Thursday, January 11, 2018

Defending Apostolic Succession, Part III

Defending Apostolic Succession, Part I · Part II · Part III · Part IV

Cont. II Tim 2:2
18:15 "we can be viewed by God as forgiven, once and for all"

We are forgiven, not just viewed as forgiven. The previous sins cannot arise against us again, but new ones can, if we commit them.

"and we can have eternal life"

When forgiven, we already have eternal life, also known as grace, indwelling in us. How can it be eternal, if it can be taken away from us? Because it is God's life, shared with us.

This sharing of God's life is the main purpose of apostle's and their successors, and the reason why an ordination or consecration is made.

The teaching authority is directed to preparing us to, a) receive eternal life and b) once we have received it not lose it.

While a bishop has less teaching authority than an apostle insofar as he cannot invent a tradition or write a Bible book, he is equal to the apostles in his capacity of transmitting the eternal life Christ confided to the Apostles to transmit, by baptism and other means.

"If any man is in Christ he is a new creature..."


"and his old ways will pass away..."

In DRBO and in KJV it doesn't say that.

[17] If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new. [18] But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ; and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. [19] For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins; and he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

In other words, it speaks of essence, not of "habits" in the psychological sense and of a thing happening while someone becomes a new creature, not of sth which will happen afterwards.

Same with American Standard version. NIV has:

The old has gone, the new is here!

Probably the neutre singular reflects a Greek neutre plural which is otherwise translated "old things" and "new things".

18:42 "Not imputing their sins"

Actually more than that, taking them actually away.

And this is done by the sacraments.

In Romans 1:16 Gospel is not just the teachings, but what the teachings are about, including sacraments.

  • I "what you have heard from me is not what you would say if talking about a power" (like for sacraments) in that verse but it is certainly what you would say if telling someone to carefully pass on a tradition;

  • II "teach strongly builds the case he was talking about a teaching" - definitely, the one we call Catholic Tradition or Apostolic Tradition - "and not a power" in that verse

  • III "all the other almost identifcal verses in the letters to Timothy which make very clear that St Paul was talking about teachings" namely Tradition "are the final nail in the coffin for this verse" (I presume you mean as about power - in the sacramental sense, which we do not claim it is about). But not for other verses, like II Tim 1:6.

V Titus 1:5
19:34 Titus 1:5

NIV 5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you.

DRBP [5] For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:

Let us go to Vulgate and Greek (Nestlé Aland), shall we?

Vulgate [5] Hujus rei gratia reliqui te Cretae, ut ea quae desunt, corrigas, et constituas per civitates presbyteros, sicut et ego disposui tibi,

The word is transliterated as "constitute" which would on a Catholic view of what happened involve both the appointment and the ordination.

Greek 5 Τούτου χάριν ἀπέλιπόν σε ἐν Κρήτῃ, ἵνα τὰ λείποντα ἐπιδιορθώσῃ καὶ καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους, ὡς ἐγώ σοι διεταξάμην,

Katasteses from kathistemi:

  • 1) to set, place, put

    • a to set one over a thing (in charge of it)
    • b to appoint one to administer an office
    • c to set down as, constitute, to declare, show to be
    • d to constitute, to render, make, cause to be
    • e to conduct or bring to a certain place
    • f to show or exhibit one's self

      • 1) come forward as

What you are doing by saying "appoint" is chose sense 1 a/b or possibly even 1 c.

What Catholics do by saying in clear in English "ordain" is chosing sense 1 d. to constitute, to render, make, cause to be

Without Apostolic tradition, how do you know what of the senses of kathistemi is meant?

21:01 Both Catholic Com and a priest who converted from Anglicanism say "bishop" and "priest" did not have exact same range of meaning as today in the Apostolic age or New Testament.

One name for presbyter is "episcopos", one name for bishop is "presbyteros" - the priest was making the case that with a "presbyter" in each city that would mean bishops of the diverse sees of Crete. The presbyter Titus appointed for Larnaka would be the bishop of Larnaka and so on (in this case, if Larnaka rather than Marseilles had St Lazarus dying there, as some claim, he would be appointed and need no ordination since already consecrated by Apostles when he bacame bishop of Samaria in Acts 8 event).

One does not in fact need the words to mean the exact same things to make the case.

Timothy IS a bishop, because he is told to ordain what was probably priests.

Titus is also a bishop and on Crete he consecrates one probably bishop for each city of Crete.

The situation makes the Catholic sense clear, even if the terminology does not.

21:14 "did not exist within the pages of the Bible"

Well, not really, that is not admitted.

First, as said, depicted situations make it clear the apostolic succession existed.

A definite type of government with one bishop (sacramental sense) ruling monarchically (as bishop of the see, a k a ordinary) may have been slow in coming.

But this does not deny the sacramental distinction of a bishop as one who can ordain priests and consecrate bishops.

Still less does this mean anything against what you are really after, namely Apostolic tradition, since you could become neither priest nor bishop without having first mastered the deposit of faith, as St Paul tells St Timothy more than once, as you yourself said.

So, supposing we don't have monarchic bishops other than Pope (St Peter, then after he dies his successor in Rome) during the Appostolic age (a somewhat hasty conclusion), supposing we don't have any distinction between bishops and priests to be spotted (definitely unsupported, as distinct bishops are identified as "apostles" and as "evangelists" and as "angels" - though that last could mean ordinaries not necessarily consecrated or even ordained yet, when Christ was writing through St John to them - though some were, like St Timothy of Ephesus, unless it arrived when St John took over after him), supposing even there was not any sacramental priesthood, only accredited transmitters of teaching, we still would be dealing the the teaching they transmitted, which is not yours, but the Catholic one.

21:20 "and in fact they are admitting the earliest Churches had a more or less Protestant structure and government"

No, not really.

Government, as to number of men, perhaps in cases.

But structure, as to why these men, no.

We still insist from Timothy they receive grace by imposition of hands, from Apostle Paul as from other Apostles.

We still insist from Titus, they are constituted either by an Apostle (as St Titus by St Paul) or by a successor of Apostles (as the presbyters by St Titus).

We still insist, from Timothy again, they are the authorised transmitters of teaching, as well.

If you believe a Protestant Church structure, as you see it, three layman can "get saved", testify to each other, volunteer as pastors, preach, and start a new Church all on their own, the only thing they need from someone outside their group first is a Bible.

If one admits all that is admitted on Catholic Com, the page you cited, they are NOT pastors of anyone and can NOT transmit grace to anyone, unless they have got it transmitted from the first Pentecost, by an unbroken series of imposition of hands.

And they are also not ready to teach authoritatively before they have had a supervised training by someone who is bishop (like Sts Timothy and Titus were), which is why I limit myself to debate, and do not teach authoritatively.

So, this once again sticks us with Apostolic Tradition, as well as Succession.

The mistake you are making here is forgetting what we believe ordination and consecration are, and that they are sth other than appointment. You are not arguing against it, you are simply forgetting it when you argue.

When you argued about St Matthias, you argued he could not be consecrated by the Apostles who already were so, all being consecrated on Pentecost day. Fine, but he was still appointed to this before Pentecost day.

When you now argue about Church Government, you are considering the structure of appointments "Protestant" (which it is not, by reason of appointments being only for those already ordained or about to be ordained), as if this precluded the essential claim about Apostolic Succession.

Even if you have twelve bishops in a monastery, neither of whom is bishop of a see of laymen and only occasionally one of whom is identic with the abbot, as long as they go on consecrating bishops in that monastery, these bishops have Apostolic Succession and the priests whom they ordain have so too.

Succession of monarchic rulers of a see is not as such consubstantial with it, only very recommendable and instituted very early, as St Timothy and then St John in Ephesus, as St Peter in Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome.

21:44 "Appointing" a presbyter did not require strictly an apostle, because a successor of them, like Titus, would do.

We know from Timothean letters the Apostle Paul did pass down grace to them by imposition of hands, a verse you forget. So, Titus was a successor in the sense of Apostolic Succession.

It stands to reason that the translation "appointing" is misleading, and the "constituting" would involve both appointing, and, if not already ordained and consecrated, such acts of the sacrament of orders as well.

21:53 "Surely St Paul would have mentioned it."

Well, he just did, in II Tim 1:6.

St Paul himself receiving, with St Barnabas, the consecration from others is mentioned in Acts (those two were not present at Pentecost).

Your being a sloppy reader doesn't make St Paul a writer leaving this in the dark!

22:47 Ah, you very much disagree with this - the imposition of hands - needing to be done by a person having an unbroken chain from the Apostles.

Here is one consideration : each man appointed and receiving imposition of hands by Titus (if not already from someone else) received it from Titus. Titus received it from Paul. Paul and Barnabas from the Church of Antioch who, presumably, had it from the twelve or, among them, from Peter.

So, in the Bible you do find a chain which can reasonably at least be imagined as unbroken. If there were occasions on which an imposition of hands could be made by one not having received it (which is what a "broken chain" would imply at some point), why is this not clearly mentioned in the Bible?

Why is it also absent from Apostolic Tradition?

Here is another one. You have so far not mentioned my favourite argument for Apostolic Succession.

Matthew 28.

Verse 20, we are shown that from Apostles on there would be no chain break forwards.

Verse 16, we are shown that it is not about all believers, but about Christ's highest chosen clergy, the twelve, on this occasion eleven.

So, if there can be no break forward from Apostles and if the chain concerns clergy, how could someone even be in such as position as to need to start a chain over again?

Whoever on God's errand was going to start a new local Church would be given, sooner or later, ordination from someone on Earth who had succession from Apostles - it is widespread.

Also, this is mentioning the teaching authority.

euntes ergo docete omnes gentes (v. 19)

This means, the sacramental power which apostles would receive the fulness of on Pentecost, is going along with the teaching authority, which is apparent from II Tim 2:2. It is to sacramental bishops - they were already ordained priests by "do this in remembrance of me" and "whomsoever ye forgive his sins, his sins are forgiven" - that the authority to transmit the teaching, in unbroken line to the end of days, is promised.

Here we can add, if there were any real doubt from the text on whether the powers or spiritual gifts are passed on from those ordained by Titus afterwards to the end of days or not, whether the Church in Antioch which consecrated Sts Paul and Barnabas had received this power from the Twelve or not, the doubt would need to be resolved by appointed bearers of the tradition, which was your point on II Tim 2:2.

We can also add that the conditions given in Matthew 28 do foresee the power to sanctify and the authority to teach going together.

The next words, starting at end of v. 19 and ending at beginning of v. 20 are:

baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti : - the power to sanctify by sacraments, typified by the first and most necessary sacrament (one which can in fact be administered by laymen in cases of necessity)

docentes eos servare omnia quaecumque mandavi vobis - the authority to teach on behalf of Christ.

And the very last words say this will last to the end:

et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem saeculi.

22:59 In Acts 9, St Paul received Confirmation or perhaps Ordination to simple priest by a bishop.

In acts 13, he and St Barnabas received episcopal consecration, perhaps ordination first, by bishops.

In both cases the episcopal dignity does go back to the apostles, even if this is not here mentioned.

Marc 9 Two aspects to be taken into account:

  • 1) The people were exorcising, which can be done with prayer at times even without any intention of getting ordained later (Sor Eusebia Palomino Yenes exorcised her monastery by praying Hail Marys, before the priest came, when it was infested by a poltergeist demon, she died in 1935, and women can't be ordained).

  • 2) This very passage is probably the reason why the order of Exorcist is a minor order, which the appointment for it is not a sacrament, but a sacramental. This happened before Pentecost.

  • 3) My original second aspect : since Apostolic powers of sacramental type had not yet been given, the point is not that the other persons were not in a line of succession, the point is, they were not in communion with the Apostles, in their daily life.

This has for sacramental acts the consequence that we do recognise lines existing outside the communion with the Pope and even outside Orthodox teaching. That is why Catholics do recognise ordinations and episcopal consecrations made by:

  • Orthodox
  • Copts
  • Armenians
  • Assyrians

Originally also those of

  • Old Catholic Church

But this ended by their communion with Anglicans showing they had a Protestant notion of either orders or the Eucharist or both

Later those of

  • Old Roman Catholic Church

And if Remnant Catholics do not or not always or not without severe doubts recognise that of Vatican II establishment, this is due to changes in ritual - same reason as for considering Lutheran and Anglican lines broken, unlike what they do themselves, and Methodist line too.

"Jesus told the apostles they would have no private ownership of the gospel, nor exclusive rights to His power."

Well, yes, that is why there are valid lines of Apostolic Succession outside the Church.

Also, probably even some kind of case against Feeneyism.

Kent Hovind has no sacramental power of transmitting priesthood, but he has done "mighty deeds" in arguing (perhaps not same thing, since Christ spoke here of a miracle of exorcism). He has done well in arguing about the falseness of Evolutionism.

I have done the same, I also am no bishop, don't intend to become one since I intend to marry.

But you are forgetting Christ founded a line to faithfully transmit the Gospel, to ceaselessly transmit sacramental powers.

We do not say the Gospel cannot be correctly transmitted somewhere outside contact with this line. It seems Catholics in Nagasaki survived as Catholics over centuries without priests.

We are however saying, as these Catholics were saying (when not spied on by Shintoists or Buddhists), that at the same time there were bishops transmitting both the tradition and the succession in sacramental powers elsewhere in the world.

24:28 The extra-ecclesial "lay person" in Marc 9 was not doing anything which required Apostolic Succession.

Even the Apostles were not yet ordained and were therefore still laymen.

And exorcism can be done by prayer.

He had the same power as the apostles had - and that one being one which can be acquired by prayer. Casting out demons.

"that no future institutional Christian structure of men could ever claim exclusive ownership of the Gospel message or its power"

No future one at all, not even the one where He was going to be cornerstone?

No power at all?

Is exorcism a power of the Gospel message alone?

Are sacraments so?

Even that layman was probably doing some other things than just hearing the Gospel, like praying the psalms with intensity or like keeping the Mosaic law which was still in full validity.

[and if it would do so] "it would be without divine authority"

Except the exclusiveness given in fact by precisely divine authority.

Which is a relative one.

And I presume you meant "without divine authority in this respect", not in general.