Matthew 2:23 Oral Prophecy? Thoughts/Questions

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Justin Nickelsen, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Justin Nickelsen

    Justin Nickelsen
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    "And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene'."
    --Matthew 2:23, RSV

    Thoughts:

    Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience that, we are usually led to assume, would be familar with his citations. This is why he goes out of his way to establish Chirst's messiahship with a lot of "fulfilled prophecy" references.

    The interesting thing about this one is that it seems he isn't quoting any scripture.

    There are a couple signs of this:

    1. That quote isn't found anywhere in the OT.
    2. The word "Nazareth" or "Nazarene" isn't found anywhere in the OT.

    But more, not only is that quote not found in the OT, but it isn't found more than once, which would be proper to qualify Matthews pluarl use of the term "prophets".

    So where did this come from?

    Well, some people have tried to point to Isaiah 11:1 and pull out the words "Nazareth" etc. from there.

    There are a couple problems with this:

    1. You can't get those words from there. They aren't there. And "-nester" has nothing to do with it.

    2. If Matthew had Isaiah in mind, he could have said so, as he did on 1:22-23, etc.

    3. Let's say hypthetically that he DID have Is. 11:1 in mind. Then were are the rest of the references to fulfill the pluarl use of the term prophets?

    --

    My Take:

    There are differing Catholic views on this subject, but mine is this...

    Keeping in mind WHO he is writing to, and WHAT he is writing about... and keeping in mind the fact that his refernce is pluarl... that there is no source for it in the OT... and it is refered to, still though, as prophecy... and the other notes that I had...

    I feel that we have a fulfillment or Oral Prophecy (e.g., Oral Tradition).

    But not just that...

    A Oral Prophecy that the Jews Matthew was writing to would have been familiar with, or he wouldn't have used it. Remember who is he writing to.

    --

    I am interested in Protestant takes on this. How would some of you guys see this interesting verse?

    Peace,

    Justin
    [email protected]
     
  2. HankD

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    Because the "Prophets" were often times considered a single body of Scripture, the sense of the passage may be "That one of the things written by the prophets may be fulfilled".

    Some make a connection with "nazarite" which is "Nazir" in Hebrew "Nazireem" being plural.

    This really doesn't solve much. Amos is the only prophet which speaks of the Nazirites and at best it is an allusion. Also, the Nazirite vow forbad the use of wine. Jesus obviously drank wine.
    However there is a theory that He might have taken a Nazirite vow at a younger age and had ended it before He went on the road to preach.

    It's a stretch, but I doubt if you will get a Baptist (perhaps a liberal) to admit to an "oral tradition" theory. I could be wrong.

    HankD
     
  3. Daniel Vollmer

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    For me as a Catholic there are a number of scriptures which point to the oral tradition of the church. Some examples are Phil 4:9, 2 Thess 2:14,3:6, 2 Tim 3:14. I feel that if our protestant bothers could grasp the concept of the oral tradition, many of the other issues separating us would dissappear. This is because as Catholics we believe that not all of Jesus' teachings are contained in the NT which is also not said to be true in the Bible either. The oral tradition, apostalic tradition, sacred tradition, what ever you wish to call it, is all that Jesus left us when he assended into heaven. Jesus never made mention of or commanded to be written a new testiment. This was however a gift given by the Holy Spirit. As a Catholic we believe the bible was given to help clarify the Oral Tradition and they can not contradic one another.

    This gets to the heart of many differences between Catholics and Protestants and also differences between the different Protestant faiths, which is the interpretation of scripture. As you know, we are warned over and over again in the NT about misinterpreting scripture and how it could lead us in the wrong direction. The question then arises, how can we be sure we are interpreting correctly and not being lead astray? As a Catholic I believe that oral tradition leads us to the correct interpretation. This is done by the teaching majesterium of the Catholic Church who through both scripture and the oral tradition can make a proper interpretation. This does not mean as Catholics we should not read the Bible and try and interpret scripture, we are free to do this, provided the interpretation is within the guidelines of the churches teachings.

    This issue of the oral tradition can be looked at also from a historical point of view. As I mentioned earlier, the total teaching given to us by Jesus was orally spoken and this teaching was passed on orally and known as the oral tradition. Jesus promised that he would not let the gates of hell prevail against his church so we feel that the holy spirit will protect the oral tradition from being corrupted over the years just as we feel that the Bible has remained uncorrupted as well.

    To see if the Catholic churches oral tradition has been corrupted, one only needs to look at the teachings of the early church fathers and compare that teaching to the teaching of the Catholic Church today. One will find that the teachings and beliefs have not changed over the 2000 year history of the church.

    To me the idea that Jesus wanted us to only use the Bible for our faith would have been poor planning on Jesus' part and since he is God I don't think he is a poor planner. The reason for using the Bible alone would have been a problem would be as follows. First of all there was no NT for about 400 years, this would have left the early christians with no faith to follow. Second, once the Canon of the Bible was authorized and he had a Bible, it was very difficult to reproduce so only the wealthy could afford a Bible, thus leaving the poor to be without. I don't think that would have been Jesus' way. It wasn't till 1500 years after jesus' assention that the Gutenburg press was invented and Bibles could be mass produced and made inexpensively. I just don't think Jesus would have left his people in the dark for that length of time with no guidebook. All through these years there was the oral tradition of the Catholic church which guided the faithful. Oral tradition is not a new concept of the Catholic church it has been there from the beginning.

    Again once you understand and accept the oral tradition of the church, many of our other differences will fall away. Oral tradition with scripture explains, Peter being set above the other apostles to lead the church in Christs physical absence, and this authority was not meant to stop with Peter. If that was the case we would have no leader who had the authority to make infallible decisions about faith and morals. We would be just wandering around with no direction. This authority was handed down through the sucession of Popes until the present day, just as the priests of the church also are successors of the other apostles.

    I urge by protestant brothers to look back at the early history of Christianity and read the letter written by the church fathers and see what they understood to be Jesus' teachings. After all, other than the apostles they are the ones closest to Jesus' teachings.

    I would appreciate any replys from my fellow Protestant and Catholic brothers on what I have said. We are all on this journey together with the same destination we just maybe taking slightly different paths.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  4. Ps104_33

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    Its deja vu all over again
     
  5. HankD

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    Dear Daniel,

    You said...

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
    26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    I too believe in the tradition of the Apostles, that tradition which became codified into what we call the New Testament. The statements above made by Jesus Christ came by way of the Apostle John.

    HankD
     
  6. cotton

    cotton
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    In response to the original post; I believe you are absolutely correct in your assessment of oral tradition, especially where the Jewish people are concerned; much of this oral tradition has been contained in the Mishna and the Talmudic writings, and some actually points to Yeshua as MaShiach (Messiah); as far as the Nazarene (Natzrati) question, the best answer I have gotten is the one you alluded to, where Isaiah 11:2 refers to him as a netzer which means branch or shoot; I believe it alludes to a much deeper mystery and teaching: he is the Root of Jesse (G_d) and the Branch of David (man). Still, this is based on word play, and I believe there is a lot more to be revealed.
     
  7. Carson Weber

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    Hi Hank,

    The statements above made by Jesus Christ came by way of the Apostle John.

    How do you know this? The Gospel itself does not specify the identity of its author.

    I propose that your statement above comes from Tradition, which has not been codified in the New Testament.

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  8. DHK

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    On what basis do you make this statement? Where does the Bible teach that it will put the traditions and teachings of fallible men of greater importance and of greater authority than that of the Scriptures? What is your authority for making such a claim?
    DHK
     
  9. DHK

    DHK
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    The Catholic doctrine has changed extensively. Every few years they add something new to their body of doctrine: all the way from purgatory, confession of sins to a priest, to kissing the feet of the pope! Don't tell me that the teaching and beiefs of the Catholic Church have not changed. If you look under the thread now being discussed about Mary being coredemptrix, it looks like their doctrine is about to change again!!
    DHK
     
  10. DHK

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    Sad thing is that we are not on this journey together. Those who put tradition above the Word of God, are leading others astray from the Word of God and condemning them and themselves to Hell.

    1Pet.1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    We are born again through the Word of God, not by corruptible things such as traditions, which Christ Himself condemned.
    DHK
     
  11. HankD

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    "which has not been codified" Perhaps not, the Greek "kata ioannan" appears on some ancient manuscript witnesses.

    Nevertheless for the sake of the discussion, you are correct and I cede to that point. Very astute Carson, indeed.

    my apologetic [​IMG]
    As stated in other posts I am not "sola scriptura" in the Lutheran sense. I prefer the shibboleth of the "Final Authority" of the Scriptures". My position allows for "Tradition" but looks to the Scripture for the final nod of approval.

    Having said that, the authorship of the Gospel of John was never (in my recollection of reading) contested until the 18th century by "higher" critics when a statement by Papias was construed to cast doubt upon this Gospel's authorship. Papias spoke of John the elder as distinguished from John the Apostle but not in the specific context of the authorship of the Gospel attributed to him.

    There are sufficient internal evidences (IMO) to collaborate Tradition and other external evidences that John is the author which Tradition gives to the Gospel which I cited.

    HankD

    [ August 10, 2002, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  12. Daniel Vollmer

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    I really didn't think I would get the response I did but that is ok. I still hold fast to the notion that we all have the same goal. To be with our Lord Jesus in Heaven.

    I would like to make a rebutle regarding some of the responses to my first post. To DHK I would like to make the following explanation to clarify my point. In regards to The oral tradition being more important than scripture, that is something I did not say. We believe that Jesus gave us the teaching Majesterium, the Oral tradition and the written word followed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    My question is this, since you believe in just the scriptures, where is it written that everything Jesus taught is in the written word. As a matter of fact it says in John 21:25 " There are also many things that Jesus did, but if these things were described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written ". This shows that Jesus taught more than what was written in scripture. Jesus never promised us the NT, he never commanded his disciples to write things down. Infact Jesus commanded them to preach (oral) the gospel. Also if we are only to believe whats in the Bible and nothing else, then where is it written in the Bible. Since it is not in there, it must be a man made tradition. As Catholics we know that the sacred tradition which is not man made tradition was handed down my Jesus and that all of his teachings are not in the Bible. Jesus also said, he who rejects what I have taught, rejects me.

    What Jesus condemed was not sacred tradition but man made tradition. Remember sacred tradition is the actual passing on by word of mouth what Jesus taught. Remember there was no NT for the first 400 years of Christianity, there was only the sacred tradition. Where does it say in scripture that when the NT comes along, throw away sacred tradition. The Catholic church which was the only church for the first 1500 years of christianity has stood fast on the scriptures, sacred tradition and teaching majesterium.

    There was some mention on the church changing its beliefs over the first 1500 years, I would like some examples of what these are if I could.

    The last thing I would like to say is that I would never imply that the Baptists or any other protestant church is leading people to hell. As a Catholic I am not saying any protestant religous group is going to hell, that has never been the teaching of the church. As far as I know, the same percentage of protestants will enter Heaven as Catholics. My goal is to share the fullness of truth with my protestant brothers. There is only once truth and if the Catholics dont have the truth, which of the 26,000 protestant denominations is the one that has the truth.

    Well I guess I will close for now. God Bless all of you.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  13. Lorelei

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    I believe there is a difference in saying that he did many things rather then that he taught many other things. You are reading into his words more then he said. Could that be bacause that is what oral tradition has taught you to think it says?

    ~Lorelei
     
  14. Daniel Vollmer

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    The question was raised whether or not I am reading into the words in the Bible and is that what is taught in the oral tradition. What oral tradition does, is clarify the scriptures. The people who wrote the books of the bible heard the oral tradition first which was again passed on. We use this oral tradition to help us properly interpret the Bible. As an example its like listening to a speakers lecture and then receiving the outline of the lecture in written form. From what he spoke about orally you can interpret more clearly what the outline is saying.

    Look back again in history, when Jesus assended into Heaven, what did he leave behind??? Did he leave the Bible, no, did he leave the oral tradition, yes. Now lets jump 400 years later when through the oral tradition of the Catholic church the canon of the bible was determined and the Bible was given to us. Tell me where does it say in the Bible that now we throw away the oral tradition, where does it say in the Bible that everything that Jesus wanted us to know is in the Bible, where does it say that we are to follow the bible only? These things are not mentioned in the Bible at all and the early christians did not believe it either, the early christians which were Catholic believed in both the scripture and the oral tradition of the church. This believe has continued for 2000 years and is with the church today.

    We are all looking for the truth and where do we find the truth, is it just scripture where we find it? No for it says in 1 Tim 3:15 " But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the Pillar and Bullwark of Truth " From scripture it shows that it is not just scripture but is the truth but the church with its teaching majesterium and oral tradition.

    I have to go for now. God bless you all.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  15. HankD

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    Dear Daniel,

    You posted...

    My belief:
    The Final Authority is the Bible. Everything else is held up to its light. The Door of Inspiration is closed. We have the gifts of the Spirit and the anointing of 1 John to discern the Scripture. People make mistakes in interpretation (even in your Church), that is their problem with their heavenly Father and their local Church pastor.

    Many Churches have a counterpart of your Magesterium. For instance the Mormon Church (Latter Day) has the 12 Apostles and the President. They make pronouncements and it is "binding" They also have an ongoing revelation.
    They also look at history and make a compelling case that the Early Day Church became apostate and showed the fruits of that apostasy with all the bloodshed following thereby breaking the succession of the office of apostle.

    Others like myself believe that there has always been a faithful remnant of believers who have the Traditions of the Apostles codified in the Word of God and a direct connection to the Father in heaven by Jesus Christ through the Spirit of God.

    Here is a Tradition passed down from Peter these nearly 20 centuries concerning Jesus Christ:

    Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    HankD
     
  16. Lorelei

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    That clarification should never change the meaning of the written word.

    I ask you this, do you believe that the scriptures were indeed inspired by Holy Spirit or do you look at it as merely instructions written by man and therefore infallible?

    Have you ever played that game when you were a kid where you got in a big circle and the first person told the next one a secret. That person then shared the secret with the next person in line and so on and so on and so on. When the last person heard the secret, guess what...It was usually altered in some way and in many cases the entire content was changed or discarded.

    What does some silly game have to do with this? It's what happens when people pass on traditions without having any authority to confirm it or test it against. Traditions are fine and the Bible does not say that they are wrong, but who do you trust? The one who made sure he wrote it all down so that it wouldn't be forgotten or misused, or the one who has it passed down from several generations and because of that many things have been added, some of which are contrary to what was originally written down for our instructions?

    Without anything to test your "traditions" against, how do you know if they are from God or from man?

    Where does our instruction then come from? How do we know what is and is not right?

    If you don't believe that the New Testament was "God-breathed" then no wonder you think it isn't enough. But if you do believe it to be divinely inspired, then you must believe that the Holy scriptures "are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. " (v15) No tradition should nullify that.

    ~Lorelei
     
  17. Dualhunter

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    Read the verse from the end of John which you are refering to. It says nothing about teachings, it says that it was the things that Jesus did that are too many to record. I don't think you're listening when people are explaining the term "Final Authority".
     
  18. Daniel Vollmer

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    Hello Hank,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I agree with you that the Bible is the final authority, but as a catholic we believe that sacred traditon is also final authority. Since we believe that scripture and sacred tradition can not contradict each other, we use sacred tradition as a guide in interpreting scripture.

    As you know protestants and catholics have differences in what scripture says, but thats in part because we use sacred tradition to help us out. Its kinda like having the author there explaining what he wrote.

    To also help in the interpretation is the teaching majesterium which is comprised of the priests bishops and pope. It is our belief that Jesus set up his church this way. We refer to when Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom in Heaven and the power of binding and loosing. We understand this whatever Peter decides regarding the faith and morals on earth will be the same as in Heaven and since there is only truth in Heaven, then Peter could only make true decisions. To reinforce this belief Jesus said he would be with us until the end of an age and the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. We believe this means Jesus will not let his church go astray. So for this to happen the infallability of Peter can not stop with him, so he passed on this authority to his successor and this has continued through an unbroken chain to the present day and these leaders are the popes of the catholic church.

    By giving the earthly leader (vicor of Christ)of the church (Jesus is the true leader) it keeps his church on track. For example, during the first 1500 years of the church there where many heresy's and missunderstandings of scripture and they were resolved through a council of bishops with the Pope declaring the infallable truth. This has helped keep the catholic church on the same track with the teachings about the faith remaining the same as that of the early church fathers.

    When in comes to interpretation of scripture we are encoraged to read and interprete scripture as long as its withing the guidelines of the churches teachings, this also keeps us true to the faith.

    Once of the differences I see between us catholics and our protestant brothers is that we do not have private interpretation and we do not follow just the Bible and the only relation from God. The problem I see with private interpretation is that there is no guarantee you will get it right. This is proved itself out by all the different protestant religions in existance today. Since there is only one truth, who has this truth? As catholics we feel we do, again because Jesus gave the keys to Peter who is the first pope of the church and Jesus also said that hell would not prevail against this church.

    Well got to run for now. God bless all of you.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  19. HankD

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    Dear Daniel,

    While I disagree with the content of your post, you are like a cool breeze in all this heat.

    HankD
     
  20. Lorelei

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    And this is where we shall always disagree. We see it the opposite way, we are encouraged to follow the churches teachings as long as they are within the guidelines of scripture. [​IMG]



    Paul said Peter was clearly in the wrong and opposed him because he was not acting in line with the truth of the gospel. So which one are we supposed to believe? Was Paul lying? Or was Peter indeed in the wrong and therefore fallible? The Bible clearly states he was indeed in the wrong, it is only oral tradition and interpretation that allows for the "infallabililty clause". When I have to choose whom to believe, I choose to believe the eyewitnesses to those events whom God inspired to write His words down for us to remember.

    When I read the Word in context, I see no contradictions. Those only arise when churches add to them by trying to "explain" thier doctrines.

    Respectfully,
    ~Lorelei
     

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