Help with a bible verse

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hoser

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I am a Catholic and my wife is a Baptist. We are having a debate on sola scriptura and a couple of the verses that she is using to defend her being able to interpret scripture without error and without the guidance of the Church are 1John 2:20 + 2:27. Also in 1John 5:6-12.

Here is what 1Jn 2:27 states. “But you have recieved the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie…”

Sure I can say that (and have) if you believe that if everyone who asks for guidance from the Holy Spirit is guided to the truth, then why is there such a great division among protestant churches today? The holy spirit only teaches one truth and not thousands.

But is there another responce that I can give? Is this verse directed towards certain people such as just the Apostles or is it directed at all Christian believers? Please help!

Thankyou
 
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hoser:
I am a Catholic and my wife is a Baptist. We are having a debate on sola scriptura and a couple of the verses that she is using to defend her being able to interpret scripture without error and without the guidance of the Church are 1John 2:20 + 2:27. Also in 1John 5:6-12.

Here is what 1Jn 2:27 states. “But you have recieved the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie…”

Sure I can say that (and have) if you believe that if everyone who asks for guidance from the Holy Spirit is guided to the truth, then why is there such a great division among protestant churches today? The holy spirit only teaches one truth and not thousands.

But is there another responce that I can give? Is this verse directed towards certain people such as just the Apostles or is it directed at all Christian believers? Please help!

Thankyou
2 Thessalonians 2:15 - So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

1 Corinthians 11:2 - I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.


*John 21:25 – But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. *

John 20:30 – Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book.

*1 Timothy 3:15 - if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
 
Perhaps the answer is to look at the entire passage from verse 18 through 29. When you do this, the problem seems to be a simple case of injecting things that are not there. The passage is a warning about the anti-Christ. The anointment of the Hole Spirit is there to protect believers from the lies of the devil. In other words, not to know Truth within the Truth, but the lies from the father of lies. Look at verse 24. “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.” This seems like a statement about the importance of Tradition and teachers, not against it. Then look at verse 26. “I wirte this to you about those who would deceive you” This passage is about false teachers, not to each his own.

As far as the passage from 1 John 5, I cannot see the problem. Tell us about it and I can see what I think.

I am not sure if this will help, but it seems to make sense to me.
 
It seems ironic to me for your friend to pick and choose particular verses from 1John when, according to the introductory notes of John1 (NAB version), part of the letter was written as a warning about those who claim to have special knowledge of God, but were spreading false doctrines.

In that context, and context is extremely important, the “you” in the quoted passages would seem to me to be plural – as in all you members of the Church, the Body of Christ – not a singular you – as in “Frank, Mary, Hoser, and whoever happens to read or hear this letter now or in the future, you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true”.

This passage would seem to me to be saying that it is “you” – the Church – who doesn’t "need to be taught anything b/c the Holy Spirit lives within you. Some of those who were spreading false doctrine were probably at one time part of the Church being addressed, and for all the writer knew, there may have been some who read his letter who may have already been convinced of these false doctrines or leaning toward them but had not yet broken away. It would really defeat the purpose of the letter to tell such a person that “you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true”.

I have been reading Galations ch.2 and have noticed this incident, which could also be used by Protestants as support for “faith alone”, actually illustrates the exact opposite. Paul chastizes Peter for teaching and professing one way, but acting in a way inconsistent with his faith – admonishing him for works of the law (not eating with the unclean Gentiles). In other words, put your money where your mouth is! Actions (works) show that your faith is sincere. I think most Protestants would agree. I think many Protestants mistakenly believe that we Catholics think we can earn our way to heaven through good works.

Could it be that many are hung up on terminology without really knowing what it means?

Anyway, that’s my non-authoritative take on it.
 
hoser,

First, be gentle. Not good to win the debate and loose the wife.

Just pose this question.

“What happens when the Holy Spirit seems to be telling two people appealing to Him two different things about the same matter or question, espcially regarding intrepretation of a passage of Scripture?”

You know this happens all the time. that is why we have so many denominations. You do not have to point his out, you wife already knows it. Just end the debate with the open question and do not nrespond to any pat answer. Just let the planted seed germinate.

Emmaus
 
2 Peter 1:12-21 says the following:

12
Therefore, I will always remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth you have.
13
I think it right, as long as I am in this “tent,” to stir you up by a reminder,
14
since I know that I will soon have to put it aside, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me.
15
I shall also make every effort to enable you always to remember these things after my departure.
16
We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17
For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
18
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.
19
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20
Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,
21
for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.


In context, Peter is telling his readers to remember the teaching that came from him and the other apostles; that they were annointed by God as teachers and preachers of the Word (vv 12-19). As a result, they are not to go interpreting Scripture definitively for themselves (vv 20-21)
.
 
As I read this thread, a random thought occurred.

If there is no need for a ‘Higher authority’ or interpreter/teacher of Scripture, why are there seminaries of any stripe?

🙂
 
Acts 8:30-31 “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?’” (This will lead the conversation to the authority issue.)

I don’t think anybody quoted the above yet.

I think this whole issue leads back to the main issue of authority. She would have to understand why you accept the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

Have you pointed out that the Bible was put together by the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church is the one which decided which books were inspired and would be the canon of the Bible. Who better to interpret it than the ones who decided which books were inspired? (Inspiration also leads back to the authority issue.) Ask her how she knows the Bible is inspired! We know because the Church tells us so. What is her authority? If it’s the Holy Spirit, then all churches should be interpreting the Bible in exactly the same way.
 
I have checked my translation in Spanish, and the you is definetively a plural. In fact the whole letter is directed to a whole Church, not to any particular member.
 
try this verse: 2 Peter 3:15-16

“And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in his letters. In them are some things hard to understand that the **ignorant ** and unstable distort to their destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.”

How many of us are not ignorant of scripture in some way? Wheter it be context, customs, language, etc etc ?
 
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hoser:
I am a Catholic and my wife is a Baptist. We are having a debate on sola scriptura and a couple of the verses that she is using to defend her being able to interpret scripture without error and without the guidance of the Church are 1John 2:20
If 1 John 2:20 means all Christians know the truth, then the bible technically isn’t even necessary since they all ‘know the truth’. The context is essential as others already pointed out.
Also in 1John 5:6-12.
This says nothing about sola scriptura.
Here is what 1Jn 2:27 states. “But you have recieved the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie…”
But is there another responce that I can give? Is this verse directed towards certain people such as just the Apostles or is it directed at all Christian believers? Please help!
Read 1 Tim 1:3,7:

Clearly certainly people were teaching false doctrines, and they thought they were right: Apostle Paul commands that these false teachers should be forbidden from teaching.

With hundreds of protestants all teaching different doctrines on nearly every doctrine, I think St. Paul’s advice is more trustworthy than individuals attempting to interpret the Bible on their own.

And as Authorkat mentioned: How can people understand the Bible without an interpreter?

James 3:1 is also a strong warning to those who attempt to be teach truth. They ‘will be judged more strictly’.
 
I want to thank you all for such quick reply’s. This is what we are actually doing, because we tend to get into more of an argument when these topics are being brought up. We are each writing papers defending our position. My paper right now is actually 11 pages long, so I have covered a lot, but I want to make sure that all my bases are covered. I have so far covered Tradition vs. tradition, examples of Tradition used in the Old Testament, what the early Church Fathers believed, the authority of the Church, the apostolic nature of the Church, where the bible came from, simple logic, and more. But these verses she brought up to me in the past (1Jn 2:20 & 2:27) about how she prays and asks the Holy Spirit to guide her to the truth and she uses that to defend her position. I wanted to know how to counter that and I think that you have given me some good answers.

So thanks again for your help, any more help is appreciated. After this our topic of debate will be salvation so I’ll probably be back with more questions.
 
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hoser:
But these verses she brought up to me in the past (1Jn 2:20 & 2:27) about how she prays and asks the Holy Spirit to guide her to the truth and she uses that to defend her position. I wanted to know how to counter that and I think that you have given me some good answers.
Just for thought, and you have probably mentioned this already.

She should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide her into the truth (what Christian doesn’t), but howw does she recognize the truth once it’s presented to her? Does she really surrender to it or waits to she if it corresponds to what she believes is the truth?
 
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hoser:
But these verses she brought up to me in the past (1Jn 2:20 & 2:27) about how she prays and asks the Holy Spirit to guide her to the truth and she uses that to defend her position. I wanted to know how to counter that and I think that you have given me some good answers.
I am glad that if I helped a little. Be careful, because it looks like you might be siding with reason against emotion. It doesn’t matter what is taught or ment if she feels that this is right dispite any intellectual proof. Pray for her, and I will pray for both of you
 
Hoser don’t forget simple logic. If every denomination prays to the holy spirit for guidance which most do, and the truth they learn is different, then something isn’t right. Either the truth is reletive too each person, which I doubt she believes, or that isn’t the meaning of the passage she is quoting, or there is no holy spirit. Those are the main logical choices. Let her decide.

Oh and it helps to concentrate on what you believe in common before disussing these things with you wife. At least it works for me. Good luck.
 
As others said, reason and prayer are critical. So anyway as mentioned before:

If the 1 John 2:20 is a sola scriptura defense it’s a rather lousy one: If one already ‘knows the truth’ then I suppose scripture isn’t even necessary.

And my friend shared the following with me concerning 1 John 2:27:

The “received anointing” from the Spirit (1 Jn 2:27, 2:20) does not make the teaching office/function illegitimate for Christ’s Church (Eph 4:11-12; Rom 12:7; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Tim 3:2; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 2:24; Heb 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17; 1 Tim 4:13; James 3:1). Rather, that anointing of the Spirit gives one the very capacity to know the things of God, to know the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:10-12, 16). In contrast, the natural man without the Spirit cannot understand, believe or apply the things of God (1 Cor 2:14-16).

In other words, if the bible teaches sola scriptura, then why is there a specific ‘teaching’ office? It should be no surprise that we have the magisterium… The root word for magisterium is ‘magister’, which literally means teacher. And teacher is mentioned in all those verses listed above. Coincidence? I doubt it.

-Jason
 
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