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What is Christianity? How can we understand it better? What don't we understand?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ObiWan506, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    Most Protestants don't claim they need priests to have a special connection to God. All believers are "priests" in that we all have a special connection with God, made possible by Jesus.
  2. Asterix_of_Gaul

    Asterix_of_Gaul Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 13, 2007
    Peter explains his actions regarding his encounter with Cornelius in Acts 10

    Acts 11: The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, ?You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.?

    Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: ?I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice telling me, ?Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.?

    ?I replied, ?Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.?

    ?The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ?Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.? This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

    ?Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man?s house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ?Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.?

    ?As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ?John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.? So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God?s way??

    18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ?So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.?

    I think this story is somewhat pertinent to the current conversation. I particularly like lines 15-17:

    ?As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ?John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.?So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God?s way?

    Does the Holy Spirit still work in the world? Is it possible God could make bishops or teachers or priests out of any man, woman, or child? I was under the impression that Protestant denominations have roots, roots that stem back to the old Roman Catholic church, but roots just the same--roots that ultimately stretch back to Christ

    I also like what Paul says here (1 Corinthians 1 NIV 10-31):

    I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe?s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ?I follow Paul?; another, ?I follow Apollos?; another, ?I follow Cephas?; still another, ?I follow Christ.?

    Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don?t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel?not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
    ?I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.?

    Where is the wise
  3. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    I don't disagree with what you noted about differences. What I find strange is your fixation on that point.

    Where is it ever outlined as significant? Religion is about belief. Therefore, the only relevant question should be whether one's beliefs are in line with what was originally taught. Everything else is white noise.

    The exception to that would be if there was a specific line of authority established. However, we don't really have evidence to support that. Even if we accept that Peter was anointed as some sort of supreme authority (pretty questionable, I'd say, given historical records of Paul openly correcting/over-ruling him), that doesn't mean that his power was transferable. In every other instance were this sort of set-up is used (the Aaronic priesthood, the Davidic royal line, etc) God is quite explicit about the fact that he's creating an institution rather than simply endowing one person with special significance. Where there are transfers of authority absent this sort of thing, they don't last. For instance, while Elisha took up (literally + figuratively) Elijah's mantle, the next great prophet to come out of Israel was not someone who had studied under or was anointed by Elisha. Nor was there any line of prophets that carried Elijah's special authority. He was just a particular man that God used at one moment in time. Likewise, while Joshua is Moses's appointee, we don't have a record of a line of Joshua appointees ever rise to prominence in Jewish history again.

    Likewise, what evidence do we have to suggest that Peter was meant to be anything other than a person who, at one single moment, was important? Where are you getting that he had some transferable line of authority?
  4. Darth Kruel

    Darth Kruel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 3, 2000

    The onus is on a writer like myself to settle the value of the Gospel narratives. It should be borne in mind that none of the four Gospel writer?s was an eye-witness to the crucifixion. For the disciples of Jesus deserted him when the enemies hemmed in on him(Matthew 26:56). It is likely that the Gospel writers were not even his disciples. Their editing, therefore is mere hearsay. Their evidence is based on second-hand reporting. In the reporting of only one event, over twenty discrepancies more than suffice to discredit the evidence. I request my readers to sit in judgment on the case of the murder of one of the greatest among prophets. This case is of enormous consequence; for if murder was committed according to the Christians and Jews, alike, the victim is accursed. The Christians who claim that the Messiah was killed have no eyewitnesses at their disposal. They rely on speculations and hearsay of the editors of the Gospels whose testimony is at variance. It is the law of all the courts of the world that when witnesses are at variance their evidence cannot be relied upon.

    Below are listed discrepancies among the Gospels:

    1. Who shouldered the Cross to Golgatha- Jesus or Simon?
    According to Mark: And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross. (Mark15: 21-22)
    According to Luke: they seized one Simon of Cyrene and laid on him his cross to carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26
    According to Matthew: they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. Matthew 27:32
    John in sharp contrast to these three- narrates: So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross to the place called in Hebrew Golgatha. John 19:17

    2. Did the Messiah taste wine mixed with myrrh or vinegar before he was put on the cross?
    According to Matthew: And when they came to a place called Gogatha they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. (Matthew 27:33-34)
    According to Mark: And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it. (Mark 15: 23).
    Matthew reports that Jesus tasted the wine mingled with gall but would not drink it. In the latter report he did not at all take the wine mingled with myrrh. Luke and John emit the incident altogether.

    3. The story of vinegar on the cross. Luke keeps mute on it. According to John: After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture) ?I thirst?. A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. (John 19:28-30

    According to Mark: And one ran and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink., saying?.(Mark 15:36)
    According to Matthew: And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. (Matthew 27:47-49
    The three testimonies clash. John reports that by saying ?I thirst?, Jesus let his wish be known to slake his thirst. According to the other two, neither did he ask for water nor did he say ?I thirst?. John states ?they? held the sponge to Jesus? mouth. Matthew and Mark however reduce ?they? to only one person.
    Again Mark and Matthew are in dispute: Mark has it that the one man who gave Jesus the drink said ?Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come down?. Whereas in Matthew, it is not the one man but ?the others? who utter it.

    4. At what time was the Messiah put on the tree? Matthew and Luke leave out the hour of Jesus being put on the Cross. John reports: Now it was the day of
  5. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    This is silly. It will take a great deal of time to work through all of these point by point, but seeing as how the same few logical fallacies are used in them all, I'll just do one to demonstrate.

    This isn't "in sharp contrast" to anything. The previous three note that as Jesus was in transit to Golgotha, a person named Simon was recruited to help carry the cross. John skips any mention of the journey altogether, and simply notes that Jesus left carrying it himself and eventually arrived. Logically, both statements can be true. One author's failure to mention the same level of detail as another is not evidence that the event did not happen. That's one possible explanation, but it's equally plausible that he didn't feel it was worth mentioning. This would fit with the broader, widely observed pattern that the gospels are written with different stresses on Jesus's biography to highlight different points. Much as a biography of any modern day figure can be very different while drawing from the same set of facts, depending on how much time and emphasis they spend on particular events. That doesn't mean either one is false.

    Contradictions are when you have sets of irreconcilable statements. It's not when you have one statement and a lack of commentary from another person.

    To go further, trying to talk about this as if it were a "trial" is painfully stupid. It wasn't and isn't. They are narrative accounts of one man's life and death (and subsequent continued life). There is no expectation that they corroborate each other on every point, or that they find the same things worth telling, or that they express details in all the same ways. In fact, were they going to do that, there would be little point in having separate accounts in the first place. Obama's "Dream from My Father" isn't the same as Remnick's "The Bridge" even though both have chapters covering his childhood. Joseph Ellis's "His Excellency: George Washington" is not the same book as Ron Chernow's "Washington: A Life." None of them are false, and none of them call into question the existence of either George Washington or Barack Obama. You'll need to come up with something better than this sort of lame argument.

    EDIT: Because I missed it earlier in the other discussion, I agree with Asterix completely. Protestant churches do indeed have "roots that stretch back to Christ." And for a religion that's supposed to be about Jesus, I would argue those are the only ones that should matter.
  6. Darth Kruel

    Darth Kruel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 3, 2000

    An inaccuracy is an inaccuracy. A contradiction is a contraction which means it's a damn lie. It's falsehood! Period! If it were a true account, the fourth gospel writer would not have differed in any way. You only tried your hand at the first conflicting report and you ignored the rest. If you look with a critical eye, you will see very clearly that all of the gospel writers are perpetually at variance when telling this one incident.

    If four cops gave the same report but three or two of them left out certain details and all of their accounts differed heavily and the reports were needed in a court of law to decide a case, then the case itself would be thrown out completely and totally. To say that to view it as a trial is stupid is just a trifling way of ignoring the importance of telling the truth when taking a painstaking analytical look at these ridiculously opposite accounts pertaining to the same occurrence. If these reports to this one story is so full of inconsistencies like the Bible reads, then there is absolutely no way in hell that this story is even half true.

  7. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    Your trial mentality is unhelpful for a number of reasons. In the first place, it creates expectations that biographical authors clearly aren't bound by. For instance, speculating on other people's state of minds is expressly forbidden in a court of law. Biographers (the gospel writers included) do it all the time. Trials use an evidentiary standard of "reasonable doubt." Nothing can be accepted as true unless all other possibilities can be pretty soundly disproven. History, on the other hand, most often works under a model of "reasonable certainty." We accept things as true not because our ability to disprove alternatives is iron-clad (it almost never is) but because it is the most likely among several possible explanations, even if that means being only marginally more likely than the next best alternative. Trials seek fairly narrow context so as not to prejudice the jury against the accused. Biographies seek fairly wide context, so they can better understand the motivations of the person under study. Most fundamentally of all, no one understood themselves to be writing an affidavit. How is it enlightening to look at something that you know was not written for a court proceeding and then say "This doesn't even look like it was written to be submitted as evidence in court!" Yeah, we know that. Given all the clashes between the legal approach and the historian's approach, why are you advocating that we should approach this as if it were a trial? It's clearly inappropriate.

    Even if it weren't, it doesn't help your case. When one witness mentions something that another doesn't, that doesn't invalidate either person's testimony. What it would typically do is trigger cross-examination of the witness that didn't say anything to see if that fit with their recollection or not (Note: The inability to cross-examine is another reason this whole "court" setup of yours is unworkable.). It would only be problematic if the two witnesses could not corroborate each other's accounts. As it is, we don't know if they can or not, because no one ever asked.

    This would mean something if you pointed out an actual falsehood. All you pointed out is that one person thought a particular event was worth mentioning, and another one didn't. That's not being "false." Let's do another to satisfy you, though. Maybe I just picked an unlucky one?

    You're calling your reading comprehension into doubt here. Luke says that they did not believe the women's report that Jesus lived. Mark, on the other hand, says the following.

    Emphasis mine. In other words, Mark contains two denials not because there is an "inconsistency." Both agree that no one believed the women. Mark contains a second denial because it is concerning a second, unrelated incident. So, in addition to the problems of your last "point" we reviewed, this has the additional problem that you are just factually incorrect about what the text said. You've really got to do better than this.
  8. Obi-Zahn Kenobi

    Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 23, 1999
    Regardless of Peter, the bishop's authority is clearly transferable. Paul laid hands on Timothy and indicated that Timothy was able to lay hands on others - that laying on of hands has been transmitted down to this day.

    The Catholic Church (as well as the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Eastern Orthodox churches) all have bishops who have received that laying on of hands. Obviously, none of us (in the four) think that the Anglicans, who have bishops, actually have any sort of tangible authority (because of their severe deviation from the faith), but we all have a traceable link.

    Religions such as Pentecostalism have a clear period of founding wherein no recognized Christian authority granted their bishops or pastors authority to be bishops or pastors. These men took their authority, from, well, nowhere in my view, but "from the Holy Spirit" in the view of many that follow them.

    But the fact remains; the Apostles ordained men, those men ordained others. In succession, those men are governing the Catholic Church. They are not governing any of the Protestant ecclesial communities because those communities clearly and discernibly in history broke from the Catholic Church with invention ("re-discovery") of novel ("lost") doctrine.
  9. Darth Kruel

    Darth Kruel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 3, 2000

    I'm just simply making comparisons to how this one incident reads. I'm putting Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John under scrutiny to see how they all differ from each other concerning this story. You have four separate accounts with each of them differing greatly from what the other said happened. That can't be relied upon as a true account if they do this. If one of them say they went to the tomb when it
  10. DarthDogbert

    DarthDogbert Jedi Master star 2

    Sep 2, 2004
    There are a couple of problems with the idea of an unbroken succession of authority through the bishops, etc.

    First, authority did not necessarily mean truth. What if there was an apostacy from the truth from within the bishops themselves? In fact, Paul warned the Ephesian elders (bishops) of this very thing in Acts 20:28-31.

    28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish every one night and day with tears.

    Second, the authority that does constitute truth lies only in the word of God (Jn. 17:17). It is true that in the first century this word was given by the Holy Spirit to inspired men, particularly the apostles. However, as the church matured and the work of the revelation of the gospel was nearing completion, Paul made it clear where authority would be found moving forward.

    Eph. 3:3-4
    3 how that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in a few words, 4 whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;

    Gal. 1:6-8
    6 I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from His that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; 7 which is not another gospel, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.

    It didn't matter if you were a bishop, apostle, or angel - if you altered God's previously revealed and recorded word, you were to be rejected!

    1 Tim. 5:19-20
    Against an elder [same office as bishop, see 1 Pet. 5:1-3 (kjb)] receive not an accusation, except at the mouth of two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin reprove in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear.

    So coming back around to the question of authority in the church today, if I have the words of Paul, Peter, and the rest (truly being the words of the Holy Spirit), then that's all I need to be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). I don't need the blessing of someone today, particularly when their doctrine differs from what I have in front of me right now.

    One last thing, taking a note from the history of the Jews. When Josiah found the copy of the Law, neglected for so many years, did he have to find a succession of priests somewhere to reestablish truth? No, he tore his clothes and called all the people together, both small and great, to hear the word of God together. Then they went out and did it. And this is what people have done for the past 2000 years when they find the truth.
  11. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 15, 2000
    I don't know about that. Whilst I agree with you that adopting a 'trial' approach is ridiculous (as ridiculous as Lee Strobel's "The Case for Faith" books) I always thought that the reliability and credibility of the Gospels are highly questionable given the absence of knowledge as to the identity of the authors, the fact that the accounts were written based upon an oral tradition well after the events described (not contemporaneous)and the total absence of any other contemporary supporting evidence. Moreover, the Gospels of the NT were 'selected' in a committee meeting (and others rejected). Now I'm no historian, but if we were to apply the principles of the 'historic method' to the Gospels, no historian worth their salt would be able to suggest that they represent a credible or reliable historical record.

    I am inclined to believe that there was a historical Jesus who did some good stuff and certain claims about him were made but the likelihood that the Gospels accurately describe the actual events is extremely low, certainly the 'evidence' does not come anywhere near the establishing the threshold of "reasonable certainty".

    What gives the Gospels credibility to those who follow them is presumably the belief that the events described therein and the manner in which the events have been passed down in written form were guided by the Holy Spirit. This is a question of faith, not history.
  12. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    LOH: I wasn't trying to assert that the gospels were validated by historians. You're correct. I was just trying to list a series of differences between the historical and legal approaches to demonstrate why it didn't make sense to approach the problem as he did.

    No it isn't. Let's look.

    Inconsistency doesn't just mean that one account has a detail that another lacks. The details must actually contradict one another. Nothing about a second appearance of Jesus after his death makes an earlier appearance to Mary Magdalene impossible or illogical. There is no contradiction, because the two events really have nothing to do with each other.

    More broadly, writers are under no obligation to include every detail you think they should. They very much can exclude information "because they feel like it" since their purpose is to tell the things about Jesus's life that they personally think are important to know. There's no objective standard of importance that everyone agrees to. That you would pick different things to tell than they would means absolutely nothing.

    This is especially the case because the gospels are upfront about being incomplete accounts. John, for instance, offers "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." If someone tells you a story, and says specifically that they left out some details, why are you surprised that when you hear the story from other people you hear more details? You were already told that was going to happen.
    This is true, and pretty irrelevant to our discussion. The issue is not whether bishops can raise up other bishops. The question is how legitimacy is conferred on groups of believers. Your argument is that it can only come from operating under the auspices of a bishop that was elevated to his post by some small circle of original legitimate bishops. That assertion seems off to me, as prominent leaders appeared who were raised up by no one at all. It also seems inconsistent with the plethora of tests for legitimate belief that appear in the epistles, all of which deal with, you know, actual beliefs, rather than the pedigree of some clergy.
  13. mjerome3

    mjerome3 Jedi Knight star 6

    May 11, 2000
  14. Obi-Zahn Kenobi

    Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 23, 1999
    Paul was prophesying about Protestantism and the like.

    Do not forget that Christ promised that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church. As for the Holy Writ being all you need? That verse in Timothy doesn't say it.

    Sola Scriptura, let's face it, is not found in scripture.
  15. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    Even if he was prophesying about Protestants, doesn't that put a rather gaping hole in your logic? Clearly, bishops are not doctrinally inerrant, even when part of the "legitimate" line of succession that you recognize. This is, after all, the Anglican case. If bishops are not a priori inerrant, then one needs a criteria for determining whether they are adhering to the true doctrines of Christianity or not. What is that, exactly? You just ruled out sola scriptura. The Anglican case also rules out any sort of polling/consensus method, since it's just as possible for several bishops to be in error as it is for a single one (or, again, the Anglicans could not have developed). How then do you propose a Christian ensure that they are being faithful to the teachings of God?
  16. Obi-Zahn Kenobi

    Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 23, 1999
    The consensus of the bishops through an ecumenical council expressed through the teaching of the Apostolic See, which has never taught heresy.

    How do you know the Bible is true? Or that it has 66 or 73 books?

    Catholics believe it because that is what the Church teaches. Protestants believe it because it's what Martin Luther taught (he came up with the whole 66 books thing).
  17. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003

    If you're talking about some sort of historical/sociological perspective, perhaps. But by those rules, the Catholic justifications wouldn't stand up very well either.

    Apart from that, and taking people's stated beliefs credibly, no Protestant would ever tell you they believe the Bible has 66 books "because that's what Martin Luther taught." They would tell you that they do so because they are convinced of the divine inspiration of those texts, but no others. Whereas you are quite comfortable making the case that it is, in fact, enough to accept that the books are legitimate simply because someone in authority has said they are.

    That's the difference between the two, but it's not really clear that either method is manifestly "better" than the other.
  18. Obi-Zahn Kenobi

    Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 23, 1999
    Why only those 66 then? Because, every single Christian Church before Martin Luther (who in his versions of the Bible moved the seven "apocryphal" books to the back) uses those seven books in their canons of scripture.

    Protestants have inherited the tradition that those 66 books are divinely inspired - from Martin Luther, yet at the same time they deny the validity of religious tradition. The Catholic Church has inherited a tradition from the apostles of using the Septuagint - which has all 73 books of the Bible in it. We at least admit that tradition is a valid source of tradition, whereas sola scriptura is self-nullifying because the Bible does not contain a table of contents in any of its 73 books, let alone the truncated Protestant version.
  19. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    Your assertion is in error, OZK. The teaching does not specify "only these 66 texts are the supreme authority for Christian living." It specifies that Holy Scripture, however defined, is the only source of legitimate doctrine. Defining the scope of texts that are properly designated as divinely inspired is an entirely separate debate, and the one does not affect the others.

    Consequently, yes, most Protestants believe in 66 books. But if a given believer subsequently became convinced that, say, the book of Revelations were false, sola scriptura would merely dictate that they have a responsibility to use the 65 whose authenticity they are convinced of as their ultimate source of doctrine. A debate about a definition does not invalidate a principle that invokes the term in question, it simply makes it more difficult to apply.
  20. Darth Kruel

    Darth Kruel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 3, 2000

    As LostonHothsaid, the reliability and credibility of the gospels are highly questionable. I'll go one further and state that they are more doubtful than even probable. For people to blindly accept them as %100 truth is not only naive, but idiotic. From as far as the eyes can see, the gospels themselves appears as half truths, not one hundred percent facts. The instances or the places in the gospels that I mentioned are indeed contradictions, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. No, an author doesn't have to mention the certain things that the others did. But then again it appears in retrospect to what the other authors wrote extremely invalid because of the wide differences of the accounts themselves.

    Christianity is not only irrational in its dogmas concerning Jesus, but highly questionable even as a religion itself. Islam simply rejects the doctrines of atonement, original sin, Jesus being God, and the sonship of Jesus. To view Jesus simply and logically as a prophet of God-Yahweh-Allah sent to the Jews during a certain time and place is more rational.
  21. Obi-Zahn Kenobi

    Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 23, 1999
    Where in the Bible is the doctrine of sola scriptura elucidated or endorsed?
  22. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    Many apologies, OZK. I forgot about this. To work, then. I'd say an easy justification runs along the following lines.

    Jess, is here, speaking about quite a specific issue, and we shouldn't diminish that in our analysis. However, he was only citing that in a broader discussion. The inciting event was a challenge by critics that Jesus's disciples did not regard tradition. Thus, his response should be exemplary of his feelings about man-made traditions overall. Otherwise, we're left to surmise that the argument here was, somehow, that two wrongs make a right. Since this notion is clearly contradicted at multiple other points in scripture, the broader interpretation seems to be the one that is more sound, and in line with Jesus's intent. Likewise, if Jesus's problem was with that particular tradition, rather than the idea of using traditions as a valid guide for behavior, one expects his remarks would've had a different theme. Summarily, then, I think this passage (and the surrounding event) makes a clear case that verifiable "commandments of God" are to have clear supremacy over any other potential sources of doctrine.

    I'd be surprised if you didn't disagree with this analysis. And there are other clear points of divergence, like the Protestant versus Catholic understanding of divine inspiration, which one imagines would affect what is defined as a "commandment of God." Ultimately, though, those sort of concerns are second order. The salient point here is that, contrary to your original claim, sola scriptura is not somehow contradicted by broader Protestant thought. It's just an idea you happen to disagree with.
  23. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 28, 2001
    How do you define scripture?

    If you define it to only mean the Bible (as in the 66-book volume consisting of what we call today the Old Testament and the New Testament), then there is nothing that specifically endorses it.

    However, the Bible does reference scripture as an authoritative source in many places, such as 2 Timothy 3:16, and John 5:39. The problem comes when you try to limit "scripture" to only mean "the Bible", because the Bible as we know it didn't exist until around AD 400, and even then how it is defined has remained a point of contention between denominations, and wasn't "settled" until the 16th century.

    In the LDS Church, we define scripture fairly simply:[blockquote]And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

    [link=]D&C 63:4[/link][/blockquote]Scripture consists of those revelations given by God to man through His prophets.

    Kimball Kinnison
  24. Jedi_Corin_Daan

    Jedi_Corin_Daan Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 6, 2010
    "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel? which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God?s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God?s curse!...I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." Galations 1:6-9, 11-12
  25. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi

    Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 31, 2002
    Excellent points, all. I have a question for those of you who believe that the King James version of the Bible is the only valid, correct translation of the Bible and any other Bible is no good--What about the Greek Orthodox Church's Bible, which has never had to be translated from the original Greek into any other language?

    I read posts on another website (Yahoo group) of evangelical Christians who believe that the KJV is the only valid, true, and best translation out there and anyone who believes/reads or goes to a church that reads/believes/teaches from any other translation is preaching a false gospel and those people are condemned to eternal damnation.

    What do you all think?