(Re: patristic quotes used to make the case for Sola Scriptura)
I mailed you a whole bunch of patristic quotations in our private interaction) and I guess I'll have to wait until you respond to them later.
I emailed you back a series of quotes from the very people you quoted showing that they did not
hold to interpreting Scripture apart from the consensus of the Church. Here they are, for you and all who'd care to read them:
- But when, the heretics [reject] Scriptures, as if they were wrong, and unauthoritative, and were variable, and the truth could not be extracted from them by those who were ignorant of tradition...AND when we challenge them in turn what that tradition, which is from the Apostles, which is guarded by the succession of elders in the churches, they oppose themselves to Tradition, saying that they are wiser, not only than those elders, but even than the Apostles.
- "Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church, those who as I have shown, possess succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of bishops, have received the CERTAIN GIFT of TRUTH, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in SUSPICION others who DEPART from the primitive succession of the succession, and assemble themselves....But those who cleave asunder, and separate the unity of the Church, [shall] receive from God the same punishments as Jeroboam did"
- "Heretics assent neither to Scripture nor to Tradition"
- “If for these and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scripture injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them. Custom is their strengthener, and faith is their observerGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âª. These instances, therefore, will make it sufficiently plain that you can vindicate the keeping of even unwritten tradition established by custom. The proper witness for tradition is its demonstration by long-continued observance.”
- "We do not take our scriptural teaching from the parables but we interpret the parables according to our TEACHING"
- 'Let them show the origins of their churches, let them unroll the list of their bishops,(showing) through a succession coming down from the very beginning that their first bishop had his authority and predecessor someone from among the number of Apostles or apostolic men and, further, that he did not stray from the Apostles. In this way the apostolic churches present their earliest records. The church of Smyrna, for example, records that Polycarp was named by John; the Romans, that Clement was ordained by Peter. In just the same way, the other churches show who were made bishops by the Apostles and who transmitted the apostolic seed to them. Let the heretics invent something like that'
Prescr Ag Heretics 32
Clement of Alexandria:
- 'For US...having grown old in the Scriptures, PRESERVING the Apostolic and ecclesiastical correctness of doctrine, living a life according to the Gospel, is led by the Lord to discover the proofs from the Law and the prophets which he seeks.'
Stromata 7,104 -- No SS admission of human error here!
- "The Church's preaching has been handed down through an orderly succession from the Apostles and remains in the Church until the present. That alone is to be believed as the truth which in no way departs from ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition"
First Principles 1,2
Epiphanius of Salamis:
- 'But for all the divine words, there is no need of allegory to grasp the meaning; what is necessary is study and understanding to know the MEANING of each statement. We must have recourse to TRADITION, for all cannot be received from the divine Scriptures. That is why the holy Apostles handed down certain things in writings but others by TRADITIONS. As Paul said:" Just as I handed them on to you." '
- "But, beyond these sayings [Scr.’s he had just quoted to prove the deity of the HS], let us look at the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached and the Fathers kept." To Serapion 1:28" To Serapion 1:28
- "But after him and with him are all inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, but do not hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and receiving them as the traditions of men, err, because they do not rightly know them nor their power."
Festal Letter 2:6
- “What they [Arians] now allege from the Gospels they certainly give unsound interpretation, we may easily see—" and here’s a perfect time for him to say, “by Scr. alone,” but instead—“if we now consider the scope of that faith which we Christians hold, and using it as a rule, apply ourselves, as the Apostle teaches, to the reading of inspired Scripture." So the apostolic trad. is not Scr. itself, but the consistent interp thereof throughout time that was considered authoritative.
Dis. Against Arians 3:28
- Finally: "See, we are proving that this view has been transmitted from father to father; but ye, O modern Jews and disciples of Caiaphas, how many fathers can ye assign to your phrases? Not one of the understanding and wise; for all abhor you, but the devil alone; none but he is your father in this apostasy" Defense of the Nicene Definition, 27(A.D. 355),in NPNF2,IV:168 This was their RULE OF FAITH; that which the Fathers had handed down was always to be used to interp Scr
Hilary of Poitiers:
- 'It behooves us not to withdraw from the CREED which we have received...nor to back off from the faith which we have recieved from through the prophets ... or to back-slide from the Gospels. Once laid down, it continues even to this day through the TRADITION of the FATHERS'
Ex. Oper. Hist. Fragment 7,3 Yes, this is “traditioning” Scr., as you put it, but consider: his faith in the oral traditions of the Church was so strong as to trust them to replace Scr., were such a thing necessary. Could this be said to be “infallible”?
Basil of Caesarea:
- "Let us now investigate what are our common conceptions concerning the Spirit, as well those which have been gathered by us from Holy Scripture AS WELL those which have been gathered concerning it as those which we have RECEIVED from the UNWRITTEN tradition of the Fathers"
Holy Spirit 22
- "Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have delivered to us in a mystery by the Apostles by the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force"
Holy Spirit 27
- For I HOLD IT APOSTOLIC TO ABIDE BY THE UNWRITTEN TRADITIONS. 'I praise you,' it is said, 'that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I have delivered them to you;' and 'Hold fast the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word, or our Epistle.' One of these traditions is the practice which is now before us, which they who ordained from the beginning, rooted firmly in the churches, delivering it to their SUCCESSORS, and its use through long custom advances pace by pace with time.”
Holy Spirit 71
Gregory of Nyssa:
- "They, on the other hand, who change their doctrines to this novelty, would need the support of their arguments in abundance, if they were to bring over to their views, not men light as dust, and unstable, but MEN of weight and steadiness: but so long as their statement is advanced without being established, and without being proved, who is so foolish ad so brutish as to account the teaching of the evangelists and apostles, AND of those who successively shone like lights in the churches, of less force than this undemonstrated nonsense"
C. Eunomius 4,6
- 'But if they will not believe the doctrines of the priests, let them believe Christ's oracles, let them believe the admonitions of angels who say, "For with God nothing is impossible". Let them believe the apostles creed which the Roman Church has always kept undefiled'
- 'So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word, or by our epistle of ours'. Hence it is manifest that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition; seek no further."
Homilies on 2 Thess 2:15
- "We may answer, that what is here written, was sufficient for those who would attend, and that the sacred writers ever addressed themselves to the matter of immediate importance, whatever it might be at that time: it was no object with them to be writers of books: in fact, there are many things which have been delivered by UNWRITTEN TRADITION.
Homilies on Acts 1,1
- 'Do you demand Scripture proof? You may find it in Acts of the Apostles. And even if it did NOT REST on the authority of the Scripture the CONSENSUS of the WHOLE WORLD in this respect would have the force of COMMAND...'
C. Dialogue Luciferians 8
- 'And let them not flatter you themselves if they think they have Scripture authority since the devil himself has quoted Scripture texts...we could all, while preserving in the letter of Scripture, read into it some novel doctrine'
ibid 28 (So Jerome saw the key to reading Scr. as submitting to the patristic command.)
- “Perhaps you will read the gospel to me, and will attempt to find there a testimony to Manicheus. But should you meet with a person not yet believing in the gospel, how would you reply to him were he to say, I do not believe? For MY PART, I should NOT BELEIVE the gospel except moved by the authority of the Catholic Church. So when those on whose authority I have consented to believe in the gospel tell me not to believe in Manicheus, how can I BUT CONSENT?"
C. Epis Mani 5,6
- "Wherever this tradition comes from, we must believe that the Church has not believed in vain, even though the express authority of the canonical scriptures is not brought forward for it" (Wow! “WHEREVER it comes from”?!?!?)
Letter 164 to Evodius of Uzalis
- "To be sure, although on this matter, we cannot quote a clear example taken from the canonical Scriptures, at any rate, on this question, we are following the true thought of Scriptures when we observe what has appeared good to the universal Church which the authority of these same Scriptures recommends to you"
C. Cresconius I:33
Vincent of Lerins:
- 'When anyone asks one of these heretics who presents arguments: Where are the proofs of your teaching that I should leave behind the world-wide and ancient faith of the Catholic Church? He will jump in before you have finished with the question: "It is written" He follows up immediately with thousands of texts and examples...'
- "Here perhaps, someone may ask: Since the canon of the Scripture is complete and more than sufficient in itself, why is it necessary to add to it the authority of ecclesiastical interpretation? As a matter of fact, [we must answer] Holy Scripture, because of its depth, is not universally accepted in one and the same sense. The same text is interpreted different by different people, so that one may almost gain the impression that it can yield as many different meanings as there are men. Novatian, for example, expounds a passage in one way; Sabellius, in another; Donatus, in another. Arius, and Eunomius, and Macedonius read it differently; so do Photinus, Apollinaris, and Priscillian; in another way, Jovian, Pelagius, and Caelestius; finally still another way, Nestorius. Thus, because of the great distortions caused by various errors, it is, indeed, necessary that the trend of the interpretation of the prophetic and apostolic writings be directed in accordance with the rule of the ecclesiastical and Catholic meaning"
While the fathers do laud Scripture time and again, Rho, it is clear the Fathers don’t intend for us to take Scr. by itself. What WOULD give me pause (if you could be so kind as to supply me therewith) would be quotes from the Fathers saying Scr. is sufficient in and of itself, over and above any post-Scr. interpretation, as the final rule of faith and doctrineGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂªJOINED WITH quotes from these SAME people showing that Scr. has enjoined them to agree with you on the following:
- Symbolic Baptism and Eucharist
- "Eternal Security"
- No Intermediate St. of the Dead
- Lack of Trustworthiness of post-apostolic Church/Apostolic Succession
- Mary having no role in our salvation
- No Connection Between Departed and Earthdwelling
- Imparted Righteousness and Satisfaction Atonement (as opposed to theosis)
These men who you say see Scr. in a vacuum and sufficient apart from other traditions all disagree with the EvProt position, and, what is more, they all disagree IN THE SAME WAY! This is why the idea of SS, when touted by the Evs, makes no sense to me. The claim is made that Scr. “clearly says x,” when many of those who lived much closer to the actual writing of said Scr. all claim something else. You say this is merely "traditioning of Scripture," with "tradition" being the same as written Scripture; I say, fine. Look at and heed, then, what this tradition says, for it indicts you.