Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Answering Dr. John Barnett on Catholic Oral Tradition

Answering Dr. John Barnett: on Catholic Oral Tradition · his "7 Reasons Roman Catholicism is Wrong" · on "Origin of the Catholic Church" or on what happened with Constantine

Answering "Asaph Vapor": Answering Asaph Vapor · Continuing the Answer to Asaph Vapor · Asaph Vapor's long answer, part I · On Papacy and Apostolic Succession to Asaph Vapor · Answering Asaph Vapor on Blessed Virgin Mary and Church · On Eucharist, Confession and some Other Matters, to Asaph Vapor

Catholic Oral Tradition
DTBM OnlineVideoTraining | 5.XII.2018

1:26 I John 2 ...

[18] Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. [19] They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us. [20] But you have the unction from the Holy One, and know all things.

Would the adressees of John have been in a position to use oral tradition?

Certainly. John had already taught them orally.

Would the "Antichrists" (in this context it means heretics) have been in such a position?

No, leaving the Church in which they had it, obviously they found fault in it.

1:37 Acts 17:10 - 11

But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea. Who, when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the scriptures, whether these things were so.

Does it say Christians are examining Scriptures, as a criticism of the oral tradition of St Paul? No.

It says JEWS were examining presumably Old Testament Scriptures, to see if the purported fulfilment was matching the prophecies.

  • 1) This passage cannot be used to motivate private or even collective "searching the scriptures" to criticise oral tradition.

  • 2) Also, they were not told to criticise the oral tradition they had in (second temple) Judaism, examining it was presumably part of their examining Scriptures. How so?

    "Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith."
    [2 Timothy 3:8]

    Exodus does not give the names of Jannes and Mambres ... Sts Paul and Timothy knew these names from oral tradition.

  • 3) Also, since they were a synagogue, they were Pharisees, this meaning that they were already experts in Scriptures.

    The parallel is not if you tell a half instructed Catholic to search the NT to verify if we find "beads" in it, the parallel is when a Protestant examines my words about Matthew 28:20.

"acts 17:11 that we examine and check the scriptures whether what is being taught is in the scriptures"

Are you Jews? If you check 17:10, this is still talking of a synagogue of Jews.

"what the Scriptures tell us in I John 2 is, we have an anointing of the Holy Spirit, that teaches us all things"

Are you Catholics? Were you anointed in Confirmation?

Does John say that the Holy Spirit teaches independently of the Magisterium? Here is I John 2 again:

But you have the unction from the Holy One, and know all things. I have not written to you as to them that know not the truth, but as to them that know it: and that no lie is of the truth.

Everything in verses 20 and 21 is perfectly compatible with Catholics knowing the truth from the Magisterium.

New King James Version also does not say that the Holy Spirit dispenses with the need for a magisterium. Neither does the normal King James Version. Neither does Evangelical Heritage Version. Neither does the Luther Bible in German from 1545. And New Geneva Version in French is even less encouraging "et vous avez tous de la connaissance" - it says "all of you have some knowledge".

Not one trace in your Bible versions, nor ours (I cited Douay Rheims) of your idea that the Holy Spirit Himself is the Magisterium of all the faithful, so that they need no human magisterium, nor any oral tradition.

YOUR interpretation of this passage is an oral tradition, but unfortuntately not one going back to the Apostles, but one going back to the Reformation. That is, to sth which St John described in verses 18 and 19 ...

1:59 - 2:08 "so we are Holy Spirit taught and we can just us with the Holy Spirit inside of us do it, Luther did, and question things, because the Bible says this and you say that."

That is so not what the Bible says in this passage.

2:08 - 2:20 "that corpus of oral tradition passed down that only they can interpret goes against what Jesus said, he said you follow the laws of rather than the [law] of God."

First of all, the Pharisees were following "traditions of the elders" on points where they certainly were not traditions from Moses on mount Sinai.

Second, the Pharisees were in the process of apostatising. Such an apostasy of all Catholicism goes against Matthew 28:20. If you compare the covenant chapters Deuteronomy 28 and Matthew 28, you will find that Deuteronomy gives a conditional convenant, which the Jews could chose to not observe, but Matthew records an eternal covenant, which Catholics as a whole cannot chose not to observe. Each individual Catholic can but the Church as a whole cannot.

This means, the traditions about what the Bible means cannot be parallel to erroneous traditions of men.

Rather, what is parallel to them is things like saying "Church Fathers would have accepted Evolution if they lived now" or "Church Fathers only took Genesis 1 as literal days (or in some cases as one moment) because the science of their time had not discovered Deep Time yet".

This type of statement is clearly not what has been passed down since Ascension Day AD 33.

Keeping Sunday, making the sign of the cross, fasting Wednesdays and Fridays (tomorrow is by the way one of the weeks when Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are all actual Fasting days in Western rite, not just Friday being just Abstinence), that the Sacraments are seven and that washing of the feet is not one of them, how Genesis 3:15 or Fleece of Gideon refer to the Blessed Virgin, these things most definitely are passed down from day one.

As is the interpretation that the Church must have an uninterrupted, not a "restored" presence on Earth. Matthew 16:18 and Matthew 28:20.

Furthermore, your term "that only they can interpret" is unclear.

Does it refer to clergy? That is not what the Catholic Church teaches, the higher clergy indeed has a role to play when new disputes arise or when old disputes arise anew, but apart from that, any Catholic can know the correct interpretation of a Bible passage by looking it up in a Bible with a Catholic comment, like Catena Aurea for the Four Gospels or like Challoner comment or Haydock comment for Bible as a whole, all 73 books (or 72, if you count Baruch as a part of Jeremiah).

2:30 While the Pharisees indeed had an oral tradition, like the one identifying Jannes and Mambres, this is not what Our Lord is condemning.

What Christ referred to definitely was not just part of the book but also of Pharisaic oral tradition, as far as goes "tradition from Moses on Sinai".

He even identifies the greatest commandment in accordance with Shema Israel. While this is indeed a part of the Bible, as written, it is also a part of the Bible which oral tradition choses to recite as a daily prayer. Precisely as Hail Mary in the New Testament.

"The Inquisition did, taking away the Bible out of the people's language."

This is a whole other kettle of fish.

In England, the Inquisition was conducted by bishops, by a law which was signed by king and parliament in 1401. In England, also, possessing Bible or prayers in people's language was enough to be at least suspected and in some cases even stamped as a Lollard and given the alternatives of fire or recanting.

Now, this is why Tyndale fled to the Continent.

He was prisoner of Flemish Inquisitor James Latomus for 7 years, before going to be burnt, and all this time it was known he had translated the Bible to English.

What was debated during this time was how he understood Romans 3, for example.

2:52 No, John did not say not to allow your priests to interpret Scripture and John while saying "ye know all things" most certainly did not say it was independently of his oral tradition, more like it was independent of his epistle.

You are wrong there.

2:57 "you take men's traditions above the written word of God"

Here is the actual text beginning Matthew 15:

[1] And there assembled together unto him the Pharisees and some of the scribes, coming from Jerusalem. [2] And when they had seen some of his disciples eat bread with common, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. [3] For the Pharisees, and all the Jews eat not without often washing their hands, holding the tradition of the ancients: [4] And when they come from the market, unless they be washed, they eat not: and many other things there are that have been delivered to them to observe, the washings of cups and of pots, and of brazen vessels, and of beds. [5] And the Pharisees and scribes asked him: Why do not thy disciples walk according to the tradition of the ancients, but they eat bread with common hands?

[6] But he answering, said to them: Well did Isaias prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and precepts of men. [8] For leaving the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, the washing of pots and of cups: and many other things you do like to these. [9] And he said to them: Well do you make void the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. [10] For Moses said: Honour thy father and thy mother; and He that shall curse father or mother, dying let him die.

Notice, He did not say "it is written" as He did on another occasion, He said "Moses said".

He is NOT contrasting orality of tradition with writtenness of law of God.

He is even not content to use the word "tradition" only about the traditions they were faulty in, but he was specifying, which tradition:

[11] But you say: If a man shall say to his father or mother, Corban, (which is a gift,) whatsoever is from me, shall profit thee. [12] And further you suffer him not to do any thing for his father or mother, [13] Making void the word of God by your own tradition, which you have given forth. And many other such like things you do.

Note here, He is specifying your own tradition, which you have given forth - not a tradition from Moses on the Mount Sinai.

Precisely as you Protestants have given forth your own tradition about what Matthew 15 means. And you are even mixing it with the actual text.

"what Jesus said about the tradition of the Pharisees not being higher than the Bible"

He did not mention "the Bible" in all of the 13 verses.

You are, sorry, a fraud.

Confer also, II Thessalonians 3:6

I think you can guess that Douay Rheims has tradition, so, I'll give you two Protestant versions.

First, King James:

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Next, NIV:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us.

Footnote a notes "Or tradition". But actually, even the word "teaching" refutes you, since you were arguing I John 2 taught Christians received their teaching from Holy Ghost and not from Apostles (with successors).

And Nestle Aland has the normal Greek word for tradition, paradosis:

καὶ μὴ κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ἣν παρελάβοσαν παρ’ ἡμῶν.

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