Authority Post (3)
Authority (cont'd)

Greetings,

In the reading of Richard's long dissertation on the spiritual gifts, word of God, etc, it has boiled down to two main points:

1) The Word of God is complete 2) There is no Apostolic succession

We must first ask ourselves: What is the "Word of God"? Is it merely the Bible, or is it something beyond that? When the Bible speaks of the word of God, the gospel, the word of truth, and such, is it speaking of Scripture only, or is it referring to all that the Apostles taught as they received it from Christ Jesus? Basically, does it mean both oral and written Tradition?

There are many times that the phrase "Word of God" is used in the Bible where it is not referring to Scripture.

Luke 3:2-3 "[T]he word of God came to John the son of Zechari'ah in the wilderness; 3 and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."

- Here, it "refers to the inspiration St. John the Baptist received to preach the gospel of repentance and preparation for Christ." [Madrid, Patrick; "Not by Scripture Alone", p.11]

Luke 4:44 And [Jesus] was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. 5:1 While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes'aret.

- Here, Jesus is preaching the word of God...but it is not the Scriptures.

Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved.

13And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

14And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

15And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.

John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

-- Here, the Word of God is Christ Himself.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

-- "spoke the word of God".....not speaking of what was written...but of what they had been taught and what they had been inspired by God to teach.

1 Thess 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

-- Belief in what was heard....accepted as the word of God...not only what was written.

So, we must first get past this idea that each time these phrases are mentioned, that they are speaking only of the Scriptures.

Additionally, we must admit to ourselves that Scripture speaks of both Scripture and Tradition as authority....together forming "the word of God", the gospel, the "word of truth."

Even if we find a single verse that appears to point to "Scripture alone" we must also take into consideration that the Scriptures further attest to the fact that not all was written down....

1 Cor 11:34 [Paul states] "About the other things I will give directions when I come."

2 John 12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

3 John 13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink;

As to the additional issue of apostolic succession, we can look at a few verses that point to that fact, that "reliable men" were charged with the faith, in order to teach others faithfully.

2 Timothy 2:2 [A]nd what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Titus 2:15 Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Now, we could surely look, also at the choice of a successor to the "office" that Judas held in Acts 1:20. And we can look too, into 1 Timothy for discussion of the "office of bishop" that had been established. This is not something done merely for teaching purposes but for authoritative purposes as well...

From this (hopefully) clear presentation, one should see that 1) Every utterance of the term "word of God" does not always point to the written word; 2) The Bible gives evidence to the fact that there was teaching that was not written, yet was important to the maturity of Christians; and 3) the Apostles provided for both the teaching and authority to continue.

In part 2, I will address the secondary issue that Richard raises, which is 1 Cor 13:8-10 - does this really support sola Scriptura?

God bless, Matt


Richard,

Your posts are so far removed from any relavence to sola Scriptura - which *was* the topic - that they are not even worth reading in full.

Now, basically, (were your assertions actually true) you would not only have brought down the Catholic Church (were that an actually possibility anyway), but you have brought down all churches. There is thus no need for anyone to teach another, because we now have the Word of God, full and complete, in the Scriptures.

I've posted several verses, but the only one that got any response was regarding 1 Cor 13:8-10, which was only to answer your original quote of it, and not related to sola Scriptura even.

Now, 2 Timothy 2:2 is a clear statement for the handing on of the teaching authority of the Apostles. And it is not a statement that stands alone. Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to "hold fast to the traditions you received, either by word of mouth or a letter of ours" [2 Thess 2:15]

For all your attempted exegesis, you have missed the clear statements of the writings contained in the New Testament which don't speak of traditions that will pass away, a teaching authority that will pass away, but of a teaching authority - an oral presentation - that teaches the word of God itself. [cf 1 Thess 2:13]

There is nothing in the Bible, even the verses you cite, that shows that Scripture swallows Tradition. There is nothing that shows that the oral Tradition of the Apostles was "imperfect". Further, one has to make a giant leap of blind faith to believe - using Scripture alone - that the entire teaching of the Apostles, the whole of Apostolic Tradition, is contained wholly in Scripture. Scripture teaches that no where.

I'll leave you with that....as my time is dwindling and I must attend to other things....

God bless, Matt


Matt, greetings in Christ from sunny Kansas, I am not interested in bringing anything down I am most interested in the truth.

These three posts begin with I Cor 13:8-10 and illustrate that which is perfect-- is the completed will of God.

The other two posts---are needed to show that the purpose of the supernatural gifts could only be given by the Apostles and ceased when the apostles died.

You are perceptive--And, it does not destroy all churches--What it does tell us is that the churches go to the bible for their authority and none other authority is needed or planned by God.

all that is needed is God's Word.

Give me a little bit of time and I will get to the rest of these..

Information is what enables all of us to make intelligent decisions..

Richard


Richard,

I will deal with the other issues at greater length shortly, but the issues that truly lie at the heart of your posts are three-fold:

1) What is God's Word? 2) Is God's Word limited to, or completed in, the Scriptures? 3) Does the Scripture teach that it alone is absolutely sufficient and complete, in and of itself?

I am fully in agreement that all that is needed is God's Word, and these questions are necessary to the correct understanding of God's intent and plan for us, and our salvation.

Now, my answers will follow soon, but these are a few of the questions the solaists MUST answer, and must answer from the Scriptures alone. The Bible alone, when all statements are considered, is not sufficient to all understanding. The Bible does not teach sola Scriptura, and neither did the Fathers of the Church. The former is clearly evidenced - even if not exhaustively - in the verses I have already presented.

It will suffice, at present, for you to answer these questions above.

An interesting paradox that one must keep in mind as well, when working from an aspect of sola Scriptura is that the Bible itself must, then, provide an inerrant table of contents - otherwise, there is the necessity of a further authority by which we may come to know the Scriptures themselves - to know that they are complete, that no writings have been omitted and that no verses miscopied or mistranslated.

I will leave you with this at the moment. I hope you can summarize your position in less than the 15-18 pages that you posted previously.

God bless, Matt


Richard,

First off, you have misrepresented my position. It is not that 1 Cor 13:8-10 speaks of Tradition. Rather, your position is stating that these verses somehow mean that Scripture will swallow up the Tradition that is present at the time of the writings.

I have not attempted to place Tradition into that text, but rather brought to a fuller conclusion that which you posit. By your interpretation of 1 Cor 13:8-10, your meaning of "perfect" must mean that Tradition will fade away, be "swallowed up" by Scripture. No where in the area of this passage is Scripture spoken of, and it is for this reason that you have to go through the "gymnastics" of 20 page postings to bring out your point - which I refute in a page or so.

What I have attempted to - and actually have - shown is that your position - that Scripture will cause Tradition to cease (to be "swallowed up") - is inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.

It is not for me to show that Tradition will continue, but rather it is the requirement of the solaist, to show that Tradition will cease. This is because both Scripture and Tradition were already the norm for teaching the word of God. Were it that Tradition would cease to be a part of this norm, one should think - particularly if Scripture alone is now to be "perfect", and to be the sole norm - that this would be mentioned in Scripture.

Additionally, it is now your requirement to show that the Scripture is "perfect." In order to do that one must show that Scripture is wholly complete, that all that the Apostles taught is contained within the Scriptures, and nothing is left out. THAT is a position which the Bible itself does not teach.

The verses I've already supplied teach us that the Apostles did not teach that Tradition will cease, but that people were exhorted to and commended for keeping to the whole of the teaching of the word of God - whether it be by word of mouth or by a letter. While either were to be accepted, it does not hold that apart from each other they were complete.

Further, if Scripture were to be the norm, there are 2 more questions to be asked - that the solaist must answer:

1) Why did the Apostles appoint others to become bishops, deacons, etc., and to teach with authority?

2) If it stood to reason that the canon of the Bible was meant to be closed with the Apostles writings (which we cannot be positive we have all of them - from the Bible alone), would we not expect the Apostles to have also declared the canon of Scripture as well, and exhorted all Christians to hold to this particular listing of Scripture?

God bless, Matt


Matt, greetings in Christ from sunny Kansas,

you said

First off, you have misrepresented my position. It is not that 1 Cor 13:8-10 speaks of Tradition. Rather, your position is stating that these verses somehow mean that Scripture will swallow up the Tradition that is present at the time of the writings.

My response--This is funny..Do you not remember what you responded to with your post entittled WHAT?

You can to the truth there and it hit you squarely my friend. You see in the orginal post--there is not ONE WORD--NOT ONE ABOUT TRADITION.

No--you are the one who picked up on what it does to Tradition and understood it. You could not accept it but you most certainly understood it. YOu know--I noticed that right off but refrained from saying anything. I admit to being curious and as to how long it would be before you would figure out you had to make a correction. Futher-with that "20" pages I doted every {i} and crossed every {t] and it worked.

Thank you so much..it doesn't always.

Then I was\am curious as to what you would say about it. YOu are still trying to put this on my shoulders..but it will not wash.

You said I have not attempted to place Tradition into that text, but rather brought to a fuller conclusion that which you posit. By your interpretation of 1 Cor 13:8-10, your meaning of "perfect" must mean that Tradition will fade away, be "swallowed up" by Scripture.

my response--but my o my you did--IN my work of the text--you are the one to say Oooops there goes tradition.

Look--it does not take a smart person to figure out that which is "perfect" deals with that which is "in part"

What is "in part" is the supernatural gifts of "knowledge" and "prophesy".

The church in its infancy was given the Holy Spirit by the Apostles laying on of their hands upon individuals in the churches--so that they could have different supernatual gifts that enables them to do it God's Way until "that which is perfect arrives."

You have not refuted any of that..all you have done is say that is not true..

What exactly are these two supernatural gifts which are "in part" Thanks, I never thought you would ask.

The supernatural gift of knowledge is as it implies..God gave the people knowledge through this gift on how to do things--who and what God was\is and etc. The supernatural gift of prophecy is that of preaching and teaching Jesus Christ in the language in which one is born.

With the completed cannon of texts--The need for supernatural knowledge and supernatural prophecy were no longer needed. They ceased.

The Corinthians were told that they were going to cease..

And, with the death of the last apostle--the means of receiving the supernatural spiritual gifts ceased. With the death of the last person on whom the apostles had laid their hands to impart these gifts died No more supernatural gifts.

That which is perfect from the Greek itself--gives us the answer..the completed word of God. It is the only thing that makes the supernatural gifts of knowledge and prophecy unnecessary..

Now do we today need anything but the Word of God for anything relating to God and to salvation and Christian living? Answer is no--no way..

What does Jesus say about His Word?

John 6:63 (KJS) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Can the Catholic church or a Prodestant church give us this?

John 6:67 (KJS) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Question is really pretty straightforward--Who has the words of Eternal Life--Jesus or the Church? I think I will stay with the texts and say Jesus.

John 6:69 (KJS) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

If we believe today as Peter confesses here--then we need nothing but the bible.. We do not need the Catholic church--we do not need anyone telling us how to live our lives--because we are Christ's and we are His.

John 12:47 (KJS) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

John 20:30 (KJS) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 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.

Paul tells us Roma 10:17 (KJS) So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

You see, there is no need for a Catholic church except to continue to enslave and deceive men in the name of God. Look I am not pointing an accusing finger just at you--but at all churches who add or detract from God's Word.

Quite frankly, if as a Catholic you base being or not being a Catholic on the actions and deeds of the Prodestant world..Then you will die as dead as they are--or, they will die as dead as you are.

On the other hand, if you begin to base your conclusions set against only the Word of God..Then you can be set free.

Matt--God loves each and every last one of us --no exceptions..But we have to learn to take God on HIs Terms..NOt ours and that is what man is doing.

Now if you think this sickness or malady is new--that would be incorrect. Go read the last chapter of the book of judges and the last verse or two. Man really has not changed a lot.

Christianity is a "learned religion" and we have learned it differently but that is no excuse for any of us.

It is my belief that we can all be members of the Orginal Catholic church--simply by returning to God's Word and allowing it to be our authority.

I have found in 8 years of this type and kind of study--that when we cannot agree to a standard or unit of measurement in measuring spiritual things--then it is pointless to continue.

What you have then is a closed system of texts fostering a wagonwheel rut theology that makes scriptural combat a reality to be dispised.

I would point this out..Because someone else does wrong--does not give us the right to do wrong.

I did not take the time to write all this to be well pleasing to you.. But in order that all who pass through here--can see the truth of the texts..Because you are at this point unable to see..simply because you cannot accept the scriptures as the sole authority.

I am under no obligation to do anything--but to take God's Word and use it as He intended. To those who choose to remain blind--Only the continued study of God's Word give light. When that is mixed with other authorites..then the truth will never be learned in time.

As near as I can figure it out--your exterior authority takes another 300 to 400 years to come into being after the gospel is given to the whole world.

Let me close by changing gears for a second..Recently I just learned something that has application here to the Catholic church.

In India, we have been baptizing folks for 40 years and teaching them the gospel. Now, there are a lot of other folks teaching in India also but "Christians" are now being Persecuted by the ruling body.

Why? Because when a person becomes a Christian.. And, most of them now are from the lower castes--the untouchables, the backward castes, as they are so labeled.

You know when these folks become Christians{Not Catholics--but Christians} an amazing transformation occurs in these folks as they are elevated by the gospel.

They are educating themselves and their children, their health and sanitation habits improve and they refuse to hang on to old superstitions that have for centuries held them down. Those in high castes fear this- They cannot bear to see their "slave" castes becomes something more, so they presecute. Christianity makes a notable contribution to any culture into which it is introduced.

And, this is what I see happening with folks in the Catholic church. With the time of the Reformation..the Catholic church began to lose it hold on the masses of people whom they had controlled from cradle to grave.

The Catholic church is still a power in parts of the World to be reckoned with..But it is on its way of the dinasour.

The Word of God can free all men from all slavery whether it be in the name of God or some other organization.

And, it is and like the high caste system in India--there is a backlash but the people in India believe that the ruling power will be removed in the next election..

You may not appreciate this..because you view the Catholic church in a different way... But this is what is happening. The Catholic church of today is so far removed from the orginal..that it adopts the teachings of men in the last hundred years as "authorative in nature" and they are not.

I am going to do one more post on the priesthood--and allow folks to make up their own minds.

Actually anyone who reads the scripture can do this..

Matt, I wish you the absolute best in your pursuit of truth--I really do.

I am sure that there are others here who will discuss sola scripture with you but I am not going to.

Richard


Richard,

Clearly you are interested in having your own little personal interpretation of Scripture (and my postings) and not listening to my point - even when I attempt to clarify it, when you've misunderstood it. Additionally, both of my postings on this were designed to explain my position (The "Word of God" posting was #1, and the 1 Cor 13:8-10 posting was #2)

Also, I was attempting to focus the discussion on sola Scriptura...rather than get off on all these tangents of spiritual gifts, etc. Therefore, I have not spoken anything on the cessation of spiritual gifts. The topic is sola Scriptura, not dispensationalism. My speaking of Tradition in relation to that verse was not related to the spiritual gifts that you say would pass away, but rather related to your statement that the "perfect" was Scripture alone.

I've got more than an handful of Scripture quotes, questions problematic to the solaist, etc that you have not even begun to address. I will attempt to put those in a separate post, so that you may deal with each one of them. ----
> My response--This is funny..Do you not
> remember what you responded to with
> your post entittled WHAT?

> You can to the truth there and it hit
> you squarely my friend. You see in the
> orginal post--there is not ONE
> WORD--NOT ONE ABOUT TRADITION.

So, then you firmly admit that you were not speaking to sola Scriptura, when that CLEARLY was the topic being discussed? Perhaps that would explain my response to you then - since I was speaking of sola Scriptura, and took your comments as a refutation of sola Scriptura. It would seem, then, that you and I are speaking on two different things....

> No--you are the one who picked up on
> what it does to Tradition and
> understood it. You could not accept it
> but you most certainly understood it.
> YOu know--I noticed that right off but
> refrained from saying anything. I admit
> to being curious and as to how long it
> would be before you would figure out
> you had to make a correction.

I have not even at this time made a correction...except that where I believed the topic to be was not where it was. Perhaps you could focus on the topic of "Scripture alone or Scripture and Tradition"?

> Thank you so much..it doesn't always.

You've done nothing. Clearly you are claiming victory where there is no victory.

> You said I have not attempted to place
> Tradition into that text, but rather
> brought to a fuller conclusion that
> which you posit. By your interpretation
> of 1 Cor 13:8-10, your meaning of
> "perfect" must mean that
> Tradition will fade away, be
> "swallowed up" by Scripture.

> my response--but my o my you did--IN my
> work of the text--you are the one to
> say Oooops there goes tradition.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. You could not be more wrong. Scripture never says that Tradition will fade away, but that's what you are trying to make it say. As I said "That dog won't hunt."

> What is "in part" is the
> supernatural gifts of
> "knowledge" and
> "prophesy".

Knowledge and prophecy are supernatural gifts and they will fade away? Ok...so, I guess that none of us can have knowledge anymroe.

> With the completed cannon of texts--The
> need for supernatural knowledge and
> supernatural prophecy were no longer
> needed. They ceased.

So, in around 400 A.D., knowledge and prophecy ceased?

> That which is perfect from the Greek
> itself--gives us the answer..the
> completed word of God. It is the only
> thing that makes the supernatural gifts
> of knowledge and prophecy unnecessary..

Again, I ask you where does it say that the Scriptures are the "completed word of God"? You still haven't answered this. Certainly the Bible does not attest to itself being "the completed word of God."

> What does Jesus say about His Word?

> John 6:63 (KJS) It is the spirit that
> quickeneth; the flesh profiteth
> nothing: the words that I speak unto
> you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are
> life.

This only speaks to the words that Christ spoke...therefore, what Matt, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James, etc spoke meant nothing...So, basically, we don't have a Bible at all. You've just taken the whole Bible and thrown it in the garbage, because Jesus didn't write one word personally, in his own hand.

> Question is really pretty
> straightforward--Who has the words of
> Eternal Life--Jesus or the Church? I
> think I will stay with the texts and
> say Jesus.

Certainly I would agree too, that Jesus does. The question is begged, though: Is it that "the words of eternal life" are contained in Scripture alone though, or in something more? In your words, I will say "I think I will stay with the the texts and say" Scripture and Tradition.

> John 6:69 (KJS) And we believe and are
> sure that thou art that Christ, the Son
> of the living God.

> If we believe today as Peter confesses
> here--then we need nothing but the
> bible.. We do not need the Catholic
> church--we do not need anyone telling
> us how to live our lives--because we
> are Christ's and we are His.

But, the paradox you have is that the Bible testifies that Church is from Christ as well.

> John 12:47 (KJS) And if any man hear my
> words, and believe not, I judge him
> not: for I came not to judge the world,
> but to save the world. 48 He that
> rejecteth me, and receiveth not my
> words, hath one that judgeth him: the
> word that I have spoken, the same shall
> judge him in the last day.

> John 20:30 (KJS) And many other signs
> truly did Jesus in the presence of his
> disciples, which are not written in
> this book: 31 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.

> Paul tells us Roma 10:17 (KJS) So then
> faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing
> by the word of God.

> You see, there is no need for a
> Catholic church except to continue to
> enslave and deceive men in the name of
> God. Look I am not pointing an accusing
> finger just at you--but at all churches
> who add or detract from God's Word.

Yet, you seem to have no clue what "God's Word" is.

> It is my belief that we can all be
> members of the Orginal Catholic
> church--simply by returning to God's
> Word and allowing it to be our
> authority.

Except that is NOT the position of either the Church or the Bible - THAT is the point that I've made, but you've ignored.

> I did not take the time to write all
> this to be well pleasing to you.. But
> in order that all who pass through
> here--can see the truth of the
> texts..Because you are at this point
> unable to see..simply because you
> cannot accept the scriptures as the
> sole authority.

I cannot accept it because the Scriptures themselve don't claim the type of authority - that of SOLE authority - that you try to give them.

> As near as I can figure it out--your
> exterior authority takes another 300 to
> 400 years to come into being after the
> gospel is given to the whole world.

Well, you've obviously missed something along the way....I believe you should go back and study those things that I've already presented to you. You appear to have ignored them in order to keep your own point.

"He who has ears should hear."

God bless, Matt


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