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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:34 am 
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Jon Snow wrote:
theJack wrote:
The real claim is, per my comments to Obi above, that the meaning of Scripture is objective and rooted completely and absolutely within the text itself.


But it's not "rooted in the text itself", it's rooted in the intended meaning of the writer, who existed independent of the text.

The existence of the text is just a means to the end of conveying his perspective. If you remove any reference or connection to his perspective, and just decide for yourself what his words mean according to your own assumptions(or "logic"), then you're not really going by his words as he intended them. You may get some right, you may get most right, but you may also get the most significant points wrong, and use those false ideas as an interpretive "key" which distorts your interpretation of the whole work.



Not only that, but what are the secondary, or ancillary issues that the writer has in mind? To whom is the writer speaking? Gentiles, Jews, or the whole world? What about the Covenant of God with mankind? Is this section parable, analogy, or literalism?

Example: The SDA's make a big to do about keeping the Saturday Sabbath, and if you listen to them their arguments are convincing. The bring forth objective words that state that the keeping of the Sabbath is one of the 10 Commandments, therefore, like the other nine, it is not optional. They show you verses which show that this Law is forever binding and we are to keep the Saturday Sabbath even as Christians. And their arguments are based in the objective, straight-forward reading of the Scriptures.

BUT ---

Ellen White missed one little detail: The Saturday Sabbath belonged to the Jews and to the Old Covenant. When the Old Covenant passed away upon the death of Christ, the Saturday Sabbath ended. This is seen clearly in a single verse in Exodus:

Exo 31:16
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

So the Saturday Sabbath was directed to a specific people within the Old Covenant, not to mankind.

And for me, since the word "covenant" appears over 300 times between the OT and the NT, the issue has been ever since I first started examining the Apostolic faith: does this teaching violate covenant principles? If it does, then it is not correct. An example of this would be baptism Anabaptists insist one must only be baptized after a "profession of faith" from a rational person. But we see in the Old Covenant that this is not a principle of covenant at all, that in fact, infant males were circumcised into the covenant without the need to express intellectual faith in Jehovah-God. This is based on the covenant principle of "hierarchy," in which the covenant head acts on behalf of all under his leadership.

To understand this requires years of study -- OR -- being properly discipled in this understanding from the beginning of your Christian walk. But today's Christians think they can just pick up a Bible, find a particular verse, and BINGO!!! -

LOOK! I DISCOVERED THE TRUTH!!! AND I ALONE HAVE IT!!!!

And then you have yet another denomination, built upon the musings of a man or woman who, if intellect was gunpowder, could blow up a small anthill.

No, Jack, there's much more to this than just the "objective meaning" of a particular verse.


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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:13 pm 
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And the Church's position regarding Scripture is not that we have some "secret decoder ring" or some secret cipher; what we have is not only the fullness of the Scriptures themselves, but the actual objective view or perspective of the authors (Sacred Tradition) as well as the authority which affirms the truths of the Faith while authoritatively rejecting erroneous innovations.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:38 pm 
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No, Jack, there's much more to this than just the "objective meaning" of a particular verse.
I will demur somewhat. You think there's an objective meaning just as much as he does (and I do). You are disagreeing with Jack about how it is determined.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:06 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:


Example: The SDA's make a big to do about keeping the Saturday Sabbath, and if you listen to them their arguments are convincing. The bring forth objective words that state that the keeping of the Sabbath is one of the 10 Commandments, therefore, like the other nine, it is not optional. They show you verses which show that this Law is forever binding and we are to keep the Saturday Sabbath even as Christians. And their arguments are based in the objective, straight-forward reading of the Scriptures.

.


I agree that the Saturday Sabbath is one example of where simply looking at the supposed 'plain meaning' leads one astray, but I think there's a better example: Arianism.

It is the topic of the Trinity, specifically, that convinced me that sola scriptura is an error, and that scripture is not 'perspicacious.' There was a time, back in the early to mid 90's, as an evangelical, that I was deeply interested in trying to 'prove' every doctrine of Christianity from the Bible alone, and I was convinced that it was possible to do this with the same exact level of exactitude and rigor as one proves a theorem in mathematics.

It was the topic of the Trinity which stumped me, and it came at a time when I was involved in a series of arguments with a committed Arian over the doctrine of the Trinity. Every argument I tried, he could rebut, and every single time I was forced to admit that at best, we get a stalemate. Both Arianism and Trinitarianism, are equally plausible. That's the best case scenario. But often, it seemed to me that, after hearing the counter arguments, Arianism seemed a lot more plausible than Trinitarianism.

After more than 2 years of knock down, drag out arguments over the doctrine of the Trinity, it became clear to me that the doctrine of the Trinity cannot possibly be 'derived from' the Bible. To put it into the language of mathematics, the Trinity is not a theorem, it's an axiom. If you assume the idea of the Trinity to begin with, then it is easy to find evidence for the idea in the scriptures. But if the idea isn't already there in your head when you're reading the scriptures, you'll never see it, ever.

After two years of fruitless argument where my every argument was rebutted with an argument that seemed to me to be just as good as my own, I gave up and admitted that my opponent was correct all along: the idea of the Trinity is an idea that has to be imported INTO THE BIBLE and cannot be extracted from it.

And if you go back and actually read the arguments back and forth during the Arian controversy of the Fourth Century, the orthodox party , for the most part, did not attempt to rebut Arianism with Biblical arguments. The Arians appealed to the Bible alone, the orthodox party appealed to TRADITION.

The argument against Arianism wasn't 'we have the stronger Biblical argument', the argument, rather was 'our faith is the faith of the apostles, this is what he have always believed, this is our tradition, what Arius is offering is novelty.'

And it was this appeal to TRADITION and not to scripture, that settled the Arian controversy. That is just an historic fact.


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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 am 
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theJack wrote:
The real claim is, per my comments to Obi above, that the meaning of Scripture is objective and rooted completely and absolutely within the text itself.


Short questions:

Is this what you define as "perspicutiy of scripture?"

Is this what most people (who believe it) understand as "perspicuity of scripture?"


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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:27 pm 
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Jack, I don't know where you're at with respect to this topic but in case you don't intend to respond on the premise that I did not address your claim(s), permit me to redirect and make an attempt to do so.

You had summarized one of your claims as follows:

theJack wrote:
1. Either language is clear or it is not.
2. If it is, then since Scripture is in language, it can be clear.
3. If it is not, then nothing can be clear, since even the Church's dogmas are passed on by language.


There are so many things wrong with this claim that I'm not sure where to even begin but the first is as good as any.

1) Language is clear? Really? Language is but one means of communication among many (cuneiform, hierographic, art, music, signs are some others). Language is a communication tool that represents something more fundamental, i.e. thoughts conveyed by persons and understood by other persons. How those thoughts are communicated, whether by written or spoken words, gestures or whatever, is irrelevant to the topic. It is then those thoughts, when ambiguous or when applied to new circumstances, can be clarified, if the person conveying them is consulted on their intended meaning. So long as the person is available to offer clarifications, any doubts can be overcome. Difficulties of all kinds arise when the person is no longer available to offer such clarifications. I think that's where the weakness of your argument really lies, in assuming because language is the medium of choice in communication it must BE the thoughts of the writer rather than it being mere representative of the real thing. A good analogy used by Ed Feser on the subject of sola scriptura (in fact, my entire argument is mostly based on his blog on the subject to which I will post the links later) is like the modern empiricist who rightly states that we see things through our perceptions but wrongly concludes that our perception is all we experience rather than the real thing we are actually perceiving. You (the sola scriptura camp), in effect, are doing exactly the same thing. You think because we communicate via language then language must BE the thoughts being communicated whereas language is but a mere representation of the real thing.

2) Scripture is more than 'in language'. It is a form of communication, the divine revelation kind. And as I stated before, just as any other kind of sound communication, it must put persons (and their thoughts) ahead of language, for a proper understanding. So both 1 and 2 fail on those grounds.

3) does not follow at all from 1 & 2. Even if language is not clear it does not necessarily follow that nothing can be clear. That's just silly. You, as a Thomist, should appreciate the clarity with which Aquinas' actuality/potentiality arguments are laid out and what they entail. But to borrow yet another example from Feser's blog, what about Aristotle's de anima and the immortality of the soul? Is there consensus among scholars as to what Aristotle’s position entails? More to the point, does the text clearly and emphatically spell out what Aristotle himself thought what his position entailed? Of course not, and guess what, if he were still around we'd know a great deal more about what that position might be, wouldn’t we? In the absence of that we are left to speculate what Aristotle's position really is. Of course there are countless such examples. So much for language being clear.

I have much to say about your other claim that it is self-defeating for the RCC to claim authoritative interpretation (nothing of the sort) but first I will wait for your comments (I hope).

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:26 pm 
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The only reason I hadn't gotten back to you, Byblos, was because I was waiting to write up a response to Obi first. And then got busy and frankly forgot about it. :) Thanks for the reminder!

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Byblos is doing an able job of setting forth the argument I would set forth if I were abler.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Obi,

You said that you didn't think I could state your position to your satisfaction. I'm going to give it a go, and you can feel free to more properly nuance what can be infinitely nuanced as you take it.

Short answer: Scripture is more or less clear to the interpreter depending on his or her understanding of the culture and context in which it was written, where that context includes understanding its relation to the tradition in which it was written and that it reflects. To claim, then, that we can understand Scripture apart from tradition is as absurd as the claim that we can understand Scripture without any reference things like grammar, semantics, genre, etc. That tradition is preserved by the Church, and that for two reasons, one historical and one theological. Historically, it is far more likely that the men whom the writers of Scripture (the apostles) taught--i.e., Ignatius, Clement, Polycarp, etc.--would have had direct knowledge of what those writers meant by their own words. Thus to interpret the Scriptures in a way contrary to, or even incompatible with, the way those men interpreted those same Scriptures (or related ideas) is contrary to good historical and exegetical analysis. More generally, we can say that those later writers represent a communal language of sorts, that when we read them, we're reading the way this Christian community talked to each other and about these divine ideas. The apostles were a part of, indeed at the fountainhead of, that community, and thus we do our best interpretation when we read them. The theological reason relates to what the Church is, namely, the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, guaranteed that she will never be overcome or defeated. So whatever mistakes individuals within the church may make, the church herself, when she speaks through the magisterium, particularly through her bishops and the bishop of Rome, the office of Peter, in particular, it is the Holy Spirit who speaks and so preserves her from error. Thus we are not only historically justified recognizing the absolute necessity in reading Scripture within the context of the communal tradition and language of the Church, but we are in fact theologically mandated to so read it. For to read it apart from that context, then, is both to ignore essential information by which we may best understand what the apostles meant when they wrote their words (for, again, they wrote their words to an existing Church and within an existing tradition!) but also claim a sort of divine authority in claiming the words of Scripture mean this or that when such authority has been invested in (or at least when interpretive validity is only guaranteed to) the Holy Spirit as working through His ordained vessel, the Body of Christ.

Perfect? Of course not. But I expect that's a fair representation of a good portion of the Catholic view.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Now, having answered Obi's charge that I don't understand and cannot properly present the Catholic view, give me a little bit of time and I'll answer Byblos. Hopefully tonight, but it depends on how long the honey-do list is. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:36 pm 
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tl;dr :)

I will look at that more later, but I will point out now that at first reading this is not the magic-decoder ring scenario you presented earlier in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Okay, to get to Byblos' posts -- there's a lot here, so forgive me for line by lining you. I'll try to keep my comments as brief as possible.

Byblos wrote:
The SCOTUS analogy, by the way, is spot on. I know you don't like the mere mention of the many denominations but it is indicative of lack of authority. Our history is fraught with examples of chaos or anarchy when a final authority is lacking. But I wanted to address another topic entirely.

The SCOTUS analogy is not spot on, except insofar as it illustrates the weakness and self-contradiction I've always pointed to in your position. Yes, the reason we have a SCOTUS is because people can't agree on how to read the Constitution, but that isn't because the Constitution isn't clear or because such readings are impossible. It is because the government needs an "official" reading by which it can operate. In other words, the SCOTUS, properly understood, is not telling us what the Constitution means. It is telling us, operationally speaking, how it is to be applied. Put still more precisely, the SCOTUS doesn't illustrate any sort of solution to an epistemological problem, i.e., how do we know what the Constitution says? Rather, it offers a solution to a practical problem, namely, which reading of the Constitution will limit the government?

No Catholic would claim that the magisterium is merely selecting a particular reading or dogma to be normative. Rather, you would say that the Catholic church is identifying what is really true. That is, you are claiming that the magisterium answers an epistemological problem (illustrated by the many denominations). But on that point, the SCOTUS analogy fails because you aren't even illustrating the same point.

Quote:
1) That any type of communication (including divine revelation, I hope you would agree) must put persons first, not words. Words, whether spoken or written, will always contain a certain level of ambiguity (and your red herring is that it must be all or nothing, it isn't). When words are ambiguous, either in meaning or even in their applicability to new circumstances, we have limited choices. We can ask the writer for clarification, if he or she is available to answer them, that is. Or we can form our own opinions, however different or contradictory. When you typed all that gibberish in an earlier post, you are absolutely correct that you, as the writer, would have to furnish the key by which to interpret those words. But you are here and can answer questions. However ambiguous those words are, we can keep asking you questions and you will keep providing answers and clarifications until we are all satisfied the text is clear.

I disagree with your analysis. I could list a lot of places that you are just wrong, but let's just stick to the root of it. While it is true that words presume persons, I'm in no way claiming that words ontologically precede persons, so that's just a straw man. And yet, what I am saying, is that for any person, language is in words. That is, the only way for me to communicate my ideas to you is to sign those ideas through words (however tightly or loosely you want to define a "word"). Thus the only way for me to understand your ideas is to understand your words. If, then, words themselves are unintelligible on principle, the ideas themselves are unintelligible in principle. And if words are intelligible in principle, then any claim that I, in principle, require an authoritative interpreter to understand those words lest they be unintelligible is necessarily self-defeating, since the only way that interpreter can communicate the "true meaning" of the words is by itself using words. And if I can use the normal rules of communication to understand the "true meaning" of the interpreter, then on the strength of the same observation I can use the normal rules of communication to understand the "true meaning" of the text in question. Thus, to claim that I cannot, in principle, understand the meaning of said text requires, on the strength of the same claim, taht I cannot, in principle, understand the meaning of the authoritative interpreter.

Quote:
2) Since communication must put persons first, and the persons who wrote scripture are no longer with us to answer questions, we are either left to private interpretations, or perhaps Christ knew what he was doing and established a moral person, free from error in matters of faith and morality, for authoritative interpretation. This is precisely why the SCOTUS analogy works so well, because it puts the moral person of SCOTUS ahead of all other private interpretations of the law.

And this is question begging, for reasons I've already pointed out, both in this thread and elsewhere. It's rather like when a pro-lifer makes the following standard claim:

    1. No person can be legitimately deprived of life apart from due process of the law
    2. Abortion deprives a person of his life apart from due process of the law
    3. Therefore, all abortions are illegitimate deprivations of human life
    4. No illegitimate deprivation of human life should be tolerated by society; indeed, all such deprivations should be outlawed
    5. Therefore, no abortion should be tolerated by society; indeed, all abortions should be outlawed

Now, suppose in response to this, you get the standard riff about women having the right to choose what to do with their bodies. The problem here is, even if it is true, it is question begging, since it assumes that abortion does not deprive a human person of their life; all such arguments implicitly assume that the unborn are not persons. After all, what would the pro-abortion advocate say to the mother of a six month old who allowed her infant to starve to death on the claim that the infant has no claim on her body, either of her breast or even of requiring her to move her body is such a way that she feeds the child? No one would accept that, because all (with exception to some loons like Pete Singer) accept the fact that children are human persons and so cannot be illegitimately deprived of life. For that argument to work, you would have to assume (as Pete Singer does) that children are not persons after all!

I know you agree with that. I want to point to it as illustrating the same fault in your own reasoning. By appealing to the authority of the RCC, you are assuming the very issue I am making an argument against. And that's why I keep asking you to address my argument rather than just repeat your own, which I very well understand.

----------------------------------

Byblos wrote:
You and I go back a long way Jack and you know at least that much about me that I do not dismiss arguments out of hand. If you think I'm not addressing your argument fairly then please state how.

Then perhaps you can address the argument I am making, which, I admit, may be a counter-argument rather than an attempt to answer yours.

So then you ask me this, and with respect, I decline. I've restated my argument more times than I care to count. I'm not going to continue doing so. I've worked very hard to try to understand the Catholic position, and I think I very clearly do. I expect the same from you if you wish to engage me in my arguments. You are, of course, under no such obligation to engage me at all, in which case, don't waste a second trying to understand my position. But, no, I won't spend even more time restating what I have stated God only knows how many times before. Why should I think the next time would be the time you finally get it? If and when you decide you want to understand what I am actually saying, you have more than enough information in this very thread, apart from all I've said on it elsewhere, to get and respond to my points.

-----------------------------

And in your final post, you said:

Byblos wrote:
1) Language is clear? Really? Language is but one means of communication among many (cuneiform, hierographic, art, music, signs are some others). Language is a communication tool that represents something more fundamental, i.e. thoughts conveyed by persons and understood by other persons. How those thoughts are communicated, whether by written or spoken words, gestures or whatever, is irrelevant to the topic. It is then those thoughts, when ambiguous or when applied to new circumstances, can be clarified, if the person conveying them is consulted on their intended meaning. So long as the person is available to offer clarifications, any doubts can be overcome. Difficulties of all kinds arise when the person is no longer available to offer such clarifications. I think that's where the weakness of your argument really lies, in assuming because language is the medium of choice in communication it must BE the thoughts of the writer rather than it being mere representative of the real thing. A good analogy used by Ed Feser on the subject of sola scriptura (in fact, my entire argument is mostly based on his blog on the subject to which I will post the links later) is like the modern empiricist who rightly states that we see things through our perceptions but wrongly concludes that our perception is all we experience rather than the real thing we are actually perceiving. You (the sola scriptura camp), in effect, are doing exactly the same thing. You think because we communicate via language then language must BE the thoughts being communicated whereas language is but a mere representation of the real thing.

It's a cheap assumption, very uncharitable, on your part to think that I equate the material that is the language with the formal word. It should be incredibly obvious by my own words, to say nothing of all I've ever said, that my interest is in authorial intent. The problem is by what means an author can convey his meaning, and there is one and only one answer: words. Having someone to clarify where words can convey more than one possible meaning does not change that fundamental fact, and appealing to the necessity of an interpreter renders your whole position self-defeating for reasons I've already articulated and that you won't bother to respond to. I'm sorry for that.

Quote:
2) Scripture is more than 'in language'. It is a form of communication, the divine revelation kind. And as I stated before, just as any other kind of sound communication, it must put persons (and their thoughts) ahead of language, for a proper understanding. So both 1 and 2 fail on those grounds.

And that communication is in language. No. It is not "more than 'in language'." Scripture is the linguistic expression of the divine will. It is God's ideas conveyed in language. To continue to claim that there must be a person behind that language is entirely irrelevant, for the very nature of "language" presupposes a person. Random sounds are not words, even when those random sounds are identical to words; for random sounds are not encoded with information. They are not words because they don't come from a person. In fact, if your objection was sound, then you could not know God exists, since the way we know God exists is through His effects. And yet, if I said that we cannot know God through His effects because effects presume causes, then you would rightfully laugh at me for not understanding the nature of the argument for God's existence from causality. Just so, to claim that my argument fails because I fail to recognize that persons come before words shows a basic misunderstanding of my argument and, if taken seriously, suggests a massive circularity on your part; for you are presuming now the meaning of this person behind the words without looking at the words of that person!

Quote:
3) does not follow at all from 1 & 2. Even if language is not clear it does not necessarily follow that nothing can be clear. That's just silly. You, as a Thomist, should appreciate the clarity with which Aquinas' actuality/potentiality arguments are laid out and what they entail. But to borrow yet another example from Feser's blog, what about Aristotle's de anima and the immortality of the soul? Is there consensus among scholars as to what Aristotle’s position entails? More to the point, does the text clearly and emphatically spell out what Aristotle himself thought what his position entailed? Of course not, and guess what, if he were still around we'd know a great deal more about what that position might be, wouldn’t we? In the absence of that we are left to speculate what Aristotle's position really is. Of course there are countless such examples. So much for language being clear.

Of course it doesn't "follow." I wasn't presenting a strict syllogism. Do you see a middle term there?

Regardless, it certainly does follow that if language is not clear then nothing can be clear. For if language is not clear (and note I mean language absolutely, not some particular bit of language), then since all communication is in language, then no communication is possible. It is an absolute and necessary conclusion. Yet if language is clear, then there is no reason, in principle, that you must appeal to an authoritative interpreter of this or that particular bit of language. After all, the interpreter himself must also communicate in language, and if I can understand his words, then I can, at least in principle, understand the words of the text being interpreted.

And in all of this, we haven't even addressed my basic problem that I keep presenting. We're at least getting somewhat at the logical problem, but we're missing entirely the much more serious decoder ring problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Just wanted to offer a quick reply so you didn't feel like I was ignoring your offering, ES.
Essential Sacrifice wrote:
Quote:
Jack:
Either language is clear or it is not.
If it is, then since Scripture is in language, it can be clear.
If it is not, then nothing can be clear, since even the Church's dogmas are passed on by language.


This is simply too black and white for me. Clear language, and it can be clear, is possible even when rife with errors that stand to be corrected to legitimatize the language’s perfected meaning. Just because all language may not be clear doesn’t mean nothing (no language) can be clear...this thinking strikes me as sort of like throwing the baby out with the bath water, don’t you think?

I'm not speaking of any particular bit of language. I'm speaking of language absolutely. We can talk about the claim that language is clear generally but that the particular bit of language that is unclear is what is in Scripture. But I didn't argue against that for several reasons:

1. Before we address that, we have to address the perspicuity of language generally;
2. I'm being charitable. That claim, though stronger insofar as it is narrower, is also much, much weaker, weaker to the extent that it lacks all force and is far below what is necessary to uphold the RCCs central claims about its own authority; and
3. As soon as you do that, you'll be forced to acknowledge that some bits of Scripture are, in fact, clear and others are not. But now we're just going to start whittling down things so much that you'll end up being an advocate of the perspicuity of Scripture except for in those cases where an assumption of perspicuity contradicts your church's reading of the text; but now the justification for the rejection becomes question begging and special pleading.

So, given all that, your objection here is simply not relevant to the point I'm making.

Quote:
You can talk all day long about language is not perspicuous, raising an ontological problem, the epistemological problem of the perspicuity of Scripture or by what hermeneutical principles do we interpret. I understand your concerns but in the end, IMO two heads are better than one in regards to problem solving. All of these issues and all those that have come before, raised by individual or congregation are more coherently addressed by people, not person. Even to this very day (see Amoris-Laetitia)

I don't think you do understand my concerns. Two heads might be better than one in regards to problem solving, but if my ontological problem is on the mark, then that's completely irrelevant to the church's self-refuting claim to authoritative interpretation of Scripture.

Quote:
Quote:
Jack:
That's because language is not perspicuous

If language is not then how is Scripture interpreted other than though language? Can anyone deduce correctness from incorrect subject material (unperspicuous language)? If so, is that individual’s determination on correctness available through any other means than corollary, purely singular subjective analysis? “I think therefore I am” deductions. I think it, therefore it is... is not reasoning, it’s simply self professed ideologue, isn’t it?

How can the immense importance of understanding the word of God be irreverently put to such a test as allowing one individual to suppose all there is to glean from even any one verse let alone all the OT/NT bible verses. Muhammadian authority exercised over all in Islam is a case in point where (in his case) one powerful person’s perspicacious understanding of God’s word, no matter how incorrect the language potentially brings millions to damnation. A terrible price to pay for believing in one man’s word and not the word of God. An even more terrible price to pay for the pastor, reverend priest who willfully, even if unwittingly directs people in their congregation down the wrong path. It is an awesome responsibility to have another’s eternal future in your hands and it would give me serious pause to undertake that responsibility alone in lieu of leaning on the wisdom and historic knowledge and skilled instruction built upon those who came before me. This is why IMO, in ancient days when most could not read and depended soley on the verbal traditions passed on by men it was so important that the men who taught them were acknowledged men of God, either apostles in the very early beginning or their 1st generation descendants in Christian lineage who being taught by the 12 apostles and their immediate successors could rely and pass on that language as truly from Jesus. These same people have descended to this very day in tradition and words of wisdom and clarity from the succession of what was the apostolic tradition to the now Magisterium, clergy to the whole body of Christ. It comes down to who do you trust, those with 2000 years of learned experience and tradition or a loner who says he has the answers. Who do you go to for your final say?

My statement "that's because language is not perspicuous" was sarcastic. I'm sorry that didn't come through clearly enough (pun intended ;)).

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:53 am 
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If the language of scripture is always clear, then which Protestant denomination has it right, or does that even matter?

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:01 am 
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theJack wrote:
... I'll try to keep my comments as brief as possible...

The operative phrase being "as possible." :D

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:18 am 
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Sabbath wrote:
If the language of scripture is always clear, then which Protestant denomination has it right, or does that even matter?

Matter for what? That's a serious question.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:33 am 
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Whada ya mean?

Uhhh ...Whada ya mean, "Whada ya mean?" ...?

Whada ya mean, "Whada ya mean? Whada ya mean?" ...?

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Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:38 am 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Whada ya mean?

Uhhh ...Whada ya mean, whada ya mean??

Whaddyatalk? Whaddyatalk? Whaddyatalk? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ9U4Cbb4wg nar

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:45 am 
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;) +1

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 Post subject: Re: Perspicuity of Scripture
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:42 pm 
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So much to say, so little time. But I will reply soon, hopefully in the next few days.

Cheers :mrgreen:

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