“Christianity is not Judaism. Christians are not subject to follow the Law. Jews are. That one is a fulfilment of the other does not alter the fact that the OT scriptures do not teach one to do he same things as the NT.”
In your desperation, you multiply irrelevant distinctions. This is all irrelevant to my statement that Christians were never without a Bible. And Messianic prophecies were central to the Apostolic kerygma.
“If it's not the rule of faith during the apostolic age, the the apostles didn't teach it.”
i) The Apostles *embody* sola Scriptura. They are agents of inscripturation.
ii) The fact that sola Scriptura is inapplicable to apostles and prophets doesn’t mean it’s inapplicable to you and me. The fact that a wellspring is its own source of water doesn’t mean that I don’t need to get my water from the wellspring.
“As I pointed out before, they didn't practice sola scriptura in the OT...... The sacrificial calendar depends on Ex 12:2. Is it referring to Egyptian months (where the Jews were living at the time) or Chaldean months (from where their patriarch Abraham originated)? Give an answer without oral tradition.....”
According to the Mosaic law, they used an agricultural calendar (Exod 23:16; 34:22; Lev 26:6,23-25).
“After King Solomon had the Temple built, he sanctified the interior of the courtyard by personally offering sacrifices [1 Kings 8:64]. How could Solomon offer these sacrifices in the Temple when every indication in the Torah is that only priests may offer sacrifices? From where did Solomon know that a non-priestly king can offer a sacrifice to sanctify the Temple if not from an oral law?.....”
According to the Mosaic law, even laymen could offer sacrifice (Exod 24:5).
“Elijah offered a sacrifice on Mt. Carmel [1 Kings 18:3-38]. However, the Torah forbids bringing sacrifices outside of the Temple [Deut. 12:13-14]. From where did Elijah receive permission to violate this prohibition unless he knew from an oral law that in his case it was permitted.”
i) Deut 12:13-14 doesn’t mention the “Temple,” which didn’t exist at that time, or for several centuries thereafter.
ii) You’re such a legalist. One doesn’t need an “oral law” to “violate” a Mosaic prohibition in an emergency. Did David have an oral legal exemption which permitted him to eat the showbread (1 Sam 21:1-6)? No.
Elijah could hardly invite Baal worshippers into the Temple. The contest would have to take place out of doors.
iii) You also equivocate over “tradition.” In Catholicism, Sacred Tradition is not synonymous with oral tradition.
I’m not going to keep correcting you on these underhanded equivocations.
“No one apostle wrote down the whole of revelation. No apostle shows evidence of being aware of the whole NT. Not even close. So no apostle could know if all revelation was written. Thus no apostle could have advocated sola scriptura.”
Non-sequitur. An apostle could teach it in principle.
“Most of the apostles wrote nothing. If their imperative was to write scripture, most of them botched it.”
Red herring. Sola Scriptura doesn’t imply that every apostle or prophet wrote down everything he ever said.
You aren’t even trying to honestly represent the opposing position. I’m not going to waste time on a dishonest opponent.
“A fancy sounding distinction that adds nothing to your case. The limitations of the individual effectively form part of the criteria, because individuals all start from different knowledge and suppositions. That protestants won't admit the significant place these internal criteria effect the outcome behind the scenes, doesn't mean they don't exist. Protestants judge by the criteria of their own world view, even though they won't admit it.”
If you want to deploy that argument, then that’s also an argument against the authority of popes, church fathers, church councils, doctors of the church, &c. A pope is an individual. A church father is an individual. A council is a collection of individuals.
Adding individuals together (tradition, church councils) doesn’t eliminate the individual basis of the net total.
“Right. So do you grant Christianity an epistemologically superior position to those following the Koran or Vedas? If so, it must be surely because of the objective nature of Christian revelation in comparison to the other claims.”
Christianity is superior because it is true and they are false.
“Therefore, the objective nature of what the Church says is canon trumps what STEVE says is canon.”
That wouldn’t be based on the “objectivity” of the church, but the alleged “infallibility” of the church. Where’s your argument?
“If you don't grant Christianity a superior position, you level the church to the ground, as I said.”
Since I don’t equate Christianity with your ecclesiolatry, your conclusion doesn’t obtain.
“St Basil, on the Spirit.”
So you’re quoting an individual church father to disprove individualism. Impressive logic.
“Why do you need a rule of faith FOR THE CHURCH? Why not just a rule of faith for individuals? The answer is obvious.”
I realize you lack a disciplined mind, but you actually need to present an argument for your claim that a rule of faith must maintain unity.
“You confuse disagreement with disunity. The bishops define who is in unity and communion. The unity is manifest in the shared Eucharist.”
i) The definition of Catholic unity is far more expansive and demanding than your minimalistic version:
ii) Even Pope Benedict XVI admits that your rule of faith generates disunity. “Chaos.”
iii) Your hairsplitting distinction between “disagreement” and “disunity” is false to your own prooftext. Does Paul, in 1 Cor 1:10ff, draw that distinction? No.
“Wrong, because the catholic understanding is an objective reality.”
i) You seem to think that offering your exposition of Catholic theology is a sufficient response. It isn’t. It begs the question. Once again, I’m not going to waste time on someone who merely asserts his position ad nauseum.
ii) Even if, ex hypothesi, there is an objective reality which supplies the object of Catholic understanding, that objective reality must be individually and subjectively discerned. You keep running in circles, like a gerbil on an exercise wheel.
“Objectivity is no index of truth.”
How do you think that admission is supposed to help your case? You’ve been pinning your hopes on the “objectivity” of the church. So, according to you, the church could be both objective and mistaken.
“I know of no other criteria that would result in a religion short of a direct revelation from God. If I have to start at square one from "I think therefore I am", it would take me decades and I'd probably end up in a religion of one.”
i) Even if that were true, it doesn’t’ change the fact that making catholicity the goal is a subjective value-judgment.
ii) Christianity is a revealed religion. Grounded in a public revelation. If that’s insufficient for your purposes, then you’re not a Christian.
“They must have been unified since there was only one temple. Otherwise we'd be talking about 5027th temple protestant Judaism.”
You simply make things up in your armchair fashion. There were many different Jewish “sects” and schools of thought in 2nd Judaism.
“What is passed down over the centuries is what was found workable and true.”
There’s no logical connection between the premise and the conclusion. Something is true because it’s handed down over the centuries? Do you apply that reasoning to the Hadith?
“You're in no position 2000 years later to distinguish which is which.”
i) Actually I am, just as 1C Jews were in a position to challenge Pharisaic traditions.
ii) You yourself are very selective about what traditions you honor. You only honor Catholic traditions.
“You can't communicate with God directly to find out what he inspired.”
i) If you’re going to use that argument, then it cuts both ways. I can’t communicate with the church fathers directly.
ii) If you think there’s no direct evidence for the inspiration of the Bible, then there’s no direct evidence for the inspiration of the Magisterium. All you’ve done is to push the issue back a step (assuming, for the sake of argument, that this is a real issue).
“It's only divisive for sorting the wheat from the chaff.”
As in sifting Evangelical wheat from Catholic chaff.
“And the chaff are not part of the unity anyway.”
A truism, since that’s a result of the winnowing process.
“Unity may not be the only function, but it is clearly _a_ function since scripture lists that as a goal for the church.”
You’re confusing imperatives with indicatives. If it’s merely a “goal,” then it’s an ideal rather than a reality. In that case, unity doesn’t define the actual church.
The very fact that writers like Paul enjoin church members to be of one mind is set in the context of ecclesiastical disunity. Or do you think Pauline churches were false churches?
“Nonsense. I don't ask permission from the Magisterium before buying a bible.”
Now you’re dissembling. That was never the issue. A Catholic cannot interpret the Bible contrary to the Magisterium.
“I could say the same of the Magisterium. That of course is the point of issue.”
Now you’re backing down from your earlier mischaracterization of what I said, although you act as if this is what you said all along.
“Have you told us what a rule of faith is supposed to accomplish so we can take a look at it?”
Notice JJ’s methodology. He begins with his outcome-based criterion, then uses that criterion to select for his rule of faith.
Of course, in that event, the rule of faith is not, itself, the criterion—but is subject to his outcome-based criterion.
For me, by contrast, God’s word is the criterion.
“One would think one of the points would be an objective source of truth.”
I’m less concerned with the subjective/objective duality than I am with the true/false duality.
“But since you've admitted the necessity of subjective internal light, and commentaries some of which may be heretical and reprobational, your definition of "perspicuous" ends up meaning "I don't know if I'm being saved or reprobated by what I think this means. That's Orwellian 'Perspicuity'.”
i) I haven’t admitted that. I merely pointed out that Bryan Cross was attacking a straw man version of perspicuity.
ii) Even reprobates can write useful commentaries. For example, there are learned liberals who, because they reject the authority of Scripture, allow the Bible to speak for itself. Since they don’t feel the need to agree with Scripture, they don’t have a problem construing Scripture to mean something at odds with their personal beliefs. They don’t feel threatened by that hiatus.
“In the same way that if I met the apostle Paul, and told you what he said, it would be an improvement over you privately interpreting Genesis on your own. Despite my fallibility in conveying it to you.”
No, that wouldn’t necessarily be an improvement. If you garbled what he told you, then that would be worse than if I tried to interpret Genesis without your erroneous gloss.
“If you could interview 100 people who could relate to you what Paul said, you'd be in a better position still.”
Of course, that hypothetical doesn’t correspond to the church of Rome.
“The more you care to take in from the Spirit led church, the better you would be, even though individual parts could be fallible.”
Not unless I had a way of distinguishing inspired statements from errant, uninspired statements.
“And if the 100 people compare notes and agree that the truth is around the centre of their collective memory, the fallibility of the trees does not hurt the sufficiency of the forest in establishing truth.”
I don’t deny that collective fallible testimony can be useful, but your hypothetical fails to illustrate the distinctive Catholic claim to a Magisterium which can, under certain conditions, speak infallibly.
“And the objectivity of 100 people comparing notes is far in excess of 1 person with their bible under a tree, or even 1 person under a tree with a possibly reprobational commentary.”
Now you’re comparing the incomparable. There’s a difference between the transmission of information (e.g. testimonial evidence) and the interpretation of the testimony.
“We don't know that he was a fully fledged convert. There were a lot of hangers on to the outskirts of Judaism. He may have been a convert.”
i) Why should we even care about your “private” interpretation of Acts? You’re using a Protestant methodology to defend Catholic methodology. If your private interpretations are sufficient to prove the necessity of the Magisterium, then you prove the superfluity of the Magisterium in the act of proving the necessity of the Magisterium. Quite a conundrum, I’d say.
ii) We’re waiting for you to supply us with the Magisterial interpretation of Acts 8.
“Classic example of how you treat your own interpretation as functionally infallible.”
It’s not just *my* interpretation. As Joseph Fitzmyer explains, in the standard Catholic commentary on Acts, “this implies that he was a Jew or at least a proselyte coming from the diaspora” (412).
Pity you can’t even keep up with Catholic Bible scholarship.
“But fallible oral communication that was informed by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.”
You have the cart before the horse. Oral tradition precedes Sacred Tradition.
“He didn't have the gospels or Romans because they didn't exist. So at least one Ethiopian went home informed by a non-sola scriptura hermeneutic.”
Once again, you’re changing the subject. Could he or could he not learn who Jesus was by reading the gospels or Romans or Hebrews?
“Church office is not dynastic by blood, but by succession. Very similar.”
Succession by election is quite dissimilar to succession by genealogy. In the latter case, the only qualification is your bloodline.
“You're confusing qualification with facts and authority. Just because I'm " irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach" doesn't make me an elder.”
A diversionary tactic on your part. Did I say qualifications for church office automatically make one a church officer? No.
The point is that if these are qualifications for church office, and various popes (to take one example) don’t measure up, then that would disqualify them from holding church office. That would make them antipopes.
“Just because I'm from the tribe of Levi, of the right age and gender, didn't give me the right to overthrow the Levitical priesthood and temple and start a new cult.”
i) Another diversionary tactic. You keep trotting out this comparison, which is irrelevant to my point. It does nothing to overturn my point.
ii) Moreover, you’re repeating yourself despite the fact that I already addressed your irrelevant comparison.
I’m not going to waste time on an opponent who raises an objection, then when I address his objection, reiterates the same objection as though nothing was said by way of response.
“What I said stands. It took a special intervention by the messiah to overthrow the authority structure.”
i) Once again, you’re merely positing an analogy between the Levitical priesthood and the Catholic church. You haven’t begun to argue for that analogy. Don’t waste my time with these tedious fallacies.
ii) BTW, the Messiah didn't have to "overthrow" the priesthood. The priesthood always had an expiration date.
“You're trying to split the hair between true and infallibly true.”
No, you were the one who introduced the condition of infallible truth when you fault (Protestant) interpretations of Scripture unless they are “necessarily true.”
What is merely true could be false. What is necessarily true is not only true, but couldn’t be false. That’s the definition of infallibility. Try to keep track of your own sorry argument.
“If I relate to you what Paul said, it is true, but not infallible, because I related it to you.”
That’s a complete non-sequitur. The fact that you relate something to me doesn’t make it true.
Perhaps, in your bugling way, you’re trying to say that what you relate to me could be true even though you are not infallible.
Granted. But Catholic polemical theology isn’t satisfied with that condition. It’s not enough that it be true. Some suitable authority must vouch for its truthfulness.
“But it is authoritative.”
Not unless you’re an authority-figure (e.g. the Magisterium). Try to remember your own argument.
“Otherwise Paul left his churches en route, at least the ones prior to his writing spree, without an authority. Which would be unworkable.”
You’re confusing knowledge with church discipline. Church discipline is an authoritarian exercise.
But any member of Pauline church who heard him speak, who heard the same thing the elders heard, would have just as much right to his interpretation as theirs. Their memory is no better than his.
“Do we need it? Since you've already admitted the necessity of commentaries, but you can't be sure if they are reprobational, then clearly we need something. I'd prefer something guaranteed to be correct than that which may or may not be reprobational. But we both agree we need something.”
i) You don’t have anything guaranteed to be correct. All you have is your fideistic claim.
ii) In fact, the Magisterium is far more likely to be wrong. If an institution imagines itself to be inspired, when it is not, then it will rely on its nonexistent inspiration rather than sound hermeneutical methods, to interpret the Bible.
“And again, back to your presupposition that the canon should be widely known because of the purpose God has for his word.”
I never said that.
“The same supposition says that interpretation should be widely known.”
Even if that were analogous, which is not the case, your parallel turns on a premise which I reject (see above).
“But your world view says for a thousand years it was not known, even though you accept the decision about the canon from those whose interpretation you reject.”
That’s such a dumb statement. I don’t accept the Catholic canon. I accept the Protestant canon. My OT canon corresponds to the Jewish canon, not the Catholic canon.
“Any list of books can be defended. But individuals will all have their own cut of probabilities of what to include. Thus the need for some kind of authority, whether it be Trent or tradition.”
Individuals will all have their own cut of probabilities as to which councils or traditions to include.
This is typical of you. You pose a problem—as you see it. You then propose a solution which only pushes the problem back a step.
“By casting out both you cast away your hermeneutical foundation.”
One can sift tradition as a historical source. And external attestation is not the only line of evidence for the canon.
“The Catholic Church is objectively the one the apostles founded.”
You never miss a chance to beg the question. Given your devotion to circular reasoning, you should convert to Islam. You missed your true vocation as a swirling Dervish.
And not only do you beg the question against the Protestant, you also beg the question against the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox.
“1) You assume apriori that 1Tim and 2Tim are inspired.__2) You assume Paul isn't quoting some other now lost writing. __3) You assume Paul wrote it.”
Notice how JJ is moving the goal post. He demanded a reference. When I complied with his demand, he makes another demand.
i) Now you’re resorting to the tactics of the liberal German source critics, who reject extant documentary sources in favor of nonexistent, unverifiable sources.
ii) I don’t need to reinvent the wheel on the inspiration and authorship of Scripture. This is well-trodden ground in conservative Evangelical literature.
“You've just shown your epistemological foundation is viciously regressive. What you regard as inspired cannot have the objective foundation as the historical fact that the apostles founded the Catholic Church.”
i) Both claims involve historical evidence.
ii) The Bible has the additional advantage of internal evidence.
iii) You’re appeal to the Magisterium is viciously circular since you need the Magisterium to validate your traditions and prooftexts for the Magisterium.
iv) All you ever do is to profess your fideistic belief in the Catholic church. You don’t furnish any probative evidence to support your claim, or address the counterevidence.
v) Foundationalism is a questionable epistemology.
“That's like saying I can't interpret Genesis apart from Paul. The obvious silliness of the accusation is apparent to all.”
Once again you keep rehashing the same stale arguments and illustrations even though we specifically responded to these the first time, the second time, the third time...
“You need to prove whether apostolic authorship makes something inspired, irrespective of what I believe.”
As if Evangelical scholars had never done that before.
“Irrelevant. Unless you can produce every non-extant ancient document to do an exhaustive search in, then you're making a supposition.”
i) It’s not irrelevant for you to discharge your own burden of proof.
ii) Unless you can produce every non-extant ancient document to prove to us that the Catholic church didn’t suppress evidence which would expose its fraudulent claims, then you're making a supposition.
“Before Trent we had the Tradition and customs of the Catholic Church. Same as the Jews had.”
So, when push comes to shove, you fall back on fallible tradition and fallible customs.
“If I asked you to prove the OT canon, you'd start talking about what such and such a Jew had to say. That's an appeal to tradition. That's an appeal that assumes a recognisable body of Jews existed who held a unified tradition, and that the person quoted was a member of said group. In short, you'd be forced to fall back to a tradition-based canon.”
i) You assume you know how we go about defending the canon. You clearly don’t have a clue as to how we actually do it.
ii) You continue to play your bait-and-switch game on “tradition.” You try to pole-vault from “tradition” to “Sacred Tradition.”
“Document a widely known historical fact?”
If that’s a widely known fact, then why is that fact unknown to the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican Communion, Lutherans, Baptists, &c.? How do you define “wide”? In millimeters?
“There's 2000 years of witnesses and continuity.”
You say it but you don’t show it.
“Where would one even begin?”
That’s your problem.
“The Holy Church.” God is pointed out, and His temple. “For the temple of God is holy,” says the Apostle, “which (temple) are ye.” This same is the holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, the Catholic Church" - Augustine, on the Creed.”
i) Quoting a Latin Father begs the question.
ii) Moreover, you can’t quote a 5C church father as a witness to the 21C Catholic church. Augustine wasn’t vouching for the 21C Catholic church. He knew absolutely nothing about the 21C Catholic church. And if he had known, he might disown it.
Before you can apply his statement to the 21C Catholic church, you have to already assume that your church is the one true church—in which case you’re using your church to prove his statement, rather than using his statement to prove your church.
You’ve demonstrated, in a short time, that you don’t debate in good faith. I’d advise you go away until you cultivate a modicum of intellectual honesty. I not going to keep playing “Row, row, row your boat” with you. The round gets to be monotonous in a hurry.