John's three minute introductionHello to all of you listening tonight. My name is John Benko and I am the founder of this little apostolate known as Deeper Truth Blog. Along with my wife and my friends Donald Hartley, Christie Martin, Margie Prox Sindelar, Ross Earl Hoffman and Dr. Gregory Thompson, we try to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His Catholic church as best we can.
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Opposition to the man-made doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not an assault on Scripture, let's get that straight, right out of the gate. In fact, the reverse is true- While orthodox Christianity affirms the actual infallible content of Scripture, proponents of Sola Scriptura assert that they are their own translators, their own guardians, their own interpreters, free to do with Scripture whatever they choose.
For example, tonight, my opponent will imply that only Scripture can be referred to as the Word of God, when the very words of scripture refute this equivocation;
1 Thessalonians 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.She will also falsely assert that Catholics add to, subtract from, and nullify the Word of God by man-made traditions. In this case, She will be falsely equivocating the definition of tradition as well.
2 Thessalonians 2: 15: So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
She seeks to debate whether truth is expressed through the Church or through the Scriptures- a false dichotomy. The reality is that it is both- The first as witness, the second as testimony. Let's make no mistake about which came first. Those two letters to the church at Thessalonica were written well before the Gospels and before 10 of the first 11 New Testament books. The Church's teaching authority was well established long before the Bible even started to take form.
But Brenda asserts, in her own words, that the Scriptures themselves "... are the supreme and final authority in faith and life". The authority means one authority. It is a declarative, exclusionary statement that says that scripture is the one and only authority and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, by definition, echoes this claim. She bears the burden of proof to affirm this ridiculous assertion.
Authority, by definition, is something always reserved for persons, never objects. It is something that is exercised.. It gives orders and it administers consequences for disobedience. Scripture cannot do this. The logical end of her ideology is impossible, a personified, living Bible. The Bible cannot be an authority because it is not a person, it is an object. Printed words, on a page, cannot argue, interpret or explain themselves, they can only be argued, be interpreted and be explained by men. When artifacts are asserted to have human, or even Divine, attributes, they become idols.1. rule, power, sway. Authority, control, influence denote a power or right to direct the actions or thoughts of others. Authority is a power or right, usually because of rank or office, to issue commands and to punish for violations: to have authority over subordinates.
In Acts 8:31, the Eunuch asked, with regard to understanding Scripture, "How can I unless someone explains it to me?' Sola Scriptura would stipulate that Isaiah's writings would explain themselves to the Eunuch. The corollary end of Sola Scriptura is to attribute nothing less than Divine action to an inanimate object. Well, how is that working for ya and your 42,000 protestant denominations?
When arguing whether the church must interpret the Bible or the Bible must interpret the church, logic dictates that that the one that is actually alive is better suited for the task. Does the author explain the Book or does the book explain the author? Matthew 18:15-18 affirms this in no uncertain terms. In a dispute, Jesus instructs that the Church is the final authority. That is what makes Sola Scriptura so ironic because Scripture always makes this case.
The Bible is a collection of books inspired by God but written by men. The books are organized by genre, not chronologically. 46 Old Testament Books, 27 New Testament. 73 Books in all. That is the form and substance of the first Bible, the Latin Vulgate, which was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 AD and finished before his death in 384.
There were 38 Popes by the time that first completed Bible was finished. in fact, we were already up to our 4th (Pope Clement) before the last books would even be written that would make it into the canon.The historical record is clear. The Catholic church preceded the Bible by centuries, making Sola Scriptura a historical impossibility. Protestant soteriology demands that we pretend the Bible fell from the sky.
We agree that the original Scriptures are free from error. Protestant translations are another matter. They are loaded with errors. One example is the NIV which inserts the word mother into the passage of Luke 11:27-28 when the Greek word for mother is wholly absent from the text. Here, The NIV adds to the Word of God. In Luke 1:28, the KJV reduces Kecharitomene which means "endured with perfected Grace", to "favor". The KJV is subtracting from the Word of God.
It comes right back to the issue of authority. It is ironic that the first English protestant Bible was actually called the Authorized King James version. King James was an English monarch, with no more sanction to Authorize a Bible translation than Barack Obama. Of course, if you believe in the KJV, you have to believe in unicorns! (Numbers 24:8)
My opponent asserts that the scriptures need no authority to safeguard them but that is utter nonsense! Of course they do! If God says "Wild Ox" or "Rhinoceros" but man translates 'Unicorn', it is no longer God's word but man's word. This is where 'Scripture alone' goes off the rails. If you cannot even agree on what is Scripture, or what it says, how can you make it an authority!?
The truth is that catholics believe in and affirm the scriptures precisely because we can trust the Authority that safeguards them. Jesus said of that church "He who hears you, hears me. he who rejects you, rejects me. He who rejects me rejects Him who sent me" ( Luke 10:16 ) and "If He will not listen even to the church, treat him as an unbeliever. What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" ( Matthew 18:18 )
The term church appears 112 times in the New Testament including in 1 Timothy 3:15 where she is called the pillar and foundation of all truth and we are reminded how to act when we are in her. This obliterates the invisible church, Bible-alone ideology that props up Protestantism The church is visible and speaks with God's authority. Scripture is just one manifestation of that.
Brenda claims that she believes the Bible but the Bible itself records that she is to be treated as an unbeliever because she refuses to hear or listen to the church or be bound on earth to what is bound in heaven. When what we disagree upon is the proper interpretation of Scripture, Jesus told us who has the authority to settle the matter.
The Catholic church was preaching and teaching Christ crucified more than 350 years before the first Bible and almost 1500 years before the first protestant. To suggest that Martin Luther is a model of what Christ's infant church looked like is preposterous. Brenda does not dare make an appeal to the historical record to support such nonsense. So, when you hear Brenda exclaim "The Bible alone! The Bible alone!", what she is really revealing is a dread fear of unimpeachable history.
Matthew 21:43 put Israel on notice that their authority would be stripped but God made no such claim about His Catholic church. In fact, He said the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Martin Luther came in his own name, not in God's and the baggage that he brought does not bear God's sanction.
A proper Scriptural hermeneutic requires sober reflection on literary, linguistic, liturgical and cultural context. It is a daunting task and the church is empowered to do so. Private interpretation has never been sanctioned and the notion of Scriptural perspicuity could not be more alien to the biblical text. Peter said it best-
2 Peter 1:20: First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,
2 Peter 3: 16: speaking of this as he (Paul) does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
Sola Scriptura collapses under it's own weight when we get to specifics. Non-catholics cannot agree on the Trinity, the Priesthood or Bishops, the Real presence, the day of worship, Baptism, how we are saved, Dispensationalism, Zionism, the rapture or anything else the Bible contains or is alleged to contain. Yet they all claim to follow the Bible alone when none of them actually do. They all believe what their pastors tell them to believe.
Sola Scriptura doesn't defend Scripture but the right to abuse Scripture and to make it one's personal play thing. Brenda seeks to take her novel, man-made, 19th and 20th century doctrines and bend and twist scripture to fit these new schemes. Talk about adding to God's Word! Talk about man-made traditions! Virtually everything Brenda believes is man-made tradition that is added to God's word! I, on the other hand, hold fast to what the true church has always found in Scripture and taught from Scripture.
The clear testimony of the early church damns her belief system. Show me a 1st, 2nd or 3rd century church that proclaimed a rapture. You can't! it was invented in the 1800s. Born-Againism came out of the 1970s! Sola Scriptura is a little older but not much, not by historical standards. If Sola Scriptura is so foundational, why is not even mentioned in the first 15 centuries of the church? Not a syllable! There is not a syllable in Scripture itself to support it either and she knows it.
Catholics on the other hand can appeal to the clear historical record to show that what we believe now, is what they believed then. In 110 AD, Ignatius, a disciple of John, said
Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.In fact, the exact same phrase that Ignatius uses, Ecclesia Kath Olos, is actually present in the Greek text of Acts 9:31 which means that even the Bible alone testifies for the Catholic Church
Even Martin Luther himself, in his introduction to his commentary on the Gospel of John said
"We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of GOD, that we received it from them, and that without them, we should have no knowledge of it at all."
1) The Word of God.
This often includes the admonition to not "add to, subtract from or nullify" the Word of God. What it amounts to is known as an existential fallacy, where a broad concept's definition is applied to only one of it's possible definitions. True, Scripture, properly translated is called the Word of God. However, that word has always pointed to authority.
Deuteronomy 21:5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
2) Acts says that the Beareans were noble minded and searched the Scriptures to see if these things were true.
The Beareans did search the scriptures diligently but they did not only search them. Acts says they received the word and searched the Scriptures. They verified Paul's oral teaching. Notice they did not conclude what Paul taught by means of scripture alone.
Luke starts his other letter acknowledging that the faithful have already received the teachings of Christ, and is writing his Gospel only so that they "realize the certainty of the teachings you have received." Luke writes to verify the oral tradition they already received.
3) "Do not go beyond what is written"
With regard to Paul's admonition not to go beyond the written word, in 1 Corinthians 4:6-7, a more
precise translation is do not go beyond the line. However, even if we concede the former, context,
once again obliterates the protestant assertion, for if you drop down only 7 lines, you see Paul
reassert His own authority and that of Timothy. He even calls himself a father, obliterating the false canard
based on Matthew 23:9;
14 I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 Therefore I sent[a] to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
1 Thess. 3:10 - Paul wants to see the Thessalonians face to face and supply what is lacking. His letter is not enough.
4) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that Scripture is useful and profitable. It does not say, or even imply, that it is sufficient. In fact, if you back up only two verses, the context proves just the opposite because Paul instructs Timothy to remember what he learned and who he learned it from and to hold fast to the scriptures. Paul is explicitly affirming both the authoritativeness of Scripture and the authority of the church here, refuting, not supporting Brenda's arguments. Further, man of God
(Theos and anthropos) refers to clergy and this also supports authority.
To further hammer this home,
James 1:4 - steadfastness also makes a man "perfect (teleioi) and complete (holoklepoi), lacking nothing." This verse is important because "teleioi"and "holoklepoi" are much stronger words than "artios," but Protestants do not argue that steadfastness is all one needs to be a Christian.
Titus 3:8 - good deeds are also "profitable" to men. For Protestants especially, profitable cannot mean "exclusive" here.
2 Tim 2:21- purity is also profitable for "any good work" ("pan ergon agathon"). This wording is the same as 2 Tim. 3:17, which shows that the Scriptures are not exclusive, and that other things (good deeds and purity) are also profitable to men.
Col. 4:12 - prayer also makes men "fully assured." No where does Scripture say the Christian faith is based solely on a book.2 Tim. 3:16-17 - Finally, if these verses really mean that Paul was teaching sola Scriptura to the early Church, then why in 1 Thess. 2:13 does Paul teach that he is giving Revelation from God orally? Either Paul is contradicting his own teaching on sola Scriptura, or Paul was not teaching sola Scriptura in 2 Tim. 3:16-17. This is a critical point which Protestants cannot reconcile with their sola Scriptura position.
(Thanks to John Salza at Scripture catholic)
In 2:2 he says:
2 Timothy 2:2
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.5) You have so soon forsaken the gospel
6 I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. 7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.
Notice that Paul says that the Gospel has been preached to you, not written to you. Paul is
upholding the Church's authority and not just defending Scripture. Indeed, when Paul wrote
those words to the Galatians, it was one of the first 3 New Testament books to be written
and it definitely preceded all 4 Gospels. So, Paul was preaching to a church that only knew the
Gospel by oral tradition.
6) The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)
Once again, this verse does not get Protestants where they want to go. Jesus is simply saying that the Scripture cannot be violated, that is, "broken". He is not saying that Scripture is the only means by which He communicates. In fact, in verse 38, He states that the mighty works He does is one means by which we can believe. That is true even today, miracles occur in the Catholic church.
7) John 20:31 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.
Once again, this does not prove exclusivity.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Mark 16:15 - Jesus commands the apostles to "preach," not write, and only three apostles wrote. The others who did not write were not less faithful to Jesus, because Jesus gave them no directive to write. There is no evidence in the Bible or elsewhere that Jesus intended the Bible to be sole authority of the Christian faith.
8) The Apocrypha
As for the contention that none of the Deuterocanonicals are quoted in 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.
Sirach and 2 Maccabees – some Protestants argue these books are not inspired because the writers express uncertainty about their abilities. But sacred writers are often humble about their divinely inspired writings. See, for example, 1 Cor. 7:40 – Paul says he “thinks” that he has the Spirit of God.
The 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 Testatment canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.
Thank you, Scripture Catholic.com
2) In Acts 15, Peter solved the first recorded Church dispute without an appeal to Scripture. Please explain how this is possible with Sola Scriptura.
3) In Acts 8, why did the Eunuch say he could not possibly understand the Scriptures unless someone explained them to Him?
4) Can you interpret Scripture infallibly? If not, can you tell me what Scriptures you interpret incorrectly?
Jesus and the Apostles did appeal to Scripture on a regular basis, who would think otherwise? They were infallible teachers. Their interpretations could be trusted infallibly. On the other hand, The Sadducees, the Judaizers and even Satan, also appealed to Scripture to support their positions and were rebuked for doing so. So, it is the correct authority that properly interprets Scripture, not Scripture itself.
If the argument is stripped of pretense and reduced to it's purest question, do Catholic or protestant views most closely conform to Scripture, it isn't even a contest. All of the Catholic doctrines are scriptural and none of the protestant ones are. The problem is that protestants view scripture through so many distorted lenses that they cannot get a true sense of what it actually says. They do not understand typology, they super-impose 21st century English language on 1st century Greek and they approach Scripture pre-disposed to make it mean what they want it to mean rather than what it actually does. To change that, they must accept that men like Ignatius and Polycarp, who learned from the disciples, themselves, were far better positioned to know what they meant in their writings.
Let me give just one example. John chapter 3. Brenda fancies herself a "born-again" Christian. However, a born-again Christian, as she defines it, is a man-made invention not 50 years old. Even a cursory examination of early church documents proves beyond a shadow of a shadow of a doubt that the early church was unanimous in understanding being "born again" and being "born of water and spirit" to refer explicitly to Sacramental Water Baptism. (In our show notes are example quotes). Brenda belongs to an invented ideology that has nothing to do with Scripture whatsoever.
A wise man once said that if you believe only what you want from the Scriptures, it is not the scriptures you trust but yourself. When trapped by the logical consequences of this doctrine, proponents will often try to minimize what it suggests. They will deny that it makes more of Scripture than what is possible. They will falsely assert that Sola Scriptura only means that the laws of the Church cannot contradict Scripture. Of course they are being disingenuous. Sola Scriptura asserts much more than that. Sola Scriptura asserts that in the proper interpretation of scripture, there is no earthly authority except what we choose to be an authority. Thus, though we are certainly able to appeal to cultural, historical and linguistic context, we are by no means bound to. Under Sola Scriptura, we can appeal to how the early church interpreted Scripture when we think it suits us, reject it when it doesn't. Under this schema, scripture is, at once, the material to be interpreted, the means to interpret it and the binding authority to uphold that interpretation, however pernicious it may be. Though it may be true that the pen is mightier than the sword, both must be subject to he who wields them, not the other way around.
Proponents of Sola Scriptura claim that Scripture is the authority. Authority is something that is exercised by a person and in Scripture, itself, we read that the Church is the final authority in too many places to count. They claim Scripture interprets itself. Again, something a silent page cannot do. They claim Scripture is perspicuous, something flatly denied in Scripture (1 Peter 1:20) and proved obviously false in practice. They claim Sola Scriptura is foundational but no historical church figure can be found prior to 1517 that taught it. They claim Scripture is formally sufficient but cannot even produce a list of canonized books or give us the authors of the Gospels without the Church's help.
G.K. Chesterson observed that it is true that we do not believe what the Scriptures say because they actually say nothing. You cannot put the Bible in the witness box and compel it to testify. That is the bottom line. The Bible cannot interpret, it can only be interpreted and none but God's ordained authority are authorized to do so. "He who hears you, hears me". That is what Jesus said to the original pastors of the church. Abraham was an authority. Moses was an authority. David was an Authority and, in Matthew 23, Jesus even said that the scribes and Pharisees were authorities because they sat in Moses' seat. Well, now, Francis sits in Peter's seat and that makes him an authority. Jesus, in Matthew 16, made Peter the authority. He called Peter the Rock, gave him the power to bind and loose and handed to him the keys to the kingdom just as foreshadowed in Isaiah 22.
Every single non-catholic denomination sect or cult, even the so-called non-denominations build their house on the same sand that is Sola Scriptura and when the wave of truth crashes in, they all fall because the very Scriptures that they purport to uphold are testimony against them.
In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul declares to Timothy that his authority was received directly from God through Paul placing his hands on Timothy. This proves Apostolic succession and the authority of the church. That authority has been upheld and successfully defended tonight.
ADDENDUM: QUOTES ABOUT BEING "BORN-AGAIN" FROM THE EARLY CHURCH.
As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, and instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we pray and fast with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father... and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (First Apology 61 [A.D. 151])
[N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, "Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life" (On Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203]).
Recognitions of Clement
But you will perhaps say, 'What does the baptism of water contribute toward the worship of God?' In the first place, because that which has pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so . . . you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus has the true prophet [Jesus] testified to us with an oath: "Verily, I say to you, that unless a man is born again of water . . . he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Recognitions of Clement 6:9 [A.D. 221]).
The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine sacraments, knew there is in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).
[l]t behooves those to be baptized . . . so that they are prepared, in the lawful and true and only baptism of the holy Church, by divine regeneration, for the kingdom of God . . . because it is written "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Epistles 72 : 21 [A.D. 252]).
Ambrose of Milan
The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ's blood. Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed, he must circumcise himself from his sins [in baptism (Col. 2:11-12)] so that he can be saved . . . for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the sacrament of baptism.... "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (On Abraham 2:11:79-84 [A.D. 387]).
It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, "Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents" or "by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him," but, "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit." The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam (Letters 98:2 [A.D. 408]).
"Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book, likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus one book. Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book,with Ginoth, that is, with his lamentations, Ezechiel one book,Daniel one book, Osee one book, Micheas one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book, Jonas one book, Nahum one book, Habacuc one book, Sophonias one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book. Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books. Likewise the order of the writings of the New and eternal Testament, which only the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book. The Epistles of Paul [the apostle] in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one. Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book. Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven. Of Peter the Apostle two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealut, the Apostle one epistle." Pope Damasus (regn. A.D. 366-384), Decree of the Council of Rome, The Canon of Scripture (A.D. 382).
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