Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

My Photo
Name:
Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Understanding Islam Using The Koran, the Foundation of Truth?


Dr. Jaimete Wahabbi, noted Islamic apologist, issued a statement about the Koran when asked how does he know it is all one needs to understand Islamism.

"The Koran claims to be the sole and sufficient infallible rule of faith for the Islamic faith. The Scripture is in no need of any supplement; their authority comes from their nature as Allah-breathed revelation; their authority is not dependent upon man, mosque, or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self-authenticating. Islamic religion looks to the Scriptures as the only infallible and sufficient rule of faith, and Islam is always subject to the Word, and is constantly being reformed thereby."

Well, if that's the case, what makes the Christian's Bible different than the Koran? or the book of Mormon? or any other book that "self authenticates?" Because a book claims to be it's own authentication and authoritative source of truth for spiritual life, does that mean it must be? Why is the Bible different than the Koran? Some Christians claim that the Bible is self-authenticating and not dependendent on any man, church or council. Are these folks any different than the fundamentalist Islamic quoted above?

Why do we believe the Christian's Bible is the Truth and the Koran not Truth, even though it is suggested that each gets its authority from God?
Hint: It has something to do with The Incarnation.

Any thoughts?

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

لمساعدة كل مسيحي حقيقي أي للمؤمن المولود من روح الله القدوس في نموه الروحي, فينمو بالنعمة ومعرفة الرب والمخلص يسوع المسيح.

ولكن انموا في النعمة وفي معرفة ربنا ومخلّصنا يسوع المسيح. له المجد الآن والى يوم الدهر آمين

November 27, 2006 11:05 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

St Jimbob of the Apocalypse recently had this on his blog:

"The vicious sectarian violence in Iraq is enabled by the lack of a central religious authority in Islam, and by the lack of a peaceful hermeneutic to guide the discussion of the different interpretations of the Q'uran and Hadith. It's the same authority vacuum that enables Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hez'b allah to use their religion to authorise their violence against the rest of us. They claim their sacred texts are the only authority needed."

Well, you know, Gene Robinson and Fred Phelps claim to reference the same Bible. So much for authority


Thanks ST. Jimbob for unwittingly making my point!

November 27, 2006 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Mr. Jumper-

Jesus Christ the Messiah is quoted and the Koran was written by a man who claimed visions. Big difference. Without the words of Jesus we we would have holy men running around proclaiming holiness without any reference to the Lord. The Roman Catholic Catechism is in no way superior to the prophets proclaiming the coming Messiah and the Messiah who was Jesus fulfilling those prophecies as told in the Old and New Testaments. The early Church fathers were tools of Our Lord to ensure the establishment of His Word which will never be taken away from this Earth.

Mark 13:31
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark13.htm#v31

May I ask a few questions?

Is there a correlation in your mind between Bible reading Christians and Islamic fundamentalists?

What percentage do you use the Holy Bible in your walk with the Lord? What is the core tool you use to learn and explore your Christian faith?

May the Lord bless us all.

Justin C.

November 28, 2006 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True Catholic says:

Anti-pope John Paul II kissing the Koran!!

Would a true pope give homage to the Koran, the "holy book" of a false religion? A true pope would NEVER do such an abominable act.
Islam encourages the killing of Christians for teaching others about Christ.


Muslims believe that Christians should be killed for preaching Christianity in Muslim nations. Afghanistan is a prime example. Yet, in Europe and other Western countries to which Muslims are emigrating, no such persecution occurs. We wonder why the Muslims are leaving their home nation? ...and why are they not persecuted for preaching their false religion to poorly educated ex-Christians in other countries?
Islam has always been the sworn enemy of Christianity. Islam has no place in the Catholic Church nor in countries like Italy, Spain, France, etc. It is the Masonic Liberals and anti-Catholic Governments of these once-Catholic countries that permit the Muslim invasion, for their hatred of Christ is such that they will do anything to destroy the Church.

http://www.truecatholic.org/

November 28, 2006 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous as shown in Arabic above said:

For assistance of all real Christians and any who are called the born believer from the soul of Allah [aalqdws] for his spiritual growth, so the blessing grows in and defines the many who are loyal to Jesus Christ.

To is [aanmwaa] is the blessing of the faithful...knowledge suggests/creates doubt and loyalty to our Jesus Christ. For him the glory now and to day of the era Amen

November 28, 2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Justin C. You make an excellent point: "The early Church fathers were tools of Our Lord to ensure the establishment of His Word which will never be taken away from this Earth."
Yes, these early Church Fathers decided by the power of the Holy Spirit which books would be definitely established as the true Scriptures. So Justin, you kindly answered my question. It was the Catholic Church at the Councils of Chalcedon and Carthage that established the Canon of Scripture. The index of the Bible was established by Church Fathers who were members of a Church (called the Catholic Church as early as 107 AD.) This Church was started by the Incarnation , namely Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. Pope Damasus in 397 agreed to the final canon of Scripture.
So I conclude as my friend Justin does, that our Bible is different than the Koran because we have a Church founded by Jesus Christ telling us that it is the Word of God. We accept that it is the Scriptures of God, infallible by the decree and authority of the Church Christ established. (The Bible didn't tell us it was infallible.)
St. Augustine himself, no theological slouch and a fav Church father of the reformed protestants, said "I would not have believed the Gospel had it not been for the Catholic Church."
He also accepted the authority of the Church when he said:
"Rome has spoken; the case is concluded"

November 28, 2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Justin asks:

"Is there a correlation in your mind between Bible reading Christians and Islamic fundamentalists?"
Yes, the attempt to interpret each source with personal bias and preconceptions can lead to error. Whether a christian or islamic, you need a teaching authority or magisterium to gain the appropriate understanding of Scripture. Mormons baptize people in proxy for dead people based on their interpretation of Scripture. Some, not all muslims, feel God is telling them it's ok to kill infidels based on their personal interpretation of Koran. I am not equating good Mormon or christian folks with Muslims but making the point that, Scripture can't be read and accepted on our own "The holy spirit" told me basis. It is only through the Catholic Church that we know it to be Scripture and trust this same Church with the proper interpretation of the Scripture based on the authority given to Peter and his successors by Jesus.

Justin: I read a selection from the Old Testament,a Psalm or epistle and the Gospel daily. I love God's Word.
How bout' you?

November 28, 2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Mr. True Catholic said

"Islam has always been the sworn enemy of Christianity. "

Shouldn't loving your enemies and praying for those who despitefully use you apply to Muslims as well?

You are missing the point about my post TC. It was not about whether Islam is right or not, it was about authority to interpret and understand the "plain meaning" of Scripture. When Christians claim that the Bible is self authenticating, they are doing nothing different than any other religion, cult, etc that claims their holy book is inspired. The difference is we can point to a Church in direct succession to Christ that has the authority to make the claim that the Scriptures are the infallible, inerrant Word of God. Actually, as you know, some Scriptures are very hard to interpret, as Peter tells us, and they take the words of Paul and twist them causing their own destruction.
I hope that all True Catholics can have the spirit of Christ that our Holy Father John Paul 2 showed in kissing the Koran. He was basically telling his sworn enemies: "I love you and respect you because you too are created in the image of God."

November 28, 2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger REM said...

Tiber:
I just wanted to point out:
Any ultimate authority argument must at some point claim it's ultimate authority by, to some degree, being circular in the fact that it is self attesting. It must self attest itself. The Word of God is clearly self attesting (II Tim 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12, Matthew 4:4)

November 28, 2006 4:58 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Ryan:
Thanks for posting. Long time no see.

Yes I agree in a sense that an ultimate authority must claim its ultimate authority. The Catholic Church does do that, not triumphalistically or smuggly but by tracing its historicity, apostolicity and authority to Peter.

I can't agree with you, REM, that the Word of God is "clearly" self attesting. If it was that clear, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we now? And the reformers and the Council of Trent wouldn't have been having their discussions either!Those verses as best as I can tell do not self authenticate the scriptures.
When 1 tim was written, Paul was referring to the Old Testament so I will grant you perhaps we can deduce that the OT is inspired by God from that verse but it is academically dishonest to then assume that 1 Tim refers to the NT when the NT was not even completed yet, nor in wide circulation as a bound volume of canonized accepted scripture. as you know, that didnt occur for some 300 or more years.

Indulge me here for a second.
If I write a new spiritual book and inside the book I say the words that you are now reading are inspired by God.
Does that mean that they are? Just because I wrote it? When the Koran says it's inspired by God, do you say "yes of course" just because it says it? Why do you and I believe the Bible is inspired? Not because we read it and said "Now, Hang me, that's inspired!"

There was a very learned doctor of theology 500 years ago who thought Hebrews, Jude, Revelation James as well as 7 books of the OT were not inspired. He referred to James as the Epistle of Straw and wanted to throw "Jimmy in the stove. So clearly, he didn't think the scriptures clearly self authenticate.

My point is REM, we believe the Bible because someone told us it was inspired. The Church. We all believe it is God's inspired Word because a group of men outside the Bible decided with the help of the Holy Spirit what was Scripture and what wasn't. These men believed strongly that they were acting in concert with the Spirit of God as well as in succession with Peter.
Even Old Augustine said:
"I should not believe the Gospel except as moved by the AUTHORITY of the CATHOLIC CHURCH."
Against the Letter of Mani 5,6,
397 A.D.

I hope this "clears" things up a bit :)

November 28, 2006 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

الصديق: هل أنت مولود ثانية؟ فإن لم تكن قد ولدت ثانية فأنت هالك. لأن الرب يسوع قال: "إن كان أحد لا يولد من فوق لا يقدر أن يرى ملكوت الله" (يوحنا 3: 3).

من المسلم به أنه لا أحد يريد أن يموت خاطئاً ويهلك، إذن ينبغي أن تولد من فوق؟ لكنك تسأل:

ما معنى الولادة من فوق؟
ونجيبك أن الولادة من فوق ليست المعمودية بالماء، فهناك الكثيرون ممن اعتمدوا بالماء ولم تتم ولادتهم من فوق (أعمال 8: 18-25). وهي ليست العضوية في الكنيسة، لأنه هناك أخوة في الكنيسة لم ينالوا الولادة من فوق. وهي ليست ممارسة تناول العشاء الرباني لأنه هناك من يأكل بدون استحقاق ويجلب على نفسه دينونة أعظم (1كورنثوس 11: 39).

إنها ليست الإصلاح الذاتي أو محاولة السلوك بطريقة أفضل "فإني أقول لكم أن كثيرين سيطلبون أن يدخلوا ولا يقدرون" (لوقا 13: 24). وهي ليست الصلاة، فقد قال الرب يسوع: يقترب إلي هذا الشعب بفمه ويكرمني بشفتيه وأما قلبه فمبتعد عني بعيداً" (متى 15: 8).

ربما تقول: " إذا حاولت عمل ما أستطيع.. أن أعطي للفقراء.. أن أزور المرضى.. وأن أكون صالحا كل يوم قدر استطاعتي.. إذن، فأنا بالتأكيد مولود ثانية". ولكننا نقول لك: كلا، إنك لا تستطيع أن تكون على غير طبيعتك "لأن اهتمام الجسد هو عداوة لله إذ ليس هو خاضعاً لناموس الله لأنه أيضاً لا يستطيع" (رومية 8: 7).

يجب أن نحصل على تغيير القلب، لأن الله قال بالنبي وأعطيكم قلباً جديداً وأجعل روحاً جديدة في داخلكم وأنـزع قلب الحجر من لحمكم وأعطيكم قلب لحم" (حزقيال 36: 36). نحن نسأل إذن:

November 28, 2006 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tiber,

Regarding the perfectio implicita Scripturae Sacrae, I'd like to pursue the issue further. However, I'm a bit tired tonight, so only wish to add a couple of comments at this time. As far as I'm concerned, Galatians 1:8 is enough for me to discount--as theopneustos--the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or any other sign or miracle or "vision" which may have cropped up since the gospel was first delivered to us. "But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed." Since Muhammad allegedly received his visions from the angel Gabriel, my conscience is in no way bound to believe them. Nothing could be clearer to me about this. In fact, Muhammad agonised about these visions, uncertain as to their origin, and even thinking that they may be Satanic. That strikes me as more than reasonable doubt, even for Islam. There is a tremendous gulf between the unfolding covenant mystery of the revelation of Jesus Christ on the one hand, and the continuing "updating" of revelations from the worlds religions and even the Charismatic Christian sects of today.

All God's Best,

Pilgrimsarbour

November 29, 2006 1:23 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Pilgrim said:
"There is a tremendous gulf between the unfolding covenant mystery of the revelation of Jesus Christ on the one hand, and the continuing "updating" of revelations from the worlds religions"

Amen to that!

BTW, Check out Pilgrim's blog. He has some interesting stories, commentary, reviews and is a good writer


http://the-porters-lodge.blogspot.com/

November 29, 2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger REM said...

Tiber:
Thanks for the answer. Couple things:

1. You and I are apexing toward what is the final authority. I gather you can see I disagree with the basic assumption that Rome is the final authority as opposed to Scripture. I just wanted to make sure we both knew this so there could be some fruit from our discussion.

2. Scratch the word "clearly" if you don't like it. I still stand by my statement.

3. I did say any ultimate authority must self attest itself, showing some circular reasoning. I didn't say each one was legit, nor do I consider each to be so just cause it says it is. However, this is a bigger problem for you than it is for me. I can take an utlimate authority arguement, compare to the scripture and make a determination. You can do the same, but in the end, you must get the okey-dokey from Rome. This is why you must consider some (I am not comfortable with saying all) ultimate authority arguments deuterocanonical candidates, until proven otherwise by Rome, who may be further assisted by a future ultimate authority arguments that reinforce their own. The Word of God, in anthropomorphic fashion (because it has to display as finite or we would never be able to read it), has a cutoff (Jude 1:3, Revelation 22:18-19)

4. Luther did much worse than what you just mentioned. His nonesense is not a deal breaker. Anyone with decent understanding of Sola Scriptura will tell you thats part of the point of Sola Scriptura - we are not daisy chained to defending the erring men of the past. Luther spoke of things much truer than himself. At the end of the day, the great Martin Luther, like you and me, was a clay pot and a vapor. (Although its tempting, don't lower yourself to Luther bashing. It only opens you up for a more problematic scenario of 10 bad popes who did speak ex cathedra, who were vital links in the apostolic sucession and who did equally zany things. Throwing mud only causes you to lose ground and get your hands dirty).

5. How would you know the church is the pillar and foundation of truth without any authority from scripture? You wouldn't. Again, I think it would be helpful for both our sides to admit there has to be some anthropomorphic action regarding the scripture, because God's Word, as we understand it, is anthropomorphic to us. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

I loved the Augustine quote-it still supports an authority under the umbrella of Scripture. Always a pleasure visiting your site. For what it is worth, I still enjoy discussing Sola Scripture more with RCs than with Protestants who pragmatically deny it. Cheers.

November 29, 2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger Howard Fisher said...

“Well, if that's the case, what makes the Christian's Bible different than the Koran? or the book of Mormon?”

I guess I should attempt to answer the question since you are quoting me quoting Dr. White.

The answer is simple Sir but on a presuppositional level. When God speaks, can He appeal to any higher authority than Himself for verification that it is His voice? Your position says yes. Yet is God able to “swear an oath” by any other Name than His own?

You will then ask the above question again, to which I could respond how do I know the Mormon church isn’t the true church over against Rome’s?

Specifically though, the answer is quite simple. I do not prove the Bible to be the Word of God because to prove it to be so would require that I am morally neutral and able to appeal to a higher authority than God’s Word. A mere creature is needed to validate God’s Word as being God’s Word? Does God really appeal or need a creature? Instead the Christian is called to demonstrate and give an answer for the faith, not prove it. Demonstrate is the key word.

Consistency with the evidence is what the Christian must bring to give an answer. Islam is simply not able to be consistent with their own worldview. Mormonism is simply not able to be consistent with itself.

The Bible is self authenticating because God’s voice is clear and consistent and Sovereign. He is in need of no other.

When you argue against the clarity of God’s voice, this is what I hear you saying.

“You Protestants believe in the doctrine of Justification because you believe it is clearly taught by God’s voice. I am sorry but God is not speaking clearly enough, listen to what the doctrine really is.

You Protestants believe that the Trinity is clearly taught in Scripture, but it is not. God is not able to speak clearly enough. Only the church can know that doctrine for certain.

You Protestants believe the Bible is clear enough on things that are necessary, but God is not able to speak clearly enough. You need us. God is simply not able.”

Sir, this is what the Mormon church says. This is what JWs say. It is what Islam does. Ironic that you use them (except JWs) in your question. Your position is circular.

Why should I believe Rome?

November 29, 2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"The Koran is self-authenticating because Allah's voice is clear and consistent and Sovereign. He is in need of no other."


So using Howard's logic stated above(changing a few words) I guess I should believe the Koran then. Because someone says that it is clear and consistent and Sovereign, it must be so.
Specifically, because Howard(or name your fav here) says it's so.


I believe Rome and the Scriptures as God-breathed because Jesus came to earth, God in the flesh and passed the mantle of His authority to Peter who started a Church that then wrote and collated and recognized which Scriptures were inspired, and which weren't.

Wouldn't it have been much easier if Jesus could have said, "hang on guys, I am going to my Father, but don't fret because in 364 more years a Catholic Church Council is going to canonize a certain number of letters and books amongst hundreds floating around and it won't be available to the masses for 1090 more years after that(via the printing press.)Then distribute that book to everyone you know (who can afford it and who is literate) and let them come up with whatever doctrines they feel led to because my voice is consistent and clear and sovereign so whatever people devise regarding doctrine will be true."
No! Jesus said, I will give you the Holy Spirit who will guide you in all Truth. Funny He didn't mention the Bible here. But He did breath on them and give them the power to loose and to bind and forgive sins and historically, that has been manifest as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
Let's assume you are correct Howard that the Bible is self- authenticating and we are all able to hear God's voice clear and sovereign and consistent. Why then did it take 1500 years for the truth to be revealed via Scripture to a few godly reformers who then vehemently argued with eachother regarding the "plain meaning" of Scripture? Did the Holy Spirit take a sabbatical for 1500 years?
Did the gates of Hell prevail making Jesus tell a fib?

Recorded history alone defeats the premise of Scripture Alone by this reasoning.

November 29, 2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

REM said:
"You can do the same, but in the end, you must get the okey-dokey from Rome. This is why you must consider some (I am not comfortable with saying all) ultimate authority arguments deuterocanonical candidates, until proven otherwise by Rome, who may be further assisted by a future ultimate authority arguments that reinforce their own.

But REM, when you take an ultimate authority arguement, compare to the scripture and make a determination you are actually comparing it to your interpretation of Scripture.

I don't think getting the Okey Dokey from Rome is such a bad idea. It's how God protected truth through the ages, through this church of sometimes stinking sinful men. If it weren't the "okey dokey" from Rome in the Council of Nicea and later Constantinople, we might still be believing that God is not One in three persons. As you know there are websites(unitarian and such) on the internet that use over 100 verses from Scripture to "prove" that Jesus is not God! Can you imagine, the heresies of the early church all over again?
So as a Catholic, I do take comfort in having a Church help me to understand and know what Truth is. The concept of the trinty can be missed by reading Scripture alone. If this isn't true, we wouldn't have needed the first several councils of the Church to combat heresy. They were meeting with the express purpose of hammering out what the Truth is and making it the official Creed of all believers at the time (and now as well).
The first Creed was put together before the New testament was formally canonized, the fact of which still impresses me that Christ really was speaking through these early fathers, known collectively as the Catholic Church.

Regarding your thoughts about Luther bashing. I stand corrected and apologize. Yes, the Catholic Church has had its bad Popes too!
But let me restate: my point was that the Scriptures can't be that self authenticating if learned theologians in the past debated their authenticity almost 1200 years after they were officially recognized to be Scripture by the Church. (I still wonder what God was thinking when they put in Philemon, but left out the Didache :)
Thanks for the kindly post!

November 29, 2006 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Tiber,

I have been reading with great interest all the posts regarding the issue of sola scriptura. One concept especially stands out to me on this issue, and that is the question of "private interpretation." I think that if the Bible is teaching that the reader cannot and must not try to interpret the Scriptures for himself, that the ecclesiastical authority must have the final say in the matter, then we must take that to heart and believe it and practice it. I know from your own thoughts on the matter that this is how you see it, and that the ecclesiastical entity with that authority is Rome. I too have always thought of 2 Peter 1:20-21 as teaching that there can be no "private interpretation" in our understanding of the Scriptures. On the other hand, as a practicing evangelical, I was never really sure what the verse was supposed to mean, since I "interpreted" without Rome every day. In truth, I never let it bother me. But your posts got me thinking seriously about the issue, so I turned to the passage in question tonight. I'd like to post several English translations for the sake of diversity, and start with verse 19 which continues into verse 20. The translation I use primarily is the ESV.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

King James Version
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

American Standard Version
19 And we have the word of prophecy [made] more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.

English Standard Version
19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

New International Version
19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Bible Catholic Action Edition (1953) - Confraternity Text
19 And we have the word of prophecy, surer still, to which you do well to attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation. 21 For not by will of man was prophecy brought at any time; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Verse 19 tells us that the prophetic word the Jews had received from the prophets in the Old Testament is made of more value and is bolstered by the fulfillment of it in the coming of Christ. If you back up to verse 16 which starts this section of the letter, and read through to our passage in question, Peter is telling his readers that he and his fellow workers in Christ were eyewitnesses, that they were not making up stories (some read "cleverly devised stories" or "fictitious tales"). Peter's approval of the Old Testament Scriptures is solid as a rock. It becomes clear that what he is teaching here is not that we have no right to interpret Scripture privately, but that the prophets themselves did not deliver the Word of God from their own private thoughts; only exactly what God had revealed to them. The confusion for some may come from a translation like the KJV which says "...no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." The phrase "of any private interpretation" is not referring to our own private interpretation in our reading of the Scriptures, but the word "of" is used in the same sense that it is used elsewhere in this type of old English translation. As in 1 Cor. 1:12 "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ," which is Paul's admonition against the pride of the various Christians regarding who had discipled them. They were boasting about their mentors, saying in effect that they were better than other believers because "I came from Apollos, I came from Paul," etc. And Peter is saying "...no prophecy of the scripture came from private interpretation." 2 Peter 1:21 concludes this thought by connecting verses 20 and 21 with the use of the word "For." The Old Testament prophets (holy men of God) were borne along by the Holy Spirit, like being carried along by a river. It was not something they made up, it was not a matter of their will, but God's real and specific revelation. So I conclude not that there should not be an ecclesiastical authority to guide us in understanding the Scriptures rightly. For "...God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 1 Cor. 12:28. The Reformers believed (as do I) that only the Scriptures have the power to "bind the conscience." Whatever other legitimate arguments there may be against "private interpretation," 2 Peter 1:20-21 cannot be used in conjunction with them since it is the delivery of the Word that is in view, not our receiving of it.

All God's Best,

Pilgrimsarbour

November 30, 2006 2:13 AM  

Post a Comment

Home

Universalis