On Mark 10:6 · On Collective Infallibility of Church Fathers
Note, DB below is not Dave Bestul, Dave Bestul is in an update marked Dave Bestul.
- anywhere the Bible is silent, we too should remain silent. The Bible is our absolute authority, not science and not personal opinion either.
- Not having absolute authority does not equal not having a reasonable opinion - especially if backed by Church Fathers.
- are these "church fathers" mortal fallible men?
- singly, yes
collectively they are the voice of the Church of Christ, whom He promised His assistance
- Don't equate the opinions of men to the authority of the Bible. The Bible will be diminished and the men exalted.
- Not if the Bible itself exalts their authority.
Except in their individual failures, where they differ from each other.
- God has revealed the absolute unchanging truth to man. The Bible must remain the exalted singular authority.
- With Tradition, since that is how Biblically God has revealed His unchanging truth.
Where did St Paul know the names Jannes and Mambres from?
- men change their minds, God remains constant and absolute. Sola scripture, the Bible alone is our authrority.
- St Paul did not seem to think that:
2 Timothy 3:8
Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.
This is the ONE reference to them, meaning he had their names from tradition, meaning he trusted tradition.
- men diminish the authority of the Bible.
- Not those who exalt it, like the Church Fathers do.
The men who had transmitted the names of Jannes and Mambres to St Paul did not diminish the authority of Exodus.
- God's Holy Word never changes. Men change their interpretations frequently and often disagree.
- When Church Fathers change or disagree, they are not binding, when they agree, they are not changing and when they are not changing, they speak from the Revelation God gave His Church. THEN they are binding.
- As long as men remain on this earth, they are fallen and sinful, even if they are forgiven and serve in the church, men are fallible and have no authority equal to God's Word, the Bible.
are the "church fathers" men subject to sin?
we both know the answer to that question.
- No, when a man is forgiven he is not sinful.
The fallibility of man as a man is also diminished when he serves in the true Church which Christ founded.
Taken together they are infallible, if not inerrant individually.
You agree that certain men serving God were not just infallible together but even inerrant individually.
Was St Paul subject to sin?
When a man is forgiven, he is NOT subject to sin.
- Can the Pope change church doctrine to suit the culture of today?
- If a Pope does an attempt to that, he proves he is not Pope, since he goes against the collected Church Fathers.
- This is why men should not have total authority in the church.
- No man has "total" authority in the Church, the check against "total" power even of the pope is if he is not Catholic, he is not Pope, and has no power under God.
- The Pope is the father of the church, for the Catholics.
no man has the authority to change what God has stated in the Bible.
- The Pope is A, not THE father of the Church, at present, though the most important one.
"Holy Father" adressed to a live person is not the same as "Church Father" said about people who have died and whose holiness God has attested by miracles.
"no man has the authority to change what God has stated in the Bible."
Nor what the Church Fathers collectively said about it.
This one we agree on.
[The former, and I agree on one more like to it, that is.]
- Having the authoriry to reveal a new interpretation of God's Word is equating that new interpretation as equal to God's Word.
- The problem with your point is that NEW is precisely what Patristic interpretation is NOT.
The Church Fathers are there to check we stay with an OLD one.
- This is the problem we are now having with SCOTUS and our Constitution. Men have the ability to re-interpret what the Constitution states.
- Because God did not promise infallibility to the state power.
- we do not agree
- We do agree no one has the power to add a new interpretation or change what God has revealed.
- The church has no authority, the church fathers have no authority, the only authority is the Word of God, sola scriptura.
- Find that theory in the Bible ...
- HGL all men are fallible.
- Individually, does not make the Church or the writers of the Bible fallible.
Plus you forgot to support your allegation FROM the Bible.
- HGL John 17:17 (KJV)
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- His prayer was for the first twelve bishops, the first "Church Fathers".
- Are you a sinner like myself?
are the "church fathers" sinners like us?
- I don't know if either of us is a sinner or is justified right now.
I do know that most Bible writers and Church Fathers were justified when writing what they did, and this means they are reliable.
- we are forgiven sinners, but we remain sinners.
- When forgiven, we do NOT remain sinners.
- This is why men do not have the authority to determine church doctrine.
- Except those to whom God has given such authority.
He who heareth you heareth me.
- HGL Did the Apostle Paul call himself the "Chief of sinners" ?
was this after Paul's conversion?
- Plus your idea undermines that Bible writers could "determine doctrine".
The Apostle Paul was perhaps speaking of his former life.
And he DID determine, under God, doctrine.
- If Paul remained a sinner, so do we.
- If he spoke of his former life, he did not say he remained a sinner.
- the writers only held the pens, God instructed them what to write.
- Not always verbally, it was so at Patmos as in Sinai, but St Luke did research in a human way, and Moses arguably did so for Genesis too.
That said, God controlled their words providentially, so they contained no error.
And has the same power over collectivity of Church Fathers.
- Romans 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
- There he is speaking of the law of sin in the members, it is not making him a sinner, since he is not consenting "I hate what I do".
- Paul confessed that sin continued in his life. Are you superior to Paul?
- Paul confessed that sin continued physically, which is the sin in the members.
He did not confess sin continued voluntarily which would have made him a sinner.
- Taking a pause, posting here first. He was posting at a breathtaking pace, his typing speed and shortness is superior to mine. Plus, I took time to copy paste too.
It pays off, I got one more to reply to (in more than one post, so did I above, I simplified so as to note new post only with change of speaker), and so could give an answer which I could post to finish this.
- Hans, the Bible is a closed text, there are no remaining revelations, not from prophecy nor from men.
what "members" would that be ?
Romans 7:18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
ascribing to men the authority to determine doctrine is heresy and must be denied. The Bible alone is our sole authority.
- And the Bible was written by men.
You tried to solve the problem by these just holding the pen.
This happened, but was not the general case.
St Luke said he did research, which means he acted as a human writer.
This means God can chose to prevent a human writer from error, otherwise St Luke's Gospel would not be a Gospel.
And this in turn means:
- God can also prevent Popes from error when they teach ex cathedra;
- God can also prevent Church Fathers from making the same errors.
Meaning, when a Pope speaks ex cathedra, he can be trusted because of God's promise, when Church Fathers all agree, they can be trusted because of God's promise.
"the Bible is a closed text, there are no remaining revelations, not from prophecy nor from men."
The Church Fathers are not a post-Biblical revelation.
"Romans 7:18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature."
But good does dwell in his redeemed person, by grace.
- The Bible is in no way a closed text. You're asking only the question of whether something can be added to it, ignoring the possibility of somebody's taking something away.
We no longer have the book of Enoch. Our non-Catholic Bibles no longer include the Apocrypha. Even centuries ago, the man called Justin Martyr demonstrated how Jews had removed verses from the Bible that pointed to Yehoshua's being the Messiah. Those verses are still removed from most Bibles. There's a verse in 1 John that was added only 500 years ago. And so on.
I'm not arguing that these changes are right, but we sound so arrogant when we say we can know everything, and that we have only correct doctrines -- nothing colored by man. I bet you do hold to some of man's doctrines, in fact. I bet we all do.
- By closed I mean that the Revelation is closed.
The Catholic Church could (but should not on astronomical grounds, the year is not 360 or 364 days long) take the book of Enoch because already accepted by a schismatic part Church, the Ethiopian one, and say it is from now on canon.
The Catholic Church could similarily add III and IV Maccabees as accepted by Romanians or I Ezra as accepted by Russians.
But ONLY because these texts have been received as having been written before the Old Testament was finally over (IV Maccabees probably in a sense after, but Josephus, credited as its author, was born before Temple went down).
As to taking away, that is not licit.
The Reformers taking away I and II Maccabees, Baruch and a few more were rebels against the Church, not Churchmen.
Trent has defined that I and II Maccabees can't be taken away.
Also (Trent or elsewhere or basic catechism) a book written now could not be a new part of the canon, nor a book written during Old Testament era, but never accepted by any Christian community as part of OT canon.
- Given that the Roman religion allows changes to doctrine, it cannot be said that it isn't plastic, regarding revelation. The Roman religion changed the sabbath to Sunday, they outlawed the practice of the Passover festival, etc. And it has been explicitly stated that the Roman pontiff has these powers -- that he acts as God, on earth.
Further evidence is in Vatican II and the liberality that led up to it, which caused a split among many Catholics. Mr. Bergoglio is dividing Catholics still further.
- "Given that the Roman religion allows changes to doctrine, it cannot be said that it isn't plastic, regarding revelation."
"The Roman religion changed the sabbath to Sunday,"
The Apostles did that.
"they outlawed the practice of the Passover festival, etc."
According to Jewish calendar, since the Easter of Resurrection takes precedence and is calculated according to Roman Calendar.
"And it has been explicitly stated that the Roman pontiff has these powers -- that he acts as God, on earth."
That he acts as God's VICAR on Earth and therefore cannot change, just define doctrine.
"Further evidence is in Vatican II and the liberality that led up to it, which caused a split among many Catholics. Mr. Bergoglio is dividing Catholics still further."
That would have been evidence, if it had been Catholic.
Vatican II and Bergoglio is not a Catholic Council, not a Catholic Pope.
- The outlawing of the sabbath and the Passover festival were one of the first acts of Constantine after he asserted his authority over Christianity in the Council of Nicaea.
- Constantine had not "asserted his authority over Christianity in the Council of Nicea" and what he did was codify the Christian celebrations, like the Sunday and Christian Easter. He made sure Christians could take time off for doing these things.
- Easter is in no way "Christian." And the Passover festival is about as Christian a festival as one could imagine. Both the sabbath and the Passover were made illegal, by Constantine.
- // Easter is in no way "Christian." //
Easter is Christian because it is about the Resurrection of Christ.
It has sometimes shared and sometimes not shared date with Passover.
// And the Passover festival is about as Christian a festival as one could imagine. //
In the exact sense of Easter, as mentioned above.
// Both the sabbath and the Passover were made illegal, by Constantine. //
Where do you see any act banning Jews from keeping the sabbath in his reign?
- Other "statuses"
- under the Mark 10:6 one (functioning to subthreads as status of Dave Bestul to whole thread):
- the "gap theory" is an attempt to make scripture conform to man's science. Don't do that!
- I am NOT advocating the gap theory, I am opposing it.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl this is Dave's post, and he asked the question.
- You're still wrong, [DB]. I've said several times, now, that I believe in what you call the "gap theory" simply because it says "And the earth became a waste and desolation," to which Yahweh speaks explicitly, saying that it wasn't created that way.
Once more, the "gap" could have been two minutes, for all I care. I have no need for billions or millions or thousands or even hundreds of years. All I want is the truth.
- OK, that kind of gap theory, the Catholic theology can accept.
The Earth became desolate when Satan fell down on it after falling from heaven, not dogma, but certainly acceptable doctrine.
- ascribing to men the authority to determine doctrine is heresy and must be denied. The Bible alone is our sole authority.
- Which is why the Gap Theory is correct and the Traditions of men are incorrect.
- In what Church Father do you find it said that anything in Genesis implies gap theory?
- Who cares what a Church father imagined that he passed of when others were forbidden to have a Bible under penalty of death.
- I think you are confusing era of Church Fathers (up to AD 1000, about) with era of Lollard persecution in England (1401 to after 1611, the last victims being Baptists burned as heretics by Anglican James I).
I also think you are confusing the question with what A single Church Father "imagined" (and St Augustine did perhaps imagine wrongly about people across Atlantic in one place) with the question of ALL THE Church Fathers being wrong.
- I wasn't certain WHICH Christian fathers you were alluding to...besides most of them believed the Sun revolved around the Earth. A fallacy continued until Galileo managed to confront...but was forced to keep quiet so an not to expose the erroneous beliefs of the Church fathers.
Now these same people insist upon a YEC.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- "I wasn't certain WHICH Christian fathers you were alluding to"
I am speaking fairly clearly, not just alluding, to all of them.
If I say all of them were against gap theory, that is a fair guess.
Up to you to show there was one exception, I can't say in advance which one.
"besides most of them believed the Sun revolved around the Earth."
Which is supported by both good philosophy and by Scriptural proof like Joshua's adressing the miraculous words to sun and to moon, not to Earth to get it stop turning.
"A fallacy continued until Galileo managed to confront"
Not a fallacy and Galileo did not do much confronting.
"but was forced to keep quiet"
He could also have decided to be stubborn and burn on a stake, as Bruno had burned. Note, Bruno was hardly a Biblical Christian.
"so an not to expose the erroneous beliefs of the Church fathers."
Or pretend to do so and deceive the ignorant or some of them.
"Now these same people insist upon a YEC."
Yes, thank you very much, and therefore so do I. Whether you speak of the Church Fathers or of Pope Urban VIII obeying them.
- It should be noted, though, that the Jews did make revisions to the Masoretic Text based on anti-Christian sentiment. That's why it can be said that even the KJV has adulterations. Nonetheless, I still think it's still one of the best.
- Not. It was translated from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Syriac-Chaldean. There is no anti-Christian to it. Where ever you got that info, is incorrect.
The Hebrew people did not expect the Messiah to be a humble Sheppard, they expected Him to come with the clouds of the Heavenly Hosts, forgetting Isaiah 53.
Still, has nothing to do with translated, from one language, to another.
- The information I provided is accurate. Look up the history of the Masoretic Text. It has adulterations, as does any Bible that uses it, which is just about all of them, save those that complement their translations with the Septuagint.
- MJ, what you call "original Hebrew" simply is Masoretic text.
There were translations from "original Hebrew" before that one : Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac-Chaldean.
Where Masoretic (the "original Hebrew" for Reformers) differs from Septuagint or Vulgate, we can suspect that Masoretic was altered by Jews having anti-Christian sentiment.
- (changing subject on a previous subthread)
- Isn't our conversation what makes the study of theology stimulating? There's different views of what happened back then. We know something happened and Adam and Eve stumbled and fell, per se. The issue was over trust.
We are now in a transition process until Jesus returns to take over the Satanic Governments of this World.
So, we wait and contemplate Scriptural topics. I don't consider the YEC or OEC views as salvation issues and I don't doubt the faith or sincerity of either group.
- It occurred to me later on that the Bible does not tell us how much time elapsed between the first week and the Fall.
- True, NO TIME mentioned at all except "week" and the "24 hr days."
- Dave Bestul
- [RS], it does say that Adam lived 930 years and died. The fall occurred in his lifetime obviously.
- Before they fell and we're kicked out of the Garden.
- Dave Bestul
- So are you saying Adam lived more than 930 years?
Or are you positing that those years are not equal units, which wouldn't make any sense.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- The Bible indeed does not say exactly how much time.
Some traditions say that between Eve sinning and Adam falling, Adam fasted for 39 or 40 days (forget which) before finally succumbing.
We can also hope there had been some time with God in the garden before Eve fell, but not VERY long, they had been ordered to fill the Earth, were not disobedient before the fall, and yet the first conception seemingly is that of Cain after the fall. So, it can hardly have been years either.
- I've wondered about Cain's being the first. It's not stated, explicitly, although it does read that way. One of the questions that arises is, who is this wife, he took, when he went to the Land of Wandering?
- There were multiple children from Adam and Eve and eventually, over time, he married a distant releative.
- If Cain were not the first, why Genesis 4:?
And Adam knew Eve his wife: who conceived and brought forth Cain, saying: I have gotten a man through God.
Also, if there had been children in paradise before the fall, why is there no story of how they reacted to their parents' fall?
Also, if they had been there and remained unfallen, where did that unfallen humanity go?
The normal answer to Cain's wife is his sister.
"There were multiple children from Adam and Eve and eventually, over time, he married a distant releative."
The most distant relative would have been a sister or a niece or a grandniece.
- Right, like I said, the way it reads is that Cain was the first. It just doesn't say so, explicitly. Eve may have been saying that she believed she was now having "a man, even God's salvation" who would fulfill the promise of crushing the serpent's head. That says nothing of having children before the prophecy was given; before their disobedience.
- The problem if they had any is, where are they?
Would there be an unfallen Adamite humanity living in Earthly Paradise?
- Since they are all the offspring of Adam, don't we believe that all inherited the curse on account of the one man?
For Adam and Eve, and even the earth, the curse was retroactive. It wasn't given to only those who were born after that date, or only those plants that sprang up after that date.
- They can only have inherited the curse if they were born to Adam after his fall.
There can't be a retroactive curse.
- It was retroactive for Adam and Eve and the earth. You're not giving any reason to believe otherwise.
- It was on Adam after he had eaten, on Eve after she had eaten, and on Earth after they had eaten.
There is no reason whatsoever in the Bible or in sound theoology there was a curse which worked before that in a timeloop back from that moment, even if God could have managed it, as to His capacity : it would have been against His justice.