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 question: to Catholic

did you write that post yourself, or was that a cut and paste job? just curious thats all.

 2009/8/24 20:43

Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


Hey Catholic
You mentioned that you are not Roman Catholic, that you are in fact Eastern Catholic. Do you hold to the same traditions concerning mary, praying to mary? Confessing to priests? Praying to dead saints? mary being the queen of heaven? infant baptisms? pope being infallible? pope being the vicar of Christ?

with care

 2009/8/24 20:46Profile


So, if we are not to rely solely on scripture as the final authority in all matters spiritual, on what are we to rely?

If sola scriptura is in error, then my question is, "What objective measure of truth and revelation do we have with which to compare all other subjective truths?"

The following is taken from an article you can find on I just think this says what I would say myself very well:

The true "rule of faith"—as expressed in the Bible itself—is Scripture plus apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly.

In the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum (Latin: "The Word of God"), the relationship between Tradition and Scripture is explained: "Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

"Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence."

But Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, who place their confidence in Martin Luther’s theory of sola scriptura (Latin: "Scripture alone"), will usually argue for their position by citing a couple of key verses. The first is this: "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). The other is this: "All Scripture is
inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be equipped, prepared for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16–17). According to these Protestants, these verses demonstrate the reality of sola scriptura (the "Bible only" theory).

Not so, reply Catholics. First, the verse from John refers to the things written in that book (read it with John 20:30, the verse immediately before it to see the context of the statement in question). If this verse proved anything, it would not prove the theory of sola scriptura but that the Gospel of John is sufficient.

Second, the verse from John’s Gospel tells us only that the Bible was composed so we can be helped to believe Jesus is the Messiah. It does not say the Bible is all we need for salvation, much less that the Bible is all we need for theology; nor does it say the Bible is even necessary to believe in Christ. After all, the earliest Christians had no New Testament to which they could appeal; they learned from oral, rather than written, instruction. Until relatively recent times, the Bible was inaccessible to most people, either because they could not read or because the printing press had not been invented. All these people learned from oral instruction, passed down, generation to generation, by the Church.

Much the same can be said about 2 Timothy 3:16-17. To say that all inspired writing "has its uses" is one thing; to say that only inspired writing need be followed is something else. Besides, there is a telling argument against claims of Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants. John Henry Newman explained it in an 1884 essay entitled "Inspiration in its Relation to Revelation."

Newman’s argument

He wrote: "It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the sacred Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although sacred Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still it is not said to be sufficient. The Apostle [Paul] requires the aid of Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15). Moreover, the Apostle here refers to the scriptures which Timothy was taught in his infancy.

"Now, a good part of the New Testament was not written in his boyhood: Some of the Catholic epistles were not written even when Paul wrote this, and none of the books of the New Testament were then placed on the canon of the Scripture books. He refers, then, to the scriptures of the Old Testament, and, if the argument from this passage proved anything, it would prove too much, viz., that the scriptures of the New Testament were not necessary for a rule of faith."

Furthermore, Protestants typically read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context. When read in the context of the surrounding passages, one discovers that Paul’s reference to Scripture is only part of his exhortation that Timothy take as his guide Tradition and Scripture. The two verses immediately before it state: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14–15).

Paul tells Timothy to continue in what he has learned for two reasons: first, because he knows from whom he has learned it—Paul himself—and second, because he has been educated in the scriptures. The first of these is a direct appeal to apostolic tradition, the oral teaching which the apostle Paul had given Timothy. So Protestants must take 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context to arrive at the theory of sola scriptura. But when the passage is read in context, it becomes clear that it is teaching the importance of apostolic tradition!

The Bible denies that it is sufficient as the complete rule of faith. Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2). He instructs us to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).

This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).

And how was this to be done? By preaching, by oral instruction: "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit "Christ’s word" to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.

Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. "’But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25). Note that the word has been "preached"—that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be
supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.

This is made clear when the apostle Paul tells Timothy: "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Here we see the first few links in the chain of apostolic tradition that has been passed down intact from the apostles to our own day. Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the oral teachings (traditions) that he had received from the apostle. He was to give these to men who would be able to teach others, thus perpetuating the chain. Paul gave this instruction not long before his death (2 Tim. 4:6–8), as a reminder to Timothy of how he should conduct his ministry.

What is Tradition?

In this discussion it is important to keep in mind what the Catholic Church means by tradition. The term does not refer to legends or mythological accounts, nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which may change, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics. Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.

They have been handed down and entrusted to the Churchs. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).

Handing on the faith

Paul illustrated what tradition is: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. . . . Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed" (1 Cor. 15:3,11). The apostle praised those who followed Tradition: "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2).

The first Christians "devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching" (Acts 2:42) long before there was a New Testament. From the very beginning, the fullness of Christian teaching was found in the Church as the living embodiment of Christ, not in a book. The teaching Church, with its oral, apostolic tradition, was authoritative. Paul himself gives a quotation from Jesus that was handed down orally to him: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

This saying is not recorded in the Gospels and must have been passed on to Paul. Indeed, even the Gospels themselves are oral tradition which has been written down (Luke 1:1–4). What’s more, Paul does not quote Jesus only. He also quotes from early Christian hymns, as in Ephesians 5:14. These and other things have been given to Christians "through the Lord Jesus" (1 Thess. 4:2).

Fundamentalists say Jesus condemned tradition. They note that Jesus said, "And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?" (Matt. 15:3). Paul warned, "See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8). But these verses merely condemn erroneous human traditions, not truths which were handed down orally and entrusted to the Church by the apostles. These latter truths are part of what is known as apostolic tradition, which is to be distinguished from human traditions or customs.

"Commandments of men"

Consider Matthew 15:6–9, which Fundamentalists and Evangelicals often use to defend their position: "So by these traditions of yours you have made God’s laws ineffectual. You hypocrites, it was a true prophecy that Isaiah made of you, when he said, ‘This people does me honor with its lips, but its heart is far from me. Their worship is in vain, for the doctrines they teach are the commandments of men.’" Look closely at what Jesus said.

He was not condemning all traditions. He condemned only those that made God’s word void. In this case, it was a matter of the Pharisees feigning the dedication of their goods to the Temple so they could avoid using them to support their aged parents. By doing this, they dodged the commandment to "Honor your father and your mother" (Ex. 20:12).

Elsewhere, Jesus instructed his followers to abide by traditions that are not contrary to God’s commandments. "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice" (Matt. 23:2–3).

What Fundamentalists and Evangelicals often do, unfortunately, is see the word "tradition" in Matthew 15:3 or Colossians 2:8 or elsewhere and conclude that anything termed a "tradition" is to be rejected. They forget that the term is used in a different sense, as in 1 Corinthians 11:2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:15, to describe what should be believed. Jesus did not condemn all traditions; he condemned only erroneous traditions, whether doctrines or practices, that undermined Christian truths. The rest, as the apostles taught, were to be obeyed. Paul commanded the Thessalonians to adhere to all the traditions he had given them, whether oral or written.

The indefectible Church

The task is to determine what constitutes authentic tradition. How can we know which traditions are apostolic and which are merely human? The answer is the same as how we know which scriptures are apostolic and which are merely human—by listening to the magisterium or teaching authority of Christ’s Church. Without the Catholic Church’s teaching authority, we would not know with certainty which purported books of Scripture are authentic. If the Church revealed to us the canon of Scripture, it can also reveal to us the "canon of Tradition" by establishing which traditions have been passed down from the apostles. After all, Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18) and the New Testament itself declares the Church to be "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).

 2009/8/24 20:55

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: question: to Catholic


Just a question (of mine) to provoke thought in a direction that perhaps has not been taken yet. If scripture is not the final authority, then what is? Something has to be the final authority or there is no such thing as authority at all.


 2009/8/24 20:58Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: question: to Catholic

did you write that post yourself, or was that a cut and paste job? just curious thats all.

Similarly I wondered if there was not a whole loaded set or materials pre-prepared to come in here and start lobbing around like hand grenades or something. There is no way in the world this conversation is going anywhere positive. All that can really happen at this point is for some poor new believer to be sifted or deceived.

Robert Wurtz II

 2009/8/24 21:02Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri


2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

If the traditions of the apostles are to be put on level playing field with the written scripture, then we have an obvious problem here. Be it tradition of the pharisees as is referred to here, or be it traditions of apostolic fathers, they are all traditions of men, and ultimately make the word of God of none effect.

I understand how deeply rooted traditions are. They go to the very core of who we are. To abandon them is often painful. I am not concerned with what the Vatican council said, I am concerned with what the Word of God says. If you believe that scripture is the inerrant word of God, scripture itself precludes trusting in any other thing as being inerrant. Abandon tradition, put your total faith and trust in the finished work of Christ when he died and shed His blood, and rose again victorious over death, hell, and the grave so that you might have a PERSONAL relationship with Him. You don't have to earn a place in heaven by how well you keep ordinances. That place is offered to you as a free gift. After you accept that gift, God begins to work in you and changes you from glory to glory into His image.

God is not interested in how well you know the catechism of the Catholic church, or in how well you keep the traditional ordinances handed down to you by your forefathers. He is interested in knowing YOU in a very personal and intimate way. The issue is not whether we can figure out which traditions are authentic and which are not. The issue is what we have done with this Jesus called the Christ. Have we fallen at His feet and cast our EVERY hope of ever being right with God on what He has done, or have we tried to approach him with the proper academic understanding and with the correct rules and ordinances?

I won't argue with you. I will only leave you with my question so that you may ponder it, and with the reminder that it is in Christ alone that any of us can be saved.


 2009/8/24 21:13Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057



I have to agree completely with what RobertW posted!
Similarly I wondered if there was not a whole loaded set or materials pre-prepared to come in here and start lobbing around like hand grenades or something. There is no way in the world this conversation is going anywhere positive. All that can really happen at this point is for some poor new believer to be sifted or deceived.

I am praying the moderators will lock this thread before some new babe in Christ is deceived by the lies being posted by Catholic.

God Bless

 2009/8/24 21:26Profile


Quote: did you write that post yourself, or was that a cut and paste job? just curious thats all. Similarly I wondered if there was not a whole loaded set or materials pre-prepared to come in here and start lobbing around like hand grenades or something. There is no way in the world this conversation is going anywhere positive. All that can really happen at this point is for some poor new believer to be sifted or deceived.

Please allow me to answer. I have not come with a "pre-loaded" set of arguments.

I am sincerely trying to read the enormity of posts that are coming my way. In an effort to answer you all, I have opted to deal with the major topics as they have come up.

I was advised by one of you upon starting this discussion not to try and answer every individual person. Was this bad advice?

Would it be better if I went the route of answering you all personally and individually?

I would hate to think that any of you wanted to shut this down because you weren't up to the discussion.

I'm having a great time here with you all.

God love you all,


 2009/8/24 21:54

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi everyone.

The true "rule of faith"—as expressed in the Bible itself—is Scripture plus apostolic tradition

The New Testament scripture and the Apostolic traditions [b]are one and the same[/b](John 20:31, Mat 13:52, 2Pe 3:16, 2Pe 1:15 John 17:20 -John 3:34).

If anyone claims to have knowledge of words of the Apostles that are not preserved in the Scriptures, [b]we can compare their claims with what is written[/b], much in the same way that Paul admonished the beleivers to do in Thessalonica(see 2Th 2:1-2).

Just as there, if anyone is claiming to you that they have a sepcial knowledge of what Paul or the other Apostles taught, [b]we have not been left in the dark[/b] by God. [u]We can compare their claims with what the Apostles did leave us[/u], [b]their writtings[/b]. And it is sufficient to do so!(2Ti 3:16). It is the scripture that is sufficent friends, not oral traditions or any mans claims to have them.

Do not be troubled or surprised friends that there are men in the world seeking to draw you away to themselves as the Apostles warned us that there would be also(Acts 20:30).

The Lord Jesus warned us of men that teach out of their own authority(John 7:16-18, John 5:43), seeking their own glory.

If anyone is troubled by the claims that are being made here by a certain one, listen to your friends that have pointed you to the words of the Bible and of God that we have been given for our saftey and protection.

There are many voices in the world friends, many vain talkers and deceivers.

But we have the pure words of God.

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/8/24 22:13Profile


Hey Catholic You mentioned that you are not Roman Catholic, that you are in fact Eastern Catholic. Do you hold to the same traditions concerning mary, praying to mary? Confessing to priests? Praying to dead saints? mary being the queen of heaven? infant baptisms? pope being infallible? pope being the vicar of Christ?

All of the ancient church who have apostolic succession believe 99.9% exactly the same. It doesn't matter if you want to talk about Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Ethiopic, Maronite, Thomas Christians of India, Armenian...they all have the same seven sacred mysteries and deposit of faith.

I can't really address every issue you brought up in one reply. But I must say that some of the issues I would state and understand differently than you may. But I don't know that for sure until we get into them one at a time. (preferable in a different thread)

God love you

 2009/8/24 22:14

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