Defending Apostolic Succession, Part I · Part II · Part III · Part IV
This part contains the not yet complete section IV.
A bit down, he is starting to give three reasons, I am only part in on II one. This will be marked as IV:I to IV:III (this last not yet extant).
- IV II Tim 2:2
- part a
- 14:55 Sure you have not misunderstood the Catholic take on II Tim 2:2?
This is once again an example of Tradition.
We are not dealing directly with Succession, we are dealing with Tradition - which, as the chosen and prepared and entrusted tradition bearers sooner or later die also implies a succession of replacement.
St Timothy is told to do excatly the thing which Homer had done to hand on his text.
The verse as such is not mentioning power, but it is mentioning tradition.
15:06 "does this passage"
one verse is not a passage by itself
"give us any reason to believe that the teachers in view here would themselves in their persons possess the same kind of Authority as did the Apostles?"
We are dealing with authority of teaching.
Yes and no.
Yes, insofar as it is through them we get the whole picture, we don't have to piece it together by searching the Bible as you do, and we get Biblical inerrancy and quite a few other things from them.
No, insofar as the Apostles could receive new revelations binding on all of the Church as long as they lived (see St Peter before meeting Cornelius, the unclean beasts, see St John on Patmos, see several visions of St Paul, all of which are binding on all of the Church). These teachers are ONLY concerned with transmitting, not with originating, Tradition.
But, except insofar as either St Timothy or someone later like him failed in his selective task (there being one rejected original apostle implies there would be failures!) these later teachers are to be heard with the same obedience of faith as the apostles were to be heard.
As long as they keep within the bounds of transmitting, not originating, which is why modernism is to be rejected even in real but heretical bishops as some where around Vatican II, and even in apparent Popes, who, if caught redhanded as innovators, must be considered as Antipopes.
Why so? [Romans 10:14-15] "How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things! "
The necessity of hearing through a preacher remains, the necessity of preacher being sent is also remaining and St Paul is to St Timothy describing part of what goes on before someone is sent.
But having a Bible in one's hands, no general necessity for all believers is either given in the Bible nor any more plausible for Antiquity than for Middle Ages as practical possibility, and when Reformers verbally called for that, they were not in fact prepared to do the work of Gideons.
In 200 AD, nearly all believers had no or incomplete scrolls, but had the faith through preachers.
Same thing remains true for 600 and 1200. AND same thing remained true in 1600 too.
In 200, 600, 1200 and 1600, some of the preachers were Catholic.
In 200 some where Montanist.
In 600 some where Nestorian or Monophysite.
In 1200 some where Photian or even Albigensian.
In 1600 some were Lutheran or Calvinist or ... some 100 other sects (a few years later Bossuet notes the Protestant sects are already over 100, disagreeing between them).
"and not his authority as an apostle"
In so far as the specifically apostolic authority (requiring to have been spoken to by Jesus) in its difference from other episcopal authority is a preeminent kind of teaching authority, it implies he is talking if not of same level of authority at least of a very similar authority.
[seen in three ways:]
- 15:23 "this is exactly what you could expect if he were talking about teachings or knowledge"
"But not at all what you would expect if it was supposed to mean his apostolic authority."
Which, on your view then, if you are consistent with what you are saying now, is not one of teaching? Except, of course you aren't consistent on that one.
You analyse disparity of words without taking into account relationships of concept.
"in that case he might say what you received from me"
Actually, that very phrase, nearly, is about doctrine too:
For the rest therefore, brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more.
[1 Thessalonians 4:1]
There is also a non-doctrinal part of apostolic authority which is mentioned by St Paul to St Timothy:
For which cause I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee, by the imposition of my hands.
[2 Timothy 1:6]
Yes, here we have a direct attestation of what Apostolic Succession is according to Catholic Tradition. The transmission of sacramental graces.
"if what you meant was an apostolic power"
Bait and switch. Here you are basically claiming (if you were consistent as you are not) that the Apostolic authority is only the sacramental powers (or externally miraculous powers, but those are in fact usually not giving along the sacramental succession, but by God as He pleases to give them for special occasions - which do not end with the apostles).
- 15:50 "He wants Timothy to pass this on to those who can teach it"
Because II Tim 2:2 is about Tradition, not per se about Succession, confer II Tim 1:6 which is directly about Succession, not about Tradition.
Bishops are supposed to hand on BOTH. To exactly when? Well, you have so far not yet given my favourite passage ...
"and not his special apostolic authority"
If you mean the one to initiate the Depositum Fidei, Catholicism agrees. The successors only hand it on.
But you are hiding what kind of authority you think of by just using the phrase, which has more than one facet and not telling us which you find unfitting to this "passage."
As well as discussing it in artificial and arbitrary separation from previous chapter. Verse 6, you know, which specifically is about the graces given by ordination and episcopal consecration.
16:20 (underlined I Tim 4:6-11) "far less ambiguous"
OK, but this shows St Paul precisely handing down his teaching authority to St Timothy in the first epistle, like in the second epistle St Timothy is supposed to hand it down to others again.
You are precisely proving what you set out to disprove. Thank you very much.
I am not laughing at your inconsistency, I am too tired for that, but others perhaps will!
Especially, in verse 11 it is not just a question of teaching, but of actually commanding. Well ... what were you saying again about Catholic bishops having no power to command what we shall believe?
II Tim 1:13-14
But St Paul is requiring the teaching to follow an oral norm.
You are exactly proving there is a ministerially oral context for the Biblical text, to a real believer.
Also, very much to the point, this oral norm is confided to St Timothy's keeping. Tim may let go of a rabbit, especially if George drags him out, but St Timothy must not let go of one single word St Paul had given him.
I Tim 4:16
Paul is requiring Holiness as personal task of bishops, and requiring Episcopal ministerial teaching as part of his holiness (once he is elected, as long as he has not stepped back, he can't be holy enough by being just chaste, peaceful, humble, he must also be articulately orthodox - the reason why Monsignor Lefebvre was taking such risks and taking on so much conflict : the reason why he did not consider John XXIII, probably antipope, as very holy despite many rosaries a day).
But this was true for apostles too, they also both had to be holy and to teach.
Hence, this too is no counterargument to bishops inheriting a substantial if not total part of apostolic authority.
II Tim 3:14-17
Knowledge of Scripture is required of the Apostles and their Successors. And to them, who have time to study it all, all of it is useful.
But it nowhere says it is sufficient for a layman having other tasks preoccupying him.
Again, as personal holiness, so also knowledge of Scripture is required of the bishops who succeed the apostles. And, if you note, the 12 had gone through about 3 years or more with God in the flesh, and we know He exposed Scriptures to them. Therefore this had been part of their training too.
Another "watershed" between apostles and bishops which is really a common characteristic.
Much obliged, not for your coherence, but for what you bring up. Here too, tradition in verse 14 comes before Scriptures in the following verses.
Having a correct faith from tradition is key to understanding Scriptures correctly.
The Scriptures bring salvation through faith in Christ and through fidelity to all he has learned, not by the fact of being Scriptures if isolated from that.
17:50 "How can just a teaching handed down bring people to salvation?" (the Catholic reading this may wonder)
Well, the faith is salvific, and in absence of access to sacraments it is a guide on how to gain redemptive sacramental graces.
But, the teaching St Paul is talking of is also a complete sacramental doctrine, involving the seven sacraments, involving Mass as a real sacrifice and so on.
So, while it is a teaching, it is also a grace - there is both "tradition" (teaching) and "succession" (salvific grace).
17:53 "But the power lies in transmission of the teaching of the Gospel" (and not of Protestant heresies, thank you!)
17:56 "which is that God has put all the punishment for your sin on his own Son"
Not in such a manner as to exclude our taking temporal punishments by penances, sufferings and for most also purgatory, though.
The Gospel is also a lot more detail than just this one, and believing this is not in itself enough to be free of the punishment of Hell fire.
18:05 Here the guy says Christ took on God's wrath.
I do a Bible search - I will not take oral tradition from this guy! - and find these verses, exchanging "took on" for "bore" and some:
That it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the prophet Isaias, saying: He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.
Doesn't say bore God's wrath.
He that believeth in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Doesn't say the man on whom God's wrath abides is either Christ or someone saved by Christ.
But in general, the guy is actually himself, spuriously, claiming to have the power St Paul had of orally preaching or which St Paul gave to St Timothy or which St Timothy was supposed to give others.
As far as I know, he is not ordained. He is not faithful to a Catholic ordination if he was ordained.
18:18 "and be viewed by God as forgiven once and for all"
Not what it says anywhere in Scriptures of either Testament.
Falsifying the Gospel? Hmmm?
18:26 "if any man is in Christ he is a new creature"
Through the graces of the sacraments most of which depend on priests and bishops with Apostolic Succession.
Passing on through some gushy stuff which he construes as refuting the Catholic doctrine or at least as sth to put in its stead ... or no, wait, I am saving it for later.
I am exhausted.
I think my essays are way shorter than this long speach (I'm halfway through about and we are not yet on his reason III for not agreeing with Catholic exegesis of II Tim 2:2!).