Friday, November 24, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 12.50.42 PM7 Reasons to Study the Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible

Posted by  on 09/06/2017 in Olive Tree Blog

1. Understand the audience: Grasping the original audience’s perspective helps us understand the setting to which the inspired authors communicated their message.

2. Understand how the text communicates: A text is ideas linked by threads of writing. Each phrase and each word communicates by the ideas and thoughts that they will trigger in the reader or hearer.

3. Biblical writers made assumptions: Biblical writers normally could take for granted that their audiences shared their language and culture; some matters, therefore, they assumed rather than stated. Think about what happens when later audiences from different cultures read the text without the same un-stated understandings as the original audience.

2006AA75524. Understand the differences: We can see the differences between [ancient people] and us. To better understand how they would have interpreted what was being shared to them.

5. Understand what issues were being addressed: When we hear the message in its authentic, original cultural setting we can reapply it afresh for our own different setting most fully, because we understand what issues were really being addressed.

6. Prevent imposing your own culture: If we know nothing of the ancient world, we will be inclined to impose our own culture and worldview on the Biblical text. This will always be detrimental to our understanding.

7. Fill in the gaps: As each person hears or reads the text, the message takes for granted underlying gaps that need to be filled with meaning by the audience. It is theologically essential that we fill [the gaps] appropriately.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this beautifully as follows:

109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.

needle110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking, and narrating then current. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”\

Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 32.

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“Rome vs. the Bible” vs. Reality

by Steve Ray on November 24, 2017

A friend named Poor Knight for the Lord put up a blog recently refuting a list of lies about the Catholic Faith (another refutation is here). I have copied it here for your edification. I put up a similar article a week ago and throught this would be a good supplement.

POOR KNIGHT WRITES: There are a variety of articles out with titles like “Rome vs. the Bible” which suggests that the Bible disproves the Catholic Church. 

But, what would the people who swallow this article you do if they discovered the majority of the bad things you were taught about Catholicism were incorrect and meant to deceive them? What would they think if they found out the Catholic Church really is the truth and has been teaching correctly for 2,000 years?

 The pamphlet “Rome vs the Bible” has many factual errors – some blatant and others more subtle.  In discovering these errors, will you continue to spread them, or will you correct them?

Authority

“Rome vs the Bible” (RvB) claims that “the Bible teaches Scripture has authority over the church” and cites 2Tim3:16.  RvB then claims “Catholicism teaches the Church has authority over Scriptures” and cites the Catholic Catechism (CCC) paragraphs 100 and 119.
 Reality shows Catholicism teaches that the Church is the authoritative interpreter of Scripture (85, 100, 119) by the power of the Holy Spirit (109-114) but clearly teaches “the Church is the servant of Scripture. “(86)  RvB doesn’t report accurate Catholic teaching.   Why?
 Also 2 Tim 3:16 says nothing about the church.  It merely shows the high authority, inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture , something that Catholicism teaches (101-141).  But is that the only thing that has authority according to Scripture? 
 Ask yourself: what do I believe has the authority to decide between arguing Christians? What do I believe is the pillar and foundation of truth for the Christian? What did God plan to use, from the beginning of time, to make known His entire wisdom?
 RvB would like you to believe it is The Bible alone. Reality shows, according to that Bible, it is: The Church (Mt 18:15-18; 1Tim3:15; Eph 3:10)  Also ask: How do I know what books belong in Scripture?   Scripture cannot tell you but the Church did and does.
 Salvation / Justification
 RvB implicitly denies that one can lose salvation.  RvB then derides Catholicism for believing in Mortal sin and the ability to lose salvation.
Reality shows that the Bible explicity teaches there is Mortal sin, or the “sins that lead to death” (‘death’ = ‘mortal’ in Latin)(1Jn5:17) meaning a spiritual death.  The Bible teaches that a Christian can, indeed, lose salvation through sinning. Take heed you who think you stand secure, lest you fall.  (1Cor 10:6-8; 11-12) (Rom 11:22; Gal 5:6; 2 Pet  2:20-22) RvB doesn’t address these verses.  Why not?
 RvB states “man is Justified once by faith”.  RvB then condemns Catholicism for teaching that Salvation and Justification are a process, with a one-time event to begin them, but then cooperation needed to continue progressing in them.
Reality shows the Bible says both Salvation and Justification are processes with a past completed event (Rom 8:24; Eph 2:5-8 etc), present application (1Cor1:8; 2Cor2:15; Phil 2:12), and future cooperation needed to get to heaven (Rom 5:9-10; 1Cor 3:12-15).
RvB doesn’t address the rest of these Biblical passages.  Why not?
RvB implies that faith alone is what saves someone and works will come afterward, but does not have anything to do with salvation.  RvB then claims Catholicism teaches that one can earn “their own salvation” through good works.
 Reality is Catholicism teaches that no one can earn their own salvation (2010) .  Catholicism teaches that we are justified entirely by Grace (1996).  Catholicism teaches Grace / Justification is the work of Christ’s atoning death on the Cross and by His Blood (1992).  Catholicism teaches that we must have faith in Christ to be saved (161).  Catholicism recognizes that once we have Grace, we must cooperate with God to continue walking in the Light, so that the blood of Christ continues to cleanse us (2006-2029, cf 1Jn 1:7)
RvB again does not report Catholic teaching accurately.  Why not?
 
Reality shows the Bible teaches we are saved by Grace which no one can earn (Eph 2:8-9).  But once we are “in Christ” we are commanded to do good works (Eph 2:10).  If we disobey this command, we cannot be saved (Jn 3:36); If we rely only on faith, without good works, that faith cannot save us.  Good works complete our faith, as it did with Abraham, and therefore it was credited to him as righteousness.  Just as a body cannot be alive first and the soul comes later, faith without good works is dead. 
The only place in Scripture the phrase “Faith Alone” appears it says:  We are justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE (Ja 2:14-24). 
 We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in us (Grace) both to will (faith) and to work (good works) (Ph 2:15-16).  We must keep the Commandments to go to heaven (Mk 10:17-22)
 Reality is everywhere in Scripture where people are judged to heaven or hell, they are judged by theirworks (Rom 2:5-11; Mt 25-31-46; Rev 20:12 among many others). RvB neglects to mention any of these Bible passages.  Why not?

 Baptism

 RvB states that only the Holy Spirit regenerates people.  RvB then implies that Catholicism is opposed to this by teaching Baptism regenerates people.
Reality is that Catholicism teaches Christ empowered Baptism to bring the Holy Spirit, which is why it regenerates people (1225; 1987; 2017). Reality shows that Christ said exactly that (Jn3:5).  Reality also shows that the Bible teaches Baptism is necessary for salvation and forgives sins (1Pet 3:21-22; Act 2:38-39)
 RvB again fails to give accurate representation of Catholicism and ignores Scripture.  Why?
 Eucharist / The Lord’s Supper
 
RvB states, “the Lord’s Supper is a memorial” implying an intellectual recollection only and cites 1Cor11:24-25.  RvB then implies that the Catholic Mass is re-sacrificing Christ.
Reality shows that the word for “remembrance” (anamnesis) means making a past event present today. Also the word for “do” implies sacrifice.  Christ also said, “This IS my Body” and “This IS my Blood” not “this represents” (Lk 22:19-20; paralleled in Mk, Mt; 1Cor11:24-25).  Christ also commands us to “Eat My Flesh” and “Drink My Blood” numerous times using language that can only be interpreted literally without doing violence to the text. (Jn 6:51-56).  Paul also tells us this is a literal participation in Christ’s Body and Blood (1 Cor 10:16) and to receive without discerning Christ’s Body, is to be guilty of His literal Body and Blood i.e. of murder (1 Cor 10:27-30).
Reality is Catholicism teaches Christ’s sacrifice was Once-For-All, and the Eucharist is making that One Sacrifice present today (re-presenting) (1362-1363).
Reality also is all Christians writings from the first EIGHT CENTURIES taught the literal interpretation of Christ’s words.  One cannot find a single Christian writer who states what RvB believes about the Lord’s Supper for 800 years after Christ’s Ascension.
Reality also shows RvB’s idea of “the Lord’s Supper” was made up by men in the 16th Century.   A warning from Scripture is appropriate here: Gal 1:8.
 RvB only cites one of the dozens of paragraphs of the CCC dealing with this; only one of the Bible verses above and doesn’t tell you what those words actually mean.  Why?

Anathemas

Anathema merely means to not belong to the community.  RvB would like you to believe it means “condemned to hell.” 
 RvB’s own teachings (Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Symbolic Only Lord’s Supper, Once Saved Always Saved, the Rapture etc) were made up by men in the 16th Century or later. Protestant Historians like JMD Kelly acknowledge this.
 RvB’s own warning (Gal 1:6-9) applies to them, not to the Catholic Church whose biblical teachings have stayed consistnent for 2000 years.  One only need to read the writings of the students of the Apostles to see this is true.
 By believing – and pushing –  these brand new, non-biblical teachings RvB proves they ‘do not belong’ to the Church Christ founded.

 

 Saints / Priests

 RvB claims that Catholicism doesn’t teach that all Christians are priests and saints.
 
Reality: The Catholic Church explicitly teaches the priesthood of all believers and that all Christians are saints (priesthood: 1141; 1268; 1546 / saints: 946-962).  RvB did not bother to take 10 seconds on a internet search to find this out. Why Not?
Reality: Recognizing what Scripture tells us, Catholicism teaches  Christ also set up a ministerial priesthood by giving it much of His Authority (Lk 10:16; Jn 20:21-23 cf. 2Cor 5:18; Mt:18:18 and many others) and that the “Holy Ones” in heaven (1 Thes 3:13) (the Latin word ‘holy’ is where ‘saint’ comes from) / the souls of Just men made perfect can now, because of Christ, be address and approached (Heb 12:22-24).  Since: the Church is the Body of Christ(Col 1:18); Christ only has one Body, not multiple (1Cor 12:12); Death cannot separate us from Christ (Rom 8:37-38); and we, in Christ, are commanded to pray for one another (1Tim2:1-4), therefore those members of the Church in Heaven are praying for us, and presenting our prayers before the Throne of God (Rev 5:8).
RvB does not present the full Biblical picture and presents a completely FALSE representation of Catholic teaching.  WHY?
 Final Thoughts
RvB does NOT want to present accurate Catholic teaching, nor the full Biblical teaching on these topics. WHY?
They have believed the Traditions of Men: Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Smyth, John Wesley, and the tens of thousands after them.  They have not held fast to the Traditions of God, which includes Sacred Scripture, (2Thes2:15; 3:6; 1Thes3:13; 2Tim2:2; 1Cor11:2) passed on faithfully for 2000 years by the Catholic Church!
 We encourage you to read your denomination’s teaching charters / documents / confessionals and compare them to   1) History: the writings of the 1st Christians after the Apostles 2) The WHOLE Bible 3) The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

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