Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Did Mary have other Children (A discussion from CARM)

Originally Posted by Bonnie

And again, there is a perfectly good word for "cousin" in Greek--anepsios, I think it is--used once in the Bible but frequently in Greek literature, that the gospel writer could have used, had these men really been Jesus' actual cousins.

And, there are greek words he could have used to leave no doubt they were his brothers by blood (such as kasignĂȘtos). The fact is, in the bible itself, the word "adelphos" is used to describe any number of relationships. So focusing on one meaning and excluding the others is trying to force meaning that may not be correct.

If someone were to say about me, "Isn't that Bonnie, the late Naval commander's daughter? Don't we know her sister Judy?" Would that wording--the same as in the bible--mean that Judy MUST be my cousine or a stepsister, by a previous marriage of my father's? Or would the most natural way to take this mean that Judy is my very own, physical, flesh and blood sister?

But is the "natural" assumption always the correct one? My wife will tell you she has 2 sisters. Now, the "natural" assumption is that they have the same parents, correct? But now I tell you, one is a half-sister and the other is a step-sister. See? The "natural" assumption was incorrect.You are reading this passage in English with a modern notion of family. That is poor Bible interpretation. You must take into account the language used (Greek) and the time period (2nd Temple) involved. The fact is when you do this you realize that this one passage is quite ambiguous, and does not clarify one direction or the other.

Besides, Mary's PV is NOT a salvific issue and it is nonsense that the RCC makes it one, and that one can be "anathema" for not believing it. And excommunicated, if I am not mistaken.

Belief in the PV of Mary, is often used as ammo against us by those who claim we are not Christians. And I have no doubts that if a Baptist or Pentacostal professed belief in the PV of Mary they would be anathematized by their congregation. So, apparantly the RCC is wrong to say that Christians should believe this, but protestants are not wrong in saying that if you do believe this, you are going to hell?

And no RCCer on here has EVER given us a good reason why Mary HAD to stay a PV her entire life. I've heard, "so she could concentrate on raising Jesus." "So, she could dedicate her life to God." She couldn't do either of those things unless she stayed a virgin???

Mary was chosen for a special purpose, her womb was the gate by which our savior was to enter the world. The prophet Ezekiel stated that no one else would enter the world by that gate.

The idea that Mary was a PV I think comes from the Protoevangelicon of James, a second century writing, in which she dedicates herself to God, vowing to remain a virgin for her entire life. However, the writing isn't inspired, since it has the wise men seeing Jesus in a cave--which were often used as stables in Palestine in those days--whereas Matthew's account clearly says they found Jesus and His mother in a HOUSE. A gross error.

Yes, and that is one of the reasons it is not canon. But, that does not make it untrue completely.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Debunking the "Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit"

I can't tell you how many times over my years involved in Catholic Apologetics this book has been thrown in my face as "proof" that Peter was never in Rome. Despite reams of historical evidence to the contrary.

Well, recently the University of the Holy Land began investigating this and guess what? It is yet another myth perpetuated by anti-catholics. I thought I would write some on it here, because I can guarantee you that they will not edit their websites in any way. (In other words: Don't bother them with the truth, their minds are made up!)

In a blog titled "Whose son is Simon" members of the universities archaeology team began translating this inscription:

Now, according to Peterson, it reads "Simon bar Jonah" so Peterson concludes that there is only one man in Israel to ever have that name, so it must be Peter of the Bible. Never mind that by the end of his life, no one called him Simon, he is always referred to in Acts as Peter. Also, why would his fellow Christians bury him under his Jewish name and not his Christian one?

The answer of course is that they did not. UHL researchers properly translated the inscription on the ossuary as "Simon bar Zilla". Peterson relied on Bellarmino Bagatti 's translation. But according to the UHL when it came to Bagetti "not a single letter was read correctly".

So, read the article, it is very clear and concise. Once again, the anti-catholics are proved wrong. Which once again leads me to ask:

If they cannot be trusted to tell the truth about Catholicism, why should I trust them to tell the truth about Jesus?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Catholic Church and the Canon of Scripture

Recently, in several places on the web the issue of the day against Catholics appears to be the Canon of Scripture. I will try to answer some points.

1. The Catholic Church did not infallibly declare a Canon until Trent. True

Yes, that is true, but there was no reason to prior to Trent. The Church had other issues to attend to, and there was little dissension.

Evidence of this is that the Bible the RCC uses is almost identical to the Orthodox Churches which split from the RCC in the 11th century.

2. The Catholic Church is not "Bible Based". Yes and No.

The Church pre-dates the New Testament. As a matter of fact, Acts and the Epistles are the recorded history of the early Catholic Church. The Church is Christ based, the Scriptures came out of the Sacred Tradition, which still guides the church to this day.

Now, the Catholic Church is Bible based in that the Bible is used more extensively in the Catholic Mass than in many Protestant Churches. The Bible is read in its entirety in the Catholic Church over a 6 year period. How more "Bible based" can you get?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The tired old "7 points" as to why the Deuterocanons are not Scripture.

From an online debate I was having at CARM. These "points" are so overused and easily defeated, I wish those opposed to the Catholic Bible would quit using them.

1.Neither Jesus nor the New Testament writers ever quoted from the Apocrypha as Scripture.

Neither Jesus nor the New Testament writers ever quoted Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon. Yet you accept these, so this "point" is defeated.

2. The Apocrypha contains numerous historical, geographical and chronological errors.
Yet you accept the Book of Esther, which does not correspond at all with the known history of Persia. Point 2 defeated.

3. The Jews themselves never accepted the Apocrypha as inspired.
Nor do they accept any of the New Testament books as inspired, but you accept those. Also, we do have numerous Jewish scholars who accepted Sirach as inspired. so this point is also defeated.

4. The Apocrypha contains no predictive prophecy to help substantiate it’s claims.
Tell me, what prophecy is in the "Song of Solomon" or is present in Wisdom? You admit that 73 percent of the Old Testament does not contain prophecy, so this must not be a hard and fast rule.

5. The Apocrypha never claims to be the inspired Word of God.
Neither does Psalms or Esther, or many other books of the OT, as a matter of fact, only a handful of books make the claims you say they do. So sorry, this point fails also.

6. The Apocrypha was rejected by many of the leading early church fathers.
And accepted by most, sorry, can't pick and choose history.

7. Jerome rejected the Apocrypha and left them out of His Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate).

Jerome (who lived from 340-420 A.D.) was the man, who translated, for the first time, the Bible from Greek into Latin.

Jerome is considered to be the greatest biblical and Hebrew scholars of the early medieval period.

Jerome’s translation (known as the Vulgate) became thee Bible translation for centuries to follow.

It even became the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church.

So if Jerome left them out of his translation, how did the Apocryphal books end up in the Vulgate, the Catholic Bible?

The Church inserted them into the Vulgate after he died.
I left your entire argument here, because it is laughably WRONG. Jerome never completed his translation, he did not translate the New Testament AT ALL, that does not mean he rejected them. Jerome conceded to Pope Damasus. And Augustine did consider them inspired.

8. The Apocrypha contains numerous non-biblical and heretical doctrines.

--The Apocrypha teaches the erroneous unbiblical doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul, suggesting that the kind of body one now has is determined by the character of his soul in a previous life (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20).

--The Apocrypha teaches prayer for the dead (2 Maccabees 12:41-46)

--The doctrine of purgatory (that even the righteous must suffer after death for a time before they will be accepted into heaven).

--The Apocrypha teaches that salvation is available through good works in Tobit 12:19.

--The Apocrypha also teaches that salvation is available through the giving of alms.

Tobit 3:9 says...
“It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: alms doth deliver from death, and it shall purge away all sin”

Tobit 4:11 says...
“For alms deliver from all sin and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness."

These are doctrines that are not supported in the Bible, and are clearly even contradicted by authentic, proven Scripture, Scripture that was validated as true by Jesus Himself.

Are there any claims..or defense for them?

Since you have failed on all your other points. You have not shown that these are not "authentic, proven" Scripture. Which means that your sole basis for your rejection of these books is that they contradict your personal interpretation of other books, so therefore rather than concede that you may be wrong, it must be the Bible that is wrong.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Will Anti-Catholics believe Anything (as long as it is Anti-Catholic)?

From a discussion I had on Carrie's blog again:

My mistake...it was only translators and publishers that were executed. Readers and owners were merely anathematized.

But the scriptures were read (and still are) in church every day. Are all priests and lectors anathematized? No, they are not, this is a silly ignorant statement.

The Bible was placed on Rome's Index of Forbidden Books list by the Council of Toulouse/Toledo in the year 1229. It remained there until the index was discontinued at Vatican Council II. Anyone reading or owning a 'forbidden' book was anathematized, or cursed and remanded to hell for doing so.

First of all Toulouse and Toledo are two different cities (Toulouse in France and Toledo in Spain). Second, Toledo was under occupation by the Muslim Moors in 1229, doubtful they would have allowed a Christian Church Council there. There was a council of Toulouse in 1229 and all copies of the scriptures were ordered to be confiscated. But, that is because the heretic Albigensis had passed out doctored scriptures containing heresys, rather than do a house to house search, the Bishops ordered all faithful to turn in their copies in order to eliminate the heresy. Also, the index of forbidden books was not established until 1529. And the Bible was not on it then or up to Vatican II.

Cannon 14 from the Council of Toulouse says that the Roman Catholic Church: "Forbids the laity to have in their possession any copy of the books of the Old and New Testament.... and most strictly forbids these works in the vulgar tongue.".

Yes, that is true, it was also a regional council limited to the south of france and upon the elimination of the heresy, the canon was lifted.

Council of Trent (Session IV, April 8, 1546 Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures) ...anyone who studied Scriptures on their own must "be punished with the penalties by law established." Anyone daring to violate this decree was anathematized, or cursed and damned to Hell for it. (Dogmatic Cannons and Decrees of the Council of Trent..., pages 11-13; Copyright 1977, 1912, with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. Tan Books and Publishers, P.O. Box 424, Rockford, IL 61105)

You may want to actually read the Canons of Trent, what it actually says is that it is heresy to twist the scriptures to your own beliefs.

Liguori, the most respected of Cannon Lawyers in the Roman Catholic Church, wrote that, "The Scriptures and books of Controversy may not be permitted in the vulgar tongue, as also they cannot be read without permission."

Funny, I cannot find this quote in any of Liguori's works. I don't believe it because there were millions of Catholic Bibles in the vulgar tounges (printed with permission). So sorry, if I dont believe this quote even exists.

Pope Clement XI (1713), in his bull Unigenitus, wrote that "We strictly forbid them [the laity] to have the books of the Old and New Testament in the vulgar tongue."

Once again, it does not say that, it does say:To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

I'll rephrase the question: Would Christ have anathematized His people for owning His Word in their language?

No, he would not, and as I have demonstrated to you, neither has the Catholic Church.

What was the penalty for translating, publishing, owning Scripture?

With permission, and properly done (literal word for word with no changes) then nothing. Do you realize the Catholic Douy-Rheims actually predates the KJV? If the Church wanted to keep the Bible out of the hands of commoners. Why would it do that?

Do your own research, and stay away from Anti-Catholic sites, they are so often wrong.

Did the Church keep the Bible from the People?

On the comments section of another blog. Someone made the "point" that if the Catholic Church gave us the scriptures why did it kill people for owning it in their language?

This, of course, is an old anti-catholic myth. I disagree that the Catholic Church kept the Bible away from the people. The church protected it, defined it, canonized it. The New Testament you have in your hand, you can thank Pope Damasius and the 382AD council of Rome for. Throughout the middle ages and rennissance, if a man was educated, he could read and write latin. Up into this century, Catholic children were taught Latin from an early age. If the church was trying to hide the scriptures, why would they teach people the language needed to read them? Also the first Bibles in languages other than latin were Catholic. And the church routinely allowed printing them in languages other than latin (the first book printed on a press was a Catholic Bible in German).

Hope this clears some things up.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Addressing Catholic Unity

I recently put a comment on Carries blog "But These are Written". She attacks the notion of Catholic unity by presenting a survey that claims that there are large percentages of Catholics that don't believe in the Virgin Mary or attend Mass or believe in the True Presence.

But one thing these surveys did show, was as the people got more mature, they believed more. Now, perhaps I was wrong in saying that we are resolute in our faith.

No, I was not wrong, there are core dogmas of Catholic belief. If you reject any of these, then I don't care what you call yourself or what church you attend on Sunday, you are not Catholic. For anyone not sure, read Dr. Ott's list: http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

So, through around your surveys all you want, deny the true presence or virgin birth or the immaculate conception, and you are not Catholic.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We Can't Win Can We?

Pope John Paul invites world religious leaders to Assisi and is called "too inclusive" and a anti-Christ.

Pope Benedict affirms (as JPII did) that Catholicism is true Christianity and Protestants are "wounded" or "incomplete" Christians. Now he is assailed as too exclusive.

Even more ironically, this is used as proof that we are not Christians at all! And the explanation for that basically is because protestants are true Christians and we are followers of Satan.

Anyone else see the hypocrisy here?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm Back!!

I'll be posting again, so watch out!