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Messages - lapwing

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1531
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: January 03, 2014, 04:39:41 AM »
Hello Gordy,

(Don't think I don't appreciate that you are addressing posts with peoples names now - hopefully to other posters not just me, and sorry for the late response - though late responses don't bother me since most of the issues here are long lasting rather than ephemeral, and I believe we should control the amount of time spent on the forum to sensible amounts.)

I'm still concerned that you don't consider forgery or attempted forgery of Cyprian's De Unitate a serious matter and are downplaying it, apparently because of party spirit with the idea of whatever the RCC does is ok. I hope you don't hold to that as anyone could use that to try to justify all kinds of abuses. This applies to other denominations of course.

The Catechism
Just a straightforward question. Is there any difference between the book form you advertised and the online version? I would have thought they were identical except that the online version is likely to be more up to date.

Quote
Not everyone has the other gifts, like healing or prophesy or tongues
Well that's right but I wonder why you picked those three when you could choose faith, a message of wisdom or knowledge, serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, speaking or showing mercy. Remember that the reason these gifts are referred to sometimes as "supernatural" is because they have a supernatural source. It is still the case that the RCC has rejected the list provided by the Apostles Paul and Peter and produced its own list and so has moved away from NT teaching.

Denominational doctrine
As I've showed previously in #55 there are several scriptures which emphasise the importance of "judging for yourself". So rather than accept blindly church tradition one should examine the Bible for oneself, making use of the excellent Bible study resources we have in these days, where necessary.

How can you have a right relationship without right doctrine?
Well even though you believe a wrong RCC doctrine about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I don't think that stops you having a relationship with Christ. However, if you were to think that all that is required to become a Christian is RCC Infant Baptism then I would then think it unlikely that you "know" Christ.

Quote
Private interpretation of scripture nullifies the word of God.
Rather making such statements that have no biblical foundation are a serious matter. However, I don't think that the word of God can be nullified by mere human activity as it "stands forever".

Quote
Protestantism broke away from the Apostolic teaching
No the RCC had already broken away from Apostolic teaching with, for example, the practice of selling indulgences to raise money for expensive buildings in Rome. In Luther's day the Pope entered in a military alliance with the king of France and the Sultan against the Holy Roman Emperor: it was becoming indistinguishable from any other European power - very much "of the world" despite clear warnings in the Bible.

1532
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: January 01, 2014, 09:43:22 AM »
Gordy,

Quote
The churches in different locations in scripture were not separated by doctrine only by distance, they believed the same faith as churches is other locations. Otherwise Paul would not have written to them to correct them and encourage them in the same faith he had.
The Elders of these local churches were united to One Apostolic faith.

It's important to remember that the unifier of the universal church, i.e. the body of all believers of which the RCC is only a subset, is Christ Himself. Right doctrine is important but one shouldn't exalt it above right relationship. "I never knew you. Away from me ..." Mt 7:23

That doesn't mean right doctrine isn't important of course and the problem is that the doctrine of the "Catholic" Church that became the Roman "Catholic" Denomination moved away from the doctrine of the Apostles and early church.

I've already cited an example with the list of the "gifts of the Spirit" in the Catechism that doesn't correspond to the list provided by the Apostles in the inspired New Testament. The passage in Isaiah 11 doesn't even use the word "gift". These may be things that Christians possess by virtue of union with Christ but they are not what the Apostles called the gifts of the Spirit: the RCC has moved away from Apostolic teaching.

Other examples are the alleged Assumption, Immaculate Conception and Perpetual Virginity of Mary and Indulgences for remission of punishment for sins.

You haven't addressed the fact that since there are Christians outside the RCC, it is not really catholic i.e. not universal.

1533
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: January 01, 2014, 08:53:05 AM »
Quote
134 you did not answer the question why insertions (that were intended to bolster Rome's claim to supremacy) were inserted into Cyprian's writings as conceded by an authoritative Catholic source. Simply giving another Cyprian quote does not answer the question.

Seeing as the other Cyprian quote to Cornelius was accurate it is easy to see why someone might interpolate the the de unitate quote. 

"The Throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans"

Seeing as Cyprian is very clear here.

You seem to be saying that it doesn't matter if someone inserted words into Cyprian's De Unitate since he wrote something similar elsewhere. After all what does a bit of forgery matter! One shouldn't let integrity get in the way of the onward march of the RCC should one!




1534
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 31, 2013, 12:17:34 PM »
Hi Gordy,
Well thank you for providing answers to my questions but I don't think you have resolved the issues.

In question 1 I meant the whole question not just the first line. So I will rearrange and then give further explanation to try to avoid ambiguity.

So we have from the RCC Catechism:
Quote
In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers.
Now I think we can agree about the "local community" as a gathering of believers in a community as with "to the church of God in Corinth" etc. A "liturgical assembly" can also be a local congregation taking part in a liturgical service. That leaves the more relevant "universal community of believers" (the word "whole" is an unnecessary tautology).

Recall from the Catechism quoted in #121
Quote
"However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church

So the RCC here concedes that there are Christians outside the RCC. Hence you cannot equate the Roman Catholic Church to the "universal community of believers". So the RCC is not really "catholic". if you were to compare the baptismal records of the RCC down through the ages it wouldn't contain the same set of names that are in the Lamb's Book of Life. There are names in the Lamb's Book of Life that are not in the RCC rolls. There are Christians outside the RCC according to the Catechism and of course there will be some baptised members of the RCC who are not believers. Do you accept this?

Quote
broke away from the Catholic Church
In many of the cases there is no reason to believe that one party of a schism was any truer than the other. it takes both sides to create a split.

Quote
Notice all the heretical groups call themselves whatever
Anyone can label themselves "catholic" or "universal" or whatever. This doesn't make them universal (see above).

Your quote from Augustine seems to indicate that "catholic" really refers to worldwide mission. But any other denomination can have a worldwide mission. It is right to say that Augustine, like the Apostles and early church, could be wrong sometimes e.g. Mt 16:22,23; Acts 15:5; Gal 2:14 and any quote from the church fathers should be read in the light of these important scriptures.

Gifts of the Spirit

It seems very strange for either you or the RCC to discount the inspired words of the Apostles Peter and Paul in such an apparently offhand manner as if the verses I quoted don't actually exist. Is that what you really mean? The context of the erroneous list of 7 gifts is "The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit." i.e. individual Christians and this was certainly both Paul's and Peter's meaning which you can verify from the passages I cited.

In Isaiah 11 we read:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

In the immediate context the stump or root of Jesse is David. There may be a meaning of a new king of Judah but the fuller meaning is of another better David i.e. Jesus. The passage is framed as masculine singular - it is clear from these and later verses that Jesus (not the church) is the fulfilment. I'm afraid this is a clear example where the RCC has misinterpreted Scripture and has led you into error.

In #134 you did not answer the question why insertions (that were intended to bolster Rome's claim to supremacy) were inserted into Cyprian's writings as conceded by an authoritative Catholic source. Simply giving another Cyprian quote does not answer the question.

1535
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 30, 2013, 05:15:55 PM »
Gordy,

These are the issues of substance that you have not addressed:

1. How does the human organisation of the RCC guarantee its universal i.e. catholic claim?

Quote from: catechism
In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers

So  are there any "believers" who are not baptised Roman Catholics? Are all baptised Roman Catholics believers?

2. How can the RCC justify changing the list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as I detailed in #121? This is not "true interpretation of Scripture"; rather it is changing Scripture.

3. Why were those insertions into Cyprian's de Unitate made: insertions which sought to bolster the claim of Rome's supremacy at the expense of places like Antioch and Alexandria?

and another question:

4. By tradition, the Apostle Peter died before the Apostle John, so who was pre-eminent then - Peter's successor (Linus?) or the Apostle John?

Quote
it has claimed Infallibility and from the beginning. The Church of scripture that is" guided into all Truth " is Infallible ... If the Catholic Church was not infallibly guided to assemble the canon of Scripture, then I couldn't trust the Bible ... If the Catholic Church is wrong, The Bible is wrong, Christianity is wrong ... The Catholic Church isn't founded on the Bible, the Bible didn't exist for the first 400 years, the Catholic Church is founded by Christ on Peter. The Catholic Church existed before the Bible, because it was the Church that created the first Canon of the Bible.

Many of the books of the Bible were written before there ever was a Catholic Church. The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible is regarded by Jesus and the Apostles as authoritative e.g. Mt 5:17-20 which precedes Mt 16:18. There is also evidence within the NT that at least parts of what is now the NT was coming to be regarded on a par with the Hebrew Scriptures. The councils confirmed a process of testing and acceptance that had been happening for many years according to criteria that are intrinsic to the books of the Bible. When you talk of the "catholic church" of Augustine this was before the schisms with Orthodoxy and Protestantism, so it is incorrect to identify the current RCC with the Catholic Church of Augustine's time.

I don't know who is smiting you but it's not me.


1536
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: God's offer of salvation through Jesus
« on: December 29, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
Quote
"There are lots of religions out there", "How am I supposed to know that Christianity was really correct?"
Worse, there are a lot of Christian sects out there, how am I supposed to know which sect is correct?

But only one New Testament

1537
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Ezekiel not a Christian
« on: December 28, 2013, 05:38:00 PM »
Quote
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” 12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,d dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

Quote
In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was on me and he took me there. 2In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. 3He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. 4The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”

How did the writer of Revelation regard Ezekiel 40ff?

Quote
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadiac in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubitsd thick.e 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.f 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass

This description includes "detailed specifics".


1538
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 28, 2013, 11:22:23 AM »
Hi Gordy,

Quote
Lapwing The " De Unitate " quote I got secondhand, it is not as accurate on examination.
Didn't it strike you as curious that the very passages you were highlighting from De Unitate were the ones that Documenta Catholica Omnia thought had been interpolated or inserted. DCO were not talking about mistakes in modern websites but insertions in ancient mss. Why do you think someone would do that? The same reason that you were highlighting it - to bolster the case for Roman supremacy. Rome was seeking to claim supremacy at the expense of Alexandria and Antioch in Cyprian's time (Cyprian was seeking Rome's help against the Novatians) and you are seeking to claim RCC supremacy at the expense of all other Christians.

Issue you have not answered:
How does a human superficial organisation like the RCC ensure that all the people who self identify as catholics and have jumped through the ritualistic hoops are actually genuine believers in their heads and hearts?
Quote from: lapwing
The church is the community of all true believers for all time. How does an external organisation like the RCC ensure that and what of believers outside the RCC? The Lord (not the pope) knows who are his (2 Tim 2:19). It is the Lord who adds to the number of the church (Acts 2:47), not a human organisation. Caiaphas had "descended" from Aaron but was he a valid high priest? There will inevitably be unbelievers in a visible human organised church: this invalidates the RCC concept of the universal church which does not contain unbelievers (Heb 12:22-24).

You've already informally defined the "Chair of Peter". A formal definition can be found at http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=2773
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chair_of_Saint_Peter states that the "chair" now in St Peter's is not genuine.

I think it is important to understand the reason and substance of the whole of Cyprian's letter to Cornelius, not just a short extract.

Quote
Argument.— Cyprian Chiefly Warns Cornelius in This Letter Not to Hear the Calumnies of Felicissimus and Fortunatus Against Him, and Not to Be Frightened by Their Threats, But to Be of a Brave Spirit, as Becomes God's Priests in Opposition to Heretics; Namely, Those Who, After the Custom Prevailing Among Heretics, Began Their Heresy and Schisms with the Contempt of One Bishop in the Church.
from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050654.htm

Cyprian is appealing to Cornelius at Rome for support to be considered bishop of Carthage rather then the Novatian Fortunatus. The Novatians have also borne letters to the "throne of Peter". I haven't denied that Rome exists or the idea of the "throne of Peter" exists. However, it fails to establish the current RCC as the "one true church".

The RCC Catechism does allow for Christian life outside the confines of the RCC though in a rather condescending manner:

Quote
817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:
Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276
from http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM

Now the fact that I quote from the RCC Catechism doesn't mean I agree with it, of course. For instance, the RCC has changed the list of the spiritual gifts from that which was cited by the Apostles.

Quote
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
from http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P67.HTM
Contrast this with

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Cor 12:7-11 NIV

and
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Rom 12:6-8 NIV

and
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ 1 Pe 4:10-11 NIV

As you can see there is very little resemblance between what is in the RCC Catechism and what was written by the Apostles Paul and Peter in the God-breathed canonical NT. Are you sure you're in the right denomination?

1539
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 27, 2013, 02:28:39 PM »
Gordy,

I don't know what your source for Cyprian's De Unitate but it disagrees with the Catholic source I have.

Yours has:
Quote
...If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?

Mine has: from http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0200-0258,_Cyprianus_Carthaginensis,_Liber_de_Unitate_Ecclesiae_[Schaff],_EN.pdf
Quote
Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church3112 trust that he is in the Church
Note 3112 states:
[Here is interpolated]: “Who deserts the chair of Peter, upon whom the Church is founded.” This passage also is undoubtedly spurious.
Note that the source is Catholic. I have cited my source but you have not. The earlier statement about founding a single chair is also not in my source.

Quote
Documenta Catholica Omnia is the official site of the Cooperatorum Veritas Societas, a society whose members have voluntarily and privately promised obedience to the Holy Father, in order to spread the official versions of each and every written document of the Catholic Church, faithfully translated in their original language.
That seems pretty authoritative for a Catholic such as you.

The idea of a "chair of Peter" in Rome is wishful thinking not based on reality but used by the RCC to claim a uniqueness it does not actually have or deserve.

1540
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 27, 2013, 05:44:13 AM »
Gordy,
The Epistle to Cornelius (bp of Rome) is not the same text as De Unitate which is on unity

Quote
There is only one Catholic Church
does not contradict "The church is the community of all true believers for all time"; but it is not the human institution whose headquarters is The Vatican

1541
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 26, 2013, 02:37:24 PM »
Gordy,
Quote
Irenaeus said back in 180 AD that the Roman church had pre-eminent authority
I was referring to A History of Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch (2009) P. 175
"It is the first known time that this text (iMt 16:18) had been thus used by a bishop of Rome. "Thus" refers to Bp Stephen's desire to "clinch the rightness of his own opinion" about Novatian baptism. Notice that the key point is use of Mt 16:18 to this end. Are you claiming Irenaeus used this text to such an end? Note also that Cyprian was not a bishop of Rome so your point about De Unitate misses this point.

Even RCC authorities deny that Cyprian is talking about Rome when he talks about unity in De Unitate:

Quote
Here note that our author’s entire ignorance of any Centre of Unity, of any one See as the test of communion; in short, of any one bishop as having more of Peter’s authority than others,—is a sufficient disproof of the existence of any such things. Otherwise, how could they have been overlooked in a treatise devoted to the subject of unity, its nature and its criteria?
from http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0200-0258,_Cyprianus_Carthaginensis,_Liber_de_Unitate_Ecclesiae_[Schaff],_EN.pdf

Cyprian is talking about the universal church not Rome here.

The church is the community of all true believers for all time. How does an external organisation like the RCC ensure that and what of believers outside the RCC? The Lord (not the pope) knows who are his (2 Tim 2:19). It is the Lord who adds to the number of the church (Acts 2:47), not a human organisation. Caiaphas had "descended" from Aaron but was he a valid high priest? There will inevitably be unbelievers in a visible human organised church: this invalidates the RCC concept of the universal church which does not contain unbelievers (Heb 12:22-24).

Quote
The Church was Catholic from the beginning, it was universal. When orthodox churches broke away they ceased being Universal
You're making the mistake of relying on mere human labels. Anyone can call a church "catholic" or "universal" or any such synonym. It doesn't make it so.

1542
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The origins of Yahweh: a Canaanite war deity?
« on: December 26, 2013, 01:21:48 PM »
ericbwonder,

Quote
The continuity of Israelite religion with Canaanite religion does not prove Yhwh doesn't exist
Where have I said this? I don't think it.

Quote
Make whatever theological rationalizations you want for your particular sacred literature. But your beliefs aren't historical arguments ... Historians wouldn't make any kind of progress if they had to yield to everyone's religious dogmas when interpreting ancient literature.
It's a mistake to think the "historical" OT books have no historical content or relevance. Do you think this?
It's a mistake to think "history" of the ancient Israelites without the Bible can give 100% accurate answers. Do you think this?

Quote
I listed other things, which you ignored.
As it is you that is making this argument it is you who should provide references rather than expect others to go looking for them and do the work for you. Also note that no one else on the forum is responding to you on this now. Do you stop to think why?

Quote
But I honestly think you're just playing silly
Pointless ad hominem. Your laboured “surely you know …” isn’t exactly relevant is it. Better to stick to the issue.

Quote
You say Ps 29 and Genesis are only small parts of the Bible.
On Genesis this is a disingenuous misquotation since I was referring to the el-epithets: Genesis does not consist entirely of these.

Thanks for providing some refs at last: it ensures we're discussing the same passages.

The Divine Council (Pss 82, 89; 1 Ki 22:19-22 – you gave this mistakenly as 2 Kings)

1 Ki 22 uses the phrase “host of heaven” (צְבָ֤א הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ seba hassamayim) from which a “spirit” (הָר֗וּחַ haruah) stood before God. “Host” is commonly used in the phrase “LORD of hosts” and gives the idea of a heavenly army. This idea is deployed in the siege of Jericho (Josh 5:14ff) where the Israelites and the “army [same word as host] of the LORD” combine forces. The most likely explanation is that this refers to angels and this is further indicated by Jesus’ “legions of angels”.

Ps 89 is about the Davidic covenant (“for ever” 2 Sam 7:4-17) and its downbeat assessment (v38ff) suggests a date from c722 BC or later. Verse 6 uses the phrase “among the sons of the mighty” (בִּבְנֵ֥י אֵלִים׃ bibne elim). Verse 7 uses the phrase “in the council of the holy ones” (בְּסוֹד־ קְדֹשִׁ֣ים  besowd qedosim). El is an inclusive term for God found in Ugaritic texts (as you say) and carries the generic underlying meaning of strength or power. Since the Hebrew and the Canaanite languages are similar they use a similar word for God. What of it? Qadosh has the normal meaning for holy: set aside for God. Note that the word for “son” can also mean servant. I think it is unwise to assume that all references to “sons of God” in any part of the OT mean the same thing. There is a distinct similarity to Ps 29 which in turn is similar to Is 6 leading to the same conclusion: the sons/servants of the mighty=ones set apart for God are angels.

Ps 82 uses a different (but similar) word for assembly which carries the meaning of assembly-for-a-purpose. It uses both El and Elohim. There are two common views on this Psalm: they are human judges (Ex 21:6; 22:8f – Elohim used for human judges here) or principalities and powers who are also doomed to die in the lake of fire.

Leviathan

This may be a loan word from Babylonian though I believe this is unconfirmed. In Psalm 74 this is being used symbolically of the crushing of Egypt at the Red Sea crossing: the author is drawing a parallel between what God does in history to what Baal is only supposed to do in mythology.

Ashtar

This is a similar case. Isaiah is drawing a parallel between this Canaanite myth but is talking about the king of Babylon. There’s no reason to think that Isaiah meant that Ashtar actually existed as a god. No one has denied Canaanite influence on the Israelites after the invasion led by Joshua.

1543
Gordy,

Quote
I assumed I was talking to a Protestant who ate, drank and went skiing with scripture
This leads to "knowledge puffs up". Better to be obedient than a know-all (Jn 7:17)

As for the rest of your post what you say makes no change to the fact that the Bible does not say that Jesus took part in the festival or even if this has much relevance.

If Jesus was in the Temple on the Feast of The Dedication of the Temple, He was taking part, it's inescapable.
Gordy,
Only inescapable because you want it to be so. The Bible is silent on the matter and you are making an assumption.

1544
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Biblical Inerrancy
« on: December 26, 2013, 08:02:53 AM »
I've never found out what is meant by "grave consequences" here. You would think they would have had an idea at the time of what this actually means.
I'm sure they did. I can think of one consequence that is very relevant today.

How wrong does one have to be before the Jesus believed in is no longer the one that brings salvation.  I don't' know the answer, but scripture tells us that many people who call themselves Christians may be in the "Begone, I never knew you" group.

Hi KeithS,

Thanks for the response. Yes, although it says belief in inerrancy does not necessarily affect salvation this may have been their intent. I just wondered if there was any background commentary to the Chicago Statement.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 25, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »
Hello Gordy,

I see you're still not bothering to address me as a person. It comes across as cold and unfriendly.

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You wrote that the Church Fathers and leaders of the church in the first few centuries " wanted to protect their position and livelihood ".
Note that this relates to your statements along the lines of:

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The Catholic Church is the divinely established, infallibly guided church founded by Christ on Peter. Not the thousands of traditions of men founded on mens conflicted private interpretations of scripture 1500 years later.

and you have quoted the Church Fathers and other leading clerics of the day to seek to establish the connection between the Apostle Peter and the succession of popes and to use Mt 16:18 to back up your case. So it is only this aspect of what the church fathers said or did that I'm discussing in response to the assertions you have made. I'm not commenting on their general piety. King David did some pretty unscrupulous things to get to the top as did Solomon yet they were also commended by God (though Solomon descended into a degree of depravity later in life).

Actually, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage is a good example. He was involved in the Novatian dispute which was caused by widespread persecution. Cyprian fled Carthage during the Decian persecution to avoid persecution if he refused to sacrifice to the emperor but severely censured those who had buckled and sacrificed from a safe distance. Cyprian softened his stance on return but the more hard-line presbyter in Rome, Novatian, elected a rival bp of Carthage called Maximus. Novatian had also opposed Cyprian's ally, Cornelius as bp of Rome. Cornelius had alleged Novatian was possessed by Satan! The Novatianists had set up a kind of parallel church including baptising people and the question of the validity of these baptisms arose. A later bp of Rome, Stephen, took a more conciliatory line about Novatian baptism and a row broke out between Stephen and Cyprian: Stephen called Cyprian Antichrist. In order to clinch his case Stephen made the first recorded appeal to Mt 16:18 as a claim to Rome's supremacy (not the first appeal to that verse generally) to settle the matter.

So this is why I say that this was a matter of self interest. Rome sought supremacy over its rivals like Carthage, Antioch and Alexandria so that it could get its way. So there was every reason to manufacture or at least not examine critically the tradition that Peter had been martyred at Rome: it suited Rome's bid for power and supremacy.

The "Swiss guards" are a symbol of the extravagant expense incurred to support the RCC machine in the Vatican but there are many Christian leaders and places that exist without this kind of protection. Wouldn't the Swiss guards be better employed protecting Christian churches in Egypt, Syria, Iraq etc where we know there is an actual constant danger of violence.

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