sw: Since Ron is insistent upon distracting from sola v. solo scriptura, and I cannot add a new topic to the GB Blog, I am responding here under the heading of Ron’s subject matter which is apostolic succession coupled with infallibility.
sw: As Jesus was sent, so also He sent His Apostles – which means that they too were to continue to “send out” others, just as they had been sent by Jesus. … And where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?
Again, please provide the syllogism. Don’t just give me fragmented premises and don’t argue fallaciously from silence as you have. I want to know how you get from “send out others” to an infallible magisterium? Given that there is no biblical precedent for a perpetual apostolate, the burden of proof for your argument from silence falls squarely upon you to show that Scripture teaches that there would be such an office. I’m sorry but incredible claims require credible proofs. So again, please provide syllogisms for these incredible claims of yours.
sw: Well, I believe I have done this already, but will do so again especially since I am posting this to my blog, where many may not have read my previous replies. I reject the allegation that I have argued from silence, if that were true the thread this came from would not be one of the most prolific on Green Baggins. Granted, it is not the most prolific and I was not part of the earlier discussions, but with over 200 replies it is one of the most in recent weeks/months. I joined in at comment #77. A syllogism, for those who do not know, is “a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion” (Merriam-Webster) so I will construct my response in precisely that format.
sw: Formal argument: As the Father sent Jesus, He sent out the Apostles - thus as they were sent out, they too send others out - or else they were not doing as Jesus commanded them to do. Jesus enabled the Apostles with the charism of infallibility and this charism is passed down to their successors.
sw: Major premise: Jesus established the bishoprick (called this in Acts 1:20 KJV/DRB), which is the “office” held by the Apostles. Clearly that office was to have a successor, as we see in Acts 1:20, and clearly history demonstrates that this “office” is demonstrated throughout the history of the Church all the way to the current day. The word for bishop or “overseer” is used many times throughout the New Testament. God’s Word lays the solid foundation of the office of the bishop. That this office was meant to be passed down is also clear, not only from Acts 1:20, but also where Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). Jesus sent them out as Apostles, in fact that is what the word “apostle” means, “to send” (Merriam-Webster especially see etymology). Now, if they were “sent” the same way Jesus was “sent,” then they too must “send” others just as they were “sent.” To fail to send others the same way they were sent would have been to fail at the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). If they failed here, then Jesus failed to build His Church, as He promised (Matthew 16:18). This brings us to the next section.
sw: Minor premise: The Apostles were enabled with the charism of infallibility. We see this explicitly expressed in Matthew 16:19 to St. Peter, alone; and to the Apostles as a group in Matthew 18:18.
Matthew 16:19 - 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.
Matthew 18:18 - Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
Note, in Matthew 16:19, Jesus is speaking directly to, and only to, St. Peter. In Matthew 18:18 Jesus isn’t speaking to any one individual, but to the whole group of them assembled there. Of equal note, in 18:18 the Apostles are the only ones there. This is not a charism given to everyone in the Church, but only to our first bishops, the Apostles. How is this infallibility, you might ask? Simply stated, if something is bound or loosed in heaven, then it must be infallibly bound for no error could possibly be bound or loosed in heaven. Some argue (as Turretinfan does in comment 211) that this charism only applies to the forgiveness of sins - but there is no such limitation in these passages! If fact, the passages explicitly deny any limitation with the use of the word “whatsoever.” They don’t say “whatsoever sins you shall bind/loose...” but simply “whatsoever you shall bind/loose...” To limit these passages to the forgiveness (or retention) of sins is to import a word to the text which is not there. Besides, this authority to forgive or retain sins is also explicitly granted to the Apostles in John 20:23. To say that Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 are limited to the forgiveness of sins is pure eisegesis.
sw: Conclusion: Our first bishops, the Apostles, were sent out exactly as Jesus commanded them - and just as the Son was sent, so too they were sent. Part of Jesus’ commission of being sent out was to send others (the Apostles) out. Likewise part of the Apostles commission is to send out others to lead, just as they lead. Jesus gave to the Apostles the charism of infallibility and likewise the Apostles give to those whom they send out this same charism. Again, to do anything less would be a failure of their apostleship. I have documented several valid apostolic successions which begin with an Apostle and continue to this day.
sw: This essentially answers all of Ron’s points from his posting, but I will go through the entire post...
sw: Yet again, no where does Scripture say that Scripture alone is what the Church is built upon. Scripture, in fact, says the Church is built upon St. Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) and upon The Twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14), but never says the Church is built upon a book which did not even exist as such for some 400 years, certainly not even close to the form/format we call “The Bible” today.
You want to assume something for “Peter” and the “Twelve” that is neither Peter nor the Twelve. Accordingly, your own proof-texts betray you. In other words, you appeal to Peter and the Twelve but you want to make Peter and the Twelve out to be something other than Peter and the Twelve, like a perpetual line of Roman Catholic pontiffs.
You have a wild card you haven’t thrown and we all know what it is. It’s the unproven assumption your entire system is built upon, which has no redemptive-historical precedence. Now of course, we know that Scripture is authoritative. Yet if the apostles are no longer with us, then all we have is Scripture. Scripture is the de facto position we might say. The “alone” part comes because no syllogism from Scripture can be provided that would necessitate another ultimate authority to stand alongside Scripture.
sw: The syllogism I provided above (and have provided previously, but not in such a formal format) demonstrates that I am assuming nothing, but accepting and believing God’s Word. I have presented the foundation of Apostolic succession and then provided a link to several actual and valid successions from several of the Apostles. There is no “unproven assumption” here, and no hidden “wild card” - but plain and simple facts for those who have eyes to see. So, that men have been given infallible authority - Scripture itself testifies to “another ultimate authority to stand alongside Scripture.
sw: Actually, Jesus – several times – broke with “what was written” to demonstrate their fallacy of adhering so firmly to “The Law” saying, “you say ‘it is written, but I say…’” Do you need me to list out those examples to you?
I think your exegesis is flawed because it leads you to pit the law against Jesus. Jesus’ issue was with any perversion of the law. Or are you saying that Jesus “broke with” the true meaning of his own law? If not, then your point is a non-issue.
sw: You are most certainly entitled to think as you wish, but the fact is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and six times He used this precise format in Matthew 5:
Matthew 5:21-22 - You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:27-28 - You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:31-32 - And it hath been said, Whoseoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Matthew 5:33-34 - Again you have heard that it was said to them of old, Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord. But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God.
Matthew 5:38-39 - You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other.
Matthew 5:43:44 - You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.
sw: So Ron, I have said nothing that wasn’t said already by Jesus Christ, Himself.
sw: It is, yet another, pure anachronism to attempt to apply sola scriptura to Adam and Eve!
In other words, it’s off limits for me to appeal to OT precedent in order to establish burden of proof. Yet precedence determines burden of proof. Consequently, I’m not permitted to reason according to the only philosophical basis upon which an argument from silence may be deemed fallacious.
Scott, I will hand you this. You went for the jugular like a good Roman Catholic. You realize that your argument is based upon sola-silence. So, rather than try to overcome the objection to your argument from silence, namely the lack of biblical precedence for your position, you made the most unusual appeal to “anachronism.” Very innovative but no cigar.
sw: Actually, Ron, the reason it is anachronism is quite simple, and I don’t think it’s innovative, but if you wish to give me that, sobeit. The reason it is an anachronism is because there was no Scripture for Adam and Eve, so how could we apply a concept of sola scriptura to them?