Debating Catholicism

What do you believe and why? Here's the place to discuss anything relating to church and God.
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Blitz wrote:Ah then why would Peter be referred to at this?
Why would he be referred to at this point? Because Jesus is talking to him... Did you mean to ask that, what are you asking?
Blitz wrote:And if it such a big deal why do we never hear about it again?
Do we hear Abraham's name change referred to again? Nah-uh. Is it important? Yah-huh.
Blitz wrote:Even if they are synonyms, would you really refer to someone by a synonym of their name? Then you could call me trickster.
Because there was no other choice. In Aramaic you can use Kepha in both places in Matthew 16:18. In Greek it's not so simple.

If the author of your book knows the rudimentaries of Greek, they know there are masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. Petra has a feminine ending. You can use it in Matthew 16:18 without difficulty. After that though, you have to use Petros, with a masculine ending. You couldn't use petra, because you can't give someone an opposite gender name, at least back then you couldn't.

Admittedly, that's an imperfect rendering of the Aramaic, you lose part of the wordplay. In English, you have Peter and rock, losing all of it. That's the best you can do in Greek, though.
Blitz wrote:I quote Kurt Aland, a New Testament scholar, "There is no longer any doubt that Greek was the language in which all the parts of the NT were originally written."

There is no Aramaic Original.
If you mean the original doesn't remain, it's certainly true we don't have the originals of the Gospel of Matthew, as with all the Bible, as with most ancient documents however creditable.

If you mean it wasn't written in Aramaic, some scholars do indeed hold that position but it's hotly contested. There's a pile of evidence against it.

Again, both Papias and Irenaeus refer to the Aramaic version in the second century.

St. Irenaeus was writing around 180, saying, "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia. (Against Heresies 3:1:1)
Moving further from the time of the original gospel, sometime after 244, the Scripture scholar Origen wrote, "Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism and published in the Hebrew language" (Commentaries on Matthew [cited by Eusebius in History of the Church 6:25]).
Blitz wrote:And who knows what it would say in Aramaic?
Ooh, me me, I do. In Aramaic the word for rock is Kepha. Being there's no difficulty with the gender or anything, what Jesus would've said is, "You are Kepha, and on this kepha I build my church."
Blitz wrote:That isn't quite what it says. He simply says God chose him to be the first to deliver the message, after which Paul and Barnabas carried on.
That's not what I said.

I said Peter makes a doctrinal statement, which he does:

"God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

He speaks with authority on spiritual matters, precisely the unique ability the Pope has. He clarifies the actual doctrine of the matter, saying that salvation should be equally available to all without the restrictions of the old, Judaic way.

When James takes the floor, he is speaking on a very different subject. Not on doctrine, whihc Peter already instated, but in agreement with the doctrine and on how to implement the doctrine in practical terms. He makes no doctrines himself.
Blitz wrote:Anyway, why is it if Peter was the 'Pope' did he never use his power or refer to his power?
He did use his authority as just demonstrated.
Blitz wrote:In 1 Peter 5:1-2, he treat the elders of the church he is writing as equals not as head honcho.
Why you see- um, I have no idea. I'll look into that. Thanks, looks like you're forcing me to learn something.
Blitz wrote:Paul criticizes Peter, something he wouldn't do if Peter were God's divine representative on earth like in Galatians 2.
Paul criticizes him on a disciplinary matter, yes, not doctrinal. Thank you for bringing this up. It's an easy mistake to make and some Catholics make it, but you need look no further than the Catechism or any authoritative Catholic source or person you like to see we believe the Pope has authority on doctrinal matters only. Peter was certainly wrong to refuse to meet with gentiles. Popes are certainly fallen human beings. They can be mistaken, at some points in history even evil, in their conduct. However, they are protected from speaking wrongly on doctrine and doctrine alone.

Actually, Stephen Colbert sums it up quite well at 2:30:

Quick note, obviously speaking from the seat of Peter doesn't actually mean literally sitting on the papal chair, but that's only part that's a bit poorly researched.
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Blitz wrote:
jehoshaphat wrote:Then why would the apostles choose a replacement of Judas if there authority didn't pass on? The succession of Judas by Matthias is a clear example of how the apostles had special authority and they could pass it on to others.
Hello, they threw lots. And for all that, Mattias was never mentioned again. Paul on the other hand went on to really be Judas's replacement.
So they can pass the keys on then? You never answered my question, I will repeat it now, why did the apostles choose a successor for Judas if their authority could not be passed on? And are you saying the apostles passed on their authority to Paul then? Because if so you are contradicting yourself. Also most of the apostles are only mentioned once or twice, that does not in any way diminish their authority.

@Ox, because they were led by the Holy Spirit to do it that way. The point is, if their authority could not be passed on, and being an apostle did not matter, then why did they choose a replacement for Judas, and how could they choose a replacement without some authority to choose such a replacement?
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Arkán Dreamwalker wrote:Well first of all, both Catholic and Protestant are sub-divisions of Christian.
Saying it is so does not make it so. The Mormons would claim the same thing (and chances are good that they are not).
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NinjaHunter wrote:
Arkán Dreamwalker wrote:Well first of all, both Catholic and Protestant are sub-divisions of Christian.
Saying it is so does not make it so. The Mormons would claim the same thing (and chances are good that they are not).
What makes a division Christian in your opinion?
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Miss Friendship wrote:What makes a division Christian in your opinion?
Off the top of my head, I would say that adherence to Scripture alone (and its correct interpretation). This would, however, leave out the Word Faith and Penecostal movements. It would also leave many fundamentalists looking a bit...odd.

Anything that tries to add on to Scripture or put forth alternative revelations from God that are on par with Scripture is definitely heretical.

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So where does Scripture say we should adhere to it alone? And how did the Early Christians get by until there was an agreed upon canon of Scripture?
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And who determines what is a correct interpretation? That is a very vague and could be taken in a relativistic way leading to people being able to believe anything they say is the proper interpretation.
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NinjaHunter wrote:
Anything that tries to add on to Scripture or put forth alternative revelations from God that are on par with Scripture is definitely heretical.
Like Jeho brought out, how do we know which interpretation of scripture is authortative? Also Jesus said truth and life is found through Him. That might be a better standard to judge groups/denominations by.
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Eleventh Doctor wrote:And how did the Early Christians get by until there was an agreed upon canon of Scripture?
Exactly. You say to be Christian means to follow scripture, but no one knew which scripture was canonical for centuries, no one could know, there just wasn't a Bible yet. According to your definition then, when Jesus told the Apostles and the world to spread Christianity, it was an impossible request. There was no Christianity to spread.
Miss Friendship wrote:Also Jesus said truth and life is found through Him. That might be a better standard to judge groups/denominations by.
I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean the standard should be how well they follow Jesus' word? Is that for us to judge?
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Abraham's name change was a consistent. Abram to Abraham, like Jacob to Israel. So essentially we hear it all the time. With Peter we don't.

Actually with Greek it is easier to express what you mean and more advanced Aramaic or even English. You have plenty of words to make play on words with if you want. The best you can do in Greek??? Greek is like the ultimate language with so many ways to twist words.

So basically your whole argument is based on something which is most likely never to have existed? That is a very weak argument.

Now if you don't want modern scholars how about your precious 'originals' scholars?

Hilary, Chysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and St Augustine, interpret it as "on myself Christ." Origen say "On this rock" as in "On all men who have the same faith".

A direct quote from Hilary in De Trinitate, "This faith it is which is the foundation of the Church; through this faith the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. This is the faith which has the kesys of the kingdom of heaven."

Nither Hilary or Chrysostom ever mention Papacy when referring to these verses. Augustine said in Retractiones that the passage could be interpret both ways. Not really very important to him indicating his apathy for it.

I quote from the First Vatican Council, 1870.

"Endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction... Appointed the Prince of all Apostles and Vissible Head of the whole Church, reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching authority..." and blah blah, and ended by saying that if you don't believe this you are anathema cursed.

Obviously that is a bit more than just doctrinal infallibility.

Jehoshaphat.

They didn't chose the successor. They cast lots for it trusting God would select the right candidate. As I said before even, Mattias is never mentioned again as an apostles, not even in Revelations. Paul takes his place as twelfth apparently, and he was directly chosen and taught by God.

The Bible say it is self sufficient for salvation. "That the man of God may be complete! Equipped for Every good work."
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The Bible say it is self sufficient for salvation. "That the man of God may be complete! Equipped for Every good work."
Except that when that was written not all of the New Testament was completed and wouldn't be considered authoritative for almost another 300 years.

Also no one is arguing against the Bible, just saying that it is not the sole thing that makes the man of God complete. After all if I was equipping you for a journey and said of one piece of equipment "Okay this piece will complete your equipment" would you then assume that was the only piece that mattered? Of course not. Likewise the Bible itself does not argue for Sola Scriptura.
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What is the standard for determining which extrabiblical teaching/writings are inspired and which are not?
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Good question, how do you decide that?
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Blitz wrote: Abraham's name change was a consistent. Abram to Abraham, like Jacob to Israel. So essentially we hear it all the time. With Peter we don't.
We don't? Wasn't Peter referred to as Peter rather than Simon after the name change? You just called him Peter yourself, I believe.
Blitz wrote:Actually with Greek it is easier to express what you mean and more advanced Aramaic or even English.
Eh, I'd fight you on that last part but that's another discussion.
Blitz wrote:The best you can do in Greek??? Greek is like the ultimate language with so many ways to twist words.
Latin has it's limits like all languages, all sophisticated languages have strict limits. The system of masculine, feminine and neuter is a good one and deliberately designed to set certain rules and structures.

So what would an alternate way to express Peter's name change be? (While avoiding the gender issue.) Further, again, Greek wasn't these people's first language so what it would prove if there was an alternate way is questionable but let that pass for now.

Also, you didn't directly address any of the reasons why that is in fact the best you can do in Greek. Is there anything linguistically inaccurate about the reasons (why it changes from petra to Petros)?
Blitz wrote:So basically your whole argument is based on something which is most likely never to have existed? That is a very weak argument.
What? No, when did I say that? Again, some scholars agree with you. Many modern day scholars do not. As I said, "it's hotly contested."

So while your decision is defensible and shared here and there, it does not follow that writing the Aramaic version, "most likely never happened." It is not most likely at all. It depends who you ask but plenty of scholars hold the opposite view and arguably it's the most likely one.
Blitz wrote:Now if you don't want modern scholars how about your precious 'originals' scholars?
Again, many modern scholars support this position.

As for the scholars I sighted, they wrote in the early centuries in times remarkably close to the actual event. Surely you accept historical writings near the time of the actual event as evidence? No doubt you're aware that's a universally accepted principle with historians. The best sources are those closest to the event. So what do you mean by, "how about your 'original scholars"? Why do you use the term, "original" with such apparent scorn? Why would modern day scholars (even if they did all agree with you) be more accurate than those at the source?
Blitz wrote:... and St. Augustine interpret it as "on myself Christ."
Yes, that's one of the options he presents in his works, " Yet the reader may decide which of the two interpretations is the more probable."

Secondly, there's no doubt of Augustine's opinions on the Papacy. "Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear 'I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Sermons 295:2)

"Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1)

"Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is 'I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,' and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ's enemies" (Commentary on Psalm 108 ).
Blitz wrote:Origen say "On this rock" as in "On all men who have the same faith".
"f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. "For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Origen, Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).
Blitz wrote:Obviously that is a bit more than just doctrinal infallibility.
It's a lot of titles, but none of them necessitate any special abilities.

"Endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction..." Perfectly true. Yes, jurisdiction over the church in the sense that he is the head of the church and only he can make doctrine. No special abilities mentioned.
Blitz wrote:Appointed the Prince of all Apostles and Vissible Head of the whole Church
Prince of the Aposltes is an awfully lofty title, it's doubtful that would pass today, but what specific ability would come with that? As for the visible head of the church, that he is. It's just a fact. He's the head of the church and he's visible. We shan't run through the whole list but unless you note something I missed there don't seem to be any abilities mentioned in that quote.
Blitz wrote:and ended by saying that if you don't believe this you are anathema cursed.
Quick note, anathema did not mean, as is commonly believed, some sort of "curse." It meant you were excommunicated. Very harsh, it's still far stricter than today, but not in the way protestants often think.

PS, you didn't refute the point that Peter uses his authority to establish doctrine while James and the others don't. Do you grant the point, or were you just out of time?
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I realize they cast lots, what I am saying is, why did they go through that process at all? They had to go through a bunch of people and continued to narrow down the list to two people, Matthias and Joseph called Barsabus. They would not have searched out any sort of replacement for Judas if their authority could not be passed down. Even if Paul does replace Judas, that still shows the apostles handing on their power. Why couldn't that happen today? Don't give me another pointless answer about Paul and stuff that doesn't matter, accept that the apostles could and did pass on their authority or give a valid reason they could not.

Also regarding Sola Scriptura, what do you think of the verses where it basically says, follow tradition not only SCripture. Such as 2 Thes 2:15 "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

Which clearly shows that not all of the what the Church believed was written downm some of it was passed on simply by word of mouth and we must follow these traditions as well as the ones given by letter(Scripture).
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Pound Foolish wrote:
Miss Friendship wrote:Also Jesus said truth and life is found through Him. That might be a better standard to judge groups/denominations by.
I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean the standard should be how well they follow Jesus' word? Is that for us to judge?
I'm saying that unless Jesus is the final authority and focus, it should be a different religion or cult. For example, the Jehovah's Witness acknowledge Jesus but they do not give him final authority, neither do the Muslims, nor the Mormons. They have different authorities that decide truth for them.
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Oh! Sorry, thanks for explaining. I'm with you 100%. Christianity is believing in Jesus and accepting Him as your authority. Nothing more, certainly nothing less.

C.S. Lewis talks in Mere Christianity about how the term Christian is becoming less meaningful. He compares it to, "gentelman." It was a good word meaning someone who's well to do. But then people started using it to mean someone who's good. "So and so is very kind, so he's a truer gentleman then so and so."So being a gentelman came to mean behaving how you think someone ought to behave, or "good" making it useless, "Because we already have good"! This happens to words and it must not happen to Christianity. However you think a Christian ought to behave, that must never be in your mind what a Christian is. We must never turn "Christian" into another word for "good." (And that's just the introduction. If you haven't already read Mere Christianity, my gosh, do.)
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Miss Friendship wrote:
Pound Foolish wrote:
Miss Friendship wrote:Also Jesus said truth and life is found through Him. That might be a better standard to judge groups/denominations by.
I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean the standard should be how well they follow Jesus' word? Is that for us to judge?
I'm saying that unless Jesus is the final authority and focus, it should be a different religion or cult. For example, the Jehovah's Witness acknowledge Jesus but they do not give him final authority, neither do the Muslims, nor the Mormons. They have different authorities that decide truth for them.

I would rephrase that to read: "I'm saying that unless God's Word is the final authority and focus, it should be a different religion or cult."

Otherwise, we can argue about what Jesus said/did all day without coming to a conclusive end. It is the Word of God that is our authority, our starting point for any debate/discussion/doctrine/theology/etc.


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The Word of God is Christ, Scripture when read in the proper context and with the guidance of good teachers will lead us to Christ.

And as I asked earlier, where does Scripture say we should adhere to it alone? And how did the Early Christians get by until there was an agreed upon canon of Scripture?

Also what does your church do when there are disagreements about interpretation?
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So, good Dr. First of all, reminder, you haven't addressed the significance of having the keys to the kingdom in the Bible. Do you deny the historical significance? It's pretty solid Biblical fact. If not, then why doesn't it apply here? (I'm fairly sure you didn't really explain your thoughts on this when it came up originally, so long ago.)

So, here's the link to the sermon. I'm not too familiar with the site myself but I think I remember you using it somehow, I could be wrong. Anyhoo, here it is: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/160381.htm

@Blitz, Oh, by "consistent" were you referring to how their names are transcribed? Abram-Abraham? Yeah, that's why Peter's name change is all the more dramatic. Again, no one had been named rock. (In addition to it certainly not being consistent with the name Simon. Jesus was giving him an entirely new post that had never existed, there was no precedent.)
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