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 Post subject: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:09 am 
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haparker321 wrote:
pax wrote:
Saint Paul to the Bereans: "Christ was born of a Virgin. Look it up for yourselves."

Bereans to Paul: "It don't say 'virgin'. It says 'young woman'. Whaddaya tryin' to pull here?"


Are you trying to convince me that it's so increasingly difficult to figure out an interpretation unless I have some infallible magisterium to tell me what it says in the context?


Was Paul's preaching to the Bereans infallible?


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:31 pm 
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pax wrote:
haparker321 wrote:
pax wrote:
Saint Paul to the Bereans: "Christ was born of a Virgin. Look it up for yourselves."

Bereans to Paul: "It don't say 'virgin'. It says 'young woman'. Whaddaya tryin' to pull here?"


Are you trying to convince me that it's so increasingly difficult to figure out an interpretation unless I have some infallible magisterium to tell me what it says in the context?


Was Paul's preaching to the Bereans infallible?


Why were the Bereans praised as "more noble" for verifying his teachings? The implication is that Paul could have taught error, as he alluded to in Galatians 1:8--as can any man. Even Peter, for which he was corrected by Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Calvinist wrote:
pax wrote:
haparker321 wrote:
pax wrote:
Saint Paul to the Bereans: "Christ was born of a Virgin. Look it up for yourselves."

Bereans to Paul: "It don't say 'virgin'. It says 'young woman'. Whaddaya tryin' to pull here?"


Are you trying to convince me that it's so increasingly difficult to figure out an interpretation unless I have some infallible magisterium to tell me what it says in the context?


Was Paul's preaching to the Bereans infallible?


Why were the Bereans praised as "more noble" for verifying his teachings? The implication is that Paul could have taught error, as he alluded to in Galatians 1:8--as can any man. Even Peter, for which he was corrected by Paul.


So, where is the word "virgin" in the prophesy concerning the birth of Christ?


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Quote:
DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?

So were other Apostles infallible or not? Or only St. Peter was infallible?


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Calvinist wrote:
Why were the Bereans praised as "more noble" for verifying his teachings?


That verse always makes my short list of texts which are egregiouisly spun out of context based on sola scripture presuppositions.

    1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. Acts 17:1-3

The Jews in Jesus's (and Paul's) day expected a triumphant Messiah, not a humble, suffering servant. Paul here is teaching against their expectations. Many of the Jews in Thessalonica were too closed-minded to consider that possibility, so in an uproar they turned up the heat to induce Paul and company to head elsewhere.

    Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. v. 11

To answer your question: the Bereans were "more noble" because they were more open-minded. They weren't proof-texting out of skepticism that Paul spoke with authority; they looked at the texts (anew) with the positive attitude that Paul may be correct!

That particular teaching (i.e., that the Scriptures (OT) foretold of a suffering Messiah who dies) is one that lends itself to Scriptural cross-checking. However, it's clear that much of what Paul was teaching to the various communities at that time was not something one could "search the Scriptures" to confirm. For example, Paul no doubt passed on the decision of the Council of Jerusalem that Gentiles not only were now recipients of God's Word and promises, but that they weren't required to be circumcized. Furthermore, eating pork is now licit. Now, if you're in the synagogue in Berea (or in any other community then), do you "search the Scriptures" to confirm what Paul says is true? If so, how do you get past Gen. 17 and Deut. 14 without concluding Paul is a false teacher?

If one reads Acts 17:11 in proper context, it's clear that some teachings (based as they were then on Scripture) were subject to being verified via Scripture. Though other teachings the faithful would have had to accept on the authority of the Apostolic teachers.

This is much how Catholics today operate. Teachings that find explicit support in Scripture we receive with great eagerness and "search the Scriptures" to learn and understand the support for what is being taught. Other teachings which find less explicit support in Scripture we accept, perhaps by noting the historical support (Tradition), but also in reliance on the authority of the teacher.

Catholics are very "Berean" in this respect.

Quote:
The implication is that Paul could have taught error[.]


How do you then avoid having to acknowledge that implication as to Paul's letters? If it's not certain Paul can properly explicate the Scriptures to the Bereans, why is it to be supposed that he does so correctly when he explicates Scripture to the Romans and Corinthians, etc.? Or is this another instance of the sola scriptura presupposition that the Holy Spirit is only able to guarantee truth when language is in written form, but can't protect truth when it is spoken?

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Even Peter, for which he was corrected by Paul.


Correction. Peter taught correctly. Peter, though, waffled in his conduct in being overly concerned of offending certain Jewish-Christians.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Vadim wrote:
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DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?

So were other Apostles infallible or not? Or only St. Peter was infallible?


All of them, and their Successors, as well, I would venture to say (though I may be wrong here). But, where are they now? Only the Successor of Saint Peter remains on earth.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:04 pm 
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pax wrote:
Vadim wrote:
Quote:
DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?

So were other Apostles infallible or not? Or only St. Peter was infallible?


All of them, and their Successors, as well, I would venture to say (though I may be wrong here). But, where are they now? Only the Successor of Saint Peter remains on earth.


From my limited understanding, the guarantee of infallibility for "one person" can only be applied to the Vicar of Christ. And, of course, certain criteria have to be met. It can not be applied to any other individual bishop, taken as an individual.

However, the gaurantee of infallibility can be applied to other bishops, only insofar as they are taken as a whole when proclaiming a certain truth. But, even here, there are very specific criteria that has to be met before infallibility is guaranteed to the rest of the bishops as a whole while proclaiming a particular truth.

This is not to say that the Holy Spirit is not directing the Church when the gaurantee is not present. To say that we must only submit to what is infallibile is an error that has been explicitly condemned by the Church in the past.

As for the Apostles at the beginning, besides Peter, I don't know what to make of it, and I leave that topic to someone knowledgable.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:18 am 
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PDUBYA wrote:
pax wrote:
Vadim wrote:
Quote:
DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?

So were other Apostles infallible or not? Or only St. Peter was infallible?


All of them, and their Successors, as well, I would venture to say (though I may be wrong here). But, where are they now? Only the Successor of Saint Peter remains on earth.


From my limited understanding, the guarantee of infallibility for "one person" can only be applied to the Vicar of Christ. And, of course, certain criteria have to be met. It can not be applied to any other individual bishop, taken as an individual.

However, the gaurantee of infallibility can be applied to other bishops, only insofar as they are taken as a whole when proclaiming a certain truth. But, even here, there are very specific criteria that has to be met before infallibility is guaranteed to the rest of the bishops as a whole while proclaiming a particular truth.

This is not to say that the Holy Spirit is not directing the Church when the gaurantee is not present. To say that we must only submit to what is infallibile is an error that has been explicitly condemned by the Church in the past.

As for the Apostles at the beginning, besides Peter, I don't know what to make of it, and I leave that topic to someone knowledgable.


Well, I do not know of any irreformable teaching of Holy Mother Church which says anything one way or the other on whether the original Apostles also enjoyed the gift of infallibility as we know has come down to us through Blessed Peter. All of the other Successions from the original Apostles, save Blessed Peter alone, have come to an end so that the Succession from Blessed Peter is all that remains in the world today.

I sbmit for inspection and consideration and holy debate this Canon from the First Council of Nicaea:

The First Council of Nicaea, Canon 6 wrote:
The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved. In general the following principle is evident: if anyone is made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, this great synod determines that such a one shall not be a bishop. If however two or three by reason of personal rivalry dissent from the common vote of all, provided it is reasonable and in accordance with the church's canon, the vote of the majority shall prevail.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:50 pm 
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Anybody have any thoughts on this? Anybody know of any ECF writings dealing with this? Anybody know of any papal pronouncements prior to V1 on this?

I am thinking of the Malabar Catholics who, after about a millenium of separation from Rome, still held the true Catholic Faith.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:26 pm 
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I've not been involved in this thread, but just for what it's worth, the question surprised me, because I've never even thought of it. My own view has always been (and I see no reason for it not to be) that no one is infallible save God alone, and that the only reason the apostles and prophets were infallible when they wrote Scripture was precisely because they wrote and taught under divine inspiration. Now, on the assumption (which is quite an assumption!) that the words we have in the Scriptures are verbatim accounts of what was said by the individuals, then I suppose it's easy enough to conclude that the verbal utterances were, at that time, inspired, and as such would have been infallible.

It is clear, however, that no individual (save Jesus) was infallible at every moment. Peter implicitly taught error when he refused to sit with the Greeks in Galatia, and the Acts 15 council suggests that there was genuine division until James gave his final judgment. If Peter (or any other of the apostles) spoke infallibly in general, then there would be no such disagreement at all. Moreover, Peter himself seemed confused by God's revelation in Acts 10 regarding the cleanness of all foods. It would seem an odd doctrine to me to suggest that words that come from the mouth are infallible, but the thought that produced them is not. Yet if Peter was confused, he clearly was holding at that moment to untrue propositions, meaning his mind was not infallible at that moment.

So, again, I conclude with what seems to me an obvious proposition: the apostles (or anyone else, pope, bishop, church, prophet, etc.) is only infallible when they speak/teach/communicate under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for it is really the case that only the Holy Spirit is infallible and that, in those moments, it is He that teaches us, not Peter or anyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: DID THE APOSTLES TEACH INFALLIBLY?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:16 am 
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jac3510 wrote:
I've not been involved in this thread, but just for what it's worth, the question surprised me, because I've never even thought of it. My own view has always been (and I see no reason for it not to be) that no one is infallible save God alone, and that the only reason the apostles and prophets were infallible when they wrote Scripture was precisely because they wrote and taught under divine inspiration. Now, on the assumption (which is quite an assumption!) that the words we have in the Scriptures are verbatim accounts of what was said by the individuals, then I suppose it's easy enough to conclude that the verbal utterances were, at that time, inspired, and as such would have been infallible.

It is clear, however, that no individual (save Jesus) was infallible at every moment. Peter implicitly taught error when he refused to sit with the Greeks in Galatia, and the Acts 15 council suggests that there was genuine division until James gave his final judgment. If Peter (or any other of the apostles) spoke infallibly in general, then there would be no such disagreement at all. Moreover, Peter himself seemed confused by God's revelation in Acts 10 regarding the cleanness of all foods. It would seem an odd doctrine to me to suggest that words that come from the mouth are infallible, but the thought that produced them is not. Yet if Peter was confused, he clearly was holding at that moment to untrue propositions, meaning his mind was not infallible at that moment.

So, again, I conclude with what seems to me an obvious proposition: the apostles (or anyone else, pope, bishop, church, prophet, etc.) is only infallible when they speak/teach/communicate under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for it is really the case that only the Holy Spirit is infallible and that, in those moments, it is He that teaches us, not Peter or anyone else.


I think you have pretty well nailed how Catholics view infallibility. For instance, we say when there is unanimous consent among the Fathers -- who either learned the Faith directly from an Apostle or from somebody who learned the Faith from an Apostle -- that is an infallible teaching. Not everything the Fathers say and teach is infallible, but when they are in agreement on some doctrine of faith or morals, that is infallible.

With the Bishop of Rome, he is only infallible when publicly teaching the entire Church, and binding the Faithful to a certain doctrine. Otherwise, he is as capable of thinking and privately professing error as any other man -- exactly as you say Blessed Peter did with the Judaizers (though we Catholics have a different understanding of that event).

But none of these guys are infallible in and of themselves. They only exercise that gift, which is a manifestation of the guidance of the Holy Ghost promised by Christ, when God so ordains that they should exercise that gift. They are ordinary men called by God to do extraordinary things, and given the graces and the gifts to carry out His will, which is to spread the one true Gospel to all men throughout all time. And if these men are so called to preach the one true Gospel, then that preaching must have a divine guarantee against error, otherwise the Gospel that they preach may not be true. But it must be true, for God Himself has commanded us that we should believe their preaching, and God cannot command us to believe that which is not true.

I mean, think of the chaos that would ensue if a bunch of people just started preaching the Gospel on their own authority and without the divine gift of infallibility. In no time flat you would have several different gospels being preached, and Christians splintering from each other and setting up churches in opposition to each other.


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