Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Protestant Charges Round 2

Here's the second go round of comments from Jim. First post here. My replies will be in red. First, Jim thanks for being open and level headed (not that you weren't last time) it makes discussion much more fruitful. I'm going to try to answer these charges and or at least give you resources with great answers. I hope you will take the time with an open mind to look at the evidence and make a good decision.

I can promise without batting an eye that every charge you leveled can be objectively refuted. Additionally, you have several historical facts that are objectively confused which I will attempt to clarify.

Tim,
It's Jim again.I didn't really mean to come across in an attack mode. In reading some of your comments ,I guess that's how it was taken. But having said that I admit that I totally disagree with the Catholic Faith. You seem to stess authority quite a lot.

God-given authority is not a man-made idea. It is Scriptural. When God gave us the Law in the OT, He did not merely give us a book and say each man for himself. Rather He gave us the commandments and an interpreter/judge (Moses). If you read the account, you will clearly see that Moses was authoritative in interpreting the Scriptures and the Law. The Book didn't speak for itself in other words.

Take the incident where an Israelite was found working on the Sabbath. The people brought him to Moses and asked what they should do to him. Why didn't they just interpret the commandments themselves and do with him as they saw fit? Because Moses (and likewise Aaron and all the priests) were not arbitrarily elected by the people. They were appointed by God. Jesus confirms this in Matthew 23:2-3:

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach"

So we have clearly and objectively seen that God given authority to interpret Scripture is itself Scriptural and binding on all Christians. Now the question is, who has the authority? The apostles were appointed by God and given authority (especially Peter to whom He said):


"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16:18-19 NIV

The Catholic Church teaches that the apostles and their successors in union with the successor of Peter have authority. This authority is not of man but from God. The early Church taught this. It could not possibly be more clear and explicit from the early Christian writings. One of the earliest extra-biblical documents out there is the letter of Pope St. Clement to the Corinthians in which he not only demands obedience (while St. John is still alive) but also spells out clearly and more thoroughly the doctrine of apostolic succession which I just outlined. You can read it for yourself here.

As in the Churches authority to interpret scripture. That's one of those exclusively Catholic things. I don't see other churches saying things like that.

Jesus Christ only founded one Church - the Catholic Church. Anything else called a 'church' is done so only illicitly. The interesting thing is that the Catholic Church actually claims far less authority for herself than your ecclesial community does. The Catholic Church claims the least authority of any branch of Christianity. We do not pretend to have the authority to change what God has established with His apostles and their doctrine. That is why we have maintained the apostolic faith.

Especially to the point of altering the Bible.

On the contrary, one of the things that first attracted me to the Catholic Church was the fact that they have so much respect for the Bible that they dare not alter it (unlike almost all Protestant translations). Case in point - adding the lines "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever" to the Lord's prayer and certain othertext manipulations - many of which were doctrinally motivated. This is not to mention the Protestants literally throwing out 7 books of the Bible. So, as a brotherly admonition, don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house.

For instance the way they change the ten commandments to allow for images to be adored if not worshiped. And split up the last commandment so there will still be ten.Now I know that's in the catholic catachism but it's still taught that way.

Well to start with, worshiping images is definitely evil and we both know this. The Law teaches this clearly so I have no issue with you on this and neither does the Catholic Church. The truth is we don't worship images but can and do use images as catechesis and tools to aid in liturgical worship of God. Icons and the like elevate the mind and assist in worship - not detract from it. Think of the ark of the covenant, did the graven images which God commanded be built on top of it detract from or aid the liturgical worship? Is God guilty of breaking His own commandment?

Now as for the commandments, to be technical about it, there is no such thing as the "ten commandments". That is, there is no clear cut way to define which ones belong where. There aren't just 10 there are actually something like 13 or 14 imperative statements. If you're going to call them "the ten", then you have to break them up somewhere. Jews and Protestants break them up like you're accustomed to - the first 4 on loving God and the last 6 on loving man. Catholics break it up 3 and 7.
Either way you group the commandments though, the same thing is being said. The text isn't altered and all imperative statements are still present.

When the rich man asked Jesus how to be saved Jesus replied "say the sinner's prayer" - just kidding... Here's what He said:


"Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother." Mark 10:19


It's interesting to me that Jesus leaves out the commandments dealing with loving God (which are obviously the most important ones see Mark 12:28-31) and when He mentions the remaining, He clearly gives us six not seven. But the other interesting thing is "do not defraud" is used instead of "do not covet". I say all this to prove that it's a quite tricky subject regardless of how you look at it.
This essay from "This Rock" magazine should suffice for further reading. It helps explain why Catholics, following the early Christians and notably Augustine, group it 3-7 instead of 4-6.

Regarding Sunday worship I recall reading a Catholic document in which it was stated that Protestants didn't have a right to keep Sunday since it was changed by the Catholic church because they had the authority.

Until I see such a document I will assume it doesn't exist as I'm sure that's not nearly the type of thing the Catholic Church would say.

I would like to see one statement that advised the church to switch to Sunday. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. I wonder why He didn't take that opportunity to clarify that sunday was the new Sabbath.

Jim, I don't think you know how incredibly slippery that slope is. To use that kind of reasoning, we could much easier say - "when Jesus spoke with the Greek woman in Tyre, why didn't He address racism?" or "when Paul wrote the letter of Philemon, why didn't he condemn slavery?" (And these two are among the most reasonable ones we could ask, far more reasonable than your question I'm afraid) but going further we could ask "If the Trinity is true, then why didn't Paul ever mention it? Why does he greet the audience in the name of the Father and the Son only (in every single epistle)?" You can see how dangerous this erroneous method can be.

As a Protestant, one thing you need to understand is that the Bible is not a book of Church order. It was not written to initiate people into the faith and teach them the rubrics of the liturgy but the letters of the NT were written to Christians who were already practicing. By the time even the first book of the NT was written, Christians had been worshiping on Sunday for at least a decade. Why would the Bible say "switch to Sunday" when they were already doing it? That wouldn't make a whole lot of sense I'm afraid. Did you read the essay I linked to in the previous discussion? I don't think you did or this question would be rather decisively answered.


Regarding Christmas ,Jesus never made any declarations about celebrating His birth and I doubt He would have chosen the day that many cultures celebrated the sun god and Mitra,and any number of false gods.

Ok... again, did you read the post I sent you to or are you just determined not to learn anything about this? To be honest, I think you're afraid to learn the truth about it. The Romans added Dec 25th as a pagan holiday in 275 AD, about 50 years before the council of Nicaea which solidified it as a Christian holiday. However, we have in writing proof that Hippolytus had mentioned it as Christ's birthday some 75 years earlier! We do not know exactly how far back into the second (and quite possibly the first) century this Christian tradition goes or where exactly it came from. We do not know for sure that Jesus was born on that date. However, the actual evidence that we have tells us that the Christians were using this date long before the pagans were.

Concerning the Popes there is no proof whatsoever that Peter was the first Pope

I'm assuming that you mean there is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. (If he was in Rome, he would be by default, the first pope since pope merely means the Roman pontiff and if he was there...well he'd be the pontiff). I'd be curious to know why you think that. I have heard charges like that even from a Protestant seminary and was shocked to hear such revisionist history. In fact, we do have lots of evidence that Peter was in Rome, even as early as 42 AD. We can be quite certain of it (although the Bible doesn't mention it explicitly.. but Peter does seem to refer to Rome metaphorically as Babylon:

"She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark." 1 Peter 5:13

And we also know from wide patristic tradition that Mark was also in Rome with Peter when he wrote the gospel bearing his name). Again, this wouldn't prove beyond reasonable doubt that Peter was in Rome but our strongest evidence comes in the absolutely unanimous testimony of all early Christians everywhere. There is simply no other competing history - the Church fathers repeatedly tell us that Peter was in Rome and suffered martyrdom there along with Paul (probably about the same time). This tradition is even present in the first century with Pope Clement's authoritative letter mentioned above. Other early fathers like Papias and Irenaeus give us strong testimony in the second century as well. Eusebius even gives us a date saying:

"But this did not last long. For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter of life. He like a noble commander of God, clad in divine armor, carried the costly merchandise of the light of the understanding from the East to those who dwelt in the West, proclaiming the light itself, and the word which brings salvation to souls, and preaching the kingdom of heaven."

"Peter appears to have preached in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia to the Jews of the dispersion. And at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer in this way."

Claudius reigned from 41 AD to 54 AD which means Peter could have been in Rome quite early. We know for sure that he did in fact go there and to say he died anywhere else would be stretching historical speculation far beyond the breaking point.

nor was many of the Bishops of Rome hat died martrys deaths rather than submit to Roman paganry.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Can you clarify?

Just like the Catholic church does with many things in history they where adopted into the church through the rewriting of history.

You're starting to sound like Dan Brown. I don't mean this as an insult but as a very serious challenge. If your opinions of the early Church prove anything, they prove too much. If the early Church history is untrustworthy because the big bad Catholic Church manipulated the evidence, then our entire faith is suspect. The doctrine of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the Eucharist, Church authority, apostolic succession, the canon, all of these issues and many more were hashed out by the early Church. If the leadership the apostles chose as their own successors were dishonest as you seem to imply, then we can't trust anything about our faith.

For further reading on the trustworthiness of the early Church, I would simply point you to any essay or book debunking "The Da Vinci Code" nonsense. Their defense will be quite applicable to the charges you're leveling now.

These where the same thought police that controlled the thinking or the lack thereof of millions of people for hundreds of years, it's called the dark ages. Priest spoke in latin and a commoner could not read the Bible with out fear of punishment.

This is simply untrue in the worst possible way. The earliest Christians spoke mostly Greek and continued reading the Greek NT along with the Septuaginat Greek version of the Old testament. Saint Jerome translated the bible into Latin which was at the time the common language. It is called the Vulgate (from which we derive the word - vulgar.. it was the vulgar tongue... of the people not a high lofty language only usable by priests).

There simply never was any law forbidding anyone to read the Bible that's absurd. I challenge to cite one example to the contrary.

How many people where burned at the stake just for trying to translate the Bible into a readable text.

Zero.

Do you think that the same people that did this would not alter history to show the Papal line going back to Peter.

I wouldn't know but like I said, they didn't do it. If you have a single example to the contrary I'd be willing to take a second look though.

I would say that The Catholic Church at first was just a group of Christian churches that organized.

Yes. All orthodox Churches everywhere on the planet - hence the name "Catholic" or "universal". "Catholic" was a term used by the early Church to separate the true Christian Churches from the heretical ecclesial communities.

Probably at the time of the canonization of the Scripture it was in no form like the Church we see today,

Protestant Church historian Bruce Shelley admits with great regret that the Catholic Church had "evolved" into the modern day structure of bishop-priest-deacon by the end of the first century at the latest. The textual evidence of which (most notably from Saint Ignatius of Antioch) is utterly irrefutable. See this post series. So by the canonization of the New Testament (hundreds of years later) it most certainly was in form like we see today complete with full "popery".

but by the time Constantine came on the scene the the mixture with the pagan influince was complete.

Ok two things - 1. Constantine came on the scene long before the Scripture was canonized so you have those two reversed chronologically. 2. Once again you are showing that you did not read my post on pagan influence. Please do so and you will have a much clearer understanding of the early Church and her pagan influence (or rather lack thereof). You may also find this post on pagan practices or this one on Constantine's Chi-rho symbol helpful as well.

Therefore you have the things like the Vestal virgins

This is not an exclusively Catholic tradition or idea. Dedicating virgins to the Lord happened long before Jesus came. See Jephthah's dedication of his daughter in Judges 11 and the subsequent traditions of the virgins of Israel.
*EDIT - I was confused about the term "Vestal Virgins" thanks to Theo's clarification - he's right, the Church does not and never has had such a thing. We don't even have female priests and never will. END EDIT*
or nuns

See the above passage and also 1 Corinthians 7:34:

"An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit."

and you the Worship of the Mother and infant son that came from pagan queen of heaven and her infant son.

Are you denying the Incarnation? This is yet one more baseless accusation already answered in my previous post. If you had read it, we could have saved a lot of time.

If I had time I could list many things that point to an mixing of pagan and holy that became the Catholic Church.

I've heard them all and they're all just as ludicrous as the one's you've listed here. So pleas don't waste my time with it. If I can answer these charges (and I have shown that I can) surely I can answer the other ones. These are the best ones you have (we tend to start with our best) and these have been objectively refuted with minimal effort. How will your weaker ones fair? Not well.

I know this sounds like I really attacking your beliefs and to a point I am But mainly I trying stand up for the truth.

I am fully confident that you are earnest about this but I am much more confident that you fully wrong. Being wrong isn't that bad in itself - as long as you're correctable. I have given you ample evidence that your entire viewpoint in Christianity is badly mistaken and this is merely the tip of the iceberg. If you want more, there's plenty more where that came from.

And the truth isn't relative. It's either right or wrong.

I think we just found the one thing that we agree on.

Anybody that has an attitude like Rodney King's" can't we all get along"
is denying God's truth.Not that I advocate offending people with our beliefs. It's just that we are not doing people a favor if we let the continue in a false beliefe system without at least trying to tell them.Of course you probably feel the same way in regards to your church but we aren't both right one of us is decieved.

I have given you objective measurements and specific sources which can be readily verified. I'd advise you to think long and hard about which one of us is deceived.

How is that for arrogant.I realize that I haven't really backed anything up with quotes from scripture or other means and without that my argument is at best weak. If you care to put up with my comments any more matbe one of these days I'll take the time to back up some of my points. Hope no offense is taken,God Bless,Jim
I've encountered these sorts of claims before. They are never backed up because the simple truth is that there isn't any 'backing up' to be done. They are completely baseless. Case in point being the silly charges of Christianity's similarities to Mithraism. These claims are ENTIRELY based on a book written around the beginning of the 20th century if my memory serves me (and I know it doesn't on the author's name) but the funny thing about the book is, he doesn't have any original Mithraic documents to quote from, he quotes almost entirely from Christian sources to prove that Christianity borrowed from Mithraism!!!

Almost all of what we know about Mithraism is relayed to us by the early Church fathers... (you know ... the ones who went to their death defending the Catholic faith which you are now bashing. ) Most notably you can read the First apology of Justin Martyr who wrote to the emperor on the similarities between Mithraism and Christianity and refuted the charges. So unfortunately your argument is about 1850 years behind the times.

You could point to a few secular encyclopedias that may say some similar things but these same ones say damaging things to the very nature of Christ our God. So if we can't trust them on one, how can we trust them on another? If someone illegitimately slanders the groom can we trust their slander on the bride? Probably not. If they slander Christ then we shouldn't be surprised that they slander His bride - the Catholic Church.

Ok, how's that for hoping he learns something!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly guys I think "Rock'em, Sock'em Robots Part 2" may be a more appropriate Title for this entry.

Tim, lets talk about something FUN. How about PROVERBS 31:10-31?? I just had a discussion about this with some girlfriends. What is your opinion on this area of God's Word?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I meant to say "Rock'em, Sock'em Robots ROUND 2".

Tim A. Troutman said...

Ok wait a minute, is this Jim? If so, time out.. This is the third time in a row you haven't answered a single one of my points. Now, I'm not averse to talking about a topic where we can likely find a lot of agreement (like the passage you pointed to) that's fine.

But you're leveling some very serious charges against the Catholic faith. We need to get those cleared up before we can have fruitful dialogue on other topics.

This would be like me telling a Muslim - Mohamed sucks and the Koran is a bunch of fairy tales but hey let's talk about something nicer... Who's your pick for the super bowl. Well I shouldn't be surprised when the Muslim says, just hold on a second there...

So let's get the serious issues taken care of first and then we can talk about less critical ones.

With that said, I'm asking you to consider my posts. You replied to three different posts of mine each very lengthy and thought out ones. (Perhaps fallaciously but I deliberate nevertheless). So I'm asking you to have the courage and the patience to diligently read those posts and consider each point raised carefully. Do you really disagree? As Theo said in the previous post, you will be surprised to find that the "Catholic Church" which you hate isn't the real Catholic Church at all but a biased projection. (This is aside from several historical errors which I pointed out).

If we can't see eye to eye on every issue, that's fine. But I offered a substantial defense for each of the points raised.

Anonymous said...

Boy you were quick to POUNCE!
No, this is not Jim!
Wow, just trying to add some LOVE and LIGHT to the subject.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

St. John's Sacred Ensemble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim A. Troutman said...

Err, used the wrong account by mistake.

Anon - sorry, thought you were Jim.

But all the same, just replace the word "you" with "he" and I think the response is still appropriate.

I started this blog precisely to defend the Church against accusations like these because I'm frankly tired of seeing them.

The Church fathers taught us - "He cannot have God as Father who has not Church as mother" and the Church is my mother.

If you slander my earthly mother in real life, you had better be prepared to face some rebuke (if only in words) or at least a rebuttal. Likewise, if you slander my spiritual mother (the Church) then you ought to expect rebuke and or at least a rebuttal then as well .

It's not that we're being overly serious about something trivial - this is very serious stuff. And I don't think either of us are going at it out of lack of love but rather the opposite. We each feel the other is in serious danger and possibly even jepordizing their own soul.

When this cools down, maybe I'll take you up on the offer (being a newly-wed myself).

Theo said...

I do hope Jim does not feel pounced upon. If you read this, jim, please know that was not my intent. My prayers for your blessing are sincere.

--Theo

PS. you guys get to be the first to see my new Tho profile picture. It was taken in 2004, so it's not exactly accurate---but I like it, especially because I don't look fat in it.

TheDen said...

Tim,

Great post. Keep defending the faith. God needs people like you.

Regarding Peter being in Rome. You probably haven't been there...yet.

I have been underneath St. Peter's. I have SEEN St. Peter's tomb. It's directly below the center of the dome and was discovered in the 1940's. The Pope at the time had to keep the excavation secret as the Nazis were in power and they didn't want them to know about it so they explained that they were "redoing the gardens."

Anyhow, when excavating, they came across an old Roman Cemetery--called a Necropolis. They asked the Pope if they could do further excavations. The Pope said they could as long as they did not go under the altar (better to not know than to find out Peter was not there.) Well, as they started approaching the altar, they started noticing a lot more Christian graffiti. One piece of Graffiti said, "Peter is near here" in Latin.

On hearing this, the Pope gave them authorization to go beneath the altar--as far as they could go without the Church collapsing and when they got below the center...they found the tomb as it's been described from ancient writings with graffiti ALL over it saying it was Peter's tomb and asking for Peter to pray for them. Surrounding Peter were the graves of the first set of Popes (maybe 6 or 7?) including Clement whom you mentioned.

If you go to Rome, check it out (the Scavi Tour). It's NOT advertised well but it's HIGHLY recommended. I told my sister about it and she went with her husband. At the time, she was returning from being nominal Catholic and started crying at thet tomb.

So, yes. Peter was in Rome with written evidence.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/uffscavi/documents/rc_ic_uffscavi_doc_gen-information_20040112_en.html

Tim A. Troutman said...

Theden, thanks for chiming in that is really awesome. No I haven't been to Rome yet but plan to go within the next year or so. I absolutely can't wait to visit that and everything else.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say "God bless and thanks" to you and -- for others that may happen upon this comment -- all those Catholic bloggers who explain the faith to those who come with questions and comments. I stumbled upon your blog this evening and need to investigate it further. I'm still amazed at how many people there are out there who still think the Church is filled with pedophiles, priests who "take advantage of" nuns, rob Church treasuries, etc. It's so disheartening. There's much more about which I could ramble, but let me just again say thanks to you, theo and all the other faithful bloggers out there.

Dan in Chicago

Gretchen said...

Thanks for taking the time and energy to answer the kinds of charges in Jim's post. It helps us newbies quite a bit. :-)

Grifman said...

I'm confused by this comment of yours that I've seen both in your testimony about becoming a Catholic and in this post:

"On the contrary, one of the things that first attracted me to the Catholic Church was the fact that they have so much respect for the Bible that they dare not alter it (unlike almost all Protestant translations). Case in point - adding the lines "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever" to the Lord's prayer and certain other text manipulations - many of which were doctrinally motivated."

When did Protestants add that line to The Lord's Prayer and why? It's in the KJV, but certainly not in my NIV or ASV (except as a note that it is a textual variant) so I'm not sure what Portestant Bible you're talking about. It's a well known textual variant, and has nothing to do with Catholicism vs. Protestantism.

In fact the KJV is based off of the Textus Receptus, which was put together by Eramus, a Catholic scholar. And he was working from texts previously put together by the Catholic church (not that i want to get into text types here). So if you want to blame anyone for this line being added, I think you have to blame the Catholic church for allowing all these textual variances :)

I really don't understand your comment about this line at all.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Grifman,

The line is in my NIV (with an asterisk saying that the text is spurious... which is a double slap in the face to put something you KNOW is not there into the text... It's treated as if it weren't sacred)

In addition to the KJV (and apparently just SOME NIVs) it is also included in the NAS, the Amplified Bible, The Message (which is a horrendous translation inside and out anyway), NKJV, New Century Version, Young's Literal Translation, Holman Christian Standard Version and the Worldwide English Version.

But the bottom line for me is: Protestants say the Lord's prayer with the line tacked on... Catholic's don't. That was a selling point for me (albeit a very small one). But it did clue me in on a reality that I would discover in my Catholic studies - those who reject Scripture as the sole authority ironically revere it more than those who say they trust only in Scripture.

Finally, you're acting as if it's common knowledge that the lines are spurious. This might be true of scholars and most seminarians but I promise you that very few lay people would know this.

As for the Texus Receptus, there's no doubt that our resources for ancient manuscripts and getting closer to the original text is better today than it has been anytime since the days of the early Church Fathers. However, the line simply isn't in our bibles - not even old Catholic versions like the Douay-Rheims.

So I'm not blaming the KJV translators for putting the lines in there and I'm not blaming the Texus Receptus for having it in the first place. I don't know where it originated. What I do know is that modern Protestant translators know its not legit yet they keep putting it in there.

That was my point. Hope this clears it up.

Grifman said...

Sorry, I have some more things that aren't clear to me. You said:

"The Catholic Church teaches that the apostles and their successors in union with the successor of Peter have authority. This authority is not of man but from God. The early Church taught this. It could not possibly be more clear and explicit from the early Christian writings. One of the earliest extra-biblical documents out there is the letter of Pope St. Clement to the Corinthians in which he not only demands obedience (while St. John is still alive) but also spells out clearly and more thoroughly the doctrine of apostolic succession which I just outlined. You can read it for yourself here."

First off, where does Clement claim to be the pope, with all that this position implies today? I agree that he orders obedience to his letter, but he doesn't say "Obey because I am the pope". Is it because everyone already knew that he was the pope? Perhaps, but you can't really prove he's the pope by this letter if you are already assuming that.

Going further, in Chapter 63 where he urges obedience he states that they should do it so that they should achieve their goal and be blameless. His letter nowhere says on what authority his call to obedience is based unless I've missed something - and I could have - it's a long letter.

Secondly, the letter on the face does not appear to be from Clement personally, but from the church at Rome, as it say in the opening greeting. Indeed, Clement also uses the term "we" thoughout, instead of "I" if, which would seem to indicate he's speaking for the church at Rome.

The letter also states in Chapter 1 an apology for being tardy in responding to the question the Corinthians "consulted" the church at Rome on. It looks like they asked for assistance from the church at Rome in this matter, not that the pope was unilaterally intervening.

It looks like St. John didn't intervene because he wasn't asked or maybe didn't even know of the problem. Or it is entirely possible that he also wrote a letter that we don't know about. I don't think we know enough to say what John did or didn't do. All we can say is that the church at Rome did intervene.

Lastly, the letter does talk about church structure/authority. But it seems to paint a bit of a different picture than what exists today.

In Chapter 44 he talks about the apostles appointing men to replace them, and that after those die, others should be appointed. But this subsequent appointment seems to be bit different. It seems that further successors are appointed by "eminent men" and then ratified by the church. It also appears to imply that these successors can be dismissed by the church.

Clement in hie letter seems to be arguing, not against the Corinthian churches right to dismiss a "bad" minister, but he rebukes them for dismissing those

"who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all".

Clement seems to be implying that those who haven't served blamelessly can be removed by the church at Corinth. He only rebukes the Corinthian church for "unjustly" removing these men, which seems to imply that men could be "justly" removed with cause. It's just that the Corinthian church is wrong in dismissing these men because they were just and upright.

Those practices seem a bit at odds with those of the Catholic Church today.

Grifman said...

"The line is in my NIV (with an asterisk saying that the text is spurious... which is a double slap in the face to put something you KNOW is not there into the text... It's treated as if it weren't sacred)"

I've owned several versions of the NIV, and everyone has had this line as a footnote, not in the text itself. In fact this is the big reason that the KJV only fanatics hate the NIV - it doesn't have variants like this in the text. So I don't see where you say it's there with an asterik. Just go look at the onine version of the NIV - it's a footnote.

Secondly, we don't know that the line is "spurious". It is in some texts, mostly later ones. The odds are that it is an interpolation, but to say that you know it is 100% spurious is more than can possibly be said by the experts. You claim to know more than can actually be known, then use it as a club against Protestants.

"In addition to the KJV (and apparently just SOME NIVs) it is also included in the NAS, the Amplified Bible, The Message (which is a horrendous translation inside and out anyway), NKJV, New Century Version, Young's Literal Translation, Holman Christian Standard Version and the Worldwide English Version."

Ugh, The Message is awful, on that we can agree :) I can't speak for a lot of these versions just the ones I have but the RSV like the NIV, has it in a footnote. The NAS includes it in brackets but footnotes the text as not being in the oldest manuscripts.

I'm also looking that New Century online and I don't see this verse. And while it's in Holman, it's in brackets, indicating it's a variant. And the NKJV also shows it's a variant. So without checking all the sources you noted above, I'm 3 for 3 here in showing that all of these show that it is a variant. How more honest do they have to be to make you happy? :)

"But the bottom line for me is: Protestants say the Lord's prayer with the line tacked on... Catholic's don't. That was a selling point for me (albeit a very small one). But it did clue me in on a reality that I would discover in my Catholic studies - those who reject Scripture as the sole authority ironically revere it more than those who say they trust only in Scripture."

That's just plain silly. I could just as well argue that Protestants are more concerned because they include this textual variant in the chance that it is correct, while Catholics don't care enough to show this possibility. But I won't because that kind of argument accomplishes nothing. It's the equivalent of arguing that Protestants love God more because we don't have to waste time with the saints. You should really be better than this.

Most Protestant English Bibles seem to openly disclose that this is a variant. To make it some point of Catholic superiority that your Bible doesn't include this variant is putting more weight on this point than it can bear, IMO.

"Finally, you're acting as if it's common knowledge that the lines are spurious. This might be true of scholars and most seminarians but I promise you that very few lay people would know this.>

Again, it's not "spurious". It's a variant - there's a difference. There's nothing wrong that I know of in showing variants. I don't know of anyone but you and KJV only people who make an issue of this :)

As for common knowledge, I think we can both agree that there are a lot of things about the Christian faith that both Catholics/Protestant should know but don't. But we don't ignore them or throw them out because laymen aren't up on them. Right? :)

"As for the Texus Receptus, there's no doubt that our resources for ancient manuscripts and getting closer to the original text is better today than it has been anytime since the days of the early Church Fathers. However, the line simply isn't in our bibles - not even old Catholic versions like the Douay-Rheims."

Uh, but it is in Catholic versions. All the ancient versions that have it are by definition "Catholic" versions. That's what I find so wrong about your argument. The Douay-Rheims is not an "old" version, it's a relatively modern version compared with the 2,000 years of church history and versions of the Bible that came before it. Many of your older "catholic" versions have this text in them. Your newer versions omit it, but many of your older versions include it :)

"So I'm not blaming the KJV translators for putting the lines in there and I'm not blaming the Texus Receptus for having it in the first place. I don't know where it originated. What I do know is that modern Protestant translators know its not legit yet they keep putting it in there."

Again, you claim far more than textual scholars would claim. It's a variant, most likely not original, but we can't be sure. Nothing more, nothing less.

"That was my point. Hope this clears it up."

I just think it's an unnecessary polemic that serves little purpose.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Forgot to post the link : my response here.

Quickbeam of Fangorn said...

Ah, this reminds me of the good old days before blogs on the Renewing Your Mind (RYM) theology forum by Ligonier Ministries.

It's good to see that the same arguements, straw man and/or invective don't change with the different format.