1. Hmmm . . .
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    Lately, I have been reading in the history of church doctrine, especially as it developed in the East (e.g., the Greek Orthodox). Orthodox, Roman Catholics and, to some extent at least, Anglicans all look to the patristic tradition as well as the texts. This tradition goes back at least until the 2nd century. Sola scriptura—scripture alone—is a doctrine originating in the 16th century by Martin Luther.

    This divide between text and tradition seems to be at least one element in differing understandings of soteriology—“salvation”—it’s nature and requirements. In the East, salvation is viewed as cure or healing (based on the root meaning of the Greek word soterias, and as a process rather than an event—in contrast to the more juridical view that developed in the West. (I am not entirely sure which view is most prominent within Roman Catholicism.)

    ______________________________________________

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_Scriptura--


    Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, "by scripture alone" ) is the assertion that the Bible as God's written word is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture" ), and sufficient of itself to be the only source of Christian doctrine.

    Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the reformer Martin Luther and is a definitive principle of Protestants today (see Five solas)

    Sola scriptura may be contrasted with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teaching, in which the Bible must be interpreted by church teaching, by considering the Bible in the context of Sacred Tradition

    ________________________________

    One “proof-text” sometimes cited in support of an early oral tradition that paralleled and informed textual interpretation is the following (my bold)—

    1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery/secret (mysterion) of God to you in lofty words or wisdom (sophias). 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4 My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. 6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom (sophian), though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7 But we speak God's wisdom in secret/mystery (en mysterio), that was hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

    The passage continues (to give further context)— 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"—10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else's scrutiny. 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

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    So, is there a valid oral tradition, reflected in writings of the early Christians, that ought to be considered in interpreting the texts today—or not?

    Does it matter that the earliest post-NT Christians read the texts differently from modern Protestants (at least)? If they did, were they guided by the Spirit, or not? Were thet "true Christians" or not (and are the Orthodox today)?

    Should the NT texts themselves be seen as part of the early developing tradition, or as the “self-authenticating” word of God? Does it matter if the earliest Christians did not see them this way?
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    20 Mar '07 20:12
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Lately, I have been reading in the history of church doctrine, especially as it developed in the East (e.g., the Greek Orthodox). Orthodox, Roman Catholics and, to some extent at least, Anglicans all look to the patristic tradition as well as the texts. This tradition goes back at least until the 2nd century. Sola scriptura—scripture alone—is a doc ...[text shortened]... ord of God? Does it matter if the earliest Christians did not see them this way?
    I would like to reply, but you make me think too hard!

    To answer your 1st question- For me, and this may expose my ignorance, it is the scripture itself that interprets scripture. Through carefull study I have found the bible to be inerrant.

    2nd- The truth is the same today as it was in the past. Differing veiws are inevitable considering mans fallibility.

    3rd- Definately self-authenticating.

    4th- I have no doubt the early christains had a clearer understanding.
  3. Standard memberNemesio
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    21 Mar '07 21:491 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Sola scriptura—scripture alone—is a doctrine originating in the 16th century by Martin Luther.
    A so-called sola scriptura hermeneutic would necessarily require
    the rejection of at least half-a-dozen dogmas in Christianity, as well as
    dozens of suppositions. All of the creeds would be trash, the Divinity
    of Jesus would be trash, the Trinity would be trash, &c. Nothing would
    preclude Jesus' being married, or that He wasn't adopted by God, or
    that He was always sinless [the Petrine passage refers to the sinlessness
    of his suffering, the Johannine passage pertains to belief in Him results
    in a sinless life], and who knows how many other post-NT period dogmas.

    I don't know any Christian tradition which holds to a genuinely sola
    scriptura
    position. All of them adopt the reforms that came into
    being by the fourth century, whether they care to admit it or not.

    Nemesio
  4. Donationkirksey957
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    21 Mar '07 21:53
    Originally posted by josephw
    I would like to reply, but you make me think too hard!

    To answer your 1st question- For me, and this may expose my ignorance, it is the scripture itself that interprets scripture. Through carefull study I have found the bible to be inerrant.

    2nd- The truth is the same today as it was in the past. Differing veiws are inevitable considering mans fallibil ...[text shortened]... y self-authenticating.

    4th- I have no doubt the early christains had a clearer understanding.
    If scripture interprets scripture, no where does it say it is inerrant. Sorry.
  5. Standard memberPalynka
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    21 Mar '07 23:16
    Isn't Sola Scriptura as doctrine an inherent contradiction?
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    21 Mar '07 23:32
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    If scripture interprets scripture, no where does it say it is inerrant. Sorry.
    Try psalm 19
  7. Donationkirksey957
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    21 Mar '07 23:49
    Originally posted by josephw
    Try psalm 19
    v. 7 "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."

    You find this to be a lesson or evidence of biblical inerrancy?
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    22 Mar '07 00:24
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    v. 7 "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."

    You find this to be a lesson or evidence of biblical inerrancy?
    I'm at the library and so I don't have a bible in front of me, but if I recall correctly, verses 7,8,&9 or is it 6,7,&8, talks about God's law, statutes, commands, and their benefits to the believer.

    If there were errors in God's word then we are left with nothing to believe or trust for those benefits described.

    God has preserved his word.

    I realise this is inconclusive "proof", but at the moment that's all I have.
  9. Donationkirksey957
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    22 Mar '07 01:09
    Originally posted by josephw
    I'm at the library and so I don't have a bible in front of me, but if I recall correctly, verses 7,8,&9 or is it 6,7,&8, talks about God's law, statutes, commands, and their benefits to the believer.

    If there were errors in God's word then we are left with nothing to believe or trust for those benefits described.

    God has preserved his word.

    I realise this is inconclusive "proof", but at the moment that's all I have.
    In that chapter (Psalm 19), to me the most meaningful verse is the last. v.14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in they sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."

    To say if you find an error, you are left with nothing to believe or trust is rather severe don't you think? Young children grow up idolizing their parents as they depend on them for just about everything. But invariably we find ourselves seeing through and seeing our parents as we could not have imagined at younger ages. Yet, we still find value inspite of all their imperfections.
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Mar '07 01:52
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    A so-called sola scriptura hermeneutic would necessarily require
    the rejection of at least half-a-dozen dogmas in Christianity, as well as
    dozens of suppositions. All of the creeds would be trash, the Divinity
    of Jesus would be trash, the Trinity would be trash, &c. Nothing would
    preclude Jesus' being married, or that He wasn't adopted by God, o ...[text shortened]... hat came into
    being by the fourth century, whether they care to admit it or not.

    Nemesio
    I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you. I grew up and spent much of my adult life in a denomination that claimed sola scriptura—the Lutheran church. But what I suspect is a lot of “new Christianity” seems to have developed over time from the 16th century onward based on at least three factors:

    (1) Sola scriptura.

    (2) The priesthood of all believers, in which each Christian can interpret for her/himself (I still have a lot of that in me, and so I feel free to challenge some interpretations of the Fathers as well).

    (3) Translation of the texts into the vernacular; not only with loss of meanings from the original languages, but sometimes with little attention to changes in the vernacular itself (particularly, in my case, English) over time.

    Sola scriptura possibly had some merit at the time; the other two principles I have no specific objection to—it is the way the three seem to have collided to allow the creation of a new Christianity of, for lack of a better term, biblical fundamentalism.

    There now seem to be people who graduate from Protestant (at least) seminaries who have little or no education in the original languages, who interpret scripture and teach others what Christianity is all about, who publish books and have TV shows; there are denominations that have been doing this for a century or so now, at least, and have formulated doctrines that would make the first apostolic Christians cringe, I think. When it is pointed out that perhaps no one in the 2nd century, say, thought that was what it was about—well, “the Bible says....”

    But what the Bible “says” doesn’t seem to be always what the writers of the texts actually said—including in the single NT text that speaks of “inspired scripture.”

    Now a lot of Protestants seem to get upset about this. Well, I found it upsetting myself—and so I continue to study. The point is—and, again, I still have some of the “protestant principle” in me which, coupled with my midrashist tendencies, keeps me from simply towing the line of any tradition—but, the point is, that I think there is a new, latter-day Christianity out there that insists it is the true original faith without which no one is saved. And which, by keeping itself locked in a pseudo-literal reading of the Biblical texts—with no attention paid to early church doctrinal history—attempts to claim that personal salvationism depends, and has always depended, on a certain right thinking/belief.

    And so I think that a re-weaving of text and tradition may well be called for.

    I really don’t care about the label anymore—who is a “true Christian” (TM)—what I do care about are the symbols and their (possibilities for) meaning. The writers of the gospels (with the exception of Mark probably) were educated and intelligent people who had strong literary skills, who knew the range and possibilities (including the poetic and allegorical) of the particular language they were working in, and were not superficial thinkers theologically.

    I wish you could get the time to flesh out some of those doctrinal positions you mention (I would suspect that the Definition of Chalcedon would be one)—though perhaps we’ll have to wait until after the Lenten season is over...?

    I’d also like some more dialogue here from others who have examined the question, to see what they think. So, I’ll wait awhile...
  11. Donationkirksey957
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    22 Mar '07 02:14
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you. I grew up and spent much of my adult life in a denomination that claimed sola scriptura—the Lutheran church. But what I suspect is a lot of “new Christianity” seems to have developed over time from the 16th century onward based on at least three factors:

    (1) Sola scriptura.

    (2) The priesthood of all believers, ...[text shortened]... ere from others who have examined the question, to see what they think. So, I’ll wait awhile...
    I am one of those people who graduated from a protestant seminary. I certainly don't have the background in the languages that you do and truthfully, I found that I was not motivated at the time to study them as I should. But I think on some level a person must be of a certain mindset to take in these learnings on an emotional level. The types of personalities that you describe are not "there."

    My particular brand of faith tends to be more relation in its orientation. The "word" finds its meaning in experiences that I have. It goes in that direction more than it goes in the direction of my experiences finding meaning in the "word."
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Mar '07 02:483 edits
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    I am one of those people who graduated from a protestant seminary. I certainly don't have the background in the languages that you do and truthfully, I found that I was not motivated at the time to study them as I should. But I think on some level a person must be of a certain mindset to take in these learnings on an emotional level. The types of person ction more than it goes in the direction of my experiences finding meaning in the "word."
    I don’t have any background either, Kirk. I just work at it for myself, now that I have the time. (You have no idea how hard it is, how many tools I use, and how long it takes me to do some of that stuff....)

    And I should say that I don’t think any fluency in Hebrew or Greek is necessary—as long as the real message (and sometimes multiple messages) that is embodied in the texts is not turned into something else. I was an adult before I knew that everywhere the word “LORD” appears in the OT, that is not what is in the text, and why, for example. Or what you mentioned the other day about the word generally rendered as “perfect” in the NT actually meaning something more like “mature.” (We talked about perfectionism, and the guilt and frustration that can come from failing at that, if one thinks that is the standard to which one is held.) Since my Christian teachers did have that knowledge, I wonder why they didn’t bother to pass any of it on...

    Somewhere along the way, Kirk, you picked something up that I did not—whether in seminary or in the course of your ministry, I don’t know. You often remind me of ole Will Campbell! So, I can see that it’s not the language, per se. But the underlying message and meanings that I have only begun to find by working at those languages, and reading across religious traditions. So forgive me if I sounded like an elitist... 🙁

    How did you learn not to be a Biblical literalist? How did you learn the core message of radical grace that you proclaim? Have you ever been accused of being a heretic?

    EDIT: BTW, I was one of those who hated learning any other languages when I was young, like Spanish in high school. I wish now I had paid attention...

    EDIT 2:

    The "word" finds its meaning in experiences that I have. It goes in that direction more than it goes in the direction of my experiences finding meaning in the "word."

    Wisdom that is, I believe... I need to chew on that awhile. Thank you.
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    22 Mar '07 03:54
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t have any background either, Kirk. I just work at it for myself, now that I have the time. (You have no idea how hard it is, how many tools I use, and how long it takes me to do some of that stuff....)

    And I should say that I don’t think any fluency in Hebrew or Greek is necessary—as long as the real message (and sometimes multiple messages) tha ...[text shortened]... the "word."


    Wisdom that is, I believe... I need to chew on that awhile. Thank you.[/b]
    Visited I have a question for you away from the subject of this thread. Have you ever read any of the writings of a Muslim scholar named:
    "Ebn Taymeya". Do you know him?
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    The subject of this thread is interesting , sometimes I find it hard to follow, but I wish I have the time to do it.

    Regards
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Mar '07 04:111 edit
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    Visited I have a question for you away from the subject of this thread. Have you ever read any of the writings of a Muslim scholar named:
    "Ebn Taymeya". Do you know him?
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    The subject of this thread is interesting , sometimes I find it hard to follow, but I wish I have the time to do it.

    Regards
    No, but I will look him up. Thanks. Is his work translated into English?

    EDIT: By the way, I really have not come up with an answer to your excellent question about translating Hebrew concepts into Greek, on the other thread. As I think we both agree, all translations are interpretations...
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    22 Mar '07 04:254 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    No, but I will look him up. Thanks. Is his work translated into English?

    EDIT: By the way, I really have not come up with an answer to your excellent question about translating Hebrew concepts into Greek, on the other thread. As I think we both agree, all translations are interpretations...
    This man is one of the greatest scholars in Islam. He has a lot of Books. I wish his work is translated to English but I don't think so, I will do some search. All I can do for now I can give you an arabic link of his book translated by Google. I will try to do translation myself when there is a time. It is interesting that you find answers to many questions I found here.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?sourceid=navclient&hl=en&u=http%3a%2f%2farabic%2eislamicweb%2ecom%2fbooks%2ftaimiya%2easp

    Here is the original Arabic link:

    http://arabic.islamicweb.com/books/taimiya.asp

    This site includes books for him and his student Ebn Elkayem, who also has wonderful thinking.

    Edit: More info from wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Taymiyyah

    ------------------------------
    EDIT: By the way, I really have not come up with an answer to your excellent question about translating Hebrew concepts into Greek, on the other thread. As I think we both agree, all translations are interpretations...

    Yes, of course. And that bothers me so much when I read to Christian interpretation of scriptures. Specially when they refere to Hebrew and Greek.

    I hope I have time to learn either of them to be able to make a better study of the Bible.
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