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  • Is Mary Really the “Mother of God”?

    January 17, 2012 | 365 Comments

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    Catholics believe that Mary is “the Mother of God,” a co-mediator with Jesus, herself sinless and virgin born. They even believe that she ascended to heaven. What do the Scriptures say?

    Hour 1:
    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: God sent His son into the world, that through Him we might be saved.  Jesus has been given the highest name in the universe because He humbled himself to come in form of servant, died a criminal’s death, and has been highly exalted. May all the honor and glory go to Him and praise be to the Father!
    Hour 2:
    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line:  There is no question that there are many issues that divide Catholic and Protestant, and that we deeply differ on the position of Mary. Let us then exalt and preach Jesus: crucified, risen, exalted, and coming again!

    Hour 1:

    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: God sent His son into the world, that through Him we might be saved.  Jesus has been given the highest name in the universe because He humbled himself to come in form of servant, died a criminal’s death, and has been highly exalted. May all the honor and glory go to Him and praise be to the Father!

    Hour 2:

    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is no question that there are many issues that divide Catholic and Protestant, and that we deeply differ on the position of Mary. Let us then exalt and preach Jesus: crucified, risen, exalted, and coming again!

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    Comments

    365 Responses to “Is Mary Really the “Mother of God”?”

    1. Kyzersoze
      January 17th, 2012 @ 7:50 am

      Always wondered why Protestants disagreed with Catholics over the title “Mary, the Mother of God” if both systems belief Jesus is God. But then I saw this video where it was explaimed that “she was the mother of the body”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKzEgny76pc

      Does this view hold true for most Protestant denominations or..?

    2. Jason Engwer
      January 17th, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

      I’m at work when Dr. Brown’s program airs, so I listen to it later on the web. I just got done listening to today’s program on Mary.

      There are a lot of problems with what the Catholic caller, Frank, argued. I’ll give a few examples.

      He cites 2 Samuel 6 and parallels Mary to the ark of the covenant. That argument is faulty and has been answered many times. For example, Dr. Brown mentioned James White, and he’s written an article on this subject. Search his web site, aomin.org, for an article titled “A Biblical Basis for the ‘Immaculate Conception’?”. See, also, pages 166-168 in Eric Svendsen’s Who Is My Mother? (Amityville, New York: Calvary Press, 2001). As some of the leading Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars in the world concluded in their study of Mary:

      “However, in our judgment there is no convincing evidence that Luke specifically identified Mary with the symbolism of the Daughter of Zion or the Ark of the Covenant.” (Raymond Brown, et al., Mary In The New Testament [Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1978], 134)

      The earliest ark parallels among the church fathers identify Jesus or something else, not Mary, as the parallel to the ark (Irenaeus, Fragments From The Lost Writings Of Irenaeus, 48; Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, 5:6; Tertullian, The Chaplet, 9; Hippolytus, On Daniel, 2:6; etc.). The earliest patristic interpreter of Revelation 11:19, Victorinus, doesn’t refer to Mary as the ark (Commentary On The Apocalypse Of The Blessed John, 11:19).

    3. Jason Engwer
      January 17th, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

      Frank claims that Irenaeus and Hippolytus referred to Mary as sinless. That’s false.

      I’ve read everything that’s extant from Irenaeus. Not only does he never refer to Mary as sinless, but he suggests otherwise. For example, he comments that Jesus is the only person who’s been perfectly righteous (Demonstration Of The Apostolic Preaching, 72). He interprets John 2:4 as a rebuke of Mary for her “untimely haste” (Against Heresies, 3:16:7).

      What about Hippolytus? There have been disputes about the authorship of a lot of works that have been attributed to him. I don’t know what work of Hippolytus Frank is referring to or whether Hippolytus actually wrote it. I also don’t know why he thinks Hippolytus (or another author Frank is confusing with Hippolytus) refers to Mary as sinless in that document. His reference to Hippolytus is too vague to verify.

      Frank cited Revelation 12, but the passage seems to identify the woman as Israel. Compare Revelation 12:1 to Genesis 37:1-9. And read the rest of Revelation 12. Ask yourself whether the events described there happened in Mary’s life.

    4. Jason Engwer
      January 17th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

      The earliest post-apostolic interpreters didn’t see Revelation 12 as supportive of a Roman Catholic view of Mary:

      “Even Oecumenius, the first true proponent of the full-orbed Marian interpretation, is not considered a canonized father of the church….The number of patristic writers in the first six centuries who subscribe to the people of God view of Revelation 12 (at least sixteen known to us, counting Quodvultdeus, nine of whom are canonized saints) far exceeds the number of those who see Mary as the primary or secondary referent (only two, none of whom are canonized fathers of the Roman church)….It is not until the fifth century (in Quodvultdeus) and the sixth century (in Oecumenius) that we find positive evidence for seeing, respectively, Mary as a secondary referent unintended by the author of the Revelation and Mary as the primary referent in the interpretation of this text. In any case, the Marian interpretation was never the majority opinion in the early church. The majority viewed the ‘woman’ as the people of God, both the ancient church and the New Covenant church.” (Eric Svendsen, Who Is My Mother? [Amityville, New York: Calvary Press, 2001], 231-232)

      See, for example, Hippolytus (Treatise On Christ And Antichrist, 61), Methodius (The Banquet Of The Ten Virgins, Discourse 8:5-7), and Victorinus (Commentary On The Apocalypse Of The Blessed John, 12:1-2). These fathers often make the same observations about the passage that are made by modern critics of the Marian interpretation. They sometimes argue against elements of the Marian view, and they don’t advocate the Marian view anywhere else, so it seems unlikely that they were merely proposing other interpretations in addition to the Marian understanding. Rather, it seems that the earliest interpreters didn’t see Mary in Revelation 12. They identified the woman as some other entity and repeatedly contradicted the Marian interpretations that are popular today.

    5. Jason Engwer
      January 17th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

      Regarding the canon of scripture, Frank is wrong about alleged New Testament support for the canonicity of the Apocrypha. Go to the blog I write for, Triablogue, and search for an article titled “Poppin-Jay on the Canon”. Concerning his claim that the canon was determined by councils like Hippo and Carthage, see the Triablogue article titled “Popes, Councils, And The New Testament Canon”. We also have a lot of other material on canonical issues. Search for our page titled “The Canon Of Scripture”.

      Again, much of what Frank said was false or misleading. I suggest that people research his claims (and mine) rather than accepting them at face value.

    6. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 17th, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

      Jason,

      Great stuff, and I do hope that Frank joins in here. Given the nature of my program and what I was attempting to do today, I wanted to major on the majors, be clear about the issues at stake, and stay focused on the Word — allowing the Catholic exaltation of Mary to speak for itself — as opposed to a formal debate setting which would involve much more detailed responses. So, your posts do our listeners a tremendous service. Thanks!

    7. Mark Kielinski
      January 17th, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

      the problem is that protestants are sola scriptora a false teaching. Jesus came to build a church and his church (catholic) in infallable. You say you can’t prove that mary was sinless during her life well you also can’t prove the trinity from scripture or that masturbation is a sin which most christians agree on those 2 topics.

    8. Eric
      January 18th, 2012 @ 1:52 am

      Dear Jason,

      I appreciate the input. I’ve heard a few of Dr. James White’s debates with Catholic priests/apologists. I have not studied the major Catholic-Protestant issues in depth too much, so your posts (what you said/recommended) are good resources.

      God bless you.

    9. MRuhl
      January 18th, 2012 @ 2:23 am

      Just for a clarification here. Dr. Brown said over and over in this program that in Catholic Doctrine, Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven. That is incorrect. Mary was assumed into heaven according to the Catholic Church. Ascension is going to heaven on your own power(like Jesus), whereas assumption is God taking them to heaven by his power. That is the Catholic belief about Mary.

      Also, you might want to look up the “Dormition of Mary” in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. That is very interesting and might scare you more than the Catholic traditions about Mary. It says that Mary was dead for three days then rose again then God assumed her into heaven.

      God Bless

    10. Eric
      January 18th, 2012 @ 3:02 am

      I liked how the show ended with Frank sharing his view of Jesus. That was a good show and I hope to see more like this. Perhaps Dr. Brown could have a discussion with Dr. James White and some Catholic apologist some time. That would be great to hear and beneficial for all those listeners who called in raising questions.

    11. Will
      January 18th, 2012 @ 9:52 am

      Definitely an issue that requires cool emotions,thought you did a great job. Catholics are great people who love God, but they are getting a raw deal. Call it whatever you want veneration, reverence, whatever, when you have people kneeling and praying to Images, statues, of Mary or Jesus or any being, this is absolutely forbidden. Jesus didn’t even say for us to pray to him, he said pray to the Father. Yet they call her the Queen of Heaven, I immediately think of Jermiah 44.

      I know this will annoy you Dr. B, but don’t you think this is a horrible outcome of misunderstanding Luke 1? Why are we still taking verses like this literal? The canticle of Mary? Who was sitting there scribbling down furiously what a poor teenage Jew in Roman Palestine was saying in a remote village B.C.? The answer is nobody, we can’t take these as literal and they were clearly added to impart a specific theology that the writer had in mind.

      BTW Matthew clearly shows that Joseph and Mary had sexual union after Jesus was born. And look at the actions of Jesus in Mark, who is my Mother etc, he didn’t fall down and prostrate himself to his Queen nor did he say Go ye unto my Mom for help that I can’t give you. Isaiah 53 doesn’t talk about the suffering servants Mom.

      We should be able to trace a clear, unclouded, path of theology back to the Torah and Profits but the Catholic church has added way to many detours to even begin to mention.

    12. Bo
      January 18th, 2012 @ 10:43 am

      Galatians 4
      4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
      5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

      Those that are “under the law” are the ones that have broken it. Messiah was not under the law. He never broke it. His mother was under the law. She was “a women, made under the law.” He redeemed “them that were under the law.” He did not redeem Himself. He did not need adopting. Marry needed both. The phrase, “under the law” is virtually the same as, “under sin.” Only those that are under sin need redeeming. Those that are guilty are the ones that have broken the law. They are under the law/sin.

      Romans 3
      9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
      19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

      Romans 7
      14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

      Galatians 3
      22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

      Shalom

    13. Daryl
      January 18th, 2012 @ 11:45 am

      One thing that disturbs me most about this topic is that throughout the centuries after the early church, the Roman Catholic church added various beliefs and traditions to the existing holy scripture, which were to be adhered to and made as important as belief in the scripture itself. Given the errors of judgement made by the RC church as seen in recorded history on everything from killing heretics to making gross mininterpretations of scripture to disallowing anyone to even have or own a Bible, what makes one believe that what catholics adhere to today as tradition and teaching is so above reproach?

    14. Dan1el
      January 18th, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

      Bo,
      By the same token, if it weren’t clearly written in Scripture, you’d probably have refuted Jesus’s baptism — since, it was only for sinful men. Jesus WAS under the Law — the word “made” applied to his being “made of a woman”, and “made” applies to His being “made under the Law”.

      Yeshua was under the Law; TODAY, after His death (“the death He died, He died to sin, once for all”), we and He are free from the Law.

    15. Bo
      January 18th, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

      Dan1el,

      Those that are “under the law” are the ones that have broken it. Messiah was not under the law. He never broke it. His mother was under the law. She was “a women, made under the law.” He redeemed “them that were under the law.” He did not redeem Himself. He did not need adopting. Marry needed both. The phrase, “under the law” is virtually the same as, “under sin.” Only those that are under sin need redeeming. Those that are guilty are the ones that have broken the law. They are under the law/sin.

      Shalom

    16. Bo
      January 18th, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

      Dan1el,

      Neither the first or last Adam was made/born under the law. Mary was born/made under the law. Our sins were placed upon Messiah on the tree. He was not made/born that way. “Under sin” and “under the law” are the same thing. Miriam was a sinner. Y’shua was not I know that this ruins your antinomian stance, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Let YHWH be true and every man a liar.

      Shalom

    17. Dan1el
      January 18th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

      Bo,
      Why do you hold to fallacies that are disproven by Scripture?

      Applying the same idea to Jesus’s baptism, we should conclude that Jesus was never baptized by John, since it belonged only to SINNERS, who confessed their sins. Even John hesitated to give Him a baptism for this very reason — and he was CORRECTED by Yeshua, because Yeshua was having to go through the motions of the Scriptures, and subject Himself to the protocols that normal humans had to. He was circumcised the 8th day — according to the Law. There is so much you don’t understand, yet you present your ideas as Truth — in reckless disregard of actual Truth.

      I’m not going to respond again to this thread, since TIME is winding down.

    18. Dan1el
      January 18th, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

      Bo,
      He wasn’t under the Law?

      Why did He live by the Law of Moses — “it is written… it is written… it is written”; “whoever annuls even the least of these Laws…” He obviously lived by the Law of Moses — how could you be so oblivious to these realities? STOP opening your MOUTH to give people a revelation of your lack of revelation.
      “whose mouths must be stopped” Titus 1:11

    19. Derek
      January 18th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

      I heard some of the converstaion yesterday – but to chime in:

      Mary says in the Magnificat (Luke 1): “For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
      Not sure if mentioning her once a year at a Christmas Eve service is fullfilling this prophecy.

      Also – most Protesteans state that James is the brother of Jesus. If you read his Epistle – he mentions the importance of taking care of orphans and wodows. If he were the son of Mary – then why did Jesus while on the cross just before he died ask John to take care of Mary – and not his “brother” James?

      Not sure if these topics were covered yesterday.

      I think the parallel with II Samuel 6 is a valid point.
      But if you compare what happened to Uzzah when he simply touched the Arc – he died instantly. The Arc was Holy – and we are too “dirty” to soil it. If you take it one step further – how can another human – with the stain of original sin – share the same womb as Jesus. I think we forget how Holy Christ is – he is God – and I have a hard time believing that God would “dirty” himself by having Mary have original sin and have other siblings share the womb – Just doesn’t seem that would be Holy.

    20. John
      January 18th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      Not many really like to acknowledge this but the early Church believed the ever-virginity of Mary. Not only that, but the early Church also sought the prayers to the Mother of God to aid in their journeys through the present world.

      The bible that you are reading was compiled by the Church that believed Mary to be the Mother of God and held to her ever-virginity. If they were wrong, then you’re foundational scriptures were marked authoritative by a wrong Church.

    21. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      John, first, God inspired His Word and oversaw its preservation, not man; second, early Church leaders recognized that Miriam (Mary) had other children, so your basic premise is patently wrong and overstated. And your final comments could not be more wrong: “The bible that you are reading was compiled by the Church that believed Mary to be the Mother of God and held to her ever-virginity.” That being said, I’ll let Jason and others correct you on this, and thanks for getting into the discussion.

    22. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      Bo and Dan1el, I know how your discussion started, but please point it straight back to Miriam (Mary), not to the question of the Law and Yeshua, etc. Thanks!

    23. John
      January 18th, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

      “first, God inspired His Word and oversaw its preservation, not man”

      Actually, it was both God and man- He did this through His Church in 386 a.d.

      “second, early Church leaders recognized that Miriam (Mary) had other children, so your basic premise is patently wrong and overstated.”

      First prove your point. I don’t think you can. The early Church Fathers held to Mary’s ever-virginity. Have you read St. Jerome’s defense of her perpetual virginity? There among others, you will find what the early Church taught.

      “And your final comments could not be more wrong”

      You are shooting out claims without any reasoning. I’m giving you references but you are just giving me your opinion.

    24. John
      January 18th, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

      “I must call upon the Holy Spirit to express His meaning by my mouth and defend the virginity of the Blessed Mary. I must call upon the Lord Jesus to guard the sacred lodging of the womb in which He abode for ten months from all suspicion of sexual intercourse. And I must also entreat God the Father to show that the mother of His Son, who was a mother before she was a bride, continued a Virgin after her son was born.” -From Jerome’s defense on the perpetual virginity of Mary.

      P.S. I don’t hold to the Roman Catholic view of Mary.

    25. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

      John, Jerome is in the 4th century! That’s like evaluating what our Founding Fathers wrote in 1776 by looking at contemporary court rulings here in America — and even then, it’s a much shorter lapse of time (and distance) than in the case of Jerome and the NT. This quote, in fact, is a perfect example of just how far things had deviated from the NT in the following centuries, esp. post Constantine.

    26. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

      Also, John, for the most part I don’t interact here (time doesn’t permit), so this is mainly for others. Your comments were so glaring that I wanted to respond immediately. Again, I’m sure others will gladly weigh in with plenty of relevant references. And are you telling me that the followers of Jesus didn’t have authoritative Scripture until 386 AD? Really?

    27. Kyzersoze
      January 18th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

      So is Mary the mother of God [theotokos] or “the mother of the body” [as per post #1]?

      Anyone..?

    28. Bo
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      My purpose for posting was to show that a passage in the “New Testament” states that Mary was a sinner. She was born under the law. This is equated by Paul to mean under sin in Romans 3:9,19 and elsewhere. Messiah died for sinners. And Miriam was one of them. He was not.

      The logic that I expressed is pretty straight forward and gives us direct scriptural backing for the view that only Y’shua was sinless. To understand that Messiah died for those under the law to mean what Dan1el believes would make Messiah dieing for His own sin also or only for the Jews, since gentiles would not be under the law if Dan1el is correct.

      I intended no off track discussion, but thought it necessary to correct Dan1el for the sake of this discussion and for confirming the truth that Miriam was a sinner, made under the law.

      I am sure that you have come across these sentiments in protestant writings as I have. It is not some off-the-wall heresy.

      Shalom

    29. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

      Bo, understood. I just wanted to be sure we didn’t turn this into another Torah-focused thread.

    30. Jason Engwer
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

      John,

      As Dr. Brown noted, Jerome is a fourth-century source. He was writing against other individuals who denied Mary’s perpetual virginity. He wouldn’t have to write against such individuals unless they existed.

      One of those individuals who’s named by Jerome is Tertullian. Though Catholics and others often dismiss Tertullian as a schismatic, the evidence suggests that he wasn’t a schismatic by the standards of his day. For documentation, do a Google search for a Triablogue article titled “The Significance Of Tertullian”. (I haven’t been linking to these articles I’ve been referencing, since I don’t know what this site’s policy is regarding links, and I don’t want to delay the publication of my posts by including links.) Besides, Tertullian is criticized in ancient times primarily for his alleged Montanism, not his rejection of the perpetual virginity of Mary. And his Montanist period didn’t begin until years after he became a Christian. For a variety of reasons, then, Tertullian’s opposition to the perpetual virginity of Mary can’t be dismissed on the basis that he supposedly was a schismatic.

      And Tertullian wasn’t alone. The most natural reading of the New Testament documents is that Mary gave birth to other children after Jesus. Historical conclusions are about probability, not possibility, so the mere possibility that the relevant New Testament terminology could be read in a manner consistent with perpetual virginity isn’t enough. The issue is whether terms like “brother” and “first-born” are more naturally read as consistent with perpetual virginity or inconsistent with it. The latter is clearly the case, as even some prominent Roman Catholic scholars have acknowledged (e.g., John Meier). Raymond Brown, one of the foremost Roman Catholic scholars of the twentieth century, wrote that Jerome’s view of Mary’s perpetual virginity has been “devastated” by modern scholarship and “faces enormous difficulties” (The Birth Of The Messiah [New York, New York: Doubleday, 1999], 606).

      What about the extra-Biblical literature? It’s probable that Josephus, Hegesippus, and Irenaeus also rejected the perpetual virginity of Mary. See the book by Eric Svendsen cited above for extensive documentation and discussion.

      Even as late as the fourth century, Basil of Caesarea commented that the view that Mary had other children after Jesus “was widely held and, though not accepted by himself, was not incompatible with orthodoxy” (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines [San Francisco, California: HarperCollins Publishers, 1978], p. 495).

    31. Jason Engwer
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

      Let’s review the sources of the first two centuries who are most naturally interpreted as denying the perpetual virginity of Mary:

      Matthew
      Mark
      Luke
      John
      Paul
      Josephus
      Hegesippus
      Irenaeus
      Tertullian

      Who can be cited on the other side? Sometimes some apocryphal literature will be mentioned, but as Svendsen notes:

      “Both the Protevangelium of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas are on Bauckham’s own admission ‘certainly works of imagination, not of historiography’…In any case, the assertion that Joseph had other children by a previous marriage is not equivalent to the assertion that the ‘brothers of Jesus’ in the NT are foster/adoptive brothers. Mary could still have had other children after the birth of Jesus, and none of the sources cited above denies that she did. While portions of the Protevangelium of James seem to imply that Mary was perpetually a virgin, it does not clearly express a view on it….Meier characterizes the Protevangelium of James as ‘a wildly imaginative folk-narrative that is outrageously inaccurate about NT events as well as things Jewish,’ Ibid., 16. Similarly, J.K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), tells us in his preface to the Protevangelium of James that its historical value is ‘insignificant’ (51), citing numerous inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Graef, who is sympathetic with the Roman Catholic view of Mary, notes that it betrays ‘great ignorance of Jewish conditions’ and is therefore of ‘little theological significance’ (36).” (Who Is My Mother? [Amityville, New York: Calvary Press, 2001], 103-104, n. 92 on 298)

      For further discussion of these issues, see the comments section of the March 28, 2007 Triablogue thread titled “The Perpetual Virginity Of Mary”.

    32. John
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

      “Your comments were so glaring that I wanted to respond immediately.”

      They might catch your attention because they are true! You’ve responded, but only with your opinion. You’ve made claims, but so far you haven’t backed them up with any evidence.

      You’ve said the Church deviated, but do not provide proof of that deviation but act as if it’s a universally accepted truth.

      “I’m sure others will weigh in with plenty of relevant references”.

      Besides the fact that you haven’t already, what makes you think that others here will?

      “And are you telling me that the followers of Jesus didn’t have authoritative Scripture until 386 AD? Really?”

      Did I say that? No. The followers of Jesus had the septuagint. It wasn’t until later that the NT was compiled in the midst of many false writings during that time. The early Church relied on the septuagint and the Tradition passed down from the apostles (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

      The burden of proof is not on me but on you. I provided you with a reference from the 4th century, but all you can give me is your opinion from the 21st century.

    33. Bo
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

      John,

      What have you to say to Paul’s statement that Mary was born a sinner?

      Shalom

    34. Jason Engwer
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

      Did the early church “seek the prayers to the Mother of God”, as John claims? The answer depends on how we define our terms.

      They surely wanted Mary to intercede on their behalf in Heaven, as far as they thought that could be done. Who wouldn’t want that? Similarly, we’d like it if our deceased relatives, martyrs, apostles, missionaries, or other individuals in Heaven would intercede for us in some sense, along the lines of what we see in Revelation 6. But we don’t know to just what extent those in Heaven intercede for us, how much they know about events on earth, etc. Maybe some intercede for us, but others don’t. If they do intercede for us, how would we know the extent of it? There isn’t much we can say on the subject.

      But if you’re referring to the practice of praying to Mary, instead of merely wishing that she (and others) would intercede for us in Heaven in some sense, then one thing we can say about that practice is that it’s condemned by both scripture and the earliest patristic Christians. I’ve discussed this subject at length at Triablogue. Search for our March 6, 2011 page titled “A Christian View Of Prayer”, and see the links there to our articles on praying to the dead. To cite just two of many examples, when Origen wrote his treatise Against Celsus in the third century, both he and his non-Christian opponent, Celsus, were in agreement that Christians believed in praying only to God. Celsus criticizes Christians for not praying to other beings, but Origen defends the Christian view. People sometimes mistakenly cite catacomb inscriptions and other alleged evidence of early belief in praying to the dead, but I discuss why those arguments are problematic in my posts at Triablogue.

    35. Jason Engwer
      January 18th, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

      On the canon of scripture, see the Triablogue post titled “The Canon Of Scripture”, dated March 9, 2011.

      As Dr. Brown mentioned, Christians for hundreds of years (and Jewish believers before them) thought they could identify what is and isn’t scripture without any ruling from a church council, Pope, or other such source. Even after the fourth-century councils that are often cited (which were just regional councils, not ecumenical ones), there were disagreements over the canon. The Roman bishop Gregory the Great denied that 1 Maccabees is scripture, for example. Many Roman Catholics of the medieval age, including canonized saints, denied the canonicity of Roman Catholicism’s Apocrypha.

      One of the fourth-century councils often cited, Carthage in 397, seems to have included the Septuagint version of 1 Esdras in its canon, which is a different book than the one canonized by Roman Catholicism in the sixteenth century at the Council of Trent. In other words, the Apocrypha of the council of Carthage seems to be different than the Apocrypha of Roman Catholicism. You can follow Carthage or Trent, but you can’t follow both. I recommend following neither. They’re both wrong, for reasons explained in our Triablogue articles cited above.

      Some of the earliest patristic Christians, men like Justin Martyr and Theophilus of Antioch, tell us how they came to believe in the Divine inspiration of the Biblical documents (i.e., came to belief in a canon). They say nothing about anything like a council ruling or papal decree. Instead, they mention things like the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of fulfilled prophecy. Jesus and the apostles held people accountable for identifying, understanding, and obeying scripture hundreds of years before any regional or ecumenical council passed a ruling on the subject.

    36. Jason Engwer
      January 18th, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

      John,

      In response to Michael Brown, you commented:

      “The followers of Jesus had the septuagint.”

      Are you aware that the earliest copies of the Septuagint that we have are late Christian copies? That different versions of the Septuagint contained different books? That Bibles often contain material that the publishers and/or readers don’t consider scripture (e.g., commentaries, introductions, maps, Protestant Bibles that contain Apocryphal books without intending to suggest their canonicity)?

    37. Mary
      January 18th, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

      Being raised Catholic and indoctrinated at an early age in regard to Marion devotion, I was pleased to hear this issue publicly addressed. From Fatima to Lourdes, to our Lady of Guadelupe, our Jewish Miriam is being impersonated by an Angel or Angels of light. The last being Medjagorge. The co-mediatrix role is rooted in false teaching. When I met Jesus, it was as if all of this was revealed as I read the scriptures. May the Holy Spirit move in regard to this false and demonically rooted belief. There is only one mediator between God and man and that is JESUS!

    38. Aaron
      January 18th, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

      I still don’t understand why Dr. Brown and all the people on this site including the latest commenter, a former Catholic, think that Mary is a CO-MEDIATRIX with Jesus. The Catholic church does not teach this in any way, shape or form. The catechism of the church clearly states that no one comes to the father, except through Jesus. It clearly states that Mary IS NOT a co-mediator. I have seen no indication that anyone understands or acknowledges this. If you were raised Catholic and you understood Mary to be a co-mediator and someone we pray to to saved, then you quite simply MISUNDERSTOOD the teachings of the Catholic church. There may have been pastors and others that taught this falsely or incorrectly, but that is why we have the magesterium of the church to correct those errors and to aid our understanding with the catechism. Much like Dr. Brown’s follower’s look to him to provide counsel for them.

    39. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 18th, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      John,

      By now, as you can see, others have joined in, as I said they would, and if you’re willing to follow the evidence, you’ll realize your statements are inaccurate. I would just urge you, however, whether you agree or disagree, to step higher in your posts, since we don’t allow personal attacks here against anyone — even me — so you need to deal with the evidence and the texts rather than accuse. You can advocate your position all you like, and are you free to do so, but you must comply with our posting rules. Just a heads up!

    40. Ruth
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:08 am

      I am sooooooo glad you’ve (Dr. Brown) taken on this subject. In the 2 1/2 plus years I have been listening to your show, I have been hoping that you would.

      I commend your patience in dealing with this subject, because that’s important, and also because I know that I lack it. Nothing gets me more frustrated that prying apart the Gordian Knot that is Catholic dogma. I have been literally astounded at the level of sophistry employed in its apologetics.

      For example, the Church claims to believe in sola scriptura — of course, it’s irrefutable. However (!) they hold that ONLY the Church (its hierarchy, not the people in the pews) can interpret scripture correctly…meaning believers are to be utterly dependent upon the Church’s official positions. I find that there is always an angle, a curving line which deviates apart from clear scripture. On the one hand, they may claim and profess to believe in a certain widely-held tenet, BUT — there’s always a “but” — but they will have another view, one which they don’t consider contradictory, even when it nullifies the very spirit of the original. There are so many examples of this kind of labyrinthical thinking, and I’ve only begun to explore. Ideas will be found to be attached by the slimmest thread to scripture.

      When questioned about their many traditions, for example, they will quote Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:6, “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” And 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” ) – yet Paul was not referring to THEIR traditions, which were developed much later, and Paul was not giving approval to their traditions in advance…! What were those traditions Paul was referring to? According to Catholicism, their own, no matter in what century these came to be!

      I’ve never found a more dense mass of convoluted and conflated thinking anywhere………………

      Just being honest.

    41. Ruth
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:39 am

      Just want to note the humility we can see in Mary’s own words, as recorded in Luke 1:46 (ESV):

      “46 And Mary said,
      “My soul magnifies the Lord,
      47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
      For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
      49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
      and holy is his name.
      50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
      from generation to generation.
      51 He has shown strength with his arm;
      he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
      52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
      and exalted those of humble estate;
      53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
      and the rich he has sent away empty.
      54 He has helped his servant Israel,
      in remembrance of his mercy,
      55 as he spoke to our fathers,
      to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

      Note that she does not exalt herself — it’s all “he, he, he” from her mouth.

    42. Ruth
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

      In what is called the “Protoevangelium” (or the first mention of the gospel) found in Genesis 3, the individual who is the redeemer, is not a woman — a feminine seed of Eve — but a “he” :

      14 The LORD God said to the serpent,

      “Because you have done this,
      cursed are you above all livestock
      and above all beasts of the field;
      on your belly you shall go,
      and dust you shall eat
      all the days of your life.
      15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
      and between your offspring and her offspring;
      he shall bruise your head,
      and you shall bruise his heel.”

      If Mary can be considered a “second Eve”, it’s still about ‘her offspring’ — HE — not about her, and I’m sure Mary wouldn’t want the focus placed on her.

      I’ve been to several Catholic churches. There you will always find Jesus represented as a child, or in a pre-risen state; almost never as a fully-grown male teaching, or as the risen Savior. As one deacon told me, “We go to Mary because — like a human mother, she is softer and more accessible than a father.”

      The premise is that, like a human mother, Mary will go “and speak to Jesus” for us…this is teaching that Jesus is too busy, too stern, too lofty to bother with us…that we must go through his (human) Mom to get through to him.

      This is a twisted view of the compassionate nature of the Lord.

      1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

    43. Adam
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:12 am

      I am glad to see Dr. Brown address this issue. It is extremely disturbing to hear Roman Catholics calling Mary the Queen of Heaven, Co-Mediatrix, asking for her intercession in death, and other unbiblical idolatries.

      The difficulty with addressing this issue in this forum is that the incredibly odd Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church really stem from their denials of Sola Scriptura. Mark Kielinski is right in this regard, though he is wrong that one cannot argue for the Trinity, or the idea that masturbation is a sin from scripture. Entire books have been written arguing for the Trinity from scripture, and there have been entire books on sexual purity that argue from scripture alone that masturbation is a sin.

      You see, once Sola Scriptura is denied, it allows the church to change the world of the text. Now, the text needs to be understood in whatever context the church puts onto it. When this happens, the scriptures are no longer able to develop their own view of reality, and the world of the text is replaced with the world of the church and the magisterium.

      For example, Dr. Brown mentioned that there are texts that contradict Catholic teachings on Mary. The problem is that, in order for these texts to be contradictory, they must be allowed to speak in their own context. The traditions of the church do not allow that, since they impose a foreign context onto the text. When the text is not allowed to speak for itself as normal human language, it can be turned into a wax nose to be molded in any way the alleged infallible authority wants it to be molded.

      This raises real ethical concerns. The real heart of the interpreter is to accurately handle what the text says. When you do not do that, you are, in essence, misrepresenting the author, and thus, breaking the ninth commandment. The worst part is, it is not just any neighbor you are bearing false witness against; it is God himself. The value of the Marian dogmas is in the fact that they show that, once the text is no longer able to speak for itself, there is no way to contain even the most gross idolatries which Dr. Brown spoke of in this program. This is why we need to allow God to speak, and not silence him by our traditions.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    44. John
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:24 am

      Dr. Brown, I don’t mean to accuse you, I’m simply trying to present the facts. Forgive me if I came off as harsh. I also have to admit that when you or anyone else brings forth claims without evidence it can easily be taken as dishonest.

      Can you give me one place in scripture that says that Mary was the mother of the brothers of Jesus? No you can’t. All we see is that Jesus’ family is referred to as His mother and brothers and the Greek word for ‘brother’ is translated many different ways in the bible (cousin, fellow believer etc.).

      Jason, you said concerning the authors you presented as being “most naturally interpreted as denying the perpetual virginity of Mary”. This is merely your opinion and personal interpretation of these authors. The Church that made these scriptures authoritative believed differently. The father of the reformation, Martin Luther believed in the ever-virginity of Mary. Are we so smart that we can say that the early Church was wrong even though they were closer to the Apostles in time, place and culture? I think that is a dangerous mistake.

      You also bring up the issue of prayer to the dead. A good question may be for us to consider who is actually dead? Didn’t Christ defeat death? Yes He did! Praying to the Mother of God is not praying to the dead. She is in the holy presence of God as we speak as all the other saints are. Also consider Christ on the Mt. of transfiguration. Who was He talking to? Moses and Elijah. He spoke to Moses who departed this earthly life hundreds of years before this moment but the Father or anyone else condemned Him for talking with Moses and Elijah.

      The question should really be, “Why not believe in her ever-virginity?”. The early Church defended it, the early Church preached it.

      Dr. Brown, the 4th ecumenical council confirms that Mary was the “Mother of God”. This was vital in understanding the nature of Jesus who was both fully God and fully man. If Mary was not the Mother of Jesus then Jesus would not have the capacity to redeem humanity and sanctify mankind.

      Lastly, if touching the ark of God cost Uzzah his life, certainly Joseph would neither have dared to approach Mary, the throne of God, to request his “conjugal rights”. Also it may be important to recall that it was the practice for devout Jews in the ancient world to refrain from sexual activity following any great manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

      Before we try to lean on our own understanding, we might want to look to the Church which is the “pillar and ground of the truth”. Our own interpretations of the scriptures are not stronghold of the truth but the Church established by the apostles is.

    45. Eric
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:30 am

      Dear Kyzersoze,

      From what I understand (as I mentioned earlier I have not studied these issues out in depth) is that the title Theotokos (God-bearer) was originally a Christological title in nature. Meaning it was only meant to show that the one whom Mary (or Maryam) gave birth to was in fact God in the flesh. But to call Mary the “mother of God”, is categorically wrong on so many levels.

      Lord bless you.

    46. Ruth
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:41 am

      Committed Catholics will ALWAYS answer according to the prepackaged words they have been given from sites like http://www.catholicanswer.org and others.

    47. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:44 am

      John,

      Thanks for your apologies. All clear. And be assured that I don’t speak without evidence. I simply don’t have sufficient time to respond to everyone in detail (as I have stated here repeatedly).

      Re: the RC Church’s ecumenical councils, with all respect, why do you think that matters to me in the least? I am a Jewish follower of Jesus, yet I reject many of the sacred Jewish traditions that religious Jews hold dear, since I base my views on Scripture; in the same way, I reject many of the traditions of the RC Church, which clearly violate the spirit an the letter of the Word to me.

      I absolutely affirm that God’s ekklesia, based on Jesus and the Word, is the pillar and ground of the truth, and I am part of that ekklesia. I hope and pray that you are too! And it is Jesus-Yeshua who should be our focus, not Mary-Miriam or anyone else.

      As for what Scripture says re: Yeshua’s siblings, the most natural reading of the text is that they were His brothers and that Miriam had relations with Joseph after He was born, but it is actually immaterial to me either way. This much I know: The Word does NOT teach Miriam’s perpetual virginity, and I’m not beholden to RC tradition.

      I’ll say once more that I will not have the luxury of posting a lot here, so it’s best to address others rather than me — please take note of that, OK? — but if you have time to do some reading, a book like this will help you understand another reason why I don’t revere the RC Church: http://www.amazon.com/Constantines-Sword-Church-Jews-History/dp/0618219080/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326955332&sr=8-1.

    48. Eric
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:49 am

      Dear John,

      I was reading through your last post and when you stated, “Praying to the Mother of God is not praying to the dead.”, really stuck out to me. When I ask Catholics about this issue they normally tell me they are not praying to Mary or the saints but “asking” them for prayer, sort of like the same way I could ask you to pray for me. But, can you please clarify your statement here, do you really pray to Mary? If that’s the case can you show me where in the Bible we are allowed to pray to anyone except God alone?

      One more question, you had mentioned Mary and the ark of the Covenant. I heard this argument before about how Mary is the ark of the Covenant and was shown many similarities between the ark and Mary and to be honest, it does sound quite compelling at face value.. My question is, since we never see any of the authors in the New Testament referring to Mary as the Ark of the Covenant, where did this doctrine come from and how far back does it date?

      Thanks,

      Lord bless you.

    49. Dan1el
      January 19th, 2012 @ 2:35 am

      John,
      Yeshua’s course in life was the fulfillment of Scriptural Prophecy & Scripture Commands; Miriam’s alleged “perpetual-virginity” is nowhere to be found in Scripture, nor is any amount of a life centered on her.
      You must admit that Paul cites the Hebrew Scriptures very many times in teaching New Testament Doctrine — i.e.: NT doctrine is based on OT Scriptures, leaving NO place in NT doctrine which has no root in Hebrew Scriptures (even worse, which parallels the pagan religions from which the idea came — ideas such as Miriam being the “Queen of Heaven”).
      Last and MOST important of all, the ENTIRE point of the Gospel is that we come to know GOD…

      Jer 31:34 And they do not teach any more Each his neighbour, and each his brother, Saying, Know ye Jehovah, For they all know Me, from their least unto their greatest, An affirmation of Jehovah; For I pardon their iniquity, And of their sin I make mention no more.
      Q: Who will we know?
      A: God
      Q: Why? How?
      A: Because He will be merciful to my sins (through Christ’s sacrificial death).
      Q: Is Mary God?
      A: Never shall Mary be God.
      Q: Should I aim to know Mary, then, or is knowing her part of the Gospel?
      A: No; that is an impossibility: she is not eternal; she is creatED, not CreatOR. Knowing her does not result in eternal life.
      Q: What is the importance of knowing God?
      A: Knowing God is eternal life — it is the very Gift which God promises to gift us with through faith in Christ. Knowing Mary is to know a HUMAN being, who is NOT GOD; therefore, such a goal is silly, to say the least, and DANGEROUS/DESTRUCTIVE HERESY to put it more bluntly.

      2Th 1:8 in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ;
      Q: 2 Th 1:8 says the vengeance of God is being executed at the return of Messiah on who?
      A: Those who do not know God.
      Q: Why don’t they know Him?
      A: They do not obey the Gospel.
      Q: What was God’s purpose in sending the Gospel?
      A: That people might come to know Him through His mercy.
      Q: If eternal life is “to know the only true God, and Jesus Whom He sent”, where does Mary fit into ANY of that?
      A: She is neither God nor the One God sent — Yeshua — therefore, she is (as far as salvation goes) negligible: she is mentioned NOWHERE as being the object of faith by ANY Apostle, nor is she the end-goal of faith; rather, KNOWING GOD is the end-goal of faith — since THAT IS ETERNAL LIFE — therefore, knowing or experiencing her is a total distraction from God Almighty and the One He sent, Yeshua.

      2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
      Apostle Paul said he was afraid satan would trick us out of the simplicity of devotion TO CHRIST — this is what Apostle Paul called for; NOTHING ELSE.

      Apostle Paul was a great expositor of the Word of God (he was set for defense of the Gospel [Pp 1:16]); he spoke on MANY subjects, BUT never mentioned Mary; he said,
      1Co 15:3 “for I delivered to you first, what also I did receive, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Writings,
      1Co 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he hath risen on the third day, according to the Writings,
      1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve,
      1Co 15:6 afterwards he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain till now, and certain also did fall asleep;
      1Co 15:7 afterwards he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
      1Co 15:8 And last of all–as to the untimely birth–he appeared also to me,”
      Nowhere in “the most important things” is Mary mentioned, at all.

      Knowing GOD is the Gift of the Gospel; NOT knowing Mary.

    50. Jason Engwer
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:17 am

      John wrote:

      “Can you give me one place in scripture that says that Mary was the mother of the brothers of Jesus? No you can’t. All we see is that Jesus’ family is referred to as His mother and brothers and the Greek word for ‘brother’ is translated many different ways in the bible (cousin, fellow believer etc.).”

      It’s not as though all possible meanings of a term are equally likely. Just as possible definitions of English terms are ranked in likelihood and distinguished by context, so are Greek terms. I’ve already cited some sources, like Eric Svendsen’s book, that address these issues in depth. You aren’t interacting with any of those sources or the underlying issues.

      The fact that you only refer to “brother” and the fact that you refer to “the Bible” suggest that you don’t know much about this subject. The Greek of the New Testament is a different language than the Hebrew of the Old Testament, so you can’t put the language of both in the same category in the manner you’re suggesting. And “brother” isn’t the only relevant Greek term. There are other relevant ones as well, like “first-born”.

      Not only are you assuming a less natural reading of these New Testament passages, but you’re also not explaining why the authors didn’t use other language instead. For example, the New Testament authors sometimes use terms like “relative” (Luke 1:36) and “cousin” (Colossians 4:10) in other contexts. Why didn’t they apply such terms in the passages we’re discussing, if they held your view?

      How do you explain a document like Luke’s gospel, which repeatedly uses the term “relative”, even distinguishing between “brothers” and “relatives” (21:16), yet uses “brothers” to refer to Jesus’ siblings? Did Luke believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, yet repeatedly chose to use terminology that would suggest the opposite while refraining from using terminology he does use elsewhere, terminology that wouldn’t be so misleading? Luke was willing to qualify his description of Joseph as “supposedly” the father of Jesus (3:23), even though the earlier references to the virgin birth made it obvious that Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ father biologically. Yet, Luke never adds such qualifiers regarding Jesus’ siblings. Again, did Luke believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, yet repeatedly used terminology that suggested the opposite and repeatedly refrained from adding clarification that he did add when discussing a similar subject?

      We can ask such questions about the extra-Biblical sources as well. Men like Josephus, Hegesippus, and Irenaeus were familiar with other terms they could have used to describe Jesus’ siblings, if they held to Mary’s perepetual virginity. They sometimes use those other terms in other contexts. But when they discuss Jesus’ siblings or related issues, they repeatedly use language that would most naturally be taken as inconsistent with Mary’s perpetual virginity.

      You go on to refer to what “the Church” supposedly has taught. You aren’t interacting with what I’ve already argued to the contrary. Men like Matthew, Luke, Irenaeus, and Tertullian were part of the church, and they didn’t hold your view. They also predate any sources you’ve cited who support your position. And I’ve already pointed you to resources arguing against your false view of the canon of scripture. You’re ignoring a lot of what’s already been said.

      You suggest that we shouldn’t disagree with Martin Luther. Why not, since you think it’s acceptable to disagree with Irenaeus, Tertullian, and other prominent Christian leaders who have disagreed with you over the centuries?

    51. Jason Engwer
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:34 am

      John wrote:

      “A good question may be for us to consider who is actually dead?”

      I addressed that issue, as well as the Mount of Transfiguration argument, in the Triablogue material I cited earlier. I’ll just summarize here. You can consult the material I cited earlier if you want more on the subject.

      I don’t deny that deceased believers are spiritually alive in Heaven. They’re also physically dead (John 11:14, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16). When scripture forbids attempting to contact the deceased, it’s addressing the physically deceased. Otherwise, Moses would have been sinning by speaking with the spiritually dead Pharaoh, Paul would have been sinning by preaching the gospel to spiritually dead sinners, etc. How would people have known that relatives or others they were attempting to contact (through mediums or some other means, like prayer) were spiritually dead? And where’s the evidence that they were only attempting to contact the spiritually dead or were attempting to contact spiritually alive individuals as well, but were only condemned for the former practice and not the latter? Most likely, the Biblical authors who condemned attempts to contact the dead were thinking of the physically dead. And Mary and other physically deceased believers are part of that category.

      As far as the Mount of Transfiguration is concerned, Moses and Elijah had returned to life on earth. No prayer is involved. And the only one who spoke with them was Jesus. Peter, James, and John didn’t speak to them. Even if we were to conclude, without good reason, that Jesus had been praying to Moses and Elijah, Jesus isn’t merely human. He’s also God. To cite His conversation with Moses and Elijah as justification for Christians to pray to the dead is to assume that anything Jesus did must be acceptable for Christians to do. But it’s possible that praying to the deceased, if Jesus had ever done such a thing, was done through His unique attributes as God. There would be no way for us to know.

      You aren’t addressing most of the evidence I’ve cited against praying to the dead. All you’re doing is repeating a couple of bad arguments that are commonly made and have been refuted many times. It doesn’t seem that you’ve looked into this subject in much depth.

    52. Jason Engwer
      January 19th, 2012 @ 6:06 am

      John wrote:

      “Lastly, if touching the ark of God cost Uzzah his life, certainly Joseph would neither have dared to approach Mary, the throne of God, to request his ‘conjugal rights’.”

      How do you know that the particular aspect of the ark that you’re singling out is paralleled in Mary’s life? Are we supposed to see every aspect of the ark paralleled in Mary? Or only some aspects? If everything is paralelled in Mary, then would you tell us how you supposedly know that? If only some aspects of the ark are paralleled in Mary, then how do you know which ones are paralleled and how they’re paralleled?

      The cross held Jesus for part of His life. So did the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Yet, believers touched those objects. Presumably, Joseph of Arimathea and/or those assisting him would have touched the cross when they removed Jesus’ body from it. Peter went into the tomb (John 20:6). If Mary couldn’t be touched, because she carried Jesus in her womb, then why could the cross and the tomb be touched, even though they also carried Jesus in some manner? And why limit the alleged need to avoid touching Mary to sexual touching? Did Uzzah touch the ark in a sexual manner? No. You’re adding a qualifier, since you know that it would be ridiculous to parallel Mary to the ark without that qualification. Or do you think that anybody who touched Mary in any way died? Did her parents never touch her? Joseph never even held her hand, helped her get on or off a donkey, etc.? Nobody ever touched her in any way, in any context? If you add the qualifier that people only needed to avoid touching Mary in a sexual manner, then why should we think there’s even that much of a parallel between Mary and the ark? How do you supposedly know that there must be X level of parallel, but not level Y instead?

      You aren’t getting the perpetual virginity of Mary from scripture (or the earliest church fathers). Rather, you’re getting it from later sources and reading it back into earlier ones, without justification.

    53. Adam
      January 19th, 2012 @ 9:34 am

      John,

      Can you give me one place in scripture that says that Mary was the mother of the brothers of Jesus? No you can’t. All we see is that Jesus’ family is referred to as His mother and brothers and the Greek word for ‘brother’ is translated many different ways in the bible (cousin, fellow believer etc.).

      You can’t give me one place in scripture that says that Amoz was the father of Isaiah. Terms of relation like this cannot be dismissed simply because they do not state every possible relation. If Jesus has brothers, and if the term “brother” in NT Greek rules out the possibility of them being a half brother [it does], then we can only conclude that Joseph and Mary had children after the birth of Jesus. Consider the following:

      John 7:3-5 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may behold Your works which You are doing. 4 “For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.

      People will point out that the term “brother” can refer to a spiritual brother, but that hardly fits this context since these brothers were “not believing in him.” Not only that, if you take the meaning “close relative” or “cousin,” it ruins the force of the passage. Now it would read “For even his cousins/close relatives were not believing in Him.” Many people have close relatives who do not believe in them; many people have cousins who do not believe in them. That is not something that is astounding or amazing. It *would* be amazing that his own brothers who had lived with him his whole life and seen him grow up did not believe in him.

      Lastly, if touching the ark of God cost Uzzah his life, certainly Joseph would neither have dared to approach Mary, the throne of God, to request his “conjugal rights”. Also it may be important to recall that it was the practice for devout Jews in the ancient world to refrain from sexual activity following any great manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

      So, every person who accidentally bumped into Mary in a crowd fell over dead? That was what was meant by touching the ark. You are equivocating on the word “touch.”

      This is why these parallels to the Ark of the Covenant are examples of parallelomania. Even if the parallels do hold true [which is questionable], it would only prove that Mary was chosen to carry Jesus in her womb. To try to press the parallel even further would mean that Mary’s body was acacia wood, overlaid in gold [Exodus 25:10-11], that she has four rings on either side, and was carried by poles of acacia wood overlaid in gold [Exodus 25:12-16], and that she has two Cherubim made of gold sitting on top of her with a mercy seat [Exodus 25:17-21]. You have to allow the text to define the limits of the parallel, and the clear significance of Mary in the gospel accounts is that it is her *child* who is special, and Mary is God’s chosen instrument to bring this child into the world, in the same way that the Ark of the Covenant bore the presence of God.

      Finally, I also think that this text must be brought into the discussion:

      Matthew 1:25 And kept her a virgin *until* she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

      The word “until” here is what the crux of the issue is. The normal assumption of language at this point is that Joseph had normal sexual relations with Mary. I can’t get into the nature of various elements of implicature all at once, but given the advances that have been made in Pragmatics, I don’t believe that the traditional Catholic understanding of this passage holds up. However, I will wait to see how this text is responded to before I go into that, given that I don’t want to bore people to death.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    54. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 10:13 am

      Eric

      But to call Mary the “mother of God”, is categorically wrong on so many levels.

      Thanks for answering. I can see it is hard to keep track of my comments. :P

      Why is it “categorically wrong” when both Catholics & Protestants believe in the deity of Christ? So you don’t agree with either category?

      1. Catholics = “Mary, the Mother of God.”

      2. Protestants = “Mary, the mother of the body.”

    55. Adam
      January 19th, 2012 @ 10:36 am

      Kyzersoze,

      I think you are equivocating. In a *Christological* and *incarnational* sense, all Protestants recognize Mary as the mother of God because that which was contained in her womb was truly God and truly man. What we object to is the way in which Rome takes this beyond its Christological and incarnational sense, and starts exalting Mary, when “mother of God” is a title that is meant to exalt Christ.

      In fact, as I recall, this was a danger that those who opposed the use of the title “mother of God” at the council of Chalcedon were concerned about. It was not so much that they disagreed that the Jesus who was found in Mary’s womb was truly God and truly man as much as they were concerned that it would open up the avenue to Maryolatry. In hindsight, their concerns were justified, and that is what we as Protestants are concerned about to this day.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    56. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 11:34 am

      Folks, the term “Mother of God” is actually quite offensive for many reasons, and from a Jewish viewpoint, it creates yet another problem for a Jew to understand the Incarnation:

      Let’s ask these questions:

      1) Does God have a mother? Of course not! He is the only eternal being, the Creator of all things.

      2) Was Mary through the Son of God? Absolutely! As John writes (and other NT authors affirm), “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

      3) Although we recognize that Yeshua was fully divine and fully human, did His divine nature originate from Mary, or from above? Obviously from above!

      4) Are the Scriptures very careful about how they describe the Incarnation (e.g., “the Word became flesh” rather than “God became flesh”)? Absolutely! We too should be careful, especially when it comes to Mary.

      Last night, reading 2 Pet 1 — in keeping with almost every other chapter in the NT — I was reminded once again how it’s all about Jesus — to the glory of the Father — and NOT about Mary. the NT authors would be shocked to see what has happened throughout history.

    57. Eric
      January 19th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

      Thanks Adam and Dr. Brown.

      Kyzersoze,

      As Dr. Brown stated, it creates an unnecessary stumbling block for Jews and I’d like to add it is a stumbling block for Muslims as well.

    58. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      Adam

      I think you are equivocating.

      Actually, I was trying to cut through to the equivocation on the part of both views. :)

      What we object to is the way in which Rome takes this beyond its Christological and incarnational sense

      Aren’t both views taking it “beyond its Christological & incarnational sense” when scripture is silent on this whole issue of whether or not Mary did give birth to the human Son of God or “God the Son”? Hence the seeming paradox of both views I feel.

      In hindsight, their concerns were justified, and that is what we as Protestants are concerned about to this day.

      But wait a minute…you do agree with the Catholics that Mary is the mother of God but you do not believe that that should somehow been idolized? Why not if the position of Mary as the mother of God is BY DEFINITION the same [if not superior] to the One she gave birth to?

      Dr Brown

      Does God have a mother? Of course not!…Was Mary through the Son of God? Absolutely!

      By “through” do you mean did Mary give birth to the Son? And if you’re defining “the Son” as “God” doesn’t that make her the mother of God?

      Eric

      it creates an unnecessary stumbling block for Jews and I’d like to add it is a stumbling block for Muslims as well.

      How about a stumbling block to ANYONE? Especially those unbelievers we are supposedly out to win.

    59. Eric
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

      Precisely, it is an unnecessary stumbling block for “anyone”. I am glad we can agree on that.

    60. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

      Kysersoze,

      My apologies for the typo! I edited it but then didn’t correct it. It should read: WAS MARY CREATED THROUGH THE SON OF GOD? (Citing John 1:3, etc.) I could have simply asked, “Did the Son create Mary?” and the answer would have been Yes! But I was trying to be sensitive to the NT usage, as in 1 Cor 8:6.

    61. John
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

      Dr. Brown, How do you view Mary? She is the one who said, “All generations shall call me blessed”. Do you call her blessed? Mary is one who points us to Jesus. She is an example to all of us of purity and obedience to God. When we see her we see that she is pointing to Christ who is God. Is Jesus God? Yes. Was Mary the mother of Jesus? Yes. Is Mary the Mother of God? Yes!

      On the surface it’s quite easy to dismiss Mary as an un-important figure but her humanity is one of the reasons we can be saved. To say she is unimportant and that there is no need to recognize her is an offense to Christ Himself and the Church. Christ sought to take care of His mother while He was on the cross.

      It may help you to understand that the early Church was not solely RC. The Roman Catholic Church in and of itself came much much later as they were excommunicated by the rest of the jurisdictional Churches. The councils of the early Church were not started by the RC Church. A little research in Church history will help you see that. This is what I mean by you making claims that are not backed up by evidence. If we are to have a dialogue then it would only be fair if we refrain from making baseless comments in order for us to really understand each other.

    62. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      Eric

      Precisely, it is an unnecessary stumbling block for “anyone”. I am glad we can agree on that.

      Okay so how should one define Mary’s role if the One she gave birth was God?

      Dr Brown

      I could have simply asked, “Did the Son create Mary?” and the answer would have been Yes!

      I’m sorry but you lost me here. Are you saying that the mother was created by her Son? And how would you answer the above?

    63. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

      John

      Are you a Catholic? Sorry have not been following the posts since their getting way too long for me.

      If you are Catholic, where in scripture is Mary is the one mediator between God and human beings and how does this apply to what Paul says in 1Tim 2.5?

      There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and humans-a human, Christ Jesus.

    64. John
      January 19th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

      Kyzersoze, I’m not Catholic. I lean towards the Orthodox Church being the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church spoken of in the creed and the Church that is spoken of by the Apostles- the Church that Christ started of which He said the gates of Hades would not prevail against. I can see why some may think I’m a catholic but I don’t recognize the Roman catholic church as upholding the faith that has been once delivered to the saints. Thank you for asking.

    65. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

      Kysersoze,

      I posted a reply but apparently it didn’t appear. It was a typo. So sorry! I meant to ask: WAS MARY CREATED BY THE SON? And the answer, of course, is YES!

    66. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

      John,

      I will try to reply ASAP! Thanks for your posts.

    67. Ruth
      January 19th, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

      whoops – wrong link I posted.

      This is the source I’ve found to be most often quoted from discussions with Catholic friends and fellow bloggers:

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm

      One can search through the site. But when the scriptural proof that is always offered (for singularly Catholic doctrine) is fully tested, I’ve noticed it to be literally rife with errors, tenuous grasps, and acrobatic feats of presumptuousness, to say the least.

      They’ve covered all the loopholes they can find –even if it means creating a new patch from air… The main jewel in their crown is the fabricated idea that Popes inherit Peter’s seat (even though Jesus was referring to himself as “the Rock,” as ALL of Holy Scripture, NT and OT confirm) — and with that supposed seat, the alleged discretion to change even Biblical law, and make other heretofore unheard of changes.

      But check it out. Every argument you will ever engage in with a Catholic will go back to whatever their church has proclaimed in writing — which can be found at that link — and many will never question the “proofs” or make sure it is true by the real written Word, the Biblical story, and within its context.

      It’s my sincere hope that all Catholics would read the Bible from beginning to end, so that they would have a sense of the Bible on its own, without all of the framework preprovided by the institution.

      The salvation and grace offered by the Lord is truly free and available to everyone who turns sincerely to Him, and through no other, as He has made plain.

    68. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

      John

      I lean towards the Orthodox Church being the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

      So does your group believe Mary was the mother of God or of “the body”?

      Dr Brown

      WAS MARY CREATED BY THE SON? And the answer, of course, is YES!

      Thanks for clarifying but where can I find scripture for this? i.e., the Son created the Mother who is said to have in turn conceived the Son?

    69. John
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

      What do you mean by Mary being the mother of “the body”? This comes with the presupposition that Christ did not come in the flesh. Anyone who denies that Christ did not come in the flesh is anti-Christ.

      “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7

    70. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

      Kysersoze,

      Many verses speak of the ALL CREATED THINGS coming into existence through the Son: John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16; Heb 1:8-12. That means — obviously! — that Miriam, who was a human being, was created by the Son! The Father then chose to bring His Son into the world through her. Simple.

    71. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

      John,

      Jason and others are giving you plenty of specific data, to which I’ve seen no specific response from you.

      As for how I view Miriam, yes, I see her just as the Word declares — a chosen vessel! Called blessed through the generations! Even specially honored by Christians who celebrate Christmas in a godly way read the chapters in Luke 1-2 and Matt 1-2 and recognize her unique blessedness.

      It is the unscriptural additions that the later Church followers added — among MANY unscriptural additions — that I categorically reject.

      Go with the Word, John, and you’ll not be led astray.

    72. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

      John

      What do you mean by Mary being the mother of “the body”?

      I was quoting Dave Hunt, a Protestant. Here’s the link again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKzEgny76pc

      This comes with the presupposition that Christ did not come in the flesh.

      As far as I can understand it, Catholic-Protestant theology states that “God the Son took on flesh at the Incarnation”. In other words, the Son existed in some type of pre-human/flesh form before actually taking on/assuming flesh. Isn’t this right?

      Dr Brown

      The Father then chose to bring His Son into the world through her. Simple.

      So to sum up…the Son created the Mother and then the Mother “gave birth” to that same Son? Simple? I don’t know…have to really think about that. Because then that would make the whole virgin birth somehow metaphorical/figurative speak. Since what we have here sounds like a transition/transformation from one thing to another.

    73. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

      Dr Brown, in this show you said:

      If someone is born into God’s Kingdom and is a disciple of the Lord and their Catholic, I welcome them as a brother or sister.

      And then you go on to quote Pope Pius the 9th where he basically anathematizes people like you.

      Can you clarify your position? It sounds like you are calling those who damn you to hell your brethren in Christ. : /

    74. Mark Kielinski
      January 19th, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

      “I was reading through your last post and when you stated, “Praying to the Mother of God is not praying to the dead.”, really stuck out to me. When I ask Catholics about this issue they normally tell me they are not praying to Mary or the saints but “asking” them for prayer, sort of like the same way I could ask you to pray for me. But, can you please clarify your statement here, do you really pray to Mary? If that’s the case can you show me where in the Bible we are allowed to pray to anyone except God alone?”

      I’m not john but a catholic christian who can try to answer your question. Paul in the NT asks people to pray for him. Second read
      1 Timothy 2:1-3
      “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior”
      james 5:16
      “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

      If the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective who better to ask for our help than mary or God’s saints.

    75. Mark Kielinski
      January 19th, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      the church is not anti-semetic or condems anyone to hell.

    76. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      Are you asking to learn or to challenge? I’d honestly like to know. As for Pope Pius the 9th, if he was a true Christian, then he spoke in ignorance, God will forgive him, and he is my brother.

    77. Kyzersoze
      January 19th, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

      MK

      the church is not anti-semetic or condems anyone to hell.

      What about the anathemas of the creeds?

      Dr Brown

      Are you asking to learn or to challenge? I’d honestly like to know.

      Just seeking clarification to something I found contradictory that is all. Also, trying to understand your position in relation to the saying that those who are not for us are against us. Especially when they close the gates to their church and damn you to hell. :{

    78. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 19th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      Kyzersoze, thanks, sir! We get all kinds who post here, hence my question. Again, thanks!

    79. John
      January 20th, 2012 @ 1:57 am

      Kyzersoze,

      “As far as I can understand it, Catholic-Protestant theology states that “God the Son took on flesh at the Incarnation”. In other words, the Son existed in some type of pre-human/flesh form before actually taking on/assuming flesh. Isn’t this right?”

      In the thousands of denominations within protestantism, there are many differing opinions. As far as I understand, God is ever-existing but He’s also the son of Mary in time and space. The teaching that Mary was the Mother of “the body” presupposes that one can separate the body of Christ from Christ Himself. As far as I understand, the early Church did not distinguish the body of Jesus from Christ Himself. Do you know where this teaching came from? Why do ask about that?

      Dr. Brown,
      “Go with the Word, John, and you’ll not be led astray.”

      But according to who? If I go with the Word, I see that there are many different interpretations coming from many “churches” and christians. This leads to everyone becoming their own pope as well as to divisions. The bible apart from the Church leads to confusion which is not a fruit of the Spirit. We even see in the scriptures themselves that the Ethiopian who was reading Isaiah needed someone to interpret the scriptures for him and God sent Phillip to help him understand. Peter also states how unstable people can easily misunderstand the writings of Paul to their own destruction(2 Peter 3:16). If I look at the word, I also see that the “pillar and ground of truth” is the Church (1 Timothy 3:15). Note it does not say that the “word” is the pillar and ground of the truth. Therefore I find it important to figure out who this Church is and what this early Church believed as it is there that I can find the truth. I’ve read some of Jason’s posts btw and did respond to a few of his comments above- I’ll look at the other comments too.

    80. John
      January 20th, 2012 @ 2:36 am

      Jason, the burden of proof is not on me to prove that Mary is a parallel to the ark of God. The early Church held to this view as we see from our earliest possible sources. For example Hyppolitus from the 2nd-3rd century says, “the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world”. The real question should be why should we ‘not’ accept the parallel between Mary and the ark of God. These things are not spoken of in scripture and yet you are fighting against them as if the scriptures said explicitly that “Mary and the ark are not to be paralleled”. This goes to show that for those who hold to “sola-scriptura” that it is not the bible alone that is followed, but ultimately his or her interpretation of the bible. Btw many reformers including Luther, Zwyngli, Calvin and even Wesley believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Your own fathers in faith are at odds with you.

    81. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 20th, 2012 @ 2:47 am

      John,

      Again, my time is greatly limited, so my comments are brief (and will soon come to a halt here), but there are scores more references to the foundational importance of the Word in comparison to references to “the Church” being the pillar and ground of the truth. For example, John 17:17; Ps 1:1-3; 119:105; Prov 3:17; 4:20-22; Josh 1:8; Matt 24:35; 2 Tim 3:14-17 — just to mention a few off the top of my head.

      You say that there are many interpretations of the Word — well there are many different groups claiming to be the original Church and, as historian Phillip Jenkins noted in his book on Lost Christianity, there was a thriving Church in Asia and Africa 1,000 years ago that hardly cared less about the alleged authority of the Pope.

      As for your ark posts, I’ll let Jason respond further, but seriously, the earliest source you can cite is Hyppolytus and this is somehow a sign of the antiquity of the “Mary is the ark” interpretation?

      According to 1 Cor 3, every believer is the temple (lit., inmost shrine) of the Holy Spirit. Following your logic, what would that imply?

    82. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 20th, 2012 @ 3:02 am

      John, one last comment (to repeat what I’ve already said): I really have no problem with the idea that Mary remained a virgin and never had relations with Joseph and that “brothers” were not actually siblings. That presents no issue for me at all, but I don’t see it as the most natural reading of the biblical data, and I see no universal recognition of this among the first believers. But of all the Mary doctrines, if this one is not false, no problem!

    83. Dan1el
      January 20th, 2012 @ 3:56 am

      John,
      Knowing GOD and the One He sent (Yeshua) is eternal life. The Gospel is centered around the giving of the Gift of Eternal Life — i.e.: bringing about “the knowledge of the glory of God” until it “covers the earth as the waters cover the seas” [Hab 2:14], which is the abounding of the “knowledge” of the Son of God [2Pt 1:8] being spread (seeing as how He is the Glory of God [2 Co 4:4]).

      Seeing as these things are true, I mean no disrespect, but ‘knowing Mary’ is irrelevant to the end-goal of the Gospel (of “knowing God” — “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [Joh 17:3]) — unless you believe Mary IS God, in which case, there’d be a whole nother issue to discuss, and work out.

    84. Jason Engwer
      January 20th, 2012 @ 5:33 am

      Mark Kielinksi wrote:

      “Paul in the NT asks people to pray for him….If the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective who better to ask for our help than mary or God’s saints.”

      Roman Catholicism doesn’t just encourage people to ask Mary for prayers. Catholics are encouraged to pray to her for other reasons as well. They praise her, thank her, seek her protection, etc. For example:

      “With a still more ardent zeal for piety, religion and love, let them continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin. Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race.” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)

      “With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ, thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother….How grateful and magnificent a spectacle to see in the cities, and towns, and villages, on land and sea-wherever the Catholic faith has penetrated-many hundreds of thousands of pious people uniting their praises and prayers with one voice and heart at every moment of the day, saluting Mary, invoking Mary, hoping everything through Mary.” (Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense)

      And in order to ask Mary to pray for you, you’d have to pray to her. I’ve addressed the problems with praying to the dead in earlier posts.

      How do you supposedly know that Mary hears your prayers? If you live in the United States, would you expect a Christian living in China to hear a prayer you say to him in your heart, in which you ask him to pray for you? Why think that Mary will hear such a request? The issue isn’t whether it’s possible that dead Christians have the ability to hear prayers. I’m asking why we should think it’s probable that they hear them. Even if it were probable, which you can’t demonstrate, we’d still have the other problems with prayer to the dead that I mentioned earlier.

    85. Jason Engwer
      January 20th, 2012 @ 6:11 am

      John wrote:

      “Jason, the burden of proof is not on me to prove that Mary is a parallel to the ark of God. The early Church held to this view as we see from our earliest possible sources. For example Hyppolitus from the 2nd-3rd century says, ‘the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world’.”

      I’ve already addressed early Christian views of the ark and Mary. See post 2 in this thread. I also explained how granting a parallel between the ark and Mary wouldn’t lead us to your conclusions. See post 52.

      One of the sources I cited in post 2 was Hippolytus. (And I gave a reference to the passage I was citing, which you haven’t done.) Contrary to what you claim, he identifies Jesus, not Mary, as the ark. Besides, I cited other sources who were earlier than Hippolytus. Why don’t you address those?

      I want the readers to see how you’ve misused Hippolytus. First, I’ll quote what you’ve cited. Then, I’ll cite the larger context, which demonstrates that Hippolytus was identifying Jesus rather than Mary as the ark.

      First, here’s what you cited:

      “the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world”

      Here’s the same passage, but with more context included (taken from the collection of patristic documents at the New Advent web site, which is Roman Catholic):

      “At that time, then, the Saviour appeared and showed His own body to the world, (born) of the Virgin, who was the ark overlaid with pure gold, with the Word within and the Holy Spirit without; so that the truth is demonstrated, and the ark made manifest. From the birth of Christ, then, we must reckon the 500 years that remain to make up the 6000, and thus the end shall be. And that the Saviour appeared in the world, bearing the imperishable ark, His own body, at a time which was the fifth and half, John declares: Now it was the sixth hour, he says, intimating by that, one-half of the day.” (Fragments From The Scriptural Commentaries Of Hippolytus, On Daniel, 2:6)

      Hippolytus’ first sentence is somewhat ambiguous. It seems to be referring to Jesus’ manifestation to the world, thus identifying him as the ark that’s manifested. However, the phrase John has singled out could refer to either Jesus or Mary as the ark. But Hippolytus goes on to refer to Jesus as the ark more explicitly. The ark is “His own body”. The passage is focused on the manifestation of Jesus to the world, not the manifestation of Mary. The ark that’s manifested is Jesus, not Mary.

      Besides, as I’ve already documented, you sometimes disagree with the beliefs of the early Christians. Even if Hippolytus had said that Mary is the ark, why would it follow that we should agree with him? You keep telling us that we should agree with church fathers and Protestant reformers when they agree with you. But what about when they disagree with you? You cited Hippolytus and told us that we should agree with him. It turns out that he advocates a view different than yours. Does it follow that you should abandon your position and adopt Hippolytus’ view?

    86. Jason Engwer
      January 20th, 2012 @ 6:28 am

      John wrote:

      “This goes to show that for those who hold to ‘sola-scriptura’ that it is not the bible alone that is followed, but ultimately his or her interpretation of the bible.”

      And you rely on your own interpretation of patristic documents and other sources. How can anybody avoid dependence on his own interpretation? If you’re going to claim that we can rely on our own interpretation of sources other than scripture, but that we must have somebody else interpret scripture for us, then how do you arrive at that conclusion? And why do you sometimes disagree with the interpretations of the early Christians, as I’ve demonstrated in previous posts? How do we identify and interpret this church you keep referring to?

    87. Kyzersoze
      January 20th, 2012 @ 8:19 am

      John

      The teaching that Mary was the Mother of “the body” presupposes that one can separate the body of Christ from Christ Himself. As far as I understand, the early Church did not distinguish the body of Jesus from Christ Himself. Do you know where this teaching came from? Why do ask about that?

      Did you see the video link where I got the quote from about “the body”? That’s where I got it from. Also, it is Orthodox teaching that “God the Son” took on flesh at the Incarnation. In other words, the preexistent/eternal Son of God was not in the flesh/human before His coming into the womb of Mary and “taking on flesh”. Are you not Orthodox?

    88. Adam
      January 20th, 2012 @ 10:52 am

      Kyzersoze,

      Aren’t both views taking it “beyond its Christological & incarnational sense” when scripture is silent on this whole issue of whether or not Mary did give birth to the human Son of God or “God the Son”? Hence the seeming paradox of both views I feel.

      What do you mean that scripture is “silent?” Do you mean that it doesn’t have a theological treatise on the issue? If that is the case, then no one can argue with you. However, if the humanity and divinity of Jesus cannot be separated, as is evidenced by the fact that Jesus, in his human flesh, receives worship, or the fact that John leaps in the womb at the presence of Christ, then you do have a scriptural teaching. How could Jesus receive worship in his human body if the divine nature were not also present, and how could John leap in his mother’s womb unless God were likewise present in Christ?

      The problem here is that you are demanding that you have theological discourse on everything. Sometimes, as modern Discourse Analysis has shown, it is a matter of understanding how the text constructs its view of reality. It is absolutely impossible to look at the way in which the NT presents the doctrine of Christ, and to come to the conclusion that Nestorius did. Nestorius’ position that Mary was not theotokos did not come from Biblical Exegesis, so much as it came from a desire to preserve the distinction between the two natures. It was, basically, an overreaction that logically leads to the disastrous conclusion that the two natures of Christ are separated.

      But wait a minute…you do agree with the Catholics that Mary is the mother of God but you do not believe that that should somehow been idolized? Why not if the position of Mary as the mother of God is BY DEFINITION the same [if not superior] to the One she gave birth to?

      Depends on how you define “mother of God.” If all that is meant by that term is that the one in Mary’s womb was truly God, then no, it does not follow because the divine nature preexisted the incarnation, and, in fact, created Mary who is bore the God-man. In that case, no, it would not mean that Mary is the same or superior, because God preexisted Mary, and, in fact, brought Mary into existence. However, if you believe that Mary is the mother of God in the sense that she brought God into existence by physical procreation then, yes, that position would, by definition, by the same or probably greater than that of God. However, the orthodox view is the former, not the latter.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    89. Adam
      January 20th, 2012 @ 11:52 am

      John,

      Peter also states how unstable people can easily misunderstand the writings of Paul to their own destruction(2 Peter 3:16). If I look at the word, I also see that the “pillar and ground of truth” is the Church (1 Timothy 3:15). Note it does not say that the “word” is the pillar and ground of the truth. Therefore I find it important to figure out who this Church is and what this early Church believed as it is there that I can find the truth. I’ve read some of Jason’s posts btw and did respond to a few of his comments above- I’ll look at the other comments too.

      1. Yes, taught and unstable people can twist the scriptures; the solution is to be taught and stable, not to run of to Constantinople.

      2. The church as the pillar and ground of the truth speaks to the way in which the church is to *function,* not about the nature of the Church itself. A pillar and foundation holds something else up. It is the job of the Church to hold up the truth of God.

      Finally, remember that even during the days of the apostles there were false teachers who came into the Church. If you find a teaching in the early church, how do you know it was the teaching of the apostles, or the teaching of the ravenous wolves Paul talked about?

      This goes to show that for those who hold to “sola-scriptura” that it is not the bible alone that is followed, but ultimately his or her interpretation of the bible.

      This is only true if the sole factor in interpretation is the interpreter. The problem with this is twofold.

      First, it ignores that language is not just text and meaning, but it also intends to accomplish things. It is in this sense that the text preserves, as Kevin Vanhoozer has rightly stated, an “artifact” of the author in the text. Hence, as I mentioned earlier, the issue in this regard is not really epistemic, but ethical. Once you see what the text is seeking to accomplish, or, more specifically, where the text is going in its intention, you have a choice. Are you going to accurately represent this intention, or are you going to bear false witness against God himself [Exodus 20:16]. Yes, there are many people who choose the latter option in protestantism, I am sorry to say. There are some protestant groups that have more traditions that Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy put together, and they simply choose to ignore the author’s intent, and replace it with their traditions, whether personal or ecclesiastical. However, that does not make it right, and it is still a violation of the ninth commandment.

      The second problem is that you have articulated the very position of Stanley Fish, namely, that what is crucial to interpretation is the interpreter himself, and the author is left out completely as if no communication is going on. The difficulty with this position is, not only the reductionism spoken of above, but the fact that it destroys all interpretation of any text. Dr. Brown and Jason have already started to go down this road, but, having studied this issue in graduate school, I will press it even further. Yes, you have to interpret church history, and yes, you have to interpret the Patristic sources. However, you also have to interpret your own church when it speaks in the councils. There are several different church historians who have many different interpretations of what the councils have said. Not only that, even in your interpretation of 2 Peter 3:16 and 1 Timothy 3:15 you have had to engage in interpretation in order to conclude your need for an infallible interpreter, which is entirely circular. If you need an infallible interpreter to interpret the text, how can you interpret the text, and then conclude that you need an infallible interpreter?

      Worse than that, you have to interpret what I am writing right now. You have to interpret what Jason is writing, and what Dr. Brown is writing. The point is, once you make meaning merely a matter of the interpreter and his interpretation, you destroy meaning in all written text. That is exactly what reader-response critics such as Stanley Fish, or deconstructionists such as Jacques Derrida are arguing for. In their view, meaning is reader relative, which is exactly what you are saying. What is ironic is that, you want to use these “death of the author” arguments of Derrida and Fish to try to argue your position on Sola Scriptura, but you will completely abandon them when it comes to any other written text, and, especially, any text that would establish the authority of Constantinople.

      The thing I would like you to consider is that Eastern Orthodoxy blatantly and openly seeks to destroy the author in scripture in order to replace it with themselves. It is a gagging of God, and a refusal to let him speak, all of the while putting the church in his place. However, because they claim that this is what God has said, it is, ultimately, bearing false witness against God himself.

      The question is whether you are going to be concerned about what the author is seeking to accomplish, and the direction he is seeking to take the text, or the utter disregard for that which you find in groups such as Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. That is why I said earlier that this raises major ethical concerns on my end. Do I have those same concerns with other protestant groups? Yes. There are high confessionalists in the Reformed Tradition to whom I have given this very same criticism. Still, God has said “thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” The question is whether you are going to follow teachings that blatantly disregard that commandment.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    90. Kyzersoze
      January 20th, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

      Adam

      What do you mean that scripture is “silent?” Do you mean that it doesn’t have a theological treatise on the issue?

      Thanks for pointing that out and apologies for not being clear. What I was trying to say is that scripture is “silent” on the Orthodox view of Christ, i.e., Mary being the mother of God or whether Mary gave birth to “the body”, as per Dave Hunt’s thesis on that link I have provided several times.

      how could John leap in his mother’s womb unless God were likewise present in Christ?

      The text says because his mother was “filled with the HS” as per the propthetic word of the angel Gabriel [Luke 1.15] and because he was joyful at the greeting of Mary, the mother of the lord Messiah [Luke 1.39-45].

      [Jesus] created Mary who is bore the God-man.

      I keep reading this but can you tell me where it actually says this? And where is Jesus called “God-man”?

    91. Adam
      January 20th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      The text says because his mother was “filled with the HS” as per the propthetic word of the angel Gabriel [Luke 1.15] and because he was joyful at the greeting of Mary, the mother of the lord Messiah [Luke 1.39-45].

      Here is Luke 1:13-16:

      Luke 1:13-16 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.

      Actually, the text says that *John the Baptist* [not his mother] would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. In fact, it would only strengthen my case that the reason John leaped in his mother’s womb is because he was in the presence of God incarnate, as anyone filled with the Holy Spirit would do in the presence of their savior.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    92. Adam
      January 20th, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      I would also point out that this passage points out that Elizabeth’s interpretation of what happened is very much in line with mine as well:

      Luke 1:42-44 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

      In other words “the mother of my Lord” is crucial to understanding this passage. When we talk about Jesus’ Lordship, we are clearly talking about an aspect of his deity. Yet, here, Elizabeth uses the phrase “*mother* of my Lord.” She then goes on to reason this way from the way in which the baby leaped in her womb. I don’t see any way to make sense out of this passage, unless what was in Mary’s womb was truly God and truly man, and hence, the thesis that scripture teaches that Mary was the mother of God in the incarnational sense has been established.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    93. John
      January 20th, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      This whole issue, at it’s root is on how we should view Mary. The early Church already dealt with this and confirmed that Mary is the Mother of God in the fourth ecumenical council. If you do not see Mary as the Mother of God then you are teaching heresy. It’s crucial because the way we see Mary is vital in our understanding of the nature of Christ. If Mary was not the Mother of God, then who is Jesus? Is He not God? If Mary was only the mother of “the body” then was it only a body that she gave birth to and was it only a body that hung on a cross? No! It was God Himself who suffered and died on the cross.

      Kyzersoze, I looked at the link and see how Dave Hunt jumps to the conclusion that if Mary was the Mother of God then somehow that makes God finite which is nowhere in scripture. Calling Mary the Theotokos or the Mother of God was never meant to suggest that Mary was coeternal with God, or that she existed before Jesus Christ or God existed. “The body” and God are not two separate entities. It’s interesting to note that he viewing Mary as mother of “the body” is quite common in protestant thinking.

      Jason, thanks for pointing that out and sorry for not looking at the context of that reference. The core of this argument though is about Mary being the Mother of God. If Mary is the Mother of God, bearing God in her womb, it’s quite natural to think of her as an ark of God. It doesn’t seem worthwhile to me to argue for this if you don’t realize the reason behind the fact that many see her as the ark of God.

      Not all the fathers of the Church agreed on everything. They were free to disagree on certain points, but when it came to their unity in mind with regard to the the Nature of Christ, they remained unified through councils- the councils of the Church confirm this.

    94. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 20th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

      Folks,

      It dawned on me during my radio show today that I typed 1 Cor 3 (which speaks of the corporate Body being the Temple of the Spirit) rather than 1 Cor 6 (speaking of our individual bodies being the Temple of the Spirit).

    95. Jason Engwer
      January 20th, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

      John wrote:

      “If Mary is the Mother of God, bearing God in her womb, it’s quite natural to think of her as an ark of God.”

      As I suggested in post 52, other entities could also be called “an ark of God” in the broad sense you’re now describing. I gave the examples of the cross on which Jesus was crucified and His tomb. It doesn’t follow that those other entities, or Mary, are perpetually virgin or can’t be touched or should be paralleled to the ark of the covenant in other ways that are in dispute.

      My position on the Mother of God title is that it’s acceptable, but can be abused and often is. It’s open to multiple definitions that are significantly different than one another, and different people can use the term with different motives. Given Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy’s history of false doctrine and false practice related to Mary, I don’t trust them with the title Mother of God. They may be using it in an acceptable manner, but their history warrants an initial distrust. That distrust might be overcome in the case of a given individual or group, but I generally don’t trust Catholics and Orthodox with the Mother of God title. If an Evangelical uses the term, that’s a different matter. It’s similar to how the term Son of God can be abused, with some individuals and groups deserving less trust than others when they use the title.

    96. David Roberts
      January 20th, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

      I think most theological problems would be sorted out if people would limit their speech and vocabulary to terms only used in the Bible.

      With regard to many the consistent usage throughout the Gospels is Miriam the mother of Yeshua, and the last reference to her is found in
      Acts 1:14 which states,

      “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Miriam the mother of Yeshua.”

      Why can’t we all just call her what the scriptures called her? If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

    97. Ruth
      January 21st, 2012 @ 1:51 am

      Mary {Miryam} was a chosen vessel. Some vessels are created for greater purposes than other vessels are. Nonetheless, we are never to worship the vessel. We are never to worship the created, but the Creator.

      A title like, “Mother of God” implies (and I maintain, deliberately) that Mary somehow spawned God. To do so would require her to precede Him. To later say, “Well, wasn’t Jesus God?” is the type of double-speak common in Cathologic, as I like to dub it.

      Jesus {Yeshua} pre-existed as The Son, the first-born of all creation, begotten of the Father. One with. Because Mary was not created before the Son, she did not create, or give rise to, Jesus, obviously. She was the chosen vessel for his incarnation. Honored, blessed forever, humble, calling herself a servant.

      Of course, no Catholic would deny that. However, elevating her by such a title as “Mother of God”, and then pretending that the term doesn’t imbue her with an implied authority would be disingenuous. It also brings to mind ancient Roman “mother-goddess” worship, as in Cybele and her son, Attis. I sometimes wonder if Marian ideology hasn’t given Roman Catholicism an avenue for continuing to worship the Magna Mater.

      Of course, this would be denied strenuously with “Catholics do not worship Mary!”. But denial of something doesn’t necessarily make it so.

      Paul didn’t write, “She must increase, and He must diminish” – yet that is the sum-effect of such a title.

      Ultimately, such hyperbole leads one away from the one, true Door to the Father, Jesus {Yeshua}, and this, no less, than by a church which purports itself to be holier than any other on earth.

      That’s more than serious.

    98. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 3:40 am

      Jason, with regard to praying to the dead. The scriptures strictly forbid any attempt to summon the spirits of the dead, or to try to engage them in conversation (Lev. 19:31) which I think you would agree. That being said, the scriptures do not prohibit christians from expressing there love for those who have died. Praying for those believers we know who have departed is a way we can express our love toward them. In the case where the Orthodox pray to saints, they are simply asking for their petitions just as we would ask someone we know to pray for us. In Hebrews 12 it says, “But you have come to the Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN WHO ARE REGISTERED IN HEAVEN, to God the Judge of all, TO THE SPIRITS OF JUST MEN MADE PERFECT, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks betters things than that of Abel.” It also says that we are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”. These witnesses are the saints from all ages. Certainly they would not be called witnesses if they were unconscious to their surroundings.

      When we see Christ talking with Moses and Elijah on the Mt. we see that the faithful departed continue to live in the presence of God(Matthew 17). Christ told the thief on the cross that he would be in paradise with him that same day (Luke 23:43). We also see the activity of the faithful departed as they sing praises, falling on their faces in worship and speaking to Him (Revelation 4:4, 6:9-11 and 7:9-12).

    99. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 9:27 am

      John wrote:

      “The scriptures strictly forbid any attempt to summon the spirits of the dead, or to try to engage them in conversation (Lev. 19:31) which I think you would agree.”

      There are other relevant passages, like Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Isaiah 8:19, and 19:3. The language in those passages is too broad to exempt prayers to the dead.

      You write:

      “In the case where the Orthodox pray to saints, they are simply asking for their petitions just as we would ask someone we know to pray for us.”

      As I asked earlier, would you expect a Christian living in China to hear a prayer directed to him by a Christian living in the United States? If you’re going to claim that Christians in Heaven can hear the prayers of people on earth, you need to argue for that conclusion. We already know that a Christian sitting next to you in church can hear you asking him to pray for you. We don’t know that a person in Heaven can hear you making such a request of him. Even if he can, it doesn’t follow that it’s permissible for you to bring him requests.

      Eastern Orthodox don’t just ask Mary to pray for them. They also praise her, thank her, ask her to protect them, etc. I give some examples in a March 16, 2007 post at Triablogue titled “Praying To The Deceased”. You can search the web for other examples.

      You go on to cite Hebrews 12, which is irrelevant. A person can be a witness in more than one sense. You can be a witness by seeing people, but you can also be a witness by testifying to people without seeing them. Hebrews 11 is about people who have testified to us in the manner in which they lived. Through faith they still speak (Hebrews 11:4). The individuals are witnesses in that sense. Hebrews 11 tells us about what those people did in the past, not how they’re currently watching us from Heaven. They ran well, setting an example for us, so we should look to them as examples as we run the race. The passage isn’t about people in Heaven observing us, much less is it about praying to those people.

      Your comments on the Mount of Transfiguration, the thief on the cross, etc. are likewise irrelevant. I don’t deny that dead believers “continue to live in the presence of God”.

      As I discuss in the Triablogue posts I cited earlier, there are multiple problems with praying to the dead. You haven’t overcome any of them. Praying to the dead seems to be inconsistent with Biblical passages condemning attempts to contact the deceased. The practice is absent where we’d expect to see it mentioned if it was considered an acceptable practice in Biblical and early post-Biblical times. We don’t know that people in Heaven can hear our prayers. And praying to the dead is repeatedly condemned, directly or indirectly, by the early patristic Christians. It isn’t just an unbiblical practice. It’s also anti-Biblical and anti-patristic.

      If these ancient sources had believed in praying to the dead, you probably wouldn’t have to go to places like Hebrews 12 and the Mount of Transfiguration to find alleged references to it. Instead, the practice would be mentioned explicitly and often, as prayers to God are. There’s no justification for praying to the dead in scripture or the earliest church fathers, not even in seed form.

    100. Kyzersoze
      January 21st, 2012 @ 9:55 am

      Adam

      it would only strengthen my case that the reason John leaped in his mother’s womb is because he was in the presence of God incarnate, as anyone filled with the Holy Spirit would do in the presence of their savior.

      So anyone who “leaps for joy” MUST be “in the presence of God”? This is just an assumption and not even an argument.

      And yes, Elizabeth was in the presense of “my lord”, Messiah. Or are you seriously proposing that the reference to “my lord” here is somehow “my lord God”? Especially when God is NEVER refered to as “my lord” in the NT.

      When we talk about Jesus’ Lordship, we are clearly talking about an aspect of his deity.

      Again, “my lord” is NEVER a reference to Deity in the NT. Jesus’ lordship has to be understood within the context in which it is used, i.e., Jesus is called throughout “my lord” or “the lord MESSIAH”. NEVER “Lord God” or “my lord God”. This is scripturally unsound.

      I would also add that the context which governs this rule goes back to the OT verse which is used the most by the NT writers, Ps 110.1: “The LORD/YHWH said to my lord/master”.

      How else would you understand a verse like Luke 2.26 where it talks about “the Lord’s Messiah”?

      John

      It’s interesting to note that he viewing Mary as mother of “the body” is quite common in protestant thinking.

      Well, what else would you suggest we use? I think this whole issue is based on the fact that Protestants do not want to sound Catholic. Since both believe Mary to be the mother of God.

    101. Ruth
      January 21st, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

      This passage was mentioned in the show by Dr. Brown.

      Whether one uses a Protestant version of Luke 11:27-28 OR a Catholic version of this scripture, the idea is essentially the same, from the mouth of Yeshua {Jesus}, and you can’t get any more authoritative than the Son’s take:

      Luke 11:27-28: “27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (KJV)

      In the Catholic version (New Jerusalem Bible), this passage reads, “27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!’ 28 But he replied, ‘More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

      “Blessed, RATHER”
      “More blessed still”

      Can there be any doubt from these versions that Jesus {Yeshua} is either foreseeing how off-the-track Marian ideology will become – or, if not foreseeing, certainly setting the correct perspective in place for us?

    102. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

      Jason, you’d be surprised at what you would find in the patristic literature regarding being able to communicate beyond the limitations of our physical beings. People who are so in touch with God are able to do this sort of thing and we have accounts of people who walk in this realm even today. They are in the kingdom of God here and now and are sensitive enough to know what’s going on with there fellow brothers and sisters without even seeing them. I’m sure you’ve experienced knowing when someone is about to call you or having a ‘gut’ feeling about something that you would have no other way of knowing. Those who have wives sometimes no where they are without even being told due to their union with one another. Within the Church there is true unity which facilitates a fellowship that goes beyond geographic location. You’re attempts at rationally explaining away the unseen world of the Kingdom of God is not convincing to me and equating conjuring up spirits of the departed with asking for the petitions of saints is unnecessarily extreme and ubiblical.

    103. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

      John, your claim that I’m “rationally explaining away the unseen world of the Kingdom of God” assumes that the kingdom of God has the characteristics you tell us it has. You’ve given us no reason to agree with you. You’ve put forward some arguments for your position, but you’ve been forced to retreat every time, because your arguments are bad. Now you’re resorting to an appeal to “‘gut’ feelings about something that you would have no other way of knowing”. Since your attempts at objective argumentation have failed, you’ve resorted to a more subjective and unverifiable approach. I haven’t had any such subjective experience that’s been supportive of praying to the dead. Since there’s an absence of objective argumentation for your position, an absence of subjective support for it, and the presence of objective reasons for rejecting it, I reject it.

      You tell me I’d “be surprised at what I would find in the patristic literature”. I’ve read thousands of pages of that literature, and I’ve been citing it far more often and more accurately than you have. Given how surprised you’ve apparently been by what Hippolytus and other patristic sources actually said about ark typology, what the early Christians actually believed about the perpetual virginity of Mary, etc., I don’t think I’m the one who’s more likely to be surprised here.

    104. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

      And “conjuring up spirits of the departed” isn’t all that the Biblical passages in question refer to, John. As I said earlier, the language of these passages is too broad to exempt praying to the dead. You keep trying to narrow the Biblical language in such a way that praying to the dead would be allowed, but you aren’t presenting the Biblical view. Rather, you’re filtering the Biblical view through your faulty extra-Biblical tradition. Anything the Bible says that’s inconsistent with praying to the dead isn’t allowed through. You single out the portions of these Biblical passages that seem consistent with prayers to the dead, ignore the rest, then act as if the portions that are consistent with your position are all that the Bible says.

    105. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 21st, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

      John,

      Jason has certainly provided you with adequate responses. I’ll just add two cents from an experiential perspective. I have plenty of colleagues who sense things in the Spirit and who hear the voice of the Lord and who felt “tied in” to the experiences of other believers around the world. I myself have had many such experiences — and this has NOTHING to do with communing with departed spirits. The two are poles apart, the former being scriptural (we are, after all, people of the Spirit, who knows all things); the latter, clearly prohibited.

    106. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

      Dr. Brown, the current reality is that christians are in communion with the “spirits of just men made perfect” as they are a part of the “general assembly” which we are seeking to be a part of (Hebrews 12:22-24). The fact that they are in our presence should not make it a strange thing to ask them to pray to God for us is all I’m saying. I don’t advocate praying to the dead the way we see Saul doing in 1st Samuel 28.

      Jason, have you read the account of the martyrdom of Ignatius? After he was thrown to the lions he appeared to many christians embracing them and praying for them. When they confirmed with each other what they had seen they rejoiced and sang praises to God. (Ante-Nicene Fathers page 131).

    107. Cleveland Wilks
      January 21st, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

      Though the Lord is high and lofty,yet he bow down His ears to hear the poor man’s cry. Is that why?, man who was nothing and no where thinks we have the rights to judge and always attempting to define God?.We’r to remember, according to the bible when God Who Is and always was, not even the dust from which we were form wasn’t around. Void and darkness was on the face of the deep.If that isn’t enough to humbles us, don’t know what will. It is enough reason for me to worship Him forever&ever just to know that I’v began in His Great Infinite Mind. Now will man move on to greater things instead of been hang up with,and over the question,”is Mary the mother of God?”. Mary, Joseph,David, were all taken from the dust.let’s worship God!.Where was Mary when He, Jesus-God! came down in the fire to defend His boys?,when he spent compassionate time,a whole night, with His much beloved Jacob and blessed him for desiring His blessing so strongly,resulting in Him making Himself known as the God of Jacob.We’r to desire His blessing like Jacob and we might even receive it in abundance like Jabes.The Pope and all Catholics are to make sure they worship God like Mary did,instead of worshiping Mary.Jesus could have came down from heaven in any other way,and make Himself still be able to bleed for us. He chooses Mary,the human way.Let’s love Him, to Identified Himself so much with us.Amen.

    108. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

      John,

      We can have a relationship with deceased individuals without their being able to hear our prayers and without our being permitted to pray to them even if they could hear our prayers. I’ll repeat an illustration I mentioned a couple of times earlier in the thread. A Christian in the United States is in communion with a Christian in China. Can the Christian in China hear the prayers of the Christian in the United States? If he could hear the prayers, would it follow that praying to him is permissible? If we had a Biblical commandment against such prayers, would our ability to pray and hear prayers in that manner prove that we’re permitted to do it?

      Concerning the account of Ignatius’ martyrdom, I’ll quote one of the leading Ignatian scholars of our generation:

      “the Acts of his martyrdom are late and unreliable….These accounts, along with five Acts of his martyrdom that survive in several manuscripts and versions in Latin, Greek, Syriac, Armenian, and Coptic, are generally regarded as spurious, providing little more information about Ignatius than that which can be inferred from his seven letters.” (Allen Brent, Ignatius Of Antioch [New York, New York: T & T Clark International, 2009], 12, 20)

      He goes on, later on page 20, to refer to the material as “certainly legendary”.

      The portion of the martyrdom account that you’ve highlighted isn’t found in any of Ignatius’ seven genuine letters, of course.

      Besides, what you’ve described is an instance of the dead initiating contact with the living. That’s not equivalent to an attempt to initiate contact with the dead through prayer. I made this point earlier, when I commented on the Mount of Transfiguration. If somebody like Moses or Elijah (or Ignatius) returns to life on earth and initiates contact with you, I won’t object if you respond to him.

    109. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 21st, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

      John,

      You wrote, “Dr. Brown, the current reality is that christians are in communion with the ‘spirits of just men made perfect’ as they are a part of the general assembly’ which we are seeking to be a part of (Hebrews 12:22-24).” Aside from the fact that it’s really irrelevant to the larger discussion of the wrong exaltation of Mary, I see no exegetical evidence for your statement based on Heb 12. Where does it speak of us being “in communion” with those who have gone to be with the Lord before us? Instead, it tells us that through our faith in Yeshua, we have not come to Mt. Sinai but to the heavenly Mt. Zion.

    110. Adam
      January 21st, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      So anyone who “leaps for joy” MUST be “in the presence of God”? This is just an assumption and not even an argument.

      And yes, Elizabeth was in the presense of “my lord”, Messiah. Or are you seriously proposing that the reference to “my lord” here is somehow “my lord God”? Especially when God is NEVER refered to as “my lord” in the NT.

      No, what I am suggesting is that there is no *contextual* reason for John to leap for joy unless he is in the presence of God. Babies do not ordinarily leap for joy in gestation over the presence of another baby, and do it in the context of the word κυριος, the common word used to translate the tetragrammaton in the Hebrew Bible.

      Also, I don’t believe that “my Lord” is never used to refer to God in the NT. It is used of Jesus, and Jesus is God incarnate.

      I would also add that the context which governs this rule goes back to the OT verse which is used the most by the NT writers, Ps 110.1: “The LORD/YHWH said to my lord/master”.

      I have heard these arguments before, and I utterly reject them. The problem is that they rely upon the Masoretic pointing, and, because the Masoretic pointing is a tradition, there are places where the Masoretic pointing is probably in error, and, more specifically, places where “my Lord” should probably be the correct pointing. Consider the following:

      Psalm 16:2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” [NASB]

      In this case, I believe that the editors of the NASB have made the correct choice. Not only does the LXX read κυριος μου here, but the Vulgate reads “Dominus Meus,” and the Peshitta reads
      ܐܡܪܬ ܠܡܪܝܐ ܡܪܝ ܐܢܬ. The significance of this is that, unlike Hebrew, the Syriac word for “Lord” [ܡܪ] does not end in a yod. All of these phrases translate to “My Lord.” Hence, in every major ancient translation, you have “my Lord” here.

      You have the same thing in Psalm 35:23:

      Psalm 35:23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right And to my cause, my God and my Lord. [NASB]

      Again, very clearly referring to God, and yet, the LXX has κυριος μου, the Vulgate has Dominus Meus, and the Peshitta has ܡܪܝ, again, all translating to “my God.” However, here, you also have the Targum chiming in with ומרי. Again, there is no confusion here, because the Aramaic word for “Lord” [מר] does not end in a yod, just as the Syriac word does not. Hence, now you have all of the major ancient translations supporting the idea that the vowel pointing is wrong here, as well as a Jewish paraphrase.

      While it is rare, the term “my Lord” does seem to be able to be used of God. That is probably what lead the Masorites to change the pointing in those places, so as to avoid a commonly human term being used of God.

      Finally, as a Trinitarian, when I see the term “Lord” being used of Jesus, especially with its background in the Hebrew Bible translating the tetragrammeton, and especially in the context where someone is leaping for joy, and especially when that someone is in gestation, you can conclude that you are, indeed, in the presence of God almighty.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    111. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

      Dr. Brown, you wrote, “Where does it speak of us being “in communion” with those who have gone to be with the Lord before us? Instead, it tells us that through our faith in Yeshua, we have not come to Mt. Sinai but to the heavenly Mt. Zion.”

      Just because one has departed from this earthly life doesn’t mean that we can no longer be in fellowship with them. Love conquers all, even the grave itself. A tombstone was never intended to be an unconquerable obstacle for communion with those who have departed. I agree that the scripture says “you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God” and not to Mt. Sinai. A good question to ask is who is part of the heavenly city of Mt. Zion? The answer is that the “Spirits of just men made perfect” are within this heavenly city. How can we have come to the heavenly city unless we are in the presence of the “spirits of just men made perfect”? Jesus says in Matthew 22:32 “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead but are alive in the presence of God as spirits of just men made perfect. On a side note, I’m not saying that saints in and of themselves can grant the requests we are seeking God for- I’m only saying that they beseech Christ on our behalf. The whole direction of requesting the petition of a saint is prayer to God.

      The issue is brought up only because asking the Mother of God to pray for us was equated to praying to the dead in the comments above which is not the case. It also seems that this issue is enmeshed with the reasons why people reject seeing Mary as the Mother of God. A lot of it is just fear of anything that bears a semblance to catholicism.

    112. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

      John,

      Hebrews 12 refers to the believer’s relationship with all other believers, not just those who have died. Again, what would you think of a Christian living in the United States praying to a Christian living in China? The fact that the two are part of the same community in Christ doesn’t tell us whether they can pray to each other or are permitted to do so. You keep ignoring such problems with your position. You haven’t even addressed most of the objections we’ve raised.

      And I don’t know why you refer to “asking the Mother of God to pray for us”. I’ve documented that both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do more than ask Mary to pray for them.

    113. David Roberts
      January 21st, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

      What’s so difficult about praying to the father in Yeshua’s name, that we should need to invent all sorts of unbiblical methods of prayer?

    114. Jason Engwer
      January 21st, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

      John wrote:

      “The issue is brought up only because asking the Mother of God to pray for us was equated to praying to the dead in the comments above which is not the case.”

      You need to interact with the counterarguments that have already been presented. I’ve argued for my position that Biblical passages about attempting to contact the dead are addressing the physically dead. Thus, mentioning that Mary and other deceased individuals are spiritually alive is irrelevant. And I’ve given examples of both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox sources saying that they “pray to” Mary. If Mary and other individuals you’re bringing your requests to are deceased, and both Catholics and Orthodox say that they’re praying to those individuals, then how is it inaccurate to say that Catholics and Orthodox are praying to the dead?

    115. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 21st, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

      John,

      Re: your post #110, this really takes us way off track, although I understand why you raised the point. Feel free, however, to expend time and energy on trying to prove that we can be in communion with departed believers, but I’ll not engage you further on that subject. There are far more important matters to attend to, and there is not a verse in the Bible exhorting me or encouraging me to communed with the deceased — although there are certainly warnings to the contrary.

    116. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

      Dr. Brown, it seems that we are speaking past each other. I told you why I addressed the subject. Btw, I’m not the one who initially brought up the subject of praying to the dead. It was initially brought up in Jason’s comments above if you would like to know.

      You still haven’t addressed some of my questions regarding the Mother of God in comment #93. Is she only the mother of “the body” of Christ? If so was it only a body that she gave birth to and was it only a body that died on the cross?

    117. John
      January 21st, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

      Jason, you said, “You keep ignoring such problems with your position. You haven’t even addressed most of the objections we’ve raised.”

      A lot of the objections you’ve raised are not worthwhile to argue with as they are veering away and distracting from the main point of the dialogue.

    118. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 21st, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

      John, I’m in the midst of a bunch of pressing writing projects, and I really didn’t intend to weigh in that much here — I simply don’t have time — but to answer quickly (and we’ll have to leave it here): The Son is eternal God, and he entered the world through the medium of Miriam’s womb, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit. While she is Yeshua’s mother, she is NOT the originator of his divine nature — obviously! — since his divine nature is eternal and preexistent. Within her womb, deity and humanity were joined together in Yeshua, and Miriam gave birth to him.

      Please understand that I appreciate your posts and I want to engage you, but I must drop out of this thread now — as I drop out of all others — so please be kind enough to take up these issues with others rather than question me further, OK?

      Thanks, and enjoy the interaction.

    119. John
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:00 am

      Dr. Brown, I understand that you have to go, but thanks for your comments and I’ve enjoyed interacting. As far as your last comment, it seems that you believe that Mary is the Mother of God but not in the sense that she is the originator of His divine nature but the Mother of God nonetheless since Christ is God. If so I think we’re agreed. The only difference I think is that I’m more comfortable with calling her the Mother of God than you might be. When it comes to the question of whether or not we should call her “Mother of God”, it might be important to ask ourselves what the consequences would be if we did or did not call her that. If we didn’t call her the Mother of God, but only the “Mother of Christ”, then we blur the lines and make a distinction between Christ and God which is not biblical for Christ is God. If we call her “Mother of God” then we confirm that Christ is God, receiving His humanity from Mary His mother, a human being. To shy away from calling her the “Mother of God” is like bringing into question the deity of Christ. If the reason why we shy away is because others will misinterpret the truth, that shouldn’t stop us from speaking the truth. Many people will misinterpret many things about God including things like the trinity. Therefore it’s vital to acknowledge her as the Mother of God to maintain the truth that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, as this is central to the Gospel message- that is that God united Himself to humanity through the willful obedience of the virgin Mary, lived and died and rose again defeating death for our sake so that we too would live with Him. Mary is our example of obedience to God as she is solely human as we are, and she brings a challenge to all of us of seeking salvation through unification with God (not with His essence). The way we go about our unification with God is laid out in scripture and to be more exact it is laid out in the scriptures in the context of the Church since if they are outside of the Church then they act as a weapon of division rather than an aid in unification with God and with man. Unity within the Church is the desire of Jesus and is even prayed about to the Father before He goes to the cross in John 17. Our view of the Mother of God is therefore at the core of how we view salvation and how we view Christ.

    120. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:27 am

      John, truly, my very last post: I do NOT believe that Mary is the Mother of God, and I will continue to stand against that misleading concept. See all my previous posts. And I have spent decades defending Yeshua’s deity without affirming that “Mary is the Mother of God,” nor does one affirmation hang on the other. In fact, to me, the latter affirmation can potentially confuse and detract from the former.

      Let’s focus on Jesus and exalt Him to the highest place, to the glory of God the Father. I’m sure that’s what Mary would want. :)

      So, PLEASE be kind enough not to restate what I believe in words contrary to what I believe, and once more, let’s focus on Jesus. Thanks!

    121. John
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 3:20 am

      Dr. Brown, I don’t see how Jesus can be fully God and fully man unless he has taken on flesh through the virgin Mary. If He has taken on flesh from the virgin Mary that makes Mary His mother. If Mary is His mother, and He is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. Isn’t it misleading to not call her the Mother of God but only the Mother of Jesus who is God? We all understand that Mary is not the originator of God’s deity, but only His humanity. No need to fear as far as that goes.

      How is it possible that one affirmation does not hang on the other? Humanity and deity have become united and yet you are still making a distinction between humanity and deity when rejecting to see Mary as the Mother of God. Nestorius, who was a heretic, did the same thing. He attacked the use of the phrase “Mother of God” in the desire to separate the divine and human essences of Christ as if Christ was two separate persons and not one. They rejected terminology such as “God suffered” or “God was crucified” since they only viewed the ‘man’ Jesus Christ who suffered and the “God Jesus Christ”. When we call Mary the Mother of God we acknowledge the degree of the humility Christ expressed in bowing so low as to allow even a mere human being to be His mother.

      The fact is that Christ is both Son of Man and Son of God and not two different persons. Nestorius wanted to call Mary the “Giver of birth to Christ” but not the “Giver of birth to God”. Do you see Christ as two different persons?

    122. Jason Engwer
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00 am

      John wrote:

      “Btw, I’m not the one who initially brought up the subject of praying to the dead. It was initially brought up in Jason’s comments above if you would like to know….A lot of the objections you’ve raised are not worthwhile to argue with as they are veering away and distracting from the main point of the dialogue.”

      Prayers to Mary are relevant to a discussion about the Catholic view of Mary. And the subject of praying to her was mentioned by another commenter, in comment 11, before I addressed it. You discussed it in post 20, and I first addressed the subject in response to your post. Not only did I not initiate the discussion, but you were discussing the issue before I was.

      And it’s unreasonable for you to respond to me by saying that I was “veering away and distracting from the main point of the dialogue”. When you decide to address a subject like the perpetual virginity of Mary or praying to Mary, yet you ignore what’s been said on those subjects in previous posts, it makes no sense for you to explain your ignoring of those posts by telling us that the issues under discussion “veer away and distract from the main point of the dialogue”. You made the choice to discuss those issues. If you’re going to discuss them, then don’t keep ignoring what’s already been said. Much of what you keep ignoring was written in posts directed at you, posts you had indicated you’d read. Why would you repeatedly ignore points that have been made in posts that you had read, posts that had been directed at you by name?

      You keep asking Dr. Brown questions after he tells you that he doesn’t have time for interaction. Yet, you frequently ignore what other posters write in response to your claims. I suggest that people contrast your attempts to keep interacting with Dr. Brown, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, your pattern of not interacting much with other people.

      Your view of Mary is false and contradicts what scripture teaches on multiple points. We’ve demonstrated that fact repeatedly, and we’ve demonstrated that you’re wrong in much of what you claim about extra-Biblical sources. But you act as if we should be more concerned about the possibility that Dr. Brown holds a heretical view of Jesus that might be implied by a rejection of the Mother of God title. I think your actual and demonstrated errors are more significant than potential errors on Michael Brown’s part, errors that are unlikely given what he’s said about his view of Jesus and the work he’s done on the subject over the years. A rejection of the Mother of God title could reflect a faulty view of Jesus. It could also reflect something else, without involving a faulty view of Christ.

      You’ve associated yourself with a tradition, Eastern Orthodoxy, that has a long history of encouraging an unhealthy view of Mary. Given that context, if you’re truly concerned about Christology rather than elevating Mary, why don’t you and others with such concerns focus on titles like Grandmother of God and Brother of God rather than Mother of God? Why not focus on, say, Joseph’s mother or Jesus’ brother James? Why not argue for applying titles like Grandmother of God and Brother of God to such individuals rather than focusing on applying the title Mother of God to Mary? When a group like Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism keeps focusing on Mary in this context, I think we have good reason to conclude that it isn’t because of their Christ-centeredness.

    123. Kyzersoze
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 8:28 am

      Adam

      what I am suggesting is that there is no *contextual* reason for John to leap for joy unless he is in the presence of God.

      I understood what you were “suggesting” and dealt with it in my response. You’re coming across nice and clear. ;)

      Babies do not ordinarily leap for joy in gestation over the presence of another baby, and do it in the context of the word κυριος, the common word used to translate the tetragrammaton in the Hebrew Bible.

      Again, I dealt with this in my previous post but will reiterate my point. Jesus is the 2nd kyrios of Ps 110.1 not the 1st. He is YHWH’s Messiah as per Luke 2.26 and not YHWH Messiah. Have you even thought through what this would mean?

      The problem is that they rely upon the Masoretic pointing, and, because the Masoretic pointing is a tradition, there are places where the Masoretic pointing is probably in error, and, more specifically, places where “my Lord” should probably be the correct pointing.

      Could you please provide proof of a possible corruption/error in Ps 110.1 then? And who nowadays reads the unpointed Hebrew text? This is something even Dr Brown would agree on.

      Furthermore, your whole premise leads one to polytheism since you would have 2 YHWHs instead of 1 according to the Jewish-Christian creed of the Shema [Deu 6.4;Mar 12.29].

      Lastly, 2 exceptions do not make a rule. Especially when there is NO EVIDENCE that wherever “my lord/master” is used it could somehow be corrupted or erroneous.

    124. BenKC
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:43 am

      @Jason Engwer,

      agree !

      :)

    125. Bob T
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

      The fact that the catholic church took the 2nd commandment out of their bible”Thou shalt not make any graven image and bow thyself to them”an indication of where they stand on the worship of mary.

    126. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      Jason,

      You wrote to John, “You keep asking Dr. Brown questions after he tells you that he doesn’t have time for interaction. Yet, you frequently ignore what other posters write in response to your claims. I suggest that people contrast your attempts to keep interacting with Dr. Brown, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, your pattern of not interacting much with other people.”

      THANK YOU SIR!

    127. John
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

      Haha, Dr. Brown I address a lot of my questions to you because you’re the one who’s doing a radio show on how Mary is not the Mother of God. I’m also one who is short on time but that does not mean that I would not love to interact with all of you. I don’t seek to “attack” Dr. Brown or anyone else for that matter. All I would hope for is for each of us to discuss the issue through a friendly dialogue which I’m not always the best at and I appreciate anyone being able to bear with me as I hope to bear with you.

    128. John
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

      If I can bring a simple point that I’m not sure anyone addressed earlier but it seems to be quite relative to the matter. In Luke 1:42,43 we read the Mother of John the Baptist saying, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

      Can it get much clearer than this? Who is Elizabeth’s “Lord”? Is He not God? Not only is the early Church at odds with not seeing Mary as the Mother of God, but even the scriptures clearly portray Mary as the Mother of our Lord.

    129. Adam
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

      I understood what you were “suggesting” and dealt with it in my response. You’re coming across nice and clear. ;)

      No, you misrepresented me in your response. You said that I was assuming that, just because there was leaping for joy, that God was present. What I actually was dealing with was the leaping for joy in the context of the passage we are talking about.

      Again, I dealt with this in my previous post but will reiterate my point. Jesus is the 2nd kyrios of Ps 110.1 not the 1st. He is YHWH’s Messiah as per Luke 2.26 and not YHWH Messiah. Have you even thought through what this would mean?

      I am just stating what the text says. If you want to say “It can’t mean that because I could never understand it,” then you are taking up a position of rationalism, not a position that relies upon the scriptures.

      Finally, you are missing the point of my argument concerning Psalm 110. What I am arguing is that the pointing is wrong in those other texts, and that the correct pointing of those other texts use “My Lord” to clearly refer to YHWH contrary to what you said. Hence, even if the pointing is correct in Psalm 110, it would still not rule out the fact that Jesus is God. Your argument is that “My Lord” can never refer to YHWH, and I pointed out that, if the pointing is wrong in the places I pointed to, “My Lord” does, indeed, refer to YHWH.

      Also, I never used Psalm 110 to prove the deity of Christ. I think it is interesting that one of the main themes of the final books of the Psalms is the kingship of God, but that is beside the point. You brought the text up arguing that “My Lord” must not mean that Jesus is God, since those words are never used to address God. That argument has been refuted.

      Also, we don’t do exegesis by averages [its used more this way, so that is what it must mean here]. You look at the context, grammar, semantics, syntax, background, etc. to find the meaning of the passage. Take the phrase “my Lord” in the context of an infant in gestation leaping for joy, the background of kurios in the tetragrammaton in the OT, the miraculous nature of Christ’s birth, and the joy of Elizabeth, and the evidence is way too overwhelming. You might be able to get around each of them individually, but altogether, they form a context that is deadly to the idea that Mary was not theotokos.

      Furthermore, your whole premise leads one to polytheism since you would have 2 YHWHs instead of 1 according to the Jewish-Christian creed of the Shema [Deu 6.4;Mar 12.29].

      No, it would mean that we have one YHWH who is tripersonal, which is the orthodox position. Also, I don’t even think the Shema is relevant. The context is about devotion to the one God [Deuteronomy 6:5], and not the unity or plurality of persons.

      Finally, to any person who is orthodox, the issue should be settled. If you don’t assume unitarianism, then the scriptures teach that the one born to Mary was, indeed, the Mother of God, theotokos, as is expressed in the council of Chalcedon. Yes, the term can be abused, but in the incarnational sense, it is true.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    130. Adam
      January 22nd, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

      John,

      Can it get much clearer than this? Who is Elizabeth’s “Lord”? Is He not God? Not only is the early Church at odds with not seeing Mary as the Mother of God, but even the scriptures clearly portray Mary as the Mother of our Lord.

      I have used that argument above, and I don’t have any problem with the phrase “Mother of God” or theotokos in the incarnational sense. My concern is when the phrase is ripped out of the controversy over Nestorianism, and the separation of the two natures of Christ into two different persons. Given the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox conception of Mary, Jason is right to be concerned that the phrase can be, and usually is, taken as a title to exalt Mary, rather than a title to exalt Christ as God.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    131. John
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 12:15 am

      Adam, thanks for your comment. You state,
      “Given the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox conception of Mary, Jason is right to be concerned that the phrase can be, and usually is, taken as a title to exalt Mary, rather than a title to exalt Christ as God.”

      I understand the concern, but there are many titles and phrases that we all can abuse. The trinity (and the word itself is not in scripture) for example can easily be abused by many, and is, but this is not an excuse to refrain from upholding the truth in the face of false teachers leading people astray. I understand that it should concern someone if we are thinking Mary is the originator of God, but the Orthodox understand that this is not and never was an issue. The fact that Elizabeth refers to Mary by the phrase “mother of my Lord” shows that she also was not concerned about using this phrase.

      I also think it’s presumptuous to think that the Orthodox are exalting Mary and not Christ when using the phrase “Mother of God”. Was Elizabeth exalting Mary? The reason why Mary is so special is because she’s bearing God, Whom the universe cannot contain, in her womb. In the old testament we see the ark of the covenant held in high regard by the Jewish people- we should also give honor to where it’s due. The principle of esteeming others who are very close to God is all over scripture as well.

    132. BenKC
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 1:15 am

      John,

      The same God that was in Mary is also in those who accepted Jesus into their lives.

    133. Taylor
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 7:13 am

      According to my reading of the Bible, Jesus was born to a virgin not because virginity is to be worshiped but as a sign that he was the messiah. How did it get so complicated and twisted? Similarly, Isaac was miraculously born to Abram and Sarai as a sign of the power of God and his promise, not that we should worship really old people giving birth to children. I think that the Roman customs of worshiping gods and goddesses took over the story when Rome “converted” to Christianity and started to enforce their beliefs on everyone else under penalty of death.

    134. Kyzersoze
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 8:06 am

      Adam

      What I actually was dealing with was the leaping for joy in the context of the passage we are talking about.

      So the baby leaped for joy because God was in the womb of Elizabeth? That is highly unlikely and an assumption on your part.

      I am just stating what the text says.

      The NT refers to Jesus as “my lord” or “the lord MESSIAH”. That is what the text says. Where does it ever refer to him as “the LORD/Lord God Messiah” or anything that would approximate such a formulation?

      if the pointing is wrong in the places I pointed to, “My Lord” does, indeed, refer to YHWH.

      I disagree that the pointing is wrong so we’ll agree to disagree here. But show me where it is wrong in every other place where “my lord” appears in the OT?

      And if you concede that Ps 110.1 is a solid text, why are you throwing doubt on it by pointing to other so-called errors? In other words, why are you invested in proving the text wrong when it is not? Or at the least throwing doubt on it.

      You brought the text up arguing that “My Lord” must not mean that Jesus is God, since those words are never used to address God. That argument has been refuted.

      I thought we agreed that God is never referred to as “my lord” in the NT? As for the OT, the general rule still prevails over those 2 texts you presented.

      Also, we don’t do exegesis by averages [its used more this way, so that is what it must mean here]. You look at the context, grammar, semantics, syntax, background, etc. to find the meaning of the passage.

      Well, if all those things are taken into account we are taking into account “averages”. For example, just because Satan is called “the God” [ho theos] in 2Cor 4.4 does not allow one to make a whole theology stating that Satan is actually the one God of Israel.

      No, it would mean that we have one YHWH who is tripersonal, which is the orthodox position. Also, I don’t even think the Shema is relevant. The context is about devotion to the one God [Deuteronomy 6:5], and not the unity or plurality of persons.

      So the Shema is trinitarian now? And if it is, how do you explain a Jewish rabbi agreeing with Jesus in Mar 12.29-33?

      And yes the Shema is about loving that 1 God. Jesus could simply have saidto the rabbi “love me, I am God”! :P

      If you don’t assume unitarianism, then the scriptures teach that the one born to Mary was, indeed, the Mother of God, theotokos

      I am “assuming” that the Jews were not trinitarians. That the Shema is not trinitarian and that Jesus was not trinitarian. If I am wrong then perhaps the Jewish rabbi should have said to Jesus: “you are right when you say THEY are THREE and HE is ONE” and not…

      Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is one God and no other God exists but Him.

      The one God of Jesus is a He and not a They.

      And Mary is the mother of Jesus, the Son of God and not God!

    135. Adam
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

      Kyzersoze,

      So the baby leaped for joy because God was in the womb of Elizabeth? That is highly unlikely and an assumption on your part.

      Merely saying it is an assumption doesn’t make it so. Again, I have given you example after example from the context, not only of the virgin birth, but also of the reaction and interpretation of Elizabeth herself, the background of kurios in the Septuagint, etc. That is not an assumption; that is how you do exegesis, by examining the context, and seeing how the text constructs reality.

      The only way you could respond to this is if you found another text with a supernatural conception, a child in gestation leaps for joy, the mother of the child who leaps, in a Jewish context, uses the word kurios used in the LXX of the tetragrammaton, to describe the child in her amazement, and that child goes on to claim things that only God can claim. If you can find me another example of *all* these things being used together in the Bible that does not refer to deity, then I will be satisfied that you have proven that it is only an assumption on my part that this is a reference to Christ’s deity.

      I disagree that the pointing is wrong so we’ll agree to disagree here. But show me where it is wrong in every other place where “my lord” appears in the OT?

      And if you concede that Ps 110.1 is a solid text, why are you throwing doubt on it by pointing to other so-called errors? In other words, why are you invested in proving the text wrong when it is not? Or at the least throwing doubt on it.

      I am not throwing doubt on *the text,* but *your interpretation* of the text. I don’t agree with your understanding of “my Lord” here, and that is what I am challenging. Also, if you believe that the pointing of the MT is wrong in the passages I cited, then could you please explain why *all* of the ancient translations agree with me there, as well as the Jewish Targum?

      I thought we agreed that God is never referred to as “my lord” in the NT? As for the OT, the general rule still prevails over those 2 texts you presented.

      No, I did not agree to that. For example, take the following:

      Philippians 3:8-12 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

      Of what mere creature could Paul say that, in view of the knowledge of this creature, all things are suffered as loss. Isn’t that the very definition of idolatry, desiring to know the creature rather than the creator? Is it faith in a mere creature that makes one righteous? And is it a knowledge of a mere creature that makes one attain the resurrection of the dead? The only way “my Lord” can be taken here, as expounded by Paul, is as a reference to his deity, because the way Paul fleshes it out is in terms of things that are unique attributes of deity.

      Well, if all those things are taken into account we are taking into account “averages”. For example, just because Satan is called “the God” [ho theos] in 2Cor 4.4 does not allow one to make a whole theology stating that Satan is actually the one God of Israel.

      Which, not only ignores that there is nothing in context that would suggest that “God” is being used in this way [nothing about him being born of a virgin, nothing about people leaping for joy in gestation at his presence, nothing about kurios being used, and all of these things in exactly the same context]. Worse than that, there are some interpreters, and I think the argument is interesting, that would argue that ο θεος in 2 Corinthians 4:4 does, indeed, refer to the one God of Israel, and does not refer to Satan. Dr. Donald Hartley is the one who is really leading this charge. His article is online here:

      http://www.rctr.org/journal/8.pdf

      Finally, no, even if “God” here refers to Satan, the reason why it doesn’t refer to God elsewhere has nothing to do with statistics and averages. It has to do with context. The reason one could take this as a reference to Satan is because of the fact that both God and Satan blind people. However, in other contexts, you have clear examples in which “God” is spoken of in terms which would rule out Satan, such as his eternality, his speaking as judge, or as the standard of wisdom, etc. Again, these things have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with statistics.

      So the Shema is trinitarian now? And if it is, how do you explain a Jewish rabbi agreeing with Jesus in Mar 12.29-33?

      Actually, what I said was that the Shema is irrelevant to the issue! It is dealing with where our love and devotion is to be, namely, towards God and God alone. Whether this God is Trinitarian or Unitarian is not addressed.

      And yes the Shema is about loving that 1 God. Jesus could simply have saidto the rabbi “love me, I am God”! :P

      Such betrays an absurd view of language. Must we use the exact words? If I say, “this is the holiday in which we, in America, celebrate the birth of Christ, open presents, and eat a turkey dinner” it still doesn’t mean that it is Christmas unless I use the exact term “this is Christmas?????????”

      Secondly, the context of his question was asking for the greatest commandment. He is citing from the Torah, because he asked for the commandment itself, not all of the implications of that commandment.

      I am “assuming” that the Jews were not trinitarians. That the Shema is not trinitarian and that Jesus was not trinitarian. If I am wrong then perhaps the Jewish rabbi should have said to Jesus: “you are right when you say THEY are THREE and HE is ONE” and not…

      There is something even more fundamental that you are assuming, and that is that the Shema and the Jews at this time were even addressing the issue of the personal nature of God! You are also assuming that Jesus was addressing the personal nature of God in that passage. That only works if you assume unitarianism, instead of proving it.

      As far as Jesus not being a Trinitarian, it is interesting that Jesus receives the confession of Thomas “my Lord and my God” [John 20:28], receives the worship of all of creation [Revelation 5:13], accepts prayer [John 14:14], says he is the I am [John 8:58], says that knowing him is salvation [John 17:3], etc. These are things that are incompatible with someone who believes he is a mere creature. Yet, he has dialogue with the father, and distinguishes himself from the father in numerous places.

      For example, take Revelation 5:11-14. Are you really trying to say that this scenario would be appropriate:

      Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is Kyzersoze to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to Kyzersoze, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

      Really? That is appropriate???????? And if not, why not, given that Jesus, according to you, is only human? Remember, all creation is saying these things in vrs. 13ff. How is this not idolatry, unless Jesus is, himself, God, and unless you can distinguish between the Father and the Son?

      The real issue here is your hermeneutics. You have, as most unitarians do, the divide and conquer method. The problem is, this method ignores the fact that language is meant to represent reality in all of its facets. For example, a chair is defined by The New Oxford American Dictionary as, “a seat for one person, typically with a back and four legs.” If you were consistent, you would have to say, “No it is not! There are many seats besides a chair. A love seat, or a couch, or a recliner are likewise seats. Also, there are many things with backs, including love seats, and also human beings themselves! Also, there are many things with four legs including animals as well as sofas and love seats. Hence, there is no way we could be talking about a chair in that definition!

      As we can already see, such would be totally absurd. I heard this hermeneutic rightly described one time as someone trying to avoid a rock fall. Theoretically, you can take every individual rock, and figure out how you can avoid getting hit by every single one. However, all of the rocks are coming at once, and hence, it is impossible to dodge every single one. It is the same way with the chair illustration I used, and it is the same way with what is going on in Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth. Just like the chair definition, if you pull out the different aspects of what is going on, you would have a case. However, if everything is going on at this context, in this time, the inescapable conclusion is that Mary is theotokos.

      However, as for those of us who are orthodox Trinitarians, I think these text settles the issue once and for all. It is only the presumed unitarianism, and the bad hermeneutics of “divide and conquer” that are the foundation of its interpretations of scripture that bring you to this conclusion. If we reject these things, and allow the text to speak for itself, there is no reason to deny that Mary is theotokos.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    136. Adam
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

      John,

      The problem is when I see people praying to Mary, and asking for her intercession, saying that she was “Ever Virgin,” and, in the case of Roman Catholicism, saying that she was the immaculately conceived, bodily assumed Queen of Heaven. More specifically, the problem is when I hear people say that they need to go through Mary for their intercession because she is Jesus’ son, and she will thus be able to get Jesus to grant us our request. This is the logic that bothers me, especially since the original discussion of Mary the Mother of God or theotokos had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

      It is bad enough that people seek to communicate with the physically dead, but to not realize that Mary, because she is just a creature of Christ her creator, cannot simply demand things of Christ that he has not promised. The creature cannot demand things of the eternal creator. In fact, Dr. Younger often told me that the main difference between the God of the Hebrews and the gods of the pagans is that the gods of the pagans could be manipulated, but the one true God cannot. This is where I really see a breakdown in the creator/creature distinction that is disturbing.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    137. Adam
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

      BenKC,

      The same God that was in Mary is also in those who accepted Jesus into their lives.

      True, but that is not what John is talking about. What we are dealing with is whether that which was in the *womb* of Mary was truly God and man. The real question is whether the divinity and humanity of Christ can be separated such that what was in Mary’s womb was humanity only, and not divinity. If the divinity and humanity of Christ cannot be separated, then the only conclusion is that Mary is the Mother of God, because what was contained in her womb was not simply human flesh, but deity as well.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    138. Kyzersoze
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      Adam

      That is not an assumption; that is how you do exegesis, by examining the context, and seeing how the text constructs reality.

      Your exegetical skills should tell you who the one in the womb of Mary is by Elizabeth’s response in Luke 1.43:

      I feel blessed that the mother of my lord is visiting me.

      Whenever “my lord” or “the lord” appears in reference to Jesus it is prefaced by his GIVEN title of Messiah. To suggest that this is somehow reading “my YHWH Messiah” or “YHWH Messiah” is just not right.

      the word kurios used in the LXX of the tetragrammaton

      You keep bringing this up but this further weakens your case when we see that kyrios is the OT equivalent of every instance where “Lord” appears in the Hebrew. In other words, we know that everytime kyrios appears it is not referring to YHWH unless it is clearly shown to.

      I am not throwing doubt on *the text,* but *your interpretation* of the text.

      Any standard Hebrew lexicon should tell you whether or not the “my lord” of Ps 110.1 is a reference to Deity or not. Your “interpretation” should flow from the meaning of the text and not what you read into it [eisegesis].

      why *all* of the ancient translations agree with me there, as well as the Jewish Targum?

      I don’t believe they are saying “my Lord” is a reference to a human title here.

      Actually, what I said was that the Shema is irrelevant to the issue!

      You have said this twice and it is troubling to say the least since your lord Messiah cites it as THE GREATEST OF ALL COMMANDMENTS [Mar 12.28-29]!!

      But please give us a clear answer to my question: Is the Shema a trinitarian creed?

      And why is the 3rd Person, the Spirit, left out of these supposed trinitarian statements regarding “the nature of God” [John 1.1; Phil 2.5-6; 1Cor 8.4-6, etc.]?

    139. John2
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

      Here’s a classic Marian hymn that, I think, well embodies the essence of Catholic Marian devotion (let them say what they will to the contrary), shown to me by an evangelical convert to Catholicism (a WHAT?!)- from what he explains, it’s been used in Catholic liturgy for decades so I think it can serve of a representative sample of views/sentiments endorsed by the Church. Well, here it is for what it’s worth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOH8awmOj4c&feature=channel_video_title

    140. John
      January 24th, 2012 @ 12:47 am

      Adam, thanks for your thoughts. As far as seeing Mary as an intercessor we have to understand that when the Orthodox ask the Mother of God for her intercession, they are simply asking someone to pray for them just as you or me would ask someone to pray for us on earth. This has absolutely nothing to do with the forbidden practice of Necromancy which is the conjuring up of the spirits of the dead. Common sense points out that Necromancy and invoking the intercession of the saints are not the same thing. One is an occult practice and the other a humble request of intercession. If we look at the writings of the early Church Fathers (as early as the first century possibly), St. Hyppolitus, Origen, St. Cyprian, St. Sabina, Hermas, St. Clement and more can all assent to the fact that prayer to the Mother of God and saints is not an occult practice but is a widely accepted and encouraged practice in the early Church. Here’s a couple examples:

      “But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels… as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep”. -Origen

      “Tell me, you three boys, remember me, I entreat you, that I also may obtain the same lot of martyrdom with you, who was the fourth person with you who was walking in the midst of the furnace and who was hymning to God with you as from one mouth? Describe to us his form and beauty so that we also, seeing him in the flesh, may recognize him.” -Hermas praying to the Three Holy Youth spoken of in the book of Daniel.

      In Rev. 5:8 we also see the saints in heaven offering the prayers of those on earth to God in the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints”. This proves that the christians in heaven are aware of the prayers of the saints on earth and ‘do’ intercede for them.

      With regard to the ever-virginity of Mary, here are just a few quotes from the early Church which was directly established by the Apostles:

      “Let those therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary”- Athanasius ‘Against the Arians’

      “Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of maternal virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son”- Ambrose of Milan

      “Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband.”- Augustine ‘Heresies’

      I can give many more quotes, but the evidence here is a little glimpse into what the fathers had to say about the matter. This was the view of the early Church and there was much consensus around the issue. Those who disagreed were seen as moving out of line with the Apostolic Church.

      Btw, the Orthodox do not believe that Mary or the saints can demand anything from God. God is the One Who grants the requests of His own accord- prayers are brought before Him in many forms (praise, thanksgiving, petition etc.) but never is it to be presented as a demand as if God could be manipulated.

    141. Adam
      January 24th, 2012 @ 11:34 am

      Kyzersoze,

      Whenever “my lord” or “the lord” appears in reference to Jesus it is prefaced by his GIVEN title of Messiah. To suggest that this is somehow reading “my YHWH Messiah” or “YHWH Messiah” is just not right.

      Again, you are not understanding the multifaceted nature of language. There is no doubt that the concept of Jesus’ lordship is messianic, but where are you getting this idea that it cannot also be divine? That is like saying that chairness involves having a back, but we cannot conclude that it also has legs. Reality is multifaceted, and, while it is true that the lordship of Christ relates to his messianic office, it is a false dilemma to say that it therefore rules out his deity, especially when Jesus takes upon himself titles that no mere human could ever take upon himself.

      You keep bringing this up but this further weakens your case when we see that kyrios is the OT equivalent of every instance where “Lord” appears in the Hebrew. In other words, we know that everytime kyrios appears it is not referring to YHWH unless it is clearly shown to.

      The problem is that what are stating is true of virtually every word, namely, that its meaning is context dependent. The problem is, again, that the way it is shown to be referring to YHWH is by context. Again, you are using this “divide and conquer” methodology. You just take the bear term “kurios” and then suggest that we divorce it from the supernatural nature of Jesus’ birth, from the gestational leaping of the baby in the womb, Elizabeth’s amazement, and the fact that this child will go on to claim things about himself that only God can claim. As I pointed out, in everyday life, you don’t do this. You recognize the multifaceted nature of an object such as a chair, and you are willing to not disprove that something is a chair by taking apart the attributes from one another, and showing that each one individually does not prove that it is a chair. Language simply doesn’t work this way.

      Any standard Hebrew lexicon should tell you whether or not the “my lord” of Ps 110.1 is a reference to Deity or not. Your “interpretation” should flow from the meaning of the text and not what you read into it [eisegesis].

      First of all, I never would use Psalm 110 to prove the deity of Christ. You tried to use it to *disprove* the deity of Christ, relating it to Elizabeth’s statement. I pointed out that the term used for “my Lord” here can still be used in contexts which refer to the one true God.

      Secondly, lexicons are a tool. One of the problems in creating lexicons is that you have to establish a base text. Most lexicons will use the MT, and yes, in the MT, “my Lord” always refers to humans. However, the MT is a result of a tradition that was passed down for nearly 2500 years. How that tradition evolved and changed is the subject of scholarly debate, maybe not so much concerning the consonantal text, but definitely concerning the vowel pointing. Lexicons do not do this kind of work in the history of interpretation of the vowels. If you can find me one lexicon that addresses the passages I brought up, and addresses the Peshitta, the Septuagint, and the Targums, then what you are saying would be relevant.

      I don’t believe they are saying “my Lord” is a reference to a human title here.

      Right, so, if the phrase “my Lord” is not necessarily a reference to someone who is merely human, then why couldn’t the one spoken of in Psalm 110, or the one Elizabeth refers to likewise be divine?

      You have said this twice and it is troubling to say the least since your lord Messiah cites it as THE GREATEST OF ALL COMMANDMENTS [Mar 12.28-29]!!

      I don’t know why you would think it would be troubling, unless you assume that the greatest commandment *must* address every aspect of God. If you look at the context, you will see why Jesus quotes the Shema in reference to the two greatest commandments:

      Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

      Jesus does not just quote the Shema; he quotes the commandment following it. His point in quoting the Shema is to distinguish the one God alone as the object of our love and devotion. Also, if you look at the parallel text from Matthew, Matthew leaves of the quotation of the Shema:

      Matthew 22:35-40 And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

      The reason why Jesus quotes the Shema is because he is setting up the unique devotion we must have for God. However, the text simply does not address the personal nature of God. In other words, the Trinity is not a commandment, and so to expect a detailed discussion of the Trinity in the context of the discussion of the greatest commandment is misguided at best.

      But please give us a clear answer to my question: Is the Shema a trinitarian creed?

      I would say that the text doesn’t address the issue. If you would like to demonstrate to us that it does, we are listening. To do this, you would have to show that there is something in the context dealing with the personal nature of God. That is simply foreign to Moses’ context.

      And why is the 3rd Person, the Spirit, left out of these supposed trinitarian statements regarding “the nature of God” [John 1.1; Phil 2.5-6; 1Cor 8.4-6, etc.]?

      Again, only if you assume this “divide and conquer” approach to exegesis would you even come up with this argument. If the Holy Spirit does things that only God can do, is called God, but is also distinguished from the Father and the Son, then the only thing you can conclude is that he is the third member of the Trinity. It is a matter of letting language be multifaceted, and letting it describe different things at different times depending upon the topic addressed. We do this all of the time with our speech, as I pointed out. When anti-Trinitarians do not do that with the Bible they are contradicting themselves.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    142. ron david metcalf
      January 24th, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

      Adam,
      at the extreme risk of embroiling myself in this debate, which I don’t want to do at all:
      I seem to hear you saying that Mary is divine because any anti-Trinitarian doctrine is Universal, including Judaism. Is this close to correct?
      “Divide and conquer” is not the only way to look at this as an alternative view. First, look at the Hebrew variations of ALHYM and YHWH in Genesis, including Abram’s revelation reuniting with Melchizadek’s revelation in the mystery covenant; then, much later, ADNWY is introduced, which Jesus alludes to in David’s prophetic song “The LORD said to my Lord…” This, at least, gives a quick example of an OT “trinity”, which of course can get as involved as as many verses you want to study. Now the traditional edict of “separate but equal” is the part I personally don’t find Scriptural. Jesus specifically saying, “The Father is greater…” I would say challenges the Trinity view that has brought us to the present. I don’t normally even mention this because I am not anti-trinitarian; but not in this ‘official’ sense that believe has caused many problems (such as ‘axing’ Judaism).
      In Him, Ron M.

    143. Adam
      January 24th, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

      John,

      As far as seeing Mary as an intercessor we have to understand that when the Orthodox ask the Mother of God for her intercession, they are simply asking someone to pray for them just as you or me would ask someone to pray for us on earth. This has absolutely nothing to do with the forbidden practice of Necromancy which is the conjuring up of the spirits of the dead. Common sense points out that Necromancy and invoking the intercession of the saints are not the same thing. One is an occult practice and the other a humble request of intercession.

      I would not say that the two are exactly the same thing. However, the problem is the context of the prohibition of necromancy. It is condemned along with forms of divination and sorcery. The crucial element of this passage is found in verse 14: “but the Lord has not permitted you to do thus.” This is clearly meant to be contrastive contrasting the practices of the nations with the people of God. However, what is interesting is what follows, namely, a discussion of prophecy.

      The problem is that, when I pray for someone, I seek to pray in accordance with God and his word. I don’t seek after the dead for these things, but I seek to understand what God is doing in a given situation on the basis of what he has already said in scripture. My concern is when you look to the dead for this, you are looking to the wrong place, but are to instead be looking to the prophet God will raise up, or, in the case of the closed canon, the very word of God. While we can all pray for guidance on the basis of the scriptures, we are not to seek this guidance from the dead for any reason, and that is the point of the prohibition of necromancy.

      Hence, while the practice you describe is not pagan necromancy per se, it has the same foundation to it, and that is seeking to know God and his will from the dead, rather than his prophetic word, and it is for this reason that it was condemned.

      In Rev. 5:8 we also see the saints in heaven offering the prayers of those on earth to God in the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints”. This proves that the christians in heaven are aware of the prayers of the saints on earth and ‘do’ intercede for them.

      Revelation 5:8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

      Where are you getting the idea that “the four living creatures’ and “the twenty-four elders” are saints in heaven? The four living creatures are spoken of in the previous chapter, and they are hardly human:

      Revelation 4:5-7 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

      Very clearly, these are not human beings. Are you saying it is okay to pray to these creatures? Also, the fact that they are carrying these golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints does not mean that these prayers were prayed to them. They are bringing these prayers to God himself which would suggest that they were prayed to God.

      With regard to the ever-virginity of Mary, here are just a few quotes from the early Church which was directly established by the Apostles:

      There are two things with regards to this. First, the earliest we can find this teaching is not in orthodox writings, but in the writings of the Gnostics. Their neo-Platonism was the reason for this, in that they viewed the body as something evil because it was physical. Hence, because sexual relations involved physical pleasure, sexual relations were considered evil. However, the question becomes how Mary could be the mother of Christ if she defiled herself by sexual relations. Hence, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity was born.

      The problem is that, although Gnosticism was condemned as heretical, the neo-Platonic worldview upon which it was built was never dealt with. Hence, ironically, the perpetual virginity ended up creeping into orthodoxy. Yes, you can find that easily by the time of Ambrose.

      However, that does not necessarily make it false. What makes it false is the contradictions with scripture, not only the mention of the brothers of Jesus in John 7:5 or the “until” of Matthew 1:25. I would say that the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox understanding of those passages is stretching it. So, I have to decide whether I am going to treat the Bible as normal human language, which results in a denial of the perpetual virginity, or whether I am going to take the position of a teaching that developed from Gnostic thought. It is very simple when the Bible is God-Breathed, and the Gnostics held to an entirely different worldview.

      Btw, the Orthodox do not believe that Mary or the saints can demand anything from God. God is the One Who grants the requests of His own accord- prayers are brought before Him in many forms (praise, thanksgiving, petition etc.) but never is it to be presented as a demand as if God could be manipulated.

      I am glad if you don’t believe this, but what I have heard is this notion that Jesus is more likely to grant requests from his mother because he is seeking to honor her as his mother. I don’t think they would go to the point of saying it is a “demand,” but I would say that such thinking is manipulative. Not only that, but it is also totally outside of what the Bible means when it talks about the mother of God.

      I would say that, ultimately, our differences in Sola Scriptura is what lays behind our differences on these issues. If scripture is allowed to present its own view of reality, then the answers are obvious. However, if apostolic tradition must determine a priori the world of the text, that changes everything.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    144. Adam
      January 24th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

      ron david metcalf,

      I seem to hear you saying that Mary is divine because any anti-Trinitarian doctrine is Universal, including Judaism. Is this close to correct?

      No, I don’t believe Mary is divine. What I was dealing with is whether Jesus, in Mary’s womb, was fully divine and fully human, or whether his divinity and humanity can be separated from each other such that only his humanity was in the womb [or worse, Kyzersoze's position, that Mary could not have been theotokos because Jesus was not divine]. However, to then say that Mary is divine is absurd, and neither the scriptures of the Old or New Testament even begin to go there.

      First, look at the Hebrew variations of ALHYM and YHWH in Genesis, including Abram’s revelation reuniting with Melchizadek’s revelation in the mystery covenant; then, much later, ADNWY is introduced, which Jesus alludes to in David’s prophetic song “The LORD said to my Lord…” This, at least, gives a quick example of an OT “trinity”, which of course can get as involved as as many verses you want to study.

      I would be concerned about this line of reasoning, mostly because of the fact that it assumes that, just because a different word is used, that a different semantic nuance is meant. Even if it were the case that Adonay is later, one would have to show that what is meant by it is something distinct from YHWH or Elohim.

      Now the traditional edict of “separate but equal” is the part I personally don’t find Scriptural. Jesus specifically saying, “The Father is greater…” I would say challenges the Trinity view that has brought us to the present. I don’t normally even mention this because I am not anti-trinitarian; but not in this ‘official’ sense that believe has caused many problems (such as ‘axing’ Judaism).

      Ron, classical Trinitarianism has always recognized the fact that the son took a subordinate *role* when he came to this earth, without giving up his divine essence [Philippians 2:7]. He laid aside many of the privileges he had in heaven in order to pitch his tent among us. However, what Jesus is talking about in that passage is his return to the Father, and the fact that they should be glad, because he is going back to the position he once had. However, although he took on a subordinate role in redemption, that does not mean that, in terms of his essence, he was not God.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    145. ron david metcalf
      January 24th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

      Adam,
      Sorry for not getting back to you right away. A few other things to do, and then I went over the whole blog to see if I missed something. I wasn’t familiar with the ‘ark of covenant’ or ‘theotokos’ concepts concerning Mary, so the ‘divine womb’ was more what I was getting at than the traditional Catholic teachings (sinless, immaculately conceived). You agree to this former?
      Is it necessary to divide the Godhead into EQUAL thirds? “To whom has the Arm of the LORD been revealed?” This, along with the many references to the Right(eous) Hand of GOD, seems more clear to my mind compared to an all-encompassing Spirit (“GOD is Spirit…”) So HEART (universe-filling) to heart (individual temple indwelling) is also Trinity, as (Father) GOD SAID (WORD and RWcH BREATH combined) explains “the Firstborn of creation” as the BRIDGE between the Ever Uncreated and the creation.
      Now I must be extremely careful not to over-allegorize. One of my propositions is that Protestantism over-reacted to Catholicism and produced cults such as Jehovahs Witness, Mormonism, Christian Science, and similar all about the same time. Freemasonry began earlier, but seems to be a link. In studying Masonry recently in its similarities to LDS, I find that necromancy is one of the key components of the former, and “passwords” to heaven prevalent in the latter (the Endowment). This, in turn, refers one to the Holy of Holies as the bridal chamber. We must separate the sacred from the profane here, and it isn’t always easy. There are many ‘symbols’ which are used in various Orthodox rituals (established religion rather than Sola Scriptura) that can be as complex as Solomon himself (representing Jesus in Song of Songs and satan in Revelation’s 666, the amount of gold he received as tribute). To put it in modern context, this all can be as puzzling as Todd Bentley.
      In Him, Ron M.

    146. Kyzersoze
      January 24th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Adam

      Again, you are not understanding the multifaceted nature of language. There is no doubt that the concept of Jesus’ lordship is messianic, but where are you getting this idea that it cannot also be divine?

      All I am trying to communicate here is this: you cannot be ‘Messiah God’ or ‘Messiah YHWH’. Why? Because BY DEFINITION the Messiah can only be a human being and NOT some angel and especially not God Himself. Messiah means “the Anointed one OF God”. Is this too hard?

    147. Jason Engwer
      January 24th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

      Why does John keep repeating arguments that have already been refuted? And why does he keep posting quotes without telling us where his sources said what he’s quoting? Why would he quote sources from the fourth century and later on Mary’s perpetual virginity while ignoring so much of what we documented about earlier sources in previous posts?

      I answer John’s citations of Revelation 5, Hippolytus, and Origen in the Triablogue material I cited earlier. John is misrepresenting every one of these sources. His quote from Hermas doesn’t even come from Hermas. It comes from Hippolytus, and he’s misreading what Hippolytus wrote. So, John has cited the wrong source, doesn’t tell us where the quote came from within that source’s writings, and is misinterpreting what the actual source of the quote said. And his quote of Origen isn’t even relevant. Saying that individuals in Heaven pray for us isn’t equivalent to saying that we pray to them. In reality, Origen explicitly and repeatedly condemns prayer to the deceased and angels.

      For those who are interested in more about Revelation 5, Hippolytus, Origen, and other early sources on this subject, search Google for a March 6, 2011 post at Triablogue titled “A Christian View Of Prayer”. Regarding Revelation 5:8, see my June 9, 2008 post titled “Attempts To Make A Biblical Case For Prayers To The Dead”. On Hippolytus, see my March 19, 2006 post titled “Some Clarifications On Prayers To The Saints”. For more about Origen’s view of prayer, see the posts about him linked at the first page mentioned in this paragraph.

      John, you need to do more research, provide more documentation for your assertions, and make more of an effort to be accurate in the claims you make.

    148. R. Kneubuhl
      January 24th, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

      When I listened to this show, there was a woman who called in that had been a Catholic for something like 40 years and who had believed that Mary was a mediator. I think that the scripture is clear that there is only one mediator. His name is Yeshua, born in Bethlehem, the only Son of God. The woman that called in to the radio show mentioned how the Holy Spirit helped her believe the truth which is that Mary is not our mediator, but the mother of our Lord Jesus, favored by the Almighty. I believe that the Holy Spirit truly is the main ingredient. We all have many influential people in our lives who shape our own perceptions of life. Without the Holy Spirit, we won’t be able to affect the heart of man like the influence the Holy Spirit has in our own lives. Why do we have division in this universe? There is only one truth, but everyone does not agree with only one truth. We need the Holy Spirit to lead us to the only one truth. We grew up with a lot of people who were influential in our lives. I think that God has a lot of work to change us.

      God bless,
      Robert

    149. ron david metcalf
      January 25th, 2012 @ 8:57 am

      Kyzersoze,
      I now understand that Adam’s ‘divine’ debate is in relation to your last statement, that by definition Messiah can ONLY be human, and that he answers with Trinitarian doctrine. But I don’t think even Orthodox rabbis share your view, as they, as most Catholics and Protestants, look to the (second) coming of Messiah FROM HEAVEN to signal the end of old days and the beginning of new. What is the point of ‘anointing’ without Salvation? You have to look at Isaiah as a complete unit, not pick-and-choose: Immanuel, God-with-us, cannot be separated from the Branch or the Suffering Servant; one theme flows into another, the only exception being the historical record concerning Hezekiah.
      Mary, miracle shrines, and Vatican politics all relate to Queen of Heaven theology: anointing and salvation by assimulation (‘catholic’ mass substantiation in mystery communion). Most Cardinals, in contrast, are clerics. Protestant evangelicals, charismatics, and pentecostals (also in mainstream denominations, but not as much) have their own dichotomy: revival and apologetics. Dr. Brown has been heavily involved in both, and it is his perogative on how to proceed from here. My own testimony has many cross-threads between the ecumenical, including Catholicism because of my wife, but also my mentor (how did a Protestant get diocese Bishop authority to minister at a Cathedral?); and now, within the last week, known Revivalists have officially joined with Catholics concerning national politics. This all needs sorting out. But, sir, your claim that Messiah can ONLY be human would be considered heresy in MOST circles, Jewish and Christian. Correct me if I am wrong.
      In Him, Ron M.

    150. Kyzersoze
      January 25th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

      RDM

      What is the point of ‘anointing’ without Salvation?

      Maybe its just me so I’ll give y’all the benefit of the doubt and will try again to explain the simple point I am trying to get across.

      The Catholic-Protestant believe is that Mary [somehow] gave birth to “God the Son”, the 2nd Person of the Trinity. Yet, they disagree on whether or not it is right and proper to call Mary “the mother of God”. Protestants prefer to say that she gave birth to “the body”.

      Be that as it may, my point is that Jesus’ lordship is prefaced by his GIVEN title of Messiah, which means one who is anointed by God. Be definition, Messiah throughout the scriptures is ONLY used in reference to human beings. For example, the OT precedence was to choose a person from the nation of Israel to be King. That person in turn was literally anointed with oil and thus became YHWH’s Messiah.

      According to the virgin birth accounts, Mary gave birth to the promised Messiah of the OT scriptures. Nowhere are we told that she birth to anyone else but a human who is called THE Son of God. He is “the LORD/YHWH’s Messiah” according to Luke 2.26 and NOT “the LORD/YHWH Messiah” or “Messiah God”.

      Am I making any sense to anyone on here?

    151. Kyzersoze
      January 25th, 2012 @ 10:53 am

      CORRECTION: By definition, Messiah throughout the scriptures is ONLY used in reference to human beings.

    152. ron david metcalf
      January 25th, 2012 @ 11:44 am

      Kingship, kingdoms, King of Kings, LORD of Lords.
      In my backslidden state many years ago, which lasted longer than it should have (my own stubbornness) I pondered whether Jesus could have been born human (only), seen the Law and Prophets, and accepted the challenge. After the last 22+ years of rededication, my answer is ‘No’: way too brutal, beyond comprehension of ego and superego; I haven’t even wanted to endure what I have had to! I am part of the 1%; 99 out of 100 marriages don’t survive what we have had to go through. If you think that’s bragging, or that Paul was bragging, you’re insane; and insanity can’t account for the pride it would take to assume self-annihilation for THE position of Godship; even suicide jihadists and Buddhists monks don’t assume that superiority- only Lucifer (in Isaiah). So I guess my ‘duh’ didn’t take into account that kind of audacity.
      In Him, Ron M.

    153. John
      January 25th, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

      Jason, the problem with your argument is that you ignore the obvious. All the ancient churches today that had some kind of history with the first Church ALL see prayer to the saints as a given. You blame me for not having earlier sources but you fail to realize that for 300 years the Church was under persecution making it difficult to express publicly all the details of what the Church holds to. You also fail to realize that the references to prayer to the saints are found within the patristic literature while citations to equating necromancy to prayer to the saints is next to nothing. You think the burden of proof is on me to prove to you that the practice existed in the early Church, which it clearly does, yet you provide no evidence for the opposite view as if it should be the biblical conclusion to believe your view even though the Church that canonized your scriptures are cited as seeing prayer to saints as a legitimate practice. You keep trying to equate necromancy with prayer to the saints yet cannot see the that they are not the same thing. You acknowledge that prayer is being brought before God in “golden bowls full of incense” by the elders in heaven, but you still ask the question “why should we think that they can even hear our prayers”. It should be obvious to you by now in Rev. 5:8 that at least the elders are aware of the prayers of those on earth.

      In Revelation 6:10 we read, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” We also see here that the martyrs in heaven are praying to God. I only cite this for you to realize the state of those martyrs who depart from this earthly life and that they are able and do still pray.

      In Rev. 8:3,4 we read, “An another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayer s of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of god. And the the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.” The context of these saints are those that are washed in the blood of the Lamb having gone through the great tribulation. John is seeing these things taking place before the throne of God.

      Do you believe in the Trinity? The Saints who fought and died for the deity of Christ, the incarnation and the Trinity believed in prayer to the saints. The sources that you provide are people who were condemned for their false teachings, such as Origen and Tertullian. The mainstream Church anathematized Origen, and Tertullian was seen as a schismatic for joining a sect that believed that once you fall into sin after being baptized that you could not be redeemed.

      Some quotes on prayer to the saints after the Church came out of the catacombs declaring what it believed by those who fought and some even died for the faith:

      “Let us be mutually mindful of each other, let us ever pray for each other, and if one of us shall, by the speediness of the Divine vouchsafement, depart hence first, let our love continue in the presence of the Lord, let not prayer for our brethren and sister cease in the presence of the mercy of the Father.” St. Cyprian writing to Cornelius of Rome page 358 in P.L.

      “To those who would fain stand, neither the guardianship of saints nor the defenses of angels are wanting.” St. Hilary of Poitiers in “Psalm 124″ 5,6 page 682

      “In one of his letters, St. Basil[The Great] explicitly writes that he accepts the intercession of the apostles, prophets and martyrs, and he seeks their prayer to God. then, speaking about the Forty Martyrs, who suffered martyrdom for Christ, he emphasizes that they are common friends of the human race, strong ambassadors and collaborators in fervent prayers.” St. Athanasius the Great (Letter 360 Chapter 8)

      “Remember me, he heirs of God, ye brethren of Christ, supplicate the Saviour earnestly for me, that I may be freed through Christ from him that fights against me day by day.” St. Ephraim the Syrian in “De Timore Anim”

      “At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps.” St. Augustine in Joann page 1847

      “When thou perceivest that God is chastening thee, fly not to His enemies . . . but to His friends, the martyrs, the saints, and those who were pleasing to Him, and who have great power.” St. John Chrysostom “Adv. Jud.” page 937

      “We then commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, that God, by their prayers and intercessions, may receive our petitions.” St. Cyril “Cat. Myst.” page 1166

      “We beseech you, O most holy martyrs, who cheerfully suffered torments and death for his love, and are now more familiarly united to him, that you intercede with God for us slothful and wretched sinners, that he bestow on us the grace of Christ, by which we may be enlightened and enabled to love him.” St. Basil the Great “Homily on the Forty Soldier Martyrs of Sebaste” page 341

      The evidence speaks for itself.

    154. Jason Engwer
      January 25th, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      John,

      You’ve once again failed to interact with the counterarguments. Instead, you repeat arguments already refuted and bring up new arguments that are likewise erroneous.

      You write:

      “All the ancient churches today that had some kind of history with the first Church ALL see prayer to the saints as a given.”

      Biological or organizational continuity doesn’t prove continuity of belief or practice. See, for example, 2 Kings 22:8-13 and Nehemiah 8:13-17. The popularity of prayer to the dead today among particular groups doesn’t prove that it was popular, or even existed, among the earliest Christians.

      If you’re thinking of groups that claim some sort of apostolic succession, there’s a wide diversity of them. There are Anglicans, Lutherans, and others who are non-Roman-Catholic and non-Eastern-Orthodox who claim some form of apostolic succession. Gregory Rogers, an Eastern Orthodox pastor, notes:

      “This [the Western view of apostolic succession] has led to the proliferation of numerous groups, usually small, who claim to be in the apostolic succession but are in communion with no one. These bishops are called episcopi vagantes, wandering bishops.” (Apostolic Succession [Ben Lomond, California: Conciliar Press, 1994], 33-34)

      But let’s single out Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy for the moment, for the sake of argument. The contradictions between those two groups prove that tracing an alleged organizational lineage from the apostles doesn’t assure a group of doctrinal continuity or correctness.

      By the way, I’ve written a lengthy series of posts on apostolic succession at Triablogue. That series documents the unreliability of the concept as it’s advocated by modern groups like Catholicism and Orthodoxy. See my March 14, 2010 post titled “Apostolic Succession”.

      You write:

      “You blame me for not having earlier sources but you fail to realize that for 300 years the Church was under persecution making it difficult to express publicly all the details of what the Church holds to.”

      We have thousands of pages of literature from the ante-Nicene era, including entire treatises on the subject of prayer from multiple authors. They discuss the subject at length and in a large variety of contexts. They don’t advocate your view, but instead explicitly and repeatedly contradict it.

      The early persecutions of the church were far too geographically and chronologically limited to have the significance you’re suggesting. The Roman Catholic scholar Joseph Kelly writes:

      “In fact, 99 percent of Christians lived and died in peace. Many became prominent locally, and some went well beyond that. In 258, when he initiated a short-lived persecution, the emperor Valerian (253-60) first removed all the Christians from the Roman senate, proof that Christians had reached that high level of Roman society. Diocletian (283-305) launched a persecution in 303, supposedly because Christian members of the imperial court crossed themselves to avoid blasphemy when the emperor was presiding over a pagan sacrifice….Although few endured persecution, all Christians had to live with the possibility of it, and many Romans never fully trusted them. There were martyrs, but, in general, Christians lived in peace in the empire.” (The Ecumenical Councils Of The Catholic Church [Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2009], 13)

      Besides, what does persecution have to do with discussing prayers to the dead? Why would persecution prevent the early Christians from discussing the topic or prevent non-Christian sources from mentioning it when discussing Christianity? Instead, the pagan critic Celsus objects to the Christian practice of praying only to God. How does your persecution argument explain that fact? It doesn’t.

      You write:

      “You think the burden of proof is on me to prove to you that the practice existed in the early Church, which it clearly does, yet you provide no evidence for the opposite view as if it should be the biblical conclusion to believe your view even though the Church that canonized your scriptures are cited as seeing prayer to saints as a legitimate practice.”

      I gave you citations of Triablogue articles in which I argue for patristic opposition to prayers to the dead at length. You keep ignoring that material. You’ve also ignored most of what I’ve said about the Biblical evidence.

      You bring up the canon again, but you continue to ignore the Triablogue material I cited on the subject earlier. And how is the canon even relevant here? Are you suggesting that you can’t agree with somebody’s canon unless you agree with him about everything else? If so, explain why. The earliest extant source who mentions the twenty-seven-book New Testament canon probably is Origen, around the middle of the third century. And he repeatedly contradicted your beliefs, including on prayers to the dead. Should we conclude that you ought to agree with Origen on those other subjects, since you agree with his New Testament canon? What about Athanasius, for example? You reject his Old Testament canon, yet you agree with his New Testament canon. Why can you agree with such individuals on some issues while disagreeing with them on others, but I can’t?

      You write:

      “You keep trying to equate necromancy with prayer to the saints yet cannot see the that they are not the same thing.”

      You need to interact with the counterarguments I’ve already given you instead of repeating the same refuted assertion over and over.

      You write:

      “It should be obvious to you by now in Rev. 5:8 that at least the elders are aware of the prayers of those on earth.”

      The text doesn’t tell us whether they’re aware of the content of the prayers. And how are you getting from the elders of Revelation 5 to deceased believers in general or Mary in particular, the subjects I was addressing earlier?

      What about the four living creatures mentioned in Revelation 5:8? If the passage supports prayer to the dead, does it also support prayer to those creatures? If so, how often have you prayed to them? Probably never. How often have you even prayed to the elders mentioned in that passage?

      You write:

      “We also see here that the martyrs in heaven are praying to God. I only cite this for you to realize the state of those martyrs who depart from this earthly life and that they are able and do still pray.”

      That’s not a point in dispute. I cited Revelation 6 myself earlier. You keep bringing up Biblical and patristic passages that make points that I’m not disputing. The fact that you keep returning to undisputed points, as if they further your argument, while you continually fail to demonstrate what’s disputed about your position, tells us something.

      You write:

      “Do you believe in the Trinity? The Saints who fought and died for the deity of Christ, the incarnation and the Trinity believed in prayer to the saints.”

      The Biblical and early patristic sources who didn’t believe in praying to the dead also taught concepts like the deity of Christ, His incarnation, and Trinitarianism.

      You write:

      “The sources that you provide are people who were condemned for their false teachings, such as Origen and Tertullian.”

      I’ve already addressed the alleged schismatic status of Tertullian. Once again, you’re ignoring counterarguments that you’ve already been given.

      On Tertullian, see my March 19, 2011 Triablogue post titled “The Significance Of Tertullian”. On Origen, see my October 27, 2008 post titled “The Significance Of Origen”.

      And I notice that you had no problem with citing Origen when it served your purposes. Your post 140 above cites him, erroneously, in support of your view of prayer. But now you criticize me for citing him.

      Tertullian and Origen aren’t the only sources I’ve cited on this subject. The Triablogue articles I’ve mentioned also document evidence from the Biblical authors, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Lactantius, and other sources.

      You write:

      “The mainstream Church anathematized Origen, and Tertullian was seen as a schismatic for joining a sect that believed that once you fall into sin after being baptized that you could not be redeemed.”

      I’ve already refuted your attempt to dismiss Tertullian and Origen. But I should also note that the belief you’re condemning Tertullian for was held in his form or a modified form by other church fathers, including Hermas. And Hermas was one of the other church fathers you (erroneously) cited in support of your view of prayer in post 140. Why the double standard? If you can cite sources like Hermas and Origen, why can’t I?

      You go on to cite some other patristic sources. Only one of them is earlier than the fourth century. That’s Cyprian. And your quote of Cyprian says nothing about praying to the dead. You keep confusing categories. As I document in the Triablogue material cited earlier, the evidence suggests that Cyprian didn’t believe in prayer to the dead. He wrote an entire treatise on the subject, in which he describes prayer as something directed to God and not to any other being, and he often discusses prayer in other places. He doesn’t advocate praying to the dead, which is why you have to cite an irrelevant passage in which he discusses prayers of the dead, which isn’t the subject at hand.

      Since I don’t deny that prayer to the dead was popular in the fourth century and later, your quotes from such late sources don’t have much relevance. But even some of your quotes of those later sources aren’t even addressing prayers to the dead. Why do you keep citing so many irrelevant passages?

      At least you’re now offering more documentation for your quotes. But some problems remain. You cite page numbers without citing any book that the numbers are associated with, for example. It looks like you’ve lifted your quotes from a web site without having looked up the passages yourself and probably without knowing much about the fathers or their works that you’re quoting.

    155. Adam
      January 25th, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

      John,

      I have to get to bed, because I work the early shift tomorrow, but let me just say that, just because someone lived in the early church, that does not make them a good exegete. Look at some of the exegetical [and I use that term very loosely] work that was done by the Alexandrian school. Most of it is the biggest bunch of nonsense you will ever read. There was clearly no conception of anything even remotely resembling how language operates, and was largely based upon the same neo-Platonic philosophy that the perpetual virginity was. Allegory ruled the day, to the point where you could find anything in the text.

      Also, you keep quoting these texts from Revelation without even beginning to take into consideration the literary background of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation, as apocalyptic literature, has a theme of God as the king ruling over the events of the world. Another major theme is his people in some kind of difficulty or trouble [the tribulation in the book of Revelation]. The point is, given that God is sovereign in apocalyptic, and given that these are God’s people looking to him for redemption, it is rather odd that they would be praying to saints. That would be completely out of place in the middle of a book stressing the sovereignty of God in Jesus Christ, and the people of God trusting him to deliver them from their distress.

      God Bless,
      Adam

    156. Timotheus
      January 25th, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

      As a former evangelical (now reverted to Catholicism) I still from time to time return to this blog–I learned so much from Dr. Brown and continue to have a profound respect for his work (Countering the Countermissionaries was a true joy to watch).

      John,

      I’ve enjoyed and truly appreciate your posts (especially since I cannot stay and interact at the time). I know you are tending towards Eastern Orthodoxy so clearly we must differ on some major points. Nevertheless, all of your patristic citations have been right on point–the weight of the evidence you’ve brought forth from the Church Fathers for prayers to the saints (the departed who have made it into heaven)etc being a normative practice of the ancient Church more than sufficiently proves your point. As you’ve also noted, necromancy (as the etymology of the word points to) is by definition the summoning forth of the dead. We do not believe that the saints are dead–they are ALIVE, just as our Lord Jesus said to the Sadducees concerning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob centuries after they’d departed from this earthly life: “have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” When we talk to the departed (who remain and also will remain members of the same body of which we are members–the Church)and we ask them to bring our petitions before God, we are in principle doing what we do when we ask a Christian sitting in the pew next to us at church to pray for us (of course we don’t see the faces of the departed like we see the face of a Christian sitting next to us in the pew but, nevertheless, we believe they can hear us beacuse they are alive, and in a quite a good position to pray for us–we want their prayers).

      Jesus is fully God and fully man but He is one Person; Mary is the Mother of this Person; lest we fall into the heresy of Nestorianism we call Mary, the Mother of our Lord God Jesus Christ, “the Mother of God.” No one believes that she generated the Eternal Logos from her womb (He existed for all eternity with the Father and Holy Spirit), but neither is she merely–nor any mother, for that matter–the mother of “the body” (that’s really a chilling thought..)–she is the mother of a single person with two natures: Jesus Christ, fully God, fully man. She is the Mother of God.

      Once more, John, I’m Catholic so we clearly must have our differences. Nevertheless, I can see that you’re sincerely following the truth whereever He (for, thanks be to God, the Truth is a Person) leads you.. As a former evangelical (really until just over a year ago until my Lord called me home to Rome) I can tell you that where sola scriptura is the guiding principle, no evidence you bring forth from the Fathers (unless it confirms the evangelical positions (plural because there are virtually as many positions on any point as there are are evangelicals–each, in effect, being a “church of one”) will be considered little weight: it will rather confirm in their minds (as it used to in mine) just how corrupted–i.e. increasingly “catholic in appearance”–the church BECAME once it became tainted by the “traditions of men” (a process which, it seems, began precisely one second past 96 AD). Of course we’re all more than happy to accept the Scriptures canonized by that same degenerate Church in the 4th century AD!(and then equipped with the Bible to invoke sola scriptura–nowhere to be found in the Bible; it took me awhile, with God’s grace, to accept this). The Scriptures did not come equipped with a table of contents but, thanks be to Jesus, He solidly founded His Church (upon Petros)to add the authoritative table of contents (in the 4th century AD) to give us our Holy Bible; the Church is Jesus’ mystical body–God did, in this sense, add the table of contents through His body the Church. Thanks be to God that Luther did not succeed in design to remove books from the New Testament!

      Finally (sorry to depart on this note) I want to share with all that one of the many factors that God used to lead me back home to Rome was showing me that the one point that all my fellow evangelicals seemed to agree upon was the the Catholic Church could not possibly be the true Church.. If anyone had told me 1 1/2 years ago, “you will be a born again Catholic next year,” I would have said, “impossible!” But thanks be to the the Lord Jesus Christ, that with God, nothing is impossible!

    157. Kyzersoze
      January 26th, 2012 @ 9:02 am

      Timotheus

      Jesus is fully God and fully man but He is one Person; Mary is the Mother of this Person

      So Mary IS the mother of God since she gave birth to the “one Person”.

    158. Dr Michael L Brown
      January 26th, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

      Wow. I just checked back here after a few days, and it still stuns me to the same points being restated even after some of us make totally clear why we reject the logic and the statement. Perhaps there’s a more fruitful way to dialog that yields to progress in each other’s understandings rather than constantly re-asserting dogmatic points? Anyway, I’m checking back out of here and won’t be able to engage, but if I wanted to do what others are doing, I would just restate one thing: THE ETERNAL ALMIGHTY GOD WHO CREATED ALL THINGS DOESN’T HAVE A MOTHER. :)

    159. ron david metcalf
      January 26th, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

      Yes, Dr. Brown, but part of this debate, separating the clergy/cleric hermaneutics, is the NEED of the masses for a Mother who will ‘absorb’ even a godfather mobster’s (e.g.) sins into a ‘catholic’ forgiveness; thus preserving both the hierarchy and the individual’s right to do whatever they please and get away with it. This is the ‘mystical’ nature of what I have been studying lately, and why the Bible’s individual responsibility is so hated by thos who prefer this all-encompassing ‘salvation’. Revelation calls it ‘whore of Babylon’; this may repulse many presently blogging; but isn’t that the gulf of separation we are eventually coming to?
      My mother-in-law, now 90 1/2, is a devout Catholic, and there is no way I (not being the Judge anyway) could condemn her to hell; but then, I know that she knows Jesus.
      It is this bowing to the Pope business that concerns me greatly; and don’t tell me that it doesn’t extend to senior pastors in protestant circles.
      In Him, Ron M.

    160. Jason Engwer
      January 26th, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

      Timotheus wrote:

      “Nevertheless, all of your patristic citations have been right on point–the weight of the evidence you’ve brought forth from the Church Fathers for prayers to the saints (the departed who have made it into heaven)etc being a normative practice of the ancient Church more than sufficiently proves your point.”

      That’s a remarkable assessment, given that even John has acknowledged that not all of his patristic citations have been correct. He misrepresented Hippolytus regarding ark of the covenant typology, as he’s since admitted. On another occasion, he attributed a passage from Hipplolytus to Hermas. And the passage didn’t even say what he suggested it did, meaning that his citation was doubly erroneous. He cited Origen, but then criticized me for citing the same source. Many of his citations haven’t even been relevant to the subjects under discussion. Many of his quotes haven’t been documented or have only been partially documented. He’s largely ignored the patristic evidence I’ve cited. On prayers to the dead, the only relevant passages he’s cited have been from sources of later centuries, which don’t refute my argument. Etc. If John’s poor handling of the patristic evidence impresses you, it’s no wonder you’re a Roman Catholic.

      You write:

      “As you’ve also noted, necromancy (as the etymology of the word points to) is by definition the summoning forth of the dead.”

      Like John, you ignore the counterarguments that have already been provided. The Biblical passages under consideration (e.g., Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Isaiah 8:19, 19:3) use a variety of terms. Your comment on one English term, necromancy, is a ridiculously insufficient explanation of the Biblical passages in question.

      You write:

      “We do not believe that the saints are dead–they are ALIVE”

      They’re also dead, as I documented early in this discussion. Scripture tells us that deceased believers are alive in one sense, but dead in another sense. I’ve documented that fact. I’ve also explained why we should conclude that passages condemning attempts to contact the deceased are about the physically dead, not the spiritually dead. Once again, you’re ignoring what’s already been said.

      You write:

      “we are in principle doing what we do when we ask a Christian sitting in the pew next to us at church to pray for us”

      You need to interact with what I said earlier about a Christian in the United States praying to a Christian in China, the lack of evidence for deceased believers’ ability to hear our prayers, etc.

      You write:

      “of course we don’t see the faces of the departed like we see the face of a Christian sitting next to us in the pew but, nevertheless, we believe they can hear us beacuse they are alive”

      Christians living in China are alive as well. Do you pray to them?

      You write:

      “As a former evangelical (really until just over a year ago until my Lord called me home to Rome) I can tell you that where sola scriptura is the guiding principle, no evidence you bring forth from the Fathers (unless it confirms the evangelical positions (plural because there are virtually as many positions on any point as there are are evangelicals–each, in effect, being a ‘church of one’) will be considered little weight”

      Given the demonstrably false nature of your claims about the church fathers, nobody should trust your assessment.

      You write:

      “He solidly founded His Church (upon Petros)to add the authoritative table of contents (in the 4th century AD) to give us our Holy Bible”

      Then why did church fathers, councils, and other sources continue to disagree with your canon after its alleged authoritative establishment in the fourth century? As I mentioned earlier, the council of Carthage late in the fourth century seemed to include the Septuagint version of 1 Esdras in its canon, which is a different book than the Vulgate version of 1 Esdras later canonized by Roman Catholicism. Gregory the Great, a Roman bishop who lived after the fourth century, denied the canonicity of 1 Maccabees. As the Roman Catholic patristic scholar Joseph Lienhard notes:

      “For the first fifteen centuries of Christianity, no Christian Church put forth a definitive list of biblical books. Most Christians had followed St. Augustine and included the ‘Apocrypha’ in the canon, but St. Jerome, who excluded them, had always had his defenders.” (The Bible, The Church, And Authority [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1995], 59)

      Bruce Metzger wrote:

      “But, as evidence from subsequent writers reveals, not all in the Church were ready to accept precisely the canon as identified by Athanasius, and throughout the following centuries there were minor fluctuations in the East as well as in the West.” (The Canon Of The New Testament [New York: Oxford University Press, 1997], 7-8)

      And these post-fourth-century sources don’t just disagree over the Old Testament. They disagree over the New Testament as well. Your claim that there was an “authoritative table of contents” given in the fourth century is unproven and widely contradicted by the evidence.

      You should have done more research before converting to Roman Catholicism. Apparently, you converted on the basis of a lot of misinformation.

    161. Kyzersoze
      January 26th, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

      Dr Browm

      THE ETERNAL ALMIGHTY GOD WHO CREATED ALL THINGS DOESN’T HAVE A MOTHER

      Yet…Jesus IS God!

      GO FIGURE. :P

    162. Konstantin
      January 27th, 2012 @ 2:36 am

      Christian Theology 101:

      When Christ became a man, he added another nature – a human nature. Nothing was subtracted from His divine nature.
      Orthodox historical Christian doctrine holds that Jesus had TWO natures – human and divine. To make it more mindboggling – 100% human and 100% divine.
      So, to answer Kyzersoze, motherhood of Mary to Jesus is, in my mind, similar to other attributes of human nature of Jesus. That is, Jesus ate, slept, wept, felt hunger, etc etc. In the same manner He had human mother. That about it.
      Of course Jesus existed before Marry was born, or for that matter before any human person was existed.
      To make things easier, let’s not forget or confuse this.

      Why is this a doctrine of serious importance. Well, Muslims would ask: “does God go to bathroom?”, then “did Jesus go to bathroom?”. Well, since Islam had borrowed from various Christian heresies and various distortions of Christianity (i.e. picking on some Gnostic stories of early Jesus’ life, etc.) and Judaism, it (Islam) does NOT GET the fact that there are two natures at play. And since they can’t get it, many things for them seem oxymoronic or illogical. Only in light of correct christian theology can such confusion be fixed. Of course in divine nature Jesus did not feel hunger, only in human. Of course in human nature He didn’t do miracles, only in divine.
      I don’t want to downplay neither of the two, as being human and divine He formed perfect bridge between human and divine.
      But does it make Mary a ‘Mother of God’? It is hard to see how.

    163. Dan1el
      January 27th, 2012 @ 2:43 am

      Konstantin,
      Have you ever considered that all flesh originated from God; that it is impossible for it to “add” anything to the Divine, therefore (divinity, being its source)??
      That there is nothing “alien” about flesh, to God?

    164. Kyzersoze
      January 27th, 2012 @ 8:19 am

      Konstantin

      When Christ became a man, he added another nature – a human nature.

      Does this mean that the Godhead underwent a change at the Incarnation? i.e., adding a human nature to itself. And what does this say regarding the immutability of God?

    165. John
      January 27th, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

      Jason,

      I already read your feeble attempts at disputing prayer to the saints at your site: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/03/some-clarifications-on-prayers-to.html

      The only citation you give is of St. Hyppolytus which doesn’t help your argument at all. You need to realize that you are not providing ANY references that equate prayer to the saints with necromancy in the early Church. I have given many references that CLEARLY show that prayer to the saints was a norm in the early Church by giving about ten references and you have provided none that speak of prayer to saints as being an act of communing with the dead.

      I’m not merely continuing to make assertions for the sake of doing so, but in light of your lack of evidence and relying on your own interpretation of one questionable reference you are treading water.

      In your “triablogue”, you use websites in your references when disputing the view of Mary as the Mother of God and you hypocritically assume I used a website as a reference and try to discount my argument. That shows us something about your tactics in trying to prove a point. I also noticed that many ‘orthodox’ responses have been deleted from your triablogue and I’m not sure why.

    166. Trentin
      January 28th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

      @Jason or anyone who can help, do you know of any references in the early church fathers that talk about prayer to the dead or any other early church leader where we can see that prayer to the saints is just a form of pagan practice of communing with the dead? I think it will help the catholics see that even some of their writings show that prayer to saints is not an early christian practice. Thanks.

    167. Kyzersoze
      January 30th, 2012 @ 7:53 am

      hello?

    168. Dan1el
      January 30th, 2012 @ 8:48 am

      Kyzersoze,
      Hello!

    169. Kyzersoze
      January 30th, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

      Trentin

      do you know of any references in the early church fathers that talk about prayer to the dead or any other early church leader where we can see that prayer to the saints is just a form of pagan practice of communing with the dead?

      Most of the known early “Church Fathers” did not even believe in the immortal soul doctrine that overtook later Catholicism & prevails in Protestantism:

      If you meet some who say that their souls go to heaven when they die, do not believe that they are Christians. Dialogue with Trypho, Justin Martyr, ch. 80.

      For the heretics, not admitting the salvation of their flesh, affirm that immediately upon their death they shall pass above the heavens.

      Those persons, therefore, who reject a resurrection affecting the whole man, and do their best to remove it from the Christian scheme, know nothing as to the plan of resurrection. Against Heresies, Iraneus, Book 5.

      For further info check out: http://www.afterlife.co.nz/about-us/

    170. Victrolus
      January 30th, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      ….Hello.
      ….I am getting to this thread late, but reading with interest. I heard Dr. Michael Brown’s Mary-centered radio show a couple of weeks ago.

      One point of confusion that I wished to address…A Pope has to do MORE, –considerably more– than simply mention a Marian expression or title in a Church document before it can be said to be a dogma of the Catholic Church– dogmas being articles of faith which all Catholics are bound to believe.

      It must be said that Dr. Brown did not make this Catholic truism clear on his radio show. For example, he quoted Pius IX’s Innefabilis Deus as proof that Mary-as-Co-Redemptrix is Catholic belief… there are FOUR Marian dogmas, and Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix are not among them.

      Pius IX mentioned ‘Co-Redemptrix’ in passing in 1854′s Innefabilis Deus, but the -shall we say- meaty part was the solemn and infallibly phrased declaration within that document of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. It thus established the third of the four dogmas… Pius XII’s establishment of Mary’s Assumption was the fourth and last.

      Should this confusion about lumping Marian dogmas together with lesser ‘pieties’ be the subject of a new, different thread?

      “Mother of God” is one of the four Marian dogmas, by the way. I think that John described it well.

    171. Jason Engwer
      January 31st, 2012 @ 5:22 am

      John wrote:

      “The only citation you give is of St. Hyppolytus which doesn’t help your argument at all. You need to realize that you are not providing ANY references that equate prayer to the saints with necromancy in the early Church. I have given many references that CLEARLY show that prayer to the saints was a norm in the early Church by giving about ten references and you have provided none that speak of prayer to saints as being an act of communing with the dead.”

      As I’ve explained before, “equating prayer to the saints with necromancy” isn’t the only way of contradicting your position. Your view could also be contradicted by saying that we can only pray to God, by denying that deceased believers can hear our prayers, etc. There are multiple ways to contradict your view, and your suggestion that the church fathers need to contradict it in a particular way is absurd.

      I’ve cited more than one article at Triablogue. You’re responding to just one of them, and you’re only interacting with a small portion of that one article. And your response to that one portion of that one article is faulty.

      You write:

      “In your ‘triablogue’, you use websites in your references when disputing the view of Mary as the Mother of God and you hypocritically assume I used a website as a reference and try to discount my argument.”

      I didn’t say that it’s unacceptable to use a web site. I included further qualifiers that you’re ignoring. You need to interact with what I actually said.

      You write:

      “I also noticed that many ‘orthodox’ responses have been deleted from your triablogue and I’m not sure why.”

      A poster by the screen name of Orthodox was banned for violating the rules of the blog. His posts are hidden, but are still viewable if you go to the posting screen.

      I can understand why you’d want to read his posts. You haven’t come up with any good arguments on your own, so you’re looking for somebody else to give you some. You won’t find any in Orthodox’s posts, but you can try if you want.

    172. Jason Engwer
      January 31st, 2012 @ 5:26 am

      Trentin,

      I discuss the church fathers and prayer to the dead at length in the Triablogue threads I cited earlier. Go back to my earlier posts in this thread to find the references.

    173. Jason Engwer
      January 31st, 2012 @ 5:51 am

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “Most of the known early ‘Church Fathers’ did not even believe in the immortal soul doctrine that overtook later Catholicism & prevails in Protestantism”

      The quotes you go on to provide from Justin Martyr and Irenaeus are highly misleading. They didn’t deny that souls go to what we commonly call Heaven and Hell today. Rather, they distinguished between different regions of the afterlife and denied that people go to particular regions that some people suggested they would go to. For example, they distinguished between the paradise that the thief on the cross went to and the heaven people will inhabit after Jesus’ second coming. Both regions are what we today would commonly call Heaven. And both involve the ongoing, conscious existence of the soul. It’s misleading to quote somebody like Irenaeus denying that people will go to one region when he affirms elsewhere that they do go to another region. Both regions fall under today’s common notion of Heaven.

      For an overview of early patristic affirmations of Heaven and Hell, see the following posts at Triablogue:

      “Purgatory”, March 29, 2007
      “Early Christian Belief In A Hell Of Eternal Consciousness”, July 15, 2006

      Here’s what you quoted from Justin Martyr:

      “If you meet some who say that their souls go to heaven when they die, do not believe that they are Christians.”

      Here’s what he actually wrote:

      “For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this truth, and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistæ, Meristæ, Galilæans, Hellenists, Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are only called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.” (Dialogue With Trypho, 80)

      Why does your misleading quote leave out his reference to the resurrection, which is the topic he’s focused on? He’s not denying that the soul continues to exist. Elsewhere, he writes:

      “For among us the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. And that he would be sent into the fire with his host, and the men who follow him, and would be punished for an endless duration, Christ foretold….For the prophets have proclaimed two advents of His: the one, that which is already past, when He came as a dishonoured and suffering Man; but the second, when, according to prophecy, He shall come from heaven with glory, accompanied by His angelic host, when also He shall raise the bodies of all men who have lived, and shall clothe those of the worthy with immortality, and shall send those of the wicked, endued with eternal sensibility, into everlasting fire with the wicked devils….And in what kind of sensation and punishment the wicked are to be, hear from what was said in like manner with reference to this; it is as follows: ‘Their worm shall not rest, and their fire shall not be quenched” (First Apology, 28, 52)

      Many other such passages can be cited from Justin and other fathers. See my Triablogue articles cited above for some examples.

    174. Jason Engwer
      January 31st, 2012 @ 6:22 am

      By the way, Justin Martyr quotes the following from the man who led him to Christianity:

      “But I do not say, indeed, that all souls die; for that were truly a piece of good fortune to the evil. What then? The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished.” (Dialogue With Trypho, 5)

      In his recent edition of Justin’s Dialogue, Michael Slusser explains:

      “St. Justin teaches that the soul is not immortal in the sense that it cannot be destroyed, but that it is immortal in the sense that, by the grace of God, it will live forever.” (Dialogue With Trypho [Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University Of America Press, 2003], n. 14 on 12)

      We can speak of immortality in different senses. It’s misleading to quote somebody like Justin denying the immortality of the soul in one sense when he affirms it in another sense that’s consistent with what Roman Catholics and Protestants (and others) believe on the subject. Justin, like Irenaeus and early mainstream Christianity in general, believed that people’s souls continue to exist after death in what we today commonly call Heaven and Hell. And both states are eternal.

    175. ron david metcalf
      January 31st, 2012 @ 11:41 am

      In my humble opinion, that satisfies both views:
      if we die before Messiah returns, we go into a “sleep” (per Jesus) that is outside of time (as a dream that might occur in seconds may seem like hours, as far as brain scientists can tell); so, it then can be proper to say both that we await the trumpet sound AND immediately go to Heaven.
      It is our linear view of time that is the problem; not GOD’s ‘wholeness’.
      In Him, Ron M.

    176. Kyzersoze
      January 31st, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      Jason

      Why does your misleading quote leave out his reference to the resurrection, which is the topic he’s focused on? He’s not denying that the soul continues to exist.

      I never said they denied a resurrection of the dead. The quote provided condemns the view that when you die your “soul” immediately goes to heaven. Thus, this is a denial of a FUTURE resurrection of the dead. For what would be the point of a resurrection FROM the dead if you never really died in the first place? :P

      And what would be the point of a “judgment” if you believe that IMMEDIATELY after dying you’re either rewarded with heaven or condemned in hell?

      RDM

      we die before Messiah returns, we go into a “sleep”…so, it then can be proper to say both that we await the trumpet sound AND immediately go to Heaven.

      That seems to be the biblical teaching:

      A time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice, and they will come out of their tombs. Those who have done good will come back to life and live. But those who have done evil will come back to life and will be judged. John 5.28-29

    177. John
      January 31st, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

      Jason,
      you state, “As I’ve explained before, “equating prayer to the saints with necromancy” isn’t the only way of contradicting your position. Your view could also be contradicted by saying that we can only pray to God, by denying that deceased believers can hear our prayers, etc.”

      If that is the only limb you are hanging on then you have to assume that what is meant by praying “only to God” means that asking a saint to pray to God is something that was being addressed. The flow of asking a saint for prayer is prayer to God. I’ve read about three articles on your Triablogue and have not found ANY references of patristic literature that state we should pray only to God in the sense that we should never pray to saints. In asking the intercession of the saints, the whole flow of prayer is to God and does not end at the saint being asked to intercede. You say Origin is “emphatic on the point”, regarding praying only to God but I have already demonstrated that he held to prayer to the saints which I referenced above. Only if you take Origin out of context can you make the argument that he meant we should not ask for the intercession of Mary and the saints.

      You state, “I can understand why you’d want to read his posts. You haven’t come up with any good arguments on your own.”

      I can’t read the responses to your posts without you having to think that I’m looking for answers? What’s the purpose of bringing that up? I’ve given references and scripture which you have yet to address- there’s no need to make cheap comments like that.

      Also, you keep saying that I’m not interacting with your material but I certainly have been. In Luke 1:42,43 we read the Mother of John the Baptist saying, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” To return to the main concern of Mary as the Mother of God- in light the Gospel of Luke we have a clear reference to Mary as the Mother of Elizabeth’s Lord.

      Be Well,

      John

    178. Jason Engwer
      January 31st, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “The quote provided condemns the view that when you die your ‘soul’ immediately goes to heaven.”

      No, it doesn’t. It condemns a rejection of the resurrection, as I documented.

      I also documented Justin’s affirmation of the ongoing life of the soul. You aren’t interacting with the passages I cited.

      You write:

      “And what would be the point of a ‘judgment’ if you believe that IMMEDIATELY after dying you’re either rewarded with heaven or condemned in hell?”

      We’re discussing what views were held by historical figures, like Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. If their alleged views were unreasonable in some manner, it doesn’t follow that they didn’t hold those views. Sometimes people believe unreasonable things.

      But why should we think that it’s unreasonable to believe in a judgment that occurs after entering Heaven or Hell? The judgment could add rewards or punishments that weren’t present earlier. It could also provide information or something else not present earlier, like an explanation for why people have the status they have in Heaven or Hell. It could formalize something already in place. Or it may serve some other purpose we don’t know of.

      The view of the afterlife that you’re objecting to is widespread in scripture and the earliest patristic sources, as I documented in the Triablogue articles I mentioned earlier.

    179. Jason Engwer
      February 1st, 2012 @ 12:03 am

      John wrote:

      “The flow of asking a saint for prayer is prayer to God.”

      What does “flow” mean in this context? Praying to a dead person, like Mary, isn’t equivalent to praying to God. If a prayer to Mary results in her praying to God, it doesn’t follow that the person who prays to her is only praying to God.

      And as I documented earlier, prayers to Mary and other dead individuals involve more than asking them to pray to God. People also pray to Mary in order to praise her, thank her, ask for her protection, etc.

      You write:

      “I’ve read about three articles on your Triablogue and have not found ANY references of patristic literature that state we should pray only to God in the sense that we should never pray to saints.”

      That’s a vague assertion that doesn’t interact with anything I said. The Triablogue articles you’re responding to are highly detailed, with a lot of documentation. You need to do more than make vague assertions in response.

      You write:

      “You say Origin is ‘emphatic on the point’, regarding praying only to God but I have already demonstrated that he held to prayer to the saints which I referenced above. Only if you take Origin out of context can you make the argument that he meant we should not ask for the intercession of Mary and the saints.”

      You’d probably know how to spell Origen’s name if you actually knew much about him. We could overlook that sort of mistake if you rarely did it. But given how often you make these mistakes, it doesn’t seem that you know much about the church fathers.

      And you never documented that Origen believed in praying to the deceased. Go back to post 140, then read my response in post 147. You still haven’t interacted with what I said there. Your quote of Origen uses the phrase “pray for”. It’s a passage about prayers for Christians, not prayers to the dead. You keep citing irrelevant passages, which you misrepresent, while ignoring relevant ones that contradict your position.

      You write:

      “Also, you keep saying that I’m not interacting with your material but I certainly have been. In Luke 1:42,43″

      You’ve ignored the large majority of what I’ve argued. And how is that passage in Luke 1 relevant here, given that I don’t object to the Mother of God title?

    180. Kyzersoze
      February 1st, 2012 @ 7:09 am

      Jason

      No, it doesn’t. It condemns a rejection of the resurrection, as I documented.

      I agree. On the basis that there were some people during those days who believed “their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians“!

      The judgment could add rewards or punishments that weren’t present earlier.

      Is there a greater reward than Heaven or a more severe punishment than Hell?

      The view of the afterlife that you’re objecting to is widespread in scripture and the earliest patristic sources…

      I disagree on the basis of the quotes cited. Even many of the Reformation “fathers” went back and forth on the issue perhaps as a knee-jerk reaction against the Catholic church:

      I think that there is not a place in Scripture of more force for the dead who have fallen asleep, than Ecc. 9:5 (“the dead know nothing at all”), understanding nothing of our state and condition — against the invocation of saints and the fiction of Purgatory. Luther

    181. Kyzersoze
      February 1st, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

      PS: One of the reasons for the “exaltation” of Mary as Theotokos was due to the triumph of Nicene Orthodoxy over the other early forms of Christianity [i.e., Adoptionism, Docetism, Arianism, etc.].

      This is why in the East, Christian Orthodoxy found in Mary the sort of intermediary figure that people could relate to. In other words, Jesus was now out of reach and a figure people could not relate to. So they felt Mary would better function as the protective, motherly mediator between God and men.

    182. Jason Engwer
      February 1st, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “On the basis that there were some people during those days who believed ‘their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians’!”

      You keep quoting part of what Justin Martyr wrote while ignoring the rest. I documented his acknowledgment of the ongoing life of the soul after death. Instead of repeatedly quoting one portion of one passage, you need to interact with the rest of what I cited.

      You write:

      “Is there a greater reward than Heaven or a more severe punishment than Hell?”

      Yes, there are degrees of reward in Heaven and degrees of punishment in Hell. See Matthew 25:14-30, Mark 12:40, Luke 12:46-48, etc. The same concept is found repeatedly in the early patristic sources.

    183. ron david metcalf
      February 1st, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

      When you’re in a deep sleep, you wake up and it seems like a second; but it could have been hours. So “instantaneous” depends on your own perspective; and I am not a solipsist; but how else can we “see” or “hear” anything, individually? Granted, the 24 elders could have gone with Jesus when He opened up the gates of hell; but the vision of the multitude, unless it was from other planets, is outside of time in Revelation. Compared to eternity, our lifetime is less than an eyeblink, no matter how long our suffering appears on earth.
      In light of this, Mary’s intercession, or the saints in general, seems just a bit silly if you understand that we have been given access to the Throne of Heaven. Why would we want an intermediary? Because we think we are unworthy? If GOD has declared us pure by His Son Jesus, who are we to argue with Him? This is not freedom in Christ; this is slavery to man. There is a huge difference in respect and giving up your GOD-given rights for a bowl of soup.
      In Him, Ron M.

    184. Victrolus
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 3:06 am

      Here’s a sampling of poor hyperenthusiatic fools, caught up in their necromantic ravings, imagining that the “Mother of my Lord” can hear them. Don’t a couple of you wish that you could go back in time, and SET THEM STAIGHT?

      …What I like about these 3 web pages I found is that the published books that these communing-with-Mary compositions came from are listed, with page numbers, right there beside them.

      [I do not paste these Marian verses (nor should anyone say they are meant) to teach dogma. The hearts of these Saints are what draw me to them and why I am sharing, maybe giving a glimpse of the faith and love that made them Saints.]

      Check out Mother Teresa on Page 3.

      John 2, if you still are following this blog at all, I enjoyed the YouTube Marian music-art you found. [Post 139]

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      Mary, you are the vessel and tabernacle
      containing all Mysteries.
      You know what the Patriarchs did not know;
      you experienced what was not revealed
      to the Angels;
      you heard what the Prophets did not hear.
      In short, everything that was hidden
      from preceding generations was made known to you;
      even more, most of these wonders depended on you.

      –St. Gregory the Wonderworker (d. 270)

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      O Immaculate and wholly-pure Virgin Mary,
      Mother of God,
      Queen of the world,
      hope of those who are in despair:
      You are the joy of the saints;
      you are the peacemaker between sinners and God;
      you are the advocate of the abandoned,
      the secure haven of those who
      are on the sea of the world;
      you are the consolation of the world,
      the ransom of slaves,
      the comfortress of the afflicted….

      O great Queen, we take refuge
      in your protection.
      After God, you are all my hope.
      We bear the name of your servants;
      allow not the enemy to drag us to hell.
      I salute you, O great mediatress
      of peace between men and God,
      Mother of Jesus our Lord,
      who is the love of all men and of God,
      to whom be honor and benediction
      with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

      – Saint Ephrem

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      May the life of Blessed Mary

      be ever present to our awareness.

      In her, as in a mirror,

      the form of virtue and beauty of chastity shine forth.

      She was virgin, not only in body, but in mind and spirit.

      She never sullied the pure affection

      of her heart by unworthy feelings.

      She was humble of heart.

      She was serious in her conversations.

      She was prudent in her counsels.

      She was preferred to pray rather than to speak.

      She united in her heart the prayers of the poor

      And avoided the uncertainty of worldly riches.

      She was ever faithful to her daily duties,

      Reserved in her conversations,

      and always accustomed to recognize God

      as the Witness of her thoughts.

      Blessed be the name of Jesus.

      Amen.

      –St. Ambrose (340?-397)

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      It is becoming for you, O Mary,
      to be mindful of us,
      as you stand near him
      who bestowed upon you all graces,
      for you are the Mother of God and our Queen.
      Come to our aid for the sake of the King,
      the Lord God and Master who was born of you.
      For this reason you are called “full of grace.”

      Be mindful of us, most holy Virgin,
      and bestow on us gifts from the riches
      of your graces, O Virgin full of grace.

      –St. Athanasius (d. 373)

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      Hail, O Mother!
      Virgin, heaven, throne, glory of our Church,
      its foundation and ornament.
      Earnestly pray for us to Jesus,
      your Son and Our Lord,
      that through your intercession
      we may have mercy on the day of judgment.

      Pray that we may receive all those good things
      which are reserved for those who love God.
      Through the grace and favor
      of Our Lord, Jesus Christ,
      to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
      be power, honor, and glory, now and forever. Amen.

      –St. John Chrysostom (349-407)

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

      http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/SaintsPrayers.htm

      http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/SaintsPrayers2.htm

      http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/SaintsPrayers3.htm

      (~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(~(

    185. Jason Engwer
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 6:32 am

      Victrolus,

      You’re ignoring earlier sources who contradict the later sources you’ve cited. And those later sources are of dubious authenticity.

      The web sites you linked don’t give us citations from the original writings of the church fathers in question. Rather, they cite modern books about Mary.

      It’s important to cite original documents in this context, since a lot of works have falsely been attributed to the church fathers over the centuries. Fabricating material about Mary is especially popular. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox often cite such spurious works. Your earliest quotation is attributed to Gregory the Wonderworker, but as the Catholic scholar Michael O’Carroll notes, “Three Marian homilies attributed to this author are almost certainly spurious.” (Theotokos [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1988], 164) There are a lot of false quotes about Mary, attributed to various church fathers, circulating on the web. I suggest that people do some research on such quotes rather than accepting them at face value.

      Victrolus, have you found any of your quotes in original sources? I went to one of the books cited on one of the pages you linked, and that book didn’t mention any source for its patristic quotation. Maybe there was a citation of a source somewhere else in the book, but there wasn’t one where the quote about Mary appeared. Here’s the citation I looked up:

      Blessed Art Thou: A Treasury of Marian Prayers and Devotions / Richard J. Beyer Imprint Notre Dame, IN : Ave Maria Press, c1996, BX2160.2 B46 1996, pp. 76-77.

      It’s not enough for you to cite modern books with page numbers. The books have to be credible. Can you provide us with more documentation for your quotes, and would you tell us why you’re ignoring earlier sources who contradict what your later sources say?

    186. Kyzersoze
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 8:39 am

      Jason

      Instead of repeatedly quoting one portion of one passage, you need to interact with the rest of what I cited.

      I did and explained to you why people who believe in going to heaven after you die is a denial of the resurrection. That is what he says in his Dialogue.

      Yes, there are degrees of reward in Heaven and degrees of punishment in Hell.

      So you mean like degrees of heat? :P

      My point is simply this. If you believe you immediately go to Heaven or Hell when you die you are at your final destination, as it were. You have gained your over-all reward. There may be levels/status in Heaven or levels of punishment in Hell but that is beside the point. If we receive our final reward immediately after we die then we make void the many scriptures that talk about a judgment and especially a resurrection of the DEAD. It does not say a resurrection of the UNDEAD! :P

    187. John2
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

      Victrolus,

      Here’s another that was brought to my attention; it’s called Immaculate Mary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ddX8-wp3O8&feature=channel_video_title

      In “vain repetition” they keep chanting “ave Maria” (I know Mary is addressed thus in the Bible but not so many times as this). This particular hymn seems to express a longing for Catholicism to return to England (perhaps it was composed during the persecutions of the recusants during the English reformation – not sure though). What I find interesting is that they seem to conflate the idea of Mary as mother, church as mother, and even Israel in exile as mother.. somewhat interesting in light of Revelation 12′s depiction of the mother of Jesus:

      THE WOMAN, ISRAEL
      1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

      THE RED DRAGON, SATAN
      3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

      THE MALE CHILD, CHRIST
      5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the]nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

    188. Jason Engwer
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “I did and explained to you why people who believe in going to heaven after you die is a denial of the resurrection. That is what he says in his Dialogue.”

      No, that’s not what Justin said, and you didn’t interact with most of what I cited from Justin. You just keep repeating your interpretation of the one portion of one passage you initially quoted. Tell me specifically where you interacted with the other passages I cited. You didn’t interact with them. You also ignored the many Biblical and patristic passages I cited in my Triablogue articles.

      You write:

      “If you believe you immediately go to Heaven or Hell when you die you are at your final destination, as it were. You have gained your over-all reward.”

      All you’re doing is rewording what I said, which does nothing to refute my argument. Calling Heaven or Hell “your over-all reward” doesn’t prove that a later judgment wouldn’t be able to change what a person experiences in Heaven or Hell.

      You also keep ignoring the other possible justifications for a future judgment, after entering Heaven or Hell. You only responded to one of the possible justifications I offered, and you’ve failed to refute even that one justification.

      You write:

      “It does not say a resurrection of the UNDEAD!”

      Physical death is all that’s needed to explain the references to death. All you’re doing is reading your assumptions into the term “dead”. Why is anybody supposed to find that approach convincing?

    189. Kyzersoze
      February 2nd, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

      Jason

      Calling Heaven or Hell “your over-all reward” doesn’t prove that a later judgment wouldn’t be able to change what a person experiences in Heaven or Hell.

      We didn’t say it was going to change anything. The simple point is that if you believe you immediately go to Heaven or Hell upon death, you have already been judged! I ask you again, what is the point of ANY future judgment?

      Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…Heb 9.27

      Sounds like a once for all judgment.

      All you’re doing is reading your assumptions into the term “dead”. Why is anybody supposed to find that approach convincing?

      Your asumption seems to be that “physical death” is somehow different from just plain “death”! According to the Bible, your either dead or alive. Period.

      For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing. Eccl 9.5

      The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out all remembrance of them. Isa 26.14

      Your talking about a judgment before the FINAL judgment. That cannot be lest scripture is wrong on this fundamental point. You do not have INDIVIDUAL judgments before THAT final day of judgment.

      Answer me this, why would the LORD God command us NOT TO CONTACT the dead if not because there is something EVIL about it?

      Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. Lev 19.31

    190. Jason Engwer
      February 3rd, 2012 @ 6:10 am

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “We didn’t say it was going to change anything.”

      I’ve argued that a change could occur. And you initially didn’t dispute what I said, but instead suggested that you agreed with me. You referred to “levels/status in Heaven or levels of punishment in Hell” in post 186, and you gave no argument for concluding that the level or status can’t change over time. Much as a person’s status in his home, in prison, or in some other setting could change to some extent over time, even though he remains in his home or in prison, the same could occur with Heaven and Hell. You’ve given us no reason to think otherwise.

      You quote Hebrews 9:27, but that does nothing to establish your view. I don’t deny that people are judged after death. A criminal receives judgment in court after his crime, and that initial trial can be singled out as the time of judgment in that sense, but he can be imprisoned before the trial and his status in prison can change after the trial.

      And you’re still ignoring the other possible justifications I mentioned for a judgment that occurs after entering Heaven or Hell. You’re still ignoring the other passages in Justin Martyr. You’re still ignoring the other Biblical and patristic evidence I cited at Triablogue.

      You go on to cite Ecclesiastes 9 and Isaiah 26 in support of your view of the afterlife, but you still haven’t interacted with the Biblical and patristic material I mentioned earlier. You expect me to interact with your arguments while you largely ignore mine.

      Ecclesiastes is giving us the perspective of a man seeking answers, and sometimes finding them, but often presenting an incomplete picture along the way. He often refers to this life as all we have, which doesn’t just contradict my view of the afterlife, but also yours and any other view that involves a future resurrection. In other words, your appeal to Ecclesiastes proves too much. If you maintain that we should agree with the author’s perspective throughout the book, then we should reject not only the resurrection, but also some other Biblical teachings. You should reread Ecclesiastes 9:5 and its surrounding context and take note of the multiple Biblical teachings that would have to be rejected if we took the author’s perspective as the correct one. Either you don’t understand the genre of Ecclesiastes or you’re using the book carelessly or dishonestly. What you’re doing is like quoting something one of Job’s companions said, as if we can assume it’s correct just because it’s recorded in the book of Job.

      Your appeal to Isaiah 26 is likewise dubious. Following your reasoning, we should conclude not only that there is no departure of the soul to Heaven or Hell after death, but also no resurrection. You ignore what Isaiah goes on to say (Isaiah 26:19), and you ignore the many Biblical passages that describe life after death prior to the resurrection.

      You write:

      “Answer me this, why would the LORD God command us NOT TO CONTACT the dead if not because there is something EVIL about it?”

      I don’t deny that attempting to contact the dead is evil. Have you read my exchanges with John and others earlier in this thread?

      You need to explain why the ancient Israelites would have been tempted to try to contact departed spirits if there were no departed spirits to contact. Saul was wrong to try to contact Samuel, but Samuel was alive in the afterlife, even though the resurrection hadn’t occurred yet. Similarly, some of the psalmists, Lazarus in Luke 16, the thief on the cross, Paul, some martyrs in Revelation, etc. are referred to as conscious in Heaven prior to the resurrection. The earliest patristic sources, including some who were disciples of the apostles (like Polycarp), present the same view of the afterlife. See the documentation in my Triablogue articles I referred to earlier.

    191. Kyzersoze
      February 3rd, 2012 @ 7:55 am

      Jason

      And you’re still ignoring the other possible justifications I mentioned for a judgment that occurs after entering Heaven or Hell.

      You cannot have a judgment AFTER you have been judged already when you go to Heaven or Hell upon death. I think we are going around in circles here.

      You’re still ignoring the other passages in Justin Martyr. You’re still ignoring the other Biblical and patristic evidence I cited at Triablogue.

      I got your Martyr quote and if anything the man was double-minded on this issue. But what Biblical evidence are you pointing to? The scriptures I cited are just a small sample of the overall testimony to the fact that “the soul who sins shall die” [Ezek 18.4,20] and that humans are not inherently immortal [Gen 3.22].

      I don’t deny that attempting to contact the dead is evil.

      What’s evil about trying to “contact” your dearly departed? Maybe because it is not them your contacting but OTHER spirits?

    192. Jason Engwer
      February 3rd, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

      Kyzersoze wrote:

      “You cannot have a judgment AFTER you have been judged already when you go to Heaven or Hell upon death.”

      I’ve explained how both could occur, I’ve documented Biblical and patristic support for the occurrence of both, and I’ve given examples of how both occur in other contexts in life. You’re still ignoring the large majority of what I’ve said.

      You write:

      “I got your Martyr quote and if anything the man was double-minded on this issue.”

      In post 169, you claimed that “Most of the known early ‘Church Fathers’ did not even believe in the immortal soul doctrine that overtook later Catholicism & prevails in Protestantism”. The first example you cited was Justin Martyr. Your quotation of him was highly misleading. You quoted a portion of one of his sentences as if it was a complete sentence, and you left out some highly significant context. Taken in context, even the passage you quoted doesn’t support your conclusion, and your reading of that passage is contradicted by what Justin wrote elsewhere, including in the same document. Instead of admitting that you were wrong, you now suggest that Justin was double-minded. The problem with double-mindedness here is yours, not Justin’s. What you’re arguing now is significantly different than what you argued in post 169. And even your revised claim is dubious. The passage you cited from Justin can easily be reconciled with the other passages I cited, if we interpret your passage the way I suggested earlier. When the passages can so easily be reconciled, it makes more sense to view them as harmonious than it does to propose a contradiction between the passages, especially passages within a single document.

      You write:

      “But what Biblical evidence are you pointing to?”

      The Biblical evidence I discussed in my last post, in the Triablogue posts I referred you to, etc. How can you repeatedly ignore the Biblical evidence I cite, then turn around and ask me what Biblical evidence I have in mind? In the portion of my post that you just quoted, I specifically referred to my Triablogue articles. Why would you ask me a question that’s already answered in the comments you just quoted from my post?

      You write:

      “The scriptures I cited are just a small sample of the overall testimony to the fact that ‘the soul who sins shall die’ [Ezek 18.4,20] and that humans are not inherently immortal [Gen 3.22].”

      I’ve already addressed the Biblical passages you cited earlier, and you aren’t interacting with what I said. Now you’re trying to divert our attention to other passages.

      You’ll have to explain the alleged relevance of your two latest citations. Scripture tells us that conscious beings are spiritually dead (John 5:24, Ephesians 2:1, etc.), so spiritual death can’t be assumed to refer to a lack of conscious existence. And humans don’t have to be inherently immortal in order to be immortal. I addressed this issue in post 174. You’re giving us an argument that was already refuted in this thread a few days before you posted it.

      You write:

      “What’s evil about trying to ‘contact’ your dearly departed? Maybe because it is not them your contacting but OTHER spirits?”

      How is that relevant to our disagreement?

    193. Kyzersoze
      February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

      Jason

      You’re still ignoring the large majority of what I’ve said.

      When someone doesn’t agree with your interpretation or reading of the text does not mean their ignoring you.

      The first example you cited was Justin Martyr. Your quotation of him was highly misleading.

      I also quoted Iraneaus. And I did not misquote Martyr just because you found ANOTHER of his quotes that seems to contradict what he wrote elsewhere.

      How can you repeatedly ignore the Biblical evidence I cite, then turn around and ask me what Biblical evidence I have in mind?

      The only one that even comes close is the Lazarus parable and that is an old misinterpretation of what clearly is metaphorical or parabolic. Why are you not dealing with the scriptures I cited? Just because you cannot deal with them does not mean I am “diverting” you. :P

      How is that relevant to our disagreement?

      If your sweet old grandma is currently alive in some type of disembodied state in Heaven, why would God prohibit you from “contacting” her? Its not only a prohibition but spiritualism is a major sin on the level of idolatry. Think about why that might be.

    194. Victrolus
      February 7th, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

      I am curious to know: /What the opinion of this?

      http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_thaumaturgus_homily.htm

    195. Kyzersoze
      February 8th, 2012 @ 7:49 am

      Victrolus

      I am curious to know: /What the opinion of this?

      Wholly crpto-Gnostic and philosophical mumbo-jumbo. :P

    196. Kyzersoze
      February 8th, 2012 @ 7:49 am

      CORRECTION: crypto-Gnostic.

    197. BenKC
      February 8th, 2012 @ 11:16 am

      Kyzersoze = Chuck ?

    198. Sheila
      February 8th, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      Ben KC,

      I’ve suspected you’re right.

    199. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 8th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

      Ben KC, the exact question I asked myself the other day. If so, I’d asked him to have the integrity to reveal himself and admit that all his posts here under a new identity were a way for him to push his agenda — contrary to our stated guidelines and wishes — without being hindered. If not, then Kysersoze, please tell us that you are not the person who used to post here as Chuck. If you don’t tell us that, you will have answered the question. Thanks!

    200. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 8th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

      Kysersoze, please see my previous post to Ben KC and respond ASAP with total honesty before God. Thanks!

    201. Tom
      February 8th, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      Hmm, I new he went by “Chuck”, “Xavier”, and “Carlos” variously; “Kysersoze” would certainly be a new one.

    202. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      February 8th, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

      Tom, because I don’t read all the posts,and because it never dawned on me that anyone would that be that deceitful in a Christian blog, I didn’t make the connection until I saw the typical “Chuck” post on another thread — but from Kyzersoze. What makes this all the more despicable, from a Christian perspective, is that I had to tell our web folks to monitor posts from Chuck since he refused to comply with our guidelines. More despicable still is the fact that he wasted much of our time on this Mary thread by not revealing his true identity and agenda. In fact, if I recall, I wondered out loud why this Kyzersoze couldn’t understand what I and others were saying, instead continuing to make the same inane comments. I posted a few more times, hoping to reach out to this “new” person, but obviously, for all of us, it was a waste of time. Although his views were heretical and dangerous to start, his deceptive conduct is all the more dangerous.

    203. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      February 8th, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

      Tom, could you kindly post links to comments from the other “Chuck” identities to be passed on to our web monitors? (One per post is best, lest the comment gets held up.) Thanks!

    204. Kyzersoze
      February 9th, 2012 @ 9:31 am

      “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Mat 10.16

    205. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 9th, 2012 @ 10:02 am

      TO EVERYONE WHO ENGAGED KYSERSOZE AND CHUCK AND OTHER ALIASES,

      Hey folks, it turns out he did have a bunch of different IP addresses (no need to mention how many, but it was more than anyone here suggested), and again, that is utterly despicable and thoroughly dishonest. I apologize that so many wasted our time with someone who was not only heretical but was also terribly dishonest, especially when we dealt with “Chuck” so he just scorned every guideline and continued to push his agenda. It appears that, in least in his case, his defective beliefs contributed to his defective morality. May the Lord grant him repentance.

    206. Tom
      February 9th, 2012 @ 12:03 pm
    207. Tom
      February 9th, 2012 @ 12:05 pm
    208. Tom
      February 9th, 2012 @ 12:11 pm
    209. Kyzersoze
      February 9th, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

      “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    210. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 9th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      Thanks so much, Tom! I can’t tell you how dishonesty like this grieves me, even more than the heresy.

    211. Tom
      February 9th, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

      I hear you, Dr. Brown. He does his cause a great disservice by this sort of behavior. I pray he realizes that at some point.

    212. Jeff Hergott
      April 6th, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

      Catholics believe that Mary was assumed into Heaven. We do not believe she ascended to heaven. Assumed means that she did not get there by her own power but she was lifted up by Jesus. This is well know. The Assumption of Mary is a beautiful thing where as your assumptions are just plain wrong.

    213. Jeff Hergott
      April 6th, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

      Protestants argue that we can’t pray to Saints because of this scripture verse:
      5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, ~1 Timothy 2:5
      Then why do Protestants ask people on earth to pray for them? I mean why does it matter if the saint is in heaven or on earth to ask them to pray for them? Is there not still one mediator between God and man when we ask others to pray for us? Nowhere does that Bible passage say that we can’t pray to saints.
      16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. ~James 5:16
      When I say pray to the Saints I am talking about intercessory prayer.
      The Saints are alive!
      38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.” ~Luke 20:38
      The saints are concerned and know about what is happening on Earth:
      9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” ~Revelation 6:9-10
      10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ~ Luke 15:10
      The Saints in Heaven bring the prayers of the saints to Jesus:
      ‎8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints;~Revelation 5:8
      The prayers of the saints are brought to God by an angel.
      ‎4 and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. ~Revelation 8:4
      God also uses the Holy Spirit
      16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, ~John 14:16
      Why we should pray to Saints.
      We are all members of the body of Christ and we need to care and love all members of His Body. Jesus asked Paul on the road to Damascus “Why are you persecuting me”. Notice that He didn’t say why are you persecuting my people. The Father and Jesus are one and He wants us to be one. The Church is not only on Earth but it is also in Heaven as Jesus in also in Heaven and on Earth.
      20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” ~Matthew 28:20
      20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. ~ John 14:20
      20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.~ John 17:20-21
      12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. ~1 Corinthians 12:12
      25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. ~1 Corinthians 12:14
      21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” ~1 Corinthians 12:14
      14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. ~1 Corinthians 12:14
      26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. ~1 Corinthians 12:26

    214. Kip
      December 9th, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

      “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.” (Deuteronomy 18:9)

    215. Jack
      April 21st, 2014 @ 9:12 am

      Amen Kip. Nowhere in the new testament does Jesus ever say to pray or ask for his mother to be an intercessor for him. Jesus said no one comes to the father but through him. I’m not going to argue for or against Miriam being called the mother of God or whether she remained a virgin or was sinless or even assumed into heaven. I have no doubt that Miriam has an extremely special place in heaven and perhaps the most blessed human in human history. HOWEVER, it still does not mean we pray to her or ask her for intercession. Jesus is our direct line to the throne of God and he himself taught us to pay to the father. It seems everyone here forgot the Lord’s prayer. In his words after the resurrection we are to ask the father for everything in his name, not his mother’s or the saints.
      May the Lord open our eyes and heart to his wisdom and not that of others, Amen!!

    216. Van
      April 21st, 2014 @ 10:55 am

      Esther is the virgin queen of heaven who gave birth to the dying and resurrecting godman Adonis from whose name we get adonai or lord. If our symbol in the west had been this, a woman giving birth to a child instead of a violent act depicted, a man nailed to a cross, our Western society would have grown up with a lot less violence. Thanks a lot Christianity. Thanks for nothing.

    217. Nicholas
      April 21st, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

      When the Catholic Church declared Mary “Theotokos” (literally, “the one who gives birth to the Divine”) at the Council of Ephesus in the 5th Century, we were defending the Divinity of Christ against those parties (the Arians, Nestorians, and other heretics) who denied that Christ was fully God as well as fully man. So the whole point about Mary being the “Mother of God” was for the purpose of explicitly defining that orthodox Christians are to believe that God Himself (God the Son) became incarnate. God became incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. Christ was not just a man adopted by God at his baptism, which is what the Arians believed, and Christ was not a man who was “possessed” by the Spirit of God the Word, which is what the Nestorians believed. So, I hope this clears up some confusion.

    218. rockypath1
      July 14th, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

      God has a plan for the woman who bore Him and loved him. And because He loves her in a unique way she is given a unique and privileged role in the work of bringing Jesus to all. How powerful the symbolism of Mary as ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT is.

      The original Ark of the Covenant contained the 10 commandments (the Word of God (Jesus)), some of the manna (the bread of life – Eucharist) and the staff of Aaron (the priesthood of Jesus).

      Mary is called the Ark of the New Covenant because like the original Ark she contained the Word and Bread of life AND the new High Priest.

      *******************************************

      Mary is the fulfillment of the OT Type that was the Ark of the Covenant.

      Whereas the Ark carried symbols of God within it, Mary actually carried God within her womb. This is why she was proclaimed Theotokos (God Bearer) at the 1st Council of Ephesus in 431.

      She takes the name ARK of the New Covenant.

      ***************************************************

      Don’t believe the Ark was an OT type of Mary? We can examine more these facts.

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      EXAMPLES OF Mary as ARK of the NEW COVENANT

      The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      a. When the Ark carrying the Word of God returned “David was leaping and dancing before the Lord” (2 Sam. 6:14)

      b. When Mary came into Elizabeth’s presence carrying the word of God, the baby “leaped for joy” in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 2:38)

      The Greek word Luke ((Luke 2:38)) uses to describe Elizabeth’s loud cry of joy (anaphoneo) isn’t used anywhere else in the New Testament. And it’s found in only five places in the Greek Old Testament – every time used to describe “exultation” before the Ark (see 1 Chronicles 15:28; 16:4-5; 2 Chronicles 5:13).

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      a. The Word was written by God on Tablets of Stone (Ex. 25:10) placed inside the Ark (Deut. 10:1)

      b. The Word of God became Flesh (John 1) conceived inside Mary (Luke 2:38) Mary carried the Word of God.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      a. “Who am I that the Ark of my Lord should come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9)

      b. “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      a. The Ark carrying the Word of God is brought to the house of Obed-Edom for 3 months, where it was a blessing. (2 Sam. 6:11)

      b. Mary (the new Ark) carrying the Word of God goes to Elizabeth’s house for 3 months, where she is a blessing (Luke 1:56)

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      a. The Ark is captured (1 Sam 4:11) and brought to a foreign land and later returns (1 Sam 6:13)

      b. Mary (the new Ark) is exiled to a foreign land (Egypt) and later returns (Matt. 2:14)

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      Luke 1:48
      “for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed” This prophecy stands as witness to the Catholic and Eastern churches acknowledgment of Mary.

      **************************************************

      MARY IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION

      We can see that evidence exists for Mary as is the Ark of the New Covenant. She contained Jesus: the bread of life (manna); the Word of Life (10 commandments); and Aarons Rod (High Priesthood of Jesus)

      Very oddly and seeming to be out of place we have Revelation 11: 19.

      19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

      What could be the reason for this odd, seemingly out of place passage. Most of John the apostles readers would have been excited to hear about the Ark of the Covenant and to see what he was going to say about it but then silence. How odd. How very odd. But not quite.

      It is important here to stop and explain something about the bible. Bible chapter divisions did not originally exist and were ADDED to modern bibles for ease of use.

      This means there was NO division between the end of Revelation Chapter 11 where we see the ARK OF THE COVENANT and the beginning of Chapter 12 – the WOMAN CLOTHED WITH SUN.

      12 A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3 Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule[a] all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

      (in part from Hahn)

    219. rockypath1
      July 14th, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

      Why is Mary SO VERY STRUCK by the angels greeting to her.

      Luke 1:26-29
      In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.

      Scholars tell us the angel did more than simply greet Mary. The angel actually communicated a new name or title to her. In Greek, the greeting was kaire, kekaritomene, or “Hail, full of grace.” Generally speaking, when one greeted another with kaire, a name or title would be found in the immediate context.

      So “Full of grace” becomes Mary’s name here .

      So what does it tell us about Mary?

      Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives.

      ####################

      Greek “chaire kecharitomene” in Luke 1:28 is commonly translated as Gabriel’s salutation to Mary as “Hail, full of grace”, BUT “chaire kecharitomene” is actually better translated as: “Hail, who has been perfectly and completely graced by God.”

      charitoo” – Greek verb ending in omicron omega (“oo”) means to put the person or thing into the state indicated by the root. The root being “charis” or “grace,” “charitoo” means “to put into a state of “grace.”

      “ke” – Greek perfect tense prefix indicates a perfected, completed present state as a result of past action. Thus, a perfected, completed present state of “charis,” or “grace,” as a result of past action.

      “mene” – Greek passive participle suffix indicates action performed on subject by another. Thus, a perfected, completed present state of “charis,” or “grace,” as a result of the past action of another. As the speaker is the angel Gabriel, the “other” is God.

      Therefore, “chaire kecharitomene” means: “Hail, who has been perfectly and completely graced by God.” The common Catholic rendering, “full of grace,” while good, may actually fall short!

      Source: (Fr. John Echert)

    220. Bo
      July 14th, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

      rockypath1,

      The new covenant is supposed to put YHWH’s law into our hearts. Our hearts are what the ark symbolizes.

      As the story goes, Moses brought the tables of testimony down from the mount in his hands and dashed them to pieces. Then YHWH instructed him to build and ark and hew two more stones. YHWH rewrote, in the same words, His law upon those new stones. They were placed these into the ark and they remained intact. So…

      When we take YHWH’s commandments into our hands and with our own power try to keep them, we break them. When they are put into our hearts, we do not break them. The second set of commandments were identical to the first. The law that YHWH writes upon our hearts are identical to the ones on stone. If we still cannot keep from breaking them, we are not allowing the commandments to be but in the ark…our hearts. If we think that the law has been changed, we do not get the symbolism or the direct statements in scripture.

      Shalom

    221. Nicholas
      July 14th, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

      rockypath1,

      I responded on the other board to your post from July 11. I just only saw it today.

      Mary’s role is totally unique. God willed that she cooperate in a singular way in Christ’s work of mediation and in the redemption of the human race. She co-redeemed us.

    222. rockypath1
      July 14th, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

      Its odd to find you on this site as I have only ever visited a handful of Dr. Browns sites. I am impressed with his integrity of spirit. I suppose that is what draws me to listening to him. Even now I am listening to his debate with White on predestination. He would make a great Catholic. A few obstacles remain in his theological and historical understanding. :0 Just kidding Dr B. (sort of).

      Mary is probably the most difficult aspect of the Catholic faith for protestants and I understand that. If they can begin with the ancient understanding of the Communion of Saints and by the mere fact that she WOULD be loved in a most generous way by our savior it might be a starting point.

      I will check out the other board.

    223. rockypath1
      July 14th, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

      Bo,

      I saw your posting on the other Dr B board that Nicholas was referring to and I was disheartened enough to respond to the faith confusion that has been fomented in such brilliant people by the reformation.

      The early Church got it straight from Jesus through the apostles and the Real Presence Eucharist is the key to understanding where authority and authentic faith practice lies. No good scholar would deny that ALL the early Church was Real Presence Eucharistic. Are you? The historic reality of the early Church being Real Presence Eucharistic confirms the Catholic interpretation of John 6.

      I tend to keep things simple in my theology. I am not so gifted in personal scriptural interpretation or exegesis and look to the obvious facts and church support.

      This means God gave us the basic truths from the apostles from Jesus. Church authority is critical and must be interpreted in the light of critical scripture.

      Matthew 16:16-19
      16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

      18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

      19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

      Peters role as inspired (infallible) authority is given here.

      Why else would He have renamed Simon to Rock if had not anticipated Matthew 16 this obvious commission.

      John 1:42 “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Kepha (Cephas)” (Peter, Rock).

      And this is my rock and my rudder too. It is from Jesus and it assures a church that has authority.

      Mat18:17-18
      Jesus said, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; & if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile & a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, & whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

      Seems to me there is not a lot of leeway to accept another path Bo. And I am glad of this.

    224. Bo
      July 20th, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

      rockypath1,

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

      Did you read the link? It shows that the early church leaders did not believe in the real presence of Messiah in the elements. Your church tells you the opposite. So your chruch stands against what is said in scripture and against those that were closest to those that wrote the scriptures. It is not apostolic authority, but apostate authority that you follow.

      Shalom

    225. Bo
      July 20th, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

      rockypath1,

      You quoted:
      “Matthew 16:16-19
      16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

      18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

      It is obvious that the language intends to contrast Peter with “this rock.” Two different words are used. Peter is not “The Rock,” but a small rock. Messiah is saying, “You. Peter, are a little rock, and upon this big rock, that was just revealed to you, will I build my assembly.” What is “this rock”? It is the revelation that the little rock had.

      Peter, the little rock, had just had a revelation that was way bigger than himself. Messiah is not going to build his assembly on “flesh and blood” (whether Peter or man’s ideas and teachings) but on revelation from above. A specific revelation. That revelation is that Y’shua is the Messiah the Son of the Living YHWH. Messiah is THE ROCK. The stone that the builders rejected. Peter is not that Rock. He is just little old Peter the small pebble that is cemented into the building as a living stone like the rest of us. So Peter professes:

      1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
      6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
      7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
      8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

      Y’shua is YHWH. He is the Messiah and Savior. Without that revelation deep in our souls, we will not be built into His assembly. Hell’s/hades’ gates will not hold those that have true faith in this when the resurrection of the just is accomplished. The second death will have no power of these that are built upon the revelation of Y’shua being the Messiah the Son of the living Elohim.

      We can see above that Peter did not say that he, himself, is the Rock. According to him, Messiah is that ROCK. Nothing could be clearer in English and especially the Greek that Peter is just a little rock and not the ROCK.

      Shalom

    226. Sheila
      July 20th, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

      Nicholas,

      You wrote: “Mary’s role is totally unique. God willed that she cooperate in a singular way in Christ’s work of mediation and in the redemption of the human race. She co-redeemed us.”

      That’s a very bold statement to say that Mary “co-redeemed us.” Or even that she has any mediatorial role at all. Nowhere in Scripture is that even implied and I can find no verses that could even be misconstrued as saying that.

      Could you, please, tell me where you’re taking that from?

      Thanks.

    227. Nicholas
      July 20th, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

      Hi Sheila,

      The Church develops its understanding of these issues over time, as the Holy Spirit leads her to contemplate the mystery of our redemption. God deigned that a woman give her flesh to his Eternal Word. That woman was Mary. By God’s order, and through her free consent, she supplied the Redeemer with a human body, with a human heart of flesh and blood, and, in this body, and with this heart, Christ united himself to humanity, died upon the cross, and accomplished the action of reconciliation. Christ is the one and unique mediator between God and man. However, Christ is himself God. There had to be another party in the work of redemption. God did not need Mary, but he willed to use her. She was part of his prerogative and a vital part of his plan. In this plan, God required the willful cooperation and participation of a woman. The mother of Christ worked with him in the redemption of the human race in a wholly unique way. God was never so united to a person, and no person was so close to God as Mary was, not even Moses. When we meditate upon the implications of what occurred in the womb of Mary, that God used her as the door through which he entered creation, that her flesh produced the very same flesh which died upon the cross, these truths must be taken into consideration and followed to their logical conclusion. To say that Mary “co-redeemed” us is recognize what God desired to be accomplished from the beginning, that the “seed of the woman” should crush the head of the serpent.

    228. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 9:26 am

      Bo,

      ‘little stone’ I don’t think so.

      Much scholarship leads to the conclusion that Simon bar Jona’s name change in John 1:42 to Kepha or Cephas actually means a form of solid rock, not moveable rock or stone.

      In the ATTIC Greek of classical poetry, petros is sometimes used in the sense of a stone or movable rock, perhaps more or less synonymously with lithos, in contradistinction to petra.

      HOWEVER, in the common KOINE Greek of biblical literature, this distinction is virtually unknown. As a rule, when the Greek biblical texts want to reference a movable stone, they use lithos, not petros.

      So in New Testament KOINE Greek petros equals petra. They mean the same thing.

      But petra was the feminine noun and could not be used for a man’s name. Therefore the New Testament writers had no choice but to use Petros for Simon’s new name.

      In summary the writers of the New Testament could, and probably would, have used ‘lithos’ to convey ‘stone’ or moveable rock for Peter’s new name, if that in fact was its real meaning. But they did not. An important distinction I think. Petra means Petros which mean ROCK.

      It was very significant that Jesus renames Peter to Rock in that there must be a reason. Surely Jesus had a reason and a good reason for doing this. We know that God had a reason for the names that were changed in the Old Testament and this points to why Jesus did what he did (And surely Jesus foresaw the future of Peter’s name change and the contention of it and that of matthew 16):

      Gen 17:5 “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram…thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”

      Gen 32:28 “And He said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel”. Jacob founder – twelve tribes of Israel.

      These name changes were outward signs of covenants made that would last forever. And just as these were signs of a promise made so is Simon-Peters name change an indication of something to come – and something that would last down through time.

      John 1:42 “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Kepha (Cephas) (Rock).”

      Now Peter himself is not so much the direct recipient of this name change as is the new covenant church – in Peter’s authoritative role or position..

      And NOW remember, besides the change of name, Jesus unequivocally gives something else to Simon-Peter that is unique – the Keys of the Kingdom.

      “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” [Matthew 16:19]

      This refers back to Isaiah 22:22 where Eliakim as steward of the royal House of David was essentially the prime minister of the kingdom.

      “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” [Isaiah 22:22].

      Peter himself then is commissioned to become the steward (the Prime Minister) of a kingdom. And while the King is away he has the authority to wield the King’s power. Peter’s authoritative role will continue as the keys of the prime minister are always passed along.

      So is the promise inherent in Peter’s new name (and these keys) fulfilled? There is only one unique body that can fulfill this – the new covenant church (the Catholic Church).

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      Matthew 16:16-19
      16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

      Jesus gives peter the “rock” his commission after Peter declares :Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God”

      We see here defined then the role of Peter. He is to be the steward of the Church who speaks authoritative and infallibly when speaking on doctrine – for the faith of All generations.

      Remember when God renames someone it ALWAYS conveyed a lasting promise, covenant, commission.

      And we see this lasting promise ONLY in the successors of Peter. The ONLY chair of authority that has ever accepted (and claimed) the mantle given in this most critical of scripture pairs.

      John 1:42 and Matthew 16:16-19.

    229. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 9:29 am

      Bo,

      Peter IS in fact commissioned in a UNIQUE way and only he is given the keys (to be passed on) along with undeniable authority to wield power as head of the Church.

      Mat 16:16-19
      “I tell you, you are Peter (ROCK), and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you THE KEYS of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      And with Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

      After His resurrection Jesus very pointedly said to Peter (John 21:15-17)

      “Simon… do you love me more than these?”…“Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said…“Feed my lambs.” A second time…“Simon… do you love me?”… “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said…“Tend my sheep.”A third time, “Simon…do you love me?”… “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

      Jesus corroborates the authority of Peter.

      Peter the Sheppard of the Church???

    230. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 9:31 am

      Bo,

      Here’s what scholarly Protestants have to say about Matt 16:

      Wm Hendriksen Prof NT Lit Calvin Seminary
      “The meaning is, “You are Peter, that is Rock, and upon this rock, that is, on you, Peter I will build my church.” Our Lord, speaking Aramaic, probably said, “And I say to you, you are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my church.” Jesus, then, is promising Peter that he is going to build his church on him! I accept this view. (N T Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew

      Protestant J. Knox Chamblin N T Prof, Reformed Theological Seminary
      “By the words “this rock” Jesus means not himself, nor his teaching, nor God the Father, nor Peter’s confession, but Peter himself. The phrase is immediately preceded by a direct and emphatic reference to Peter. As Jesus identifies himself as the Builder, the rock on which he builds is most naturally understood as someone (or something) other than Jesus himself. “The demonstrative ‘this’, whether denoting what is physically close to Jesus or what is literally close in Matthew, more naturally refers to Peter (v. 18) than to the more remote confession (v. 16). The link between the clauses of verse 18 is made yet stronger by the play on words, “You are Peter (Gk. Petros), and on this rock (Gk. petra) I will build my church.” As an apostle, Peter utters the confession of verse 16; as a confessor he receives the designation this rock from Jesus.”

      Craig L. Blomberg Profr NT Denver Seminary
      “Acknowledging Jesus as The Christ illustrates the appropriateness of Simon’s nickname “Peter” (Petros = rock). This is not the first time Simon has been called Peter (cf. John 1:42), but it is certainly the most famous. Jesus’ declaration, “You are Peter,” parallels Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ,” as if to say, “Since you can tell me who I am, I will tell you who you are.”
      The expression “this rock” almost certainly refers to Peter, following immediately after his name, just as the words following “the Christ” in v. 16 applied to Jesus. The play on words in the Greek between Peter’s name (Petros) and the word “rock” (petra) makes sense only if Peter is the rock and if Jesus is about to explain the significance of this identification.” (The New American Commentary: Matthew, vol. 22

      David Hill Senior Lecturer Dept Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield
      “On this rock I will build my church: the word-play goes back to Aramaic tradition. It is on Peter himself, the confessor of his Messiahship, that Jesus will build the Church. The disciple becomes, as it were, the foundation stone of the community. Attempts to interpret the “rock” as something other than Peter in person … introduce to the statement a degree of subtlety which is highly unlikely.”

      Suzanne de Dietrich Presbyterian theologian:
      “The play on words in verse 18 indicates the Aramaic origin of the passage. The new name contains a promise. “Simon,” the fluctuating, impulsive disciple, will, by the grace of God, be the “rock” on which God will build the new community. (The Layman’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, vol. 16)”

    231. Bo
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 10:26 am

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “This refers back to Isaiah 22:22 where Eliakim as steward of the royal House of David was essentially the prime minister of the kingdom.

      “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” [Isaiah 22:22].

      Peter himself then is commissioned to become the steward (the Prime Minister) of a kingdom. And while the King is away he has the authority to wield the King’s power. Peter’s authoritative role will continue as the keys of the prime minister are always passed along.”

      I guess you have not read the back of the book. Y’shua Messiah is the one that holds those keys…not Peter.

      Revelation 3
      7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

      And on earth, Messiah’s half brother James held the position of prime minister in the assembly of Messiah. The book of acts is clear that he was the leader and not Peter.

      Ac 12:17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

      Ac 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

      Ac 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

      1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

      Ga 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

      Peter obviously feared James and James made the final rulings.

      Shalom

    232. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 11:31 am

      Bo,

      As the royal son of David, Christ is the owner of the key of David, but this doesn’t mean he can’t give to Peter, as his “prime minister,” the keys to his heavenly kingdom.

      In the passage to which Revelation 3:7 alludes, Isaiah 22:20-23, Eliakim is made master of the palace, a post roughly equivalent to prime minister. As the king’s right-hand man, the master of the palace is given the “key of the House of David.”

      Keys symbolize authority, so bestowing the key to the House of David upon Eliakim is equivalent to giving him, as the king’s duly appointed representative, authority over the kingdom.

      Revelation 3:7 speaks of Jesus as the “holder of the key of David.” Some argue this means he fulfills the role Eliakim foreshadowed in Isaiah 22:20-23. They claim this excludes a prophetic application of this text to Peter by Christ in Matthew 16:18-19.

      There’s a problem with this argument. In Isaiah 22 Eliakim is master of the palace – the king isn’t. Eliakim possesses the key of the kingdom not as its owner, but as one deputed to oversee the king’s affairs. If we apply this to Christ, then we must conclude he’s not the true messianic king, merely his prime minister, the Messiah’s chief representative!

      Although Jesus is called the “holder of the key of David” in Revelation 3:7, he doesn’t hold it as Eliakim did. As the son of David, Jesus is the heir to the throne of his ancestor (Lk 1:32-33). He really is the king, not the master of the king’s palace, as was Eliakim. As king, Jesus is free to bestow the keys of his kingdom on whomever he wishes–without losing the authority those keys represent.

      It’s the Catholic position that this is precisely what Jesus does in Matthew 16:18-19. Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah, which means, among other things, acknowledging his kingship. Christ then shows his kingly authority by bestowing on Peter something only the king could give – the keys of the kingdom of heaven – thus making Peter the messianic equivalent of Eliakim.

    233. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 11:39 am

      In Acts Peter stands up and right away declares to ALL his authority – from God.
      And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

      Those who claim James’s speech was the definitive one point to the language in verse 19 (“Therefore it is my judgement . . .”) as evidence for James’s primacy. Yet James is simply suggesting a way of implementing what Peter had already definitively expressed. “Peter speaks as the head and spokesman of the apostolic Church,” state Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, “He formulates a doctrinal judgment about the means of salvation, whereas James takes the floor after him to suggest a pastoral plan for inculturating the gospel in mixed communities where Jewish and Gentile believers live side by side (15:13-21)” (232).

      http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/was-james-the-real-leader-of-the-early-church

      More than this regarding James you cannot and dare not say.

      If James had defied Peter, he would certainly have been crushed by Peter.

      PLEASE NOTE: Even today a pope will listen to the experts and more learned scholars on a given issue. Even today a Pope will only necessarily make DEFINED statements on an issue if the deposit of accepted faith is attack. Council of Trent verified a number of orthodox beliefs ALWAYS held by the Christian Church until the reformers set to work in there attempt to dismantle them.

    234. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 11:44 am

      Bo

      Following is a lengthy article on the Peter vs James issue

      Was James the Real Leader of the Early Church?

      By: Carl Olson

      http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/was-james-the-real-leader-of-the-early-church

      The 15th chapter of Acts is significant for its description of the first council of the Christian Church, providing insights into the inner workings of the early Church and the relationships among key leaders. The chapter is also notable as a battleground for ongoing, current-day disputes over Church authority. On one side stands the Catholic Church, upholding Peter as the foremost apostle and leader of the universal Church. In opposition, in a diverse array of attitudes, stands a host of scholars and theologians who claim that James, the “brother of Jesus” (Mk 6:3; Gal 1:19), was the leader of the early Church, perhaps even the first pope. This position has roots going back to the Reformation, and many Protestants—whether they be conservative, liberal, or progressive in theological terms—consider James the greatest of the early Church leaders.

      James, Greater than Peter?

      Since the late 1990s, several books have been written about James, the “brother of Jesus,” most notably Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition (Columbia, SC: University of South Caroline Press, 1997), by John Painter; James, Brother of Jesus (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1996), by Pierre-Antoine Bernheim; and James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Viking Press, 1997), by Robert Eisenman. All three authors write about the “minimizing” of James by early Church writers and authorities, and either overtly or implicitly claim James was the victim of Church politics aimed at keeping Peter’s pre-eminence intact.

      Bernheim, for example, states,

      Acts and the Letter to the Galatians attribute considerable authority to James, seemingly greater than that of Peter. Questions of power and authority in the primitive church are of more than academic interest, since the Roman Catholic Church bases the supremacy of the pope, the Bishop of Rome, on the primacy of Peter. According to Catholic doctrine, Peter, who was designated the foundation and the ultimate authority of the apostolic Church (Mt 16:13-20), maintained his primacy throughout his life and transmitted it to his successors as bishops of Rome. (James, Brother of Jesus, 191)

      Bernheim is correct to note the importance of Matthew 16 in the matter of Petrine authority. But does Acts 15 contradict the famous “keys of the kingdom” passage and even portray James as a greater authority than Peter? Pentecostal author Rosanna J. Evans makes such a case in her booklet, “Crossing The Threshold of Deception”:

      Among the more compelling arguments [for Peter not being pope], is that of the leadership at the Jerusalem Council. . . . What is of interest here, is not necessarily the proclamations made at this council, but the conspicuous position (or lack thereof) Peter held. While he was, without doubt, present at this momentous council, he certainly did not preside over it; this honor went to James, not Peter. Additionally, although Peter had some say in the procession itself, it was James, not Peter, who decided the outcome of the deliberations . . . Without a doubt, the man James was the one who presided over the Jerusalem Council. (18, 19)

      In his commentary on Acts, Evangelical scholar I. Howard Marshall presents Peter as a central but still lesser authority than James, a perspective held by numerous Evangelical commentators. While Peter appealed to experience, Marshall states, “The decisive voice in the meeting, however, lay neither with Peter nor with the delegates from Antioch, but with James. This may have been due partly to the position which he increasingly came to hold as the foremost leader in the church (12:17), and partly also to the fact that he was regarded as a champion of a conservative Jewish outlook” (Acts, 249, 251).

      Was Peter really inconspicuous at the Jerusalem Council? Did he take a secondary role to James? What does the text really say?

      Context and Choices

      In the 1973 book Peter in the New Testament, published as a “collaborative assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars” and sponsored by the United States Lutheran–Roman Catholic Dialogue as Background for Ecumenical Discussions of the Role of the Papacy in the Universal Church, three basic theories of early Church authority based upon Acts 15 are presented. The three theories of authority are:

      1) Peter and the other members of the twelve were concerned with a Christian mission far more extensive than just Jerusalem. They were never really local church leaders, once Jerusalem became big enough to require such caretakers. James was the first leader of the local church at Jerusalem (at least for the Hebrew Christians) and remained there after Peter and the other members of the twelve left the scene, whether through death or on travels. James had authority only in Jerusalem (and its “province”), but his name was known more widely because he was a blood relative of Jesus. Paul’s loyalty was to the “mother church” or community of saints in Jerusalem. His respect for James was a respect for the local leader of that church.

      2) Peter was a local leader at Jerusalem (even though he was known more widely because he had been a close follower of Jesus during the ministry). James took Peter’s place as the local Jerusalem leader (when Peter left Jerusalem or even earlier). Neither of them had a role as leader in the Universal Church, for, in fact, there was no single leader in the Universal Church.

      3) Peter was a universal leader, operating from Jerusalem as the center of Christianity, and was succeeded by James. In other words, the position of universal influence that Peter had at Jerusalem (except his apostleship) was transferred to James when Peter left Jerusalem or even earlier.

      The first theory aligns essentially with the Catholic belief; the second covers a wide range of mainline Protestant perspectives; and the third—the most extreme view—is embraced by more radical, liberal scholars.

      Acts 15 can be broken into four basic sections.

      1. The first (vs. 1-5) sets the scene and explains the conflict between Gentile and Jewish Christians over the observance of various Mosaic customs and laws.

      2. The second (vs. 6-18)—the section that concerns us here—contains the discussion, including debate (v. 7a), Peter’s speech (vs. 7b-11), the witness of Paul and Barnabas (v. 12), and James’ speech (vs. 13-21).

      3. The third section (vs. 19-29) explains the decision reached at the council, including the letter to be sent to the churches.

      4. The final section (vs. 30-35) presents some of the reaction to the letter.

      The council consisted of “the apostles and the elders” who had gathered together to “look into the matter” and come to some sort of solution. The Catholic understanding is that this gathering was a blueprint and prototype for future Church councils. As such, it included the gathering of leaders from the entire Church, not just a particular region; it made decrees binding on all Christians; it addressed matters of faith and morals; and it issued documents recording essential statements, decrees, canons, and so forth. Finally, but certainly not least, it was presided over by the pope (either in person or by representative).

      The Jerusalem Council began with a spirited debate (v. 7a). Then Peter spoke, appealing to the “early days” and his experience in bringing the gospel to the household of Cornelius, a Gentile (Acts 10). We are saved by grace, Peter stated, not by works of the Law (v. 11). A marked silence followed his speech (v. 12a). Then Barnabas and Paul testified to God’s work “among the Gentiles” (v. 12b). After they had finished, James gave his speech, pointing to both the words of Peter (“Simeon,” v. 14) and the Prophets (vs. 15-18). He then offered his “judgment”: the Gentiles would not have to observe the ceremonial Law. An authoritative letter was then written, stating “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us to lay upon you no greater burden” than abstaining from “things sacrificed to idols,” from blood and things strangled, and “from fornication” (vs. 28-29).

      Unlikely Allies

      As noted already, the Fundamentalist anti-Catholic position is that Peter’s role at the council was so minimal he was essentially persona non grata. Noted anti-Catholic and Presbyterian theologian Loraine Boettner wrote the following in his Roman Catholicism:

      At that council not Peter but James presided and announced the decision with the words, “Wherefore my judgement is . . .” (vs. 19). And his judgement was accepted by the apostles and presbyters. Peter was present, but only after there had been “much questioning” (vs. 7) did he even so much as express an opinion. He did not attempt to make any infallible pronouncements although the subject under discussion was a vital matter of faith. In any event it is clear that the unity of the early church was maintained not by the voice of Peter but by the decision of the ecumenical council which was presided over by James, the leader of the Jerusalem church. (116)

      Ironically, the Fundamentalist view of Peter and James is very similar to that of the liberal and radical scholars. The same anti-Catholic, anti-authoritarian sentiment runs through their writings. They even use some of the same arguments, particularly an appeal to Galatians 2 as the final say about Peter’s role in the early Church. Martin Hengel, in Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity, clearly thinks James was the leader of the early Church while Peter either faded or fled.

      After the withdrawal of the “twelve,” James, at the head of the elders, was able to take over complete control of the Jerusalem community. Given this situation in Jerusalem, the only possibility for Peter . . . was to move out into the Greek-speaking Diapora, where we can see his activity in Antioch and Rome, and at least his influence in Corinth. . . . Nevertheless, the succession of apostles and elders marks inner changes in the Jerusalem community which resulted in James and the elders taking over the leadership, gradually suppressing Peter and the older group of apostles . . . (96-96, 115)

      John Painter, the author of Just James, also appeals to Galatians 2 as the final court of appeal regarding Peter and James, saying that “it is likely that James was the first leader of the Jerusalem church” and,

      In Acts Luke tries to reconcile conflicts and to reconcile the later tradition of Petrine leadership in the church at large with the tradition of the original leadership of James in Jerusalem. This strategy is possible because of the authority of James over Peter, even exercised at a distance, is demonstrated in Gal[atians] 2:11-14, and there is no reason to think that the situation was different at the beginning of the Jerusalem church. (84)

      It is Bernheim, however, who appears most driven to discredit the Catholic Church’s claim to authority by showing Peter’s utter submission before James. James’s “dominant position” is fully realized at the council, he argues. “Regardless of the historicity of Acts 15, James, by speaking last, summing up the discussion and proposing the decision which figures in the Apostolic Decree, appears as the one who presided over the assembly” (193).

      Bernheim continually questions the authenticity of Jesus’ words in Matthew 16, but has no problem building the vast majority of his case from the incident in Galatians 2. He arbitrarily makes a convenient distinction between authority among the disciples before and after Christ’s death, claiming that Peter’s leadership dissolved following the death of Jesus and that the early Christians broke into small, competing groups in the aftermath of the Crucifixion. As usual, an assault on the continuity of early Church authority is meant to undermine the papacy and the magisterium today.

      Petrine Primacy in Acts

      The Catholic claim that Peter was the first pope is not based on sola scriptura, selective use of Scripture, or just a single passage of Scripture. (See “Beyond Matthew 16:18,” page 30.)

      As for Acts 15, a number of factors point to Peter actually being both the leader at the council and the leader of the early Church. First, there is the manner in which his speech begins and ends. By standing up to speak after the debate had subsided, Peter made an emphatic physical gesture affirming his authority and centrality. The silence afterwards indicated the finality of what Peter had just said; no one disputes either his speech or his right to make it. In fact, the witness of Paul and Barnabas, along with James’s speech, only reinforce and agree with what Peter says.

      Secondly, few non-Catholic commentators seem to notice the striking wording Peter used in his speech. If he was only a witness, wouldn’t he have appealed only to his experience? But while Peter did focus on his experience, the main object of his speech was God: “God made a choice among you, that by my mouth . . .”; “And God . . . bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit”; “He made no distinction”; and “why therefore do you put God to the test?” (vs. 7-10). It is readily apparent that Peter was quite comfortable in being a spokesman for God. Even James seems to take this for granted by stating, “Simeon has related how God first concerned himself . . .” (v. 14). There is an immediacy to Peter’s relating of God’s work which is noticeably absent from James’s speech.

      As mentioned, Paul, Barnabas, and James all reinforced and agreed with Peter’s declaration, albeit in different ways. The first two related “the signs and wonders God” had been working “among the Gentiles” (v. 12). James pointed first to the words of Peter and then to the Prophets (vs. 14-15). Those who claim James’s speech was the definitive one point to the language in verse 19 (“Therefore it is my judgement . . .”) as evidence for James’s primacy. Yet James is simply suggesting a way of implementing what Peter had already definitively expressed. “Peter speaks as the head and spokesman of the apostolic Church,” state Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, “He formulates a doctrinal judgment about the means of salvation, whereas James takes the floor after him to suggest a pastoral plan for inculturating the gospel in mixed communities where Jewish and Gentile believers live side by side (15:13-21)” (232).

      Problems with Authority

      One can only conclude that those commentators and scholars who take issue with Peter’s primacy have, for various reasons, taken an anti-Catholic, anti-papal stance. They labor under a skewed understanding of what the papacy is and how the papal office relates to the Church as a whole. As a result, they are prone to interpret Peter’s actions and the history of the early Church incorrectly.

      If James was the leader of the early Church, or even the first pope, why aren’t his successors the head of the universal Church? These and related questions are not adequately addressed by those who say James, not Peter, was the leader of the early Church.

    235. rockypath1
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 11:46 am

      Bo,

      ITS ALL ABOUT PETER

      Although Matthew 16 is a central and key passage attesting to Peter’s unique position, the rest of the New Testament provides ample evidence for it. For example:

      1. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2, Mk 3:16, Lk 6:14, Acts 1:13), except Galatians 2. Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2).

      2. Peter alone receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42, Mt 16:18).

      3. Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28, 1 Pt 5:2).

      4. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

      5. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

      6. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

      7. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

      8. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

      9. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

      In Acts, Peter gave the sermon at Pentecost (Acts 1:14-36), led the replacing of Judas (1:22), worked the first miracle of the Church age (3:6-12), and condemned Ananias and Sapphira (5:2-11). His mere shadow worked miracles (5:15); he was the first person after Christ to raise the dead (9:40), and he took the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Peter’s name appears at least 54 times in Acts; James appears a total of four times.

    236. Bo
      July 23rd, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

      Rockypath1,

      Interesting that Messiah did not say that he was giving the key or keys of David but the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Just because the word “key” is used in different passages does not mean that it is speaking of the same key or keys. Yaacob (James) was the leader of the first assembly. He was in the line of Y’shua descended from David. Peter was not. The keys (binding and loosing) of the kingdom of heaven were also given to all the apostles and Yaacob was not an apostle at that time…but we find him as the head guy just a few years later.

      Matthew 18
      18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
      19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
      20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

      Please note that only where 2 or 3 apostles are gathered to make decisions is Messiah in the midst of them validating the decision. Peter is only one apostle and has no right to make decisions by himself. He was called on the carpet after the Cornelius incident. Only after his case was heard did the apostles give credence to what happened. Even in the Cornelius incident, Peter did not make the decision, YHWH did by pouring out His Spirit upon the gentiles without the laying on of Peter or any other apostle’s hands. Peter just went with the decision from heaven.

      The only sense in which Peter had a special anointing was in being part of the opening up the door of the gospel first to the Jews, then to the Samaritans, then to the gentiles. He only opened the door, for Paul was the apostle to the gentiles and James,Peter, and John to the Jews. Notice the order of the names! James is first. Notice the plurality of the decision makers once again. Peter did not have the authority to decide by himself. Notice that Paul needed a second apostle (Barnabas in this case) to go with him, so that there would be at least 2 to make decisions.

      Ga 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

      Shalom

    237. rockypath1
      July 24th, 2014 @ 8:28 am

      Bo,

      Simon was renamed rock. Renaming by God indicates an everlasting promise for that person.

      Jesus quite obviously did this in anticipation for the authoratitive commission of Matthew 16-16-19.

      PLEASE NOTE – only PETER (the rock) was given the Keys, not the other apostles. The Pope still works with the bishops and councils (ecclesia and episcopoi) in all.

      The every growing fragmentation of the Christian beliefs is an indictment against the disobedience to the authority laid out by Jesus through the apostles.

      It is quite obvious that if your sola-scriptura (self-actualized, self-authorized, me-and-jesus-is-enough) Christianity was the standard from the founding of the faith, today we would have and unrecognizable hodge-podge of faith beliefs.

      You need to go back and review the early Church struggle to maintain some kind of orthodox understanding of the revealed faith. It was not easily understood. If you really knew what the early Church/Catholic-Orthodox church did for you and all mankind you would be grateful for her existence, instead you are hate-filled towards her.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_heresies#cite_note-10

      Look at the struggle with the heresies that threatened to overwhelm the Church at every corner.

      There is only one Body of Christ. His body is NOT divisible.

      There is only one Real Presence Eucharistic body that dares wield an authority given by Jesus.

      This is the Catholic faith. It has stood the test of time because only that which is established by God CAN stand the test of time.

      To say the devil entered the sanctuary from the start is to say satan has more power the God.

      Do you really want to say that?

    238. rockypath1
      July 24th, 2014 @ 8:58 am

      Bo

      And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

      Not only does Peter say that it was God’s will that the Gentiles should be received BUT he indicates that he himself was God’s instrument

      AND…………………..

      ………………he states emphatically that God chose him uniquely from among all the apostles and elders .

      A stronger affirmation of Peter’s right to speak with greater authority than anyone else can scarcely be imagined.

    239. Bo
      July 24th, 2014 @ 9:30 am

      rockypath1,

      And then….

      Ac 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me…
      19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God…
      22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

      Then James gave the sentence. He is the obvious judge/ruler. Then the apostles and elders and whole church agreed. With 2 or more agreeing it became the rule from heaven. Peter was only a witness at this trial. He testified about how YHWH used him. The choosing that he speaks of is not when Messiah pronounced a blessing upon him, but when the incident with Cornelius happened. It was a specific choosing at a specific time for a specific task, not a an all time preeminence.

    240. rockypath1
      July 24th, 2014 @ 11:05 am

      Bo,

      Historical reality or make-believe.

      Apostolic tradition or reformed traditions.

      Obedience or disobedience.

      Self-created religion or Divine revelation.

      Its all in your hands. You have been shown enough that there are no more excuses.

      Find peace on your journey. I wish (and pray) you well.

    241. Bo
      July 24th, 2014 @ 11:24 am

      rockypath1,

      As has been demonstrated, your position and the Catholic Church’s position is one of apostasy from what the Apostles wrote. You can have your Catholic traditions, but do not make believe that they are apostolic or Biblical in the slightest.

      Some that have followed our dialogue may want to read this:

      http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/kleidia1.htm

      Shalom

    242. Bo
      July 24th, 2014 @ 11:44 am

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “This is the Catholic faith. It has stood the test of time because only that which is established by God CAN stand the test of time.

      To say the devil entered the sanctuary from the start is to say satan has more power the God.

      Do you really want to say that?”

      I do not say that the devil has more power than YHWH. I say that the Catholic Church has doctrines of demons. The Catholic Church does not go back far enough. It has stood the test of time starting from 200 years after Messiah. But what does that mean. Judaism has stood the test of time for much longer and Hinduism too. I did not say that the devil entered the sanctuary from the start. He entered about 50 years after the start and Catholicism reflects this. John and Paul and Messiah are the ones that told us that the devil would and did enter soon after their departing.

      Ac 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

      1Jo 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

      2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
      15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
      17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

      So we are to follow the Scriptures and not the tradition of Popes and other men that are deceived and being deceived and that have taken too much upon themselves.

      Mt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

      Mt 13:24 ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
      25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
      26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
      27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
      28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
      29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
      30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

      YHWH lets both the good wheat and the tares grow together until the end. The tares were planted very close to the beginning but not quite at the beginning. This is the story of the Catholic Church it was not planted at the beginning. It has thought to change times and laws. It has subverted the times and laws of YHWH with its false sacrifices and false feast days and false sabbaths. It promotes idol worship and man worship and Mary worship. It has committed fornication with all the kings of the earth.

      Da 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

      Re 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

      Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
      37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
      38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
      39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
      40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
      41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
      42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
      43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

      If you have an ear to hear, it would be good to hear.

      Shalom

    243. rockypath1
      July 24th, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

      Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism.

      So proclaims Roy Schoeman, a Jew who proclaims that Catholicism is the continuation of the Jewish faith.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVEusKkvSbM&feature=youtu.be

    244. Bo
      July 24th, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

      rockypath1,

      Roy Schoeman may proclaim such, but the apostles sure didn’t. Catholicism has mixed all manner of pagan idolatry, pagan symbolism and pagan holidays into a pseudo Messianic faith that does not resemble the apostolic faith.

      Shalom

    245. Sheila
      July 24th, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

      Bo,

      One very important thing you got wrong is that those considered anti-Christ are those “who deny the Father and the Son.” This does not fit the Catholic church. It fits Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism and probably the other “isms” too. Secular Humanism, Communism, etc., etc. are those with the spirit of antichrist. We have enough that fit the description perfectly without including those who, however misguided you believe them to be, do “not” fit the bill!

    246. Bo
      July 24th, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

      Sheila,

      According to Daniel, the antimessiah will think to change times and laws. This is exactly what the Catholic church did. It changed the feasts and sabbaths of YHWH to the pagan festival dates. It approves of speaking to the dead. It has idols that it calls icons. I could go on, but you see the point.

      Shalom

    247. rockypath1
      July 25th, 2014 @ 7:54 am

      DID THE CHURCH HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE THE SABBATH

      As Jesus gave no limitation on the act if binding and loosing on earth as it is in heaven I would say the Church AND a specific element of the Church had/has that authority.

      And there is God’s guarantee that this teaching would never fall into error (Mat 18:17-18, Luke 10:16, Mt 28:19–20, Lk 22:32, John 16:13)

      Matthew 16:16-19
      16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[a] the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[b] and on this rock[c] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      There is an impressive amount of evidence from Scripture that Christ and the apostles changed their day of corporate worship from Saturday to Sunday.

      The Old Testament Sabbath commandment contains two elements. The primary element, and the one that binds Christians as it does Jews, is the moral obligation to set aside adequate time for the purpose of divine worship. This could never be abrogated, as it is rooted in the natural law.

      The secondary element was ceremonial and therefore could be abolished—and was abolished by Jesus’ death on the cross (Col 2:12–17). This secondary, ceremonial element was that the particular day chosen to meet the moral obligation of the law was Saturday, so that the Jews would remember and memorialize the creation of the earth.

      Colossians 2:12-17
      12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God[a] made you[b] alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14 erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed[c] the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
      16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17 These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

      Remember that one of his greatest arguments with the Pharisees concerned Sabbath worship. He constantly rebuked them for placing the rigid observance of mere details above the spirit of setting aside a day to rest from unnecessary servile work and to worship God. By this Jesus made it clear that the Sabbath may be changed to meet the needs of man. By effecting these changes as “the Son of Man,” Jesus used his human authority to show us that he is “Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28).

      “28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” [Mark 2:28]

      MOST NOTABLE IS this following paragraph which relates directly to those times where our faith gatherings (the Eucharist) were happening on Sunday.

      Special honor is shown to Sunday throughout the New Testament. Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, and he first appeared to his disciples that Easter Sunday evening (John 20:19). One week later—and from the context we can see that this meant the following Sunday—Jesus appeared to them again when Thomas was present (John 20:26). Luke records that Sunday was observed by the Christian community from the very beginning: “On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread” (ACTS 20:7). To “break bread” refers to the celebration of the Eucharist (Mt 26:26, Mk 14:22). Paul ordered the Corinthians to gather their offertory collections on Sunday (1 Cor 16:2); that set the scriptural precedent we follow today of gathering our offerings on Sunday during Mass. John records in Rev. 1:10 that he was granted a vision of heaven’s own worship while he was at worship (“caught up in spirit”) on “the Lord’s day.” John’s disciple Ignatius of Antioch tells us in his Letter to the Magnesians that “the Lord’s day” is not the ancient Sabbath; therefore, “the Lord’s day” must refer to Sunday.

      Acts 20:7
      7 On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight.

      1 Corinthians 16:2
      “2On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.”

      Revelation 1:10
      10 I was in the spirit[a] on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet

      IGNATIUS of Antioch (born 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117)
      Was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle.

      Ignatius Letter to the Magnesians
      CHAPTER 9
      9:1 If then those who had walked in ancient
      practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer
      observing sabbaths but fashioning their lives after
      the Lord’s day, on which our life also arose through
      Him and through His death which some men deny

      Jesus, being God, knew whether or not his Church would apostatize by changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. If Adventists are correct that Christians are still obliged to keep Saturday as their day of corporate worship, isn’t it strange that Jesus underscored exactly the opposite by appearing to his disciples after his Resurrection nearly exclusively on Sunday?

    248. Nicholas
      July 25th, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

      rockypath1,

      Just wanted to commend you on your excellent apologetic. Bo is not easy to debate. But you’ve done a great job.

    249. Ray
      July 25th, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

      And doesn’t the scripture in Colossians 2 (read from it above) instruct us about a distinction between commandments concerning those things it talks about, and the other commandments which are among the ten given by the finger of God from the mountain that smoked and shook from his presence?

      One of the things the law did was instruct people in things that are different, that they might discern one thing from another.

      It seems to me that some who want to hold so tightly to the law need to go back and get some more instruction out of it.

      How strange it would be if Colossians 2:16 talked about some of the other commandments (from the ten) rather than the ones it did!

      But I believe this is written for those who will have discernment and receive spiritual meat.

    250. Ray
      July 25th, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

      I believe we can conclude, that by the things it talks about in Col 2:16, the scripture gives us instruction in the fact that not all of the ten commandments are alike.

    251. Ray
      July 25th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

      Certainly Mary is the mother of God, if by “God” we are talking about Jesus.

    252. Bo
      July 28th, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

      rockypath1,

      Messiah says that He is not going to change the law.

      Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      Daniel says someone will…the antimessiah.

      Da 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

      So those that think that Messiah changed YHWH’s appointed times and laws are really thinking like the antimessiah and not like the real Messiah said to think. The one that thought to change YHWH’s law is against Messiah. By you own admission it was the Catholic church.

      Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

      It is quite interesting that you did not list one passage in post 247 that says that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Something that was an absolute commandment that comes right along with not committing murder being surely changed should get more press than that. Don’t you think?

      One thing that we know from any study of scripture is that narrative is not normative. There are people that were together on some first days of the week, but nothing showing any command to do so. The only command in the NT about the first day of the week is to lay up in our homes according as we have been prospered and has nothing to do with meeting together. And it is also interesting that this command was during a very special time of year…from Passover till Shavout/Pentecost…during the count to Shavout, which is very ironically the only time that the Greek phrase that we translate “first day of the week” is mentioned.

      Strange that the only “first days of the week” that the early believers were ever told about, or that we were told about, are during the counting of weeks during the interval that YHWH tells us to count toward a specific feast of YHWH. What are the odds of that? Strange that no other reference is given about the “first day of the week” except as it pertains to this 7 week period. Strange until we realize that it is said differently in the Hebrew scriptures. It is called “the morrow after the Sabbath.” And strange that this phrase is only used in scripture to denote also the count of Shavuot/Pentecost. Are we beginning to see a pattern here?

      Messiah is resurrected and ascends to His Father on the morrow after the Sabbath on the first day of the count of the feast of Shavuot. He is the firstfruits offering (firstfruits from the dead as Paul says). The vast majority of the passages are simply relating the fact that this is the day that Messiah fulfilled this moed/appointment/feast of YHWH. Other than these and the one about storing produce that we mentioned earlier, there is only one that is left.

      Ac 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

      This one tells us that Paul had just kept the feast of unleavened bread, which is when the count toward Shavuot is begun, and it is now just a few days later he is gathering with some disciples. He is meeting with them as the “first day of the week” commences just after sundown. We would call it Saturday night. He is going to depart on the next morning, which by all logic is Sunday morning. So he will not be meeting on Sunday morning with the disciples. So much for Sunday Sabbath! Paul will be setting out on a journey and those with him will be carrying supplies and loading a ship and sailing on Sunday morning.

      But there is one more passage that might give you some hope that the early believers met on Sundays.

      Jn 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

      This could be Sunday or it could be Monday, depending on what after 8 days means. If it is Sunday, it is still during the count toward Shavuot…the second “first day of the week” during the count. The interesting thing is that nothing is said about anybody meeting for the sake of some kind of new Sabbath, but it was common for Jewish people to get together just after Sabbath ended…still is. It was common for them to get together to count the weeks to Shavuot…still is. Shavuot is literally “Weeks.”

      The other funny thing is that the Greek does not really say “first day of the week.” It says “one of sabbaths” or possibly “one of weeks.” The word “day” is not in there. Sounds more like a count to me toward Shavuot than making note of what day of the week it is. And it is interesting that “eight days later” is used here in John instead of “mia ton sabbaton”/”first day of the week.” But I guess the number of days later would be readily known and remembered since they were obeying YHWH’s commandment to count…toward the feast of weeks/Shavuot/Pentecost.

      The point of the term that is translated “first day of the week” being used in scripture is to show us that Messiah fulfilled the Scriptural firstfruits offering on the exact appointment of YHWH and not to let us know what day of the week it was…although we would know that if we knew that firstfruits had always been on the morrow after the Sabbath. The other places that the phrase is used tells us that it is during the count and not that Sunday has any special meaning.

      “William Cave wrote “… the Sabbath or ‘Saturday’ (for so the word sabbatum is constantly used in the writings of the fathers, when speaking of it as it relates to Christians) was held by them in great veneration, and especially in the Eastern parts honoured with all the public solemnities of religion. This is plain, not only from some passages in Ignatius and Clemens’s Constitutions, but from writers of more unquestionable credit and authority. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that they assembled on Saturdays… to worship Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath.”[15]

      15. Cave, Primitive Christianity: or the Religion of the Ancient Christians in the First Ages of the Gospel. 1840, revised edition by H. Cary. Oxford, London, pp. 84–85).”

      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp

      Sunday is not the new Sabbath. It wasn’t for the early believers either. This tradition of men is an obvious instance of the antimessiah system “thinking to change times and laws” instead of obeying Messiah when he said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” He came and fulfilled firstfuits on the exact day. He did not make Sunday holy. He and His disciples continued to remember to keep YHWH’s Sabbath holy. They did not destroy YHWH’s law by defiling it or changing it.

      PS: “The Lord’s day” is not a day of the week. If it was, it would be the seventh day, since Messiah said that He was the lord of the Sabbath. The phrase that John uses in Revelation is referring to the time frame that he had a vision of…”the day of the LORD.” He sees all the judgements and darkness of “the day of the Lord” and thus says, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.”

      Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
      2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

      Zep 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
      15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

      The term “day of the Lord” came to be used in reference to Sunday via pagan worship of Mithra and thus absorbed into Catholic terminology that has always adopted pagan practices.

    253. rockypath1
      July 30th, 2014 @ 8:00 am

      Sabbath or Sunday?

      Catholics do not worship on the Sabbath, which according to Jewish law is the last day of the week (Saturday), when God rested from all the work he had done in creation (Gen. 2:2-3).

      Catholics worship on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week (Sunday, the eighth day); the day when God said “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3); the day when Christ rose from the dead; the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles (Day of Pentecost). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The Church celebrates the day of Christ’s Resurrection on the ‘eighth day,’ Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord’s Day” (CCC 2191).

      The early Church did not move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Instead “The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday, which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ” (CCC 2190). Sunday is the day Catholics are bound to keep, not Saturday.

      We see evidence of this in Scripture:

      On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread, Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight (Acts 20:7).

      On the first day of the week each of you should set aside and save whatever one can afford, so that collections will not be going on when I come (1 Cor. 16:2).

      Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or Sabbath (Col. 2:16).

      The Catechism also says:

      By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday. The day of Christ’s Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the “eighth day,” on which Christ after his “rest” on the great Sabbath inaugurates the “day that the Lord has made,” the “day that knows no evening.” (CCC 1166)

      and

      Justyn Martyr

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord's_Day

      By the mid-2nd century, Justin Martyr wrote in his apologies about the cessation of Sabbath observance and the celebration of the first (or eighth) day of the week (not as a day of rest, but as a day for gathering to worship): “We all gather on the day of the sun” (τῇ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου λεγομένη ἡμέρᾳ, recalling both the creation of light and the resurrection).[19] He argued that Sabbath was not kept before Moses, and was only instituted as a sign to Israel and a temporary measure because of Israel’s sinfulness,[20] no longer needed after Christ came without sin

      To accuse the Catholic Church of being pagan is to destroy the credibility of ALL the Christian faith. Move on Bo.

    254. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 10:33 am

      Rockypath1,

      Once again you can show no scripture that actually proves what the Catholic Church says and can only find someone at least 100 years removed from the original early church to back up your doctrine. There is no connection between the real church that was begun by Messiah and what became the Catholic church. It is a stretch of enormous proportions to think that the apostles taught us to celebrate the “pascal mystery” every Sunday. Passover and unleavened bread was celebrated once a year by them…on the 14th day of the first Biblical month. The most ancient tradition from the apostles was:

      “A Question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s passover.”

      -Writings of Eusebius, Book 5, Chapter 23, Verse 1

      “Chapter 24
      1 But the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them.351 He himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come down to him:352

      2 “We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate.

      3 He fell asleep at Ephesus.

      4 And Polycarp353 in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, 354 bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna.

      5 Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris355 who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, 356 or Melito, 357 the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead?

      6 All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith.358 And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people359 put away the leaven.

      7 I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’” 360″

      -Writings of Eusebius, Book 5, Chapter 24, Verses 1-7

      The church of Rome had already apostatized from this true way of keeping Passover that John the apostle and Polycarp had taught the churches under their charge. Justin Martyr was a product of this early apostasy.

    255. rockypath1
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:15 am

      Bo,

      At the end of the day the apostolic early Church being led by the Holy Spirit and the Chair of Peter, guided the Church to ALL truth. How could it be otherwise.

      Praise God the Father then for his caring attention to the Church Jesus founded in his suffering and death. And praise God for giving us the Holy Spirit to ensure ALL truth for all generations. He would not leave us orphans so that imposters would come into the house and deceive all believers.

      This is the clearest validation of the early Apostolic Church. And was given to those of goodwill and obedience in each generation.

      And by the way please do not quote anyone like Eusebius who was writing in the first half of the 4th century. His writing were even farther removed than those I quoted and therefor are utterly useless. ;)

      PS. Look to Ignatius of Antioch who was guided by John the Apostle in his life for and understanding of what John actually thought and what the apostolic Church believed.

      Why do you chose wilfully to follow an apostate belief Bo. Obedience, obedience, obedience.

    256. rockypath1
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:22 am

      Roy Schoeman a very interesting Jewish convert to Catholic Christianity.

      He experienced a Road to Damascus conversion and had no choice but to enter the Catholic Church.

      Roy doesn’t like the word “conversion” or convert to Catholicism as he regards Catholicism as the fulfilment of the Judaism.

      Regardless there is a lot of very interesting general understanding of Jews and their role in salvation that is good, even if you sneer at the Catholic Church. ;0

      Here is a series by Roy in 14 parts.

      Good man, good sense of humour.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVEusKkvSbM

    257. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:31 am

      rockypath1,

      Obedience, yes…to what the apostles actually wrote and not to fabricated traditions and surmisings coming from a corrupt worship system.

      Eusebius was a Catholic that compiled known history. Polycarp was John’s disciple. Polycarp and John and virtually the whole of the eastern church celebrated Passover as per the scriptures and Rome did not at the time of Polycrates writing. Rome was already apostate by mid second century.

      In the words of Peter, whom Polycrates quoted, “We ought to obey YHWH rather than men.” Roman Catholicism is the word of men. The scripture is the word of YHWH. Any tradition that does not align with every word of YHWH is apostasy. Your church is full of these sorts of things. It is obvious to anyone that has not been swallowed by it or has not swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

    258. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:35 am

      rockypath1,

      I do not sneer at the Catholic Church. I grieve over those who have been deceived by it.

    259. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

      Rockypath1,

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, he says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist. He was disillusioned. He says that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the apostle Paul’s experience. He says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was a dream but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presense of the most beautiful young woman that I could ever imagine he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. H tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a portugese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      He also asked her, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.”

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with far less respect than he knew was do her, he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the catholic church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a stong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking his language to tell this man something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

    260. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

      Let’s try that again with a few corrections:

      Rockypath1,

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the Apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, this man says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist, that he was disillusioned, and that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the Apostle Paul’s experience. This man says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was dreaming but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presence of the most beautiful young woman that he could ever imagine…he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. He tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a Portuguese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      Later in the video we find out that he also asked Mary, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.” I guess I would expect a little better theology than that from someone in the know.

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with “far less respect than he knew was do her,” he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the Catholic Church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a strong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. We know that Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking this man’s language to tell him something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more reason why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for this Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

    261. Eliyahu Moshiach
      July 30th, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

      Coming from an orthodox Jewish background, Catholicism seems like a completely foreign religion.
      #catholicismphobia

    262. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

      Good to hear from you Eliyahu.

    263. Bo
      July 30th, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

      Eliyahu,

      It is a foreign religion. It comes from Babylon and Egypt and India and everywhere but from the apostles…or the Bible.

    264. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 12:17 am

      rockypath1,

      I am no fan of John MacArthur , but he hits many nails on the head in this presentation. Please do me the favor listening to the first 25 minutes of this presentation and 48:00-1:04:00 and 1:14 to the end…if you dare.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJ077vOXTI

      Everyone else,

      Please listen to the link above and the link that rockypath1 posted. It will be obvious where the truth lies.

      Shalom

    265. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 7:24 am

      Bo,

      I have listened to MacArthur ad nauseum and have often commented on his sites. Many Catholic and protestant are repulsed by his falseness, his lack of integrity in just about anything he says An extraordinary arrogance and a virtually complete lack of honor.

      Compare him to a man like Michael Brown and you will see what I mean. This calls for discernment.

      Him (MacArthur) you will accept but not Roy Shoeman who is obviously a man of integrity.

      I am not in the least shocked or surprised at assessment of Shoeman’s conversion given your understanding of the apostolic Church and the movement of the Holy Spirit within it. At some level, I am actually pleased that you listened as I was beginning to think you never took note of a single thing anyone offered.

      The link thought I gave was more to do with his pulling apart of the role of the Jews in salvation and throughout history. He offers some very interesting perspectives that offer insights outside the denominational struggle. Even for those who will not accept ALL that was given by Jesus and the apostles.

      He pulls apart (or attempts to) the mystery of Nazism (false satanic religion of) and its inception by satan as a mock Church. Hitler’s apparentt initiation into the occult. He offers documents which show the Nazi plan for the elimination of the church.

      Its stuff I have never come across before.

    266. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 7:51 am

      Eliyahu

      That is an odd thing to hear. I have heard Jews say just the opposite about Catholic faith and liturgical services and similarities with Judaism. Go figure.

      http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=80167

    267. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 8:24 am

      Eliyahu

      As for Bo’s interpretation of Catholicism. It is what is called fake history. And is infantile at best. Satanic at its worst in terms of attempted mischief.

      The pagan roots stuff is well – stupid. It is meant only to destroy the apostolic foundations in order to give credence to a man-made religion. This disobedience is the way it has always been and I suppose always will be.

      The most obvious solution to the truth-riddle is this:

      1)Would God have His son suffer and die upon the cross,

      2) Authorize his apostles to convey the truth to the Church He established,

      3) Send his Holy Spirit to guide His Church to all truth,

      ONLY TO HAVE IT BECOME TOTALLY PAGAN AND CORRUPT with a completely false notion of John 6, breaking of bread and the Real Presence of Jesus therein.

      Wow! what a lazy and ineffectual God we have.

      He truly is a God that does NOT keep his promises then.

      And we are to believe that our GOD allows a lot of relatively unwholesome reformers to become the foundation stone of multiple sects and splinters. So much confusion. So much bickering. So many thousands of new and false doctrines and paths.

      Sorry but my faith in his providence is more faithful that this.

      Do you not see the lack of faith in such an interpretation as Bo’s?

      Do you not see the interpretation is solely to take the legs out from the apostolic Eucharistic Church and allow for any one of the myriad protestant churches to gain a foothold in credibility.

      Bo denies the Eucharist, but secular and Church (protestant and catholic) history cannot deny it and in the end those who jump into this flagrant corruption of apostolic early Church Eucharistic denial show their instability and spiral down into more grave instability.

      Yes Eucharistic understanding is the main key to understanding the truth of the Catholic faith. It is clearly part of the apostolic tradition and this is why Bo hates and attacks it so.

      It does not allow him to believe what he wants to believe. It does Not allow him to behave how he wants to behave.

      Sorry about that Bo.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      pagan BS

      http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/paganism-prophecies-and-propaganda

      http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/the-pope-and-the-mithras-cult

      http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/the-pope-and-the-mithras-cult-part-ii

    268. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 11:28 am

      rockypath1,

      No need to apologize insincerely. Your posts show how brainwashed you are and how hateful you are toward those that simply show facts proving Catholicism to be a false religion. I simply believe what the scripture says instead of ridiculous man-made mystery cult inventions that came from pagan sources. There is no connection between the apostles and the pope or real presence or Maryolatry or indulgences or purgatory or the great wealth and pomp. NO CONNECTION!

      The very things that you say your god would not do, Messiah prophesied would happen. The apostles warned that it would happen. And it happened. And the Catholic Church is the continuing embodiment of it happening. The real assembly of Messiah is not a Church system. It is a small remnant of people that have found the straight gate and the narrow way and follow the Lamb where ever He leads. That hear His voice and obey His Father. The Catholic Church has a different father and a different Messiah. It sits as a queen and will soon be destroyed.

      Mt 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
      25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
      26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
      27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
      28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
      29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
      30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
      31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
      32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
      33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

      Re 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
      3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
      4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
      5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
      6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
      7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
      8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
      20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

      Contrary to your logic, the kingdom of heaven becomes corrupted. It is full of Satan’s emissaries. It grows into a mutant plant that houses fouls/demons. The whole thing becomes leavened with sin and false doctrine. And YHWH calls all that are truly His to come out of this monstrosity…this whore.

      The gates of hades will not prevail against the real assembly. It cannot hold the true believers in the grave. Hell already has those that follow the false system in shackles even while they live and they do not even know it. Messiah will return for His small, true, simple, spotless bride and resurrect them to sit by His side. And the huge whore will be judged for living deliciously off of its poor patrons and the kings of the earth. And heaven and the prophets and apostles will rejoice over her destruction.

      And just so you know, the mother of harlots has daughters. All those little church systems that have been born out of this great whore that continue to keep her feasts and her sabbaths will fall with her. But there are some people of good will and that have honest hearts that will heed the call to come out of Babylon before it is too late. It has been happening from the beginning. And Rome and her daughters have persecuted the real bride the whole time. The wicked step sisters have looked on the real Cinderella with disdain, but the real prince will come for His true love and the others will go out unto weeping and gnashing of teeth…and some, for a time, might think that they are in purgatory, but they will be sadly mistaken.

      Your religion is mostly about “The blessed virgin Mary” and bread and wine that mysteriously turn into flesh and blood. Magic and fertility cult worship will not go over very well in the end. The testimony of your famous Jew that became a Catholic tells us all we need to know to run as fast as we can from your idolatrous witchcraft laden system that piles up treasures while the world starves. It sits a queen for only a few more years.

      There is time for you to come to your senses and leave before it is too late. Maybe you should listen to the link I provided and think long and hard about what is said instead of heaping insults on a man that has guts enough to speak what he thinks is true. I listed to your link and detailed much of its contents and showed the outrageousness of it. Do a point by point critique of MacArthur’s presentation showing how he is wrong or how he lies…if you are a Catholic of good will.

    269. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 11:45 am

      Sorry Bo. Eucarhistic apostolic truth edifies John 6 and Real Presence Eucharistic faith proclaims the Catholic faith.

      The tares and wheat show the Church – the Body of Christ. The sinner, the luke, the indifferent the heretics, the apostates and the believers.

      Your eisigesis knows no bounds. Can you actually make this dance to your protestant anti-Catholic bigotry? How so?

      The mustard seed shows a seed grown into an almost adult form – the Kingdom of God. The Body of Christ. The Catholic Church.

      Your religion is all about you Bo. It is an elevation of your hopes and desires to a false faith rather than what the apostles taught.

    270. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 11:56 am

      Hey Bo,

      It strikes me that as Jerusalem is really the best candidate for the Whore you and your NEW form of Jewish-Protestantism may be the best fit into what the whore is or will be. Perhaps you and your spiritual offspring will restart the sacrifice of animals as a final abomination against the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus our Lord.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      When the Whore falls we read, “‘Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you’. . . . In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth” (Rev 18:20 and 24).

      So, the Whore could not be the Catholic Church because 1) it did not exist to kill the old testament prophets and

      2) No blood is on the Churches hand with respect to any Apostle.

      Prophets existed as a group only in the Old Testament and in the first century (Acts 11:27-28, 13:1, 15:32, 21:10). Since the Whore persecuted apostles and prophets, the Whore must have existed in the first century and BEFORE.

      WHO KILLED THE PROPHETS
      Indeed, Jesus himself could not be any clearer in Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you!

      Rev 17:5 “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus….”

      Rev 17:18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

      Rev 18:10 “Alas, alas, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”

      Rev 18:20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has given judgment for you against her.’

      SO WHO IS BABYLON – THE GREAT CITY MOTHER OF WHORES

      ANSWER

      REV 1:8 The GREAT CITY “where also their lord was crucified – JERUSALEM

      NOT ROME!

      ####################### ###################

      SEVEN MOUNTAINS??????????

      Revelation 17:9
      And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

      Jerusalem is built on 7 mounts.

      One source, http://jesus-messiah.com/prophecy/rev-13.html, lists the seven, and explains a bit more of why some authors list different mountains, and includes a map: 1.) Mount Gared; 2.) Mount Goath; 3.) Mount Acra; 4.) Mount Bezetha; 5.) Mount Moriah; 6.) Mount Ophel; 7.) Mount Zion.

      The seven mountains upon which Jerusalem was built are (according to wikipedia): Scopus, Nob, Olivet, “Mount of Corruption” or “Mount of Offence”, “Mount Zion”, the “Ophel Mount” and the new “Mount Zion.”

    271. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

      Saint Paul and Saint Peter and all those other missionaries who were martyred took the apostolic faith throughout Asia and southern Europe. These areas where the Orthodox and Catholic Churches stretched across a great breadth developed and grew and carried with them all that was believed from the apostles – especially Real Presence Eucharistic faith.

      Real Presence Eucharistic faith was planted with in the early Church and like a mustard seed the Eucharistic early Church grew into a large organized adult Church.

      There was never any contention in the earliest Church about the reality of the Real Presence Eucharistic celebration for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

      And it should be condemned for achieving this? How so. Logic dictates it MUST have come from the apostles. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who was given. Praise God.

      And the Catholic Church (early Church) should be condemned for keeping the written and oral traditions (bible and sacred teachings) that were handed down? How so? How so? No rational thought here. What delusion is going on then?

      Not even Dr Brown above seems capable of understanding just how those especially sacred things would be preserved and painstakingly handed down. They were considered just that critical.

      This is not acceptable scholarship and smacks of disobedience in order to con-form the faith to ones own desires rather than what was conveyed by the apostles from Jesus.

      Eucharistic early Church faith edifies John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

      God have mercy on those following this great delusion of denying the early faith that was given – especially those of such goodwill as Dr Brown.

    272. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

      rockypath1,

      Who killed Paul and Peter? Rome. Who ruled Jerusalem when John penned Revelation? Rome.

      Does Rome set on seven hills/mountians?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_hills_of_Rome

      And just to be clear, all false religions are included in Babylon the whore. The Catholic Church is just the obvious overarching system that fits in every aspect. Judaism and Jewish apostasy to Baal worship in the past is certainly included in the whore along with Hinduism and Islam and the New Age movement. And the Catholic Church has killed so many NT prophets and preachers and witnesses of Messiah that it is ludicrous to deny the obvious.

      And my reading of Matthew 13 is only too obvious to the unbiased reader. The kingdom of heaven becomes corrupted and leavened with sin and false doctrine and grows way beyond the bounds of nature. The only system that claims to be the kingdom of heaven that fits this description is Roman Catholicism and its offshoots.

      Peter was in Rome when he penned this:

      1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_Peter

      “The question now meets us – Is “Babylon” to be taken in a mystic sense, as a cryptograph for Rome, or literally? Eusebius, and ancient writers generally, understand it of Rome. Eusebius is commonly understood to claim for this view the authority of Papias and Clement of Alexandria (as has been stated in the Introduction, p. 9.). But the historian’s words (‘Hist. Eccl.,’ 1. 15. 2) seem to claim that authority only for the connection of St. Peter with St. Mark’s Gospel; the identification of Babylon with Rome seems to be mentioned only as a common opinion in the time of Eusebius. It is said that there is no trace of the existence of a Christian Church at the Chaldean Babylon, and no proof, apart from this passage, that St. Peter was ever there.”- Pulpit Commentary http://biblehub.com/1_peter/5-13.htm

      Who is Babylon? Rome.

    273. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “REV 1:8 The GREAT CITY “where also their lord was crucified – JERUSALEM”

      You have purposely misquoted and misconstrued this passage. You have even mislabeled it.

      Re 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

      The great city where Messiah was killed is called Sodom and Egypt…not Babylon. Rome is called Babylon.

    274. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

      That should have been:

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “SO WHO IS BABYLON – THE GREAT CITY MOTHER OF WHORES

      ANSWER

      REV 1:8 The GREAT CITY “where also their lord was crucified – JERUSALEM

      NOT ROME!”

      You have purposely misquoted and misconstrued this passage. You have even mislabeled it.

      Re 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

      The great city where Messiah was killed is called Sodom and Egypt…not Babylon. Rome is called Babylon.

    275. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

      Bo,

      Revelation 11:8

      “and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.”

      Sorry for being sloppy. However (LOL) I did not purposely misquote anything but did miss the last quotation mark after “crucified” and dropped a digit in the chapter.

      Regardless, The “Great City” mentioned in Revelation 17:18 was previously identified in Rev 11:8 and is referred to the “great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.”

      Therefore the place where Jesus was crucified was NOT Rome but Jerusalem.

      You are going to have to go deeper here Bo.

    276. Bo
      July 31st, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

      rockypath1,

      I guess everyone but you thinks that there is more than one “great city.” Babylon-Rome is a great city and Jerusalem-Sodom is a great city. Pretty easy, huh? Here a few more great cities:

      Ge 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

      Jos 10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

      Jon 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    277. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

      Bo,

      So by your definition of false religions yours is also part of Babylon the Whore. Very generous of you for sure.

      And the part where the Catholic Church is responsible for the blood of the prophets and apostles. Now it becomes more figurative so you can include the Catholic Church. Of course.

      The Catholic Church was inspired enough by the Holy Spirit to give you a pure and holy bible but not holy and pure enough to discern the truth of the Eucharist. And certainly it was wicked enough to be the whore of Babylon. What a joke.

      You know by your reasoning you MUST eliminate the bible altogether or at least go back and select your own canon. Or do you NOT want to take upon yourself what the early Church (Catholic) took upon itself. AUTHORITY. From Jesus our LORD.

      Through a process of intense discernment guided by the Holy Spirit, the successors of the Apostles determined in the fourth century which of the writings of their day were Sacred Tradition—the “Word of God”—and which were not inspired writings of the Church.

      This was confirmed by the Bishops at the councils of Carthage and affirmed at the Council of Rome in 382 under Pope Damasus.

      early Church authority

      early Church inspiration

      early Church faith

      early Church = Catholic Church = the Church Jesus gave us all. Even you Bo are under its wing whether you acknowledge it or not.

      Let me see some more backflips. The more gyrations and arm-waving you do, the more you can distract away from Eucharistic truth which totally destroys ALL of your obfuscations.

      Nothing you can do to alter this but dredge-up more make belief history and eisegesis. Go for it.

    278. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

      Bo,

      Only one of those Great Cities was identified just prior to Rev 17 and 18. Go figure.

    279. rockypath1
      July 31st, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

      Eucharist actually MEANS New Testament

      Question: What does the phrase “New Testament.” MEAN?

      Answer: The second and smaller part of the Bible that discusses the revelation of

      Jesus. Right? NOT SO FAST

      To the first Christians—and to Jesus—the term had a different and larger meaning.

      To the first Christians, the word we translate as “testament” was supremely important. In Greek it is “diatheke.” In Hebrew it is “b’rith.” St. Jerome, in the fourth century, rendered it in Latin as “testamentum.” In English, it has been translated inconsistently, sometimes as “testament” and sometimes as “covenant.”

      For the Jews of Jesus’ time, the word described not a book, but a relationship—a family relationship, usually sealed (and renewed) by an oath, a sacrifice, and a meal.

      We know of only one instance when Jesus used the phrase we translate as “New Testament,” and he used it NOT to describe a book, but the Mass! St. Paul provides the earliest historical record of the event, perhaps twenty years after the Last Supper: “In the same way [Jesus] also [took] the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me’” (1 Cor 11:25; ).

      So, according to the New Testament itself, the Eucharist is the New Testament.

      Long before there was a New Testament (bible), Jesus had given the chalice as the New Testament in his blood (see Lk 22:20).

      The Mass is the meal and the sacrifice that renews the kaine diatheke—the New Testament—and that is our family bond with God. In Holy Communion with Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, we are God’s children now: “the children share in blood and flesh” (Heb 2:14).

      We turn to the moment when Jesus instituted the Eucharist: when he took bread and pronounced it to be his body, then took a cup and pronounced it to be “the new covenant in his blood.” We turn to the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel, the famous Bread of Life Discourse: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. . . . Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:51, 53).

      The institution of the sacrament is recounted four times: three times in the so-called synoptic Gospels (Mt 26, Mk 14, and Lk 22) and once in St. Paul’s letters (1 Cor 11:25).

      “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread” (1 Cor 11:23).

      The Acts of the Apostles conveys the worship of the earliest Christians in a compact statement: “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

      The Church in every succeeding age observed those four elements in one action: the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

      On the road to Emmaus. Jesus walked with them, but they did not recognize him. Then, “at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight . . . he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:30-35). HERE The Eucharist, instituted on the night he was betrayed, was the Savior’s first order of business when he rose from the dead.

      The document we call the New Testament presents the rite we call the New Testament as something central to Christian belief and life.

      paraphrasesd from Hahn
      http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/eucharist/upload/catsun-2011-doc-hahn.pdf

    280. Eliyahu Moshiach
      July 31st, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

      Why would any Jew eat and drink human/God blood. Disgusting. A complete prohibition to Jews of all time.

      Since the claim is that you drink blood, does it taste like blood or do you believe that Jesus’ blood taste like wine.

      No Jew would feel comfortable drinking blood, if this is the case, that Jesus wants us to drink blood, this is proof that Jesus is leading people away from Torah commandments. Hence, the Torah prophecied Messiah has never came. No Jewish messiah would command people to drink blood. Prove it scientifically that blood can taste like wine or wine turns into blood. What a gross thought.

      So at Passover Jesus turned the wine into blood magically and forced his disciples to drink it, gross.

      There should be DNA evidence to support wine turning into blood, does it taste like blood, yuck.

      What does the bread taste like, undercooked chicken (does the flesh of Jesus taste like bread), all my rabbis would tear the clothes their wearing if tricked into drinking magic blood. It sounds like only demons would be behind magic like this.

      What a trick the disciples sat down for a meal with wine and get tricked into a Torah prohibition of drinking blood and eating human meat.

      It sounds like the Muslim religion that teaches that you have eternal life eating Muhammad’s urine and poop.

      Gross.

      What’s worse to a Jew, eating Muhammed’s poop and urine or drinking Jesus’ blood, it is worse to violate the teachings of Moses to drink human blood.

      If Catholic teaching is true, I will never again associate with Jesus, or his magic blood. He would be a madman magician empowered by demonic anti Moses power. I will never drink blood or eat human meat, I am Torah observant, but how could a Jewish Messiah not even be Torah observant and force people to violate Torah Holy Spirit inspired teachings.

      But don’t stop there, Miriam who called Jesus a madman, never sinned, I guess a false prophet confession that Jesus is crazy is not a violation of bearing false witness.

      So was sinless Mary correct in calling Jesus crazy, she never lied or bore false witness.

      Wait, lets pray to her to intercede for us. A woman who is dead and called Jesus a madman.

      #scaredofreligion #scaredofprotestantism #scaredofcatholicism

    281. Sheila
      July 31st, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

      Eliyahu,

      Hi! Long time, no hear!

      Are you really afraid of those three things with the hash tags? Why protestantism? Or religion even?

    282. Ray
      July 31st, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

      Here’s what Paul said about the church in Galatia in his letter: “I am afraid of you,…” (Gal 4:11)

      I believe we are to consider so very deeply the meaning of the Lord’s suffering, that we would digest it fully, as much as we can, doing this for the health of our whole self, and our spiritual well being.

      This is one of those things that we would do well to keep in the center of, and not go into one ditch or the other because of.

      Yes, I believe Mary is the mother of Jesus who is God to us in every way, coming in nothing short of that.

    283. Eliyahu Moshiach
      July 31st, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

      The leaders of protestantism scare me. Greg Boyd teaches God does not know the future. R. C. Sproul teaches that Jews are replaced in the Bible to mean Christians and Catholics. Benny Hinn spends a million dollars in Beverly Hills for his church suit outfit. Toronto blessings church pushed me over calling it slain in the spirit while people in the audience were barking like dogs (dog barking in the Spirit). At one service, at a church in Minnesota, the pastor’s wife put a dog collar on the pastor and he got on all fours as he barked while she led him around the aisles. John Piper teaches that Israel is the land of the Christians. Creflo ODollar teaches that you get rich tithing to him. Most churches teach tithing as a law of Christ distorting ancient Israel tithing laws. John Macarthur teaches that God does not heal despite evidence to the contrary in Judaism and Jewish homes. Now the evangelical world is taken over by Christian and LGBT theology. Kids being molested by their religious leaders within and including protestant, catholic and Jewish religions. Islam murdering Christians and crucifying them. The world wide hatred of Jews and Israelis including indoctrination by seminaries and within Bible Colleges I have attended. God is love theology goes to the point of saying that there is no eternal punishment any more. Billy Graham was not sure if Jesus is the only way to eternal life plus the free masons claiming him as their own. The overwhelming importance of money and how to get more of it, sometimes becoming the focal point of most sermons, especially on TV. Protestantism has no unity like Catholicism has, it has many divisions, schisms all doing their own independent desire. Most historical churches reject the speaking of tongues despite Paul quoting from the Hebrew Bible as predicting it.

      I am just scared of religion.

      Humans run it.

      Dr Brown and Walid Shoebat I agree with the most within religion.

    284. Sheila
      July 31st, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

      Thanks for that, Eliyahu.

      I agree that all the things you wrote are aberrations and a departure from the truth of Christianity. Doctrinal error is blatant these days! I, too, think a lot of it must start at the university and Bible college level. Error begets error.

    285. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 8:02 am

      Eliyahu

      Lets get our definitions correct at the very least.

      Only one body of Christ exists. Catholics, in essence were/are the original Christians. I am happy to allow the use of the word Christians to all who acknowledge the basic tenets of the original Christian faith as given by the apostles and held by the early Church.

    286. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 9:10 am

      Eliyahu

      I am not clearly discerning if you hold fast to Judaism or some form of messianic Christianity. Oh well….

      You said,
      “No Jew would feel comfortable drinking blood, if this is the case, that Jesus wants us to drink blood, this is proof that Jesus is leading people away from Torah commandments. Hence, the Torah prophesied Messiah has never came. No Jewish messiah would command people to drink blood”

      I take it though that you are aware of John 6 and understand that this is the point where many of His disciples rejected him (John 6:66). The reality of the Real Presence in the bread and wine to come was the entire point of the discourse.

      Hardly a metaphorical reality as given by Jesus and corroborated by Jesus in His words and in great part elucidated by the mere fact that so many rejected Him at this moment and He did not correct their alleged confused understanding. Because they were NOT confused. They understood correctly what he was saying

      JOHN 6:53-56
      “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”

      To me it is grossly absurd (for any Christian) to deny the Catholic Church as it reflects in total the early Church practice, which is clearly Real Presence Eucharistic. For Jews to hold to their faith, in part because of this, I get that. It is problematic. So dismiss it as you will. I understand the difficulty but as Jesus explained about the change.

      “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63; cf. 1 Cor. 2:12–14).

      He is saying this is a spiritual reality which is essentially beyond our understanding.

      Life is in the Blood right. To me this is a fulfilment of the reality. And God can accomplish this. Life really is in the blood of Jesus in many ways. Metaphorical. By accepting his blood on the Cross and finally by eating the lamb. Yuk right. But transcendent.

      He goes on to say if you don’t get this what are you going to say when you see me levitating into heaven. (His Ascension.)

      Well he was clearly:

      1)the son of God

      2) a mad man.

      3) or demonically driven.

      All of what he said and did make 2) an absurdity.

      No 3 then? Do not the prophecies of Daniel point to the messiah coming at the time of Jesus.

      Peter and the apostles were totally bewildered at the whole John 6 “my body is real food…” thing but they hung in there and that is why the early Church was Real Presence Eucharistic.

      But he knew some did not believe. (It is here, in the rejection of the Eucharist, that Judas fell away; look at John 6:64.) “After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” (John 6:66).

      This is the only record we have of any of Christ’s followers forsaking him for purely doctrinal reasons. If it had all been a misunderstanding, if they erred in taking a metaphor in a literal sense, why didn’t he call them back and straighten things out? Both the Jews, who were suspicious of him, and his disciples, who had accepted everything up to this point, would have remained with him had he said he was speaking only symbolically.
      But he did not correct these protester

      “”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

      The Eucharist is prefigured in the Passover?

      In order to complete the Passover mystery and save their firstborn it was imperative for the Hebrews to eat the lamb. The salvation of the first born would only be fulfilled if they completed this action and so they ate the lamb. The culmination of the Passover.

      Is this not foreshadowing of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb.

      Is Abraham with Isaiah (carrying the wood of his own sacrifice) also not a MOST clear foreshadowing of God’s only begotten son being sacrificed?

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      There are lot of Eucharistic miracles out there Eliyahu. Miracles still exist today and are very prominent in the Catholic world.

      Since the beginning of our New Covenant faith we have had holy believers spiritually nourished on the bread wine that have induced incorruption of the body. Who has ever heard of such a thing. And yet it is relatively common. And I have seen them recently in Italy. Satan has that power? Not a chance.

      Lets reason it out Eliyahu.

      The reason the temple was destroyed was unequivocally because of the Jewish rejection (in general) of the Messiah. We know that God punished the Jews by exile or slaughter because they turned away. Was this not was always the observed result of turning away from God.

      I recently read Eusebius on the destruction of Jerusalem around that time. A most heart-rending event of unimaginable proportions. Up to a million Jews dying, mostly by starvation.

      And the temple destroyed! Within one generation and only an outer ring wall remaining. What more of a sign do you want then.

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      Roy Schoeman (New York Jew as he describes himself offers some remarkable insight on the role of Jews today in salvation history and in their ongoing salvific role.

      It is fascinating stuff on many angles.

      Here is part 1 of 14 parts. They get more interesting as they go.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVEusKkvSbM&feature=youtu.be

    287. Bo
      August 1st, 2014 @ 10:18 am

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “Roy Schoeman (New York Jew as he describes himself offers some remarkable insight on the role of Jews today in salvation history and in their ongoing salvific role.

      It is fascinating stuff on many angles.

      Here is part 1 of 14 parts. They get more interesting as they go.”

      I listened intently to the first part. It is interesting. It shows Catholicism for what it is. A magic mystery cult. It offers a false salvation. It has a false savior named “Blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the video the god that revealed himself/herself would not reveal his name. The virgin would not answer him in his own language, but in Portuguese. Repentance was not preached. The whole thing was occultic.

      Go ahead and watch the first video for yourselves. No one could be deceived by it except those with no spiritual discernment that have been blinded by years of listening to a false spirit guide or brainwashing in a mystery religion.

      Here is my brief summary of the video:

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the Apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, this man says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist, that he was disillusioned, and that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the Apostle Paul’s experience. This man says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was dreaming but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presence of the most beautiful young woman that he could ever imagine…he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. He tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a Portuguese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      Later in the video we find out that he also asked Mary, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.” I guess I would expect a little better theology than that from someone in the know.

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with “far less respect than he knew was do her,” he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the Catholic Church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a strong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. We know that Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking this man’s language to tell him something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more reason why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for this Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

    288. Eliyahu Moshiach
      August 1st, 2014 @ 11:00 am

      He calls Miriam the “Queen of the angels”.

      I know no ancient Jewish sources/midrashim to point to this notion.

      He says he talked with Miriam. Is she dead? If so this is another Torah prohibition for Jews to talk to dead people. King Saul did it and it displeased God.

      Catholics need to prove that Miriam never died like the Jewish Elijah, this is the only way to avoid necromancy.

      How did Miriam become queen of the angels? Where in the Hebrew Bible does it predict any of this.

      Skitzofrenia is very real. Everyone is a prophet now a days, hearing voices and seeing visions.

      The problem is once again, contact with dead people is Torah violation not just for Jews but for Gentiles too, a universal law on all mankind. When did God change His mind, and start sending dead people to earth to talk to living people. This is serious for a Jew. Did the Pope rule necromancy with Mary as God’s will now?

    289. Bo
      August 1st, 2014 @ 11:22 am

      Eliyahu,

      Is necromancy only wrong for Jews, or is it wrong gentiles also?

      Ro 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

      The Catholic faith is opposed to Biblical faith. It is anti-Messiah.

    290. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

      Bo,

      Eucharistic early Church faith is of the messiah and taught by the apostles. And that is why ALL the early Church was Real Presence Eucharistic.

      There is no evidence that will deny this.

      All of Europe developed along this line from the apostolic mission.

      The authentic early Church IS the Catholic Church.

      More later. Going to the beach ;)

    291. Bo
      August 1st, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

      rockypath1,

      You have produced no proof of real presence belief until possibly the middle of the 2nd century. The early church from its beginning has not been such. The pagan aberration of mystical cannibalism and magic crept in and deceived many. The real assembly of Messiah has always stood against these things. The Catholic Church has always been apostate and full of paganism and occultic practices.

      You wrote on another thread:
      “Was He such an incompetent teacher that He would not make sure that this teaching was understood properly[?]”

      He was such a great teacher that He could spell out exactly what He meant and still puprposely keep people from understanding Him. And then clarify to His disciples with sayings like “the flesh profiteth nothing.”

      Mt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
      11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
      12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

      13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
      14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
      15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

      And you only quoted half of this verse:

      Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      “The flesh profiteth nothing” is in direct reference to Messiah’s discourse on eating His flesh. He explained Himself privately to His closest disciples and most of the others left, precisely because they were left with the misunderstanding that they would have to become cannibals. “Eating His flesh” is gaining spiritual nourishment from hearing His words and putting them into practice.

      Joh 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
      33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
      34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      The people in Messiah’s day that heard Him say to eat His flesh and drink His blood had the good sense to not follow someone that would teach this literally. The disciples had the good sense enough to continue to follow Him once He told them that it was a metaphor. They followed Him because he had the words of life, not because His physical flesh and blood would be literal food.

      But what of the church system that thinks that He was being literal and still claims to follow Him? What of the people that go along with this? It is not good sense. It is paganism. It is mystery religion…mystery Babylon. It teaches a false Messiah…a cannibal…a pagan entity.

      You wrote on another thread:
      “Paul, the didache, Ignatius, Justyn martyr and all the many others should be enough.”

      Paul does not teach real presence, as I have demonstrated. The didache does not teach it. Ignatius wrote in the second century and it is in doubt what he teaches about it. Justyn Martyr is late second century.

      Some reading our dialogue would probably like to read this:

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

      rockypath1 believes in the infallibility of and office…a mere man. I believe in the infallibility of YHWH’s word. That word explicitly denies real presence doctrine. Rockypath1 may continue to pile historical record upon historical record showing what the apostate Catholic Church always believed, but it will be piled on the foundation of paganism and traditions of men and not on the real foundation of Messiah and the apostle’s doctrine. Catholics of good will would do well to read for themselves and think for themselves and leave off on the talking points.

      Luke 22
      19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

      Please note that this is to be done in remembrance of Messiah, and is thus symbolic in nature. If the “real presence” was indicated, it would not be in remembrance, but in actuality.

      What was in the cup? Wine. No blood, but the new covenant in His blood. It was a covenant meal, not a lawful way to enjoy cannibalism and imbibe eternal life.

      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life…
      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      Messiah is not saying to remember Him by eating Him. He is saying to remember Him by eating unleavened bread and and drinking the cup of wine after the Passover dinner, which just happens to be called the cup of salvation/deliverance. A memorial is not the real thing. So let’s do what Messiah said and memorialize Him on the day in the way He said to, and not participate in some pagan magic incantation and cannibalistic mysticism.

      Paul is a second witness.

      1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
      24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
      26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

      We symbolically show (Literally: announce or declare.) the Messiah’s death until He returns. We do not bring down His flesh and blood, we bring down the message of it. We do not produce the actual flesh and blood of His death. That is a much different type of showing. We do it in remembrance…as a memorial.

      This is what the apostles taught. Whatever church “father”, not matter how early, that actually teaches real presence is simply in error. Whatever Church does this, is deceiving us.

    292. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

      Bo

      I thought you understood that Jesus did not go through his entire discourse on the Real Presence to come the communion bread and wine and then say

      John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      or

      63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. [New KJV]

      or

      63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [NRSV]

      or

      3 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life. NIV

      or

      This is a straight forward warning that it is a spiritual reality that this will be accomplished (through the Holy Spirit and that they should NOT think carnally (of the flesh).

      (John 6:63; cf. 1 Cor. 2:12–14).

    293. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

      Bo

      The next 5 full paragraphs deal with this obfuscation of John 6:63 completely. Stop this silly tactic as if it has legitimacy. It does NOT. Its poor scholarship and supports Real Presence Eucharistic believe.

      OR WHY DID THE APOSTLES BRING THIS TEACHING TO THE ENTIRE EARLY CHURCH?

      For Fundamentalist writers, the scriptural argument is capped by an appeal to John 6:63: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” They say this means that eating real flesh is a waste. But does this make sense?

      Are we to understand that Christ had just commanded his disciples to eat his flesh, then said their doing so would be pointless? Is that what “the flesh is of no avail” means? “Eat my flesh, but you’ll find it’s a waste of time”—is that what he was saying?

      Hardly.

      The fact is that Christ’s flesh avails much! If it were of no avail, then the Son of God incarnated for no reason, he died for no reason, and he rose from the dead for no reason. Christ’s flesh profits us more than anyone else’s in the world. If it profits us nothing, so that the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ are of no avail, then “your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor. 15:17b–18).

      In John 6:63 “flesh profits nothing” refers to mankind’s inclination to think using only what their natural human reason would tell them rather than what God would tell them. Thus in John 8:15–16 Jesus tells his opponents: “You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.” So natural human judgment, unaided by God’s grace, is unreliable; but God’s judgment is always true.

      And were the disciples to understand the line “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” as nothing but a circumlocution (and a very clumsy one at that) for “symbolic”? No one can come up with such interpretations unless he first holds to the Fundamentalist position and thinks it necessary to find a rationale, no matter how forced, for evading the Catholic interpretation. In John 6:63 “flesh” does not refer to Christ’s own flesh—the context makes this clear—but to mankind’s inclination to think on a natural, human level. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit” does not mean “What I have just said is symbolic.” The word “spirit” is never used that way in the Bible. The line means that what Christ has said will be understood only through faith; only by the power of the Spirit and the drawing of the Father (cf. John 6:37, 44–45, 65).

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      or

      63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. [New KJV]

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      PAUL CONFIRMS IT

      Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16). So when we receive Communion, we actually participate in the body and blood of Christ, not just eat symbols of them. Paul also said, “Therefore whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor. 11:27, 29). “To answer for the body and blood” of someone meant to be guilty of a crime as serious as homicide. How could eating mere bread and wine “unworthily” be so serious?

      Paul’s comment makes sense only if the bread and wine became the real body and blood of Christ.

      source: Christ in the Eucharist (CA)

    294. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

      Ignatius
      Ignatius of Antioch, who had been a disciple of the apostle John and who wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110, said, referring to “those who hold heterodox opinions,” that “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again” (6:2, 7:1).

      Justin Martyr
      Forty years later, Justin Martyr, wrote, “Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, . . . is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66:1–20).

      Origen
      In a homily written about A.D. 244, attested to belief in the Real Presence. “I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence” (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).

      Cyril of Jerusalem
      In a catechetical lecture presented in the mid-300s, said, “Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ” (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).

      Theodore of Mopsuestia
      In a fifth-century homily, Theodore of Mopsuestia seemed to be speaking to today’s Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: “When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood,’ for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord” (Catechetical Homilies 5:1).

      CONCLUSION

      Whatever else might be said, the early Church took John 6 literally. In fact, there is no record from the early centuries that implies Christians doubted the constant Catholic interpretation. There exists no document in which the literal interpretation is opposed and only the metaphorical accepted.

    295. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 3:09 pm

      bO,

      Immediately upon His long and persevering assertion that He is ACTUALLY present in the bread and wine Jesus says “But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that should betray him.” – (referring to Judas

      How significant that Jesus would bring up Judas into the whole context of His disciples walk away from Him – betraying him.

      And again he refers to Judas and betrayal in John 6: 70 “one of you is a devil”

      Not believing in True Presence = JUDAS

    296. rockypath1
      August 1st, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

      Even renowned Protestant historian of the early Church J. N. D. Kelly, writes:

      “Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood” (Early Christian Doctrines, 440).

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      It is just a fact that will not be subverted by poor scholarship, fake history or backward fundamentalist interpretations of scripture.

    297. Bo
      August 1st, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

      rockypath1 believes in the infallibility of and office…a mere man. I believe in the infallibility of YHWH’s word. That word explicitly denies real presence doctrine. Rockypath1 may continue to pile historical record upon historical record showing what the apostate Catholic Church always believed, but it will be piled on the foundation of paganism and traditions of men and not on the real foundation of Messiah and the apostle’s doctrine. Catholics of good will would do well to read for themselves and think for themselves and leave off on the talking points.

      Luke 22
      19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

      Please note that this is to be done in remembrance of Messiah, and is thus symbolic in nature. If the “real presence” was indicated, it would not be in remembrance, but in actuality.

      What was in the cup? Wine. No blood, but the new covenant in His blood. It was a covenant meal, not a lawful way to enjoy cannibalism and imbibe eternal life.

      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life…
      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      Messiah is not saying to remember Him by eating Him. He is saying to remember Him by eating unleavened bread and and drinking the cup of wine after the Passover dinner, which just happens to be called the cup of salvation/deliverance. A memorial is not the real thing. So let’s do what Messiah said and memorialize Him on the day in the way He said to, and not participate in some pagan magic incantation and cannibalistic mysticism.

      Paul is a second witness.

      1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
      24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
      26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

      We symbolically show (Literally: announce or declare.) the Messiah’s death until He returns. We do not bring down His flesh and blood, we bring down the message of it. We do not produce the actual flesh and blood of His death. That is a much different type of showing. We do it in remembrance…as a memorial.

      This is what the apostles taught. Whatever church “father”, not matter how early, that actually teaches real presence is simply in error. Whatever Church does this, is deceiving us.

    298. Ray
      August 1st, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

      As a believer in Jesus partakes of the bread in the holy communion service, it becomes to him the body of the Lord which was given for his salvation.

      It is not just ordinary bread and only bread. Though it is in fact physical bread by it’s nature, to him it is the Lord’s body which was broken for him, for that is his focus. That is his perspective, and it is real.

      The wine also (or juice if that is what is served) becomes to him a reminder of the Lord’s blood which was shed for the remission of sins.
      It’s the Lord’s atonement that is his focus.

      Just as a man thinks in his heart, so is he…. This becomes to him what he believes it to be, in a memorial of the Lord’s sacrifice, according to the word of Christ and the teaching of the scripture.

    299. rockypath1
      August 2nd, 2014 @ 6:21 am

      Bo,

      The fundamentalist ass-backward proof you give for John 6:63 has been dismantled completely just above. Maybe you should read that.

    300. rockypath1
      August 2nd, 2014 @ 6:24 am

      THE SACRAFICE OF THE MASS

      ONLY A “REMEMBRANCE”? REALLY?

      The linking of the sacrifice of the Mass with Jesus’ eternal sacrifice is captured by the Greek word anamnesis, which is usually translated as “remembrance.” The use of this Greek word conveys a meaning that goes far beyond the sense of the English “remembering.” To remember something is to merely recall the past event in ones mind. However, anamnesis means that the past event itself is made present here and now.

      “Christians are to enact the Lord’s Supper in a recollection of Jesus which has the form of active re-presentation as the action of Jesus and his disciples is repeated.” This idea was deeply imbedded in the consciousness of the Hebrew people. When they celebrated the Passover they understood that they shared in that original redemptive act that is not made present to them.

      Anamnesis is a sacrificial term that is used frequently in the Septuagint. In Leviticus 24:7 it is the translation for the Hebrew ‘azkarah, which was the memorial offering. It indicates a perpetual remembrance of the covenant. Anamnesis is also used in Numbers 10:10 for a “memorial sacrifice.”

      If the Holy Spirit wanted to convey the idea of a “reminder” that was not a “memorial sacrifice,” he would have inspired St. Luke and St. Paul to use the Greek word mnemosunon, which is the correct term to describe a nonsacrificial memorial as is used in Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9, and Acts 10:4. However, the inspired use of anamnesis clearly conveys the reality of a memorial offering, that is a re-presentation of the actual sacrifice of Jesus made present again in time.

      -Jim Seghers: http://www.totustuus.com/TheSacrificeOfTheMass.pdf

    301. Bo
      August 2nd, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “Whatever else might be said, the early Church took John 6 literally. In fact, there is no record from the early centuries that implies Christians doubted the constant Catholic interpretation.”

      There is nothing in any writing before the middle of the second century that would show that the very early church believed that they were eating real flesh and drinking real blood. It is a memorial of His death. We declare His death by partaking of wine and unleavened bread that quite remains bread and wine. This is what Luke and Paul obviously say. The constant Catholic interpretation started in the middle of the 2nd century and not at the beginning. It is doctrines men and doctrines of demons. Here is what some early leaders thought:

      “But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock?… Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.”- Clement’s Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6

      “Now, if ‘everything that entereth into the mouth goes into the belly and is cast out into the drought,’ even the meat which has been sanctified through the word of God and prayer, in accordance with the fact that it is material, goes into the belly and is cast out into the draught, but in respect of the prayer which comes upon it, according to the proportion of the faith, becomes a benefit and is a means of clear vision to the mind which looks to that which is beneficial, and it is not the material of the bread but the word which is said over it which is of advantage to him who eats it not unworthily of the Lord. And these things indeed are said of the typical and symbolical body. But many things might be said about the Word Himself who became flesh, and true meat of which he that eateth shall assuredly live for ever, no worthless person being able to eat it; for if it were possible for one who continues worthless to eat of Him who became flesh. who was the Word and the living bread, it would not have been written, that ‘every one who eats of this bread shall live for ever.’” (Origen, Commentary on Mathew 11:14)

      They thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, It is the spirit that quickens; and then added, The flesh profits nothing — meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. In a like sense He had previously said: He that hears my words, and believes in Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life. Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, We ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (Tertullian-On the Resurrection of the Flesh 37)

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

    302. Ray
      August 3rd, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

      It seems to me that we ought to walk Charitably in all things and not try to make something “essential” for another, especially if whatever that is, would not find consensus in the whole Body of Christ, lest we be found to be troublesome, rather than peacemakers, whether that thing be about Mary, or something else.

    303. Bo
      August 3rd, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

      Me thinks that Ray is making it essential that no one is allowed to make anything essential.

    304. Ray
      August 3rd, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

      I believe we should seek to build God’s kingdom rather than our own, especially when it comes to it being at the expense of someone else, which seems to me to always be the case, when we do not walk charitably.

    305. Ray
      August 3rd, 2014 @ 9:32 pm

      I believe Mary is the mother of him who is everything that God is.

      When something we hear is a bit fuzzy, foggy, or unclear, and it’s pertaining to the things of God, matters of scripture, or things of the Spirit, is it because something of a religious spirit has crept in, got mixed in, or otherwise
      corrupted that which is of God?

      I think that is many times what happens.

      I think it’s good of we would ask ourselves if something would pass the test of consensus in the whole Body of Christ, when every member is fully restored and walking as a new creation in Jesus Christ.

      If not, there may be something about that, which should be refined, or maybe the whole thing should be rejected.

    306. rockypath1
      August 11th, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      The SELF-EVIDENT (OBVIOUS) MEANING OF JOHN 6:63

      63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. [New KJV]

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      In John 6:63 “flesh” does not refer to Christ’s own flesh (the context makes this clear), but to mankind’s inclination to think on a natural, human level.

      “The words I have spoken to you are spirit” does not mean “What I have just said is symbolic.” The word “spirit” is NEVER used that way in the Bible. This line means that what Christ has said will be understood only through faith; only by the power of the Spirit and the drawing of the Father (cf. John 6:37, 44–45, 65).

    307. rockypath1
      August 11th, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

      Bo,

      ORIGIEN WROTE (244AD):

      “I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence” (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).

      CASE CLOSED

      ORIGEN attests to belief in the Real Presence. A real Catholic believer.

    308. rockypath1
      August 11th, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

      CLEMENT of Alexandria

      “’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children” (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).

      “Scholars have found it no easy task to sum up the chief points of Clement’s teaching,… he lacks technical precision and makes no pretense to orderly exposition.”

      Bo it is easy, therefore, to misjudge Clement of Alexandria. He can be ambiguous and so it all the more shame that your website (onefold.worldpress) stoops to such poor scholarhips in an attempt to legitimize early-church apostolic faith gatherings and our communal bread and wine as symbolic.

      I know it gives you comfort Bo but one ambiguous early Churchman will not do the trick. This is called cherry-picking is it not?

      “Clement’s rule of faith was sound. He admitted the authority of the Church’s tradition. He would be, first of all, a Christian, accepting “the ecclesiastical rule”, but he would also strive to remain a philosopher, and bring his reason to bear in matters of religion.”

      “Clement explains that the Lord feeds Christians with His own flesh and blood even as a mother feeds her infant child from her own body: ‘The young brood which the Lord Himself brought forth with throes of the flesh, which the Lord Himself swaddled with precious blood. O holy birth, O holy swaddling clothes, the Word is all to the babe, father and mother and tutor and nurse. “Eat ye My flesh,” He says, “and drink ye My blood.” This suitable food the Lord supplies to us, and offers flesh and pours out blood; and the little children lack nothing that their growth needs.’
      [Clement of Alexandria, Paed I:vi:42,43]” (vol 1, pg 37-38)

      Sources:
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04045a.htm
      http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num29.htm

    309. rockypath1
      August 12th, 2014 @ 9:07 am

      Correction to my previous posting (third paragraph)

      Bo it is easy, therefore, to misjudge Clement of Alexandria. He can be ambiguous and so it is all the more shameful that your website (onefold.worldpress) stoops to such poor scholarships in an attempt to de-legitimize apostolic early-church faith gatherings and depict our communal bread and wine as symbolic.

    310. Nicholas
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

      As I read through the comments here, I come to the realization that to agree on the fundamentals is simply not enough.

      If in fact the Catholic Church is the true Body of Christ, and I affirm that it is, I have an obligation to call everyone to Catholic unity. I am sorry if I conveyed any other point of view for fear of offending my brothers and sisters of different Christian confessions. It is a matter of salvation to accept all that God has revealed through his one and only Church. I do not want to stand before Christ and say that I did not preach this because I wanted to be ecumenical and politically correct.

      We who have been baptized in the Trinitarian formula do have a common baptism. This true regeneration can, potentially, avail for all of us. But the ark of salvation is the Catholic Church. I wish to make this perfectly clear.

    311. Benjamin Warkentin
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

      The Ark of Salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ. When we enter Jesus Christ, God shuts the door (tucks us in so to speak). No Church is the Ark, the Church enters the Ark.

    312. rockypath1
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

      Amen Nicholas. Well said.

    313. rockypath1
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

      Benjamin,

      Not sure if you are getting at once saved always saved (hypergrace) but I think that has been spoken of clearly by many others, especially Dr. Brown.

    314. Benjamin Warkentin
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

      No, not speaking of once saved always saved. I am speaking of what the Ark is, Jesus Christ.

    315. Benjamin Warkentin
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

      I was referencing Genesis 7:16 when I said God closes the door.

      Genesis 7:16

      16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

      I was commenting on Nicholas’ last sentence “But the ark of salvation is the Catholic Church.”

    316. rockypath1
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

      Benjamin,

      I guess I took the closing of the door and being tucked in after accepting Jesus as the final necessary action.

      Mea Culpa.

    317. Ray
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

      Those who are members of the Body of Christ in the Catholic church are together only a part of the Body of Christ, hence it’s improper to say that the Catholic church is the Body of Christ.

      If one believes it to be the true Body of Christ, then I suppose one is saying that only Catholic believers in Jesus are true, and the rest are false Christians.

      Nicholas, Do you believe there are other members of the Body of Christ, that are not Catholics, or are not attending Catholic meetings, and yet can be considered to be true Christians as much as you consider your Catholic brothers and sisters to be true?

      Should we think that John the Baptist’s disciples were not as true as the Lord Jesus’ followers?

      I think it would do us some good to look at those two groups of believers as the first two Christian denominations.

      Q. What do you think the Lord’s view of John’s disciples was?

    318. Nicholas
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

      Ray,

      Every baptized person is a Christian. That is to say, an adopted son or daughter of God. Baptism gives the individual an indelible mark. It is not merely symbolic. Moreover, we Catholics affirm that every Christian is in some imperfect sense a member of the Catholic Church by virtue of his baptism. John’s baptism did not avail for regeneration, so his followers became Christians, properly speaking, when they were baptized by the Apostles in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In order to be saved, John’s followers had to be baptized with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    319. Nicholas
      August 22nd, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

      Ray,

      Those who followed John had to follow Christ when Christ came. John decreased as Christ increased. So, there were not two denominations. John prepared the way for men and women to follow Christ. If anyone followed John and then did not follow Christ, such a person would not have had any inheritance with Christ. Moreover, as I said in my preceding post, all those baptized by John had to be baptized in the Holy Spirit by the Apostles with the baptism of Christ, for which John’s baptism was merely a preparation.

    320. Sheila
      August 23rd, 2014 @ 1:25 am

      Nicholas, you wrote:

      “If in fact the Catholic Church is the true Body of Christ, and I affirm that it is, I have an obligation to call everyone to Catholic unity.”…

      …”It is a matter of salvation to accept all that God has revealed through his one and only Church.”

      And also: “But the ark of salvation is the Catholic Church. I wish to make this perfectly clear.”

      I believe the matters concerning salvation have all been outlined in the New Testament books and that it is necessary to believe and accept only what was handed down to us through the teachings of the Lord and of the Apostles and those we learn from the Bible. “All who confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord, will be saved.” It’s true there is only One Church, as there is only One Body of Messiah, and all who abide in the Lord are part of the true Church. It’s not the Church that does the revealing, it’s the Spirit of Christ and of the Holy Spirit that reveal the truth to each member.
      I would have to say, also, that the Ark of Salvation is Messiah, Jesus, and not the Church, be it Catholic or otherwise. The people that make up the Church are, after all, the ones being saved, not the ones doing the saving.

      One thing I do want to say is that I really do wish that the Protestants would come together and work out those important articles of faith and settle their differences by way of theological truths so that we’re not seeing what we are these days, where churches are splitting in two over secular matters as well as doctrinal errors. Why not have a council that presides over the various denominations and when error creeps in, it can be quickly dealt with according to the model as outlined in Scripture? I realize it’s a complicated idea and it would take some time to fully explain what I had in mind, so, I’ll save that for another time, but, the Apostles used that model from the start by way of the Council in Jerusalem.

    321. Nicholas
      August 24th, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

      Hi Sheila,

      The Church is the ark of salvation because one must be a member of the Church (a member of the Body of Messiah) in order to be saved: salvation is within the fold of the Church. I think we would agree on this point. We differ on as to what constitutes “the Church.” I believe that the Catholic Church is an institution and that Christ himself founded it. It is hierarchal, and it has an established leadership which descends from the Apostolic college. In a broader sense, when one is a Christian, one is a member of the body of Christ, and he or she is counted as among those who will be saved. Yes, Christ himself is the ark, but since the Church is the Lord’s body, the Church is the ark by extension. Just as the nation of Israel communicated the truth of God to the Jews, gave them the Scriptures, gave them guidance, etc, the Church gives the people of God the same path to righteousness, and within the refuge of the Body, we find a guard against error and a harbor in the wasteland of sin, and we find what we need to be saved.

    322. rockypath1
      September 3rd, 2014 @ 9:30 am

      Nicholas,

      Well said. Are you post on Catholic Answers and if so what is your handle?

      R

    323. Nicholas
      September 5th, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

      Hi rockypath1,

      No, I’m afraid I don’t post there. I tried using their forums once but the format didn’t suit me.

    324. rockypath1
      September 6th, 2014 @ 4:16 am

      Nicholas,

      I rarely post on CA myself. Mostly I am on YouTube sites but even that I am trying to back away from. A certain insanity exists their with an often a very manic type of anti-Catholic posters proliferating. Still something needs to be said so that false witness and lies are held up in the light of real history, real doctrine and real reality ;O . Well, you probably know what is going on there. Check out some of John MacArthur sites or even some of the ever replicating Sister Charlotte sites. All it takes is a google email and you can have whatever user name (nickname) you want. I had to google on actually how to make a nickname. They don’t make anything obvious.

    325. Nicholas
      September 8th, 2014 @ 12:25 am

      Thanks, rockypath1, I’ll look into those.

      I know, Youtube is chock full of anti-Catholic propaganda. On the internet there is no shortage of bloggers and uploaders of the ilk of Jack T. Chick. Have you ever been to jesus-is-savior.com? Their treatment of “Roman Catholicism” is positively ghoulish.

    326. rockypath1
      September 8th, 2014 @ 10:13 am

      Nicholas,

      When I see a bible-only Christian of goodwill towards the Catholic Church I am taken aback with shock. So broad and deep is the hate for the early Church – at least on the Youtube level. But deeper and broader I think.

      And lets be clear. This is a hatred of the early Church (on a spiritual level) and is a grave phenomenon across those assemblies who are driven to it. I have a sense that this phenomenon is broad and deep. It is marked by fake history, bullying, poor scholarship, mud-slinging and false witness (unto persecution). The instability apparent in the witness of those partaking in this phenomenon is often reflected in the universal stupidity of the information, or the lack of integrity (of the information) and its mischievous intent. From Maria Monk to Sister Charlotte frauds (no historical sources) to the oft repeated lies of noted fraudster Alberto Rivera and his purveyor Jack Chick and on and on to the more simple and the more extreme forms – it is an endless spectrum of confused biblical exegesis and bizarre ideas on pagan worship or child sacrifices in church basement or even Catholic-satan worship. Even Larraine Boettner created an egregious anti-Catholic history book which worked its way through the foundations of American fundamentalism until what we have today is a movement based on false premises, malicious ideas, very poor scholarship and grotesque assumptions. And THIS is Christianity?

      How could the real fruit of Christianity be so embracing of what is largely false witness?

      I know its not understood by them as such but goodwill and charity and grace should be the guard against taking it in and spreading it around. Fomenting and fermenting illwill instead of truth and wholesome debate and thoughtful and moderate scholarly work.

      And yet, though the rank and file of the fundamentalist/evangelical world is not overtly persecutional in its efforts, it seems to be largely supportive of those who are.

      And so, in this context we might ask how this unstable section of the “Christian faith” developed:

      Is there a doctrinal statement or a creed in the first thousand years of Christendom that believes like the 21st century North American Evangelicals do?

      I do not believe there is because bluntly evangelical protestantism is a recently invented form of religion.

      It is clear from first and second century Christians that the earliest Christians believed like the Catholics do.

      Infant baptism.

      Baptismal regeneration.

      Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

      Laying of hands (for authority) from the apostles to the bishops and elders (priests (from presbuteroi (greek for elders)).

      Authority of the Bishops.

      Confession.

      The early Church believed like the Catholics, not the Protestants.

      And that is why we must proclaim that the early Church is the Catholic Church.

      I want to embrace my protestant brothers but they must accept my extended hand and stop attacking the early Church beliefs.

      It only comes across as trying to destroy the early Church foundations in order create a latter-day foundation for principals that cannot be supported.

      I think these radicalized and unstable elements of fundamentalist “Christianity might be shocked to realize they have more in common with Islamic jihadist than they realize. And this – on a spiritual level – infects their rational thought processes and therefore their actions, leading to persecution of those who do not believe as they believe.

      ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      I went to that demoniac website you just gave [http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/] and saw some all too familiar anti-Catholic hallmarks – one of them being the sister charlotte probable-fraud. A likely copycat of the original Maria Monk fraud. I used to post extensively against them, having done the research refuting it. How do you refute something that has no sources or credentials. So it is largely a futile effort as there are all too many bible-only protestants who too easily drink it in. I just reposted a basic defense on several of those Sister Charlotte clone-sites.

      The persecution by bible-only protestants is scary. It has been said that the Church must go through its own passion before the end comes. It is sad to see a purported Christian group joining with atheists, abortionist, pornographers, liberal and Satanists against the Catholic Church. This IS very revealing though.

      I think revisiting those Sister Charlotte sites has brought up a lot of frustration and the sense of futility in the face of this tide of evil.

      On better days I accept that it is all in God’s hands and that in the end we all must remain at peace so that His grace can work efficaciously in us all.

      In short, unless we can remain peaceful it is better to not come against this tide – this dark phenomenon.

    327. b.j.stone
      September 8th, 2014 @ 10:15 am

      This ‘thread’ now long way to go to catch KEEPING TORAH ‘thread’. Shows ‘new birth’, this ‘initial life’ here, involves ANY who make conscious, sincere decision to follow LAW, but at expense of ‘salvation’ for TODAY (which “NOW saves us”, Peter, NOT washing away of filth of the flesh !)
      SALVATION ‘today’ requires coming to F-ther and no Priest, not HIS Son now in heaven at HIS right hand, not reaching out to sent HOLY SPIRIT by F-ther ‘either’. IT ONLY CAN COME thru now ONLY maintaining EXCELLENT conscience WITH G-d, OUR F-ther WITHOUT attempting Trinity Doctrine use (as if MAKES NO DIFFERENCE whom one maintains excellent conscience with OF THE ‘THREE’in ONE).
      THE F-THER, with Jesus at HIS right hand below HIS seat of ALL power (as Emperor, HIS Son HIS chosen Lord, to VOICE only F-ther’s decisions of ‘thumbs up’, ‘thumbs down’ for all ETERNITY). Work of the HOLY SPIRIT here “of PROMISE” must not continue being grieved by joining into NICOLATIANISM, with ‘angels of light’, sent from heaven, sent by the F-therl TO TRY all, here, especially, ‘TWICE BORN’ on this Earth in false claims of being TRUTH seekers. THE LIE, II Thes. 2, that BELIEVED by TRUTH SEEKING claimants, who truly believe HOLY SPIRIT resides within them (when fact, they have not searched Scriptures to extent to expose ‘angel, angels of LIGHT’ sent, attempting THE LIE on outer ‘emotions’ of fallen human FLESH (outer brain, right side outer brain) unto taking place of REAL Holy Spirit on down into the mother ‘Eve’s given ALL ‘natural living soul BODY, hidden within, our outer TENT of all from Adam’s ‘Eve’. SOLA SCRIPTURA requires to look beyond translations attempts, “Reformers” ATTEMPTING (from ‘within’ the NICOLAITAN system of REFORM), when in fact NO SYSTEM ‘attempting conquering of ‘laity’ AWAY from REAL sent REAL HOLY SPIRIT sent by F-ther, AS AUTHOR of both COVENANTS, all 66 Books, THE ONLY WAY to begin exposing ‘angels’ sent ‘from heaven’ WHO DO NOT HAVE LADDER for to come and go FROM HERE, BACK into HEAVEN from which they were sent HERE (in their punishments) FOR HAVING ‘LEFT’ in HEAVEN, their first Estate, yet retain their ANNOINTINGS, to be used HERE for promised buildup of this world’s HARLOT Church world wide, unto these entire heavens SUDDENLY on real FIRE. Outer brain (right side, EMOTIONS) since Adam’s FALL, remains entrance point OF ‘TWICE BORN’, NOW being ‘tried’ as to TRUTH SEEKING, down here in this ‘initial life’ UNTO a sure resurrection ORDER ‘proper’, as only assigned by F-ther IN HEAVEN, unto a NEXT LIFE promised, STILL in very same likeness of very same sinful flesh of BOTH first, & LAST Adam, IN THOSE VERY SAME PARTAKING OF VERY SAME LIKENESS DAYS TEMPORAL IN FLESH, IN VERY SAME LIKENESS OF VERY SAME SINFUL FLESH OF FALL of first Adam, ‘Eve’, true ‘mother’ of ALL natural living soul BODIES, INCLUDING the inward SEED ‘mother’ of OUR LORD’s birth of HIS in same likeness as we IN sinful flesh FROM fallen FIRST ADAM, ‘Eve’, of ‘their’ fall from true Grace given them, including ‘the mother’ (of all natural living soul BODIES, both the ONCE BORN and TWICE BORN in this tiny FOOTSTOOL (Earth realm of initial only introduction to eternal existence somewhere in this ever expanding, never ending, MATERIAL, for population entire Universe).
      THIS IS TRUE ‘UNIVERSALISM’ that in order to be saved, ONE MUST MAINTAIN excellent conscience with F-ther on the throne SEATING, of ALL power, letting HIM only introduce us to HIS ‘real Son’, and thru SCRIPTURES introduction to the REAL HOLY SPIRIT of Promise, BOTH can only be introduced by F-ther G-d, NO priest, NOT even HIS ‘high PRIEST’ SON at HIS right hand, nor HIS sent HOLY SPIRIT, FOR F-THER’S SEATING MUST BE OBJECT of our faith, NOT IN LOSS OF ANY FIRST FAITH, FIRST LOVE, FOR SALVATION only found NOW in maintaining excellent conscience WITH HIM, ON THE SEAT OF “ALL” POWER.

    328. b.j.stone
      September 8th, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Remembering as the famous continued passing on to await NEXT life from here still in same likeness of sinful flesh of both Adams, the LATE W.C. Fields, raised ‘catholic’, in last days of his ‘cancer’, discovered by his son reading his ‘Bible’, WHEN ASKED just what now are you doing ‘Pop’ ? (answering his son, just looking for ‘loopholes’ son, still looking for ‘loopholes’

    329. b.j.stone
      September 8th, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

      Mary, the ‘mother of Jesus’ CALLED down here in this dust “JESUS” (“Savior”) up there “Emmanuel” (which means G-d HIS F-THER be joined with us THRU HIM throughout eternity). THIS EARTH OF HIS BIRTH BY MARY is not forever (nor will this dust experience any eternity with G-d our F-THER in HEAVEN).

    330. Nicholas
      September 10th, 2014 @ 12:16 am

      b.j.stone’s syntax reminds me of the incoherent ramblings on the bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

    331. Nicholas
      September 10th, 2014 @ 12:27 am

      rockypath1,

      The long and the short of it is this: At a certain point, all we can do is kick the dust off of our feet. We have a mission to bring our brothers and sisters in baptism to the fullness of the Gospel, but we have to leave the rest to the grace of God. We also have an obligation to preach to our own families and ensure that they do not forsake the faith. This is also very important. The truth is as plain as daylight, and it is readily accessible. Anyone who does not see the unanimous testimony of the Church Fathers plainly declaring a primitive belief in the Real Presence is simply in denial, or they see it and they are liars. That educated people like Dr. James White can actually claim otherwise–really, it just boggles the mind.

    332. b.j.stone
      September 10th, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      None of us, including Dr. White, HERE ‘need not teach his neighbor’ (for they ‘all know me, from the least to the greatest’ down here)? HAVING had HOLY SPIRIT write on our hearts? What otherwise we do have, which are attempts, yet greatly appreciated today, of efforts in ‘translation’ after ‘translation’, from ‘copies’ as found, but still ‘copies’ somewhat distanced from even the parchments of our NEW TESTAMENT COPIES, NOT EVEN PAUL CARRIED WITH HIM THOSE ‘originals’, EXCEPT OF THE ONE AT THE TIME HE WAS WRITING A SECOND TIME TO TIMOTHY, but he did have SENT for his ‘BOUND BOOKS’ OF OLD TESTAMENT which he had studied at ‘school of Gamaliel’, most likely kept for his own personal use. Let’s get over today’s Nicolaitan Church false claims of ever having established the proper order of either New or Old Testament, final decisions by G-d thru THEM ? over what was INSPIRED BY HOLY SPIRIT ? what was not ? BRAINWASHING of the ‘laity’ away from the REAL HOLY SPIRIT of Promise USING (nicolaitanism) continuances in their APPROVED ‘translations’, mainly ‘Latin’ AT FIRST TO HIDE to laity ANY of Scriptures, used also now along with ‘copies’ to English, by attempted modern REFORMERS, in their attempts attempting ‘reform’ STILL (from within) what is so ‘rotten’, that whether from within, OR if time left on this earth for NEW exposings of THE PROMISED WOLRD WIDE ‘HARLOTY’ CHURCH BUILDUP, if any ‘reform’ could be accomplished ‘from without’, of now also the mostly “reformed” NICOLAITAN CHURCH OF HARLOTRY” still relied upon ?

    333. rockypath1
      September 17th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

      Nicholas,

      Been away for a week or so. I can’t even read BJ’s stuff unless he keeps to some very clear points. Its amazing though that fundamentalists who deny early Church teachings and authority will pin so very, very much on an such obscure bible passages as that of the Nicolaitans, as if they even know what it might mean, and totally reject or obfuscate all the major passages on sacraments (John 6) and Petrine authority (Matthew 16:16-19).

      I find this intellectual instability an indictment of the faculties inherent (and inherited) in bible-only fundamentalist assemblies. The founders were proud and disobedient. Their conclusions were abrupt and without mature context. The result is severe laxity (and integrity) resulting in too many self-authorized Jack Chick knock-offs with too many rank and filers supporting them. This all indicates a general malaise and a general lack of credibility. Dr. White is of a horse of different stripe, at least in terms of magnitude. Sadly Dr. Brown (a man of goodwill) is more of a puzzlement in his blindness to the early Church teachings on the sacraments and conciliar authority, demonstrated in part by the first council – the Council of Jerusalem (Acts).

      And then there are all the epistle passages where we see the laying on of hands for authority. I just don’t see how these are glossed over so easily.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      The Nicolaitian church reference by BJ are as absurd a claim as those who claim the Berean passages as some kind of support for their foundations being early Church. Obscure and eisegetical.

      Jimmy Akin on the Nicolaitans.
      http://jimmyakin.com/2012/10/revelation-solving-the-mystery-of-the-nicolaitans.html

      Even Wikipedia shows how complex the meaning of the nicolaitan passage is and how confusing.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaism

    334. Bo
      September 17th, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

      Rockypath 1,

      Why don’t you cool it with your insults, stereotypes and general talking down to us. You have been refuted many times and now you just come back every so often to pretend otherwise and add more nose in the air comments.

    335. b.j.stone
      September 17th, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

      Original Greek, no ‘capitol N’, making all these posted references, comments, as totally ‘moot’. Simply, clearly, put, a harlot “church”, apostate, made up of those ‘desiring to conquer’ over their continuing laity & other’s laity’, as an organizational ‘earthy’ as in 1st Adam ‘like’ descendants substitute for HOLY Spirit, OF WHOM they were not anymore, nor ever familiar with, even some having also ‘grieved’ HIM to which HE no longer ‘knocked’ on their ‘hearts door’, as still potential ‘overcomers’ in this initial only life, “by which this” very ‘grieving OF HIM’ they had lost that ONLY “way” for to continue also now being ‘sealed’ by HIM (STAMPED, by HIM as genuine seekers of THE REAL in truth, rather, now prefer listening to ‘angel, angels of light’, ANOTHER jesus of their own choice only, entirely, now as with totally different GOOD NEWS (gospel) which true search of complete Torah EASILY disproves !

    336. b.j.stone
      September 17th, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

      As any ‘born again’ person, welcome both of most popular (least to numbers hits, so far) about the TORAH, about ‘Mary’, also true follower of TORAH (TEACHINGS) who needed ‘ponder’ herself, MUCH ! She had not, what later ‘writers’ of COMPLETED Torah, especially until ‘Apostle John’ took her in, she seeing from Ephesus why this younger of Apostles (foundational) was when first given over to famous isle of Patmos, for same ‘testimony’ of Yeshua, because of ‘word of G-d’, attacks from Rome, not only as to his being charged to direct conversion of a ‘single Priest’ of Dianna Temple, years before the ‘riot’ later of Paul as given us in Acts, but especially as older brother, James, considered most likely replacement for another, new MESSIAH, potential cause MORE trouble for Rome, and Emperor Caligula, both from DIRECT line of David, by Salome AND full sister ‘mother’ Mary

    337. rockypath1
      September 17th, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

      Bo,

      Saying that I have been refuted many times is not exactly talking up to me and it is not even close to the truth – right? So maybe we are two of a kind. Probably both of us should not be so arrogant. I acknowledge my tone as such.

      But, in truth I recall it was you that got my hackles up with your insinuations right off the mark with Catholic apostasy and eventually degrading into the typical whore of Babylon accusations. Hopefully you did not degrade into pedophile priest accusations which is what so many anti-Catholics so. (I will have to review the comments.)

      This guy BJ talks trash with his points on Nicolaitan Church of Harlotry, if I understand him correctly, and you call me out for talking down and sticking my nose in the. But you think it okay for him to speak of harlotry when it comes to my Catholic faith. How so? Why the double standard?

      But as I said above. Neither you or myself has anything to be proud of in our demeanour. Yours is easily mocked as well for its arrogance. The only difference is I am not sure you looking at your own statements and your own behavior. I for one struggle with my sometimes callous postings and admire such as Nicholas here who is so much less incendiary.

      Like it or not Bo we are brothers in arrogance. May God forgive our pride and lack of charity and goodwill.

      At least you do not have the excuse of the false witness, bullying, slander, false history, lies and yes hatred that Catholics are met with at every corner of the protestant (brothers in Christ?) universe – particularly the bible-only universe.

      By and large the Catholic world was willing to accept protestants of all stripes as separated brethren but in the face of the “persecution” from a broad spectrum of your assemblies it was time to mount a defense.

      And now, after many years of not speaking up, or not being educated on the bible, church history and the reformation we are defending ourselves and it seems your assemblies are taken aback. Especially when it comes to pointing to the egregious contradictions in your histories and the accepted exegeses.

      And this (warlike) arrogance of mine is somewhat a result of defending my faith across the YouTube universe. So just take a look at what your assemblies post en masse Bo. Link to one and see what shows up on the right hand column and then click on one of those and see where that leads and on and on and on. There is virtually no end to what your brethren will say about the Catholic Church – 99% of it is shear filth.

      I do recognize in you as a kindred spirit in arrogance Bo.

      Shalom brother.

      PS. When I go to the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) I almost always confess that I was arrogant and uncharitable to my protestant brothers and sisters on internet venue. It is one of the main reasons I have attempted to quit posting and debating forever. I mean, I actually get the connection between humility and holiness (sanctification). So I am not so easily excused maybe. Unfortunately I am tied to my desk everyday for my work out of my home office and this actually allows me some human and intellectual connection and even sometimes (who knows) a faith connection with a brother or a sister in Christ and with God. Not that lack of charity is of God though. I guess the pitched battle is not unattractive sometimes. Mea Culpa.

      So I am not above begging the pardon of those who I treat with less than charity and goodwill. Maybe someday you will feel similarly.

    338. Bo
      September 17th, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

      Rockypath 1,

      It is one thing to be abrasive in the fray of battling and bantering. It is another thing to stereotype and be condescending. The Catholic church has much to be ashamed of in regards to pedophilia and covetousness of other types. The false worship of the supposed virgin queen of heaven and yes nicolaitanism and changing YHWH’s times and laws is obviously corrupt. The inquisition and indulgences are not exactly marks of honor. I have no bad will toward Catholic people. I stand solidly against the Catholic system that is apostasy and Babylonian paganism.

      But for the record, I think that protestantism is corrupted to the point of no return also and continues to partake of the sins of her harlot mother. I reject being lumped into their false beliefs.

      Mary is not a virgin anymore. She is not the mother of God. She was a chosen vessel and very blessed. She does not appear to anyone. Demons appear to people claiming to be her. I gave a detailed critique of your champion Roy Schoeman’s supposed encounters with her. It is nothing more than necromancy and deception.

      Your version of the early church is not early enough. Your view of partaking of the flesh and blood of Messiah is cannibalism and magic and not at all what the words of scripture intend.

      You really need to step back and reevaluate and repent from much false doctrine and superstition. As sincere as you are and as convinced as you are, it doesn’t make what you believe right. The scripture and history prove you wrong.

      Arrogant or not, that is where I stand.

    339. b.j.stone
      September 17th, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

      Mary gave birth to far greater than simply flesh, blood, bones, G-d. She gave birth to a “fully” EMPTIED SON of G-d. Kenosis (Phil. 2) ‘let this mind be also in you’, as is in Christ Jesus, WHO when being in very ‘form’ of G-d, within G-d’s very ‘bosom’ of F-ther G-d in HEAVEN, considering time past, was not at all robbing G-d, our F-ther by seeing HIS Son, as HIS equal, but voluntarily placed Himself in power of the Person of Holy Spirit from F-ther (as SOURCE of both Son and Holy Spirit, F-ther’s mid-wife) for to come to full ‘birth’ FROM F-THER’S BOSOM into a life of His own, EVEN UNTO DEATH OF HIS OWN CROSS, from birth from blessed Mother overshadowed by very same ‘G-d of F-ther as Holy F-ther’s midwife, who pondered many things in her heart, seeing that her ‘first born’, also as her own ‘Savior’, sent by G-d as HIS uniquely born Son to this so very tiny FOOSTOOL ‘of HIS’ (“for G-d ‘IN THIS MANNER’ loved this world of human beings of HIS creation, that HE gave HIS ONE and ONLY uniquely begotten Son, that HIS creation, Mary of Joseph her f-ther, and of Joseph her mother’s father, also as a ‘whosover’, believed upon HIS F-ther who sent HIM from heaven into this earth by her virgin womb, receiving ‘eternal life’ from HIS F-ther in HEAVEN and she ‘named’ Him ‘Jesus’ (Savior) that this World ‘thru’ Him, might also experience HIS F-ther in HEAVEN’s ‘gift of our salvation’, be being ‘saved’ (from it, ALL it’s Princes, who were ALL drawn unto HIM when HE was lifted up NOT by angels, but by Princes of this World, from this Earth first time on a publically cruel Roman cross, however ‘last time’ by angels of HIS ‘parousia’, back to Heaven from which HE came into the ‘blessed’ Virgin Mary’s womb (while yet still in her lowly estate on this tiny sphere earth ‘copy’, only of heavenly ‘patterns’ above).

    340. rockypath1
      September 18th, 2014 @ 8:50 am

      Bo

      Stereotype and condescending? Given the egregious anti-Catholic nature of the bible-only assemblies across You-tube and other venues with respect to false witness and calumny (using carefully reconstructed fake histories and a malicious intent, not to mention horrific biblical eisegesis) do you expect me/us to say nothing? Or to say please? This is a phenomenon that is widespread and deep within protestant fundamentalist/evangelicalism.

      The time is NOW to hold the bible-only assemblies accountable for the filth that is a hallmark of their anti-Catholic public discourse that they are partaking in. And for too long with impunity. It is a jihadi mentality of fanaticism rooted in the 16th century movement. Look to the internet universe for why I say this.

      Much of the false history and hatred rises up in order to shore up the foundations that are at odds with the early Church teachings. This is NOT stereotyping. This is just reporting a very nasty and widespread phenomenon of those assemblies.

      Hardly anyone (the rarest person of goodwill) from those assemblies speaks against the fake history and foul pseudo-scholarship that is used as bludgeon against the Catholic faith. (Ralph Woodrow speaks up though.)

      I have seen a speaking-out against the wretched behaviour of one fundamentalist camp against another but this pales in comparison to what is put out there by your brethren against the Catholic faith in the most public of all venues.

      And where is your voice decrying it Bo?

      Your voice actually joins in. I can hear it Bo. You are also culpable in supporting fake history and bad (fake) scholarship. While Dr. Brown is a rare man of integrity, I have seen little of his qualities in the fundamentalist protestant public square which has more to do with unsound doctrine and rancour.

      You are not getting off that easy Bo. You are part of the problem, not the solution. You run with all the same fundamentalist protestant confusion and slurs and use their shoddy websites for support and then wonder why you are laughed at when you claim you are not a protestant.

      The hallmark of false witness and calumny is your inheritance too Bo.

      Your type of anti-Catholicism may not be so horrific as those who inform us of child sacrifice in the Catholic Church basements or the popes invoking satan at Easter mass or the proliferating Sister Charlotte fake-nun sites but they are every bit as indifferent to the truth.

      The problem is that the rank and file member of your bible-only assemblies, while not creating the foul anti-Catholic sites, all too often will drop by and give a thumbs up to them. I rarely see a protestant speaking out against it, though I have seen it and for this I am grateful.

      So who is it that is making mischief?

      The one who is defending his house against attacks most foul?

      Or the ones who makes a point of creating false stories and history meant to bring the house down?

      So please get off your high anti-Catholic horse with your Nicolaitian aspersions, especially when no scholar even knows for sure what that even means.

      And have a closer look at what the Inquisitions were all about. You really know nothing about them either, of this I am sure. As the garbled history of them was a propaganda tool put out there after the counter-reformation.

      Pedophile Priest. The bible-only hypocrites love this one but fail to look at the sewer in their more dilapidated house, which is much worse.

      http://www.stopbaptistpredators.org/scandals/trinity

      or

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-tarico/the-protestant-clergy-sex_b_740853.html?

      or

      http://www.bilerico.com/2010/04/the_other_shoe_child_molesting_by_non-catholic_cle.php

      Here is the bottom line Bo, if you and your bible-only assembly brethren (whom you are aligned with) had refrained from a broad-based jihad against the early Church faith I would not be here now confronting you and them with their mischief.

      Mischief? Nay, persecution.

      I would rather embrace you and any non-Catholic Christian of goodwill but the anti-Catholic jihadists amongst you seem to be holding sway.

      Why will you not acknowledge the anti-Catholic persecution. Even if you do not support us doctrinally or historically, why do YOU not speak out against the astounding persecution welling-up from within the bible assemblies?

      Why?

      You will not see Catholic putting up glitzy corrupt anti-bible-Protestant videos on YouTube universe.

      I wonder why Catholics refrain from false witness and pseudo-scholarship in general?

      I wonder why you do not find Jack Chicks of Larraine Boettners in the Catholic world?

      May God have God have mercy on all those who join in this persecution and bring them to goodwill and light.

    341. b.j.stone
      September 18th, 2014 @ 9:18 am

      Treads ‘title’ is Mary…? Perhaps after 340 hits,
      a better ‘title’ now extended (is Mary a daughter of Adam’s Eve in same manner as we all from Adam ?
      Catholicism insists are wrongfully accused of ANY extreme violations of completed 66 Books, TORAH)

    342. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 9:44 am

      Rockypath 1,

      You wrote:
      “I would rather embrace you and any non-Catholic Christian of goodwill but the anti-Catholic jihadists amongst you seem to be holding sway.”

      The above is not an example of a Catholic of good will. Calling people jihadists is inflammatory and the pot calling the kettle black. And I agree with you…”May God have…mercy on all those who join in this persecution and bring them to goodwill and light.” (But of course, I think that it is you that are “persecuting” protestants and stereotyping them…if what you call persecution can indeed be called that.)

      Free speech is not persecution. Persecution is when a group in power (let’s say the Catholic Church of the 12th through the 14 centuries) uses it’s power to silence, hunt down, imprison, torture, and kill those that attempt to live harmless lives according to conscience (let’s say the Abilgenses, Waldenses and the Jews), because they have differing views and lifestyles from the powers that be. So far, you are not in power and neither am I nor are the protestants that you malign for maligning your church.

      If you or I or they would use political power or threat of harm to silence the others, then persecution is in its beginning stages. Right now, you are not quite persecuting protestants that use free speech against the Catholic Church. What would you do if you were in power? Would you become like the real jihadists? Jihadists persecute and the Catholic Church certainly did in the past…and, to be fair, so did state run protestant churches.

      I am not sure that your way of attacking protestantism is helping produce non-Catholics of good will. If you would embrace them, if they existed, you would do well to adjust your rhetoric so as to help produce them. Then you might get more hugs in return :)

      Shalom

    343. rockypath1
      September 18th, 2014 @ 10:10 am

      Bo

      So calling out the jihadist muslims for their persecution is wrong too.

      All I want you and your protestant brothers to do is take a stand and speak out against the egregious and obvious calumny that is posted by your brethren. These ones are not hard to pick and differentiate from free speech.

      The fact that you personally support fake history is true is borderline persecution too. Just a little goodwill and scholarship would show the reality of this foolishness (bablylonian Catholic roots etc). At the very least it shows your indifference to scholarship and integrity.

    344. rockypath1
      September 18th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Bo,

      The fact that Real Presence Eucharist celebration is and was the fact of the early Church and was never disputed until some guy questioned it in about 1000 AD and then moreso in the 1500s says it all.

      The apostles taught it and the early Church believed and this edifies and corroborates the Catholic and Orthodox interpretations of John 6.

      John 6:66 is a warning to all who do not believe it.

      Real Presence Eucharistic communion is irrefutable and the litmus test of what Jesus wanted for us all. Full Stop Bo.

      The early Church believed it so and THAT means the apostles taught it to the Body of Christ and it was discerned through the Holy Spirit (from Jesus).

      Do you have any understanding of the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ and the teachings of the apostles? The Body of Christ (early Church) had the guiding power of the Holy Spirit and they ALL believed in the Real Presence.

      Shame on you for repeating the lies about cannibalism that were part of the accusations against the early Church. You do not understand the depth of spiritual realities then. These were to hard for Judas too and that is why he also abandoned Jesus as reported at the end of John 6.

      This is not rocket science.

      And if somehow you think making JOHN 6:63 has Jesus saying it is all metaphor and symbolic with respect to eating his body I would love you to actually explain to me just how this is proved by the words or context.

      “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” [New KJV]

      NO Quicketh lingo please.

    345. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 10:55 am

      Rockypath 1,

      Give us all a break. We already had this discussion and from scripture and early church writings, it was shown that “real presence” was not believed nor intended.

      It is plain and simple. The Catholic Chruch has incorporated almost vast amounts of pagan ritual and symbols from every false religion. The Babylonian Harlot lives on with many daughters.

      Re 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    346. b.j.stone
      September 18th, 2014 @ 11:11 am

      If only, the catholic and the attempts to reform such, would ‘partake’ of Lord’s actual body blood NOW flowing thru HIS now ETERNAL flesh, feed HIS now ETERNAL bones, ETERNAL BLOOD as BRAND NEW in form never before existed CREATURE MAN (“one NEW MAN”) instead of same OLD looking back to those days of HIS temporal only ‘flesh, blood, bones’ from Mary, from ‘Eve’, and therefore ‘back only to HIS cross’ for a salvation WHICH IS NO LONGER available since HIS departure, PERFECTION ONLY in heaven, unto the PERFECTED NOW ‘ETERNAL’ Lamb of G-d, “BRAND NEW” ! Peter, first deliverer of first Sermon post HIS departure and 10 days later coming of HOLY SPIRIT day of Pentecost a ‘little stone’ and ‘chip off the greater STONE’, made clear the ‘end of his conversation’ NOW we no longer can be saved by washings of sins of the
      flesh which includes sacrifice ALSO of Jesus at HIS own cross. THE ONLY SALVATION FOR TODAY, FROM NOW FORWARD, is maintaining EXCELLENT conscience before, with HIS and Mary’s “F-ther” in HEAVEN (NOT WITH EITHER MARY, nor her SON of the F-ther, nor with HOLY SPIRIT Who overshadowed her unto HIS birth down here) FOR ONLY F-THER IN HEAVEN NOW OFFERS STILL our ‘salvation’ as HE always offered from very first man/woman when created TOGETHER, at same time NOT only in the ‘world that THEN was’, but today’s ‘world that NOW is’.

    347. rockypath1
      September 18th, 2014 @ 11:56 am

      Bo,

      We had a discussion where you regurgitated some fundamentalist website answer on JOHN 6:63 that for some reason you think defeated all that Jesus had said on the necessity to literally eat his body and blood.

      Please tell me how John 6 is symbolic when the entire early Church was Real Presence Eucharistic. The fact the early Church was Eucharist confirms literal interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper passages.

      This the one point that Jesus meant for you to understand so that the path would be clear.

      Here are the passages in short.

      Mark 14:22-24, > “THIS IS MY BODY”

      Luke 22:19-20, > “THIS IS MY BODY”

      Matthew 26:26, “THIS IS MY BODY.”

      1 Corinthians 11:24 > “THIS IS MY BODY”

      John 6:55 > “FOR MY FLESH IS REAL FOOD AND MY BLOOD IS REAL DRINK

      John 6:35 > Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood YOU HAVE NO LIFE WITHIN YOU

      1Cor 10:16, “The cup of the blessing that we bless, IS IT NOT THE SHARING OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST? And the bread that we break, IS IT NOT THE PARTAKING OF THE BODY OF THE LORD?”

      1 Corinthians 11:23-29
      The Institution of the Lord’s Supper.

      “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” [New KJV]

      1) If the early Church was Real Presence Eucharistic and it was unequivocally so then,

      2) It was taught so from the apostles and,

      3) the apostles got it from Jesus in John 6. Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, Matthew 26:26

      There is not the weight amongst the vague Church father quotations you ever referred to negate widespread fact that the early Church was assuredly Real Presences Eucharist.

      The Holy Spirit ensured the truth.

      Do you think the widespread belief until the 1500s appeared out of a vacuum? That is bizarre and mocks the good intentions of the Holy Spirit.

      PS making quotes from revelation could refer easily to apostate Christianity of another sort and perhaps the variety that takes on a quasi-Judaic form. That’s a better interp then your implication.

    348. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

      Rockypath 1,

      You wrote:
      “We had a discussion where you regurgitated some fundamentalist website answer on JOHN 6:63 that for some reason you think defeated all that Jesus had said on the necessity to literally eat his body and blood.”

      You have a bad memory (or maybe just selective…do you know what the definition of “is” is?) You have no right to criticize anyone that you think has a skewed version of history. I produced post after post of documentation and logic from scripture and early history. Get your facts straight.

      So here are my posts on this thread (There was another thread that I posted on to you also):

      220-

      The new covenant is supposed to put YHWH’s law into our hearts. Our hearts are what the ark symbolizes.

      As the story goes, Moses brought the tables of testimony down from the mount in his hands and dashed them to pieces. Then YHWH instructed him to build and ark and hew two more stones. YHWH rewrote, in the same words, His law upon those new stones. They were placed these into the ark and they remained intact. So…

      When we take YHWH’s commandments into our hands and with our own power try to keep them, we break them. When they are put into our hearts, we do not break them. The second set of commandments were identical to the first. The law that YHWH writes upon our hearts are identical to the ones on stone. If we still cannot keep from breaking them, we are not allowing the commandments to be but in the ark…our hearts. If we think that the law has been changed, we do not get the symbolism or the direct statements in scripture.

      Shalom

      224-

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

      Did you read the link? It shows that the early church leaders did not believe in the real presence of Messiah in the elements. Your church tells you the opposite. So your chruch stands against what is said in scripture and against those that were closest to those that wrote the scriptures. It is not apostolic authority, but apostate authority that you follow.

      Shalom

      225-

      You quoted:
      “Matthew 16:16-19
      16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

      18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

      It is obvious that the language intends to contrast Peter with “this rock.” Two different words are used. Peter is not “The Rock,” but a small rock. Messiah is saying, “You. Peter, are a little rock, and upon this big rock, that was just revealed to you, will I build my assembly.” What is “this rock”? It is the revelation that the little rock had.

      Peter, the little rock, had just had a revelation that was way bigger than himself. Messiah is not going to build his assembly on “flesh and blood” (whether Peter or man’s ideas and teachings) but on revelation from above. A specific revelation. That revelation is that Y’shua is the Messiah the Son of the Living YHWH. Messiah is THE ROCK. The stone that the builders rejected. Peter is not that Rock. He is just little old Peter the small pebble that is cemented into the building as a living stone like the rest of us. So Peter professes:

      1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
      6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
      7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
      8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

      Y’shua is YHWH. He is the Messiah and Savior. Without that revelation deep in our souls, we will not be built into His assembly. Hell’s/hades’ gates will not hold those that have true faith in this when the resurrection of the just is accomplished. The second death will have no power of these that are built upon the revelation of Y’shua being the Messiah the Son of the living Elohim.

      We can see above that Peter did not say that he, himself, is the Rock. According to him, Messiah is that ROCK. Nothing could be clearer in English and especially the Greek that Peter is just a little rock and not the ROCK.

      Shalom

      231-
      You wrote:
      “This refers back to Isaiah 22:22 where Eliakim as steward of the royal House of David was essentially the prime minister of the kingdom.

      “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” [Isaiah 22:22].

      Peter himself then is commissioned to become the steward (the Prime Minister) of a kingdom. And while the King is away he has the authority to wield the King’s power. Peter’s authoritative role will continue as the keys of the prime minister are always passed along.”

      I guess you have not read the back of the book. Y’shua Messiah is the one that holds those keys…not Peter.

      Revelation 3
      7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

      And on earth, Messiah’s half brother James held the position of prime minister in the assembly of Messiah. The book of acts is clear that he was the leader and not Peter.

      Ac 12:17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

      Ac 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

      Ac 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

      1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

      Ga 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

      Peter obviously feared James and James made the final rulings.

      Shalom

      236-
      Interesting that Messiah did not say that he was giving the key or keys of David but the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Just because the word “key” is used in different passages does not mean that it is speaking of the same key or keys. Yaacob (James) was the leader of the first assembly. He was in the line of Y’shua descended from David. Peter was not. The keys (binding and loosing) of the kingdom of heaven were also given to all the apostles and Yaacob was not an apostle at that time…but we find him as the head guy just a few years later.

      Matthew 18
      18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
      19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
      20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

      Please note that only where 2 or 3 apostles are gathered to make decisions is Messiah in the midst of them validating the decision. Peter is only one apostle and has no right to make decisions by himself. He was called on the carpet after the Cornelius incident. Only after his case was heard did the apostles give credence to what happened. Even in the Cornelius incident, Peter did not make the decision, YHWH did by pouring out His Spirit upon the gentiles without the laying on of Peter or any other apostle’s hands. Peter just went with the decision from heaven.

      The only sense in which Peter had a special anointing was in being part of the opening up the door of the gospel first to the Jews, then to the Samaritans, then to the gentiles. He only opened the door, for Paul was the apostle to the gentiles and James,Peter, and John to the Jews. Notice the order of the names! James is first. Notice the plurality of the decision makers once again. Peter did not have the authority to decide by himself. Notice that Paul needed a second apostle (Barnabas in this case) to go with him, so that there would be at least 2 to make decisions.

      Ga 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

      Shalom

      239-

      rockypath1,

      And then….

      Ac 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me…
      19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God…
      22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

      Then James gave the sentence. He is the obvious judge/ruler. Then the apostles and elders and whole church agreed. With 2 or more agreeing it became the rule from heaven. Peter was only a witness at this trial. He testified about how YHWH used him. The choosing that he speaks of is not when Messiah pronounced a blessing upon him, but when the incident with Cornelius happened. It was a specific choosing at a specific time for a specific task, not a an all time preeminence.

      241-

      rockypath1,

      As has been demonstrated, your position and the Catholic Church’s position is one of apostasy from what the Apostles wrote. You can have your Catholic traditions, but do not make believe that they are apostolic or Biblical in the slightest.

      Some that have followed our dialogue may want to read this:

      http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/kleidia1.htm

      Shalom

      242-

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “This is the Catholic faith. It has stood the test of time because only that which is established by God CAN stand the test of time.

      To say the devil entered the sanctuary from the start is to say satan has more power the God.

      Do you really want to say that?”

      I do not say that the devil has more power than YHWH. I say that the Catholic Church has doctrines of demons. The Catholic Church does not go back far enough. It has stood the test of time starting from 200 years after Messiah. But what does that mean. Judaism has stood the test of time for much longer and Hinduism too. I did not say that the devil entered the sanctuary from the start. He entered about 50 years after the start and Catholicism reflects this. John and Paul and Messiah are the ones that told us that the devil would and did enter soon after their departing.

      Ac 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

      1Jo 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

      2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
      15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
      17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

      So we are to follow the Scriptures and not the tradition of Popes and other men that are deceived and being deceived and that have taken too much upon themselves.

      Mt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

      Mt 13:24 ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
      25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
      26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
      27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
      28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
      29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
      30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

      YHWH lets both the good wheat and the tares grow together until the end. The tares were planted very close to the beginning but not quite at the beginning. This is the story of the Catholic Church it was not planted at the beginning. It has thought to change times and laws. It has subverted the times and laws of YHWH with its false sacrifices and false feast days and false sabbaths. It promotes idol worship and man worship and Mary worship. It has committed fornication with all the kings of the earth.

      Da 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

      Re 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

      Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
      37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
      38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
      39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
      40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
      41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
      42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
      43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

      If you have an ear to hear, it would be good to hear.

      Shalom

      244-

      rockypath1,

      Roy Schoeman may proclaim such, but the apostles sure didn’t. Catholicism has mixed all manner of pagan idolatry, pagan symbolism and pagan holidays into a pseudo Messianic faith that does not resemble the apostolic faith.

      Shalom

      246-

      Sheila,

      According to Daniel, the antimessiah will think to change times and laws. This is exactly what the Catholic church did. It changed the feasts and sabbaths of YHWH to the pagan festival dates. It approves of speaking to the dead. It has idols that it calls icons. I could go on, but you see the point.

      Shalom

      252-

      rockypath1,

      Messiah says that He is not going to change the law.

      Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      Daniel says someone will…the antimessiah.

      Da 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

      So those that think that Messiah changed YHWH’s appointed times and laws are really thinking like the antimessiah and not like the real Messiah said to think. The one that thought to change YHWH’s law is against Messiah. By you own admission it was the Catholic church.

      Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

      It is quite interesting that you did not list one passage in post 247 that says that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Something that was an absolute commandment that comes right along with not committing murder being surely changed should get more press than that. Don’t you think?

      One thing that we know from any study of scripture is that narrative is not normative. There are people that were together on some first days of the week, but nothing showing any command to do so. The only command in the NT about the first day of the week is to lay up in our homes according as we have been prospered and has nothing to do with meeting together. And it is also interesting that this command was during a very special time of year…from Passover till Shavout/Pentecost…during the count to Shavout, which is very ironically the only time that the Greek phrase that we translate “first day of the week” is mentioned.

      Strange that the only “first days of the week” that the early believers were ever told about, or that we were told about, are during the counting of weeks during the interval that YHWH tells us to count toward a specific feast of YHWH. What are the odds of that? Strange that no other reference is given about the “first day of the week” except as it pertains to this 7 week period. Strange until we realize that it is said differently in the Hebrew scriptures. It is called “the morrow after the Sabbath.” And strange that this phrase is only used in scripture to denote also the count of Shavuot/Pentecost. Are we beginning to see a pattern here?

      Messiah is resurrected and ascends to His Father on the morrow after the Sabbath on the first day of the count of the feast of Shavuot. He is the firstfruits offering (firstfruits from the dead as Paul says). The vast majority of the passages are simply relating the fact that this is the day that Messiah fulfilled this moed/appointment/feast of YHWH. Other than these and the one about storing produce that we mentioned earlier, there is only one that is left.

      Ac 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

      This one tells us that Paul had just kept the feast of unleavened bread, which is when the count toward Shavuot is begun, and it is now just a few days later he is gathering with some disciples. He is meeting with them as the “first day of the week” commences just after sundown. We would call it Saturday night. He is going to depart on the next morning, which by all logic is Sunday morning. So he will not be meeting on Sunday morning with the disciples. So much for Sunday Sabbath! Paul will be setting out on a journey and those with him will be carrying supplies and loading a ship and sailing on Sunday morning.

      But there is one more passage that might give you some hope that the early believers met on Sundays.

      Jn 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

      This could be Sunday or it could be Monday, depending on what after 8 days means. If it is Sunday, it is still during the count toward Shavuot…the second “first day of the week” during the count. The interesting thing is that nothing is said about anybody meeting for the sake of some kind of new Sabbath, but it was common for Jewish people to get together just after Sabbath ended…still is. It was common for them to get together to count the weeks to Shavuot…still is. Shavuot is literally “Weeks.”

      The other funny thing is that the Greek does not really say “first day of the week.” It says “one of sabbaths” or possibly “one of weeks.” The word “day” is not in there. Sounds more like a count to me toward Shavuot than making note of what day of the week it is. And it is interesting that “eight days later” is used here in John instead of “mia ton sabbaton”/”first day of the week.” But I guess the number of days later would be readily known and remembered since they were obeying YHWH’s commandment to count…toward the feast of weeks/Shavuot/Pentecost.

      The point of the term that is translated “first day of the week” being used in scripture is to show us that Messiah fulfilled the Scriptural firstfruits offering on the exact appointment of YHWH and not to let us know what day of the week it was…although we would know that if we knew that firstfruits had always been on the morrow after the Sabbath. The other places that the phrase is used tells us that it is during the count and not that Sunday has any special meaning.

      “William Cave wrote “… the Sabbath or ‘Saturday’ (for so the word sabbatum is constantly used in the writings of the fathers, when speaking of it as it relates to Christians) was held by them in great veneration, and especially in the Eastern parts honoured with all the public solemnities of religion. This is plain, not only from some passages in Ignatius and Clemens’s Constitutions, but from writers of more unquestionable credit and authority. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that they assembled on Saturdays… to worship Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath.”[15]

      15. Cave, Primitive Christianity: or the Religion of the Ancient Christians in the First Ages of the Gospel. 1840, revised edition by H. Cary. Oxford, London, pp. 84–85).”

      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp

      Sunday is not the new Sabbath. It wasn’t for the early believers either. This tradition of men is an obvious instance of the antimessiah system “thinking to change times and laws” instead of obeying Messiah when he said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” He came and fulfilled firstfuits on the exact day. He did not make Sunday holy. He and His disciples continued to remember to keep YHWH’s Sabbath holy. They did not destroy YHWH’s law by defiling it or changing it.

      PS: “The Lord’s day” is not a day of the week. If it was, it would be the seventh day, since Messiah said that He was the lord of the Sabbath. The phrase that John uses in Revelation is referring to the time frame that he had a vision of…”the day of the LORD.” He sees all the judgements and darkness of “the day of the Lord” and thus says, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.”

      Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
      2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

      Zep 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
      15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

      The term “day of the Lord” came to be used in reference to Sunday via pagan worship of Mithra and thus absorbed into Catholic terminology that has always adopted pagan practices.

      254-

      Rockypath1,

      Once again you can show no scripture that actually proves what the Catholic Church says and can only find someone at least 100 years removed from the original early church to back up your doctrine. There is no connection between the real church that was begun by Messiah and what became the Catholic church. It is a stretch of enormous proportions to think that the apostles taught us to celebrate the “pascal mystery” every Sunday. Passover and unleavened bread was celebrated once a year by them…on the 14th day of the first Biblical month. The most ancient tradition from the apostles was:

      “A Question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s passover.”

      -Writings of Eusebius, Book 5, Chapter 23, Verse 1

      “Chapter 24
      1 But the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them.351 He himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come down to him:352

      2 “We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate.

      3 He fell asleep at Ephesus.

      4 And Polycarp353 in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, 354 bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna.

      5 Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris355 who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, 356 or Melito, 357 the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead?

      6 All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith.358 And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people359 put away the leaven.

      7 I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’” 360″

      -Writings of Eusebius, Book 5, Chapter 24, Verses 1-7

      The church of Rome had already apostatized from this true way of keeping Passover that John the apostle and Polycarp had taught the churches under their charge. Justin Martyr was a product of this early apostasy.

      257-

      rockypath1,

      Obedience, yes…to what the apostles actually wrote and not to fabricated traditions and surmisings coming from a corrupt worship system.

      Eusebius was a Catholic that compiled known history. Polycarp was John’s disciple. Polycarp and John and virtually the whole of the eastern church celebrated Passover as per the scriptures and Rome did not at the time of Polycrates writing. Rome was already apostate by mid second century.

      In the words of Peter, whom Polycrates quoted, “We ought to obey YHWH rather than men.” Roman Catholicism is the word of men. The scripture is the word of YHWH. Any tradition that does not align with every word of YHWH is apostasy. Your church is full of these sorts of things. It is obvious to anyone that has not been swallowed by it or has not swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

      258-
      rockypath1,

      I do not sneer at the Catholic Church. I grieve over those who have been deceived by it.

      259-

      Rockypath1,

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, he says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist. He was disillusioned. He says that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the apostle Paul’s experience. He says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was a dream but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presense of the most beautiful young woman that I could ever imagine he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. H tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a portugese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      He also asked her, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.”

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with far less respect than he knew was do her, he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the catholic church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a stong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking his language to tell this man something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

      260-

      Let’s try that again with a few corrections:

      Rockypath1,

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the Apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, this man says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist, that he was disillusioned, and that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the Apostle Paul’s experience. This man says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was dreaming but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presence of the most beautiful young woman that he could ever imagine…he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. He tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a Portuguese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      Later in the video we find out that he also asked Mary, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.” I guess I would expect a little better theology than that from someone in the know.

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with “far less respect than he knew was do her,” he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the Catholic Church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a strong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. We know that Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking this man’s language to tell him something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more reason why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for this Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

      264-

      rockypath1,

      I am no fan of John MacArthur , but he hits many nails on the head in this presentation. Please do me the favor listening to the first 25 minutes of this presentation and 48:00-1:04:00 and 1:14 to the end…if you dare.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJ077vOXTI

      Everyone else,

      Please listen to the link above and the link that rockypath1 posted. It will be obvious where the truth lies.

      Shalom

      268-

      rockypath1,

      No need to apologize insincerely. Your posts show how brainwashed you are and how hateful you are toward those that simply show facts proving Catholicism to be a false religion. I simply believe what the scripture says instead of ridiculous man-made mystery cult inventions that came from pagan sources. There is no connection between the apostles and the pope or real presence or Maryolatry or indulgences or purgatory or the great wealth and pomp. NO CONNECTION!

      The very things that you say your god would not do, Messiah prophesied would happen. The apostles warned that it would happen. And it happened. And the Catholic Church is the continuing embodiment of it happening. The real assembly of Messiah is not a Church system. It is a small remnant of people that have found the straight gate and the narrow way and follow the Lamb where ever He leads. That hear His voice and obey His Father. The Catholic Church has a different father and a different Messiah. It sits as a queen and will soon be destroyed.

      Mt 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
      25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
      26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
      27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
      28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
      29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
      30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
      31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
      32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
      33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

      Re 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
      3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
      4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
      5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
      6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
      7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
      8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
      20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

      Contrary to your logic, the kingdom of heaven becomes corrupted. It is full of Satan’s emissaries. It grows into a mutant plant that houses fouls/demons. The whole thing becomes leavened with sin and false doctrine. And YHWH calls all that are truly His to come out of this monstrosity…this whore.

      The gates of hades will not prevail against the real assembly. It cannot hold the true believers in the grave. Hell already has those that follow the false system in shackles even while they live and they do not even know it. Messiah will return for His small, true, simple, spotless bride and resurrect them to sit by His side. And the huge whore will be judged for living deliciously off of its poor patrons and the kings of the earth. And heaven and the prophets and apostles will rejoice over her destruction.

      And just so you know, the mother of harlots has daughters. All those little church systems that have been born out of this great whore that continue to keep her feasts and her sabbaths will fall with her. But there are some people of good will and that have honest hearts that will heed the call to come out of Babylon before it is too late. It has been happening from the beginning. And Rome and her daughters have persecuted the real bride the whole time. The wicked step sisters have looked on the real Cinderella with disdain, but the real prince will come for His true love and the others will go out unto weeping and gnashing of teeth…and some, for a time, might think that they are in purgatory, but they will be sadly mistaken.

      Your religion is mostly about “The blessed virgin Mary” and bread and wine that mysteriously turn into flesh and blood. Magic and fertility cult worship will not go over very well in the end. The testimony of your famous Jew that became a Catholic tells us all we need to know to run as fast as we can from your idolatrous witchcraft laden system that piles up treasures while the world starves. It sits a queen for only a few more years.

      There is time for you to come to your senses and leave before it is too late. Maybe you should listen to the link I provided and think long and hard about what is said instead of heaping insults on a man that has guts enough to speak what he thinks is true. I listed to your link and detailed much of its contents and showed the outrageousness of it. Do a point by point critique of MacArthur’s presentation showing how he is wrong or how he lies…if you are a Catholic of good will.

      272-

      rockypath1,

      Who killed Paul and Peter? Rome. Who ruled Jerusalem when John penned Revelation? Rome.

      Does Rome set on seven hills/mountians?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_hills_of_Rome

      And just to be clear, all false religions are included in Babylon the whore. The Catholic Church is just the obvious overarching system that fits in every aspect. Judaism and Jewish apostasy to Baal worship in the past is certainly included in the whore along with Hinduism and Islam and the New Age movement. And the Catholic Church has killed so many NT prophets and preachers and witnesses of Messiah that it is ludicrous to deny the obvious.

      And my reading of Matthew 13 is only too obvious to the unbiased reader. The kingdom of heaven becomes corrupted and leavened with sin and false doctrine and grows way beyond the bounds of nature. The only system that claims to be the kingdom of heaven that fits this description is Roman Catholicism and its offshoots.

      Peter was in Rome when he penned this:

      1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_Peter

      “The question now meets us – Is “Babylon” to be taken in a mystic sense, as a cryptograph for Rome, or literally? Eusebius, and ancient writers generally, understand it of Rome. Eusebius is commonly understood to claim for this view the authority of Papias and Clement of Alexandria (as has been stated in the Introduction, p. 9.). But the historian’s words (‘Hist. Eccl.,’ 1. 15. 2) seem to claim that authority only for the connection of St. Peter with St. Mark’s Gospel; the identification of Babylon with Rome seems to be mentioned only as a common opinion in the time of Eusebius. It is said that there is no trace of the existence of a Christian Church at the Chaldean Babylon, and no proof, apart from this passage, that St. Peter was ever there.”- Pulpit Commentary http://biblehub.com/1_peter/5-13.htm

      Who is Babylon? Rome.

      274

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “SO WHO IS BABYLON – THE GREAT CITY MOTHER OF WHORES

      ANSWER

      REV 1:8 The GREAT CITY “where also their lord was crucified – JERUSALEM

      NOT ROME!”

      You have purposely misquoted and misconstrued this passage. You have even mislabeled it.

      Re 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

      The great city where Messiah was killed is called Sodom and Egypt…not Babylon. Rome is called Babylon.

      276-

      rockypath1,

      I guess everyone but you thinks that there is more than one “great city.” Babylon-Rome is a great city and Jerusalem-Sodom is a great city. Pretty easy, huh? Here a few more great cities:

      Ge 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

      Jos 10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

      Jon 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

      287-

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “Roy Schoeman (New York Jew as he describes himself offers some remarkable insight on the role of Jews today in salvation history and in their ongoing salvific role.

      It is fascinating stuff on many angles.

      Here is part 1 of 14 parts. They get more interesting as they go.”

      I listened intently to the first part. It is interesting. It shows Catholicism for what it is. A magic mystery cult. It offers a false salvation. It has a false savior named “Blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the video the god that revealed himself/herself would not reveal his name. The virgin would not answer him in his own language, but in Portuguese. Repentance was not preached. The whole thing was occultic.

      Go ahead and watch the first video for yourselves. No one could be deceived by it except those with no spiritual discernment that have been blinded by years of listening to a false spirit guide or brainwashing in a mystery religion.

      Here is my brief summary of the video:

      I listened carefully to the link that you provided.

      It is not a conversion like the Apostle Paul’s. It is an obvious example of demonic visions/dreams where Satan masquerades as an angel of light…disguised as the “blessed virgin Mary.”

      In the first 10 minutes, this man says that he had totally abandoned his Jewish faith and was an atheist, that he was disillusioned, and that he was “Stupidly selfish.” He was seeking consolation while walking on a beach when he was embraced by total love and total security when he had his experience. The nondescript god that spoke to him wouldn’t reveal his name. Hmmmm? That does not sound like the Apostle Paul’s experience. This man says that he was willing to receive whoever it was that was revealing himself to him as long as it was not “Christ.” Hmmmm?

      In the next 7 minutes we find out that one year to the day later that he was dreaming but his memory was as if he was awake and that he was in the presence of the most beautiful young woman that he could ever imagine…he just knew it was Mary. He was overwhelmed by her stature and glory and he wanted to throw himself on his knees to honor her somehow. The next morning He knew it was Christ on the beach. He tells us that “God veiled his sin from him” and that the message was not to repent or he would have turned back.

      Mary said that she would answer any questions he had. He asked, “What is your favorite prayer to you?” He says that she was coy and said, “I love all prayers to me.” He elaborated about how Mary told him a prayer in Portuguese but that he did not understand the language. But later he found a Portuguese woman and he asked her to recite prayers and he recognized the first few syllables of the prayer that Mary told him.

      Later in the video we find out that he also asked Mary, “What is this business about the holy spirit? She looked up with an expression melting with love and said, “He is his gaze.” I guess I would expect a little better theology than that from someone in the know.

      He began attending a protestant church and asked the pastor, “What about the blessed virgin Mary?” When the pastor answered with “far less respect than he knew was do her,” he left and started to spend all of his free time hanging around Marian shrines just to commune with Mary. Whenever he was around a mass while he was at these shrines he had a desire to receive communion. He said that the “blessed virgin Mary” was the perfect way to draw him to the Catholic Church because he was “not ready for Jesus.” He says that he got a lot of consolation at these Marian shrines and a strong sense of her presence.

      The above is a perfect example of spiritual deception. It is not a true Christian conversion. It may be a true Catholic conversion to false idol/satanic worship though. We know that Messiah preached repentance from the start and declared His name openly. Mary is never the one He uses to reveal himself in visions and dreams. Not speaking this man’s language to tell him something and being coy is just seductive Babylonian mystery religion.

      Your link proves all the more reason why no true-hearted and well-meaning protestant would ever fall for this Catholic idolatry. As much good will as any Bible believer has, he can never accept this as a true conversion or true faith in Messiah.

      289-

      Eliyahu,

      Is necromancy only wrong for Jews, or is it wrong gentiles also?

      Ro 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

      The Catholic faith is opposed to Biblical faith. It is anti-Messiah.

      291-

      rockypath1,

      You have produced no proof of real presence belief until possibly the middle of the 2nd century. The early church from its beginning has not been such. The pagan aberration of mystical cannibalism and magic crept in and deceived many. The real assembly of Messiah has always stood against these things. The Catholic Church has always been apostate and full of paganism and occultic practices.

      You wrote on another thread:
      “Was He such an incompetent teacher that He would not make sure that this teaching was understood properly[?]”

      He was such a great teacher that He could spell out exactly what He meant and still puprposely keep people from understanding Him. And then clarify to His disciples with sayings like “the flesh profiteth nothing.”

      Mt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
      11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
      12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

      13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
      14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
      15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

      And you only quoted half of this verse:

      Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      “The flesh profiteth nothing” is in direct reference to Messiah’s discourse on eating His flesh. He explained Himself privately to His closest disciples and most of the others left, precisely because they were left with the misunderstanding that they would have to become cannibals. “Eating His flesh” is gaining spiritual nourishment from hearing His words and putting them into practice.

      Joh 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
      33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
      34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      The people in Messiah’s day that heard Him say to eat His flesh and drink His blood had the good sense to not follow someone that would teach this literally. The disciples had the good sense enough to continue to follow Him once He told them that it was a metaphor. They followed Him because he had the words of life, not because His physical flesh and blood would be literal food.

      But what of the church system that thinks that He was being literal and still claims to follow Him? What of the people that go along with this? It is not good sense. It is paganism. It is mystery religion…mystery Babylon. It teaches a false Messiah…a cannibal…a pagan entity.

      You wrote on another thread:
      “Paul, the didache, Ignatius, Justyn martyr and all the many others should be enough.”

      Paul does not teach real presence, as I have demonstrated. The didache does not teach it. Ignatius wrote in the second century and it is in doubt what he teaches about it. Justyn Martyr is late second century.

      Some reading our dialogue would probably like to read this:

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

      rockypath1 believes in the infallibility of and office…a mere man. I believe in the infallibility of YHWH’s word. That word explicitly denies real presence doctrine. Rockypath1 may continue to pile historical record upon historical record showing what the apostate Catholic Church always believed, but it will be piled on the foundation of paganism and traditions of men and not on the real foundation of Messiah and the apostle’s doctrine. Catholics of good will would do well to read for themselves and think for themselves and leave off on the talking points.

      Luke 22
      19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

      Please note that this is to be done in remembrance of Messiah, and is thus symbolic in nature. If the “real presence” was indicated, it would not be in remembrance, but in actuality.

      What was in the cup? Wine. No blood, but the new covenant in His blood. It was a covenant meal, not a lawful way to enjoy cannibalism and imbibe eternal life.

      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life…
      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      Messiah is not saying to remember Him by eating Him. He is saying to remember Him by eating unleavened bread and and drinking the cup of wine after the Passover dinner, which just happens to be called the cup of salvation/deliverance. A memorial is not the real thing. So let’s do what Messiah said and memorialize Him on the day in the way He said to, and not participate in some pagan magic incantation and cannibalistic mysticism.

      Paul is a second witness.

      1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
      24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
      26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

      We symbolically show (Literally: announce or declare.) the Messiah’s death until He returns. We do not bring down His flesh and blood, we bring down the message of it. We do not produce the actual flesh and blood of His death. That is a much different type of showing. We do it in remembrance…as a memorial.

      This is what the apostles taught. Whatever church “father”, not matter how early, that actually teaches real presence is simply in error. Whatever Church does this, is deceiving us.

      297-

      rockypath1 believes in the infallibility of and office…a mere man. I believe in the infallibility of YHWH’s word. That word explicitly denies real presence doctrine. Rockypath1 may continue to pile historical record upon historical record showing what the apostate Catholic Church always believed, but it will be piled on the foundation of paganism and traditions of men and not on the real foundation of Messiah and the apostle’s doctrine. Catholics of good will would do well to read for themselves and think for themselves and leave off on the talking points.

      Luke 22
      19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

      Please note that this is to be done in remembrance of Messiah, and is thus symbolic in nature. If the “real presence” was indicated, it would not be in remembrance, but in actuality.

      What was in the cup? Wine. No blood, but the new covenant in His blood. It was a covenant meal, not a lawful way to enjoy cannibalism and imbibe eternal life.

      John 6
      63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life…
      67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      Messiah is not saying to remember Him by eating Him. He is saying to remember Him by eating unleavened bread and and drinking the cup of wine after the Passover dinner, which just happens to be called the cup of salvation/deliverance. A memorial is not the real thing. So let’s do what Messiah said and memorialize Him on the day in the way He said to, and not participate in some pagan magic incantation and cannibalistic mysticism.

      Paul is a second witness.

      1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
      24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
      26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

      We symbolically show (Literally: announce or declare.) the Messiah’s death until He returns. We do not bring down His flesh and blood, we bring down the message of it. We do not produce the actual flesh and blood of His death. That is a much different type of showing. We do it in remembrance…as a memorial.

      This is what the apostles taught. Whatever church “father”, not matter how early, that actually teaches real presence is simply in error. Whatever Church does this, is deceiving us.

      301-

      rockypath1,

      You wrote:
      “Whatever else might be said, the early Church took John 6 literally. In fact, there is no record from the early centuries that implies Christians doubted the constant Catholic interpretation.”

      There is nothing in any writing before the middle of the second century that would show that the very early church believed that they were eating real flesh and drinking real blood. It is a memorial of His death. We declare His death by partaking of wine and unleavened bread that quite remains bread and wine. This is what Luke and Paul obviously say. The constant Catholic interpretation started in the middle of the 2nd century and not at the beginning. It is doctrines men and doctrines of demons. Here is what some early leaders thought:

      “But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock?… Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.”- Clement’s Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6

      “Now, if ‘everything that entereth into the mouth goes into the belly and is cast out into the drought,’ even the meat which has been sanctified through the word of God and prayer, in accordance with the fact that it is material, goes into the belly and is cast out into the draught, but in respect of the prayer which comes upon it, according to the proportion of the faith, becomes a benefit and is a means of clear vision to the mind which looks to that which is beneficial, and it is not the material of the bread but the word which is said over it which is of advantage to him who eats it not unworthily of the Lord. And these things indeed are said of the typical and symbolical body. But many things might be said about the Word Himself who became flesh, and true meat of which he that eateth shall assuredly live for ever, no worthless person being able to eat it; for if it were possible for one who continues worthless to eat of Him who became flesh. who was the Word and the living bread, it would not have been written, that ‘every one who eats of this bread shall live for ever.’” (Origen, Commentary on Mathew 11:14)

      They thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, It is the spirit that quickens; and then added, The flesh profits nothing — meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. In a like sense He had previously said: He that hears my words, and believes in Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life. Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, We ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (Tertullian-On the Resurrection of the Flesh 37)

      http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

      So now you can dispute the evidence.

    349. Sheila
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

      Hi Rockypath,

      I have to say I think those who experience constant defamation have a predisposition to become defensive sometimes “before” the slurs even appear. I think perhaps that’s the case now. I’m not of the militant ilk that Bo is and I know he is very arrogant in his presentation and interaction with others and it’s difficult to not respond in like manner. He can be very unkind in his remarks and I think he needs to examine his heart and see and correct his error. But, I hate to see you making broad generalizations as I don’t recall most others here treating you with anything but generosity. Certainly I am not in agreement with your beliefs, but, I think perhaps you were taught those things by others and would not have adopted those beliefs if left to yourself and a Bible.

      I didn’t learn anything from any church or denomination as I was stuck with a back that had collapsed after 10 years after a car wreck when I picked up the Bible. I spent 2 years reading and studying it and I feel blessed to have had that beginning without any outside interference. That’s not to say that everything was crystal clear in all areas, but, when I did go outside of the Bible and read commentaries and the work of various scholars I was certainly able to determine truth from error very quickly. It’s a rare occurrence to have had that experience and I don’t hold it against anyone who is taught error by others. There comes a time, however, when all should examine their personal beliefs in light of Scripture as that is the place where the truth of God should begin. I understand that it’s almost impossible to disentangle ourselves from long held beliefs and it’s a rare thing to disassociate ourselves from tradition which has built a tall hedge around those beliefs, but, if what we’re taught doesn’t align with Scripture why would we continue to favor man-made beliefs over the word of God?

      Can you see the errors that Bo walks in? I believe you can. Is it merely because you were taught differently that you can see it, or, is it because you’re able to defend those beliefs from Scripture? I hope it’s from Scripture, otherwise you’re just as guilty for allowing others to do your thinking for you.

      The entire Body of Christ is disjointed and coming undone because we’ve all left off building on the Foundation Stone, which is Messiah, Jesus. The Shepherd of our souls and His Kingdom is not of this world and we are drawn astray when we live too much in this world and not enough in the Heavenly Kingdom. When we begin to “bite and devour each other” we are playing into the hands of the prince of this world and his desire to destroy what Messiah has built. We have to be on guard relentlessly against the wiles of Satan who uses strife and dissension to divide and conquer us. So, no matter our man-made traditions we must cling to Messiah and the Gospel of life and leave off quenching the Spirit who is given to each of us to guide us into all truth. That should be the uniting force that restrains us and keeps us until the Lord returns. No institution and no man-made traditions should take the place of our moving and living and abiding in the Body of Christ as brothers and sisters joined together with Christ as the Head of His Church. To love one another as Messiah loved us is not just a suggestion, it should be our life.

      If anyone, be he Pope, Pastor, Priest or Teacher usurps the authority of Scripture, then, yes, we’ve got serious problems. And many are the errors being promulgated within the Body today by way of various denominations and lone sects and teachings. “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” We should all of us return to the foundation of our faith and to the commonality of the Gospel of the Kingdom. If proper doctrine is not preached by human shepherds than we have a responsibility to try to reason with them and set them straight. If they refuse to yield to the authority of Scripture than we should leave off following them—regardless of who they are.

      The Lord will judge all when He returns, not by how well they followed orthodox doctrine, but, how well did they follow Him?

      Can we agree on that?

      And I know how infuriating Bo can be and I firmly believe he’s adopting the same attitude that the priests of Jesus day did—”come not near me for I am holier than you.” Let’s determine that there is no doctrine other than Scripture that can correct his error, certainly no ceremony will do it.

      Please, let’s live in the Body in Peace and the Lord will judge His people when He returns. May we all be found without spot, without pollution from the things of this world, especially the spirit of this age who wars against us all.

      I’m truly sorry for all the malignant and malicious comments made by those you have dealings with who claim to be Christians, but, whose behavior denies it. I’m guilty of being drawn away by it myself and am constantly having to check my own words and repent. Some refuse to repent. I’m not saying that we should lie down and let everyone walk all over us and we need to defend our convictions, sometimes forcefully, but, I do believe we should interact without spiteful words, especially since we will all give an account of them. And, yes, I’m preaching to myself! :)

      Wishing you peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and may you abide only in Messiah and His Word until His return. We need to unite against the evils of this present world.

      Thanks.

    350. Sheila
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      Oh for heaven’s sake, Bo! How long have you had that prepared for—a month and a day? Good grief, it’s like reading the first chapter of a book.

      I hope you’ve read what I wrote to Rocky. I’m very worried about the spirit that pervades some of these posts. And, no, I’ve not read yours. I need to return to the other thread and then move on to pursue those things that may actually bear some fruit for the Kingdom by saving lost souls who don’t already know Jesus.

    351. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

      Sheila,

      Should I be encouraged or blessed by your talking about me. Your claims come from being offended and are not true and righteous judgment. If you want to talk to me that is fine. But I resent being talked about esp. in such a defamatory way. Like rockypath 1 responding the way he does, my supposed arrogance may be in response to those of your ilk that attack me. But of course you will see no arrogance and attack in your posts.

      You wrote:
      “And I know how infuriating Bo can be and I firmly believe he’s adopting the same attitude that the priests of Jesus day did—”come not near me for I am holier than you.”

      Nothing of the sort is in my mind or heart. I insist that you do not discuss me…except with me. And maybe an apology to me is in order here. Think about it.

      You wrote:
      ” I do believe we should interact without spiteful words, especially since we will all give an account of them. And, yes, I’m preaching to myself! :)

      Great! Practice Christian charity then.

      Shalom

    352. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

      Sheila,

      If you would stop judging by the outward appearance and read you would know that I just copied and pasted my previous posts to rockypath 1 for the purpose of showing his accusation to be false and to show those that care to read how wrong his doctrine is.

    353. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

      Sheila,

      And it only took about 5 or 10 minutes, not a year, a month, a day or an hour. Do you ever wonder if you emotions get in your way of accepting truth?

    354. Bo
      September 18th, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

      Sheila,

      You wrote:
      “I need to return to the other thread and then move on to pursue those things that may actually bear some fruit for the Kingdom by saving lost souls who don’t already know Jesus.”

      Do you think that the above sounds arrogant?

    355. b.j.stone
      September 18th, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

      Christians, Catholics alike. Born twice INTO THEIR FAITH. We must include reformers, even reformers of the reformers of Universalists be twice born into ‘THE’ faith, as to ‘their’ unique faith in a ‘jesus of their own choice’, from ‘angel from heaven’ interpretation of Torah. SAME with ‘Messianic Jewish ‘reformers’, also ‘reformers of reformers’ of JESUS also as their Messiah of ISRAEL of Abraham. The resurrection of ALL is the salvation of ALL, including ALL the born twice IN THIS EARTH. THE DISCUSSION BY NICK at night with REAL MESSIAH is about heavenly things, SUCH AS ‘birth FROM ABOVE’.

    356. Sheila
      September 18th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

      Bo,

      I didn’t mean for my taking the Gospel to others who don’t already know Jesus as being arrogant. Just stating my intent.

      I’ve not said anything that I haven’t said to you before. You’ve given me a job of sweeping floors in the Kingdom. That’s okay, I’ll gladly clean floors as they’re made of precious gems, clear as crystal and someone has to do it. :)

      You know I believe you’re in error and that’s why I care enough to dispute you. My point was we can be honest without being brutal. Agreed?

    357. b.j.stone
      September 18th, 2014 @ 10:49 pm

      Charity is AGAPE in New testament. AGAPE is speaking TRUTH in love, not ‘phileo ‘ which comes thru ‘loss of FIRST ‘AGAPE’, when first becoming truly ‘born again’, but NOT TO BE CONFUSED with NEW BIRTH from above WHICH MUST REMAIN in “AGAPE”

    358. rockypath1
      September 19th, 2014 @ 8:57 am

      Shiela,

      I am certainly too broadbrushing but I have been shocked by the volume of incredible and disheartening anti-Catholic Youtube posting. My real tactic is to draw awareness to this so that it can be addressed by those in the broader evangelical assembly.

      My apologies for my ungenerous posting. They grieve me at times also, very much. Part of it is a legitimate sense of injustice but another significant part of it pig-headed pride and frustration. And the latter are just not good enough.

      I will get back to you a little more on this early next week.

    359. b.j.stone
      September 19th, 2014 @ 10:16 am

      Do we really know Paul’s message ? re: Mary ?
      Mary also needs resurrection, as we ALL, IN THE FLESH. Resurrection ‘order’ granted unto Mary, her ‘standing up again’ IN THE FLESH, in very same likeness of also her very parents, all of same “partaking” of very same ‘sinful flesh’ of both that of first Adam’s ‘Eve’ (mother of all natural living soul hidden within, “REAL BODY”, real PERSONAGE, which gives all those now birthed in this tiny FOOTSTOOL, since ‘Eve’, she taken from ‘side’ of first resurrected Adam, THIS very promise unto resurrection, NOT as before of all those who died ‘in WORLD that “THEN” was’ from which first Adam came, who were awaiting their final ETERNAL JUDGEMENT from just ‘one death’ ONLY, from which first Adam came first into his being first of only TWO ADAMS, ONE YET TO COME FROM THE BIRTH from Mary, resurrection as LAST ADAM, on this same tiny FOOTSTOOL of dirt) yet ALL of first Adam along with ‘Eve’, AND included this ‘birth’ of Mary’s FIRST BORN SON unto this very same likeness of very same “partaking” in very same ‘sinful flesh’ of first Adam & Eve’s FALL from GRACE, Mary, the ‘mother’ of the LORD OF GLORY, gave birth to the MAN from HEAVEN, WHO once being in very bosom of F-ther, BEFORE being found in her lowly ‘estate’ bosom she received from her own ‘earthly’ father, and from also her own ‘earthly’ mother’s father (both named Joseph, from the royal line of king David from Jacob’s son ‘Judah’s’ tribe) yet out in the place people, all said “can anything, ever, good come out from outlaying City Nazareth on border of Samaria ?”
      She also was about 13 yrs. given in betrothal to ‘hired carpenter’ by her father who was NOT from Abraham’s Isaac, but in order to work on Nazareth’s Temple, he must take ‘name’ of her father Joseph, awaiting (as in extreme outlying cities away from Judea, 1 full year, before considered consummated in marriage, not only to youthful Mary, also consummated ‘in marriage’ to the faith of Mary’s father’s faith, and her mother’s faith in ISRAEL’S teachings, Torah containing ISRAEL’s LAWS concerning any Temple no matter what City being built or necessary being repaired as was of this ‘lowly village’ of once called ‘City of Nazareth’). Mary BECAME the mother of the ONCE already previously birthed by same HOLY SPIRIT who overshadowed her, HAVING BEEN IN HEAVEN ‘EQUAL’ TO THE F-THER OF WHOSE BOSOM HE CAME FORTH FROM before ‘lowly Mary’s.

    360. Sheila
      September 19th, 2014 @ 11:14 am

      Rockypath,

      You’re fine–I can tell! There’s much anti-Catholic rhetoric out there and with the web it’s too easy to remain anonymous and post very ugly hit and run comments.

    361. Bo
      September 19th, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

      Sheila,

      You wrote:
      “You know I believe you’re in error and that’s why I care enough to dispute you. My point was we can be honest without being brutal. Agreed?”

      I think that you have slandered me to someone else. Speaking directly to me with intensity is fine. Gossiping and spreading evil reports is not fine.

      I would like you to confess and repent. Here is the post that you seem to want to ignore:

      Post 351

      Sheila,

      Should I be encouraged or blessed by your talking about me. Your claims come from being offended and are not true and righteous judgment. If you want to talk to me that is fine. But I resent being talked about esp. in such a defamatory way. Like rockypath 1 responding the way he does, my supposed arrogance may be in response to those of your ilk that attack me. But of course you will see no arrogance and attack in your posts.

      You wrote:
      “And I know how infuriating Bo can be and I firmly believe he’s adopting the same attitude that the priests of Jesus day did—”come not near me for I am holier than you.”

      Nothing of the sort is in my mind or heart. I insist that you do not discuss me…except with me. And maybe an apology to me is in order here. Think about it.

      You wrote:
      ” I do believe we should interact without spiteful words, especially since we will all give an account of them. And, yes, I’m preaching to myself! :)

      Great! Practice Christian charity then.

      Shalom”

    362. Sheila
      September 20th, 2014 @ 12:17 am

      Bo,

      I see I’ve hurt your feelings, not intentionally, but, nonetheless I have. I just assumed you wouldn’t be bothered by it, but, I was wrong. Are you infuriating at times? You are, and I’ve mentioned it to you before. Even when I say that, I think of you as a brother that bugs me to death, but, that I still care for. I am sorry for thinking you would have just sent a wise crack back at me like you usually do.

      I enjoy interacting on Dr. Brown’s blog and listening to his programs. He has a way of lifting others up and I get a lot of encouragement from his shows. I enjoy testing my understanding of Scripture with others as it keeps me studying and learning.

      I just won’t be able to interact if strife is the order of the day. I have a natural tendency to come to the aid of others and when I see discord I want to right it. I guess it backfired on me this time and for that I apologize.

      Thanks.

    363. Ray
      September 20th, 2014 @ 10:29 am

      We sure can use some real presence of the Lord’s body and blood here, well some more of it anyway.
      It seems that some are getting present…and accounted for, and to whatever extent it’s so, they will be healed.

    364. b.j.stone
      September 20th, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

      Jesus took aside the murmuring disciples (about drinking blood, HIS blood, eating flesh, HIS flesh)”what if YE shall see the Son of man ascend up where HE was before ?”. Doesn’t that give a clue that HE was not speaking about the blood, bones and flesh HE had already received from Mary (Miriam) very same ‘likeness’ of very same ‘sinful flesh’ of Miriam, from Adam, Adam’s ‘Eve’ (mother of all NATURAL living soul hidden within BODIES to be separated entirely from the ‘outer TENT’ of HIS also TEMPORAL flesh?

    365. Michael lofton
      November 29th, 2014 @ 10:25 am

      Dr. Brown. I am a Catholic and a former protestant charismatic. I also practiced Judaism as a child. I use to kisten to your show all the time. I would love to talk to you about why you are not a catholic. If interested, please contact me at cmichaellofton@gmail.com. anyone else may feel free to do so as well.

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