Monday, June 01, 2015

I disagree with you concerning biblical canonicity. The RCC had their own way of determining which writings would be included but then early church father's such as Irenaeus, Origen, and others already had specific rules to judge which writings should be included and which should not. The canon was already in existence before 312 A.D. which is official beginning of the RCC under Constantine.

And by the way, there is a sticking point where we'll always disagree and is at the heart of what many people from many denominations consider heresy. Church history is very important to study and remember for just the reasons we just cited, e.g., for determining the Canon of Scriptures , but our definition of "handed-down Apostolic teaching" is the rub. The Bible already gives us all the Apostolic teaching we need. Nowhere in scripture is there any handing down of any kind of this type of authority. You base your beliefs on an incorrect rendering of Christ's words which say upon Peter He would build His church. But it was upon Peter's confession of Him as Lord that was the "foundation."

Many "protestant" denominations such as the ECUSA, and Anglicanism, for example, yield greatly to church history and tradition, and rightly so. However, they do not place these important tenants above Holy Scripture. The ONLY person who can enlighten us about the interpretation and right use of the Word of God is the Holy Spirit Himself, and no other, not Pope, Bishop, Priest, or anyone.



1. Your claim that "the canon was already in existence before 312 A.D." doesn't reflect reality. If the canon of Scripture was clearly settled by 312 A.D. there would have been no need for subsequent definitions of the canon. Yet in different areas different canons were used as late as the fourth century, and different canons persist even today. Because of the ongoing controversy the Council of Hippo under Pope Damasus I defined the canon in 382 A.D., and the same canon has been reiterated by subsequent popes and councils: even after the Protestant Reformers adopted a different canon.

2. Your claim that "the Bible already gives us all the Apostolic teaching we need" ironically is unsupported by Scripture. No passage -no, not even 2 Timothy 3- makes any claim that Scipture alone contains "all the apostolic teaching we need". That's a Protestant invention.

3. Many Protestants claim that Matthew 16:18 does not say what it clearly says: that Jesus was giving Simon the name "rock", and that upon this "rock" He would build His Church. But it does plainly say that. Elsewhere in Scripture we are told that the apostles are the "foundation" of the Church (Revelation 21:14). And we are told that believers are "living stones", and that we form a "spiritual edifice" (1 Peter 2). And Jesus is the "cornerstone". Elsewhere Jesus is called the "capstone" (Ephesians 2:20). It's unfortunate that Protestants fight so hard against the plain meaning of the passage. So, no, Peter's not God; he's not perfect; he's not all-knowing; he's not sinless. But he is the "rock" that Jesus picked to serve in some sense as the foundation of His Church.

4. You said, "Nowhere in scripture is there any handing down of any kind of this type of authority." You need to go back and do some more reading. There is abundant evidence that Jesus gave the apostles authority that was then given to other men by means of "handing down": from the Greek "paradosis", and the Latin "traditio". English: "tradition". Paul spoke of it a great deal with Timothy, and elsewhere. And in Acts we see the apostles (under Peter's guidance) clearly aware that Judas' "office" was vacant and his "place" needed to be filled: so they elected Matthias to this ministry. Homework for you: find the passage in Paul's writings where he refers to five (five!) successive generations of apostolic authority.

5. The RCC specifically denies that it places tradition "above Holy Scripture", and I also deny it. You can't legitimately separate Scripture and apostolic tradition.

Finally, You say "The ONLY person who can enlighten us about the interpretation and right use of the Word of God is the Holy Spirit Himself, and no other..." If that is so, why are we having this discussion? If we Christians are not to listen to each other about the Word of Life, then why should I listen to you? And if I listen to you, how much more should I listen to those who have been appointed teachers in the Church, and who are in union with those who have received apostolic authority?

God bless you, Josie.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who has the "power of the keys"?

A question from a reader...

My quick question after reading your article “Answering objections against Peter and the Keys” is:

Why did you not mention Matthew 18:18 in your reply to ‘Jesus spoke to Peter as a representative of all believers. Therefore, Jesus gave the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" to all believers, not just Peter.’

Matthew 18:18 seems to me an evidence that the right or responsibility of using the keys, if not the keys themselves, is given to all the disciples or all those present in the group at that time.

My interest in the history of interpreting the number of the keys as “two” led to your article, which I enjoyed reading. Thanks.

Dear S,

Thank You for writing to me with Your kind words and Your question.

You asked why, in Matthew 18:18, did I not mention that this verse shows that the “right or responsibility” of the “keys” is promised to all believers, not just Peter.

To understand Matthew 18:18 we must also understood Matthew 16:18, where Jesus promises the “keys” to Peter ( The keys represent authority, and in this context they represent authority to govern the Church. In the presence of the apostles Jesus speaks directly to Peter, in the second person singular form of speech, and promises to give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, as well as the power to bind and loose.

Matthew 18:18 does not actually mention the keys. The context of this verse is set by the preceding text, especially verses 15-17, where Jesus affirms the definitive authority of “the church” in settling controversies and maintaining unity among believers. Individual believers do not have the authority to settle a matter for the whole Church, but numerous Bible passages attribute this sort of authority to the Church’s leaders: specifically, the apostles. It is in this context that Jesus says “the disciples” have the power to bind and loose. But they don’t each have this power on their own, to use as they see fit. They have it only so long as they are united to the one who holds the keys of authority: Peter. Therefore the power to bind and loose is essentially an apostolic power, but it can be exercised only in union with Peter and his successors.

Later, in John 21:15-17, in the presence of the disciples, Jesus specifically commands Peter to “Feed My lambs! …Feed My lambs! …Feed My sheep!”. This makes very clear that Jesus had singled out Peter for a unique role among his brother apostles. Peter was to be like a shepherd to the apostles and to all believers: caring for them, and guiding them. This is why Jesus gave solely to Peter and his successors the keys of authority by which they would rule the Church.

All believers share in that authority, in a subordinate way, when we unite ourselves to the spirit of Christ and maintain brotherly unity with the apostles, especially Peter and his successors.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How do we know which books comprise the Old Testament?

The following letter is a response to a great question I received recently. If the author gives me permission, I'll reprint his note here. Until then, here's my response on his question about whether the canon of the Old Testament is established upon Church teaching authority, or on the basis that the Jews received it and discerned it before the birth of Jesus...


Hi, M,

Thank You for Your thoughtful letter! You raised a really interesting question. Here are a few thoughts in response…

Let me try to summarize Your line of thinking: The Church has authority to identify the canon of the New Testament, which God entrusted to the Church. But God entrusted the Old Testament to the Jews, and with it the authority to distinguish its canon. Therefore we must look to the Jews for a definition of the Old Testament canon. In this note, I’ll refer to this idea as the “Jewish canon theory”.

At first glance the theory certainly does make some sense. But let’s see whether some of its implications make sense.

If God gave the Church authority to discern the canon of the New Testament, it is because He gave the Church the mission and authority to interpret its contents. After all, You can’t reliably interpret a document if You’re unsure of the text it contains. Christians have differences of opinion on how the authority to interpret that text ultimately is exercised. Some will say that the individual believer, guided by the Holy Spirit, is his own final authority in interpreting Scripture. Others say they recognize yet another level of higher authority: the bishops and pope, guided by the Holy Spirit. But in any case, most if not all Christians agree that God gave the Church authority to interpret the New Testament, and that this implies the Church also has the power to declare which books authentically belong in the New Testament.

This authority to interpret the New Testament is necessary for the Church to carry out her mission to proclaim accurately what God has revealed. But God has revealed Himself not only through the New Testament but also the Old. For example, to preach about Christ, the Church must be able to preach about the Law and the Prophets. It must be able to interpret the Ten Commandments; the significance of circumcision and the Sabbath and how they apply to our lives today; and much more. If the Church lacks this power to interpret and preach the Old Testament, it can not have the ability to interpret and preach the New.

If it lacks this authority to interpret the Old, then the Church has only two plausible alternatives: to claim that nobody at all can interpret the Old Testament; or, to accept as definitive Jewish tradition, which offers guidance on the canon but also denies that Jesus is the Christ. Neither of these options really is plausible, as they both imply the Church –and all Christians- are ultimately unable to interpret the revelation of God, and unable to know or claim that Jesus is the Messiah.

But according to the argument You suggested, M… what if we say that the Church DOES have the authority to interpret the Old Testament, but that its canon –its list of constituent books- depend not on Church authority, but on the fact that the canon was determined prior to the foundation of the Church? That would recognize that Christians have authority to interpret all of Scripture, without having to depend on the Church to tell us which books belong to the Old Testament canon. Well, that only takes us full circle to the beginning of the discussion, and there’s no sense repeating the same things said above. In a nutshell, if the Church has authority to interpret Scripture, it must have the authority to determine the canon of Scripture: all of Scripture. It’s all or nothing.

Besides, there are other thorny problems posed by the “Jewish canon” theory. Here are a few examples:

The theory relies on Your claim that the “Canon of the OT was settled in Jesus' day already”. Yet it wasn’t. In around the year 95 A.D., a rabbinical synod convened at Jamnia in an attempt to definitively clarify the canon of the Jewish Scriptures. The rabbis were deeply concerned that Christians were using various New and Old Testament scriptures to defend and promote their belief in Jesus Christ. Many Christians and Palestinian Jews at the time were widely using the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, which had been in circulation for more than a century before Jesus was born. This translation included some writings that prompted controversy among the rabbis partly because of their use by early Christian apologists, and partly because of disputes about the language, time, or place of origin of the writings. The rabbis at Jamnia adopted certain criteria for determining the canonicity of the Scriptures, including these requirements:

1) conformance to the Pentateuch;
2) authorship no later than the time of Esdras;
3) language must be Hebrew;
4) place of composition must be Palestine.

As You can see, these criteria are arguably arbitrary, and in any case depend on the authority of Jewish teachers who were reacting to the perceived threat of a spreading Christianity, and rest on the presumption that there in fact is no “New Testament”. Historical evidence clearly shows, in fact:

  • there was no universal agreement on the Old Testament canon at the time Jesus founded His Church;
  • the Septuagint contains all the Old Testament texts that have always been recognized as canonical by the Catholic Church;
  • the “Jamnia criteria” for determining the canonicity of Scripture doesn’t exclude only the deuterocanonical books recognized by the Catholic Church. It also excludes the entire New Testament! The Jewish teaching on the canon deliberately excludes the New Testament.
  • You mentioned Josephus. Did You know that he “ascribed divine inspiration to the Jewish translators” of the Septuagint? (
  • Did You know that approximately two-thirds of the New Testament’s quotations from the Old Testament come from the Septuagint, and that Jesus quoted from the Septuagint? (

M, my friend, You have to consider whether, in the age of the Church, You as a Christian can attribute binding teaching authority to Jewish doctrine on the canon when that doctrine is at odds with Christian doctrine. If Jesus gave to Peter and his successors the absolute power to “bind and loose”, how can the Jews possibly have retained authority over the canon of Scripture? I do not mean to minimize in any way the teaching authority the Jews had prior to the Church. But with the founding of the Church that authority has passed into different hands.

Even in our time, there is not universal agreement among Christians on the canon of Scripture. Ultimately, You have to take someone’s word for it, because God did not directly reveal what the canon includes. From my point of view, the Catholic teaching on the canon is the most trustworthy, largely because it has not changed for 20 centuries, and because the Church has been unwavering in its claim that it received from Jesus through the apostles the authority to make that determination. Who are You going to believe?

I’d welcome Your thoughts on this!

God bless You!

John Robin.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Numbers 20: Moses and the misery of law without mercy

1 And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2 Now there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses, and said, "Would that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink." 6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, 7 and the LORD said to Moses, 8 "Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle." 9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?" 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. 12 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them. 13 These are the waters of Mer'ibah, where the people of Israel contended with the LORD, and he showed himself holy among them... 23 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24 "Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Mer'ibah. "

Numbers 20:1-13,23-24 RSV
This passage reminds me of the incident back in Exodus 4:24-26, in which we are told that God almost killed Moses, apparently because Moses had failed to circumcise his son. In that case circumcision, the rite of initiation into the Old Covenant, was at the heart of the matter. This time, the peoples' thirst for water and their anger toward Moses drive Moses and Aaron to present themselves to God, Who promises to miraculously provide water from a rock. But Moses does not seem to mediate God's gift as God desired. He does not speak to the rock, nor does he explain to the people the merciful character of God's gift. Rather, he invokes God's gift in a violent display of anger and condemnation. The people perhaps deserved rebuke for their weakness of faith, but God's mercy was obscured by Moses' rash words (cf. Psalm 106:32-33). Aaron is silent but apparently complicit in Moses' actions.

This incident cost both of them the privilege of entering into the promised land. But even in this punishment God's mercy is not lacking. He reveals to Moses and Aaron exactly why they are to be punished, giving them the knowledge and opportunity to repent in the time left to them.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Would Jesus defend the Catholic Church?

Another challenging email!


I have written to many writers about some of these questions. Some of them blow them off as if age helps to mitigate the substantialness of them. So I 'll ask you, as you genuinely seem interested and convinced.

At some point don't we have to ask ourselves hard questions such as "Could it be possible that our Church is not Good?" When so much of it's history has been clouded with scandal, and has been responsible for so much hurt and pain, don't we at some point have to ask ourselves if Jesus himself would defend it? I find it hard to believe that any thinking Catholic could honestly say that Jesus would defend the Catholic Church and all her sins. Jesus after all was a Jew, and criticized His own religion for her wrongs. Why would the label "Catholic" make him think any differently? It wouldn't.

Wouldn't Jesus just want us to move forward, leaving our imperfect ideas of what a Church should be behind and working together to create a new reality which He intended? You and so many others like you get so stuck on defending "Catholicism" that you forget what Jesus was all about. Put your "catholicism" aside and talk to Jesus. He is a great and wonderful spirit who came here to show us that right is more important than allegiance. Follow His lead.

Let me ask you one important question. If Jesus came to you and said "The Catholic Church is wrong. Do not follow it's teachings. Simply follow Me and My Word." and then the Catholic Church told you "Do not believe Jesus, He is wrong. God has established us as the vehicle of truth. Do as we say." Who would you believe? Would you act against the dictates of your Catholic Church to follow Jesus? What would you do? Well now you need to change the question. What WILL you do.
My reply...
Dear L,
Thanks a lot for writing. Your question is very similar to one I received just yesterday, so I refer You to my answer to 'C' in the previous blog entry. But I'd like to also add a few thoughts here...

You seem to focus on the sins in the history of the Catholic Church. What about the sins in the history of the numerous Protestant churches? I don't know of any Christian churches that have members without sin. Does Jesus condemn every church that has sinful members? Doesn't the Bible teach that the Church will be a home for redeemed sinners struggling to live by faith, sometimes falling into sin, and then repenting and beginning again? God is a Father seeking to heal sinners, and He works through sinners to do so.

You asked what would I do if Jesus came to me and said that "the Catholic Church is wrong". Well, honestly, He hasn't said that to me, and You can't expect that I will accept Your letter as the voice of God. You didn't even do me the courtesy of introducing Your name or the name of Your church. If You are serious about the truth, and about this discussion, I would like to know Your name and Your church, and then I would be very interested in discussing our beliefs in the light of Scripture.

I'd rather we be friends in Christ, not adversaries!

God bless You,

John Robin.

The Catholic Church's "big lie"

I just received a challenging email:

Dear John.
Allow me to express my thoughts about the Catholic Church's claim to be the one founded by Jesus Christ.  I would say, it is a big lie.  If it is the one founded by Jesus Christ, then why so many of them (priests, bishops, cardinals) from the middle ages to now did not live their lives according to Jesus Christ's teachings or of the lives of the Apostles. I don't have to mention the details because its very obvious. Just look around. I don't need to cite scriptures to to prove what l am saying because its very obvious. Thank you. God bless.
Here's my reply...
Hi, C,
Thank You for writing to me with Your question. It’s a very good question and I’ll try to provide some answer.

It seems to me that essentially You are asking why there are sinners in the Church. You are implying that if Jesus founded a church, its members would be holy; they would live according to Jesus Christ’s teachings; they would not sin. And if we find a church whose history has many examples among its members and leaders who sinned badly, certainly that is evidence that this church was not founded by Jesus. Right?

Well, no, actually. Look at the first apostles. James, John –and their mother- wanted special places of honor above the others in Jesus’ kingdom (Matthew 20:21). Peter denied Jesus three times. Judas stole money from Jesus and the others, and later betrayed Jesus. At Jesus’ arrest all the apostles (except John) ran away. Peter acted hypocritically toward the Jews and gentiles and received the rebuke of Paul. You can be sure there were many other sad failings among the apostles and other disciples that were not recorded in the Gospels. And the other New Testament writings are full of evidence that the early Christians were sinners who struggled with divisions, factions, controversies, and scandals. Not just among the apostles and priests, but among the lay members as well. Are these facts proof that Jesus did not found a Church, or that His Church was ruined by sin? Did Jesus' plan to build a Church ultimately fail?

No. To think so is to misunderstand the Church Jesus founded. The Church has the Son of God as its head and cornerstone, but very human apostles as its foundation. Its walls are built of living stones which are very much redeemed sinners still struggling to imitate Christ despite many failings. It has the Holy Spirit to guide its members on their path through life, but has human members who have not lost their ability to sin. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches, but we branches have the ability to choose to do God’s will, or to turn away and prefer our own will.

You mention the sinfulness of bishops and cardinals. But what about Your own sinfulness, and mine? Has Your life been blameless? Mine has not.

C, if You believe that “true” Christians don’t sin, then You don’t know Your Bible any better than You know human nature. If You believe there is a church –perhaps Your own- that has as its leaders and members people who never sin, then I will use Your own words: “it is a big lie”. The possibility of sin will not be completely erased from the lives of the saved until all the saved have been gathered into Heaven.

Until then we remain at war. The Holy Spirit equips us to do battle against temptations to turn away from the will of God. With God’s help it is very possible to resist sin, and to grow stronger so that we can live more and more holy lives. But in this life we always have the possibility of rejecting God, and Christians sometimes fall into sin. When we see a fellow believer stumble and fall into sin, it is a terrible thing… just as when it happens in our own lives. But it does not mean that we are not believers, or that we are not members of Jesus’ Church.

C, the Church is like a hospital, a hospital for sinners. The hospital does not kick out patients (or the doctors) because they are sick, or because they fall ill more than once. The fact that they are sick does not prove that the hospital is not a hospital.

So, C my friend, I say to You that You are using the wrong measuring stick to identify the Church. You won’t find the Church Jesus founded by searching for a church with no sinners. You will find it by asking God to help You find it, and then by studying what the Bible teaches about the Church. There are several simple things the Bible clearly teaches about the Church:
1) It is One. Jesus found a Church, and He didn’t found two, three, or ten thousand of them. He founded one.
2) It is holy. It contains everything that we need to grow in holiness: holy teachings; the holy sacraments; holy fellowship; the example of countless thousands of saints –a “great cloud of witnesses”- whose lives reflect the light of Christ and inspire us to imitate Him. It not only helps people become holy, it in fact does produce many people who achieve great holiness.
3) It is “catholic”, meaning universal. It is a church for the whole world, for all peoples and times. It is a reflection and foretaste of Heaven, where all Christ’s followers are united in one faith, one Lord, one baptism.
4) It is apostolic. It was founded upon apostles personally selected by Jesus, and who had the authority to pick other men to share that role with them and after them. For the past twenty centuries that apostolic authority has continued among those who have received it from the apostles and their successors. Nothing in the Bible indicates that this apostolic foundation was ever to be abandoned.

The Catholic Church has the four key characteristics. Does Yours?

Finally, I think it's dangerous to pass judgement on the hearts of other persons, especially Christians who lived many centuries ago. People we might be tempted to think were really big sinners might have lived lives more pleasing to God than our own. Humility and a healthy respect for God's justice should make us guard against passing negative judgement on others.

C, I would love to hear Your thoughts about these important things!

Thank You again for writing to me.

God bless You,

John Robin.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is "sola scriptura" scriptural?

A friend wrote me last week in favor of the doctrine of sola scriptura, held by many (if not most) Protestants.  Sola scriptura is the belief that the Bible contains everything we need to know, for the purpose of salvation and holiness.  My friend wrote:

I recently came across a verse that makes the case for Sola scriptura pretty plain.  "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I really don't see how this could be taken any way other than the scriptures provide all you need.

-Ian K., letter of January 18, 2011 (reprinted with permission)

Ian, I appreciate and share Your love for Scripture as the written Word of God.  It's a measureless treasure of God's revelation to us, and it deserves not only our love, but our respect and study.  It's terribly important that we "rightly divide" the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 is perhaps the most commonly cited passage in defense of sola scriptura.  However, a careful reading of the passage reveals that it does not in fact support the belief.  Let's take a look:

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17 RSV
Is "profitable" sufficient?

In this passage the Greek word translated as "profitable" is "ƍphelimos".  Strong's Concordance translates this as "profitable".  Notice that Strong's does not translate this as "sufficient".  There are other Greek words in the New Testament which are translated "sufficient", but not this one.  Some other translations of this passage use the words, "valuable" or "useful", but not "sufficient".

There's an important difference between profitable and sufficient.  Something that is sufficient means nothing more is needed.  Something that is profitable or useful is helpful, potentially even necessary, but You may need other things in addition to achieve Your goal.  If You're going to hike across a desert, a good supply of water is going to be very valuable -perhaps necessary- to You.  A map and a GPS unit could be very useful as well.  But as useful as water, a map, and GPS unit may be, they may not be sufficient.  You may need to bring food as well. You may need sunglasses, a hat, and proper clothing.

My point is that this passage from 2 Timothy stresses that Scripture has great value to us.  It can teach us, correct us, and train us for good works.  But Timothy certainly does not say we need nothing else.  In fact, it positively teaches that there are other things that we do need.

"...complete, equipped for every good work"
You may point that Timothy does say that Scripture makes us "complete, equipped for every good work".  But Timothy does not actually say that.  He does not say that Scripture itself will make us complete.  Briefly, the passage simply says that Scripture is inspired and very useful toward the goal of helping us become trained and fully equipped for every good work.  But salvation is more than our good works.

This passage doesn't mention faith.  Is faith not needed?  It doesn't mention love.  Is love not required?  It doesn't mention repenting of our sins, or picking up our cross, or confessing Jesus Christ as our savior.  Are these not required?  2 Timothy doesn't address every thing of importance to believers, but this doesn't mean that these things aren't needed.

Further, Scripture clearly teaches things that blow sola scriptura out of the water entirely.  This is because Scripture clearly teaches things rejected by protestant theology. For example, Jesus has given His apostles and their successors certain specific powers: the power to interpret Scripture in a binding manner; the existence and necessity of apostolic tradition; the power to absolve from sin; the power to appoint other men to the apostolic ministry; the power to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments... and more. 

In particular, sola scriptura is completely at odds with Scripture because Scripture affirms that the apostles have handed down a body of teaching that is not explicitly and completely contained within Scripture, but which is necessary for us to properly understand and interpret Scripture.  There are a number of passages that clearly prove this, but I'll wrap up this letter with just these two from Paul:
"I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you." -1 Corinthians 11:2 RSV

"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.  -2 Thessalonians 2:15 RSV

Ian, there's more scriptural evidence that shows sola scriptura to be a false teaching, but perhaps You can already see that the teaching is non-scriptural.

What do You think?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception

"Mary was predestined from eternity to be the Mother of God, by the decree of Divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word." - Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium, 61

"God loved her with a unique predilection. He filled her with the greatest abundance of his celestial gifts and her participation in the divine nature exceeds that of all the angels and saints together. Her life reflects so great a fullness of innocence and sanctity that a more exalted creature cannot be conceived of, except by the Creator himself." Pius IX, Apostolic Letter, Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854

"We look up to her, as on a Star that guides us, shining through the dark clouds of human uncertainty. The annual Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception shines bright from within the background of the Advent liturgy. We contemplate Our Lady in the divine economy of salvation as the 'Gate of heaven' through which the Redeemer comes into the world." John Paul II, Address, 8 December 1982

Do You wish to draw closer to Jesus?  Draw closer to Mary.