BaptistConversion StoriesEvangelical

Rod Bennett: Former Baptist & Evangelical

May 9, 2016 62 Comments

A long time friend of the Coming Home Network, Rod Bennett, joined Marcus for an episode of the Journey Home that should spark the interest of any history buff.  In his latest book, “The Apostasy That Wasn’t,” Rod sets out to challenge some common assumptions about what happened to the Church between the age of the apostles and the Reformation.  Was there really a thousand year period when the Holy Spirit was absent from salvation history?  Citing the Fathers of the Church, and even more recent theologians like John Wesley and Cardinal John Henry Newman, Rod’s entertaining take on historical theology (“Tertullian was a grouchy old man,” “St Athanasius is the Frodo Baggins of my book”) is one to watch and share.

Rod’s new book: “The Apostasy That Wasn’t

Rod’s Deep in History talk, Four Witnesses Brought Me Home

Tune in every week at 8PM Eastern on EWTN, and share your reactions to The Journey Home using the tag #JHprogram!

  • Ken Temple

    Rod is right in that our Southern Baptist Mega Church did not teach us about church history, and it did not prepare us to understand church history. But knowledgable Protestants do not have that “great apostasy” view like the Mormons, JWs, or “the Fields of the Woods” (A. J. Tomlinson, founder of Church of God that later splintered, etc.) (Rod tells that story in his books), or like the Seventh Day Adventists (who teach that Sunday Worship is the mark of the beast and was done by Constantine).

    Knowledgable Protestants who believe the Bible and appreciate church history appreciate Ignatius, Polycarp, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, the Cappadocian fathers, Anselm, etc. But they were not infallible; they made some mistakes.

    Knowledgable Protestants don’t say “the church went totally bust” or “went off the rails”, etc.

    I was surprised that Rod said that around the 39:20 mark, Rod said that Constantine made Christianity the state religion. This is false. Another Emperor, later, Theodosius did that between 380-392 AD.

    Rod mentioned what happened after Polycarp was burned at the steak. If one reads the account carefully, (available at ccel.org or newadvent.org ) it does not say that after they buried them, they took out his bones next year for exhibition or stored them in a reliquary in a church for exhibition, etc. It says that they honored his remains and buried them. They remembered him the next year on the anniversary of his martyrdom, but they didn’t bring out his bones for exhibition or veneration or kissing them or staring at them. And the passage does not say they prayed to Polycarp for him to pray for them.

    The Proto-evangelium of James was mentioned and used as a basis for the Marian dogma of the Perpetual virginity of Mary, etc. It is Gnostic tinged, since it implies that Jesus just “popped out” from inside of Mary, without the normal pains of childbirth and passing through the birth canal. This is a problem of Roman Catholicism – basing a dogma on a non-canonical writing. It is a Gnostic idea to think that Jesus was not born in the normal human way that we all are – after all, He was 100 % human, and that is a dogma that Protestants agree with the RCC on – Jesus is 100% God and 100 % man – the God-man; the second person of the Trinity who became flesh/human. (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8)

    Protestants love Athanasius and his fight against Arianism. He also wrote: “they (the Arians, the heretics) have the buildings, but you have the faith” (Letter 29) The heretical Arians held the external buildings and priesthood and bishoprics for some 60 years. Protestants agree with Athanasius and others who resisted Arianism. To try and imply that Protestants think the early church went completely off is wrong.

    Athanasius also wrote:
    “in these alone (the 27 books of the NT) are the doctrine of godliness” (that is Sola Scriptura in seed form). (Letter 39) “Alone” = (Greek, “mono” = alone, which in Latin, “Sola”)

    And, Athanasius also wrote, “the holy and God-breathed Scriptures are self-sufficient for the preaching of the truth.” (Contra Gentiles, “Against the Heathen”, 1:3)

    Athanasisus also wrote:
    “Vainly do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things . . . ” (De Synoodis 6)

    The Didache does not have anything in it that implies transubstantiation or a RC mass. It does not even imply the “real presense”.

    The corruptions that people like John Wycliffe in the 1300s, Jan Huss in the 1400s, and Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin in the 1500s objected to was a very slow process of an emphasis on externals, penances, works, rituals, visiting shrines and relics, and the addition of man-made traditions like purgatory and praying to dead saints, indulgences, transubstantiation, Marian dogmas, Papal doctrines, priestly ex opera operato powers, etc. that had eclipsed or hidden the true teaching of Scripture on justification and sanctification; and understanding the distinction between the two.

    We don’t say the early church went off the rails completely – At least not until the Council of Trent ( 1545-1563) – that is where the Roman Catholic Church knowingly condemned the doctrine of justification by faith alone; and only then did it become a completely false church.

  • Ken Temple

    Rod is right in that our Southern Baptist Mega Church did not teach us about church history, and it did not prepare us to understand church history. But knowledgable Protestants do not have that “great apostasy” view like the Mormons, JWs, or “the Fields of the Woods” (A. J. Tomlinson, founder of Church of God that later splintered, etc.) (Rod tells that story in his books), or like the Seventh Day Adventists (who teach that Sunday Worship is the mark of the beast and was done by Constantine).

    Knowledgable Protestants who believe the Bible and appreciate church history appreciate Ignatius, Polycarp, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, the Cappadocian fathers, Anselm, etc. But they were not infallible; they made some mistakes.

    Knowledgable Protestants don’t say “the church went totally bust” or “went off the rails”, etc.

    I was surprised that Rod said that around the 39:20 mark, Rod said that Constantine made Christianity the state religion. This is false. Another Emperor, later, Theodosius did that between 380-392 AD.

    • Anthony

      At time index 39:20 , Rod Bennet deosn’t say, “Constantine made Christianity the state religion” – If you start at time index 38:37, you will hear Marcus Grodi mentioning to Rod, “a particular protestant myth in his book about a separation”. Rod responded to this by saying, “that if you believe the Catholic Church went “off there rails” at some point in history you have to pinpoint it somewhere” – and then at time index 39:04 , Rod says, “there’s a surprising consensus [amongst mainstream evangelicals] that something terrible happened when the Emperor Constantine allowed himself to be converted in 313 A.D., and then shortly after as the story goes, made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire etc…..” So Rod Bennet was talking about consensus of this myth among mainstream evangelicals; not that he believes Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion, but that they do (mainstream evangelicals).

      • Ken Temple

        You are right about that. Thanks for the correction. I was surprised since I have heard him before in other lectures clearly say it was Theodosius. I should listen more carefully.

      • Teresa Grodi

        Just an aside, Anthony, I noticed your avatar. Are you going on the Monks of Norcia pilgrimage this October? http://catholicfaithjourneys.com/tours/monks-of-norcia/

  • Ken Temple

    Protestants love Athanasius and his fight against Arianism.
    We would agree with most of the content about Athanasius and his period of fighting for the Nicene Faith, and his being exiled 5 times. We appreciate his stand for sound doctrine and defending the Deity of Christ and the Trinity. (I have read about 1/2 of Rod’s new book, The Apostasy that Wasnt’, and Protestants agree for the most part with Athanasius and that there was no great apostasy of the church completely going off the rails in the early centuries.)

    Athanasius also wrote: “they (the Arians, the heretics) have the buildings, but you have the faith” (Letter 29) The heretical Arians held the external buildings and priesthood and bishoprics for some 60 years. Protestants agree with Athanasius and others who resisted Arianism. To try and imply that Protestants think the early church went completely off is wrong.

    Athanasius also wrote:

    “in these alone (the 27 books of the NT) are the doctrine of godliness” (that is Sola Scriptura in seed form). (Festal Letter 39) “Alone” = (Greek, “mono” = alone, which in Latin, “Sola”)

    And, Athanasius also wrote, “the holy and God-breathed Scriptures are self-sufficient for the preaching of the truth.” (Contra Gentiles, “Against the Heathen”, 1:3)

    Athanasisus also wrote:

    “Vainly do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things . . . ” (De Synoodis 6)

    • Anthony

      St. Athanasius “But what is also to the point, let us note that the very TRADITION, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and PRESERVED by the FATHERS. On this the CHURCH was founded; and if anyone departs from THIS, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.” (Ad Serapion 1:28).

      St. Athanasius (373 A.D.), — “We are PROVING that THIS view has been TRANSMITTED from FATHER to FATHER, but ye, O modern Jews and disciples of Caiphas, how many FATHERS CAN YE ASSIGN to your phrases? Not one of the understanding and wise; for all abhor you, but the devil alone; none but he is your father in this apostasy, who both in the beginning sowed you with the seed of this IRRELIGION, and now persuades you to slander the ECUMENICAL Council, for committing to writing, not YOUR doctrines, but that which from the BEGINNING those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have handed down to us. For the faith which the COUNCIL has confessed in writing, that is the faith of the Catholic Church; to assert this, the BLESSED FATHERS so expressed themselves while condemning the Arian heresy…” (De Decretis 2)

      “But after him (the devil) and with him are all inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, BUT DO NOT hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and receiving them as the traditions of men, err, because they DO NOT rightly KNOW THEM nor their power.” (Festal Letter 2)

    • Anthony

      I also wanted to pint out a few things that St. Athanasius said that you seemed to have missed. The last paragraph especially:

      “We are PROVING that THIS view has been TRANSMITTED from FATHER to FATHER, but ye, O modern Jews and disciples of Caiphas, how many FATHERS CAN YE ASSIGN to your phrases? Not one of the understanding and wise; for all abhor you, but the devil alone; none but he is your father in this apostasy, who both in the beginning sowed you with the seed of this IRRELIGION, and now persuades you to slander the ECUMENICAL Council, for committing to writing, not YOUR doctrines, but that which from the BEGINNING those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have handed down to us. For the faith which the COUNCIL has confessed in writing, that is the faith of the Catholic Church; to assert this, the BLESSED FATHERS so expressed themselves while condemning the Arian heresy…” (De Decretis 27)

      “We are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the Fathers hold this.” (Epis. 59)

      “But after him (the devil) and with him are all inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, BUT DO NOT hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and receiving them as the traditions of men, err, because they DO NOT rightly KNOW THEM nor their power.” (Festal Letter 2)

      “But what is also to the point, let us note that the very TRADITION, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and PRESERVED by the FATHERS. On this the CHURCH was founded; and if anyone departs from THIS, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.” (Ad Serapion 1, 28)

      • Ken Temple

        If you go back and look at the context of De Decretis (Defense of the Nicene Definition) 27, it is all about explaining Scripture. “this view was transmitted from Father to Father” just means the proper interpretation of the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, which Athanasius explains and Protestants agree with that. Athanasius (about 300-373 AD) mentions Origen, who was about a century before him. (250 AD) The quote does not go against Sola Scriptura, it merely is testifying that the Nicene Creed was Biblical. He was condemning Arianism and Sabellianism (Modalism) and Protestants agree with that. So that quote is not saying Creeds or Bishops or fathers are above Scripture, it is only saying that the fathers properly interpreted the Scriptures on that issue – the issue of the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, which is all Biblical.

        The To Serapion quote, is in Athansius’ work on the Holy Spirit against the heretical group called the Tropici, and if you look at the context of that also, he is quoting Scripture about the Deity of the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity, and so the Tradition, the teaching and faith of the universal church at the time was the sound doctrine about the Trinity, which Protestants agree with, so that, (and the other quotes) do not exalt some extra-Biblical tradition above Scripture, but rather are expressing the proper interpretation of infallible Scripture.

        Here is more of the full quote: (It is all based on Matthew 28:19 and 2 Cor. 13:14, and Ephesians 4:6

        28. But, beyond these sayings, let us look at the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers kept. Upon this the Church is founded, and he who should fall away from it would not be a Christian, and should no longer be so called. There is, then, a Triad, holy and complete, confessed to be God in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, [based on Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14] having nothing foreign or external mixed with it, not composed of one that creates and one that is originated, but all creative; and it is consistent and in nature indivisible, and its activity is one. The Father does all things through the Word in the Holy Spirit. Thus the unity of the holy Triad is preserved. Thus one God is preached in the Church, ‘who is over all, and through all, and in all’ [ Ephesians 4:6] — ‘over all’, as Father, as beginning, as fountain; ‘through all’, through the Word; ‘in all’, in the Holy Spirit. It is a Triad not only in name and form of speech, but in truth and actuality. For as the Father is he that is, so also his Word is one that is and God over all. And the Holy Spirit is not without actual existence, but exists and has true being. Less than these (Persons) the Catholic Church does not hold, lest she sink to the level of the modern Jews, imitators of Caiaphas, and to the level of Sabellius. Nor does she add to them by speculation, lest she be carried into the polytheism of the heathen. And that they may know this to be the faith of the Church, let them learn how the Lord, when sending forth the Apostles, ordered them to lay this foundation for the Church, saying: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ [ Matthew 28:19 ] The Apostles went, and thus they taught; and this is the preaching that extends to the whole Church which is under heaven.

        It is the same principle for the other 2 quotes; they are not exalting some kind of extra-biblical man made tradition over Scripture, but Athanasius is saying the proper interpretation of Scripture about the Deity of Christ and the Trinity is passed down by the fathers.

        • Anthony

          First of all Sacred Tradition is not ‘extra biblical man made traditions’; it’s what was handed down. Secondly, the Canon you hold in your hands; where is that in Scripture? Where does it list the Books of the New Testament in Scripture? Who made that decision? and by what authority did they did so? Would you also condor that “extra-biblical man made tradition”? If no, why not?

          You said regarding the context of De Decretis ,”it’s all about explaining Scripture” – I completely disagree, it’s about explaining the Holy Trinity through the Tradition of the Church (which includes Scripture); about that there is no debate. But then St. Athanasius says,

          “But, [beyond] these [Scriptural] sayings, [let us look] at the very [tradition], [teaching], [and faith] of the [Catholic Church] [from the beginning], [which the Lord gave], [the Apostles] [preached], and the [Fathers kept]. [Upon this] [the Church is founded]” etc –

          You can’t get around that; there is no ‘explaining it away’ no matter how hard you try. And it’s consistent with what the rest if the Fathers taught on the subject.

          I

          • Ken Temple

            Sacred tradition of the apostles was all eventually written down. 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; (very early epistles – 51-52 AD – it is reasonable to assume that the things he was teaching orally and not written down yet at the time, were later written down in other letters like Romans, Colossians, the pastoral epistles, etc.) 1 Corinthians 11:2; 15:1-9, Jude 3. Jude 3, 2 Peter 1:3-4; and John 17:8, 17:17, 14:26, and 16:13 (with 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 3:16, with Hebrews 1:1-3 implies that everything we need was written down for us.

            Athanasius speaking of the Holy Trinity – well, since the Holy Trinity is scriptural and we Protestants agree with that, and Athanasius against the heresies of the Arians, Sabellians, and Tropici, that is not a good example of something that becomes particularly Roman Catholic that Protestants disagree with, that is called as part of the “Rule of Faith” or “the Tradition”. The Rule of Faith or “the tradition” spoken of by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, and Athanasius are all doctrinal statements based on the organization around the Trinity, that are similar to the Apostles Creed, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, etc. that Protestants agree with that are in infallible Scripture.

            On the “canon” of Scripture. All of the 27 NT books and letters were God-breathed / inspired, the moment they were written from around 45 AD to 96 AD, with most written before 70 AD. They were individual scrolls written to different places by different authors and from different areas. The form of a codex was not even in existance in the first century. A simple codex – flattenning out the sheets of papyri and tying more than one book together – which later became basis for book making with a binding. ‘canon” originally just meant “standard”, “rule”, “law” before it came to mean “list”. They were canon or standard already because they were God-breathed at the time of the writing of them in the first century. Just because it took time to even know about them(some areas would not have known about every NT book until enough time passed for all the areas to communicate with one another about all the different books), then discern them all as Scripture, and then gather them together in one “codex”, does not make that in itself some sort of infallible act. It is true and correct, but it was a natural part of a process of history. Irenaeus and Tertullian (around 180-220 AD) list most all of the 27 NT books in their writings. Before then, we just don’t have anyone writing the volume that they wrote to quote from all or most of the books. What we have that is extant from writers earlier than those 2 are very small works and short letters. (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Didache, Hermas, Justin Martyr)

            • Anthony

              You said, “Sacred tradition of the apostles was all eventually written down.” ??? Where does scripture say this exactly? Otherwise, it’s just your fallible opinion again. And where are the Books of the New Testament listed in the New Testament?

              2 Thessalonians 2:15 says EITHER by word (oral) or by letter (Epistle).

              2 John 1;12 says, “Having many things to write unto you, [I would not write with paper and ink]: but I trust to come unto you, and [speak face to face], that our joy may be full.

              3 John 1:13-14 “I have many things to write you, but I would prefer not to do so with pen and ink.I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face”

              The Church is Infallible:

              Matthew 16:13-19
              Upon this rock (Peter) I will build my Church. And the gates of Hell can never overpower it.

              Matthew 18:18
              Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to legislate.

              Matthew 18:17
              Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to discipline.

              Matthew 28:18-20
              Jesus delegates all power to Apostles.

              Matthew 16:13-19
              Jesus give primary authority to St. Peter.

              Luke 10:16
              Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to speak with Christ’s voice.

              John 20:23
              Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to forgive sins

              1 Corinthians 11:24
              Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to offer the sacrifice. (The Eucharist.)

              Matthew 28:20
              Jesus tells them: I am with you always.

              Luke 10:16
              Speaks with Christ’s own voice.

              John 14:26
              Holy Spirit is to teach and remind them of everything.

              Acts 15:28
              Apostles speak with the voice of the Holy Spirit.

              1 Timothy 3:15
              Church is called the “pillar and foundation of truth.”

              1 John 2:27
              Anointing of the Holy Spirit remains in you.

              You said, “it is reasonable to assume that the things he was teaching orally and not written down yet at the time, were later written down in other letters” – Then where does Scripture state this specifically?

              Scripture says that it is the church which is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and that the manifold wisdom of God would be made known through the Church (Ephesians 3:10). Scripture attests to itself, and states that it is “profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16), it does not say it is the sole authority of Christians.

              Most of the New Testament deals with addressing specific problems which arose in specific Churches at the time, i.e.. the Epistle to the Corinthians deals with specific problems in Corinth; the Epistle to the Galatians deals with specific problems in Galatia; the Epistle to the Ephesians deal with specific problems in Ephesus; the Epistle to the Romans deals with specific problems in Rome, etc. Each of these Churches were already taught the faith; the Epistles were to address problems which arose in these communities; they were never intended to be a full expository of the faith.

              • Ken Temple

                You said, “it is reasonable to assume that the things he was teaching orally and not written down yet at the time, were later written down in other letters” – Then where does Scripture state this specifically?

                It doesn’t. but Jude 3, John 14:26 and 16:12-13, and 2 Peter 1:3-4 imply this.

                • Anthony

                  2 Peter 1:3-4 – Doesn’t mention scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  John 14:26 – Doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  John 16:12-13. Doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  Jude 1:3 doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  For you to say, : “it is implied” – does ‘violence’ to the text.

                  2 Thessalonians 2:15 says EITHER by word (oral) or by letter (Epistle).

                  2 John 1;12 says, “Having many things to write unto you, [I would not write with paper and ink]: but I trust to come unto you, and [speak face to face], that our joy may be full.

                  3 John 1:13-14 “I have many things to write you, but I would prefer not to do so with pen and ink.I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face”

                  St. Irenaeus explains it best: “Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth, so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. . . . For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant conversation, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question?”

                  “It is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church—those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the infallible charism of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father (ibid., 3:4:1 – Against Heresies)

                  Tertullian also says plainly:

                  “But if there be any [heresies] which are bold enough to plant [their origin] in the midst of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: [Let them produce the original records of their churches]; [let them unfold the roll of their bishops], [running down in due succession from the beginning] in such a manner that [their first] bishop shall be able to show for [his ordainer and predecessor] [some one of the apostles] or of[ apostolic men]—a man, moreover, who continued steadfast with the apostles. [For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers]: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter” (ibid., 32). (Demurrer Against the Heretics 20 [A.D. 200])

                • Ken Temple

                  2 Peter 1:3-4 – Doesn’t mention scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  It is implied, “all things necessary for life and godliness” imply this. He had given us His Spirit and His Word, and the Word is profitable for doctrine, rebuking, correction, training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully equipped (adeqate, sufficient) for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 – taken together with the verses below, it is a reasonable implication.

                  John 14:26 – Doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’. implied

                  John 16:12-13. Doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’. implied

                  Jude 1:3 doesn’t mention Scripture at all. And doesn’t teach ‘sola scriptura’.

                  very implied

                • Anthony

                  Give me a break, “it is implied” , lol. That seems to be your fall back answer when you have no concrete evidence to back your claims.

                  2 Peter 1:3-4 “all things necessary for life and godliness”- means just that, “all things”. While Scripture is a part of that to be sure, to say it only means Scripture does violence to the text.

                  Jesus IS The Word. He gave us the Church, and His Spirit to guide it always.

                  Tim. 3:16-17:
                  “Word is profitable” – thats means beneficial – it doesn’t mean “only”. Look up the greek word, it means “helpful””useful”.

                  “(adeqate, sufficient)- for WHAT? to equip us for “GOOD WORKS”

                  John 14:26 – sola scriptura? not even remotely implied.

                  John 16:12-13 – sola scriptua? not even remotely implied.

                  Jude 1:3 – sola scriptua? not even remotely implied.

                  These are preconceived notions that you merely force onto the text.

            • Anthony

              You said, “Just because it took time to even know about them (some areas would not have known about every NT book until enough time passed for all the areas to communicate with one another about all the different books), then discern them all as Scripture, and then gather them together in one “codex”, does not make that in itself some sort of infallible act” – LOL, GIVE ME A BREAK!

              Nothing illustrates the falsity of the claim of “self-attesting” books better than the history of the process of canonization:

              St. Justin Martyr (165) didn’t recognize Philippians or 1 Timothy. The Muratorian Canon (190) excluded Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter. The Council of Nicaea in 325 questioned the canonicity of James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. Even up to the late 4th century, the book of James had not even been quoted in the west. The books of Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation were still being disputed at that late date. Revelation was rejected by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (386), St. John Chrysostom (407), and St. Gregory Nazianzen (389). None of this is consistent with the notion that it is easy to determine a biblical book (i.e., an inspired book) simply by reading it. Believers in the early Church (such as St. Athanasius or St. Augustine) were just as zealous for the Bible and Christian truth as Christians today. Yet they often disagreed on this score vehemently.

              Also, many non-Scriptural books were regarded as Scripture by many important people and lists of canonical books in the early Church (most of the Fathers held the NT canon to be comprised of only 22 Books,; and their lists varied from one another). The Gospels of St. Justin Martyr contained apocryphal materials. The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache were regarded as Scripture by St. Clement of Alexandria (215) and Origen (254); so was the Shepherd of Hermas, by St. Irenaeus (200), Tertullian (225), Origen, and St. Clement of Alexandria. The Muratorian Canon of (190) included the Apocalypse of Peter and Wisdom of Solomon. The well-known Codex Sinaiticus of the late fourth century still included the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas.

              It’s very easy to make such (somewhat logically circular) claims, that by a close study of the biblical books it became clear and evident which ones were inspired and which ones were spurious.Hindsight is “20-20”.

              • Ken Temple

                St. Justin Martyr (165) didn’t recognize Philippians or 1 Timothy.

                Do you mean he seems unaware of them? There is a lot of the NT that he seems unaware of, or he just does not use in his argumentations.

                there is a big difference between not knowing about a book, and actively speaking against it.

                • Anthony

                  To my knowledge St. Justin Martyr (165) didn’t recognize Philippians or 1 Timothy. (Did not recognize them as inspired).

                • Ken Temple

                  No; he just does not know about them, he just does not mention them. Does not seem to know about other NT books also. He just doesn’t refer to them. That does not mean he knows them, but rejects them as inspired.

                • Anthony

                  How do you know “he just doesn’t now about them’? What evidence besides your illustrious opinion do you offer to verify this? To say, “he just doesn’t refer to them” , doesn’t mean he didn’t know of them, and doesn’t mean he didn’t reject them as inspired.

              • Ken Temple

                The Muratorian canon is a rotten fragment that obvious parts that were corrupted and rotten, (one can tell by the context and wording of what is there) and so it is possible that it included other books. We don’t have the full document.

                • Anthony

                  The Muratorian canon (although only a fragment) contains Books that you would already reject.; that was my point.

          • Ken Temple

            although the word Trinity, and homo-ousias (same substance) and hupostasis (for person of the 3 persons formula for the Trinity) are not words for the Trinity in the NT (though hupostasis is used for Jesus’ nature/ being in Hebrews 1:3, the word was later adopted for the person that is “existing under” the one substance (ousia); although those words are not employed in the text of the NT in the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine is Biblical in that the concept and doctrine is taught by harmonizing all that Scripture says about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (and based on Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Matthew 3:13-17, and others). That is the proper role of theological development, or proper interpretations, which the Roman Catholic Church calls tradition also. (beyond the revelatory traditions that were apostolic, as in 2 Thess. 2:15 and 1 Cor. 11:2, etc.) There is proper doctrinal and theological development, and then there is improper (additions, corruptions), which is what the RC dogmas about Mary (beyond the ones Protestants agree with such as the Virgin Birth of Christ), Popes, indulgences, purgatory, penances, trafficking in relics, prayers to Mary and dead saints, priests, ex opere operato powers, Transubstantiation, etc. – these are man-made traditions that are not in the early centuries and not biblical.

            • Anthony

              Let’s take a look at your statement:

              “although those words (homo-ousias, hupostasis) are not employed in the text of the NT in the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine is Biblical in that [the concept and doctrine] [is taught] [by harmonizing] [all that Scripture says] about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” – BINGO! A Catholic could not have stated it better!

              How do you think the Church Fathers read the Scriptures regarding Our Lady? Why do you think they referred to her as “the New Eve”, the Ark of the New Covenant”, and the Queen of Heaven”? Because “although those words are not found in Scripture specifically, the doctrines are Biblical because [the concept and doctrine] [is taught] [by harmonizing] [all that Scripture says] about the Blessed Mother.

              • Ken Temple

                They were wrong on over-exalting Mary and praying to her and having icons and statues to her later. The New Eve statement are not a big deal. God used her as the channel / instrument to bring the Messiah into the world.

                But the other stuff, which developed later, especially after Athanasius, Totally wrong. Mary was a godly woman and Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, but she was not perpetual virgin and we should not pray to her. Prayers to her are later anyway, but they are still wrong. She was not sinless, nor Immaculately conceived, nor bodily assumed. These are all man-made traditions.

                • Anthony

                  You say “They were wrong on over-exalting Mary” – I don’t think there’s an”over-exalting”- The fact is protestants pay her no respect at all. Christ did say whoever humbles themselves will be exalted (and that Christians will sit on thrones and reign with Christ, sharing His Gory). And Scripture identifies her as the humble servant of the Lord. Not to mention the fact that it was always the mother of the King who would reign as Queen in the Davidic Kingdom. And we al know who inherited the throne of His father David. And we all know who His mother is.

                  According to the overwhelming testimony she was a perpetual virgin. You say “Prayers to her came later anyway”. Actually according to the archaeological evidence;as well as written, the veneration and prayers to the Saints was an early practice and ubiquitous throughout Christendom (you can trace the spread of Christianity archaeologically by the veneration of relics and Saints). It would be erroneous on your part to surmise that just because it isn’t written ‘early enough’, that it wasn’t common practice or belief.

                • Ken Temple

                  No; Scripture is clear and forbids praying to the dead. Pray only to God. The angel rebuked John several times for worshiping the angel. Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9. Mary is more honored by us by teaching what Scripture says about her and her faith and humility, but that she admitted she was a sinner and needed salvation ( Luke 1:46) and that Jesus was born of the virgin. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-37; chapter 2) Matthew 1:25 is clear – “until” ‘εως ‘ου = heos hou = “until, and after that, no more”. Mary and Joseph had other children after Jesus. Matthew 12:46-47; 13:55-56; Mark 3:32; 6:3; John 7:5-10; Luke 8:19-20; Galatians 1:19

                • Anthony

                  You said, “Scripture is clear and forbids praying to the dead.” – Actually Scripture forbids the conjuring of familiar spirits by using occult methods for the purposes of obtaining future information.

                  Second;ly, show me where Scripture refers to the Saints as “dead people”.

                  “the angle rebuked John” – And yet the Angel of the Lord didn’t rebuke Joshua when he fell facedown to the ground in reverence before him.

                  No where does scripture say that Mary sinned; but she was indeed saved, no doubt there. She was saved at the moment go her Immaculate Conception.

                  Now you claim Mary and Joseph had other children based on your misinterpretation of the idiomatic usage of the word “until” in Matthew 1:125. Notice, in Galatians 1:19 it mentions James, who is identified as [an apostle] [and] [a ‘brother’ of the Lord], right? You claim this is Jesus’ uterine brother right? Only one problem, if you look at the lists of the apostles in the Gospel’s there area two James’, neither of them had a father named Joseph. (Let that one sink in for a while).

                • Ken Temple

                  The James of Galatians 1:19 is not one of the original 12, which had 2 other James. The James of Galatians 1:19 is the one who wrote the book of James, and is the half-brother of Jesus, one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem in Acts 15, and he is an apostle, in the same sense (beyond the 12 disciples) that Paul is an apostle, Jesus appeared to him specially in the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:7 (not one of the original 12, James son of Zebedee was killed in Acts 12). Barnabas is also called an apostle (Acts 14:4, 14).

                • Anthony

                  You say, “The James of Galatians 1:19 is not one of the original 12,” – That’s a really weak argument from scripture,

                  you mention that Paul is an apostle, as well as Barnabas etc. The “other’ James (1 Corinthians 15:7) is not mentioned as an apostle because he’s already identified as one in Galatians 1:19.

                  When Paul wrote about going “up to Jerusalem” to see Peter, he was writing about an event that occurred many years earlier, shortly after he had converted. It would be more likely he would have here been speaking about “apostles” (proper), or “the twelve.”

                  And according to the biblical evidence given. No other “James” is called an Apostle in Scripture.

                  Regarding (1 Corinthians 15:7): You make the mistake of assuming that since Scripture says, “Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles” – that this must signify it must be a different James than the James mentioned in [Galatians 1:19]. However, what seems to escapes you is that just two verses earlier it says, ” he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.” Are we to assume this means another Cephas as well?

                • Ken Temple

                  Praying to Mary and thinking she is a co-mediatrix, is a clear violation of 1 Timothy 2:5 – for there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ . . .

                • Anthony

                  Co- doesn’t mean “equal”. It means ‘Co’ as in co-operative. It’s odd you say that it violates 1 Timothy 2:5 when the preceding verses speak of Christians interceding for everyone. St. Paul always asked others to pray for him; was going through the prayers of others a violation of 1 Timothy 2:5?

              • Ken Temple

                How do you think the Church Fathers read the Scriptures regarding Our Lady?

                many of them said she sinned. Origen, Chrysostom, Tertullian, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria

                Tertullian said she had a normal marriage after Jesus was born. She was not perpetual virgin.

                Basil the Great:
                Basil commented on the sword of Luke 2:35-36 stating, “Even you yourself [Mary], who hast been taught from on high the things concerning the Lord, shall be reached by some doubt. This is the sword” (Basil of Caesarea, Letter, 260, 9 italics mine).

                Cyril of Alexandria (A. D. 376 – 444) also taught that Mary sinned in severe ways thereby holding to a position in opposition to an immaculate conception:

                “For, doubtless, some such train of thought as this passed through her mind: ‘I conceived Him That is mocked upon the Cross. He said, indeed, that He was the true Son of Almighty God, but it may be that He was deceived; He may have erred when He said: I am the Life. How did His crucifixion come to pass? and how was He entangled in the snares of His murderers? How was it that He did not prevail over the conspiracy of His persecutors against Him? And why does He not come down from the Cross, though He bade Lazarus return to life, and struck all Judaea with amazement by His miracles?” The woman, as is likely, not exactly understanding the mystery, wandered astray into some such train of thought” (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, Book 12).

                • Anthony

                  “many of them said she sinned. ”

                  Actually, I think you’re a little confused. No church Father taught that Mary actually committed personal sin; what was debated among theologians was whether she was conceived without sin, or was later born without sin.

                  That’s exactly why no Church teaching is based upon a single Church Father. I would suggest buying a book on Patristics regarding the Blessed Virgin.

                  St. Cyril of Alexandria
                  “The Word himself, coming into the Blessed Virgin herself, assumed for himself his own temple from the substance of the Virgin and came forth from her a man in all that could be externally discerned, while interiorly he was true God. Therefore he kept his Mother a virgin even after her childbearing” (Against Those Who Do Not Wish to Confess That the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God 4 [A.D. 430]).

                  St. Cyril of Alexandria – Hail, Mary Theotokos, Virgin-Mother, lightbearer, uncorrupt vessel . . . Hail Mary, you are the most precious creature in the whole world; hail, Mary, uncorrupt dove; hail, Mary, inextinguishable lamp; for from you was born the Sun of justice . . . Through you, every faithful soul achieves salvation. (Homily 11 at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus; Gambero, 243, 245)

                  St. Cyril of Alexandria – I see the assembly of the saints, all zealously gathered together, invited by the holy Mother of God, Mary, ever-virgin . . . We hail you, O Mary Mother of God, venerable treasure of the entire world, inextinguishable lamp, crown of virginity, scepter of orthodoxy, imperishable temple, container of him who cannot be contained . . . Through you, the Holy Trinity is glorified; the precious Cross is celebrated and adored throughout the world; heaven exults, the angels and archangels rejoice, the demons are put to flight, the devil, the tempter, falls from heaven, the fallen creation is brought back to paradise, all creatures trapped in idolatry come to know of the truth. (Homily IV Preached at Ephesus Against Nestorius; Gambero, 247-248)

                  Tertullian
                  “And again, lest I depart from my argumentation on the name of Adam: Why is Christ called Adam by the apostle [Paul], if as man he was not of that earthly origin? But even reason defends this conclusion, that God recovered his image and likeness by a procedure similar to that in which he had been robbed of it by the devil. It was while Eve was still a virgin that the word of the devil crept in to erect an edifice of death. Likewise through a virgin the Word of God was introduced to set up a structure of life. Thus what had been laid waste in ruin by this sex was by the same sex reestablished in salvation. Eve had believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. That which the one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight” (The Flesh of Christ 17:4 [A.D. 210].

                  Saint Basil the Great – O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity. …………………By the command of your only-begotten Son we communicate with the memory of your saints…by whose prayers and supplications have mercy upon us all, and deliver us for the sake of your holy name. – Liturgy of Saint Basil, 373AD

                • Ken Temple

                  “Theotokos”, as originally meant, about Jesus being God from conception (and thus pre-existent before the conception in the womb of Mary) was right; but Nestorius was right in that people will get the wrong impression and think Christians are saying Mary brought God into existence, which is exactly what Muslims thought by hearing this, and even to this day, the Muslims still misunderstand and think Christians worship Mary and over-exalt Mary and the Qur’an thought Mary was part of the Trinity because of your church’s error and man-made traditions. (The Qur’an, Surah 5:116, with 5:72-78) puts Mary, Jesus, and God as the Trinity, with Surah 4:171 – “say not three”, etc.)

                • Anthony

                  The term “Theotokos” has three literal translations; It’s literal English translations include “God-bearer”, “Birth-Giver of God” and “the one who gives birth to God.” In fact, the term “God-bearer” (Theotokos) is the very reason why the early Christians described Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant.

                  Secondly, Scripture already identifies Mary as the mother of the Lord (Kyriou – in greek) in Luke 1:43. The same word (Kyriou- Lord) is used in reference to God throughout the New Testament. Hence the title, “Mother of God”.

                  Your mother had nothing to do with the creation of your soul but you don’t go around introducing her as the mother of your physical body only, do you?

        • Anthony

          I meant to say, “Would you also consider that (the Canon) “extra-biblical man made tradition”? If no, why not?

      • Ken Temple

        Decretis or Defense of the Nicene Definition

        you can find it at the ccel [dot] org site or newadvent [ dot] org site

      • Ken Temple

        Decretis or Defense of the Nicene Definition

        you can find it at the ccel [dot] org site or newadvent [ dot] org site

        • Anthony

          Already have NewAdvent on CD-ROM. thanks though

    • Anthony

      You also said, “Protestants agree for the most part with Athanasius and that there was no great apostasy of the church completely going off the rails in the early centuries”. Have you read what St. Athanasius wrote about he Blessed Mother? ……“O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.” Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin 71:216 {ante AD 373).

      • Ken Temple

        That is not a complete apostasy of the whole church at that time. That does not come until the Council of Trent in 1545-1563.

  • Ken Temple

    There is some doubt about the work that has been attributed to Athanasius called, “The Homily of the Papyrus of Turin” – it was found more recently and was unknown in the west for centuries. It is not part of the standard works of the early church fathers and was not in Migne’s Patrology.

    “I wonder whether this is spurious or genuine. The name of the document is not itself frightfully reassuring. It suggests attribution to Athanasius based on a single copy (probably in Coptic-Sahaddic not Greek) from the 6th century or so. As far as I can tell, it was unknown to the Western church as part of the Athanasian corpus and has become known via the journal Le Muséon in 1958.” (Turretinfan, at his blog)

    Even if that can be proven it was from Athanasius himself, it is just his private opinion. It carries no weight at all as authoritative. We can accept the good and Biblical things from the fathers, and reject the man-made traditions and opinions as just that. They are not infallible. Only Scripture is infallible.

    • Anthony

      There is no reputable scholar in Patristics that would deny it is written by St. Athanasius. Yet even if it were so, what dos that prove really? I mean, up until the late 4th century, the Epistle of St. James had not even been quoted in the west.

      If the document is consistent with what the early Church taught then I don’t see problem. And the onus to disprove that St Athanasius wrote that would have to be quite substantial. Considering the writings of his predecessors as well, I don’t think the evidence is in your favour.

      And to say, “it is just his private opinion. It carries no weight at all as authoritative” – Well, to that I say, “Neither does your opinion or interpretation of Scripture carry any weight, it’s just your private opinion”. You’re not infallible either. I would call your beliefs ‘man made traditions’ since they are based on fallible interpretations of Scripture by fallible men since the 16th century. And I would challenge the assertion that only Scripture is infallible.

      • Ken Temple

        Actually, 1 Clement 23:3 seems to be combination of James 1:8 and 2 Peter 3:4, and Clement of Rome is western, and dated at 96 AD. Also a strong case for patristic witness to 2 Peter.

        Even if it can be proven Athanasius did write the Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, it is just his opinion. It just does not sound like him, when I read his other writings.

        You are right, I am not infallible; but neither is any human – no bishop of Rome or “Pope” was ever infallible, not matter how much church claims it.

        Only Scripture is infallible (as opposed to interpretations later in history, non-apostolic traditions, creeds, church councils, bishops, priests, etc.), because it is revelation from God, and only God is infallible. Since God is infallible and perfect, it is a function of His attributes; and Scripture is His Word, therefore Scripture is infallible. Since man makes mistakes, he and Popes and bishops cannot be infallible, since they are human.

        • Anthony

          You seriously want to try and use Clement to prove your case? That might backfire on you when you read the rest of the Epistle. No where does Clement teach ‘sola scriptura’. What’s wrong with you? You think quoting a passage equates to “sola scriptura’? Tell that to the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, and Syriac Churches.

          To say “it doesn’t sound like him” (Athansius) is quite arbitrary and quite a weak argument. No Patrisitc scholar would agree with your assessment. And to say it’s just his ‘opinion’ is also not an argument. That argument can be used against you and every protestant since the tome of the rebellion in the 16th century.

          You said, ” no bishop of Rome or “Pope” was ever infallible, not matter how much church claims it.” – According to the testimony of Scripture, and the witness of the Church in both East and West. Rome holds the Primacy over all other Churches.

          Only Scripture is infallible? Where does the bible say that?
          For someone who claims the bible as their sole authority you sure make a lot of claims and statements that can’t be substantiated by the very doctrine he claims to ascribe to.

          Actually, Jesus is The Word (John 1:1). The Revelation He gave to the Apostles was not all written. Jesus left no written record, nor did He even instruct His Apostles to do so (that’s because His Revelation was taught orally, and a handed down orally). He left us 12 men, who in turn chose and appointed other men, who in turn chose other men etc. ..to lead and teach the flock. Jesus promised that He would be with the Church always, and that He would send the Holy Sprit to guide it. He gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven to bind and loose; and through Peter, He also gave the others the authority to bind and loose (in union with him). This authority and power was passed down to their successors. This was the testimony of all the Bishops throughout Christendom in East and West.

          What is written was in response to particular Churches dealing with specific problems; not a full expository of the faith; that had already been given.

          • Ken Temple

            1 Clement (96 AD) is actually proof that each church had a plurality of elders, and understood that the office of elder and overseer (bishop) was the same. 1 Clement 42-44. This confirms the clear teaching of Scripture in Titus 1:5-7 (elder and bishop same office/person); Acts 14:23 (elders – plural – for each church); 1 Peter 5:1-4 – each elder is to oversee and shepherd (pastor) the flock. Peter is “fellow-elder”, not a Pope nor a “bishop over all other bishops”, (a false doctrine that came along centuries later.) Acts 20:17 (elders) – Acts 20:28 – each elder is to oversee and shepherd the flock. Clement does not claim any special office for himself, never says “I am Pope” or “bishop over bishops” and writes “from the church at Rome” “to the church at Corinth”. He was right to rebuke the schism and rebellion in the Corinthian church for deposing the elders because of jealousy, for they had no good reason to rebel against their church elders.

            There was no hierarchy of one bishop over the college of elders, until Ignatius, who comes a few years after Clement. ( Ignatius, around 107-117 AD) Even so, it was a practical practice, Jerome around 400 AD, agrees that bishops are elders and elders are bishops, and calls what Ignatius and others after him did, as “custom”, rather than revelation/in Scripture. (commentary on Pastoral Epistles).

            • Anthony

              You said, St. Jerome said, “that bishops are elders and elders are bishops, and calls what Ignatius and others after him did, as merely “custom”, Really?

              St. Jerome:

              “Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord . . . I think it my duty to consult the [chair of Peter], and to turn to a church [Rome] whose faith has been praised by Paul [Rom. 1:8]. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. . . . Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact” (Letters 15:1 [A.D. 396]).

              “Far be it from me to speak adversely of any of these clergy who, in succession from the apostles, confect by their sacred word the Body of Christ and through whose efforts also it is that we are Christians” (Letters 14:8 [A.D. 396])

              “‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division” (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).

              “Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself [chief of the apostles], after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the [sacerdotal chair] there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord” (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]).

              “I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with [the chair of Peter]. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails” (Letters 15:2 [A.D. 396]).

              The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, ‘He that is joined to [the chair of Peter] is accepted by me!’ . . . Therefore, I implore your blessedness [Pope Damasus I] . . . tell me by letter with whom it is that I should communicate in Syria” (ibid., 16:2).

            • Anthony

              Of course there was a “plurality of elders’- the greek word for “elder’ is where the English word “Priest” is derived.

              Now you’re getting way “off track” when you say, ” the office of elder and overseer (bishop) was the same.” We see in the writing of Clement and Ignatius, as well as Polycarp and Irenaeus,etc; that there is indeed a hierarchical structure to the church. Clement compares the situation in Corinth to “when jealousy arose concerning the priesthood” in the Old testament [1 Clem. 43:2].

              Then in 1 Clem. 44:1 he says, “Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate.”

              Then in 1 Clem. 44:2 he says, “For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other [approved men] should [succeed them] [in their ministry]. (The greek word for ‘succeed’ means to succeed an office).

              1 Clem. 44:3 “For [it will be no light sin] for us, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties”- (That is what a Catholic Priest does, His office and duties are an extension of the office of the Bishopric).

              1 Clem. 44:4 Blessed are those presbyters who have gone before, seeing that their departure was fruitful and ripe: for they have no fear lest any one should remove them from their [appointed] place.

              Then Clement says, “But we see that you have [removed some men] of excellent behaviour [from the ministry], [which they fulfilled blamelessly] and with honour. (speaking of those priests the Corinthians kicked out).

              Then in Chapter 45 he compares the Corinthians behaviour towards the presbyters with that of ‘wicked’ and ‘unholy’ men in the Old Testament who persecuted the holy men of God.

              And then what does Clement say in Chapter 46 about the presbyters in Corinth and how they should be treated? Clement says, “Such examples, therefore, brethren, it is right that we should follow; since it is written, Cleave to the holy, for those that cleave to them shall themselves be made holy” .

              1 Peter 5:1-4 Peter is a fellow ‘presbyter’ (priest), just as the Pope and any other Bishop is a fellow ‘presbyter’ (priest).

              You said, “not a Pope nor a “bishop over all other bishops”,” – Only Peter was given the keys by Christ (Matthew 16:17-19). Only Peter was given the commission to (poimane) – John 21:15-17). It means ‘to feed”to tend a flock” in the sense of ruling and governing.

              . The greek word is used also in Matthew 2:6, Revelation 2:27, Revelation 12:5.etc Christ speaks to Peter alone in these passages (John 21:15-17) as it recalls what Christ said in (Luke 22:32). That is why Scripture calls the Twelve “Peter and those who were with him”.

              1 Timothy 1:5-7. Timothy was a Bishop who appointed ‘presbyters’ .

              You said, “Clement does not claim any special office for himself, never says “I am Pope” or “bishop over bishops” and writes “from the church at Rome” – According to the testimony of the early Bishops themselves, Clement was the Bishop of Rome which held the Primacy over all other Churches. Secondly the term “Pope” is actually a ‘nickname’ – a term of affection.

              Now you say, “There was no hierarchy of one bishop over the college of elders, until Ignatius, who comes a few years after Clement.” – This is somewhat laughable when one considers why Corinth wrote to the Church in Rome in the first place to settle a dispute. Rome was much farther away than Ephesus for example, where the Apostle John was still alive at the time. And yet Corinth writes to Rome in order to settle a dispute. All of the ancient writers testify that the Epistle was from Clement, the Bishop of Rome.

              Yes, Bishops are Priests, and the Priest (priestly office) is an extension of the Bishop’s authority and duties; although the Priest (Presbyter) is subordinate to the Bishop since he appoints and ordains him.

              I mention St. Jerome in another positing.

              • Ken Temple

                The problem in Latin Christianity (later, Tertullian and Cyprian) was the conflating of the term of priest in the OT with the idea of elder in the NT. A priest in the OT (Kohen) was translated in the NT and Clement as heireus, priesthood as heirosunaes ‘ειρωσυνης (in 1 Clement 43:2, which you quoted). In the NT, an priest is the Greek word heireus / ‘ειρευς where that word in 1 Clement is derived. The Hebrew for that was Kohen כהנ and yet both Hebrew and Greek had other words for “elder” ( Greek: presbuteros / πρεσβυτερος ). There was another Latin term for those that offered the sacrifices in the temple (the priests). Latin = sacerdos, where we get “sacerdotal” from.

                But in English and in Roman Catholicism, the elder/ presbuteros and the priest / Sacerdos got combined into “priest” because they (what later became Roman Catholicism exemplified in the Mass and Transubstantiation – mainly developed from 800s AD to 1215 AD) wanted to combine the ideas of offering sacrifices with the office of elder. But in the NT, there is no sacerdotal office in the NT church, as Jesus was and is our mediator/ high priest, and priest according to the order of Melchizadek (Hebrews 5, 7) and He offered the last and final sacrifice, Himself.

                Since elder in the NT was NOT a sacerdos, it was wrong for the Latin development of the word into priest, rather than to keep the two words separate and clear.

                Clement is pointing out that there was jealousy, envy and strive over the OT priests in the OT times; and there was jealousy and strive against the elders/bishops in the church of Corinth, but he is not saying that elders/bishops are priests like in the OT. The Corinthians were wrong to allow the presbyter-overseers to be deposed, and Clement rightly rebukes them for that; but Clement was not teaching any mono-episcopate or NT priesthood; and he clearly affirmed that elders and overseers (episcopos, translated sometimes as “bishop”) are the same office, just as Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 14:23; and Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3, 5 show. The NT, 1 Clement, the Didache, and the Shepherd of Hermas show that the earliest NT and earliest in church history local church government was a plurality of elders and they were all expected to be shepherds (pastors) and overseers and there was no mono-episcopate; and definitely no “bishop over all other bishops”. The mono-episcopte developed from Ignatius onward, and it grew to a bishop over a larger area, and then, centuries later, evolved into the claims of the bishop of Rome (as “Pope”), but the East never accepted such a claim.

                He clearly teaches that they are the same office, if you read 1 Clement 42 to 44 fairly.

                especially this section of paragraph 44:

                “For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behavior from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honor.” I Clement 44:4-5

                • Anthony

                  You’re not really consistent with your historical analysis; you keep using “this” or “that” Church Father out of context to somehow bolster your position, yet each time it shown that your position in untenable.

                  Now you claim ‘due to’ Tertullian and Cyprian, there was the conflating of the term of priest in the OT with the idea of elder in the NT. This false, as I’ve already said, the term “Priest” is etymologically traced from the greek “Presbuteros”. Secondly, we can see by reading the earliest documents that the Church was hierarchical, Ecclessial, and Sacramental,.

                  Furthermore, we don’t see the “laying on of hands’ for the ministry in Scripture on just anyone:

                  (laying on hands): presbyteros (Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Tim 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim 1:6) and hieruses (Gen 48:14; Num 27:18-20)

                  (preaching and teaching with authority): presbyteros (1 Tim 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, ) and hieruses (Mal 2:7)

                  (shepherding the people): presbyteros (1 Pet 5:1-3) and hieruses (Isa 63:11; Jer 3:15)

                  (wearing special garments and crowns during worship): presbyteros (Rev 4:4) and hieruses (Lev 8:6-9).

                  (offering incense): presbyteros (Rev 5:8) and hieruses (Num 16:40; 1 Sam 2:28)

                  (receiving tithes): presbyteros (Acts 11:29-30) and hieruses (Heb 7:4-5)

                  in [Rev 4:4] it mentions the 24 “elders”; these represent the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 apostles, signifying the continuance of a ministerial priesthood in the New Covenant. And what is the word used to identify BOTH groups? “Presbuterous”!

                  In both the Old And New Testament there were specific men set aside and chosen among the people of God to minister to the Church.

                  [Romans 15:16] – St. Paul mentions his “priestly duties” as a minster of the Gentiles; The greek word for ‘minister’ in [Romans 15:16] is “leitourgon” (where the term ‘Liturgy’ is derived incidentally). And the word ‘leitourgon’ means, – “[a public minister; a servant of the state; one busied with holy things, of a priest],” – It denotes an office of priesthood in where one performs sacred rites in an official capacity. It is also used in [Hebrews 8:2] which speaks of ‘ministering’ in the sanctuary of God. It’s also used in [Romans 13:6] which speaks of those in authority as being servants of God.

                  The greek term for “offering up’ in [Romans 15:16] is ‘phosphor’, and it means, ” the act of offering, a sacrifice, offering for sin, expiatory sacrifice”. The word is also used in [Acts 21:26], [Ephesians 5:2], [Hebrews 10:5], [Hebrews 10:8],[Hebrews 10:14 ], [Hebrews 10:18],[Acts 24:17]. In all of these, the context speaks of offerings for sin in an expiatory sacrificial manner.

                • Anthony

                  You said, (quote) “The NT, 1 Clement, the Didache, and the Shepherd of Hermas show that the earliest NT and earliest in church history local church government was a plurality of elders …the mono-episcopte developed from Ignatius onward” (end quote)

                  I don’t know how you could come to this conclusion logically, especially when you consider the context of St. Clement’s Epistle. Why would the Church in Corinth have written to the Church way over in Rome in the first place? IF the Churches were”independent” as you claim, then why would the Corinthians even bother writing to Rome regarding the matter? Why not settle the matter amongst themselves (among the “local church government” as you put it? And even if they couldn’t settle the dispute amongst themselves and required and outside judiciary on the matter, why not write to a closer Church? Like the Church in Ephesus? or Thessalonica? or Smyrnea? or Philippi? or Colossae? All these were much, much closer, and yet, we see that the Corinthians did not write to them in order to settle the dispute. So why the Church in Rome?

                  And even in the “Shepherd of Hermas” it says, ““Therefore shall you [Hermas] write two little books and send one to Clement [Bishop of Rome] and one to Grapte. Clement shall then send it to the cities abroad, because that is his duty” (The Shepherd 2:4:3 [A.D. 80]).

                  This is further explained by St. Ignatius and St. Dionysius:

                  St. Ignatius of Antioch
                  “Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father” (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).
                  “You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force” (ibid., 3:1).

                  St. Dionysius of Corinth
                  “For from the beginning it has been your custom to do good to all the brethren in various ways and to send contributions to all the churches in every city. . . . This custom your blessed Bishop Soter has not only preserved, but is augmenting, by furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints and by urging with consoling words, as a loving father his children, the brethren who are journeying” (Letter to Pope Soter in Eusebius, Church History 4:23:9 [A.D. 170]).

                • Anthony

                  You also said, “centuries later, evolved into the claims of the bishop of Rome (as “Pope”), but the East never accepted such a claim.” – The East never accepted such claim huh? Yeah, you might want to do a little more research on that: http://www.fisheaters.com/easternfathers.html

                  Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople (466-516)

                  Macedonius declared, when desired by the Emperor Anastasius to condemn the Council of Chalcedon, that ‘such a step without an Ecumenical Synod presided over by the Pope of Rome is impossible.’ (Macedonius, Patr. Graec. 108: 360a (Theophan. Chronogr. pp. 234-346 seq.)

                • Anthony

                  So the East never accepted “the claims of the bishop of Rome (as “Pope”)”????

                  St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)

                  “And why, then, passing by the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? (John 21:15). He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others (Galatians 1:18). And withal, to show him that he must thenceforward have confidence, as the denial was done away with, He puts into his hands the presidency over the brethren. And He brings not forward the denial, nor reproches him with what had past, but says, ‘If you love me, preside over the brethren …and the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if one should say, ‘How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?,’ this I would answer that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher, not of that throne, but of the whole world. (Chrysostom, In Joan. Hom. 1xxxviii. n. 1, tom. viii)

                  “He passed over his fall, and appointed him first of the Apostles; wherefore He said: ‘ ‘Simon, Simon,’ etc. (in Ps. cxxix. 2). God allowed him to fall, because He meant to make him ruler over the whole world, that, remembering his own fall, he might forgive those who should slip in the future. And that what I have said is no guess, listen to Christ Himself saying: ‘Simon, Simon, etc.” (Chrys, Hom. quod frequenter conveniendum sit 5, cf. Hom 73 in Joan 5).

                  John Cassian, Monk (c. 430)

                  “That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God” (Cassian, Contra Nestorium, III, 12, CSEL, vol. 17, p. 276).

                  Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria (450)

                  “I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds. (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

                  “If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives.” (Theodoret Ibid, Epistle Leoni)

                  St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (c. 638)

                  “Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the pope’s) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus, and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul … I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church.” (Sophronius, Mansi, xi. 461)

                  “Transverse quickly all the world from one end to the other until you come to the Apostolic See (Rome), where are the foundations of the orthodox doctrine. Make clearly known to the most holy personages of that throne the questions agitated among us. Cease not to pray and to beg them until their apostolic and Divine wisdom shall have pronounced the victorious judgement and destroyed from the foundation …the new heresy.” (Sophronius, [quoted by Bishop Stephen of Dora to Pope Martin I at the Lateran Council], Mansi, 893)

                  Stephen, Bishop of Dora in Palestine (645)

                  “And for this cause, sometimes we ask for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair (the Chair of Peter at Rome) which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the head and highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from old and from the beginning with power by its canonical or apostolic authority, because the truly great Peter, head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be trusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the Gospel of grace, but because he was also commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for ‘Peter,’ saith He, ‘lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.’ And again, because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God Himself incarnate for us with power and sacerdotal authority …..And Sophronius of blessed memory, who was Patriarch of the holy city of Christ our God, and under whom I was bishop, conferring not with flesh and blood, but caring only for the things of Christ with respect to your Holiness, hastened to send my nothingness without delay about this matter alone to this Apostolic see, where are the foundations of holy doctrine.”

                  St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 650) of Constantinople:

                  How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter (Peter and Paul), and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate .

                  John VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (715)

                  “The Pope of Rome, the head of the Christian priesthood, whom in Peter, the Lord commanded to confirm his brethren. (John VI, Epist. ad Constantin. Pap. ad. Combefis, Auctuar. Bibl. P.P. Graec.tom. ii. p. 211, seq.)

                  St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (758-828)

                  “Without whom (the Romans presiding in the seventh Council) a doctrine brought forward in the Church could not, even though confirmed by canonical decrees and by ecclesiastical usuage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Popes of Rome) who have had assigned to them the rule in sacred things, and who have received into their hands the dignity of headship among the Apostles. (Nicephorus, Niceph. Cpl. pro. s. imag. c 25 [Mai N. Bibl. pp. ii. 30]).

                  St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople (759-826)
                  Writing to Pope Leo III:

                  “Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven. (Theodore, Bk. I. Ep. 23)”

                  Writing to Pope Paschal:
                  Hear, O Apostolic Head, divinely-appointed Shepherd of Christ’s sheep, keybearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, Rock of the Faith upon whom the Catholic Church is built. For Peter art thou, who adornest and governest the Chair of Peter. Hither, then, from the West, imitator of Christ, arise and repel not for ever (Ps. xliii. 23). To thee spake Christ our Lord: ‘And thou being one day converted, shalt strengthen thy brethren.’ Behold the hour and the place. Help us, thou that art set by God for this. Stretch forth thy hand so far as thou canst. Thou hast strength with God, through being the first of all. (Letter of St. Theodore and four other Abbots to Pope Paschal, Bk. ii Ep. 12, Patr. Graec. 99, 1152-3)

                  Writing to Emperor Michael:
                  Order that the declaration from old Rome be received, as was the custom by Tradition of our Fathers from of old and from the beginning. For this, O Emperor, is the highests of the Churches of God, in which first Peter held the Chair, to whom the Lord said: Thou art Peter …and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Theodore, Bk. II. Ep. 86)

                  I witness now before God and men, they have torn themselves away from the Body of Christ, from the Surpreme See (Rome), in which Christ placed the keys of the Faith, against which the gates of hell (I mean the mouth of heretics) have not prevailed, and never will until the Consummation, according to the promise of Him Who cannot lie. Let the blessed and Apostolic Paschal (Pope St. Paschal I) rejoice therefore, for he has fulfilled the work of Peter. (Theodore Bk. II. Ep. 63).

                  In truth we have seen that a manifest successor of the prince of the Apostles presides over the Roman Church. We truly believe that Christ has not deserted the Church here (Constantinople), for assistance from you has been our one and only aid from of old and from the beginning by the providence of God in the critical times. You are, indeed the untroubled and pure fount of orthodoxy from the beginning, you the calm harbor of the whole Church, far removed from the waves of heresy, you the God-chosen city of refuge. (Letter of St. Theodor and Four Abbots to Pope Paschal).

                  Let him (Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople) assemble a synod of those with whom he has been at variance, if it is impossible that representatives of the other Patriarchs should be present, a thing which might certainly be if the Emperor should wish the Western Patriarch (the Roman Pope) to be present, to whom is given authority over an ecumenical synod; but let him make peace and union by sending his synodical letters to the prelate of the First See. (Theodore the Studite, Patr. Graec. 99, 1420)

                • Anthony

                  I also forgot to comment regarding the Didache. You stated that,

                  “presbuteros and the priest / Sacerdos got combined into “priest” because they wanted to combine the ideas of offering sacrifices with the office of elder. But in the NT, there is no sacerdotal office in the NT church”.

                  Firstly, have you read the Didache thoroughly? Cahpter XlV

                  1. “On the Lord’s Day of the Lord come together, break bread and hold Eucharist, after confessing your transgressions that your [offering may be pure]; (NOTE: The Eucharist is described as a pure offering).

                  2. But let none who has a quarrel with his fellow join in your meeting until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice be not defiled. (NOTE: this is taken from [Matthew 5:23-24] which speaks of bringing one’s gift to the altar).

                  3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord, “In every place and time [offer me a pure sacrifice], for I am a great king,” saith the Lord, “and my name is wonderful among the heathen.” (Note: a pure sacrifice is to be offered in every place)

                  Notice how it mentions “breaking bread”, a pure offering, and a sacrifice? And then it says, “and my name is great among the heathen”? This is taken from (Malachi 1:11):

                  “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.”

                  The Hebrew word for “offering” in (Malachi 1:11) is “minchah”- and it means specifically a sacrificial offering – gift, oblation, (meat) offering, present, sacrifice.

                  Secondly, St. Paul says the same thing in (Hebrews 13:15) (read the greek):

                  The greek word for “to offer” is “anapheró”, and it means “to prat upon the altar, to bring to the altar, to offer ” (The altar Paul mentions in verse 10).

                  The word “sacrifice” is “thusia”, and it means “a sacrifice, victim”.

                  The word “praise” in greek is “ainesis” , and it means “thank-offering”

                  So to say that there was “no sacerdotal office in the NT church,”…….and that…….”it mainly developed from 800s AD to 1215 AD)” is unbiblical, as well as historically inaccurate.

                  So while the Old Testament sacrifices are done away with, we now offer the once for all Sacrifice of Calvary, through continued time, always, through Christ, on the altar.

          • Ken Temple

            I did not say 1 Clement taught Sola Scriptura, rather I was responding to your claim that the epistle of James was not even quoted in the west until the late 4th Century.

            You wrote:
            I mean, up until the late 4th century, the Epistle of St. James had not even been quoted in the west.

            And my answer was:
            Actually, 1 Clement 23:3 seems to be combination of James 1:8 and 2 Peter 3:4, and Clement of Rome is western, and dated at 96 AD. Also a strong case for patristic witness to 2 Peter.

            • Anthony

              You stated, “1 Clement 23:3 seems to be combination of James 1:8 and 2 Peter 3:4” etc. – While this is theoretically plausible, it is also plausible that Clement 23:3 is taken from Psalm 119:113 and Ezra 9:7, or with Jeremiah 3:25 and Jeremiah 32:23. It is even plausible that it could come from the Deuterocanonicals.

  • Jim Anderson

    “The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity” Origen, :Commentary on Matthew 2:17″.

    And when he had taken her, ‘he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son. ‘ He hath here used the word ’till, ‘ not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, hath he used the word, ’till’? Because it is usual in Scripture often to do this, and to use this expression without reference to limited times. For so with respect to the ark likewise, it is said, ‘The raven returned not till the earth was dried up. ‘Gen 8:7. And yet it did not return even after that time. And when discoursing also of God, the Scripture saith, ‘From age till age Thou art, ‘ (Psalm 90:2). not as fixing limits in this case. And again when it is preaching the Gospel beforehand, and saying, ‘In his days shall righteousness flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away.’ (Psalm 92:7). It doth not set a limit to this fair part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the word ’till ‘ to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves thee to make the inference. Thus, what it was necessary for thee to learn of Him, this He Himself hath said; that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth; but that which both was seen to be a consequence of the former statement, and was acknowledged, this in its turn he leaves for thee to perceive; namely, that not even after this, she having so become a mother, and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail, and a child-bearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have endured to know her. For if he had known her, and had kept her in the place of a wife, how is it that our Lord (John 19:27). commits her, as unprotected, and having no one, to His disciple, and commands him to take her to his own home?” St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, Homily V”.

    Behold, there immediately present themselves to us, on the threshold as it were, the two priestesses of Christian sanctity, Monogamy and Continence: one modest, in Zechariah the priest; one absolute, in John the forerunner: one appeasing God; one preaching Christ: one proclaiming a perfect priest; one exhibiting ‘more than a prophet,’ – him, namely, who has not only preached or personally pointed out, but even baptized Christ. For who was more worthily to perform the initiatory rite on the body of the Lord, than flesh similar in kind to that which conceived and gave birth to that body? And indeed it was a virgin, about to marry once for all after her delivery, who gave birth to Christ, in order that each title of sanctity might be fulfilled in Christ’s parentage, by means of a mother who was both virgin, and wife of one husband” Tertullian “On Monogamy”, 8.

  • Michael Newhouse

    Ken: when Rod talks of Constantine making Christianity official…I think he’s still talking about how others talk of Constantine.
    Rather odd to quote non scripture to support scripture alone! lol
    Your Athanasius quotes are out of context. To say that the NT books alone are the doctrine of godliness…is to denounce the addition of other books, not the rejection of tradition outside scripture.
    Similarly, if scriptures are “self sufficient”…then they obviously need no extra biblical defense from someone like Athanasius. If they need him…then they aren’t self sufficient!
    And lastly, the Councils he denounces were trying to add to scripture…he wasn’t denouncing legitimate Church councils. His own actions at Nicea themselves disprove such a position.
    Context is everything.
    Protestantism loves to quote things out of context to change essential meanings.
    Obviously, not all Protestants believe in a ‘great apostasy’…but many do. I’ve encountered it myself repeatedly.

    • Ken Temple

      Ken: when Rod talks of Constantine making Christianity official…I think he’s still talking about how others talk of Constantine.

      You are right; I did not catch that at first; Anthony helped me see that earlier in the comboxes.

      I don’t think I took Athanasius out of context at all. Councils and Creeds are good as long as they rightly interpret the Biblical Text, which the first four (Nicea 325; Constantinople 381; Ephesus 431, Chalcedon 451) did on the Deity of Christ, the 2 natures of Christ, the Trinity, the Deity of the Holy Spirit, etc. He was not denouncing Nicea, he was basically saying that Nicea is based on Scripture and properly interprets Scripture.

      But the “orthodox” were too harsh against Nestorians and Mono-physites and the Byzantine Emperors created backlash and bitterness from those groups – Copts, Jacobite-Syrians, Armenians, Assyrians in Mesopotamia, etc. and that is one reason why the at first welcomed the Muslims when they attacked the Byzantine Empire, unfortunately, they were deceived and by the time Islam took over the whole culture and societies with Sharia law and Dhimmi-ism, it was too late for those communities.

      But once the other Councils after the 4th (Chalcedon) started over-exalting Mary and promoting icons etc. they went off.

  • clayton3120 clayton3120

    I agree that it’s best to dis-enable the comments section for these broadcasts so we don’t get into these extended 2 person discussions or open the arena for the ignorant. Their are plenty of venues for people to voice their opinion , but NOT here. We’re here for the broadcast with Marcus & guest.