Monday, November 26, 2012

The irony of Jason Stellman’s conversion to Roman Catholicism


It is ironic that Jason claims he was more into "systematics" and exegesis and systematic theology than church history; yet does not seem to use the principles of systematic theology, exegesis, and progressive revelation very well.  It is possible that Jason discussed Luke 1:67-79, Galatians 2:21; 3:21 somewhere else, but I did not find any evidence of that at the things I have read and listened to that relate to these issues.

I was following some of the com box discussions that Jason participated in at the Called to Communion web-site over the past couple of years.  I have taken the time to read Jason Stellman’s “I fought the Church, and the Church won” and listen to his testimony of why he became Roman Catholic and also listen to responses from Dr. White and Turrretinfan and also a Lutheran response here.   




I am looking forward to more of Dr. White and Turretinfan’s response.

Stellman basically says that Roman Catholicism is “biblically obvious, and historically compelling, and philosophically necessary”.  Personally, I don’t see anything Biblically obvious about Roman Catholicism at all; and it is not very compelling historically, if one takes the time to examine all the relevant data of church history. Notice I wrote “relevant data” – this means I am not claiming one has to know all the details of church history, but there is a certain minimum of basic overview and flow of early church history and relevant passages in the early church fathers that one should be familiar with.  It appears that Jason slept through church history or daydreamed or was blinded by his dismissal of church history when he should have been paying more attention.  It seems to me that when Jason admitted that he thought church history was boring in seminary; and he thought that the early church fathers were “stupid”, well, now we understand why he fell for the Roman Catholic argument for itself using history and philosophy.  

Stellman also claims Roman Catholicism is “philosophically necessary”.  This seems to be the starting point of all Roman Catholic apologetics that is winning Protestants and evangelicals, even though they will not always admit this. 

Philosophy is what Bryan Cross always seems to start with and he uses philosophy more than exegesis in his arguments for Rome.  It is only philosophically necessary, it seems, in their minds, if one puts that particular philosophy and presupposition first – that there is this compelling need for an infallible interpreter on this earth to solve all disunity and interpretive struggles that the church has all through history. (which even that presupposition and dogma does not accomplish anyway either.) 

They accuse us Protestants and evangelicals of “drawing a bulls eye target and then drawing a circle around it”, but that is exactly what they do in their defense of Rome.  That is not a “tu quoque”  argument because I don’t think Biblical Protestants do that anyway.  But Roman Catholic apologists do just that.

 That idea today in Roman Catholic apologetic methodology is first drawn as a target on paper and then the Roman Catholic apologist draws his circle around that presupposition and interprets everything in the past, both Biblically and in church history, in the light of that philosophy and dogma, which only appeared in the Middle ages and was only dogmatically declared by the Roman Catholic Church in the year 1870. 

I am amazed that Jason Stellman tossed and turned and lost sleep over Luke 1:6 about Zacharias and Elizabeth’s righteousness and that he claimed to be more into systematics than church history, when he doesn’t seem to apply principles of progressive revelation and systematics to Luke 1:6.  Did Jason also loose sleep over Noah in Genesis 6:8-9 or Job in Job 1:1 or Abraham in Genesis 26:5 ?

Or is the description of their righteousness the result of grace and faith in God and in His coming Messiah? (which is what doing systematics - putting Genesis 15:1-6 together with John 8:56-58, Romans 4:1-16, and Galatians chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 would reasonably cause us to do.)

The statement about Abraham in Genesis 26:5 is the result of his faith in the Lord and the promised Messiah to come from his own seed, explicated for us in Genesis 15:1-6.  This faith comes before his good deeds in circumcision in Genesis 17 (and clearly explained by Paul in Romans 4) and before his obedience in Genesis 22 (which is what James means in James 2:14-26).  As the reformers said, “we are justified by faith alone, but that faith does not stay alone” – it results in good works and fruit and change and deeper levels of repentance.  But as Turretinfan and Dr. White pointed out, all this righteousness is still a relative righteousness – it means basically that “they were true believers, and their faith was demonstrated by their righteous lifestyle”.  Noah was righteous, but he was only righteous because he first received grace. (Genesis 6:8-9 – notice he first gets grace, then is able to walk before God in righteousness.)  Later, Noah gets drunk (Genesis 9:20-21), so even the OT is showing us that no one is righteous, not even one.”  (Psalm 14:1-3, Romans 3:9-23)  Lot is saved from Sodom and Gomorrah and is called “righteous” in 2 Peter 2:7-8; yet his daughter’s get him drunk and commit incest and fornication with him, gross sins.  So, even though they were relatively righteous compared to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were not perfectly righteous in order to merit salvation.  Rather, Lot was a true believer, saved by grace, and justified by faith in the Lord.  (from 2 Peter 2:7-9, it seems that Lot was a true believer; but there is no evidence that his daughters were, given their behavior; but Scripture is otherwise silent about them, as far as I can tell.)  The Old testament constantly shows us that no one is perfectly righteous and that the sin nature is still deep within the heart, and comes out in sinful behavior even after God judges the world and wipes out the evil people in the flood; and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Job is also called “blameless” and “walking in the fear of God”.  (Job 1:1)  Does that mean he was justified by his own righteousness and goodness?  No, obviously – because the rest of Job is showing that he had an unrighteous attitude (showing he was not blamelessly righteous in that sense) in demanding that God has to come down and explain to him why he was made to suffer.  Job’s attitude was refined through suffering – that is sanctification.  The book of Job shows us that Job’s own righteousness did not justify him, but his faith in God and the hope of the resurrection seems to point to the Messiah to come, in Job 19:25-26; and his repentance in Job 42:1-6 was because he already was a true believer.      

Jason Stellman claims to have been more of a systematic theologian kind of guy; yet he gives no hint of actually doing systematics in the way he treats Luke 1:6, at least in the interview on the Called to Communion Podcast. 

Systematic theology is looking at the other relevant passages that would explain Luke 1:6 –

Does not proper systematic theology immediately bring to mind these very clear verses from Paul in teaching contexts about the nature of grace alone for salvation and faith alone for justification?

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Galatians 2:21

This verse clearly shows us that Luke 1:6 does not mean that Zacharias and Elizabeth were righteous in themselves by keeping the law blamelessly and that that goodness would be counted as merit in order to get them into heaven.  The coming of the Messiah and His redemption was what all OT saints were looking forward to.  (Genesis 15:1-6; 12:3; 22:18; Galatians 3:6-8; 14-16)

“Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”  Galatians 3:21-22

Galatians 3:21 shows us that the law was never given in order to give us life – that we could attain eternal life by obeying it’s commands. 

Why doesn’t Jason Stellman keep reading in Luke?  Why doesn’t he look at the context of Luke chapter 1 and follow the Scripture passage to Luke 1:67-79 and see that more is said about Zacharias’ faith, and his faith is clearly related to his son John the baptizer and his ministry to pointing to salvation, redemption, and the forgiveness of sins, and the ministry of pointing to the Messiah – to prepare the way of the Lord.  Notice the repetition of the word salvation and the whole Messianic implications of his prophesy.

Zacharias’ faith was in the Messiah to come:

Luke 1:67-79
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us ;  
In the house of David His servant— 
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
Salvation from our enemies,
 And from the hand of all who hate us;
To show mercy toward our fathers,
 And to remember His holy covenant, 
[see Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 22:18 and Galatians 3:6-8, 14-16]
          The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
 
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; [allusion to Isaiah 40:3-5] 
To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
;   
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
 With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, 
[Jesus as the light of the world who would settle in Galilee of the Gentiles - see Isaiah 9:1, John 7:52 and John 8:12; see also Matthew 4:12-17 as to why Jesus settled in Nazareth]  
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
 
[quoting Isaiah 9:2, which points to the Messiah being the light of the world and the son who is given to us, the Mighty God, the prince of peace, the wonderful counselor.  See Isaiah 9:1-7. ]
To guide our feet into the way of peace.  
[this alludes to the “prince of peace” in verse 6 of Isaiah 9 and Micah 5:2-5.] 

(Luke 1:67-79 with my emphasis and comments)

That Zacharias mentions salvation so much, and that John the baptizer’s ministry would give the people the knowledge of salvation, by the forgiveness of their sins, shows that in some way, Zacharias was the blessed man of Romans 4:7-8 and Psalm 32, being justified by faith alone, and that his deeds of obedience were the result of his faith. 

Isn't that a better example of understanding progressive revelation, the NT fulfillment of the OT, exegesis, and systematic theology?

27 comments:

James Swan said...

I'm always interested to find out what happens to these superstar converts after the show dies down.

I have a friend of mine that walked away from a very good paying job as senior pastor to embrace what I believe to be blatant heresy. It's been quite a while now, and I still don't think he's employed.

Ken said...

I am guessing the blatant heresy you refer to is "Full" or "hyper-Preterism" -

Indeed, full Preterism is a blatant heresy and hard to understand - in the light of clear Scripture like

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
John 14:1-3
Acts 1:11
I Corinthians 15:23-28; 51-58
2 Peter 3:8-15
Hebrews 9:28
Titus 2:13
Revelation 19-22
Matthew 24:36 - "of that day" through chapter 25
Matthew 13:39-42


More "systematics" demonstrated.

James Swan said...

I'm really just wondering what someone trained for ministry does when they go into apostasy.

I've never really looked into it, but it would be very interesting to find out what jobs Protestant ministers took after becoming Romanists. They all can't have talk shows like Marcus Grodi.

John Bugay said...

Hey Ken, thanks for putting all of this together. It's a fabulous example for all of us.

Jason Stellman said...

I don't think I have ever commented here (and I tend to avoid blogs like this), but I will point out that I do not recognize my position in what is being argued against in this post. So if you are trying to argue against what I actually believe, you've missed the mark pretty widely.

Ken said...

Thanks for posting here, Jason. There is nothing personal meant here against you, I hope you can see.

I honestly am seeking to deal with your arguments, as found in the Called to Communion interview and written post.

When you talked about Luke 1:6 and Sola Fide and imputed righteousness, did you mention Luke 1:67-79 or Galatians 2:21 or Galatians 3:21 in any of your argumentation?

Ken said...

Jason,
I would be interested in an article that demonstrates how I "missed the mark pretty widely".

You don't' have to comment here, but please write it out somewhere else with exegesis, reasons, systematics, noting progressive revelation and the NT fulfillment of the OT.

Ken said...

I can't resist commenting on your comment "I tend to avoid blogs like this" - maybe that is the same problem that you had with church history - you avoided the information that could have helped you resist Romanism.

James Swan said...

Jason Stellman said...
I don't think I have ever commented here (and I tend to avoid blogs like this),


I take offense to this, particularly since I don't think I've ever written anything about you Jason, and more than a few Roman Catholic apologists have called me names like "nazi". If I kept a record of all the names so-called professional Roman apologists have insulted me with, let's just say it's more than a few.

Tell me exactly what it is that you find so offensive over here. Keep in mind, I've posted a few comments on CTC, and I didn't post anything like "I avoid blogs like this.

RPV said...

I don't think I have ever commented here (and I tend to avoid blogs like this),

I'll admit I haven't got around to going thru Jason's "The Church Won" confession with a fine tooth comb (a lot of which centers around Act 15 if I rmeber correctly) but:

1. Since Jason was so kind to tell me that he doesn't read my posts over at GreenBaggins, presumably if he's honest about being consistent, he's not going to read this one either so I can pretty much say what I want without anybody getting huffy.
2. Just as hyenas are basically scavengers, ditto Jase and the rest re. their objections to JustByFaithAlone. No head on assault of Rom. 4 - if works plays any part in justification then the gospel is not of grace - (or mention of the fact that the gospels actually mention faith/belief, instead of just works), just special pleading about possible exceptions to the rule. Never the rule itself or the classicus locus.
3. That the CtC bunch, Jason, CLake, Burton etc. keep running into things that supposedly don't fit the Reformed paradigm doesn't mean there aren't any answers, however quick they are to jump to that conclusion. Rather it just might mean that they don't know - or worse don't care - about the classic reformed answers that the older writers like Perkins or Cartwright, if not Calvin gave.
IOW if they are not playing on their audience's ignorance, they're assuming that they themselves are not ignorant. And that's a big assumption.
4. None of these guys has done any justice whatsoever to the plain straight forward grammatical historical reading of 2 Tim. 3:16,17 and 2 Thess. 2:15. All they can do is bang on the table, complain the prot paradigm is being presupposed and play crybaby. No argument, no refutation, just "we don't like it" to speak of ad hoc bias/prejudice.
5. Jason visited James White but didn't really cotton to putting the claims for Rome on the table just like he wanted to do for the reformed faith (Burton did the same thing over at GB). And I suppose it would be too much to ask Jason when he was in Maryland to drop in to talk to DTKing, who is probably The reformed expert on Romanism. But Mr. Stellman already had tangled with DTK over at GB so again, the sterling love of the truth didn't go that far.
6. That Romanism is a package deal has been pointed out numerous times by numerous people. Yet if the church is infallible then inexorably, philosophically inclined or no, the abominable idolatry of the mass and mariolatry follow. While one might think that Jason and the rest can't be that blind not to have some kind of trouble swallowing the more egregious aspects of Romanism, then again it just might be an object lesson about just how far pride and ignorance can take one.
7.The title should contain something about fraudulent, preposterous and shoddy along with the irony thing.

Thank you.


Turretinfan said...

"I don't think I have ever commented here (and I tend to avoid blogs like this), but I will point out that I do not recognize my position in what is being argued against in this post. So if you are trying to argue against what I actually believe, you've missed the mark pretty widely."

This is puzzling, since the post contains quotations from you.

Incidentally, I'd welcome your comments on the response to your podcast that Dr. White and I have provided. He expects to conclude the miniseries of responses in his webcast today, but he generally welcomes people (especially those to whom he has responded on the webcast) to call in and respond viva voce.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...


>>So if you are trying to argue against what I actually believe, you've missed the mark pretty widely.>>

In my own experience(s) on anti-Catholic blogs, it would be difficult to count the number of times my actual position has been misrepresented (which includes some folk who believe they understand the meaning of my own words better than myself).

Anyway, with that said, I am prone to take Mr. Stellman's above statement on the side of 'fact' rather than 'fiction'.

James Swan said...

In my own experience(s) on anti-Catholic blogs, it would be difficult to count the number of times my actual position has been misrepresented (which includes some folk who believe they understand the meaning of my own words better than myself).

This should solidify your comment:

I never re-bookmarked your blog, so it still remains listed with all the other Romanist blogs. That's because I so struggle to understand you, I decided to simply consider your blog Roman Catholic.

Ken said...

David,
Did you listen to what he said and wrote at the links I provided and read my article?

Doing systematic theology on Luke 1:6 demands looking at and exegeting Luke 1:67-79; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 3:21; Romans 4:1-16; Genesis 15:1-6; John 8:56-58, Galatians 3:6-8 and 3:14-16.

He was disturbed and lost sleep over Luke 1:6 (which is similar to Job 1:1, and the other OT examples I gave, etc. - but he never explained (in those links) how those other verses that are the "classical texts" in "doing systematics" on this issue - he never explained how those many verses are controlled and vitiated of power by one verse in Luke 1:6 for a positive case for the Roman Catholic position.

Doing "systematics" and exegesis and following the NT as fulfilling the OT, the Protestant case comes out as much much better.

Joe said...

Jason,

If your position has been misrepresented here, please explain how so. This should be fairly simple, so in your comments, your position was "missed widely". Maybe it has missed widely, maybe it hasn't, maybe it has to some degree...but how are we supposed to judge the validity of your claim without any support.

IMHO, it is very odd to comment by saying you are being misrepresented, that you avoid blogs like this, and then give no commentary on how you in fact are being misrepresented.

Perhaps you will, here or elsewhere...but I would be very much interested.

Thanks.

-Joe H.

michael said...

Brothers, sore from the chastenings of the Lord myself, disciplined time and time again over the years, one thing is clear to me now, the children of "light" don't act the way both Jason Stellman and David Waltz have acted and continue acting in exchanges with True Believers (children of light). Their comments above are a consideration in my estimation?

I have a question about children of light coming into Light redeemed and being redeemed and will finally be redeemed from this body of flesh corrupted (wretched man that I am) that confirms that one is a child of His Light, their election, that is not evident with the children of darkness?

When we read this:Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

.....1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
do we not find rest in Our Heavenly Father's invincible work working our salvation for us through the Righteousness of Christ?

Or this: Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


And this:Act 26:22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:
Act 26:23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim
light both to our people and to the Gentiles."

... by them, those verses, I'm sure we have come to realize by the work of God on our own hearts that He saves His people from their sins alst while leaving the reprobates to themself until they pass or even more horrific than dying a natural death they experience such an experience as this found recorded in the book of Job? Job 18:5 "Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine.
Job 18:6 The light is dark in his tent, and his lamp above him is put out.
Job 18:7 His strong steps are shortened, and his own schemes throw him down.
Job 18:8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on its mesh.
Job 18:9 A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare lays hold of him.
Job 18:10 A rope is hidden for him in the ground, a trap for him in the path.
Job 18:11 Terrors frighten him on every side, and chase him at his heels.
Job 18:12 His strength is famished, and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
Job 18:13 It consumes the parts of his skin; the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
Job 18:14 He is torn from the tent in which he trusted and is brought to the king of terrors.
Job 18:15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his; sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
Job 18:16 His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above.
Job 18:17 His memory perishes from the earth, and he has no name in the street.
Job 18:18 He is thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world.
Job 18:19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people, and no survivor where he used to live.


I believe it is a virtue to reach out to these two as some of you have in here above. I am not sure your efforts will prevail if God Himself is not actively doing His own works as Jesus testified He does(John 14:10)?

And Ken, let me echo what John Bugay commented above about this blog article on Stellman, too.

Rebecca Holter said...

“…as Turretinfan and Dr. White pointed out, all this righteousness is still a relative righteousness…”

Hi Ken and James!

Here’s a thought from that Church Father whose doctorate Luther wondered at (heh, heh):

“For it is just my own view that no creature can be perfect in respect of true and finished righteousness. But that one differs from another, and that one man's righteousness is not the same as another's, no one doubts; nor again that one may be greater or less than another, and yet that, relatively to their own status and capacity, men may be called righteous who are not righteous when compared with others…

“Elizabeth and Zacharias, whom you adduce and with whom you cover yourself as with an impenetrable shield, may teach us how far they are beneath the holiness of blessed Mary, the Lord’s Mother, who, conscious that God was dwelling in her, proclaims without reserve, ‘Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is unto generations and generations of them that fear Him: He has showed strength with His arm.’ Where, observe, she says she is blessed not by her own merit and virtue, but by the mercy of God dwelling in her. And John himself, a greater than whom has not arisen among the sons of men, is better than his parents” (Jerome, Against the Pelagians, Bk. 1, 16).

See, Jerome’s not so bad, right? :)

With love in Christ,
Pete

Ken said...

Jerome's statement seems to be a good illustration of what we are saying, yes.

We don't say "Jerome is bad" - he was correct on the Apocrypha books - he wrote that they are not canonical. For that, we are grateful as to his good testimony.

I like Dr. White's basic statement - "we can let the early church be the early church and the early church fathers be themselves - they were neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant; they are not infallible and sometimes they get things right and sometimes they get things wrong." (something like that; I am reproducing from memory.)

Jerome also had some excellent statements on elders and bishops being the same person/office.

But he was wrong on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary issue - she and Joseph had a normal marriage after Jesus was born. (matthew 1:18, 25)

Leelnd said...

Ken,

In your post you reference the CtC podcast and the article Jason put on the CtC blog, but did you take a look at Jason's Blog Creed Code Cult? He has a couple article that articulate his position on Luke 1:6 as well as an article on the Rich Young Ruler.

I think your article still addresses the key issues, but it may worth looking at his fuller explanations.

Rhology said...

BLOGS LIKE THIS

Ken said...

Thanks Leelnd,
I am looking at them now - I didn't realize he started blogging again there - the last I checked there was when he went silent after he resigned from Exile Presb.

Looks like I will be doing some more articles on this important issue, Lord willing as to how much time I can spend on it.

Ken said...

It was the "Time to go Dark" post that I remember - didn't realize he actually has quite a few posts I need to read - but many have lots of comments in the com boxes - too much!

I noticed I need to read some of the "Green Baggins" posts also - I have not been able to keep up with those either, unfortunately.

The Called to Communion comboxes are also quite daunting to read, when they get up to into the 200s - 1,200 (the one on Solo and Sola Scripture and Interpretive Authority - I just saw yesterday has somewhere around that many - WOW!

enough to choke on.

Ken said...

Rhology,
BLOGS LIKE THIS

? - meaning ? - did you leave out the link?

what comment earlier does it refer to ?

Joe said...

fyi...Jordan Cooper (Lutheran) of www.justandsinner.com has a second podcast on this as well.

in Him,

Joe H

Ken said...

Thanks Joe - I want to listen to that also.

Both Islam and Roman Catholicism; and Church History, historical theology, etc. take up too much time !!!

but I enjoy the work and study on these things.

PeaceByJesus said...

So in order to be part of the true church which began in dissent from those who had the historical decent, and promises of Divine presence and preservation, (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Num. 23:19,23; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Mal. 3:6). and who had stewardship of Scripture, (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) sitting in the seat of Moses, (Mt. 23:3) and which an Itinerant Preacher reproved by Scripture for making doctrines out of the tradition of the elders (Mk. 7:3-16) - as they thought of themselves above that which is written (cf. 1Cor. 4:6) - while He and His church established their claims upon Scriptural substantiation in text and in power; (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)

then it is necessary to submit to a church which does the like things as those whom the NT church dissented from.

However, in principal and more, i think we are in good company if our gospel effects supernatural regeneration, by which the church of the living God has it members, versus its institutionalized versions which largely substitutes ritual and confidence in the church for conversion, versus faith directly in the Lord Jesus out of a poor and contrite (convicted) heart.

PeaceByJesus said...

As regards Jerome and Mary, i think he would be embarrassed by the supererogation of adulation above that which is written (cf. 1Cor. 4:6) given her by Catholics along with the wresting of Scripture by RCs in seeking to support this tradition on steroids.

As Jerome rightly points out, the attribution of superior holiness to Mary was not due to her own merit, but the grace bestowed upon this holy virgin in being the vessel for Christ, while many Catholics exalt her as if she a superior degree of fire-tried faith and tested virtue than Paul who is relatively marginalized by Catholics.

However, Jerome overly esteemed virginity and denigrated marriage, and the exegesis employed in so doing is not befitting a Biblical scholar:

"It is not disparaging wedlock to prefer virginity. No one can make a comparison between two things if one is good and the other evil." (''Letter'' 22).

On First Corinthians 7 he reasons, "It is good, he says, for a man not to touch a woman. If it is good not to touch a woman, it is bad to touch one: for there is no opposite to goodness but badness. But if it be bad and the evil is pardoned, the reason for the concession is to prevent worse evil."

Jerome further surmises, "If we are to pray always, it follows that we must never be in the bondage of wedlock, for as often as I render my wife her due, I cannot pray [or eat or sleep, to be consistent]. The difference, then, between marriage and virginity is as great as that between not sinning and doing well; nay rather, to speak less harshly, as great as between good and better.

You surely admit that he is no bishop who during his episcopate begets children. The reverse is the case—if he be discovered, he will not be bound by the ordinary obligations of a husband, but will be condemned as an adulterer...

Now a priest must always offer sacrifices for the people: he must therefore always pray. And if he must always pray, he must always be released from the duties of marriage." [employing what is known as a false dilemma.]

In Genesis Jerome engages in more eisegesis of Scripture:

This too we must observe, at least if we would faithfully follow the Hebrew, that while Scripture on the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days relates that, having finished the works of each, “God saw that it was good,” on the second day it omitted this altogether, leaving us to understand that two is not a good number because it destroys unity, and prefigures the marriage compact. Hence it was that all the animals which Noah took into the ark by pairs were unclean. Odd numbers denote cleanness [so much for the Trinity]. And yet by the double number is represented another mystery: that not even in beasts and unclean birds is second marriage approved. For unclean animals went in two and two, and clean ones by sevens, so that Noah after the flood might be able to immediately offer to God sacrifices from the latter. — St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus Book 1 Chapter 7,13,16,33 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vi.vi.I.html

Tertullian, Cyprian, and likely others were also imbalanced in this matter, and and wrong views were not restricted to this.

Thus, while Catholicism looks to these men as church fathers (though Rome must assert she judges them more than they judge her), the NT church cannot, nor to a church headquartered in Rome as supreme, but to the Lord first, and then to those whom Scripture presents as "fathers," and seeking to establish truth claims being after the means that theirs were. (2 Cor. 4:2; 6:4-10)

In which I have far to go in its fulness.