Questions asked by a Catholic

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Sirach, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Sirach

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    Here are some questions that I found asked by a Catholic, and I would like to know how some of you answer them, particularly those who have been kind enough to dialog with me on the 'about the Catholic Chruch thread'....


    1) Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book?

    2) Where did Jesus tell His apostles to write anything down?

    3) Where in the New Testament do the apostles tell future generations that the Christian faith will be based on a book?

    4) Protestants claim that Jesus categorically condemned all oral tradition (Matt 15:3, 6; Mark 7:8?13). If so, why does He bind His listeners to oral tradition by telling them that to obey the scribes and Pharisees when they "sit on Moses' seat" (Matt 23:2)?

    5) Protestants claim that St. Paul categorically condemned all oral tradition (Col 2:8). If so, why does he tell the Thessalonians to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thes 2:15) and praises the Corinthians because they "hold firmly to the traditions" (1 Cor 11:2)?

    6) If the authors of the New Testament believed in sola Scriptura, why did they sometimes draw on oral Tradition as authoritative and as God's Word (Matt 2:23; 23:2; 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 3:19; Jude 9, 14 15)?

    7) Where in the Bible is God's Word restricted only to what is written down?

    8) How do we know who wrote the books that we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Hebrews, and 1, 2, and 3 John?

    9) On what authority, or on what principle, would we accept as Scripture books that we know were not written by one of the twelve apostles?

    10) Where in the Bible do we find an inspired and infallible list of books that should belong in the Bible?

    11) How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the individual books of the New Testament are inspired, even when they make no claim to be inspired?

    12) How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the letters of St. Paul, who wrote to first-century congregations and individuals, are meant to be read by us 2000 years later as Scripture?

    13) Where does the Bible claim to be the sole authority for Christians in matters of faith and morals?

    14) Most of the books of the New Testament were written to address very specific problems in the early Church, and none of them are a systematic presentation of Christian faith and theology. On what biblical basis do Protestants think that everything that the apostles taught is captured in the New Testament writings?

    15) If the books of the New Testament are "self-authenticating" through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to each individual then why was there confusion in the early Church over which books were inspired, with some books being rejected by the majority?

    16) If the meaning of the Bible is so clear, so easily interpreted, and if the Holy Spirit leads every Christian to interpret it rightly, then why are there over 23,000 Protestant denominations, and millions of individual Protestants, all interpreting the Bible differently?

    17) Who may authoritatively arbitrate between Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit into mutually contradictory interpretations of the Bible?

    18) Since each Protestant must admit that his or her interpretation is fallible, how can any Protestant in good conscience call anything heresy or bind another Christian to a particular belief?

    19) Protestants usually claim that they all agree "on the important things." Who is able to decide authoritatively what is important in the Christian faith and what is not?


    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  2. Ps104_33

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    there they go again :rolleyes:
     
  3. Ps104_33

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    Since we are asking questions:

    Can you name one oral, extra-biblical tradition, demonstratively tracable to the apostolic age, which is necessary for the faith and practice of the Church of Jesus Christ?

    No you cannot.

    The Apostle Paul:
    But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: Acts 24:14


    As far as 2Thess 2:15 is concerned it is a reference to two different modes of delivering the same message. There is a coordinating conjunction (whether-or) signifying the two-fold apostolic method of delivering the same doctrine orally or written down.

    Again in the Gospel of John:
    And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    Are you saying that John was disobedient for writing these thing down because Jesus didnt specifically tell him to?
     
  4. Sirach

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    I don't believe that they are saying that, I believe what they mean by that reference is that not everything was written down. I can see it from your point of view, and I can see it from theirs. Question would be 'who is lost in translation?'.

    I think we should look at what the first Christians (to 400 AD) wrote about the Scriptures to find out what perspective is correct. I'll look that up in my Early Church Fathers CD's from http://www.Logos.com


    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  5. Ps104_33

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    Only that which God wanted us to know and what was needful for our salvation God had written down. Notice John writes that Jesus did many things, "But these are written that ye might believe....."
     
  6. violet

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    That doesn't really address the questions...

    Can you replay the answers again for the newbie??
     
  7. Ps104_33

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    Hello Violet, welcome. Its just that I have been going back and forth on these very topics with RC's for a few years now.

    Sirach, the writings of the Church fathers are open to interpretation also. They all contradict each other and one will bring his own pre-conceived baggage or denominational beliefs along to interpret what they wrote. But lets start with the earliest of the fathers like Justin Martyr and see what he said about material and formal sufficiency and the perspicuity of Scripture.
     
  8. Briguy

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    Answering those questions can do no good because the questions are phrased in a way that would deny a concrete answer. I could ask, How do we know that tradition has been passed down correctly from age to age? When RC rules change (celibacy for example) does that show that tradition had been wrong? Asking questions of which definitive answers cannot be achieved are not proper questions. Looking for someone answer in a certain way so you can pounce with a canned answer is much what the Mormans and JW's do. I do not put the RCC in that category at all and wish they would not employ the same tactics. Not that most do, because many do not.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  9. Ps104_33

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    And hear again how Isaiah in express words foretold that He should be born of a virgin; for he spoke thus: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and they shall say for His name, `God with us.'" For things which were incredible and seemed impossible with men, these God predicted by the Spirit of prophecy as about to come to pass, in order that, when they came to pass, there might be no unbelief, but faith, because of their prediction. But lest some, not understanding the prophecy now cited, should charge us with the very things we have been laying to the charge of the poets who say that Jupiter went in to women through lust, let us try to explain the words. This, then, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive," signifies that a virgin should conceive without intercourse. For if she had had intercourse with any one whatever, she was no longer a virgin; but the power of God having come upon the virgin, overshadowed her, and caused her while yet a virgin to conceive. And the angel of God who was sent to the same virgin at that time brought her good news, saying, "Behold, thou shalt conceive of the Holy Ghost, and shalt bear a Son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins," -as they who have recorded all that concerns our Saviour Jesus Christ have taught, whom we believed, since by Isaiah also, whom we have now adduced, the Spirit of prophecy declared that He should be born as we intimated before. It is wrong, therefore, to understand the Spirit and the power of God as anything else than the Word, who is also the first-born of God, as the foresaid prophet Moses declared; and it was this which, when it came upon the virgin and overshadowed her, caused her to conceive, not by intercourse, but by power. And the name Jesus in the Hebrew language means Swth/r (Saviour) in the Greek tongue. Wherefore, too, the angel said to the virgin, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." And that the prophets are inspired65 by no other than the Divine Word, even you, as I fancy, will grant. First Apology of Justin Ch 33


    And I replied, "I would not bring forward these proofs, Trypho, by which I am aware those who worship these [idols] and such like are condemned, but such [proofs] as no one could find any objection to. They will appear strange to you, although you read them every day; so that even from this fact we understand that, because of your wickedness, God has withheld from you the ability to discern the wisdom of His Scriptures; yet [there are] some exceptions, to whom, according to the grace of His long-suffering, as Isaiah said, He has left a seed of salvation, lest your race be utterly destroyed, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Pay attention, therefore, to what I shall record out of the holy Scriptures, which do not need to be expounded, but only listened to. Dialogue of Justin ch 7

    These are just a few and the emphasis is mine to draw your attention to the more salient portion.
     
  10. Ps104_33

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    Well put briguy. I always said that arguing with Roman catholics is like trying to hit a moving target. They have "living tradition" that they can bend and change to fit the times.
     
  11. gb93433

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  12. gb93433

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    Additions to Catholic doctrine

    1. Prayers for the dead .....300 A.D.
    2. Making the sign of the cross .....300 A.D.
    3. Veneration of angels & dead saints .....375 A.D.
    4. Use of images in worship .....375 A D.
    5. The Mass as a daily celebration .....394 A.D.
    6. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary; the term, "Mother of God" applied at Council of Ephesus.431 AD.
    7. Extreme Unction (Last Rites) .....526 A.D.
    8. Doctrine of Purgatory-Gregory I .....593 A.D.
    9. Prayers to Mary & dead saints .....600 A.D.
    10. Worship of cross, images & relics .....786 A.D.
    11. Canonization of dead saints .....995 A.D.
    12. Celibacy of priesthood .....1079 A.D.
    13. The Rosary .....1090 A.D.
    14. Indulgences .....1190 A.D.
    15. Transubstantiation-Innocent III .....1215 A.D.
    16. Auricular Confession of sins to a priest .....1215 A.D.
    17. Adoration of the wafer (Host) .....1220 A.D.
    18. Cup forbidden to the people at communion .....1414 A.D.
    19. Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma .....1439 A.D.
    20. The doctrine of the Seven Sacraments confirmed .....1439 A.D.
    21. Tradition declared of equal authority with Bible by Council of Trent.....1545 A.D.
    22. Apocryphal books added to Bible .....1546 A.D.
    23. Immaculate Conception of Mary .....1854 A.D.
    24. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed by the Vatican Council ..1870 A.D.
    25. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after her death) .....1950 A.D.
    26. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church .....1965 A.D.
     
  13. violet

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    What year did the church define the concept of the Trinity?
     
  14. tragic_pizza

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    The concept of the Trinity goes back farther than a particular Council, if one understands the Apostle's Creed as a statement of Trinitarian belief.
     
  15. violet

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    but who decided it and when? It's not explicit in the Scriptures.
     
  16. daktim

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    It all comes down to faith.

    I believe, by FAITH, that God is fully capable of preserving His Word so that it is available for all mankind FOREVER.

    "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7

    "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89

    In fact, almost every verse in Psalm 119 speaks in some way of God's Word. (His Law, His Testimonies, His Statutes, His Precepts, His Commandments, His Judgements, and of course His Word.)

    I could go on and on, but let me just say this. When I was a Roman Catholic, my faith was in the Roman Catholic Church. When I left the RCC and prior to God convicting me of my sinful state before Him, I transferred my faith to a Baptist Church. The day I got saved, I placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    daktim
     
  17. tragic_pizza

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    Who decided it and when? The Apostle's Creed is apparently a first-century baptismal creed. Thus one might argue that it has been a feature of Christian theological understanding since the beginning of The Way.
     
  18. Sirach

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    Actually this thread isn't about what the Catholic Church teaches, but, in regards to what they teach, according to the Catholic Church's interpretation of Scripture, it's biblical. Some Catholics have specifically pointed out in John 14 how the Holy Spirit will teach them what they need to know.


    God Bless,
    Sirach
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Not "A BOOK" but "THE BOOK".

    Not merely A word - but "THE Word".

    Christ affirmed the scriptures and Is 8:20 already said that all messages must be tested against the written word - the law and the testimony.

    They did not write down every word they ever spoke NOR did they write down every message they ever got from God.

    But they DID TEST everything by God's Word as we see in Acts 17:11.

    Not A BOOK - but THE Book.

    In Acts 17:11 it is all tested (even PAUL is being tested) by THE BOOK.

    In Gal 1:6-11 Paul said that IF ANYONE comes preaching anything DIFFERENT than what he has given the church "let them be accursed".

    That is not true. He condemned the teaching of tradition as "DOCTRINE" and He condemned the replacement of the COMMAND of GOD with the TRADITION of man.

    But adding practices that are merely man-made-tradition without the weight of scripture and without violating scripture - He left open. As long as it is NOT taught as doctrine nor used to replace the commands of scripture.

    In Mark 7 Christ CONDEMNS anyone for following the TRADITIONs listed there that violate God's Word.


    They believed (as in Acts 17:11) that ALL was to be TESTED by God's Word.

    In the case of Jude - he is QUOTING from written text - and the word of Jude is what lets us know that the part of the text quoted - can be trusted.

    It is the BIBLE that tells us that the message is in harmony with God's Word.

    In every case in the NT - when you see the phrase "Scripture SAYS" the next thing you see - is a QUOTE from the WRITTEN Word.

    There are NO cases where Paul says "scripture says" and then quotes himself.

    We don't have a video - should we "Doubt scripture until we get one"??

    Acceptance of those books BY the 1st century NT church of the Apostles.

    We do not expect to find LETTERS in the first century identifiying all LETTER in the first century that would be written by the end of the first century - so obviously that is a somewhat doubtful premise.

    1Thess 2 says they were already accepted as scripture by the first century church.

    Peter also admits this about Paul's writing.

    2 Tim 3 and in Acts 17:11 and in Isaiah 8:20


    Everything they taught in terms of Gospel doctrine - yes - but not every thought they ever had or ever word they ever said.

    Why was there confusion to the point of Christians killing Christians in the dark ages. Where Christians killing Christians in the first century? No.

    Why was there confusion about Purgatory, and Mary and infallibility in the dark ages? Did the First century Church worship Mary or claim her as "Mother of God" or "Co redeemer" or that she was ascended to heaven?

    All the errors that followed the first century were invented as a part of man-made tradition.

    23000?

    I doubt it.

    How many of them started by Catholics? 100's??

    Is it possible that the RCC is the author of confusion?

    Certainly her slaughter of the saints during the dark ages has to be "some kind of error".

    If all Protestant denomnations are really people coming out of that level of error - is it any wonder that all of them do not shed the same amount of error at the same time?

    Can that be any more obvious?

    Within the same church - the Holy Spirit and church leadership.

    Outside of the same church - The Holy Spirit.

    Good thing "God" is up to the task.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. mioque

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    gb93433
    You truly need a better version of that list.
    The use of the sign of the Cross (item 2) is a century older than what is shown on your list.
    The veneration of relics (item 10) is even more than 4 centuries older.

    tragic_pizza & violet
    The Trinity being official goes back to the council of Nicea taking place in the year 325.
     

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