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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

6 tips on how not to to witness to Catholic Christians

now with two bonus tips!

(This is a repost from my other blog back in July)


As I travel about the Protestant Christian blogosphere certain phrases and ideas keep popping up from our separated bretheren that just are not helpful in furthering the discussion! Sure, it's easy to persuade and compel an almost-ex-Catholic-wanna-be who has one foot outside of the church and the other on a banana peel to leave the Catholic faith! But where's the fun in that!


So for all of you Christian apologists who wish to enter into discussion and debate with catechized Catholics, here are some tips that will help keep both sides in the discussion!

1. Don't use terms like "whore of Babylon" or "come out of her." "Papist is a word you should probably retire too. First of all, it tips your hand. When you use those buzz words, we catechized Catholics then know EXACTLY where you are coming from and that gives us the advantage.

2. Don't link to sites like this or this. Any catechized Catholic who has ever been challenged in his/her faith has seen these and they don't come across as compelling or persuasive. They come off as being ridiculous and melodramatic.

3. Don't dump all of your problems with Catholicism out there at one time. Yea, we know you have problems with Mary, and the priesthood, and the Eucharist, and purgatory and the saints. However, dumping it all out there at once is overwhelming for the novice and time consuming for the experienced. A much better approach is to take one objection at a time and deal with it.

4. Don't say something like, "If you would only read the bible for yourself, your eyes would be opened!!" First of all, that assumes that we have not read the bible for ourselves. For many Catholics, it is reading the scriptures that has kept us in the Catholic Church. Many of the great converts to Catholicism, have been scripture scholars. Secondly, it's not a reading thing; it's a paradigm shift. Catholics can read John chapter 6 and see the formation of the Eucharist, and many Protestants don't see that at all, even if we're reading the same translation and the same words. It's the reader's paradigm that guides the interpretation, not the reader's reading comprehension skills.

5. Don't expect the first answer to your objections to be totally satisfactory. For examples there are libraries full of books on Mary, The Blessed Mother. It's very difficult to boil all of that down into one page or paragraph that will be totally understandable and acceptable. Which leads me to my last point...

6. Expect to dialogue for a while. Nothing is more frustrating than spending time answering objections to Catholicism, posting them or sending them in, and then getting a reply like, "This isn't up for debate," or "I'm done with you!" The Reformation is over 500 years old. You're not going to solve it in five hours of 500 words or less.

and as a bonus tip! Lots of times during debates I get comments like, "Well, it's not very Christian for both of you to go back and forth like that. If that's Christianity, then count me out!"

My response to that is, "we'll miss you!!"

Because discussion and debate are very much a part of Christian history and tradition. Be sure to read the introduction of Dave Armstrong's new e-book- Bible Conversations!

The word dialogue appears in the Bible. The Greek dialegomai occurs 13 times in the New Testament, and refers to reason, rational argument, discussion, discourse, debate, dispute and so forth. Particularly, we often see it applied to the Apostle Paul as he reasoned and argued with Jews in the synagogues (Acts 17:2,17, 18:4,19, 19:8) and Greeks and other Gentiles in the marketplaces and academies of the time, where the exchange of ideas took place (Acts 17:17, 18:4, 19:9-10).
St. Paul’s evangelistic preaching wasn’t simply thrilling oratory and edifying, “homiletic” exposition; it involved in-depth reasoning; even – at times, such as on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-34) --, literally philosophical discourse.
Our Lord Jesus, too, often engaged in vigorous, rational, scriptural argument, especially with the Pharisees, much in the spirit of the ancient rabbis. One example of this among many occurs in Mark 12:18-27, where He is said to be “disputing” (Greek, suzeteo) with the Sadducees (cf. Acts 9:29, where the same word is used).
Rational argument, thinking, or open-minded discourse and dialogue is altogether permissible; indeed, required of all Christians who wish to have a robust, confident, reasonable faith amidst the competing ideas and faiths of the world and academia. Our Lord instructs us to love God with our minds as well as with all our hearts, souls, and strength (Luke 10:27).
The word apologetics; that is, the defense of Christianity (or Catholicism in particular, in the present instance) is derived etymologically from the Greek apologia, which term was used by Plato as a title of one of his many classic dialogues, in description of the philosopher Socrates’ lengthy and elaborate defense or justification of himself against trumped-up, politically-motivated charges in Athens, in 399 B.C.
Apologia is also a biblical word, and appears much in the same sense as with Socrates, with regard to St. Paul’s defense of himself during his lengthy trial (Acts 22:1, 25:16). It is also used with reference to Paul’s defense and confirmation of the gospel (Philippians 1:7,16 -- rendered defense in the RSV in all four instances).
The use of apologia in the imperative verse 1 Peter 3:15, with regard to the explanation of the hope of the gospel which resides in the heart of every Christian believer, makes apologetics a duty of every Christian, to some extent. But of course, people have different God-granted gifts and abilities, and the Christian or Catholic apologist is specifically called to that task as a matter of vocation and life’s work.




I'll add a new bonus tip as well! Don't challenge a Catholic with, "where does it say..." We're NOT SOLA SCRIPTURA CHRISTIANS. I realize that if we are trying to convince non-Catholic, sola scriptura Christians we are limited to the scriptures themselves, but the reverse is not true for Catholics and Catholic apologists should refuse to be handcuffed that way. The scriptures are not solely authoritative and so we are not bound to only what is in scripture; therefore, being challenged to find it in scripture, i.e. "where does it say" doesn't work for us.

55 comments:

motherofmany said...

I think you just figured out the major difference- Catholicism relies on the verbally preserved wisdom of one man, albeit one man they believe to be part of a long line of chosen men. Non-Catholics rely on the Word of God.

The Unraveling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Signum said...

Don't tell Catholics they follow the Pope and not Christ, because Christ Himself chose the first Pope and even gave him his job description.

Don't tell Catholics they don't rely on the Word of God because then you'd have to explain how they come to have so much of it in the Mass.

Don't tell Catholics that the Bible is their final authority because then you'd have to explain why the Bible makes no such claim for itself. You would also be in the ticklish position of having to explain away the Scripture verses that point to the Church as our authority.

You might also have to explain how you came to have a book called the Bible in the first place since there is no record in the Bible of Jesus telling anyone to compile one.

Kelly said...

I think you just figured out the major difference- Catholicism relies on the verbally preserved wisdom of one man, albeit one man they believe to be part of a long line of chosen men.

Yes. His name is Jesus.

Elena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elena said...

Welcome Signum. If you have a blog let me know and I will happily add it to our growing blog roll.

Elena said...

I think you just figured out the major difference- Catholicism relies on the verbally preserved wisdom of one man, albeit one man they believe to be part of a long line of chosen men. Non-Catholics rely on the Word of God.

Almost. Catholics rely on the Word of God as well, but we don't believe the Word of God resides solely in the written word as handed down in Sacred Scripture.

motherofmany said...

Show me in the Bible, GOD'S WORD, where the term Pope came from.

Explain to me why the Catechism is 10X thicker than the Bible, yet scripture is still considered important in the teachings of the Catholic church.

The Bible says in several places that it is our authority, our lamp, the word of God himself, and sufficient. Show me where the Bible says that the traditions of men are of equal authority. The church was established to uphold the scriptures, not the other way around.

Jesus said his words would not pass away, just like the law and the prophets would not pass away. How did he know the words of the law and the prophest? FROM READING THEM.

menloe said...

"Show me in the Bible, GOD'S WORD, where the term Pope came from."

The Word is Jesus Christ, tut tut.

The word Pope means Father. I am sure that you will now attack by saying "Call no man father...", but my simple answer is this: Why did Paul refer to himself as Father to Timothy? Why did Jesus himself refer to Abraham as Father? Were Jesus and Paul wrong?

"Explain to me why the Catechism is 10X thicker than the Bible, yet scripture is still considered important in the teachings of the Catholic church."

Incogent, please elaborate.

"The Bible says in several places that it is our authority, our lamp, the word of God himself, and sufficient. Show me where the Bible says that the traditions of men are of equal authority. The church was established to uphold the scriptures, not the other way around."

My only question is this. What is the "pillar and foundation of Truth"? :)

"Jesus said his words would not pass away, just like the law and the prophets would not pass away. How did he know the words of the law and the prophest? FROM READING THEM."

LOL

I highly doubt that Jesus would have had to read anything...He is God. ;)

Elena said...

Welcome Menloe. If you have a blog please let me know and I will happily add it to the blog roll.

Elena said...

Bible KJV 629 pages

Catechism Catholic church 848 pages

Hardly 10 time thicker? Hardly.

w said...

the Bible was not defined for 400 years. SO the Catholic Church maintained, sustained and defined it. Once it was defined through the Authority of the Church, it would have cost three year wages to purchase one. That really did not matter because just about no one could read. The only way people knew the Scripture was from hearing it at Mass.

Erika S. said...

The Catechism is not 10x thicker than the Bible. That is a silly statement. The whole Catechism is based on the Bible and Tradition. Also when we speak of God's Word, the last time I checked there were to forms written & spoken.
The Church was around for years before the New Testament was even writen down much less made available to the masses through the printing press.

dream wanderer said...

Since we are on the subject show me from the Scriptures the word "Trinity'.

Show me from the Scriptures where it was determined what books should be in the New Testament. Is the table of Contents inspired? Who was it that decided what books should be in there? Could it be the Church?

Jesus did say that His Word would not pass away and I'm sure he did read the Old Testament and the Law and the prophets. Now tell me exactly where in the Old Testament does it mention "Mose's Seat"? (Matthew 23:2,3) Look closely. Its not there. Could it be that Our Lord was relying on..gasp...Jewish oral tradition?

Holy Tradition is not practises. Its knowledge that we believe was entrusted to the Apostles and the Holy Spirit preserved in the same way he preserved the Holy Scriptures.

Where is that in the Bible?

2 Thes.2:15 So then brothers stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter"

"And the things you have HEARD me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others' 2 Tim 2:2

For 300 years there was no no New Testament. The Church somehow survived.

motherofmany said...

The Catholic church may have defined its own version of the Bible after 400 years, but they in now way have copywrite to the letters of Paul or the gospels, and people had copies of them that they were not required to purchase, but passed around, because they were encouraged to have it so as to find the truth themselves.

I know the Catholic church teaches that it owns and compiled the Bible, but show me an independant historian who will corobborate it. Prove that people had to wait for the church in order to have the written word. And of the Old Testament- that belonged also to the Catholic church? Just as Christmas means nothing without Easter, the New Testament means nothing without the prophesies to prove its accuracy. It is the fulfillment of the law, so to understand it, you must have the law, and the Hebrews owned the scrolls of the law. Saying we would have no Bible without the Catholic church is like saying there would be no food without a supermarket. The food existed first, and exists with or without the market to sell it. The truth existed before the Catholic church, and exists with or without its claim to have compiled it.

Elena said...

The Catholic church may have defined its own version of the Bible after 400 years, but they in now way have copywrite to the letters of Paul or the gospels, and people had copies of them that they were not required to purchase, but passed around, because they were encouraged to have it so as to find the truth themselves.

Oh I read this over on the Chick site and Sam Gipp said something similar. Amy, just for my own education, could you show me where in the world, (church, museum, ancient library) there is a copy of an ancient pre-printing press bible that was passed around as you say? I sure would like to see one.

I know the Catholic church teaches that it owns and compiled the Bible, but show me an independant historian who will corobborate it.

You mean an atheist? Do you know of any who deny it?

Prove that people had to wait for the church in order to have the written word. And of the Old Testament- that belonged also to the Catholic church? Just as Christmas means nothing without Easter, the New Testament means nothing without the prophesies to prove its accuracy. It is the fulfillment of the law, so to understand it, you must have the law, and the Hebrews owned the scrolls of the law. Saying we would have no Bible without the Catholic church is like saying there would be no food without a supermarket.

Amy, you simply would not have the old testament and the new testament as they exist today if the Catholic Church had not chosen the inspired books and then closed the canon. It's historical fact.

Lilder said...

"but they in now way have copywrite to the letters of Paul or the gospels, and people had copies of them that they were not required to purchase, but passed around, because they were encouraged to have it so as to find the truth themselves. "

Ummmm, Zerox in the first century? Not that many people READ! The "bible" was oral for many centuries before it was "written." You obviously have a zeal for your view of history, unfortunatly it is not factual.

dream wanderer said...

The believers in the early church were NOT encouraged to 'find the truth for themselves'. St. Ignatius was taught by St. Polycarp who was a disciple of St. John said "The Bishop embodies the authority of God the Father. Show him every mark of respect. Defer to him. It is proper for you to act in agreement with the mind of the bishop. By your unity taking your keynotes from God, you may with one voice through Jesus Christ sing a song to the Father"

This is the very early church..the same church that read the letters of St. Paul during their assemblies and these words were written less than 15 years after the death of St. John. Sounds like the Church was the final authority to me...unless you believe the Gates of Hell had already prevailed against it.


I understand why someone might not trust our documentation but we are more than willing to hear any alternative version of Church history.

We are not disputing that the Jews carefully preserved the Old Testament and I am in agreement that the prophecies and the writings of the Old Testament were fullfilled in the New. I'm not sure what the problem is with that particular point.

motherofmany said...

How could the church have been around for hundreds of years before the words were written down if they were written by Paul? He did not live 500 years.

Jesus read the scriptures (Luke 4:16).

Paul's letters were already recognized as scripture by the churches (2 Peter 3:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13)

"Some Roman Catholic apologists may argue that the Protestants must rely on Roman Catholic traditions to know which books ought to be included in the canon of Scripture. This presumptuous argument denies the special guidance and providence of God, who worked with His covenant people over time to recognize and collect His inspired written Word, both Old and New Testaments.

The inspiration of the Scriptures is divine, not ecclesiastical. The Church did not give authority to the canon, but rather it recognized its authority. Hence, the canon of Scripture stands or falls because of its relationship to God, not to the Church."


Yes, we are to hold to the traditions, whether we heard them orally or read them. But you are forgetting one important thing in this stance- the oral teachings were the same as the written teachings. They were being written as they were taught. If the Bible is able to equip us unto slavation (2 Timothy 3:14-17, Acts 17:2-3, John 20:31) there cannot be anything in the oral teachings that is different.

"Upon closer examination of the passage, this is a logical fallacy as the apostle did not write “hold on to the written tradition and to the oral tradition.” What he wrote is “hold on to the tradition whether you heard them orally or in writing.” When you compare these two statements, you would notice they are distinctly different in meaning. In the early days of the church and even today, the gospel message is communicated either through pulpit preaching or through the Scriptures. So logically speaking, there is no suggestion from the apostle that both oral and written traditions must be kept together in order to possess the entire gospel."

The verse in Matthew 23 speaks of Moses seat, which the position of leader of the people. No where does it say this is an office that was used to hand down oral traditions. If God trusted Moses to pass down all we needed orally, he would not have carved out the Ten Commandments- TWICE!

And if you put together all the writings of the church fathers, popes, councils, etc. it is more than 10X the size of the Bible (catechism means teachings) and is more than one person could carry around. Jesus said his yoke was easy and his burden light. Why would he then burden us with so much material? Wouldn't the paper be put to better use by writing more of the things Jesus did that would fill the earth than with the decision of men?

Words in italic are borrowed from (http://wooq.blogspot.com/2006/04/defending-sola-scriptura.html)

motherofmany said...

"The Bishop embodies the authority of God the Father. Show him every mark of respect. Defer to him. It is proper for you to act in agreement with the mind of the bishop. By your unity taking your keynotes from God, you may with one voice through Jesus Christ sing a song to the Father"

1.This is a teaching of man.

2.When I spoke of the early church, I was not referrring tot he Catholic church but the groups scattered all around the Middle East and Asia.

motherofmany said...

The Catholic church did not chose the cannon. The Old testament cannon was closed before Christ was born, and the New Testament letters were declared scripture while Paul was still alive.

Signum said...

The Bible says in several places that it is our authority,....

Citation, please, where the Bible says it is our final authority, or even uses the word "authority" at all in describing itself. "Sufficient" does not mean "authority".

Show me where the Bible says that the traditions of men are of equal authority.

Why would I want to do that? I never made any such claim. The Traditions of the Catholic Church were not invented by mere men, and so cannot rightly be called traditions of men. The Traditions of the Catholic Church are Christocentric. In fact, He established a few of those Traditions Himself. We call them Sacraments. Even the Bible is a product of that Tradition. Did you know that?

The church was established to uphold the scriptures, not the other way around.

Documentation, please. And, if this is really what you believe, then you have a problem, seeing as how the New Testament Canon would not come into existence for centuries. The Scriptures which were used by Christ and His followers was the Septuagint. You must now tear out the New Testament part of your Bible or admit you made a mistake.

Christ did some very important things while He lived, one of those things being the establishment of the Church on the Apostles. One thing He did not do was compile a Bible, nor did He tell anyone to do any such thing. In fact, He never mentions a Bible at all. His focus is on His Church, His Body, His Bride.

Holy Scripture points to the Church, not to the Bible.

Elena said...

Amy, it seemsto me that you are not reading what others are writing. You are trying so hard to respond that you are missing answers that have already been brought up. Please slow down and read!

Does it seem that way to anyone else or is it just me?

menloe said...

"The Catholic church may have defined its own version of the Bible after 400 years"

Rubbish.

Deuterocanonicals:

Protestants attempt to defend their rejection of the deuterocanonicals on the ground that the early Jews rejected them. However, the Jewish councils that rejected them (e.g., School of Javneh (also called “Jamnia” in 90 - 100 A.D.) were the same councils that rejected the entire New Testament canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.

Matt. 2:16 - Herod's decree of slaying innocent children was prophesied in Wis. 11:7 - slaying the holy innocents.

Matt. 6:19-20 - Jesus' statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 - lay up your treasure.

Matt.. 7:12 - Jesus' golden rule "do unto others" is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others.

Matt. 7:16,20 - Jesus' statement "you will know them by their fruits" follows Sirach 27:6 - the fruit discloses the cultivation.

Matt. 9:36 - the people were "like sheep without a shepherd" is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.

Matt. 11:25 - Jesus' description "Lord of heaven and earth" is the same as Tobit 7:18 - Lord of heaven and earth.

Matt. 12:42 - Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.

Matt. 16:18 - Jesus' reference to the "power of death" and "gates of Hades" references Wisdom 16:13.

Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 - Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.

Matt. 24:15 - the "desolating sacrilege" Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.

Matt. 24:16 - let those "flee to the mountains" is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.

Matt. 27:43 - if He is God's Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.

Mark 4:5,16-17 - Jesus' description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.

Mark 9:48 - description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.

Luke 1:42 - Elizabeth's declaration of Mary's blessedness above all women follows Uzziah's declaration in Judith 13:18.

Luke 1:52 - Mary's magnificat addressing the mighty falling from their thrones and replaced by lowly follows Sirach 10:14.

Luke 2:29 - Simeon's declaration that he is ready to die after seeing the Child Jesus follows Tobit 11:9.

Luke 13:29 - the Lord's description of men coming from east and west to rejoice in God follows Baruch 4:37.

Luke 21:24 - Jesus' usage of "fall by the edge of the sword" follows Sirach 28:18.

Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 - Luke's description of the two men in dazzling apparel reminds us of 2 Macc. 3:26.

John 1:3 - all things were made through Him, the Word, follows Wisdom 9:1.

John 3:13 - who has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven references Baruch 3:29.

John 4:48; Acts 5:12; 15:12; 2 Cor. 12:12 - Jesus', Luke's and Paul's usage of "signs and wonders" follows Wisdom 8:8.

John 5:18 - Jesus claiming that God is His Father follows Wisdom 2:16.

John 6:35-59 - Jesus' Eucharistic discourse is foreshadowed in Sirach 24:21.

John 10:22 - the identification of the feast of the dedication is taken from 1 Macc. 4:59.

John 10:36 – Jesus accepts the inspiration of Maccabees as He analogizes the Hanukkah consecration to His own consecration to the Father in 1 Macc. 4:36.

John 15:6 - branches that don't bear fruit and are cut down follows Wis. 4:5 where branches are broken off.

Acts 1:15 - Luke's reference to the 120 may be a reference to 1 Macc. 3:55 - leaders of tens / restoration of the twelve.

Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6 - Peter's and Paul's statement that God shows no partiality references Sirach 35:12.

Acts 17:29 - description of false gods as like gold and silver made by men follows Wisdom 13:10.

Rom 1:18-25 - Paul's teaching on the knowledge of the Creator and the ignorance and sin of idolatry follows Wis. 13:1-10.

Rom. 1:20 - specifically, God's existence being evident in nature follows Wis. 13:1.

Rom. 1:23 - the sin of worshipping mortal man, birds, animals and reptiles follows Wis. 11:15; 12:24-27; 13:10; 14:8.

Rom. 1:24-27 - this idolatry results in all kinds of sexual perversion which follows Wis. 14:12,24-27.

Rom. 4:17 - Abraham is a father of many nations follows Sirach 44:19.

Rom. 5:12 - description of death and sin entering into the world is similar to Wisdom 2:24.

Rom. 9:21 - usage of the potter and the clay, making two kinds of vessels follows Wisdom 15:7.

1 Cor. 2:16 - Paul's question, "who has known the mind of the Lord?" references Wisdom 9:13.

1 Cor. 6:12-13; 10:23-26 - warning that, while all things are good, beware of gluttony, follows Sirach 36:18 and 37:28-30.

1 Cor. 8:5-6 - Paul acknowledging many "gods" but one Lord follows Wis. 13:3.

1 Cor. 10:1 - Paul's description of our fathers being under the cloud passing through the sea refers to Wisdom 19:7.

1 Cor. 10:20 - what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God refers to Baruch 4:7.

1 Cor. 15:29 - if no expectation of resurrection, it would be foolish to be baptized on their behalf follows 2 Macc. 12:43-45.

Eph. 1:17 - Paul's prayer for a "spirit of wisdom" follows the prayer for the spirit of wisdom in Wisdom 7:7.

Eph. 6:14 - Paul describing the breastplate of righteousness is the same as Wis. 5:18. See also Isaiah 59:17 and 1 Thess. 5:8.

Eph. 6:13-17 - in fact, the whole discussion of armor, helmet, breastplate, sword, shield follows Wis. 5:17-20.

1 Tim. 6:15 - Paul's description of God as Sovereign and King of kings is from 2 Macc. 12:15; 13:4.

2 Tim. 4:8 - Paul's description of a crown of righteousness is similar to Wisdom 5:16.

Heb. 4:12 - Paul's description of God's word as a sword is similar to Wisdom 18:15.

Heb. 11:5 - Enoch being taken up is also referenced in Wis 4:10 and Sir 44:16. See also 2 Kings 2:1-13 & Sir 48:9 regarding Elijah.

Heb 11:35 - Paul teaches about the martyrdom of the mother and her sons described in 2 Macc. 7:1-42.

Heb. 12:12 - the description "drooping hands" and "weak knees" comes from Sirach 25:23.

James 1:19 - let every man be quick to hear and slow to respond follows Sirach 5:11.

James 2:23 - it was reckoned to him as righteousness follows 1 Macc. 2:52 - it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

James 3:13 - James' instruction to perform works in meekness follows Sirach 3:17.

James 5:3 - describing silver which rusts and laying up treasure follows Sirach 29:10-11.

James 5:6 - condemning and killing the "righteous man" follows Wisdom 2:10-20.

1 Peter 1:6-7 - Peter teaches about testing faith by purgatorial fire as described in Wisdom 3:5-6 and Sirach 2:5.

1 Peter 1:17 - God judging each one according to his deeds refers to Sirach 16:12 - God judges man according to his deeds.

2 Peter 2:7 - God's rescue of a righteous man (Lot) is also described in Wisdom 10:6.

Rev. 1:4 – the seven spirits who are before his throne is taken from Tobit 12:15 – Raphael is one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints before the Holy One.

Rev. 1:18; Matt. 16:18 - power of life over death and gates of Hades follows Wis. 16:13.

Rev. 2:12 - reference to the two-edged sword is similar to the description of God's Word in Wisdom 18:16.

Rev. 5:7 - God is described as seated on His throne, and this is the same description used in Sirach 1:8.

Rev. 8:3-4 - prayers of the saints presented to God by the hand of an angel follows Tobit 12:12,15.

Rev. 8:7 - raining of hail and fire to the earth follows Wisdom 16:22 and Sirach 39:29.

Rev. 9:3 - raining of locusts on the earth follows Wisdom 16:9.

Rev. 11:19 - the vision of the ark of the covenant (Mary) in a cloud of glory was prophesied in 2 Macc. 2:7.

Rev. 17:14 - description of God as King of kings follows 2 Macc. 13:4.

Rev. 19:1 - the cry "Hallelujah" at the coming of the new Jerusalem follows Tobit 13:18.

Rev. 19:11 - the description of the Lord on a white horse in the heavens follows 2 Macc. 3:25; 11:8.

Rev. 19:16 - description of our Lord as King of kings is taken from 2 Macc. 13:4.

Rev. 21:19 - the description of the new Jerusalem with precious stones is prophesied in Tobit 13:17.

Exodus 23:7 - do not slay the innocent and righteous - Dan. 13:53 - do not put to death an innocent and righteous person.

1 Sam. 28:7-20 – the intercessory mediation of deceased Samuel for Saul follows Sirach 46:20.

2 Kings 2:1-13 – Elijah being taken up into heaven follows Sirach 48:9.

2 Tim. 3:16 - the inspired Scripture that Paul was referring to included the deuterocanonical texts that the Protestants removed. The books Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used.

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html

Signum said...

I know the Catholic church teaches that it owns and compiled the Bible, but show me an independant historian who will corobborate it.

J.N.D. Kelly

Kelly said...

I wrote this on Amy's (motherofmany) blog, and thought it would fit in well here, too.

Also, not all of the church group in history heard of the Nicene creed, but relied on the verses that say those who believe Jesus was who he claimed to be and that he alone could save them were Christians.

But what are you basing this on?

I know that Candy (and yes, I remember that you two aren't interchangable, so feel free to tell me when you don't agree) wrote once that she thinks Christians used to be more knowledgable about the Word when it was forbidden by the Catholic Church, because Christians would borrow a Bible from their neighbor to copy it out themselves.

But paper and ink and candles to give light to write by were expensive! There is no way that there were peasants out there with a big stack of parchment copying out Bibles. Even if there was, wouldn't these heirlooms have been preserved? Even one!

There are Christians in Kerala India who claim, and have evidence, that they were converted by St. Thomas the apostle in the 1st century.

In Japan, Catholicism was introduced by the Jesuits in the 1500's. Eventually, all of the priests were expelled, and the converts were martyred. When Catholics returned in the 1800's, they found that many Catholics were still there, secretly practicing the faith that they had handed down from generation to generation. There is again, ample historic evidence that this is true.

Perhaps you are thinking of people such as the Montanists- who rejected the heirarchy and believed in following on the Bible. Only, Montanus also taught his followers that he was receiving Divine Revelation, and that his word was equal to the Word of God.

The Waldensians are often pointed to for such a history, however, even Protestant scholars agree that there is no historic evidence that they originated prior to Peter Waldo. Their doctrine also does not match with fundamentalism in many counts. They practiced infant baptism, believed in transubstantiation, confession, etc.

Signum said...

Jesus said his words would not pass away, just like the law and the prophets would not pass away. How did he know the words of the law and the prophest? FROM READING THEM.

I'm pretty sure that those words were read to Jesus and all the other faithful Jews in the Temple. I hardly think that each person had their own personal copy. What do you think?

And what guarantee are we given that Christ's words would not pass away? The Church and HOLY TRADITION.

Kelly said...

I'm pretty sure that those words were read to Jesus and all the other faithful Jews in the Temple. I hardly think that each person had their own personal copy. What do you think?

I know that boys read from the scrolls at their bar mitzvah, but I don't know how old that practice is. I think it is reasonable to think that he read from at least a portion of the scrolls.

At one point, he reads from the scrolls aloud in the Synagogue in Scripture.

Signum said...

... the New Testament letters were declared scripture while Paul was still alive.

The letters were written to the various locations of the growing Church, which proves that the Church came before the NT Scriptures and that the letters were concerning the Church. When was St. John's Revelation declared to be scripture? What about Luke and Matthew and Mark and John? When were those writings declared to be scripture?

Jesus read the scriptures (Luke 4:16).

Jesus read scriptures written by the Apostles before He taught them anything? The verse you cited refers to Jesus reading Isaias, not the Epistles of Paul or the Acts of the Apostles.

Signum said...

How could the church have been around for hundreds of years before the words were written down if they were written by Paul? He did not live 500 years.

I don't think that anyone said that Paul's words were not written down until 500 years later. His writings were declared inspired and part of the New Testament Canon 500 years later.

Christ established the Church before He died. Do you deny this?

Signum said...

The food existed first, and exists with or without the market to sell it.

But it doesn't exist without the farmer who plannts it, grows it, nurtures it, and harvests it.

The truth existed before the Catholic church, and exists with or without its claim to have compiled it.

The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, according to the Bible. Every Bible in the world could be destroyed, but as long as the Church exists there is found the Truth.

Signum said...
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Signum said...
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Signum said...

"The Bishop embodies the authority of God the Father. Show him every mark of respect. Defer to him. It is proper for you to act in agreement with the mind of the bishop. By your unity taking your keynotes from God, you may with one voice through Jesus Christ sing a song to the Father"

motherofmany replied: This is a teaching of man.

Siggy points to the Bible:

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Signum said...

Kelly said: I know that boys read from the scrolls at their bar mitzvah, but I don't know how old that practice is. I think it is reasonable to think that he read from at least a portion of the scrolls.

At one point, he reads from the scrolls aloud in the Synagogue in Scripture.


Allow me to clarify what I was saying. The scriptures were read in the Temple from scrolls that belonged in the Temple. Jesus, as a child, heard them read. Jesus, as a young man, may have read from them along with other young men, but they were not his own personal scrolls that he brought from home. I just wanted to make that understood to motherofmany.

Signum said...

The Catholic church did not chose the cannon.

Then who did and by what authority? Did a group of men sit down and go over the original texts to determine, with the help of the Holy Spirit, which were inspired and which were not; or, did the original texts appear in a pile and miraculously translate themselves and publish themselves in a printed and bound book with The Holy Bible inscribed on the front? Exactly how was it accomplished, is what I'm asking you, motherofmany. Please share.

Signum said...

elena, I agree that it doesn't seem that motherofmany is reading all that is being written. She's doing some selective reading, it's apparent, but obviously not absorbing anything that has been shown her.

Signum said...

motherofmany said: When I spoke of the early church, I was not referrring tot he Catholic church but the groups scattered all around the Middle East and Asia.

Christ established only One Church with One Doctrine, not many with many doctrines. Do you really believe that these scattered groups believed different things from each other? If that is true, then why would the Apostles bother going around to them to make sure they were all teaching the same thing?

Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients.

Signum said...

Okay, I'll stop now.

dream wanderer said...

The point of mentioning the 'seat of Moses' is to show that it was never mentioned in the Old Testament. If it was never mentioned in Scripture...how did anyone know about it? It was a tradition that was handed down orally..not written down. Not ALL traditions were condemned by Jesus. He condemned the Pharaisees because they refused to live by their own rules.


The oral teachings were the same as the written teaching.

Really? And where exactly is that in the Bible?

Groups scattered all around the Middle East and Asia?

ALL Of the early churches were established by the Apostles and they all had a Bishop, ordained by the Apostles, people like Timothy and Titus who passed on what they had seen and heard directly from the Apostles. Anyone teaching anything apart from what had been revealed to the Apostles were heritics.

Please don't misunderstand us. The Bible is Holy..its important and we Catholics READ it as is evident by the scriptures that we have quoted here. We believe that Holy Knowledge was also passed on orally by the power of the Holy Spirt and are not 'traditions' of men and we believe they compliment rather than contradict each other.

Signum said...

"Some Roman Catholic apologists may argue that the Protestants must rely on Roman Catholic traditions to know which books ought to be included in the canon of Scripture. This presumptuous argument denies the special guidance and providence of God, who worked with His covenant people over time to recognize and collect His inspired written Word, both Old and New Testaments.

motherofmany, I assume that, since you posted this bit of tripe, that you can document that the Catholic Councils which defined and decreed the Canons of Holy Scripture were not led by the Holy Spirit. Do so, please, so that we can see if you know what you're actually posting about or just copying and pasting whatever you can find on the internet.

Please tell us where we can find a list of the inspired books of the New Testament Canon and who wrote the list. Please trace the first published Bible back to this person and by whose authority that person gave such a list and the texts to the publisher. Also, please tell us what persons translated the original texts, and which languages they were translated into.

Kelly said...

Wow Signum, you've been busy!

I wanted to comment on one thing that you wrote:

Christ established only One Church with One Doctrine, not many with many doctrines. Do you really believe that these scattered groups believed different things from each other? If that is true, then why would the Apostles bother going around to them to make sure they were all teaching the same thing?

Actually, there was a big difference between the church in the East and West from very early on in the history of the Church.

Baptism was the biggest difference. In one area people baptized infants. In the other, it was thought that if you sinned even a single time after baptism that you would lose your salvation. However, both agreed in essentials, that is, that baptism removed the stain of original sin.

While many of the scriptures that they read during church were the same, there were a few that were read only in the East or only in the West. Generally, these were not included in the Bible canon because they were not universal, but they continued to be read in the churches for quite some time afterwards, and were still held to be inspired, just not necessarily useful for the entire Church.

You can see this in the Church today, in the Roman and Orthodox churches. Their doctrines are the same, but they have very different flavors, so to speak. :)

motherofmany said...

Elena,

In your appeal to the majority, you assumed I hjad not read what other had written, and that is not true. No one has written anything new, it is the same argument we have been having over and over. I have cited several places where the Bible is claaed sufficient and authoritative, and the fact that you disagree does not surprise me because you also do not see the blood of Christ as sufficient.

I have given links, I have quoted scripture, and I have cited other writers so as to not chance that people are confused simply because of my words. If you can't see the point I have made 0repeatedly) that is not my fault.

Elena said...
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Elena said...

Amy I wasn't appealing to the majority I was appealing to you. You are letting your emotions get in the way of just having a theological discussion.

Here is an example:
Amy: people had copies of them that they were not required to purchase, but passed around, because they were encouraged to have it so as to find the truth themselves.

Then Dreamwanderer gives an example of how the people were NOT encouraged to "find the truth themselves."

Dream wanderer: The believers in the early church were NOT encouraged to 'find the truth for themselves'. St. Ignatius was taught by St. Polycarp who was a disciple of St. John said "The Bishop embodies the authority of God the Father. Show him every mark of respect. Defer to him. It is proper for you to act in agreement with the mind of the bishop. By your unity taking your keynotes from God, you may with one voice through Jesus Christ sing a song to the Father"

He just gave an example of how the people were encouraged to be in unity and defer to the bishop.

Then you counter with this bizarre off topic, straw man remark:

1.This is a teaching of man.

See what I mean? You are not reading and responding appropriately to what was written because you are either reading too fast or not reading carefully.

Elena said...

I have given links, I have quoted scripture, and I have cited other writers so as to not chance that people are confused simply because of my words. If you can't see the point I have made 0repeatedly) that is not my fault.

Who says we don't see it? I think everyone sees your point Amy. We just don't agree with it.

motherofmany said...

Menloe,

You research of the Jamnia council is inaccurate. They did not decide to add or remove any of the books, they simply met to determine if the books already included were in fact scripture based on the criteria that had always been used.

And since when did the Catholic church replace Israel as God's chosen people?

I never said that Jesus read from the letters of the apostles. I was answering the absurd idea that Jesus had never read the scriptures. I do not see a verse that says traditions will be preserved forever. What I see are:

Matthew 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

Obviously he was speaking of the written word, or he wouldn't have said jot or tittle.

Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."

Christ established his church. He said his church was the body of believers who would rely on him for salvation. He did not say he was establishing a church, as in one specific denomination. And I have already expounded on why I believe that cannot be the Catholic church.

It makes no sense for Christ to fulfill the requirements of the law, the temple curtain to be ripped in two signifying that we are free to approach God, and then establish a church where we must go to another man for interpretation and teachings that nulify that ripping of the curtain.

The scripture, God's Word, IS the truth, according to the scriptures, and the church is built upon it. If the church was established and then wrote down its scriptures, it would be a man-made church.

Yes, we are to submit to the leaders of our church, but we are told that they are false teachers if they do not follow the scriptures.

If he did not establish many churches, why did each epistle say to the church of _______? Why did they not all say to the Catholic church?

Obviously they had access to the written words. "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates."

I have posted several links )though I don't recall where each of them is since this has been such along and spread-out discussion) to show that the letters were copied, passed down, and shared.

motherofmany said...

The 'evidence' against people not finding the truth was a quote from a man who was not an apostle, so it is not authoritative.

Your statement "Does it seem that way to anyone else or is it just me?" is an appeal to the majority, just as the statements that we woukld not have the Bible if not for the Catholic church is an appeakl to tradition. You cite your own church's writings as evidence to it's truth, but that is also a falacy (yes, we discussed before that much of spiritual discussion does not fall under these guidelines because it cannot be proven by science, but for someone who likes to claim other people are using logical fallacies, you sure do it a lot yourself)

"Who says we don't see it? I think everyone sees your point Amy. We just don't agree with it." Right back at you. Just because I do not agree does not mean I did not read what people wrote carefully.

Do you mean to tell me that after the Catholic church was established they went out and gathered up all the copies of the letters that had been sent to the churches? Obviously people had access to New testament teachings as well as the Old Testement which had been widely circulated (which was my point about the OT, since the statement was made that there would be no Bible without the Catholic church).

Elena said...

The 'evidence' against people not finding the truth was a quote from a man who was not an apostle, so it is not authoritative.

Anyone else feel like beating their heads against the monitor?

Amy, last time I'll say this. You made a comment that the early Christians were encouraged to find the truth for themselves. You were given an example of how that WAS NOT TRUE!!! You were given historical proof that the early church was not following the Protestant paradigm but rather the Catholic. I don't know how to make this any clearer to you via the plain written word.

Your statement "Does it seem that way to anyone else or is it just me?" is an appeal to the majority,

No ma'am. If I had said "Everyone seems to think ..." that would be an appeal to the majority. Instead I was asking a simple question to see if I was off base.


just as the statements that we woukld not have the Bible if not for the Catholic church is an appeakl to tradition.


Historical FACT however is not a fallacy.

You cite your own church's writings as evidence to it's truth, but that is also a falacy (yes, we discussed before that much of spiritual discussion does not fall under these guidelines because it cannot be proven by science, but for someone who likes to claim other people are using logical fallacies, you sure do it a lot yourself)

Given you HISTORICAL QUOTES and sources is not an appeal to tradition. Something cannot be a fallacy if it is true.

"Who says we don't see it? I think everyone sees your point Amy. We just don't agree with it." Right back at you. Just because I do not agree does not mean I did not read what people wrote carefully.

all evidence to the contrary I guess.

Remember Amy, the point of the blog is not to convert each other.

Do you mean to tell me that after the Catholic church was established they went out and gathered up all the copies of the letters that had been sent to the churches? Obviously people had access to New testament teachings as well as the Old Testement which had been widely circulated (which was my point about the OT, since the statement was made that there would be no Bible without the Catholic church).

well I'm still waiting for your example of a complete ancient bible that was passed around before the printing press.

Kelly said...

The scripture, God's Word, IS the truth, according to the scriptures, and the church is built upon it. If the church was established and then wrote down its scriptures, it would be a man-made church.

Not if it was established by Jesus.

I'm not really getting what you are saying here. Are you saying that there was no church until after scripture was written down? That just doesn't make any sense.

If he did not establish many churches, why did each epistle say to the church of _______? Why did they not all say to the Catholic church?

Well, because they were written to a specific congregation at a specific location. Rome and Corinth were not denominations. You really think that each of those churches were completely separate from each other?

I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm just having cultural shock. Doctrinal point-of-view shock?

"Around the year A.D. 107, a bishop, St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Near East, was arrested, brought to Rome by armed guards and eventually martyred there in the arena. In a farewell letter which this early bishop and martyr wrote to his fellow Christians in Smyrna (today Izmir in modern Turkey), he made the first written mention in history of "the Catholic Church." He wrote, "Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2)."

Just to add some perspective, the Gospel of St. John was written between 90 and 100 A.D. St. Irenaeus was actually a student of St. John.

Why do you think that all of these people who spoke to and learned from the apostles got things horribly wrong?

Kelly said...

Some quotes from NON-CATHOLIC scholar JND Kelly from his book Early Christian Doctrines(emphasis mine):

".. by tradition the fathers usually mean doctrine which the Lord or His apostles committed to the Church, irrespective of whether it was handed down orally or in documents ... [t]he ancient meaning of the term is well illustrated by Athanasius' reference [Ad Serapion, 1:28] to 'the actual original tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which the Lord bestowed, the apostles proclaimed and the fathers safeguarded.' (p. 31)"

"In the first two centuries at any rate the Church seems to have accepted all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture. Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement [3, 4; 27, 5] and Barnabas [6, 7], and from 2 (4) Esdras and Ecclesiasticus in the latter. [12, 1; 19, 9] Polycarp [10, 2] cites Tobit, and the Didache [4, 5] [cites] Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to [Against Heresies, Book IV, cap. 26, 3; Book IV, cap. 38, 3; Book V, cap. 5, 2; Book V, cap. 35, 1] Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary. (p. 54)"

"Thirdly, some of the books which were later included had to wait a considerable time before achieving universal recognition. For example, Hebrews was for long under suspicion in the West, and Revelation was usually excluded in the fourth and fifth centuries where the school of Antioch held sway. The Western church was absolutely silent about James until the latter half of the fourth century, and the four smaller Catholic epistles (2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude), absent from most early lists, continued for long to be treated as doubtful in certain circles. (p. 60)"

"As regards [Baptism's] significance, it was always held to convey the remission of sins"

Spam said...

Motherofmany said... "Jesus said his words would not pass away, just like the law and the prophets would not pass away. How did he know the words of the law and the prophest? FROM READING THEM."

Ummm... yeah... And the Scriptures ALSO state authoritatively that not everything Jesus said or did is in the Scriptures. (John 21:25) So, it looks like you have a problem if you reject Sacred Tradition which holds all the rest of the stuff that is not supposed to pass away.

Doesn't it strike you as odd that you think God wants you to be "Bible Only" but then he tells you directly in John 21:25 that not everything he wants you to know is in the Bible?

Junkmail

Patrick said...

Motherofmany said... "Jesus said his words would not pass away, just like the law and the prophets would not pass away. How did he know the words of the law and the prophest? FROM READING THEM."

Ummm... yeah... And the Scriptures ALSO state authoritatively that not everything Jesus said or did is in the Scriptures. (John 21:25) So, it looks like you have a problem if you reject Sacred Tradition which holds all the rest of the stuff that is not supposed to pass away.

Doesn't it strike you as odd that you think God wants you to be "Bible Only" but then he tells you directly in John 21:25 that not everything he wants you to know is in the Bible?

Junkmail

motherofmany said...

Doesn't it strike you as odd that you think God wants you to be "Bible Only" but then he tells you directly in John 21:25 that not everything he wants you to know is in the Bible?

It doesn't say that at all. It says nothing about everything God wants us to know not fitting here. That is a Catholic translation of the verse's true meaning. The verse says there is much more that Jesus did, but that the world could not hold the books that would be written. Chapter 20 verses 30 and 31 say these things that were written down were what we needed for building faith that brings life. It doesn't say anything about needing other information that would be passed down orally.

Elena said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Jesus also did many other things. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the world wouldn't have enough room for the books that would be written.

King James Bible
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

American Standard Version
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.

Bible in Basic English
And Jesus did such a number of other things that, if every one was recorded, it is my opinion that even the world itself is not great enough for the books there would be.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.

Darby Bible Translation
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they were written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself would contain the books written.

English Revised Version
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.

Tyndale New Testament
There are also many other things which Iesus did: the which if they should be written every one, I suppose the world could not contain the books that should be written.

Weymouth New Testament
But there are also many other things which Jesus did--so vast a number indeed that if they were all described in detail, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would have to be written.

Webster's Bible Translation
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

World English Bible
There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn't have room for the books that would be written.

Young's Literal Translation
And there are also many other things -- as many as Jesus did -- which, if they may be written one by one, not even the world itself I think to have place for the books written. Amen.