Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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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.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Official Universal Greek Decoder Ring


Not only do we have to struggle with how to derive correct doctrine from the Bible, we must also struggle with which translation of the Bible to use when we are attempting to derive our doctrine. Some folks have used the Bible to prove the Trinity doesn't exist as our John 1:1 commenter. Others use the Bible alone to prove the Trinity does exist!! People use Bible translations that best reflect their own theological views as our friends from the Watchtower do.

So what's a sincere seeker of Truth supposed to do? For example:

1 Timothy 3:15

(New International Version)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(New American Standard Bible)

15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in (A)the household of God, which is the (B)church of (C)the living God, the (D)pillar and support of the truth.

(The Message)

14-16I hope to visit you soon, but just in case I'm delayed, I'm writing this letter so you'll know how things ought to go in God's household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth.

(Amplified Bible)

15If I am detained, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the Truth.

(New Living Translation)

15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(King James Version)

15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(English Standard Version)

know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God,
a pillar and buttress of the truth.


(Contemporary English Version)

15so that if I am delayed, you will know how everyone who belongs to God's family ought to behave. After all, the church of the living God is the strong foundation of truth

(New King James Version)

15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

(New Century Version)

15 Then, even if I am delayed, you will know how to live in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.

(21st Century King James Version)


15but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou ought to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(American Standard Version

15 but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(Young's Literal Translation)

15and if I delay, that thou mayest know how it behoveth [thee] to conduct thyself in the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God -- a pillar and foundation of the truth,

(Darby Translation)

15but if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God's house, which is [the] assembly of [the] living God, [the] pillar and base of the truth.

(New Life Version)

15 because it may be awhile before I get there. I wanted you to know how you should act among people in the church which is the house of the living God. The church holds up the truth.

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

15 But if I should be delayed, [I have written] so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household, (A) which is the church of the living God, (B) the pillar and foundation of the truth. (C)

(New International Reader's Version)

15 Then if I have to put off my visit, you will know how you should act in God's family. The family of God is the church of the living God. It is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(Wycliffe New Testament)

15 but if I tarry, that thou knowest, how it behooveth thee to live in the house of God, that is the church of living God, a pillar and firmness of truth.

(Worldwide English (New Testament))

15Then if I do not come right away, you will know what people should do in God's family. This family is the church of the living God. The church people hold what is true and keeps it strong.

(New International Version - UK)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(Today's New International Version)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.


If Jesus wanted us to derive all Truth from Scripture and nothing but Scripture, why didn't he give us the Official Universal Greek Decoder Ring that would give us the exact translation of Scripture so we would make no mistake about crucial doctrines such as trinity, scripture, baptism, justification, salvation etc, etc? The discussion on John 1 alone earlier made me hanker for the Decoder Ring.

Where's Captain Midnight when you need'm?

14 Comments:

Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

TJ,

I think it would be helpful to Protestants like myself if you could elaborate on a couple of points.

The average layman cannot invest the study time involved to reach the level of knowledge and expertise of a full-time professional. Therefore, both Catholics and Protestants rely on "experts" who help us to interpret what we read in the Scriptures.

My question is, which of us is expert enough to know whose experts are the most expert? If the Catholic Church has an infallible interpreter in the Magisterium and the Pope, how can we know they are infallible? And how can we know this infallibly? If we can't know infallibly that our interpreter is infallible, then what would compel me to put my faith and trust in Roman Catholicism?

Regards,

Pilgrimsarbour

November 17, 2007 3:43 AM  
Blogger Tim A. Troutman said...

Well it might be hard to know if the Church is infallible in her interpretations.. But there's one thing we CAN know for certain. ALL other sources of interpretation are fallible. There's only one thing even claiming infallibility (reasonably) - thats the Church.

In other words - you might be having a tough time deciding who to hire for the job ... but in reality there's only one application filled out.

November 17, 2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear PA:
The Catholic Church claims that its unique authority has been given from Jesus via an un-broken succession of vicars starting with St. Peter.

Catholics believe the gates of hell have not prevailed against this Church. The Catholic Church can be historically traced to the apostles and no other religion can make that claim. It is not triumphalism,(and never should be declared in that spirit) but is what the record of history tell us.
No one can know infallibly that anything is infallible, except in certain areas of mathematics and science. Therefore, a level of "faith and trust" has to be present. If we knew it infallibly, it would no longer be faith or trust.

Like many others much more learned than I throughout 2000 years of history, "I have chosen to throw my lot with the Church Fathers" (Dr. F. Beckwith)

"If you should find someone who does not yet believe in the gospel what would you [Mani] answer him when he says, “I do not believe”? Indeed, I would not believe the gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so." St. Augustine

Your brother in Christ,
TJ

November 17, 2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger NanaR said...

Tiber Jumper:

I didn't realize how far the John 1:1 discussion went. I'll have to check comments more carefully from now on :-)

A common reasoning of Jehovah's Witnesses (in support of the Bible) is this: Can we not believe that the God who made the heavens and the earth could preserve a book without error?

An appropriate followup question would be, Can not the God who made the heavens and the earth and who promised to remain with His Church on earth until the end, preserve His Church free from error?

The answer to both questions is yes, but Jehovah's Witnesses only answer yes to the first one.

If, as they believe and teach, the early Church fell into apostasy shortly after the death of the last of the 12 apostles, then Our Lord Jesus would be a liar -- and that is not possible.

Considering that the canon of the NT was not compiled in its present form until the third or fourth century, and was not available widely until the advent of the printing press, it is obvious that Our Lord did not MERELY leave his people A BOOK -- he left a Church in which HE HIMSELF DWELLS and through which both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are understood. For He said (using the King James Version here):

18: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


When I came to understand that the Church established by Our Lord Jesus Christ had NEVER CEASED TO EXIST, I prayed for that same Lord to lead me to His Church.

I am on my way...

Thanks be to God!

Ruth

November 17, 2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks Tim, your post reminds me of the concept that if since the Church does claim infallibility, it either is totally whacked or it's True. Similar to the Lord Lunatic and Liar pardigm of CS Lewis.

November 17, 2007 2:45 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Ruth:
We all will keep you in our prayers on your journey. I really liked your question "Can not the God who made the heavens and the earth and who promised to remain with His Church on earth until the end, preserve His Church free from error?"
Thanks for the post and God bless you. You are a great testimony for the power of Truth to open eyes and change lives.

November 17, 2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger Hidden One said...

Ruth - the other thing to remember is that Protestants don't even use the canon developed no earlier than 382 AD and put forth by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage in 394 and 397 AD. They use the Luther-abridged version, second edition.

November 17, 2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Chesterton has some choice thoughts here regarding the qusetion at hand:here

November 17, 2007 10:54 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

TJ...only one word: BRILLIANT! No, two words, BRILLIANT and TOO FUNNY! Um, okay,so math wasn't my strong point, make that 4 words.

New from TYCOnymous the Greek Decoder Ring! At Catholics R Us! The perfect gift for your scripture totin' Catholic relative or friend. (not to be used as a cudgel, batteries not included)

: )

November 18, 2007 7:12 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"Catholics R Us"
Nice one Susie.

November 18, 2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 19, 2007 10:31 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Anonymous said...

"The discussion on John 1 alone earlier made me hanker for the Decoder Ring. Where's Captain Midnight when you need'm?"

The "Cpt. Midnight" moniker was too dark. These days he goes by the name "Dr. XXX."

I know what you are saying anon, but deleted the name to avoid appearing anti-non-catholic. Thanks for the post and sorry for the edit
of your comment!

November 19, 2007 3:46 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Dr. XXX?! Don't you mean Dr. XXXXX? Besides, I was going to use that moniker for DXXX ArmstrXXX! ;)

November 19, 2007 6:16 PM  
Anonymous theo said...

"My question is, which of us is expert enough to know whose experts are the most expert? If the Catholic Church has an infallible interpreter in the Magisterium and the Pope, how can we know they are infallible? And how can we know this infallibly? If we can't know infallibly that our interpreter is infallible, then what would compel me to put my faith and trust in Roman Catholicism?"

Dear Pilgrim, my true brother in Christ:

If I might humbly suggest, the question of whom or what one may or should trust is not answered in infallibility itself (or infallibility alone) as much as in our reasonable reaction to the thing or person demanding trust as it truly is. This can be addressed in two ways: the short and the long.

The Short Way

We do not trust God because He is always infallible (although He is). We trust Him because he also is Good. Trusting bad infallible people and things would be disastrous.

God's Goodness and Infallibility let us unreservedly place all trust in Him. As a corollary, we trust the Church not because she can be infallible under particular conditions (although she can), but because the God who specifically created her is always both Good and infallible; and it is this same God who specifically founded the Church and told us about her and her place and role in His divine plan.

The Long Way:

This will take some verbiage to explain (especially in light of allowances for other readers who might not have your depth of knowledge), and I humbly ask your forbearance as I muddle through.

If you take stock of the way men must live their lives in order to function, you’ll note that putting trust in anything seldom requires that the thing you trust must be infallible. If it happens to be infallible as well, then you have quite the luxury. For the moment, considering this from the infallibility angle only, let’s also consider the nature of trust itself and its practical observed application to our human nature (assuming also that God exists):

-- We trust God who is good and infallible.

-- We also trust the laws of physics which are mere operations of matter and energy (and to which the word "good" has no real direct application, yet) whose operations are “infallible” in the sense that no fault or error can be assigned them.

--Particularly germane to this discussion, we often trust every-day people and devices to operate according to the laws of physics and the laws of God to the degree that they are in harmony with those laws. Thus we trust chemistry, yet we do not trust alchemy; and as modern men we would rightfully consider those who do otherwise ignorant or foolish, and we would know them to be at a disadvantage by reason of their misplaced trust. Why?

Without articulating it, we realize that in as much as a teaching, theory, discipline, concept or design follows the physicals laws of nature, we can say that design is physically "infallible" in a sense. For example, we know that given the characteristics of this planet’s atmosphere, and the “infallible” laws of pressure and fluid flow, the airfoil design will always fly but the airscrew design will never fly. This observation brings to mind an obvious corollary: that if the execution of the design is flawed, our trust might be misplaced, even though the concept is without fault or error. If the manufacture of the plane is incorrectly executed, the plane will crash, and we will not trust that model.

Thus, in the physical world, we trust what actually works, not because we understand the infallible law behind it, but because it works and always works as the infallible law dictates—even if we don’t know the law itself. The thing one trusts is not “infallible,” in the physical sense but the forces supporting it are. A corollary here is that if the thing one trusts need not be infallible, then extrapolation for infallibility beyond that is unnecessary. This addresses part of your question, “If we can't know infallibly that our interpreter is infallible, then what would compel me to put my faith and trust in Roman Catholicism, ” with the observation: Knowing infallibly that your interpreter is infallible is not compelling and is not a “real” reason to trust the Church. Knowing that God is Infallible AND knowing that he is Good AND that He commands you to trust the Church is. Remove any one of the three and the case is weakened.

I’m sure you have no problem with the first two conditions, so let’s skip onto the third:
How can we know God commands us to trust the Church?

To answer this we must look at the history of the Church itself. Obviously the New testament serves as one of the historical document sets available. Even were we take the Gospels as history only, not as inspired, they would play great weight in our account, especially if in our minds we step back to the days of the early Church, before in fact these documents were even considered inspired.

By those histories (and the fact that you and I believe these books are the inspired Word of God does not negate them as history—but in fact re-enforces it) we find Christ himself instituted the Church as based upon the Rock (whether meaning Peter himself or his confession of faith matters not at this pint, but will be important later)

Note that Jesus spoke at length on its immediate and future nature as the earthly representative of Christ as:

-- His bride as perfect (holy) in some regards and being made perfect (sanctified) in others,

-- One, universal, and authoritative (binding and loosing on earth and heaven) body.

-- Christ’s companion always (Behold I am with you always even unto the end of the earth)

-- and the very minister of Truth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who is our Paraclete.

Note, however, that Jesus did NOT institute a New Testament (apart from the testament of His precious blood) nor did He say anything about us creating a New Testament. This does not mean that it was wrong to do so. But we need to correctly acknowledge who or what DID tell us to do so.

It is because I believe God, that I believe his Church acts on His behalf.

It is because I believe his Church acts on His behalf that I believe we were correct to compile words written by mere men, and declare them to be inspired by God and name them the foremost of sources of God’s own revelation.

For me this all adds up to this statement: My trust is in Christ.

I know, my brother in Our Precious Lord, that you do not hold the above in the same manner I do, but I also see how your witness in words and deeds demonstrate your trust is also in Him who died for us. I am always thankful and edified by your spirit of assent to His will and dedication to His glory.

I hope this all helps rather than hinders, and to whatever extent it helps, may God bless us all. May we pray for one another.

I remain your humble brother and servant in Christ, Our Lord,
--Theo

November 21, 2007 1:18 PM  

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