Author Topic: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL  (Read 4536 times)

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Offline Perennial1

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Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« on: August 20, 2015, 06:54:58 PM »
What do you think about this?

The New Testament writings were not ordained by God to be the book of Christianity. Rather, it was just by the will of the Church. Therefore the Church could have decided to not officially accept any writings as a canonical Bible.

This principle especially applies to the writings that do not have known authors which is about half of the New Testament.

Thinking about the scriptures in this light helps put into perspective that our faith is NOT based on the Bible. It is based on the apostolic deposit of faith that has been passed on as tradition in the Church/Kingdom of God, the expositions of the saints who have had revelation of the mysteries, and personal experience of the risen Christ through the Holy Spirit. The actual formulaic content of the deposit of faith is so simple that it doesn't even need to be written down.

Why is it dangerous to have a faith that is based on the Bible? Because it will lead to Apostasy. How? Because according to the Olivet Discourses in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus will return in the generation of the apostles. There is NO WAY to get around this. The only way is to use redaction criticism and say that the writers messed up the order of the story units, but the fact is that each of these writers believed and said that Jesus will return in their generation. That is, he made a failed prophesy according to the Bible. If someone's faith is based on the Bible and they are honest with themselves about these passages then they will denounce Jesus Christ. Actually, the Gospels contain many errors and contradictions (be glad of this because biblical criticism will save your faith!) and are shaped by the authors' own opinions and editorial processes that make the attempt of reconstruction a rather arduous work for highly trained scholars.

Even the New Testament says that it is dangerous to base religion on writings:

2 Cor. 3:6 "He has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Many people, at least in the West, have replaced the Holy Spirit with a book, the dead letter.

I find it so pathetic that Protestants base their religion on the Bible alone when actually the true formula does not include the Bible at all:

True Formula: Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

By tradition I mean Living Tradition, the faith of the Church as expressed through its liturgy, rites, and teaching.

Why is the Bible not a solid means of knowledge? Because according to the Bible Jesus made false prophesies about his return.

The scriptures are nevertheless holy writings because they record salvation history and contain principles inspired by God. They are only a tiny part of Tradition only insofar as we give them credence. I would argue that the acceptance of a writing doesn't even mean that everything in it is accepted or else one would follow Paul's defense of slavery, etc.

What do you think?

« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 07:01:54 PM by Perennial1 »

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2015, 06:57:13 PM »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 07:10:27 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 07:11:25 PM »
One could certainly make similar arguments against basing the faith on the Magisterium, or on Councils.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the passages you mentioned in the New Testament (such as the ones about Jesus returning in the Apostles' generation) are actually wrong, though, although they certainly aren't true in the most "plain", naïve sense. Historically, wouldn't the Fathers have argued that Jesus returns, in a sense, whenever the Liturgy is conducted? I think you need to give the Bible and its authors more credit than that.

But I'd agree with you that trying to base one's faith on anything too "dead" or concrete is dangerous and can lead to you losing your faith once new information comes to light that challenges one's earlier beliefs.

The earliest Fathers, IIRC, said that the faith is based on Christ (and the Eucharist), not primarily on anyone's writings (whether those of the Biblical authors or the Fathers themselves), or councils, or on what the current hierarchs say.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 07:12:21 PM by Minnesotan »
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 07:12:51 PM »
What do you think?

Quote
I Corinthians 15

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Quote
Luke 24

5 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

...

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Quote
Acts 17

10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe′a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni′ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

And several others. 

It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. 
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Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 07:14:24 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.

So you believe in slavery?

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 07:19:21 PM »
What do you think?

Quote
I Corinthians 15

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Quote
Luke 24

5 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

...

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Quote
Acts 17

10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe′a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni′ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

And several others. 

It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Where does it say in the OT Scriptures that Jesus would be raised on the third day?

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 07:24:31 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 07:31:23 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.

So you believe in slavery?
I believe that it existed, yes.
God bless!

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2015, 07:33:20 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.
You believe that God had no involvement in the inspiration, writing or thoughts of the New Testament?

And I thought Joel Osteen was fruitloops!  :o
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 07:34:01 PM by TheTrisagion »
God bless!

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 07:42:06 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.
You believe that God had no involvement in the inspiration, writing or thoughts of the New Testament?

And I thought Joel Osteen was fruitloops!  :o

I believe that God had no involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 07:53:55 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.
You believe that God had no involvement in the inspiration, writing or thoughts of the New Testament?

And I thought Joel Osteen was fruitloops!  :o

I believe that God had no involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

Here's your problem:
Quote
True Formula: Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

By tradition I mean Living Tradition, the faith of the Church as expressed through its liturgy, rites, and teaching.
The Church does not express that view in its liturgy, rites or teaching.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 07:56:47 PM »
The Bible is at the heart of Orthodox Holy Tradition.  Metropolitan Kallistos Ware described it as a personal letter from Jesus Christ to each of us.  You cannot have Orthodoxy without the Bible; there is a reason we venerate the Gospel Book, and have them bound with gold or with icons of the evangelists.  In the Syriac Orthodox Church, the congregation kisses the Gospel Book as they leave church, whereas the Little Entrance in the Byzantine Rite involves the Priest using the Gospel Book to bless the entire congregation by making the sign of the cross.

By the way, is there ever any mass veneration of the Gospel Book in the EO church in the form of kissing it like an icon?  And in the Syriac Orthodox Church, would it be an impiety to open the Gospel Books that are set out for the veneration by the faithful after everyone has left the nave, to take a look at the contents?
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 07:59:43 PM »
The Bible is at the heart of Orthodox Holy Tradition.  Metropolitan Kallistos Ware described it as a personal letter from Jesus Christ to each of us.  You cannot have Orthodoxy without the Bible; there is a reason we venerate the Gospel Book, and have them bound with gold or with icons of the evangelists.  In the Syriac Orthodox Church, the congregation kisses the Gospel Book as they leave church, whereas the Little Entrance in the Byzantine Rite involves the Priest using the Gospel Book to bless the entire congregation by making the sign of the cross.

By the way, is there ever any mass veneration of the Gospel Book in the EO church in the form of kissing it like an icon?  And in the Syriac Orthodox Church, would it be an impiety to open the Gospel Books that are set out for the veneration by the faithful after everyone has left the nave, to take a look at the contents?
It seems rather strange to think of reading the Gospel as an impiety, but it also seems rather strange to do so in this day and age where most Christians own a bookshelf of Bibles.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 07:59:57 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline wgw

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 08:32:38 PM »
Also Perennial, you do realize that the majority of the content in the Divine Liturgy and the other church services is wuoted word for word from thr Bible, and the Fathers and Saints tend to construct their catechtical writing out of Bible verses?  If you read St. Epiphanius for example, in his Panarion he relies on scriptural verses almost exclusively to defeat heresies, whereas St. Irenaeus leans on the fact that he was a disciple of St. Justin Martyr, a disciple of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. Ignatius, a disciple of St. John (if I am remebering the lineage correctly).  So whereas St. Irenaeus as a rule refutes heresies using the Old Testament and the four canonical Gospels and Pauline epistles, he occasionally leans on his authority as bishop of Lyons and his apostolic succession just a few generations removed from the Beloved Disciple, to demonstrate his official interpretation is accurate, whereas St. Epiphanius quotes St. Irenaeus doing this in places, but for his part seems to prefer attacking heresies either using pure scripture, or alternately in the case of Manichaenism and other silly Gnostic heresies, simple logic, sometimes using heretical texts against the sects that wrote them.

In fact, almoat all ancient heresiology, by other authors like Ss. Hippolytus, Athanasius, Augustine, and others, follows this scriptural pattern.  The Fathers used scripture as the sword of faith with which to slay heresies; it was their first line of defense against error, since most heresies tend to contradict parts of scripture while favoring others.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2015, 08:51:46 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.

So you believe in slavery?

Believe in it? He lives it. Read his posts about marriage.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2015, 08:54:00 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.

So you believe in slavery?

Believe in it? He lives it. Read his posts about marriage.
;D
God bless!

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2015, 08:54:51 PM »
The Bible is at the heart of Orthodox Holy Tradition.  Metropolitan Kallistos Ware described it as a personal letter from Jesus Christ to each of us.

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2015, 09:11:36 PM »
By the way, is there ever any mass veneration of the Gospel Book in the EO church in the form of kissing it like an icon?  And in the Syriac Orthodox Church, would it be an impiety to open the Gospel Books that are set out for the veneration by the faithful after everyone has left the nave, to take a look at the contents?

Towards the end of Orthros, we line up like we would to receive the Eucharist and go up to venerate the Gospel Book. This has been done in the Greek and Antiochian parishes that I have attended, I'm not sure about any other jurisdictions.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2015, 10:07:03 PM »

By the way, is there ever any mass veneration of the Gospel Book in the EO church in the form of kissing it like an icon? 

Yes. At many Matins services after the Gospel reading. The Gospel is also venerated by the couple during the marriage service, and by the recipient of a moleben/paraklesis. It is also venerated at the beginning and end of confession.
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Offline biro

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2015, 10:13:49 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?
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Offline LBK

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2015, 10:15:01 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?

I'm also interested in Perennial's answer.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2015, 07:15:02 PM »
Quote from: Perennial1
I believe that God had no involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

Uh... what?

How could you be in ROCOR and believe that God had no involvement with the writing of the New Testament?
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Offline homedad76

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2015, 07:55:44 PM »
Quote from: Perennial1
I believe that God had no involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

Uh... what?

How could you be in ROCOR and believe that God had no involvement with the writing of the New Testament?

Being a member of a group does not automatically mean being lock step with every belief.  And there are plenty of things in Orthodoxy where there is some flexbility.  This stuff, however, is not one of them as far as I can see.  You at least can't wander this far off the reservation and still be considered a tribesman.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2015, 07:59:05 PM »
What do you think about this?

The New Testament writings were not ordained by God

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."


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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2015, 07:59:28 PM »
I believe that God had no direct involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

This would be acceptable I think.  We're not Muslims after all or Mormons.  God did not dictate scripture word for word and I wouldn't go so far as to say we fully grasp exactly how inspiration works.  But without those 'minor' corrections I just made you have turned the writers of scripture from divinely inspired theologians in to self-help gurus.
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Offline homedad76

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2015, 08:01:30 PM »
What do you think about this?

The New Testament writings were not ordained by God

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."

You know this doesn't refer to the NT technically?  It sort of does now but when that was written they would have been refering to the OT.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2015, 08:15:50 PM »
What do you think?

Quote
I Corinthians 15

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Quote
Luke 24

5 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

...

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Quote
Acts 17

10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe′a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni′ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

And several others. 

It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Where does it say in the OT Scriptures that Jesus would be raised on the third day?

Hosea 5-6 is about the 3rd day resurrection.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2015, 08:36:59 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.

So you believe in slavery?
Why the absurd non sequitur?
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2015, 12:17:38 AM »
What do you think about this?

The New Testament writings were not ordained by God

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
That's in the New Testament. It's biased.  ;)
God bless!

Offline wgw

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2015, 09:25:24 PM »
If the New Testament is not at the very heart of Sacred Tradition then we are in the wrong religion.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2015, 09:21:26 AM »
Also Perennial, you do realize that the majority of the content in the Divine Liturgy and the other church services is wuoted word for word from thr Bible, and the Fathers and Saints tend to construct their catechtical writing out of Bible verses?  If you read St. Epiphanius for example, in his Panarion he relies on scriptural verses almost exclusively to defeat heresies, whereas St. Irenaeus leans on the fact that he was a disciple of St. Justin Martyr, a disciple of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. Ignatius, a disciple of St. John (if I am remebering the lineage correctly).  So whereas St. Irenaeus as a rule refutes heresies using the Old Testament and the four canonical Gospels and Pauline epistles, he occasionally leans on his authority as bishop of Lyons and his apostolic succession just a few generations removed from the Beloved Disciple, to demonstrate his official interpretation is accurate, whereas St. Epiphanius quotes St. Irenaeus doing this in places, but for his part seems to prefer attacking heresies either using pure scripture, or alternately in the case of Manichaenism and other silly Gnostic heresies, simple logic, sometimes using heretical texts against the sects that wrote them.

In fact, almoat all ancient heresiology, by other authors like Ss. Hippolytus, Athanasius, Augustine, and others, follows this scriptural pattern.  The Fathers used scripture as the sword of faith with which to slay heresies; it was their first line of defense against error, since most heresies tend to contradict parts of scripture while favoring others.

They are holy writings (scriptures) from the apostolic era. That's why they are used.

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2015, 09:24:10 AM »
I believe that God had no direct involvement with the writings themselves. However, i believe that they are more or less (and sometimes not) based on inspired ideas.

This would be acceptable I think.  We're not Muslims after all or Mormons.  God did not dictate scripture word for word and I wouldn't go so far as to say we fully grasp exactly how inspiration works.  But without those 'minor' corrections I just made you have turned the writers of scripture from divinely inspired theologians in to self-help gurus.

Thank you for the constructive criticism. However they are not self help gurus... They are leaders in the apostolic church.

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2015, 09:27:02 AM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?

No, i only was able to make the drive to the ROCOR church a few times. I am leaving that for the Church of the East.

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2015, 09:31:28 AM »
What do you think?

Quote
I Corinthians 15

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Quote
Luke 24

5 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

...

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Quote
Acts 17

10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe′a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni′ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

And several others. 

It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Where does it say in the OT Scriptures that Jesus would be raised on the third day?

Hosea 5-6 is about the 3rd day resurrection.

Lol really? I guess ppl can find something that mentions a third day somewhere in that big book...

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2015, 12:21:01 PM »
What do you think about this?

I think I wrote a response for about half an hour, and then deleted it all when I reread this:

Quote
Rather, it was just by the will of the Church. Therefore the Church could have decided to not officially accept any writings as a canonical Bible.

That's an intriguing idea. I'm gonna have to chew on that. But let me try a response again. The first thing is, that is theory. The reality is that the Church did collect a canon of NT books, and also from early on placed this above the OT. They also said (even in the NT itself--e.g., Hebrews) that the NT superseded the OT; Christian theologians said that morality and standards of Jesus surpassed the OT; the revelation and theology of the NT is much more explicit and helpful for those living in a non-ancient Israel (type) context; and they saw the NT as the word of God incarnate, direct from the 'source.' However much we may disagree and bring up problems with inspiration of fallible humans (St. Paul, etc.), translation issues (the Gospels from Aramaic to Greek), a recognition of the above is what the tradition was. If you are going to follow reason, experience, and the apostolic tradition, to me the above seems to be it. This is one reason I struggle with Christianity, because it does force some specific things (especially and often in a certain and dogmatic tone) that I wish it didn't; but I believe it does.

Quote
This principle especially applies to the writings that do not have known authors which is about half of the New Testament.

Again, intriguing.

Quote
Thinking about the scriptures in this light helps put into perspective that our faith is NOT based on the Bible. It is based on the apostolic deposit of faith that has been passed on as tradition in the Church/Kingdom of God, the expositions of the saints who have had revelation of the mysteries, and personal experience of the risen Christ through the Holy Spirit. The actual formulaic content of the deposit of faith is so simple that it doesn't even need to be written down.

Need? No, it really doesn't. Some fathers have commented in a way that sort of gets to this when they speak of how we could lose every writing we currently have, and the Gospel and words of God would remain intact and as they need to be. But again, that is theory. The reality is that, from the first centuries we see a movement towards the NT being put on the same level as the OT. I think an argument can be made that some in the 1st or 2nd centuries doubted this, that they thought of it as just as 'inspired' as the OT, but a supplement to it; perhaps this is not that much different from one of your points. Others disagreed though, and that view won out as representing the proper expression of the faith. Abiding by the 'faith once delivered,' 'whether by word or epistle,' came to mean, in part, that the New revelation and testament were to be included in the collection of sacred texts.

Obviously the collection of Pauline epistles and four Gospels started circulating early, despite them having been written in places far apart from each other, in times when travel and communication were much more difficult and slow. Some might argue that St. Irenaeus, writing of the NT as late as 180, and writing in the way he did, demonstrates that it was not yet established in the same way most later fathers saw it. I'd grant that, though in some ways it also goes in the opposite direction than what you are arguing. But again, the Church came to see the NT, and written texts in general, in a certain way. This was to such an extent that to disagree I think you'd have to believe some sort of theory along the lines of the faith going underground by the 2nd (or early 3rd) century and official Christianity being corrupted.

I also think it is unfair and misapplying things to take the practical non-necessity of having written sacred texts, and then using that to argue as you are doing. You could say in a similar manner that this and that saint went years without communion, possibly years without attending a liturgy, years without confession, years without reading Scripture or hearing it out loud from another, etc., (St. Mary of Egypt would seem to be the most famous case, though hardly the only one) but I don't think this would be an accurate or reasonable way to see things. Nor would it seem to be traditional or experientially very helpful.

It was Christianity that popularized books, as opposed to scrolls. Books were easier and cheaper to reproduce, easier to navigate around in, easier to store, and had other superior qualities over scrolls; nonetheless they were considered less respectable. Regardless, Christians were ready to be martyred rather than give up their lowly books when authorities or mobs tried to take them. To die for faith in and of Christ, for the apostolic witness, for Christ Himself, included dying to protect a book, and dying so that the local community still had a written text to use. It was a part of the faith and of life-sacrificing importance.

Quote
Why is it dangerous to have a faith that is based on the Bible? Because it will lead to Apostasy. How? Because...

Let me sum up the rest of this part of the post:

...[because] there are certain things that make no logical sense to me, if they are considered accurate and completely and literally true; some things (or at least one) have not been answered or made sense of to my satisfaction. Perhaps this isn't what you mean--I don't mean to be putting words into your mouth, just summing up your position as I understand it, please correct me if I am wrong. I know that is something I think sometimes. There are many things, moreso in the Fathers but also in Scripture, that seem absurd or plain inaccurate beyond the point where they can be given a pass or 'simply taken on faith.' That's what traditional Christianity asks, though. I would argue that, with certain things, if you can't accept them then you can't accept traditional Christianity as expressed in Oriental and Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and even the Church of the East, and need to look for a different one. I could be wrong, but that seems to me to be the case; I wish I didn't believe it, I would have had less anxiety over the years. This is not to say that you cannot be in one of these groups if you disagree. I am not the gatekeeper, and don't want that job anyway. I'm just giving my position after having (I think) gone through a similar process of investigation and pursuit of Christianity.

Quote
That is, he made a failed prophesy according to the Bible. If someone's faith is based on the Bible and [they agree with me that it is a failed prophecy and] they are honest with themselves about these passages then they will denounce Jesus Christ.

The part I added there is, I think, an assumption you are making. I'm guessing you meant the 'honest with themselves' part to imply that anyone who honestly and sincerely and thoughtfully examines the issue will come to the same conclusion that you have. Not so. :)

[QOUTE]Actually, the Gospels contain many errors and contradictions... etc.[/QUOTE]

This seems kinda odd for someone advocating for oral over written, as this strikes me as a very writing-based-cultural thing to say or worry about. There are exceptions, but for the most part that holds. Even the Jews, for example, despite their famed (or claimed) accuracy in copying manuscripts in the medieval times, still had oral versions that were basically loose translations (or sometimes paraphrases), even in the time of Christ, along with translations into Greek that seemed to have been used in worship, teaching, and arguments/apologetics.

Quote
Even the New Testament says that it is dangerous to base religion on writings:

2 Cor. 3:6 "He has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

I don't think this means what you think this means, but this is getting way too long already so I'll just leave it at saying I disagree (if I went on I would ramble about the 'law,' trying to follow all the commandments of Moses, that Paul wouldn't have meant for this to be applied as widely as you are doing so, as evidenced by the fact that St. Paul wrote letters and this itself is recorded in a written text, and so on).

Quote
Many people, at least in the West, have replaced the Holy Spirit with a book, the dead letter.

I agree. So why are you chucking the baby out but keeping the dirty bath water? That is, you seem to be eliminating the useful and soul-enriching and redeeming use of written Scriptures and the primacy of the Gospels and NT, but keeping all the faulty premises and methods that plague many text-based perspectives/systems.

Quote
I find it so pathetic that Protestants base their religion on the Bible alone when actually the true formula does not include the Bible at all:

True Formula: Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

My original post revolved around giving my thoughts on why I thought tradition, reason and experience stood contrary to what you are arguing. Some of those things still found their way into the above. Again, I agree (and I think many would) that, in some particular circumstances, someone could be redeemed/Christian without ever having seen anything in writing; is it traditional, reasonable or practically helpful to go that route though? (kinda rhetorical, given everything I've already written)

Quote
The scriptures are nevertheless holy writings because they record salvation history and contain principles inspired by God. They are only a tiny part of Tradition only insofar as we give them credence.

For reasons given above, and others, I think the tradition embraced written texts with a bear hug, and has been hugging them ever since.

No, i only was able to make the drive to the ROCOR church a few times. I am leaving that for the Church of the East.

Have fun storming the castle! As for whether it'll work, it would take a miracle. 8)
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Offline biro

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2015, 12:32:12 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?

No, i only was able to make the drive to the ROCOR church a few times. I am leaving that for the Church of the East.

Would that be this church?

http://news.assyrianchurch.org/

Where are you, if you don't mind my asking? The U.S.? Canada? Somewhere else?
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Offline RobS

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2015, 01:32:46 PM »
Our faith is based on the Bible. Pretty much all the fathers of the Church have said so. You can't split tradition from Scripture.
I'm not sure I find this very persuasive, Tri. As the Protestants have demonstrated, clearly the Bible isn't really a good basis to have a faith that is consistent amongst all churches. So what you are really saying is that the Orthodox faith is dependent upon a certain interpretation of the Bible, but even here I'm not sure I agree. Obviously there were doctrinal conflicts and lack of consistency amongst local churches that led to the formulation of the Nicene Creed and thereafter remained as a statement of faith to those churches who were in communion with each other. But that doesn't mean it accords with the Bible, in fact nowhere in the Creed itself does it mention the Bible or it being a foundation of faith.

Moreover I think your appeal to the church fathers is rather dubious, since you haven't shown that nearly all of them are harmonious nor does it give your assertion more authority. I just don't find it helpful that an all encompassing group of dead theologians giving a stamp of approval on your original claim answers what is meant by that very claim.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2015, 02:10:42 PM »
^Are you speaking of only the creed at Nicea, or the more general and imprecise "Nicene Creed" including the later additions? Just wondering since an addition made by the 2nd Ecumenical Council mentions Scripture.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 02:10:56 PM by Justin Kissel »
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Offline wgw

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2015, 02:34:29 PM »
Well given thr change of denominational affiliation Perennial might bring up the risible canard that the Church of the East did not directly participate in the Second Ecumenical Council.  However, the Assyrians are the inheritors of the Antiochene school of theology as much as we are of the Alexandrian, basing their faith on the literslistic interpretations of Theodore of Mopsuestia (whose interpretation of the Psalter is the most dull and uninspiring literalism Ive seen, a world apart from his more shall we say imaginative, if inaccurate, theology of the Eucharist).
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2015, 02:59:14 PM »
This is a reply to Justin Kissel. Thank you for your very fair and well thought out post. It helps me think through the issues.


Quote
But again, the Church came to see the NT, and written texts in general, in a certain way. This was to such an extent that to disagree I think you'd have to believe some sort of theory along the lines of the faith going underground by the 2nd (or early 3rd) century and official Christianity being corrupted.

I am starting to think that there were additions to the faith at that time, such as the demanding acceptance of an inspired "New Testament" scriptures as the Word of God, but that doesn't mean that they were falling away from the faith.

Quote
I also think it is unfair and misapplying things to take the practical non-necessity of having written sacred texts, and then using that to argue as you are doing. You could say in a similar manner that this and that saint went years without communion, possibly years without attending a liturgy, years without confession, years without reading Scripture or hearing it out loud from another, etc., (St. Mary of Egypt would seem to be the most famous case, though hardly the only one) but I don't think this would be an accurate or reasonable way to see things. Nor would it seem to be traditional or experientially very helpful.

I am principally arguing that the idea of the God-inspired New Testament Bible was not part of the apostolic deposit of faith.

Quote
Regardless, Christians were ready to be martyred rather than give up their lowly books when authorities or mobs tried to take them. To die for faith in and of Christ, for the apostolic witness, for Christ Himself, included dying to protect a book, and dying so that the local community still had a written text to use. It was a part of the faith and of life-sacrificing importance.

That is a VERY good point. I don't know what else to say other than that they were dying for a Bible that was not given by Jesus or the apostles. I know that is shocking and even impious. But that is the facts as I see them. The wiser thing to do would have been to just give up the writings in order to preserve their lives. A lot of people threw themselves headfirst into martyrdom in the first centuries... quite literally... including a lot of suicides by nuns drowning themselves in rivers. I think there even had to be canons to get nuns to stop committing self-martyrdom suicide. So I would give too much credence to those martyrs that were willing over the authorities taking away their writings.

Quote
Quote
Why is it dangerous to have a faith that is based on the Bible? Because it will lead to Apostasy. How? Because...

Let me sum up the rest of this part of the post:

...[because] there are certain things that make no logical sense to me, if they are considered accurate and completely and literally true; some things (or at least one) have not been answered or made sense of to my satisfaction. Perhaps this isn't what you mean--I don't mean to be putting words into your mouth, just summing up your position as I understand it, please correct me if I am wrong. I know that is something I think sometimes. There are many things, moreso in the Fathers but also in Scripture, that seem absurd or plain inaccurate beyond the point where they can be given a pass or 'simply taken on faith.' That's what traditional Christianity asks, though. I would argue that, with certain things, if you can't accept them then you can't accept traditional Christianity as expressed in Oriental and Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and even the Church of the East, and need to look for a different one. I could be wrong, but that seems to me to be the case; I wish I didn't believe it, I would have had less anxiety over the years. This is not to say that you cannot be in one of these groups if you disagree. I am not the gatekeeper, and don't want that job anyway. I'm just giving my position after having (I think) gone through a similar process of investigation and pursuit of Christianity.

Thank you.

Quote
Quote
That is, he made a failed prophesy according to the Bible. If someone's faith is based on the Bible and [they agree with me that it is a failed prophecy and] they are honest with themselves about these passages then they will denounce Jesus Christ.

The part I added there is, I think, an assumption you are making. I'm guessing you meant the 'honest with themselves' part to imply that anyone who honestly and sincerely and thoughtfully examines the issue will come to the same conclusion that you have. Not so. :)

The Olivet Discourses are clear on this point.

Quote
Quote
Actually, the Gospels contain many errors and contradictions... etc.

This seems kinda odd for someone advocating for oral over written, as this strikes me as a very writing-based-cultural thing to say or worry about. There are exceptions, but for the most part that holds. Even the Jews, for example, despite their famed (or claimed) accuracy in copying manuscripts in the medieval times, still had oral versions that were basically loose translations (or sometimes paraphrases), even in the time of Christ, along with translations into Greek that seemed to have been used in worship, teaching, and arguments/apologetics.

It would still be a false prophesy in all three gospels... a huge deal. This is not an issue of translation.

Quote
Quote
Even the New Testament says that it is dangerous to base religion on writings:

2 Cor. 3:6 "He has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

I don't think this means what you think this means, but this is getting way too long already so I'll just leave it at saying I disagree (if I went on I would ramble about the 'law,' trying to follow all the commandments of Moses, that Paul wouldn't have meant for this to be applied as widely as you are doing so, as evidenced by the fact that St. Paul wrote letters and this itself is recorded in a written text, and so on).

Granted. I wasn't trying to prove anything from this verse but just using the concept as supporting evidence.

Quote
Again, I agree (and I think many would) that, in some particular circumstances, someone could be redeemed/Christian without ever having seen anything in writing; is it traditional, reasonable or practically helpful to go that route though?

Actually, 99% of Christians throughout history never saw any New Testament text in writing. It was just a liturgical book. So it is very very traditional to go that route.

Quote
I think the tradition embraced written texts with a bear hug, and has been hugging them ever since.

That's true... sadly.

Offline Perennial1

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2015, 03:00:01 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?

No, i only was able to make the drive to the ROCOR church a few times. I am leaving that for the Church of the East.

Would that be this church?

http://news.assyrianchurch.org/

Where are you, if you don't mind my asking? The U.S.? Canada? Somewhere else?

Southern United States.

Offline RobS

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2015, 03:04:59 PM »
^Are you speaking of only the creed at Nicea, or the more general and imprecise "Nicene Creed" including the later additions? Just wondering since an addition made by the 2nd Ecumenical Council mentions Scripture.
Does it matter?
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Offline biro

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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2015, 05:11:34 PM »
Well, Perennial, I'm sorry ROCOR wasn't the place for you.

There are lots of other Orthodox churches in the southern U.S., if you ever feel like giving it another try.
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Re: Faith NOT Based on Bible AT ALL
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2015, 08:10:44 PM »
PS I admit the OT was a dim foreshadowing and can be used for faith and morals. I'm just saying this is not a book from God.

But I thought you were in ROCOR?

Does this belief of yours go over really well there?

No, i only was able to make the drive to the ROCOR church a few times. I am leaving that for the Church of the East.

Would that be this church?

http://news.assyrianchurch.org/

Where are you, if you don't mind my asking? The U.S.? Canada? Somewhere else?

Southern United States.

You must know of a parish already, because there aren't that many.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 08:10:58 PM by hecma925 »
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