrees, and yet they were held accountable for knowing the truths that were contained in the scriptures. they actually had much less to work with, but yet Jesus rebuked them for not knowing the scriptures meaning.

you said: This proofs that St. Irenaeus did not hold to SS. He believe that you need the authority of the Church and Scripture working equally (one is not supreme over the other) because the Church contains the full deposit of truth through AS. At the same time, St. Irenaeus believe the Church does have infalliblity because he said the presbyters contains certain gifts of truth through their AS.

me: one could hold to an authority of the Church, but not one of an infallible authority. parents have authority of their children, but we are not infallible, for example. or God uses the civil magistrate to have authority as well, but we all know it is not infallible.

whether Irenaeus thought the Church had an infallible authority or not, I have not seen any "proof", as you claim. he very well could of, or perhaps he meant an authority, but not necessarily an infallible one. Dr Mathison, in his sola scriptura book actually criticizes many evangelicals for going to the extreme and saying that the Church as no authority, and explains this was not the view say of Calvin/Luther. But they did believe the Church had authority as well.

I have been more focused on the whole MS thus far...but will look at your prior comments about Ireneaus and this issue since I know where you are coming from on the MS issue. but, like I posted earlier...there are disagreements even with RC historians on what Irenaeus meant concerning the AS/Primacy issue. But, at the very least, it is good to see the RCC coming to see and believe the MS, or if not the official RCC, a minority but growing number of individuals themselves within the RCC. If doctrine has to found in scripture, then at least we have this common ground where debate is much more potentially fruitful.

you said: As for RP, where in his writings does it show that all Apostolic Sees hold pre-eminanet authority? Where does he say we should agree with all the Apostolic Sees instead of just the Roman See?

me: not sure what you mean here...sorry. what does the real presence have to do with apos such or Roman See?

thanks for the discussion.

in Him,

-joe

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

also, I forgot to mention in answering you question about how I know what interpretation is correct.

this actually applies to you as well. how do you know that say material sufficiency is correct...when most in the RCC do not believe it.

this could apply to many other issues as well...that this is disagreement on. the meaning of Tradition, what papal statements are infallible, or what sins are mortal, what specific scriptures have been infallibly interpreted, etc...

vwtaylorii said...

There is no misunderstanding when WCOF explicitly say Scripture interpret itself and Mathison says it doesn't. When WCF says the only INFALLIBLE interpreter is Scripture itself, it means Scripture can INTERPRET itself. I am not denying the fact that the church plays an authoritative role, but there is clearly a difference between Mathison and WCF. Since you are backing up WCF, where does Scripture say that?

You showing that Scripture needs to be interpreted by human agency and that it needs the correct interpretation to work as the proper standard means that Scripture is subjected to another authority to say what is talking about. Therefore, Scripture cannot be the supreme authority if it needs someone to speak on its behalf.

I am not saying Scripture is not infallible or inerrant Word of God if it is not interpreted correctly. If we cannot understand Scripture, it is because God understanding is higher than our understanding. 

Your comment to my question about how do you know if your interpretation is correct can be summed up to say you really don't know if your interpretation is correct. You named many types of ways to determine the correct interpretation (history, exegesis, etc.) shows that you looked to other authorities (not Scripture) to determine the correct interpretation. Therefore, Scripture is not acting as the final authority. In addition, If you really don't know if your interpretation is correct, you really can't say that Scripture is clear when it pertain to salvation. You even recognized St. Irenaeus believe in AS and Roman Primacy (claiming in a limited way and not the same as the CC teach them). When I asked you how did he believe these teachings and hold to SS, and one of your answers was that he may have misinterpreted Scripture. However, you cannot make that claim if you don't know if your interpretation is right.

Your recognition of difference belief in clarity of Scripture between you and Mathish/Ireneaus proves there need to be an infallible authority (that is guided by the Holy Spirit) to get rid of the confusion. Jesus established an authoritative body (starting with the apostles) to speak for him (Mt 10:40; Lk 10: 16) and promise them He will send an Advocate (Holy Spirit) to teach them all things and bring into remembrance. The parent/Church analogy does not work because the parents submit to Scripture and teaching authority of the Church in order to raise their children in the Christian faith. It is the same for civil authority. I don't claim infallibility, but I can interpret Scripture correctly under the teaching of the Church (which you can read CCC 111-114 to see how the Catholic Church interpret Scripture).

St. Ireneaus believe the bishops and presbyters has the same authority that the Apostles received from Jesus through their AP. You said you didn't see any proof from Ireneaus believing in an infallible Church, but I constantly quoted Against Heresies 4:26:2, which you should read Scripture under the guidance of the presbyters because they contain certain gifts of truth through their AP. What does he mean about presbyters has certain gifts of truth?

As for my question about the Roman Primacy, RP in that question meant Roman Primacy sorry for the confusion. Where in his writings does it show that all Apostolic Sees hold pre-eminanet authority? Where does he show we should agree with all the Apostolic Sees instead of just the Roman See?

I never claimed MS is correct, and I don't think others are wrong if they hold to this view. The reason why I believe in MS of Scripture because I believe you can use Scripture (whether it is directly or indirectly) to explain a teaching.

Lvka said...

The unified faith that Irenaeus is talking about had -and still has- aspects such as prayers for the departed and the belief in the Real Presence... you can't ignore this historical reality when interpreting his words.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

so our posts do not get super long, I figure I would take your points one at a time.

you said: There is no misunderstanding when WCOF explicitly say Scripture interpret itself and Mathison says it doesn't. When WCF says the only INFALLIBLE interpreter is Scripture itself, it means Scripture can INTERPRET itself. I am not denying the fact that the church plays an authoritative role, but there is clearly a difference between Mathison and WCF. Since you are backing up WCF, where does Scripture say that?

me: with all due respect, at the very least, unless you have studied Dr Mathison’s and the WCOF viewpoints...I think you have to be at least open to you do in fact misunderstand what “Scripture interprets Scripture” means. there is no difference between Dr Mathison’s viewpoint and the WCOF since he holds to the WCOF (unless he has changed his stance since his book 10 years ago).

first, there is a sense in which scripture interprets script...and there is a sense that it does not, but it appears you are missing the distinction. when for ex, Paul interprets OT texts within his NT writings....we have a case where script is interpreting script. or another ex, using the patristic principle (that Irenaeus also used), ambiguous passages are interpreted by clear passages. certainly you must agree in these cases script is in some sense interpreting script. do you agree with this?????

second, there is a sense in which script does not interpret script. the example I used in my last post was that the bible cannot get up and walk in the pulpit and preach/teach/interpret itself. everyone would agree that in this sense, script does not interpret script.

third, the WCOF speaks of the Churchs’ roles as well...which include handling of the “oracles, and ordinances of God”. you have to take the WCOF in context as it also says:

Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life to the end of the world: and doth, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto

fourth, the Dr. (in his book, sola scrip) addresses the objection that Scrip does interprets itself. responding to Clark Carlton (who is orthodox) who raises the objection that the “scrip are self-interpreting is patently absurd”, Dr. Mathison says:

“Carlton, as well as many others who raise this objection, have badly misunderstood the meaning of the phrase “Scipture interprets Scripture” (SIS). The claim must be understood in its historical context. The Reformers made this claim at a time when Scrip was buried in scholastic commentaries and glosses. One of the main points they were attempting to make was that these glosses were obscuring the text of Scripture. A second observation is that when Protestants (at least classical Protestants) say “SIS”, they are not claiming that the Bible is some kind of personal entity that climbs into a pulpit apart from any human interaction and preaches itself...It is simply a call to interpret Scripture within its own context. This does not demand radical individualism. The Church is to interpret Scripture within its own context. If a text of Scripture appears to have a meaning that is in contradiction with the meaning of another text, then the problem is with the interpretation of one or both of those texts-not with the inspired Word of God. This is the fundamental point of the phrase, “SIS”, despite its misuse by numerous Evangelicals”

so like I said, Dr Mathisons‘ view and the WCOF are not different viewpoints and I think they are both correct at this point. but willing to alter my beliefs of course if I am convinced otherwise.

does this clarify things for you at all on this point? if so, we can go to the next one.

thanks.

in Him,

-joe

Algo said...

Scriptura ex scripturim explicandum esse (Scripture is to be explained by Scripture.)
All our preaching and teaching must be 'doctrina e Scriptura Sacra hausta' (doctrine drawn from Holy Scripture)

Scriptura ex scripturim explicandum esse: Scripture is to be explained from Scripture; one of several forms of a maxim employed by both Lutheran and Reformed orthodox to indicate the normative authority and self-authenticating character of Scripture over against the Roman Catholic contention that the church has absolute authority to explain the text. The orthodox grant that Scripture cannot be interpreted outside of the church, but they insist that the authority of the church derives from Scripture and not the authority of Scripture from the church’s testimony. Since Word, as such, is authoritative and effective, it must be its own standard of interpretation. Other versions of the maxim include: Scriptura seipsam interpretatur; Scriptura Scripturam interpretatur; Scriptura sui interpres.

Irenaeus (130 - c. 200):
For by the fact that they thus endeavour to explain ambiguous passages of Scripture (ambiguous, however, not as if referring to another god, but as regards the dispensations of [the true] God), they have constructed another god, weaving, as I said before, ropes of sand, and affixing a more important to a less important question. For no question can be solved by means of another which itself awaits solution; nor, in the opinion of those possessed of sense, can an ambiguity be explained by means of another ambiguity, or enigmas by means of another greater enigma, but things of such character receive their solution from those which are manifest, and consistent and clear.
ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, 2:10:1.

Algo said...

Irenaeus (c. 130-200): (Scripture to be interpreted by Scripture)
If, therefore, according to the rule which I have stated, we leave some questions in the hands of God, we shall both preserve our faith uninjured, and shall continue without danger; and all Scripture, which has been given to us by God, shall be found by us perfectly consistent; and the parables shall harmonize with those passages which are perfectly plain; and those statements the meaning of which is clear, shall serve to explain the parables; and through the many diversified utterances [of Scripture] there shall be heard one harmonious melody in us, praising in hymns that God who created all things. If, for instance, any one asks, “What was God doing before He made the world? ”we reply that the answer to such a question lies with God Himself. For that this world was formed perfect by God, receiving a beginning in time, the Scriptures teach us; but no Scripture reveals to us what God was employed about before this event. The answer therefore to that question remains with God, and it is not proper for us to aim at bringing forward foolish, rash, and blasphemous suppositions [in reply to it]; so, as by one’s imagining that he has discovered the origin of matter, he should in reality set aside God Himself who made all things. ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, 2:28:3 (Unlike the Romanists, Irenaeus tells us that God, not the Church, gave us the Scriptures, and that if a matter concerning God is not revealed in Scripture, it is because it is beyond the scope of extant revelation.)

And a contemporary of Irenaeus:

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220): Scripture interpreted by the whole
Chapter XX.—The Scriptures Relied on by Praxeas to Support His Heresy But Few. They are Mentioned by Tertullian. They would have the entire revelation of both Testaments yield to these three passages, whereas the only proper course is to understand the few statements in the light of the many.
But in their contention they only act on the principle of all heretics. For, inasmuch as only a few testimonies are to be found (making for them) in the general mass, they pertinaciously set off the few against the many, and assume the later against the earlier. The rule, however, which has been from the beginning established for every case, gives its prescription against the later assumptions, as indeed it also does against the fewer. ANF: Vol. III , Against Praxeas, Chapter 20.

Algo said...

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
Well, if it occurs occasionally in certain portions of it, you will say, then why not in that phrase, where the resurrection might be spiritually understood? There are several reasons why not. First, what must be the meaning of so many important passages of Holy Scripture, which so obviously attest the resurrection of the body, as to admit not even the appearance of a figurative signification? And, indeed, (since some passages are more obscure than others), it cannot but be right — as we have shown above — that uncertain statements should be determined by certain ones, and obscure ones by such as are clear and plain; else there is fear that, in the conflict of certainties and uncertainties, of explicitness and obscurity, faith may be shattered, truth endangered, and the Divine Being Himself be branded as inconstant. Then arises the improbability that the very mystery on which our trust wholly rests, on which also our instruction entirely depends, should have the appearance of being ambiguously announced and obscurely propounded, inasmuch as the hope of the resurrection, unless it be clearly set forth on the sides both of punishment and reward, would fail to persuade any to embrace a religion like ours, exposed as it is to public detestation and the imputation of hostility to others. There is no certain work where the remuneration is uncertain. There is no real apprehension when the peril is only doubtful. But both the recompense of reward, and the danger of losing it, depend on the issues of the resurrection. Now, if even those purposes of God against cities, and nations, and kings, which are merely temporal, local, and personal in their character, have been proclaimed so clearly in prophecy, how is it to be supposed that those dispensations of His which are eternal, and of universal concern to the human race, should be void of all real light in themselves? The grander they are, the clearer should be their announcement, in order that their superior greatness might be believed. And I apprehend that God cannot possibly have ascribed to Him either envy, or guile, or inconsistency, or artifice, by help of which evil qualities it is that all schemes of unusual grandeur are litigiously promulgated.
ANF: Vol. III , On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 21.

Algo said...

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
This is evidence enough from the prophetic Scriptures . I now appeal to the Gospels. . . .Besides, there is not a parable which you will not find to be either explained by the Lord Himself, as that of the sower, (which He interprets) of the management of the word of God; or else cleared by a preface from the writer of the Gospel, as in the parable of the arrogant judge and the importunate widow, which is expressly applied to earnestness in prayer; or capable of being spontaneously understood, as in the parable of the fig-tree, which was spared a while in hopes of improvement — an emblem of Jewish sterility. Now, if even parables obscure not the light of the gospel, how unlikely it is that plain sentences and declarations, which have an unmistakable meaning, should signify any other thing than their literal sense! But it is by such declarations and sentences that the Lord sets forth either the last judgment, or the kingdom, or the resurrection: “It shall be more tolerable,” He says, “for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.” And “Tell them that the kingdom of God is at hand.” And again, “It shall be recompensed to you at the resurrection of the just.” Now, if the mention of these events (I mean the judgment-day, and the kingdom of God, and the resurrection) has a plain and absolute sense, so that nothing about them can be pressed into an allegory, neither should those statements be forced into parables which describe the arrangement, and the process, and the experience of the kingdom of God, and of the judgment, and of the resurrection.
ANF: Vol. III , On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 33.

Algo said...

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220): Come, now, tell me how that passage (in the Epistle) to the Thessalonians — which, because of its clearness, I should suppose to have been written with a sunbeam — is understood by our heretics, who shun the light of Scripture: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” And as if this were not plain enough, it goes on to say: “And may your whole body, and soul, and spirit be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord.” Here you have the entire substance of man destined to salvation, and that at no other time than at the coming of the Lord, which is the key of the resurrection.
ANF: Vol. III , On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 47.

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
For the completeness of so brief a prayer He added — in order that we should supplicate not touching the remitting merely, but touching the entire averting, of acts of guilt — “Lead us not into temptation:” that is, suffer us not to be led into it, by him (of course) who tempts; but far be the thought that the Lord should seem to tempt, as if He either were ignorant of the faith of any, or else were eager to overthrow it. Infirmity and malice are characteristics of the devil. For God had commanded even Abraham to make a sacrifice of his son, for the sake not of tempting, but proving, his faith; in order through him to make an example for that precept of His, whereby He was, by and by, to enjoin that he should hold no pledges of affection dearer than God. He Himself, when tempted by the devil, demonstrated who it is that presides over and is the originator of temptation. This passage He confirms by subsequent ones, saying, “Pray that ye be not tempted;” yet they were tempted, (as they showed) by deserting their Lord, because they had given way rather to sleep than prayer. The final clause, therefore, is consonant, and interprets the sense of “Lead us not into temptation;” for this sense is, “But convey us away from the Evil One.”
ANF: Vol. III , On Prayer, Chapter 8.

Algo said...

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
But when the apostle interprets, “The two shall be (joined) into one flesh” of the Church and Christ, according to the spiritual nuptials of the Church and Christ (for Christ is one, and one is His Church), we are bound to recognize a duplication and additional enforcement for us of the law of unity of marriage, not only in accordance with the foundation of our race, but in accordance with the sacrament of Christ.
ANF: Vol. IV, On Exhortation to Chasity, Chapter 5.

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
But, presenting to your weakness the gift of the example of His own flesh, the more perfect Adam — that is, Christ, more perfect on this account as well (as on others), that He was more entirely pure — stands before you, if you are willing (to copy Him), as a voluntary celibate in the flesh. If, however, you are unequal (to that perfection), He stands before you a monogamist in spirit, having one Church as His spouse, according to the figure of Adam and of Eve, which (figure) the apostle interprets of that great sacrament of Christ and the Church, (teaching that), through the spiritual, it was analogous to the carnal monogamy.
ANF: Vol. IV, On Monogamy, Chapter 5.

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

Algo,

All you have done is post from William Webster and now Tertullian and Irenaeus, but barely make your own comments and not addressing my post. I am just going to look at St. Irenaeus since this blog post is about him.

You can pick and pull quotes from his writings to show "Scripture interpret Scripture." However, what I have shown in my essay, St. Irenaeus believe you need the correct interpretation in order for this to happen (4:33:8). The only way to have the correct interpretation is if you are in the Church that carry Apostolic Succession. If you are not in the Church, you cannot have the correct interpretation; and if you don't have the correct interpretation, you cannot be nourished by Scripture (5:20:2, 4:26:2, 4:32:1).

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

I understand now, and thank you for posting the other comment from Mathison to clear up the meaning.

But how do you know which passage of Scripture is clear? If Scripture is clear pertaining to salvation, why hasn't resolve the difference between Christian groups? You probably claim there are passages clearly teach Batismal Regeneration, while Mathison and other Protestants will claim that there are passages that clearly doesn't. You said the Bible has passages that clearly teach Infant Baptism, but other Protestants (you probably can include Mathison depending on his view) will claim the Bible don't teach Infant Baptism.

You mention looking at history to get the correct interpretation. What happens if history shows a different belief from what you hold? You already achknowledge Ireneaus believe in Roman Primacy and Apostolic Succession (though claiming it is different from what Catholic Church teach today). I have talked to a good number of Protestants that claim the Church Fathers cannot be trusted because they hold a lot of beliefs that Catholics hold.

Like I said, I do recognize the WCF and Mathison teach the necessity of Church authority interpret Scripture. However, how do you know which Church has the right interpretation? How do you know the Lutheran Church correctly interpret Scripture over the Anglican, Calvinist, and other Protestant Churches?

St. Ireneaus always pointed to the Church that was passed on by the Apostles through Apostolic Succession, as well as hold to the union of Roman Church because of their pre-eminant authority. He believe you are not in the Church if your leaders are not the successors of the Apostles, you are not part of the Church. If you are not part of the Church, he believes, you cannot be nourished by Scripture (5:20:2) because the prebyters carry certain gifts of truth through their succession (4:26:2). This view shows that Scripture and Church authority working as equal authority

Miguel Sastre said...

Hey Algo,

Can I steal your idea of using previous material from CAF for blogging material? Last I checked, my "stuff" is still there. They've banned me, but not my ideas (at least not yet!)

I've added some new material aimed at Catholic Nick on my blog (Fallibility). Take a look if you get a chance.

Keep up the good work. Great work on Irenaeus.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: I understand now, and thank you for posting the other comment from Mathison to clear up the meaning.

me: sure, no problem. happy I could help with that. the rest of you last post brought up more questions and so forth...but if you don't mind, I want to try an respond to your other comments and questions in your prior post before I get to these.

you said, in a prior post: You showing that Scripture needs to be interpreted by human agency and that it needs the correct interpretation to work as the proper standard means that Scripture is subjected to another authority to say what is talking about. Therefore, Scripture cannot be the supreme authority if it needs someone to speak on its behalf.

me: me: disagree. just like I said in my last post, one disobeying or not understanding an authority (deliberately or not)...does not negate the authority of that authority. And since we our talking about the authority of God, we are dealing with a supreme authority. if you take your logic out consistently, how do you not strip God of His supreme authority?? any and every communication involves interpretation. if my interpretation of Gods commands, whether the commands are via scripture, tradition or I am eating lunch with Jesus, are subject and dependent on my correct understanding of them to be authoritative, again how would that not strip Him of any authority He has? I think you logic fails here and proves far to much.

related to your question, Dr. Mathison says: Of significance importance to the doctrine of SS is the insistence that Scrip is the one final and authoritative norm of doctrine and practice. It is important to notice that SS, properly understood, is not a claim that Scipt is the only authority altogether…there are other real authorities which are subordinate and derivative in nature. Script, however, is the only inspired and inherently infallible norm, and therefore script is the only final authoritative norm.

And

Scripture’s unique, infallible and final authority means that it stands as the Church’s supreme norm. this was a primary element of early classical Protestant formulations of the doctrine of SS. To scripture alone can we ascribe the term norma absoluta-“absolute norm”- because it is Scripture alone that is God-breathed. The supreme normativity of Scripture is the logical corollary of its inspiration, infallibility, and unique authority. If scripture truly is the divinely inspired Word of the living God; if it is therefore completely, absolutely, and unconditionally infallible; if it does carry the very authority of God Himself, then it is self-evident that Scripture is our supreme norm or standard. No other proposed norm can claim these qualities for itself. The writings of the fathers are not God-breathed. The canons and decrees of the Councils are not God-breathed. The Church does not speak with the inherent self-authority of God. The Church is the Bride of Christ. She is the Body of Christ with Christ as her head. She has been promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against her, but she has not been promised perfection or infallibility this side of the consummation, and it is a presumption to claim such perfection and infallibility. God-breathed Scripture is the supreme norm to which the Church is to submit and to which her creeds and to conform.

Algo said...

Thanks Miguel, I saved some of your threads at C.A.F.

This one was really good:
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=549761

Here is the link to your blog:
http://fallibility.blogspot.com/

Algo said...

Joe,

If you want to post a link here you can type:
< a > paste url here < /a > but don't leave any spaces.

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

Sorry for the wait.

Yes, we are talking about a supreme authority, God. Yes, Scripture is the only inspired authority, but God established an authoritative body that is guided by the Holy Spirit to protect the meaning of Scripture. Why would God leave an infallible document but not leave an infallible authority to protect its meaning?

Again, St. Ireneaus believe in an infallible Church because the presbyters carry certain gifts of truth (4:26:2). Even the the title to this section  shows he believe this (The reasure hid in the Scriptures is Christ; the true exposition of the Scriptures is to be found in the Church alone). In 5:20:2, he shows you will not be nourished by Scripture (get the true meaning) if you are not in the Church.

Mathison claim the Church doesn't claim the self-authority of God and was not promised infallibility. However, the Bible shows God established an authoritative body to speak on His behalf before Scripture was ever written. If you did not listen to that authority that God established, you did not listen to God.

In Nm 12:1-15 and Nm 16, showed people rebelling against Moses (thinking that God speaks to them as well) and they suffered the consequence for rebelling against God established authority. In addition, the authority that God established through Moses did not die with Moses. It lasted to the time Jesus came (Mt 23:1-3).

In the New Testament, Jesus established an authority to speak on His behalf. If you did not listen to them, you did not listen to Jesus (Lk 10:16; Mt 10:40; 1 Jn 4:6). In addition, whatever they bind is bound in Heaven (Mt 16:19; 18:18), and Jesus promise He will send an Advocate (Holy Spirit) to teach and bring things to remembrance always (Jn 14:16-18, 25). How is the Church able to bind things that are bound in Heaven and speak on Christ behalf if it did not receive the promise of infallibility? Where in the Bible it shows that the things I mentioned will stop with the Apostles?

The writings of the CFs are not God-Breathed, but the consistent beliefs that has been passed down by them shows their teachings are guided and protected by the Holy Spirit. 

The early Ecumenical Councils shows they believe they got there authority from God. Canon 7 of Ephesus says that it unlawful to established a different faith established by the Holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicea. Session 5 from Chalcedon established anathema on Christians if they don't believe. Even J.N.D Kelly said an anathema was established in Nicea (pg. 212 Early Christian Creed). This shows that if you did not listen to the Church, you are not part of the Church.

Joe said...

hi vwytaylorii.

okay...I have a feeling this will be a long discussion since one point leads to so many. again, let me respond to one point in your last post first.

hmm...where to start?

let me clarify your position. so, you do not see the scriptures as a final or supreme authority because it requires another entity (whether it is an individ, church, et) to interpret it.

if so, like I asked in my last post, how does this not by necessity strip God of any authority, if His authority is dependent on another to interpret it correctly?

I think His authority is still intact, and we are accountable to Him, even if we do not understand or interpret Him correctly...and in that way, since the Script are His direct Word...they are supreme and final.

thanks.

in Him,

-joe

Joe said...

hi vwtaylorii,

continuing my response to a post of yours a few posts back...

you said: I am not saying Scripture is not infallible or inerrant Word of God if it is not interpreted correctly. If we cannot understand Scripture, it is because God understanding is higher than our understanding.

me: well, good to hear, point of agreement....but why do you think scripture is infallible or inerrant?? is not there disagreement with the RCC on this issue. don’t some believe that there are in fact errors that do not touch on matters of “faith and morals” and some believe that there are not any errors of any kind? so how do you know if it is inerrant/infallible or not, if the infallible teachings of Rome are interpreted differently, an under your logic, one needs to have an infallible way of knowing something to know anything??

you said: Your comment to my question about how do you know if your interpretation is correct can be summed up to say you really don't know if your interpretation is correct. You named many types of ways to determine the correct interpretation (history, exegesis, etc.) shows that you looked to other authorities (not Scripture) to determine the correct interpretation. Therefore, Scripture is not acting as the final authority.

me: disagree. because I do not claim that I am infallible or think that the Church is infallible, does not mean one cannot know something. the example I used in my last post was regarding those in Jesus’ day. the Jews did not have any infallible authority to interpret the OT for them and yet Jesus rebuked them for not knowing the meaning of the scriptures. so, your rationale actually undermines Jesus’ view that they were responsible for knowing the OT word of God.
yes, one that holds to SS, can still use other resources to aid in knowing what scripture means. one can use dictionaries, creeds, councils, reason, history, the “rule of faith”, tradition, etc...to help understand what scripture means. your holding me to a view of SS that is rather bizarre and one that nobody holds to. so yes, in my paradigm, Scripture still is the final authority…even if other aids are used to help in interpreting scripture. Dr. Mathison compares this to faith alone. He said that just like faith alone is not by a faith that is alone…so it is with scripture. Scripture alone, but not necessarily by a scripture that is alone.

cont...

Joe said...

you said: In addition, If you really don't know if your interpretation is correct, you really can't say that Scripture is clear when it pertain to salvation.

me: obviously I think my interpretations are correct, otherwise, I would not believe them. I do not claim infallibility for myself, so yes, I could be wrong. unless one has the charism of infallibility, including yourself, there is a chance of being incorrect. even if you think that the RCC is infallible, you are still deciding that for yourself, and your decision could be wrong...unless you are claiming that you yourself are infallible. so it is not logically inconsistent to believe/know the scriptures, without the charism of infallibility, and still have the scriptures be “clear pertaining to salvation”. the scriptures say they are clear, Jesus assumes it is and rebukes the Jews for not understanding it, and the patristics held that it was, in the main, clear as well.

you said: You even recognized St. Irenaeus believe in AS and Roman Primacy (claiming in a limited way and not the same as the CC teach them). When I asked you how did he believe these teachings and hold to SS, and one of your answers was that he may have misinterpreted Scripture. However, you cannot make that claim if you don't know if your interpretation is right.

me: yes, I do think Irenaeus in some form different, than the RCC, believed in AS and RP. there is even disagreement within RC historians on what he meant with his statements about the Roman Church. okay, so what is the point? belief in SS does not mean one cannot hold to some form of AS or even RP. again, this issue deals with the idea that one can know something without an infallible knowing. if one cannot, then even in your paradigm, you wipe out the ability for the whole OT believers to know anything, and make Jesus rebuking them for things they could never know (since there was no infallible church to guide them).
also, are you of the opinion that Irenaeus was correct on everything he interpreted from the scriptures?

cont...

Joe said...

you said: Your recognition of difference belief in clarity of Scripture between you and Mathish/Ireneaus proves there need to be an infallible authority (that is guided by the Holy Spirit) to get rid of the confusion. Jesus established an authoritative body (starting with the apostles) to speak for him (Mt 10:40; Lk 10: 16) and promise them He will send an Advocate (Holy Spirit) to teach them all things and bring into remembrance. The parent/Church analogy does not work because the parents submit to Scripture and teaching authority of the Church in order to raise their children in the Christian faith. It is the same for civil authority. I don't claim infallibility, but I can interpret Scripture correctly under the teaching of the Church (which you can read CCC 111-114 to see how the Catholic Church interpret Scripture).

me: what? I do NOT recognize a difference in clarity of Scripture between Dr Mathison/Irenaeus/myself. perhaps this has been cleared up for you since you posted this. the fact that the OT establishment operated without an infallible authority proves that this concept is actually not needed to know what truth is...as Jesus demonstrates. my analogies of parent/child and the civil magistrate were not meant to be an exact correlation to the authority of the Church. they were simply meant to give daily examples of how there could be an authority without the necessity of an infallible one. again, just the like OT church.

also, you say you can interpret scripture correctly under the teaching of the church. but what do you do when there are different interpretations, and acceptable contrary interpretations on the teachings of the Church? is the bible totally inerrant? what papal statements are ex cathedra? is the bible materially sufficient? what view do you to the meaning of Tradition? do you believe in geocentrism? etc. etc. so taking your logic out, you actually cannot know any of these things and anything there is acceptable disagreement on in the RCC.

almost done responding to your post a few posts ago. :)

in Him,

-joe

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

I answered your question in the last post.

It doesn't strip away from God authority because God is working through another authority that He established in the Church. The Holy Spirit guides and protects the authoritative body that was established by Jesus Christ from error so they can preserve the true meaning of Scripture and the full deposit of truth (Traditions). Therefore, the authority of Church and Tradition shares the same origin that Scripture came from, God. Therefore, His authority is still intact because He is working through other authorities than Scripture.

Like I said, God established another authority before Scripture was written or put together, and it started with the Apostles. He promised them the Holy Spirit will teach and remember all truths. In addition, He gave them the authority speak on His behalf, and you are not listening to God if you are not listening to them (I reference all these points in my last post). Before they died, they ordained other men to take up their position to preserve all revelation and pass them to the next generation.

It was that same authority that was established by God that He work through to write Scripture. It was that same authority that preserved the true meaning of Scripture from heretics. It was that same authority that saved Scripture during persecution and passed them to us. It was that same authority that gave us the canonical list when people were figuring out what letters or books are inspire.

From the looks of it, it seems that other SS believers believe God only works through  Scripture and not through other authorities, and the He established ended with the last Apostle.

If that is the case, then St. Ireneaus did not believe in SS because he believe the authority given to the Apostles was passed down to their successors. If he wanted to find the true Church Jesus Christ established, he turned to see which bishops hold to Apostolic Succession.

Why would God leave an infallible document without an infallible interpreter that He works through to protect its meaning?

How is the Church able to bind things that are bound in Heaven (Mt 16:19; 18:18) and speak on Christ behalf (Lk 10:16; Mt 10:40; 1 Jn 4:6) if it did not receive the promise of infallibility? Where in the Bible it shows that the things I mentioned will stop with the Apostles?

I know you want to focus on one thing at a time, but I am going to post my other questions I asked January 19.

How do you know which passages of Scripture is clear when opposing believers say there are clear passages that supports their believe?

If Scripture is clear pertaining to salvation, why hasn't it resolved the conflict between Christian groups?

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: I answered your question in the last post.

It doesn't strip away from God authority because God is working through another authority that He established in the Church. The Holy Spirit guides and protects the authoritative body that was established by Jesus Christ from error so they can preserve the true meaning of Scripture and the full deposit of truth (Traditions). Therefore, the authority of Church and Tradition shares the same origin that Scripture came from, God. Therefore, His authority is still intact because He is working through other authorities than Scripture.

me: this does not answer the question though. even if one granted that the Church was infallible, you still have to interpret what the Church is teaching...and if your now yourself infallible, then are capable of misinterpreting the Church's teaching. this obviously happens since there are in fact different interpretations of infallible RCC teachings (as shown in prior posts...ironically, even the question of whether the bible is inerrant is interpreted contrary ways within Rome).

you said: Why would God leave an infallible document without an infallible interpreter that He works through to protect its meaning?

me: well, as I explained several times now, He obviously did that with most of the scriptures...that is, the whole OT. once again, your paradigm proves way too much.

you said: How is the Church able to bind things that are bound in Heaven (Mt 16:19; 18:18) and speak on Christ behalf (Lk 10:16; Mt 10:40; 1 Jn 4:6) if it did not receive the promise of infallibility? Where in the Bible it shows that the things I mentioned will stop with the Apostles?

me: one can be inerrant and not infallible. infallibility means one does not have the possibility of ever erring (at least, that is how I look at it). even the apostles could and did make mistakes as shown in the NT. and the Bible DOES say the prophets/apostles were a unique situation.

you said: How do you know which passages of Scripture is clear when opposing believers say there are clear passages that supports their believe?

If Scripture is clear pertaining to salvation, why hasn't it resolved the conflict between Christian groups?

me: yea, these were in the post I believe that I have been trying to respond to...so I will get to these in my next post.

gotta run to Church...

in Him,

-joe

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

correction on my last post.

I said: ...even if one granted that the Church was infallible, you still have to interpret what the Church is teaching...and if your now yourself infallible, then are capable of misinterpreting the Church's teaching.

should have been: even if one granted that the Church was infallible, you still have to interpret what the Church is teaching...and if your NOT yourself infallible, then are capable of misinterpreting the Church's teaching. (then consequently, strip the Church and God of their authority, according to your paradigm that if scripture has to be interpreted correctly in order to still be authoritative)

vwtaylorii said...

Joe, Sorry for getting back to you so late. I had to take care of school business.

You mentioned I didn't answer your question. Once again, I did answer your question. It seems to me that you and everybody that believe in SS that God only work through Scripture and nothing else. If I am wrong about this, please help me understand SS believe God work through any other authority.

It doesn't take away any authority from God if we don't understand. Besides, I wasn't taking anything away from Scripture. It was your quote from Keith Mathison that is taking authority away from Scripture. You quoted Mathison saying:

Scrip alone is the only final standard, but it is a final standard that must be utilized, interpreted and preached but he Church within its Christian context. If Script is not interpreted correctly within its proper context, it ceases to function properly as a standard....No one asserts that a Bible can read itself. Scrip cannot be interpreted or preached apart from the involvement of some human agency, even if that human agency is simply one individual reading the Scrip. But this obvious truth does not invalidate the supreme authority of Scrip. Scrip remains objectively what it is whether anyone reads it, preaches it or hears it. It remains the objective & infallible Word of God always. In order for it to function as a standard, however, some person or persons must take the Scrip, open it, read it, interpret it, and us it as a standard from which the gospel is preached and against which all doctrines are measured.

Mathison says Scripture needs to be interpreted correctly to properly work as a final standard. If something has final, ultimate authority, it doesn't need anything to work properly. It works properly regardless if anything doesn't follow it. Since Mathison said Scripture need the correct interpretation to work properly as the final standard, he is not making Scripture as the final authority because Scripture is relying on another authority to correctly interpret what Scripture is saying to work properly.

As for your statement about misinterpreting Church teachings, I haven't ran into that problem so far because the Magisterium is explicit about what they teach (from what I have read so far). If I have a problem of understanding a teaching, I will go to a priest or deacon (who also received authority, we believe, from God), or scholars (who were taught by priest) who went to school and study the Catholic Church teachings (especially if they are recognized by the Church, like Scott Hahn).

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

You mentioned you proved that God didn't have infallible interpreters in the OT. I looked passed it because I felt it was not main part of the discussion. The priest in the Old Covenant did not have the same gift of infallibility like the Church in the New Covenant because the Holy Spirit did not reveal Himself yet, and the fullness of truth was hidden until Jesus Christ came and fulfill everything prophesied. In addition, Jesus promised His leaders He ordained (beginning with the Apostles) that the Holy Spirit will guide and teach them all truths (Jn 14:16-18, 25). However, since the Old Covenant is a shadow of the New (Heb 10:1), the priest did receive a type of infallibility that is the same (in principle) as the New Covenant leaders.

Deut 17: 8-12 says-
If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose; And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.

As you can see, if a dispute breaks out that cannot be solved, they have to go to the priest officiate the ministry of the Lord. The Lord will guide them to make a decision. If they do not listen to the priest, they will die.

You see the same thing in Exodus 28:30. The breast plate of Urim and Thummim will be over Aaron heart when goes to the place of the Lord to make a decision. The Lord works through the breast plate to guide Aaron to make an infallible decision.

If the priest made a fallible decision in Deut 17, why would the people be put to death if they did not listen to their judgement?

You mentioned that one can be inerrant but not infallible. If you look both words up, they both will say free from error; so they are not different from each other. Infallibilty does mean one does not error in anything, but it can also depend on what you are talking about. As Catholics, we believe the Church is infallible when it comes to faith and morals because Jesus promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church and bring to rememberance all truths.

St. Ireneaus believe in the same thing because he said the full deposit of truth was deposited into the Church. The Apostles and prophets are unique, but the authority that was given to them was passed on to their successors (Ireneaus believed this as well). The only thing they cannot do is write inspire text and prophesy new revelation.

vwtaylorii said...

Therefore, my questions still stand.

Why would God leave an infallible document without an infallible interpreter that He works through to protect its meaning?

How is the Church able to bind things that are bound in Heaven (Mt 16:19; 18:18) and speak on Christ behalf (Lk 10:16; Mt 10:40; 1 Jn 4:6) if it did not receive the promise of infallibility? Where in the Bible it shows that the things I mentioned will stop with the Apostles?

I know you want to focus on one thing at a time, but I am going to post my other questions I asked January 19.

How do you know which passages of Scripture is clear when opposing believers say there are clear passages that supports their believe?

If Scripture is clear pertaining to salvation, why hasn't it resolved the conflict between Christian groups?

Joe said...

Vwtaylorii,

No worries on the delay. I still have not responded to a third of the post I was working through of yours. I will get to all your questions, so please be patient.

My sister had major eye surgery this week for her eye cancer and it has not gone as hoped to this point and we are getting prepared for my wife's major surgery next week...so I have not been able to spend much time on side issues.

Not sure when exactly I will be able to respond but hopefully in a week or so depending on how everything goes. I may have some time tomorrow since I am "working" from home...but cannot promise anything.

In Him,

-joe

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

No worries, I think it is best we end it here. I am becoming busy with school, and there are family matters you have to attend to.

Besides, I think we got our point across and understand both sides of our arguements.

Take care, and I pray that everything gets better for your sister and wife.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

thanks for your prayers regarding my family. do apprectiate them.

life has been busy, but I can continue our discussion. if you are too busy, certainly understand.

so I do not leave you hanging, figured I would answer your last 2 questions.

you asked: How do you know which passages of Scripture is clear when opposing believers say there are clear passages that supports their believe?

me: well, suppose like I know anything else. reason, study, holy living, prayer, etc..

in context of this thread, Irenaeus actually says the entire scriptures are clear:

Since, therefore, the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, and harmoniously understood by all, although all do not believe them; and since they proclaim that one only God, to the exclusion of all others, formed all things by His word, whether visible or invisible, heavenly or earthly, in the water or under the earth, as I have shown from the very words of Scripture; and since the very system of creation to which we belong testifies, by what falls under our notice, that one Being made and governs it—those persons will seem truly foolish who blind their eyes to such a clear demonstration, and will not behold the light of the announcement [made to them]; but they put fetters upon themselves, and every one of them imagines, by means of their obscure interpretations of the parables, that he has found out a God of his own.

you also asked: If Scripture is clear pertaining to salvation, why hasn't it resolved the conflict between Christian groups?

me: well, suppose there are many reasons for this. sin, tradition, Christian groups actually not following SS and determine doctrine from other sources, etc. and many conflicts are not actually pertaining to salvation as well.

but as Ireneaus claims, it is umambigious, and as the scriptures declare for itself...they are clear.

When however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and assert that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For they allege that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce.."

do appreciate our discussion, and probably more for my own sake, post an overview of what we discussed.

thanks,

in Him,

-joe

vwtaylorii said...

Ok, lets see how far we can go. The broad overview of the discussion are:

1. Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible is the only ultimate, final, and infallible authority

2. Catholics believe believe Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Church are the infallible authorities

3. Whether St. Irenaeus believe in Sola Scriptura or the Catholic view of authority

All of my reference from Irenaeus can be found on this blog post.

In context of St. Irenaeus, you have to read him as a whole, know who he is addressing, and know what he is referring to. St. Irenaeus was talking to Gnostics. Gnostics deny the world was created by a superior being (God). They believe salvation is obtained from gaining knowledge of the universe. The quotes from Irenaeus you posted shows that Scripture is unambiguous about the existence of God as a supreme being the world was created by Him, which the Gnostics deny. I never deny that Scripture can be clear, but Irenaeus was talking about a specific teaching that is clear (existence of a supreme being and the world was created by that being).

In addition, St. Irenaeus believe you need to be under the authority of the Church to read Scripture (5:20:2, 4:26:2, 4:32:1). Like I showed in 5:20:2, he believes if you are not in the Church, you are not going to be nourished by the Scripture. If the Scripture is not nourishing you, you do not understand Scripture. If you do not understand Scripture, you cannot know which verse(s) are clear. Therefore, you need the Church to know what passage(s) in Scripture are clear.

After you obtain the correct interpretation through reason, study, holy living, etc., you came up with a different interpretation or belief (especially different from the historical beliefs). How do you know your right, and their wrong? I already showed that you hold to a different belief from Keith Mathison and St. Irenaeus.

You mentioned reason why the clarity of Scripture didn't resolve Christian difference because we are using tradition; not following following SS; and determine doctrine from other sources. Mathison doesn't believe in baptismal regeneration. If you want to believe St. Irenaeus believe in SS, you have to believe he thinks AS and Rome Primacy is clearly taught in Scripture. In addition, you already made the claim that WCF and other authorities cannot give an infallible teaching. Nowhere in the Bible it says Scripture is the final, ultimate authority.

How do you know you are following the right teaching of SS and Mathison and Irenaeus are not since they have different beliefs from you?

How do you know that Mathison and Irenaeus used other sources as their final authority to get their beliefs?

Joe said...

hey vwtaylorii. good to hear from you. fyi, my wires surgery went really well, though she is basically bed bound for a few weeks while I be Mr. Mom/teacher/and everything else. think I will get a better appreciation of all that my wife does!!

anyhow, getting back to our conversation.

you said: 1. Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible is the only ultimate, final, and infallible authority

2. Catholics believe believe Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Church are the infallible authorities

3. Whether St. Irenaeus believe in Sola Scriptura or the Catholic view of authority

me: I would agree here and add that other issues like the principles of "Scripture interprets Scripture, the clarity or "perspicuity" of scripture have also been part of the conversation and important when discussing Irenaues. and suppose there could be another option for point 3. Ireaneaus could follow neither SS or the RC view of authority, and could follow something in between.

I would suggest this time that we do try to stay with one point at at time, come to some agreement (most likely agree to disagree on some points) and and at least understanding on where we are both coming from. certainly understand that some points relate to each other, but I hope you understand my concern. I never did get to all your points mainly because of the multiple issues we are discussing.

so I will respond to your first point of your last post first.

you said: In context of St. Irenaeus, you have to read him as a whole, know who he is addressing, and know what he is referring to. St. Irenaeus was talking to Gnostics. Gnostics deny the world was created by a superior being (God). They believe salvation is obtained from gaining knowledge of the universe. The quotes from Irenaeus you posted shows that Scripture is unambiguous about the existence of God as a supreme being the world was created by Him, which the Gnostics deny. I never deny that Scripture can be clear, but Irenaeus was talking about a specific teaching that is clear (existence of a supreme being and the world was created by that being).

me: yes, I agree that we always have to have things in context and read as a whole. the Protest principle of SIS tells me so (not to mention plain reason). :)

yes, Iren was discussing the supreme creator of God in the first quote. so are you are saying that Irenaues only thought that Script was clear on this one point that God is supreme and He created the world?

before I say why I would disagree, I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly.

thanks.

in Him,

joe

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

I am glad to see your wife is doing well.

You: yes, Iren was discussing the supreme creator of God in the first quote. so are you are saying that Irenaues only thought that Script was clear on this one point that God is supreme and He created the world?

No, and I don't know how you got that from my post. I said the quote you posted was talking about a specific teaching that is clear (God being the supreme being and He created the world). I did not say that is the only teaching he believe that is clear.

If you want to show that Irenaeus believe the entire Scripture is clear, you must pick something from his writing that is talking about the entire Scripture and not just looking at a specific teaching. In addition, if you claim St. Irenaeus believe the entire Scripture is clear, you have to claim he believe AS and Rome Primacy is clear in Scripture. Since you claim these two teachings are clearly not taught in Scripture, you have to believe two things: Irenaeus believe had the wrong view of SS, or he did not hold to the teaching.

Like I said in my last post, St. Irenaeus believe you need to be under the authority of the Church to read Scripture (regardless if you find him saying the entire Scripture is clear) (5:20:2, 4:26:2, 4:32:1). Like I showed in 5:20:2, he believes if you are not in the Church, you are not going to be nourished by the Scripture. If the Scripture is not nourishing you, you do not understand Scripture. If you do not understand Scripture, you cannot know which verse(s) are clear. Therefore, you need the Church to know what passage(s) in Scripture are clear.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: I am glad to see your wife is doing well.

me: thanks! in much pain on and off, but hopefully in a few weeks feel like new again.

you said: No, and I don't know how you got that from my post. I said the quote you posted was talking about a specific teaching that is clear (God being the supreme being and He created the world). I did not say that is the only teaching he believe that is clear.

me: okay. good. just wanted to clarify what you meant. so you think he thought other things were clear then, right? if so, do you know what other things he did think scripture was clear on? and how much of the scriptures do you he think is clear? not looking for an exact here, but like a small portion, most of it, etc)

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

perhaps we should modify the brief overview per our discussion and per Dr. Mathison.

1. Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible is:

a) the only ultimate, final, and infallible authority
b) the only revelation that is God-breathed
c) to be interpreted by/in the Church
d) to be interpreted by the regula fidei (rule of faith)
e) essentially clear
f) Script interprets Script (as defined earlier)

2. Catholics believe believe Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Church are the infallible authorities

a) some RC's believe only some Script is infallible
b) some RC's believe all Script is infallible

3. Whether St. Irenaeus believe in Sola Scriptura or the Catholic view of authority

4. Whether St. Irenaeus believed in neither SS or the RC view of authority...ie, held to a view somewhere in between, or completely different.

from my readings of Irenaeus and from my readings of what others have said of him...it appears he holds to the Reformation principles of b-f above..

so that leaves us with the question of point a) does he hold to that scripture is the only infallible authority?

but before we proceed there, do you agree that Irenaeus held to points b-f? and do you have anything else to add in the 4 point broad overview?

thanks.

-in Him

joe

vwtaylorii said...

Joe,

You ask me if I believe whether Irenaeus believe other parts of Scripture is clear.

It is a possibility he does. However, I don't believe he thinks everything in Scripture is clear, and you did not show that. In addition, 2 Pt 3: 15-17 says everything is not clear. If you believe everything is clear when pertaining to salvation, please show me where Scripture says that? In addition, show where Irenaeus said that?

You cannot say St. Irenaeus followed the Reform view of Scripture when he holds to Catholic teachings like AS and Roman Primacy. In fact, whenever he points to the true Church that Christ establish, he pointed to AS. You have to believe he did not hold to SS. If you want to believe he did hold to SS, you have to believe it was not the correct teacher (therefore, not following the Reform view). I showed with CCC that his belief in AS and Roman Primacy was in line with Catholic teachings. Regardless if you think his belief is different from Catholic belief, he still believe in AS and Roman Primacy.

Like I asked you before, how was he able to believe in AS and Roman Primacy if he used Scripture as his ultimate and final authority?

How do you know that you are following the Reform View of SS and Matthison and other Protestants don't since you all have different beliefs?

Since you are a Lutheran, how do you know Martin Luther taught the right form of SS and not Calvin or other Reform leaders since they all had different beliefs and claim they (as well as you) can't give an infallible teaching?

In addition, you said that reading St. Irenaeus you came to the belief he hold the Reform view. You are not reading my references I put in my essay. If he truly followed the Reform view of Scripture, he would not say the Church carry the full deposit of truth (Against Heresies 3:4:1 and 3:3:2). In the beginning of 3:4:1, he told people seek the Church if you want to find truth. If he holds to the Reform view, he would have said seek Scripture to find truth.

On top of that, St. Irenaeus shows that you need Scrpiture and Church authority working together (not one inferior to the other) to get the full teaching because you need the Church to interpret Scripture correctly (5:20:2; 4:26:2; 4:32:1). As I showed in 5:20:2, if you are not in the Garden (Church), you are not nourished by the fruit (Scripture). If you are not being nourished by Scripture, that means you are not interpreting Scripture correctly.

As far as if Irenaeus believe the Church is infallible, yes I do think he does. As I mentioned before in my earlier post, he believe the presbyters carry certain gifts of truth through their AS (4:26:2). Please read my references in my essay. Algo posted the whole essay on the blog.

As far as your comment about some Catholics believe some parts of Scripture is infallible, I don't know what Catholics you are talking to. There are a lot of Catholics that don't know what the Catholic Church teach. I make sure what I posted is in line with Catholic teachings, and I encourage you to go to the CCC to check what I posted.

Joe said...

vwtaylorii,

you said: "You ask me if I believe whether Irenaeus believe other parts of Scripture is clear.

It is a possibility he does. However, I don't believe he thinks everything in Scripture is clear, and you did not show that. In addition, 2 Pt 3: 15-17 says everything is not clear. If you believe everything is clear when pertaining to salvation, please show me where Scripture says that? In addition, show where Irenaeus said that?"

me: Okay. Well, I agree that not everything is clear in the bible or that Irenaeus thought everything was clear either. I stated this already. As far as Irenaues' understanding on the clarity of scripture, I did not provide any further quotes or explanation on quotes already given, since I did not want to go through all that if you indeed already did think Iren thought that God's word was essentially clear. But I can provide some quotes related to this issue from him regarding this issue.

As far as Script saying that it itself is clear, like I mentioned prior...Jesus rebukes the Jews for not understanding it, hence they should have. Also, since it is God's word intended to communicate His truths...by nature it is supposed to be understandable, unless you are going to argue that the Holy Spirit infallibly inspired men of God to communicate His truths by the written word, but do so in a manner that are completely incomprehensible.

They are several passages that could be given to show that His word that "makes wise the simple". If you really want a list, suppose I could give you one, but assume that is not necessary.

Many, if not all, of your other questions (AS, RP, how one knows truth) I have dealt with already but am willing to go thru them again if need be. But I want to still take them one at a time...and am still clarifying what your stance is here.

So do you agree with my points b-f? or would you like further clarification on the clarity of scripture per Iren? Figure we will get to point "a", which deals with AP, RP...next.

Joe said...

Vwtaylorii,

Concerning the infallibility and inerrancy of scripture according to the RCC...the are differing interpretations of the official teaching on this matter. Any google search will provide any info you need on this. As one little example...here is a link from a Catholic blog.

http://catholicbibles.blogspot.com/2010/08/catholic-view-on-biblical-inerrancy.html

So perhaps you may think it is clear that the RCC teaches that the entire bible is infallible...but others also think it is clear that it is not.

In Him,

-joe