Why Do Catholics Reject Sola Scriptura?


images-1Dear Monisha,
We totally agree that appealing to Scripture is an excellent practice. If you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church you will find a multitude of Scripture references in the footnotes as references for our doctrines. However, the Catholic Faith and practice existed long before Martin Luther came along and decided, on his own authority, that ONLY what was in written Scripture (Sola Scriptura) was legitimate and all else was suspect or outright heresy.

As far as asserting that even Jesus relied only upon Scripture, I would have to disagree. He taught and behaved in ways diametrically opposed to what the sola scriptura Jews believed and judged him to be a dangerous heretic and so they plotted to destroy Him. For instance, when friends brought the man to Jesus for healing by letting him down through the roof, Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” And what did the prominent and educated Jews think?

“Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” (according to their scriptures)

Did Jesus then appeal to Scripture to absolve Himself? No.

And there are many other examples. Jesus was doing something new and unexpected. So, appealing to Scriptures is a wonderful and powerful practice but all Christian truth is not found in them and Scripture NEVER teaches that all spiritual truth is to be found in them alone. Martin Luther made that up. Not Jesus. Not the apostles. Not God.

You said,

It is not required of Scripture to have a statement to the effect, “The Bible alone is to be used for all spiritual truth,” in order for sola scriptura to be true.

Why not? How can one claim that all Christian truth must be in Scripture alone if that teaching, itself,  cannot even be found in scripture alone? It is not trustworthy for Protestants to say that if something is not explicitly taught in Scripture alone, except for the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, then it cannot be believed, That doesn’t make sense.

You are exactly correct that all Christians do believe in doctrines not explicitly to be found spelled out in Scripture alone, like the Trinity, and the incarnation, the two natures of Christ etc. These doctrines were hammered out centuries before Martin Luther arrived on the scene by the Councils of the Catholic Church. It just so happened that Luther liked these doctrines and therefore adopted them even though they were not spelled out in Scripture alone. And therefore, according to this Protestant tradition, most Protestants still accept these Catholic doctrines down to this day.

However, there were other Catholic doctrines, Luther did not like and so, he used his novel assertion of Sola Scriptura to reject and repel anything he did not agree with. He even removed seven books from the OT and six from the NT that contradicted his beliefs. He was later persuaded to return the NT books. Therefore, today Protestant Bibles are missing 7 OT books from the Canon of the 4th century. –>The 7 books removed by Martin Luther.

If you say:

Many doctrines in the Bible are not clearly stated, yet they are believed and taught by the church

I would have to agree with you completely. That is precisely the Catholic position. All that the Church teaches is derived from both the oral and the written Teachings of the Apostles sometimes referred to as Sacred Tradition. So, you are correct that we do not adhere to Sola Scriptura or Scripture alone but we certainly love and honor the Scriptures and appeal to them when appropriate.

But, with regard to Sola Scriptura, it is NOT found anywhere in the Oral or Written Teaching of the Apostles or in any of the writings of the Early Church Fathers. It has no ancient pedigree of authenticity and therefore the Catholic Church rejects it as a novelty invented by Martin Luther a mere 500 years ago.

When you said,

So, for the Catholic to require the Protestant to supply chapter and verse to prove Sola Scriptura is valid is not necessarily consistent with biblical exegetical principles of which they themselves approve when examining such doctrines as the Trinity, the hypostatic union, etc.

You have a valid point. We certainly don’t use the Sola Scriptura paradigm because we reject it. However, I am constantly insisting that Protestants prove Sola Scriptura from chapter and verse in Scripture alone,  because Protestants generally do believe in Sola Scriptura and yet this very foundational doctrine CANNOT be found in Scripture alone at all. Therefore, Sola Scriptura must be illegitimate according to the Sola Scriptura Doctrine. Because, how can Protestants tell Catholics, “I do not find the Doctrine of Purgatory anywhere in Scripture, therefore I reject it and so should Catholics.” But. then turn around and say, “I do not find the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura anywhere in Scripture but I accept it and so should Catholics.” I am sorry that is way too much cognitive dissonance for me.

And not only that, even though Protestants do believe in doctrine that is not explicitly stated in Scripture, such as the Trinity, incarnation, etc. they are blinded to this fact and turn around and condemn the Catholic Church for believing in doctrine not explicitly found in Scripture alone. Huh? By asking Protestants to prove sola scriptura with scripture alone I am trying to get them to see that there is a very large inconsistency with their doctrine.

Have a Merry and Blessed CHRISTMAS!


Our Lady Of Guadalupe


Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘completely beyond’ scientific explanation, says researcher

Dr. Adolfo Orozco at the International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe in Glendale, Arizona.

Phoenix, Ariz., Aug 7, 2009 / 04:10 pm (CNA).- Researcher and physicist Dr. Aldofo Orozco told participants at the International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe that there is no scientific explanation for the 478 years of high quality-preservation of the Tilma or for the miracles that have occurred to ensure its preservation.

Dr. Orozco began his talk by confirming that the conservation of the Tilma, the cloak of St. Juan Diego on which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared 478 years ago, “is completely beyond any scientific explanation.”

“All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica have lasted no more than ten years,” he explained. One painting of the miraculous image, created in 1789, was on display in a church near the basilica where the Tilma was placed. “This painting was made with the best techniques of its time, the copy was beautiful and made with a fabric very similar to that of the Tilma. Also, the image was protected with a glass since it was first placed there.”

However, eight years later, the copy of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was thrown away because the colors were fading and threads were breaking. In contrast, Orozco said, “the original Tilma was exposed for approximately 116 years without any kind of protection, receiving all the infrared and ultraviolet radiation from the tens of thousands of candles near it and exposed to the humid and salty air around the temple.”

Dr. Orozco then discussed the Tilma’s fabric. He noted that “one of the most bizarre characteristics of the cloth is that the back side is rough and coarse, but the front side is ‘as soft as the most pure silk, as noted by painters and scientists in 1666, and confirmed one century later in 1751 by the Mexican painter, Miguel Cabrera.”

Following an analysis of some of the fibers in 1946, it was concluded that the fibers came from the Agave plant, however, noted Dr. Orozco, the researchers couldn’t figure out which of the 175 Agave species the Tilma was made from. Years later, in 1975, “the famous Mexican researcher Ernesto Sodi Pallares said that the species of the agave was Agave popotule Zacc,” Orozco explained, “but we don’t know how he reached this conclusion.”

Before concluding his presentation, Dr. Orozco made mention of two miracles associated with the Tilma.

The first occurred in 1785 when a worker accidentally spilled a 50 percent nitric acid solvent on the right side of the cloth. “Besides any natural explanation, the acid has not destroyed the fabric of the cloth, indeed it has not even destroyed the colored parts of the image,” Orozco said.

The second miracle was the explosion of a bomb near the Tilma in 1921. Dr. Orozco recalled that the explosion broke the marble floor and widows 150 meters from the explosion, but “unexpectedly, neither the Tilma nor the normal glass that protected the Tilma was damaged or broken.” The only damage near it was a brass crucifix that was twisted by the blast.

He continued, “There are no explanations why the shockwave that broke windows 150 meters (164 yards: 1  1/2 football fields) afar did not destroy the normal glass that protected the image. Some people said that the Son by means of the brass crucifix protected the image of His Mother. The real fact is that we don’t have a natural explanation for this event.”

Dr. Orozco thanked the audience for listening to his presentation and closed by reassuring them that “Our Lady visited Mexico 478 years ago, but she remains there to give Her Love, Her Mercy and Her Care to anyone who needs it, and to bring Her Son, Jesus Christ to everyone who receives Him.”

Was Jesus Really Born on December 25th?


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Q. Was Jesus really born on December 25th? I have heard he was born in the spring.

A. ARGUMENT FOR DECEMBER BIRTHDATE OF JESUS

 God has allowed His Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on the right day or very close to it. This is not mandatory or a matter of faith, but why doubt it without very good reason?

The argument for assigning late December as the rightful date of the birth of Yeshua is based on the time Zacharias was told that Elizabeth would conceive a child.

 

Osservatore Romano: December 24,1998

“December 25 is an historical date,” Professor Tommaso Federici, Professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University and a consultant to two Vatican Congregations, has stressed. In an article in the Osservatore Romano on December 24, he wrote: “December 25 is explained as the ‘Christianization’ of a pagan feast, ‘birth of the Sol Invictus’; or as the symmetrical balance, an aesthetic balance between the winter solstice (Dec. 21-22) and the spring equinox (March 23-24).

But a discovery of recent years has shed definitive light on the date of the Lord’s birth. As long ago as 1958, the Israeli scholar Shemaryahu Talmon published an in-depth study on the calendar of the Qumran sect [Ed. based , in part, on Parchment Number 321 — 4 Q 321 — of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls,], and he reconstructed without the shadow of doubt the order of the sacerdotal rota system for the temple of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 24, 7-18) in New Testament times.

Here the family of Abijah, of which Zechariah was a descendant, father of John the herald and forerunner (Luke 1, 5), was required to officiate twice a year, on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of September. It is not without reason that the Byzantine calendar celebrated ‘John’s conception’ on September 23 and his birth nine months later, on June 24. The ‘six months’ after the Annunciation established as a liturgical feast on March 25, comes three months before the forerunner’s birth, prelude to the nine months in December: December 25 is a date of history.”

Therefore, If Zacharias served during the end of September and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December. The explanation is as follows:


1. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was conceived just after Yom Kippur (late Sept) and born 9 months later in (late June).

* John’s father (Zacharias) was a Levite of the house of Abijah who was assigned to serve in the temple during the 8th and 34 weeks of the year. If the Angel’s announcement to Zechariah was the 34th week that would have been during the High Holiday of Yom Kippur.
* It is written that John was conceived shortly after this tour of duty (Luke 1:23-4), and Yom Kippur. Thus, John would have been born around (late June).

2. Jesus was conceived in (late March), six months after John the Baptist (Luke 1:24-27, 36) near Passover, and born 9 months later during late December.

Luke 1:36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

3. Circumstantial Evidences:

Church history, since the time of the late first century, has attested to a late December birth.

Hippolytus, in the second century AD, argued that this was Christ’s birthday.

In the fourth century,

John Chrysostom (347-407) argued that December 25th was the correct date. Chrysostom taught that Zechariah received the message about John’s birth on the Day of Atonement and John the Baptist was born sometime in June or July, and the birth of Jesus took place six months later, in late December (or early January). There was never a question about the period of Jesus’ birth either in the East or in the West; only in the recent years this date was challenged.
Early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. In the normal traffic of shepherds they move around and come near Bethlehem from November to March of the year. But then these were a special class of Levitical shepherds who kept the sacrificial lambs. They do not move around because they supply the lambs for daily sacrifice from whom people bought their approved lambs, which are blemishless. The fact that the Angels announced the arrival of the perfect sacrificial lamb to these shepherds indicates this. The climate near Bethlehem is more like Southern California, it is after all Mediterranian. It is not a Canadian or Russian climate.

Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.”

Edersheim notes that Megillot Taanit states that the 9th of Tevet is considered the day of Christ’s birth, and that puts the birth of Yeshua sometime during late December.

Summary:
If Zacharias served during Yom Kippur and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December.

 

Were the Crusades Just Wars?


crusades09_0This post is the second in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

Some people find distasteful the idea that the pope exhorted and spiritually incentivized Catholic warriors to fight in the Crusades. They say the Crusades highlight the hypocrisy of Christians, who, on the one hand, profess to follow Jesus, who willingly accepted his Passion and death, and on the other, participated in and supported an armed expedition to the Holy Land. This criticism gained popular favor through the writings of the 20th-century historian Steven Runciman.

Perhaps more than any other scholar, Runciman shaped popular understanding of the Crusades, through his three volume History of the Crusades, published from 1951-54. His well-written and engaging style was highly readable, but erroneously presented the Crusaders as simple barbarians bent on the destruction of a peaceful and sophisticated Islamic culture. His view that the Crusades were “great barbarian invasions” and a “long act of intolerance… which is a sin against the Holy Ghost” solidified the myth that the Crusades were unjust wars of Christian aggression—a myth many Catholics swallow to this day.

Were the Crusades unjust? To answer that question, first we must understand that the Church has never taught that all violence is evil or sinful. Divine Revelation affords the use of violence in certain cases and for just reasons. The Old Testament is replete with examples of legitimate warfare sanctioned by God undertaken by the Jewish people.[1] These examples clearly illustrate that God commanded and allowed the use of violence for a holy purpose.

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), in his work City of God, consolidated Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions into a Christian understanding of legitimate warfare, or “just-war doctrine.” Augustine taught that violence could be undertaken for legitimate reasons, including past or present aggression, proclamation by a legitimate authority, and restoration of order and property. A review of the historical record proves the Crusades met these criteria.

The Crusades were born from the violent aggression of Islam, which had conquered ancient Christian territory in the Holy Land and North Africa and established a large foothold in Europe within a century of Muhammad’s death in the early seventh century. To read the rest of the post—>Catholic Answers

Why the Crusades Were “Glorious”


images-1This post is the first in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them from Catholic Answers.

The Crusades are one of the most misunderstood topics in Church history. Movies and TV present as established fact an outdated anti-Catholic narrative about them that stays alive by sheer repetition. Not only do secular critics of the Church use this narrative to attack Catholicism (and religion in general), but many Catholics uwittingly accept it as true.

The negative “spin” on the Crusades began in the sixteenth century with the Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther, who saw them as an outgrowth of papal authority and power. Later Enlightenment authors such as Voltaire and Edward Gibbon shaped modernity’s negative view of the Crusades by portraying them as barbaric projects undertaken by greedy and savage warriors at the behest of a corrupt papacy. Modern-day Crusade historians, thankfully, eschew the anti-religious prejudices behind this view, and are bringing to light an authentic understanding of these Catholic events from the perspective of those who participated in them. But such scholarship has not eradicated the popular myths…..

Read more –>Catholic Answers

The Communion of the Saints


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JOE: The excuse that “praying to”Mary is the same as asking her to pray for us is weak and false. No where in the whole Bible has anyone Ever, Ever prayed to people passed on. In fact it is prohibited to speak to spirit as per leviticus. Besides this, Jesus is the intercessor. Jesus is God so the excuse of askin someone “closer” to God than us is blown right out of the water! You are not God and therefore cannot say for a fact who is in heaven so praying to anyone but the Father, son or holy spirit is IDOLATRY! Jesus tells you plainly to repent or else he will remove your candlestick. Worshipping the Queen of Heaven is ancient babylonian paganism and addressed in Jeremiah. May all you catholics repent of this wickedness, please!!!

BFHU: Dear Joe, I find it amusing that you think that:

 “praying to Mary is the same as asking her to pray for us is weak and false.

But, it happens to be the truth. You, of course, are free to reject the truth about our Catholic Faith but you should be honest that you just reject it and not that it is weak and false. How can it be “weak” if it is true and how do you prove it is false? You also say,

No where in the whole Bible has anyone Ever, Ever prayed to people passed on.

OK, but why does this matter? The Trinity is not defined or mentioned anywhere in the Bible either. Neither is the Incarnation of Jesus, therefore Jehovah’s Witnesses see themselves as perfectly Biblical. But, of even more significance is the fact that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not found anywhere in the Bible either. It is a new doctrine, invented by Martin Luther a mere 500 years ago.

You are correct that contacting the dead for OCCULT reasons, seeking hidden knowledge, is forbidden as DIVINIATION. But asking for intercessory prayer is not forbidden anywhere in the Bible. Neither is it forbidden to ask our brothers and sisters to pray for us who are alive in Heaven or on Earth. And asking for prayer does not equal divination. Protestants jump to the erroneous conclusion that “Praying to the Saints” equals divination without ever exploring what we actually mean by it. They assume it MUST be DIVINATION, and we all know what happens when we assume…..

Also, I am afraid that you are mistaken when you say that Jesus is the intercessor, if you mean, only He can intercede on our behalf because that is not found anywhere in the Bible either. Because Protestants only “pray” to God it seems to them that asking for our brothers and sisters in Heaven to intercede for us (for short pray for us), gets confused in their minds with idolatry. But asking for intercessory prayer is not idolatry anymore than it is Divination. We are exhorted to:

James 5:16 …pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

It doesn’t say, pray for one another until death do you part. Have you ever asked anyone else to pray for you? Was that idolatry? Are prayer chains some form of idolatry?

In order for a person to be declared to be in Heaven and a Saint, a supernatural miracle must occur as a direct result of someone asking the “would be saint” to pray for them after they have died….the miracle has to occur after the would-be Saint is dead. These miracles are then, thoroughly investigated by scientists, medical doctors, theologians, etc and finally by the Pope. The Catholic Church does not want to look foolish by declaring something to be a miracle that was faked. This miracle is taken to prove God’s power through the prayers of the Saint. The Saint prays but God acts.

We do not believe the Saints are closer to God than Jesus but closer than many(most) of us still here in this life.

We do not worship the Queen of Heaven. That would be idolatry and heretical. We merely honor her as the Mother of Our LORD and the Queen Mother of Heaven.