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Timon
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« on: April 15, 2012, 10:42:53 PM »

Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 313 – 386 AD:

"In regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not the least part may be handed on without the Holy Scriptures. Do not be led astray by winning words and clever arguments. Even to me, who tell you these things, do not give ready belief, unless you receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of the things which I announce. The salvation in which we believe is not proved from clever reasoning, but from the Holy Scriptures."

Anyone familiar with this? Is this commonly used as evidence that the early fathers would have supported sola scriptura?
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 11:23:28 PM »

Lawl at quoting the Fathers in support of sola scriptura.

You must admit it's kinda funny ...
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 01:21:55 AM »

Lawl at quoting the Fathers in support of sola scriptura.

You must admit it's kinda funny ...
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« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 01:22:09 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 10:02:09 AM »

To clarify, I wasnt planning on using this quote to defend it.  I reject the teaching. 

But a reformed buddy of mine posted it to facebook.  He posted several things and they were all from early fathers.  Every now and then it seems like people will use these old quotes, likely out of context as they do with scripture, to support their views.  I was just wondering if anyone has heard this one used before.  I was also wondering if anyone could help me understand what he means here.
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 11:43:55 AM »

See here:
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/cyril.html

The sections in bold belong to the Protestant with whom this guy (a Catholic) is debating. In it he references the preceding passage of the quote you listed, i.e. 4:16, which states:
Quote
16. Believe thou also in the Holy Ghost, and hold the same opinion concerning Him, which you have received to hold concerning the Father and the Son, and follow not those who teach blasphemous things of Him. But learn thou that this Holy Spirit is One, indivisible, of manifold power; having many operations, yet not Himself divided; Who knows the mysteries, Who searches all things, even the deep things of God 1 Corinthians 2:10: Who descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ in form of a dove; Who wrought in the Law and in the Prophets; Who now also at the season of Baptism seals your soul; of Whose holiness also every intellectual nature has need: against Whom if any dare to blaspheme, he has no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come Matthew 12:32: "Who with the Father and the Son together " is honoured with the glory of the Godhead: of Whom also thrones, and dominions, principalities, and powers have need. Colossians 1:16 For there is One God, the Father of Christ; and One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Only God; and One Holy Ghost, the sanctifier and deifier of all , Who spoke in the Law and in the Prophets, in the Old and in the New Testament.

Quote
   [Matt] That said, let us take a quick look at his quotation of Cyril.

    In regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not the least part may be handed on without the Holy Scriptures. Do not be led astray by winning words and clever arguments. Even to me, who tell you these things, do not give ready belief, unless you receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of the things which I announce. The salvation in which we believe is not proved from clever reasoning, but from the Holy Scriptures." (Catechetical Lectures 4:17).

    Thus, the background to the passage in 4:17, is 4:16, which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril, in the background to his quotation of 4:17, is referring to holding the same opinions as that which has been received!! Thus, this truth that he commands people to believe is that which has been held and passed down. What is that except authoritative tradition!!! And what does he speak of next? Oh, then comes his quote on Scripture. So, thus the background to the quotation on Scripture is it is essential to hold to the teaching that has been passed on, in reference to the matter. He does not say, ‘well, ya know tradition is nice, but the only infallible guide is Scripture”, as you are assuming.

    So what do you think he means when he says that the catechumens are to test everything he says against the Scriptures and that all the elements of his lectures have been derived from the Scriptures? That doesn't sound like he's saying his tradition is something independent of Scripture and which is used to "interpret" Scripture. It also doesn't sound like he thinks there's anything terribly wrong with the catechumens comparing what he says to the Scriptures and making a "private judgment" about what is true. Just like you do with the evidences for Rome. Amazing coincidence, is it not?

However, you overlook the point that prior to that he said: which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril does not say that you must test everything against one’s own personal interpretation of Scripture, or Scripture as interpreted by Calvin, or anybody else. That is what you say he says. He is using this against the heretics who twist Scriptures. They are outside the valid tradition. He does not say “Well you test this tradition against what the Catholic Church teaches.” You are setting them up as polar opposites. He nowhere is even thinking like you. No, he does not say, make a private judgment against the tradition or the Church. On the contrary, he is stating to stay with what ‘has been received.’ What has been received except the tradition and the Church? Right after he says that you must hold fast to the traditions he says:

    “Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank[7], even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit.”

In other words they must keep what he has been and is teaching. This is tradition. Yes, part of it is to interpret Scripture but nowhere does he say that this is what tradition is limited to. Also, in the context of his teaching on baptismal regeneration, despite your words, you know that as a Calvinist you do not accept baptismal regeneration, he writes:

LECTURE XX. (ON THE MYSTERIES. II.) OF BAPTISM.

    8. Having been sufficiently instructed in these things, keep them, I beseech you, in your remembrance; that I also, unworthy though I be, may say of you, Now I love you(1), because ye always remember me, and hold fast the traditions, which I delivered unto you. And God, who has presented you as if were alive from the dead(2), is able to grant unto you to walk in newness of life(3): because His is the glory and the power, now and for ever. Amen. Mystagogical Catechesis 2:8 NPNF 2, VII:148.

After teaching the necessity of baptism, where he went well beyond a strict reading of Scripture, but he also instructed on what baptism does. Yes, baptismal regeneration is clearly Biblical, but the people needed to hear ultimately from the Church to get the exact teaching on the issue, and one was not to stray from that teaching.

Cyril also wrote, Lecture XVIII:

    23. It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and becauseit teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly(6); and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul or body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.

The Church teaches universally and completely. Nowhere in the context does it say, well, you test what the Church teaches against your own interpretation of Scripture. Nowhere does Cyril limit the Church’s power to be second grade to Scripture. In fact, in the context of here, there is absolutely nothing saying that Scripture is superior to the Church.

    [Matt1] When he refers people to Scripture, the whole background is holding on to what was taught. I.E. Tradition. What is the clever reasoning that Cyril condemns in 4:17? This very tradition that he said that they must hold to in 4:16? No. As the Trinity is a heavy topic twisted in many ways by many, including the teaching on the Holy Spirit (Ask Protestant oneness Pentecostal John F) as is the background to 4:17, this ‘clever reasoning’ that he says that one is not to listen to, is exactly that which misinterprets the Holy Scriptures, and is not in accordance with that tradition. What is that reasoning that misinterprets Scripture? Well, it is that which is not in accord with tradition!!!

    Nope. Since Cyril explicitly says his tradition derives from Scripture (5.12), he can't be saying what you say he is saying. There's no doubt that he speaks of a tradition passed on alongside the Scriptures, but that's not the same thing as a "Tradition" passed on independent of Scripture and which "verifies" Scripture. And just as an aside, I have to wonder about your understanding of the term "Protestant" if you think a Oneness Pentecostal is one. That's a bit like saying that a Pelagian or an Arian is a Catholic.

Of course nowhere does Cyril merely say that tradition was derived from Scripture. 5:12 doesn’t say that at all. You go from one error to another and jump from one false premise to another one. Of course, Cyril himself said that the only reason we know what Scripture is, is from the Church. Since it is the Church and tradition is the one that compiled it, it is nonsense to say that tradition is derived from Scripture.

Of course, according to you, only the Lutherans and Calvinists, and maybe Anglicans are true Protestants. You have absolutely no responsibility for Sola Scriptura’s fruit. The Oneness Pentecostals just did what the so-called ‘Reformers’ did: Interpreted Scripture personally, and created their own denomination. Why run away from the Thousands of denominations you created as a result of ‘testing what they teach against Scripture”. Do you not hold that it was legitimate for Martin Luther to break away from the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church did not get it right? Do you not hold that it was legitimate for John Calvin to create a new Protestant Church because he believed that Luther was wrong on a few things? Why do you say that that splintering off is Ok, while other people who go by Scripture as the only infallible guide, come to other conclusions such as the Oneness Pentecostals do when they read Scripture, is not Ok?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:51:10 AM by NightOwl » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 11:55:59 AM »

Three things must be borne in mind here:
1. St Cyril of Jerusalem is warning his listeners against involvement with Gnostics and other heretics. He is here telling them to only trust the canonical books of Scripture and to avoid the works of such groups.
2. He is speaking specifically of major doctrines (Trinity, Incarnation, etc.), arguments for which he beautifully weaves together from Scriptural quotes.
3. The people he is addressing are catechumens, and he frequently repeats throughout his lectures that they should concern themselves with the basics before they attempt to get into the more obscure and convoluted aspects of the faith.
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Timon
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »

See here:
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/cyril.html

The sections in bold belong to the Protestant with whom this guy (a Catholic) is debating. In it he references the preceding passage of the quote you listed, i.e. 4:16, which states:
Quote
16. Believe thou also in the Holy Ghost, and hold the same opinion concerning Him, which you have received to hold concerning the Father and the Son, and follow not those who teach blasphemous things of Him. But learn thou that this Holy Spirit is One, indivisible, of manifold power; having many operations, yet not Himself divided; Who knows the mysteries, Who searches all things, even the deep things of God 1 Corinthians 2:10: Who descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ in form of a dove; Who wrought in the Law and in the Prophets; Who now also at the season of Baptism seals your soul; of Whose holiness also every intellectual nature has need: against Whom if any dare to blaspheme, he has no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come Matthew 12:32: "Who with the Father and the Son together " is honoured with the glory of the Godhead: of Whom also thrones, and dominions, principalities, and powers have need. Colossians 1:16 For there is One God, the Father of Christ; and One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Only God; and One Holy Ghost, the sanctifier and deifier of all , Who spoke in the Law and in the Prophets, in the Old and in the New Testament.

Quote
   [Matt] That said, let us take a quick look at his quotation of Cyril.

    In regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not the least part may be handed on without the Holy Scriptures. Do not be led astray by winning words and clever arguments. Even to me, who tell you these things, do not give ready belief, unless you receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of the things which I announce. The salvation in which we believe is not proved from clever reasoning, but from the Holy Scriptures." (Catechetical Lectures 4:17).

    Thus, the background to the passage in 4:17, is 4:16, which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril, in the background to his quotation of 4:17, is referring to holding the same opinions as that which has been received!! Thus, this truth that he commands people to believe is that which has been held and passed down. What is that except authoritative tradition!!! And what does he speak of next? Oh, then comes his quote on Scripture. So, thus the background to the quotation on Scripture is it is essential to hold to the teaching that has been passed on, in reference to the matter. He does not say, ‘well, ya know tradition is nice, but the only infallible guide is Scripture”, as you are assuming.

    So what do you think he means when he says that the catechumens are to test everything he says against the Scriptures and that all the elements of his lectures have been derived from the Scriptures? That doesn't sound like he's saying his tradition is something independent of Scripture and which is used to "interpret" Scripture. It also doesn't sound like he thinks there's anything terribly wrong with the catechumens comparing what he says to the Scriptures and making a "private judgment" about what is true. Just like you do with the evidences for Rome. Amazing coincidence, is it not?

However, you overlook the point that prior to that he said: which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril does not say that you must test everything against one’s own personal interpretation of Scripture, or Scripture as interpreted by Calvin, or anybody else. That is what you say he says. He is using this against the heretics who twist Scriptures. They are outside the valid tradition. He does not say “Well you test this tradition against what the Catholic Church teaches.” You are setting them up as polar opposites. He nowhere is even thinking like you. No, he does not say, make a private judgment against the tradition or the Church. On the contrary, he is stating to stay with what ‘has been received.’ What has been received except the tradition and the Church? Right after he says that you must hold fast to the traditions he says:

    “Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank[7], even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit.”

In other words they must keep what he has been and is teaching. This is tradition. Yes, part of it is to interpret Scripture but nowhere does he say that this is what tradition is limited to. Also, in the context of his teaching on baptismal regeneration, despite your words, you know that as a Calvinist you do not accept baptismal regeneration, he writes:

LECTURE XX. (ON THE MYSTERIES. II.) OF BAPTISM.

    8. Having been sufficiently instructed in these things, keep them, I beseech you, in your remembrance; that I also, unworthy though I be, may say of you, Now I love you(1), because ye always remember me, and hold fast the traditions, which I delivered unto you. And God, who has presented you as if were alive from the dead(2), is able to grant unto you to walk in newness of life(3): because His is the glory and the power, now and for ever. Amen. Mystagogical Catechesis 2:8 NPNF 2, VII:148.

After teaching the necessity of baptism, where he went well beyond a strict reading of Scripture, but he also instructed on what baptism does. Yes, baptismal regeneration is clearly Biblical, but the people needed to hear ultimately from the Church to get the exact teaching on the issue, and one was not to stray from that teaching.

Cyril also wrote, Lecture XVIII:

    23. It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and becauseit teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly(6); and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul or body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.

The Church teaches universally and completely. Nowhere in the context does it say, well, you test what the Church teaches against your own interpretation of Scripture. Nowhere does Cyril limit the Church’s power to be second grade to Scripture. In fact, in the context of here, there is absolutely nothing saying that Scripture is superior to the Church.

    [Matt1] When he refers people to Scripture, the whole background is holding on to what was taught. I.E. Tradition. What is the clever reasoning that Cyril condemns in 4:17? This very tradition that he said that they must hold to in 4:16? No. As the Trinity is a heavy topic twisted in many ways by many, including the teaching on the Holy Spirit (Ask Protestant oneness Pentecostal John F) as is the background to 4:17, this ‘clever reasoning’ that he says that one is not to listen to, is exactly that which misinterprets the Holy Scriptures, and is not in accordance with that tradition. What is that reasoning that misinterprets Scripture? Well, it is that which is not in accord with tradition!!!

    Nope. Since Cyril explicitly says his tradition derives from Scripture (5.12), he can't be saying what you say he is saying. There's no doubt that he speaks of a tradition passed on alongside the Scriptures, but that's not the same thing as a "Tradition" passed on independent of Scripture and which "verifies" Scripture. And just as an aside, I have to wonder about your understanding of the term "Protestant" if you think a Oneness Pentecostal is one. That's a bit like saying that a Pelagian or an Arian is a Catholic.

Of course nowhere does Cyril merely say that tradition was derived from Scripture. 5:12 doesn’t say that at all. You go from one error to another and jump from one false premise to another one. Of course, Cyril himself said that the only reason we know what Scripture is, is from the Church. Since it is the Church and tradition is the one that compiled it, it is nonsense to say that tradition is derived from Scripture.

Of course, according to you, only the Lutherans and Calvinists, and maybe Anglicans are true Protestants. You have absolutely no responsibility for Sola Scriptura’s fruit. The Oneness Pentecostals just did what the so-called ‘Reformers’ did: Interpreted Scripture personally, and created their own denomination. Why run away from the Thousands of denominations you created as a result of ‘testing what they teach against Scripture”. Do you not hold that it was legitimate for Martin Luther to break away from the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church did not get it right? Do you not hold that it was legitimate for John Calvin to create a new Protestant Church because he believed that Luther was wrong on a few things? Why do you say that that splintering off is Ok, while other people who go by Scripture as the only infallible guide, come to other conclusions such as the Oneness Pentecostals do when they read Scripture, is not Ok?

Very good discussion.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  Sometimes I'm bad about reading books, so I look for shorter articles that contain only the information Im looking for.  I will read the article you posted when I have time, but that excerpt from that discussion was very helpful!
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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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Timon
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 01:51:48 PM »

Three things must be borne in mind here:
1. St Cyril of Jerusalem is warning his listeners against involvement with Gnostics and other heretics. He is here telling them to only trust the canonical books of Scripture and to avoid the works of such groups.
2. He is speaking specifically of major doctrines (Trinity, Incarnation, etc.), arguments for which he beautifully weaves together from Scriptural quotes.
3. The people he is addressing are catechumens, and he frequently repeats throughout his lectures that they should concern themselves with the basics before they attempt to get into the more obscure and convoluted aspects of the faith.

Good points also.  Certainly helps make sense of it.  I dont care to start a debate with anyone, but I like to at least have the knowledge in case anyone ever tries to bring it up with me.
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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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