Saturday, March 31, 2012

Luther and the Canon of Scripture

Below are many of the entries I've put together over the years on Luther and the canon of Scripture. This search engine will search just the entries below.



Luther's View of the Canon of Scripture

Luther Added The Word "Alone" To Romans 3:28?

Luther Deleted"Alone" from Romans 3:28?

Debate: Did Martin Luther Mistranslate Romans 3:28?

Dutch Research on Luther and the Bible

Luther's Lies about the Bible?

Luther Added Books to his Bible?

Luther and the Scriptures by J.M. Reu

Called To Communion on Luther's Canon

Father Mitch Pacwa and Luther's Canon

Luther: Is The Church Over Scripture?

"Luther removed books from the Canon" - a few replies

Infuriating Factoids

Luther: The Infallible Church Declared The Contents of Scripture?

The Canon: The Empty Arguments From the Defenders of Rome

A Response To Catholic Apologist Bob Klaus on Luther and Romans 3:28 (Part 1)

Luther's View Of The Canon: Dialog With Malcolm

Luther's Canon: A Response To "Catholic Dude" (Part one)

Luther's Canon: A Response to Catholic Dude (Part Two)

Luther's Canon: A Response To Catholic Dude (part Three)

Luther's Canon: A Response To Catholic Dude (Part Four)

The Evils of Private Interpretation: "There are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads"

Steve Ray and Melanchthon on Keeping Books in the New Testament Canon

Luther's Response To, "I Would Not Believe The Gospel Without The Authority of Rome"

Alister McGrath on the Bible Answer Man

"Little about Luther’s celebrated translation may have been original" says Philip Blosser

Luther on the Perspicuity of Scripture

Luther: Sola Scriptura Had a "Devastating Effect"?

Luther: There are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads

Luther Plagiarized His Translation of the Bible?

J.M. Reu: Luther's German Bible... now online

Luther Said There Were Errors in the Bible?

Cochlaeus on the Impact of Luther's Bible

Cajetan on the Canon: He's Ok Bcause He's One Of Us


Did Luther Accept the Apocrypha Early in His Career?

Steve Ray Explains Luther and the Apocrypha

Luther's Opinion of the Book of Judith

Luther and the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

Why Luther Removed 2 Maccabees from the Bible

Why do some Bibles omit portions of Daniel and Esther? Akin Says: Luther

Daniel's Susanna: Why Isn't it Biblical?

Luther and the Apocrypha Revisited

Luther and Purgatory, Revisited

Catholic Answers: Martin Luther and the Deuterocanonicals

Luther: Of very little worth is the Book of Baruch, whoever the worthy Baruch might be

The Apocrypha and Luther via Catholic Answers

Alert the Catholic Apologists: A Roman Catholic Discovers Luther Held 1 Maccabees To Be Canonical Scripture

Luther, Maccabees, and Purgatory

Michuta, Luther, and Maccabees

Luther, 2 Maccabees & Purgatory....Revisited

Luther: "2 Maccabees has weight with the faithful, but it won't avail against the obstinate"

Some further dialog with Gary Michuta: Luther and Maccabees


Luther: “Job . . . is merely the argument of a fable…”


Luther: "Ecclesiastes ought to have been more complete. There is too much incoherent matter in it..."

Luther: "The history of Jonah is so monstrous that it is absolutely incredible"


Luther: "The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe..."

Luther: "The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe"....Revisited

Luther and Esther Revisited

Luther and Esther (Part 2)

Luther’s Preface To Parts of Esther, 1534

Luther's View of Esther

Tossing Blog Comments into the Elbe, Save One (The Book of Esther)


Luther's "Epistle of Straw" Comment

Luther on the Book of James...Revisted

John Martignoni on Luther and the Book of James

Luther: Citing The Prayer of Manasses & James

My Condolences for the Champion of Catholicism

The Reformers on the Book of James

Friday, March 30, 2012

Recently from the Best Blog Refuting Roman Catholic Apologetics... What Do We do at Mass, and How Do We Interpret It?

.....From the Roman Catholic blog that knows it's better to give than receive: Fr. Robert Barron on LA Congress "Its the Happening Place". Great stuff. Once again, a well-deserved hat-tip to... the Catholic Champion.

Here is a short play which can be done at youth group entitled, "What Do We do at Mass, and How Do We Interpret It?"

Prelude: The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress is the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world. The four-day event is held at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center and is sponsored by the Office of Religious Education, a department of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Begun in 1968 as an "institute," Congress still keeps the same focus — to teach more about the Catholic faith as well as to advance personal growth. Today the event is open to people of all vocations and different faiths.

Act I
Champion: Fr. Barron asks, After being asked "What brings you to this religious congress," he answers, "Well, what would keep you away? This is the place to be. It is maybe my 7th or 8th visit here. And its one of the greatest events in the Catholic year.....Its the happening place."

Stacy: "What would keep you away?" Wow, maybe he honestly doesn't know about the liturgical monstrosities that are carried out there. Maybe he just goes to the conference to market his materials and doesn't stick around for the Mass at the end?

Steve: What Fr Barron said about the conferance being a "happening place" sounded like 60's hippie talk!

Act II
Jae: So sorry guys but I dont agree with your sweeping condemnation of the whole program...There is absolutely nothing wrong to express in your own cultural ways toward giving honor and thansgving to God whether it might be your native language of songs, dances and music. In fact Jesus was pleased when this sinful woman put expensive fragrance on His feet and have rebuked His apostles' suggestions of better use for the poor and Temple offering. The Bible itself is replete with giving God praise and thansgiving with singing and dancing which He was very pleased. The problem is, mixing the reverence due to the solemnity of the Holy Mass with festivities in His honor... We must not interpret the past Tradition in a rigorous and legalistic way that other RadTrads have mistakenly adopted.Just some of the verses in the Bible: Psalm 149:3, "Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!" Jeremiah 31:13, "Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow."

Andrew: I don't recall the Blessed Mother or the Beloved Disciple singing, dancing, and otherwise engaging in merriment at the foot of the cross. The only ones doing anything like that on Calvary were those with the blood of our Lord on their hands; those who saw to it that He be hanging there like a criminal... Demanding that this foolishness (best I can do in charity) must come to an end is not "RadTrad" - it is Catholic.

Jae: So sorry brother but I think it's pretty misguided and unwarranted of comparing those people with the Blood of the Lord on their hands in crucifixion is not the same type of people in this program. We can honestly assumed that NOBODY in this program has the intention in his heart to profane, mock, ridicule Our Blessed Lord like a criminal hanging on the Cross. They happened to be in a festival giving praise and honoring God. Most traditional countries celebrate the Feast of Saints with big celebration and banquettes.

Andrew: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a banquette or party, as I am sure you will agree. In order for it to be efficacious for us it must be carried out with the solemnity that the miracle taking place.

Champion: Jae, the problem here is that the Church authority, the Archbishop, is the one that is participating in the madness at the Mass, not outside of it. He is the one obstinately participating in Liturgical abuse to its extreme. There is no way that the abuse is done accidentally. This stuff is not rocket science. It does not take a Church authority to state the obvious. Your use of Scripture here is out of context. Secondly there are many heretical speakers at the conference. This entire congress is an abomination, and until they get rid of the heretics and celebrate the Mass within the proper form allowed by the Church, it is a public scandal, end of story.

Jae: while I agree with you regarding the proper form the Mass should be said, I don't agree with your assertion that the entire congress is an abomination that is your judgment as with theirs are liable to God Almighty. Like what I said before, the 2 events in this congress namely first, the solemn celebration of the Mass and secondly the festival in honor of God (my Bible citations) are done in good faith and intention, both are pleasing to God, the problem started when the two are mixed together. Whether they were done intentionally or with invinsible ignorance I still give the benefit of the doubt to the Archbishop not outright condemn him... my Biblical quotations still stand with my point intact, that festivals of songs, dances, praises and thansgivings in honor of God is not "an anomalous behavior" but rather pleasing to Him.

Champion: Jae, the whole discussion here has been for the most part about the Mass and the speakers at the event. That about covers most of it. As far as a bunch of people jumping around at an event, that has little to do with the intention of the Congress. The intention of the Congress by its own definition is for the education of Catholics. Hence its title, Religious Education Congress. It fails in its intention. While you may think that the jumping around is pleasing to the Lord, teaching heresy and turning the Mass into a Disney parade is clearly not pleasing to Him. Priorities are important. The intention of the Congress is not met and therefore as I said, it is a complete failure. We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Jae:...for a start I admired your apologetics prowess defending the Faith with the likes of John Bugay, Turrentinfan, etc. however, please don't caricature the position which I hold by saying, "While you may think that the jumping around is pleasing to the Lord". The point is rather simple, as we can see David, Moses, Saints Francis, Nicholas etc., the Psalter were all singing and dancing to the Lord. I don't know if you judge them otherwise.

Champion: We worship as we believe, and it aint lookin too pretty. My point again is that the Congress is not successfully achieving what it intended to achieve, that is my point. The rest of it matters little, which is why my "jumping around" depiction was used. We are not discussing Old Testament parallels here. We are discussing the Mass and the education of Catholics here.

Jae: I agree with you Matt. It is sad, truly sad on why they invited people who are known dissidents of the Church to speak in the congress. However, I'm still hopeful that the rotten few wont able to hijack the entire mission of the congress, that there are still faithful majority to plant seeds (as a priest from SJ attested that majority are still faithful to the Magisterium and Tradition). I have faith with St. Ignatius who is in Beatific Presence not to allow his society succumb to heretical sect as the same hope that Jesus' great promise to Peter and His Church that the "gates of hell shall not prevail" and guiding her INTO ALL Truth until the end of time.

Champion: Well, all we can do is pray, and bring things like this to the attention of faithful Catholics who will speak up about it. Until faithful Catholics start making it known that severe abuse and charlantry like this is not appreciated, it will keep happening. Although we need to be charitable, we also need to be straight to the point in not tolerating this kind of thing. I will never support an event like that knowing what goes on there. That being said, think of all the good they could do if they had great theologians and speakers at the event, along with a solemn high Mass with Gregorian chant giving glory to God. It could be a great event. That is what Catholics should be demanding from the Archbishop.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Perspicuous Magisterium vs. the Apostles

"On the one hand, the RC magisterium is perspicuous. On the other hand, the Scriptures which the apostles wrote - yes, the same apostles who RCs argue constituted the RC magisterium in Acts 15 - are not perspicuous."

Fallible Personal Roman Catholic Guide to Reading Scripture

This advertisement in my e-mail was too precious not to post:

"Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asks.

St. Philip and the Ethiopian

The Queen's Eunuch replies, "How could I, unless someone guides me?"

Unlike those who believe they can interpret Scripture infallibly on their own, the Ethiopian Eunuch understood the need for guidance.  

Martin Luther

False interpretations may simply confuse, but they can too easily become a source of terrible harm when twisted to suit preconceived notions.

Our Faith teaches that the Church is entrusted with the transmission and interpretation of Revelation. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church does not derive her certainty about revealed truths from the Bible alone.

Instead both Scripture and Tradition are needed and both must be accepted and equally revered.

But here we encounter a practical problem: the Church has defined the interpretation of only seven passages from the Bible.

Like the Ethiopian Eunuch reading Isaiah, Christians need a guide.

In How to Read the Bible, Abbé Poelman is your St. Philip, deepening your understanding of Scripture.  

Writing entirely under the guidance of the Church's authority, he simply and elegantly unlocks the Bible for you.

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Beginning not with Genesis but with the Gospels, he shows how Christ is the key to the whole of Scripture, the summit of the mountain to which all roads lead, and how all the books of the Bible make most sense when read with this truth in mind.

Only after introducing you to Christ through the Gospels does Abbé Poelman turn to Genesis and to the creation of the world, to the Patriarchs and the story of the Covenant.  

St. Paul writing

Each concise chapter in How to Read the Bible uses carefully selected passages to bring the Word of God so clearly into focus that by the time we arrive back to the New Testament, we see how Christ truly is the center and goal of human history.

You will understand, perhaps even for the first time, how God's Word was meant to be understood.

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Full-immersion Baptism vs. Full-Communion

I recently chatted with a person who was perplexed by the practice of infant baptism in my church. The big issue wasn't that infants were baptized (although this was an issue as well), it was that my church uses sprinkling rather than full-immersion baptism. My immediate response was, "Well, I don't think we're going to practice full-immersion baptism on infants."

But as reflected on it later, my question should have been, "Do you prefer wine instead of grape juice during the Lord's Supper?"

Speaking of Sacraments, can anyone define exactly what Paul McCain means by "Crypto- Calvinism" in regard to the Lord's Supper? I have my own ideas as to what he means, but since the comments section is closed, I'll have to simply guess.

The liturgy for the Lord's Supper used in my church is far more (John) Calvinist than (Ulrich) Zwinglian.  So, when McCain refers to "Crypto-Calvinism", I'm wondering if he simply means anything that doesn't sound Lutheran.

The Roman Catholic Interpretation of Private Revelation

Here's Mark Shea's personal interpretation of privte revelation:
Regarding private revelation, the good news is that the Church binds you to none of it. You can use that as a shield against the pressure and expectation some Catholics (not all or even most, thank God) try to put on you to sign off on their particular fave rave private revelation. The great thing about the Church is that it’s full of all kinds and is, well, catholic. If some private revelation does not help you, feel free to drop it. Don’t own the pressure friends may put on you, but also don’t feel like you have to fight back. Practice a certain detachment, nodding your head politely as you might if you were a tourist in a foreign country when one of the locals regales you with the legend of a local saint.
That’s not, by the way, to say that all claims of private revelation are fictional, mythic, or otherwise untrue. For example, I think that a dispassionate look at the evidence for, say, the apparations at Fatima reveals a very solid factual case to be made that Mary did, in fact, appear there. I contrarily think a dispassionate look at the evidence (or rather lack of evidence, not to mention counter-evidence) against the claim of Medugorje make it highly unlikely Our Lady appeared there. But even with well-established cases like Fatima or Lourdes, the Church *still* doesn’t bind our conscience. If it helps your devotion to Christ, then great. If not, or if it gives you trouble, just stick with the public revelation and it will be fine.


As a general rule, if the Church approves a private revelation, that’s good reason to suppose there’s something in it, but even then you have to remember that you are not looking at the same thing as doctrinal development or public revelation. So, for instance, St. Catherine of Siena gives us spiritually fruitful insights in her Dialogues with God the Father—but she also delivers herself of the opinion that God the Father personally told her that Mary was not immaculately conceived. Sorry, Kate, but that was just your Dominican team spirit siding with St. Thomas, who was as wrong as you were. That doesn’t mean Catherine’s mysticism is worthless. It means that Catherine was human and private revelation requires discernment subject to the Church.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recently from the Best Blog Refuting Roman Catholic Apologetics...

.....From the Roman Catholic blog that knows it's better to give than receive: LA Congress 2012- Sponge Bob and "Youth Day Liturgy". Great stuff.  Once again, a well-deserved hat-tip to the Catholic Champion.
"The second video is the Youth Day Liturgy. Pagan drumming from the Orient begins the Mass along with some pagan chant. Sponge Bob Square Pants makes his appearance in the back. That's right look for him around the 2 minute mark. This almost looks like the Thanksgiving parade on TV. The rock band kicks in shortly after the drum session ends. Then the great conservative Archbishop Gomez appears introducing this as the Holy Mass."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Luther, the Immaculate Conception, Bonaventure, and John of Damascus

I wasn't sure exactly what to title this post. It simply reflects some of my recent readings.

In the past I've documented Luther's view of the Immaculate Conception. As far as I can tell, Luther post-1527 did not believe that Mary was free from sin from the moment of her conception. His post-1527 comments typically refer to something happening to Mary at her conception of Christ.

While reading Bonaventure today I came across the following:
1. Finally, the cure of original sin takes place in this way. It is cured as regards guilt, but the temporal punishment remains, as appears in baptized infants; it is cured as regards eternal punishment, but the actual inclination of concupiscence remains; it is cured in the parent, but even so, transmitted to offspring by the very one who was healed in baptism. Its stain is blotted out, but its consequences remain, to be fought against as long as life lasts; for in no human being, assuredly, has concupiscence ever been extinguished by ordinary grace. We say this because in the case of the Blessed Virgin, concupiscence was extinguished by extraordinary grace when she conceived the Son of God.

4. Finally, because temporal affliction denotes a condition which affects the flesh: as the flesh always remains subject to some form of infection, so also it must always remain liable to penalty. Hence, as grace does not remove the penalty and corruption from the flesh, so also the consequences of original sin - concupiscence and bodily weakness-may coexist with healing grace. Concupiscence may gradually decrease, but its roots remain. No wayfarer, then, is completely rid of it, except the most Blessed Virgin, who was relieved by a special favor. Because the Virgin conceived Him who is Expiation of all sin, she received a privilege that radically freed her from concupiscence, so that her conception of the Son of God would be all-pure and perfect.

"It was wholly right that the Virgin should shine with a purity greater than any other that could be thought of under God. For it was to her that the Father determined to give His only Son - born of His heart, equal to Him, and dear to Him as His own Self - to be the one and self-same Son of both the Father and the Virgin; the Son Himself chose to make her His true Mother; and the Holy Spirit willed, and made it be, that the Son from whom He Himself proceeds should be conceived by her and born of her. [source]
Now, generosity is appropriated to the Holy Spirit, and so is the sanctification of the Virgin in whose womb the Word was conceived. Therefore, although the incarnation is the work of the whole Trinity, by appropriation we say that the Virgin conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Next, there must be completeness in the manner of conceiving. Of the four possible ways of producing man, three had already been followed: first, out of neither man nor woman, as with Adam; then, out of man but not woman, as with Eve; third, out of both man and woman, as with all those born of concupiscence. For the completion of the universe, a fourth way must be introduced: out of woman without the seed of man, through the power of the supreme Maker.

Again, there must be completeness in the power itself. Hence, in the production of the Son of God, three powers concurred: the natural, the infused, and the uncreated. The natural power furnished the material element; the infused power set it apart by cleansing it; the uncreated power brought about instantly what a created power can achieve only gradually.141

Thus, the Blessed Virgin became a Mother in the most complete sense, for, without man, she conceived the Son of God through the action of the Holy Spirit. Because the love of the Holy Spirit burned so intensely in her soul, the power of the Holy Spirit wrought marvels in her flesh, by means of grace prompting, assisting, and elevating her nature as required for this wondrous conception.
And yesterday, I came across the following from John of Damascus:
So then, after the assent of the holy Virgin, the Holy Spirit descended on her, according to the word of the Lord which the angel spake, purifying her, and granting her power to receive the divinity of the Word, and likewise power to bring forth. And then was she overshadowed by the enhypostatic Wisdom and Power of the most high God, the Son of God Who is or like essence with the Father as of Divine seed, and from her holy and most pure blood He formed flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, the first-fruits of our compound nature not by procreation but by creation through the Holy Spirit: not developing the fashion of the body by gradual additions but perfecting it at once, He Himself, the very Word of God, standing to the flesh in the relation of subsistence. For the divine Word was not made one with flesh that had an independent preexistence, but taking up His abode in the womb of the holy Virgin, He unreservedy in His own subsistence took upon Himself through the pure blood of the eternal Virgin a body of flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, thus assuming to Himself the first-fruits of man's compound nature, Himself, the Word, having become a subsistence in the flesh. So that He is at once flesh, and at the same time flesh of God the Word, and likewise flesh animated, possessing both reason and thought. Wherefore we speak not of man as having become God, but of God as having become Man. For being by nature perfect God, He naturally became likewise perfect Man: and did not change His nature nor make the dispensation an empty show, but became, without confusion or change or division, one in subsistence with the flesh, which was conceived of the holy Virgin, and animated with reason and thought, and had found existence in Him, while He did not change the nature of His divinity into the essence of flesh, nor the essence of flesh into the nature of His divinity, and did not make one compound nature out of His divine nature and the human nature He had assumed. [source]
Now I must confess to never having studied the Mariology of either of these two men. I assume some Roman Catholic could (or will) put forth a host of citations corralled together as "proof" both of these men believed in Mary's immaculate conception.  I don't have the time for that debate now. My only purpose here is to document the similarities between these statements and Luther's statements.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Facts About Mary You May Not Know

"As Mother of God and Mother of the Church, Mary prays in and with the Church at every decisive moment of salvation history. Let us entrust to her every moment of our own lives, and let her teach us the need for prayer, so that in loving union with her Son we may implore the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the spread of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth." Benedict XVI, March 2012.

Faith Alone as Viewed from the Other Side of the Tiber

"So according to some of our Protestant friends when Saint James says that faith with out works is dead, he really means "the kinda faith that has not works" without works can't save you. Does this give anybody else a headache? Wouldn't it just be easier to accept what is written by Saint James at face value that faith (not the dead kind as Calvinists claim) without works is dead, instead of John Calvin and others waving their fingers deftly so the reader comes away believing the opposite of what Scripture actually states?" [source]

Answer... using the same method:

So according to some of our Roman Catholic friends when Saint Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory” he really means salvation is also of works. Does this give anybody else a headache? Wouldn't it just be easier to accept what is written by Saint Paul at face value that salvation (not that  Trentian idea of the infusion of grace producing good works) is through faith and not of works,  instead of Roman Catholics waving their fingers deftly so the reader comes away believing the opposite of what Scripture actually states?

The point of course is that both what James says and what Paul says needs to be exegeted according to the contexts. Presenting a caricature of either position doesn't do anyone any good.


Here's an interesting quote from Calvin... no wait, from John of Damascus:

"For faith apart from works is dead, and so likewise are works apart from faith. For the true faith is attested by works" (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith IV.9].

Why do some Bibles omit portions of Daniel and Esther? Akin Says: Luther

Here's one I found over on the Catholic Answers Facebook page: "Why do some Bibles omit portions of Daniel and Esther? Catholic Answers Senior Apologist Jimmy Akin explains:"

The question given to Mr. Akin concerns why Protestant Bibles do not have Daniel 14. The question actually begins abruptly, so it's a little confusing. The question concerns all the additional material in Daniel  (those sections that find their home in contemporary Roman Catholic versions of the Bible).

Akin begins his answers by presenting the standard response: the alleged additional material is found in the Septuagint. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'll refer to earlier blog entries: Daniel's Susanna: Why Isn't it Biblical? (see particularly Jason Engwer's comments), and Francis Beckwith: ETS Shows Sympathies for the Catholic Canon. Akin infers that Protestant reliance on the Masoretic text (which excludes the additional material in Daniel) is relying on "modern Judaism." Previous to this, there were multiple canons used by the Jews. The only thing Akin sees as certain is that the early church used the Septuagint. What exactly was contained in the Septuagint though is a little murky (as discussed in the links above). For Akin, the testimony of the early church's acceptance of the Septuagint is that which confirms the inclusion of the extra material in Daniel.

Why then do Protestant bibles not have the additional material in Daniel?  It was the devious work of that rascal Martin Luther (begin Akin clip at 3:10): "Martin Luther decided he didn't like certain things that were in the Catholic Bible... he looked for a way to exclude those things." What were the certain things? Akin doesn't say. He says that the easiest way for Luther to remove things from the Bible was to look at what the Jews used for the Old Testament, and the the only Jews Luther was aware of were "modern Jews."

Completely missing from Akin's answer is any of the testimony from Jerome and the reason why many think the extra material in Daniel is a later addition to the text. In responding to Porphyry's claims against the entire book of Daniel, Jerome grants he's made some good points in regard to the apocryphal additions:
But among other things we should recognize that Porphyry makes this objection to us concerning the Book of Daniel, that it is clearly a forgery not to be considered as belonging to the Hebrew Scriptures but an invention composed in Greek. This he deduces from the fact that in the story of Susanna, where Daniel is speaking to the elders, we find the expressions, "To split from the mastic tree" (apo tou skhinou skhisai) and to saw from the evergreen oak (kai apo tou prinou prisai), a wordplay appropriate to Greek rather than to Hebrew. But both Eusebius and Apollinarius have answered him after the same tenor, that the stories of Susanna and of Bel and the Dragon are not contained in the Hebrew, but rather they constitute a part of the prophecy of Habakkuk, the son of Jesus of the tribe of Levi. Just as we find in the title of that same story of Bel, according to the Septuagint, "There was a certain priest named Daniel, the son of Abda, an intimate of the King of Babylon." And yet Holy Scripture testifies that Daniel and the three Hebrew children were of the tribe of Judah. For this same reason when I was translating Daniel many years ago, I noted these visions with a critical symbol, showing that they were not included in the Hebrew. And in this connection I am surprised to be told that certain fault-finders complain that I have on my own initiative truncated the book. After all, both Origen, Eusebius and Apollinarius, and other outstanding churchmen and teachers of Greece acknowledge that, as I have said, these visions are not found amongst the Hebrews, and that therefore they are not obliged to answer to Porphyry for these portions which exhibit no authority as Holy Scripture...
But even Origen in his Vulgate edition (of the Greek Old Testament) placed asterisks around the work of Theodotion, indicating that the material added was missing (in the Septuagint), whereas on the other hand he prefixed obeli (i.e., diacritical marks) to some of the verses, distinguishing thereby whatever was additional material (not contained in the Hebrew). And since all the churches of Christ, whether belonging to the Greek-speaking territory or the Latin, the Syrian or the Egyptian, publicly read this edition with its asterisks and obeli, let the hostile-minded not begrudge my labor, because I wanted our (Latin-speaking) people to have what the Greek-speaking peoples habitually read publicly in the regions of Aquila and Symmachus. And if the Greeks do not for all their wealth of learning despise the scholarly work of Jews, why should poverty-stricken Latins look down upon a man who is a Christian? And if my product seems unsatisfactory, at least my good intentions should be recognized. [source].
Commenting on Daniel 13:54 Jerome says,
'Tell me under which tree thou sawest them conversing with each other.' And he answered, 'Under the mastic tree.' And Daniel said to him, 'Well hast thou lied against thine own head; for behold, the angel of God, having received His sentence from Him, shall cleave thee in twain.' And a little while later the other elder said, 'Under the holm tree.' And Daniel said to him, 'Well hast thou lied against thine own head; but the angel of the Lord waiteth with a sword to sever thee in twain.'" Since the Hebrews reject the story of Susanna, asserting that it is not contained in the Book of Daniel, we ought to investigate carefully the names of the trees, the skhinos and the prinos, which the Latins interpret as "holm-oak" and "mastic-tree," and see whether they exist among the Hebrews and what their derivation is ---- for example, as "cleavage" [Latin (scissio) is derived from "mastic" [Greek skhinos], and "cutting" or "sawing" [Latin sectio, serratio] is derived from "holm tree" [Greek prinos, which resembles the Greek word for "to saw": prio] in the language of the Greeks. But if no such derivation can be found, then we too are of necessity forced to agree with the verdict of those who claim that this chapter [Greek pericope] was originally composed in Greek, because it contains Greek etymology not found in Hebrew. [That is, because Daniel twice makes a sinister wordplay based upon the Greek names of these two trees, and a similar pun could not be made out from the Hebrew names, if any, of these trees, the story itself could never have been composed in Hebrew.] But if anyone can show that the derivation of the ideas of cleaving and severing from the names of the two trees in question is valid in Hebrew, then we may accept this scripture also as canonical.
Commenting on chapter 14, Jerome says:
"And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table and cried out with a great voice: 'Great art thou, O Bel, and there is no deceit with thee.'" The statement of Scripture in this passage, "He cried out with a great voice," may seem, because of its reference to an idolator ignorant of God, to refute the observation put forth a little previously, that the expression "great voice" is found only in connection with saints. This objection is easily solved by asserting that this particular story is not contained in the Hebrew of the Book of Daniel. If, however, anyone should be able to prove that it belongs in the canon, then we should be obliged to seek out some answer to this objection.
Dead Sea Scroll manuscript fragments have been found of the book of Daniel. To my knowledge, these fragments do not contain any of the Greek additions (the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Young Men, and the Story of Susanna). Jerome's appeal for proof has yet to be answered.

Why did Luther remove the additions to Daniel? He didn't. He actually translated them into German and included them in his translation of the Bible.
Preface to Parts of Esther and Daniel 1534
Here follow several pieces which we did not wish to translate [and include] in the prophet Daniel and in the book of Esther. We have uprooted such cornflowers (because they do not appear in the Hebrew versions of Daniel and Esther). And yet, to keep them from perishing, we have put them here in a kind of special little spice garden or flower bed since much that is good, especially the hymn of praise, Benedicite, is to be found in them. But the texts of Susanna, and of Bel, Habakkuk, and the Dragon, seem like beautiful religious fictions, such as Judith and Tobit, for their names indicate as much. For example, Susanna means a rose, that is, a nice pious land and folk, or a group of poor people among the thorns; Daniel means a judge, and so on. Be the story as it may, it can all be easily interpreted in terms of the state, the home, or the devout company of the faithful. [LW 35:352].
As I pointed out in my previous entry, Luther actually enjoyed some of the additional material. Susanna "seem[ed] like beautiful religious fiction." If someone wanted to use it, Luther said "it can all be easily interpreted in terms of the state, the home, or the devout company of the faithful" [LW 35:353]. Luther being consistent with this either quotes or refers to Susanna in LW 11:112; 12:201; 18:330; 37:322; 44:223.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Visit To Catholic Answers Forum # 10

It's always interesting to see a Catholic Answers Forum locked down by the ever-vigilante Michael Francis after 68 comments. (the normal lockdown is after 1,000).

Old Mar 13, '12, 6:57 pm

New Member
Join Date: September 14, 2011
Posts: 7
Religion: Lutheran

I'm a Protestant who has been wrestling with the idea of Catholicism for a while. I'm getting hung up on the Papacy in the early Church and how it seemed to have developed in scope from limited authority and importance from the 1st and 2nd centuries to central authority towards the 4th and 5th centuries. It bothers me that the Church Fathers quotes in the "Authority of the Pope" tract on this site start out kind of weak and then get stronger in the third century and beyond. Specifically, the history put forth by Hans Kung on this subject I find most unsettling. He seems to describe this development as a series of ruthless power grabs by Rome. I don't agree with Kung on very much theologically, so I should hope that there is solid evidence to answer his claims.

Please help me out here. I would also really appreciate if someone can point me to further, more in-depth reading on the subject.

Thanks everyone!
Old Mar 14, '12, 10:01 pm
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Join Date: January 22, 2010
Posts: 788
Religion: Philosopher
vwtaylorii: I would want to marshal an inference to the best explanation argument. I suppose there are other ways of going about arguing for my position though. So, I would compare my hypothesis 'There was no Roman monepiscopate until the mid-2nd Century' with its contradiction 'There was a Roman monepiscopate before the mid-2nd Century'. We'd examine various evidences, textual (Ignatius' letters, Clements, Shepherd of Hermas etc. etc.), archeological (1-2nd cent. Churches found in Rome, the catacombs, etc.), or whatever, and see which competing hypothesis best explains them. This would take some time though. Earlier I recommended Peter Lampe's book on Roman Christianity in the first two centuries. In it, he thoroughly examines each document relevant to Roman Christianity of this period, a host of archeological data and concludes thus. So, I'd definitely recommend it again here. I'll see if I can compile a more composite case when I get the chance, for now I'll cite some scholars (Catholic and non-Catholic) who agree:

"As for Peter, we have no knowledge at all of when he came to Rome and what he did there before he was martyred. Certainly he was not the original missionary who brought Christianity to Rome (and therefore not the founder of the church of Rome in that sense). There is no serious proof that he was the bishop (or local ecclesiastical officer) of the Roman church --a claim not made till the third century. Most likely he did not spend any major time at Rome before 58 when Paul wrote to the Romans, and so it may have been only in the 60s and relatively shortly before his martyrdom that Peter came to the capital." - Brown, Raymond Edward., and John P. Meier. Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Catholic Christianity. New York: Paulist, 1983. P. 98.

(Note, Brown and Meier who are (were, Brown died) both Catholic are (were) like the Hawking's of NT and Early Church scholarship)

"In the late 2nd or early 3rd cent. the tradition identified Peter as the first bishop of Rome. This was a natural development once the monarchical episcopate, i.e., government of the local church by a single bishop as distinct from a group of presbyter-bishops, finally emerged in Rome in the mid-2nd cent." - Kelly, Joseph F. The Concise Dictionary of Early Christianity. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1992. p. 6.

"Later, as the close of the first and even in the second century, the two terms are still used in like manner for the same office. The Roman bishop Clement, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians says, that the apostles, in the newly founded churches, appointed the first fruits of the faith, i.e., the first converts, 'bishops and deacons.' Here he omits the (presbuteroi), as Paul does in Phil. 1:1, for the simple reason that they are in his view identical with (episkopoi); while conversely, in c. 57, he enjoins subjection to presbyters, without mentioning bishops. The Didache mentions bishops and deacons, but no presbyters. Clement of Alexandria distinguishes, it is true, the deaconate, the presbyterate, and the episcopate; but he supposes only a two-fold official character, that of presbyters, and that of deacons--a view which found advocates so late as the middle ages, even in pope Urban II, A.D. 1091. Lastly, Irenaeus, towards the close of the second century, though himself a bishop, makes only a relative difference between episcopi and presbyteri; speaks of successions of the one in the same sense as the other; terms the office of the latter 'episcopatus'; and calls the bishops of Rome 'presbyters.' The express testimony of the learned Jerome, that the churches originally, before divisions arose through the instigation of Satan, were governed by the common council of the presbyters, and not till a later period was one of the presbyters placed at the head, to watch over the church and suppress schisms. He traces the difference of the office simply to 'ecclesiastical' custom as distinct from divine institution." - Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, Volume II: Ante-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 100-325. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2002. p. 89.

P.S. Schaff's remark about Jerome is fascinating... - read n. 3.
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Join Date: January 22, 2010
Posts: 788
Religion: Philosopher

Audio Catechisms and Confessions: Heidelberg and Westminster

From time to time I make attempts to memorize sections of the Heidelberg Catechism. I found a few free audio versions available below, as well as some files of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Audio readings are often a great idea... poorly executed. That is, I've found many audio readings droning on and on, which leads to... boredom. Such is probably the case of some of the links below. Some may wonder how a catechism could be read in an exciting manner: "It's a catechism, not a dramatic presentation"! I would argue that something like Lord's Day 1 of the Heidelberg is filled with strong emotion, and could be read aloud with vigor for a recording.  When I think about Lord's Day 1, I can hear someone like Alistair Begg reading it aloud with force.

I've not listened to all the links below, but my suspicion is the readings are flat. This means, it's the listeners responsibility to be as attentive and focused as possible to get the most out of it. Then again, some of you will probably listen to this sort of thing while driving, and I would rather you focus on the road.  

URC Learning, The Three forms of Unity (includes the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort)

Audio Heidelberg Catechism

Heidelberg Catechism Audio Recording, Internet Archive

LibriVox recording of The Heidelberg Catechism

Heidelberg Catechism, Grace Reformed Church

And for you Presbyterians-

Reformed Audio Presents: The Westminster Confession of Faith

Sermon audio, Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) & the Solemn League and Covenant (1643)

The Westminster Confession of Faith, StillwaterRPC

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Economic Lessons for everyone for God's Glory

Lesson 1 | And God Created Economics from Compass Cinema on Vimeo.
HT: Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition.
Now, if only President Obama, and many (most ?) other politicians would understand these basic principles!!
See their web-site "Economics For Everybody"
The "Cultural Mandate" that R. C. Sproul, Jr. mentions is found in Genesis 1:26-28, which is basically that God has created mankind in His own image and He has given us the world to manage and take care of; to be good stewards over His creation.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28
I look forward to this series and am going to use it in teaching my children. I hope the rest is as good as this is. I might not agree with everything later, but so far, this is good material.