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Bill wrote:

Dear Eric,

I disagree with the statement you make in the posting:

where you say, the Bible was written by Catholics, for Catholics, for [use in] Catholic worship.

In reality, the Bible is inspired and has authority, not because a church declared it so, but because God made it so. God delivered it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and declared that it would abide forever.

"All scripture is inspired of God..."
2 Timothy 3:16

"...Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 1:21

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Matthew 24:35

"The grass withered, and the flower has fallen — but the word of the Lord endures forever." 1 Peter 1:24-25

The Catholics are wrong, therefore, in their assumption that the Bible is authoritative only because of the Catholic Church. The Bible does not owe its existence to the Catholic Church, but to the authority, power and providence of God.

It would seem unnecessary for the Catholic Church to make the boastful claim of giving the Bible to the world, when both it and so-called Protestantism accept the Bible as a revelation from God. However, it is an attempt to weaken the Bible as the sole authority, and to replace it with their man-made church.

  • If it is true that we can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic Church, doesn't that make the Catholic Church superior to the Bible?

This is exactly what Catholic officials want men to believe. Their only problem is that their doctrine comes from their own human reasoning, rather than from God. Their logic is a classic example of their "circle reasoning". They try to prove the Bible by the Church (can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic Church) and prove the Church by the Bible ("has ever grounded her doctrines upon it"). Such is absurd reasoning which proves nothing. Either the New Testament is the sole authority or it is not. If it is the New Testament, it cannot be the Church, and if it is the Church, it cannot be the New Testament.

Catholics often boast that the Bible was written by Catholics, e.g., "All the books of the New Testament were written by Catholics". (The Bible is a Catholic Book). When we consider the word "catholic" as meaning universal, we readily admit that the writers were Catholic in that sense; they were members of the church universal — the Church of Christ which is described in the New Testament Scriptures (Colossians 1:18; Romans 16:16). However, we firmly deny that the writers of the New Testament were members of the Roman Catholic Church as we know it today. The Roman Catholic Church was not fully developed until several hundred years after the
New Testament was written. It is not the same institution as was disclosed in the New Testament.
The New Testament books were written by members of the Lord's Church, but they are not its author. God Himself is the author of the New Testament.

The Catholic officials claim, that without the Catholic Church, there would be no Bible; they argue that mankind can accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the Catholic Church, which gathered the books and determined which were inspired. Surely, the Catholic Church cannot claim that it gave us the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament came through the Jews (God's chosen people of old), who had the holy oracles entrusted to them. Paul said,

"1 What advantage then remains to the Jew, or what is the use of circumcision? 2 Much in every respect. First, indeed, because the oracles of God were entrusted to them."

Romans. 3:1-2; See also Romans 9:4-5; Acts 7:38

The Old Testament books were gathered into one volume and were translated from Hebrew into Greek, long before Christ came to earth. The Septuagint Version was translated by seventy scholars at Alexandria, Egypt, around the year 227 B.C., and this was the version Christ and His Apostles used. Christ did not tell the people, as Catholics do today, that they could accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the authority of those who gathered them and declared them to be inspired. He urged the people of His day to follow the Old Testament Scriptures as the infallible guide, not because man, or any group of men, had sanctioned them as such, but because they came from God. Furthermore, He understood that God-fearing men and women would be able to discern by evidence (external and internal) which books were of God, and which were not.
Thus, He never raised questions and doubts concerning the gathering of the inspired books.

  • If the Bible is a Catholic book, why does it nowhere mention the Catholic Church?
  • Why is there no mention of a Pope, a cardinal, an archbishop, a parish priest, a nun, or a member of any other Catholic order?
  • If the Bible is a Catholic book, why are auricular Confession, indulgences, prayers to the saints, adoration of Mary, veneration of relics and images, and many other rites and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, left out of it?

If the Bible is a Catholic book, how can Catholics account for the passage,

"A bishop then, must be blameless, married but once, reserved, prudent, of good conduct, hospitable, a teacher . . . He should rule well his own household, keeping his children under control and perfectly respectful. For if a man cannot rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?"

1 Timothy 3:2-5

The Catholic Church does not allow a bishop to marry, while the Bible says he must be married.

  • Furthermore, if the Bible is a Catholic book, why did they write the Bible as it is, and feel the necessity of putting footnotes at the bottom of the page, in an effort to keep their subject from believing what is in the text?

If the Bible is a Catholic book:

  1. Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matthew 23:5-6)
  2. Why does it teach the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28)
  3. Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Peter 2:5,9)
  4. Why does it condemn the observance of special days? (Galatians 4:9-11)
  5. Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Corinthians 1:2)
  6. Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Exodus 20:4-5)
  7. Why does it teach Baptism by immersion instead of by pouring? (Colossians 2:12)
  8. Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as "father"? (Matthew 23:9)
  9. Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation, and not the Apostle Peter?
    (1 Corinthians 3:11)
  10. Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Timothy 2:5)
  11. Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Timothy 3:2, 4-5)
  12. Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27)
  13. Why does it oppose the idea of Purgatory? (Luke 16:26)
  14. Why is it completely silent about infant Baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, Confession to priests, the Rosary, the Mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?


Catholics argue that since the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. proclaimed which books were actually inspired, and then placed them in one volume, then all are indebted to the Catholic Church for the New Testament, and can accept it only on the authority of the Catholic Church.

There are several things wrong with this. First, it cannot be proven that the church which held the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. was the same church which is now known as the Roman Catholic Church. For example, the church of 390 A.D. had no crucifixes and images, because, "The first mention of Crucifixes are in the sixth century", and "The whole tradition of venerati[ng] holy images gradually and naturally developed" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, p. 667). The church of 390 A.D. administered Communion under both kinds, because that was the prevailing practice until it was formally abolished in 1416 A.D. (See Lives and Times of the Roman Pontiffs, Vol. I, p. 111). The church of 390 A.D. was a church altogether different from the Roman Catholic Church today.

Furthermore, in the proceedings of the Council of Hippo, the bishops did not mention, nor give the slightest hint, that they were for the first time "officially" cataloging the books of the Bible for the world. It was not until the fourth session of the Council of Trent (1545-1563 A.D.) that the bishops, and high ranking officials of the Catholic Church, "officially" cataloged the books they thought should be included in the Bible, and bound them upon the consciences of all Catholics. (See Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, pp. 17-18).

Secondly, God did not give councils the authority to select His sacred books, nor does He expect men to receive His sacred books only because of councils, or on the basis of councils. It takes no vote or sanction of a council to make the books of the Bible authoritative. Men were able to rightly discern which books were inspired before the existence of ecclesiastical councils, and men can do so today. A council of men in 390 A.D., with no divine authority whatever, supposedly took upon itself the right to state which books were inspired, and Catholics argue that they,
"Can accept the Bible only on the authority of the Catholic Church."

  • Can we follow such reasoning?

Thirdly, it cannot be proven that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for the gathering and selection of the New Testament books. In fact, it can be shown that the New Testament books were gathered into one volume and were in circulation long before the Catholic Church claims to have taken its action in 390 A.D. at the council of Hippo.

New Testament books were in existence in their present form at the close of the Apostolic age.
As a matter of fact, the Apostles themselves put their writings into circulation.

  • "And when this letter has been read among you, see that it be read in the church of the Laodiceans also; and that you yourselves read the letter from Laodicea."
    Colossians 4:16

  • "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren."
    1 Thessalonians 5:27

  • The holy Scriptures were written for all.
    1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1

  • All will be judged by them in the last day
    Revelation 20:12; John 12:48

  • and, Jesus said that His Word will abide forever
    Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23-25

Fourthly, the Catholic claim of giving the Bible to the world cannot be true, because they have not been the sole possessor of the Bible at any time. Some of the most valuable Greek Bibles and Versions have been handed down to us from non-Roman Catholic sources. A notable example of this is the Codex Sinaiticus, which was found in the monastery of St. Catherine (of the Greek Orthodox Church) at Mount Sinai in 1844 A.D. and is now in the British Museum. It contains all of the books of the New Testament, and all but small portions of the Old Testament. Scholars are certain that this manuscript was made early in the fourth century, not later than 350 A.D. This manuscript found by a German scholar named Tishendorf, who was a Protestant, and this manuscript, which is the most complete of all, has never been in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.

Another valuable manuscript that has never been possessed by the Roman Catholic Church is the Codex Alexandrianus. It, too, is now on exhibit in the manuscript room of the British Museum in London. It was a gift from the Patriarch of Constantinople (of the Greek Orthodox Church) to Charles I in 1628 A.D. It had been in possession of the Patriarchs for centuries, and originally came from Alexandria, Egypt from which it gets its name. Scholars are certain that this manuscript was also made in the fourth century, and along with the Codex Sinaiticus, is thought to be one of the fifty Greek Bibles commissioned to be copied by Constantine.

The boastful claim of the Roman Catholic Church, that it has been the sole guardian and preserver of the Sacred Scriptures down to the present, is nothing but pure falsehood. The Bible is not a Catholic book. Catholics did not write it, nor do their doctrines and Church meet the description of the doctrines and Church of which it speaks. The New Testament was completed before the end of the first century, A.D. The things in it do not correspond to the Catholic Church, which hundreds of years after the death of the Apostles, slowly evolved into what it now is. The Catholic Church is not the original and True Church, but a "church" born of many departures and corruptions from the New Testament church. It still remains that the Catholic Church is not following the Bible, and is contrary to the Bible. Furthermore, even if the Catholic Church could show conclusively that it alone is responsible for gathering the books, it does not prove that the Catholic Church is infallible, nor does it prove that it is the author of the Bible. God has, at times, used evil agents to accomplish His purpose (Jeremiah 27:6-8; 43:10; Habakkuk 1:5-11; John 11:49-52).

The Catholic Church argues that since one of its councils in 390 A.D. selected the sacred books, one can accept them only on the basis of its authority. We have answered by showing:

  1. The Bible is inspired and has authority, not because a church declared it so, but because God made it so.
  2. Jesus did not teach the people in His day that they could accept the Old Testament Scriptures only on the basis of those who placed the books into one volume.
  3. It is a mere assumption that the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. was a Council of the church which is now the Roman Catholic Church.
  4. God did not give councils the authority to select His sacred books, nor does He expect men to receive His books only on the basis of councils.
  5. The Catholic Church is not solely responsible for the gathering and selection of the New Testament books.
  6. The Catholic Church has not been the sole possessor of the Bible at any time.
  7. Even if it could be proven that the Catholic Church gathered the books into one volume, it still remains that it is not following the Bible today.

Shalom,

Bill

  { Can I rebut your claim: the Bible was written by Catholics, for Catholics, for use in the Church? }

Eric replied:

Hi Bill,

You said:
In reality, the Bible is inspired and has authority, not because a church declared it so, but because God made it so.

You are correct.

  • However, how would we know and trust the writings in the Scriptures to be inspired unless we had the Church to tell us?
  • How would we have sorted out all the myriads of competing 1st century books which claimed to be Apostolic?

The books have their own authority being the written Word of God, but does not the question arise:

  • Which books represent the written Word of God, and
  • Which of those, that claim to be the Word of God, are false?

Quoting part of your question:
"...Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 1:21

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Matthew 24:35

"The grass withered, and the flower has fallen — but the word of the Lord endures forever."
1 Peter 1:24-25

To be fair, each of these quotes pertains, not to Scripture, but to the spoken Word of God
You also left out the last portion of verse 25: 1 Peter 1:25:

That word is the good news which was preached to you.

Quoting part of your question:
The Catholics are wrong, therefore, in their assumption that the Bible is authoritative only because of the Catholic Church.

That is not our assumption. The argument is that without the Church, we would not have an infallible list of infallible books. I would say that the Canon is authoritative only because of the Catholic Church (who was guided by the Holy Spirit, the ultimate authority), not that the Bible itself is.

Quoting part of your question:
The Bible does not owe its existence to the Catholic Church, but to the authority, power and providence of God.

We would not see these as opposed. The authority, power, and providence of God were manifested through the Church, which is the Bride of Christ. The Church is merely the instrument; God is the authority.

Quoting part of your question:
It would seem unnecessary for the Catholic Church to make the boastful claim of giving the Bible to the world, when both it and so-called Protestantism accept the Bible as a revelation from God.

Yes, but you only accept it as a revelation from God because we told you it was, to be frank.

Quoting part of your question:
However, it is an attempt to weaken the Bible as the sole authority, and to replace it with their man-made church.

  • If it is true that we can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic Church, doesn't that make the Catholic Church superior to the Bible?

No.

  • Can we accept the Gospel only on the basis of the testimony of the Evangelists?

Yes.

  • Does that make the Evangelists superior to the Gospel?

No. The fact is, Bill, humans were involved in authenticating the Bible; the inspiration and contents of the Bible are not revealed to each one of us by a personal epiphany from God.
That does not make the humans who are, essentially, custodians of the Bible, superior to it.

"Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully."

Divine Revelation, Vatican II, #10.

Quoting part of your question:
This is exactly what Catholic officials want men to believe. Their only problem is that their doctrine comes from their own human reasoning, rather than from God.

No, the doctrine comes from the Word of God, both written and oral. (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Quoting part of your question:
Their logic is a classic example of their "circle reasoning". They try to prove the Bible by the Church (can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic Church) and prove the Church by the Bible ("has ever grounded her doctrines upon it").

Not really. We try to prove the Church to you by the Bible, not because we think the Church's authority truly depends on it, but because it's the only thing you consider authoritative, and the only thing you believe.

We try to prove the Bible by the Church — or rather show that the Canon of the Bible depends on the Church — in order to demonstrate the absurdity of putting so much trust in the '"Bible alone", while demonizing the only reliable witness to the fact that the Bible is trustworthy. We also try to prove the Bible by the Church to show that you accept a Canon determined by a Church that, at the time, believed many things you would reject as "unbiblical". It seems odd that a Church would admit books to the canon that so contradicted its teachings ... much less get the canon right in so doing. From your perspective, the fact that the Church in 390 A.D. got the Canon perfectly right, despite its ostensibly grossly corrupted doctrine, should be proof that the decision was miraculous!

Circular reasoning is pointing to 2 Timothy 3:16 and claiming that proves that 2 Timothy is inspired. If that's true, all I need to do is say,

"This e-mail is inspired of God, and suitable for correction, reproof, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work"

and BOOM, it would be inspired, just like that.

Obviously, 2 Timothy 3:16 is meaningless unless you already trust that 2 Timothy is inspired. (Never mind the fact that the verse tells you that Scriptures are inspired, but never mentions what those Scriptures are.) The way to prove 2 Timothy's inspiration is outside of the Scriptures. There is nothing within the Scriptures that can prove their inspiration.

Quoting part of your question:
Such is absurd reasoning which proves nothing. Either the New Testament is the sole authority or it is not. If it is the New Testament, it cannot be the Church, and if it is the Church, it cannot be the New Testament.

  • Why can't they both be authorities, each in their own way?

We're not denying that the Scriptures are inspired, nor claiming that the Church is the sole authority (although it is the ultimate authority for interpretation).

Quoting part of your question:
The Roman Catholic Church was not fully developed until several hundred years after the New Testament was written. It is not the same institution as was disclosed in the New Testament.

Obviously, we'd take issue with that, but that's another argument. I'd encourage you to study what the early Christians actually believed, beyond the testimony of the Scriptures.

Quoting part of your question:
The New Testament books were written by members of the Lord's Church, but they are not its author. God Himself is the author of the New Testament.

Agreed.

Quoting part of your question:
The Catholic officials claim, that without the Catholic Church, there would be no Bible; they argue that mankind can accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the Catholic Church, which gathered the books and determined which were inspired. Surely, the Catholic Church cannot claim that it gave us the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament came through the Jews (God's chosen people of old), who had the holy oracles entrusted to them. Paul said,

"1 What advantage then remains to the Jew, or what is the use of circumcision? 2 Much in every respect. First, indeed, because the oracles of God were entrusted to them."

Romans. 3:1-2; See also Romans 9:4-5; Acts 7:38

Insofar as it set the Canon for the Old Testament, and insofar as it is the New Israel, it did give us the Old Testament, but I understand your point.

Quoting part of your question:
The Old Testament books were gathered into one volume and were translated from Hebrew into Greek, long before Christ came to earth. The Septuagint Version was translated by seventy scholars at Alexandria, Egypt, around the year 227 B.C., and this was the version Christ and His Apostles used.

Yes. And did you know that the Septuagint included several books that we accept, but that you do not?

  • The Apostles used and authenticated this Bible; yet you reject books in the Septuagint that the Apostles accepted. Why is that?

Quoting part of your question:
Christ did not tell the people, as Catholics do today, that they could accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the authority of those who gathered them and declared them to be inspired. He urged the people of His day to follow the Old Testament Scriptures as the infallible guide, not because man, or any group of men, had sanctioned them as such, but because they came from God.

  • How did they know they came from God?

Because men told them so!

Quoting part of your question:
Furthermore, He understood that God-fearing men and women would be able to discern by evidence (external and internal) which books were of God, and which were not. Thus, He never raised questions and doubts concerning the gathering of the inspired books.

OK, Bill — describe to me the process by which you discerned that the 66 different books of the Bible were inspired and inerrant, and no others — without reference to the early Church.

Quoting part of your question:
If the Bible is a Catholic book, why does it nowhere mention the Catholic Church?

Because it wasn't called that until around 110 A.D.

Quoting part of your question:
Why is there no mention of a Pope, a cardinal, an archbishop, a parish priest, a nun, or a member of any other Catholic order?

Question for you.

  • Do you look the way you looked when you were born? (No)
  • Are you the same person? (Yes)
  • What does a mustard seed look like when it is planted?
  • What does it look like when it grows?
  • Do the mustard seeds in the previous two bullets look the same? (No)
  • Why does it surprise you that the Church in Acts doesn't look like the Catholic Church today?

It was an infant; a seed then.

There were seeds.

  • Peter was the first Pope, although obviously he lacked the trappings.
  • Bishops are mentioned.
  • Priests, whose root word comes from presbyter, the Greek word in Scripture often translated "elder", are mentioned.
  • The enrolled widows were the forerunners of our nuns.
  • Acts says that all the believers lived in common and shared everything, which describes a religious order.

Quoting part of your question:

  • If the Bible is a Catholic book, why are auricular Confession, indulgences, prayers to the saints, adoration of Mary, veneration of relics and images, and many other rites and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, left out of it?

You've covered a lot of ground. First, I'd say we do not "adore" Mary. Worship is due to God alone. We venerate her, but we do not worship her. Many of the things you mentioned are there, in one form or another.

Quoting part of your question:
If the Bible is a Catholic book, how can Catholics account for the passage,

"A bishop then, must be blameless, married but once, reserved, prudent, of good conduct, hospitable, a teacher . . . He should rule well his own household, keeping his children under control and perfectly respectful. For if a man cannot rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?"

1 Timothy 3:2-5

The Catholic Church does not allow a bishop to marry, while the Bible says he must be married.

No, you are misreading it. It says that he cannot be married more than once. Paul was a bishop and was not married.

  • Do you think he violated his own rule?

Quoting part of your question:

  • Furthermore, if the Bible is a Catholic book, why did they write the Bible as it is, and feel the necessity of putting footnotes at the bottom of the page, in an effort to keep their subject from believing what is in the text?

Both Protestants and Catholics publish Bibles with footnotes, because:

"His letters contain some things which are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."
(2 Peter 3:16)

Quoting part of your question:
If the Bible is a Catholic book,

  1. Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matthew 23:5-6)

I don't see how this condemns clerical dress. Note that it does not condemn tassels and phylacteries, just ostentatious ones. The point of clerical dress is more to remind the cleric of how to conduct himself, and to hold him accountable, rather than to impress men.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28)

Well, we do not teach the adoration of Mary, so that is not a problem.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Peter 2:5,9)

We affirm that all Christians are priests. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church #784, #786.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it condemn the observance of special days? (Galatians 4:9-11)

Two points:

  1. St. Paul was referring to going back to the Jewish Law. He was not condemning special days in general.
  2. You obviously overlooked Colossians 2:16:

    16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Corinthians 1:2)

It does: the end of CCC #823 reads:

823 "... The Church, then, is "the holy People of God," and her members are called "saints." (Acts 9:13; 1 Corinthians 6:1; 16:1)

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Exodus 20:4-5)

Actually, Scripture commands the making of images: Exodus 25:18-19, Numbers 21:8. It is not the making of images that is condemned; it is the adoration of images, which we do not do.
The Catechism states:

"The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone." (CCC #2132)

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach Baptism by immersion instead of by pouring?
    (Colossians 2:12)

The preferred form of Baptism is by immersion, but if not feasible, Baptism by pouring is acceptable — see Ezekiel 36:25. Also see the first century document the Didache, chapter 7, verses. 1-3:

"But concerning baptism, thus shall ye baptize. Having first recited all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living (running) water. But if thou hast not living water, then baptize in other water; and if thou art not able in cold, then in warm. But if thou hast neither, then pour water on the head thrice in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as "father"? (Matthew 23:9)

You've misread the verse. It says, "Call no man on earth father."

  • What do *you* call the man who raised you?

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation, and not the Apostle Peter?
    (1 Corinthians 3:11)

What then do you make of Ephesians 2:20?

19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Timothy 2:5)

We do not teach that there is any other mediator between God the Father and man, except Jesus Christ.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Timothy 3:2, 4-5)

I covered this one.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27)

You're getting ridiculous now.

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why does it oppose the idea of Purgatory? (Luke 16:26)
  • Hmmm, how does this "oppose" Purgatory?

Seems to me, this whole verse *proves* it, as the rich man cannot be in Hell, because he shows love for his family, and men in hell cannot love.

  • What do you make of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15?
  • How do you explain Matthew 18:32, Matthew 6:15, James 5:3 and Luke 12:47-48?

Quoting part of your question:

  1. Why is it completely silent about infant Baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, Confession to priests, the Rosary, the Mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?
  • Why is it completely silent about:
    • altar calls
    • "accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior"
    • referring to "Father-God"
    • the four spiritual laws, and "quiet times"
    • forbidding polygamy and wedding rings
    • the Trinity, and so forth?
  • Is it totally forbidden to do things that are not explicitly permitted by Scripture?

But to answer your question, infant Baptism is justified for several reasons. First, Baptism is the New Testament circumcision (Colossians 2:12), and since infants could be circumcised, they can be baptized. Second, Acts 2:38-39 says that Baptism is for you and for your children and Matthew 19:14 says,

"Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

(Remember that for us, Baptism saves us, 1 Peter 3:21.) Third, the Bible gives many instances of whole households that were baptized, which likely included children (Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33,
1 Corinthians 1:16).

  • Why would it say "household" if only adults and older children were baptized?

With respect to Confession, it's implied in John 20:22, and auricular Confession is commanded in James 5:15-16.

  • Does your church fulfill this command?

With respect to the Rosary, besides the fact that it's absurd to suggest that a prayer is invalid, unless it is printed in Scripture, it is comprised mostly of the Our Father (which is in Scripture) and the Hail Mary, which comes from Scripture as well.

I am not sure what your point is about the Mass. Clearly, the Eucharist is Scriptural. If you've ever been to a Mass, most of the text comes from, or alludes to, Scripture. The only descriptions of Christian worship in the New Testament are in Revelation 5 and Hebrews 12, and both of these are mystical descriptions. If our Mass is not in Scripture, then neither is your service.

Quoting part of your question:
Catholics argue that since the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. proclaimed which books were actually inspired, and then placed them in one volume, then all are indebted to the Catholic Church for the New Testament, and can accept it only on the authority of the Catholic Church.

There are several things wrong with this. First, it cannot be proven that the church which held the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. was the same church which is now known as the Roman Catholic Church. For example, the church of 390 A.D. had no crucifixes and images, because, "The first mention of Crucifixes are in the sixth century", and "The whole tradition of venerati[ng] holy images gradually and naturally developed" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, p. 667).

Well, what's interesting is that several churches separated from the Catholic Church in 425 A.D. (as far flung as Egypt, Syria, India, Ethiopia, and Armenia), and all of these churches use and venerate images. Either something very sudden happened worldwide in that 35 years, or images were in use in 390 A.D. as well. Given that images are found in the Catacombs in Rome, I doubt images were foreign to Christians in 390 A.D.

The fact that the first mention of crucifixes we can find, is in the 6th century, is no proof that there were no crucifixes prior to the 6th century, any more than the fact that the word Trinity did not appear for several hundred years after Christ, proves that the first century Christians did not believe in the Trinity.

"We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (1 Corinthians 1:23).

What do you make of Galatians 3:1?

"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified."

The Galatians did not see the Crucifixion. They were a thousand miles away when Jesus was crucified. Why does it say "clearly portrayed as crucified" instead of "crucified"? If early Christians used no images, and the Galatians could not witness the Crucifixion, what does this verse mean?

Quoting part of your question:
The church of 390 A.D. administered Communion under both kinds, because that was the prevailing practice until it was formally abolished in 1416 A.D. (See Lives and Times of the Roman Pontiffs, Vol. I, p. 111). The church of 390 A.D. was a church altogether different from the Roman Catholic Church today.

That doesn't mean it's not the same Church. People change; their appearance changes, and so forth, but they are the same people.

  • What difference does it make whether they administer Communion in the same way then as they do now?
  • Do you really think that's essential to the Gospel?

Quoting part of your question:
Furthermore, in the proceedings of the Council of Hippo, the bishops did not mention, nor give the slightest hint, that they were for the first time "officially" cataloging the books of the Bible for the world.

  • Why would you expect them to?
  • What difference does it make whether it was the first time it was "officially" decreed?

Trent didn't give any hints that its Canon was the first time an "official" catalog of the
Old Testament was made, but that didn't make any difference.

Quoting part of your question:
It was not until the fourth session of the Council of Trent (1545-1563 A.D.) that the bishops, and high ranking officials of the Catholic Church, "officially" cataloged the books they thought should be included in the Bible, and bound them upon the consciences of all Catholics. (See Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent,
pp. 17-18).

That's at least true for the Old Testament; I'm less sure it's true for the New Testament.

Quoting part of your question:
Secondly, God did not give councils the authority to select His sacred books, nor does He expect men to receive His sacred books only because of councils, or on the basis of councils.

And on what basis *does* he expect men to receive His sacred books?

Quoting part of your question:
It takes no vote or sanction of a council to make the books of the Bible authoritative. Men were able to rightly discern which books were inspired before the existence of ecclesiastical councils, and men can do so today.

  • Oh? And how might men do so today?

Please explain.

  • What do you make of all these people who claim today that the Catholic Church "hid" and suppressed certain inspired books of the Bible?
  • Do you think they are credible claims?

Quoting part of your question:
A council of men in 390 A.D., with no divine authority whatever, supposedly took upon itself the right to state which books were inspired, and Catholics argue that they,
"Can accept the Bible only on the authority of the Catholic Church."

  • Can we follow such reasoning?

Absolutely.

Quoting part of your question:
Thirdly, it cannot be proven that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for the gathering and selection of the New Testament books. In fact, it can be shown that the New Testament books were gathered into one volume and were in circulation long before the Catholic Church claims to have taken its action in 390 A.D. at the council of Hippo.

That may or may not be true, depending on your definition of "long". It's quite well established, historically, that the New Testament Canon was fluid for centuries. Even after Hippo, in the East, the debate still raged over the canonicity of Revelation, such that to this day, the book is not publicly read in the Orthodox churches.

If you want to argue that the Canon of the New Testament was pretty much set by the early to mid 4th century, I'd buy that. If you want to argue it was sealed and circulating as a book by the end of the 1st century, you just don't know your history.

Quoting part of your question:
New Testament books were in existence in their present form at the close of the Apostolic age. As a matter of fact, the Apostles themselves put their writings into circulation.

  • "And when this letter has been read among you, see that it be read in the church of the Laodiceans also; and that you yourselves read the letter from Laodicea." Colossians 4:16

  • "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren."
    1 Thessalonians 5:27

  • The holy Scriptures were written for all.
    1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1

  • All will be judged by them in the last day
    Revelation 20:12; John 12:48

  • and, Jesus said that His Word will abide forever
    Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23-25

Yes, that is not in doubt. The question is which writings in circulation were authentic, since there were many books which claimed to be Apostolic, but weren't.

Quoting part of your question:
Fourthly, the Catholic claim of giving the Bible to the world cannot be true, because they have not been the sole possessor of the Bible at any time. Some of the most valuable Greek Bibles and Versions have been handed down to us from non-Roman Catholic sources. A notable example of this is the Codex Sinaiticus, which was found in the monastery of St. Catherine (of the Greek Orthodox Church) at Mount Sinai in 1844 A.D. and is now in the British Museum. It contains all of the books of the New Testament, and all but small portions of the Old Testament. Scholars are certain that this manuscript was made early in the fourth century, not later than 350 A.D. This manuscript found by a German scholar named Tishendorf, who was a Protestant, and this manuscript which is the most complete of all has never been in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.

You forget that the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church were the same Church until 1054 A.D. So this *was* in possession of the Roman Catholic Church.

Quoting part of your question:
Another valuable manuscript that has never been possessed by the Roman Catholic Church is the Codex Alexandrianus. It, too, is now on exhibit in the manuscript room of the British Museum in London. It was a gift from the Patriarch of Constantinople (of the Greek Orthodox Church) to Charles I in 1628 A.D. It had been in possession of the Patriarchs for centuries, and originally came from Alexandria, Egypt from which it gets its name. Scholars are certain that this manuscript was also made in the fourth century, and along with the Codex Sinaiticus, is thought to be one of the fifty Greek Bibles commissioned to be copied by Constantine.

Again, these were originally part of the one united Catholic Church before the Great Schism. These weren't people who came up with the Scriptures independently from the Catholic Church. They were *part* of the Catholic Church in 390 A.D., and so accepted the decision.

In any case, I don't see what difference it would make if other churches are in possession of the Scriptures. You'd have to prove that they independently came up with the Scriptures, apart from any influence from us. After all, Protestants merely copied the New Testament from us; you didn't independently verify the inspiration of the books (although Luther tried).

Quoting part of your question:
The boastful claim of the Roman Catholic Church, that it has been the sole guardian and preserver of the sacred Scriptures down to the present, is nothing but pure falsehood. The Bible is not a Catholic book. Catholics did not write it, nor do their doctrines and Church meet the description of the doctrines and Church of which it speaks. The New Testament was completed before the end of the first century, A.D. The things in it do not correspond to the Catholic Church, which hundreds of years after the death of the Apostles, slowly evolved into what it now is. The Catholic Church is not the original and True Church, but a "church" born of many departures and corruptions from the New Testament church.

I challenge you again to study the early Church — the Church before the legalization of Christianity in 325 A.D., during the persecutions — and see that the doctrines you think are "Biblical" are contrary to the doctrines they took for granted as "Biblical". Read:

  • St. Clement of Rome (1st century)
  • the Didache (1st century)
  • the Shepherd of Hermas (1st century)
  • the Epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch (110 A.D.)
  • St. Justin Martyr (mid-2nd century), and
  • St. Irenaeus (think mid-3rd century).

They will open your eyes.

For example, the fourth bishop of Rome, Clement, wrote a letter in 80 A.D. to the Corinthians, rebuking them for overthrowing their presbyters. (Why could he do this? He was Pope.) He wrote,

"And our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife over the name of the bishop's office. For this cause therefore, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the aforesaid persons, and afterwards they provided a continuance, that if these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministration. Those therefore who were appointed by them, or afterward by other men of repute with the consent of the whole Church, and have ministered unblamably to the flock of Christ in lowliness of mind, peacefully and with all modesty, and for long time have borne a good report with all these men we consider to be unjustly thrust out from their ministration. (44:1)

This demonstrates that Apostolic succession was operating from the very beginning.

He also wrote of the distinction between clerics and laity:

"For to the high priest [bishop] his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity." (40)

Ignatius of Antioch wrote about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in 110 A.D.:

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God ... They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes." (Smyrnaeans, Chapter 6)

Justin Martyr (2nd century) also testifies to this:

It is allowed to no one else to participate in that food which we call Eucharist except the one who believes that the things taught by us are true, who has been cleansed in the washing unto rebirth and the forgiveness of sins and who is living according to the way Christ handed on to us. For we do not take these things as ordinary bread or ordinary drink. Just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh by the word of God and took on flesh and blood for our salvation, so also were we taught that the food, for which thanksgiving has been made through the word of prayer instituted by him, and from which our blood and flesh are nourished after the change, is the flesh of that Jesus who was made flesh. (Apology, I.66-67)

Note not only that he says that the bread and wine are not "ordinary", but are "changed" into the flesh and blood of Christ, but he also calls Baptism the "washing unto rebirth". In other words, being born again refers, not to an emotional conversion experience, but to Baptism.
He elaborates on this in 61:

For indeed Christ said, "Unless you be reborn, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." ... For thus was it said, "Wash, make yourselves clean, remove the evils from your souls, defend the orphan and do justice for the widow; and come let us converse together, says the Lord. And if your sins are like purple, I will make them white like wool; and if they are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow." (Is 1:16-20)

We learned this doctrine from the Apostles. In our first birth we were born unconscious, according to necessity, out of the human seed from the intercourse of our parents, and we grew up in evil customs and bad habits. But in order that we may not remain children of necessity and ignorance, but of election and understanding and may obtain remission of sins previously committed, the name of God the Father and Master of the universe is invoked in the water over the one who has chosen to be reborn and who has repented of his sins.

This name alone is the one which he invokes who is leading the candidate to the washing.... This washing is called "enlightenment", since those who have learned these things are enlightened in their minds.

So the early Church believed that being born again meant being baptized.

Quoting part of your question:
It still remains that the Catholic Church is not following the Bible, and is contrary to the Bible.

The Church is following the Bible, and this is clear when you understand the Bible as it was understood by the early Christians.

Quoting part of your question:
Furthermore, even if the Catholic Church could show conclusively that it alone is responsible for gathering the books, it does not prove that the Catholic Church is infallible, nor does it prove that it is the author of the Bible. God has, at times, used evil agents to accomplish His purpose (Jeremiah 27:6-8; 43:10; Habakkuk 1:5-11; John 11:49-52).

You are correct, it does not prove that, but what it does prove is that you must, in part, rely on the Church rather than the Bible alone.

The Catholic Church is not the author of the Bible, God is.

"For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (See John 20:31;
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old
and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on such to the Church herself [1]."

Vatican II, Divine Revelation #11

Quoting part of your question:
The Catholic Church argues that since one of its councils in 390 A.D. selected the sacred books, one can accept them only on the basis of its authority. We have answered by showing:

  1. The Bible is inspired and has authority, not because a church declared it so, but because God made it so.
  2. Jesus did not teach the people in His day that they could accept the Old Testament Scriptures only on the basis of those who placed the books into one volume.

Actually, Jesus never discussed the Old Testament Canon at all. (I don't mean to imply that Jesus never referred to the Old Testament.) You're making certain claims about Jesus and the
Old Testament Canon, but He never commented on how we know which books belong in the Hebrew Canon.

Shalom,

Eric

Bill replied:

Eric,

Yahshua Reinforces All YHWH's Commandments given to Moses all through the New Testament!

In Matthew chapter 22:35, a lawyer who was well versed in the law, proposed a question to Jesus.

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying. 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matthew 22:35-36

The following verses show Jesus' reply.

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two Commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 22:37-40

Now Jesus was asked for the great commandment, and He responded by stating the same Commandments which had been given to Israel by Moses. In verse 37, Jesus in his reply quoted the same commandment written in Deuteronomy.

5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:5

In verse 39, Jesus quoted the commandment written in Leviticus.

18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18

The Commandments given by Jesus encompass the Ten Commandments. Because if you love God, you will not have any gods before Him, nor make any graven images to worship, nor use His name in vain. You will remember to keep the Sabbath day holy and you will honor your father and mother. And if you love your neighbor, you will not steal from him, nor lie to him or commit murder against him. You will not commit adultery, nor covet that which belongs to another.

Note how Jesus replied when questioned about obtaining eternal life.

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Matthew 19:16-17

Now Jesus told the individual that to obtain eternal life, he must keep the Commandments.
Now this person wanted Jesus to be specific, so he asked which commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Matthew 19:18-19

Here once again, Jesus gave instruction to keep the same Commandments that YHWH had given Moses. Look at Jesus' response in the Gospel of Luke, when He was asked about how to obtain eternal life.

25 And, behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke 10:25

Jesus first responds by answering him a question.

26 "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?"

Luke 10:26

Jesus is asking him, does he not know the writing of Moses? The lawyer responds in the following verse.

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and love thy neighbor as thyself.

Luke 10:27

Now Jesus is going to let him know that his answer was correct.

28 And he said unto him, Thou has answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Luke 10:28

Once again, Jesus confirms that one should follow the laws given to Moses. Contrary to the belief of many, Jesus did not do away with the laws of Moses, or with the fact that one has to be obedient. This is evidenced in the following verse. Here Jesus tells you what you should do if you love Him.

15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:15

The question one may have is which Commandments? The same Commandments given to Moses. This applies to all of Gods laws, His Royal Laws, which are the Ten Commandments, as well as His Dietary Laws and Moral Laws found in the Old Testament. Jesus' First Coming did not do away with the laws. What Jesus did was to emphasize the spirit of the law.

Jesus Magnified The Commandments.

Jesus did not do away with the Commandments, or our role of obedience to those laws, but He intensified His laws in His teachings. Note what he says in the following verses.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28

Jesus did not remove the law, but He is saying, it is not enough for you to refrain from committing a sinful act. He is saying it is wrong for you to even entertain the thought of committing an act of sin. Your heart is your mind, and if you allow a sinful thought to originate and fester there, you may be unable to exercise restraint when confronted with a situation of temptation. Jesus goes on further to emphasize this in the following verses.

29 And if your right eye offend thy, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 If your right hand offend you cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 5:29-30

Here he is saying, it is better for you to destroy that member of your body that you use to commit a sinful act with, rather than risk condemning your soul to Hell. He also tells you in Matthew
5:43-47, to love your enemies, to bless them that curse you, and to do good to them that hate you. In verse 48, he tells you why you should operate in this manner.

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 4:48

Eric, Jesus tells us to be perfect and the question one should have is: perfect according to what? The answer is simple. One should strive to be perfect in following Man's instruction manual given to him by YHWH, the laws given to Moses by YHWH. These are not Moses laws, but YHWH's laws, and they are eternal. Jesus does not want us to abandon the laws, instead he wants us to operate in the spirit of the laws.

160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

Psalms 119:160

That means for ever, Eric!

These are just a few of the Scriptures in the Gospels where Jesus discussed keeping the laws YHWH gave Moses. My hope is that all who believe that the Old Testament is no longer relevant, and that we no longer have to operate under its laws, will reconsider their position. No man or Church has the right to change them. You probably will not learn this truth until after you die.

I really don't think you will see this, Eric. For you prize the church and its doctrine over the word of YHWH. When the Scriptures say He (YHWH) honors His word above His name, HE means it!
You cling to a church that claims to have the "right" to change His word, and make doctrine contrary to the Scriptures, like:

  • making priests celibate
  • when the Scriptures say a bishop must be married
  • changing the Sabbath from the 7th day to the first day, and
  • changing the celebrations from Passover to Easter, etc.

You cannot argue these facts, and many other changes your organization has made. My point is that Moses never taught that salvation came by just keeping the laws. Moses taught salvation came by faith in YHWH. This principle has not changed, and Jesus did not change it either,
as James His brother proclaims.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James 2:14-26

There must be a balance of faith and works.

  • What works is James referring to?

The keeping of the laws YHWH gave Moses, of course! There are 613 of them in the Torah, they are eternal, and I am not talking about the sacrificial laws, only the laws pertaining to how we are to live our lives before YHWH, and with our fellow man. They are not for salvation, for that is by faith in Christ and His work on the Cross, but if you know Him, then you will desire to keep His laws, and not change them. It is that simple.

You need not reply to this e-mail. I don't wish to argue with you over Scripture. We are worlds apart. You honor your church over Scripture. I honor not the body (church) of Christ over YHWH's word. For Yahshua is the word. You cannot separate them. You will not change your views, and neither will I.

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 4:2

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Deuteronomy 12:32

Eric, you will say, this is Old Covenant, we are under a New Covenant. This is where you are wrong, dead wrong. All of YHWH's covenants are everlasting. Your church believes in replacement theology, which is also false teaching. The New Covenant is taking the laws of the Old Covenant, and simply writing them on our heart by His Holy Spirit. They are the same eternal laws.

31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my laws in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Jeremiah 31:31-33

Yahshua accomplished this at His Passover meal; the same laws.

The fact is Eric, that if you are in Christ, you have been grafted into a vine that is Hebrew.
You don't make the vine or the branch Gentile; you become a new creature, you become Hebrew. Yahshua didn't die on that Cross so that you could continue to be a Gentile. The word Hebrew means to "cross over", and that is what happens to us when we are born again. That is what happened to all the Gentiles who sojourned with the Hebrews out of Egypt; there was one law
(Exodus 12:49) for all of them and the Gentiles were grafted into the Hebrew tribes.  They didn't start their own thing, separate from the twelve Tribes. They learned to worship the way the Hebrews did. If you are in Christ, you may not be a Jew, that is only one Tribe, but you do belong to one of those other eleven Tribes. After all, think about this: there are twelve gates into the new Jerusalem in Heaven. None of them are named by any Gentiles' church names. There is no Catholic gate or Protestant gate.

  • Which one will you walk through Eric?

Shalom,

Bill

Eric replied:

Quoting part of your reply:
Eric,

Yahshua Reinforces All YHWH's Commandments given to Moses all through the New Testament!

I am not denying this. I am denying that Jesus gave us any guidelines for how to determine which books were part of the Canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, beyond quoting from a subset of them and alluding to a superset of them.

Quoting part of your reply:
These are just a few of the Scriptures in the Gospels where Jesus discussed keeping the laws YHWH gave Moses. My hope is that all who believe that the Old Testament is no longer relevant, and that we no longer have to operate under its laws, will reconsider their position. No man or Church has the right to change them. You probably will not learn this truth until after you die.

I'm not sure what you mean. You went on at length about things I totally agree with. If you think you're contradicting Catholic teaching, I'm not sure how so.

Quoting part of your reply:
I really don't think you will see this, Eric. For you prize the church and its doctrine over the word of YHWH.

It may seem that way to you — and I don't think you are in a position to make such a judgment — but if you knew how I studied the Word of God, how I formerly doubted Catholicism, how I listened to many Protestant interpretations, how I struggled earnestly to understand the Word of God, and then came to realize that:

"no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20),

but that the

"Church of the living God [is] the pillar and foundation of the truth"
(1 Timothy 3:15),

you would understand that I do prize the Word of God above all things — both the oral and written Word of God. (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Quoting part of your reply:
When the Scriptures say He (YHWH) honors His word above His name, HE means it!
You cling to a church that claims to have the "right" to change His word, and make doctrine contrary to the Scriptures, like:

  • making priests celibate
  • when the Scriptures say a bishop must be married
  • changing the Sabbath from the 7th day to the first day, and
  • changing the celebrations from Passover to Easter, etc

We don't claim the "right" to change His word. You may think we have, but we do not presume to "change his word."

You still haven't explained how being married is a "requirement" for being a bishop, given than Paul was a bishop but not married (1 Corinthians 7:7), or why his requirements state that "he must be married but once" rather than simply "he must be married". As I said, this means he should not be married more than once, not that he must be married.

  • By the way, do you know what the word for the feast of the Lord's Resurrection is in Latin, Greek, and in most languages other than English and German?

It's identical to the word for "Passover". If you want to argue, we should use the Jewish calendar and celebrate it on the 15th of Nisan, fine, but don't tell me we "changed" the celebration from the Passover to "Easter".

  • I have a question for you, incidentally. Does your church strictly follow Acts 15:29?

Quoting part of your reply:
You cannot argue these facts, and many other changes your organization has made. My point is that Moses never taught that salvation came by just keeping the laws. Moses taught salvation came by faith in YHWH. This principle has not changed, and Jesus did not change it either,
as James His brother proclaims.

Yeah, I agree.

Quoting part of your reply:

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James 2:14-26

There must be a balance of faith and works.

  • What works is James referring to?

The keeping of the laws YHWH gave Moses, of course! There are 613 of them in the Torah, they are eternal, and I am not talking about the sacrificial laws, only the laws pertaining to how we are to live our lives before YHWH, and with our fellow man.

Ummm, we have a problem here, Bill. James mentions three "works" as examples, and none of them are among those 613 laws: feeding the hungry, Abraham's sacrifice of his son, and Rahab hiding the spies.

James is referring to works of Christian love. While many of the 613 laws may be examples of love, James is not restricting himself to the Law of Moses.

Quoting part of your reply:
Eric, you will say, this is Old Covenant, we are under a New Covenant. This is where you are wrong, dead wrong. All of YHWH's covenants are everlasting. Your church believes in replacement theology, which is also false teaching. The New Covenant is taking the laws of the Old Covenant, and simply writing them on our heart by His Holy Spirit. They are the same eternal laws.

With respect to replacement theology, how do you explain Galatians 4:24-31, Galatians 6:16, James 1:1, Romans 11:17-19?

Quoting part of your reply:
The fact is Eric, that if you are in Christ, you have been grafted into a vine that is Hebrew. You don't make the vine or the branch Gentile; you become a new creature, you become Hebrew. Yahshua didn't die on that Cross so that you could continue to be a Gentile. The word Hebrew means to "cross over", and that is what happens to us when we are born again. That is what happened to all the Gentiles who sojourned with the Hebrews out of Egypt; there was one law (Exodus 12:49) for all of them and the Gentiles were grafted into the Hebrew tribes.  They didn't start their own thing, separate from the twelve Tribes. They learned to worship the way the Hebrews did. If you are in Christ, you may not be a Jew, that is only one Tribe, but you do belong to one of those other eleven Tribes. After all, think about this: there are twelve gates into the new Jerusalem in Heaven. None of them are named by any Gentiles' church names. There is no Catholic gate or Protestant gate.

  • Which one will you walk through Eric?

We believe there is one Israel: the new Israel, the Church of Christ. The Jews who do not believe are no longer part of Israel; they have been cut off (Romans 11:20).

Shalom,

Eric

Post Script from Eric:

Hi, Bill —

I neglected to make a point about the verse that ostensibly forbids us from calling men "father".

You see several instances in the New Testament where the Apostles specifically call men "father":

"Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel."
(1 Corinthians 4:15)

"To this he replied: 'Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.'"
(Acts 7:2)

"Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense."
(Acts 22:1)

If we take your verse strictly literally, then there is a contradiction here. If, however, we understand it in the sense that we should not give men the honor that belongs to God alone, the contradiction is resolved and it makes sense.

It also resolves the problem of what to call the men who raised us.

Eric

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